Father Tim answers the question:
We go through life, we work hard to achieve something, we find someone to love and if we’re fortunate we build a family and experience good and positive and lasting relationships. But what does it all mean if it all ends in death? What’s the point of learning, if my brain’s just going to go demented and then die out? What’s the point of love, if sooner or later you’re going to lose the one you love? Is it really possible that all these years of laughing and working, eating and sleeping, learning and loving are going to end up in nothing more than the decay of my body in the grave?
Human beings have always pondered that question, and throughout our history we’ve continuously speculated about what happens to us after we die. Some, believing that the person continues to live in some sense after death, have left tools and articles of clothing in the grave to help the dead person in the next life. Some people have tried to contact the dead, and others believe that the dead have contacted them. Some people have been afraid of what comes after death and have paid money for masses to be said for the safety of their souls. Some have believed that when we die we go to a better place. Others have been skeptical: we just die, and that’s the end of that.
The Christian faith is firmly on record as teaching that there is life after death. In the Nicene Creed, which goes back in its earliest form to the fourth century A.D., we say, ‘We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come’. What does this mean? What do we actually believe about life after death?
Our Christian hope isn’t a selfish one: it’s not just about ‘what will happen to me after I die’. It’s about the future of God’s entire creation. And that future will not just be what we call a ‘spiritual’ thing – it will involve bodies and matter as well. All the material things we know with our senses – the taste of food, the feel of the sun on your skin on a warm day, the caress of a lover – these are good things made by a good and loving God. When the last day comes God isn’t going to abandon matter as a bad idea and opt for a purely ‘spiritual’ world, as Plato taught. No: the Bible tells us that what God is going to do is ‘make all things new’; God is going to heal the wounds of creation and restore it to his original dream. And he’s going to raise his people from the dead so that they can enjoy life as he originally conceived it, before evil entered his world.
What we do know is that the Christian hope is about the renewal of this world. It tells us that the future of this world is in the hands of God and not of the forces of evil and destruction; that the last word will be God’s word and not the words of tyrants or mass murderers. The symbolic language of the book of Revelation tells us that the day will come when the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth, when God will make his home among us and live with us forever, when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, when death and mourning and crying and pain will be no more; the time when God will say, “See, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:2-5).
That’s our hope, and so we can face death with a different attitude. Christian teaching doesn’t pretend that death isn’t a huge blow; Paul doesn’t tell his friends in Thessalonica not to grieve for those who have died. What he says is that they do not need to grieve ‘as others do who have no hope’ (4:13). We will grieve, yes, but only as I might grieve if I was going to be separated from my loved ones for a very long trip in which I would be unable to contact them at all. People who don’t have this hope grieve because they see death as the final separation. But we Christians are encouraged to trust that beyond that separation there will be a great reunion, on that bright morning when God renews his whole creation, when Jesus is acknowledged by all as Lord of heaven and earth, and when the human family finally finds the peace and justice we’ve been longing for, for as long as we can remember.
Friends... that's hope... and change... to believe in.
I suggest you read the whole thing... and be refreshed.