" Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
I think one reason why people are so seldom reformed in feeling is that many who have been reformed in faith do not make a wholehearted effort to grow in grace, or to lead better lives by means of earnest prayer and meditation, and by spiritual and bodily exercises. They think it sufficient to avoid mortal sins, and to continue to live in the same way. They say that it is enough for them to be saved, and they are content with the lowest place in heaven, wanting nothing higher.
I had to laugh when I read this or I would have cried. How often have you heard these words? "But, I lead a decent life." Or," Well, I may have to spend some time in purgatory but I'll eventually get to heaven." How about this one: "There is no such thing as hell."
I have heard all the above and more. The first is halfhearted, the second is insulting [to aim for purgatory] and the third is downright foolish.
Our aim is Heaven. Jesus died on the cross to save us! St. Dismas [the good thief] abandoned himself completely to the Lord. He saw what he was and turned to Mercy and said," Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus did. " Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
For the but-I-lead-a-decent-lifers, I ask: In whose eyes? Your own? Or the Lord's? We have a fallen nature, we cannot judge our own holiness. Decency is great, but we are called to holiness. Only God can do this work in us.
Those who don't believe in hell.....well, I can assure you that it exists, but I doubt you would believe me. Look around you. Evil exists. Human beings are smart but the devil is smarter . If you don't believe he exists, then he has already won half the battle.[Read The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis]