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Featured Would you be a Christian if there was no afterlife?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by MMXX, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

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    I decided to reword this.

    The Old Testament has very little to say about what happens in the afterlife. Yet throughout the OT many worshipped and served God, even to the point of execution. So hypothetically speaking if heaven and hell were put aside, would you still follow Jesus?

    Answers could be something like "no way, I'm just in this because I don't want to fry" or "yes I would continue to follow Jesus no matter what" to "as long as the church serves coffee and doughnuts, I'm in"
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
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  2. NerdGirl

    NerdGirl The untamed daughter

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    Christianity wouldn't be Christianity without an afterlife, so...
     
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  3. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

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    What about what Christianity offers in this life? The Old Testiment doesn't have much to say about an afterlife, yet many throughout it worshiped God and obeyed Him. Even when being sentenced to death for it like in the Book of Daniel.
     
  4. JohnDB

    JohnDB Regular Member

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    Yes.
    Not because it's a more convenient lifestyle...or even easier.

    But because it is good.

    Nobody else has the lock on what is good except for Christianity.
     
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  5. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Yes. Jesus' mission was to establish the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. I think it's a better way to live. Jesus believed this was just the beginning of eternal life, but even if it's not I think it makes sense.

    If you just endure being a Christian because of what you hope is coming, you should reexamine your idea of the Christian life.
     
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  6. marc b

    marc b Member

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    If there is no afterlife, it means we are not spiritual beings, and Christ did not have to save us from spiritual death. Therefore there is no Christianity, and no one can be a Christian.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  7. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Life is lived in the shape of a "?" Supporter

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    No, because for me the main draw to Christianity has always been the understanding that I can be in the presence of Jesus Christ for eternity ...

    ... otherwise, philosophically speaking, it's all just an existential crap shoot.
     
  8. Brightmoon

    Brightmoon Apes and humans are all in family Hominidae.

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    Probably yes, God demonstrated that He was there and that was good enough for me! Would I believe some of the sillier dogmas , no but I don’t accept a lot of the more abusive ones anyway!
     
  9. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.

    Christianity, to be a follower of Christ, encourages selfless living, loving, compassion, mercy, peace, honesty, integrity, humility. Everything that I do or feel or am that is in line with Christ's will and spirit, I feel good about, and am happy about and am thankful for and makes me a blessing to others.

    I tried it the other way, with myself as God of my own life.
    No one, absolutely no one, said "thank you".

    upload_2021-1-8_10-0-34.png

    But in this case, I think they happened. At least, they happened to me.

    Eternal life starts here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  10. ChetSinger

    ChetSinger Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, but probably not. "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied." - 1 Cor 15:19.
     
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  11. AK1982

    AK1982 Member

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    “No afterlife” means that I essentially do not have anything that has eternal existence ... means that my soul also is perishable just like my body.

    In that case , I see no punishment/judgement in force upon me, no need for Christ ..his birth and death, His deliverance for my soul, He preparing place for my eternal existence and His second coming ... Nothing makes sense if I have nothing in me that has eternal relevance. The “large part” of the Christian life and living looses its significance and relevance.

    I just wither and die like a plant and will be forgotten forever..

    Regarding choosing to be a Christian.. I think, given a chance to know God like I do now, I would still choose to walk with God even if it is just for this life alone because “what I could be/do & experience ” minus HIM is/was/will be very very little.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  12. Jesus is YHWH

    Jesus is YHWH my Lord and my God ! Supporter

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    Yet hope is at the heart of the Christian Faith.

    1 Corinthians 13:13
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    1 Thessalonians 1:3
    and continually recalling before our God and Father your work of faith, your labor of love, and your enduring hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 6:18-19
    God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

    1 Peter 1:21
    Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

    Strong's Concordance
    elpis: expectation, hope
    Original Word: ἐλπίς, ίδος, ἡ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
    Transliteration: elpis
    Phonetic Spelling: (el-pece')
    Definition: expectation, hope
    Usage: hope, expectation, trust, confidence.
    HELPS Word-studies
    1680 elpís (from elpō, "to anticipate, welcome") – properly, expectation of what is sure (certain); hope.

