Tuesday, January 12 2021
People are fascinated with other worlds in books, movies, video games, and vacations. Most like to think of the experiences of traveling to foreign places. The anticipation in planning to travel is a part of the joy. Why does the anticipation of a better place appear to be innate within most people? Many dream of a better life. What about the afterlife?
Some describe death or the afterlife as a great adventure. Many debate whether life exists after death. Beliefs about the cause of all life determine what someone believes about the afterlife. While nothing is what rocks dream about, people dream of other worlds. Engineers design roving robots to detect their environment before they create them in one place and test them for use in anticipation for other locations. Why do humans desire better homes? Why do so many look forward to an afterlife?
People can see that the cause of the universe must exist beyond the universe and its natural laws. No mindless cause of the universe can decide how intelligent life would come to exist and understand its origin. However, the intelligent Cause would engineer intelligent life that can reason that the original cause of the universe is the intelligent Creator. Therefore, one must think rightly about God who created human life to want to keep living and who made every place of people to dwell. For God, another world to come is no challenge for Him.
By a reasonable faith in God, Christians hope for life in a renewed body resurrected never to die (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:53). The Christian faith is the most reasonable hope for human life to be restored to life after death by the Creator of all living things. The afterlife is apparent in trusting the witnesses of Jesus’s resurrection. The hope of eternal life fills Christians with joy to live another kind of life now and forever. Those who rise again to eternal life must have a compatible place to live. Jesus gave hope to His followers by overcoming death and preparing a place for them (John 14:1–3; 1 Corinthians 15:20–28; 2 Timothy 1:10). Christians look forward to a city in a heavenly country designed and prepared by God for the faithful (Hebrews 11:10, 16).
In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth taught His disciples while sitting on a mountain by first proclaiming blessings as the conditions of joy and happiness that align with the character of those who are faithful to God. Jesus’s blessings foretold of the coming kingdom that His followers looked forward to entering (Matthew 5:3–12). Jesus described the kingdom of heaven as a place of comfort, fulfillment, and mercy for those who mourn sin, hunger for righteousness, and are merciful to others. The kingdom of God includes the meek inheriting the earth that is the heavenly land (Matthew 5:5; 19:28–29; cf. 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1–2). In that kingdom, the pure of heart will see God, and those who make peace will be called “sons of God” (5:8). Jesus encouraged His followers to express joy when others curse, persecute, and slander them (5:10–12). Why? The teacher taught His students that the kingdom of heaven is theirs. The kingdom of God is worth the trials of life, so we trust God.
Do we have the character of those who inherit the kingdom? The character of those entering the kingdom are humility in spirit, mourning human rebellion, meekness in self-control, hunger for righteousness, merciful in abundance, purity in heart, makers of peace, and enduring persecution for righteousness. By the hope of the kingdom of heaven, Jesus called His followers to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13–16). The glory of those faithful to God is like a city on a hill that no one can hide. The follower of Jesus is a light that illuminates an otherwise dark room so everyone can see (5:15). Followers of Christ give light so that others can see their works and praise God (5:16).
Thank God for the hope of eternal life! God help us to live by the character of the kingdom according to Jesus’s preaching!