So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them.Blimey! So God tells us in his inerrant book that there is no afterlife and it doesn't matter what you do in life, it'll all count for nothing in the end! No purpose and no meaning to life whatsoever. What a forlornly depressing thought, unless you find a purpose for it yourself and so give your own life meaning...
All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.
This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.
Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
|It's a pig! On my life! Would I lie to you?|
Where on earth did all the later stuff about Heaven and Hell and having a grandstand seat to watch everyone who disagrees with you suffering in eternal agony for that heinous crime come from? Surely it can't have been made up to give sanctimoniously self-righteous people something to look forward to, or so preachers could pretend to be selling us something useful, like a pig in a poke, could it?
Mind you, it was a master stroke any snake-oil salesman would have been proud of: it'll only work after you're dead - when it'll be too late to come looking for me, even if you are aware of the con, which you won't be, according to Ecclesiastes 9:5.
Still, at least the Bible has nailed that lie and agrees with Atheists, eh?
So, it looks like the only thing left is to do what Atheists and Humanists advocate - enjoy life, live it to the full and try to leave earth a little better than the way you found it. No ambition could be more noble and worthwhile that that modest ambition.
It's probably easy to work out why this is never taught in Sunday-school or preached about from any pulpit.