I’ve been doing a little investigating since we were last in touch. I wanted to find out what Christians believe happens after they die.
The first thing I discovered is that, based on one of Jesus’ parables, they think that people are divided into “sheep” and “goats”. The sheep are the good people who go to be with Allah in Paradise. (And this is perfectly logical, since Paradise wouldn’t be Paradise if anything bad could enter it!) The goats are the bad people whose destiny is Hell.
Most Christians, of course, think that they are sheep and everyone else is a goat, but they should be aware that Jesus defined “good” and “bad” by behaviour, not belief. He said that the sheep were good because they had treated others with kindness and in doing so had unknowingly treated Allah with kindness. The goats, however, had failed to treat others with kindness and consequently had failed to treat Allah with kindness.
What Jesus tells us in this parable he tells us again in another parable. This concerns a sick man called Lazarus who used to beg outside a rich man’s house, though the rich man took little notice of him. When they died, Lazarus was carried away to Paradise. The rich man, however, woke up to find himself in Hell. When he complained about this, demanding that Lazarus should be sent to wait upon him, Abraham explained that Lazarus was being compensated for all that he had suffered in his lifetime, whereas the rich man was suffering as a consequence of his own heartlessness.