Death is Not the End Because Jesus Offers Us Eternal Life and Happiness

The first four aspects of the Good News are very energizing, exciting, and fulfilling; and they impact our lives tremendously. If these were the only benefits we receive from the Good News of Jesus, then they are more than enough.

However—There is a Bonus!

What could be better than spending the rest of our life experiencing God’s endless love as we love and care for others, experience peace and reconciliation, grow into better individuals free from burdensome restrictions, share the Good News with others in relationship, and expand God’s will on earth?

Well, what if this life of peace, love, and happiness could continue beyond our present existence?

Valentin de Boulogne [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Valentin de Boulogne – The Last Supper [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus Says He is Preparing a Place for Us

In John chapter 14, during the last supper, Jesus entices us with an intriguing commitment:

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Of course, this causes us to begin speculating. Where is this place and what is it like? When will Jesus come back for us?

But Jesus does not elaborate further; and, since he was almost immediately captured and killed, this commitment was not accomplished during his lifetime. He was dead; how could he fulfill his promise when he was dead?

The Wonder of the Resurrection

However, we know the sequel to the death of Jesus: after a few days he conquered death as God raised him from the dead. He visited some of his followers but still did not take them to a place to be with him. Instead, he told them to stay and to spread the kingdom over the earth. Then, one-by-one, all those followers died—never having experienced the promise Jesus made to come and take them to be with him—wherever that was.

Did Jesus fail in his promise? I think not.

What happens here is that Jesus’ resurrection has more significance than just his returning from death to life. His victory over death demonstrates his power to accomplish something else—our individual resurrections.

Some Jews of Jesus’ day believed there would be a personal resurrection after death, and Jesus seems to agree. In Luke 14 Jesus said to his host who had invited him to a meal:

When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

Later, in John 11, Jesus was comforting Martha on the death of her brother. She says she knows her brother will rise again in the resurrection, but Jesus tells her something important about resurrection:

I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Whether we live or die—we will live. This suggest eternal life!

What is Eternal Life?

Eternal life has two facets. The first operates in our current lives—eternal life is a higher quality of life. In John 4 Jesus talks about this with the Samaritan woman at the well:

Everyone who drinks this [well] water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

But in John 6, Jesus expands on our understanding of eternal life—it also involves our resurrection. Jesus told the crowd who wanted more bread:

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe…my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

And in Mark 10 Jesus tells those who make sacrifices to spread the Good News:

No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

Eternal Life! Life without end. A rich life of peace, love, and reconciliation.

What Will the Afterlife be Like?

We really have no information on what the afterlife will be like, but I suspect it will involve some of the themes important to Jesus like those in Luke 4 that he read from Isaiah and applied to his own work on earth:

To proclaim good news to the poor; to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind; to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

The afterlife will be a time when no one is marginalized. Imagine an unending life of satisfaction, freedom, health—and no oppression. This certainly sounds like the time of God’s favor to me! Yet any details of the afterlife are mere speculation. Paul addresses this by borrowing from Isaiah 64:

As it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him.

Of course we have specific questions like ‘What will we do?’ Well, what do you want to do? What is your greatest dream? I suspect you will do that—or something better. ‘What about clouds, harps, robes, and that constant Holy! Holy! Holy!’ I am sure the afterlife will never be boring; I suspect it will be far more interesting than our life today.

But this is all speculation. I can do no better than to say with Paul “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived is what the Father has prepared for us.” It will be a time of endless happiness without suffering or strife; and it will last forever.

This is SOME bonus!

Unfortunately, with all this good news we can share with others there are some who share it ineffectively. In fact it often sounds like bad news rather than good news. We will talk about that next time.

In this series so far:

What is the Good News of Jesus Anyway?
God is not Angry and Harsh with Us as Many of Us Thought
God’s Love for Us Takes Away Our Fear, Guilt, and Self-Condemnation
Do You Still Feel Guilt and Fear because You Fall Short of what God Demands?
We are not to Follow Burdensome Religious Rules
We are Agents for Expanding God’s Kingdom on Earth
Death is Not the End because Jesus Offers Us Eternal Life and Happiness (Today’s post)
When the Good News of Jesus Doesn’t Sound like Good News At All

The Good News of Jesus

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Have a great day! ~Tim
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31 Responses to Death is Not the End Because Jesus Offers Us Eternal Life and Happiness

  1. consultgtfc says:

    Sir, I completely disagree with you ONLY on this thought, as I think this was the misconception taught to us from the very beginning as,
    It is 2000+ years, after Jesus left us, till today none of our good souls which has passed away has risen, but I agree with one sentence, We will be punished, as everyone of us are punished but the only difference is, not eternally, but on this earth itself. Surely He has judges us but when we are alive, that too when have all pleasures on this earth surrounding us but we are not able to enjoy that. Example is a diabetic patient, who is asked not to eat items with sugar, as you had eaten more, than you could digest in the previously episode, when you were given this world! sounds similar to Adam&Eve, who was given the whole Eden but was restricted from eating from the forbidden tree, we have the same situation before everyone of us, either to enjoy for few moments and suffer in agony for rest of our life or CONTROL OUR SENSES AND BECOME LIKE GOD! Enjoy this life for the time we are on earth or suffer with AIDS, for enjoying only few moments illegally,
    The choice is ours, as we are gifted with FREE WILL!

