There are two ideologies fighting for supremacy on this planet. They are selflessness and selfishness. We know selflessness by its more common name, “love.” I am going to use the word “sin” for selfishness. I don’t mean to make this a religious term right now. It is just a convenient one-syllable word for a three-syllable word.
Love is selflessness.
Sin is selfishness.
Plus, the first letter of each syllable in self-ish-ness spells sin, an interesting coincidence. It is, indeed, the same religious word for “law-breaking,” but, at the start here, it does not mean “law-breaking,” but simply “selfishness.”
The great controversy in which mankind finds itself steeped is which ideology is best for the individual in the long-term. Selflessness or selfishness? Love or sin?
Both sides argue that its approach to lifestyle is the best approach for the survival of the individual and for society.
Love says sin is not conducive to peace and joy.
Sin says love is controlling and does not respect personal liberty.
Imagine we lived in a world where everyone chose love. We would have constant peace and joy in our lives. We could leave our doors and windows open at night. We could let our children play out in the neighborhood without constant vigilance on their behalf. We could trust our property with others. We could trust our lives with others.
Would this not be an amazing world?
The fact is, this kind of world is only possible if all citizens choose the way of love.
We cannot have paradise unless all citizens choose love.
Now, while we can only imagine a world like that, where every citizen chooses love, we don’t have to use our imaginations for a world of sin. We live in one.
In our world, the innocent suffer constantly. Humans kill, steal, plunder, rape, burn, destroy. Open your newspaper, turn on the news channel, or browse Internet news sites, you will see quite clearly what a world of sin looks like.
Sin is violent. It is controlling. It is borne of fear and causes fear. It is borne of suffering and causes suffering.
Even if we start with a perfect paradise of love, whenever we introduce selfishness into that world, it sows fear and pain.
If someone chooses selfishness over selflessness, sin over love, nobody’s life or property can ever be considered safe after that point. A selfish person is now in it for themselves. That is, a selfish person seeks peace and joy for themselves, disregarding the peace and joy of others. The selfish person is “in it to win it.” They adopt a dog-eat-dog and survival-of-the-fittest mindset.
They know they have to take what they want before some else takes it, because they believe everybody else is just like them.
They are not in it for the good of the community, and certainly not for the good of others. They seek to maximize their own peace and joy without regard to the peace and joy of others.
A selfish person will lie, cheat, steal, and kill to get what they want.
If you know that your neighbor is willing to lie, cheat, steal, or kill to get what he wants, without regard to your life and property, what are you going to do? How does that make you feel?
First, you’re going to feel afraid. Fear now comes into the world.
Second, you’re going to start taking steps to prevent that person from negatively affecting your life and property. You put up fences, lock your doors and windows, adopt a guard dog, and purchase a handgun.
Sin is a highly-contagious infection and can destroy a community. As human beings, we are born with it. It’s in our blood. This isn’t fair, but it isn’t permanent.
There is a cure!
Let us imagine we live in a society where most people have chosen love. If most have chosen love, some have chosen sin. For a while, those who have chosen love forgive the ones who have chosen sin. They give them an opportunity to repent of their ideology, behavior, and practices. They reason with them, showing them that love is better for the individual as well as the community. Love will take care of them. There’s no need to be selfish.
Even now, in our current world, it is obvious that this is true. Love, in theory and practice, is much greater than sin. There is no doubting it. There is no denying it. Not even an atheist could argue reasonably that selfishness is the best way to derive peace and joy from this life.
After a while, maybe some sinners convert back to love; however, others remain steadfast in their sin. And, in fact, their doctrine of sin is spreading. The ideology is deceptive, depending upon paranoia to thrive and spread. What are those who choose love to do?
What would you do?
Ultimately, in order to protect the innocent, if there are sinners who will not be nice, the sinners must be expelled from the community. If they are not expelled, they will continue to bring harm to the lives and property of others. So long as they exist, no lover is safe.
Sadly, the lovers all agree that in order to restore peace and joy for all, the sinners must be separated from the community. They no longer have permission to dwell in paradise.
It is the only way to restore peace and joy to the community.
So, one day, that day at the appointed hour, all sinners are banished.
Note that they were given a probationary time, a warning, to give up their sinful ways and embrace the way of love. They were encouraged to choose love and given ample opportunity to turn from their ways. Alas, they chose selfishness. Thus, their fates were sealed by their own choices.
Everything was done fairly. Those who chose love remained. Those who chose selfishness were banished.
This is righteous mercy for the lovers, for now their constant source of fear and pain is gone, and justice for the sinners, for they showed no regard for the rights to peace and joy of their fellow citizens. No one can deny the mercy and justice of this act. There is no reasonable argument that can be made against it. All was done fairly. All were given the opportunity to live.
In the same way as this imaginary society, we are in a probationary period. There are two ideologies at war. Love and sin. The complicating thing with love is that it has to be chosen. Love cannot be forced. I cannot hold a gun to your head and make you “love” others.
If you behave in such a way as to purposefully or maliciously instill fear or pain in others, you are practicing sin. If you deign to take the life or property of another without cause or without their consent, you are practicing sin.
Love has to be persuasive, and, if properly presented, is most convincing.
Selflessness is far obviously a greater paradigm than selfishness, and there are no other paradigms outside of love and sin from which we can derive a society. It is simply and unavoidably one or the other.
The God of the Bible is inviting you to embrace the way of love. You have, because of your selfishness and fear, caused fear and pain and death in others. You have experienced the fear and pain of others’ selfishness.
There is a better way.
God wants you to give up your selfishness and join lovers in paradise.
The end of the wicked is soon upon them. Those who choose selfishness, an ideology of violence, fear, pain, and death, will perish.
In contrast, the righteous, those who choose selflessness, peace, and joy, will live eternally in paradise.
The Bible says God will remake the earth into a garden paradise, and we will inhabit homes we build ourselves. We will then be free to explore the farthest reaches of space, with the friends and family we love. We will never again experience fear, pain, or death—because these things are impossible in a universe where everyone is a lover.
The wicked will be destroyed. This will not be an eternal torturing, but a once and final destruction. God isn’t a cruel, vindictive, punishing dictator, but a loving, concerned, compassionate Father and Lord who will do what’s best for every child of His.
The wicked will cease to exist. They will be annihilated.
You need not die in God’s presence.
You have seen and can reason that love is the better way, so embrace the way of love.
You can live forever in paradise by choosing Love—Jesus is the capital-L “Love” of our reality. He demonstrated love, He showed us true love, in its ultimate form: the giving of one’s life for another.
The way of sin would never choose this for you. The way of sin would kill you just so it could live.
But Love died so you can live.
The Love Plan would be easy to implement and follow for us if we were in paradise. But love, real and true love, treats even its enemy with kindness and compassion and care.
Selfishness is so insidious that it can ruin paradise.
Love is so amazing that it can restore it.
Sin can corrupt purity.
Love can purify corruption.
Sin stains the human heart.
Only love can remove that stain.
The example of Job shows us that love can even endure the torture of sin.
If the Creator of the universe, the One who sees the beginning from the end, chooses to adhere to the philosophy of love, who are we as mere mortals to deny its superiority to the philosophy of selfishness?
You see, love put Him in your place, to take your just destruction, so that you could be given the opportunity to choose love. This is what Love did for you. Do you see how Love looks out for you? Do you see how Love has your best life in mind?
I beseech you, my brothers and sisters of earth, choose the way of Love.