Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Anonymous raises more questions. The latest is "How about salvation and a hope for eternal life? How about a hope for a (sic) miricle?" Both of these are interesting questions in that they assume a belief structure. First and foremost, those who know me well know I am Christian and believe in God. It may not be the kind of Christian belief structure Anonymous has, but it is one that works for me.

So how about salvation and a hope for eternal life? Too late. I am already saved; His salvation is mine. As to a hope for eternal life, this whole premise is predicated not on Biblical pronouncement but on interpretations of very limited coverage in the Bible, often used to manipulate the uneducated or those unwilling to accept that they just don't know. In fact, the Bible reveals very few concrete details about heaven, the afterlife and what happens when we die.

What the Bible does say about death and the afterlife is mostly drawn not from the words of Jesus but from the Apostle Paul. He wrote to the Corinthians about death, saying "Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) Remember, these are not the words of Jesus, but the words of Paul attempting to interpret what Jesus had to say about life after death.

Perhaps the clearest statement from Jesus about eternal life comes in the Gospel of John; "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3 ) There are several other passages in the New Testament that offer comments from Jesus on "life eternal", mostly around the need to believe and trust in God.

The simple truth is that none of us really knows what happens when we die. There is no documentation, no testamentary evidence, no communication of any sort that tells us what happens. As far as we know, when we die, we just cease to exist.

As for me, I am not afraid of death. The dying part is easy. It's the living part that is hard. This disease is tough to live with, slow in progression, debilitating, humiliating and frustrating. If I want to be saved, it is not from death but from this kind of life. Everybody dies. Me too. I am just keeping track, very publicly, of the process. Death will be my salvation.

As to a (sic) "miricle", I have a few opinions on that too, but not today.


  1. As Paul McCartney observed when asked about a Beatles reunion, "until such time as there is postal service in the afterlife we shall not be able to invite John."

    You stated the situation quite well Rick. There is nobody reporting back on conditions hereafter.

  2. If there was a miracle in this my dear I would be praying for it too. There is no more to say , you have said it all.

  3. If you have been given salvation in Christ, does that affect how you live your life?

  4. Anonymous, you keep pushing on this almost as if you had an agenda. What is it?

  5. It appears there are more than one Anonymous. The intent of the original comment was to encourage you by saying there is hope for an eternal future (salvation) and a hope for a temporal future (miricle). I just wanted to be helpful, but now am confused. Are you saying one can have salvation but not eternal life? Faith is believing in something that has no evidence. The most educated still cannot cure all the ill in the world. Compared to God, the most educated are still uneducated.

  6. Well, I can't stay out of this one... :) Richard, what is the point of salvation without eternal life? Saved, yes, but for what purpose if not for eternal life?
    There definitely are many books written about heaven and the Bible definitely does say things about heaven and eternal life. I highly recommend Randy Alcorn's book, 'Heaven'. The author has done extensive Biblical study on the topic and covers all kinds of questions we all have about heaven and eternal life.
    As well, you say there's no evidence that there is a heaven. Well, without commenting on the array of 'near-death' experiences written about (you can't believe them all...) two books come to mind - '90 Minutes in Heaven' by Don Piper and (even if you think it's hokey) 'Heaven is For Real'. In the first book the man was actually pronounced dead and left by emergency crews. In the second, it's the comments made afterwards by a little boy who was near death that are telling. You can dismiss them, but read them first. :)
    Eternal life is real, Richard. There is a heaven and there is a hell. Salvation is not just about saying a prayer and saying 'I'm forgiven. I'm saved.' You have to understand what you're saved from.
    I am glad you're writing this blog, Richard. You are a talented writer and I believe the honesty in your blog educates those of us who had no idea about ALS before, as well as giving hope and encouragement to those who have the disease.