of heaven and hell, but it is unscriptural.
Anyway, if I was talking to you or anyone else, I would ask what you think Christianity teaches that a person has to do to have eternal life (heaven after death). A common answer is, "Believe in Jesus and live the golden rule." Although this is a nice thing to do, no one will ever make it to heaven this way. For one thing, which human on the face of this planet has ever lived the golden rule? I know I haven't, much as I've tried.
We have a conscience, so that when we lie, steal, use His name in vain, hate our brother, or commit sexual sin, etc., we do it with knowledge that it is wrong. Every culture in the world has a similar set of ethics, and because of this, I submit to you that this conscience is God-given. Conscience only speaks to us on moral issues, never trite things, such as the color of the shirt we should wear that day.
When we knowingly disobey the truth we hold, God calls it sin. Sin is what sends people to hell.
If you read the "judge not" verse in context, you will see that what Jesus is saying is that every time you think, "so and so should not have done that", you are proving that you know it is wrong to do such things and therefore will be judged for that sin when you die. An example would be when we saw Ken Lay lying, we said, "that is wrong." We are by nature, judgmental beings. We make moral judgements all day every day, because we are humans and not animals.
God loves people and doesn't want them to spend eternity in the lake of fire (that was created for the Devil and not people in the first place). But because of His justice, He must punish sin. He can't let murder and rape just slide. And because He is so holy, He can't let lies and thievery, or any other sin, slide either.
So, He decided to do the amazing. He himself would come to earth and live a perfect life (what no other human would ever do) and then shed His innocent blood to pay the debt of sin. He took the sins of the entire world upon Himself, so that if anyone believes on Him, they can receive His righteousness in return. Then when they stand before Him on judgement day, they won't have to answer for all the sins they committed, because God sees them as living the righteous life that Jesus Christ lived.
If this sounds strange to you, don't be surprised, most so-called Christians don't understand it either. Everyone wants to keep trying to be good enough to make it, and they never are. Most people can't even make it one day without sinning. God is not interested in the self-righteous and proud, because they never put their faith in Him and what He's done.
God gave His law, not because we could obey it, although it is a good law. He gave us His law to show us that we needed Him. We can never be good enough to reach a Holy God. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me."
I've presented the overall message of the Bible here in this short post. I will not argue with all the religious folks who want to keep people in bondage with their man-made traditions and misinterpretations. Jesus came to set people free, so seek Him, not religion.
The Bible is a long and very deep book, so don't get frustrated. I don't think anyone will ever know everything there is to know. Start with the books of John and Romans. The scripture tells us that if you seek truth, you will find it. So, God bless you on your journey.
Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html
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