On to Heaven...

DarkDTSHDSeptember 29, 2005

Hello people,

Got a question for you all. My family has never followed any particular faith. But at the same time I think most of us do believe there is a "creator" and that there is a "heaven and hell". Does this mean when my family passes away we're still "eligible" to go to Heaven? I'd think we would as we're all good people. At least I'd like to think so.

I was told by Christians that non-believers (people who totally do not believe in God) will not go to heaven according to their bible.

What happens to people who believe in God but do not or have never attended church? Are we to just wander the earth as spirits? And never to enter heaven?

My mother passed earlier this year. On May 30th due to a massive heart attack. I'm just hoping she did go to heaven and is being taken care of. And that when it's my time I too will see her in heaven (as will my father and sister).

Any comments would be welcome.

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You may get a lot of varied responses to your question, but I'll throw my $.02 in early and see what happens.

First of all, for Christians it's a little more involved than just believing God exists. We also believe He sent His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice to atone for our sins, thereby giving us the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven. We believe that it is through God's grace that we have received this gift of salvation, not due to any good works that we do on earth. Our good works are our response to God, in gratitude for His grace and a sincere desire to serve Him.

Now as far as who goes to Heaven and who doesn't, I'm going to dodge that question somewhat and say that it is for God alone to judge. Christians put their faith in Jesus' death and resurrection as the means of salvation, and believe that because of this, we have God's promise of eternal life. We want others to believe this also, therefore Christians evangelize. We try to bring others into faith in Jesus so that they too may share in the promise of God's grace.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:15AM
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I guess I've always believed in a higher power. The choice is up to you. It doesn't have to be organized religion. I do believe that there is such a thing as a soul. I think living by the golden rule can do the most in serving mankind. I have seen a lot of infighting and not very nice behavior in the church scene. I guess that is what made me look elsewhere for my answers. The human spirit, I believe, is very powerful and infinite.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:15AM
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I was told by my born-again brother that I will not go to heaven because I do not follow the strict teachings of the Bible and the sect to which he proscribes. I, like others, have seen some fairly political nastiness done in the name of religion, and while I don't go to church, I do believe in God, and I do believe in heaven and hell. I think I can do the best I can on earth by doing the right thing and making the world a better place for my having been in it. I told my boys that my standard was always to do the right thing even when no one is looking. My brother told me( at my mother's funeral, no less) I won't see my son or granddaughter in heaven and that I need to take their deaths as a wakeup call. My mom lived near us for the last 25 years and was at our home for every holiday, birthday, etc. and of course a welcome guest. He never spent one occasion with her and would visit once or twice a year- he doesn't work, by the way. I've been very upset at all the really hurtful things he has said to me, and once I get the execution of the will underway, I hope never to have to see him again. Is it any surprise that he's fighting me every step of the way about the will? I can't believe that even though he has accepted JC as his savior that he's much of a Christian, and should he get to heaven and not me, I'd think it's not a place I'd want to be. So, to get off my soapbox, I do believe with all my heart that good people go to heaven, regardless.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 3:40PM
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Andrew, without going into detail explaining my religious beliefs (which I would do in a private email), I don't feel that you have anything to worry about as far as your family going to heaven.
I don't necessarily believe that being in church every time the door opens or belonging to a particular religion gives us a free pass to heaven. There's a lot more to it all, I believe. Unfortunately, there a many who walk the earth that think that's all they have to do is believe in God and/or go to church.
As Bill said, only God is the judge and He knows what is in our hearts. He is a loving God, but a just one.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 3:47PM
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Sudipav, I hadn't seen your post yet when I wrote. It sounds like I echoed your thoughts, exactly.
I'm so sorry that your brother has hurt you like he has.
Maybe before long he will take a good look in the mirror.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 4:02PM
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I agree with Lulie:

I believe we are not judged by where we are on our chosen day of worship, but rather by the way we treat those around us, including people, animals and our environment.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 8:36AM
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Thanks for the posts people. Especially Lulie. Well said as always. I haven't been back for months. I've always appreciated your wording. Reassurance without sugar coating the truth.

