May the Faith Be with You

One phrase in the Star Wars movies has resonated with many viewers and is perhaps the seminal phrase engendering the spirit of the series:  “May the force be with you.”  The phrase originated in “Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope” and has been a popular line used in those movies since then.

The force was an unseen power that Jedi Knights had over the Dark Side.  And it was a power that you had to allow inside you, trusting it so that it became part of you.  Instead of relying on your own powers, you let the force become intertwined within you, creating a new you.

It is interesting when we substitute faith for force.  “May the faith be with you.”  It carries the same significance.  Faith is an unseen power that you have over the evil within the world.  It is a power that you allow inside you, trusting it to be part of you.  Instead of relying on your own powers, you let faith become intertwined within you, creating a new you.

This simple substitution, however, does not have the same impact on individuals as do the Hollywood movies.  Very little has been written about Star Wars as having a religious foundation.  The majority of people enjoy the cinematic tour of life through the imagination of screenwriters, but they are less interested in the mundane life required by religious beliefs.  The “force” is exciting, but “faith” is not.

People may believe that they are more in control when they connect with the “force,” but think that they are giving up their powers and independence when they find a nexus with “faith.”  This is not true.  In reality, the two are interchangeable.

It does not matter what you call this inner power.  You can label it as “dark energy” or “quantum mechanics” or “Higgs boson.”  It simply does not matter.  The power, whatever it is, must be embraced by your inner being.  You must humbly turn over the controls to this power just like Luke Skywalker did in Star Wars.  Unfortunately, you will not have Yoda to assist you in this training, but you need to learn to be one with this force before you die.

Even though it is important to follow a moral code and lead a good life, the Dark Side will offer no consequences for your failures or poor decisions during life.  The unification with faith or whatever you call the force within our universe must occur in advance of death so that you can fight the opposing forces on the other side.  If you die and there are no opposing forces or consequences awaiting you, then that will be the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen to you.

But since our recycling universe is most likely a closed system, your thinking will probably continue into eternity with consequences on the other side awaiting.  Your only chance is if the faith or force is with you.  You must be one with the Creator in order to survive the chaos.

I look forward to the afterlife.  There are so many unknowns in the universe that it would be a fantastic journey for eternity.  All the diversity in the universe would take eons to explore.  I am eager to travel this path with God inside me.  May the faith be with us.

Dealing with Death

Does death mean “no more?”  Does it mean that our thought process ends with our being brain dead?  Or is death the beginning of something altogether foreign and new to us?

Of course, nobody knows the answer to these questions, but scientists do discuss the law of conservation of energy and mass as a known.  Following this law, energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed in our recycling universe, but may be transformed.  Does this mean that your thinking cannot die?  If your brain is no longer functional, your thinking may evolve into a new form.  Since awareness could be converted to something else, thoughts still may exist outside our bodies after death.  Unfortunately, it is not likely that your thinking will ever stop.

The best thing that could possibly happen is for us to die and stop thinking.  Death, then, would be the end to consciousness.  We could welcome death if this were the case.  There would be no pain, no suffering, and no consequences after death.  We would have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Since we are all sinners, we all could breathe easier since our poor choices in life would have no repercussions.

If we died and our thinking terminated at that point, we could easily deal with death.  Death would be the same as nothing, and everybody should be able to deal with nothing happening.  Everything would end and there would be no more.  Believe me… that would be a good thing.

That would be a great ending for us because most of us feel guilty about something and those who don’t should.   And the bad choices we made in life would have had no consequences after death.  Of course, society, family, and peer pressure still would provide their own consequences for your sins during your lifetime.  But there would be no afterlife to worry about.

So, the real problem in dealing with death occurs if our final breath does not stop our thinking.  If we are still aware after we die, we definitely have a problem.  Most likely, the afterlife will be strange and scary for us.  How do we prepare for a nightmarish unknown?

Quite frankly, I don’t know.  There are many religions to study and select your favorite.  But I am concerned that religion, by itself, will not be sufficient.  I fear that beliefs that are lukewarm to warm will not serve us well during the high stress of facing the unknown.  Attending church and praying to God probably are not going to help that much either.  So, how do we deal with death if we are still thinking?

