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    What will happen when I die? Is there life after death?

    By Dianne D. McDonnell

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    Each of us longs to live forever in a far better world. Wouldn't a loving God provide a plan for living forever? God did send Jesus, his Son, to earth to make possible living forever. And Jesus, who understood God's plan, revealed what will happen after we die. Jesus said that a time will come "when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God" and we will all come up out of our graves and stand before him to answer for the deeds done during our lives! Here are the words of Jesus:

    John 5:24-29 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 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 good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." NIV Bible

    The Creator God gave mankind Ten Commandments that tell us what is right and wrong in His sight. Each one of us has done things that we know are wrong by God's standards. God is a God of Love, but also of great Power, and the breaking of His Commandments is to be punished by death. Yet all of us have transgressed these God-given laws. How can we escape being condemned when we finally stand before him? Jesus said, "I tell you the truth," two times to doubly stress that his words are TRUE and can be trusted. If you believe in him, you can have Eternal Life and not be condemned! At the moment we make that decision of belief, that Jesus is indeed the Son of God-and we ACT on it in full and total repentance, it is like we step over a boundary between life and death-and stand in Life!

    Jesus did not sin during his life on earth. He died a perfect man, giving himself up willingly for us so that our death penalty is paid by his death. Every year each family sacrificed a lamb, a symbol that there would eventually be a Savior for sins. John the Baptist, saw Jesus coming toward him, and said prophetically, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29. On the day Jesus died, this symbol of "The Lamb of God" was fulfilled! In his death by a painful, cruel crucifixion, he became the sacrifice for sin that each one of us needs to be forgiven. What LOVE he had for us that he went through a terrible, long and suffering death when he could have called down thousands of angels to save him! Matt.26:53. It is because of his sin-free life and willing death-- his selfless act of Love for us-that you can have the sure hope of Eternal Life!

    Not only can you live beyond the grave, you can also have a place in God's Kingdom as a precious, beloved child!

    John 1:12-13 "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born (or conceived) of God." NIV Bible
    (The original Greek word means conceived as well as "born".)

    Actually we are not yet fully "born" into God's Kingdom, we are "conceived" and grow until the time of our "birth" into God's Kingdom. That is why Jesus explained, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit," John 3:6. When we are "born" into God's Kingdom, we will have a new body that is composed of new material with a new ability to move freely. That is what Jesus meant when he said, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." Jesus was the first one changed from a physical body to a glorious spiritual body. After three days and nights in the grave his Father resurrected him with a magnificent new body to a life that does not end! Jesus reigns with his Father in Heaven and intercedes in our behalf, and will return to the earth.

    When the time comes to be called up out of our graves we will no longer have physical limitations of aging and death, but will live forever with a body of a different sort! We will feast in His Kingdom, receive praise, honor and rewards according to our loving and obedient service to God, and if you have used your talents well He will "put you in charge of many things" Matt. 25:23. Then "the last will be first, and the first will be last." Matt. 20:16. This glorious future is possible for us in His Eternal Kingdom only because of the sin-free life of Jesus, and his death in our place paying our death penalty.

    First, you believe in him, tell him sincerely of your trust and belief, confess your sins and be willing to turn away from them. Then you are baptized to symbolize the washing away of your sins and the fact that you will rise out of death to life just as you are raised from the water. After this act of faith in him, we are given a small measure of his own Spirit to be inside of us to help us daily, and this is done by the laying on of hands from another Christian. With the help of God's own Spirit, we follow him in obedience to his Ten Commandments and his way of life, rejecting and turning away from our former ways that are wrong in His eyes. When our time to die comes we can be free of fear for we know that he will call us up out of our graves to a Life that goes on forever as his very own beloved children! How wonderful God is! How loving and kind is his nature and his plan for us! How marvelous his Son is that died for us! Now-it is time for you to choose LIFE and reject the way that leads to DEATH. Here is a sample of how one can pray as he or she comes before God and asks for forgiveness:

    "God of the Universe, I understand that you want to be my Father, and I believe that you sent Jesus to be the sacrifice that removes my sin. I want Jesus to be my Savior and I want to cross over from death to life. I want you to clean me up from my sins, and forgive me for breaking your Ten Commandments, (privately list your sins). I want you to make me clean in your eyes so that my sins are forgotten forever because Jesus died for me. With the help of your own good and Holy Spirit, I want to follow your ways and learn of you, and be obedient to you and to your Commandments. I will need your help in staying away from my old ways that are wrong and walking forward in your ways that are good. Dear Father, deliver me over to Life for I want to be your child and when you call me out of my grave, I want to live with you forever."

    Once you have made a profession of faith and repentance quietly before God, you need to be baptized. Ask God to help you find a true Christian that will baptize you and lay hands upon you to receive God's Holy Spirit. Pray to find a group of true worshippers that will strengthen and teach you, and will reflect God's own love towards you. A rich young man once asked Jesus "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" Jesus replied, "…If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." Matt.19:17. Find these laws in Deuteronomy 5. First you profess and believe in Jesus who died that you might be forgiven of your sins. Next you walk in love and obedience to the Father who now claims you as His own beloved child- for now and for Life forever!

 
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Pastor Dianne D. McDonnell, Freedom Ministry
P. O. Box 976, Marble Falls, Texas 78654-0976 — Voice Mail: 512-302-6707
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