Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't going there

A few years ago, a book came out that caused shock waves across Christianity. "Love Wins" by Rob Bell. From what I understand of the book, he basically wrote a book saying what universalism has been saying for years: that everyone will ultimately have the chance for reconciliation with God in Heaven. That no one will go to hell. God is too loving of a God to send people to hell. Any Christian worth his salt knows that isn't the case. Jesus Himself warned of hell and told stories about people going there. But yet, it seems to me there is a subtle idea creeping into most Christians and churches that no one goes to hell anymore.

   Everyone is a Christian. People can do every sin in the book, and it is "judging" to dare infer the person isn't a Christian. A politician can do all he or she can do to further the cause of murdering babies and furthering gay marriage and other immorality, but as long as they go to church and throw out a Bible verse, millions of gullible people accept them as a Christian.

  And when someone dies, they are always " in a better place." It doesn't matter how they lived, when they die, they are in a better place.

  I remember years ago when the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster happened. Ronald Regan was president, and he made a statement that was awesome and almost chill-causing. I have heard it many times on Kenny G's Christmas CD that has that and many other memorable events from the past: "We will never forget them, not the last time we saw them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God,"  Many times that I have heard that recording, the thought has come to my mind: "But what if they weren't Christians?" 

  Seven people died that day. Maybe, just maybe, they were all Christians and were serving God. The odds are better though that most of them were not. Sure, if they knew something was going wrong they could have repented before they were blown to bits, but the odds are that not all seven, or even the majority, "touched the face of God". Some of them most likely touched another place.

  Robin Williams died yesterday. From all evidence and accounts, it was by his own hand. Sad. And the majority of people have him in Heaven. I saw many comments on Facebook and other media that "he is in a better place." And many "R.I.P." (rest in peace). This may sound harsh and crass, but if Robin Williams didn't know Jesus as His personal Lord and Savior, he is NOT in a better place, nor is he resting in peace.

  I know he was a nice guy. He made people laugh, and did some good things. I watched some of his movies, and he was a great actor. But.... he was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He did the one thing man should leave up to God: took his own life. It isn't up to us when we die, it is up to God. And if he was a Christian, then why turn to alcohol and drugs instead of God? Why take his own life if He knew Jesus?

  Yeah, he struggled with depression. So do a lot of people, including myself. I never killed myself (obviously) and have no plans on doing so. It is stupid and selfish, for one thing, and I am not sure Heaven is waiting for everyone who kills themselves. I didn't say anyone, but everyone. God knows people's mental states, and He is the One who decides it, but adding up the facts, there is a good chance Robin Williams is not resting in peace or in a better place. And I fear putting all people in Heaven who commit suicide may encourage others to do so, or at the least, not discourage them from doing it.

  Am I judging? No, and maybe. From what I know of him, his career and the life he lived, it doesn't sound like he was a Christian. I know... horrors. I am judging him. But a real Christian is known. No one has to wonder. A real Christian doesn't appear in some kinds of movies, use some kinds of language, does drugs.......

  And yes, he could have repented as the last bits of breath were leaving his body....... we will never know on this earth. And I am only trying to make the point that even a lot of Christians just put everyone in Heaven when they die, no matter how they lived. 

  Heaven is real - and isn't just the title of a book and movie - but so is hell. And this isn't a popular idea anymore, but people still go there, no matter what Rob Bell says. If a person is not a Christian when he or she dies, they will not go to Heaven, but hell. 

  I know. We don't want to make people feel bad, and we don't like feeling so bad when someone dies, so we sugarcoat it and say things like "he is in a better place." "She won't have any pain now." And other such statements that are true if the person knew Jesus, but not true if they didn't.

  Nice people will miss Heaven. Good people will miss Heaven. Funny people will miss Heaven. 

  I never liked Elvis Presley's singing. In fact, "not like" is a pretty mild way of putting it. I learned long ago that you don't dare suggest he missed Heaven. Drugs, sex - it doesn't matter. He had a Bible in his hand when he died, so he made it to Heaven. Besides, he sung Christian songs too! There are people who will go off on you more if you suggest Elvis missed Heaven, than if you said there isn't even a God or Heaven. And some of those people are Christians. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but again...... the people who practically worship him feel better if they think he is in Heaven, so that is where people have put him for years, and don't you dare suggest otherwise........

   There was an actor who met a tragic death in November of last year. Paul Walker. He wasn't an actor I was very familiar with. One reason being, he was in a lot of movies I didn't feel were appropriate to watch. And yet, after his death people were going on about what a wonderful Christian he was. But was he? Would he have appeared in the movies he was in if he truly knew Jesus? Would he have uttered the curse words he did in those movies if he truly were a Christian? Would it not have come out more that he was a Christian, if he was? Would he have been loved and adored so much if he had been a true Christian?

  Maybe we every day Christians have gotten so far away from what being a true Christian is, that we just accept everyone as a Christian, no matter what kind of life they are leading, if they say they are one. Maybe we have made the lines between the world and being a Christian so faint, that we can't tell who are Christians and who aren't anymore.

 But the truth remains: Not everyone is a Christian. In fact, Christians are in the minority. That means there are more people dying and going to hell, than to Heaven. Very sad, but also very true.

  And it doesn't matter who it is, how good or funny they were, how much good they did..... if when they die, they do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, they will go to hell, not Heaven. Whether your name is Robin Williams, Elvis Presley, or Mother Theresa, it all depends on your relationship or lack of relationship with Jesus.

  Now maybe Robin Williams, Elvis, and Paul Walker were Christians who truly knew Jesus as their Savior, and are now in Heaven. And maybe they weren't. But we can't just put people in Heaven so we can feel a bit better about their death.

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