Who Lives Forever With God And Who Doesn’t?

Mar 22

With all of the discussion lately about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, allow me to write some thoughts along these lines based on my recent readings of Romans. (By the way, Romans is one of the most theologically rich books in the Bible–so much has already been written about it, as it’s packed with so much in there. This is just part of what I’ve gleaned from a few parts of it.)

According to the Christian faith, what is required for one to receive salvation from God?

First, we must look closely at the wording of that question: salvation is something to be received. That means it comes from something/someone other than ourselves. We do not have the possibility of saving ourselves. We don’t save ourselves by deciding to obey God or by professing any creed. Rather, the only way we can be saved is if someone else saves us. We can’t take care of the problem ourselves.

So if we can’t save ourselves, who can save us? Can my neighbor? No, because they too need saving just as much as myself. Everyone is in the same predicament.

This is an important place to stop and reflect: Everyone is in the same predicament. We must remember this when we consider who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Every one of us is under the rule of Sin, and as a result, eternal death is our fate. There are not evil people and good people. Under God’s standard of righteousness, there is NO ONE who is righteous, no not one.

As a result, no one can be considered righteous–even if from this point on, I never sin again, my record is still blemished. Not only this, but that scenario is not at all possible, as sin is much more than just an act or deed done in isolation. Rather, sin has also changed the nature of who I am as a person. I am totally screwed up. (If you can’t admit this, that’s called pride.) The illustration of someone who has taken heroine is a good illustration of what sin does to us. Once you’ve taken it once, it alters your brain in such a way that you are now under its control, and as much as part of you realizes that an addiction to heroine is wrong/destructive, there is now another part of you that is under the control of its power. Imagine a world full of heroine users–where every single person in the world is an addict to it. What a hopeless picture!

Even if someone were to somehow never take heroine again, they can’t erase their past. But sin is even worse than heroine. It is conceivably possible for someone who used to be a heroine user to choose to never use it again (although extremely difficult to do). As such, one could say, “I’m no longer a heroine user,” and it might feel a little uncomfortable to punish such a person for using it 20 years ago. There is nothing morally wrong with a person whose brain has been altered to crave heroine but doesn’t illegally use it.

Yet there is something morally wrong with us because of what Sin has done to us as people. Sin has put a rebellion in our heart against God. We now feel we have the right to decide whether God’s ways are right or not. So even those of us who are “moral” people choose to follow God as long as we determine it is productive to society or our own lives. Us “moral” people don’t murder people, because we see the problem with it.

But what about those things where we don’t fully understand the problem: issues of personal sexual choices (sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, etc.) or personal lifestyle choices (accumulating hoards of wealth for ourselves, laziness, etc.), or issues of religion (does it matter which god/religion you follow or does it matter whether you worship him or not, etc.). Sin has put a rebellious heart against God in every single person who lives.

But what if someone decides, “I no longer want to be in rebellion towards God”? Enter many of the religions of the world. They are man’s attempts to align ourselves back to God. What a noble effort! Surely, God would be pleased with our intentions, even if they are misguided. Surely, He will look past our errors of belief and see our heart, right?

The problem is, this idea is predicated on the notion that we can somehow save ourselves from our rebellion of God. We cannot. Even our own attempts at making things right with God fall flat on their face. That means that regardless of how “good” you live your life and how “moral” your religious beliefs are, you cannot do anything to change the fact that you have a rebellious heart toward God, and you can no longer be considered righteous in His eyes. This rebellious heart is a gift to you–given by our ancestor, Adam. Thanks, Adam.

While Adam chose to have a rebellious heart, and thus gave this gift to all humanity in a representative/corporate way–it happens in each of our own lives as well, so we can’t find ourselves faultless. When you rebelled from God yourself and chose sin, you exchanged God as your lord, and chose “Sin” to be your lord. (You thought you were crowning yourself as lord, but just like Adam, you were deceived. Like father, like son.) That’s a decision that has no reversal. God values a voluntary love relationship–if you choose to leave him, He lets you. While God allowed you leave him, Sin is a tyrannical dictator. It refuses to give up its power over you. You are its subject forever, and unlike God, it will never let anyone leave its grip.

