05 August 2012

What If Jesus Actually Meant What He Said?

What I'm about to tell you will change how you view Jesus and what he did for you and me. Hopefully, we'll start viewing God's people from his perspective rather than our own.
Jesus died for all sin.

Not too long ago, I was chatting with a couple of friends about my favorite subject, Jesus. Thank God this wasn't like one of my Facebook rants! Those can get pretty ugly. After a few minutes, we started talking about each other's religious backgrounds. Then, I dropped the bomb on one of the guys that seemed to be a little more opinionated about his Christian faith than the rest of us. I asked, "What if Jesus forgave your sins on the cross?" He looked at me puzzled because everyone knows that Jesus died for all sin. I had to explain, "Everyone always tells you that you're not actually forgiven unless you receive God's forgiveness or ask for forgiveness. But, what if Jesus meant what he said? What if he, already, forgave everyone all their sins on the cross whether they accept it, or not?" He replied with eyes wide open and said, "Well, if I actually believed that, then that would be a fundamental difference...a HUGE difference. And, if I told anyone in my church what you said, they'd throw me out!"

All our lives, ministers have been instructing us that we must accept his gift of forgiveness in order to be forgiven. In other words, they say we are all scumbag sinners unless we believe Jesus died for us and accept his unfathomable gift. This "receiving" theology has been around for centuries, however, it's not what I read in the Bible or hear God saying.

You see, the real Truth is much greater than you could possibly imagine. I discovered this Truth a few months ago and it messed with my head. It went against everything I'd ever learned up to this point. I even asked a pastor for help, but only received "the sound of crickets" as my response. Then, that's when God said, "No, Dathan. I want to show you. Do you trust me?" So, I said, "Ok, Father. I trust you, but you have to make it really plain so I can understand because this goes against everything."

First, I had to simply believe and accept what he told me. He would not explain anything else until I first believed - this is how he usually works with me. Then, about a week later, God made it all so clear. I knew in my heart it was true, but my mind is the enemy and always makes what God says so hard to swallow (Pro 3:5-6).

God told me that you and I have, already, received the gift of complete forgiveness (John 1:29). Yes, I'm talking about everyone has received forgiveness and not just people who believe in him (2 Cor 5:13-15). He didn't just die for the believer. He also died for the sins of the unbeliever. He died for everyone (1 John 2:1-2).

When Jesus forgave us all on the cross, we never had a choice in the matter. He didn't ask for our permission, nor did he wait for us to be born to find out what we thought. No, Jesus was on a mission to fulfill God's purpose. He was the only worthy sacrifice to make us white as snow (Isa 1:18). God's only Son was what it took to forgive all man's sins past, present, and future. As a matter of fact, we were co-crucified with Jesus (Rom 6:1-14). This means that as Jesus was dangling from a tree, we were right there with him (except, we didn't have to endure the pain) (Gal 2:20).

He took on all sin for all mankind and no longer counts our sins against us (2 Cor 5:18-21).

To help this make sense, let me use the same example Paul gave about God issuing us an inheritance. Essentially, an inheritance can be anything that a father leaves to his children. In order for an inheritance to take effect, the person issuing the inheritance has to die (Gal 4:1-7). When Jesus died for our sins, we received our inheritance of complete forgiveness. At the cross, 2000 years ago, we were all forgiven. He did it before we were born or a fleeting thought in our parents minds. Just because you were not yet born does not mean you did not, already, receive this crazy-awesome gift.

The same is true for a will. God's will for us was to be forgiven once and for all through his Son's shed blood. A will cannot take affect until the person offering it dies. Once Jesus died, God's will was put in place for all mankind (John 6:38-40).

This is not a matter of semantics. What I'm sharing with you is completely contrary and way bigger than what most modern-day church leaders are preaching (1 Cor 6:19-20). We have always been told that we can't receive forgiveness unless we accept that we're forgiven. However, God says that all people are his inheritance and all have received complete forgiveness whether you accept it, believe it, know it, or whatever (Eph 1:3-10).

