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Christian Theology And Yolo Essay

1618 words - 7 pages

Carpe diem, hakuna matata, you only live once, YOLO; regardless of how one says it, all of these phrases mean the same thing: life is too short to live with worries. The only thing to be certain of in this life, of course, is that it will one day end. Depending on one’s religious beliefs, however, choices made in this life may affect the afterlife. According to Christian theology, this is certainly true. Although the Old Testament, New Testament, writings of Christian thinkers like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, and Dante’s Divine Comedy vary slightly between interpretations of the afterlife, they all make it clear that making poor choices now will have negative effects on one’s ...view middle of the document...

Because of this silence, no one in Sheol praises God. The author of Psalm 6 asks, “For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?” (Psalm 6.5). Some authors of the Old Testament seemed to dread this inevitable fate more than others did. For example, the author of Psalm 88 writes, “For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the Pit” (Psalm 88.3-4). Although there was hope of being saved from Sheol for some period of time, eventually all the dead would return there. Perhaps because of this, Hosea asks, “O Sheol, where is your destruction?” (Hosea 13.14). He does not appear to be as worried about the prospects of ending up in Sheol as other authors in the Old Testament are.
Unlike the bleak prospects offered in the Old Testament, the views contained about the afterlife in the New Testament are overwhelmingly positive. Jesus’ coming followed by his death and resurrection allows for this new hope for believers in the afterlife. In his gospel, Matthew writes, “In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near’” (Matthew 3.1-2). John the Baptist’s statement that heaven is coming to earth bridges the Old Testament view of heaven as God’s kingdom with the New Testament hope of eternity in paradise. Similarly, according to John’s Gospel, “No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man” (John 3.13). This changes of course, when Jesus dies for the sins of Christians, and they, too, are allowed to enter into heaven after death. When one man asks Jesus how he can “inherit eternal life,” he tells him to follow the commandments of the Old Testament, as well as commands him, “Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mark 10.21). Obviously, good deeds and obedience to God’s teachings are important in order for Christians to go to heaven after dying.
In addition to the insights into the afterlife provided in the gospels, other New Testament writers also discuss the subject. Paul writes in his letter to the church at Rome, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10.9). According to Paul, both external confession and true internal belief in Jesus and his divinity are necessary in order to receive a spot in heaven after death. Paul also writes that Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 6.9). In addition to confession and belief, one must also follow Jesus’ commands in order to be welcomed into heaven after dying, Paul writes. The book of First John also notes the importance of Jesus in attaining eternal life. The author writes, “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have...

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