You can't make yourself believe something that contradicts your rational mind. It's intellectually dishonest. You either believe or you don't - ba<x>sed on a variety of factors. I can't make myself believe in heaven anymore than I can make myself believe in Santa. It's a rational decision that can't be dictated by wishes. Or at least it should be.
I think we create our own "hell"...its a state of mind.
I think it IS worth risking my eternity by not believing in Hell, because:<br />
(1) Beliefs are NOT necessarily reality, scientists and others find this out all the time.<br />
Since this is the case, in all likelihood one belief is as good as another; and I would prefer MY beliefs - formed from a lifetime of living and reading, to another's.<br />
(2) The Old Testament accounts are similar to the Sumerian accounts, and it is surmised by some scholars that the Sumerian account was the pattern for the Old Testament. Their god-king, Anu, WAS a vengeful god, and didn't brook any nonsense from his people whom he created, because he created them to fulfil the role of SLAVES.<br />
Jesus, on the other hand, seems to have being trying to promulgate a new way of relating to one's fellows and "God", through the Way of Love.<br />
(3) Then along comes Man's Authority in the form of Roman Emperor Constantine, and says to the early Christian authorities, "Since you can't agree on what sc<x>riptures can really be the true Word, I WILL DECIDE what is in and what is out". Because he wanted to get unity in the Church.<br />
Thus mankind's meddling hands, brain, and perceptions came into the revision of the Christian sc<x>riptures - and have continued to be active throughout the centuries, in translation after translation.<br />
What is one going to believe? If one has not gone into it ONESELF, and run it past one's innermost heart to FEEL what is truth, one belief is more or less as good as another! If you don't KNOW by feeling what is the truth, you're likely to become an agnostic, and wait for further evidence to come into your orbit. If the concept of a vengeful god puts you totally off, you're likely to say, "I don't believe a Creator of All could be so petty - so I don't believe in God, nor in any of his institutions (such as Hell)".<br />
Now, I will tell you how I see "God"...<br />
I don't see "God" as a person, but as the Primal Life Energy from which everything was made. You are aware that science recognises that all matter is simply a transform of Energy (the Atomic bomb works by transforming a small amount of matter back into a prodigious amount of energy). To me, the Life Energy or Life Force that is the source of all manifested Universes and worlds, is the Unifying factor in which All Life Is ONE. I believe that It desires to experience Its Creation by living in every part of it; and wants to express Itself through Its Creatures - and the creature most capable of doing that on all levels from highest to lowest, is the Human Species. And that the Nature of that Life-force is LOVING.<br />
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it (until I have reason to do otherwise!). ;-)<br />
Blessings to all readers!
I think believing in something out of fear just to cover your butt is rather foolish. Every single near-death experience mirrors the religious beliefs of a person. The concept of hell came from the myth of the god Hades and from my understanding of what I was taught as a child about the bible, hell was the grave. An ever-merciful god that makes people burn for eternity, how contradictory. Sounds pretty evil to me.
Yes. <br />
If a god exist and he is just, he will not judge you ba<x>sed on your devotion, but by how you lived your life. <br />
However, if a god exist and he is not just, you should not want to worship him. <br />
And if a god does not exist, you will disappear, but you will be remembered by those who loved you.
If god exists and is all powerful, all knowing, and created me, it created me to be what I am, mind and body, fully knowing what I would be like and feel, if it then went ahead and still created me knowing I would go to Hell by its own rules then it probably is not a god worth following in the first place.<br />
You obviously misunderstand what I was saying, I said nothing about following another god instead. If I was to be sent to Hell, god would of known this even before I existed. So if it still made me knowing that then why would I follow something that created me knowing that it made me as someone that would go to Hell. I can change the "probably" to a "would not be worth following" if that clears up my answer? If any god, or "the one god", "the"god... "God" was to do this as I stated, then he, they, it would not be worth following anyway.<br />
By the way... Earth is Hell, so yeah I'm already damned.<br />
Hell is outside of Heaven... that is where Lucifer went... Earth is not Heaven so it is Hell. (And yes it is hell in other ways as well). I have no free will for I have been made as something I had no choice in, and God knew this, God knew I would hate the flesh it cast me into, God knew how I would think and feel. If God was to punish me for creating me as I have been created by it. Then I have been condemned either way. To misery in life as well as death. I would not follow something that would do this. And it knew this before I even existed.<br />
I don't have free will for those would not be my choices if I did.<br />
You also again completely missed what I meant.<br />
Lucifer (the morning star, the light-bringer, son of the morning), isn't the Devil. Brought down to Hell to the sides of the pit. If Lucifer is here then I was right. Hell is Earth. God sent him and us to it.<br />
Do this or else? That is not free will. That is punishment or slavery.<br />
No chance to have ever be saved without Jesus? So basically you're telling me everyone from the very beginning that lived and died all went to Hell before Jesus died, simply because they died without Jesus because Jesus had not been born yet and even though God knew they would be, it still created them knowing it would send them all to Hell? You do realize that is total madness... it's almost like when a kid plays the Sims just to torture and kill them.<br />
Don't forget human sacrifices.<br />
You see how free will was taken away? I would have no problem killing stuff for a God I felt cared, but that choice was taken, now I'm just suppose to get down grovel and be a mindless slave to something that has cast me into a rotting flesh thing far from my form to suffer.<br />
I said nothing about Issac. But if you want go check 2 Samuel 21:8 and 9. Or 1 Kings 13:2 and 2 Kings 23:20.<br />
The serpent proved that God lied about dieing if they ate or touched the fruit as well as gave the knowledge of good and evil. And it seems to me God overreacted when they found out more about what is going on.
