Today is Friday the 13th—a day supposedly when we all should be very careful not to step on a crack in the sidewalk or walk under a ladder, and avoid any dude named Jason. If you live in the western part of the world, Friday the 13th is a day filled with superstitions centered around death and dying. One such superstition goes like this: If a funeral procession passes by you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next person to die. Sheesh! I don’t buy any of that stuff, and I hope you don’t either.
Like Friday the 13th, there are a lot of myths and superstitions about what happens after we die. The subject of death and dying certainly stirs up fears and anxieties in many people. I’m sure, if you’re honest, it scares you a little bit too. For many, it’s the “unknown factor” that fuels our fears and anxiety about death. What happens after I die? How do I know I will go to heaven? What will heaven be like? Will God sound like Morgan Freeman? (Okay, well maybe not the last one.)
As Christ followers, we do not have to be afraid of death or the afterlife. We also don’t have to be clueless about what happens after we die. Because of His great love for us, God has left us many truths about the afterlife in the Bible. Let’s take a look at how a few common myths stack up against the truth in God’s Word.
- Myth: When you die, that’s it. The end.
Truth: The Bible makes it very clear death is not the end, but rather a new beginning! What a great hope that is for you and me! From Enoch, to Elijah, to Jesus, the Bible makes it clear there is life after death.
And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11 NLT
- Myth: When your body dies, your soul dies with it.
Truth: When Christ followers die, our souls are separated from our physical bodies, and enter into God’s presence. Before they both perished, Jesus promised one of the thieves being crucified next to Him that both of them would soon be together in heaven.
- Myth: No one can be certain they will go to heaven when they die.
Truth: If you’ve ever struggled with this myth, or know someone who has, you have to understand and share this truth from the Bible:
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 NLT
Because He loves us so much, God doesn’t want His children ever to doubt or worry about their eternal destiny.
- Myth: Heaven is going to be a never-ending worship song in the sky.
Truth: We don’t have a ton of specifics about heaven, but we do know heaven is where God makes all things new. Heaven will be a place where all the wrongs of this world will be made right once and for all.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” … Revelation 21:4-5 NLT
This Friday the 13th, feel free to spill some salt, pet a black cat, or open an umbrella in your house. The truth is, none of these superstitions will change how much you are loved by God. Nor will they alter His plans for what happens when you die. Don’t let silly superstitions convince you otherwise. He has promised to make all things new.