What Virtues and Vices Survive Death?
People usually think of virtue or vice in relation to sexual behavior, alcohol, money, or food. But when we die, gluttony, lust, greed, and other fleshly sins will die with those of us who are Christians. We will not carry these things into heaven.
The things we will take into heaven have to do with the values of the human spirit. The apostle Paul wrote, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (I Corinthians 13:13). The love we have for each other and for God will survive the grave. The hope we have in God will survive the grave. The faith we have in God will survive the grave. These three inner qualities of the spirit of man will go into heaven.
On the other hand, people will take spiritual characteristics to hell with them too—things like pride, rebellion, envy, pettiness, and self-seeking. Hell goes on forever, so what starts out at forty or fifty years of age as a manageable tendency could be increased and magnified at the age of one million to an absolutely hideous characteristic. Imagine what pride, selfishness, cruelty, envy, or anger would be like if they were allowed to multiply for one million years!
This is why heaven must be reserved for those whose spiritual tendencies have been reborn and why rebellious sinners cannot be allowed to enter the place that God has prepared for those who serve Him.
Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson.