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A serious question about "Heaven"


Geoff
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Okay guys, just trying to get some thoughts on a question of mine. This thread's for the christians out there and I promise to stay gentle.

 

I was at a funeral last Friday and it was extremely sad as always, touching and had me seated with welled eyes... until! Until the minister or priest or whoever it was who was overseeing proceedings steps to the microphone and gives a spiel about how the deceased had not been a follower of Christ until the 2nd last day of his life. And he proceeded to tell every guest there that they should not leave it that late as you never know when your time will come and that in order to see your loved ones again you must be a disciple of Jesus and God etc. He actually sold it that way - that in order to see your family again you had to give yourself to Jesus and ask for your sins to be forgiven etc. etc.

 

So, what he was saying quite blatantly was that the followers of Christ will see their family and loved ones in Heaven after they die. But people who do not accept Christ into their lives will not see their loved ones again. Ouch. Poor us. :( I wonder what happens to us then. Is this where the all-loving God banishes us (his children?) to "hell"? :lol: No, I apologise. I do not want to digress.

 

That's not my point. My point is, there's all this talk of heaven and meeting loved ones again, but how, logically, is this all supposed to take place? What "age" is everyone you knew when you meet them in heaven? And what's the setting? I know everything would be ageless I guess, but what of the appearance? Is everyone in human form, or spirit form? And how do spirits meet and interact? Have they the intellect of the day they died? If so, are infants and children then child spirits for eternity with no or very simple ways to communicate, whilst those who died of vintage have human years worth of "knowledge"? Basically, what exactly happens to the God-following soul once it's human body is dead compared to the non-God following one?

 

Can someone just tell me exactly how this idea of heaven is supposed to work? I swear I'll try my best to be civil and just read. I'm just genuinely interested to see some thoughts on this.

 

And sorry for posting this here. I wonder if there's like a religious forum or something I could check out and annoy?

 

PS. I am expecting no replies to this thread, unless my buddy Mark chimes in. Just thought I'd toss it out there anyway and see how I go.

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in regards to the first half of your discussion...

 

if your family doesn't belive and you don't believe, then there' nothing to worry about cos you'll all end up at the same place. And who knows... it might be better than heaven.

 

I'll see you there!

Indeed I will. We'll party too.

 

I don't know exactly what my dad believes with regard to all this, but he is of a church nature. He goes to an Anglican church every Sunday, and as this funeral was at an Anglican church I got the impression that Anglican = Christianity? Either way, he's into it (the only one in the family). And what's a party without my dad?

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Okay guys, just trying to get some thoughts on a question of mine. This thread's for the christians out there and I promise to stay gentle.

 

I was at a funeral last Friday and it was extremely sad as always, touching and had me seated with welled eyes... until! Until the minister or priest or whoever it was who was overseeing proceedings steps to the microphone and gives a spiel about how the deceased had not been a follower of Christ until the 2nd last day of his life. And he proceeded to tell every guest there that they should not leave it that late as you never know when your time will come and that in order to see your loved ones again you must be a disciple of Jesus and God etc. He actually sold it that way - that in order to see your family again you had to give yourself to Jesus and ask for your sins to be forgiven etc. etc.

 

So, what he was saying quite blatantly was that the followers of Christ will see their family and loved ones in Heaven after they die. But people who do not accept Christ into their lives will not see their loved ones again. Ouch. Poor us. :( I wonder what happens to us then. Is this where the all-loving God banishes us (his children?) to "hell"? :lol: No, I apologise. I do not want to digress.

 

That's not my point. My point is, there's all this talk of heaven and meeting loved ones again, but how, logically, is this all supposed to take place? What "age" is everyone you knew when you meet them in heaven? And what's the setting? I know everything would be ageless I guess, but what of the appearance? Is everyone in human form, or spirit form? And how do spirits meet and interact? Have they the intellect of the day they died? If so, are infants and children then child spirits for eternity with no or very simple ways to communicate, whilst those who died of vintage have human years worth of "knowledge"? Basically, what exactly happens to the God-following soul once it's human body is dead compared to the non-God following one?