Sorry to hear bout Sudipav's turn of events. It's sad to have to severe one'e ties with family. Maybe you (Sudipav) can let him know how you feel? I certainly agree what he said was incredibly insensitive and inappropriate at the time (or ever). I think it's very surprising the things you here at a service.

At my mother's service one of my family's old friends of more than 30 years brought her daughter. Her daughter is in her early to mid 30's. Any how, she's in the past few years "not of sound mind". When they arrived her mother came with talk to my family offering kind words. She would sit alone, head bent forward as if looking to the ground, with her long hair covering her face. It was what she said to my sister that shocked me.

She mentioned something about how "the government was following her" and how she knows that my mother was "murdered". I didn't find out about this till after the service. I am so glad she didn't talk to my father or me. Not sure how I would have reacted.

Any how...time to carry on...thanks again for your words Lulie! :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 10:08AM
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1) fundamentalists all have their own private heavens. each group gets to sit safe and sound behind their own walls, with their own kind, and no one else ever invites them to the parties. it's doubtful, however, that your 'christian' associates will even get that far, but will be left to cool their heels in the hallway outside St Peter's offices until one of the people they 'denied heaven' happens to wander by, and invite them in.

like a deity capable of inventing both the carbon atom and the duck-billed platypus needs to stick to the writings that mankind has ascribed to it, no matter how nonsensical?

heaven, for most, is getting to choose where you go, and what you do once you are free of your body.

hell, for some, is having to choose what happens to themselves once their illusions are finally wiped away.

parents tend to keep an weather eye on their kids for years afterwards- in my own family, it's long been a tradition that the spirits can see 'out' through mirrors, glass, and other reflective surfaces, and that's where the jewish tradition of covering mirrors during mourning really comes from- not to restrain our mortal vanity, but to give ourselves the privacy to greive for loved ones who don't want us to cry for their sakes, since they're just fine, eh?


I'm sorry about your friend's daughter.... the paranoia could be anything from drug abuse to not taking meds she should be on, or taking drugs she shouldn't be on, to having an insane family that needs to use euphamisms like 'not of sound mind' to describe someone who's walking a line between profoundly depressed, and outrightly paranoid.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 3:33PM
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I too would share my views in a private e-mail, but I want to encourage you to take this opportunity to do some research on religions. You're asking questions and that is good. You need to feel assured and at peace about life after death. If I were you, I would take a religion course at a local community college or do some research in the librairy. Visit different denominations and gather different perspectives. If you find a church that you really relate to get involved and surround yourself with supportive people. I guess what I'm trying to say is gather information so that you can make informed decisions. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 10:53PM
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One can only wonder about those whose religious beliefs center around a being other than the traditional God. Are they not to be allowed entrance to heaven?

I think not.

I believe we all get there. I question the existence of hell, but I try to believe that it does exist, only because it is written in the Bible. Yet I find it difficult to believe that the merciful God I have faith in would sentence people to burn for eternity.

Some religious righteous believe it's their way or the highway, and if you do not believe everything they do and with the same fervor that they do, you ain't gettin' the bus ticket to paradise. I disagree.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 11:42PM
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I too, am suspicious of any denomination that finds glee or satisfaction or justification in excluding perfectly wonderful people from their version of the afterlife simply because of minor differences in organized religion...religion organized, of course, by man, with all of mankind's faults and failures.

I understand that many denominations evangelize, and many followers do it from a place of love. However, many do it from a place of superiority, exclusion, and egotism. These are false gods, mind you, and I think they will see the error of their ways, one way or another.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 1:00AM
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I wish people would worry less about an afterlife and spend more effort in the task of living a good life and being a good person today. That's something everyone can do. The rest is a mystery.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 1:16PM
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You're absolutely right, desertrat2! Words to live by.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 9:23PM
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