Monday, March 27, 2006

What About Hell?

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to finish what I'm starting here in this one fact, I'll tell you right now....I won't finish this. Ever. Not in this life.

I'm asking questions right now. What about hell? Why should the concept of hell even be considered in my desire to be more like Christ? Should it?

Honestly, I walked down the little aisle in my Assembly of God (there's something "new" revealed about me!) children's worship service and accepted Jesus as my escape HELL. I mean, who wouldn't???? But, honestly, for me, I was sincere. I really did love Jesus and feel compelled that He'd redeemed me from a life of pitiful, meaningless six-year-old sinfulness when I accepted Him as my Savior. For real. For me, all six-year-olds in the pit of despair that I was in deserved nothing less than the devil and his torment for all eternity. He brought me out of that pit that day....when I walked that ailse and confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was immersed in baptism some six years later (despite the fact that we filled and warmed our baptistry once a year) at the point at which I decided it was important to follow Jesus in baptism...being obedient to Him.

All of the above gives you a tiny glimpse of the sort of "doctrine" I grew up in. I'm not going to argue any of the above doctrines. I've belonged to Jesus since I was 6 years old....actually, thanks to my parents, my ENTIRE life. I've made bad decisions and choices and there have been times when I didn't even know for sure that God cared about me personally. And yet, I've been His child. His GRACE has been MORE than sufficient for me.

But what about hell????? I'm not sure what I think about hell....except boys have all been told by me...."Do NOT make Jesus the Lord of your life because you don't want to go to hell. That is not the right reason."


Maybe I'm wrong to tell them such. I tell them other things. This is not ALL I tell them. But....what do we do with hell? Where do we put it in our belief or motivations toward heaven? Do we consider it? Should we?

Just asking questions for today. I'm just so relieved that if there IS indeed a lake of physical burning fire....ME or YOU are not the ones deciding who goes there. That's about the only thing I can know for sure at this point.


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Jim said...

This side of salvation, the only motivation that hell serves for us is to drive us to urge others to accept Christ as Savior. Hell has no hold over or fear for the believer, since we have already been delivered from it. But there are many who are still in danger of finding themselves there, and that is motivation enough for me to continue sharing the Gospel with all who will listen.

Heath said...

I agree with Jim on his points. Also, I think worse than my flesh burning from the fires of hell would be the utter separation from God for eternity. After knowing his love and his peace, being without something I cannot imagine.

Mel said...

I don't know about hell . . . but I did grow up in the Assemblies of God. Thought you'd like to know that!

grace said...

Jim-Maybe it's supposed to motivate me the same way...I'm not's just that it doesn't. I'm motivated, don't get me live my life in such a way that others come to know Christ, it's just that hell doesn't do that for me. Thanks ALWAYS for your comments and the clarity you've provided me so many times!

Heath-Thanks for commenting! :) I'm so with you on the seperation from God THAT motivates me!

Mel-Cool! Thanks for reading and commenting...SISTER! :)


Dannybrou said...

Grace - I will have to agree with Heath on this one. COMPLETE seperation from God. Honestly...I don't even want to think about it. for ETERNITY. *closes eyes and tells myself to stop thinking about it*

Scary thought. But it is so REAL. Just as real as us living with God for eternity.

You know...I wish I told more people about Jesus. Always wondering if "I" was that one person that could have shared my faith with them...during that one instance. I don't worry about hell...ever....really. because I know I won't be there. What I do worry about...A LOT... is the fact that I have had a chance to witness to so many people in my life and failed to do so. Wondering if I was the vehicle that God intended to use to share with them and I just failed to listen....

a lot to think about...

grace said...

I know what you mean. I believe I'll be held accountable for the times I should have spoken up and didn't.

Rich Tatum said...

It is excellent food for thought, Grace.

Interestingly, of all the people in our Bible, nobody said more about Hell than Jesus. He evidently thought it was Very Important for us to know about.

I think like little children that have been spoiled and never known the wrath and discipline of a parent we too easily forget that God's righteousness tolerates no sin in his presence. That's the reason Hell, apparently, exists. You're either perfect by nature, made perfect by Christ's grace, or you must depart from God's presence. The enormity of the punishment of Hell escapes us because we really don't fully grasp how infinitely holy God is and how infinitely intolerant he is of sin. We think, "What, would God send me to Hell for stealing a pencil?" And we don't realize how damnable any sin is when exposed to God's righteousness and holiness.

Look at me, I'm writing about it right now, and I know that I don't get it.

Hell should remind us of the price Christ paid to redeem us. Hell should remind us how intolerant God is of sin. Hell should remind us not to be complacent about our salvation. Hell should remind us that if it was worth it for Christ to die and save us from Hell, it should be worth it for us to sacrifice to witness to others for his sake.

After all, it is not merely Hell we're saved from. We are saved from God.