Are you only a Christian in fear of hell?


#1

If not, then why? You might say something along the lines of “because I enjoy the sensation of Christ residing inside of my body” or “it makes me happy.” But is that really true?

Let’s just say, for the sake of saying, that admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is guaranteed as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and ask forgiveness
for your past sins at some point in time, whether it be at death or at judgement day. If this will permit you into heaven and save you from eternal suffering, then is it really an economic decision to dedicate your life to pleasing God?

After all, aren’t all of us equal in heaven? Are believers apart of stricter sects or people who become monks or priests or cardinals any better off in heaven than the good-hearted carpenter that can’t take a day off to go to Church but still thinks about God once in awhile when he needs him? Will God pick and nag us about all of the good things we haven’t done that others have and all of the bad things we’ve done that others haven’t? Will these few years on Earth be worth the trouble if none of it will make any difference in the afterlife, can’t we simply make up on the brownie points once we’re absolutely certain that God exists? Or are we just being good Christians for our egos and because we fear death?


#2

This is a very interesting post.

[quote=satellite]If not, then why?
[/quote]

Majority of Christians are Christian because it is a matter of faith and with this faith there is Truth. If we believe just because of a great fear of hell, then we have faith in fearing hell, and not in Jesus Christ.

You might say something along the lines of “because I enjoy the sensation of Christ residing inside of my body” or “it makes me happy.” But is that really true?

While we enjoy being Christ like and living our faith it is more then just a sensation it is a way of life.

Let’s just say, for the sake of saying, that admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is guaranteed as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and ask forgiveness
for your past sins at some point in time, whether it be at death or at judgement day. If this will permit you into heaven and save you from eternal suffering, then is it really an economic decision to dedicate your life to pleasing God?

These types of questions are fun in theory, but most Christians don’t live their life in theory nor for twisting truth. I think it is prudent for all Christians whether Catholic/Protestant to know that living as a Christian can be very hard at times, but everybody has hard times, being a Christian just makes it easier.

After all, aren’t all of us equal in heaven?

We all have to go through some type of purification process and that is why Jesus died for our sins, but yes while we are equal we carry on our own likeness. God didn’t create clones in the sense of pure equality.

Are believers apart of stricter sects or people who become monks or priests or cardinals any better off in heaven than the good-hearted carpenter that can’t take a day off to go to Church but still thinks about God once in awhile when he needs him?

Whether we are people of the faith or leaders of the faith, it is not about the leaders of the faith and it is not soley about the faithfull. It has to do with a relationship and what we have done on earth, as we will be judged by our good and bad deeds.

Will God pick and nag us about all of the good things we haven’t done that others have and all of the bad things we’ve done that others haven’t?

I believe we will be judged accordingly, but the process of his judgement we will all find out.

Will these few years on Earth be worth the trouble if none of it will make any difference in the afterlife, can’t we simply make up on the brownie points once we’re absolutely certain that God exists? Or are we just being good Christians for our egos and because we fear death?

The belief in which you speak of is denying the existance of God with lack of faith. If God wanted us to live our lifes free from sin, then we would probably do that, but like I said, as Christians we don’t live our life in theory, we live it by the teachings of Christ. If we are truly sorry for our sins, then we are called to go on and sin no more.

I can’t speak for others, but I will say being a good Christian is not to be egotistical, but to have a relationship with God and live by his teachings.


#3

Well, it’s difficult to discuss so many different questions in one thread. Kind of like a scatter gun effect.

[quote=satellite] You might say something along the lines of “because I enjoy the sensation of Christ residing inside of my body” or “it makes me happy.” But is that really true?
[/quote]

To begin with, No, fear of hell is one of the smaller aspects of my faith. Actually I rarely consider hell, my faith is based on love, not fear. “Are you only a Christian in fear of hell?” the “only” in this question rather implies no other reasons, no love for God, just fear for my own well being.

[quote=satellite] Let’s just say, for the sake of saying, that admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is guaranteed as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and ask forgiveness for your past sins at some point in time, whether it be at death or at judgement day. Why would we argue about a conclusion which is untrue? First of all “admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is guaranteed as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and ask forgiveness for your past sins” is not true. That is not what Jesus teaches. Remember His Words to the rich man : “Luke 18:22 - Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” He is telling us here we must give up everything for God, it isn’t a once in a while thing.

[quote=satellite] If this will permit you into heaven and save you from eternal suffering, then is it really
[/quote]

an economic decision to dedicate your life to pleasing God? Again, it isn’t a list of things you must accomplish, it’s a life you must live.

[quote=satellite] After all, aren’t all of us equal in heaven?
[/quote]

but all will not reach heaven:” Matthew 7:14 - Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

[quote=satellite] Are believers apart of stricter sects or people who become monks or priests or cardinals any better off in heaven than the good-hearted carpenter that can’t take a day off to go to Church but still thinks about God once in awhile when he needs him?
[/quote]

“Matthew 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Being a priest, monk, cardinal, minister, pastor, does not mean you’re going to heaven. They are (most of them) in those positions because they love God, not because they think it’s their ticket to heaven.

[quote=satellite] Will God pick and nag us about all of the good things we haven’t done that others have and all of the bad things we’ve done that others haven’t?
[/quote]

”pick and nag”? how about judge. “Revelation 20:12 - And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:13 - And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

[quote=satellite] Will these few years on Earth be worth the trouble if none of it will make any difference in the afterlife, can’t we simply make up on the brownie points once we’re absolutely certain that God exists? Or are we just being good Christians for our egos and because we fear death?
[/quote]

After you die it’s too late. I don’t fear death, actually quite the opposite.
[/quote]


#4

This was a good answer! :smiley: :thumbsup:


#5

Eternity is a very very long time. The thought of spending it in hell is daunting. Do I fear hell? Darn right I do. Kinda of like a respect I have when driving. I don’t drive in fear, but I sure to respect the possibility of getting killed in an accident.

Overall, the love of God is my prime motivation.


#6

I am a Christian because I am convinced of the truth of the Gospel. Nobody should do anything in this life unless they believe the reason they do so is based on reason and goodness and, lacking that, on the word of one who is worthy of trust. Jesus Christ is the one I have found who is worthy, and he has given us his Church (which includes his Word as found in the Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium) as our Mother and Teacher.

As far as fear of hell, it isn’t the best motivation to obey God, but for some, it’s better than nothing. :wink:


#7

Why did Jesus come and die for our sins? He came to save the lost. Hell is for those who reject Gods mercy. I will approach the judgement seat with fear of the Lord. I pray that I am in the state of grace when I do.That is my goal. Hell is real.Read the scriptures,it will show you what hell is like. I am a christian so that I will be saved from the fires of Hell. :eek: God Bless


#8

As part of your act of contrition you state that you are sorry for having offended God, that you detest all of your sin, because you dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend God who is all good and deserving of your love.


#9

I love threads like this with lots of questions, and everybody answering. Of course I want to give my own answers, too.

[quote=satellite]If not, then why?
[/quote]

There’s only one reason I’m a Christian, and that’s because I think Christianity is true. It seems to me that’s the only reason anybody ought to be a Christian.

Let’s just say, for the sake of saying, that admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is guaranteed as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and ask forgiveness
for your past sins at some point in time, whether it be at death or at judgement day. If this will permit you into heaven and save you from eternal suffering, then is it really an economic decision to dedicate your life to pleasing God?There isn’t enough stipulated in your scenario to really answer that question. For example, are there rewards in heaven? However, in general, I think what God asks of us is in our best interest, because we reap what we sow. Just think about it. Would the world be a better place if everybody were moral or if they were not moral?

[quote]
After all, aren’t all of us equal in heaven?

I don’t think so. Jesus does mention that some will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Are believers apart of stricter sects or people who become monks or priests or cardinals any better off in heaven than the good-hearted carpenter that can’t take a day off to go to Church but still thinks about God once in awhile when he needs him?

I don’t think being in a position of authority makes a person better off. Paul said that teachers will be held more accountable than the rest of us. But I think a person’s morality will have an affect on their standing in heaven, and their rewards, regardless of their vocation. Remember that the primary commandment is to love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. One can do that if only thinks about God once in an while when he needs him.

