A friend was talking to me about how she spent the evening Wednesday at AWANA working with Catherin on her verses. During the course of their chat Catherin was asked if she was going to heaven. She quickly answered “no, no, no,”. I told my friend Catherin thinks you have to be a great, important person before you can go to heaven and see God.
Last night I thought I’d broach the subject at our own supper table. (really it’s also the breakfast table, kitchen table, dining room table, and lunch table. Sometimes it doubles as the school table too. Really it’s a multi-purpose, all around table. Only it’s not round, it’s rectangular. But I digress.) So Catherin wouldn’t feel singled out, I started asking the members of my own household. (I realized toward the end that might not have been so grand. I wasn’t asking so Catherin would feel left out and the only one different, but she was.) In turn everyone at our table was asked if they were going to heaven and why they were going.
Elizabeth answered, “Because I’m a Christian!” Very pleased with herself. When asked how she was a Christian she said, “Because I accepted Jesus and He took my sins away.” Catherin ended up asking Ariana and then I asked Catherin. At first her answer was no, then it was I don’t know and then we landed on a definite maybe.
I asked her what it would take to make her sure. Her response was not at all what I expected it to be. She said basically for her to die right now and find out. (And no, I did not say “that could be arranged.” In fact it never even entered my mind.) She thought (and maybe still thinks) if you don’t go to heaven you just circle the world when you die. We told her the Bible says if you don’t go to heaven you go to hell.
She decided she wants to go. She said heaven will be boring all you do is eat and sleep. I have no idea where she got that idea. But she said she wanted to go to hell “because the fire will be red, my favorite color and black, my other favorite color.”
When asked if she would like to hold her finger in the flame of the candle she shuddered and said “no! That would hurt.” We told her hell would be like that without any hope of escape and it would be her whole being, not just her finger.
She asked if people in China die and go to hell if they don’t believe. We told her that was true. Everyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus will go to hell when they die.
I could tell she was really thinking and processing this. She heard the gospel message at least three times last week alone. She knows the truth, but accepting it is hard for her.