It seems logical that there is a Creator outside this universe, since we live where nothing can be created.  And I believe that it is critical to make contact with this Creator before we die and certainly after we die.  How do we do that?  Again, I don’t know.  But it makes sense to attempt to unify with the Creator in some manner.  If you have sufficient faith and trust in the Creator and allow Him into your thoughts, you will be on the right path.

There are no guarantees that the path will be smooth.  I’m fairly confident that we will be tested on that journey through the afterlife.  But your beliefs in the Creator must be powerful enough to withstand the chaos and darkness so that you can find the light from your guide and ally along this road.  Never give up on the Creator because only He can remove you from the eternal damnation of being stuck with your own thoughts for infinity without any diversions.

Now, that would be Hell!

Focus on God

Our species appears to be the only animal that thinks about the afterlife.  The majority of humans think that there is an afterlife or there is not an afterlife or they simply don’t know one way or the other.  But most of us do think about the afterlife.

And we think about the Creator or God in the same manner:  there is a God or there is no God or we just don’t know.  But most of us do think about God.  Our focus is on God.

Even atheists need God to believe that He does not exist.  So logically, they must have thought of God first in order to decide that He does not exist.  Because how could you introduce a negative thought about something that you didn’t think or know about?  The concept of God had to exist before atheists could argue that He did not live.

Thus, our focus is on God and the afterlife.  And since we are human, we will do stupid and cruel and mean and horrible things during our lifetimes.  Everybody has something they can feel guilty about and most of us have something we feel guilty about every day.  So, we are sinful creatures who have been given free will to commit sins.

Do we resign ourselves to this sinful nature or do we try to do better?  Those who give in to our humanness and never attempt to improve themselves typically are those who don’t believe in God.  And who could blame them?  If you accept sin as your natural state during life, then you would not want any consequences after death.  You would not want God to be your judge.  Your preference would be to die and that would be the end.  The only problem with this belief is that choices without consequences make no sense.  Life would be absurd without consequences.  Life would be absurd without God.

Yet, those who believe in God are not necessarily any better than atheists.  Many followers of God believe that they will have a free ticket punched, eliminating all consequences for their sins.  This makes no more sense than atheism.  Clearly, the Bible speaks of judgments and consequences based on what we did during our lives.  Of course, believers want their sins to be washed away, typically so they can go sin again.  The only problem with this belief is that there must be consequences or life would be absurd.

And those who do not know if God exists or not cannot win by default.  You have heard the rule of law: ignorance of the law is no excuse.  The same applies to those who say they don’t know if God lives.  When they sin, there will be consequences whether they know God or not.  There must be consequences to prevent life from being absurd.

In conclusion, atheists, believers, and agnostics, who represent the majority of Homo sapiens, all focus on God in one fashion or another.  And that focus is on there being or not being a judge who will provide consequences for all our poor choices made during our lifetimes.  But remember: life is absurd without consequences.

Edge of the Universe with God on the Other Side

I have written many articles on why our universe is most likely closed.  So, if it were closed, where is the boundary?  Well, the universe could have an oval orbit like many objects, large and small, but let’s be more adventurous.  Perhaps, we should think like Einstein and examine a four-dimensional universe.

When you add the fourth dimension, time, you need to be creative since the edge of our universe might be much more different than what you would expect in a three-dimensional object.  So, what if the boundary were flexible like a time bubble that could expand and contract?  What if the edge were not so much a three-dimensional location, but instead a moment in time?

Let’s speculate.  What if the Big Bang were nothing more than the entry point for all the mass and energy, including high-energy neutrinos?  Maybe after several million years, the Big Bang event, which probably was a fireball, started to cool down.  The lights went out.  Quite possibly, there were about 100 million years of no activity that was visible.

The Dark Ages of our universe more than likely saw a reversal from expansion to contraction.  The first stars and ancient galaxies probably were not formed until the hydrogen gases were compacted to the point that the heat was so intense that they ignited, much like stars are created today.

