How Ali Plans to Get Into Paradise

· fun
Authors

No disrespect meant here — just wondering what Ali really knew about God. In his wife’s eulogy, she recounted how he awoke every morning thinking about his own salvation, and he would often say, “I just want to get to heaven, and I’ve got to do a lot of good deeds to get there.”

>Quran Ali Good Deeds
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In the light of Enoch’s testimony (Hebrews 11.5f), Ali seems to fit the bill for a person’s getting to heaven — and even if the “Paraadise” he expected isn’t quite like the Heaven that’s real, he’s still sure to be delighted to find himself in that place (or position, if Barth’s correct…) After all, Enoch had a peculiar and pivotal testimony: “He pleased God, and so God took him, and he was seen no more.”
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Considering Ali’s passion for God in comparison to Enoch’s experience, Enoch pleased God so totally, so completely, that one day as he “walked with God”, he simply disappeared, having been taken into Heaven without having to experience death. OMG! But he left behind him the understanding of how he’d managed to please God, which consisted of two, simple points: (1) He believed God exists, and (2) that God rewards those who desire to know Him — that this God is a good god. And based on no greater theology, no fancier church teachings or participation, not even “believing in Jesus” (since Jesus didn’t even show up in Bethlehem for a few millennia later!) all Enoch had going for him that brought God’s intense and personal pleasure in him were these two, basic beliefs. [Do you believe (1) God exists and (2) He’s a good God? If so, then you’ll find yourself in Heaven after you die… Death, here in this earth, then becomes a treat, a blessing, and even the greatest and most exciting adventure possible to a human being instead of a frightening and perilous Unknown!]
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It’s important to consider that many people believe God exists but don’t believe He’s a good god — they fear that He can’t be trusted to reward any person, any time, and any where and that God’s rewards are pretty much a crapshoot. Some people, in fact, believe God is a wicked and evil god. Even people who call themselves “Believers” or the “Faithful” or “Christians” can easily become afraid of God and cease trusting Him to reward them in the next life or even this one for that matter. Believing so, they fulfill the first part (1) of Enoch’s belief-system, (that God exists) but fail to accept the second part (2) of his belief-system (that He’s a good god and a rewarder of those who desire to know him more.)
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This broken and corrupt belief system — yes to #1 and no to #2 — does not please God. It doesn’t make God angry, but heartbroken, because God has gone to great lengths to ensure that every human He’s ever created (or ever will) has the opportunity to join with Him in an eternal fellowship… and yet there will be some who do not want intimacy and everlasting fellowship with Him. If you choose to believe God is evil, untrustworthy, and frightening — would you want to be close to Him forever? Of course not! Divine intimacy would be an impossible torture! So God has given these people a way out which the Bible calls the “Second Death”. Dying here, in the flesh is the “First Death”, but when God brings everyone back to existence again — most to join with Him in everlasting Life — those who do not want that will instead die the Second Death which is simply a cessation of existence.
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But these unfortunates will stand before God the Judge and He will mete out to them some degree of punishment prior to their extinction — a level of punishment based on the fundamental principle that whatever wickedness a person has done (what they’ve “planted” like a seed) will become a nightmare harvest prior to their Second Death. Hitler (the head of the Nazi Socialists) or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the head of ISIS) will receive punishments precisely in kind and nature to the horrors they’ve caused in their lives on this earth. But John Doe — that kindly old man who serves food in soup lines every week, gives to charity, buys Girl Scout cookies even though he’s diabetic and can’t eat them so instead feeds them to his golden retriever Dolly — this wonderful man (if he doesn’t believe God exists and is a good god) will receive the fruit of what he has planted… blessings and praise prior to his Second Death and final extinction.
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Just a quick note: the horrific concepts of an everlasting hell of burning fire and brimstone that can never be quenched is not taken from the Bible — it comes from a novel called Inferno written in the 1300s by Dante. He wrote it as a fantasy shaped around every person who had ever personally defrauded him or offended him — mostly other priests and bishops and the pope and other church clerics. He fantasized horrible, nightmarish (and eternal) punishments for these individuals. Apparently, not being able to actually hurt them in real life, he spent his life creating these imaginary sufferings on paper — hundreds of pages of passionate hate. Ironically, the Catholic Church (which he was actually attacking) so appreciated the portrait of these eternal horrors that they ushered his insane speculations in the Inferno directly into the belief-system of the church. Even today, many churches all over the world continue to propagate the frightening threat of Dante’s Inferno — which works quite handily to keep frightened church people under the church’s control and keeps the flow of support (financial as well as lands and services, &c.) pouring into their churches.
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But as for us, we have no fear of death, for God is good… even to those who reject Him.
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Back to our opening line, about how Muhammad Ali prayed each morning: “I just want to get to heaven, and I’ve got to do a lot of good deeds to get there.” I don’t know what he knew about God. I do know he believed God exists (that’s #1 in Enoch’s belief system.) But about point #2… Did he think that God was a cruel God who had to be won over by lots and lots of “good deeds”? You see, no matter how many “good deeds” (or even how many bad deeds) a person has, they have nothing to do with getting into Heaven (or Paradise, either one.) Believing God exists and He’s a good god is all that makes the difference in becoming one with God and joining Him in everlasting life. Good deeds, bad deeds — neither have an impact on God drawing a person into Heaven with Him forever.
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But if Ali did his good deeds under the misunderstanding that God was untrustworthy, frightening and despised people who didn’t try to buy His pleasure with good deeds — God only knows what his eternal disposition is. But if Ali believed (as he probably did) that (1) God exists and (2) that He rewards those who seek after Him… then He’s already entered into his everlasting life in God; he’s already left behind his diseased, trembling flesh and its already been replaced with a body just like Jesus’ resurrected body — everlastingly, eternally healthy and unable to be touched by disability or disease forever, along with powers and capabilities at which the Bible only hints!
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So it is with us all… did you miss your opportunity to “meet and greet” Ali here on this earth?
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Well, get your belief-system straight, and before too long you’ll get to do a “meet and greet” with Ali in Heaven.
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EmDog

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