Will God pick and nag us about all of the good things we haven’t done that others have and all of the bad things we’ve done that others haven’t?

I’m not sure how much he’ll pick and nag, but Paul did write that “we must all appear before the judgement seat of CHrist, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10).

Will these few years on Earth be worth the trouble if none of it will make any difference in the afterlife, can’t we simply make up on the brownie points once we’re absolutely certain that God exists?

Even if only for this life, it makes a difference. Think of all the suffering that goes on in the world due to immorality.

Or are we just being good Christians for our egos and because we fear death?

[/quote]

Maybe some people are, but I doubt if all are. A lot of us try to be good Christians because we think we ought to be good Christians.


#10

In a word to the thread topic, no. BUT, I am do very much
believe that hell exists and I do have a fear of going to hell.

I am a product of weak catechism and the watered down,
Jesus is love half-truth that has been espoused from the
pulpit for the last 30 years. Jesus is love, but he also
requires obedience. He is also a perfect judge, and I pray
every day:

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the
fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven especially those in need
of your mercy

Asking for God’s mercy to avoid hell is very important. It’s
important enough to warrant a prayer in the rosary, right?
But when’s the last time you heard about avoiding hell at
mass? Is there a “general intercession” for it? Not at my
Church. But there’s one for "sending us good politicians"
or other such garbage.

As a Catholic, it is not about just me accepting Christ as my
Redeemer. The salvation is there for me, provided that I
do not reject the grace from God. But I still have
to do things, and I must be obedient to my Creator.

When’s the last time any of you heard about the
Corporal or Spiritual works of mercy at mass? I never do.
Am I to assume that these don’t matter in avoiding hell?
How can anyone ask for mercy unless they willfully perform
acts of mercy?

Sorry for the rant,

Jeff


#11

Do I fear Hell? YES! Jesus put the fear of Hell into me!

If going to Hell would be pleasent and fun, why choose Jesus? We choose Jesus because His path is narrow but the rewards are great.

Perhaps I missunderstood the question but to fear hell is part of why we all follow the Master. How can you seperate it? The Nazerian is the alternative to Hell. The Messiah is our light in an otherwise dark world.

Many have chosen Hell because it looks so kool? It is so fun to pick and choose what to believe? To find a religion that fits your wants and opinions but not the Faith Jesus gave us?
One reason I follow Christ, stay loyal to His body, His Catholic Church, is because I do fear Hell.


#12

The thought of going to hell isn’t nearly as frightening to me as the thought of living my life without Jesus by my side. Who would I go to with my troubles? Who would comfort me? Who would always always be there for me to love me & accept me just as I am? Believing that this life is all that there is… and living my life apart from Him - now that’s scary.


#13

[quote=satellite]If this will permit you into heaven and save you from eternal suffering, then is it really an economic decision to dedicate your life to pleasing God?
[/quote]

This isn’t an “economic” decision. It’s a decision – or, more properly, a recognition – of our place in the universe, the reason we exist. Looking at it in economic terms makes no sense whatsoever. If I truly believed that the “here-and-now” is all there is and that there is no reason NOT to devote my life to optimizing my pleasure, then, no, Catholicism would not make sense. Ludwig von Mises taught that economics is human action aimed at improving our circumstances. Since I first really saw the truth of Catholicism I have become less concerned with the balance-sheet economics and much more interested in the economy of salvation. And not simply because I fear eternal separation from God…

Which brings me to another of your points…

I think how we live in this earthly pilgrimage makes an incalculably HUGE difference in the afterlife. Beyond the question of salvation, there is the question of glory. When we pass from this earth, if, God willing, we make it to heaven and share with the other saints the Beatific Vision, we will no longer have hope, because we will have attained the object of our hope – eternal communion with God. We will have perfect love, so love remains. We will no longer have faith, because our souls will be glorified so that we can dwell in the presence of God.

Every soul in heaven will be completely happy to the limits of its capacity. The most important things we can do in this life are increase our capacity to know and love God, and to support others in doing the same.

