Friday, October 8, 2010
The Good News?
I was accused the other day of studying (the bible) too much. Yep, and the accusation didn’t come from a “non-believer”.
The comment came after a few discussions about salvation, the restoration of all things, love, grace,… well you get the point. A lot of stuff. After hearing me discuss God’s unconditional love for all people and restoration of all creation the person decided I had used the word “all” a few too many times.
He concluded the conversation with, “Listen, the ticket to heaven is belief in Jesus. Its that simple." There was also some mention of why you should believe just to be sure you don't go to hell. You know the "fire insurance" gospel… “Well if I am wrong then nothing happens but if you are wrong you will burn.” In other words believe in Jesus just in case there is a chance that you may burn in hell for eternity. Jesus becomes nothing more than a safety net.
And many of you may agree with him.
Several quick comments about that…
1. By belief in Jesus, most people actually mean the “right” belief in Jesus which just so happens to be what they believe.
2. Jesus didn’t seem all that interested in handing out “tickets” to heaven.
3. This makes grace conditional and dependant upon us.
4. THE POINT IS NOT HEAVEN.
5. THE POINT IS NOT HELL.
Is this really the gospel (aka Good News)? Is this what Jesus was all about? Is this the best Jesus could do? Getting a select few individuals into heaven while the majority of people burn for eternity? All that talk about sacrificial love and selflessness when what he really meant was “here is how you don’t burn.”
Is this really the "good news" to the world that many people have given up their loves for?
I hope not!