Chris’ first steps away from the Christian worldview were made into the worldview of pantheism, which he called atheism or a disbelief in theism, i.e. the personal God of the Bible (see video HERE). Nevertheless, he still seemed to cling to parts of the Judeo/Christian Bible in order to express his new found worldview. For example, Chris quoted: “God is Love” from the Bible (1John 4:8, 16) and used it to explain the beauty of God being everything tangible around him. At the same time, however, Chris implied he became angry with the God of the Bible who kept him from understanding this ineffable truth. Put another way, the words of the God of the Bible were used to express how Chris felt about another god, and at the same time Chris held the God of the Bible (whom he doesn’t believe exists) responsible for hiding this understanding from him (cf. Romans 1:28 & 22).
Chris began to think it was his mission to let the world know about the God of the Bible, not as the Christian Gospel makes him out to be, but rather as an evil entity whom he now labeled, Satan! Chris no longer embraced the faith that had been entrusted to him in the days of his youth, but instead welcomed the vain absurdities of the world, men’s so-called knowledge (1Timothy 6:20-21) that had no place in the Truth. Seeking to remove God from the Truth, Chris removed his understanding from the one who personified Truth. So, Chris embarked on a new journey which would inevitably take him far away from the truth he hoped to embrace.
The theistic God became a dark force demanding to be glorified, and with an iron-clad fist demanded men to obey his will. Chris now believed this dark force had been built and empowered by the Christian imagination, including his own while he embraced Christianity. According to Chris, this God sent disbelievers to hell, and considered men to be unworthy of him. Chris believed this God demanded men to believe the Bible as his word, because the reasoning of men is flawed and inferior to that of the Bible. Noncompliance would result in the fires of hell which he prepared for the disobedient. After all, this God had given all men a chance by sending Jesus, the only Way to him, but men rejected Jesus. Ignorance was no excuse, for knowing God is man’s responsibility. Furthermore it was our responsibility to fix our sinful lives, so we better kowtow now and beg his forgiveness. We are unworthy of him, and he is our only hope of redemption.
Is this the Gospel? What sort of sermon is this? Surely no one could believe that this comes from a God of Love. What does it mean to demand glory? What is God demanding when he tells us to glorify him? Glory means value. If God sent his Son to save us, he wants us to value that act—appreciate it in the manner it deserves. Who among men value ingratitude? Don’t we hold ungrateful men in disdain? We call men traitors when they don’t value the sacrifices of the men who had gone before us to preserve for us the freedom which we enjoy. Why wouldn’t their act, their final act of sacrifice demand glory—our appreciation or consideration of the act’s great value?
The Bible is made up of many examples of literary form, but men often try to literalize something meant as a metaphor or a proverb. Fire is often used to express trial, and good works are often expressed as valuable commodities (cf. 1Corinthians 3:10-15). Men are not sent into an eternal literal fire—an age lasting trial, perhaps; but no one is sent into an eternal hell and consumed in literal fires. One needs only to compare a few Scriptures to verify this. Notice what the reward of sin is in Romans 6:23. It is death, is it not? Now consider what the word of God says in 1Corinthians 15:22-26. If Adam offers only death, but Christ gives life, and in the end death itself will be destroyed, then whatever death may be in one’s point of view—blackness of darkness, separation from God, the fires of hell—however one interprets death, 1Corinthians 15:26 says death will be destroyed. Death exists only if someone is dead. Therefore, logic demands for death to cease to exist if no one is dead—not one! person!
For whom did Jesus die, according to the Bible, and why was he sent? Didn’t Jesus die for the sins of the world (everyone – 1John 2:2)? Wasn’t Jesus sent to save the world (John 3:17), and doesn’t God love the world that despises him (John 3:16)? What did Jesus claim concerning the purpose for which he was sent (John 17:4)? Didn’t he say he finished the task (John 19:30)? What remains to be done, if the debt between God and man is paid? Isn’t it simply to glorify God, i.e. appreciate what he has done for us and value his faithfulness to us (2Corinthians 5:18-21)? The Gospel is not just for believers, although it is especially true for us, but the Gospel of Christ’s saving sacrifice is for the whole world (1Timothy 4:10).