Issue with “Heaven or Hell Issue”

Issue with “Heaven or Hell Issue”

If you’ve been in Christianity very long, you hear all kinds of Christianese phrases and words, some of which are simply unbiblical and maybe even downright heretical. One common phrase is, “is it a heaven or hell issue.” I would like to submit to you that such a phrase is due to bad theology. The phrase is often used to justify some behavior or belief. Scripture may even outline a particular way in which things ought to be done but we excuse it because it doesn’t seem weighty enough to send someone to hell. I have been guilty of using such rationality.

This argument troubles me on several levels. The person using the argument is just wanting to make heaven. In other words, they just want to do the very least that’s required to make heaven. An obvious and grave problem emerges at this point. Such a person is obviously seeking justification by works, not faith. A second problem (which is akin to the first) is that this person’s disregard for Christ. For the true Christian (one being in faith alone) his or her whole life is about pleasing their Lord, who died for their freedom. So, the question becomes, does this thing please my Lord (in whom I would die to please) not, will this send me to hell. Do you see the difference?

We should eliminate this reasoning from our minds and churches. If Christ desires something, that should be all the motivation needed to quickly lay it down or pick it up. If we can’t find motivation in that, we need to examine ourselves and know if we are in the faith. Our service to our Lord is one out of love, not necessity. Christ didn’t come to the cross with the mentality that I want to do just enough to save them. No, He willingly gave all. He laid all down. May we do the same. Let Christ be enough. He is worthy!

One is selfish, the other is love. One is about what I get, the other is about what Christ gets. May we see and live the difference.

Instead of asking “is it a heaven or hell issue”, we should ask, which is most pleasing to my Lord or which is mandated in scripture? The only heaven or hell issue is, am I trusting in Christ alone, everything else is a fruit of that reality. If the fruit is not there or is not at least budding, then the faith is not there (no regeneration has happened) and certainly going about trying to create your own fruit would be dangerously wrong. If you’ve taken care (so to speak) of the one true heaven or hell issue (trusting Christ alone or not) then there are no other heaven or hell issues. You may say, well what if I live in sin. You can’t because you are a new creation. No true Christian can continue in sin, without the most horrible misery of conviction, for such would be against his nature (his new nature). It would be something like trying to breathe underwater. If you fail, you will be convicted and run to Christ. A true Christian simply cannot bear sinning (to go on at it). Can one denounce Christ and go back into sin? Yes. But that’s a direct choice to reverse (so to speak) the faith you once chose to have in Christ. In other words, you are going back on the one true heaven or hell issue.

However, If you can continue sinning (remain there without being driven into the ground with sorrow and repentance) be assured you are not in Christ. Certainly, if you can continue on sinning without a problem, simply trying to fix yourself by so-called “heaven or hell issues” will not save you. Assuredly faith in Christ alone or not is the only heaven or hell issue. All other issues truly find there place in that reality.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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