Heaven and The Other Place

Heaven and The Other Place – 6-7-17

I have read and heard so many sermons over all the years. Many different church affiliations, as well as independent writers. Lately I have heard another set for discussion that has always sparked my interest. To simply paraphrase, “if you do not believe that Jesus is the son of God you are doomed to Hell for all eternity.”

That seems pretty straight forward. As someone who comments on occasion with my unique perspective, I extend some thoughts. My comments are usually blogishy short, bare with.

As I have read it, Jesus, long before He became the Christ of world renown found himself hanging from a tree with nails securing his hands and feet after a whirlwind trial which ended by committing him to death by crucifixion. On either side of him were two thieves. According to the Book of Luke, Chapter 23 verses 39-43 (The Jerusalem Bible) this discourse:

One of the criminals hanging there abused him.

Are you not the Christ?” he said. “Save yourself and us as well.”

But the other (thief) spoke up and rebuked him. “Have you no fear of God at all?” he said. “You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. “Jesus,” he said, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Indeed, I promise you,” Jesus replied, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Third Day, the Resurrection, the Books that became the NEW Testament had yet to occur. The people who had convicted him and the priests who had mocked him questioned his authenticity from below the cross, “Come Down from the cross and prove to us who you are”

But that one rebel, without the benefit of the history of those next few days, and the writings of 30+ years later, or all of the interpretations of over 2000 years, recognized that he personally was getting what he deserved, but this other, this man who had done nothing wrong, but the legend of him helping people was known in the area, had been whipped and staggered through to this conclusion equally. He felt that Jesus did not deserve this, and asked Jesus to but pray for him once he had died and his spirit returned to his Kingdom, whatever that Kingdom he believed it to be. He sought no favors, and probably expected none. And Jesus not only accepted him, but had him accompany himself into paradise. What a shock to his system must that have been.

One, at the very least, recognized Jesus as innocent, the other merely felt that Jesus existed to save him from the punishment that even his companion felt they had coming.

One was taken to the Kingdom, and one probably ended in “Hell”. But where was “Hell”?

My Father led a challenged life. The challenges compounded by my Father’s own approach to it. The week before he died he offered this advice. “This (Earthly life) is Hell”.

My point is this, two thieves, by their choices, lived a life that may have reflected what we might consider to be hellish. One felt it should be free of charge and another recognized that what he had done was his own doing, not to be paid for by someone else. I hear the news, I read the papers, I side a lot with my father. On those days that I agree I look over the results of my actions over the years and have to be honest with myself that much of it is of my own doing.

And then I reflect on this passage “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

I believe in the Kingdom. I try to be a good friend, and I enjoy my conversations with Jesus and His Father. I remember Lyle, a close friend who thought the diet he was on was the best diet he had ever had. And then he discovered it was a liver cancer that produced the results and at 53 he was gone to the Kingdom within a few weeks. But during those last few weeks he made a comment that has been with me ever since, “You know, Dennis, the roses are redder this morning, the grass is greener. Don’t miss the gifts along the journey.”

The ensuing 30 years has brought me closer to Jesus’ ideas, and friendship by Lyle’s example. I have never questioned His capability to comfort. The hell that many choose to bring upon themselves is balanced by a creation to be marveled at if we do our part to take it in and even to make it better.

Many do not require a Hell for punishment. They choose to live it today. I do not require the condemnation of a third party for any reason that I may pass on to a place called Hell or purgatory or underworld. When I leave, MY OPINION, is this, and this is the worst thing that I believe anyone may hear.

God invites me to coffee after I have died. He asks “Dennis, I haven’t done Earth for awhile. Tell me, what do the roses smell like on a spring morning, or the cool air of evening feel like after a hot summers day in the mountains? Did you enjoy the friendship of the people I sent your way? Did you learn to love?…”

If I can not answer the questions this way:
“The roses are sweet, the cool air in the summer is refreshing, the mentors you sent became great friends, and I learned to love, by loving and being loved also.”
If I can not answer that way, the time was wasted.

