With the rapture fast approaching on May 21, here's a word of advice from the man widely regarded as the smartest person in the world -- there is no heaven.
In an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, physicist Stephen Hawking said the afterlife is a "fairy story" for those who are afraid of death.
Hawking should know a thing or two about death. When he was 21, he was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease that has confined him to a wheelchair. The disease usually kills people a few years after symptoms first arise. Instead, Hawking is 69 years old and going strong.
"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first," he said.
Hawking fell seriously ill following a U.S. lecture tour in 2009. There were concerns that he might die. But he was able to bounce back and now he is back at work at Cambridge University. But when he eventually does die, his existence will end.
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he said.