Fear of Death and Hell
I’ve always known on a cellular level that there is a God. I had an extremely strong compulsion that resulted in me being baptized when I was fourteen years old. I already loved God then but I was in my early thirties before I finally came to realize that God loved me also.
I had an extremely abusive father and our family was involved in a very demanding religion where the “grace” message may have been preached; but, if it was, it was couched in a lot of hellfire and damnation and I missed it.
Partially due to that background, I had a hard time relating to God as a loving Father until my son Douglas was born. After that I knew what it was really like to love someone completely and totally, that I would give up my life for him if it ever became necessary, no questions asked.
Even though I felt that unconditional love for my son and I now felt like I knew how loving God was, I still didn’t think I was good enough to get to Heaven; that I was headed for Hell, because I couldn’t even get through one day without committing one sin or another. I was certain where I would wind up if I died. The thought was absolutely terrifying.
I remember questioning God about my salvation one day as I was studying the Bible during a quiet time during the day at my pharmacy. I don’t know if it was as much of a prayer as it was a conversation. I no sooner got the question out of my mouth when I heard a very calm and soothing but firm voice telling me to, “Roll back the stone.”
I didn’t know what to make of it. I knew I had heard it. I looked around to see if someone was standing near me that I hadn’t been aware of. No one was there. It wasn’t my voice. It was too real to have been a thought. I would play it over and over in my head, just like a lyric from a song that won't go away.
I asked my preacher and a couple of the elders what they thought it might mean. They couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. I also asked a couple of other people I know who are knowledgeable about the Bible – no luck there either.
Finally the answer
Sometime later, as a function of my being an officer in the local Christian businessmen’s association, I took Nick Pirovolos of Inside Out Ministries out to dinner after he spoke to our group. When I asked him what he thought, “Roll back the stone,” meant, he just laughed and said, “God has blessed you, Bob. He spoke to you through the Holy Spirit. Jesus did it all for you. The tomb is empty. He was resurrected and is alive today. You have nothing to worry about. You are saved. Jesus is eternal and you will be with Him forever.“
Wow! Talk about emotions. At that moment every care that I ever had was lifted off of my shoulders. It was like the baptism experience all over again. I finally realized that it wasn’t about me it was about Jesus. He did it all. All I had to do was to repent and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Case closed.
1 John 5:13 has become my anthem.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Come, Lord Jesus!
The Logician from now on on August 18, 2018:
What a great testimony!
Fear of death. I must admit that is something I have never experienced. Even in my youth, before I found Christ (or should I say before he found me) any time I thought of it or heard someone express it I immediately thought, everybody dies, everyone with no exceptions so what is there to fear? I thought if some people never died then maybe I’d have a reason to fear it. It wasn’t until a grew up and got married and had children did the thought of death bother me but not for fear of my death but for fear of their loss of a husband and father. I thought about that and still couldn’t call it fear because it happened to other families and they go on. I just couldn’t imagine a reason to fear death. At the time I wasn’t a believer (nor an unbeliever) but having been brainwashed by evolution I figured if we are just the result of chemical reactions then what’s to fear? I simply will no longer exist, so what, nothing would matter! To whom? Certainly not me. And there were so many different “religions” I saw no reason to put stock in any one of those manmade fantasies.
And then at the lowest point of my life facing bankruptcy, a strained marriage relationship and a failed “career”, on this day after learning my financial saving month’s commissions on the last day of the pay period just disappeared because of a cancelled underwriting at the bottom of the stock market in 1980 Christ found me. I went next door to our office to a thrifty mart to get a coffee and lament my predicament when going through the line at the register to pay for my coffee a black woman I had never met put her hand on my arm and said to me “the Lord knows you are troubled and he has told me to speak to you” I was so dejected I didn’t know what to say but I payed for my coffee and headed out of the store to sit on a bench by the side of the parking lot to think while I drank my coffee.
The woman and her husband followed me and joined me on the bench. To make a long story short they witnessed the gospel to me, they answered every question I had about religion and brought me down to scripture in every topic, salvation, heaven, hell, cults, prayer, I spent over two hours talking with them, there was nothing for me to do at work. Eventually they brought me to the place where I was ready to accept Christ as my savior which I did with them in prayer. In the middle of it a homeless person who walked the streets around the mart and was known by everyone came from across the parking lot directly to us and standing arms length from me began to scream and speak gibberish at us and would not stop, getting in our faces. It wa like he was possessed. Finally we had to leave the parking lot but the couple did not leave me until I finished accepting Christ. It was only after that that my burdens were totally released and for the first time I realized that there was a reason to fear death and only Christ had done away with it.
The story gets better from here on, answered prayer according to scripture, but I will never forget that black woman (who I learned later escaped a childhood forced marriage in the backwoods of NC at age 14 only to become a born again Christian in NYC) who had just arrived in my little town that day because she said the Lord told her to leave NYC and move there. I wonder where I’d be if she wasn’t obedient to her Lord.
Dwight Phoenix from Jamaica on December 10, 2014:
Good day DiamondRN, it's so refreshing to hear from a christian here on hubpages. I almost felt as if i were the only one.
Pollyannalana from US on December 06, 2011:
A very beautiful testimony, thank you so much for sharing it, I know it will bless all who read it.
Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on April 08, 2011:
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Wonderful testimony!!! Come visit me when you get a chance, I have been away for awhile. Be Blessed!!
James A Watkins from Chicago on February 01, 2011:
Ah yes, having children of your own definitely changes one's perspective for good. I think there is a great lesson that God has provided us through parenthood.
"Roll back the stone!" Now, that is God talking. I have heard His voice many times and that is exactly the way He talks.
I enjoyed reading your wonderful testimony. Thank you for this edifying pleasure.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on January 29, 2011:
Awesome, I'm with you. I don't have a fear of death and in fact have come to know a peace about death, a knowing that it will be a great new adventure into all the good that I've shared here on earth. Great piece and much enjoyed. :) Katie
Bob Diamond RPh (author) from Charlotte, NC USA on January 01, 2011:
It was life-changing, Peggy. It was wonderful to go from fearing death to looking forward to it as a homecoming.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2010:
That would certainly be an eye opening moment in one's life and hard to forget!
heavenbound5511 from Under the shadow of the Almighty God! on December 29, 2010:
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage> Heb 2:14-15
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.> 1 John 4:18
Romans 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Great page, their is no fear in accepting Jesus!
We can boldly come to God's throne and receive grace because we have been forgiven of all sin! We can never separated from Jesus and God's love!
Bob Diamond RPh (author) from Charlotte, NC USA on December 18, 2010:
Thank you, HD. I can point to hearing that message from the Holy Spirit as being one of the most important events in my life. There is nothing more rewarding than the confidence that I have felt since then. It has given me the ability to be bold in my approach to defending the Gospel when necessary.
His daughter on December 17, 2010:
Great Hub, DiamondRN. Just like the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to you that goes beyond just head knowledge...that was a Rhema word. Thanks for sharing!
Bob Diamond RPh (author) from Charlotte, NC USA on December 15, 2010:
Hey,SeashoreMary. I read your article about your encounter with Jesus. God knows what each of us needs. He is awesome. I have had a couple of other experiences since then. They have usually occurred during times of Bible study and prayer. Praise Him.
SeashoreMary on December 15, 2010:
Hi! I, too, experienced my initial moment of realization that Jesus is real. I had my own face to face encounter with God, literally. You heard Jesus speak to you (through the Holy Spirit). I got to "See" Him! He's gorgeous, incredibly beautiful and definitely loving...read my testimony http://abide-in-me.com/
DCN EHIS ULAIKERE on December 15, 2010: