I have already offended many of you with just with my title alone, but I don’t believe there is R.I.P. or “rest in peace” after death. This phrase alleges that after you die you can relax and take it easy after the busy or painful life you left behind. Like you can finally take that nice long nap you have always wanted. What a great picture for the rest of us left on Earth to imagine, it simply makes us feel better about this whole dying thing.
So here’s my beef, the Word of God tells us that there are only two options after death and neither involves nap time.
Option 1: Easy Street to Hell - This is the more popular option and many take this route. I hesitate to say (because it hurts) that the vast majority decide to take this option. This road is well paved and easy to travel on. It has been used many times before and will be very comfortable. You will have many friends and family traveling this road with you. It is nice and broad and can accommodate a wide variety of people. Don’t just take my word for it, Matthew 7:13, “…For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.”
The main problem with option 1 is the final destination, which is Hell. Hell is a real place. Here are just a few descriptions you may find in the brochure:
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 2 Thessalonians 1:9
In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:50
And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 14:11
So if you go with option 1, there will be no resting in peace. You will be too busy weeping and gnashing your teeth in the tormenting darkness away from the Lord, never allowed to close your eyes in sleep again.
Option 2: Hard and Rocky Road to Heaven - This is a much less popular option and not many choose it. The path that leads to Heaven is narrow and difficult. Matthew 7:14 – “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” The trail is bumpy and usually doesn’t seem to make sense. There are twists and turns, ups and downs. Sometimes you feel like you are the only one on it. Your friends don’t understand why you would choose such a path; it doesn’t make any sense to them. Many times the path can be dangerous. But then there is the final destination…Heaven!
Now if you think you are going to rest in Heaven, you are oh so mistaken. The last thing on your mind will be rest. You will be so energized by being in the presence of your Savior that you will never want to close your eyes again. You will never be able to get enough of Jesus and you will be too full of joy, love and yes, peace to take a nap. Trust me…it won’t even cross your mind.
So there is no R.I.P. in the worldly way of looking at things; no naptime and no eternal slumber. But you can have rest from your struggles and know true peace by being with your Savior in Heaven. In Heaven there will be no more troubles, fear, pain, or cancer. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4. This is a solid promise from God, but only for those who are in Heaven. Only those who have travelled the narrow path while here on Earth.
So, how do you find the narrow path? Well, for starters, it’s not a place, it is a person. John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. The narrow path we must travel is directly in step with our savior, Jesus Christ. We must believe in him and receive him and then are given the gift of being adopted as a child of God (John1:12). When you are part of the family you get to live where the Father lives, in Heaven.
Whether you know it or not, you are already on one of these paths. Check under your feet, are you planted on the solid rock of Jesus Christ or are you just “going with the flow”, agreeing with the world and strolling along Easy Street toward Hell? Choose quickly and choose wisely, your final destination matters.