Some Very Important Questions about Eternity
Copyright © July 1, 2016 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.
(All Scripture Verses are from the New International Version of the Holy Bible.)
At some time during our life each one of us should try to answer some very, very important questions about whether or not there really is a God, and whether or not there really is a heaven and a hell. The answer to these questions should be objectively based on as many facts as can be reasonably verified and proven, and not just on what we would like to believe or not believe.
In my opinion the following list of questions are ones that every person should try to answer based on as much unbiased objective information as possible. The answers should not be based on what some person or some group of people say is the truth, such as religious leaders or atheist scientists. In other words, each of us should try to truthfully answer the following questions for ourselves and we should not simply pick an answer that we personally want to believe.
Each of us should approach the following questions with a truly open mind and we should be willing to accept almost any answer to each of the following questions if it is the most logical answer available and if it agrees with all the currently known true facts available to us, and it is not simply supported by information that some group of people claim to be the truth. This means we should consider both religious evidence and scientific evidence if it can be proven. Some religious evidence cannot be proven and it should not be accepted as fact just because it is religious. The same concept also applies to some scientific evidence because some scientific "evidence" is nothing more than a "theory" and the only thing that supports it is the willingness of a group of scientists to accept it and declare it to be "true" even though they can't prove it. In other words, just because a group of scientists say something is true or not true when they cannot really prove or disprove it is the same thing as a religious person saying something is true or not true when they cannot prove or disprove it.
A Short List of Some Very Important Questions
The above questions are difficult questions and they cannot be quickly or easily answered if the answer must be based on objective unbiased evidence. The other articles on my website examine some of the above questions and offer some information for you to consider as you seek to discover the truth for yourself. However, I strongly encourage you to not simply accept the information on my website as being the truth just because I believe it and I have written it down for you to consider. Instead I suggest that you maintain an open mind and that you carefully and diligently consider all the information on my website along with any other information that you can verify as being either true or untrue. Being able to identify information as not being true has real value because then you can honestly reject it and not consider it as an option to believe in.
- Is there really a God?
- If there is a God then did He create the heavens and the earth and everything in them?
- If there is a God then does He communicate with mankind and if He does then how does He communicate?
- Does each person have an eternal soul or spirit?
- Are heaven and hell real places?
- When a person dies does that person simply die, or does that person's soul go to either heaven or hell?
- Was there a real person named Jesus who was born in a stable in Bethlehem Judea more than 2,000 years ago?
- Is Jesus Christ the one and only true Son of the Eternal God?
- Was Jesus really crucified and if so then did He pay the full price for all our sins when he died on the cross?
- Did the spear that pierced Jesus' heart after He died on the cross prove that He was really dead?
- Did God raise Jesus from the dead on the third day?
- Is Jesus alive right now in heaven at the right hand of God?
- Is faith in Jesus the only way to have our sins forgiven so we can spend eternity in heaven?
- In addition to believing in Jesus do we also have to be water baptized in order to enter heaven?
- In addition to believing in Jesus do we also have to do good works in order to enter heaven?
- If a person believes in Jesus then does that person have to give one-tenth of all his or her money (earnings) to the church for the rest of his or her life?
- If a person believes in Jesus and if that person drinks alcohol in moderation then is this acceptable or unacceptable to God?
- If a married person becomes divorced and then later marries a different person then will that person be thrown into hell as an adulterer?
- If a person commits suicide then will that person automatically be cast into hell?
- If the Holy Bible is truly the Word of God then does God want us to base our beliefs on what the entire Bible says, or is it okay to base our beliefs on what other books, or other people, or religious leaders, or religious denominations tell us to believe based on a few carefully selected verses from the Bible while intentionally or unintentionally omitting other important relevant verses from the Bible that do not support that particular interpretation?
- Does God desire for us to clearly understand His words in such a way that we do not change the true meaning of His words, or add to His words, or set aside (ignore) any of His words?
- If a person does not understand the true answer to each of the above questions, and if that person simply tells other people what he or she personally believes even though it may not be the truth, then will that person be told "Well done my good and faithful servant" when he or she stands before Jesus?
