After watching the documentary on 20/20 last night by Barbara Walters….about Heaven and Hell…it got me to thinking….
photo credit –chistianityoasis.com
I was indeed sooo sleepy after a full week of up and down but thank God for technology I was able to watch it again online [http://abcnews.go.com/2020/]. She is indeed one of the best journalists of our era and I look to her for inspiration. She gave us food for thought and raised the question of what will happen after death to the many people of different religions other than Christianity or even those who don’t believe in God. This is a good question. It makes one wonder, if Christianity is the only way? Ms. Walters even interviewed some of the muslims who were incarcerated in the Middle East who thought that being a martyr (suicide bomber) would get them a ticket to heaven. She chatted with the heads of most religions including popular pastors, priests and even the Dali Lama. 
She spoke with scientists who believed that a “heaven or God” gene could explain why some people would believe in God and not others. Ms. Walters also interviewed some of the non-believers – atheists who gave their perspective and also spoke with persons who had near death experiences and saw a glimpse of heaven. Her colleague explored the concept of hell and the different versions adapted over the years including Dante’s Inferno. Barbara also looked at the media, music and entertainment/movie industry’s use of heaven as a lucrative form of advertising and marketing. She looked at surveys and polls done over the years to show Americans belief in the concept of the afterlife.
After absorbing all of this information, it’s difficult to form just one opinion of heaven and hell. Each religion has it’s own beliefs and they all have the right to it. But what do I believe? I believe in a God. A God who is just and also forgiving. I believe that He gives us many chances to right the wrongs before it’s too late. I believe in a hereafter…what shape it takes is something I cannot comment on because it’s an enigma. I believe that if you try to live a good life and make amends for your sins, follow the commandments and be at peace with yourself, others and your God, you can hope to see God’s face someday. 
I do believe that charity and outward displays of Christianity are not a guarantee into the pearly gates. I don’t believe that your contribution to society gives you a guaranteed ticket to heaven either, since there are lots of people who do good but are not good role models. I believe it’s what’s inside that counts….what’s in your heart and mind and how you live. Only God knows this and it will be apparent in the blessings that you receive. To have a forgiving spirit is something that a lot of us find difficult but to practice humility and forgiveness is a commendable virtue. I believe in a God and I believe life is a continuous journey to prepare us for the afterlife. What you give, is what you get – so get it right and life right. The message is everywhere, it’s what we do with it that matters. Be careful with what and who you believe. We all have a second chance starting now. Make it count!
Peace.
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