You may say, "Ok, Dathan. I see your point, but then what's the difference between a believer and an unbeliever?" For one, a believer actually trusts they're forgiven (John 3:16). Essentially, a believer agrees that Jesus was enough to die for their sins. An unbeliever is a person who does not trust that Jesus was enough and feels they must do something (pray, fast, tithe, get baptized, read the Word regularly, go on a mission, ask for forgiveness etc.) to be "made right" with God (Col 2:16-23). Honestly, if you're trying to gain forgiveness this way, then you're being self-righteous (John 6:63). No work you do makes you anymore right with him (Gal 2:11-21). Jesus made you righteous!

Frankly, my opinion is that most Christians are, in fact, unbelievers. Out of fear, Christians have been taught all their lives that they are not yet forgiven until we receive him and follow certain steps to do whatever is needed to be in "right-standing" with God. Sadly, most Christians don't even believe they're, already, spotless because of Jesus' shed blood (Mat 26:27-29). On the contrary, you can't get anymore righteous then you are now; it had nothing to do with you and you were never capable of making yourself right with him anyway. This is why Jesus came to do it for us (Heb 2:16-18).

Honestly, you're completely forgiven (1 Cor 1:30-31). You didn't have an option to turn down the forgiveness. Whether you like it or not, Jesus died for you and he forgave all of your sins (even your future sins) (Heb 10:8-10). A long time ago, you received this amazing inheritance whether you like it, or not.
You can always spot a person who believes they're free.

I'm trying to paint a picture that shows what Jesus did was much bigger than what's being taught by the majority of religious believers. Also, he is much more loving than what most Christians are communicating. This is not a Universalist point of view, but a Jesus point of view (2 Cor 5:16-17). Jesus changed everything. He flipped the Universe upside down on the cross.

Trusting Jesus that your sins are forgiven is the first step in knowing who you are in him (Col 2:13-15). Just because you have the entire Law planted in your heart and the knowledge of good and evil, doesn't mean you don't have a new, and much greater, awareness...Jesus died for ALL our sins once and for ALL (1 Pet 3:18)!

When did God forgive you of your sins? It wasn't when you asked for forgiveness or when you "accepted his gift", it was when Jesus died on the cross (Heb 8). Now, it's up to you to decide if his finished work on the cross was enough (Jer 31:31-34).

You are not a sinner saved by grace. You're just saved by grace (Eph 2:1-9).


Zachary Lewis said...

Everyone needs to know this.

God's love is shown in His gift, free and perfect.


Anonymous said...

This concept, along with the 'sin' concept (what it is therefore dictating what it does) are tremendous leviathans and have proven to be particularly stubborn to the "rewiring" process in my brain. They are the foundational principals of my entire belief system (how it functions/how God functions with me) and are extremely faulty.

It is up to ME to get saved; it is up to ME to keep a right relationship with Papa; it is up to ME to be right with Him in every day life; it is up to ME to rightly divide/study so things will be properly digested/applied; it is up to ME to sustain His blessings by following rules (commandments); it is up to ME... Yes, I must apply myself - TO RECEIVE is a choice but what I apply myself to is different now and continues to boggle my mind. Many times, the action I do doesn't change but the understood motive is so completely different that to me, it looks like a completely different action (it takes on characteristics that make it deeper, wider and stretch further).

Enough! Thanks for jump starting my brain this morning Dathan. Love you Bro.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, as I am a new reader of the blog, if after reading what's above that you think Jesus is a liar? Or that the Bible itself lies? In 5 minutes time, in 1 book alone, I found these 4 passages that upholds the doctrine that we must accept that Jesus died for us...otherwise, you're saying the Hindus and other religions of the world that are polytheistic will be going to Heaven, just like those in the Old Testament who worshipped Baal...wait a minute, God despised them and sought to wipe them out....interesting. Getting back to those 4 passages I mentioned:

Rev 21
7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the UNBELIEVING, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Rev 20
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Rev 2
21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

Rev 2
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Dathan Ellis said...