 

Can someone just tell me exactly how this idea of heaven is supposed to work? I swear I'll try my best to be civil and just read. I'm just genuinely interested to see some thoughts on this.

 

And sorry for posting this here. I wonder if there's like a religious forum or something I could check out and annoy?

 

PS. I am expecting no replies to this thread, unless my buddy Mark chimes in. Just thought I'd toss it out there anyway and see how I go.

 

 

All very good questions and questions that I've had for many years as I was forced to go to church as a kid.

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He will come again to Judge the Living and the Dead. that is this little girls's creed. otherwise, i refuse to get in the mix.

 

But the way I always understood it is if you're not saved then you don't go to Heaven.

Am I wrong or was all the preachers I had throughout my youth preaching the gospel wrong?

 

I always felt like if you were a good person it shouldn't matter if I got my head dunked in a pool of water in front of a bunch of people waving their hands in the air and saying amen.

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Geoff, you rang? B) I'll offer my thoughts on the subject and try to keep it to novella length rather than a 300 pg. book. (I think I just heard Pete utter a "thank God").

 

Do I believe that you can get to Heaven without believing in Christ? To put it bluntly, no. I believe that Christ was the Son of God and His sacrifice on the cross was the price for mankind's redemption and without accepting/acknowledging that sacrifice, you will not see Heaven.

 

But here's where I split off from traditional Christian theology. You see, I believe in Universal Reconciliation, the belief that everyone will eventually believe and be reconciled to God in Heaven. Yes, I believe if you die without accepting Christ, you will go to Hell, but I simply do not believe the soul's journey ends there, that God gives up on the lost simply because their mortal life has expired. In the end, according to the Bible, Christ defeats death & hell once and for all, and I believe it is at that moment in time when all souls will be reconciled to the Father. When the Bible tells us, "Every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father," I do not believe this is some forced confession from the damned in the bowels of Hell...where would the "glory to God" be in that? No, I believe this is when every soul will understand who God/Christ is and reach out for Him, at which time He will reconcile them all to Him. We are all God's children, we are told, and I find it impossible to believe that He will allow even one of His children to be lost forever.

 

Look at it this way: if the bulk of humanity never accepts Christ in this lifetime and is damned to burn eternally in a lake of fire, then that would mean God's plan--the cross--was a monumental failure, that when the score is tallied at the end of the ages, Satan will have about 90% of God's beloved children in Hell, which would make God one hell of a big loser. The best plan He can come up with to save His children results in all but a few burning forever? Sorry to the traditional Christians out there, but that just doesn't make sense and conflicts mightily with the Bible's teachings on God's infinite love, grace, & forgiveness.

 

So, in my usual long-winded expository way, I am saying I believe that in the end, everyone gets to Heaven. Some just choose to believe in this lifetime and will be spared any taste of Hell, others will refuse to believe in this lifetime and will have to face temporary (not eternal) punishment which will ultimately lead them to belief.

 

As for Heaven itself...from what we can grasp from the Bible (would Heaven truly be Heaven if our human minds could fully understand it?), I think we are ageless and given a perfect "body" or "form." According to scripture, we will recognize one another and interact, but we will no longer be brother/sister or husband/wife...we will all simply be the children of God, living in perfect paradise.

 

OK, I think I've rambled on long enough. Geoff, you're probably the only person who actually read this far. But for what it's worth, that's a rough summary of my beliefs on salvation/eternity/Heaven/etc.

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Geoff, you rang? B) I'll offer my thoughts on the subject and try to keep it to novella length rather than a 300 pg. book. (I think I just heard Pete utter a "thank God").

