Friday, December 21, 2012

1 Peter 3-5, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelations 1-2

1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Earlier this year, there was a whole lot of hoopla about Hell. A bunch of people wrote a bunch of books and blogs posts and articles about how there might not really be a Hell. There's a Heaven, but there's no place of ultimate suffering and punishment for all eternity where God condemns people who died without ever hearing about Him or before they were old enough to become Christians or whatever.

I haven't read most of that stuff, because honestly? I don't care.

The Bible has plenty of stuff to back either argument. Hell is mentioned explicitly as a place where sinners spend eternity, but there are also lots of verses like the above that talk about second chances (and third, and fourth, and so on), and God's abundant mercy and boundless grace, and these verses seem to hint that even death isn't eternal, that maybe you can repent at any time.

But again, i don't really care.

I'm not in this because i want eternal life in Heaven, although i am hoping for a library that's a cross between the one in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and the one in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman", where i can set up a bed and a pot of tea and spend a few millenia reading.

And i'm not in this because i'm scared of Hell, although if there is a place of fire and brimstone and eternal torture it would be nice to avoid it, especially if i can go to the aforementioned place of endless reading and tea and worship and whatnot instead.

I'm a Christian, i'm religious, i'm spiritual, i'm a person of faith, because i've met Jesus and have been irrevocably changed. I believe the things that i believe because i've seen them. I'm in a relationship with Someone who loves me unconditionally, who believes in me, who helps me become a better version of myself, who encourages me to show others the same unconditional love and faith and help. Everything in my life is better because of this relationship.

I don't know what happens when we die. I do believe in some kind of Heaven, but despite my flippant remarks above, i have no idea what it will be like (though i suspect there will be a lot more praise and worship and community and a lot less solitary reading than i'd like to believe). I don't know who gets in and who doesn't, and i don't know what happens to the people who don't get in. I do know that no Heaven could be better than seeing the face of my Savior and hearing Him tell me that He is proud of me, and no Hell could be worse than seeing disappointment in His eyes.

So i don't live in hope of Heaven, nor in fear of Hell. I live in relationship with Jesus, trying to make Him happy every day. That's all i got.

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