Will Sick or Disabled People Return to Good Health in the Spiritual World?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named A. Watson:

My father suffered a stroke before he died and was left unable to speak and paralysed. I would like to know if he, and others, are healed in the spiritual world and return to good health. I have been waiting for a sign from him since he passed and have been worried that he is stuck in the same state and unable to contact me. This is contrary to what I have always believed and I know he would be unhappy in that state which bothers me as I hope he is at peace.

Thanks for the good question, A. Watson. I’m sorry to hear about the stroke your father suffered before his death. I hope I will be able to put your mind at ease.

Here is the short answer:

A stroke victim

A stroke victim

When we die and move on to the spiritual world, we leave our physical body behind, and live in our spiritual body instead. We therefore also leave behind any handicaps or sicknesses that have purely physical causes. In other words, since your father has now left his physical body behind, the stroke that affected his physical body is no longer a factor in the spiritual world where he now lives.

Ordinarily, when we leave our physical body behind, we also leave behind all of its handicaps and illnesses.

However, for people who strongly identify with their handicap or sickness, there may be some time period in the spiritual world when it still persists. That’s because our spiritual body responds directly and immediately to our thoughts and feelings. So if being sick or handicapped is a strong part of our identity as a person, our spiritual body may reflect that for a shorter or longer time.

Some people who have been sick or handicapped for a long time may also need some time to adjust to having a healthy, fully functional body. So there may be a transition period for them as well when they enter the spiritual world.

But for people who hate their physical sicknesses and handicaps, long for full health and fitness, and are fit and healthy in their minds, their physical limitations and maladies will be immediately removed upon death, and they will enjoy full physical and mental health right away.

I see no reason why this wouldn’t be the case for your father.

Let’s take a closer look.

(Image credit: WalesOnline)

For more on sickness and health in the spiritual world, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Pain and Suffering, The Afterlife

Did Jesus ever actually say, “If you don’t believe in me you will go to hell”?

The question is:

Did Jesus ever actually say, “If you don’t believe in me you will go to hell”?

Short answer: No, Jesus never actually said that.

He did say some things that seem to imply it, and that are often interpreted that way. But in those instances, the context shows it is never mere lack of belief in Jesus (as that is usually understood today) that he said would cause a person to go to hell.

Let’s look at:

  1. What Jesus said in the Gospels specifically about hell.
  2. Two of the passages most commonly interpreted to mean that Jesus says that those who don’t believe in him will go to hell.
  3. Jesus’ clearest and most direct teaching about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.

For more on what Jesus said about hell, please click here to read on.

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Posted in The Afterlife, The Bible Re-Viewed

Will Happily Married Couples be Together in Heaven?

The first article in this series, “Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?” responded to a Spiritual Conundrum from a reader named Nita, in which she wrote:

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

I am widow and a believer in Jesus Christ. . . . I am so lonely without my husband of 38 years, we did everything together, even in the ministry. Will we be together in heaven? Jesus told the religious leaders that there will be no marriage in heaven. I miss my husband so much, my life without him has been turned upside down. Many tell me move on with my life and find someone else. He was my soulmate. Please help me understand! Thank you. I still trust God and love him.

Sincerely,

Very Sad Widow

As I said in that first article, contrary to popular belief Jesus did not say that there’s no marriage in heaven!

The second article, “Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning,” goes into much greater depth on Jesus’ teaching about marriage in the afterlife. If you want all the nitty-gritty details, or you’ve been told by your minister or priest that there’s no marriage in heaven and you’re skeptical of anyone who says otherwise, I invite you to read those two articles.

In this third and final article in the series, I’ll simply deliver the good and comforting news to this Very Sad Widow, and to every other widow and widower who dearly loved a partner in marriage—not to mention everyone who is happily married and is deeply troubled by the words in the traditional Christian wedding vows, “till death do us part.” That news is:

Your marriage will continue after death. You will live with your beloved husband or wife forever in heaven. The two of you will continue to grow together in love, understanding, happiness, and joy to all eternity. Death has no power over what God has joined together.

In his book Marriage Love, originally published in, 1768 Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) provides a detailed description of what happens for married couples after death. In the rest of this article we’ll quote and expand upon a few key passages from that book about man, woman, and the afterlife, and what happens there for happily married couples.

For more on eternal marriage, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife

Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning

Are you in a happy marriage that you hope will continue forever in heaven? Has your beloved husband or wife died, and you hope and pray that you will be able to rejoin him or her when it comes your time to die? Do you long for a loving and eternally growing marriage even if you haven’t yet experienced it yourself?

If so, you are certainly not alone. And the news is better than you’ve been told!

