People are wanting to know what life will be like after death. There is much discussion today about reincarnation, paranormal phenomena, spiritualism, and many other theories on life after death. Jesus said important things about life after death. Let's see what Jesus said about life after death in the Gospel of John.
One night a man came to Jesus whose name was Nicodemus [John 3]. Nicodemus was very impressed with Jesus and said you must be from God because no one can do the miracles that you do unless God is with him [John 3:2]. Nicodemus recognized the supernatural power of God in Jesus. Nicodemus realized that Jesus must know some spiritual things that he didn't know.
Maybe you are like Nicodemus and you have seen or heard about the miracles and wonders that have been done by Jesus or in the Name of Jesus [See Chart]. Perhaps you have questions about the afterlife, the survival of consciousness after death, or the Kingdom of God that Jesus talks about?
Jesus immediately said to Nicodemus who was a ruler in Israel, you must be born again or you will not see or enter the Kingdom of God [John 3:3-10]. Jesus said you have to be born again to see [recognize] or enter [have access] to the Kingdom of God.
You could be thinking like Nicodemus what is Born Again? What is the importance of being Born Again? Nicodemus had trouble understanding what Jesus was saying to him. Nicodemus said to Jesus, how can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born the second time [John 3:4]? But Jesus was talking about more than the physical birth, but about being spiritually born into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3:5, you must be born of the water and of the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus had been born into this physical world when his mother's water broke [rupture membranes] at the onset of her labor. But Nicodemus had not been spiritually born by the Spirit of God [John 3:5].
Jesus said to Nicodemus again, "Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again" [John 3:7]. The New American Standard Bible says, "Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again" [John 3:7]. Maybe you are like Nicodemus and you have thought, "how do you get born again by the Spirit of God" [John 3:9]?
Jesus states a well-known verse to Nicodemus. Jesus says, "for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" [John 3:16]. Jesus gives Nicodemus the promise of everlasting life if he believes in him.
You might be thinking, I believe in God. I believe that Jesus lived about 2,000 years ago on this earth. I believe that Jesus was a good man, a miracle worker, and a great prophet. In James 2:19, it says even the demons [devils] believe in God and tremble!
We see from this scripture that demons believe in God, they believe that God exist, and they have a fearful respect for God. But demons are not born again [John 3:3], they are not part of the Kingdom of God [John 3:5], and they do not have eternal life [John 3:15-16]. It is obvious from this scripture that to be born again, to enter the Kingdom of God, and to have eternal life you must believe something more than demons do.
The word believes in John 3:16, is the Greek word [πιστενω pisteuō]. According to Thayer's Lexicon of Greek words, pisteuō means to think to be true, to be persuaded of, and to place confidence in. The question is what do you think to be true, are persuaded of, and place confidence in?
In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me". Jesus is simply saying,I am the only truth; and I am the only life; I am the only way to the Heavenly Father.
Numerous people place confidence or believe [pisteuō] in their goodness, their good works, their contributions to society, or their religious association. Others place confidence or believe that God is love. God will not judge them or condemn them to hell. God is love, but God is also the righteous judge of the universe [Revelation 20:11-15, Revelation 19:11-16, Matthew 25:40-41, Matthew 13:36-43:, Psalm 7:11, Psalms 96:12-13, and Psalm 98:8-9]. Some even believe that they are so good that God can not condemn them to hell.
Jesus said that hell was prepared for the "devil and his angels" not humans [Matthew 25:41, 2 Peter 2:4]. Jesus also said the wicked would be cast into hell and the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels [Revelation 20:10-15]. Jesus describes hell as a place of torment [Luke 16:23, 16:28, Matthew 13:42, 50]. He describes the Lake of Fire as a place "burning with brimstone" [Revelations 19:20, Revelations 21:8]; and those cast in the Lake of Fire would "be tormented day and night for ever and ever" [Revelation 20:10-15, Revelation 14:9-11].
Jesus said that hell was a place of "everlasting punishment" and "everlasting fire" [Matthew 25:46, Matthew 18:8, Luke 3:17]. Jesus instructs humans to do what ever it takes to avoid hell [Mark 9:43-48, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 18:9].
In the last day, Jesus and the army of heaven will defeat the beast, false prophet, and Satan. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire [Revelations 19:20, 20:10]. The book of Revelations states that the final holding place for the wicked will be the "Lake of Fire" [Revelation 20:14-15].
"the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" [Revelations 21:8].