    Like

  2. Beth Caplin says:

    I’m still struggling with the thought of Jesus suffering an agonizing death that only a small portion of the world has and will benefit from. Really, the people lucky enough to be born on the Western hemisphere have a much better advantage to hearing the gospel than people living elsewhere, meaning the majority of people who have ever lived have ended up in hell. I fail to understand how this is ‘good news.’

    Like

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Beth, I appreciate your challenging comment. But I think this is Good News and what you have identified is Bad News of misguided Christian belief. I do not believe those who have not heard the gospel are unable to benefit from it. I believe the work of Jesus extends far beyond those who call themselves Christians. Jesus is inclusive–not exclusive; expansive–not restrictive. We in the west will have no advantage over people from other places.

      However, many people believe the scenario you describe: that only a few will be ‘saved’ and that most people will suffer in a burning hell forever. I don’t believe the Bible even teaches that there is a burning hell to go to.

      If you wish, you can see a list of my articles on hell, along with articles by others who do not believe in hell, at https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/books-and-resources/hell/.

      You are free to pick and choose among the titles that seem most interesting. I would be happy to hear your opinion on what you read there.

      Like

    • consultgtf says:

      Beth, To answer your first question of Jesus suffering an agonizing death, only a small portion of the world has benefited is false because no one has ever benefited from his death! How?
      Everyone is dying whether it was 33BC or 2015 the worst part is life expectancy has reduced from 120yrs from OT time, to below 60 now and it is different in different country and culture.

      The worst part is though, people who are having better advantage to hear the gospel than people living elsewhere, meaning the majority of people who have ever lived have only ended up in hell. As, they know that, ‘what they are committing is SIN’, still they are ones who are violating them, so do you think the they will be punished more than the person who is not aware of anything called “sin”? Think it over again…
      But we are missing the basics, Man will not raise again as, no one from the Old testament has risen from the dead or who ever was raised in the new testament has not lived more, in their second innings!
      The truth is, We are judged in this life only and given the judgement to continue in Heaven or Hell as per our score, but not after physical death of the body but everyone undergoes/undergone this phase, where we get the second chance either to live in Heaven or Hell, till we die. This is a Global judgement applies to the all people living in North or South.

      Like

  3. michaeleeast says:

    Everything you say is true.
    But I believe that Jesus is not the only pathway to eternal life.
    I believe that people who follow other religions or even no religion will be raised after death.
    We will be with God.

    Like

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Michael, I both agree and dissent. I agree that people of all religions, or no religion, will be raised after death to eternal life. But I also believe that eternal life for all people is provided by the agency of Jesus.

      Like

      • Chas says:

        Tim, if everyone is to be raised to eternal life anyway, what is the point of the Gospel?

        Like

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Chas, I do not say that everyone will be raised to eternal life. But even if they were, eternal life after death is only one aspect of the good news (gospel), and the other components are the more important.

          If you scroll up to the graphic listing five elements of the good news, you will see that the first four impact us in THIS lifetime–and they are more important. Even if a person does not hear about the good news until after death, they can choose to receive eternal life under God’s simple terms; however, they will have missed all the benefits of the good news during their lifetime, which is a huge loss indeed.

          Like

          • Chas says:

            Tim, when I look at your four points of the Good News, I find that none of them applied to me before I believed. I didn’t have any guilt, fear, or condemnation; I was successful and happy in my job; was not even thinking about God, or any anger that He might have had against me, and therefore not following any religious rules. What I know now is that God was drawing me toward Him. Two friends had spoken to me, independently, about their belief, and I don’t remember either of them mentioning any of your points. However, one of them, with others, arranged for the Alpha Course to be presented at work, and asked me if I wanted to go along. I did so and it revealed to me that I was separated from God, but accepting that Jesus was the Son of God would bring me out of that separation. The course gave the reason for that separation as being my sins, and I certainly knew some things that I had done that should not have done. I no longer believe that the reason for my former separation from God was because of my sins. I now believe that the universe and everything has been spiritually separated from God from the beginning. The reason for this is that there is destruction in the universe, but God chooses not to destroy, hence it is spiritually separated from Him. When we enter His Spiritual Presence, He helps us to avoid doing things that might cause suffering (avoiding behaving destructively), although this might not include avoiding making ourselves suffer. This will depend on the damage done to our minds by the actions of other people early in our lives. God leads us toward overcoming this damage, but it requires us to be willing to overcome the fear that those actions have planted in our minds.