Although God is a God of love and is willing to allow you to choose to leave him, He has made it clear that there really is no other viable choice. Those who choose to leave Him, He turns them over to the power of Sin, which is death. This is the definition of the wrath of God–turning us over to Sin’s evil and destructive rule. In other words, God says, “You either play by my rules, or you play by Sin’s rules. Sin’s only rule is that you must die. And Sin, unlike me, will never let you break its rule. Sin will never let you leave.” God has no toleration for our sin, and in His wrath, He turns us over to Sin’s rule of death for our rebellion against Him.

So although you might try your best to return back to God, Sin won’t let you. It has no love for you. You are hopelessly screwed. Everyone is. Yes, Rob Bell, even Ghandi. And even me.

Now, people today don’t like that concept. “How can you say Ghandi is going to hell? How can you say the whole world is going to hell? How insensitive! How offensive!”

This attitude is just further proof that we have a rebellious heart toward God. We are in denial, just like any other drug addict. “I’m ok, you’re ok!” Anyone who would say anything different is labeled judgmental. (By the way, this is how “religious” people treated the Old Testament prophets as well.) The same things were being said when Noah built his ark and warned everyone that God was going to destroy the world. Jesus warned us that the end of days would be the same as the days of Noah. The theology being propagated among many Christians today questioning if the world really is going to hell just proves Jesus’ words. 2 Peter warns us that God’s judgment is indeed coming, just like it came in Noah’s day.

So what are we left with? Everyone is in the same predicament of being under the judgment of God, and no matter what we humans do to try and get out of it. Even when we try to correct ourselves so that we are no longer under His judgment–we cannot escape the rule of Sin. We are all now subjects of Sin, and Sin has the right to destroy us. And Sin will have its way with every single one of us, no matter what we try to free ourselves.

If we stop here, we have no hope whatsoever. There is absolutely nothing we can do–being deceived by Sin, we have already left God, and Sin refuses to let us ever return back to Him.

But there is one thing that can happen: While Sin has complete control over us, and we are no match for its power, there is one Person who isn’t in the same predicament: God. The only one who can do anything about our condition is Him. Consider the following:

  1. God has never given himself over to the power of Sin like the rest of us have. So the power of sin (death) has no right to Him. He remains free.
  2. The power of Sin and the power of God are not equals. They’re not even worth comparing. The power of Sin is like a toothpick in the palm of God’s hand.

Adam made Sin a “relative” of the human family. Everyone on earth who is born has Adam as their father, and as a result is in relationship with Sin as well. But what if God started over? Is that possible? What if He decided to once again make a Man in His own image? What if He could make a way for us to be born all over again? If that would be possible, we would be born both of Adam and born of the new Man. We would then have both Sin and God claiming rightful possession of us. And if the two propositions I’ve made in the paragraph above are true, even though both would claim rightful possession of us, who do you think is going to win that claim?

Could this work? Could God do something to save us, even though there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves? A Christian believes so. A Christian believes that what we couldn’t do for ourselves, God did it for us. While we could do nothing to break Sin’s rule over us, God did it for us. When Adam sinned, Sin claimed rule over humanity. Jesus said to Sin, “If one man and his sin can represent the rest of humanity for you, then allow Me–one man–to represent the sin of humanity. Unleash all your power on me.” And God, in His wrath, said to Sin, “Have your way with Him” (just as we said earlier that the wrath of God is defined as Him letting Sin have its way with us). Jesus felt the wrath of God, as God turned Him over to Sin and did nothing for Him. God abandoned His Son, giving Sin free reign for destruction.

The power of sin is death. And so Jesus died while being under God’s wrath. But remember, unlike us, Jesus did not deserve God’s wrath and didn’t deserve Sin’s consequences. And remember, the power of Sin and the power of God are not equals. They’re not even worth comparing. The power of sin is like a toothpick in the palm of God’s hand. Death is supposed to be final. But Jesus showed that death doesn’t have to be final. He did not remain dead for long.

He, unlike us, was righteous. Sin’s power of death was not superior to Him, as it is to us. God cannot be ruled by Sin. While we are subjects of Sin, He is not. And now humanity no longer has to be subjects to Sin. Because a righteous Human represented all of humanity when He died and rose again (just like a sinful Adam represented humanity when he sinned), humans are no longer forced to be under the rule of Sin and once again have the freedom to choose. It’s now back to the same choice we’ve had from the beginning: be ruled by God or be ruled by Sin. Except this time, we don’t find ourselves being currently ruled by God–we find ourselves currently being ruled by Sin. But the choice is now there to return to God.

