Sunday, January 08, 2006

Heaven & Hell

Continuing the "Christian Code Words" series with a quick thought on our final resting place.

Once again I'll have to ask you to bear with me on a couple things. Some of you may believe that you just vanish into nothingness after you die, and of course there's reincarnation. But this post is just going to deal with the classic question of just what exactly are Heaven and Hell like.

Heaven:
I have to say that I'm not a big believer in the classic Hollywood version of heaven. I don't expect when I get there to walk past a smiling St. Peter who will hand me my harp and halo and show me to my own private cloud. And I'm not sure that I'll be able to look down upon Earth and see what's going on. I'm not sure I'll even care at that point.

What I do know for a fact about Heaven is that God, the all powerful God of the Universe, made a place for his children that is perfect for them. It's written in the Bible that people in Heaven will praise the Lord without ceasing. That always gets a sneer from at least a few people, "Sounds boring" they say. But I can't imagine that God would go to all the trouble to set up the perfect habitation for us, give us new, perfect bodies when we get there, and then just have us sit around doing stuff that bores us to tears for eternity. I'm guessing that it'll be interesting and fulfilling, otherwise the walls would have to be pretty high to keep everyone in.

Hell:
Same goes for my thoughts about the traditional version of hell. I don't really buy that you land in a torch-lit dungeon to be poked in the butt by a guy in red pajamas for the rest of whatever. I'm not even too sure about the fire and brimstone version that gets preached a lot. The one thing that seems certain to me about what Hell will be like is that whatever the living conditions, God will not be there in any way shape or form.

Anyone who says they've been through Hell, or today was Hell or it hurt like Hell is uttering the greatest of euphemisms. No one has ever experienced Hell because they have never been totally separated from God. His spirit is in, around, and permeates everything in the entire universe. There is no place that you can go that God is not there... except hell.

The Difference:
That's why I'm still so keen on getting into Heaven, even though it means an unpopular lifestyle and living habits that a lot of people find stringent. Personally, I think that it's worth just about anything to wind up spending the rest of my forever in the club house that's all about love and light and inclusiveness. And I plan on doing everything in my power to make sure as many people as possible escape the fate of living forever, excluded from those same things.

Weigh it up... peace, love, joy, celebration, or a complete lack of those things. Eternity is a long old time, folks. On the off chance that the bloody Christians are right, might it not be worth taking a good long look at what your own beliefs on the afterlife are?

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