The namesake of the oldest book in the Bible, Job, asked the question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) The question of life after death has occupied the thoughts of man for all of his history. Just the fact that you are now reading this text bears witness to the fact that this most universal of all questions has occupied your thoughts as well.
Dear friend, allow me to share with you what God’s Word has to teach us about this subject. The Bible (both Old and New Testaments) gives us abundant evidence that man was created by God to live eternally. The sense of eternity is universal; a general belief in man’s mortal present but immortal future can be found in all cultures throughout the world.
The question is, then, “What happens when I die?”
Are you a good person?
Most people today believe that if, generally speaking, they are a good person then they will go to Heaven. In other words, if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds, or, as long as they sincerely try to live a good life, then God will accept them.
There is actually some truth to this. If a person dies and truly is a good and righteous person, then he is assured of an eternity in Heaven. There’s just one problem, though: the Bible makes it quite clear that there are no inherently good people. Romans 3:10 states, “There is none righteous, no not one.”
I know, I know
It sounds very brash and harsh to claim that there are no good people to be found anywhere. After all, one may wonder, ‘What about people like Mother Theresa, Gandhi, or Billy Graham? Weren’t (or in the latter case, aren’t) they good people? Well, by human standards I would be the first to answer that question with a resounding Yes. Though I would disagree with some of them on some theological issues, I would say that all of them were, or are, humble people who consistently placed others above themselves. History will look kindly on all of these individuals as being selfless people with high moral standards and personal integrity.
The problem, though, lies in the fact that God does not judge us by man’s standards, He judges us by His. What exactly are those standards? They are, very simply, the 10 Commandments. If a man could live by all of the 10 Commandments perfectly throughout his life, then he would indeed be a good person by God’s standards and be assured of eternity in Heaven.