While Sin currently rules all of us, God has provided an “escape clause” where there was none to begin with. (Sin itself would never have provided such a clause.) For those who choose the escape clause, Sin can no longer claim a rightful claim on us–Jesus as our representative gave Sin what it claimed over us. We are now free to return to God’s lordship–if we want to.

Why wouldn’t anyone want to? Well there are plenty of people who refuse to believe that they are currently subjects of Sin. Sin has done a good job of deceiving them–just like Sin deceived the first humans, Adam and Eve. That is the real power of Sin–deception. Sin convinces us that we are our own lords. Sin makes us think that returning to God means no longer having control over our own lives (as if we really are in control now). Sin gives the perception of free will. “Don’t do what God wants you to do–do whatever you want to do!” Meanwhile God warns, “There really is no such thing as free will: there’s My will or Sin’s will.”

So what is God’s will for us who find ourselves under the rule of Sin? His will is that we return back to Him through the way He made possible–the escape clause. It is the only way out–not because Christians are arrogant or narrow-minded, but because Sin refuses to give us a way out–only God’s way accomplishes it. Those who would take the escape clause are those who are willing to be born again of God–those who are willing to also be identified with Christ, not just Adam. Sin says we are sinners who deserve death–because we are born of Adam. The escape clause says that we will no longer be born only of Adam, but we will now let Christ be born in us.

Jesus is willing to freely give us His righteousness. He says, “Let Me and My righteousness be born in you. Stop rebelling from Me. Submit yourselves to me once again, and I will give you My righteousness. Stop trying to make things right with God by your various religions and moral behavior. Recognize that if you are going to be freed from the rule of Sin, it will have to be God who saves you, not yourself. By my subjecting Myself to Sin and letting Sin have its way with me, there’s no reason for Sin to have its way with you, if you will be identified with Me. If you make Me your Lord, Sin will no longer be able to claim any lordship over you anymore.”

Most people don’t take Jesus’ offer, because Sin has convinced them that there is no looming death for their “free will” against God. Sin has convinced them that they are not in rebellion against God. If there is a God, surely He is a good God, and is willing to look past the little things we’ve done, as long as we do our best to be decent human beings. How could God be “good” if we are all going to hell? Sin has convinced them that they are free to do as they choose with no consequence.

That’s not fair, is it? That we are so easily deceived. Yet it is the truth. We are so helplessly deceived. Those who have never heard of Christ are also helplessly deceived. We are all in the same boat, remember? Sin has us all convinced that we don’t need God to save us. Instead, Sin tells us that we can solve this problem ourselves.

But that’s not fair at all that people who’ve never heard of Christ would go to hell! God should let them all into heaven! We are mistaken if we think all those people who’ve never heard are good, innocent people. Just look at those of us who have already heard the Gospel–how many of us “good people” choose Christ? Very few. Even the large numbers of us who claim to have chosen Jesus–Jesus warned us that many who know of Him and claim He is their Lord haven’t really done so. Imagine what is like in places of the world who have not even heard of Christ yet. Imagine how much darker and lost those people are. Before you jump to their defense, try living among them for awhile and see for yourself if they have received Christ’s righteousness without ever having heard of Him. Sin’s rule is on all of us–those of us who have a better understanding of its rule, and those of us who don’t. It’s Sin’s goal to keep people confused, lost, and ignorant. As Christians, it’s our goal to share the Gospel. To bring light, clarity, and freedom to those who are helplessly in bondage and in a darkness that won’t let them see the truth.

Can we skip hell because we simply follow a life similar to the one Jesus teaches about in the Gospels? No, salvation can only occur when the righteousness of Christ is credited on our behalf. The Bible is clear that His righteousness is not credited to us based on how well we follow Jesus’ teachings. It’s credited to us when we make Christ our Lord and recognize that our only hope is HIS righteousness, not ours. As long as we put our hope in our own righteousness, we have not returned back to God.

But doesn’t it matter to God how we live our lives on this earth? Yes,. But also I think there’s a difference between saying: “It matters to God how you live your life on earth” and “What matters to God is how you live your life on earth.”

