Category Archives: After-Life

Final Words

(Originally written Wednesday 12th March 2003) 

Dear Readers:

Last week a beloved family friend named Ilene Foster completed her terrestrial training and is now awaiting her celestial responsibilities in the Company. We who are still in training can benefit from persons who were near the end of their training, and who wrote to encourage us from that perspective. One such person is Simon Peter, and the following is a paraphrase of his final letter found in the Bible. It was written shortly before he was executed.

My dear fellow trainees:
Our Employer has graciously given us everything that we need to complete our training, and He has promised us that all of the training exercises are achievable once we start with the right attitude. If you are committed to becoming productive employees, then please read the employee manual so that you may understand the Employer’s standards of work and behaviour. With this knowledge you can then begin practising the exercises. You may find them challenging at first, but please do not become discouraged. They will eventually become easier if you persist with them.

Once you have become proficient in the exercises, then please encourage your work colleagues and teach them everything that you have learnt. Your own training will be complete when you have unselfishly helped to train enough of your colleagues. Please try to encourage those who find the exercises challenging, especially if they seem discouraged. If they give up, they may never develop the confidence that comes with completing an exercise, and will probably develop a fear of failure or a crippling belief that such exercises are unachievable.

I have completed my training and will shortly be leaving this department, however before I go, allow me to give you some important advice. I hope that after I am gone, you will reread this letter to remind and encourage you during your own period of training.

Firstly. Please understand that the Company is not a myth or a cunningly devised fable. I personally know the Chief Executive Officer, and I heard when the Employer confirmed his appointment. The Employer Himself actually dictated the employee manual for your benefit.

Secondly. Please be aware that some members of your class may not appreciate the purposes of the training exercises, or they will think that the exercises are too challenging, irrelevant, or unachievable. They will then try to promote their own low standards of productivity. Unfortunately, this will only ensure that they and those who they mislead are unprepared for the work of the Company, and they will find themselves unemployable after their time of training has expired.

If those promoting low standards are able to influence most of the class in unproductive behaviour, then the Employer may have to take drastic measures. He has had to do this at least three times in the past. The first time was when a vice-president and some associates attempted to take-over the Company and they were fired. The second was when the entire student body rejected the training and the Employer had to wash down the facility. The third was when a class engaged in abominable behaviour and the Employer had to apply a hot treatment. However, if you remain faithful to your training, despite the unproductive influences around you, then you will be retained.

Those who try to frustrate your training are ignorant, presumptuous and self-willed. Most of them only attend the training classes to impress and seduce those of the opposite sex with smooth words. They continually try to entice others away from their training and promise them a fun time, while they are actually addicted to corrupt behaviour that prevents them from attaining any reasonable level of productivity. Both the enticer and the enticed will become unemployable, just like those who refuse to start training and instead waste all of their precious time on the playground. If a person starts training and then becomes addicted to corrupt practises, then it is better if they had not commenced training at all.

Thirdly. Please remember that the Employer’s expansion project will commence. However, He is waiting patiently, and He will suffer and be inconvenienced for as long as practically possible. You see, He has no desire that those who are not training properly, or those who are not training at all should be destined for unemployment. He is desperately hoping that those in the playground, and those playing the fool in the classroom will commence and complete their training respectively.

Since the expansion project will start, please prepare yourself for the wonderful responsibilities that you will receive upon completion of your training, and do not be distracted by those who have no interest in your future. Above all, grow in the favour and knowledge of our Chief Executive Officer, Jesus Christ.

The University of Life – Part 2

Dear Readers:

Last week we described the first 8 of 17 mandatory training courses taught at the University of Life and required for after-life employment. Today, we will describe the remaining 9 courses.

9. Project Management
Here you will learn to perform your duties properly, with unselfish motives and good attitudes. At the end of this course, you will be able to perform your duties effectively without drawing attention to yourself.

10. Material Resource Management
You will learn that possessions are resources that must be managed properly, but they must not be trusted in for security or become distractions from the goal of personal development. At the end of this course, you will be able to trust God, and not your possessions, for your future security.

