Tag: grace and salvation
I found myself at the airport, waiting to board my flight. At one point, the speakers announced the names of four people who were expected at a nearby boarding gate. Their names were called three times. Eventually, the airport staff withdrew, and the door closed behind them. Shortly afterward, a modest-looking family appeared. The confusion in their eyes, as they glanced left and right, betrayed their fear that they had already missed the flight.
Undoubtedly, the best known of all Bible verses is John 3:16, but even this does not sound the same in its different renderings. One of these is a personalised version, sometimes employed in church settings: “For God so loved [insert your name here] that He gave His one and only Son, so that if [insert your name here] believes in Him, [insert your name here] shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Who was Jesus really? While His historical existence is no longer questioned, many people believe that He was at best an exceptional personality of His time, a reformer whom His disciples later transformed into a deity. Why is neo-atheism concerned with promoting such a Jesus, and why is He nothing more than a new form of doubt?
If God exists, why would I matter to Him?
Why couldn’t God simply have forgiven sinners? Precisely because sinners cannot be forgiven until they completely understand sin, with all its far reaching consequences, or before the wages of sin are paid.
For centuries, the sacrifice of God the Son and the divine plan for man’s salvation have generated several dilemmas and raised more questions than we could imagine. And the answers that have been found have revealed more implications of the cross than we used to believe, whether we are Christians or non-Christians, believers or skeptics.
In our Christian experience, we strive for perfection, but we honestly admit we are a universe away from it. Our inability to live up to God’s standards can lead us to feel we can no longer benefit from divine forgiveness, at least not until we prove strong enough not to give into the sins we are battling.
The end of the line for Christian perfectionism is not perfection, but atheism. This is because what we imagine to be the constant unsatisfied look of God upon us, is a burden too heavy for any human to bear.