For me, of course, it's not worth risking my eternity by just believing anything else or what i wanted besides from God. particularly those that can destroy me or lead me to sin.. I do believe that hell exists just as I believe that heaven exists.. And it is nothing more beautiful than believing that God is real - loving us, caring for us, forgiving us though not everyone believes in Him.. <br />
But have you ever think that God, who is perfect, is also loving and considerate enough to those people who are kind-hearted, good enough to avoid doing evil things, who are living a clean life and who avoid causing pain to others despite of the faith and belief he/she had grew up with, to still let them receive eternal life? I knew people who are like that... and i can say that they are indeed, still, worthy of receiving eternal life...though still, we don't know how would God judge them, knowing that He knows everything, even our simplest thoughts..
The Bible states that God enables all humans to" know Him" through their conscience and other means. Everyone has the opportunity to "choose Him" or "reject Him". If you choose Him, He will choose you and you will go to heaven. If you reject Him, He will reject you and you will go to hell. You have a choice, you receive the mercy and love of the Lord or you receive the wrath of the Lord. It's all in the Bible.<br />
Having a relationship with the Lord isn't just a belief. It's an experience. And the same goes for hell. It's not only going to be just a belief, it will be an experience.
Lifes a game. Play it. No one knows anything for certain so believe whatever feels right to you. it doesnt have to feel right to anyone else but you.
I consider it a waste of life worrying about eternity, if hell doesn't exist then there's a whole bunch of people not living their dreams and wasting the only life they get on a pipe dream......<br />
That being said I do believe in having good ethics/morals because I do believe that what you give out you get back in return and if you want others to treat you well and with respect then you have to all follow some kind of rules/law/order in at least a basic manner.<br />
Following that line of thinking if there is a hell/heaven type thing later, and there is a god that says he loves us all as his children, then he's not going to send me to hell for not believing in him, as that wouldn't be very parental love type thing to do now would it? In fact it would be quite petty and vindictive.<br />
So with that being said if a hell exists for those that do extreme wrong doings, then I'm in the clear.
I think that those who say they don't believe in hell say so only to make themselves more comfortable with the choices they are making in life. Personally I live my life according to the writings in the bibie and in the bible there is definitely a hell. I once heard a preacher talking about living your life according to the bibles teachings. He said that if when he dies he finds out he was completely wrong abut God and the bible the he has lots nothing. But if you life your life according to yourself and life a life which is against the teachings of the bible and you are wrong then you have lost everythiing and you have lost it for eternity. It really gives you something to think about.
I am an ex soldier who was left disabled in a ski accident in 2000 and knows all too well about Biblical Truths. <br />
In a nut shell a girl dies, is taken to hell and heaven by the Lord Jesus Christ.<br />
She is shown Pope John Paul II, Michael Jackson & children as young as 8.<br />
It is easier to share the story on a video and to get your attention........<br />
Please watch from 48.30 for profound bits and to save time......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOCGYjS5BZI<br />
Guaranteed this will change the way you live your life.......Please share with your contacts.<br />
from http://alexanderlaing.blogspot.co.uk/ <br />
Please listen to my testimony which will give you hope.<br />
I welcome feedback
If I were to pretend to believe in hell when I know deep down it isn't true, wouldn't God know the difference?<br />
If you really think belief is a matter of coldly working out what benefits you most, that doesn't say much for your "faith". That implies you only claim to believe in God because you're scared he *might* exist, rather than because you truly think it's likely. <br />
On the other hand, if that isn't the way you think why would you assume it's how anyone else thinks?<br />
** You're so keen for others to question their beliefs, are you willing to question your OWN? Have you actually thought through the ultimate ramifications of the possibility that God is just a story not ba<x>sed on a grain of truth, or would you just dismiss that suggestion as "the Devil" trying to "tempt you"? At the very least, in order to empathise with nonbelievers you should consider that point of view. You have to come to terms with the fact that some people, honestly and after true consideration, simply do not think God exists, and do not think Hell exists, and still live moral lives.
I absolutely believe that not believing in hell is worth risking eternity, because first of all it doesn't seem like much of a risk to me since i don't believe it (duh), but also because I would soooooo rather believe in something because it is actually true than believe it because of what could possibly happen if i didn't. comprende?<br />
**I'm not going to believe in something just because other people do. Worrying solves nothing. You think I haven't thought about this stuff? I have. You think I am procrastinating on this? I'm not. I like to think about things before i make a decision :) Why do you believe I'm going to hell? Have you ever thought about it in my perspective? I don't dismiss the possibility of hell, which means I really am risking eternity in hell to believe in what I believe...however small that risk seems to me now (at one time it was huge) it still exists of course. Have you ever thought about that? That someone would risk the possibility of an eternity of suffering because they would rather search for the truth for themselves rather than believing what others tell them to be true? Because that is how I see what I am doing...even though i don't believe in hell, it doesn't mean i believe hell can't exist (notice the distinction between not having a belief in something and having a belief that something cannot be...it causes lots of confusion as i have found out)...anyways, I hope you can see now why I don't believe what you believe. Have you ever thought about what you risk by believing in hell? not that it matters a lot to me, you're just one of many many people who choose to believe in it or something similar. I can't change your mind and you can't change mine...our experiences shape our beliefs, so good luck to you on your search for truth.
If I am an athiest who doesn't believe in god or heaven or hell then to me, there is no risk involved because I don't believe I'll be punished for not believing.
many don't believe because mans imagination has altered it to his specifications.