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The Price is Right (05/07/2006)
From: Bill Steidtmann

In my previous submission to AMOF ("Saved From Jesus" - 4/23/06) I presented a hypothetical dialogue between an evangelist and a potential convert to the "faith". The article was designed to raise lots of questions and answer none of them, so I thought it would be prudent to at least answer the main question, simply: What is it that God is saving us from? Rather than torture you eternally I'll get right to the answer... it's Death.

Mainstream Christianity on the other hand answers the question thus: Eternal Hell. This thought is so pervasive that if someone were to suggest that Hell either doesn't exist as such, or that it exists but is not eternal, it is equivalent to suggesting that there is nothing that we need to be saved from, and therefore we don't need a Savior. Nothing could be further from the truth. We most certainly do need a Savior to save us from the "wages" of our sin:

Rom 6:23a (KJV) "For the wages of sin is death..."

Death is the consequence of sin, not eternal hell. Rom 6:23a is not saying anything new. It simply reiterates what God said right from the start, and here too God does not say that man will suffer eternal hell if he sins, but only that he will die:

Gen 2:17 (KJV) "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Christendom would have us believe that God is both potentially Your Worst Nightmare and the Savior all at the same time, both the problem and the solution, and asks us to love and trust this abusive father, or else. The consequent fear induced reaction is passed off as "faith". We are supposed to love our enemies while He burns them mercilessly forever. It is a contradiction, and the source of all this twisted thinking can be traced back to erroneous Bible translation - garbage in, garbage out. But God's justice is satisfied, not by tormenting people for sins that Jesus already paid for, but by that very payment, laying on Jesus: Isa 53:6b (KJV) "...the iniquity of us all."

Christendom would have us believe that Hell is separation from God, ignoring passages like Rev 14:10b (KJV) "...in the presence of the Lamb:" where the recipients of His wrath are everything but separated from Him. But it is death that threatens to separate us from God, leaving us in a state where we are unable to appreciate Him, and it is this problem that God will ultimately resolve, even if He has to use wrath to deal with stubborn clay. The final goal is to bring life to all, and abolish life's antithesis: 1 Co 15:26 (KJV) "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." At all points along the way, no matter how bumpy the ride, God acts in accord with His will, which is to save all mankind. God does not "wish" that His creation would turn out okay - He demands it, because He "...worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" Eph 1:11b (KJV).

But let's assume just for a moment that Christendom is correct, that the wages of sin is eternal hell. If that were true, then there is an enormous problem that should cause every believer to shudder: Jesus has not yet paid for your sins! The simple fact of the matter is Jesus has not, nor ever could successfully pay the price of eternal hell. At best he might have gone through hell for several hours, maybe even several days, but definitely not the eternity that Christendom's theology requires. Thank God that the wages of sin is not eternal anything because no one could ever finish the job. No, the wages of sin is not eternal hell, it is death, and Jesus paid exactly the right price:

1Co 15:3-4 (KJV) "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" 

 

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