Every few months or so, I kind of go into this deep meditation or research kick and read about Hell. The existence of it. And I sit here, wondering why I worship my God. Do I worship Him because I love Him, because I love His Son? Or do I do it because I’m afraid of going to Hell?
Bear with me as I muddle through this. I need to get this out and my thoughts are kind of all over the place.
Hell is a horrible place, from what I’ve heard/read. Being tortured by fire at extremely high temperatures. Molten sulpher. Worms that eat you. Other countless horrors. And the part that disturbs me is that it lasts forever. It never, ever, ever, ever stops. NEVER. I can’t grasp that and yet, it sounds sooo scary to me. I’m terrified of going there. Even as I sin because I can’t help it. I’m a human, I’m a sinner. That’s that. And Hell is a scary reality for me. As far as I’m concerned, it exists, and I hate it.
I don’t want to be a “Christian” who’s following this faith only to avoid going to Hell. But I find myself doing that. I start to analyse my every move, making sure I don’t do something to offend God. But then I hear that Jesus died for me so that I wouldn’t go to Hell. Okay, that’s wonderful.
But what about those who have never heard of Jesus? Why should they be punished for eternity for something that is not of their fault? God can do anything–why wouldn’t He provide them the Gospel? Will us Christians who are supposed to evangelize end up going to Hell because we didn’t go out and try to teach all of those people the gospel? How does this work?
Why is there a Hell? I tend to think of my God relationship as a parent-child/teenager relationship. And when I relate myself with Aidan, I can’t see myself ever, ever, ever punishing him forever and ever for anything! I love him too much. I love him more than anything; the mere thought of anything terrible happening to him brings me near tears. So how can God, who loves us so, want to punish us for eternity?
Okay, okay. So that’s where Jesus comes in. Apparently God doesn’t want to punish us for eternity. He sent His son to die for us so we would be able to go to Heaven. But that still doesn’t help me reconcile the idea that there are lots of people who never even get the CHANCE to learn about Jesus and therefore they get to suffer for eternity. Who is the blame for that? Will *I* go to Hell because I’m not evangelizing? Because I’m not in other countries teaching/preaching the Gospel? It is SO hard to lead someone to Christ. I’ve tried. I can’t do it. It’s not my talent. Will I go to Hell because I am unskilled in that area of my life??
Does God offer them an opportunity after they die? Who knows? Should I even be caring/fretting?
So then I start to think–if I’m going to Hell anyway, then why am I trying to be so good? Why don’t I just do whatever I want? I should just go to Best Buy now and take that plasma HDTV I want. I can think of lots of things I want to do, but I don’t because I don’t want to offend God and therefore go to Hell.
It all boils down to Hell for me. I’ve always been afraid of being punished. Even when I was little, my mother said that a “whipping” was the one thing I was terrified of. Is it healthy to lead my life with that kind of a fear? What happened to my desire to have a relationship with God? And with Jesus? Where did that go?
Is Hell real? Or is it an idea planted to scare us all into behaving? Will we understand at the Final Judgement? Will we all see our lives and our actions and understand and accept why we deserve Hell for eternity and go there willingly? Is there even going to be a Final Judgement? I don’t know about you, but the thought of all of my sins/thoughts/actions/everything being exposed to the world scares me to pieces. And fills me with great shame.
I don’t know, I don’t know.