By John Larkins
Perhaps we find our death too unpleasant to think about and plan for, but so far as I know, this is an experience we all share. We do not even have to agree on such questions as, “Is there a God?” or “What will He do with us?” The fact that death seems well established. If at our death we simply stop thinking, then there are no further activities. However, at least several billion of us are convinced that there is a God who had a plan for our deaths.
Many of us believe that God created the universe for our use and created us to be His friends, both in this life and in the life to come. Since many of us are aware of writings and historic teachings on this subject, let me review some items of possible interest.
First, we believe that God is eternal in nature and desires that we be His friends in eternity. Many of us think that God allows us to choose if we desire eternal life with Him. Our lives, then, offer us an opportunity to convince Him of our will to be His “children.” The alternative to eternal life with God is eternal death with Satan. If written sources are accurate, God has designed a Way to show Him that we wish eternity with Him. I will describe my own discoveries about the Way. I hasten to add that there are at least 35,000 other ways that I cannot validate, but I respect your decision to explore all you wish.
Along with many others, I believe the Creator acted to make the first man long ago. Soon thereafter, God created another person to be the companion to the first human, Adam. In concert with his companion Eve, Adam decided to disregard God’s rule about eating a particular fruit, which grew in the place God put them, the Garden of Eden. Granted, this act was urged by God’s enemy Satan, but Adam and Eve choose to do so. This act of disobedience resulted in their being sent to earth, located somewhere east of Eden. They then lived a more difficult existence, which culminated with their deaths. Previously in the Garden of Eden, they would not have died. Furthermore, such disrespect to the Creator required the intervention of a Savior, an entity who restored humankind to the possibility of God’s eternal friendship in Heaven.
Notice that the restoration of Adam and Eve’s status as eternal creatures was dependent upon the judgement of the Savior. Over a period of about 2,000 years, God began a plan to give all of us a Savior. We mark our calendar to commemorate the birth of the Savior. That Savior, Jesus, directed and established a Church, which then was usually called The Way, 2,000 years ago. By God’s will, a record of that Church was written down, and that Church today has about 1.2 billion members around the world. These members are charged with the responsibility for spreading the Savior’s Way to everyone. This is only of interest to us who believe in God and desire to follow His Way.
I wholeheartedly rejoice – and hope you will, as well – at the extraordinary love and care God has repeatedly displayed for us humans, even though it is clear we seldom deserve His attention.
With God, we do not need to fear the life after death but instead welcome our salvation. So, if you do not believe in any further experiences, do not feel obligated to be at all concerned with your certain death.
If you are unsure about The Way, one reference is Handbook of Denominations in the United States by Roger E. Olson at the Abingdon Press.
For the past 15 years, John Larkins has evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact him at email@example.com.