Question:

Hi,

I've been very scared of not going to heaven and going to hell. When I really want something, I sometimes think I would burn in hell just to have it happen. It sometimes actually does happen, and it really scares me because I thought I'd burn in hell to have it happened. Does that mean I am going to hell?

I tried to make myself clear, but it's really confusing! It feels like it's not even me thinking these things. Please help. Your help is very much appreciated!


Answer:

Judgment is based on what you do, including the motives behind your actions.

"But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek" (Romans 2:5-9).

"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God" (I Corinthians 4:5).

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).

Whether you go to heaven or hell is not dependent on what happens to you, but on what you choose to do -- whether live righteously according to God's teachings or whether you choose to sin.

"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).

Even here, God offers us salvation even if we mess up and sin.

"But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).

If you are not a Christian, salvation from your sins is offered when you become a Christian.

"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13).

For those who are Christians, God tells us to change (repent) and admit our faults and He will forgive.

"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

Thank you so much for your response! It helped a lot, although I still have one question. So, since I thought I'd would burn in hell just to have what I want happen, and it does happen, then was God giving that to me but in return I have to go to hell because it was like a trade in a sense?

Where did you find that in the Scriptures? Just because you imagine it could happen in some fashion, it doesn't mean that is what happens. I documented how God decides. If you think there is another criteria, then please bring up the passage so we can discuss it.

I am just confussed on how I thought I would go to hell just to have something happen and it does happen, like it's God anwsering a prayer. Because God knows our thoughts and it was sort of like a prayer in my head that I thought I'd go to hell to have it happen. So is that God responding to my prayer? And if it is, since I said I'd go to hell to have it happen, does that mean I'm going there because it did happen?

"Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:7-9).

What I'm trying to get you to do is not assume that your thoughts are the same as God's. God told us what He does and how He operates with mankind. There is nothing confusing about what He has said. The only reason you find it confusing is because it isn't the way you assumed God would treat you. Notice that everything you've said is based on your own thoughts. You have not come to these conclusions based on what God said.

Your reasoning has God purposely answer people's prayers just to send them to hell. Yet, God never operates in that fashion. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). God works to get people saved from their sins, not to push them into destruction.

That makes so much more sense. Thank you very much for helping me!