The other day I was struck by an article I’d read about the varied and changing views on the afterlife that Jews have held through the ages. It’s not new for believers of the same faith to believe many different things. Even in ancient times, this was the case. In fact, rabbis made debate a sport in their temples. Amongst the “laymen,” there were even more disagreement as some were not believers (aka culturally Jewish only) and some were not educated in the Torah to any great extent. One person in the article stated that there’s a old saying about the many views they hold on death: two Jews, three after-lifes.
In this article, there were many views, and one had written that they felt ancient Jews believed dust-to-dust meant that we cease existence entirely, at which point God forgets us. I didn’t believe that, but it hurt me for some strange reason. I started to wonder about afterlife in the Bible. I worried on the subject all day (as I’m a worrier).
Finally, I did what I should’ve done from the beginning, and I spoke to God (I’m a slow learner sometimes). The Holy Spirit spoke to me immediately as if He were waiting all day for me to listen. He said do you believe I’m a good God? Did you believe me the many times I said you are my children and I’m your father and I love you as a father in the Bible? Then, would you believe I would ever forget one of my children even willingly? Do you think I would not grieve them and miss them? Do you think that I, an omnipotent father, would not bring them back to my arms once I’ve readied a Safe place for them? Wouldn’t you as a mother? Even humans who are not as good as I nor as perfectly loving would do this. How much more I?
“…and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7
“In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it 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 welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am…” John 14:2
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement…” Hebrews 9:27
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” John 11:25
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:28-29
If you worry that, even if you are saved, you may die to live in a gray formless void (like Hades), burn in torment, or even subsist in a boring eternity of harps and fluffy clouds, why would you think God wouldn’t know your deepest needs and desires? He made you, and He would know how to give you more than you ever could wish or imagine.
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Luke 11:11