Everlasting Life and Heaven
Yogi C. M. Chen
Everlasting life is the subject, existence in heaven is the object. In Eph. 5:5 we learn that heaven is the kingdom of Christ and God. In as much as that same verse tells us what kind of persons will not go to heaven, we know that Christ, God, the angels and good Christians all go to heaven. This is also substantiated in many other verses in the Bible, such as: I Kings 8:39--"Then hear thou in heaven Thy dwelling place"; in Mat. 6:9 Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father who art in heaven"; and Mat. 18:10 warning against harm to the little ones (humble disciples) says, "That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven"; John 14:2--"I go to prepare a place for you in my Father's house"; Heb. 4:9--"A rest to the people of God"; Heb. 11:16--"They desire a better (country)... a heavenly country".
In short, heaven is the final goal of the successful Christian and must be considered first in a discussion of everlasting life.
II Corinthians 5:1 indicates that life in heaven is eternal. Unfortunately, we learn elsewhere in the Bible that heaven is not eternal at all, e.g. II Sam. 22:8--"The foundations of heaven moved and shook"; John 26:11--"The pillars of heaven will tremble"; Rev. 6:14--"..heaven will be departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island will be moved out of their places"; Rev. 20:11--"Earth and heaven fled away".
God created heaven and earth within seven days. Many thousands of years have passed since then. Many angels, prophets and saints including our Lord Jesus have ascended there. What will happen when heaven is destroyed? The Bible promises that a new heaven will be created, but this will occur in 7 days also. Between the period of the destruction and recreation of heaven where will its inhabitants be and what will happen to them?
Many saints in the past like Francis and Theresa must have gone to heaven to attain everlasting life because they put the Christian teachings into practice, especially the seven mysteries taught by our Lord in the following parables: Mat. 13:8--They choose good ground; Mat. 13:24-30--Sowed good seeds, and burned away the tares; Mat. 13:31-32--They waited many times for the little mustard seeds to grow up; Mat. 13:33--and for the leaven to leaven the whole meal; Mat. 13:44--They sold all that they had and bought the good field which hid a treasure; Mat. 13:45-46--And sold all that they had to buy the pearl of great price; Mat. 13:47-48--They cast away all the bad fish and gathered the good ones into vessels. They forsook all worldly things (family, treasures, etc.) and painfully mastered many temptations in order to attain everlasting life in heaven. Why should they be treated worse by God in heaven than they would have been had they gone to hell? As II Peter 3:12 said, "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved" (and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll.) Isaiah 34:5-6 cruelly says that God's sword is filled with blood and made fat with fatness. Would our Lord Jesus and prophet Moses be destroyed with Satan too? What a pain pierces the heart when I think of this. If heaven is destroyed, what does everlasting life mean? If our Lord will not be destroyed why did Mat. 24:36 say, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
When I reached this point, I could not continue any longer. I was weeping, moved by a great pity for those in Heaven. I kneeled down before the crucifixion and prayed with great devotion. After my prayer I immediately sat in a perfect pose and joined the Dharmakaya, Holy Ghost and my Bodhiheart. In a state of deep concentration I awaited the answer. After a half hour the number 5721 suddenly appeared to me in the light of my concentration. I understood that to be the number of a page in my Bible. When I completed my concentration, I opened the Bible to page 5721 and at once found a verse which I had previously underlined. It said, "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost". This was the clear answer to my prayer. Even heaven may burn in fire but never the Holy Ghost. Everlasting life is in the Holy Ghost and not in any elements that can be burned by fire.
But then a new problem arises: If everlasting life is established in the Holy Ghost and not in heaven, it can be attained during one's lifetime. But the scriptures always say everlasting life is attained after death. Beliefs in accordance with the Old and New Testaments have described heaven as "The word used of the abode of the redeemed after death."
Another problem is: how do we awaken the Holy Ghost strongly enough in us to establish everlasting life. By good deeds we only get a good abode (such as heaven), but to receive the Holy Ghost we should practice deep concentration. The Bible does not teach us how to concentrate on and understand the Holy Ghost. Buddhism does and we should therefore accept and practice the Buddhist doctrines that teach concentration.
Buddhism teaches that heaven is a part of transmigration. The Bible tells us that heaven is created and will be destroyed by God and another recreated. Both scriptures therefore have the same view about heaven. In truth whatever has a birth must have a death; whatever has a creator must have a destroyer; and whatever has a beginning must have an end. Heaven cannot be an exception.
However, it is true that life in heaven is longer and more comfortable than life on earth. But even more than heaven, we should try to attain real everlasting life. According to Buddhism we may escape from the destruction of heaven.
The final goal in Buddhism is Nirvana. Nir means no birth and vana means no death. It may be attained during one's lifetime. It is our great Holy Ghost named Dharmakaya which has no beginning and no end. It is real everlasting life. There are five signs of decay in heaven before death; they are: uncontrolled discharges, the withering of flowers, unpleasant odors, sweating armpits, and uneasiness. But to the contrary, there are eight powers in Nirvana namely: permanence, peace (both religions say that there are wars in heaven, Rev. 12:7,19:14); purity, joy; transcendence; no decay; no death; no disturbances.
My dear readers, try to compare these differences and attain the heavenly conditions as the foundation to attaining Nirvana. Let us pray:
May Almighty God never be wrathful. May all heavenly and human beings bring forth good fruits of Karma to make God happy forever. May all living beings get the final goal of Nirvana by the protection of God.
[Home][Back to main list][Back to Chenian][Go to Dr. Lin's works]