Summary: Is there really life after death? Or is this life all there is? It's a question that we ignore, we toss aside, and eventually ponder. It's a question that draws out fear and emotional outrage. It's a question that affects how we live and what we live for.
Is there really life after death? Or is this life all there is? It's a question that we ignore, we toss aside, and eventually ponder. It's a question that draws out fear and emotional outrage. It's a question that affects how we live and what we live for.
Could there really be an eternal city, coming out of heaven, where humanity will live in the next life? I believe that there is just such a place.
Our universe is a very interesting place. Have you ever breezed through photos taken by the Hubble telescope? Or looked at photos taken by molecular biologists of cells in the human body? Have you looked up at the stars and the moon and wondered at the harmonious complexity of our world? I know I have done those things.
Have you watched the hummingbird meander effortlessly through the air buzzing at breakneck speeds from flower to flower injecting it's beak into the nectar simultaneously feeding itself and cross-pollinating plants?
Have you contemplated the breadth of time from eternity to eternity? Have you considered the factors necessary for the survival of a species? Indeed, these things are spell-binding. They cry out for an intelligence beyond our frame of physical reference with the ability to care for our souls past death.
The eternal city is indeed a real place. And there are requirements we must meet to enter that place. These requirements are most certainly moral in nature. After all we as humans think and live in moral terms. We look for justice, mercy, love, forgiveness, and judgment. We know intuitively that abstract ideas, like good and evil, are rooted in fixed reality. We know that good and evil are real.
All of these things led to my realization that God is in fact real. And that there is an eternal city beyond our existence on Earth. The very last book of the book tells us about it. It's a book titled "Revelation." Revelation means, "the revealing." It is truly, a fascinating read.
This eternal city, which is the future of the human race, is discussed in good detail in Revelation. And if in fact this city is a future reality, then the implications are indeed far-reaching. It changes everything about everything, as far as considering the meaning of life. If this eternal city is indeed an eternal city, in which humanity will reside not for a mere 75 to 100 years, but for millions of years, and billions of years, and trillions of years, then this life is nothing but a dim window, a mere 1% of the 99% reality that awaits us in the future.
For the God who names himself in the scriptures as "I am who I am" such a future is not too hard. What in fact would be too hard for a God with no beginning or end? I AM WHO I AM is a statement of God's otherness in fact. God is not like us in most respects. He is beyond our full comprehension. This is a terribly difficult thing to accept. But as Da Vinci said, only a fool would not be willing to admit that there are some realities beyond his comprehension. That is why the fallacy of "Who created God?" is so amusing. By definition, if God could be created, then He wouldn't be God. He'd be man. We think in these finite terms: Who created God? God answers this question in his title: I am who I am. I am not like you. I am beyond the past, and beyond the future. In fact, God created time itself. We must allow for our finite ability to comprehend eternity. Given that, we can however still consider many aspects of this reality of the eternal city.
Revelation chapter twenty, from the most hated book in history, banned in approximately 60 countries, the Bible, which simple means "The Book" we get a glimpse of our future as a species. The mind repels against it, preferring a future of human glory, yet something within us tells us it's true.
"I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:1-6)