I don't know where I read this. I made a few modifications to suit my line of reasoning.
Why do Christians believe in and worship God?
See if you agree with this statement - Christians believe in and worship God because they believe he is loving, and because, in his mercy, they believe he gave his only son, Jesus Christ, to die for their sins.
As a Christian, do you agree with that statement?
I do not agree with that statement. I'll show you why.
Lets pretend for a second.
Take the average Christian. Let's say he or she agreed to the above statement as to why they believe in and worship God.
Let's say that the bible states that God loves us, and that all people must believe in and worship God (pray to him, worship him and fellowship with other believers, financially support his ministers, help spread his word, obey his commandments, etc), basically what the bible actually does say...correct?
Now, let's pretend that the bible says that when we die, Christian or not, you, me, and every human on earth, all of us are condemned to hell forever and ever, no matter what we do or what we believe.
I know the bible says that if you believe in Jesus as your savior you will go to heaven, but we are pretending that the bible says everyone goes to hell when they die. We are pretending that everyone is doomed, but at the same time everyone is commanded by God in the bible, to worship God (go to church, tithe, and follow the laws of God, etc).
Now, with this in mind, (please try to think how you would feel if this was what the bible said) do you think people would worship God knowing that they were going to hell forever, whether they worship him or not?
Take a moment and think about it.
I don't think they would.
If the bible said: "Believe in and worship the Lord your God, and when you die, you will spend eternity in hell ", would you worship God?
Think about it.
Wouldn't it be kind of...insane...for people to waste their lives worshipping God, even though they knew from what the bible said, that he was going to send them to hell anyway?
If there were no heaven, only eternity in hell, what would be the benefit of worshiping God? Would there be any benefit at all?
People would not care about religious beliefs because those beliefs simply would not matter. Most likely they would place a greater value on life and try their best to live as long as they could. They would be afraid of war because, if killed, they would meet the wrath of God and his eternal punishment immediately. This world would be a different place. No one would worship God even if they knew for a fact that God existed. We would all probably be angry at him for the punishment that we would face, and that of our children.
Now, according to Christian beliefs, based on the bible, there is a heaven and eternal after-life in heaven for Gods followers, which means none of what I wrote above really matters anyway.
However what it does tell us is actually why people worship God. It's not because he's all mighty, all loving, and all powerful, or all merciful. What it means is believers worship God for one reason: to escape hell. For, as I have shown, if there were no heaven, but only eternity in hell, no one would be worshiping God, regardless of the claims in the bible about his nature (all-mighty, all-loving, all-powerful, and all-merciful).
And God knows all of this because he is all-knowing, correct? This tells us three very important things;
1- People believe in and worship God for one reason; to escape hell.
2- God knows this.
3- No one will go to heaven.
Why will no one go to heaven?
Because God knows that the only reason people believe in and worship him is to escape hell. He is all-knowing remember? And he knows that if there was no heaven, only hell, that all those who worship him, would not be worshiping him. This means that Christians do not worship him because of who he is, but because of what the bible says he will do for them, namely; keep them out of hell.
This is the epitome of selfishness...and God knows this, and since no Christian will admit that the reason they worship God is just to escape hell, they are lying to God, themselves, and all those who they witness to.