Heaven…what a great topic to talk about…if you’re a Christian. Not so great if you’re not.
Hinduism… ‘Nirvana’ (the Hindu concept of heaven) is reached when the good deeds in all of your past lives outweigh the bad deeds. Then your soul, your identity, becomes absorbed and disappears into the Universal Soul. In other words, you cease to exist. It’s comparable to a raindrop (your soul) falling into the ocean (the Universal Soul). Not much to look forward to, is it?
Buddhism…’Nirvana’ (the Buddhist concept of heaven which is a little different than the Hindu concept) is reached when after many reincarnated lives, you reach a state where you will be free of all ‘desires’. But you’ll have to be a monk to reach Nirvana in this Earthly life. A monk must abandon his family, friends & occupation and join a monastery. WOW, not cool at all!
According to an old Buddhist tradition, a woman can never reach Nirvana even if she becomes a monk. In her last reincarnated life, she must be reborn as a man who becomes a monk. Somehow I don’t see women flocking to Buddhism!
When you reach Nirvana and then die, your soul (your identity) will be extinguished forever. It is comparable to a candle’s flame being snuffed out. Again, not much to look forward to.
Islam…If you’re a good Muslim, when you die, if you’re good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you’ll make it into Paradise (the Islamic heaven). In Paradise, men will have sex with 72 virgins every day. The next day, those same women will be virgins all over again. The men will also get to have pure water, pure milk and pure wine everyday (this stems from Muslims living in the desert). The men wouldn’t have time to think about spiritual things as all their time will be taken up by their wives. The Islamic Paradise is a sensual one, not a spiritual one. The Muslim men are not changed in Paradise. They’re the same as they were on Earth, with the same strengths & weaknesses. Wouldn’t this get boring after awhile? No new challenges, no new adventure, you’re not learning any new things. And what about the Islamic women? Or is Paradise for men only?
Christianity…you’ll be changed into something perfect. You’ll discover new things, learn and explore to your hearts content. Your personality will be all that God made you to be without any negatives. God will have forgiven your sins and removed your sin nature so that only great things will remain. You will be perfect for all eternity. There will be no boredom. Now this view of heaven sounds AWESOME! To get a fuller view of what heaven may be like, take our course “Heaven and Hell”. Its free and on this website.
Shouldn’t our view of heaven affect the kind of person we are now? We can enjoy life’s journeys now but we must keep our eyes on the prize (heaven). We need to be faithful in dealing with life’s failures and disappointments now so we can spend eternity with Jesus and our loved ones.
What are you living for now? Is it for your own dreams and aspirations? Or do you want to fulfill God’s dreams for your life? Are you living in light of heaven? What are you doing to seek that out and apply it to your life right now?
“Kingdom of the Cults” by Walter Martin & Hank Hanegraaff
“Heaven” by Randy Alcorn
For His Kingdom,