 

Do I believe that you can get to Heaven without believing in Christ? To put it bluntly, no. I believe that Christ was the Son of God and His sacrifice on the cross was the price for mankind's redemption and without accepting/acknowledging that sacrifice, you will not see Heaven.

 

But here's where I split off from traditional Christian theology. You see, I believe in Universal Reconciliation, the belief that everyone will eventually believe and be reconciled to God in Heaven. Yes, I believe if you die without accepting Christ, you will go to Hell, but I simply do not believe the soul's journey ends there, that God gives up on the lost simply because their mortal life has expired. In the end, according to the Bible, Christ defeats death & hell once and for all, and I believe it is at that moment in time when all souls will be reconciled to the Father. When the Bible tells us, "Every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father," I do not believe this is some forced confession from the damned in the bowels of Hell...where would the "glory to God" be in that? No, I believe this is when every soul will understand who God/Christ is and reach out for Him, at which time He will reconcile them all to Him. We are all God's children, we are told, and I find it impossible to believe that He will allow even one of His children to be lost forever.

 

Look at it this way: if the bulk of humanity never accepts Christ in this lifetime and is damned to burn eternally in a lake of fire, then that would mean God's plan--the cross--was a monumental failure, that when the score is tallied at the end of the ages, Satan will have about 90% of God's beloved children in Hell, which would make God one hell of a big loser. The best plan He can come up with to save His children results in all but a few burning forever? Sorry to the traditional Christians out there, but that just doesn't make sense and conflicts mightily with the Bible's teachings on God's infinite love, grace, & forgiveness.

 

So, in my usual long-winded expository way, I am saying I believe that in the end, everyone gets to Heaven. Some just choose to believe in this lifetime and will be spared any taste of Hell, others will refuse to believe in this lifetime and will have to face temporary (not eternal) punishment which will ultimately lead them to belief.

 

As for Heaven itself...from what we can grasp from the Bible (would Heaven truly be Heaven if our human minds could fully understand it?), I think we are ageless and given a perfect "body" or "form." According to scripture, we will recognize one another and interact, but we will no longer be brother/sister or husband/wife...we will all simply be the children of God, living in perfect paradise.

 

OK, I think I've rambled on long enough. Geoff, you're probably the only person who actually read this far. But for what it's worth, that's a rough summary of my beliefs on salvation/eternity/Heaven/etc.

some interesting thoughts there Markypoo...

 

from my point of view i think its important to remember that im a small little bug compared to the rest of the world, and then to the rest of the universe, cosmos etc.. my mind.. and nor all the minds in the world together, cannot contemplate the mind of the "world's" creator.. and therefore we dont know all the answers, or we cannot understand them... and hey we prob dont even need to know the answers yet. Im very much happy to receive some surprises in the future.

At the end of the day... i kinda dont care what heaven is like... im putting my trust in God for what hes done in my life, and i know he understands all situations better then i ever can.

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Geoff, you rang? B) I'll offer my thoughts on the subject and try to keep it to novella length rather than a 300 pg. book. (I think I just heard Pete utter a "thank God").

 

Do I believe that you can get to Heaven without believing in Christ? To put it bluntly, no. I believe that Christ was the Son of God and His sacrifice on the cross was the price for mankind's redemption and without accepting/acknowledging that sacrifice, you will not see Heaven.

 

But here's where I split off from traditional Christian theology. You see, I believe in Universal Reconciliation, the belief that everyone will eventually believe and be reconciled to God in Heaven. Yes, I believe if you die without accepting Christ, you will go to Hell, but I simply do not believe the soul's journey ends there, that God gives up on the lost simply because their mortal life has expired. In the end, according to the Bible, Christ defeats death & hell once and for all, and I believe it is at that moment in time when all souls will be reconciled to the Father. When the Bible tells us, "Every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father," I do not believe this is some forced confession from the damned in the bowels of Hell...where would the "glory to God" be in that? No, I believe this is when every soul will understand who God/Christ is and reach out for Him, at which time He will reconcile them all to Him. We are all God's children, we are told, and I find it impossible to believe that He will allow even one of His children to be lost forever.