Traditional Christian churches teach that there is no marriage in heaven. In the previous article, “Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?” we looked closely at Jesus’ words to the Sadducees, which is where they got that idea:

The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34–36)

That article made these three points, focusing mostly on the first one:

  1. Marriage in Jesus’ day, and throughout most of human history, was not what many people today think of as marriage: a relationship based on love and a union of mind and heart. Rather, it was a legal and social arrangement that granted certain rights and privileges to married people and their children. These legal rights and privileges are unnecessary in the afterlife. The marriage that doesn’t exist in heaven is legal marriage, not spiritual marriage.
  2. Jesus simply didn’t say that there is no marriage in heaven. He said people don’t get married in heaven. In other words, his statement was about the act of getting married, not the state of being married. And spiritually, we get married here on earth, not in heaven.
  3. Jesus says elsewhere that marriage was created by God from the beginning. And what God does is not temporary, but eternal. The human institution of legal marriage that exists on earth is temporary, and does not exist in heaven. But true spiritual marriage is made by God, and is therefore eternal.

In this second article in a series of three, we will expand on the second and third points, which were covered only briefly in the first article. In looking at the deeper meaning of Jesus’ words we will draw on the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772).

Whether or not you have already experienced a close and loving marriage relationship, here is the good news: true spiritual marriage does last forever. And people who long for it will experience it in heaven even if they don’t find it here on earth.

That is, we will experience it if we do the work of spiritual rebirth that is our primary task during our lifetime here on earth. In fact, that is the deeper meaning of Jesus’ words about marriage in the resurrection.

This is a huge topic! But if you truly want a deeper understanding of Jesus’ words, I invite you to settle in for a brain-bending and spiritually challenging read.

For more eternal marriage and spiritual rebirth, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, Spiritual Growth, The Afterlife

Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?

Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did not say that there’s no marriage in heaven. What he did say is that people who achieve eternal life don’t get married in the afterlife. There’s a big difference!

Elderly lovers

Elderly lovers

Further, marriage in Jesus’ day was very different from what many people think of as marriage today. It had nothing to do with “true love,” “soulmates,” or any inner connection at all. Believe it or not, the concept of marriage as a relationship based on love developed in human society only within the last two or three centuries, and it has become widespread only within the last half century or so.

For Jesus’ listeners, and throughout most of human history, marriage was what we today would call a contractual and business relationship. Its purpose was to provide financial advantages and social recognition to married couples and their clans, and to perpetuate the family’s lineage, property, and inheritance. And as Jesus said, that sort of marriage does not exist in heaven. There is no need for it there.

And yet, there is more to Jesus’ words than meets the eye. Jesus was a master of metaphor and parable. If we look at his words more deeply, we can learn a great deal about what kind of marriage does and doesn’t exist in heaven. And more importantly, we can learn a great deal about how to live here on earth so that we can experience real, eternal marriage in heaven.

Yes, there is marriage in heaven. We’ll get to that, and to the deeper message of Jesus’ words, in the next two articles.

In this article, we’ll look at exactly what Jesus did and didn’t say about marriage and the afterlife. Though it may get a little detailed and technical at times, that is necessary in order to dispel the myths and misunderstandings about marriage and the afterlife that have been rampant in Christianity for nearly two thousand years now.

If you don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty, but just want the basics about spiritual marriage and the afterlife, please read this article instead: “How does Marriage Fit In with a Spiritual Life? Is There Marriage in Heaven?

However, if your minister or priest has told you there’s no marriage in heaven because Jesus said so, and you need something more solid and comprehensive to put your mind (and your heart) at rest, then this is the article for you.

For more on marriage and the afterlife, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife, The Bible Re-Viewed

A Star in the East

For a video reading of this article on YouTube, click here.

Matthew 2:1–12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. He called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, and asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written, ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

Herod called the wise men secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go, make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another way.

A star in the east

A star in the east

For more on a star in the east, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, The Bible Re-Viewed

God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks? – Part 5

(This is Part 5 and the conclusion of my response to the article, “God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks,” by J. H. McKenna. For Part 1, click here. For Part 4, click here.)

Points 19–21 of Dr. McKenna’s article make the closing argument, which in a nutshell is: “There just plain ain’t no God, and if you’re smart, you’ll figure that out!”

19. God belief can be explained naturally (and that makes God unconvincing)

Under this heading, Dr. McKenna writes:

Modern university disciplines like anthropology, psychology, sociology, evolutionary biology, and evolutionary psychology adequately explain the rise and success of religion and God belief. In prehistoric times, simple ignorance of natural causes led people to suppose there were super-natural causes for things. And when the natural causes were eventually discovered by some new science, some part of the super-natural God dissolved. It was thought for thousands of years that a God dragged the sun across the day-time sky in a chariot. Then came astronomy and cosmology and astrophysics to explain the real reason the sun appears to move across the sky. It was thought for thousands of years that God or demons cause diseases. Then medical science and biology uncovered germs. It was thought that God painted all the rainbows. Then came meteorology and optics with the true explanation. And on and on. Psychology has credible ideas about the rise of the ‘Father-Figure’ God.

