Question from a Site Viewer
My worry of not making it to heaven is literally transforming my life. Every day I worry. I’ve called Jesus mean, horrible things–even evil things, but I don’t mean them. They just pop into my head. I just don’t think I will go to heaven. I’ve looked up near death experiences . . . people who say they went to hell talk about being tortured, hearing screams, and other horrible things. I’ve been looking on the Internet for hours hoping to get help. I keep worrying I’ve committed the unpardonable sin. I’m worried sick.
Relax. Jesus did not die on the cross to send us to hell. And none of us are perfect. He has promised salvation to everyone who comes to Him. So, anytime you sin, I encourage you to turn back to Him with those simple words “I have sinned” and then ask Him to restore you. If you think this is too simple, please read Hosea 14.
I understand what you mean about bad thoughts coming into your head. One of the disturbing things we learn as we grow is that the mind is capable of great evil. One of the delightful things we learn is that we can control the mind. We can discipline the mind so as not to dwell on things that are evil and to think about the things that are good. Just as we discipline our bodies for sports, we can discipline our mind for right thinking. School does this to some extent. But I encourage you to spend time memorizing Scripture. If you seek to hide the Word in your heart, you will find assistance within to avoid sin (Psalm 119:9-11). Also, when bad thoughts come in, purposely turn your thoughts to think about what is good (the Word, prayer, the beauty around, etc.) (Philippians 4:8).
Certainly, sin can be disheartening. But the God who created us knows our weaknesses (Psalm 103). His great delight is taking us in our weaknesses and transforming us into the image of Christ. This does not happen overnight. But the more we stare at Jesus, the more like Jesus we become.
As we wrote earlier, a focus on whether you committed the unpardonable sin is simply unhelpful. You never find any of the Scriptural writers telling people in their churches that because they had committed the unpardonable sin, there was no hope for them. Such is simply never the thought process of Scripture. Rather, everyone, everywhere, can hope in the God who is mercy. In fact, God delights in those who hope in His mercy (Psalm 147:11). Re-read Luke 15 in case you have any question of Jesus’ view towards sinners who return to Him.
I encourage you to trust Christ, and Him alone, for your salvation. It is not our works of righteousness or unrighteousness that determine our destiny. Rather, it is our hope and trust in Him (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Look at Hebrews 11:6, in case you have any doubt. Seek Him when you have sinned and when you have served well. And thank God for being faithful to all of His wayward sheep, and for delighting in their return home.
one who also has been forgiven much,