Even with modern technology and the laws that keep people safe, life continues to be a struggle for many. In ancient times, it was much more difficult. People died young, their lives were often filled with poverty, and food could be scarce due to drought or storm damage. There was little medical knowledge, no weather forecasting, and barbarism was as close as the yard in front of every house. It should come as no surprise that the majority of the religions that have survived more than a thousand years promise that good behavior in this life will provide a paradise in the next life.
Those who survived long enough in ancient times were told that there was another life awaiting them, and the choice of how they would get to it was tied to how they behaved in this life. The afterlife would be a paradise for those who adhered strictly to their religion, but those who committed crimes, known as sins, would suffer greatly after death.