** patg **and ckempston, it’s not a threat. Have either of you read my post, above? Eternity without God is the natural consequence of choosing to reject God. God is Love. All virtue, all goodness, all things worthwhile and valuable are found in Him. Without goodness, there is nothing worthwhile in life, only misery. Therefore the choice to reject God is the choice to reject Goodness, Love, Mercy, Joy, Peace, all of what God is.
Every time we sin, we are rejecting God, because sin is contrary to His nature. God is Love and sin is UNLOVING. It is opposition to God, and it carries with it a kind of interior unsatisfaction, restlessness and unhappiness. When people do what is wrong, in an interior way, they suffer. Some people even cut themselves, burn themselves or commit suicide out of their misery or despair . . . that’s a foretaste of Hell. All our sins (and their accompanying negative consequences) are a foretaste of Hell, because Hell is COMPLETE separation from God, the choice to completely reject all love, goodness, peace, mercy, fulfillment, all that brings satisfaction to the soul because all of these are one with God. Whenever a soul commits a mortal sin, it knows what is good and right but deliberately rejects it in order to commit an extremely grievous violation against what is right. That is the rejection of God. It is self-separation from God. It is choosing what is absolutely unloving, and its consequences, instead of what is loving and love’s consequences. Mortal sin is the rejection of love and therefore is the rejection of God, because God is Love.
1 John 4:20-21 says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
1 John talks very well about the nature of sin and God, and how sinning is separating oneself from God, because sin is choosing what is unloving and contrary to love’s nature while God is Love. The verses I just brought up show that people have to love people in order to love God. We have to live in love to live in God, because all goodness is united with God and all our rejection of goodness is consequently rejection of God.
Here are a couple more very relevant passages:
1 John 4:12, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
By loving, we are made one with God, according to that Scripture. That is because, as John teaches, God is Love.
1 John 4:16-17, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.”
The passage above talks about how uniting with love is uniting with God . . . living in love is living in God because God is Love.
Being unloving, therefore, is being without God. All sin is unloving and consequently is separation from God.
The more unloving people are in this life, the more miserable they feel. This truth we can probably all accept is the same thing as saying, “the more separate people are from God, the more they suffer.”
When each person dies, they receive the completeness of what they gave themselves to in life. If they gave themselves to becoming more loving, they become completely united with Love. If they are gave themselves to becoming more unloving, they will become completely Unloving. This is the withdrawal of all good from the soul, the complete self-chosen rejection of God. This is Hell. The completeness of misery. Self-chosen torture. Each soul reaps what it sows. It is plainly just.
Jesus warns us about Hell, He doesn’t threaten. When a parent takes his child aside and says, “if you keep doing drugs, bingeing on alcohol and hanging out with the wrong crowd, you’re going to ruin your life,” they are doing exactly the same thing as Jesus does when He warns people about the consequences of rejecting Love.
Now these truths about the nature of love and separation from love canNOT allow us to slip into the apostasy that we don’t need Jesus Christ, for “we can just try to be loving and that’s all we need.” Jesus is Love Himself. Without His help, we aren’t strong enough and cannot make ourselves good enough to truly pursue what is loving . . . we will always mar ourselves with the unloving in an inescapable way. We need Love to becoming Loving, and Jesus is Love. His Cross is our salvation.
We cannot unite with Love while rejecting Love; we cannot have God while rejecting Jesus.