- Religion and Philosophy
Realization of Truth (Part 8 A Spiritual Journey)
Realization of Truth
Part 8 - A Spiritual Journey
What is the truth about life? Whether you realize it or not, every human being has a worldly life and a spiritual life. Our worldly life consists of what is perceived by our senses; yet our intellect tells us there must be more to our existence than what we perceive. Perhaps the hardest question is: Why are we here?
You may become increasingly curious about the reason for our existence; the truth regarding our existence may be hard to discover. Your ultimate destiny, however, depends on what you believe about the purpose of life. Unfortunately, most of the time, there is a big difference between what many people believe, and what is actually true.
Because human beings are imperfect, they often have difficulty separating truth from fiction. We live in a world full of myth and superstition. Additionally, many different religions profess to know the truth about life. All this can be confusing, but one thing is certain; we can discover the truth in the Bible. God inspired certain men to write the Bible and it still serves as a spiritual guide today.
Imagine you could travel through time; imagine you could go back to when the universe began, and observe the beginning of life. What would you see? Since the beginning of time, as we know it, life has developed in certain ways and for certain reasons.
First, you should know that non-living elements alone could not create life, and yet human beings were created. Secondly, because human beings are born, and live until they die, this would suggest that the first man and woman were not immortal. Finally, we must conclude that humans are created by a form of life that is immortal. The truth is that God, the Creator of life, is an immortal being who created the first human beings.
If you traveled back in time to the beginning of mankind, you would see God creating the first man and woman. You might also see a huge cosmic explosion, but that would not produce the complexity of life, or the structure of the universe. Besides, that would imply that the elements have creative power. It is far more believable that God is the Creator of life. Were the first people perfect? Is God perfect? Logically, you should realize that a perfect God would create perfect people.
Many say that God is imperfect because of the evilness in the world. But the evilness in the world is caused mostly by the evil actions of people. We know that people are not robots programmed to do God's bidding. Therefore, we also know that God created people with free will, having the ability to choose between right and wrong.
We watch as God creates the first man and woman. He named them Adam and Eve, and they began their life on unspoiled planet Earth. They must have been perfectly happy, and without any problems or worries. Suppose God had told them not to do something because it would be bad for them. They wouldn't have been likely to disobey Him.
However, Adam and Eve had a choice and, if they had been tempted to, they might have chosen to disobey God; and that is what they did. In the Bible we can read about Adam and Eve, and what happened to them.
Now we watch as Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan to disobey God. Satan is a fallen angel that had rebelled against God, and was banished from Heaven. He appeared as a snake to Eve and asked her if God had said not to eat the fruit of every tree. The woman replied that they could eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But God said not to eat or touch the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and that if we did, we would die.
Satan told her that she would not really die; and he has been perpetuating that lie ever since. Eve took fruit from the tree and ate it; she also gave some to Adam, her husband, and he ate it. As a result, Adam and Eve became mortal and eventually died of old age.
This incident we saw in the garden changed the course of human history forever. The once-perfect human beings disobeyed God and became imperfect and subject to death. They incurred a sinful nature that has been passed down to the entire human family. We all die as a result of our sinful nature.
Is there any hope for mankind? Through the years people have come up with different ideas about our immortality. But the root of these ideas goes back to the garden when Satan said, "You will not really die."
Now we return to the present. On the way back we see the effects of sin and the evil that it causes. We see the cycle of life and death and the often painful experiences people have. We see the evil in the world as it steadily increases. Today we watch as people endure the stress of economic problems, disease, crime, and violence all over the world. Because of man's imperfection, these evil conditions cannot be resolved. Even if they could be resolved, we cannot stop death.
Most people only consider their present existence. They are caught up in an illusion that someone or something will make them happy. They have faith in certain people, their careers, money and material things, luck, or drugs and alcohol. But all these things are only a temporary fix for their emotional needs.
Disappointment is usually the result of faith in worldly things. We should instead try to discover the truth about our existence, and think beyond the scope of this world. The Bible contains the truth, and the truth is the road that leads to happiness.
Should we just live our lives, doing what we want to do, and not worry about what happens after death? It is sad to think this life is all there is. Do we actually die or do we come back to live as ghosts? Maybe we are reincarnated into other bodies. Maybe our souls go to live in Heaven if we've been good; or to suffer in Hell if we've been bad.
These possibilities of life after death imply that we are immortal. The truth is that we are not immortal because we are imperfect, and we cannot become perfect on our own.
Now we travel through time to the future. What would we see in the hereafter? We know that, although people die, the world continues. Would we see conditions that are so bad that evil people might destroy the world? No, we would actually see God intervene before that happens.
God does have a plan to restore the world to perfection. In the Bible we can discover the way to be saved from destruction, and become perfect. This can only be done through Jesus, God's Son, who died for our sins. If we believe in Him, we can be saved.
When we die, our souls die. We remain in our graves until God resurrects us. Those who have died do not go on living in another form, as Satan would have us believe. He and his demons can cause paranormal activity that some attribute to those who live in the hereafter. The truth is that, after we die, God is the only one who can bring us back to life.
For now, those who have died are merely "resting" in their graves. The truth is that their souls do not become ghosts, and do not enter new bodies. Their souls do not immediately go to Heaven; neither do they go to Hell to burn for eternity. Hell is merely the grave, the place where the dead are "resting."
In the near future we will see Jesus as He returns and Christians are resurrected and taken to Heaven. Christians who are alive at that time will also be taken to Heaven. This future event is called "The Rapture." That is when Christians will receive immortality.
After the Rapture, we would see the world go through a terrible time, a seven-year period called "The Tribulation Period." We would see the rise of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. These two spawns of Satan will attempt to deceive and rule the world.
At the end of the Tribulation Period, we would see Jesus and his army of Christians return. The Antichrist will have gathered the unsaved to make war against Jesus at the "Battle of Armageddon." There the armies of the Antichrist will be killed, and the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be destroyed in the "Lake of Fire."
After the Battle of Armageddon, Satan himself will be confined to a deep pit in the earth called the Abyss. He will be confined there for one thousand years, called the Millennium. During that time, Jesus and Christians will live in peace on the earth.
At the end of the Millennium, we would see Satan released from his prison, and gather an army of unsaved people. These are people who had been born during the Millennium, and chose not to be followers of Jesus. We would see Satan and his army make a final attempt to overcome Jesus and Christians. But God will kill Satan's army with fire, and Satan will be destroyed in the "Lake of Fire."
What will happen to the unsaved, those who did not accept Jesus as their savior? Soon after Satan is destroyed, we would see all the unsaved dead as they are resurrected and face Jesus on "Judgment Day." After their judgment, we would see them destroyed in the "Lake of Fire."
At the end of our spiritual journey, we would see a new heaven and earth, with people living in peace and happiness. This is what God has wanted for us from the beginning. The world was perfect for human beings until sin entered their lives. Sin is the cause of imperfection and eventual death.
Jesus came to the world and died for us so that we could be forgiven for our sins. And even though we die, we could have hope of resurrection to eternal life in a perfect world. Read the Bible where you can discover the truth about God, and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the future of the world.
From the Bible:
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die."
(Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 17)
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians, Chapter 4, Verses 16 and 17)
Next in this series: Realization of Truth (Part 9 Finding Freedom)
To read more articles related to philosophy and religion go to: