life after death
"We would have you be clear about those who sleep in death, brothers." —1 Thessalonians 4:13
We can become clear on life after death by listening to the Church. It has listened to the Spirit, prayed over the Bible, and will give us a clear understanding of life after death.
When we die, we are judged and our spirits immediately go to heaven, hell, or purgatory. Heaven is God's home where we perpetually worship the Holy Trinity, see Jesus face to face, and share perfect happiness with all the angels and saints. Hell is a place where those who have rejected Jesus get what they want. They are eternally separated from God, the Source of life and joy, and are, therefore, in utter misery. Purgatory is a temporary state where those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior are completely sanctified by being forgiven and purified (Catechism, 1031).
At the end of the world, Jesus will return to this earth. "Those who have died in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living, the survivors, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thes 4:16-17). Everyone will then be judged. On Judgment Day, those who have died will receive the judgment they had received at their deaths. Their bodies will be reunited with their spirits in heaven or hell. Those living at Jesus' Second Coming will be judged and then go to heaven or hell.
When we first become clear about the enormous, eternal ramifications of our decision to accept or reject Jesus, we may feel disturbed or afraid. However, when we also realize that Jesus became human and died on the cross to save us, we can be confident about being with Him in life after death. Jesus wants to take us to heaven. We must only believe in Him and give Him our lives.
Prayer: Father, may I eagerly await my eternal future with You.
Promise: "The moral is: keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour." —Mt 25:13
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus, Lord and Savior. Alleluia!
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)
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