Why Was it Necessary for Jesus to Die?

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

If all are to be saved, why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to die because of man’s sin?

The idea that salvation ever comes to anyone apart from the Saving work of Jesus Christ is repugnant to the true child of God. Man is as incapable of saving himself as he is incapable of coping with sin and death. Since the saving work of Jesus Christ Is necessary unto the salvation of some, why is it not even more necessary unto the salvation of all?

The salvation of all is to come through the death, burial and resurrection life of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:18,19; 1 Cor. 15:20-28; Col 1:20; Acts 4:12). Apart from Jesus Christ there is no salvation for anyone; but because of Him salvation is assured for all (I Tim. 4:9-11; Rom. 8:18-22).

From Reconciliation: A Research Magazine February 1943

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God is the Savior of All Mankind

We are in the habit of saying that all mankind shall be saved. True enough; all mankind shall be saved. I’m not against the saying as a saying. The verity of the saying is based, not on the wishful thinking of emotional scripture-hacks, but on the rightly translated Word itself. However, I move that we alter our presentation of this grand truth. My motion is based on the one verse that no enemy of the cross has been able to knock from the Bible or explain away:
1 Tim. 4:10—”For we rely on the Living God, Who is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers.”
Rather than emphasizing the fact that all mankind shall be saved, let us rather say that GOD is the Savior of all mankind. Mankind benefits from this action, true enough, but Who is doing the action? Whose reputation rides upon the action? Whose work is demeaned if the action fails? Our emphasis, therefore, ought to be on the character of God rather than upon the beneficiaries of that character. And so? “Let me tell you about how great GOD is: HE is the Savior of all mankind.” Let our hearers conclude themselves, from this, that all mankind shall be saved.
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The Judge is the Savior

 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. John 5:22

In popular Christian thinking, no idea has become more rooted during the course of the centuries than the idea that the concepts of redemption on one side, and judgment on the other, are mutually exclusive. The last sentence of the second article of the Apostolic Creed: “From whence He will come to judge the living and the dead” is often misinterpreted as referring to a final act of the future Lord.

The prevailing idea is that after the return of the Lord for judgment, any and all saving activity, as far as humans are concemed, will cease. Popular orthodoxy states that we are currently in the era of grace, and His second coming will activate the era of judgment. The opinion prevails that judgment has nothing to do with redemption—setting up an impenetrable barrier against redemption in a place where it had never happened before. Salvation beyond judgment? An impossible thought for the majority of believers.
The word speaks quite a different language for those who want to listen.  Dear readers. The Judge is the Savior: all in one. The same person. There is not the least contradiction between them.
Judging unmistakably occurs for the purpose of healing and restitution. In the clear outlines of the biblical judges, there is neither room for the idea of a judgment solely for the purpose of endless torture, without possibility ofreturn, nor for the final annihilation of those to be judged.
E.F. Stroeter quoted in the Clanging Gong News
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Which Is It?

The same verses. One is translated accurately, the other inaccurately. One creates a concept of endless time that didn’t exist in any language until after the 2nd century, while the other teaches about a period of time. One teaches that some will be corrected, like the way a loving parent would correct a child. The other teaches punishment for punishment’s sake.
KJV “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25:46)
Rothherham’s “And, these, shall go away, into, age-abiding, correction, but, the righteous, into, age-abiding, life.”
By Phillip Garrison from his Facebook page.

Perfect Love

 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

The gospel begins with these words from the Angels: “Don’t be afraid Mary don’t be afraid.” 

The risen Christ, the first words to his disciples, “Don’t be afraid there is nothing to fear here.”

The writer to the epistles to the Hebrews said that “Jesus came to take away the fear of death” and then the writer of first John says that “Perfect love casts out fear.”

The  word that is used for “casting out” is the same word used for “casting out” demons. God’s perfect love casts out all of our fears.

The fear of punishment, the fear of hell, the fear that God is somehow out to get us, the fear that somehow were not going to be good enough, the fear that we are not going to make it.

The fact is that we live in the universe where from Gods perspective, fear has been cast out of heaven like lightning.

We no longer have to fear death or dying because we believe in a God of life, a God of hope, a God who brings resurrection, Who will bring wholeness and a new creation that will be so extraordinary that words cannot describe it.

And that is our hope!!

Michael Hardin – from the documentary Hellbound?

Weekend Wisdom – Richard Rohr

The shape of creation must somehow mirror and reveal the shape of the Creator. We must have a God at least as big as the universe, or else our view of God becomes irrelevant, constricted, more harmful than helpful. The Christian image of a torturous hell, and God as a petty tyrant, has not helped us to know, trust, or love God in any way. God ends up being less loving than most people we know. At this point in history most Christians have been preconditioned by a cheap story line of retributive justice, and no one told them about the much more profound Biblical notion of restorative justice. Those attracted to the common idea of hell operate out of a scarcity model, where there is not enough Divine Love to transform, awaken, and save. The dualistic mind is literally incapable of thinking any notion of infinity, limitlessness, or eternity.

The common view of hell is based not on any deep dive into Scripture but on Dante’s Divine Comedy—great poetry, but not good theology. The Divine Comedy portrays a threatening, quid pro quo God, not an inviting, alluring, or loving God. The word “hell” is not mentioned in the first five books of the Bible. Paul and John never once use the word. And most of the Eastern fathers never believed in a literal hell, nor did many Western mystics.

You can’t be more loving than God; it’s not possible. If you understand God as Trinity—the fountain fullness of outflowing love, relationship itself—there is no theological possibility of any hatred or vengeance in God. Divinity, which is revealed as Love Itself, will always eventually win. God does not lose (John 6:37-39). We are all saved totally by mercy. God fills in all the gaps. Reincarnation or a “geographic” hell or purgatory are unnecessary (though this does not mean there is no place or time for change or growth).

From cac.org.

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Fear God

Fear God. 1 Peter 2:17

Question: If the fear of punishment can never change a person, why does the Bible tell us to fear God?
Some justify the use of fear to control others’ behavior by saying that the scriptures tell us to “fear God”. However, the word we translate as “fear,” in expressions like “fear of the Lord” (phobos) is not the experience of being intimidated by another. According to William Barclay, phobos, in relation to God, would better be translated “awesome respect,” meaning loving wonder (e.g., Ps. 103:11-17).
From Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God (p. 85) by Dennis Linn.
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