In my days as a Christian, Psalms 91 was one of my favourite passages from the bible. As a kid, I remember memorising the entire chapter and reciting it in church on certain occasions. I really loved the King James version, which I have given below. This is one of the most moving, reassuring and comforting passages from the bible for it gives that feeling of being wrapped up under the protection of god.
In this and in many other passages in the bible, god promises benefits to be experienced here on earth if only one were to love god. Such benefits as excellent health, protection of calamities, accidents, disasters, financial success, etc, etc. In fact, there is a new movement within the Christian body - the prosperity movement - that emphasises the earthly benefits of believing in god.
But what does real life experience out there tell us about the comparisons of those who believe and non-believers?
Do believers enjoy better health?
Do they have better financial positions?
Do they suffer fewer mishaps like accidents?
Are they protected from natural disasters?
Do they have better and happier marriages?
Do they tend to better citizens and commit fewer crimes/offenses?
I am particularly interested in view of reports about some accidental deaths recently involving men-of-gods;
There is a report of a Pastor who drown in a river while trying to perform baptism.
There is also reports of a pastor electrocuted in a pool while performing baptism.
The dead of about 17 christians gather together in a house to exorcise demons.
The ghastly dead of the 50s evangelist William Branham http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_M._Branham.
So are Christian experiencing exactly the same fate as their non-believing counterparts. Or are all the rewards saved up in heaven?
1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.