Indeed. This reminds me of how people complain all the time when Christians say, “There is only one way to God”. People say, “WHY only one? Who says there’s ONLY one??” They never stop to consider the most salient point: why should there BE one at all? Whoever said mankind deserves to live any longer than the animals do? Who says we should have more than the world around us? Is not this one life enough? Did you not get what every animal got? A time to live, breath, love, breed, grow and then die? Whoever said humans should live forever? And if they got to live forever, whoever mandated that we deserve to live forever in JOY? In fact, who said that God should even be good? Could not our Maker have been evil? Couldn’t he have enslaved us instead of loved us? Everyone just assumes that God should be good and that mankind should live forever and because God must be good, that our everlasting life will be a joy. But really, why should any of this be? We are just LUCKY that it is this way! And we should be incredibly grateful for God being good and that he loved us enough to give us ANY way to eternal life in joy. Because there is no rule that said it could not have been otherwise. Ever thought of that?
The very people who will moue like babies in this way are always non-Christians and interestingly enough, are almost always atheists who profess that this animal life is all there is anyways! So why are they complaining one way or another? Without God, there is no logic.
Considering that every human at least got one chance to live, one would think people would be content. But when presented with any way to live past this mortal existence, you’d think people would be terribly excited indeed! You’d also think that the fact that it is so easy to obtain this everlasting life would make all of mankind joyous, not critical.
I mean, is there any other belief system out there where eternal life is so easy to obtain? Is there?
Heck, going through multiple lives trying to get closer and closer to perfection until you reach Nirvana sounds like hell to me. Is not one life difficult enough? Imagine doing it hundreds of times and screwing up every single one of them!! Geeze, in that ‘religion’, you can even go backward in life! Man, I would want eternal death than that nightmare! Just let me off that crazy ride!
Being a Mormon and having to outdo your neighbors with good works so that you can have a ‘better’ heaven sounds like hell to me too. Just think, the Jones next door will forever have the bigger mansion in heaven and you will live on the wrong side of the heavenly tracks for ETERNITY- without a chance to improve your situation! And all because you screwed up in this life. That is WORSE than life on earth! At least here, you can change the things you messed up.
How about Buddhists? They work to want …. NOTHING! Now, that is the most inhumane thing of all. I suppose that rocks want nothing. I don’t want to be a rock. And certainly not forever. Doesn’t the human heart SOAR? Does it not weep for joy? Does it not crave the LIGHT? Justice? GOOD? It is impossible to want nothing. Unless you are truly dead. I WANT life and I want a complete one. That notion is nonsense.
And Muslims. How the heck are those people supposed to earn heaven? They, like the Jews, are stuck with a harsh system of obedience that is completely impossible to uphold for any human being. Their constant and inevitable mistakes and sins will constantly burden their hearts because they know that every time they sin, they are one step FARTHER away from God and eternal life. Talk about depressing!
But yet, here we have Jesus. He is God’s Son. He is our Lord. He is KING- a king more powerful than any U.S. president. A king more powerful than any Caesar, any Stalin, any Genghis Kahn, any Babylonian king or any other kind of world leader that has ever existed or who will ever exist. Jesus doesn’t need an army. He can SPEAK our destruction. The mere breath from his mouth could undo the laws of nature, time and existence. His mere thought could make all matter.. end. In a moment- with less than the crook of his finger. THIS is the power he owns inherently in his body and being. And what did this king do? Did he set up a million laws for human beings to scrabble around trying to accomplish for him? Is that how he wishes to be pleased? Did he ask for sacrifices from us- gold, lives, precious stones or even our children? Is that how he wishes to be pleased? Did he ask us to do a mountain of ‘good works’ to prove our love and loyalty to him? No, no, no, and NO! None of these things please him. Why? Because he doesn’t need any of them. He is already content and whole. Those things are beneath his notice. And most of all, because his heart isn’t made that way.
Although he contains such power, he chooses to not use it. That is called, ‘confidence’. Instead, he pities us. He looks at us and he sees how blind and miserable we really are. He sees how Satan, the prince of this world, has lied to us, has injured us as children and as adults and he understands why we hate, why we struggle, why we are angry, mean and rejecting. He knows why we kill, argue with our spouse, steal from work, abuse our children. He knows all this and has compassion. His heart is moved to love, not anger when he considers our condition. This is even greater than a mother considering her child as they err.
Heck, he chose to live as one of us so that he could deliver God’s gift of salvation to us in a way we could understand and believe. He doesn’t need us to believe, he wants us to believe- not for his sake, but for ours. Because he knows our pain, he wants so very much to give us a way out of it. By coming as someone we could see, touch, talk to and watch, how could we not believe him? Also, he performed miracle after miracle- not so much to just help those people, but to convince you and I that he really is God’s Son. He wanted to prove this, not because he is an ego maniac, but because he wanted his promise of salvation to be CREDIBLE in our eyes. Why should we believe just anyone who told us about this remarkable idea that our souls would live after our bodies died? No! We limited humans (can we see time, energy, space?) need credible proof before we believe anything. By doing these miracles in front of so many witnesses, Jesus left us credible proof of his identity. Therefore, and here is the most important part, we can also believe that this magnificent king had come to save us, not condemn us. And by going through the exact birth, life, death and resurrection that we will also experience, he proved that all his words were true. God had a reason for Jesus to come to earth and allow himself to experience the entire lifecycle of humans. And that reason was love. God doesn’t need us in heaven with him. But guess what? He WANTS us in heaven with us. His entire intention for us was so that we would become his beloved children. He wanted children. He wanted us as a parent wants to bring their child into being to live with them. Sin separates us from him. Jesus’ willing sacrifice paved the way for us to get to God- where we literally belong. How awesome is that?
THIS is why, when we finally come to God, through Jesus, we feel set free. Satan lies and tells people that to serve God is to be a slave. Ha! But when we are not with God, our Father, we are literally living with a deep sad craving that we try to fill with every worldly thing- sex, love, money, work- all to no avail. That is because that need IS God. We are literally built to be with him. We are actually set free when we become complete beings. When we come into our own, by being in God, we are loosed from the physical restraints and boundaries of this physical world and from the lies of satan. That is the nature of the joy we experience as Christians. Oh, the irony of it all!
And what does he ask, this king of ours, in return for this remarkable gift? This gift that not only gives joy in our eternal lives- but joy in our earthly lives? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He holds it out in his hand and we are to walk up and take it. That’s it. So simple.
So… why would anyone ask for another way to God?? That is exactly like having a giant, modern, smooth, beautifully decorated, traffic free, high speed, police free highway to downtown Chicago with incredible parking at the end and instant bus service to work – all for free and asking, “Hey, why is this the ONLY way to get to Chicago???” Would you want to throttle that spoiled brat? Yeah, me too.
When you consider this incredible gift and the simple nature of it and then look around at human beings complaining, having temper tantrums and asking for even more, that is when you truly wonder at God’s incredible patience, love and understanding. You can even get to the point where you wonder why he cares about us as a species at all! We don’t DESERVE anything but a big spanking, my people. Yep. There it is. I said it. But instead, our Father in heaven gave us his son- something not one of us would do for each other- who offered up his life, time, love and body just so that we could get back to our natural selves- our oneness with God, so that we can be happy again. That is love, my friends. That is love.