Is eternity real? What happens after the grave?

Published 8:52 am Friday, March 1, 2019

In our world there are two diverse ideas when it comes to eternity. First, there are those who believe that there is no such thing as eternity. This is evidenced by the way the majority of individuals live their lives. In their minds the grave is the end of all things for mankind. Second, there are those who believe that eternity is real; life goes on after death. Of the latter there are some who believe that everyone is going to have the same experience in eternity and others who believe that you can move from one place to another in eternity. But what did Jesus say about eternity? While many claim to be experts about eternity Jesus is the real authority for He is the only person to ever die then return to never die again and then to speak about his experience. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” John 5:25-29 KJV. What can we glean from Jesus’ statement?
First, we see that all men who die will eventually be resurrected. The same doctrine is taught in Acts 24:14-15. Jesus wants each of us to know that there is more beyond this present life. Second, He would have us to know that there will definitely be a judgment (Matt. 11:21; 12:36 & 41). The writer of Hebrews confirms the doctrine of Jesus in Hebrew 9:27 when he wrote, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” The popular idea is that only the bad people will be in trouble at the judgment. This is not entirely correct. Paul said all have sinned. This includes those we believe to be good people. The proper question is what we did with our sins. Men must become obedient to Christ in order to remove the guilt of the sin they have committed.
This is important to know because third we see that God will separate those who trusted in Christ from those who didn’t. Those who never trust in Jesus and His word will stand condemned while all those who trusted Christ unto obedience shall inherit eternal life. (Matt. 13:47-50; 25:31-35). There will be no middle ground in eternity; there is not going to be a third place or some place in between. There is going to be right and left and everyone is going to go one way or another. The events of that day will surprise many individuals according to Jesus who said, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:21-23).
Fourth, Jesus taught that heaven will be the eternal reward for those who obediently trusted in Him. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:1-6).
Finally, Jesus taught that those who do not trust Him will be assigned to hell forever. (Matt. 25:41-42). While many people do not want to hear about hell, Jesus thought we need to know all about it and the danger of going there. Thankfully, we should understand that we do not have to go to the place called hell. Today, the choice is ours. What choice have you made? All who hear Jesus’ commands and obeys them will avoid hell. The Bible teaches that we must believe in Him, repent of our sins, confess Him before men and be baptized for the remission of sin. What choice have you made?
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 423-737-2287 or by email at:

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox