In keeping with the title of my blog (Postulates & Pasttimes), today’s entry is more along the line of Postulates–the religious kind to be more precise. Come, walk with me and let us talk about this religious stuff…
I was raised in a Pentecostal-based church. We moved around from Church of God organizations to Assembly of God organizations because basically they believe the same thing. In fact, I’m not sure what the difference is, once you stop concerning yourself with how they govern themselves. Although, the Assemblies of God do have a better Web site, so one point for AoG.
Among other things that Pentecostals believe, is the fact that as babies, we are born sinners and unless one repents of his or her sins, he or she cannot go to heaven. Now, there is a grace period that all babies and children get; meaning that if a child were to die before a certain age of awareness, then they automatically go to heaven. This core belief is fundamental and pretty much set in stone. You can go from one church to another and hear the same thing.
Another belief that is set in stone is the idea that Jesus will one day suddenly come back to earth, surprising everyone. He’ll then collect his people (“..in the blink of an eye…”), persecute the rest for a very long time, then basically bring heaven back down to earth where folks will live in peace for a while. Oh, also during this time, the Devil will be loosed back on earth in a last-ditch effort at turning folks and then he’ll be banned for all time. Even as a child, I found flaws in this belief. My biggest “oh right” is the idea that the Devil will be given a chance to convert people who are living in “Heaven on Earth.” Now, why would anyone who is in “Heaven” possibly follow the devil? Whatever…moving on.
(Note: If you’re really interested in this stuff, read Revelations.)
However, one area that there appears to be some gray area around, is what happens after you repent of your “original sin“. I’ve heard it preached that if I ask for forgiveness and I turn around and sin one time, and if after having sinned, and before I ask forgiveness again, the Lord should happen to come or I die in some horrific accident, then I’m doomed to suffer on earth until Judement Day.
Now, though I’ve never heard it specifically said, I’ve heard others hint at the idea that simply accepting Jesus as your savior and asking for his forgiveness is enough to get you into heaven as long as you strive to be good from there on out. This idea obviously holds more appeal for most people, which may be why the churches as a rule are integrating this into their theology, albeit unofficially.
So what does all this have to do with my blog entry you ask? Well, I’ll tell you…If scenario A (first one above) is true, then if the Lord comes while I’m typing this up, then I’m going to hell.
Yes, according to Pentecostal belief, I have sinned and “…come short of the glory of God.”
See, my wife is out of town and I’ve been watching the boys the last couple of nights. Monday night was fine. Both went to bed normally and the baby only woke up once.
Last night, however, was a different story. My eldest went to bed fine, but my youngest woke up four times during the night. On top of that, I have come down with a nasty little cold–in fact, all three of us have–and when you couple no sleep with being sick, well, let’s just say I would have fit right in with a compliment of sailors last night…and no, I haven’t asked for forgiveness yet.