What matters to God is that you receive Christ’s righteousness that He so much wants to give to you. To those who receive it, of course it DOES matter to God how we now live. He does want us to reflect the righteousness Christ freely gives us. How can we claim that we’ve been freed from the rule of Sin and have returned to God’s rule if we continue to live the same life when we were under Sin’s rule? How does this make any sense whatsoever? Those who claim to have received His righteousness but do not reflect it…I am not your judge, God is. He may be more or less tolerant than I imagine. But I think the Bible is pretty clear that those who haven’t yet received Christ’s righteousness, and those who don’t put their trust for salvation in His righteousness, remain lost no matter how “righteous” their lives appear to be. We all have left God’s rule for Sin’s rule. Because of Christ’s gift, there is now a way out. The world must know there’s a way out. If not, how will they ever find their way out of Sin’s rule?


  1. Tim, I totally agree with you about the fact that there really is no middle ground. You are either going to be a slave to sin or a slave to Christ. Scripture is very clear on that score.

    The part I have a hard time with is what I’m perceiving as the insistence that someone has to understand how it works and then accept it in order to even qualify for salvation. My feeling is that the Holy Spirit can work in someone’s life to draw him to Christ in a number of ways and that intellectual understanding is not a prerequisite to receiving Christ’s righteousness and starting the process of following Him.

    Please understand my motive in saying this is not to try to find a loophole to Salvation for either myself or anyone else, nor is it to give myself an excuse to do anything less than give Jesus my entire life and being. I just don’t like to put any limits (even in my own mind) of how God works or His ability to reveal Himself to people. The idea that someone can’t get into a relationship with Jesus without first asserting a number of intellectual points seems wrong somehow, and doesn’t match my experience.

    I’m seeing a Scripture study of how people come to Jesus in my future…

    • A person doesn’t need to know all the hows and whys of how salvation works in order to recognize that they need a relationship with Jesus. Personally, there are a lot of points in this post that I have never thought of before. THe Holy Spirit convicts us, and the relationship begins. Think of our children…Naomi would never be able to understand all of these concepts, but she has a beautiful relationship with Jesus. I’m sure you could say the same about your girls!

      • Audra:

        The Holy Spirit convicts us, and the relationship begins.

        Audra, that says it all, and when I read Acts 2 this morning, that was a key point. There was an unusual phenomenon, people gathered, Peter explained the phenomenon, then used the opportunity to tell them about Jesus. When he was done, the Holy Spirit convicted them. They were cut to the heart and they asked Peter what they should do. He told them to repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the Holy Spirit. At this point it says he exhorted them and made many more arguments, some of which very well could have included points from the post (though without the benefit of the book of Romans).

        So far, this is telling me that the act of witnessing/evangelizing is a process involving several steps, which could take anywhere from a few hours to many years, which I guess is a very different question than what the post was intending to address.

        • Nanda, I think Acts 2 is a great illustration of what I’m trying to say: Peter didn’t just say, “Follow Jesus,” and leave it up to the crowd to try to figure out who He was or why they should trust Him. Peter shared some basic truths that we must be telling people (verses 22-24, 36) that are foundational truths to saving faith. And verses 38-39 needed to be shared to tell them what their response should be to the truth of Christ. Clearly, Peter also felt it necessary to give some background info (clearly not all that could have been said) to persuade that particular crowd that what he was saying was true. I don’t think everyone needs to know all that background info to be saved, but everyone needs to know some sort of background info to explain to them why our Gospel message about Christ is true. Even when I talk to Naomi about Jesus dying for our sins, she has questions like, “Why did Jesus have to die for our sins?” I think that people need to know more than just, “Follow Jesus.”

          Another passage to consider is Galatians 1:6-9 (and the whole book, actually). Paul feels it is important that the Gospel not be twisted by certain incorrect intellectual assertions. I guess I say all of this to say that there are indeed some intellectual things found in the Gospel that need to be understood, and that we are obligated to share with the world.

          • Well Jesus did begin His relationship with His disciples by saying “Follow Me,” but He didn’t stop there. Three years of discipleship followed, and I’m sure it started pretty early on. Otherwise the followers would have lost interest and figured they were wasting their time.

            A very important part of Acts 2 is that at some point in Peter’s speech, the people were convicted, and that conviction lead them to ask Peter what to do, which invited him to continue. Yes, he said some basic things about Jesus before that, but then continued with his many arguments after he was asked.

