Some say that, from the womb to the tomb, all religions are basically the same. To support that premise, people will reflect how most world religions focus on doing good, alleviating the burdens of others living for something greater than ourselves, and reaching a point of freedom from bondage to material things and hurtful habits and thoughts. According to prominent polls, many professing Christians agree with this “works-based” theology. Their motto might be, “As far as I can, do my best. Let God have mercy on all the rest.” The emphasis is on doing “enough” good works and striving in all our own power to reach a higher, more noble level of living or attaining God’s acceptance. What do you think?
Two thoughts come to my mind about this matter:
1. Even IF this were true, what about on the other ends of this spectrum? Were you cast into this world at birth by some random chance or was there a heavenly design imprinted upon your soul? And at the other end of the spectrum, what happens after you die? Some of my friends believe they will be reincarnated, hopefully to a higher level. Others think they will become fodder for the worms, energy for what eventually grows from that spot. IF this were true, are we disadvantaged living the Christian life with no hope of resurrection? One Christian said “I’d rather live my life as if there’s God, and die to find out there isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”
Though this popular statement appeals to me at some level, Paul takes it further and disagrees:
“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. – 1 Corinthians 15:13-19
Some live in faith there is no life ever after. We maintain there is, through the power of the resurrection of Jesus. Paul says that if our faith is misplaced it is futile and we are to be pitied. However we stand firm in our faith which brings power after death . . . AND right now as we live.
2. Is life really the same from the womb to the tomb for all religions? First, let’s consider that true Christianity is not a religion but a personal relationship with a personal God. This relationship is based on a living God, Jesus, who not only died for our sins but was raised from the dead, giving power to raise us from the dead and live with him forever. But there’s more. He gave us his very Spirit so we could have his authority and power in THIS life. Like many Christians, I lived much of my life more in defeat than victory because I was trying to overcome my troubles in my own power. It’s not until we cooperate with the Holy Spirit who lives in us that we find contentment and peace in place of peril, assurance in time of doubt, victory in the face of failure, and hope in the face of despair. Isn’t that what you want?!
The power of the Holy Spirit is what makes true Christianity different in this present life AND in the life ever after. It really does matter what you believe, when you act on that belief.
Application: Am I living in victory because of the Spirit? If nor, what do I need to do today to claim that victorious life style?