The majority of scientists believe that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate.  I suppose that this is possible if dark energy were drawing the visible matter out into infinity, but that sounds like an open universe with no boundaries.  If you believe our universe is closed, the only theory that makes any sense is that the universe is collapsing at an increasing speed as it races back toward its origin.

Why is our universe closed?  Everything that we know in our universe has design.  Even activities that appear to be chaotic have a reason and lead to a purpose.  God is the Designer.  As an example, electrons, planets, and galaxies move in closed orbits.  God’s world moves in cycles.  Since we cannot see the other side of the Big Bang, there must be a boundary that hides it.  The galaxies in the universe seem to be interconnected within an oval egg shell that expands and contracts over time.  The law of conservation of matter and energy states that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed in our universe.  This matter and energy that remains the same total amount forever must be encased by a boundary for this theory to be true.

An open universe with only expansion that continues into a Deep Freeze with all matter reaching a final destination that has no purpose does not fit within God’s design.  An open universe theory supports a chaotic, purposeless system that is advocated by atheists.  Large stars would burn out, leaving only smaller stars to burn out, until all the hydrogen was used.  Scientists believe that the Deep Freeze will be the end of our universe.  But it serves no purpose.  It does not fit within God’s ultimate design for the universe.  God did not design a dying universe.

So, if time created the boundary for our universe, which can alternate between expansion and contraction, does that mean that time can go backwards?  It might from our perspective.  In other words, from our position on earth, a reversal might appear to be headed back in time to the ancient galaxies and the Big Bang event.  But if we were outside the time bubble, we might simply view our bubble getting very small as the compaction increased into the Big Crunch.

What in the universe could be driving this time machine, alternating between expansion and contraction?  Well, since our visible universe is only about 3% of the universe, dark matter and dark energy are the likely forces.  God probably designed a universe that could exist for an infinite amount of time.  This makes sense if you consider that time could be a closed fourth dimension perpetually expanding and shrinking or from our perspective, going forward and then backward in time.  Frankly, whether we are moving toward a Big Bang or Big Crunch may not matter since it could lead to the same result, so whether time is going forward or backward may not matter either.

God banished Adam and Eve from his kingdom probably into a universe without end like ours.  The only way to return to God might be to leave this universe.  There appear to be three heavens or judgments that must be passed in order to reach this goal.  2 Corinthians 12:2.  The first heaven, which has been described as being on earth, should be the easiest to obtain through belief and faith.  But the other two might be increasingly difficult.  The first death probably separates believers from nonbelievers based on God’s grace.  The second death is mentioned in the Bible when we are judged based on our works.  Revelation 20:13-14.  If we fail this test, we are cast into the lake of fire.  Revelation 20:15.

As Jesus said, “Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  Matthew 7:14.  Revelation indicates that only 144,000 will be redeemed from earth.  Revelation 14:3.  The fate of Adam and Eve or humankind probably cannot be reversed without a superhuman effort that counters the Devil’s deceit in the second heaven.  Certainly, turning everything over to God should create the necessary unification with God to enter the third heaven, God’s kingdom.  But anything outside the Bible is just guesswork.  We will not know for certain until we die, but being prepared for anything is not a bad idea.

Even though this article is highly speculative, it is always interesting to ask the question:  why can Hubble see the ancient galaxies?  If the light from that ancient object, which no longer exists, started its race in a straight line toward Hubble about 13 billion years ago wouldn’t it have passed us?  If you believe we have been constantly expanding since the Big Bang at less than the speed of light, how could we see any ancient light?

I suppose you could argue that the universe is curved so that the light from ancient galaxies has raced around and is coming back for a second viewing.  But it seems more likely from our perspective that we are going back in time towards not only ancient light, but also the Big Bang itself.

Again, this is only a somewhat edgy theory, but it is possible that our universe is a time machine that can alternate between a Big Bang and a Big Crunch forever.  In that sense, we are in an infinite prison of our own sinful devise.  God and Jesus have shown us a way out, but how many will actually leave this universe?