Is There a Logical Way to Evaluate Information as Being Either True or False
If a person has already made up his or her mind on what he or she wishes to believe then it is relatively easy to support that belief with the passing years by simply accepting and agreeing with any new information that supports that point of view (even if it is false), and by rejecting and ignoring any new information that contradicts that point of view (even if it is true). This allows the person to remain safely inside his or her own comfort zone while pretending to be open minded. This person is doing one of the things a person should diligently avoid doing and that is lying to himself. A person should never, ever tell lies to himself.
For example, if a person desires to have everything supported by a scientific explanation and the person does not wish to even consider an explanation that involves God, then that person can easily find an overwhelming amount of scientific information to support almost anything they wish to believe in. The basic problem with this approach is that some scientific information is only a theory and it cannot be supported by known scientific data. And in some cases what is known to be a scientific fact is actually in direct opposition to the theory. However, a person who simply wants to believe this information will attribute the highest moral standards to the scientists who support this theory and cast aside any information that is opposition to the theory.
Scientific information should be objectively evaluated based on whether or not it agrees with all the known scientific knowledge about the topic. The research that supports that information should be unbiased. For example, a person can easily find scientific data to support anything they wish to believe about the sugar substitute called NutraSweet (or aspartame). At the current time in the year 2016 there are at least 166 different scientific studies on the health consequences of consuming NutraSweet. Approximately 45% of the 166 studies were funded by the NutraSweet industry and 100% of those studies reported that NutraSweet is a safe sugar substitute. Approximately 55% of the 166 studies were independently funded and they had no financial support from the NutraSweet industry and 92% of those studies identified health problems associated with NutraSweet as a sugar substitute. If you wanted to form an impartial opinion about the safety of consuming NutraSweet then which group of studies would you consider to be the most objective?
This same type of mistake can also be made by someone who desperately wants to believe a religious interpretation of something. It is relatively easy to support almost any religious point of view by carefully selecting one or two verses from the Bible that support that point of view, and then completely ignoring all the other verses in the Bible that are in direct opposition to that point of view.
This is one of the reasons there are so many different Christian denominations. Each denomination has a different emphasis and interpretation of a few very carefully selected scripture verses and they basically ignore other scripture verses that do not agree with their interpretation and they teach their church members to follow their example without asking questions.
All religious concepts should be carefully evaluated. For example, Satan used two scripture verses (Psalm 91:11-12) when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5-7). But Jesus used a different scripture verse (Deuteronomy 6:16) to defeat Satan's attempt to misuse the verses Satan quoted. In my opinion, when evaluating a religious statement a person should follow Jesus' example and the entire Holy Bible should be used to determine the validity of the statement. In other words, a person should not simply use a few carefully chosen scripture verses from the Bible to prove a point of view that the person personally wishes to believe. Unfortunately an overwhelming number of good Christian people do this without realizing that what they are doing is not pleasing to God and that they are incorrectly applying God's Words.
In summary, both scientific information and religious information should be carefully considered and neither should be accepted as being true, or rejected as being false, until all the information pertaining to that information has been reviewed with an open mind. Anyone who truthfully wishes to mature in wisdom and in knowledge should remain open minded to new information his or her entire life. This means a person should carefully consider new scientific information and new religious information. Religious information should be consistent with the teachings of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This "whole Bible" approach is supported by the following scripture verses:
2 Peter 2:1 - But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.
In conclusion, the best way to understand and interpret Biblical concepts is to make sure that your interpretations are consistent with everything the Bible says from Genesis to Revelation.
2 Timothy 2:15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:15 - A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.
Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Some of the Articles on my Website that Discuss the Above Questions
- Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
- The Reasons I Decided to Become a Christian.
- How to Become a Christian.
- Is Salvation by Faith Alone or is Something More Required?
- What is the Relationship Between Works and Salvation?
- What Does the Holy Bible Say about Alcohol?
- What Does the Holy Bible Say about Giving?
- What Does the Holy Bible Say about Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage, and Sexual Immorality?
- What Happens When a Person Dies?
Click on www.grandpappy.org for Robert's Home Page.
Grandpappy's e-mail address is: RobertWayneAtkins@hotmail.com