Being a bit stuck for subject matter, just thought I’d pass on an observation about a simplistic doctrinal matter.
Perhaps of all the doctrinal subjects, the error which appears the most obvious and easiest to clarify, is still having major acceptance around the churches?
That is the subject of “where do you go when you die”. Traditionally it has been said that you either go to heaven or to hell, but that is just so obviously patently wrong that it is hard to understand why it still has popularity. There are many subjects which present a degree of difficulty to explain, but surely this is not one of them?
The teaching is clearly that when you die you are dead in the ground end of story, until such time as Jesus returns. There is no “soul” that goes floating off to heaven to engage in harp practise with the angels. The body remains in the ground. Jesus was an exception because he was proving the victory over death. There were past examples of ‘being taken up’ but that was also exceptional. There was also the thing about the dead being seen rising from the grave when Jesus was crucified and resurrected, but this cannot be tied to the destination of the general populace when individually they die, and probably lacks any further verification as reliable scripture.
Eastern religions encompass the idea of “reincarnation” where after this life you come back as another person animal object or thing, so they are caught up in the idea that the Spirit wanders off somewhere to begin again. It would be common amongst primitives to believe in the continuation of life as some sort of “spirit”. Even Jesus “became a life giving Spirit”. He was referred to as “The Holy GHOST” because of his life after death.
This seems to be what has happened in the Christian belief because of misunderstanding of what is being said, but mainly because of prevailing views whether they were popular religion or popular superstition that held to an instant transition from life to either heaven or hell. [Some words for “hell” indicate the grave, not a place of torment].
The term given for death is SLEEP which indicates they are not dead, but are in a transitionary stage between the grave and their resurrection. In fact, they ARE “DEAD” and are so dead that they can be reduced to dust or ashes and smoke and yet still be resurrected because as far as God is concerned, they are NOT dead, so the easiest way to present this is as “sleep”.
Examples of “sleep” can be seen with Stephen and with Lazarus, and the concept of “not being dead even though they are”, with Isaac Jacob etc. “He is not the god of the dead but of the living, for to Him, all live”. [as far as God is concerned they are alive (dead but asleep)]. [Catholicism wanders off into a world of imaginary scenarios where anything is possible, and they cannot be taken seriously with their ideas of purgatory and the bodily assumption of Mary just being two of these.]
[August 27, 2018]