Have you ever looked at a woman/man lustfully? Have you ever masturbated or had sex before marriage? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever backed out of an argument or not stood up for the truth because you were a coward? Have you ever not believed God when he told you something? I guess you're going "to be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur" too. Poor you. I hope you keep on repenting of your sin and hopefully, one day, you'll get right with God.

I think Jesus actually meant what he said. I think he forgave you of your sin...and all other's sin too. I know, it's hard to believe and it's too good to be true, but this is what they call the "Good News." But, you actually have to have faith to believe it.

Anonymous said...

So your answer is yes, you think Jesus is a liar? That we don't have to repent? That you can murder without remorse and still make it into heaven? That we can believe in more than one God and make human sacrifices? Yes or no, no double speak. I am guilty of sin every day, but I realize it and ask forgiveness and do my best to do better. We all fall short, that is our nature. But the point is you have to try to do right...otherwise, as the scripture says, 'lets eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die'. God created us in His image, not so that we can do whatever we please, but so that we could have a relationship with Him. But God cannot be near sin, which is why we were separated from Him. 2 Chron 7:14

Dathan Ellis said...

Jesus doesn't lie. He forgave the murderer too. The only ones getting to Heaven are the one's who believe that Jesus died for their sins on the cross. You should read my next blog post. It talks about what a real believer is.

Also, there is no "try to do right." If you're trying, then you're doing it wrong. This is called self-righteous. Only God can change a person from the inside out otherwise you're doing it on your own power and you can't do anything right. Also, you are who you hang out with. And, if you're hanging out with Awesome, you'll be awesome. You'll talk, walk, act, laugh, eat, give etc. just like Jesus because y'all hang out on a constant basis. You don't have to think about what to do half the time because you constantly see him doing things and copy him.

If you believe you're forgiven on the cross, then why do you keep asking him for forgiveness? That's like asking for a blue sky - a finished product. Those who keep on asking for something they already have, don't believe they actually have it. So, do you believe you're forgiven? Do you actually believe Jesus forgave your sins? Or, do you only believe he forgives you when you ask him too? If this is the case, then you'll never make it to Heaven because you can't even keep up with the amount of times you sin.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I walked into that one. I don't have to continue to ask for forgiveness, since I believe that Jesus died for me and I ACCEPT His gift (which is where this whole conversation started by the way), but we'll get back to that.

It's human nature to ask forgiveness from your father when you've done wrong, whether it be your earthly father or your Heavenly Father. It's an acknowledgement to yourself that you've done wrong and that you're seeking repentance.

In your own words above: "Frankly, my opinion is that most Christians are, in fact, unbelievers. Out of fear, Christians have been taught all their lives that they are not yet forgiven until we receive him and follow certain steps to do whatever is needed to be in "right-standing" with God. "

I made the mistake of letting my emotions get the better of me and thinking that I could debate someone with your highly evolved sense of religion, I was wrong. From now on, I will only let the scriptures speak for me:

Jer 36:3
"Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will TURN from his wicked way; THEN I will forgive their wickedness and their sin."

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, "REPENT and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. AND you will RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 26:20
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should REPENT and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

Heb 4:1
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

And again, the icing on the cake are the words from the only one that matters himself, Jesus:

“‘Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. AND FORGIVE US OUR SINS,as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

This wasn't a prayer to be prayed only until Jesus died for us, but anytime we pray to the Father.

Dathan Ellis said...

Remember, these people were alive in Acts when Jesus lived, died, and resurrected.

Repent means to feel sorry and turn away from the direction you're going.

See this post for the rest of my response:
Quit Asking Jesus To Forgive Your Sins

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I have to input my .02 again..

"Remember, these people were alive in Acts when Jesus lived, died, and resurrected"...meaning? Jesus did not come to show us how to live for the handfull of years He walked the earth, but how to live until He returns again. He did not come to simply die, otherwise why go around healing the sick and giving sermons? If we did not have to accept and receive His gift, why not come to the earth quietly and die, never making contact with anyone?

As with the other thread we've been conversing on, I'm sure you'll end with the last word...I have said my piece. I look forward to reading your next topic and seeing what the scripture says.