“The quest for a salvation without God is at the heart of every great philosophical system, and that is its essential and ultimate objective.’6 That rocked me! He was saying that the heart of philosophy is trying to find a way of dealing with death without God. I needed to find out if other philosophers felt the same way.”
Dirckx closes her book this way: “If you are just your brain, then you were made only for this world, and the only mantra to live by is to live well and make the most out of life while you have it. Christianity says you are more than your brain—you are made for eternity. One way or another, there will be consciousness in eternity, either with Christ or apart from him. Live today with eternity in mind.”
The question is, how could a God punish someone eternally for something they did temporarily. This is the story of a grasshopper, frog and a baby. Let’s say you are walking along the beach and see someone tearing something in half. If it was a grasshopper, you would have thought it odd, but hey, you do you. If a frog, you may find it disgusting, but still, you do you. But if a baby you would rush over and stop him immediately. It’s not a question of time but who you sinned against. A bullet may take half a second to fire, but the killing will have consequences for eternity.
“In each of the scenarios above, the ‘sin’ is the same—pulling the legs off. The only difference in each of these scenarios is the one sinned against,” Burk wrote. “The seriousness of sin—and thus of the punishment due to sin—is not measured merely by the sin itself but by the value and the worth of the one sinned against.”
“To sin against an infinitely glorious being is an infinitely heinous offense that is worthy of an infinitely heinous punishment.”
Perhaps, then, we should think of hell as a place where people continue to rebel, continue to insist on their own way, continue societal structures of prejudice and hate, continue to defy the living God. And as they continue to defy God, so he continues to punish them.
Now on to Karma.
“the notion of karma is logically insupportable and therefore irrational and false.”
Karma is a works-based theology taken to the extreme.
But the Bible teaches that we can’t earn our salvation; rather, it’s a pure gift of God’s grace. So karma and grace are like oil and water—they can’t be mixed. The Bible can’t contain any teaching—like reincarnation—that fundamentally contradicts its central message that Jesus died in our place to pay for our sins and offers total forgiveness as a free gift.
But in a serious vein, if you could send back a message from heaven to your fellow Christians, what would it say?” “To go for it,” Palau said with vigor. “Take a risk—tell others about the good news of Christ. Remember that it’s the job of the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin. He’s your partner—let him do his work in them. You bring them the best news on the planet—that there’s redemption, there’s a relationship with God, there’s heaven, there’s an eternal party that’s waiting for them.”
“Sure—don’t be stupid! Don’t pass up what God is offering out of his love and grace. Why embrace evil when goodness beckons? Why turn your back on heaven and choose hell? Why expose yourself to the harmful side effects of a sinful life when you can follow God’s path of righteousness and healing? Don’t miss the party that God has waiting for you in heaven!”
Imagine walking down the beach, picking up a handful of sand, and then picking out one grain. That single grain would seem insignificant compared to all the sand in your hand. Now compare it to all the sand on that beach. Then compare it to all the sand on every beach and in every desert on the whole planet. “Imagine that one grain of sand represents your entire lifetime in this world. All the mountains upon mountains of sand on the planet—all the lifetimes that those grains represent—would just be the beginning of eternity.
In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.
Scripture Speaks Some of My Favorite Verses Dealing with Heaven
Psalm 16:9–10 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
Psalm 23:4, 6 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me . . . Surely your goodness and love will follow all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 84:10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Psalm 116:3–4 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: “LORD, save me!”
Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling and a little child will lead them.
Isaiah 65:17 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
Daniel 6:26–27 “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.”
Matthew 6:19–21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
1 Corinthians 15:54–57 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
2 Timothy 4:7–8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Revelation 3:5 “The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.”
Revelation 7:16–17 “‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Revelation 21:1–5 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:23–26 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Revelation 22:4–5 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.