Why do we the things we do every day? How much would be different if we know there would be no tomorrow? What we believe about the future determines how we live today.
People paint their houses so they will be able to sell them in the future.
People take blood pressure medicine to avoid serious health problems.
People change the oil in their cars because they need them for future use.
People go to school so they can get a job and support themselves.
People diet and work out so their body will be attractive & healthy.
Likewise, what we believe happens after we die should determine how we live this life. As the apostle Paul said, if we believe that there is no life after death, we might as well “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Cor. 15:32) IF there is nothing beyond this death to prepare for, why be concerned about living a pure life, helping others sacrificially, getting to know God better and doing what pleases Him? Why not live a totally self-centered life, focused on pleasure, applause, and comfort? After all, as some fallaciously say, “you only live once.” (I looked up this quote on the Internet and it gave 7,810,000 results!)
But IF we believe that this life is only the entryway to an eternal existence–either enjoying unimaginable delights in God’s presence OR unrelenting misery away from Him—this is what will determine and motivate what we do here and now. The short-term costs of hard work, delayed gratification, and even suffering (along with the many delights the Lord furnishes along the way) won’t be worth comparing the glory that we’ll experience when we finally get Home! Which will it be? We have a lot of choices to make every day.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:58)