Thursday, December 23, 2010

# 302: Born to Lose or Born to Win

No one desires to be a loser in life. The sad news is that the vast majority of humanity, those who have not actively accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, will lose their most valuable possession in life: life itself at the time of death. All that has been accomplished or acquired during his or her lifetime, all things of value—like wealth, possessions, reputation, family, etc.—all the good they have done will be lost. They may/will become nothing more than a faint memory. Thus, physical death will make them big losers.

That is the main reason most fear death, and that is understandable. But what if a person could be freed from the fear of having to die? That is possible by believing that his/her spirit will live on at the time of physical death. Hebrews 2:15. “. . . and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Even though many may make little of their spirit or not believe that they have a spirit, humans are spirit beings with bodies, as opposed to the belief that our body has a spirit. The reason that is true is because our spirit is of greater value than our physical body since it has the possibility of living forever. Having a spirit is what makes us potentially valuable to God. Without a spirit, humans would be no more than intelligent, well-trained animals.

This is where religion and morality come into the picture. God through Jesus Christ promised eternal life for the spirit part of us, to all who have faith and obedience, which signifies their divine love for God. That unique form of divine love actually—believe it or not—puts other people in need before self, and at the same time they verbally give Jesus Christ the credit and glory. This God-type love must first be experienced to believe it even exists; the reason is that this form of heavenly love defies human logic.

With that said, now the question is this: Should genuine Christians be afraid to die physically? If eternal life in heaven with Jesus Christ is waiting, all genuine Christians should be looking forward to leaving this “dog-eat-dog,” me-first, secular world.

The disturbing fact is that the more unpleasant life is for an individual, the more realistic heaven could become, and the more eager one would be to depart from this physical world. Could that be why Jesus teaches in Luke 6:20, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven”?

Realistically and eagerly looking forward to departing from this evil world by death could be good evidence that a person’s faith is genuine. Just verbally making that statement without actually wholeheartedly meaning it could display one’s hypocrisy and lack of faith required to live the Christian life.

The most important statement—though not the only one—in Christianity is this: The afterlife (eternity) is the main reason why Christ died for us. Without that hope that is based on faith, love and obedience, one’s life would be centered on our mortal lives and our insatiable desire for whatever this world offers.

The only, only reason God created the vast universe was so that He could share His life of unimaginable splendor with an infinite number of other forms of intelligent life. And as we enter this divine realm, we will be so overjoyed that we will automatically CHOOSE God-type love—implying we will have a free will—as a valuable and necessary attribute. Without a free will, we would be nothing more than “God’s good little robots.” As no one desires to be a robot on earth, the same will be true in heaven.

Physical life and its needs—the only life we know—make it extremely difficult to believe in a meaningful way that the afterlife that is waiting for us. One of the main ways to overcome this handicap is to keep our minds on holy and spiritual matters to the greatest degree possible by making “. . . EVERY EFFORT to be found spotless and blameless . . .” (2nd Peter 3:13; emphasis added).

Death is one segment of Christianity that is not talked or preached about to any great degree. The reason may be that no one wants to hear about their physical death and its morbid connotations.

That seems to infer that Christians are more concerned about praying, talking and meditating on our physical needs and challenges.

It can emphatically be said that this part of the Christian life is most difficult to think about in a constructive way. The reason may be that the physical world is really real to us in the here and now, while life in heaven with God and His Christ could be like a hopeful dream that we are not acquainted with, especially its details; thus making it more difficult to concentrate on, especially to the point of wanting to be there today or in the very near future.

At the same time, attempt to imagine how wonderful that life will be. The best way to envision God’s abode is that we will have all the same holy attributes as Almighty God and Jesus Christ. Some may ask, “And what will we be doing for all eternity without getting bored?” The most logical answer is this: There will be different classes of heavenly participance, from the greatest to the least (Mark 10:43: “. . .whoever wants to BECOME great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (emphasis added). Hebrews 8:11: “. . . because they will [future tense] all know me from the least to the greatest.”

Since we will all be near-replicas of God, there most likely will be at least three large groups of heavenly Saints. The first group could be physically spending a glorious eternity on the new earth; Revelation 21:1. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . .” The second group could be living in the new heaven in the form of angels, in the company of Jesus Christ, etc. The third and greatest group will most likely be transformed into Gods, and then sent to distant planets in our vast universe that are, or will eventually be, inhabited by intelligent life. Their work could be similar to the work that Jehovah God and Jesus Christ have been doing on our planet. Even if it may not be exactly as is portrayed, could anyone imagine anything more glorious and meaningful? No chance of being bored. I am saddened that there are no words in the human language I can use to accurately describe the heavenly joy and contentment its recipients will experience, while never getting tired of it.

The “64-dollar” question remains: How can we as genuine Christians not neglect our necessary earthly chores of life—including our Christian obligations—and still give adequate attention to the main reason for our salvation: eternal life?

The answer the New Testament has, which is not compatible with life on earth, is to somehow lose our interest in a comfortable, secure, and serene life and desire a difficult and unpleasant life. Sure, I can already hear the response: “This author must be wacky.”

This is where Christ’s ways are not our ways. What we modern Christians desire is comfort and an easy life. The Christian poor don’t have an easy life. That is the reason Jesus teaches in James 4:4, “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” The criteria in this tough verse teaches that poverty is not a bad thing, and having impeccable faith is essential; and last but not least, to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Having untarnished faith and that type of Godly love will override any earthly desire to have comfort, security, etc. Of course, they must and can only be displayed by obedience to New Testament commands and not only by our mouths.

If one million people who claimed to be Christians were asked a two-part question—if they love God, and if they obey New Testament commands—most likely, the vast majority would say yes to both questions. The reason is that many Christians are knowingly or unknowingly fooling themselves about what is needed for salvation. Most believe that accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior is what is needed for salvation, and possibly going to church. That is where the pernicious problem lies that has plagued the church since day one, and possibly why thinking of the afterlife is not a popular subject.

Christians who are living mostly for this life are doing nothing but wasting their lives. The only way we can be certain that we are not wasting our lives is to work/live for Something/Someone who is eternal.

Also, Christians who subconsciously or otherwise believe they are going to live only once should/could disregard what the Bible teaches, if they haven’t already.

There are not many more than three LEGITIMATE reasons why genuine Christians do not desire to immediately depart from this world: A) When one has people who depend on him/her exclusively for financial support; B) When a person has young children to raise and support; and C) When it is more important to continue to do the work that Christ started, and at that time forgo the joyful thought of leaving this godless world in the near future.

One thing must be emphatically mentioned: Regardless of how bad things may be, taking one’s own life is not acceptable. And besides, if anyone is as gung-ho as this author is in exposing false teachings, they will know of the money-hungry religious leaders who would want to help you on your immediate departure (would give anything for your neck).

The apostle Paul is speaking in this passage: Philippians 1:21-24. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain . . . Yet what should I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

For more Biblical information on death, click on post # 265: “Death and its Implications.” Go to

In closing: It is a crying shame that the majority of what is written in this post may fall on deaf ears. PLEASE NOTE: Ignoring what is written herein could be an eternal death notice for all who claim to be Christians, regardless of their stature or prominence in their church or community.