 

Look at it this way: if the bulk of humanity never accepts Christ in this lifetime and is damned to burn eternally in a lake of fire, then that would mean God's plan--the cross--was a monumental failure, that when the score is tallied at the end of the ages, Satan will have about 90% of God's beloved children in Hell, which would make God one hell of a big loser. The best plan He can come up with to save His children results in all but a few burning forever? Sorry to the traditional Christians out there, but that just doesn't make sense and conflicts mightily with the Bible's teachings on God's infinite love, grace, & forgiveness.

 

So, in my usual long-winded expository way, I am saying I believe that in the end, everyone gets to Heaven. Some just choose to believe in this lifetime and will be spared any taste of Hell, others will refuse to believe in this lifetime and will have to face temporary (not eternal) punishment which will ultimately lead them to belief.

 

As for Heaven itself...from what we can grasp from the Bible (would Heaven truly be Heaven if our human minds could fully understand it?), I think we are ageless and given a perfect "body" or "form." According to scripture, we will recognize one another and interact, but we will no longer be brother/sister or husband/wife...we will all simply be the children of God, living in perfect paradise.

 

OK, I think I've rambled on long enough. Geoff, you're probably the only person who actually read this far. But for what it's worth, that's a rough summary of my beliefs on salvation/eternity/Heaven/etc.

 

 

Yeah, that's what mostly I believe in. I guess I'm not one of those traditional Christians as you suppose. BUT the line where you said that "everyone gets to Heaven", you have to remember that there will still be people who will defiantly won't accept what Jesus did and gave for them on the cross. Those people who TRULY understood the real meaning of GRACE (not those what others considered as "LOST" like the Buddist, Hindus, etc.) but still refuse.

 

And also remember, there is this verse in the Bible where it was written that "the meek shall inherit the earth" when Jesus returns as LORD of lords and KING of kings. Yes, I believe in that "PERFECT BODY" but where will it all happens is, I think (and I am open to some explanation) is here on Earth.

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Thanks for the replies guys, and Mark, I knew I could count on you. ;) Some interesting thoughts there on "heaven".

 

So, in my usual long-winded expository way, I am saying I believe that in the end, everyone gets to Heaven. Some just choose to believe in this lifetime and will be spared any taste of Hell, others will refuse to believe in this lifetime and will have to face temporary (not eternal) punishment which will ultimately lead them to belief.

Guys, I have to ask. If this God you all believe in were really this bitter and needy that he would send an otherwise beautiful human to 'hell' (even if only temporarily), just because this person did not conform to some religious ideas that the ages have conjured up... is this really a being you think deserves your worship?

 

For example, Donna spends her whole life helping sick children. At home she works in a hospital, she travels to poverty-stricken countries and helps the poor, she loves her parents and her children and would die for them... but she thinks for herself and whilst she might acknowledge there is "something" out there she refuses to submit herself to a religion and worship what could be seen as a Santa Claus-like being. And she refuses to apologise to God for living her life as best she can.

 

And then we have Celeste, the f*cked up drug addict, prostitute, alley fighter who disowns her parents after physically beating them and is just a real prick of a person... but she finds God at the age of 25. She apologises to God for all she did and goes to church every Sunday from the age of 25 onwards, prays to God etc. and tells other people about the glory of God. But she is still generally just not a very nice person and constantly rubs people the wrong way.

 

Now, you're going to tell me that just because Donna isn't a follower of God that she will be sent to hell by your wonderful God whilst Celeste (or a murderer who finds God from a prison cell) enjoys a nice comfortable spot in "heaven"?

