|THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE
Why I wrote The Really Bad Thing About Free Will (Cont.)
The Christian religion, with human free will as its premier doctrine, is humanism dressed in righteous-looking garb. It is a form of devoutness that denies the saving power of God.
I do not believe, therefore, that the doctrine of eternal torment is the killing doctrine. Let me qualify that. I donít think itís killing in that it disqualifies people from eonian life. I believe that Satan developed the doctrine of eternal torment to force people into the killing doctrine: free will. Free will is the killing doctrine because it denies the foundation of the gospel: the death of Christ for sin. Free will is such an unscriptural teaching (listen to it without whitewash: "salvation by self; salvation by human will power") that no one would stand in this corner unless they were painted into it. And it is the doctrine of eternal torment that does just that. Who wants to make God responsible for sending men, women and children into unending torments? This nightmare must somehow be made the humanís fault. Enough scripture can be twisted to make human free will do this duty, and so the twisting begins and people rush to relieve God of responsibility for manís fate.
The irresponsibility of God. Yikes! Thereís a doctrine for you.
The teaching of human free will is the knee-jerk reaction of normal people to the horror of unending hellfire.
The only thing that can explain Calvinists, then, is this: they are not normal people. In fact, Calvinists are freaks of nature. Calvinists believe in eternal torment, yet they are somehow scripturally astute enough to deny free will. Strange. It is strange finding people without qualm (at least publicly without qualm) about making God responsible for damning people. According to Calvinists, God brings billions of people into the world, only to predestine most of them to eternal torment. What a doctrine! Normal human beings shy away from believing something so bizarre. But Calvinists are not normal human beings. As I said, they are freaks of nature. Good for them, though, because it is better to be a freak of nature than to believe in salvation by self.
The Really Bad Thing About Free Will may be the book God uses to convict people for the first time of Christís sufficiency against sin. This is not just ornamental teaching, it is essential doctrine. Itís not icing on the cakeóit is the cake. The information presented in this short, scriptural, entertaining book could be the differenceóto someone you care aboutóbetween eonian life and eonian death.
I could not be more serious. Why do you think Iíve dedicated my life to this? Why else teach the true evangel? Why did Paul teach it? He was not just bringing saints to maturity, but introducing people who had never heard of the gospel, to the gospel. Why would he risk his life for that? Why bother, if everyone gets eonian life in spite of what they believe? Why? Because the apostle Paul realized the importance of sound teaching. Sound teaching, to Paul, was not an adjunct to faith, but a vital part of it. Faith, to Paul, was real. That is, it was based on real information, not some wispy, intangible nothing. And the apostle Paul, achiever that he was (through the strength of Christ and the grace of God), wished to save as many people as possible from the second death. He knew that everyone would live for eternity with God, but he wanted to bring as many as possible into eonian life.
Some would say, "Martin. Stop and listen to yourself. Youíre doing the very thing you accuse Christian preachers of doing. Youíre saying that people have to believe the right thing in order to be saved." Not at all. Iím saying that those whom God has predestined beforehand for salvation will believe the right thing via the correct gospel presented by a God-inspired evangelist.
Others would say, "But, Martin. Saving people is Godís job. We thought you believed in the sovereignty of God. God has predestined whomever He has predestined, and we canít change that." I know thatís true and I know we believe that way, but it is wrong for us to sit around and act like God has not given humans the privilege of announcing His message. This practice of sitting around is known as fatalism. I am not a fatalist, and neither was the apostle Paul. Paul knew that only God could save, but He also knew that God used humans to effect His will. God made it Paulís business to save the people He predestined to save. Paul did not know ahead of time who God had predestined. (How nice that would have been.) This is why he broadcast his evangel everywhere. Paul? A fatalist? Never! This is why he wrote the following:
For everyone, whoever should be invoking the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How, then should they be invoking One in Whom they do not believe? Yet how should they be believing One of Whom they do not hear? Yet how should they be hearing apart from one heralding? Yet how should they be heralding if ever they should not be commissioned. According as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those bringing an evangel of good!
This book that I have written contains an evangel of good. Whoever will read this book, receive this message, and share it with others, will have beautiful feet indeed.
I believe that this is the most important book I have written, to date. Give it to someone who is ensnared in the trap of the Adversary. It could very well be the difference, to that person, between eonian life and eonian death.