World renowned British physicists Stephen Hawking said of the afterlife: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Stephen Hawking a pretty smart guy, but is he right? Is there no afterlife? Is this life all there is? Is heaven something human beings have created because they are afraid of dying? You are free to choose what you believe about eternity.
You can deny eternity exists. People do it all the time. They chose to live for this life and this life alone. If you make this choice, then you live your days believing you are not accountable to a Greater Being than yourself. You’re willing to take the chance that you will have no one to whom you will give account.
You can redefine eternity. You can make heaven an open door to everyone regardless of what they believe or how they act. You can make heaven a place where good dogs, cats, and people go and only murderers are excluded. You can make the afterlife a series of do-overs until you finally get it right. You can make up anything you want to about eternity – people do it all the time. But if you do, you’re counting on your version to be close enough to the real thing that you get in … or at least get to a second try.
You can ignore eternity. You can acknowledge that there is something else out there, but live as if it doesn’t matter. You can even believe that there is a heaven and hell, and never choose to contemplate the reality of what it means for you, your family, your friends and neighbors, or anyone else in the world. People do it all the time – even in the church. But ignoring eternity does not change the fact that one day you will step over the threshold in that very thing you ignore.
You can live in light of eternity. You can ask deep questions about your eternal fate. You can ponder the glories of heaven and the horrors of hell. And you can choose whether eternity is something you will enjoy or endure.
You can choose, but your choice has consequences. Choose carefully. Choose Jesus.