Is the Christian hope to just be happy in your unhappy life because once your dead you’ll be happy in restoration?

Hello @mitchellmckain!
If you don’t mind, could you expand on this more, please?

The ones who most fervently enthuse toward an afterlife seem to be the “Lazarus’s” of this world who aren’t given much anything that would enamor them toward this one. And most of the rest of us (who have the affluent luxury of musing around and reading stuff right here, for example) seem to be the ones saddled with the most existential angst that they might not find the after-life entertainment itinerary to be “up-to-snuff” compared to a lot of great things they’re enjoying already here. Jesus’ story about Lazarus and the rich man speak directly into this.

One vision of heaven that I really, really hope toward is that it will be a relationship paradise. I love visions (or I would insist … glimpses) of it that we get from writers like H. Van Dyke (Christmas Angel) or Lewis (Last Battle) or even Young (The Shack). In that last mention, I recall a particular scene where someone encounters their dad, with whom they had a strained or outright broken relationship with for their entire life. My memory is fuzzy on the details all these years later, but I recall Young describing the meeting between this son and his dad in such a deeply honest (nothing now hidden) way that it brought new understanding with old lies or surface appearances culled away - quickly followed by deep love, and then healing. I remember being moved to tears just reading it and thinking, if this isn’t what heaven is like then it should be (or include it among the best of everything else that gets sustained and celebrated.)


I am reminded that throughout the Old Testament there was not a well developed theology of an afterlife, just a shadowy Sheol, yet Israel was called to follow and worship the one God. We too are called to follow Jesus, not because of what we can get out of it, but rather out of love


I think I’d have been required to call Child Protective Services. sends your inner child a cyber hug

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I believe in a God who is infinite. And I believe being made in the image of God means infinite potentiality to reflect God’s infinite actuality. It is the formula for an eternal relationship of parent and child where there is no end to growing up and becoming more like Him – an endless vista of new horizons in which to learn more about God and receiving what He has to give.

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I think that makes sense for what I think gives rise to God belief. We are as we are so very limited if we live our lives entirely within the narrow circle of what we can control. We have more power than we can safely control and usually too little wisdom to realize it. To realize that being eternally open to the gifts that can expand that circle without losing sight of the realization that has made that possible would be about as close to heaven as any of us will ever get, and however long that may last it will be as close as any of us will ever get to experiencing eternity. I don’t see that as a bad deal.

To be sure life after death is part of it because we don’t see the promise realized in our physical life. But it is not to put off happiness to a later time but to extend what we begin right now to see more of it. But I am pretty sure we cannot expect death to bring any kind of reversal. Quite the contrary, I think it is like running out onto a smooth frozen lake, where our momentum will carry us on the same direction we have when we left the shore.

It was one of my reasons for choosing Christianity over other religions. Life is not all there is, but at the same time we have to get the most out of life while we can.

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No physical body or reality. Eternal peace of god that passeth all understanding.


I have no problem with atheism. Sound nice… almost too nice – sound a little bit too easy to me. I think there is more. Doesn’t have to be. But I think there is more. More life – and I think that is what Jesus promised. What Paul described was not, no body or no reality but a bodily resurrection to a spiritual body which is more powerful, more glorious, and imperishable (1 Cor 15), and Jesus described God’s house as a place of many mansions (John 14).


I just have no interest in a physical body with all that entails.


But the spiritual body is more not less. That is why what you say here makes so little sense to me. I feel like we are running into the problem of multiple meanings of the word “physical.” There is the meaning in the sense of “physical exercise” and the meaning in the sense of “physical sciences.” So Paul taught a physical/bodily resurrection not to a physical/natural body but to a spiritual body, not capable of less as the resurrected Jesus did no less but capable of more beyond the limitations of physical reality.

I am sorry, but your view of the Spiritual body is not mine.

And I do not see having no physicality as being less or a problem. I find eating, sleeping excreting and so on tiresome to say the least and have no desire to do it for eternity.


Doubtless… probably… but then I don’t see much comprehension of my view of the spiritual body in what you have said. And so the substance of this claim is a bit lacking…

Such consequences of the limitations of material physical reality don’t seem all that likely to me… But the spiritual reality I see is one of desire and the people desire different things. The resurrected Jesus ate with His disciples. I doubt this means that eating is a necessity for the spiritual body, but we can see that there is no lack in capability. For you it may be tiresome, but for others, cooking is a creative work and sharing their work with others is as godly and spiritual as other things we do.

You do not seem to understand either.

I want no distractions, just to be with God. I see that as utter fulfillment.


And other people are just as religiously and single mindedly devoted to football.

Just proves that you have no idea what I am talking about.


Possible… but I very much doubt that understanding what you are talking about requires narrow horse blinders to see only what you choose to see, or value only what you choose to value.

I am reminded of the difficulty I have with the usual Christian formula for scripture as inspired. I just don’t see the inspiration of God being so small and exclusive. To me it looks like the inspiration of God rains down upon us in a torrent filling most of the things we see in life. For this reason I think the Bible being the word of God has more to do with His proprietor rights prohibiting fixing the Bible as we see fit and about the Bible’s authority for the Christian religion.

So some find the inspiration of God hiking in nature, others in music or art, other people find it the work of discovery in science, others find it in a good book or movie, while others find the inspiration of God in the interactions with people – even simple service, whether cleaning up after them or cooking and serving them food.

Thanks for that, Mark!

This experience is an example, why I don’t see “Fundamentalism” everywhere it is often claimed to be sighted. I would call that church deeply fundamentalist. The Big Three "I"s are often cited around the neighborhood as proof of fundamentalism. But there are real differences in how the ideas of inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility are understood and applied. This church is probably not even a worst case scenario , but it certainly was not good.

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