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And when Jesus had cried a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two....The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

Matthew 27:50-52

Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.

John 11:25

Most people do not realize that they become eternal beings the moment they are conceived in their mother’s womb.1 At that point, it is too late to turn back the clock. Eternal existence has begun!

Again, some would think we cease to exist as persons when our bodies die. According to the Bible, however, this is not true. Your physical body is the house in which your soul and spirit reside.2 When your body dies, you continue to exist. But the question is, where will your soul and spirit go when they leave your body?

The Bible says that we are born with a spiritual condition that is dead toward God due to sin.3 We are dead in our relationship to God. If we die in this condition, we will “perish” forever—suffering a conscious existence of torment in the lake of fire, forever separated from God’s life and presence.4

Yet thank God, there is hope! The moment we receive Christ, He makes our spirits alive. Jesus puts into us His life and His nature. We actually become a “new creation,” “born again” into an alive spiritual existence.5 Then, when we die, we will continue to live eternally with God.

How does this happen? Scripture teaches that “the life of a creature is in the blood.”6 We have learned that one of the principles upon which biblical sacrifice rests is this: Sin is transferred to a substitute, and, in turn, the life (and innocence) of the substitute is transferred to the sinner. It was upon this principle that Jesus shed His sinless blood on the cross as our substitute, and thereby transferred His eternal life (and righteousness) to every believer. 7

What Happens When We Become “Born-Again”?

When the life of God’s Spirit enters our lives, He awakens our spirits toward God. We begin to respond to Him with a hunger and a thirst for God’s presence, for only in Him is fullness of joy and perfect contentment found. That “God-shaped vacuum” within each of us that Blaise Pascal wrote of is now filled by Him. We develop an appetite for the Bible, God’s written Word, which is the food that will nourish our spirits.8 Truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit, and our spiritual blindness gradually starts to lift. The desire to pray and to communicate with God begins to grow.

The longing to please God is demonstrated by a desire to obey God and to do His will. We begin to hate evil and to love what is righteous and good. The fruit of the Spirit starts to grow and is produced in our lives.9 The power of the Holy Spirit is manifested through our witness, our spiritual gifts, our serving others, and our giving of ourselves and our possessions. All these things are the direct result of Christ’s life now working in us. Our spirits have been made alive to God! We have been regenerated.

At death—if Jesus does not return first—we will go directly to live with the Lord until the final resurrection. Then we will be given new bodies prepared for eternal life with Him. In the unimaginably glorious new heavens and new earth that God has promised, God “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain”—only joy and peace in His wonderful presence. 10

Illustrating Eternity

How long is eternity? Imagine a great bird that could fly nonstop without ever needing to rest. Let us say that it were possible for this bird to fly to the planet Jupiter at one mile per hour. Let’s pretend that God gave this huge bird an assignment: “Take every grain of sand from planet Earth to Jupiter—one at a time!

Picture this huge bird as it takes the first grain of sand in its beak and begins to flap its enormous wings. Envision it lifting off the ground and flying upward and upward until it disappears into the sky. It arrives 44,520 years later at Jupiter—a distance of 390 million miles from earth—and upon landing, drops the first grain of sand onto the planet. Then immediately, it makes the return trip to Earth—a round-trip of 780 million miles, or 89,040 years, for just one grain of sand.

How many years would it take to transport every single grain of sand off the face of the earth in this manner? Whatever it is, it would not even scratch the surface of eternity. When the bird returns from taking the last grain of sand to Jupiter, eternity would still be as long as it was when he had left with the first grain of sand!

Preparing For Eternity

Because every person will spend this eternity either with God in heaven or without Him in hell, it is eternally and critically important that we prepare to go to heaven. Like planning for any trip, we need to make decisions and preparations. However, many of us give little thought or planning to where we will travel once our bodies die. Where will your soul and spirit go when your body is dead?

The Bible says that we will either go directly to heaven or directly to hell when we leave our bodies.

Have you given any thought to where you are going? If not, let’s think about it for a moment. The road map is simple. The Bible says that we are on one of two roads—the wide road leading to hell or the narrow road leading to heaven. 11 Choose which route you will take.

What can you take with you? Nothing tangible of course, but there are things you will be taking into the next life. According to Christ’s true account of the rich man who went to hell, we will retain our memory and recognition of others, as well as our ability to see, hear, reason, speak, and sense things.12 We will also take our relationships with us, and a record of the things we have done and said—later to be judged.13

Have you made a reservation for heaven, yet? If not, you can do so by calling on Christ and becoming a child of God. The only payment that will allow us admittance into heaven is Christ’s payment. He is also the only door through which we can enter.14

When standing on the brink of death, a believer has the assurance of Christ’s promise that angels will be there to carry him over death’s waters to heaven’s shore, so that he can live with Christ forever in that glorious land.15 In anticipation, true Christians will live their lives with faith in that promise, in God’s character, and in the Bible.

Once we are born, we will exist forever. The question is, “Where?” If you want to have the certainty that you will live forever in heaven, turn to page 161 at the back of this book for a prayer to guide you in securing your eternity with God.

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”16




1. Jeremiah 1:4-5; Psalm 139:13-16; Luke 1:13-15, 36, 39-44
2. 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 10:28
3. Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13
4. Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:24, 28-29; John 3:16
5. 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3-5
6. Leviticus 17:11
7. John 17:1-3, 24; Romans 6: 23
8. John 6:63; Deuteronomy 8:1-3
9. Galatians 5:22-24
10. Revelation 21:1-4; John 10:27-29
11. Matthew 7:13-14
12. Luke 16:19-31
13. 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 12:36-37; 16:26-27; Revelation 14:13; 20:11-13
14. John 14:6; 10:1-9
15. Luke 16:22
16. 1 John 5:11-13

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