Life-Changing Thoughts On Salvation, Heaven, and Hell (#3 of 10 Things My Hero Jesus Wants To Say To Christians)

Yesterday my Facebook friend Michael Peck publicly commented on my Bible blog post, and I appreciate his thoughts SO much! He said a lot, but one section of his comment is a great lead-in to the BIG topic for today:

“I really appreciate your heart in this. I feel like you are trying to set people free from religion, people being trapped into a box that is not what God intended.
I am interested in you sharing more about the journey of wrestling with your faith as a Christian, it is really good stuff. I think most Christians will be more receptive to the journey you have been through if you do not draw a line in the sand between you and followers of Jesus because you are a follower of Jesus as well.

If I am mistaken that you no longer believe Jesus is your salvation please correct me.”

I’m gonna be vulnerable and let you all know that this topic is equally SCARY and EXHILARATING for me to write about.

This question of “Is Jesus the only way to heaven?” has defined so much of my life on this earth, and I feel as if my entire journey through childhood, trauma, depression, joy, addiction, divorce, spiritual awakening, Christianity, my Bible degree, decades of seeking God – all of it has led to this moment.

If you’ve read all my blog posts, you know that as a child, from the moment I fully understood the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, I took to the streets as a young Christian evangelist.

I am an EVANGELIST through and through – it is a big part of my identity.

I have always known, that if I ever fully KNEW that something was real and true and life-changing, I would be willing to shout it from the mountain tops and give my life away in order to inspire the world with the treasure I’d found.

And that is precisely why I have struggled so much with Christian theology. Since I was a little girl and first learned this story of Jesus coming to earth to save us from our sins, there has been a part of me that has been in conflict. This conflict is not new to you, if you have lived with this religion and Christian story for any amount of time.

It’s the inner conflict of “How can my loving Father let some of His children suffer in hell forever?”

And more importantly,”If I REALLY believe this is true, then why am I not filled with energy and JOY to go tell everyone I know that they need to accept Jesus in their heart or they will go to hell when they die?”

I can tell you with every cell of my being and every beat of my heart, that after taking these questions honestly and repeatedly to my Father God and to Jesus, seeking within, letting go of every hindrance so I can understand what I truly know and believe, that this conflict is now resolved.

To have the inner peace of finally knowing that my experience of LOVE is greater than my fear of the unknown, is a JOY beyond description.

So here are my thoughts:

1.  I do not think humans are currently, nor EVER have been, in ANY danger of eternal punishment in a place called Hell.

Jesus, from what I can deduct from the Bible and other writings, talked a lot about heaven being RIGHT NOW. We are so focused on heaven and hell as being in the future, (which is completely fueled by our FEAR of death), that we fail to see that heaven and hell are TODAY.

My life continually becomes more heavenly, just as I see several people I know who are choosing a daily reality of hell. This points back to Part 1 of this series, where I said that we are powerful. We are powerful, because we have the power to create heaven or hell in our lives RIGHT NOW.

2. I know that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were EXTREMELY powerful and important, but I do NOT think that he died in order to save us from going to hell. This is where we miss the point of Jesus altogether, because we are looking at him through the eyes of the people who wrote the Bible, and we are looking at his life through the eyes of the churches we’ve attended, and we’re not looking at him through our OWN eyes.

This is why I had to let go of the Bible and Christianity before I could really SEE him and have a REAL relationship with the eternal Spirit who on the earth was known as Jesus.

I have a relationship with Jesus, my brother who is my greatest hero because of everything he said and did, but mostly because of who he is to me today – I feel his power because of the high level he attained in his human potential and for the insanely inspirational message and life he lived, unlike any other person in history so far.

He daily inspires me to rise to my own potential and to write my own inspiring story.

3.   I think Jesus physically appeared on earth after his death, so that we would:

  • understand that we are all eternal spirits
  •  stop identifying with and focusing on our physical bodies
  • stop being afraid of death!

Through the Christian lens, his death was a sacrifice for our sins, and we need to accept this gift in order to escape hell.  This story perpetuates the fear of death (if not for ourselves, than for everyone else), and causes us to stay focused on the future, rather than on the heaven or hell we can choose today. And it alienates us from everyone who does not believe in Jesus as the only way to heaven.

4.  Death is a transition – there is nothing to fear about it, except the natural healthy ‘fear’ of the unknown – the excitement of not knowing for sure what’s next in this eternal adventure. It’s thrilling!

Imagine what the world would look like if people weren’t so afraid of death.

Everything I have experienced in my life so far teaches me to trust in my God (LOVE) for everything I have yet to experience, including my transition into the next adventure in my life (death).

This is such a HUGE topic.  What part of it do you want me to expand on or to hear about next?

Let me know your questions regarding Salvation, Heaven and Hell and I will dedicate the next blog post to answering them!

I love you all!

Noelle

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5 thoughts on “Life-Changing Thoughts On Salvation, Heaven, and Hell (#3 of 10 Things My Hero Jesus Wants To Say To Christians)

  1. I love what Anne Lamott writes about death, that it’s just “a major change of address.” For a while after leaving Bethlehem Baptist, I think my theology looked very much like this. It just didn’t make sense that a supposed “God of love” would damn people to Hell for all eternity because they’d failed to do the spiritual equivalent of filling out all the right paperwork, or forgetting to sign your heavenly I-90. It only makes sense if it’s really important for someone to believe that they’ve found the “real” truth, and that everyone else is wrong. It’s the mark of a really insecure person who has walled themselves off from other people. I don’t have any questions for you about any of this because I think you’re going in a direction that is making you mentally and emotionally whole and healthy. Finding authenticity has a way of doing that for you. 🙂

    Keep going!

    • Thanks so much, David. Yes, I’ve read some Anne Lamott – such a beautiful, gritty, fresh perspective on faith. As always, thank you for your support! I know you ‘get it’!

  2. I love you, Noelle. I am going to be real, so please forgive me in advance as we do not agree. I have been reading your daily blog posts everyday now and my heart mourns for all the heartache and pain you have endured in this life. I too have had my share of heartache and pain….and still dealing with it daily. Sometime we need to get back to the basics of who we are and why we were created by God. We were all created for a purpose. Sometimes people focus to much on Theology and too little on what is true love of Jesus. In my opinion why would I follow Jesus if he wasn’t my savior. I believe when he came to earth he wanted to teach us about heaven and hell. Hell is real….It is hard to understand in our finite minds that a Lord who created us would condemn some to Hell. Heaven is for real, but so is hell. Jesus was very clear about that. There are many works out there that confirm that the miracles and works of Jesus really happened. (and not just in the Bible) Unfortunately, if you turn your hearts against Jesus and choose to live a life of sin, then yes hell will be in your future. We all will be judged for how we live our lives. I just feel like the God you are following is different than the God I serve. Does that make sense? Perhaps I am seeing God differently than you. I do appreciate your insight. I challenge you to get beyond the love of Jesus and return to the simplicity of what it means to be a Christian. Being a Christian means being “Christ-like”. Isn’t that what we are all striving for? Please If I am missing something here….please let me know. It’s almost 3am and I am very tired. All I know is God is real and his love is what keeps me going. Much love, Heather

    • Thank you so much Heather! I responded fully to your comment in today’s blog post. One thing I didn’t mention in the post, though, is that I do agree with you about Jesus’ works and miracles. That is one of the reasons he is such an inspiration to me! Actions speak a lot louder than words, and I don’t have any trouble believing that he did all of those amazing miracles. That’s one of the reasons why we’re still talking about him over 2,000 years later – he shook things up, big time! Thank you again for all of your thoughts, and for your support, Heather. Your support of me on YouTube was one of the things that has kept me going. I feel your love and I hope we can stay connected, even though we have differing views on Jesus. Love you so much, dear friend!!!

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