Originally posted by SwissGambit
I just don't get how you can be sure of anyone's eternal fate. The thief on the cross went to heaven. It's supposedly God's decision. Only he supposedly knows the condemned man's heart. Supposedly, if that condemned man repented, and cried out for salvation, he would be saved, even if no one but God could hear him.
Maybe I misunderstand your theology? You're up.
No, you're right: each person's salvation issue is between them and God only.
God's decision, and He has already extended it to everyone: everyone starts of with the names written in the Book of Life; only those who consciously choose against Him have their names blotted out.
I fervently hope that at any point in Gilmore's life he made that decision.
After all in his younger days, he had expressed a desire to become a man of God so he certainly could had already accepted the gift.
That being said, there are rewards to be considered, both for the hereafter as well as for the her and now.
Call them consequences of thoughts and actions.
Even if Gilmore had accepted the gift earlier in life (and is now face-to-face with God in heaven), he lived a life which not only offered no succor, it culminated in a death of peace-less fear.
You cannot live like he did and have any rest or comfort, therefore he faced death fraught with unknowns.
In my speculation, I don't imagine him assured of being welcomed into the loving arms of his Creator; I suspect he was highly distraught and concerned regarding what was coming next.
That brings me to the part about it being marvelous: the soul resilient, made of stuff stronger than even we imagine.
John Wayne Gacy demonstrated an equally unbowed spirit--- albeit laced with the anger which braided his entire life--- uttering three words as well: "Kiss my ass."