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All good children go to heaven …

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In the song “You Never Give Me Your Money” the Beatles chant “all good children go to heaven” over and over as it fades out.  Although I love the Beatles musically, this is one of the most dangerous theological statements that can ever exist.  Unfortunately, it is also a very prevalent belief.  Barna reports that almost 75% of all people (Christians included) believe that you can earn your way into heaven.

Gotquestions.org says:

This is perhaps the most important question in all of Christian theology. This question is the cause of the Reformation, the split between the Protestant churches and Catholic Church. This question is a key difference between biblical Christianity and most of the ‘Christian’ cults.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, a thief hanging next to him called out for his mercy.  He replied: “today you will be with me in paradise”.  That thief had no chance to ‘right his wrongs’ through good works only accepting Jesus’s free grace.  Because we live in such a transactional society, we don’t comprehend something for nothing.  We do this – we get that.  Christianity stands apart because it is the ONLY religion that is a free gift.  Nothing required other than personal belief and acceptance.

Some faiths will argue this point because of the scripture that reads “faith without works is dead”.  To clear this up, check out this quote:

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The idea is that if you are truly born again in Christ, then you will exhibit that change through your actions.  Although we cannot truly judge a person’s heart – Christians will be identified through their works: the manifestation of their faith.  True faith drives a person to be different, changed, reformed, and active.  Unfortunately, there are a large percentage of “Christians” sitting in our churches that are only Christians in name.  Again, we can’t ever know the true finality of their salvation – but we should be able to see what is important in their lives.

Being “good” doesn’t get you to heaven.  Technically from God’s perspective there is no such thing as good/bad people (we’re all bad), there is only forgiven or unforgiven people.  Since we’re all bad (Romans 3: 9-20), then salvation MUST be a free gift because none of us could earn it.  There would always be someone who did more good than you and/or more bad.  Thank God it’s not judged like that!  This is what makes Christianity unique.

This doesn’t make Christianity a free-to-sin option.  See the above quote again.  A true Christian WILL be different.  But it does make Christianity real FREEDOM!  In other words, God knows you will make mistakes and he covered it.  Every time you sin, Christ does not need to get back up on the cross again.  It Is Finished!  Even the Old Testament, was technically an earn-your-salvation covenant.  The act of the cross changes EVERYTHING!

A lot of people will not come to Christ because they are afraid of all that they will have to change about themselves.  Although partially true, it is not a change everything THEN come to me, it’s a come to me and I will help you change everything.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” – 2 Corinthians 5:17


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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

14 thoughts on “All good children go to heaven …

  1. Since we’re all bad (Romans 3: 9-20), then salvation MUST be a free gift because none of us could earn it.

    If God existed, salvation could be a free gift, and universalists claim that it in fact is. However, your Christian faith requires right belief for salvation, undermining the claim that salvation is free.

    The act of the cross changes EVERYTHING!

    How so? Do you proclaim penal substitutionary atonement or some other position?

    Posted by riandouglas | October 16, 2014, 5:39 pm
    • Salvation is a free gift that you have the ability to choose to reject. It’s like the free U2 album. They forced it into everyone’s playlist and it made a bunch of people mad – even tho it was a free gift. The better option was to offer it for free, and then users could decide to choose it or not. Same situation.

      Posted by Tim | October 16, 2014, 5:43 pm
      • Your analogy doesn’t quite work Tim. If your God existed, and offered salvation for free, no one would reject it. In fact, that is not the case with your belief – rather than right deeds, your faith requires right belief. And it requires right belief up until a point, and then belief doesn’t matter anymore (the point is death, unless you believe people can change their minds in afterwards and gain heaven).

        How did the crucifiction of Jesus change anything?

        Posted by riandouglas | October 16, 2014, 5:59 pm
        • Your wrong, because God does exist and does offer free salvation and people DO reject it.

          Before Jesus crucifixion, one still needed to earn their salvation. They had to follow the commandments (moral & ceremonial & cultural) and offer sacrifices for their sins. In other words there were things they had to do to be right with God. Since Jesus (the ultimate sacrifice), being right with God is a free gift.

          Old Testament literally means OLD covenant. New Testament = New covenant.

          Posted by Tim | October 16, 2014, 6:09 pm
          • Your wrong, because God does exist and does offer free salvation and people DO reject it.

