The penal substitution theory or the substitution/satisfaction theory (unfortunately called “Försoningsläran” in Swedish) is wrong, and one false doctrine can easily cause other false doctrines until you finally build your theology views on a house of cards. I believe:
- Jesus died for everyone and made salvation possible for ALL
- Jesus did not literally bear our sins in or on himself
- Jesus paid a big prize FOR US to get us saved, but he did not literally PAY for our SINS – if he did pay for our sins we would all be born forgiven/saved and we would remain in that position no matter what we did
- Jesus did not take God’s wrath for or instead of us – we are still risking the wrath of God if we disobey him
Read more in this article and this article
Well I can surely say that after reading a lot on your site I’m not so certain, if what you say is true, what exactly the gospel is and how it is good news? So we have the hope that there’s a chance, however small, that we may not burn in hell? So much for ever having a peaceful sleep or taking joy in my wife or children since nothing is settled until we die. I’m not even clear anymore – why did Jesus die? When are we born again? I’m tired of wrestling with scripture, with theologies, with church. I always thought Jesus saved me. I thought I knew Him. Please take care in your response if you care about anybody because I’m almost done. I study so hard to understand. I’ve had so many teachers get in my head. I keep thinking I get it but there’s always a fresh perspective to assure me I’m screwed. Thanks.
Thanks for your message! For some reason I got your message and had an excellent opportunity to write you from work. I pray it’s God’s doing.
I sense that you’re a seeker and you do well by searching around and compare everything with Scriptures (as the Bereans) including my own blog text of course. I too have changed my mind about Biblical issues over the years and I’m always willing to change my mind if I’m persuaded by scriptures.
Jesus says: (Matthew 11:30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. The children of God are those who follow him, and this means that we can know here and now if we are saved – if we are the followers of Jesus. We don’t have to wait until we die to find out. I probably focus a lot on sin and righteousness on my blog but that is to highlight the problem in many churches today where they do NOT speak much about sin at all but rather gives the false insurance that “God loves you exactly as you are, no one is perfect, let the one without sin throw the first stone, “, etc. Some even suggest that it’s impossible to stay away from sin even for a day, and that this is the reason Jesus died for us – so that we are saved even if we sin. That is a false sugar coated teaching.
I think Jesus’ mission is explained well in the beginning of the gospel of John, and we can clearly see Jesus’ love for all mankind.
“8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
God doesn’t want anyone to perish and Jesus died for our sins and made it easy for us to get saved. The chance for salvation is therefore great for everyone. We all have good news! The commandments are not hard to follow if we seek Jesus in the light, but they are impossible to follow if we rather remain in darkness and don’t even seek the light.
God is absolutely fair in his judgments about us, and I believe that we are judged based on what we could reasonably know about him and what we do to seek him and righteousness. Not all of us are born by Christian parents in the American Bible belt, but perhaps among atheists, muslims, etc. God knows our circumstances and what is stored in our hearts. We can rest assured he is an absolutely fair judge and always gives us a way out.
Rom. 2 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
God’s purpose with us:
Acts 17 :26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
So we are even made to seek him and the promise is that he isn’t hard to find!
Why did Jesus die? Well, if the Calvinists are right (nothing went wrong but always according to God’s plans) then we are clueless, but if the Bible is right Jesus died as a perfect sin offering due to our sin. I feel the atonement can be best understood in Hebrews. Adam and Eve messed things up for us since we can’t reach Eden due to them, and the consequences are therefore death now when we can’t reach the tree of life. Physical death is therefore a fact for all of us and even Jesus went through death for our sake.
We are born again when we seek Jesus (who is God in flesh), confess our sins, truly repent for our sins and decide to be followers of Jesus. We take interest in the Bible and to live righteous lives. We naturally seek the light and stay away from murder, stealing, lying, adultery, etc.
The Bible doesn’t say that we only get one single chance to stay on the right track. Still, we cannot serve two masters and still be saved. We should not believe that we are saved if we only reduce our sins, or if we mix sin and righteousness. We have been provided logical commandments to follow and nothing that is too hard for us. We should basically treat others the way we would like to be treated I believe one great error is when we make the commandments harder to follow than they are. Some Christians erroneously believe we are sinners if we get mad, if we sleep too long, if we think some people are jerks, if we don’t think about God 24/7, etc. If we make the commandments too complicated, yes, then it’s impossible to avoid sin.
Matt 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Sometimes it’s good for us to feel a little low so that we perhaps seek God more intensely, but I pray that you will come around and really FEEL that you’re in the light. Faith comes from hearing the gospel so I think a great clue is to feed ourselves with scriptures and prayers. Sometimes even reading out loud.
I can’t pray for your right now, but I will later on today.
Many blessings to you
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