Question: Can we truly know God without realizing that Jesus Christ literally bore our sins on the cross? Also, is the time for repentance over when you die physically?
Answer: Christ stated (in sympathy with Old Testament writers) that “the first shall be last, and the last first,” and in this he meant that the false self — world-born personality — must pass (old skins) before the Holy Spirit (new wine) may enter and return real order to self… the arrival or awakening which is the recovery of relationship with God. Physical death brings an end to nothing other then the particular vehicle — with its tendencies — that one is given to learn the truth of his life. And according to virtually every Scripture ever written, the judgment that follows our passing is one in which we are permitted to realize what we have and have not done to draw closer to the Living Light — a lesson in love that cannot be ignored.
I am going to try to tell you something that if you are at all serious about being reborn, you will have to understand . . .
First, there really exists such a thing as being reborn, but rebirth is a rare thing. It isn’t rare because of its difficulty. It’s rare because human beings are afraid of losing the self that must be forsaken if they’re to be reborn.
The self that must be forsaken to be reborn is the self that knows itself by everything it thinks about. It thinks about what people think about. It thinks about what people do. It thinks about why people don’t do what they do or don’t do. In short, it is the self that knows itself by everything that it is not or that it dreams itself to be like.
That self is an individual self. It is a self created from each individual reflection in which it sees itself. That self is not real. It belongs to personality. It belongs to passing time. It belongs to everything ultimately called good and evil.
There is inside of you another self. It’s not your self, and yet it’s closer to your self than anything you’ll ever know. It is your being, but it doesn’t belong to you. It is vested in a Great Being – call it what you will.
In order to be reborn, a man or woman must face the gradual disappearance of themselves from their own life — the gradual realization that it doesn’t matter a bit what any other human being on the earth does as long as they are deriving their sense of self from the judgment and consideration of that human being.
And that’s what you fear. You don’t know how much you depend upon having others around you — to either love or to condemn — to provide you with your individual sense of value and self. All of that has to go. Not “go” because it means something good is going, but “go” because it means something limited has to leave before what is unlimited can come in and take its place.
An awakened person is not reborn any more than an acorn awakened from its slumber by the touch of sunlight is the form it may yet become. The one who is reborn, who is resurrected, as much resembles his or her former nature as does the great oak resemble the acorn that died to give it life. These are the true stages that lead to Eternal Life.
It simply cannot be stated enough: you have every reason to be encouraged about life. Just look around you. God shows himself everywhere; and in all things, he shows there is no death. Where do you see the end of anything beyond the mere passing of some individual form? The seemingly lifeless branch, barren in the hand of a winter’s day past, becomes the budding star of each new spring season. Life is the stage . . . and death only a necessary character upon it whose presence adds the required tension and suspense for the viewing audience. And yes . . . of course, as it must be with any play in due time, its curtains draw closed, the act at an end. But just as a closing curtain doesn’t mean the end of the theater, so too can it be seen that the passing of life doesn’t signal its disappearance. The show goes on!