            Tim, why is there an arbitrary cut-off date for this offer of “free” salvation?
            If salvation is free, why is there a requirement for right belief, rather than it just being granted?
            For example, I don’t reject salvation, I simply see no good reasons to think your god even exists.

            Before Jesus crucifixion, one still needed to earn their salvation.

            But couldn’t because no one is good enough, right?

            They had to follow the commandments (moral & ceremonial & cultural) and offer sacrifices for their sins.

            Which, again, never achieved their aims, right?

            In other words there were things they had to do to be right with God.

            But, for some reason, you exclude “Believe in and accept Jesus as lord and saviour” as a thing you need to do to be right with your god. Why?

            Since Jesus (the ultimate sacrifice), being right with God is a free gift.

            How was it the ultimate sacrifice? After all, there were 2 people who suffered as much if not more than Jesus did (since Jesus died rather quickly), and many more before and after who suffered as much or more than Jesus did.
            How did Jesus (not really) dying on the cross do anything?

            Posted by riandouglas | October 16, 2014, 6:26 pm
            • Just because you see no good reason to believe in God doesn’t mean there is not good reasons. The Bible says all people are “without excuse” for believing. The evidence is literally is everything you look at all day everyday. The best evidence in fact is in the mirror.

              Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice because he is the only sin-less man to walk the earth. His resurrection was to show us that death is not the end, and what we can all achieve through him. All other prophets are dead.

              Posted by Tim | October 16, 2014, 6:31 pm
              • Just because you see no good reason to believe in God doesn’t mean there is not good reasons.

                That’s true, though I’ve searched for reasons to believe Christianity is true and come up empty.
                Also, just because you think there are good reasons doesn’t make it so.

                The Bible says all people are “without excuse” for believing.

                And prior to belief I should accept what the bibe says because…?

                The evidence is literally is everything you look at all day everyday. The best evidence in fact is in the mirror.

                The evidence most certainly is not everything I look at, though I guess given the unfalsifiable nature of your own beliefs, such a claim is understandable.

                Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice because he is the only sin-less man to walk the earth.

                According to your own beliefs, Jesus was not a man (or, not only a man), and being God, literally could not sin. Within your beliefs, saying Jesus was without sin is like saying water is wet. Totally unremarkable.

                His resurrection was to show us that death is not the end, and what we can all achieve through him.

                According to your beliefs Jesus WAS and IS God. God cannot die, surely, so to claim that Jesus died and was resurrected is another unremarkable claim. Also, given the rather different and, again according to your beliefs, unique nature of Jesus, it’s stretching things to claim that what applies to Jesus also applies to us.

                All other prophets are dead.

                And we know Jesus is alive because we should believe what the bible says, even prior to accepting the existence of God or the truth of Christianity?

                Tim, perhaps if you provided reasons which didn’t presuppose the truth of your beliefs?

                Posted by riandouglas | October 16, 2014, 6:57 pm
                • I realize you are trying to think critically. I don’t see a problem with that. It seems that you are trying to find ways to discredit it. Why do you feel the need to discredit it? It seem that you keep asking “yeah, but what if ____ isn’t true”. There’s nothing wrong with searching, but what if it IS true?? Why don’t you stop and think about that?

                  Have you ever done a thorough search for the evidences for the resurrection?

                  I like these two sources:

                  http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/03/14-evidences-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus-christ-and-14-references/

                  http://www.gotquestions.org/why-believe-resurrection.html

                  Posted by Tim | October 16, 2014, 7:08 pm
                  • It seems that you are trying to find ways to discredit it. Why do you feel the need to discredit it?

                    Discredit what?

                    It seem that you keep asking “yeah, but what if ____ isn’t true”.

                    No, I keep asking “Why think it is true?”

                    There’s nothing wrong with searching, but what if it IS true??

                    What if it is? Well, that means there is a cruel God who created being he knew would fail to live up to the standards it set, still created them, and will punish them for an eternity simply for being the creatures it created.
                    If your God existed it would be a monster, and while I’d accept it’s existence, I wouldn’t (in my heart) bow to it.
                    Evil like that should be apposed, not appeased.

                    Why don’t you stop and think about that?

                    Have done. And while it’s fun to ponder hypotheticals, without a reason to think something is true, there’s no reason to treat it as anything other than a hypothetical.

