“I need to know where I am going.”

The husband of a good friend of ours died recently. He was elderly and in the last years of his life had suffered from dementia. His wife lovingly cared for him and said she was overwhelmed with the support from the NHS and friends and neighbours, especially in his last few weeks. Most of their neighbours attended the funeral service. Both the husband and wife had trusted in Jesus Christ as their saviour so, even in the sadness of the occasion, the hope they both had was very clear. The wife believes that her husband is now in heaven with his Lord who has wiped every tear from his eyes. She looks forward to seeing him again when she dies.

After the funeral service a friend asked the wife if she could come to church with her. She said, “I don’t really know what I believe, but I’m getting old and need to know where I am going.” It’s not uncommon today for people to be unsure about what they believe. Church attendance is declining, and some churches are not clear in teaching the Bible. Perhaps this lady remembers what she was taught when, as a child, she went to Sunday School. Despite the relentless onslaught of secular atheism, she has an innate sense that there is life after death and all of us are travelling inexorably to our eternal destiny.

When my wife was doing her teacher training one of her lecturers died. He was an atheist. My wife and other students attended his funeral service which was held in a crematorium. The family entered the chapel following the coffin that was placed on the catafalque as the family sat in the front row. No-one led the service, no-one spoke about the man who had died, there was no singing. The family and congregation simply sat in silence for about 15 minutes and then walked out. For this man and his family death was the absolute end. There was nothing to say, just silence.

But the Bible tells us that God has put eternity in our hearts. We have a soul that can never die. At death our soul departs from our body and passes into eternity either with God for ever or away from his presence for ever. Jesus said, ““I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” Those who put their trust in Jesus know where they are going after they die because Jesus is the Way to the Father.

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