by Rob Lundberg
Every religion or religious worldview has what is called a ‘post-mortem’ survival dogma. That is every world view takes a position what happens after this life is over and if there is an eternity where life goes on forever and ever. And may I be so bold to say that even those who Even those who do not believe in God, still believe something about death and have some kind of hope for the possibility of heaven.
To disbelieve a claim requires a belief in something contrary. When I was younger I was raised in a denominational church that wrote a mark on me for the hope of something after this life was over. And I also carried this believe when I became a skeptic thinking that I could earn my way into God’s graces (if there was a God). In other words, I believed something about eternity and the possibility of life after death, no matter what that turned out being.
As I just mentioned, every worldview believes in an afterlife or an eternity:
1. If you’re an Atheist…
You deny that there is a God, have no belief in supernatural phenomena (or anything beyond the natural realm), and no belief in an afterlife.
All the world’s religious belief systems, on the other hand, posit that a human being can work their way into “God’s” presence through some set of good behaviors. Regardless of the religious system, all proclaim a similar truth: you, as a simple human, can control (or at least contribute to) your own eternal destiny.
2. If you’re a Jew…
You obey the Ten Commandments and maybe the rest of the Law and the Prophets
3. If you’re Muslim…
You obey the Five Pillars of Faith and follow one of four hadith
4. If you’re a Buddhist…
You obey the implications of the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path, and believe in the hopes of exploding into oneness with the impersonal Buddha
5. If you’re a Baha’i…
You must keep the Baha’i Law
6. If you’re a Hindu…
You must perform good deeds hoping that it is your good karma, and most likely practice yoga to prepare yourself for the next life, when your soul transmigrates to the next existence. Nevertheless you, as Hindu will seek to work in order to attain a state of consciousness through different kinds of meditation (i.e., Jnana Yoga), or perform acts of worship, temple rituals, and pilgrimages (Bhakti Yoga)
7. If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness…
You must perform good works that fulfill God’s will by obeying the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s governing body and their rules and regulations
8. If you’re a Scientologist…
You must work toward spiritual enlightenment and an attainment of brotherhood with the universe, making sure you are “clear” to keep your spiritual enlightenment charged up
9. If you’re a Mormon…
You obey the Word of Wisdom, and Ten Commandments of Judaism. You also seek to obey every commandment of Jesus, and the teachings of all the Mormon Prophets and the Mormon Church
Have you noticed a similarity yet? All of these religious worldviews are dependent on the beliefs or works of human beings or the works of human beings. You either think you are smart enough to explain it all (Atheism), or think you can somehow unite yourself to God through your own good works (all the aforementioned religious beliefs). Biblical Christianity, on the other hand, proclaims something very different.
10. If you’re a Christian…
You are convinced that God is too powerful to be impressed with your good deeds and that there is nothing you can do as a mere mortal to earn your way to heaven. Amazingly, God simply offers something that He has already done for you. What is that you say? Let’s start at the beginning.
If there is a God powerful enough to create everything in the universe from nothing, this God is certainly powerful enough to bring us home without any additional help from us. A God this powerful wouldn’t be impressed with the works of men. An all powerful loving God that is this powerful doesn’t need your or my help. God is fully capable of getting the job done on His own.
More importantly, if there is a God powerful enough to create everything in the universe from nothing, this God is also powerful enough to eliminate imperfection. A God this powerful is a perfect Being, separated from His creation by this important distinction. Our good works might be good, but they aren’t perfect.
Of the ten worldviews we’ve listed here, only one addresses the true, powerful nature of God. Only Christianity offers the free gift of an all-powerful Deity. Only Christianity offers grace and hope for those who know they are imperfect.
With our world looking for hope today, Christianity offers real hope, not just in this life but also life beyond the grave. And He does this through the gift of grace. Grace is the ultimate undeserved favor, coupled with mercy. Mercy is not getting what you and I deserve. Grace and mercy are the key ingredient that only comes from God. It is the perfect recipe for a real life in eternity in the presence of God.
If you have not experienced this free gift, let me invite you to check out the link in the nav bar and find out how you can Get Real Life. If you have any questions, please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to dialogue with you and help you find real answers.
Rob is a blogger, writer and public speaker on a mission to equip the believer to think and articulate what they believe and to communicate the message of the gospel to a confused culture in a chaotic, “postmodern world.”
He is available to come and speak to your church, college group, or at your conference or workshop.
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