So, here's a scary thought. What if the standard for getting into Heaven was perfection? That is to say, if you've ever done something wrong, you haven't earned your way in.
Actually, it makes sense to me. Heaven, it's written, has no pain. It's an eternity of communion with God, where every need is filled. No hunger. No mourning. How do you earn that? What do you do to deserve a complete lack of anything bad?
It's also written that God is just. That is, He gives people what they deserve. I've looked at myself pretty hard for the past couple weeks, thinking about this issue. I'm really the only case I'm qualified to judge at all. Thus, I re-asked the question of myself: Do I deserve to go to Heaven?
That's not actually the question I asked. I considered whether I deserved Hell. And the answer is yes.
I thought about the weight of everything I've ever done wrong. Quite heavy. I tried to imagine the sum total of all the pain I've caused other people throughout my life. It's a scary thought, once it begins to add up. And regardless of the good I've done, my sin remains. It can't be undone.
Furthermore, my sins have grieved God. An eternal being, who loves me. My temporal actions have eternal consequences. So I must conclude that I haven't earned Heaven, and I deserve Hell. I speak only for myself, and I encourage others to do the same.
Does anyone think they've earned Heaven? I don't think I have.
The only reason I'm going is that I've accepted grace. It's an option for everyone, thanks be to Jesus. If salvation were fair, instead of merciful, we'd all be screwed.
11. Explain why, if your god loves us all, more than half of us are going to Hell after we die. Specifically, refute or explain the following words of Christ, as presented in the New Testament: "Many are called but few are chosen," and "Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto salvation, and few there be that find it." If your god loves all of us, couldn't he find a better way?
12. Explain what type of offense could possibly justify eternal, unbearable torture in Hell; if your sect does not believe in Hell, then refute every passage in the Old and New Testaments which describes Hell (such as 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Revelation 20:15). (Do not exceed 100 words.)
13. Explain how your god can be both just and merciful, when these terms apparently contradict each other.