“…so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”
II Co 5:4
“Eat, drink, and be merry” is the kind of life that we know and are pursuing and anything beyond that philosophy is pure speculation that dwells in the realm of imagination.
Do you agree? We are mortal and are well acquainted with mortal things. “My life span on earth is less than a hundred yet I am always concerned about things of a thousand years, (生年不滿白百, 常懷千歲憂)” goes a Chinese saying. Does this make sense to you?
“For tomorrow we die,” Paul continued in the statement.
It’s so much like gambling, really. We put our chips down and hope for the best. If atheists happen to be right concerning our eternal destiny, all will be happy, for there is nothing to worry about beyond the portal of death. Our main concern in life is to choose a lifestyle that maximizes our physical and emotional pleasure.
What if we are wrong? There is always a possibility that we may guess wrong. There have been so many rumors and speculations over the ages concerning the next world that should make us feel a little uneasy.
Can we imagine how horrific we will feel when we suddenly realize there is a supreme Judge who will hold us accountable for every action that we have ever done when we wake up from our sleep of death? How are we going to handle the life after this life? No wonder Shakespeare’s Hamlet considered suicide a poor option to take, since he wasn’t entirely sure that to die is “not to be.”
Isn’t this quite puzzling to you?
It’s not that worthwhile for us to risk our eternal destiny for seventy or eighty years of carnal pleasure. Don’t we all have a sense of emptiness after a night of revelry? Don’t we all have some regrets after we indulge in some sort of carnality?
Even though we may not agree on what goodness is, we all long to be good, for being good makes us truly happy. We may mock the ones who believe in the afterlife and immortality, yet deep inside we seem to envy their childlike innocence and occasionally we even mourn for our inability to believe in Jesus and the message of the cross. Our sophistication is indeed quite suffocating.
We need to become fools to be wise.
Here is what I experienced as a young man. I was heading toward death even though I considered myself very much alive. I was pursuing my passion and was leading a life I deemed appropriate at the time, but in reality I was walking on a precipice. What I reckoned to be life was really death. Then there was the invasion from above and what was mortal was completely swallowed up by life. Darkness vanished when the light came and I became a new creation.
There you go again. The jargon, the cliché, the usual preaching to the choir, and the ready conclusion you have drawn from your Biblical knowledge and personal experience.
Yes, I hear the mocking, the sneering, and the belittling of my lack of sophistication. It matters very little to me now, since I deem the lifestyle that I have chosen is far more pleasurable than yours and, as far as our future destiny is concerned, we will wait and see what happens. If I am wrong, and I don’t think I am, I lose nothing; but if you are wrong, which I believe you are, you lose everything.
A pastor, who supposedly had died for ninety minutes and was taken up to heaven during that short period, firmly believed that was his final destination after he came to, but an atheist “minister” who had a similar experience believed it was a mere illusion after she came back to life. “Whatever happens after we die isn’t important,” she said in an interview. The vision might have been the same for both of them, but the interpretations were drastically different.
Where does your logic lead you?