            I think that is important. When we step out and witness, it is still the Holy Spirit who convicts, and there is a certain point where we have to let go and trust that He will do the convicting. That doesn’t mean you leave them hanging to figure it out on their own, but it might mean waiting for them to ask a question. I have to read more stories of people coming to Christ to get a more complete picture.

            I do believe it is very important for us to trust the Holy Spirit in our witnessing efforts. Jesus essentially told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit before they even started. Do we trust the Holy Spirit? And no, this is not an excuse for inactivity.

            But again, this is more of a witnessing issue, which is not exactly the point of your post 🙂

          • I apologize for being days late in adding my thoughts…just added the blog to my RSS feed to maybe in the future I will be more prompt! 🙂 At any rate, I just want to affirm what you are saying here, Tim, and emphasize the oft undervalued and misunderstood word that comes into play at conversion: Repentance. Here are my thoughts, for whatever they are worth. Repentance, by definition, is a change of mind (and heart) after giving serious reflection about something. It involves mind, will and emotions.Conversion is linked with repentance so completely that I do no believe you can have one without the other. In other words, we encounter the Gospel, we embrace the Gospel with all that is in us (repentance)–and God meets us where we are ie children experience repentance completely different than intellectual adults, for example–then we then make a U-turn (conversion) both in our thinking and our affections. This is the template of Christian conversion according to scripture. SALVATION is an on-going process that includes justification (right standing with God) sanctification, (victory of over power of sin, which starts immediately at conversion and never stops) and glorification (victory over the presence of sin) which is future. I like this description of true repentance: it is complete, not partial. It is hearty, not reluctant. It is permanent, not temporary, it is voluntary, not coerced. Going back to Bell, his view of the Gospel, in relation to individual Christian conversion, extracts repentance from the formula. In other words, Ghandi does not have to be convinced of the efficacy of Jesus’ sacrifice of his sins, or even of who Jesus really is, to enjoy eternity with God. It is a formula of salvation without repentance. None necessary. Sounds good to the humanistic mind. The problem is, it is not what scripture teaches or what God offers. There MUST be an encounter with the Gospel and a hearty, complete, voluntary response that says “starting now, until the day I die, I will trust Jesus alone for my eternal salvation.” Even a child should understand those concepts in their own way, otherwise, I think we are short changing the person and short circuiting the process.

        • I think it is cool that you mention Acts 2. I just read that with Naomi this week!

    • Hey Nanda, let me clarify a few things. First, the point of this post is not to say that you have to understand all of this to be saved. The point of the post is simply to explain why/how the Bible says that only a few find eternal life and most don’t. I am using it to argue against a prevailing theology that questions whether people need to have faith in Jesus in order to go to heaven; a theology that questions whether those who don’t put their faith in Christ will be lost forever. I don’t think you need to fully understand why/how faith in Christ works–but you need to know it works.

      One of my favorite parts of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity is when he talks about the Atonement of Christ. He offers several explanations of how that works for us. He states that these are only illustrations, and that some make more sense than others to different people. He also says if none of those explanations make sense to you–that’s not the point. The point isn’t that we need to figure out exactly how it works–but we must know it works. He illustrates this by talking about food: for thousands of years, humanity has known that eating food nourishes us. We didn’t know about vitamins, calories, etc., so we couldn’t explain how it worked, but our lack of understanding didn’t negate the fact that it does indeed work. The same is true about Christ–each person must come to know Him and put their faith in Him in order to have eternal life with God. Do they need to fully understand how it works? No, but they need to know enough in order to put their trust in Him.

      Which leads me to my next point: I believe there are some “intellectual” things we need to know in order to be able to dare to trust our entire lives to Christ. In other words, we need to know whether He is worthy of our trust or not. We need to know that He was sent by God himself to this world to save us. We need to know that He loved us so much that He died for us so that our sins could be forgiven. We need to know that even though He died, He is alive again because He is above all things–even the finality of death. These are all intellectual things that are of utmost importance to communicate to people. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul affirms that there are indeed some intellectual things that are super important that people know. Then in verse 12 and on, he explains why it is important that there is agreement here. If not, it destroys the message of the Gospel. Do we need to know all of Paul’s explanation of the resurrection of the dead to be saved? No, but Paul feels it is important that our intellectual understanding that there is a resurrection of the dead is correct. Jesus said that the greatest commandment included the phrase, “Love the Lord your God with all your mind.” I believe there is an intellectual component to salvation: there are things we must indeed come to know (Romans 10:9-17).