I already dealt with some of this under point 14, in Part 4.

The idea that “In prehistoric times, simple ignorance of natural causes led people to suppose there were super-natural causes for things” is simply a matter of opinion. It begs the question. Were these university-trained Smart Folks actually there in prehistoric times? Do they actually know that this is where the earliest concepts of God came from?

No. They don’t know this at all. It’s simply an explanation they’ve come up with that sounds plausible to people who don’t believe in God and are trying to figure out where the idea of God came from. It is based on an already existing assumption that there is no God and no spiritual realm.

This is no different from religious folks who have already decided what they believe going to their holy books to “prove” that their beliefs are right. The human mind can be very ingenious in coming up with “explanations” for what it already believes. And this applies to atheists just as much as it applies to religious folks.

In reality, all of this is pure speculation.

For more on “There just plain ain’t no God!” please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, Science Philosophy and History

God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks? – Part 4

(This is Part 4 of my response to the article, “God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks,” by J. H. McKenna. For Part 1, click here. For Part 3, click here.)

Points 12–18 of Dr. McKenna’s article deal with big issues of God’s causative position and beneficial effects on the universe and humanity.

12. God is not a convincing cause of the universe

Under this heading, Dr. McKenna writes:

God is not a solution as to the origin of the universe but only another layer of mystery. What caused God? It’s more believable that a material universe emerged from preexistent matter or energy than from a non-material Mind.

More believable for materialists, yes. Because their basic assumption is that nothing but the material universe exists. It’s not anything they can prove, any more than theists can prove that God exists. On that, see the article, “Where is the Proof of the Afterlife?

These days, all sorts of wild theories about the physical universe are coming out of science itself, and from philosophers of science. Is the universe a hologram? asks Science Daily. How about a Multiverse—another current theory that is probably unprovable. And if those two aren’t enough for you, see Top 10: Weirdest cosmology theories on New Scientist.

For more on God as the cause of everything good, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, Science Philosophy and History

God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks? – Part 3

(This is Part 3 of my response to the article, “God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks,” by J. H. McKenna. For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here.)

Points 6–11 of Dr. McKenna’s article deal with human experience of and testimony about God, and with the phenomenon of divine revelation.

6. Personal testimonies of God are unconvincing

Under this heading, Dr. McKenna writes:

People who testify that they experience God in some way are found in every religion under the sun during the entire span of human history. Does the personal testimony of an ancient polytheist convince you all those ancient Gods existed? Does the personal testimony of a Voodooist convince you of the truth of Voodoo? Does the personal testimony of a Caodaist convince you of the truth of Caodai? All these people have had ‘an experience’ (a sensation or a special feeling) but it wasn’t God they experienced: it was a ‘feeling’ triggered by the very idea of God.

It’s true enough that the experiences of others really can’t convince us that there is a God. Nor does God want the experiences of others to be the only basis for our own faith in God. That’s something we must each come to for ourselves, in our own way. And atheists, of course, are perfectly free to convince themselves that there is no God.

For more on the human experience of God, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, Science Philosophy and History, The Bible Re-Viewed

God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks? – Part 2

(This is Part 2 of my response to the article, “God Is Unconvincing To Smart Folks,” by J. H. McKenna. For Part 1, click here.)

Points 3, 4, and 5 of Dr. McKenna’s article deal with three key characteristics of God: God’s omniscience, God’s omnibenevolence, and God’s omnipotence.

3. God as all-knowing is unconvincing

Under this heading, Dr. McKenna writes:

Does God know terror, fear, pain, indigestion, menstruation, sexual attraction, sexual climax, pregnancy? Does God know the last number? No one is all knowing. Again, a nonsensical claim.

So God really is just a slob like one of us, with all of our limitations?

(And hmm . . . more issues about God and sex . . .)

Yes, God does know all of these things, if only because God fully knows every one of us—in fact, much more fully than we know ourselves—and is fully present in every one of our experiences, whether or not we are aware of it.

We don’t need to get down into the nitty-gritty of exactly how all of these things might exist within the nature of God. We wouldn’t be able to understand most of it anyway because our minds are finite whereas God is infinite. Suffice it to say that everything in the created universe is, in one way or another, an expression of the nature of God. The things we experience don’t exist in the same form in God as they do in us. After all, our reality is limited to the physical and the spiritual, whereas God exists on the divine level of reality. But all of these things do exist in divine form in God.

However, it is also important to understand that much of what we experience, though ultimately derived from God, is a distorted version of its original version in God. We’ll get to the problem of evil in a moment, too.

For more on God as all-knowing, all-good, and all-powerful, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, Pain and Suffering, Science Philosophy and History
Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

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