I’m not understanding this. I’m not understanding a lot of things lately. This faith thing has been rolling around in my head for a while now, enough to make me want to find out what the truth is. Do we automatically go to heaven if we’re poor? Apparently, that’s what the Bible is saying.
Take the story of the rich man and the poor man that Jesus tells in Luke 16:19-31, KJV.
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
There’s not enough information here to conclude anything except that Lazarus was poor and the rich man was rich. So being poor, I can only presume that Lazarus hoped for good things. And if we, being poor, hope for good things, are we guaranteed those good things after death like Lazarus? I’m confused. Does this mean that everyone who hoped for a savior, who hoped that someone would come save them from the miserable wretched life that they now live…will all those people go to heaven?
It is said that after Jesus Christ has died and risen, that we are to believe He is the savior. And if so, being that people long ago, hoping for someone to save them, who didn’t know of Jesus, but who hope anyways for salvation, if that hope is being counted for them as belief in Christ, our Savior, then why is it now that people who hope for a savior, can’t be saved if that savior isn’t Jesus? How is it that those people back then, who hoped to an invisible God, could be saved because that invisible God is automatically the Christian God, and yet, people have hoped and prayed and spoken in secret their heart’s wishes and desires and their worries and fears and that invisible God is automatically the wrong God?
My mother, who believes that heaven and hell doesn’t exist, and that if she is a good person, mainly good to others, then that makes her a good person regardless and that that goodness would be enough. There are many people who think the same way, that if we are kind and good in life and that if we treat others the way that we wanted to be treated, then our afterlives would be good because we are good. My mother isn’t buying her way into heaven. She doesn’t even believe in heaven. She simply believes that good begets good and bad begets bad. And isn’t that what we are taught in from the Bible? That a good tree will produce good fruits, but a wicked tree would produce bad fruit. So how is this any different from what the Bible does teach?
I’ve come to the realization that there is no salvation for one. Lazarus being poor and needy and having a hard life, was granted heaven in Abraham’s bosom. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because Lazarus believed in Jesus. It seemed more that Lazarus was of the lineage of Abraham, and that faith wasn’t mentioned at all as a prerequisite for his salvation. For it was mentioned that salvation belonged to the Jews, and only after Paul was sent to preach to the world, that salvation was given to the whole world because the Jews denied their God and did not want any part in his Christ. Was it then that the rest of us are only an after thought? While many Christians argue that God, all knowing, had included the rest of us in his plan, it’s not as convincing to everyone who doesn’t like the simple fact that they weren’t good enough to be a part of that plan to begin with.
Imagine it as a single parent family, as God being a father, who raising twenty kids, decides to favorite one, and love five. That favorite one, is Jesus. And those five, are the Jews. What happens to the other fourteen children? How do they feel when daddy makes them eat after the others, makes them walk behind the others, and essentially, tell them that they’re not good enough to get Christmas presents? But wait, because the other five children were so spoiled and so loved by daddy that they didn’t want their toys on Christmas, daddy gets mad and gives those toys to the rest of the little boys and little girls who didn’t get any to begin with. For children who was denied the same love and same treatment and same privilege as their siblings, those presents were everything to them. Daddy loves them. Daddy gave them gifts. And when they grew up, they realized, that if daddy hadn’t loved the others so much that when the others rebelled and didn’t want the presents with their names on it, then they would’ve never gotten anything from daddy at all. And how then do those fourteen children feel, all grown up with the truth that their daddy didn’t love them? Their daddy loved their siblings and because their siblings refused that love, only then, out of wrath and anger, and out of trying to make their siblings jealous, did their daddy finally showed them a bit of love. How does that make them feel good about themselves, about how it’s said that their daddy loves them so much that he did everything for them, when in truth, their daddy was just someone whose love was unrequited and in an act of anger, he only loved those he never loved in order to make the ones he did love, fill with jealousy and turn back to him? Those fourteen children would feel confused and angry and cheated and betrayed. Their daddy never loved them. He showed them love because he wanted to make their siblings jealous. How is that a good father? And how is it love when their daddy’s only intention was to make his chosen ones jealous? It sounds spiteful and horrible.
Paul has said that, salvation came to the Gentiles only because the Jews refused the free gift of eternal life by God. Romans 11:11 KJV said, and this is Paul speaking about the Jews:
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
“…for to provoke them to jealousy.”
The entire purpose of salvation for the Gentiles was to anger the Jews to jealousy.
Take a love relationship for example. Imagine it as a man who loves a woman and does her bidding and provides for her and takes care of every single need and desire she has. And when that woman starts rejecting that man and no longer wants his love and affection, and takes upon herself many other lovers, that man goes out and seeks a lover, anyone would do, in order to provoke her to jealousy that she may return to him. But what of his other lover? He doesn’t love her. He’s using her to make his love jealous so that she’d come home.
We are but an after thought in the mind of God to make the ones he loves jealous so that they’d return to him. How is that love at all? It’s not. It’s not love. Not one single minute of being mind raped and manipulated that we are indeed loved and precious.
If Lazarus, who being poor, wasn’t of the lineage of Abraham, and the rich man, being rich and plentiful, was of the lineage of Abraham, would this story have been told a different way? For there is no mention of faith. There is no mention of belief. There is only the mention that Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom, an implication that Lazarus was of the line of Abraham. Does faith and belief even matter then? Or is the only thing that does matter is who we can trace our ancestors to?
Salvation itself isn’t for one. We can, as individuals, believe in Christ and accept Jesus as our savior. And we’re saved, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It should be that simple for a free gift, but nothing is free without strings attached. In order to be saved, you have to believe that Jesus, who is God, was born a man, lived for 33 years, was crucified and died for your sins, was risen three days later, and is now sitting at the right hand of God until the day of his return. Now, you have to accept that Jesus died for your sins personally, because the wages of sin is death, and if Jesus died your death, then you won’t have to die a second death, which is odd because you have to die a mortal death anyhow. And after that, you have to get baptized and be reborn again. And after that, you have to go spread the good news and tell how Jesus has changed your life. And after telling people about Christ, you have to also try and convert them. And the ones that don’t want to listen, you simply ignore them and move on to people who do want to listen and who do want to be converted. And not only that, you must now try to be as much like Jesus as you can. That means compassionate and helping and performing miracles and exorcising demons and raising people from the dead, turning water into wine. Lots of works. So these souls that you’ve convinced and won for Jesus, they will be added to you as a crown. And as it says nothing about the people who didn’t convert a single soul getting a crown, it’s safe to imply that they won’t have crowns. So even in heaven, there’s this hierarchy of people who won souls and people who haven’t and they’ll be distinguished by the crowns that they’re wearing. Now, as if that isn’t a cause for discrimination in heaven, from a God to whom all sin is equal, then surely there should be no distinction in heaven between Jews and Gentiles, between those who has converted souls and those who barely converted themselves. Even the angels have rank, and believe that in heaven, everyone saved also will have rank. Again it will be, daddy loves who he loves the most.
I don’t know. I’m tired of thinking. I don’t want to think about this anymore.