Can Someone Be Sentenced to Hell This Side of Death?
Can someone be sentenced to Hell this side of death? Can you know you're going to Hell, and even have some of the consequence in this life? I believe I have committed the unforgivable sin—that is, the sin against the Holy Spirit—and that I am going to Hell. What I am going through is just as your book Safely Home describes Hell: a continual reliving of the things that I did to cause me to lose my salvation, and a complete lack of feeling and emotion.
Let me start by saying: absolutely you are not sentenced to Hell if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. There is no way that you can be snatched out of the Father's hand (John 10:28).
Also, it is impossible for a Christian (someone who is trusting Christ for their salvation) to commit the unpardonable sin. Check out this website for a full explanation of this: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/unpardonablesin.html
Satan would love nothing more than to have you believe that you are not forgiven and hopelessly sentenced to Hell. He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). You are in a spiritual battle and there are many thoughts setting themselves up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Instead of bringing every thought captive to obedience in Christ, you are being controlled by your feelings. God is bigger than your feelings and so much wants you to experience his peace and presence.
No matter what sin you have committed, God will forgive you if you confess it (1 John 1:9). There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). He loves you very much and wants you to believe Him and what He says about you. He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
So much of what you're experiencing has to do with what you're feeling and not about God's character and who He says He is. Read through the Psalms and write down everything God does toward you. You will be amazed at the pages you will fill. You will be assured of His love and care for you. (Satan will not want you do this, but I encourage you to, no matter whether you feel like it or not.) Pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you in a new and fresh way. Cry out to Him and He will answer you and deliver you from all your fears (Psalm 34:4).
I would encourage you to seek help from your pastor. You need some clear biblical guidance and encouragement. And ask your pastor to help you find a godly person in your church who could come alongside you in a mentoring relationship. (If you are not involved in a local church you need to find one. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some recommendations and we may be able to help you if we are aware of some in your area.)
Lastly, have you met with a biblical counselor who could help you identify what might be going on inside that is causing so much emotional turmoil? I caution you to be very careful who you go to, but if you can find a good, biblical counselor, I would recommend one. For guidelines in finding a biblical counselor see this article.
Kathy Norquist was Randy Alcorn’s Executive Assistant from 1997-2015, then worked in Ministry Development up until September 2018 when she retired. Kathy remains on the EPM Board of Directors.