One of the most popular statements in the Christian religion today
is, "Jesus saves." By itself, this statement is true. As presented
by the Christian religion, however, it is hypocrisy packaged in a
false expression. If Jesus saves, then why is salvation presented as
a challenge? Why is it put forth as the result of a wise decision?
Why do ministers at altar calls tell people to come down and "get
saved?" Why is the exercise of the human will advertised as the
all-important thing? What, exactly, saves? Is it Jesus or will
power? I think this is an important question.
* * * * *
We probe beneath Satanís promises of a
"well-message" (that is, of a "gospel"), to see what we find. What
we find is uncleanness, hypocrisy, and lawlessness. We find the
bones of dead doctrine. We find a disgusting pile of death. We
must appropriate the attempt Christ made to save us. And so
Christ is not the mighty Savior of whitewash advertising, but rather
the weak end of a formula that requires our vital contribution.
We, as hopeful seekers, walk away shaking our
heads. It all sounded so good; it looked so beautiful. But it was
just another heap of bones, another challenge to overcome our own
sinning selves. We must somehow summon the energy to become worthy
of Christís work. Alas, there is "still one sin which will send us
to hell," and it is our own human inability, the same millstone that
has plagued us from birth. The result? We perceive God now as a
hypocrite. He has wonderful ideas, but He cannot follow through on
them. We are turned from Christ to seek another religion, one that
will not lie to us.
And Satan smiles.
* * * * *
Christians liken salvation to God giving you a
gift. "But itís just like any other gift," they say. "You have to
accept it." This is the favorite Christian analogy for describing
salvation. Iíve heard it a million times. Itís their dearest pet.
"When someone gives you a gift," Christians say, "you can either
accept or reject it." I will admit that this is a suitable analogy
for Christmas and birthdays, but as a picture of salvation through
Christ, it fails completely. Itís all wrong. Here is an analogy of
salvation through Christ.
* * * * *
In the ninth chapter of Acts, an
extremely stubborn and helpless-to-save-himself person named Saul of
Tarsus is en route to Damascus to arrest and kill Christians. Before
he could even say, "Praise the Lord," Saul was on the ground
beholding Christís glory. This was not a general invitation to fall
off a horse. Saul (Paul) wrote later: "The grace of our Lord
overwhelms" (1 Timothy 1:14). "Overwhelms" reminds me of Niagara
Falls. A person walking out from under the falls would not need to
make a decision whether or not to get wet.
* * * * *
If you believe in either the annihilation or
eternal torment of unbelievers (unbelievers such as your Uncle
Horace, for instance) then you have encountered a serious problem. I
have just shown from the Scriptures that God is responsible, not
only for withholding Himself from Uncle Horace, but also for locking
up Horace in stubbornness. Now look around you. The world is an
oblate spheroid from the weight of people like your Uncle Horace;
the spiritually stubborn account for most of humanity. My question
to you is: what happens to these people when they die in this
condition? You say that everyone gets an opportunity to believe, in
this life, before God sends them to hell for eternity. Hm. Letís
test this theory.