Age changes your perception of life. When I was 20, I was very concerned over what people thought about me. At 40, I didn’t care what people thought about me. Now at almost 60, I realised no one was thinking about me.
In just 11 months, I will reach my big 6-0. I’m not sure how I feel. In a way, I’m excited about the new possibilities, yet I’m also feeling a sense of trepidation. One of the things that’s been in my thoughts lately is the issue of life after death. Soon, I’ll breathe my last breath and slip away into eternity, which simply means everything I do now ought to prepare me for that moment.
I find myself reading a lot about books on heaven. I’ve just finished reading Dr. DGS Dhinakaran’s classic book, ‘An Insight Into Heaven’ and am reading two others – Sadhu Sundar Singh’s ‘Visions of Heaven’ and Marietta Davis’ ‘Caught Up into Heaven’. What can I say? I love the mystics. I think in my heart of hearts, that’s what I am. My spiritual father, Dr. Brian Bailey, was a prophet-teacher par excellence, but he was also a mystic. He constantly had visions of heaven, and hearing his stories first-hand was always fascinating.
There are a few conclusions that you draw when you read books about the afterlife. Each one says the same thing – that, when you die, you’re gathered together with people of the same character and spiritual attainment in life, both good or evil. In other words, if you’re saved, then you’re put with those who have attained the same spirituality as you. Sadhu Sundar Singh writes, “After death, the soul of every human being will enter the world of spirits, and everyone, according to the stage of his spiritual growth, will dwell with spirits of like-mind and like-nature, whether in darkness or in the light of glory.”
That in itself is a staggering thought. You’re placed in heaven with the exposure of glory that is commensurate with your life on earth. Where you end up in heaven is all dependent on the life you’ve lived on this earth. I find it staggering that 70-80 years of life in your flesh will determine everything in eternity. Sobering, but true.
Sadhu also writes, “When the souls of men arrive in the world of spirits, the good are separate from the evil. In the world, all are mixed together, but not so in the spiritual world. When the sons of light enter the spirit world, they are first bathed in the palpable air-like waves of a crystal clear ocean which they find intensely and exhilaratingly refreshing. Within these miraculous waters, they move about as if in open air, neither are they drowned beneath them nor do they get wet, but they are wonderfully cleansed, refreshed and fully purified.”
Then he says this, “But the evil struggle to hide themselves in places where their impure and sin-stained natures will not be seen. From the lowest and darkest part of the world of spirits, a black and evil smelling smoke rises and in the effort to hid themselves from the light, these sons of darkness cast themselves headlong into it, and from it, their bitter wails of remorse and anguish are heard constantly arising.” Wow.
I think five minutes after we die, we’d all wish we had prayed more, given more, witnessed more, loved more. But why don’t we realign our hearts and lives to Him now? Why don’t we live as if tomorrow is our last day? So my thoughts are drawn to eternity. Everything I do now, I frame in the context of eternity.
C S Lewis once said, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” My friends, please consider eternity. All your money in the world will not save you. All the riches and fame you’ve attained will not save you. You must be born-again and washed by the blood. It’s true that while men are considering what place to give Jesus Christ in history, He has already decided what place to give them in eternity.”
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong