Who are you to say who will go to heaven or hell?

Dear Ralph,

I think a lot of what you say is good, but everyone sins and it says so in the bible. No one is perfect and God knows that -- which is one of the reasons he allowed his Son to die, to save all of us -- not "just" certain people. And I know suicide is a sin, but so are many other things that most people don't see as being too bad. Like lying, using God's name in vain and so on. The Bible says that there is NO such thing as a big or little sin, but that you still can be forgiven for all or ANY SINS! And even if you die first you still can be forgiven. It never says you won't-- it just says that it is a sin-- which can be forgiven.

People make mistakes. God knows that. And if you kill yourself, yes you will have to face God and ask forgiveness-- but that doesn't mean you won't be forgiven, but if you ask for forgiveness God will give it to you. And since everyone has sinned, even YOU will have to ask forgiveness just like everyone else. Who are you to say who will go to heaven or hell? You are not God and cannot judge like that. Only God is the true judge. Yes, I do believe people should not sin and do wrong but we are all imperfect beings. But that doesn't mean we would go to hell. If you want God's forgiveness, either here or there, he will never keep it from you, and that was his WORD. You don't seem like a bad person but I don't understand why you're saying that all people who sin and do not ask for forgiveness before they die will go to hell! (What about all the stillborn, and aborted fetuses and little sick children who die and can't even talk? What if they don't know God? Are they doomed to HELL? Because " All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." You will see God, and yes you will have to confess sins, but it also says He can forgive you if you want him to. And it says in the Bible that the ONLY unforgivable sin is totally denying God and turning your back on Him for GOOD! That does not mean suicide is an unforgivable sin, because you can ask for forgiveness. But to deny God is to deny even His forgiveness and love. Many people who commit suicide are either mentally ill, very hurt or depressed, or they can't stand the world for how hateful and corrupted it is.

Many want love from God unconditionally. That does NOT mean they are turning their backs on God. It means they are imperfect and just as capable as anyone else to make mistakes. It says in the Bible to be humble, compassionate, and forgiving yourself. Telling people that YOU don't even know, that they have turned their backs on God is not being that at all. It is only your opinion. and it's not a very good one, since you don't know those people anyway. Even then it says plenty of times in the Bible that God loves everyone despite their sins and errors of judgment. It also says to not be arrogant. And I don't really think you are horribly arrogant, but you should just let God be the judge and let Him forgive everyone, if YOU'RE not "WILLING" to!

And, again, I say that the bible says that EVERYONE has sinned and will sin because it is our nature -- (human nature). And it says repeatedly that ANYONE who is sorry for their mistakes may be forgiven. You are not perfect either and you do not have any all-knowing judgment and understanding and wisdom in this situation.

Only God does. And one day you will have to face God too and ask forgiveness because it says EVERYONE sins. No one is left out. So, since everyone sins, why don't all the murderers go to hell? Why don't all the people who have ever lied, cheated, commited suicide, said G-damn, and been rude and arrogant and deceiving go to hell??? Because if that were the case NO ONE would be in heaven since, as God says, EVERYONE sins. Well that includes you. And since GOD says there is NO big or small sin, you would be in hell too-- unless you ask for forgiveness as well.

If you have lied or stolen or something like that in your life, that means that your sin is EQUAL to those who have killed themselves. God says that ALL sins are punishable by death UNLESS you ask for forgivness. (And to even HATE your neighbor, or lust after his wife or possessions or any woman or man is a sin! And punishable by death, because the "SPIRIT" of the LAW has been broken!!) And unrepented of, also leads to DEATH!

And when you, an imperfect human, tell others how wrong they are and that they will go to hell, even that is a form of arrogance and a lie because you do not know that. Only God does. It says in the Bible that no man is better than another. So you are no better than all the people who kill themselves. That doesn't make them bad or evil, it makes them normal erroneous people just like you!!

Just remember these quotes from the Bible as well as the rest. " The Lord is near to those whose hearts are humble. He SAVES those whose spirits are CRUSHED. The righteous person has many troubles but the Lord rescues him from them ALL. "--Psalm

" And the peace of God, which trancends ALL understanding, will guide your hearts and your mind in Jesus Christ." -- Philippians 4 : 7

" He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life" -- John

"What an unhappy man I am!! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? Thanks be to God, who does this through Jesus." -- Romans 7 : 24

" If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." -- John

" That WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."--John 3:15

" For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life." --Romans 6 :23

Sorry for the long letter. Don't forget my points, since you read and believe in the Bible you will remember these things and that God is just to love and forgive.

My response is in Green:

You know I don't understand your problem with what I have said. If everyone is going to get a second chance and God is going to forgive everyone anyway, then I am doing no harm, right? After all at the most I am doing is causing someone to live on in this world longer than they need to. But if you are wrong on the other hand and people don't get a second change after death, then your message would send many people to hell.