And I see God shaking his head a bit and says “That is unfortunate. It was your only opportunity to enjoy it.”

If I can answer the questions positively, the time was special and I might even choose to visit it once again...

Even in the midst of the most difficult of days, or tragic events that cross my path along my journey, I know to take in the gifts that have been given to me and cherish that opportunity.
Will it be Heaven on Earth, or the other place?
My Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
On Earth,
As it is in Heaven.

Make every day special…..

Disclaimer

With a site called Unorthodox Christianity I feel this is a good time to clarify some of the logic behind it. The name alone draws interest. I see lots of definitions across the internet. What can you expect here, from me?  Below is from my original site and I place it here to put this site into it’s proper perspective.

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING:

Understand, these writings, songs,  poems and opinions may incorporate the teachings of one Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Dennis Wheeler. These interpretations are based on the experiences of Dennis Wheeler, and on the relationships that I have had along my own spiritual/physical journey. Dennis Wheeler is a human being with flaws and is far from perfect. Unorthodox Christianity is for ordinary people.

I personally believe that all the world’s religions should be advertised according to their proper doctrinal basis: Examples:

Catholic: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Saul/Paul a converted persecutor of Christians and extended through the hierarchy of the Catholic Church through a reining individual referred to as Pope. Throughout the centuries such interpretations have also been  subject to changes throughout the lifetime of the organization due to the changes of “Pope”s.  .

Protestant/Lutheran: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by the monk/scribe Martin Luther.

Protestant/Presbyterian: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by the preacher John Calvin.

Protestant/Methodist: The interpretation of the life and teachings of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by John Wesley.

Mormon/Latter Day Saints (LDS): The interpretation of the life and teachings of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Joseph Smith.

Islam: The life and teachings of ‘the prophets’ as interpreted by Mohammed.

Buddhism: The life teachings according to Buddha.

ETC.

Whether you use the word interpretation or revelation is irrelevant to me. These belief systems grow out of a human source and should be advertised as such. It is for the individual to decide which interpretation of this life is relevant to them and which can offer practical assistance to their everyday life.

Watch for more definition-ish writing to describe Unorthodox Christianity by me in the near future.

Eternal Life, an Update on The Earth Experiment

“To those who believe in me, the Father shall grant them eternal life” (paraphrase).

So like what is this eternal life? Mom and Dad (or a friend or close relative) have passed away many years ago. Haven’t had coffee with them lately and probably will not. Unless you have had the dream when they come back briefly sitting next to you in a bus, on a train or plane or while on a walk. Maybe even when you drift away at the coffee shop. A few comments made that you are aware of, yet have a hard time resurrecting not too long after awakening from the initial dream……

Have you ever been there, above, before.

The Blog as a website can be challenging. Which do you hang out at? I’ve been touching up The Earth Experiment page.  Hit the button for my page The Earth Experiment above for the redo today.

Like a Child

Every day I receive the Daily Word, a small spiritual comment for the day in my email inbox. Today’s Daily Word (1-17-17) was on spirituality. At the end of each Daily Word comment is a Bible Verse that relates to the comment of the day. Today’s  bloggish stuff from me is based more on this Bible verse than on the comment.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.—1 Corinthians 13:11-12 

 

 

I rarely comment on the Daily Word when I forward to relatives or friends but today is an exception.
A comment on today’s Daily Word: I would prefer childish ways, less negative, fewer concerns, more acceptance, less fear. Never forget childish ways, it keeps you young.
Enjoy the day.

Spirits

Believing is not always seeing. The sense that spirituality brings to your senses allows you to tune in to all the spirits that connect with you periodically and time to time. If you do not believe that, you have not lost someone close, or a pet. That sense that I call HOME I wrote about in October. You can sense the spiritual presence without the physical presence manifesting itself. Animals know when you are in movement, home or away. They move to the door you normally walk in, sit down and wait. We place great emphasis on being well rounded. You can not be well rounded if you can not think outside the box. Spirits live outside the box most of the time…. Learn to be well rounded and you will blend well into Unorthodox Christianity.

Have a great day, and embrace the living.