Life Before, Now and After

Life. What is it exactly? What existed before you did? How should we live our lives now? And what happens after this life is over?

We humans think about life a lot. Sometimes we wonder what it was like before we arrived on the scene—historical novels and movies often romanticize and appeal to our curiosity about what the lives of others were like.

But mostly, we wonder how to cope with our own experience of life now. How do we deal with the challenges, the heartaches, the successes and failures, the ups, the downs?

Down deep, though, lie nagging questions.

Is there some transcendent purpose to life? If so, what is it? If there’s a God, what does He expect of us? What does He have in mind for our lives? How can we know? Does He reveal that design to us?

Then there’s one of the toughest of questions, one people have pondered forever: What happens after life is over? Is heaven really the reward of the saved, as most Christians believe? Exactly what would that be like? How do we know?

And what about the “other side” of that equation—is there some terrible after-death experience for the condemned? Is the common concept of an ever-burning hellfire biblically accurate? Will we be reincarnated, as others believe, being recycled in another life-form? Or—the most futile notion of all—will nothing happen, because life means nothing?