“I say the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend
the rest of your nights with the light on
so shine the light on all of your friends
when it all amounts to nothing in the end
I won’t worry my life away . . .”
– Lyrics to ‘The Remedy” by Jason Mraz
Did you catch that? “When it all amounts to nothing in the end.”
This line from the ultra-popular Jason Mraz song sums up what so many people in our culture today believe about life after death. They think that there is no afterlife and that if there is a heaven, it is supposed to be here on this earth – right now.
For many secular people, this world is all there is. A good example is media mogul Ted Turner. In an article published by World magazine several years ago, Turner gave the following summation of this humanistic philosophy:
“Christianity is a religion for losers. You will do a lot better at saving yourself than praying to somebody to save you. I think the savior is right here. With our current technology, we can save ourselves.”
Scripture says that, “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Those that have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord will be judged for their sin and will spend eternity separated from God in hell. Those of us that have placed our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will not be judged for our sin – because we trusted Christ to save us from our sin (John 3:16-17; Romans 3:21-31)!
“You only go around once in life, so grab for all the gusto you can.”
Contrary to the famous Schlitz Beer ad, scripture actually says that you go around twice in life. What you decide about Jesus Christ while on earth in this life, in this world, will determine where you will spend eternity in the next world!
Scripture goes on to say that how we live our lives as believers in Jesus Christ here and now (on earth) will determine how we will live then and there (in heaven) (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10).
Any individual holding to the philosophy that “it all amounts to nothing in the end” will naturally develop certain resulting characteristics, or life habits. One example of this is greed. Someone once said:
“Greed is the logical result of the belief that there is no life after death. We grab what we can while we can however we can and then hold on to it hard.”
When you and I realize that this world is not all there is—that the next world, heaven, is our real home—we begin to realize that all that we have, are, and accumulate must be seen as resources by which we can influence and impact people for the world to come.
The Apostle Paul must have been thinking about people like Ted Turner and others when he wrote:
“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. Their future is eternal destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is this life here on earth.
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere.” (Philippians 3:18-21 NLT)
The story is told of an elderly missionary couple that arrived at their home port after years of faithful service. At the dock, an ambassador and his wife who had returned on the ship with them were surrounded by a crowd. Roses were bestowed on his wife as photographers’ flashes exploded, and an attentive, admiring press and public hung on every word as he spoke of the joy of serving his government and coming home. As the missionary couple walked unnoticed through that crowd, the wife, with hot tears streaking down her face, wondered out loud to her husband, “Why is it that we have given our whole lives to Christ and yet there is no one here to honor us and welcome us home?” Her understanding husband, reaching beyond that lonely moment, said to her, “Honey, we’re not home yet.”
I love what Randy Alcorn has written about the reality of heaven as our “real home”…
“Heaven is our real home. Home is acceptance, security, rest, refuge, deep personal relationships, great memories. Home is where your treasure is. If heaven is your home, then your mind and heart and treasure will be there also.”
Until next week, my prayer for you is…
“May the LORD bless you and keep you;
may the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
may the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”