Friday, September 09, 2011

Can You Lose Your Faith If You Lose Yourself?

My friend posed this questions to a group of ex-classmates. Maybe the question is irrelevant to those in their 40s and younger but older people can doubt if they are not in control of their mind and senses, will they lose everything else they own, including their faith? Now that more and more senior people are suffering from Alzheimer's disease their children start wondering if their future after death is as assured as before they lose their faculties to think and remember. It is worrying for the family and frightening for the victims.

What is absolutely certain is upon death our properties will be signed over to family and other beneficiaries. We can't even carry our Bible or iPad away. We are dressed up to go dignified and either buried or cremated and that's how we all go. All that's left are memories that linger and soon fade.

What is confusing is our beliefs. Most of us believe in the spiritual life after death. Different religion preached different pathway to different destinations. Only the atheists believe in nothing and perhaps in their deaths dissolve into nothingness or an abyss of emptiness. By and large we depend on our beliefs to ticket us to the next realm and constantly live as honorably and peaceably to stay within that qualification. Christians live by the assurance they are saved from hell and will enter Heaven to enjoy a life of bliss and freedom from sufferings and pain that has categorized this earthly life. Many Christians worry that they may be disqualified because of certain misdeeds (sins) or omission of good deeds and continue to struggle with the fear that their faith alone is no assurance of a place in Heaven. In other words, the fear that God apply a strict yardstick to exclude those who are 'not saintly' or 'fail to display 'Christianly' attributes' whatever they may be. However, absent from other faiths but prominently dealt with in Christianity is the theology of GRACE that not all understand nor appreciate. In simple terms, grace is a gift for someone who do not deserve to receive it, but is given anyway. Say you give a thief who broke into your house all the money you have not under threat but because you just wanted to. The concept of Grace in Christianity assures all its believers not to fear that our actions, or inactions, will be used to judge us unfavorably. Instead grace is God's promise that because of His great love for sinners who confess their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour he will be saved for eternity from hell.

It is my belief that our faith is our passport to God's promised grace, an assurance that whether we die conscious of who we are, or with our minds blank and devoid of feelings and knowledge of our faith our salvation is guaranteed. Maybe the subject matter should be:

Can You Lose Your Salvation If You Lose Yourself?

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