Show me one place on my whole website where I said I was any better than anyone else. In fact I have stated many times that I am probably the worst sinner of anyone I have spoken to, but that is my past I am a new creation now, the past is gone and everything is new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

This is available to all who ask Jesus to come into their hearts. It does not matter what sins they have committed in the past, however it must be done before the person dies: (Hebrews 9:27 NIV) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...

Does that make suicide the unforgivable sin? No, not necessarily. If the person who kills themself is not a Christian then it doesn't matter because death will seal their eternal state without Christ. If on the other hand it is a Christian who commits suicide, only God can know what was in their heart. I don't believe that they will have a chance to repent and ask for forgiveness after they die, but they might not have to.

There are hundreds of reasons people commit suicide. My point is this, anyone who comes to my page looking for confirmation that it is 'okay' to commit suicide and God will forgive them, I think is on dangerous ground. This is not a person who in the heat of an emotional moment takes their own life, this is a person who is calculating God's response.

I don't believe a Christian loses their salvation because they sin, as this passage says: (1 John 1:9-10 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. {10} If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

I do, however, believe that a Christian can forfeit their salvation by willfully turning their back on God and His will for their life and sinning. Christians who come to my page looking for a loophole so that they can kill themselves and still be sure that God has to allow them into heaven usually have drifted away from God a long time before contemplating suicide. As I stressed before only God can know their heart, but I feel it is my obligation to stress that God does not owe them a place in heaven if they are willfully disobedient.

What you are trying to teach is called universalism. Meaning that everyone will be saved in the end. That is not biblical. Hell would be a pretty empty place if everyone when they stand before God in judgment could at that time ask for His forgiveness and be saved. Wouldn't you agree?

If that is so then Jesus must have been lying in this passage: (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV) "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. {14} But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

I don't know about you, but I know Jesus did not lie!! Here are a couple of other passages where if you are right Jesus would have had to be lying:

(Matthew 7:21-23 NIV) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' {23} Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

(Matthew 25:41-46 NIV) "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. {42} For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, {43} I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' {44} "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' {45} "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' {46} "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

You said and I quote: And when you, an imperfect human, tell others how wrong they are and that they will go to hell, even that is a form of arrogance and a lie because you do not know that. Only God does. Okay, let me show you what God says then: (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders {10} nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

(Ephesians 5:5-6 NIV) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. {6} Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

(Ezekiel 3:20-21 NIV) "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. {21} But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."

God is clearly saying that sinners will not go to heaven. That is what WE all were when we were born, sinners. I am not better than anyone else, no one is, but those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior are no longer sinners, that is past, their sins have been forgiven. That does not mean they can go on sinning: (Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV) If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, {27} but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Now this brings up the question you had about people who have never heard of Jesus Christ. I believe that those who have never heard of Jesus will still be judged but not in the same way we are who have heard of Him. God is revealed to every human being who has the mental capacity to understand: (Romans 1:20-21 NIV) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. {21} For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Now they might not be able to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior if they have never heard of Him, but they can still try to please the God that they know is out there. God is capable of revealing Himself to them if they are willing to accept Him. If they try to obey the laws that God has written on every humans heart, I believe God will accept that. Jesus' blood would cover their sins even though they have never heard His name. Which makes this statement by Jesus true: (John 14:6 NIV) Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Even though they don't know who Jesus is it is still by Him that they are allowed to come to God the Father. His blood covers them. I believe this is the same for those who don't have the mental capacity to accept or reject Christ. Whether that is because they were mentally retarded or because they died before reaching an age of accountability. Christ's blood still covers their sins, because God requires blood for the forgiveness of sins: (Hebrews 9:22 NIV) In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

They are saved by God's grace just like a person who has understood and accepted Jesus as their Savior is saved by God's grace.

I want to share with you another passages that is about judgment. You will notice in this passage that during judgment the person is not asking for forgiveness, rather the books of their life are opened up and what is already written in them makes the decision of where they spend eternity.

(Revelation 20:11-15 NIV) Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. {12} And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. {13} The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. {14} Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. {15} If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Who are these dead who are in hades? Jesus gives us a clue in this story.

(Luke 16:19-31 NIV) "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. {20} At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores {21} and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. {22} "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. {23} In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. {24} So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' {25} "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. {26} And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' {27} "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, {28} for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' {29} "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' {30} "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' {31} "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Under your teaching, why didn't this rich man just ask to be forgiven? Why was he so worried about his brothers hearing the truth before they died?

Two last passages. Don't believe me, but believe Jesus: (Luke 13:1-5 NIV) Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. {2} Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? {3} I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. {4} Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? {5} I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

(Hebrews 3:13-19 NIV) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. {14} We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. {15} As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." {16} Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? {17} And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? {18} And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed ? {19} So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Today is the day people must repent and accept Christ as their savior. There may be no tomorrow for them and once they die it is too late.

Ralph

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