From: Bill Steidtmann
Adam: Whadaya know for sure?
Bob: I finally outsmarted you.
Adam: Yeah, I bet.
Bob: Think about it... in your theology everyone gets saved, and in mine, only some people.
Bob: Itís not a question of whoís right, itís a question of whoís wrong. If I go with your theology, but it turns out youíre wrong, I go to Hell. But if I go with my theology, and Iím proven wrong, I go to Heaven anyway. Therefore the safe bet is my theology, because I win regardless of whether Iím right or wrong.
Adam: Iím impressed.
Bob: Thank you. I thought that up all by myself.
Adam: But it sounds more like the work of an evil genius who sat down at the Devilís craps table and tried to outplay God Himself while evading the faith security system.
Bob: Iím just playing it safe.
Adam: Hedging your bet in Godís casino?
Bob: Whatís wrong with that?
Adam: Jesus didnít die in a casino, and salvation is not a game of chance. The question is whether this plan of yours is just veiled unbelief. Would you agree that faith is only true faith when itís 100% sure?
Bob: The part of me that isnít sure is the doubting part, so yes, faith is sure.
Adam: Are you?
Bob: Jesus died for everyone, therefore Jesus died for me, hence I believe.
Adam: Yet you also believe that your salvation can be lost at any time between now and when you die.
Bob: Of course I could lose it, but at least Iím not a Calvinist whoís never quite sure if I had it in the first place.
Adam: Then youíre simply not 100% sure that you will be saved.
Bob: Iím 100% sure of the present state of affairs, but not 100% sure of the future... or the past... I guess that explains why I keep accepting Jesus as my savior over and over and over at altar calls. I live in the moment.
Adam: So do tightrope walkers, but I bet their stress levels run pretty high up there.
Bob: Iím just working out my salvation with fear and trembling.
Adam: The problem is that Bob relies on Bob to reach the end of the tight-rope, hence the fear.
Bob: And how do you reach the other side?
Adam: I realize that Jesus Christ is both the tightrope and the net.
Bob: Then youíre doing it wrong! Whereís your fear?
Adam: Iím not afraid of the possibility of my failure, Iím afraid of the certainty of Godís success. His inevitable success in spite of my failures will demand changes in me, and I donít like to be changed, hence the fear.
Bob: Your faith is presumptuous. Mine is cautious, because you just never know.
Adam: The question is whether your ďcautiousĒ faith is the saving kind of faith.
Bob: What difference does faith make if, as you erroneously believe, everybody is saved regardless?
Adam: Everyone is saved eventually, not everybody is saved immediately. The difference that faith makes is that believers will be given life during the aions, and unbelievers will not.
Bob: Which proves you canít save everybody!
Adam: No, because both are given life after the end of the aions.
Bob: Youíre just sidestepping the problems with your theology. By telling people that God will save everyone through Jesus Christ, you create apathy, causing them to not put faith in anything.
Adam: You mean anything except God and Jesus Christ, which is exactly what I want.
Bob: No, the problem is you generate spiritual laziness. I keep Hell front and center, so I donít lose my focus. My theology creates an overwhelming panic-stricken urgency, the way God intended for us to live!
Adam: Maybe this ďlazinessĒ, as you call it, is actually the peace which comes from being 100% sure. True saving faith eliminates the anxiety of not being sure of the future, and realizing that God will save everyone through Jesus Christ generates that saving faith. Your gospel is that God might save, and mine is that God will save. Yours depends on Self and freewill based chance, and mine depends on God and His plan to save all mankind. Yours produces fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and mine produces peace, assurance, and faith.