Bringing together non-believers …
If you talk to a Christian about heaven, you can clearly understand that the notion of heaven and everlasting life is imaginary. Each conversation will be different, but a typical conversation might go something like this:
Chris: Jesus transcends death and promises eternal life to all who believe in him! Lift up your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and he will give you eternal life!
Norm: How will he do that?
Chris: You should! They have sold over 20 million copies of the book, because it is the truth! It describes exactly what will happen. One day the Lord Jesus calls his children home, and they are carried straight to heaven! Airplanes crash because their pilots have vanished. Cars run into phone poles. This is exactly what is described in the Bible.
Norm: The people completely vanish?
Chris: Yes. All that is left behind is their clothes, their jewelry and their hearing aids! The believers are transported directly to heaven!
Norm: Their naked bodies are transported to heaven?
Norm: There are six billion people on the planet. They each weigh about 150 pounds or so. Are you telling me that God lifts a trillion pounds of human flesh off the planet in an instant?
Chris: Absolutely not! Only the believers are transported!
Norm: OK, half a trillion pounds?
Norm: And where does this half a trillion pounds of flesh go?
Chris: To heaven!
Norm: To heaven… where is that?
Chris: It is in another dimension, of course! God lives in heaven!
Norm: How do all the bodies get to this “other dimension” called “heaven”? Do they float up into the sky and then travel through the vacuum of space?
Chris: No, silly! They are dematerialized and then rematerialize in heaven!
Norm: So you are saying that half a trillion pounds of naked human flesh are somehow “dematerialized” out of our universe, and then they “rematerialize” in “another dimension” called “heaven?” And the “dematerializing” process somehow distinguishes between natural human flesh and unnatural things like clothing and hearing aids?
Norm: So… what if the person has artificial heart valves, a couple of stents and two titanium hip joints? Are those ripped out of his body and left behind with his jewelry?
Norm: And what happens to that poor person, whose heart collapses and whose legs are now flopping around detached from his pelvis?
Chris: The book doesn’t really talk about that… I imagine God would fix them up!
Norm: And what about all the people whose bodies are wracked with cancer and AIDS and emphysema?
Chris: God fixes them all up too!
Norm: And what about all the decrepit 80-year-old bodies?
Chris: God gives them new, young, beautiful bodies!
Norm: And what about all the people whose bodies have died and decomposed?
Chris: God gives them young, new, beautiful bodies too!
Norm: So why bother transporting the bodies of the believers to heaven? Why not just give everyone a new, young, beautiful body and leave their old bodies on earth?
Chris: The Bible says that your body is transported to heaven! It is right there in black and white in the “Left Behind” books! That is God’s will!
Norm: OK, so heaven is full of people whose bodies or corpses or whatever have been “dematerialized” from earth, and then “rematerialized” in “heaven.” And then the dematerialized/rematerialized bodies are discarded, and they are replaced with new, young, beautiful bodies?
Chris: Yes! Now you understand the power of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Norm: What happens next?
Chris: The believers all live in heaven in peace, harmony and joy for eternity!
Norm: What is heaven like?
Chris: We get to reunite with all of our dead friends and family members! We get to meet our ancestors for the first time!
Norm: What about people like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin?
Chris: Everyone is there! You can talk to anyone all through history! Plus you get to meet God and Jesus. I can’t wait to meet Jesus!
Norm: That sounds like fun. What else?
Chris: Well, the streets are paved in gold! It says so in the Bible! And everyone has a big house! And you can eat whatever you want and not get fat! And really, you just do anything that makes you happy! Everyone is always happy!
And so on.
After listening to a conversation like this, it should be obvious to all of us: Heaven is imaginary. It is all completely imaginary.
Heaven is a fairy tale invented by human imagination. And each person’s fairy tale is different.
We imagine that we have “souls,” fabricate the concept of “eternal life” and then fantasize a place called “heaven,” complete with streets of gold, calorie-free foods, frolicking virgins and whatever else we can come up with. Christians imagine it so vividly and repeat the fantasy so often that they actually believe it to be reality.
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