Onlline Sermons

We have posted a lot of sermons from our Universal Life Church ministers. Some are Christian and some are not. You are welcome to use them or just enjoy them as you like.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Universal Life Church

Eternal Heaven or Hell
If asked, most people would say they want eternal life. It seems like common sense but is it really something human beings should want? For those who really stop and think about it, there are troubling aspects about existing for eternity that make is less attractive and calls into question the whole idea of life being a test.

What exactly is heaven supposed to be like? While descriptions of it range from feelings of bliss while endlessly praising god to willing virgins, a common theme is eternal life. However, the human mind thinks far shorter increments than endless trillions upon trillions of years. If people cannot even think in such time frames, how can they keep happy and occupied during such a period of time? Who could keep themselves occupied even for a millennium? Yet, that is just a drop in a bucket when compared to eternity.

This is further complicated by the supposed nature of heaven itself. Since everything is provided for, who has to work? In the presence of an all-knowing being, what is the point of trying to pursue knowledge? In perfect health (one has to wonder about the age and looks of everyone in heaven), why exercise?

Human beings in their present form require something to strive for if they are to feel satisfaction. That is how things like modern medicine and technological society have come about. That is why man has walked on the moon. With everything perfect, why strive for anything? Would not such a perfect existence be madly boring even after a short time?

Entertainment gets boring too. A look at the lives of many of the rich and famous has shown that even the rock-n-roll lifestyle some would give anything for loses its appeal after a while. Be it what many consider debauchery on earth (assuming it is freely available to everyone in heaven) or any other forms, even entertainment loses it appeal in time.
Then there is this to consider: How could people enjoy life in heaven knowing others were suffering eternal torture during that time? Would not most people think enough is enough and start to feel sympathy after a while even for the worst figures in history, let alone those who simply choose the wrong religion?

Of course, it can be said that in heaven people do not have such needs and desires. However, these needs and desires go to the very core of human nature. To take away such feelings would take away human nature. However, human nature is supposed to be what this whole test on earth is about (although it does seem odd that an all-knowing being would need to test anything). Changing human nature to its core certainly makes a test of it, a test that will determine what happens to someone for all eternity, seem superfluous and cruel.
Furthermore, it is the desires of people that get them in trouble. While desires motivate people to great things, they also drive them to crimes like rape and murder. Even people who want to do the right thing often lose control of their desires. If desires are not a factor in heaven, why are they needed for a test on earth? Why send people to eternal damnation for a test in which essentially a different being gets the rewards?

So, unless people are transformed to the point where they are basically different beings, there is no way heaven could be at all pleasant--certainly not after the first few million years anyway. They would have to lose most of the feelings they have now and find some activity that can keep a person occupied for longer than anyone can possibly imagine. If they are becoming new beings, then why do not people start out as those beings?

As the old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for, you may get it." As people are in their present form, eternal life cannot be very pleasant. However, changing human nature enough to make it so would certainly negate the test religion tells people they are in this life for. Teachings about heaven and eternal justice seem to be missing something.
For more thought on religion, visit True Religions for opinion on religious teachings to include collective punishment.


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