DRAWING CONCLUSIONS: COLLEGE STUDENT
2. Do you currently practice a religious faith? If not, why?
Yes, I would say so. Usually, it’s from talking with my dad a lot. He’s like my life guru I guess. I try to read my Bible. I probably should read it more than I do. Whenever I can, I go to a campus ministry. I feel that I’ve owned my faith.
3. What comes to mind when you think about God?
I think about an unconditional love. Kind of a father figure. Someone that’s always looking for your best interest and has a plan for you regardless of what you think your plan is. It’s kind of like, no matter what, it’s going to end up being His plan, I think.
I have a positive view of God. He’s definitely involved in my life. My family has been through a lot of different trials, and He’s definitely proven Himself. My parents are very very devout Christians. When my dad was unemployed, that was probably what made them even stronger Christians. [God] just provided for us for two years of my dad’s unemployment. So, I’ve definitely seen his mercy, that’s for sure.
4. What comes to mind when you think about Satan?
Temptation. Someone that’s constantly trying to undermine what God’s trying to do in your life. He’s tricky. He’s manipulative. It’s very easy to succumb to him.
5. What comes to mind when you think about Heaven?
Pure happiness and joy; where there’s no pain; where you can spend eternity with people who’ve passed before you and will pass after you. It’s kind of just like a dream world. It’s hard to explain.
I think of it as a non-physical place. I feel like once you’re there you lose the flesh being, and just your soul is there.
I can’t imagine anything being boring about it. It’s more of a feeling than it is an actual setting.
I don’t imagine us having to do much [work-wise]. Just being. Existing. Celebrating.
6. What comes to mind when you think about Hell?
Suffering. Heat. Eternity. And torture. Nothing good at all.
7. What comes to mind when you think about the purpose of life?
I think every person has their own purpose for living. As far as life in general, I think God’s purpose was just to have people to follow Him and have salvation. Kind of like how people want to have children, they just want to spread their love. It’s like that.
[As far as] His purpose for my life, I have no idea. I wish I did. I wonder about that a lot.
8. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 being no confidence, and 10 being complete confidence), how would you rate the level of confidence you have that your beliefs (regarding questions 3-7) are accurate?
Like three. I just feel like there’s no way I could possibly actually know. I mean, I just base my assumptions on what I’ve been taught or told. But there’s no way I’ll actually know until I’m there. [That frustrates me] all the time.
9. What would you say have been the biggest obstacles in your search for truth?
Definitely College. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, and I don’t want to say I lived in a bubble, but I was definitely a lot more sheltered than other kids my age because the way my parents were. So definitely, going to college and just being, like, bombarded with people who have their own beliefs and [are] constantly questioning yours. It makes it hard to stay confident in what you already did believe.
That was a huge obstacle. Especially my freshman year. It still is.
10. Hypothetically, if you were to stand before God today, how would you feel about meeting Him?
Terrified! It’s impossible that you could ever measure up. Not that He’s measuring. But I don’t know of very many people that think they’re good enough to be face to face with God. And while I know that He knows everything, being right there with Him, I’d be really intimidated probably. But also really excited because that’s something that I really look forward to, to have that chance.
[I’d be] scared but happy. I’m not secure. I’m definitely not prepared for that.
11. Hypothetically, on what basis do you believe God will or will not accept you into Heaven?
That’s a hard question. I think it’s based on… I don’t want to say just the way you live your life, because I don’t think it’s by deeds. I mean, first and foremost, believing in Him and accepting Him into your heart.
But I remember a sermon. It was like, “Grace is not like car insurance. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you should crash your car all the time.” So they both kind of go hand in hand. It’s like accepting Him and believing His salvation, but it’s also like walking the path of a Christian. I think that’s kind of the basis of whether or not…
Every day is a struggle with my faith. Being consistent with it is something I struggle with. I think that’s where the insecurity comes from. And I think that’s where my terror of God comes in. I question if He’ll accept me.
12. If you could ask 1,000 Christians one question, what would it be? And why?
Probably, “How did you become a Christian?” I find those stories fascinating and encouraging.
13. Would you be interested in participating in an Investigative Faith Study at your convenience?
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