 

Dudes, I don't get it. The picture of God that religion paints would make me despise him. Even if this whole dying on the cross for our sins could possibly be a reality, why would this amazing being be so needy that he requires followers and worshippers to dedicate their entire lives to him and mould how they live to how they think he wants them to live? If I'd have invented a God I'd have made him a whole lot more modest and humble. ;)

 

Basically, the way I read the above is that whether you like it or not, God will make you worship him, even if he has to put you through hell, literally. What a super being! :lol:

 

Anyway, sorry... hope that doesn't come out harsh or anything. Just hopefully continuing the friendly discussion. :)

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I honestly don't know what to believe. I do believe in a "higher power". This cannot be all that there is. Unless this is hell already...That being said, I do not believe the utter crap that the Church jams down your throat. If you don't do this or that, then you are a sinner and if you don't repent you will go to hell. Heaven, I believe is a way to get Christians to do good in their lives by living it as the Church says you should. I believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of Man but somewhere along the way His message got crossed up with greed and the Church getting money. Now if you don't give you are a sinner, thus you are going to hell. OK I am done......

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He will come again to Judge the Living and the Dead. that is this little girls's creed. otherwise, i refuse to get in the mix.

 

But the way I always understood it is if you're not saved then you don't go to Heaven.

Am I wrong or was all the preachers I had throughout my youth preaching the gospel wrong?

 

I always felt like if you were a good person it shouldn't matter if I got my head dunked in a pool of water in front of a bunch of people waving their hands in the air and saying amen.

 

My good friend, who is atheist says that I am agnostic. I looked that up way back when he told me...I guess it fits. Either way I agree with Wes's point that what does it matter if I was at church every Sunday or not...if I am a good person do I not get into heaven?

 

From a slightly different angle...what makes a good person? These children that walk into a cafe in the middle east strapped with bombs and kill a hundred people....they were born, raised and taught that THAT is what their god wants them to do. Are they a good or a bad person? They don't know any better do they, so where do they deserve to go? (Now the pricks that do know better but teach them...well that is a whole 'nother topic that was covered recently)

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He will come again to Judge the Living and the Dead. that is this little girls's creed. otherwise, i refuse to get in the mix.

 

But the way I always understood it is if you're not saved then you don't go to Heaven.

Am I wrong or was all the preachers I had throughout my youth preaching the gospel wrong?

 

I always felt like if you were a good person it shouldn't matter if I got my head dunked in a pool of water in front of a bunch of people waving their hands in the air and saying amen.

 

My good friend, who is atheist says that I am agnostic. I looked that up way back when he told me...I guess it fits. Either way I agree with Wes's point that what does it matter if I was at church every Sunday or not...if I am a good person do I not get into heaven?

 

From a slightly different angle...what makes a good person? These children that walk into a cafe in the middle east strapped with bombs and kill a hundred people....they were born, raised and taught that THAT is what their god wants them to do. Are they a good or a bad person? They don't know any better do they, so where do they deserve to go? (Now the pricks that do know better but teach them...well that is a whole 'nother topic that was covered recently)

Yep, exactly, guys. In my long winded way, I agree totally. Being a good person has nothing to do with a person's religious beliefs and personally, I find anyone who would judge how "good" a person is based on this to not be too "good" a person themselves. Let alone trying to think of a God passing out these kind of judgements.

 

As you say, people do some amazingly f*cked up things in the name of religion and they're meant to be a better person than you or I who live our lives as best we can based on human decency and common sense?

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All I know 'bout Heaven is that it isn't too far away... (aaaaahhhh-ahhhhhhh) closer to it every day... no matter what your friends might sayyyyyyy....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoibfSWyNMc

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All I know 'bout Heaven is that it isn't too far away... (aaaaahhhh-ahhhhhhh) closer to it every day... no matter what your friends might sayyyyyyy....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoibfSWyNMc

Heavenly faces. Jani looks so beautiful.

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Jani looks so beautiful.

 

Unfortunately nowadays he looks like he's been running around on all fours, chasing parked cars.

