Our mental views of God shape our attitudes toward God. Misbeliefs about God hinder engaging with God to pursue spirituality. If you think there may be a God, I am convinced you will not regret pursuing more of a connection with your Creator than regretting having a closer relationship with your partner, children, or friends. In this series of Posts the Bible is referenced because that is from where views of God are often formed. What if you discovered that God’s grace is unlimited and God is full of second chances?
- God not only respects the right to choose your own personal beliefs in this life, but God does not torture people after death for such decisions. The word Hell, a substitution not translation for certain Hebrew and Greek words, was invented over the centuries to scare people into obedience. No such place as Hell exists according to the Bible.
- The Bible cannot be used to decide definitively that God’s grace ends after death regarding one’s destiny. We must decide this matter based on God’s character in general. Do we really think God is going to stop showing grace at the moment of one’s last breathe? The Bible teaches forgiveness is unlimited (i.e. Mt. 18:21-22). This attribute of God strongly suggests God would forgive one more time when meeting God if truly trusting in God and regretting one’s actions. God’s can’t just stop being merciful after death.
- Our beliefs are often determined by where we were born or the family we were born into. Our destiny cannot be based on certain beliefs found only in the Bible when the majority of people born into this world had no access to such information. Those with a Bible may have misunderstood God either because of poor role-models or what others taught about God. God is not going to let one final destiny be controlled by others. Meeting God will clear up any confusion and remove any causes that led to erroneous thinking.
- One may be surprised when Jesus was asked by a religious expert how to have eternal life. Jesus simply said to love God and your neighbor (Lk.10:25-37). Loving God is to love ourselves and others like we want to be loved. Obviously, changing directions not perfection was Jesus’ message or heaven will be empty. Jesus didn’t talk so much about life after death; Jesus talked about how true living begins on earth by knowing how much your Creator loves you. Such knowledge can empower one to be the unselfish person we all desire to be deep down. Heaven is a time for celebrating one’s life and refuge for those who have suffered.
- No punishment can return one’s robbed memories because of sexual abuse or murder of a loved one. True justice is being forced to understand your victim’s pain and accepting the harmfulness of your actions. After death God may bring to memory every action of betrayal and how it felt to their victims. A child beater may experience emotionally the terror they gave others. Victims will have their revenge one day. The cleansing and educative effect may take longer for some than others. Believers and unbelievers may go through the same process of justice, some having more regrets than others. God’s punishment has always been in hopes of redeeming the guilty. We like God may forgive our tormenters if our enemies truly regret their actions and seek forgiveness.
Justice from a fair, merciful God is entirely possible despite people being given a second chance after death. There is hope for our loved ones who didn’t acknowledge God much less have an obvious trusting relationship with their Creator. It seems no one in their right mind would reject living in heaven after meeting their loving Creator. God will remove all causes that led to erroneous thinking. Why even bother then in this life to act godly much less trust in God? I am speechless if you believe a life of loving others like you want to be loved isn’t worth living. When we know God the way Jesus knew God, we can sense God’s love and support in good and troubled times and pursue a life that doesn’t lead to regrets while here on earth.