Notes on Heaven and Hell

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My First Understanding of Heaven/Hell

  • Heaven is Perfect (white clouds), Hell is Horrible (flames)
  • Good people go to heaven, Bad people go to hell
  • Problem: Teachers who threaten and bribe, inauthenticity.

My Second Understanding of Heaven/Hell

  • Heaven is eternal life w/God, Hell is eternal life w/out God
  • Jesus (via sinner's prayer) is the "winning lottery ticket" (aka "Grace").
  • Problem: Reconciling Loving God & Eternal Torture
  • Problem: Why do Good people go to Hell?

My Third Understanding of Heaven/Hell

  • Heaven & Hell, as described in the bible, are here on earth.
  • Our faith/actions can bring about God's dream, or turn it to nightmare
  • Eternal Life is a great unknown, but I trust we are in the hands of a loving God.
  • "Judgement" becomes not so much "Court", but coming into the light, understanding
  • Problem: Uncertainty about eternity.
  • Problem: Jesus still talks about two distinct groups (sheep & goats)

My Fourth (developing) Understanding of Heaven/Hell

  • Eternal Life (quasi-immortality) is the final evolution humanity is inevitably progressing toward.
    • First comes radical life extension, then functional immortality, then the ability to resurrect the recently dead, then finally the ability to resurrect all who have ever lived.
    • It is part of God's original plan for humanity, but does NOT mean humans replace, supersede, or "become" God. Perhaps, however, humans might eventually merge "back into God" (from whence they came).
    • God has always worked through human hands. As with surgery, medicine, science-- eternity/immortality is a "gift from God."
    • The Kingdom is at Hand = The Singularity is Near = The age of immortality is coming
  • If we are entering an age where science (the gift of God) conquers death, it might could be either hellish, or heavenly, depending on whether we follow or ignore the teachings of Christ.
  • I know this one sounds really "out there," but I can't adequately capture it in so few words. If you're upset by this, talk to me about it and I can explain in more depth what I'm thinking.
  • Or just read some Ray Kurzweil. And maybe some John Calvin, as interpreted through the lens of Charles Darwin.
  • I'm far from "certain" about any of this. But this understanding of Heaven/Hell is what gives me hope today.