Is there a relationship between this life and the next?
The process of going from here, living in this world, to getting to the next phase of being in an after world has to do with bridging a chasm that the finest composite materials and most advanced engineering architecture can’t span. If there is more to life after life it has to do with faith. And faith by definition has an object associated with it in which to place our confidence.
So of all things in existence and dreamed about and sensed beyond our obvious five senses, what can be trusted to place our faith in to bridge the gap between life and more life? It seems logical that such a question, to be answered authoritatively, beyond personal opinion, needs significant sources of substantial reputation.
The Bible: significant and substantial. Read it and see if it gives a realistic rendering of humanity. It talks of love and hate, doing good deeds and recounts the dark side: betrayal through lying, adultery, murder. It lays out patterns that nations take over time. It gives explanations for some of our struggles, but not all of them. It points out a way to live. It promises a road to inner peace that is sometimes contrary to what we expect.
History: significant and substantial. We change it everyday to better fit our disposition. Nevertheless, the remnant, if honestly observed, suggests that this planet has gone through a lot of pain and, in the midst of suffering, there remains hope. Good overcomes hardship, tragedy, and evil.
Nature: significant and substantial. Creation. So many instances of intricate design in plants, animals, and the universe suggest a designer. Designers have plans. So what is the plan?
In history, on a particulate day, in a certain place, the Bible tells us that there was born to a virgin a baby boy, Jesus. (The Christmas Story.) People hundreds of years ago foretold of his coming and historians document his life. It turns out that he came from where we want to go, an after life. He walked and talked with the people of that era. He said things like “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” And we are given given instructions like “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead (The Easter Story), you will be saved.”
The teachings of Jesus, The Gospel, is an explanation for getting to an after life with God. Another perspective is that He, himself, is that path. The Gospel is simple enough for a child to grasp yet challenging enough to spend a lifetime living out.
“For God so loved the world that he gave is one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
So what do you think about this special bridge, Jesus, The Son of God, that spans the gap between our messed up state and God’s absolute perfectness? “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Once you believe (an event) there is a purpose for your live (something to live out) “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
If you are interested in learning more, read the Bible for yourself here.