    Thayers
    much more frequent in the classics, and always in the N. T., in a good sense: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation: Acts 23:6; Acts 26:7; Romans 5:4; Romans 12:12; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 3:15; ἀγαθή ἐλπίς (often in secular authors, as Plato, Phaedo 67 c.; plural ἐλπίδες ἀγαθαί, legg. 1, p. 649 b.; Xenophon, Ages. 1, 27), 2 Thessalonians 2:16; ἐλπίς βλεπομένη, hope whose object is seen, Romans 8:24; ὁ Θεός τῆς ἐλπίδος, God, the author of hope, Romans 15:13; ἡ πληροθορια τῆς ἐλπίδος, fullness, i. e. certainty and strength of hope, Hebrews 6:11; ἡ ὁμολογία τῆς ἐλπίδος, the confession of those things which we hope for, Hebrews 10:23; τό καύχημα τῆς ἐλπίδος hope wherein we glory, Hebrews 3:6; ἐπεισαγωγή κρείττονος ἐλπίδος, the bringing in of a better hope, Hebrews 7:19; ἐλπίς with the genitive of the subjunctive, Acts 28:20; 2 Corinthians 1:7 (6); Philippians 1:20; with the genitive of the object, Acts 27:20; Romans 5:2; 1 Corinthians 9:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Titus 3:7; with the genitive of the thing on which the hope depends, ἡ ἐλπίς τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτῶν, Acts 16:19; τῆς κλήσεως, Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 4:4; τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, Colossians 1:23; with the genitive of the person in whom hope is reposed, 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (cf. Buttmann, 155 (136)). ἐπ' (or ἐφ' — so Acts 2:26 L T; Romans 4:18 L; () T WH; cf. Scrivener, Introduction, etc., p. 565; (but see above, at the beginning)) ἐλπίδι, relying on hope, having hope, in hope (Euripides, Herc. fur. 804; Diodorus Siculus 13, 21; ἐπ' ἐλπίδι ἀγαθή, Xenophon, mem. 2, 1, 187 (Winers Grammar, 394 (368), cf. 425 (396); Buttmann, 337 (290)): Acts 2:26 (of a return to life); Romans 4:18; with the genitive of the thing hoped for added: ζωῆς αἰωνίου, Titus 1:2; τοῦ μετέχειν, 1 Corinthians 9:10 (G L T Tr WH); in hope, followed by ὅτι, Romans 8:20 (21) (but Tdf. reads διότι); on account of the hope, for the hope (Buttmann, 165 (144)), with the genitive of the thing on which the hope rests, Acts 26:6. παῥ ἐλπίδα, beyond, against, hope (Winer's Grammar, 404 (377)): Romans 4:18 (i. e. where the laws of nature left no room for hope). ἔχειν ἐλπίδα (often in Greek writings): Romans 15:4; 2 Corinthians 3:12; with an infinitive belonging to the person hoping, 2 Corinthians 10:15;
     
  13. NerdGirl

    NerdGirl The untamed daughter

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    The afterlife and divine has never *not* been a part of Christianity, so... I'm not sure this is a practical question.
     
  14. Jesus is YHWH

    Jesus is YHWH my Lord and my God ! Supporter

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    I always think conversations like this that are not based upon reality and facts are nothing but futile speculations.
     
  15. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    I believe I would, because I think Jesus is correct and his teachings are good.
     
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  16. NerdGirl

    NerdGirl The untamed daughter

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    I just don't see the point of it (no offense, OP). It's like saying "Would you like looking at the stars if there were no sky?" One doesn't work without the other. There IS no Christianity without the divine, beyond-earth life.
     
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  17. Jesus is YHWH

    Jesus is YHWH my Lord and my God ! Supporter

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    Exactly and when we read John 14 below we have Jesus encouraging( giving hope) of the future to His disciples and letting them know He will be leaving them but also preparing a place for them to be with Him in the future to where He is going(heaven).

    John 14:1-4
    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

    hope this helps !!!
     
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  18. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  19. MMXX

    MMXX Brian

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    Well what I'm looking for is people's motivation for being a Christian. Is it just to stay out of hell and get into heaven?
     
  20. JohnDB

    JohnDB Regular Member

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    Going back to my original...

    Aside from all the heavy theological positions..

    I live in a community. No matter what I do I will have some sort of affect upon the community... even if it's hiding as much as possible from it. (But I don't)
    But if I inject as much good into the community I live in as possible...there will be others who will do the same. Pretty soon I have a nice community to live in.

    What others do is not relevant. Even if I take a "follower" role I don't have to follow or take part the bad stuff. Nor do I have to give it acceptance.

    As it is in a somewhat leadership position that I often find myself...I lead in positive directions. Sowing seeds of respectability, responsibility, and unmerited kindness creates an atmosphere that is recognized by everyone as a positive.
    These things are not illegal but are exactly what the scriptures are encouraging.

    When people want to know...they will ask. There's no one that I work with that doesn't know that I am a Christian. I don't preach at any of them. But many will indeed ask because life happens. They expect that I will state things, not in a condemning manner, but in a way that is for their benefit.

    Like the guy who was a porn dog...always looking at porn. Rather casual about it. Until the day came about that his daughter was rapidly gaining a reputation with the boys that wasn't exactly a positive or healthy. And he also found out that it was fairly accurate.
    Then had no clue as to what to do about it.

    Well scriptures have answers for this stuff...and he took it to heart. Sure he has to stop the porn...but he needed to know why as well as what to tell her.

    Then there's the books...when I'm looking at my phone at work I usually have a book loaded up...not Social Media. I exhibit the behaviors I profess.

    All this goes to input into the community I live in. People watch what you do...as well as what you say. Do you believe by living an example of what you claim to believe?
     
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