Dietary Warning: This post is to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Someone once told me that if a story can make me doubt my salvation, my faith in God isn’t strong enough.
Recently a friend posted on Facebook about this young lady named Angelica Zambrano. In a nutshell it is a testimony about this girl who claims she dies for about 23 hours, is given the grand tour of Heaven and Hell by Jesus and comes back to earth with a message about repentance and the end days.
Now, my onion isn’t that her story is true or false, because Heaven and Hell is real and most of what she has described in her “experience” has also been written in the bible. But what did bother me were a couple of the details she drew out about Hell, which I will bring up in Part II.
Her story got me thinking, assuming I believed her, why would out of every great and wondrous thing God could show her, He chose to show her Heaven and Hell. Don’t get me wrong, revelation IS vital for spiritual growth.
Unless you catch God’s heart, the revelation achieves nothing.
But my question is for what purpose did He show Hell in such gruesome detail? To instill fear? If so, what kind of fear? Fear for your own salvation? Fear for the salvation of others? Is it just for yourself or to edify others?
Some Christians believe that they are SO sure they are going to Heaven that they only treat the existence of Hell as a fact on a sheet in a corner of their mind.
But “I don’t think about Hell because I’m not going there” seems like a careless statement, does it not? Is it considered arrogance or confidence when we Christians make such a statement?
Can one lose his/her salvation by something that one does?
Whosoever BELIEVES in [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life.
The answer is NO.
The common misconception is you must be worthy of salvation. Some equate it as:
Faith in Jesus+Works=Salvation
But the truth is we were all damned to hell to begin with. And there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves.
Salvation is then God’s gift to us. A new starting point to produce good works. Is it NOT the final destination.
The difference is if you were to attain salvation, your decisions to do good is based on fear of eternal damnation, but when we start from salvation, our choices to make a difference stem from love because we know eternal life is already ours.
Once you believe and receive His gift, it’s a done deal. Sealed with a kiss. Salvation isn’t your highschool English textbook that you would
eventually accidentally lose or misplace. However, I believe people can choose to reject this gift.
[Salvation is] whether we welcome God or not. Just knowing and acsenting that He is there is not enough we must make Him welcome. If you came to my house and I just talked to you throught the screen door I may acknowledge your presence but I certainly haven’t welcomed you. If I invite you for a tea and biscuits and sit with you then you have been welcomed. Its the same with God.
Only he can know if we have just ascented to his presence or have welcomed him so its not the adherence to a list of rules or regulations [but] it’s our heart attitude.
Ps Mark Elmo
Why do some stories provoke us and some don’t?
Hearing Angelica’s “experience”, I don’t fear hell because I have been assured of my salvation. But I do fear people I love going there and fear can be a powerful and motivating tool.
I understand that even though God never created hell for humans, many daily make the choice of booking in a room there and it is the great commission of each follower of Christ to sabo as many of those bookings as we can.
Can a believer gain salvation by his works? No. But can he lose his salvation because of it? I can’t speak for someone else but as for me, I’m going to go with ‘No’.
Jawapan saya muktamad.
End of Part I
Note to self: Be careful with hands.
Thinking of: Bukit Gambang, Jason Derulo’s It Girl, my bionic palms, how you don’t know you’ve hurt someone until they have to tell it to you, visiting the Logos Ship, how Rowan Atkinson is just one of those men that can make the world laugh with the least amount of words.