Summary: Are you a Believer, or an ’I don’t know’, or an ’I don’t care’?
Where will you be, 5 minutes after you die?
I have seen that question printed on a tract to be handed out. I have heard the question asked. I have asked that question, on occasion, of people I’ve witnessed to.
Let’s use that question today as a spring-board for discussion, and think it through.
As I see it, there are really only three honest answers to this question, and I’d like for us to address those honest answers one at a time.
Now I should make clear to begin with, that I am not taking into consideration the answers that someone of a non-Christian religion might give. Their answers are for the most part sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. Some are downright depressing (don’t run over that frog; it might be your great grandmother!).
For instance, a Hindu would give you one answer, and in so doing, would be very honest in his response. But since he is deceived from the very foundation of his religion, then all the beliefs built up on that religion must be false also. So, it would be a waste of time to take his answers into consideration.
I am approaching this question from the standpoint of Christian thinking and revealed scriptural truth. If someone is not inclined to accept some very fundamental beliefs about God, then there is really no point going on.
On the other hand, if the listener/reader is willing to begin with the basic foundation that there exists, a real and personal God, Who created all things and ultimately rules the universe, then it is very important to the listener/reader, whether he realizes it yet or not, to pay close attention and attempt to honestly answer this question for himself.
As I said, I believe there can only truly be three honest answers to the question, “Where will you be, 5 minutes after you die?”
The first would be the Believer’s answer. By “Believer”, I mean someone who has heard and understood that Jesus was God who became flesh, suffered, shed His blood and died to pay the penalty for the sins of the world, then rose bodily from the dead on the third day and ascended into Heaven, with a promise to one day return and receive to Himself, all who have believed on these things.
A Believer is someone who has understood that message, repented of his or her sin, turned and accepted God’s free gift of salvation, and thus secured for him/herself a place with God for eternity. The Believer is assured by the Holy Spirit Who lives in him that he now stands right before God, and because of that indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit he has a hunger for more of God’s Word, and a desire to both please God, and to be made more like Jesus. He studies the scriptures, and as a result of that study he knows (among other things), that when he closes his eyes to this life, he will open them in the spiritual realm to behold the face of the risen Christ. As Paul makes clear in II Corinthians 5, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. That is one of the fundamental things a ‘Believer’ believes; that is his hope and one of the scriptural truths that fills him with joy and inspires endurance in him to serve His Lord in the present life.
So for the Believer (the kind of person I’ve described here), the answer to the question “Where will you be, 5 minutes after you die”, comes very easy. His immediate reply (usually with a smile and a far away look in his eye that non-believers cannot understand), will be, “I’LL BE WITH JESUS IN HEAVEN”.
If that particular believer is a preacher you may get a much lengthier answer; perhaps even more than you wanted to know; but in essence the answer will be just that. “I’ll be with Jesus”.
Now we’re going to have to be coming back periodically to the Believer’s answer, but for now let’s leave it as stated and move on to the other two honest answers.
The second honest answer that I can imagine coming in response to our question would be: “I DON’T KNOW”.
Now this reply can come from two different lines of thought. You may be talking to a Believer; someone who fits into the first category, but either due to a lack of good teaching or a lack of understanding on his own part, he has no assurance of his position before God.
One of Satan’s great lies is that salvation must be earned, and then worked at to be kept. So it follows that after people become Believers they must ‘unlearn’ this lie and learn the truth. That comes easy for some, and hard for others.