Testimony shared online, 2012; rewritten for clarity, 2015
I had a personal encounter with the Lord in 1999. He chose to be merciful to me. I had given my life to Jesus seven years earlier, but was not quite living right. I didn't have the privilege to experience what other messengers of God who were taken up now talk about. All I received on the fateful day was a warning - nothing more!
I was in a severely hot environment with numerous people. There was so much suffering and wailing there. It was the place of torment, called Hades. Hades also known as Sheol, is a temporary/waiting place where unrighteous souls are kept when they die, to suffer constant torment until the Day of Judgment, when they are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Eternal Hell).
I must have been in the place for a few minutes, for I soon found myself standing in front of the Lord. He specifically told me that everything was fine with me, but one sin that I failed to repent of earned me a place in Hades - just one! I took a drastic decision later in life because of this encounter, and made up my mind never to look back. What if I was not warned? I keep thinking, today. What if that was it - I never woke up? The God of many chances was indeed merciful to me.
The Lord is coming for a spotless bride. Do not let anyone on social media, a church, or a ministry deceive you into believing that God accepts sins once in a while; He does not. The Bible says that His eyes are too pure to behold iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). He does forgive our sins when we confess them, but repentance is crucial, and must never be neglected. There is a chance to repent for as long as we are alive.
Dear One: Don't spend precious time pondering over what my "one sin" could have been. Accept this testimony as a warning that just one sin (no matter how big or small it seems to you) can hinder you from making it to Heaven. No one will make up a story of having experienced torment in Hades, just to appear righteous - it is unheard of. They would rather tell you they made it to Paradise, for a few minutes of fame, perhaps. Think about it!
Here is the danger of failing to take heed: If you do not quickly repent of your ways, and your journey on earth suddenly ends, you know now what will happen from this message. Even though a lot of people have a problem accepting the truth, tomorrow is promised to no one - not even the righteous. Repent and turn your life over to Jesus today.