Immortality 101

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Immortality 101

-Travis Martin

 

            The path to immortality…Are you ready for this? Right now most of the population living on Planet Earth is seeking some form of it in one fashion or another, whether it be a time-consuming religion, a government philosophy that tries to promote world peace, or biological research with the intent of making our bodies last forever in our pathetic existence of pain and sorrow. It’s humanity’s new dream – a single goal that unites us in our quest for the ultimate truth behind the science and nature of our very lives.

 

Adam and Eve, you cannot be…like…God?!

 

I find it ironic that in the book of Genesis the serpent tempted Eve saying, “You will not surely die [if you eat the forbidden fruit]. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5, NIV)

I’m sure you’re acutely aware that the first sentence in the passage is a flat out lie because of the ramifications death has on us today, but take careful note of the second. See how Satan cleverly went on to add a half-truth to his thought, implying that humanity would achieve unfathomable Godly wisdom that would certainly turn Adam and Eve into demigods. They would become more like God if they ate the fruit. See the irony in that?

By taking part in a gamble to make the gap between the Lord and themselves smaller (which I might add was effectively nonexistent at the time since they lived in a perfect world), they actually made it larger. In God’s infinite wisdom, He knew that humanity couldn’t handle the knowledge of good and evil, and that’s the very reason He gave the command to not eat the forbidden fruit in the first place. Adam and Eve’s disobedience was something apart from God’s perfect will, thus the act in and of itself was a sin. “For the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23a, NIV). The price they paid for the knowledge of good and evil wreaked instant worldwide devastation – a pandemic that still exists today, but is widely ignored by almost everyone. That price was their immortality.

How can we ever hope to be like God? We can be similar to God (after all, we were made in His image), but we cannot be like God. The word “like” is a simile that, when taken in the context of Genesis 3:5, is almost synonymous with the word “equal.” Since Adam and Eve wanted to be equals with God, let’s take a look at what exactly that would mean and why it’s so blatantly impossible.

God is an infinite being. When referring to the concept of time, the term “infinite” is the same thing as forever and eternity. There is no beginning and no end to God’s existence. Think about what that means for a second. A trillion years ago God was alive, and so He will be a trillion years in the future also. And a trillion years after that. And after that. And after that. And after that. Just keep saying it while recognizing how long a trillion years is, and don’t ever stop. That’s how long God will be alive. For humans, immortality only describes the future, but for God it describes a timeline that goes on forever in either direction, much like that in a geometrical plain. Speaking of math, I find it interesting that in modern mathematics infinity is not considered to be an actual number. Rather, it is considered to be an idea. So, if infinity is an idea and not a number, then the term’s application is not limited to just time and math.

Therefore, when we say that God is an infinite being, we are speaking of far more than just a timeline marked with dates. We’re also saying that God is omnipresent – that is, He exists everywhere, including outside the boundaries of the universe. He is infinite in creativity…He is infinite in strength…He is infinite in love…He is infinite in truth…He is infinite in knowledge…He is infinite in genius…He is infinite in passion…He is infinite in ability…and so on. He is infinite in being infinite!

Having defined what the word “infinity” means, stop for a moment to wrap your head around it. Seriously, really try to process the idea of forever in your mind. God has existed forever in the past without ever being created. In the future there is also no end – just millennia after millennia. Try to comprehend that! Now, does your brain hurt a little bit? It should – and there’s a reason for that.

We’re humans – finite beings. Since you just “attempted” to understand the concept of infinity, try doing the same thing to the opposite idea of being finite. It’s a lot easier, isn’t it? That’s because in the same way that animals don’t have the intelligent capacity to speak English, we don’t have the intelligent capacity to understand things the way God does. Our minds simply cannot do it. It’s beyond our reasoning capabilities to fully grasp the idea of an existence that never had a beginning point and will never end.

That, my friends, is the difference between us and God. And that’s why Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat the forbidden fruit. To understand right from wrong and maintain perfection at the same time, I believe you must have a mind like God’s because only His nature makes it possible to have the infinite strength and knowledge and resolve to be a perfect being intentionally.

After humanity fell, God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden in order to prevent them from eating the fruit of the Tree of Life. Many people wonder why He did this because that would have inherently restored their immortality (hence the name). Well, the reason is actually very simple: He did it because He loves us.

I mean, think about it. Adam and Eve had just eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That permanently set them into lives of a miserable existence just like what we live today. If moments later they had eaten from the Tree of Life and regained their immortality, they would have become stuck that way forever! Would you want to live life as you know it for eternity? All your problems and burdens one after the next forever and ever? God’s act of removing them from the garden was an act of mercy. There is a better way to achieve perfect immortality with God, and nothing else is acceptable.

 

If it’s so simple, why didn’t we think of that?!? Because we’re human.

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

-John 3:16 (NIV)

 

            When your earthly body dies, your soul goes one of two places: either Heaven or Hell. If you’re a born-again Christian then you already know this, but allow me to clarify something that a lot of people don’t understand.

Heaven isn’t some dream-like surreal place filled with puffy clouds where you go to earn a pair of gold-feathered wings and flutter around like butterflies with angels for eternity. No, no, that’s nonsense! Heaven is a real physical place where you are fully conscious and in touch with your existence. In fact, you are more alive than ever before! Several passages in the New Testament teach us that we will be given new bodies, ones that are flawless, just the way we were intended to be when God first invented humans in the Garden of Eden. In their perfection, these bodies will never face death. Voila! Immortality.

            On that note, consider how real Hell for the unbeliever will be also. The same physics apply. Need I say more?

            So, I’m obviously getting to the part about how to become a Christian (because that’s the whole point, right?). God’s plan throughout all history leads to one final dramatic conclusion, and that is the reconciliation of creation with Him in perfection.

Since humans are given free will, they can choose between Heaven or Hell. You can live with God in creation by going to Heaven, or you can be separated from God forever in Hell, expelled from His plan for a perfect existence and thus experiencing not only the death of the body, but also the soul. Seems like an obvious decision to me since it’s only the matter of a simple little prayer that can be accomplished in three easy steps:

 

1.      Admit that you have sinned.

2.      Ask Jesus to forgive you for those sins. (Seriously, it’s just as simple as asking)

3.      Commit your life to Christ. (Don’t you want to prepare for the day when God fixes everything? Also, since it’s a matter of life or death for the soul, wouldn’t it be good to let others know so they can also live forever?)

 

You can look at this another way: Those are the three steps to acquiring immortality. Now, I realize that this article doesn’t explain Christianity hardly at all, but a great way to learn more would be from Christian friends (if you have any) or attending a good church that preaches from the Bible. Speaking of the Bible, the book of John does an excellent job explaining what it means to be a Christian to new believers. In the New Testament, it’s the fourth book from the beginning. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,…

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at travis_martin@pen-of-travis.com. I can’t promise that I will be able to answer everything, but I do promise that I’ll try my best. I chose immortality with God a few years ago, and I can tell you right now that it has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. My future is unlimited because I have been set free!

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