What happens when we die? It’s a question that presses upon the human imagination. And Christians are no exception.
Wherever two or more are gathered, someone is surely wondering: What is heaven like? Will our deceased pets be there? What does it mean to be absent from the body and present with the Lord? At the resurrection, will we be raised as children, teens, adults or seniors? When will the Eschaton be upon us? Has it already begun?
A great mystery
This is all quite natural. As creatures made for eternity, we have an irrepressible curiosity about the “there” and “yet to come.” But it is an existential itch that finds little relief in the here and now.
The pages of Scripture, where we expect to find answers, reveal teasing clues but sparing details; and what it does disclose only further piques our interest:
“No eye has seen nor ear heard, or mind conceived what God has prepared for them who love him.”
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
“Now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.”
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
The Bible frustrates our felt "need to know," leaving specifics about heaven, the afterlife, and end times largely to the imagination. I’ve been known to say that you could put a dozen theologians in a room, and hear two dozen opinions on any one of those topics. (I think I’ve been in that room, more than once.)
Still, while much of the “there” and “yet to come” remains a great mystery, the greater mysteries are about the here and now. The first has to do with what we are, rather that what we will be. nue reading here. C Continue reading here.