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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The First Thing About Hell

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Turns out, I missed the first thing about hell.

I've always believed in hell, a place of eternal infinite suffering, the destiny of everyone who does not claim Jesus as Lord, because "that's what Christians believe." But I somehow didn't believe the first thing that one must believe about hell.

I've always been on the "no, God CAN still be loving and send people to hell" side of the argument. Because I learned the correct apologetics arguments that a Christian needed to have, and I argued those. I knew how to answer any question about the compatibility between God's character and the existence of hell, but I had never asked that question myself.

And I never believed the first thing I must believe, if I'm going to be saying that people will go to hell.

And what is "the first thing about hell"? That I should go there.

See, I always thought like this: "Hell is really painful and terrible and infinitely bad and horrible and- BUT IT'S OKAY! JESUS! NO WORRIES! Yay I'm not going to hell! Jesus is great! Heaven!" I never ever considered the possibility that I might go there.

But isn't that what I believed? That no one can earn God's love, everyone is a sinner and deserves to go to hell, but thank you Jesus for providing a way for us to be saved.

But really, I should be going to hell.

I never really thought about what that meant. Me, me personally, going to that place with fire and torture and being stuck there forever. No hope. Just pain and loneliness. I never ever imagined it happening to me.

I never thought about that. I never paused to truly understand what I claimed to believe about hell. I just skipped to the "YAY JESUS" part.

And then I told friends about this gospel, not realizing that since the "YAY JESUS" part didn't apply to them, I was basically telling them they should and would go to hell. And I had never even thought about what that meant.

If you really believe everyone deserves to go to hell but Jesus got you out of it, think about what that means before you start "warning" everybody.

And me? Yeah, I don't believe in hell anymore.

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