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PDF My Journey through Hell on My Way to Heaven: Volume 1

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My Journey Through Hell on My Way to Heaven, المجلد 1

Ultimate Ends As I said in the beginning, heaven and hell are not a tacked-on doctrines, mere parting gifts. We are all on a spiritual journey, all heading toward one destination or the other. Heaven and hell are the ultimate and logical ends of the journey. But that still leaves us with a major question. Are heaven and hell relevant only to our eternal state, or do they have an impact in this life?

The perspective of Camus, being an atheist, makes the point that what we believe about the afterlife casts a shadow on how we live here. What should meditating on the glory of heaven, along with the horror of hell, do to us?

For us as believers, we see at least four ways this should affect our Christian lives. Convention requires me to make these all begin with the same letter. Here we go. In the Bible, hope is tied to promise, not possibility.

Hope from the perspective of h ell Contemplating hell reminds us that no matter how bad or bleak things seem, while we are in this world, there is still hope. George, one of the ER doctors, slaps the syringe out of his hand. I am in hell already. I might as well die.


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The truth is, he was not in hell. And if he saw hell for what it was, he would have quickly chosen to remain in this life, for in this life there is always hope. There is still time to turn to God and turn away from sin. Still time for salvation, redemption, and restoration. Are these the shadows of things that must be, or are they the shadows of things that might be?

Hope from the perspective of heaven Contemplating heaven reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven Philippians , that we are traveling to a better city whose architect is God himself Hebrews , and that the best things in this life — friendships, periods of joy, successes — are just rest stops along the way, not our final destination.

We were made for eternity. If pondering our eternal destination is escapism, then the message of Jesus in the Gospels is, go to expedia. Over and over, Jesus pleads with us to fix our eyes on heaven. In fact, the disappointments in our life are at the gracious allowance of God, as he uses them to rouse us from our temporal, materialistic stupor.

Humility from the perspective of hell Though we have trusted in Christ for our salvation, this does not mean our minds have fully embraced hell as being our just desserts. We begin to think that God loves us for who we are, not because of how Christ has remade us.

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Apart from Christ, the only side of God we would have experienced is his judgment. What, after all, makes spoiled brats spoiled? What spoiled brats need is to spend a summer in Third World squalor. This is what the contemplation of hell does for us.

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Without it, we would become spiritual brats. Hell squashes pride, grows humility, and rips the ice cream cone out of the hands of our inner brat. Humility from the perspective of hea ven How do you humble the human heart? Treat it like a mutt and rub its nose in what its done or treat it like Paris Hilton and give it a Porsche for doing absolutely nothing.

Heaven humbles us from the opposite direction. Think about that. The gift of the gospel will be remembered forever.

Well, I would suggest that the experience of God and the experience of joy will be great enough to keep us humble forever. And I would also suggest that only an eternal hell would provide the complementing bookend to eternal humility. The blessings of God in our life are the first ripples of heaven. How can this be? Holiness from the perspective of hell One of the things that happens to us as we reflect on hell is that we see sin for what it is and we learn to take it more seriously.

Medically speaking, I know as much about the inner workings of cancer as I do about the digestive system of marsupials. I know what it does and where it leads. Likewise, knowing that the end result of sin is hell, and knowing how horrible hell is, causes me to take sin seriously.

Consequences reflect and define the severity of the offense. Contemplating hell should shock us from the desire to justify sin, however small it may seem. The thought of hell reminds us what an awful thing it is to rebel against God and how severe that rebellion is. Someone sent me a link to an anti-abortion website.

We all know that abortions happen daily — about four thousand times daily. But the hellacious images on the website made me nauseous and awoke me, not just to the evil of abortion, but also to my apathy toward evil. Similarly, the image of hell awakens us from apathy to our own sin and to sin in general — societal sin, cultural sin, global sin. Holiness from the perspective of heaven Heaven urges us to live a holy life, pursuing faithfulness even when we grow weary. The motivation is not just about the prospect of heaven but about the promise of reward.

Some struggle with the idea that we would serve God for a reward, seeing that motivation as selfish or perhaps utilitarian. I get that. But if it is not beneath God to promise reward, it should not be beneath us to aspire to it. I think this struggle flows from a distorted view of rewards. If you award me a trophy — say, a gold emasculated male holding a laurel wreath — for teaching Braille to the blind, I grant you that is absurd.

The Soul's Journey on Earth - The Journey through Life

But what if my reward lay in seeing the blind reading? Pursuit of reward is not a misplaced motivation when the reward is the action in its fulfillment. That capacity for joy will be determined by their humility and holiness in this life. Though my good works do not save me, they will not be overlooked. And those who are not harvested for salvation in this life stand to be harvested for judgment at the end of time Revelation Harvest from the perspective of hell It is not emotionally manipulative, then, to warn those who have not trusted in Christ of hell. After all, the reality of hell is the truth — a hard truth, but the truth nonetheless.

Contemplating hell should instill in us a sense of urgency. Not only is life short but also in its shortness our eternal destinies are decided. Time is urgent and procrastination is a child of unbelief.