In our day, truth and error are mixed in together. Everybody has an opinion, everybody has a religion, or a theory or a fantasy. I hear people say, “after you die,there’s nothing, you cease to exist”. That is a pretty bold statement. What you are really saying when you say this is, “You go off into the darkness. I have not been there myself, but I am well informed and I can assure you it’s safe.”
If you believe such a thing, you are a fool. Do not make what will be your last sane choice on the basis of somebody else’s opinion. You may have heard the famous line, “Do not go gently into that good night, rage, rage, against the dying of the light!” (Dylan Thomas) We have only this life in which to prepare for death, and if you are not certain what will happen to you after you die, do not step out into eternity unprepared. Fight for your life, and don’t let somebody tell you to let go until you are sure.
That’s one reason I started writing the Analogyman essays. Literature, music, films are all full of the hopes and dreams of my fellow men and women. We are all affected differently by art. But I think I can identify a common denominator factor that holds true for all of us— we are all elated by truth, and appalled by lies and error.
Let me explain. Take a man who has ordered a mail-order bride. She has written to him to describe herself, her looks, her likes, her hopes and dreams. He can’t wait to meet her. He comes early to the station to wait for her train. As each of the passengers debark, he strikes them off his list: “I hope it’s her!” or “I hope it’s not her!” What is he doing? He is searching for that person who is the image of what he imagines her to be, based on her own description of herself. The entire outcome is dependent on her honesty. If she has been dishonest, he will be disappointed, but if she has been truthful, he will no doubt be elated.
Truth is the most important thing in the world. And therefore the truth of what happens after death is the most important truth of all. Because after death you will either be annihilated (cease to exist, which is what atheists believe) or you will continue to exist (as the Bible teaches). Aside from all the details, think about the fact that you have struggled through life and are now going to die, and you are faced with a final decision (believe in atheism, believe in Buddha, believe in Mohammed, believe in yourself, believe in Christ). That final decision while you are still alive will be your last decision as regards your afterlife. After you die, you will have to accept the consequences of your choice, and this time, the consequences will last forever.
Your present philosophy of life, your present state of mind as regards what you expect from life, and even what you wish for in the afterlife, is most likely a composite of all the things that have given you joy thus far. (I’m talking about joy here, not mere pleasure.) And you’ve picked up these ideas from books, and music, and films. That’s normal. We all go through life searching for the right combinations that will give us happiness and peace. But not everything we gather up is true. Truth is mixed in with error. Or worse, truth is mixed in with lies.
If you have lived any length of time you will agree that lies bring sorrow, pain, regret, and what can best be described as a living death. Think of the woman who has married a man who told her he would love her, honor her, and care for her for the rest of her life— who then turns out to be a selfish, arrogant liar. Her life from then on will be a living death.
That’s what the Bible says life will be like if you die without having accepted the TRUTH… it will be a living death. Of course, I’m not so foolish to believe that you will agree with me that Jesus Christ is the final answer. But all I want to do is to get you to SIFT through your life, sift through all the books, music, film, and ideas you’ve been given, and SIFT out the truth, and then set the error aside (the bad guesses, the theological mistakes, the philosophical dead-ends).
What you will discover (hopefully) is that the truth (what the Bible calls the LIGHT) was mixed into the whole huge pile of error, and that error kept you from making the right decision. You cannot make a right decision unless you are aware of, and can set the lies and error aside.
You may think me arrogant for suggesting that Jesus Christ is the final LIGHT and the only answer. But the reason I have come to this conclusion is because I’ve spent a lifetime in the world, sorting through the art, the music, and the literature, looking for truth— and the good news is, I did find a lot of truth. The only problem is, I had absolutely no sure way of knowing if it was the truth. The situation is like the man searching through a mountain of keys, looking for the one right key that will unlock his cell. He could be holding it in his hand, but how is he to know it is the right key unless he tries it in the lock? He is just as likely to throw it back into the pile in despair.
All I’m suggesting with ANALOGYMAN is that you make this one final test. Take everything that has given you the slightest bit of hope, or joy, or encouragement, or illumination, whether it was a scene in a movie or a line from a story or a song— and hold it up to the light of TRUTH. And all I’m saying is, I’ve discovered after a long search, that the Bible is the ultimate truth. I’m not saying you have to believe me. I’m saying test what light you say you have, against the light in the Bible, and make sure it’s the true light. And don’t go gently into that good night— rage, rage against the dying of the light!
PS: The image on the top of this page is of John Koestler (played by Nicolas Cage) in the film KNOWING. (An analogy of this film is on the ANALOGYMAN site.) The reason I use this photo is because Koestler has discovered a very long complicated list of data, and is trying to make sense of it. In essence, he’s trying to find the truth— not a simple task, but a necessary one. YOU NEED TO DO THE SAME.