reply to post by NewAgeMan
I hope you'll forgive me for merely expanding on your thought, I don't have much original to offer.
Anyone who takes pleasure in the notion that they alone are saved and part of an exclusive club with the others and the rest outcast and sent
to hell is not a person of Godly love, no matter how "good" or "faithful" they've been.
There is so much of substance in that sentence,
I suppose a book could be written about it.
In general terms, taking pleasure in someone else's suffering is a bad and twisted thing. It's fine to celebrate when justice is done, such as in a
murder case, but to be happy that a person will spend the rest of his life suffering in jail, seems wrong to me. Often the two are linked, so we have
to search our hearts to make sure our motives are sound.
Believing that one is saved, as in being guaranteed a place in Heaven, is not part of my belief system. I may hope that I will be, I may strive for
that outcome, but a guarantee? Not for me. I know some feel that way, and I can't condemn them as much as I might be critical of their thinking,
but that's their decision to make.
It's even sillier (and more dangerous to the soul) to say that one knows that another is condemned to Hell. C. S. Lewis, in one of his Narnia
books, tells the children that we are only told our own stories and no one else's. God alone knows our personal story, and God alone passes final
judgment. We can't know another's life, or what was in their heart when that life ended. Judging someone, knowing little to nothing about their
heart, is beyond folly.
I am willing to say to someone, "What you've done or said makes me think you're on a dangerous path. Reconsider what you're doing and make sure
you get right with God." I think a situation might arise when I could get up the courage to say "If you keep doing that you're in danger of
Hell." But beyond that, we're in territory forbidden to mere mortals.
Far better to say to the sinner, "You look like you're hurting, how can I help?"