I had a dear friend who recently died from breast cancer.
She is often on my mind because....she believed that everybody would eventually be saved and go to heaven.
We had our discussions and she was adamant she was right!
What I could not get through to her was that it does not matter what “WE” think, it’s what God’s will is,
according to His Word, the Bible.
We are sinful and fail at every turn.
She did not believe that either, she was also sure that people are “good” ( which a lot of people think.)
So I asked her, “If we all go to heaven eventually, why did Jesus have to come in the flesh and then, have to die on the cross.?”
I am convinced that Jesus died in my place and that He came in the flesh so He could also die to the flesh, which I cannot do.
My flesh keeps rearing up again and again.
Even though I tried to tell her that we sin, every day, (she agreed with that)and the Bible tells us “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6 v 23) I asked her had she done any reading from the Old Testament?
She said, “No, she was mainly in the New testament”
So I then showed her in the book of Genesis ch 15 where God made a covenant with Abraham. This is a little hard to understand but as I see it (and please check it yourself to see if it fits)
verse 17 tells me “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces.”
From what I understand this was a ceremonial way of confirming a covenant which lasted for ever....smoking fire pot and a flaming torch. Symbols of God’s presence with Israel on their way to the Promised Land (Ex. 13:21;).(Pillar of cloud by day/fire by night to lead them) passed between these pieces.
(As other ancient Near Eastern texts and Jer. 34:18 indicate,
by passing between the torn animals (signifying the punishment due those who break the covenant) God invokes a oath or curse upon Himself should He fail to keep His covenant. Because He can swear by no higher authority, God swears by Himself to keep the covenantal terms.)
This covenant is still on going! It is not just with Abraham, if it was it would have died with him, it is with his seed as well and eventually Christ, and by adoption we are also part of that seed, because we have accepted Christ as our saviour, and He died for all our sins...
So she then said, “Well, what about “the elect?” that are so often mentioned in the Bible?”
So again I tried to explain that “we” are all the elect. Everybody is!!!
There is not a special group that is “the elect” I told her I left a church because that was what they taught, and no where does it say so in God’s word!.
John 3 v 16 clearly states “God so loved the “world” with this word “World” we all know God means all the people...right?”
Then her biggest fear, “Well, what about hell, God sends people to hell....how can he do that?”
So I then tried to explain to her that...... “God does not send people to hell....” they decide for themselves where they go....God has given us all a free will so we can decide for ourselves who to follow......
God made hell for the devil and his angels because they rebelled against God......not for humans!
“Then,” she said, “ What about the stuff churches tell you you “have to do” in order to be “saved”
So I told her, “Well, actually, once you have accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour, that’s it!
You do not have to do anything more and if “they tell you that you do......
well..... that was a lie. But now we have discovered the truth!
The lie was substituted for love......... shame and performance are not part of the good news.
God loves us and sent His Son to be our hope. He has provided all that we need “for life and godliness.”
What the Father has done for us in Jesus is enough. We are not condemned and no longer need to live in fear, shame, and inadequacy. Jesus is our hope, our righteousness, our life. The truth has set us free.
The devil wants as many humans as possible, (because they are made in God’s image and he hates, no loathes them) to come with him, and hence he tries to deceive them.
We get plenty of warnings from God in His book, the Bible, about how much of a deceiver and liar and traitor this devil is, we just need to trust in God through Jesus, and listen to Him, for us to do the right thing.
The thing is....if you do not follow one.......then by default you follow the other.
And as C.S.Lewis said.....”The devil will get people to say and do anything.... to make you believe that he does not exist!” But he does!!!
For example.....during WW2.... No one spoke up, when Hitler decided to put all those restrictions on the Jews, so he got away with it......he then put more restrictions on them....no one said anything.....it happened and again, no one said anything.... Hitler then decided that the Jews were not really people, but vermin, so he decided to exterminate them, he did,
a lot of them....
If people had spoken up.....and if enough of them had, this would not have happened! So, by saying nothing......not speaking up......by default..... they agreed, with him,and Hitler did his dastardly deeds.
Hitler was also into the occult and worshiped satan.....which is where he probably got all his ideas from...again satan wanted to get rid of God’s people, because they were made in God’s image...hate is a terrible thing.
And of course we need faith, and faith is like a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger it becomes, but it also works in the opposite, the less we use it, the weaker it becomes!
We often had discussions like this, but.....she’s gone now, and as I said, I often wonder where she is right now!