Heaven

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This blog is called Confessions of a Misplaced Alaskan so I guess I will do some confessing today.

I haven’t been baptized.  I’m almost 30 years old, have gone to church off and on throughout my life but have never been baptized or I guess officially declared my Christian faith. I went to a Church of Christ church growing up, frequented Baptist churches, a Lutheran church, and now go to a Methodist church when we actually go.  I have read parts of the Bible, but haven’t not read it all.  I have had aspirations to read it from front to back.  I’ve purchased a Bible that you read one day at a time and you have it read in a year.  I never followed through.  I find parts of the Bible uninteresting and I just don’t have the wish to read it most of the time. 

I have a lot of Christian friends, a few Jewish ones and even fewer Hindu friends.  I believe that there is a God.  I believe that Jesus was on Earth.  I like to believe that there is a Heaven and a Hell and I hope that one day I can go to Heaven. 

My dilemma is this, I think that all people that believe there is a God and follow the teachings of their own religion should go to Heaven.  Most religions have somewhere that people go to when they die. 

I contemplated writing this post weeks ago but just haven’t gotten my thoughts out.  When a friend took his own life almost two weeks ago now, I started to think more about my faith and wanted to find out what other people’s thoughts are on this.  I think that God teaches us all how to live our lives and provides great beauty to us in our children, our surroundings, in our health and in our friends and family. 

I don’t worry too much about what will happen to my body when I die.  I’ve already told my husband that he can bury me wherever he wants if he out lives me, I just want to be buried in a plain pine box and no vault or preservatives. I also want my organs donated. My body won’t do anything for me in the afterlife.  I do want to go to Heaven to be with friends and family that are already gone and wait there for my family to join me. 

I get so confused though on how to get to Heaven. For some people they say that you just have to accept Jesus as the saviour and no matter what you do, your sins will be forgiven and you will go to Heaven.  For others, you have to continually do good deeds throughout your life to go to Heaven.  And others only have a temporary Heaven where they stay for awhile and then are reincarnated. 

God created us all, so in my mind the various religions are created by him.  Couldn’t he have different ways to get the afterlife? 

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5 thoughts on “Heaven

    kmiller246 said:
    September 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I really like this post. And amazingly, we have almost the same backgrounds with church and very similar current beliefs, or questions about belief. I hardly went to church growing up, but went more in my adolescent years. My mom always said she believed in God, and that he was loving and I read a few Bible stories, but nothing truly in depth. I purchased a Bible a few months ago in plain english so maybe I’d read it cover to cover and frequent favorite verses. But I haven’t done it. Religion was always a bone of contention between me and B because I wanted to go to church, and he grew up in a church and didn’t want to go. After having children, this became more important to me…or at least I thought it was until he finally said “Okay” and started reading some books about Christianity. We’ve gone to church once or twice since then. Apparently I didn’t want it as much as I thought, or am just used to the Sunday routine we’ve always done and don’t want it to change. I have to say that I’m jealous of friends no matter what religion who are true believers and devout. Myself, I’ve seen so many people who are “christians” who don’t live by their own doctrines or are just plain horrible people. We have all known people like that. I do believe that your own personal relationship with whomever you call God is what is most important, that you can receive comfort in your beliefs when losing loved ones or friends, and direction and reassurance during troubled times in life. And I personally don’t think a loving God would condemn all people who are of one faith to an eternity of hell if they were good people, and only the people of the one “chosen” faith gain entrance to heaven. I think that we’re all praying to the same God, just in different ways. I know that’s seriously not what the Bible says, or pretty much any other religious text…but I can’t help feeling/believing that way. So it looks like we’re having similar struggles in faith. I want to find a way to define mine more clearly so when little V asks questions (as she already has when we say our prayers at night – “Why do we say Dear Heavenly Father, and why do we say Amen?”) that I will have something more concrete to tell her…but that it’s also okay for her to come up with her own beliefs. Sorry for the loooonnng comment…but this hits home with me.

    Summer said:
    September 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I appreciate the honesty in your post. I think God does too, and he is certainly not scared of your questions. Questioning is brave. To me, I do not think it necessary to be baptized or read the Bible in its entirety to be a Christian. In following Christ, I believe that those things come in time but they are certainly not a requirement. Jesus does say “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). This is where the belief accepting and declaring Christ as Lord is the path to Heaven. I personally do not feel good works are necessary for entrance to Heaven. They are certainly a by product of a life full of Christ’s love, but when Jesus was on the cross, he told the murderer next to him, who had just accepted and believed yet had no time to preform a single good deed “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). That is entrance into heaven by nothing but acceptance of Christ as Lord. The idea of exactly when you enter into heaven (pre/post rapture, immediately upon death, when the end of times comes) is one that can not be answered, for the dead are not talking about that one. To me, it matters not, for if I am dead and have to wait until the time to enter into heaven or go immediately, the time will not be realized. (This is how some people say Jews will be in Heaven, for they see Jesus not as the Savior, for the Savior was to be a warrior and Jesus came in peace. When he comes again to reclaim the world, he will certainly be in power and in warrior mode, which then makes the Jews correct and rectified……but I guess this is an entirely different subject and line of thought!) The Bible says that God is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) I know this is long and does not touch on anywhere near all of the questions, but I just couldn’t leave this one uncommented on by me :O). Keep looking for the answer. And even if it is not able to be found here on earth, I know that in the process you will grow to learn and love more about the Lord in the process regardless.

      lahancock responded:
      September 23, 2010 at 7:39 am

      Thank you Summer for taking the time to reply. It means a lot to me. I continue to seek answers.

        thevfamily said:
        September 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm

        Well, if you ever want to ask me anything, feel free! I certainly may not “know” the answer, but I can tell you what I have discovered or experienced. I enjoy talking faith and God, with people in all walks and beliefs, even when they are unsure themselves.

    Summer K. said:
    October 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    When we baptize folks at our church, the emphasis is on becoming part of God’s family. I like that emphasis, because the Christian life is meant to be like a family, trying to be like God our parent, being washed in the same tub and eating from the same table, learning family traditions of love and goodness and healing. God’s love is not limited to only baptized Christians, but baptism gives a memorable and transforming starting place, like birth, for entering more fully into a life in love with God and neighbors.

    Way to go to you for asking these questions. Your love is healing the world.

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