Why No Afterlife Is Best

It probably seems strange that a Christian, who truly believes in God, would say that no afterlife would be the best case for our species.  It’s really quite simple.  We all have sinned and have led something other than stellar lives, so there are consequences waiting for our poor choices.  If there is no afterlife, then there will be no punishment.  We will die and that will be the end.  This also would be the best ending for us since we would no longer be thinking.  And thinking without the distractions of our five senses could be a nightmare in and of itself.

However, the odds are significantly in favor of there being an afterlife.  The law of conservation of mass and energy states that nothing is created or destroyed in our universe.  Of course, there are many transfers from one form to another.  Water can be heated and turned into steam and energy.  Thus, it is very unlikely that our consciousness will be destroyed.  It is more likely that it will be transformed into something that is aware and thinking, but unlike anything we have been exposed to on earth.  But if we are still thinking, that is “the rub” that Shakespeare wrote about in Hamlet.  What “dreams may come” and what will we be thinking about?

Sensory deprivation is a form of punishment or torture that has been utilized by military and prisons for many years.  Typically, the prisoner starts to hallucinate and have horrible nightmares within minutes.  It would be the worst punishment imaginable to be suspended in this state for eternity.  You would be your own worst enemy.  Your thoughts would turn against you.  That’s why no afterlife is best for mankind, but like I said, “It is not likely.”  And since the consequences to you in that strange environment are significant, I would err on the side of having something to hold onto.

Now, that being said, it will not work for you to say: “Well, I will believe in God if I am placed in that environment.”  Your belief in God has to be unbelievably powerful.  It has to be a stronger faith than most Christians have.  Those Christians who go to church each Sunday and do nothing more probably will not have the belief that is required.  It must be a faith that is unshakeable by the chaotic underworld that awaits us.  If you initially believe in God and drop that faith as soon as the first demon arrives, then you will be lost.

God must be deeply entrenched inside you.  God must be so much a part of you that you are one with God.  Then your thoughts are also the thoughts of God, the creator.  Only He can guide you through the inky surrealistic world of death.  No matter how independent and powerful you think you are, you will not be equipped to handle the afterlife by yourself.  Only God can get you through it.  And that is not to say that it will be easy to navigate through the punishments of the underworld with God inside you.  It will be extremely difficult even with God.  But it will be impossible without Him.

Believing that Jesus died for our sins will give us a clean conscience, so that we will not carry guilt with us on our journey through the underworld.  But there will still be consequences for the choices we made during our lifetimes.  It is called “judgment day.”  Nobody knows what will happen, so it is best to prepare for anything and everything, including getting as close to God as you can.

Fear of the Unknown

What do you fear more than anything else?  When are we scared the most in a horror movie?  Is it when we actually see the hairy, one-eyed monster or is it before we see it?  Our imaginations tend to fill in the blanks with a much more horrific monster than would ever be produced for the screen.  Movies that scared me the most were the ones that kept the monsters in the shadows, so that they remained unknown.

The unknown is very troubling to us because we worry about it too much, causing us to emphasize the worst case scenario.  Have you noticed that our dealing with the unknown is rarely a positive experience?  People associate the unknown with the dark side, where bad things happen to us.  One of the rare times when the unknown is considered a good thing is when we receive a wrapped present for Christmas or our birthday.  We expect to tear off the paper and ribbons and find a nice gift.  But, in this case, the event is known with only the specific present being unknown.

None of us know what will happen after we die.  This is a significant unknown.  Even if you don’t fear death, you fear the unknown… what happens after death.  If nothing happens after you die, then there is nothing to worry about.  However, if there is something waiting for you after death, it is unknown to you.  You will not know what it is until after you die, and you may not know the full impact of what happens until a long time after you die.  It may be a process, rather than an event, which may extend into eternity.  But whatever awaits us is and should be feared.

