It’s difficult to think in terms of absolutes. Allow me to propose a thought experiment:
Think about infinity.
Take a moment to really ponder the notion of the infinite. I’ll wait.
Think a little more.
It’s hard to even conceptualize. No matter how big you’re thinking, it’s not enough – infinity is bigger. Mathematically, infinity is an undefinable concept. Everyone knows you can’t divide by zero, or else your calculator explodes or something.
And speaking of zero, here’s another, opposite thought experiment: try thinking of nothing. Try to wrap your mind around the literal absence of everything.
You can’t, can you? Trying to think about nothing is itself something. (Whoa, I just blew my own mind.)
We simply can’t imagine the concepts of nothingness, everythingness, forever, everything, etc. These things are outside the scope of our black-and-white reality.
Even though I have been a believer for my entire life, I am constantly haunted by that dreaded question:
“Am I REALLY going to heaven?”
My sin runs deep. I struggle with lust, idolatry, apathy, jealousy, anger, hypocrisy, and selfishness, just to name a few. Regarding these sins, the Bible seems pretty crystal-clear:
“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
– Ephesians 5:5
“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
– Matthew 5:20
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
– Matthew 7:21
“And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell.”
– Mark 9:47
“Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:10
Well, that’s a pretty open-and-shut case, isn’t it? Given my track record, it seems I am certainly doomed. Despite being a practicing Christian, these sins trip me up daily, and even though I know God forgives me, it’s still hard to trust in my own salvation. After all, the scriptures literally say I will not enter the kingdom of God if I do these things that I constantly do.
So what, then? What is the point of even trying? I failed, and I continue to do so on a regular basis. It’s uncomfortable to admit this, but I wrestle with this uncertainty all the time.
But let’s go back to infinity for a moment – let’s return to that immeasurable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, impossible, calculator-exploding concept. That same nebulous thing that is too big for us to know?
That is how much God loves us.
That is how deep Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross goes. You literally cannot imagine it. It cannot be qualified or quantified. It is absolute. It is everything. I can’t understand it either, but it gives me something to hope in.
If you would like to further discuss this topic, or chat about anything else at all, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.