Let's Celebrate!

Optimism Out of Control, Let's CelebrateThese observations are a cause for great celebration... at least for believers and me.

As I explained, questions about the extent of God's grace in salvation grew like a dark cloud in my life, clouding my relationship with Christ.  I was not sure I would be able to rejoice in Heaven.  I needed to agree that Christ had done the right thing in saving some while eternally damning others.  Yet I could not and so continued to search the Bible for answers.

In the end, my own hypocrisy and blindness were exposed, but the good news totally erased the pain of my error!

I guess we could feel badly about the sentencing of Satan, The Beast, and The False Prophet to the Lake of Fire.  However, for me it was not quite the same concern to think about Satan going to the Lake of Fire as my family member or my neighbor.  Furthermore, my own escape from eternal damnation is guaranteed by the same love God has for all mankind.  Yet now I can agree that when God sentences an unbeliever to an eon in Hades that he has simply been assigned to a punishment that is fit for his unregenerate nature.  Without the new birth, we do truly hate God; Hades is a fitting punishment.  Unbelievers would not even want to go to Heaven where God is praised openly all day long.  Yet, I also have the hope that the "gates of Hades" will not prevail against the grace of God as I first explained in my article, Matthew 16:15-21, Optimism Out of Control.

We may prefer to hold on to familiar theological systems.  We may prefer the company of the majority view.  Unfortunately these choices may neglect the truth.  Beware.  We miss great joy when salvation is tainted with even the smallest work of man.  If we supply even the tiniest condition to our salvation then grace is no longer grace.  The party is ruined.  We also miss great assurance if we limit God's love to an imaginary subset of mankind.  How then can we be confident that God loves us unconditionally if he does not love all?  If we suggest any limitation to the atonement of Christ then we add hypocrisy to the invitation list.  The party is over.

I invite you to a radical reconsideration of your Christian faith... if you have faith.  I invite you to believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind.  In fact your own salvation is wholly dependent upon this truth!  So I invite you to believe that the burning passionate love of God for all mankind places all mankind, from Mother Teresa to Hitler, on equal ground at the foot of the cross.  Why join the majority of mankind who continue to cling to self-righteousness of some form or another?  Why refuse to believe that Jesus Christ is your savior, my savior, and the savior of all mankind?

Yet we know that in order to demonstrate his patient grace, God allows the majority of mankind to continue in unbelief.  God has ordained the existence of sin and allows mankind's ongoing rebellion against him for one reason only: to show off his grace.

Romans Chapter 11 gives an explanation of the dynamic of belief and unbelief among the elect and explains the future party that is planned when faith is finally awakened in all God's people -- even the hardest hearted.  Join me and read the Chapter in full.