Monday, 23 October 2017

What God won't ask you in the afterlife

THREE men met at the funeral of a dear colleague. At a gathering afterwards they began to reflect on their friend’s life and the eulogy which had been given.

“What would you like to be said at your funeral?”, one of them asked.

The first man thought for a moment and then said: “I’d like to be remembered for all I’ve achieved: for the business I’ve built from nothing, for the good it has done in this community, and I’d like to be remembered as a role model for others to follow.”

The second said: “I’d like to be remembered as a good husband and as a great dad who has encouraged and inspired his family to develop the amazing potential they all have.”

The third friend said: “At my funeral I would like them to say, ‘Look... he’s moving!’”

Death is one of those subjects that has something of a taboo about it. We feel uncomfortable speaking about it. We don’t really want to talk about it at all. Christians speak about hope. They point to the Resurrection of Christ as offering hope of life after death but many people wonder what whether such belief is credible, or at best wishful thinking.

In February the BBC conducted a survey across Great Britain of people’s beliefs in the Easter story. They found a mixed picture: Forty-six per cent of the general public said they did believe in some form of life after death and 46 per cent did not. The other eight per cent said they did not know.

There was clearly a good deal of confusion. On the one hand, a quarter of people who described themselves as Christians do not believe in the Resurrection of Jesus (despite the Bible saying that if it didn’t happen any Christian faith is useless [1 Corinthians 15:14]).

On the other hand 21 per cent of non-religious people said they did believe in some form of life after death and just under 10 per cent did believe in the Resurrection of Jesus — despite having no faith!

So let me pose a couple of related questions: What if there is life after death and what if one day we do have to answer to God for how we have lived our lives? To set us thinking, let me suggest some things God won’t ask:

God won’t ask what your job title was but He may ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

God won’t ask how many material possessions you left behind but He may ask how you used them in life.

God won’t ask how much overtime you worked but He may ask how much time you gave to others.

God won’t ask how many promotions you received but He may ask how you promoted others.

God won’t ask in what neighbourhood you lived but He may ask how you treated your neighbours.

God won’t ask how many online friends you had but may ask to how many people you were a true friend.

God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights but may ask what you did to protect the rights of others.

God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words but He may ask how many times they didn’t.

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