Part 3 on the terrors of Hell visited upon my 8 year old imagination
So there I was, mortally convinced that my destiny was Hell, with most nights of my vacation at the beach spent sleepless, and wondering if the devil was really red….
After our return from the beach, the fears of my future fate would drift to the background. I continued attending church, no further threats were made, and I graduated to a new Sunday School class with a teacher that was pretty fun (and no warts-at least none that he was willing to tell or show us). I began to figure that maybe, just maybe God knew that I was joking and that he would forgive me for my foolish utterance.
Later that year, fall began to set in, nightfall started earlier….and I began to retreat to my room to listen to top 40 radio and read the Bible. I came across a verse in which Jesus says that many sins will be forgiven, but that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit would never be forgiven. The unpardonable sin….oh cripes…all my fears of hell flooded back as I sat pondering_ had I committed the Unpardonable Sin?!
I read and read, trying to figure out if Jesus ever mentioned the specific sin-but I couldn’t figure it out. I was back in panic mode. That night my dad came in to tuck me into bed and say goodnight. As we lounged on the bed, I mustered the strength to ask him what he thought. I was super scared to admit that I might have committed an unforgivable sin, so I tried to ask my question in a dispassionate, but interested type of voice.
Me: “Hey Dad!”
Me “Can I ask you a question about God?”
Dad “Sure….what’s on your mind?”
Me “Well, uh, well….I was wondering, wondering if someone said something really bad, but you didn’t mean it-do you think God would forgive them”
At this point, I’m literally bursting inside with anticipation (while trying to stay cool on the outside) because I am hoping with all my heart, that he will tell me that God can forgive….
Dad (pausing to ponder before answering) “Why yes, I think God would forgive someone who did that…”
Hallelujah!!!!!!! YES, YES….Free at LAST….FREE at LAST!!! Thank God Almighty, I am free of the devil and his burning lake of FIRE!!! I was so relieved…..
Me “You think so ?”
Dad “Yeah-but I guess it would really depend on what they said or did”
Good feeling gone….:(
From the highest of heavens, only to be drug back down to the earthly realms and still living with the unknown dread of my future life……
It was probably another couple of months before I was able to quell my fears and just believe God would probably forgive me…every so often the fears came back, but the more I read the Bible and went to Sunday school, I felt pretty sure that me and God and Jesus were ok. That he would understand my foolish outburst and still let me into his heaven…at least, that’s what I hoped.