Winston Churchill once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  He probably was telling the English not to fear the unknown effects of the next bombing run by the Germans, since their imaginations would create something worse than what would actually happen.  Was he also saying that since we are afraid only of an emotion called fear, we should dismiss it since it really cannot harm us?  It’s only in our minds; it does not exist in the real world.  But isn’t the emotion that is in our minds what is most dangerous to us if we are still thinking at death?  The fear that grips our thoughts, creating nightmares and ghouls feasting on our souls, is what I think could follow us into our afterlife.  The reality of that new experience might be based entirely on what you are thinking.  We can be very afraid of that.

So, how do we deal with this fear of the unknown at death?  Perhaps, we can employ religion to give us faith that we will be saved from eternal damnation.  But that may not be sufficient.  If you are religious only for purely selfish reasons, you will have no protection.  You must believe in something other than yourself.  You must be genuinely humble, recognizing that you cannot possibly navigate through the chaotic storms of the underworld, and petition for assistance.  You must allow God to come inside you and be a part of you.  This unification probably will not come easily.  You may have to spend the rest of your life preparing to leave your body behind and becoming one with God.  Nobody knows exactly how this happens, so you will need to be prepared for whatever might occur.

You will need somebody inside you to calm you and guide you.  We know we are temporal and are nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Just think of all the things that are unknown to us in our visible universe, which is only about 4% of the entire universe.  We literally know nothing.  We are nothing.  We truly are not worthy to be accepted in God’s kingdom, but we should be as prepared as we can be to follow God’s lead.  God said, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

The Power of Prayer

When you pray, you generally are looking for help from a third party or power that is beyond your personal reach.  You don’t typically pray to yourself.  You pray to a higher power to assist you.  Normally, this is done when you or a family member are really in trouble.  For example if you were diagnosed as having cancer, you might pray mightily for a remission or cure.

Is the benefit from praying:  (1) the comfort or hope that you receive by petitioning for help or (2) a positive answer to your prayer, or (3) triggering of serotonin or dopamine releases in the body, providing an out-of-body experience, or (4) a belief system that is effective only because you believe it to be true, or (5) you become unified with God?

There are several types of prayer, so we need to analyze what type of prayer we are featuring in this analysis.  You might read a prayer or repeat “The Lord’s Prayer” without any thought given to the action.  If this were just an inner speech, it would be no different than if you were talking to your friends.   But there are other prayers that can include a range of profound emotional experiences, which may have a significant impact on our feelings of well-being, both present and future.

Serotonin, dopamine, and other chemicals produced by our bodies may be created by meditation involved in intense prayer.  I am not aware of any study where these chemicals were measured before and during prayer.  There have been some studies examining general brain activity, using MRI scanning, during intense prayer.  The brain lit up during prayer.  However, these same results occurred when Buddhists or Hindus meditated.  Similar studies showed that dopamine was released when subjects had emotional responses to music that they enjoyed.

At this time, these studies do not give us any concrete results.  We believe that there are a great variety of brain responses during spiritual experiences, depending on how involved that particular individual is with their respective prayers.

William James, in The Varieties of Religious Experience, wrote that religious emotions were just simply emotions, no different than the emotions of an atheist.  The experiments that showed an increased brain activity during prayer would be, in James’ opinion, exactly the same in a secular setting.  This seems to support the fact that religious prayer and secular meditation produce similar brain patterns.

In my opinion, prayer is personal, so it does not matter to me that secular meditation may reach a similar plateau.  I am only concerned with my ability to pray and what level I can reach with my prayer.  I also believe that meditation could be coupled with prayer, so the two are not mutually exclusive.  I would go to a quiet, dark room, where I could shut down my normal thoughts and sensory receptors in an effort to reach a simple, happy union with God.  I would be attempting to become one with God.

There are products that can make us transcend ourselves when we can become connected to the divine such as: (1) salvia divinorum, which acts through the dopaminergic system, (2) psilocybin mushrooms, which affect the serotonergic system, and (3) ayahuasca which also impacts the serotonergic system.  But we can reach these stages on our own without using these drugs with proper focus and control.

If you truly believe that you are connecting with God, then you are connecting with God.  Third parties can criticize your nexus with the divine, but it does not mean that your connection was not real within you.  Only you know you and your God.  Only you know whether your connection was real or not.

