Thursday, 08 July 2010
I've been thinking about Hell a lot recently. I'm not quite sure why, but the idea of hell scares the crap out of me. Yes I am a Christian, and yes I believe in God, but I often find myself wondering whether or not I'm going to hell.
From kindergarten through sixth grade, I went to a Christian school where we had a separate class called Bible. It was pretty intense, and I know a lot of scriptures by heart; I can recite all the books of the Bible in less than thirty seconds. In seventh grade, though, I started public school, and, since ninth grade, I've gone to a private school that -- to me -- seems to have no really devoted Christians and little to no moralistic values. I mean the kids at my school are absolutely ludicrous. Everyone either drinks or does drugs, and no one is a virgin anymore. It's actually kind of sad.
I pride myself in being a very open person but not impressionable. However, the past few days, I've been thinking about hell and thinking about myself and what if I'm not enough. There are so many versions of protestants out there. Some say that, to get to heaven, all you have to do is believe that Jesus came down and died on the cross to pay for our sins. Others say that there is no way to know if you will go to heaven -- you just have to hope and pray that you are apart of the elect. Then there are some that say that you don't know if you are the elect or not, but, if you do many good deeds, you can somehow be assured or guaranteed that you will be apart of the elect.
That's the only thing I dislike about this: that there are so many versions. Which version is the true version? How can I know if I'm going to heaven or not? When I think about the afterlife, it's so hard for my brain to wrap around the concept of forever. If I go to hell, that means that I will be there forever. The pain will never stop; I will always be screaming, and no matter what it will never end. Really think about it. It's so hard for the brain to wrap around such a horrible unending situation. We grow up saying things like "till death do us part," or "until the end of time," but there is no end! The afterlife is forever!
I'm just really stressed out about this, and I don't want to be stuck in hell for all of eternity. I love God, and I believe that He is the only savior, but how can I assure myself that I'm going to heaven? Any ideas? Any scripture to help me out?
Is there any way we can be reassured we are going to Heaven? Are there any passages from scripture that shed light on this subject? What words of encouragement can you give to those who fear Hell and love God?