 

0709_jani_lane_getty_86823769_ex.jpg

 

Ooooh yea, baby... that's HAWT. :banana:

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Jani looks so beautiful.

 

Unfortunately nowadays he looks like he's been running around on all fours, chasing parked cars.

 

0709_jani_lane_getty_86823769_ex.jpg

 

Ooooh yea, baby... that's HAWT. :banana:

Hawt, yes, but this is the beautiful face of someone who chases parked cars:

 

pug.jpg

 

That thing up above is the face of someone who, well... someone who's just given up. On pretty much everything. :( Poor bastard.

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:rofl: Is that your Pug, G? Adorable.
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:rofl: Is that your Pug, G? Adorable.

Nah, that one's not mine (sadly - I want them all) but he does look very similar. Here's my little buddy (with his sister):

 

IMG_2374.jpg

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Thanks for the replies guys, and Mark, I knew I could count on you. ;) Some interesting thoughts there on "heaven".

 

So, in my usual long-winded expository way, I am saying I believe that in the end, everyone gets to Heaven. Some just choose to believe in this lifetime and will be spared any taste of Hell, others will refuse to believe in this lifetime and will have to face temporary (not eternal) punishment which will ultimately lead them to belief.

Guys, I have to ask. If this God you all believe in were really this bitter and needy that he would send an otherwise beautiful human to 'hell' (even if only temporarily), just because this person did not conform to some religious ideas that the ages have conjured up... is this really a being you think deserves your worship?

 

For example, Donna spends her whole life helping sick children. At home she works in a hospital, she travels to poverty-stricken countries and helps the poor, she loves her parents and her children and would die for them... but she thinks for herself and whilst she might acknowledge there is "something" out there she refuses to submit herself to a religion and worship what could be seen as a Santa Claus-like being. And she refuses to apologise to God for living her life as best she can.

 

And then we have Celeste, the f*cked up drug addict, prostitute, alley fighter who disowns her parents after physically beating them and is just a real prick of a person... but she finds God at the age of 25. She apologises to God for all she did and goes to church every Sunday from the age of 25 onwards, prays to God etc. and tells other people about the glory of God. But she is still generally just not a very nice person and constantly rubs people the wrong way.

 

Now, you're going to tell me that just because Donna isn't a follower of God that she will be sent to hell by your wonderful God whilst Celeste (or a murderer who finds God from a prison cell) enjoys a nice comfortable spot in "heaven"?

 

Dudes, I don't get it. The picture of God that religion paints would make me despise him. Even if this whole dying on the cross for our sins could possibly be a reality, why would this amazing being be so needy that he requires followers and worshippers to dedicate their entire lives to him and mould how they live to how they think he wants them to live? If I'd have invented a God I'd have made him a whole lot more modest and humble. ;)

 

Basically, the way I read the above is that whether you like it or not, God will make you worship him, even if he has to put you through hell, literally. What a super being! :lol:

 

Anyway, sorry... hope that doesn't come out harsh or anything. Just hopefully continuing the friendly discussion. :)

 

 

Forgive me if I'll get back to the subject. But I haven't read anywhere that God will make you worship him, even if he has to put you through hell. The God that I worship doesn't need my worship, respect, money, time, good deeds or anything that I can do, have or give. God doesn't want to force anyone to worship him. Can you count the people who blaspheme his name? If He is such a god that people want to think of Him, then why didn't He zap everyone who uses his name in vain. The big problem is we all made up this idea of god that is vengeful, unapproachable, needy and self-centered. What made you think that the god in your finite, limited mind IS exactly the god that exist? The idea of "heavenly bliss" is for those who want to be with the One who loves them so much that He died for them. It is only for those who want to be with this God who is in heaven. And if you don't want to be with Him, then that is okey, too. He won't force you. But just as metalmaniac wisely stated, we will all realize why we will fall on our knees to worship Christ. He won't break our knees to do that.