Some articles have indicated that if you believe that a man like Jesus can heal you, then you can be healed through your faith.  If you believed apples will cure your cancer and you ate an apple every day, your cancer might go into remission.  The same goes for believing that you are connected to God.  If you truly believe that you are one with God, then you will be one with God.

It does not matter to me whether other people believe that I am not really connected to God, but only think that I am.  That is because all that really matters is that I think I am.  If I die and am still thinking, and I think I am connected to God, then I will be.  And that is the nexus that will be required for me to be one with God in the underworld.

So when I pray and work toward unifying with God, it does not matter to me what others think.  They might laugh at me and wonder if anybody other than me is listening to my prayers.  But the answer is that it only matters what I think.  And if I think I am one with God, then I will be.  But the power of prayer makes you stronger by blending in the power of God.  Even though you become one with God, you are no longer the old you.  You become a different entity.

If Seeing Is Believing…

If seeing is believing, then you will never believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God.

Typically, children believe in Santa Claus based on artist renditions of Santa or the Santa’s they visit in discount stores, giving them a wish list.  But they never see the real Santa.  They believe based on their innocent naivety.  This is not meant as a negative comment on the beliefs of youngsters, but it does indicate that the trust is not strong and permanent.  As children get older, their peers or parents may tell them that there is no Santa Claus or they may simply come to this conclusion by themselves.

In order to reach the highest rung on the ladder of conviction, you must leave your senses behind and search for a devout trust in the unknown.  Since you will not be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch God, you must find Him in a special place inside your thoughts.  This should be an out-of-body experience.

This cannot be based on expectations of gifts because of your belief.  Rewards for your faith are irrelevant at the highest level of your creed.  Many children believe in Santa Claus or are “good” just to obtain presents at Christmas.  This may be the lowest rung of a ladder reaching to the highest level of certainty.

If the highest point of this dogma cannot be reached through our five senses or hope of rewards or simple tenets or devotion to a higher being or certitude of the Bible or fidelity to God, what is required to reach the level that is required to enter the chaos of the afterlife?

Your faith in God must be a complete immersion of your thoughts into this belief so that your awareness is unified with God.  You and God have to become one.  This must be a steadfast, rigid, unwavering, unbending, virtuous devotion, dedication, loyalty, and fealty that cannot be lost or broken in the chaotic underworld.

It is very difficult explaining this process of unification with God, but it requires a significant effort during our lifetimes.  We must prepare through meditation.  We must attempt to erase our senses and melt into the universe outside.  Our thoughts must reach out to an unknown power that we cannot see.  When we blend our consciousness with the mind of God, we will form a new soul that will be protected from the potential hell of living with ourselves for eternity.

If you do not bond with God, you will be stuck with your own thoughts, which would be hell for any of us.  Just imagine if you did not have the distractions of your senses.  You would be in a sensory-deprived environment.  This quite frankly is used as a form of torture.  None of us have the ability to deal with sensory deprivation on our own.  We need help from God and that can occur only when we reach the highest rung of that ladder of faith, which is not seeing, but is staunch, powerful believing.

Gnostic Gospels

The lost gospels of Mary, Peter, Phillip, Thomas, and Judas, many of which are Gnostic in origin, were not included with the gospels selected by the Nicene Convention in the fourth century for our Holy Bible.  They were intentionally eliminated and were hidden from Christians for hundreds of years.

Since the Gnostics believed that their relationship with God was personal and thus did not need a bishop, priest, or any other religious leader to intercede for them, it was natural for the structured, formalistic faction of Christianity to not include their gospels in the Bible.

The Gnostics were almost mystical in their faith.  They had a one-on-one connection with God that did not require them to go to church or have any relationship with other believers.  Their faith was based on God entering their thoughts and mind and unifying with them.  Nobody else was required in order for this to happen.  In fact, others would have distracted them from obtaining this type of relationship with God.

Even though these Gnostic Gospels are not accepted by mainstream Christians today, it is important to read them.  They provide insight into an important and significant part of early Christianity that was erased by Emperor Constantine and the Roman religious leaders of that time.

