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Need some perspective on overcoming fear

Hi guys. I know the community hasn't been super-active for awhile, but I'm hoping that maybe this post happens across some of your friends pages and I coud get some perspective.

I'm Courtney, I'm 30, and I've been around the comm for awhile, but I think this is my first time posting.

What I struggle with is fear, particularly fear of hell. I'm sure all Christians at some point or another have dealt with this, but mine is overly large, ongoing, and debilitating.

I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, and while God's mercy and love were talked about, they weren't really emphasized. It was fire and brimstone, judgement, sin, etc. As a teen and even into college, I was pretty much the sterotypical super straight-laced good little Christian girl, and as result didn't experience much in terms of actual life.

As I got older, I realized that the things I was doing, my behavior, wasn't motivated by love for God or committment to Him, but rather out of fear and shame. I knew this had to change. But how does one begin to love a God who seems terrifying and harsh cruel? The very idea of the Gospel as I understand it seems cruel: Choose Jesus or burn.

Has anyone else dealt with these kinds of feelings? How does one begin to get a balanced view of God? If you've felt this kind of fear, how did you work through it?

I know this is a sensitive and harsh subject, so I appreciate any thoughts or advice you could offer.

Thanks.

Comments

ext_2037238
Mar. 9th, 2014 11:53 pm (UTC)
I have a longer version of what I'd like to say. You can find it here: http://fallingskymin.livejournal.com/561.html if you care to read it.

That said, in short I'd like to invite you to just go by what Scripture says, and pray. Stay away from all the different teachings of man. We're not perfect like God, so we should turn to Him before we turn to other teachings.

I know, contradiction, read my stuff, then, don't read other peoples stuff, I know... my point is that we should turn to God's Word as the measuring stick. What people like me have to say may or may NOT be accurate/helpful, no matter how good our intentions.

In short, have faith, and I also think you might not be thinking of Hell, you're thinking of the lake of fire. You won't be going to the lake of fire if you've accepted Jesus and His atonement for our sin. Hell is simply the grave, where the thinking-feeling 'us' goes. One side is comfortable (for us) and the other side is a hot desert (for the lost). Reading the story of Lazarus and the rich man for clarification seems like a good idea on this.

While trying to not be vain, I think my article addresses the issue a little more and suckers in my first visitor, opening the door for all sorts of comments and abuse, I can't wait. Oops, did I write that out loud? ;)

How about this? We are the 'bride' of Christ, right? Why would the groom abuse the bride on their wedding day, especially if Jesus is the groom?

You'll be fine, Sis.


God Bless.

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