Saturday, February 23, 2013

See You in Paradise

   When she was a Catholic, Doris was asked does she want to go to heaven when she died.  She thought, “No.”  There's no food there, no swimming, whatever would she do with her days. Did that answer mean she wanted to go to purgatory?  Of course not, there’s nothing there.  Purgatory is described as a halfway house for spirits of the dead.  Did she want to go to hell?  No, not even a suicidal person would agree to get toasted.  There went her three options under that doctrine.

   One day a couple of Mormon missionaries came and offered her celestial kingdom when she died.  This is where she would be a heavenly mother, a spouse to her heavenly father husband who would rule as god to his own planet that they could populate together with their own creations.  Doris said “No.”  It reminded her of the serpent’s offer to Eve “you are bound to be like God.” (Genesis 3: 1-5) The missionaries’ offer came with a second option, terrestrial kingdom which is an improved version of purgatory.  Doris said “No.”  The third option is outer darkness, an opposite of hell, no fire and no light of any kind.  It sounded like outer space in a sci-fi film.  Doris said “No.”  She hated sci-fi, why should she want to be in one.

   Doris wondered why Jesus Christ told the guy on the cross next to his “You will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)  She thought why paradise, why not heaven or celestial kingdom?  When she met Jehovah's Witnesses Bible preachers she asked them what is that about.  She was told that God put Adam and Eve in paradise.  That couple did not follow instructions, became ineligible and were relocated. (Genesis 3:24)  Jesus will redevelop the earth back into a paradise someday soon and if she should qualify when she wakes up from death, she can live there (Isaiah 65:21-25).

   Doris was born and raised in the Philippines, a tropical island with her favorite fruits and goodies, endless sea shore with a population famous for being hospitable.  The paradise the Bible described sure sounded familiar (Psalm 37:11).  The paradise package comes with resurrected loved ones, a perfect body that would feel no pain, get no illness, cry no more tears and no one dies again (Revelation 21:4).  Finally she got an offer she can’t refuse.  All she needs to do is follow the instructions laid out in the Bible.  It would not be easy but not impossible.  The guy on the next cross can make it and he was a convicted criminal.

   This time Doris said “Let’s do this!”

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