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        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Chas, I wonder if you were exposed to the ‘bad news’ of the gospel that I describe in the very next post https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/when-the-good-news-of-jesus-doesnt-sound-like-good-news-at-all/. And you seem to have had some sense of alienation from God.

          My objective in this series was not to demonstrate that everyone needs every aspect of the Good News, but that the Good News is far superior to the bad news described in the next post.

          Like

          • Chas says:

            Tim, my objective is to give Good News that everyone can relate to at first exposure.

            Like

          • Chas says:

            Tim, your post led me to try to remember my thoughts/experiences before going on the Alpha Course. I think it was not so much sense of alienation from God, but rather that I felt my friends who had already talked to me maybe knew something that I didn’t. If that was true, I didn’t want to miss out. Now I have experienced the Presence of God, I want to make sure that no-one else misses out on that experience by any neglect of mine.

            Like

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, I like your statement: “My objective is to give Good News that everyone can relate to at first exposure.” Would that we all would do that. I am sorry for the delayed response; I was away from my computer for a week.

            Like

  4. consultgtf says:

    We humans, are very possessive for living on this earth forever! though, NONE is at peace and fully happy while living or lives a contented life, even for single moment in their life. They suffer for the mistakes committed either by them or their loved ones but…suffer!
    Then this was not the concept which originated in Western world, but in East, where it was taken for granted that they have second life! This was copied and added with required ingredients suiting their taste, but East or west Humans are Humans who waste their youth (commit sin) and suffer in the old age. So, THEY WANT TO COMPENSATE THEIR LOST TIME,in the second innings but NO ONE is given a second chance, as none have risen from the dead in the past 2000 years to validate this belief.

    Can we understand this naked truth and live a worthy life in the ONE DAY Game, though death is the prize but, Each time the way the ball reaches you in this game will be different and depends on whether you are with the CAPTAIN or NOT.

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  5. Chas says:

    There are two items raised here that invite comment. The first comes from Tim’s post, where he has used scriptures that refer to the resurrection, but it seems to be important to draw distinction between Spiritual life and physical life. This can be seen in : The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. In the first part, the one who believes in Jesus will live (Spiritually) even when they die (physically). In the second part, the one who believes in Jesus lives (Spiritually), so they will never die (Spiritually).

    The second item comes from the comments made by consultGtF, as it may seem that if someone never hears the Good News they are being unfairly treated. However, since God sees everything that everyone ever does, He knows how much suffering they have been responsible for causing, even when they were aware that their actions might cause somebody, or some animal, to suffer. When they do these things, they do them despite His promptings against doing them, so they are making themselves Spiritually ‘deaf’, in as much as the more they do them, the easier they find it to do them next time. Hence God always knows how Spiritually deaf each person is. If they are no longer capable of responding to the Good News, even if they hear it, then there would be no point in it being told to them.

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    • consultgtf says:

      Chas, where will/do they live Spiritually?
      We are given only one chance to live on this Earth, let us live it sincerely, … otherwise enjoy in first half and suffer in the second, this was believed by all who lived in OT time. But only after Jesus, that too, with influence eastern world culture, the concept of Resurrection was introduced in Christianity, But if you read the bible carefully. The old testament does not mention about Resurrection at all, (Except in Isaiah 26:19, the reference entirely different) even Jesus has not told anything directly about Resurrection of the physical body in four gospels, but it is only Paul and others talk about it, but he also mentions very clearly that we will be raised, but not from dead body, Physically, but while we are physically alive, we should die to the sinful nature and remove the old self and live new RESURRECTED life, after Baptism, like Jesus did, though YOU believe He is Son God, he was also Baptised?
      But our elders have been advising the reverse! But You read the KJV Bible, not others…
      Romans{6:6}Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him,] that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.{6:7} For he that is dead is freed from sin. {6:8} Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: {6:9} Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. {6:10} For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
      Once we REPENT and get Baptised we will never die, Spiritually!

      The NAKED TRUTH is, we will not be raised physically and if at all we do just think of the confusion it will create, with the present population itself we have such huge traffic jams… only ONE to mention from thousands!
      Maybe, He will create few more earths or maybe size will be increased drastically to accommodate all physically bodies from creation time till the end of this earth?!…

      Like

      • Chas says:

        consult, there are several points here to which it is necessary to respond. The first is that if I use a Bible it is the New International Version, because it is the most consistent of the translations we have, having examined all of the Greek and Hebrew sources available to find the most consistent text for each part and using the most respected translators who were willing to participate.

