Jon for President!!

“Truth” or Consequences

I have just become aware of a problem with modern evangelism. We often try to persuade people to become saved by emphasizing the benefits of salvation or the tragedy of damnation. This is a reasonable approach, but I am suspecting that it may be flawed. We are “selling” more than “testifying”. We are emphasizing the consequences instead of the truth. The person of Jesus and His claims for Messiahship (and our acceptance and submission to it) are a “truth” encounter, which entail our affirmation or denial, regardless of the implications. While there are indeed benefits and personal peace to be found in their acceptance, our salvation must needs be based on our belief who Jesus is, rather than what He can do for us.

“Friendship evangelism”, apologetics (my personal bias), community involvement, creating “seeker friendly” environments, many “tracts”, half of Christian TV, are selling the Messiah rather than saying “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

I guess we’re afraid that the truth is too scary, or maybe, too blunt. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for your sins. Only 3 answers are given to you. Yes. No. Or, I’m not ready to forsake my sins just yet (= No).

This is the “rock of offense” of Christianity. It cuts off all loop holes. Yet still people look for them. “A merciful God won’t really condemn EVERYBODY to Hell who rejects Jesus.” [but a righteous God will. Without Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, NO ONE can say they are good enough for Heaven.] “What about those who have never heard about Jesus? Surely there is hope for some of them, which means there is hope for me.” [the answer is still pending for them, but not for you. You have heard about Jesus.] “My religion accepts Jesus, but just not as “Son of God” or “Savior”. [then your religion’s answer and your answer is No. And in this case, if you are wrong, you are eternally wrong.]

And the dilemma? We have been only given this short life to ponder our decision.

Pop Quiz

Name 3 things that won’t be in Hell.
Answer: Faith, Hope, and Love.
Why? Eternal separation from God (Hell) implies this.

• No faith because the eternal realities which we can now only believe in, but not prove, will need no proof, but will “be”. So just like we will need no proof that we are in Heaven or that God exists, we will need no convincing that we are in Hell.

• No hope because the “future” will have finally arrived. This applies to both the better life that the Christian hoped for and the Hell that the non-christian feared.

• No love (in Hell) because “redemption” is no longer available. The mercy we refused in this life will give place to the justice we cannot circumvent or avoid. The Jesus who wanted to be our Savior, will now be the Jesus who is compelled to be our judge.
How interesting that “love” endures in heaven, while faith and hope are no longer needed. But I guess that’s why “the greatest of these is love”.

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