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Wow, that was easy (08/15/2004)
From: Bill Steidtmann

With respect to Jesus Christ there are a number of different "gospels" that are put forth:

1) Jesus? Who's that? Besides, he's dead now. If you need saving you're on your own. Maybe you'll go to hell. (Non-Christian).

2) Jesus is an example of how you should live in order to save yourself. Maybe you'll go to hell. (Various).

3) Jesus might be your Saviour, it depends on what you do with God's offer. Maybe you'll go to hell. (Arminianism).

4) Jesus might be your Saviour, it depends on whether God picked you. Maybe you'll go to hell. (Calvinism).

5) Jesus is your Saviour (he died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead). It's not a question of "If" you will be saved, it's a question of "When". God did this without your permission. If God has to send you to hell and back in order for you to finally get it, He will. (Universal Reconciliation).

Gospels #1 and #2 don't allow Jesus to do any of the saving work. Let's call these the Working Man's Gospels.

Gospel #3 is very common. If you walk into a typical Christian church, or watch an evangelistic TV program, you will probably be dealing with some form of #3. The "depends on what you do" clause often takes the form of "put your faith in Jesus", or "make a decision for Christ". Jesus usually does 99% of the work, leaving the last 1% up to you, a critically important 1%. Right when you need Him the most your diametrically opposed "free" will supposedly comes to the rescue. Let's call that the Praise Me I Finished Christ's Unfinished Work Gospel.

Gospel #4 gives God 100% of the credit, but can we trust a sadist who effectively chooses some (most) to go to hell? Let's call that the I'm Pretty Sure He Picked Me Tough Luck For The Others Gospel.

Gospel #5 is not very popular. Its advocates maintain that most English Bibles are mistranslated. Once the corrections are in place this Gospel is apparent. It gives 100% of the credit to God and makes Him 100% trustworthy. There is no doubt. There is no maybe. It is not about "opportunities" or "possibilities". Jesus is not potentially your Saviour, He actually is your Saviour. There is no divine failure. God saves everybody via Jesus Christ. It is only a matter of time. Let's call this the Wow That Was Easy That's Really Good News Gospel.

I discovered Gospel #5 after my own little journey through religious hell. I hope you find it too. As the infamous Martin Zender would say "Believe in God no matter what the clergy say." 


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