The importance of Gnosticism is found in the reality of any imagined afterlife.  Logically in order to have an afterlife, you have to be thinking or be aware after death.  If you die and are no longer thinking, then anything that happens after you die is meaningless to your consciousness.

There are scientists and doctors who believe that you will no longer be aware of anything after you die since your brain, the center of your awareness, will be dead.  This is quite possible, but I would argue not probable because of the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy.  Our consciousness or thinking cannot be destroyed in this universe.  Our awareness, however, can be converted to another form of matter or energy, which probably does happen.

But the question is: will you still be thinking in this new type of matter or energy of the underworld?  I believe that it is more likely that you will still be thinking because your awareness cannot be destroyed; it can only be modified.

So, Gnosticism may be more appropriate for a situation when you are thinking in a new environment without priests or friends or family by your side to assist you.  You will be on your own, facing eternal thoughts in the afterlife.  Anyone familiar with sensory deprivation will explain how devastating that can become within a matter of minutes.

As the Gnostics recommend, you should become one with your God before you die.  By unifying with God, He enters your thoughts and becomes one with you.  He will be your guide through the underworld.  Trust me.  It is not something you want to try on your own.  Just ask former prisoners who were tortured with sensory deprivation.

Even those who said they were religious did not fare well because they had not linked up completely with God.  They may have gone to church and may have even led a good life, but they were not unified with God.  Most of them started hallucinating within minutes and the horrible nightmares would have created an eternal hell for them.

What Is Sin?

Somebody asked me years ago what sin was, and I recall telling them that it was anything taken to extremes.  Back then, I thought moderation was the key to modifying all behavior.  Today, I’m not so sure that is the answer.  I still believe that moderation is very important in a social setting, but I wonder if there is a better definition of sin for the afterlife.

After you die and if you are still thinking, you would not want to carry any sins with you as baggage on your trip through the dark underworld.  So what is the definition of this type of sin?  Well, it must be anything you have done that causes you to feel guilty.  Thus, guilt could drag your after-life thoughts down into the depths of eternal depression.

We know that Christianity offers a way to avoid this.  By believing that Jesus died for your sins, then your sin debts are paid in full.  You don’t have to worry about your sins because Jesus erases them.  Of course, that’s assuming that you truly believe this.  If your belief is based on a selfish desire only to eliminate guilt from the sins that you never really stopped committing, then there may be a surprise waiting for you.

But what actions and inactions deserve to be called sins?  Could that vary from individual to individual?  A hardened criminal may not feel guilty about killing a dog, but I would feel that I committed a sin if I even hurt a dog.  Is it a sin if you think you committed a sin, but you actually didn’t?  If a man paid an assassin $200,000 to kill his neighbor; but instead, the criminal gave the neighbor $100,000 to flee to Mexico, would this be considered a sin?

Well, I guess it depends on what you take into the afterlife.  It is possible that you may feel guilty about things that never really happened and you only thought that they happened.  That would still be a sin in your mind.  And it is possible that hardened criminals will not feel guilty about some actions that you would feel guilty about, but those hardened criminals are going to have plenty of other things to hang on their guilty tree.  It is a mistake to compare your feelings of guilt with those of others.  The feelings of guilt in the afterlife are very personal.

The bottom line is what feelings of guilt do you take into the afterlife?  Those are your sins.  If you truly believe in Jesus, then He will remove these burdens, which will lighten your journey.  This is not to say that your trip through the afterlife will be easy.  Your belief in Jesus will only make it easier.  None of us knows what lies ahead, but we can expect that consequences await us for all the poor choices we made during life.

It is critical to have a tour guide and Jesus can be that guide.  We like to think that we can handle everything on our own, but that is certainly not true in what may be the chaotic, dark unknowns of the underworld.  You must truly believe in Jesus and allow Him to be inside you and become a part of you and your every thought.  However, if you are not thinking after death, then believing in Jesus and God only did two things: (1) it made it easier for you to accept mortality and (2) hopefully made you sin less often.  But if you are thinking after death…