I was told that most people initially come to God because of His love for them. I did not. I came to God because I was afraid of going to hell. Hell was an instrumental part of the gospel for me to come to Jesus. I didn’t care about Jesus’ love for me (before I came to know Him, that is). But I did care about suffering, and being condemned for eternity. When Bonnie, (who was telling me about hell) heard me say to her, “Something is telling me that this (hell) isn’t true,” she replied, “That’s satan lying to you.” I then instantly remembered a science fiction short story where someone was controlling everyone’s mind, but made them think it was their own thoughts.
Could satan be deceiving me and I not know it?
This was a pivotal question.
The stakes were too high to dismiss the possibility immediately, I had to think about it. If satan was real and the master of deceit, would he want me to be aware of him influencing my thoughts? No, he would want me to be deceived into thinking that he was not controlling me, that my thoughts were my own and that I was free to think and do what I want. He would not want me to believe in hell and know that that is where I was headed. He would tell me that hell isn’t true.
I wrestled with this “going to hell” thing for days (at least it seemed like it). Late at night, I decided to accept Jesus as my Savior. It couldn’t really be as easy as telling Jesus I was sorry for my sins (and meaning it) and accepting His death on the cross as payment (in full) to God for those sins, could it? I prayed over and over. But I didn’t “feel” saved. Finally, I said to God, “I have done what you have asked, if I’m not saved it’s your fault!” And I went to bed. I felt strangely confident that I had done the right thing. Looking back I didn’t treat God with the respect He deserves, but I did trust Him to save me. And He honors that.
If you don’t have a growing relationship with Jesus, the Master of the universe, and you would like one, ask Him for one, He is glad to reach out to anyone who calls on Him. If you do not want a relationship with Jesus you are warned. You are already on your way to an eternity without Love, without Jesus, without God. You will be alone (not partying with friends). And you will wonder over and over, “Why did I reject Him?” And that is hell.