“I don’t believe you go anywhere after death. We just lie in the ground. Done.”
Many non-Christians have made that or similar statements. How then do we validate to them there is a hereafter? After all, it would seem that unless they are convinced there is a hereafter they will feel no need to prepare for it.
The issue is not, however, “Is there a hereafter?” The real issue is, “Is Jesus Christ the One He said He was?” Why? Because Jesus Christ is the One who spoke more about heaven and hell than any other man in the Bible.
He spoke about heaven when He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1–3).
He spoke about hell when He said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).
So when someone says they don’t believe in a hereafter, we can point out that Jesus believed there was a hereafter and the Bible tells us that Jesus is the way to that hereafter. If Jesus Christ was not who He said He was, nothing He said about the hereafter matters.
Once again, we are brought face to face with the resurrection—the one thing on which Christianity stands or falls. The challenge anyone faces, therefore, who denies there is a hereafter is the challenge of disproving the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Only if the resurrection is disproved, can the teachings of Christ about the hereafter be ignored.
So rather than argue about whether or not there is a hereafter, focus the conversation on Jesus. If Jesus Christ was who He said He was, then everything He said about the hereafter is true.