Bad People Go to Hell, Right? RIGHT? (Part Three, Conclusion)

I'm sorry.

I wrote Part One and Part Two of this series in early February, 2018. Frankly, I just didn't know how to finish it. So, I carried along in my other studies, posting as I felt led. After a prolonged dry spell in writing, I was inspired yesterday in morning prayer.

It's been 517 days since I left you hanging on this subject. Just for fun, I looked up the Hebrew word H517 in Strong's. You're going to love this:

אם  ame   A primitive word; a mother (as the bond of the family); in a wide sense (both literally as in mother to a child, and figuratively, as in Deborah to her people)
  KJV Usage: dam, mother, parting.

Part Three was nagging me for 517 days, on and off. When I finally got the inspiration to finish it, the day count corresponds to the word that defines me the very most. AND, as an added bonus, it also means "parting" in one teeny verse. God is unbelievably awesome.

Shall we get to it? I've made you wait long enough.

The big questions in this series have been whether bad people go to Hell and, conversely, do good people to to Heaven? The prime example I gave of a bad person was Adolf Hitler. While I don't know for certain what his last moments entailed, there's certainly compelling evidence to support the idea that he did, indeed, get sent to The Bad Place. Though his intention of building a utopian society was probably noble in his mind, as in the minds of his followers, the methodology and outcome were undeniably evil. I blame it on his lack of relationship with God; he kept his anti-Christianity sentiments quiet in order to retain support of his countrymen, but in Mein Kampf he was as a self-proclaimed opponent of Christianity. There's no question about his feelings toward Judaism.

But what if, in his final moment, he cried out for mercy from God and asked Jesus to be his Savior?

We're not supposed to judge another person's standing with God, but I'm going to have to say even if the words spilled across his Nazi lips, he probably couldn't have gotten into Heaven. The reason was more about relationship than actions. (Ducks as someone throws something at me.)

Let me bring this out of the theoretical, and make it personal.

Imagine you have a brother whom you get along with. You don't dislike each other, but your life is a busy one so you just don't connect often. When your brother's birthday comes up, you usually miss it and send a hastily typed belated birthday email. He doesn't miss yours, though. He calls, but you don't usually pick up. You don't usually call back, either.

Your brother had some recent heartaches in his life. Turns out his wife played the harlot and his kids won't even talk to him.

But at the time, you were consumed with getting married, then with buying a house, then with working your way up the corporate ladder, then with buying your dream car. I mean, you know he had some stuff going on and you felt bad for him. 

And then you found out he was mugged and beaten badly.You just didn't have time to connect with him over it, beyond sending a lip-service email asking him to tell you if there's anything you can do to help. You hope he doesn't say yes, because you need to figure out how to come up with $75k for Junior's college tuition this year.

It's ok, right? Your brother loves you so much and he never yells at you about not holding up your end of the relationship.

Besides, family is forever. Let's not forget that you sent him a pre-printed Christmas card last year. Season's Greetings from The Jones Family! You dropped a Starbuck's gift card in there, too. Bonus points for doing that pretty consistently over the past few years, right? You donated to his last fundraiser, too. Love is never having to say you're sorry, as the line from Love Story goes. ♥

When was the last time you actually heard from him? A year ago? Three years ago? Did he even respond to your last text?

Boom. You were driving too quickly on a twisty mountain road in the rain, looking at a text message from your wife saying a farewell as she boards a plane for a weekend in Cabo with her friends. They're going "phone free" but she wants to send one last message. Oh, also, can you please make sure to give Junior $5k? You remembered he's driving to Daytona, right? Thanks, hon.

You thought, always wanting money. Doesn't grow on trees.

As the vein bulged in your temple, you looked up in time to realize you're overshot the sharp turn of this slick road, but not soon enough to hit the brakes and leave a tell-tale sign of your mistake. Your car careened off the road and tumbled end-over-end down a steep slope, becoming a twisted hunk of metal wrapped around the tree that abruptly halted your downward progress. Thank God, huh?

But your injuries are substantial. With weak and bloody hands, you tap the cell phone that miraculously stayed put in the dash-mounted holder. Weak signal. Maybe a text will go through?

Kid is traveling, wife is traveling. Maybe it's time to reach out to that faithful brother of yours. You text him, and then you wait. And wait. Will he save you from this predicament? What would you say, if you were the one who had been essentially ignored right up until the moment someone wanted saving?


So, did Hitler have a relationship with God? Well, if he did there was absolutely no evidence of that relationship outwardly. He intentionally ensured the tortured death of millions of people. He was a self-proclaimed atheist. I doubt he studied the Bible.

You see, if we are in a loving relationship with God, it should be obvious. We don't ignore Him. We spend quality time with Him, not in prayers offered by rote accompanied by coins in collection plate, but rather honest and genuine dialogue about things we're thankful for, things we're fearful of, and decisions we're unsure of. The relationship grows and, in turn, we grow. We become more like God of Heaven and less like the god of this rotting world.

The more time we spend in prayer and study of His Word, the more we take our eyes off everything that distracts us from God and eternity. We love more. We forgive more. We obey His commands more. We're more humble. We turn away from sin. We apologize when we blow it. 

When we're in relationship with God, He shines through us. This is radically different from attending church on Easter and Christmas.

If you haven't started this relationship with God yet, please stop reading. Close your eyes. Tell God that you desire the close and loving relationship He's offered through His son, Jesus Christ. Tell him you're sorry for not giving Him more of your time, or for the mistakes you've made.

If you have started this relationship, but got busy, take a moment to tell Him you're sorry for not spending more time with Him, and that you've missed Him. Then hold tight to Him.

Our metaphorical cars can slide off the metaphorical road in a moment. Make sure your relationship is genuine, and not just lip service.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed and we are absolutely in the last days before judgement comes.