A question about heaven(48 Posts)
I believe that Hell is just the absence of Christ, and in that respect, Heaven is just the presence of Christ. Which means, if you believe in Jesus, you just get to spend your eternity in his presence, and if you dont believe, you get his absence. Heaven is not a place. But a state of your soul.
That is what I believe.
Another question - is it still heaven if some of the people you love aren't there?
So you Joyful - your name's not on the list, you aint getting in but your sister will. Will it still be heaven for your sister knowing that you are excluded?
But then by your own definition, by being 'insincere' and 'nasty' you don't really believe in Christ so you won't get into heaven ...
I am with quint on this - Heaven is a state of mind and not some nirvana promised if you are 'good'
doesn't it also depend on the flavour of religion??
Christian "heaven" has many rules depending on denomination...
I remember being told by a priest when I was 6 to stop blaspheming, the dog would not be in heaven waiting - animals have no soul....
my mum was told by the same priest that she would either be going straight to hell for divorcing and being unrepentant, or would spend eternity in heaven with my alcoholic violent dad as the church only recognised one marriage before god - great choices!! (he didn't actually explain how widows remarrying worked)
Strangely I am now an atheist...
By my definition, it is very hard to be 'nasty' and a genuine Christian ....
It is the hypothetical 'you' ...
I am a member of an Anglican church, and the focus is very much on believing and trusting in God, and following Jesus. Although we are encouraged to ask for forgiveness when we have sinned (not in a confessional box kind of way, but by praying to God and kind of apologising), there are no threats of 'not going to Heaven' if we do things that are considered sins. That was the whole point of Jesus dying for us; in Him all our sins are forgiven.
Surely to be a follower of jesus (as opposed to someone that believes in jesus) you need to be nice?
Yep - my dad would have got in - apparently because he went to confession and repented his sin and believed in God... makes it all right then....
Yep it is Catholic - we had a very strictly Catholic priest - repentance and unqualified belief is everything......
Gimbling, you don't have to be nice to be a follower; that's phrased really badly on my part but what I'm trying to say in an extremely inarticulate way is that it's not about you, or what you say or what you do. It's about what someone else did for you.
I think quint did a brilliant job of describing how I also perceive heaven.
I just have a big issue with the whole idea of being judged and somehow there is some test of goodness.
My reality is that we really don't know what awaits us when we die - part of being a Christian for me is trying to live as best as I can and not just be a Christian in name only.
This whole issue of repentance in name only and absolution by a priest doesn't appeal to me ...
Surely as an atheist you don't believe in the concept of a heaven ( I am and I don't ) so it's an irrelevance .
Hi, I'm RC, but not the kind characterised above, I think. I hope.
Heaven is to me a kind of blanket term for being with God, being embraced and accepted and loved unconditionally for exactly who and what you are.
Hell - and there's plenty of it about - is about NOT being embraced and welcomed.
Jesus accepted and loved people who were completely outcast, and was often outcast himself. Nobody who wants to be loved by him can miss out. Lots of people actually choose something else, though - typically pride, or power, or wealth, or pleasure bought at others' expense.
On earth we make a heaven or a hell for one another. Repentance is just recognition that we can by our actions make a hell for others, and the will never to do that again.
Agree with Sieglinde about heaven and hell.
As for being judged, I think it is more like being utterly known by someone who sees through all your subterfuges, and all your excuses for yourself, all your stories about how it was the other person's fault and you couldn't help it and anyway it doesn't matter and who cares anyway? We all have plenty of that - no matter how 'good' we are. Judgement is being seen without protective screens.
I don't think it works like 'if you have done x you to to hell'. Jesus brings you face to face with the sum total of who you have made yourself through all your actions. Facing and accepting that is judgement enough.
But there is also love and forgiveness. God sees all our lies and evasions, all our laziness and envy and pride. But nothing we do or are can stop him loving us and wanting us to love him back. Nothing we can do can be so bad that he will not forgive us. Jesus will always mend our relationship with God, He will always welcome us, and he will always bring us to God, our ultimate home. Hell is being apart from him, and choosing to turn our back on him.
For a Christian, life without Christ would be hell. For you, it would be quite normal. Hell does therefore not apply to you. Neither would Heaven, as you would not be bothered whether he was in your life at all. The concept of Heaven and Hell are religious ones, and because you dont believe in Christ, for you, there is neither Heaven nor Hell. Just life. And death. And normal.
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