Just a reminder, All is Real

Just a reminder, All is Real July 23, 2021

So I hopped on Facebook today and found a fierce discussion going on about Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and Freewill.  The best way I can explain the reality of Hell is God’s final act of love to the soul blocking/unfriending Him.   Anyone who does not want a relationship, shall not have it imposed upon them (hell is the rejection of God’s offer of friendship). God loves them beyond their rejection, and so they continue to be. 

How do we wind up where we wind up?  The faith does not focus on who is there, but why and how one winds up not in Heaven –it is always an offering of God to us, to be in friendship, during this lifetime of ours. It is ours to choose. Only those who would rejoice in Christ’s presence always find themselves there, thus purgatory is where we learn bit by bit, how our errors, our sins, our omissions and commissions wounded the Body of Christ.   We discover and it is painful to examine, all the ways we did not love God with our whole hearts and our neighbors as ourselves.   Until we can do this fully with our whole souls, we cannot enter Heaven.  It is not a question of merit. It is a question of bearableness, and of willingness to say “Yes” to God’s invitation of total love.  We who are attached to sin, will struggle to say yes, or to seek to enter.  We who are attached to sin more than God, will refuse.   

Some find it comforting to believe, All dogs go to heaven, –that sin has no consequence, and because God is merciful, all sins will be ignored.  Mercy is not the ignoring of sin, but the forgiveness of sin.  This is what Christ teaches.   Forgiveness must be sought by those who gave offense.  It’s not that God uses a bouncer, it’s that we won’t seek to come in.

PICTURE IN YOUR MIND A CARTOON OF PERSON TRYING TO USE A FAKE I.D. AT THE PEARLY GATES WITH THE CAPTION, “It’s okay. I know the manager.” when what we need to say is, “Is it okay? I’d like to see the manger.”   

Some pretend Hell is a fiction, because they cannot square an all merciful God with an eternal consequence for actions in this life.   However, if Hell is a fiction, then there is no need for  a Savior from our sins.  For what did Christ shed His precious blood if not to offer Himself as a sacrifice in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world?   If Hell is real, then there is the prospect for each soul, of finding ourselves at risk for all the ways in which we fail to love others as God loves.   

On finding one’s self on the naughty list… VISUALIZE MERIT BADGES ON A VEST.  

It’s not that Heaven is unobtainable, but it is not merit based, it is grace given to those who seek to love God.   Love is not based on merit badges –and Heaven is not either.  Love is based on sacrifice.  Someone who loves another does not measure the time spent as how much do I have to, but as how short the time possible is.   Think of having a great time at a party.  The time flies and you do not notice the passing.  The food, the music, the dancing, the company, all of it feels perfect and you long for it to just keep going.   Love always wants to spend more, to be infinite.     Now think of a painful moment, and how long it seemed to be, how permanent.  Pain is finite, but seems otherwise.  Love is infinite always, even when invisible.    The reality is that God is all just and all merciful, and His way is always to offer love, but in a final act of love, to not impose His love on any soul.  

God performs no shotgun weddings. Only those who want to go into the feast, who long to rejoice in God’s mercy and goodness, for themselves and those around them, will find themselves there. Think of it like in the Last Battle of Narnia, that for those who refuse to see Aslan, they cannot see Aslan. Those that refuse to see the feast as a feast, will not find the feast to be one. Those who deny the necessity of a Savior, the existence of a Savior, and the wanting to be saved (for themselves), will not have that friendship imposed. 

We need to want the friendship, but the good news is, God always knocks, God always offers. Our freewill is our response to His invitation.


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