Last summer I visited Germany for the first time in my life. I had been looking forward to it since I was 15 (22 years ago); I visited Nuremberg, Rothernberg ob der Tauber, and attended the Bayreuth Festival. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it. But I was keenly aware that none of my friends could have experienced the trip – especially the festival – as much as I did. There’s a (distant) possibility that I will go again this year, and I expect to enjoy it even more the next time, because I am more familiar with what to do, how to do it, what to see, and so on.

Conversely, my friend Domenico would enjoy spending a week in the Louvre more than I would, because he knows a lot more about painting and sculpture and art history than I do. I would enjoy it, but he would appreciate it even more than I would.

If our aim is to spend eternity with God, it is well worth our while to prepare ourselves as best we can. I’ve heard it described this way – Niagara Falls can easily fill a thimble, and it can easily fill a 55-gallon drum. I know the analgy is imperfect, but if God is the waterfall, which would you rather have your soul be – a thimble, or a 55-gallon drum?

So yes, I think it makes a difference. Store up treasures in heaven. Enjoy what this life has to offer, but never lose sight of home.

In My Father’s House There Are Many Mansions


#14

“If not, then why? You might say something along the lines of “because I enjoy the sensation of Christ residing inside of my body” or “it makes me happy.” But is that really true?”

That isn’t what almost anybody would say I don’t think lol. I think most people would tell you the reason is that it is the Truth. So I think you’re starting from a false or narrow premise.

"Let’s just say, for the sake of saying, that admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is guaranteed as long as you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and ask forgiveness
for your past sins at some point in time, whether it be at death or at judgement day. If this will permit you into heaven and save you from eternal suffering, then is it really an economic decision to dedicate your life to pleasing God?"
Well first of all it isn’t true. Now hypothetically if it was true, then it would still be the right decision to be obediant and dedicate your life to God. Because that’s what is good. And the point of life is nothing but being with God. There is no other point to life. So if it is someone’s perogative to say ‘oh yeah I believe, but…I’m going to go live it up for my whole life’ , they will have an empty, unhappy, and terrible life.

“After all, aren’t all of us equal in heaven? Are believers apart of stricter sects or people who become monks or priests or cardinals any better off in heaven than the good-hearted carpenter that can’t take a day off to go to Church but still thinks about God once in awhile when he needs him? Will God pick and nag us about all of the good things we haven’t done that others have and all of the bad things we’ve done that others haven’t? Will these few years on Earth be worth the trouble if none of it will make any difference in the afterlife, can’t we simply make up on the brownie points once we’re absolutely certain that God exists? Or are we just being good Christians for our egos and because we fear death?”

No we aren’t all ‘equal in heaven’. We get rewards for things we do in this life, and the rewards are not equal. And yes God will ‘pick and nag’ because we do everything TO HIM. Read the Gospel. Salvation isn’t about ‘brownie points either’. And as for believing because of fear, the bible says, the beginning of wisdom is fear of the lord. Fear is an acceptable reason for faith. But as the bible says, Fear is the beginning. It isn’t meant to continue to be that way if you live out your faith. It can still be a part of it of course, but it will grow into love of God.

That’s about all I can say to your question. But I think you need to think things through a lot more.


#15

This is a greta question, because I firmly believe that true faith in God and Jesus Christ, and a knowledge of the Word, means that OBEDIENCE and FEAR OF GOD are part of what we experience. It says so right in the Bible, nothing wrong with that.

In fact, lack of obedience is probably a root cause of a number of worldly issues today. Imagine arguing with Jesus when He says that He was very clear as to His expectations, and someone did not OBEY. That would not be a position I would want to be in…,


#16

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.


#17

Well, that’s part of it…But it’s not the larger part. The main reason is that if Somebody is willing to be tortured to death for me, I kinda have to respond-- positively-- to that kind of love, don’t I??..I mean, what kind of a person would I be, if I looked at the Lord dying for me, & then said, “Thanks, but I’ll take vanilla??”


#18

[quote=Zooey]??..I mean, what kind of a person would I be, if I looked at the Lord dying for me, & then said, “Thanks, but I’ll take vanilla??”
[/quote]

That’s great. I’ll have to remember that clever way of putting it. Thanks.


#19

No, I’m a Christian because I couldn’t get through a day, let alone my life on earth without Him.


#20

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