Faithful Servant

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matt 25:21

What do you think Gerald Ford, James Brown, and Saddam Hussein experienced after their passing?

It is certainly one of the mysteries of human existence.

But it is one that many people have thought and written about.

For those who read and believe the Bible, there is certainly some guidance. We Christians believe in a life after death where we have an opportunity learn more about our Creator.

Christians aren’t the only ones who believe that man is an eternal spirit. Most religions have some sense of existence past death. If nothing else it provides some purpose and direction to the life that we have here on earth.

One thought that I’ve been toying with, however, is that we experience exactly what we are expecting and that is where our next journey starts. So James Brown might find a God who looks a lot like Cynthia Robinson in her prime leading a tireless tight rhythm section that lives on the one and never misses a beat.

Gerald Ford on the other hand may find himself in front of someone who looks Coach Kipke mounting a huge comeback in the fourth quarter to beat OSU 42-38 in the 1934 game of his senior season. Or, based on his love of golf, it would be a perfect round similar to Caddyshack.

Saddam Hussein, however, is probably a darker picture. He was a Muslim, but clearly his actions didn’t align well with the tenets of his religion. His life was dominated by violence and ended in the same way. He might face the judgment of a fearful and demanding God. Or if his public displays were just for show, he might experience the despair of a seemingly uninhabited void. In his case it might take a while for him to figure out how to move beyond his thoughts of who he was and discover that God exists and loves him.

They all are on the next step of their journey of discovering more about themselves and their Creator. It is the common journey that unites all of us. For these three and everyone who has gone before us, bon voyage.

5 Responses to “Faithful Servant”

  1. Ria says:

    I always think about different people meeting their Maker. And of course, I had to grin when I thought of Hussein in that position.

    What you say is somewhat true. God and heaven is for many what their culture or religion represents. I find it interesting the Muslim world views heaven as a place with very worldly things. I think the Barbara Walter’s show about heaven interviewed children of different faiths. The Muslim children talked about eating all the ice cream they wanted. And the adults believe the sex with 7 virgins scenario. They are activities rooted in earthly pleasures.

    From my point of view, Hussein and his two rotten sons, are a little disappointed by now.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Ria,

    Thanks for the comment.

    As far as Hussein and his sons being disappointed, I think is is interesting to consider how they would feel if their immediate experiences were more or less what they expected and they found that unfulfilling. So now they are faced with an eternity of ice cream for example, and quickly discovered that ice cream for every meal very quickly transforms from a blessing to a very cruel punishment.

    When faced with eternity, the only joyful pursuit that I can imagine is the endless string of “ah ha” moments in learning more about an infinite God who loves you. Anything less than that, regardless of how pleasant it might appear now, will certainly become painful when considered in the context of eternity.

    What do you think?

    Jeff

  3. Ria says:

    That is straight out of an Outer Limits segment or Twilight Zone Jeff. Remember that one? Hell was exactly that. Whatever they enjoyed on earth, became there punishment in eternity.

    I believe that afterlife is what you propose also. Mary Lambert who has the HR blog, lost her brother, a dear friend of mine also, 7 years ago today. He was an inquisitive, oddball, in the most loving sense. He wanted to know about anything and everything. He was riddled with cancer. One thing that eased the fear of dying that is in all of us, is that he would soon know what we can only imagine here in this life. All the doors would open and he would experience all those Ah Ha’s as he moves closer to the Light.

    The thought that he was going to a new frontier, one without pain and the trappings of worldly things, where he could absorb the knowledge of the universe was a saving grace for him. He was like a sponge for that. I look forward to meeting him and my own father first. They will be my heavenly mentors. I know they absorbed all that could possibly be by now. It was their nature. And as in life, they were always anxious to pass it on.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Ria,

    Thanks for the lovely story of Mary Lambert’s brother.

    It certainly does make the passage from this life to the next less fearful.

    There is an interesting passage in Revelations that speaks to this.

    “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Rev 2:11

    What that says to me is those who believe in God and don’t fear death, don’t need to go through the experience again. They will have learned what they needed to the first time and grown close enough to God, that they can fully embrace eternity.

    Those who continue to hold on to aspects of their life here may still need additional death experiences to fully become the “new man” that the Bible speaks of.

    Perhaps the best that we can hope for everyone is that they make their transition gracefully and experience fully the joy that is waiting for them.

    Jeff

  5. Ria says:

    I’m with ya.The second death is the final judgment after the millenium. Evil is destroyed (Lake of Fire) to exist no more. If we are faithful in this life, we have no worry to suffer extinction in the second death. The Lake of Fire is reserved for the truly evil. I don’t believe there is an actual lake but is the act of disintegration.

    So this life is a test. The millenium is about teaching and a test. Flunk the test the second time around, you’re gone for good. I think the Lord has a very well thought out plan for sifting out real evil. And He’s definitely fair with two chances. Imagine, Hussein gets another chance. But then again by now he’s found no virgins and might be willing to change his tune.

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