The After-Life

Dear Readers:

Most of us would be aware of the common description of heaven as essentially a long-term tourist destination where the residents enjoy an eternal vacation. This view is similar to the assertions by other religious teachers that their adherents will enter an eternal pleasurable or unconscious state of rest and relaxation.

However, none of these descriptions of the after-life appears to be a logical progression of what happens to us on the earth. Last week we asserted that while we are on the earth we are supposed to grow up or mature as we improve our behaviour, attitude and motive in each responsibility we receive. This reaction to responsibilities should also extend to every event that we experience.

It therefore makes little sense that the knowledge and resourcefulness, acquired from years of maturity should, after life, remain untapped for all eternity. Before we are tempted to speculate about the after-life, it would be beneficial to know if Jesus’ teachings support this popular traditional conception of heaven. If it does, then identifying why we are on this earth to mature would be a challenging undertaking.

If we believe Jesus, then the after-life is not spent behaving like heavenly tourists, but rather performing challenging and fulfilling responsibilities. Jesus consistently taught that the kingdom of heaven was a place for productive and unselfish people to receive greater responsibilities. He also noted that those who chose to live irresponsibly and selfishly on earth would not be entrusted with such after-life employment.

The after-life is also described as a place of some sadness. For those who receive after-life responsibilities, this sadness is temporary and is described as crying. This seems to result from the realization that their husbands, wives, children, parents, relatives and/or friends’ chosen life of irresponsibility on the earth had disqualified them from after-life employment. However God promised to comfort the sorrowful.

For the unemployed, this sadness is described as wailing with an accompanying bitterness, apparently towards those who deceived them into thinking that no preparation for after-life work was necessary. The question that follows is: What types of after-life jobs are available? It is not clear what the specific work is, but Jesus taught that if we persist with, or are faithful in our earthly duties, then we will receive greater management type after-life jobs.

We therefore seem to be on the earth to be prepared for after-life responsibilities. Preparation comes through our reaction to responsibilities and events experienced while on the earth. This system is fair since regardless of the circumstances into which we are born or the environment in which live, or our place of work, we all have an equal responsibility to mature.

Our maturity therefore does not depend on our: opportunities, promotions, sufferings, popularity, employment, salary, membership in social organisations, friends, house, car, school, family, or nationality. As we live, we will attract sufficient individual experiences that will provide us with ample opportunities to improve our behaviour, attitude and motive.

We should therefore not waste our time envying other people, or coveting their belongings. Neither should we waste our time complaining about our circumstances. Instead, we should acknowledge our circumstances as opportunities for personal growth. While life may not appear to be fair if the objective is to accumulate wealth and fame, it does appear to be fair if the objective is to mature.

If, however, we address the notion of fairness, the question then follows: What about children who are killed by war, famine, sickness, and abortion? Jesus taught that the angels assigned to watch over children have direct access to God, so we can be assured that God Himself will take care of them.

It should be stated that the minimum requirements to receive after-life employment are to know the Great Employer and improve your behaviour.

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2 responses to “The After-Life

  1. Is it correct then that God wants something different of his humane creation, other than that which was stated before the Biblical account of succumbing to temptation?

    Before this ‘ fall’ as it is commonly known, the Bible describes God’s will for us as simply to tend to his Garden and to dress and keep it. Would it be reasonable to assume from this simple instruction that the will of our creator is to restore the Earth to a self perpetuating Garden, with those involved having the requisite skills and experiences?

    Learning these skills and experiences actually assist us to mature spiritually as they take our concept of awareness to a level of knowledge. We become patient, we learn to be observant, we respect and rely on our environment, we cherish physical assistance for tasks that chemicals or machines cannot manage effectively. The experience of managing a garden as a means of practical worship will invoke determination, will exercise every muscle of our physical form and allow us time, space and a clean environment in which to contemplate the wonders of creation.

    Knowing that the skill we learn through interaction with creative forces in nature, gives us the true confidence of independence. It also allows each of us to leave a practical legacy and task for our children that can only assist them in sustaining themselves and those that may be incapable, ie children, the disabled and the elderly.

    Because many of us do not interact with nature as the Bible originally requested, we seem to make believe that talking, or thinking about the Bible or religion; saving souls and meditating on good personal qualities will actually be enough to fulfill the will of God. We seem to believe that we can have any earthly job or role and still be doing Gods will.

    Faith without works remains dead

    The Earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof

    Do not be afraid of hard work or farm labour, they are Gods works given for man to do.

    Two of these principles are found in the King James Version, the other is found in the Good News Bible.

    All the talk in the World, all the meditation and theories in the World, all the faith in the world will not fulfill the will of God.

    Peace

  2. Hi Maat:

    I believe that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden for them to learn to be competent and unselfish with a right attitude in the responsibilities that they were given. I believe that they had mature bodies, but had to learn to mature emotionally, mentally and spirituality.

    I believe that God would have given them additional or replacement responsibilities once they had properly trained their children to take over tending the garden.

    I do not believe that we were designed to do only one principal thing while on earth. We become competent, then train others, then become competent at something else, then train others, etc. Please note that the “something else” does not have to be something completely different but it should require new learning.

    I believe that if we simply continue to do what we are competent to do, then we are no longer maturing. I believe that we were put on this earth to continually mature from the moment of conception until our last breath. Much of this maturity is consequential to our behaviour and requires little conscious effort – it should occur naturally. There is no mystic or esoteric efforts required. We just need to live responsibly while helping others with unselfish motives and a good attitude.

    Regards,
    Grenville

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