In my father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
“I’m afraid to die.” I’ve heard this comment from more than one older person. And all are professing Christians.
What is going on? Christians have an abiding belief in life after death. We’re taught from our earliest memory that if we accept Christ we’re saved from going to hell. Scriptures are full of warning about our eternal destiny if we don’t profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Are our elders just forgetful?
We believe when we pass from this earth, our destiny lies in one of two places; Heaven or hell. Because we’ve confessed our sins, we pass ‘from death unto life.’ So why should dying scare a professing Christian?
My elderly mother has been a believer for more than forty years. She’s told me many times she is confident she’s saved by the blood of Jesus. Yet, when she looks closely at the end of her life, which is arriving at alarming speed, she’s terrified.
What if I’m wrong? This is her inner fear.
We only know about heaven by what’s written in the Bible. There are no testimonies in Scripture by someone who’s died and come back to life. The Bible is silent about what Lazarus experienced when he was dead for three days. What the little girl saw or felt who Jesus raised from her deathbed isn’t recorded either. And the popularity of so many true-accounts-of-heaven stories tells me we’re dying to know what’s on the other side.
Jesus gives us only a vague understanding when he says, “In my father’s house are many mansions.” The rest of his descriptions are equally unspecific.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind” Matthew 13:47.
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants” Matthew 18:23.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard” Matthew 20:1.
Huh? He doesn’t seem to be talking about a place at all, but an ideal. The Gospels are filled with admonitions. We’re told to lay up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. Jesus tells us to be like little children. To forgive one another. I’ve read these verses over and over, yet the lack of specific detail about what is to come leaves me wondering.
Have I done enough?
Did I love my brother/sister/neighbor as Christ did?
Is Heaven going to be everything I hope it will be?
Have I really placed my trust in Jesus as my savior?
This article is an update of the original post from February 2017.
Have you had “the talk” about dying with your loved one?