The Bible says, "that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment [Hebrews 9:27]. If we "stand before" the Great White Throne, the books will be opened and we will be judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to our works.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [Revelation 20:11-15, Daniel 7:10].
The only problem with approaching God through good works, is that you must be 100% perfect. In Romans 3:10 we read, "there is none righteous, no, not one". The Bible states in Romans 3:23, "all have sinned". We have all sinned. All means all, there are no exceptions. We have all done things that are offensive to God. There is no one who is sinless. We have all fallen short of God's glorious standard [Romans 3:23, NLT]. The Bible states, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all" [James 2:10]. You can't enter Heaven if you are not 100% perfect.
Many people have questions about sin. What is sin? The Greek word for the English word sin is ἁμαρτάνω hamartanō. Hamartano means "to miss the mark, to err, be mistaken, or wander from the path." The passage of Romans 3:10-18, and in the ESV, gives us a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives.
In Romans 6:23, we learn that we earn a paycheck for sin, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The consequences of sin is eternal death. The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death!
God demonstrated his love to you by giving his only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us [Romans 5:8].
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" [John 3:16]. "This is real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins [1 John 4:10].Jesus said, He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" [John 3:36].
Jesus said, "you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God" [Luke 13:3]. The Greek word for the English word repent is μετανοεω metanoeo. Metanoeo means simply to change one's mind. God is simply asking you to change your mind. God is not asking you to grovel, plead, beg, or cringe to him. He just wants you to change your mind about sin and your relationship with him.
In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said,"Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven". The Greek word for the English word convert is στρεφω strepho. Strepho means to turn, to turn around. If you truly change your mind about a situation, you will change your direction. If you really see your life from God's perspective, you will change your actions. That is why the Apostle James said, "faith without works is dead" [James 2:20]. True repentance and conversion will produce the right actions.
Jesus also gives another important instruction in Matthew 18:3. He says that you need to become as a little child to enter the Kingdom of God. Children generally have receptive, humble, and teachable natures. They are not set in their ways. It has been said, that repentance and conversion are the two sides of the "Coin of Salvation".
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" [John 3:17-18]. Everyone must be both born-again and saved to have eternal life [John 3:36]. Jesus said, "these things I say, that you might be saved" [John 5:34].
Many people have confusion about the terms born again and saved. These two words are words that Jesus used with Nicodemus to explain eternal life. Born-again in John 3:3 refers to the new birth experience. You must be born of the Spirit of God [John 3:5-6] to see or enter the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is saying if you believe in Him, you will be rescued from God's judgment on sin. The word saved in John 3:17, means to be rescued from danger or destruction. Salvation refers to Jesus' work to rescue mankind from sin, eternal death, and hell.
John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World [John 1:29]. Jesus Christ's paid the penalty and made amends for mankind's sin on the cross which is called Atonement [Romans 5:11, Romans 5:8-12].
Our sins made it necessary for Jesus to suffer the agonies of the Crucifixion [Matthew 27:27-31, Mark 15:16-27, Luke 23:32-38, John 19, and Philippians 2:8]. God demonstrated His love and justice for mankind by giving His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for sin [1 John 4:9-10, Romans 5:8].
Would you like the privilege of being born again into the Kingdom of God, experiencing God's salvation, avoiding hell, and having eternal life? If you want this privilege then pray this prayer:
I know that I have sinned and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry. I want to turn away from my past sinful life. Please forgive me. I want to receive all that Jesus Christ has provided for me as my Savior. Your Word says, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" [Acts 2:21].
I am calling on You, Lord Jesus to be saved from my sins. I believe and confess that You, Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]. I pray and ask You, Jesus Christ to come into my heart and be Lord over my life [Romans 10:9-10].
Thank-You that I am born again by Your Spirit and I can now see and enter the Kingdom of God [John 3:3,5]. Thank-You for giving me eternal life [John 3:15]. I receive my salvation and all of its benefits right now. Lord, Thank-You for saving me this day. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen!
Congratulations, If you just prayed this prayer to God and meant what you said to God. You are NOW a new creation in Christ Jesus [2 Corinthians 5:17]. Your old life is gone and a new life has begun for you! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ [2 Corinthians 5:18].
Your next step is to ask God to direct you to the group of fellow believers (like yourself) that you will be connected with to fulfill God's plan for your life. It is very important for you to allow God to direct you. If you ask God he will definitely answer you [Matthew 7:7-8].
"I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life"
[1 John 5:13].