When I was asked to speak on the topic of afterlife, I was like “afterlife?” Why does that word sound so strange to me? What does that word even mean? I went on-line, it and as it turns out that word has many connotations.
So what we’re not gonna talk about is:
Viking notion of Valhalla.
We’re also not talking about zombies, vampires or the walking dead.
The I realized that the reason afterlife sounded so weird to me, it’s because where I come from we don't use that word, we use eternity, or Heaven.
The kingdom of Heaven is first referred to in Jesus’ prayer, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus first introduced us to the Kingdom of heaven when ministered to people while he was here. He healed people, he was loving and joyful and pretty much was an example of all the fruits of the Spirit.
So, getting back to afterlife, what I found out was that in heaven we will stand before the throne of God in bodily form and give account for how we spent our lives.
“The I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it… and they were judged each one of them according to what they had done..” Revelation 20:11-13
Romans 14:10, and II Corinthians 5:10 also make reference to the throne of judgment.
Here’s the thing:
We as parents prepare our kids for success with piano lessons, soccer camps, and private tutors without batting an eye! We willingly spend on dance or karate lessons. We pray about auditions, tryouts, and competitions. We make sacrifices so that our kids will have the skills to be successful at whatever we want to reproduce whether it’s athletes, scholars, or virtuosos.
How much more does God want us to be successful when we stand before his throne! He sent Jesus to model the kingdom; He’s provided the Holy Spirit to teach us to pray. He’s provided life circumstances to teach us to call on his name, and given us relationships that guarantee that we will need to grow in mercy and grace.
All of this is so that we will learn to represent him on earth and store up rewards in heaven. That way when we see him, He will say, “Well done!” I think understanding that he desires to reward me makes me see the challenges I face through a new lens of understanding. I’m in his training camp and so are you! He is guaranteeing my success by providing opportunities for you and me to be his daughters and represent him here on earth. He’s gonna be so proud of us!