Think of this. Paul says to Timothy (in 1 Timothy 4:8) [that] physical exercise profits little … but godliness is a means of great gain for it holds a promise not only for the present life, but also for the life to come. [The] point being [is], what you do in this life with your soul makes a difference for eternity.
My suspicion is—and this is just my opinion; I have some reasons for it, but I’m not going to be dogmatic about it—my suspicion is there is no spiritual growth after you die. Once you’re raised anew, whatever spiritual growth is accomplished is done with. Now, you may learn, and there is some kind of growth, but there’s a certain type of growth that won’t happen.
My dad died just a little more than two years ago; he was seventy-three years old, and became a Christian when he was seventy-one. My dad entered eternity a spiritual child; my suspicion is that he will stay that way for eternity.
The reason I say that is because the Scriptures seem to indicate that there is an immediacy about what happens [in] this life that effects what happens [in] eternity forever.
Remember Hebrews 11 (Hebrews 11:35) where you see the great people of faith—and so many were delivered by faith—and then you have that phrase that says “and others” who were sawn in two and murdered and fed to lions…, these guys didn’t get delivered by faith. Why weren’t they delivered?
The author of Hebrews says so “that they might obtain a better resurrection.” That is, what happened to them in this life and the way they dealt with the difficulties and trials and hardship actually influenced the nature and quality of the resurrection.
Now, for some this might be a little odd. “I thought when we all go to heaven we’re all going to [have] perfect joy, and we’re all going to be equal.” Well, we’re not all going to be equal, this is clear. There are different levels of rewards and not everybody gets the same thing.
Another way of looking at it is, “I thought my cup will be full when I get to heaven.” It will be full, but you might have a small cup! So what that means is some attention ought to be given in this life to making our cup bigger, and affluence and personal freedom and happiness has nothing to do with you getting a bigger cup. God makes bigger cups through hardship and difficulty—and this is thoroughly biblical.
I can’t say a whole lot more about this, I just wanted to peak your curiosity and hopefully encourage you to be thinking more about developing your soul. [I wanted to encourage you to be] engaging and embracing the things God brings into [your] life—that seem bad—in an aggressive way, knowing—knowing because the Bible teaches it—that these are the things that God is using and choosing to do in your life to build the size of your cup so that you would have a better resurrection.
— Greg Koukl, from The Invisible Man Part 2, at 45:50