I was recently in Vegas on business.
While I saw many things I wish I could un-see, there was one thing I had a hard time letting go of. The sidewalks were crowded, music playing, rowdiness, some drunkenness, and in the midst of it all was a person with a bull horn and a sign warning of God's judgement to come.
At the time I was upset, but not sure why. After some thought I realized that I don't think it is totally fair to blame God for the guilt and resentment we feel. We humans blame ourselves all the time (John 3:20-21), we don't have to wait for what's to come. The person getting drunk and waking up in their own vomit knows this is not the way they want to live. The person who is the subject of the internet posted video of themselves falling off the barstool for no reason doesn't like the image of everyone around them laughing; Unfortunately the judgments are couched in rationalizations like "that's the way life is," "life is hard and I deserve a break," or "that's just what I have to do to have friends."
I realized that the reason I was upset was that the only thing accomplished by threatening others in their shame with the judgement of God is to entrench them as enemies of God. Jesus did confront others in their sin, but He saved the judgmental confrontations for religious leaders who thought they were doing God's will, when they were actually working against His purposes and hurting the people Jesus wanted to reach (Matthew 23:13-36).
We humans already judge ourselves by our own scales: people commit suicide (death penalty) because they feel their life has no purpose; or because they have reached the top of the power or fame ladder and realize their spirit still feels empty.
The message of Christ is "God Loves you... yes even YOU! Unfortunately many try all the other options first and experience lives of unnecessary pain, convincing themselves "I guess life is just one painful event after another."
In an interview broadcast on WAY-FM (4/17/19:6:45am heard in Dallas Texas on 89.7FM) Kathy Lee Gifford described a conversation she had with another celebrity who professed an agnostic or atheist faith. When asked "why do you love us? I'm a bad guy." Kathy replied "Your are not bad, just confused. I love you because God loves you, and He loves you more than you could ever know!" What a GREAT response!
Yes, people need to hear the whole message of the Gospel. Christian faith does believe that people die and go to Hell if they reject God's offer of life in Jesus Christ; but that condemnation is not the result of God's desire (2Peter 3:9) but rather the human's own choices based on the human's own choices (James 1:13-15). Jesus did not come to judge the world. He didn't have to. When a person says "there is no God" or "I chose my own way into heaven over God's way" - they judge themselves (John 3:17, 5:45, & 12:47-48). It's kind of like a death-row inmate rejecting the Governor's pardon. In that situation is the Governor really responsible for their death?
What if the standard Christian message to everyone is "God LOVES you. He wants you to come home to Him. God doesn't send us to Hell... we do, by pushing Him, and His love offer of pardon and freedom, away.
Just something to think about.
What are your thoughts?
If you want help exploring God's love for you in your life, I am happy to help!
Contact us here at Spirit Christian Counseling Centers:
Copyright © 2019 Spirit Christian Counseling Centers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Aside from small quotations, the material on this site may not be republished elsewhere without expressed permission.