11. Quality Management
Here you will learn that constantly criticizing others and identifying problems is not healthy for personal growth or team unity. At the end of this course, you will be able to recognize solutions and beneficial opportunities in negative situations.

12. Programme Management
Here you will learn that while you may have many responsibilities, none of them should have priority over God who is your greatest resource. At the end of this course, you will be able to perform all of your responsibilities without violating God’s sovereign position in your life.

13. Anxiety Management
You will learn to trust God for all of your needs. At the end of this course, you will no longer worry about things that may happen tomorrow.

14. Human Resource Management 1
Here you will learn that every one on the earth is growing, and will probably make some mistakes as they learn. You will also learn that if you are in the learning stage where you are repeating similar mistakes, then attempting to correct someone else will not benefit them. At the end of this course, you will be able to effectively correct someone else.

15. Human Resource Management 2
You will learn that all people have equally important goals and dreams for the future despite their appearance and present circumstances. At the end of this course, you will be able to assist others to reach their goals in the same way that you would want assistance from others to reach yours.

16. Responsibility Management
You will learn that doing what is right is always better that doing what is wrong. Doing wrong may provide temporary relief from the short-term consequences, but you will not escape the more onerous medium to long-term consequences. At the end of this course, you will be able to do what is right even when it is not popular and regardless of the personal consequences you may face.

17. Leadership Training
You will learn that leaders have a responsibility to those whom they lead to diligently pursue this training prior to accepting such responsibilities. At the end of this course, you will be able to honestly qualify for leadership responsibilities.

Attending this University of Life is an honour that should not be taken for granted, and everyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or disability can attend and graduate. It is important to remember that every experience that you have, whether joyous or painful, is an opportunity for personal growth and hence an opportunity to be prepared for after-life employment.

The University of Life – Part 1

Dear Readers:

Last week, we learnt that we are being prepared for after-life responsibilities. Usually one is prepared for responsibilities through some form of training. Is there any formal training for after-life employment?

Fortunately training for such employment is available. There are 17 mandatory courses taught in the University of Life, where admission is free upon request, and there are no prerequisite courses. While it can take a relatively short time to learn the information in each course, it can take longer to become sufficiently proficient at applying this knowledge. Those who graduate will be well prepared to receive after-life responsibilities. Some work will be found for those who do not pursue their training more purposefully, however they will regret falling far short of their potential.

Jesus is the Dean of this University, and he encourages all students to be polite and patient while pursuing these courses. After some preamble, He provides a description of each course in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. Descriptions of the first 8 courses are summarised below.

1. Anger Management
You will learn to control your anger. At the end of this course, you will have matured sufficiently to approach those who are angry or upset with you and sincerely attempt to resolve the issues.

2. Addiction Management
You will learn to resist negative addictions. You will also learn that while you may slip up once in a while, you will not do so habitually. At the end of this course, you will no longer have negative addictions to overcome.

3. Marriage Management
You will learn how to grow with a person of the opposite sex in marriage. You will learn patience, forgiveness, and understanding at hitherto before unknown levels. At the end of this course, you will have become completely committed to your spouse so that nothing can separate you. The exception to this is if your partner commits adultery, at which point you have the option of retaking this course.

4. Honesty Management
Here you will learn to tell the truth in all situations. At the end of this course, you will have developed to the point of telling the truth regardless of the potential personal consequences that you may suffer.

5. Self Management 1
You will also learn that while you are in the right, it may be more beneficial to someone else that you not pursue your right to retaliate. At the end of this course, you will be able to forgo your right to pursue your rights to facilitate someone else’s development.

6. Self Management 2
Here you will learn that other people may not have coped as well as you did with their negative experiences, and they may direct some of their built up anger or hate towards you. At the end of this course, you will be able to genuinely help others despite any feelings of hostility that they may have towards you.

7. Charity Management
Here you will learn to recognize opportunities to do good deeds. At the end of this course, you will be able to do good deeds and perform them without promoting yourself.

8. Relationship Management
Here you will learn to develop a personal relationship with your Creator, which will be measured by your love for others whom He created. At the end of this course, you will be able to genuinely forgive others regardless of how sinful you perceived them to be.

Next week – A description of the remaining 9 courses offered at the University of Life.

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.