I have been a believer for 38 years. Like everyone else who becomes a believer, I went through what some call a honeymoon period. Then life starts to come at you, testing your new faith.
I had many tests, and I failed more than I passed. There were times that I’d gotten so discouraged and felt like such a failure I thought I might die. Then I would repent, ask for forgiveness, and I’d feel better. This cycle repeated itself over and over for 20 years or so.
I was always afraid I would lose my salvation and end up in Hell when I died. I tried to live my life by following rules. They were the rules of whatever church I was attending, and as many of the laws/regulations I thought could follow from the bible, which made my life significantly more miserable.
There were times in my life when I was pretty low, and all I thought about was my sin. The more I tried to control my sinful ways the, more sinful I became.
I finally did get through this struggle with sin. Deliverance came after some challenging circumstances, e.g., the failure of my marriage, my back surgery, my kids going to live with their mom. After these challenges in my life, I was close to being suicidal. Then the Lord began to reveal His love for me.
As I learned more about God’s love, I had to rethink many things I thought I knew about Him. The main thing I discovered is that His love for me is unconditional. No matter what sin I was struggling with, God’s love was always for me.
Once I had this realization, I thought way less about my sin. The less I thought about my sin, the less I struggled. Years later, I still believe in God’s love.
The thing people seem to want to throw at me is Hell. Most people seem to need Hell to exist, a place where people get tortured for eternity. Most of them think of a place like Dante’s Inferno, and the scriptures don’t seem to bear out such a place.
I do believe there is some form of correction which takes place when we die. However, I think everyone will go through it since we have all made mistakes, not just people we think of as “lost” or “sinners.” No one is perfect. Also, I do not believe this correction is for eternity, and I believe any punishment or discipline is appropriate to how one has lived their life.
I don’t think about sin, and that’s 95% of not committing it. If you’re always thinking about “your sin,” you are more likely to fail. Focusing on rules and laws will always put your mind on the sin you want to avoid.
Stop worrying about Hell. Stop worrying about sin. Focus on God and His love, and things will work out for your good.