 

And about that Hell thing. It is written that this Earth will be replaced with a new one. This old, tired one will be burned (that is why Nero, knowing the beliefs of 1st century Christians blamed the great fire in Rome to them - which he himself started) and to my belief, those who don't want to be with God will stay here.

 

No one can tell you with mere words how good this certain food is, or how exciting is that new ride is in that newly opened theme park. But just TRY it. Some people tried and they loved it. That is how it is with believing in God and experiencing his kindness.

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I'm back by popular demand! ;) Well, actually I'm back because Geoff specifically asked me to respond to his post. So get ready for more ramblin'...

 

Part of the problem is that people think of "good" in solely human terms, but based on the Bible, even our "righteousness" is as filthy rags in the eyes of God. God could not truly be God if He wasn't absolutely holy, and His holiness cannot tolerate anything other than pure holiness from the humanity He created. When people say, "I'm a good person, so God should let me into Heaven," they fail to understand that what they consider "good" is still tainted next to the absolute holiness of God.

 

It also amuses me that people question God's "rules." God is God and therefore He makes the rules, not us. People sometimes ask me, "Why did God set up salvation this way?" Because He's God, that's why. Being God, He gets to make the rules. Just 'cause you don't like those rules doesn't mean they're not the rules. My 2 year-old daughter doesn't understand why she has to wear a helmet when she rides the 4-wheeler with me and protests about it all the time, but just because she doesn't understand or like the rules I have established doesn't mean she gets to ignore them and still be allowed to ride the 4-wheeler. I don't force her to ride the 4-wheeler, but neither does she get to ride it unless she follows the rules. Surely the analogy isn't that hard to grasp. Telling God, "I don't understand or like the way You've set up the rules for redemption, therefore I'm not going to abide by them, but You still have to let me into Heaven" is kind of retarded.

 

As for people in Hell...I tend to steer away from the literal interpretation that insists Hell is a place of fire & brimstone and think it is more the total absence of God. I also reject the allegation that God sends people to Hell; God offers Himself to everyone, the price paid by the sacrifice of Christ, but people have the free will to choose or reject the gift. If, using your free will, you choose not to let God into your life, then you have chosen a life away from God. Hell is simply the consequences of your action, God giving you exactly what you wanted: life void of His presence. I believe this is Hell, when your soul is completely severed from the presence of the Creator, and once lost souls experience that absence, they will turn to God and, as I said in my previous posting, be reconciled to Him. It is not God punishing people to force them to Him...the punishment is self-inflicted, and the reconcilation will be by personal choice.

 

So, no, God doesn't "send" anyone to Hell; they use their free will to make that choice to separate themselves from Him. Every choice has consequences, every action a reaction...why do we expect matters of faith & eternity to be any different?

 

Geoff asks why God demands people follow Him and live the way He demands. I simply circle back to the beginning of this post. He's God, and therefore makes the rules. A preacher at the funeral of my 8 year-old niece a few years ago (the older members here may remember that tragic event) said something I'll never forget, and it kind of echoes what Matt (Phaffas) posted: "Humans trying to understand the mind of God is as futile as a one-celled amoeba trying to understand Einstein's Theory of Relativity." Again, to hammer my point home, just because you don't understand or like the way God has set things up doesn't mean you get to ignore it all, live the way you want to, and then get what you wanted from God in the end anyway. Life doesn't work that way, and neither does eternity.

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I went to church and Sunday school as a kid and did bible studys at school and read the bible more than a few times which i think is a great tale.I'm still not sold on the whole God And Christ thing,i believe there is a higher power in the universe but is it what alot of people believe in?

 

Who knows,nobody really knows,that's why it's called faith.Believe what you what and if that faith makes your life better for it that's great but i'm still on my life journey and along the way i hope i find answers.In the end death is the one who will escort us to our nest rest stop and if that's hell for me then that's part of my next big adventure,i hear they have kick ass partys down there. :P

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