Scripture teaches things about the future life that most believers (Christians), and almost all others, have never heard of. The church has done little to enlighten and plenty to mislead us and to numb us into a comfortable confusion. There is a sort of cozy and vague optimism that it is all going to work out in the end. Questions about what is beyond are rarely dealt with intelligently, adequately, or scripturally. Some of these questions are as follows:
- What is the ultimate Christian hope?
- What hope is there for change, rescue, restoration, and transformation of this world?
- Do we have immortal souls?
- What happens at the moment of death (annihilation, reincarnation, absorption into the cosmos, etc.)?
- Is death an enemy or a friend?
- Is heaven a future destiny or a presently hidden dimension of our ordinary life?
- Does salvation have anything to do with this present world?
- What is the future of the entire cosmos/universe?
- Are there future reckonings or judgments?
- Where are the dead now?
- What is the resurrection of the body?
- Are there intermediate stages in eternity (a place for purging, refinement, and growing toward the light)?
- What about the places mentioned in the scriptures: Paradise, Heaven, Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, and Abraham’s Bosom?
We, as the church, may have some searching and some explaining to do.