JEAN RUSSELL EAGLE ROW
Do "Good" People" Go?
Ever wonder what happens to “good” people after they die? I used to; it was confusing to me for a long time. What about good people who practice “good” religions? Who are not "born again." There are such nice, good people practicing…Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam and, of course, Judaism. These are the five basic historical religions of the world. (If you go to the page about me, you will see that I minored in Religions of the World/Philosophy) in college. In studying these, I see that they are more of a “way of life”…of living than actually about “after life,” or salvation. Then there were and are the Primal Religions. These were practiced a long time ago among tribes, natives, etc. Of course, you have the “good” Humanists who try to “do good” and do not believe in God.
Actually, Buddhists do not believe in God either. They are an offshoot of Hinduism but Buddha, (The Enlightened One…the one who woke up). Before he woke up enlightened (under the peepul tree, which came to be known as the BoTree…short for bodhi or enlightenment), his name was Siddhartha Gautama of the Sakyas (clan to which his family belonged). His father was a king; however, it would be more precise to think of him as a feudal lord because there were so many kings in India. His father bestowed every luxury on him but he was bored and ran away when he was 29 or 30 to seek life. He had no knowledge of death, old age, or sickness because his father never let him see anything bad or unpleasant. He spent time with the yogas (Hindu) to learn what they knew. He punished (mortification) his body to try to get some spiritual revelation. He soon learned the futility of asceticism (inflicting pain on your body) to try to receive enlightenment. He was known as the silent sage. He would/could not answer questions about “nothing.” You see, in finding Nirvana; he found emptiness. He lost his “self” and passions and desires of the world but did not know exactly how to fill the emptiness. He thought the emptiness was the end of the search. How wrong Gautama was. I am so sorry there was no one to tell him about Jesus. Well, he disagreed with the Hindu Brahamas and started his own belief and soon had many followers. His religion was devoid of authority; he did not believe in it or ritual, tradition, theology, grace and the supernatural, and he probably did not believe in God. Well, when he woke up after 49 days under the peepul tree, he walked over 100 miles to India’s holy city of Banaras. I did not mean to go on about Gautama (Buddha) so long, but he is someone a lot of people believe in and follow his atheist doctrine. The basic teaching was the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
My point to giving this information, besides finding it interesting, is the fact that a lot of these religions are really philosophies (a way of living), have some good truths in them and some good people who have put down a certain amount of selfishness to attain higher standards and improve themselves, and, in addition, you have to admire some of their ethics (which I also studied, a whole another set of classes).
I even wondered if the Hindu...who, through one of the four paths to God, “bhakti yoga” (the way to God through love)…might even make it to Heaven …like I said, this was a questioning time for me until God brought me back to the simplicity of the gospel. I read the Bhagavad-Gita (Krishna) and the Tao. It is full of flowery sentiments and disjointed thoughts, with some wise sayings and ethics. I read the Koran of the Moslem; which, by the way, commands that if you find a Christian, kill them, and to beat your wife with a rod. In case you want to know all four ways of the Hindus to reach God are: 1. The Way to God through Knowledge; 2. through Love; 3. through Psychophysical Exercises; 4. through Work. Naturally, most people choose the way through "love;"...it was the easiest. Of course, we do not know exactly their definition of love.
You can see where I might have rationalized that they might get there through “love”…the Bible saying, “God is Love.” Then Father God reminded me of the regeneration…which does not take place until you receive Jesus Christ as your substitute and savior! A supernatural transformation literally occurs in your spirit by the Holy Spirit and gives you a “rebirth” of your “spirit person.” No matter how much the bhakti yogas or anyone else, who thinks they are going to make it to God or Heaven by way of love without Jesus, they are very mistaken. That is the way it is. The Creator planned for all to come together by sending Jesus, His Son to die on the cross as the spotless/sinless lamb sacrifice, to be raised from the dead, ascend to heaven, and send back the Holy Spirit, who is the one who energizes your spirit to be "reborn" or regenerated" so that you can receive and bear the fire of the Spirit without burning. You may say…well, what about all the people who have not heard the gospel. What about all those “good” people? Here is my answer to you: In the Bible in the book of Rev., the Holy Spirit tells us that the Jews under Judaism would be judged by their “law” (the law of Moses)…the Commandments. That is the only sidebar to the gospel there is. It is not a matter of excluding people; it is a matter of including people. The believers who have received Jesus Christ as their savior will be included. As far as God is concerned... the rest ..do not exist. They have not been born yet….born again by the Holy Spirit with a new regenerated spirit. Further, it is by experience that I tell you this. God showed me this. The fire of hell is a spirit fire. You feel it in your spirit and your spirit cannot take it unless it has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The blessing for regenerated believers would be a hell for people who have not been regenerated! Think about that.
Ever heard of Dante’s Inferno? It is a literary piece of fiction written by Dante Alighieri in the 1300’s. He wrote in graphic detail about hell and the different levels of hell. It is purely fiction, but what if there are levels? Wouldn’t that be nice …for the “not so bad folks?” He has the Garden of Eden and 7 steps down to the Gate of Purgatory. In Dante’s time the earth was believed to be the center of the cosmos, or world; all the planets, including the sun revolved around the earth, so Dante put everything in the core of the earth; Eden, purgatory and hell. They had no idea Heaven could be another planet or dimension. There was a downward spiral from Eden to the Gate of Purgatory…7 steps the eighth being the Gate of Purgatory…I think Dante was Catholic because further down the spiral was the Excommunicated. So…it was Hell, Purgatory and Heaven (going up). Hell is entirely below the surface of the earth (He got that right) ... and he moves steadily downward until he reaches its center at the bottom of hell. There is a corresponding gradation or hierarchy of evil, from bad to worse and worst. There’s some really bad stuff (Dante has quite an imagination) awaiting the evildoers the further you go. Perhaps there is something to this, …and could be that the punishment is all in the minds of the evildoers. Maybe their worst fears and guilt come upon them because of their warped minds; they do it to themselves, and God has nothing to do with it except to exclude them from His pure presence.
Again, we must remember, our loving Father does not go out of His way to punish people, (except to those who do harm to His anointed). He has already done what was to be done…sending Jesus to die for all who accept Him. So that means if you are not “in”…you are “out.” Not included with the Kingdom of God…then you are outside…and, believe me...outside is not a good place to be…. God has shown me. So, beloved, no matter how “good” you are...it won’t get you to Heaven. Jesus said, “why call ye me good; there is none good but God.”
After all, what are you going to use for a measuring rod to measure “good,” even if you could see into people’s hearts and minds; which you cannot no matter how perceptive you are. Their soul may be all right but,... what about the spirit that has not yet been born? Do you think a soul can go to Heaven without a spirit? I think not. No matter how good they are, let’s get them “born again.” Remember the great commission. Matt. 28: 17 - 20..."All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (King James Version)
(The amplified, Zondervan)...All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me, Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days ("perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the very close and consummation of the age. Amen.
JESUS HAS COME AND WILL COME AGAIN!
Amen. Jean Rae Russell
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