                    Why don’t you stop and think about why it is that your beliefs are so circular? Why you need to presuppose those beleifs as being true to find any good” reasons to think those beliefs are true? Why it is that you’ve adopted beliefs that are unfalsifiable, can explain anything and everything, and why you don’t think that’s a problem.

                    Posted by riandouglas | October 16, 2014, 7:29 pm
                    • Your summation of the Biblical God is like saying The Wizard of Oz is about trees that throw apples at Dorothy and gang. Although there isn’t anything false in that statement, if that’s how you really sum up The Wizard of Oz, then you seriously misunderstood the plot. In other words you can sum up any position as ridicule. See atheism:

                      The belief that nothing can blow up and turn into everything.

                      Laughable, right? But not really a correct interpretation of atheism. A low blow attempt to discredit it without really addressing it. That is exactly what you have done here. You like to pick out parts you misunderstand as cruel and use that to justify your lack of belief.

                      Ever wonder why you spend so much time trying to justify that belief? Do you spend equal time trying to justify your disbelief in bigfoot?

                      Posted by Tim | October 16, 2014, 7:38 pm
                    • You like to pick out parts you misunderstand as cruel and use that to justify your lack of belief.

                      Ok Tim, how would you describe a person who killed people when they had other options?
                      Who punishes people for behaving exactly as they knew they would, and exactly as they intended them to?
                      I’d call that person evil and cruel.

                      Ever wonder why you spend so much time trying to justify that belief?

                      I don’t spend much time on it, since I’ve not found good reasons to think it mistaken (and I have looked, and I have good reasons to think it is actually correct).

                      Do you spend equal time trying to justify your disbelief in bigfoot?

                      No, but then bigfoot believers don’t try to dictate that bigfoot be taught in school, or deny rights to minority groups based upon their belief in bigfoot. Bigfoot’ers don’t try to force their beliefs down the throats of others, or use the force of law to have their beliefs enshrined in law.

                      Christians do those things (see the opposition to same sex secular marriage, creationism in schools, the fact that “God” is on the currency in the USA, that the pledge of allegiance was ammended to include “God”, and on and on).

                      Posted by riandouglas | October 16, 2014, 7:44 pm
                    • I think your concept of death needs to be corrected. From an atheistic perspective of course you see death as finality. From a theistic perspective death is simply a transition to the next step of life. For example when God floods the world killing all people save 8, He is God – He already knows their eternal destiny. He knows they do not change… and even if they do change – he knows that and can simply transition them onto their proper afterlife.

                      From that correct perspective “God killing” is biased language. From a Godly perspective death is not the final end… and since God already knows our final destination I see no problem with God deciding to transition earlier than what may have been our natural transition.

                      As for the end of your comment it seems that your real anger is with Christian activism – not really Christianity. I’m sure you are of the camp that it’s ok for me to be religious as long as I keep it to myself and stay out of your business. For that position, I would suggest this post:

                      https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/on-keeping-your-religious-opinions-to-yourself/

                      Beyond that, if I had a free gift of eternal life and did nothing to share that with others – then that WOULD be absolutely horrible. How horrible would God be if he offered salvation but never shared how to get it with us? This is technically what you are saying by wanting Christians to be silent. How horrible would that be. If there really was a salvation and because of your perspectives on how society should be, it wasn’t allowed to be shared with anyone. Wow. Not a position I would hold.

                      Posted by Tim | October 16, 2014, 7:55 pm
  2. 1.Can you please demonstrate how you know that Jesus was divine?
    2.Are you able to provide verifiable evidence for this claim?
    3.What was it ( evidence/ event) that convinced you to become a Christian?

    Posted by Arkenaten | October 17, 2014, 4:19 pm
    • http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/claims.htm

      “Jesus could only have been one of four things: a legend, a liar, a lunatic–or Lord and God. There is so much historical and archeological evidence to support his existence that every reputable historian agrees he was not just a legend. If Jesus were a liar, why would he die for his claim, when he could easily have avoided such a cruel death with a few choice words? And, if he were a lunatic, how did he engage in intelligent debates with his opponents or handle the stress of his betrayal and crucifixion while continuing to show a deep love for his antagonists? Christ said he was Lord and God. The evidence supports that claim.”

      Also see my section labeled BIBLICAL AUTHORITY above for all my reasons for my faith.

      Posted by Tim | October 17, 2014, 5:09 pm

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