        The next point is that I believe that we suffer only in this life. If we have not been brought into the Presence of God, we will just totally cease to be, having no more consciousness with which to sense anything. If we have been brought into the Presence of God, we will continue to live in His Presence after we die physically. I have no idea what that will feel like, but I certainly wish to be there, as it will be a place without suffering. As I have stated before, we need to be aware that we begin our lives separated from God spiritually, which means that we live in the presence of destruction, and destruction can enter our minds, so we become unable to resist doing things that might lead to somebody, or an animal, suffering. If we are able to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, we are brought into the Presence of God, where we can resist doing these things.

        I personally do not believe that Jesus was resurrected, but that this was a story invented by those who wanted others to believe that he was the Anointed One that the writers of the OT had themselves invented (in individual steps that are spread over several books of the OT).

        Whether or not Jesus was baptized is open to question, because there appears to have been a sect of Judaism that insisted on its members being baptized by full immersion as part of their rituals. Jesus’ baptism was probably a story written to win over members of this sect by claiming that Jesus had greater authority than ‘John the Baptist,’ who might or might not have been a leader of this sect.

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        • consultgtf says:

          The points you have raised are listed, for which. I would like to add as you have covered most of the the points, Presence of God, Consciousness, Suffering, unable to resist…

          First as you have pointed out, Presence of God and sub-conscious are same as per my understanding, If God’s presence is felt within us, it is as good as conscious is in working condition! but the truth is, we have many NOT working Conscious, most of us fall into this category and that is the main reason for our Suffering, after this stage we become one of them as/and we are unable to resist anything wrong forget telling others, we have reached to a level, not to advice our own siblings! As our EGO stops doing it?

          Like

  6. Pingback: When the Good News of Jesus Doesn’t Sound like Good News At All | Jesus Without Baggage

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  13. consultgtf says:

    Completely NEW thoughts, THANK YOU !
    I was separated from God, but accepting that Jesus was the Son of God would bring me out of that separation.
    How is THIS possible, So are we concluding like others, that you can sin for your complete life, maybe 60-70 years and on the death bed, or few years before death, WHEN YOU NEED HELP even to stand, you will accept Jesus,
    Will your sins be forgiven? Sorry, that is just a eye wash, we committed sins meaning we have hurt someone’s feeling THEY WOULD HAVE ALREADY REPORTED! So naturally God would have taken action either on YOU or your siblings, ALREADY!
    THIS IS THE MAIN REASON for our suffering and we console or blame ourselves, saying that “though I accepted Jesus as my redeemer my suffering has not reduced” How will it reduce?

    FOR EVERY ACTION THERE SHOULD BE EQUAL REACTION! Even after seeing our dear ones suffering we are not able to change our LIFE, don’t just accept Jesus,for cheating others, without YOU REPENTING!

    True, I now believe that the universe and everything has been spiritually separated from God from the beginning.
    Spiritually Only, hope you understand, NOT in any other sense, otherwise do you expect your body organs to work in harmony without HIS blessing! Each and every part, starting from a single cell, to a organ, to a system…GOD IS GREAT, we are searching for Wonders of the world, and forgetting to look at our own body, and HOW THEY ARE WORKING, from the time you are born, till the time we are dead.
    but God chooses not to destroy, though HE cleared the earth from human habitation once, still we have not realised the cause and hence want to continue and be spiritually separated from Him, for/by SATISFYING OUR SENSES!

    Like

  14. Taylor says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I love Jesus and think he is from God (the energy of the Universe) to help us love ourselves and love each other, nature, and all that is around us. I believe Jesus is one of the many teachers sent by God (the Universe) and that there are many different teachers sent by the Universe in order to broadly vibrate the message of love out to all the humans of the Earth of many generations past and present. I believe Jesus was sent to help us expand our global concsiousness and get us vibrating on a frequency that lines up with the white light (God/The Universe). I believe that love is that white light and that white light is the only thing that can stop black energy. I don’t believe Hell is a place but rather a state of being and that the Eternal life that God offers is one of which you never have to vibrate on a low frequency towards black energy ever again and your spirit gets to always emit white light. I believe Jesus came to help show us that love is that white light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Hi Taylor, you have some interesting ways to visualize and express your views. I describe my views differently, but that doesn’t mean they are inconsistent. However, I do think Jesus is unique among the teachers of love in that his resurrection is what validates his ability to give us life after death.

      Your thoughts?

      Like

      • consultgtf says:

        Resurrection? When? why? That without this BODY!

        Why should I live without this wonderful creation of God. What has love got to do with Jesus resurrection? I am confused.

        Like

    • consultgtf says:

      Death is for this body, and its accessories, but YOU will live?

      Who are YOU then? after your body is dead, then your SOUL lives? For what?

      Like

  15. Pingback: Have Some Believers’ Focus on ‘Getting Saved’ Replaced Jesus’ Message of the Good News? | Jesus Without Baggage

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