      Another point to consider is this: The first sin of humanity was a deception–it was an intellectual argument that convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God. That’s how the whole thing got started. I believe restoration requires an adjustment of our fallen intellect. This requires intellectual knowledge being disseminating.

      Now, to the question as to how much we need to know intellectually, I’m not asserting that everyone must understand everything I’ve laid out in this blog post in order to go to heaven. But those whose intellectual understanding about Christ dismisses that one must put their faith in Christ in order to be saved are leading people astray, in my opinion.

      I said this in a post awhile back: Satan’s first deception was to ask, “Did God really say you must not take from this tree?” Now one of his deceptive questions to humanity regarding salvation is, “Did God really say that you must take from this Tree?”

      • Tim, you wrote: “Another point to consider is this: The first sin of humanity was a deception–it was an intellectual argument that convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God. That’s how the whole thing got started. I believe restoration requires an adjustment of our fallen intellect. This requires intellectual knowledge being disseminat[ed].” BINGO! This is precisely how all philosophies take root—good and bad—through intellectual argument. Bell did that in his video leading up to his latest book. He asked rhetorical questions. He stacked the deck. He set up the traditional view of hell as a straw man and then knocked it down. The response he is trying to evoke with raising the rhetorical question is: “Wow! I never thought of it that way! How close minded can Christians get!?” THEN he proceeds to lay out his beliefs (because he has them—everyone does), with the hope people will swallow them hook-line-and-sinker. And many are. WHY? Because they have no intellectual footing in the Gospel per-se. I am convinced the reason the Emergent movement has gained such a following is because youth groups in churches across the country in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s did not give young minds anything their sink their teeth into. Apologetics was lacking. Young adults got their philosophical grounding in the university setting while churches majored on social activities and gave doctrine and teaching on Christian world view a rain check.

  2. I agree with this. I realize I was asking more of a witnessing question, which was a bit outside the scope of your post. People do need to know and be told these basic truths; the question that is a bit more relative is at what point in the conversion process do you bring it up? I believe it’s up to the Holy Spirit and it will vary with different people.

    The food analogy is actually very appropriate here but maybe in a different way. Primitive people actually knew a lot more about food than we give them credit for, as was observed first hand by Weston Price, who wrote the book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” No, they didn’t know about calories and the molecular structure of vitamins or cellular metabolism. But they did know that their food nourished them and they knew which foods they needed to get for different times of life–superfoods for pregnancy, for example. They recognized that certain foods were very important (depending on the group these foods included seafood, certain organs, cream/butter in spring, fish eggs, etc.) and they made sure they got them.

    One could argue that we technically know more about nutrition than they did, but what good has that done us? Right now, people in America are malnourished as evidenced by all the chronic illnesses we suffer from (and the correlation has been documented). For all we know, we can’t seem to feed ourselves properly and we pay the price, and sadly malnourishment affects people for generations.

    It’s similar with Western Christianity. For a long time in Church history, it was very difficult to get your hands on a Bible–until the printing press was invented. People had to rely more on the Church to know what was in Scripture–most did not have the luxury of looking things up themselves.

    Now, a family can have not one, not two, but five or even ten Bibles in their homes. We can quickly look up verses in any translation online, and we can read all sorts of books and commentary on Scripture. We can even listen to sermons online. We probably know way more about the Bible than people did before.

    Again, what good has it done us? Now we’re so intellectual we’re splitting hairs over this verse or that verse and debating whether or not people really need Jesus in order to go to heaven. And we’re hard pressed to find a group of believers who are truly living out the Gospel (and so we rationalize that the age of God’s power is over).

    Not to knock knowledge or anything like that, but it just so much comes right back to the fact that we all have to wrestle with who Jesus is and what He requires of us. All knowledge that merely puffs us up and makes us proud is not doing us any good. If anything, our increased knowledge ought to make us more humble and more in awe of God, but more often than not it makes us proud and distracted and we don’t even put it to good use.

  3. Tim:

    But those whose intellectual understanding about Christ dismisses that one must put their faith in Christ in order to be saved are leading people astray, in my opinion.

    I share that opinion, and leading people astray is a very serious offense.

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