I found this image posted by a friend of mine, and I wanted to discuss the misunderstanding with it. Here it is:
(1) The first misunderstanding comes from the idea of the state of man (i.e. being a “good” or bad person). In society, the general idea is that we are “good” people. Usually, it comes from the point of view of the speaker, viewing themselves as “good” while viewing others are either good or bad. This also usually results in viewing Christians as people that assume they are “good”. Both of these notions are not the case.
The truth is that there are no good people. That is usually the tough pill to swallow since we generally view ourselves as good and try to justify it with thoughts like “My good deeds outweigh the bad ones”, or in comparison such as “I’m not a saint, but I’m better than that guy over there”. Jesus says that there is only one who is Good, and that is God alone (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19). Christians and non-Christians are both bad people. But why is that? The reason is because of sin. Well, what is sin?
Sin = Both by human nature and intentional choice, any action in your life that “misses the mark” of God’s holiness. The idea of “missing the mark” can be thought of as a game of darts. Where “Good” is the very center of the bulls-eye, and that’s where you want to shoot for. Because of sin, no matter how hard we try or how hard we want to, we will never hit the bulls-eye or even get close. It’s like being really drunk and only able to hit the wall (Granted, I have heard stories of people who play darts exceptionally well while drunk, but that’s besides the point). You can intentionally hit the wall, or try to hone your sight to the bulls-eye and yet still hit the wall.
Okay, so how can you prove it? Well, any form of sin makes you sinful (James 2:10-11). Told a lie when you were 3? – Sinful. Disobeyed your parents when you were younger? – Sinful. Stole anything?, Hated someone?, Hated God?, Looked at a woman lustfully? (Every guy has done this at least once), Cheated on a test?, Murdered someone?- Sinful (See Deuteronomy 5:6-21, Matthew 5:21-30). Any sin, whether you think it is a “big” or “little” sin, will still make you sinful – and we are all guilty of it (Romans 3:23). It’s like being sprayed by a skunk with the most potent, nasty, excretement, and never being able to get the smell off of you.
So, we’re sinful whether we want to be or not, who cares? Well, God does, but not in the way you think.
(2) The second misunderstanding of this image, is the nature of God. Through generations of satire, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation in art, there is a preconceived idea of who God is. If I asked a non-Christian to describe God, the answers will usually be:
-A guy in the clouds
-Old/has a beard
-Angry/vengeful/upset with us
-Sends people to Hell
-You have to be “good” to go to heaven/be accepted by God
The Truth of God is that:
-He reigns in Heaven, and also dwells in those who believe in Him via his Holy Spirit. (Matt 6:9, 1 Cor 3:16)
-Eternal, but no man has seen his face. (Ps 90:1-4, Rev 1:8, Exo 33:20-23, John 1:18)
-God deeply loves all people, more than we can imagine. (Deu 7:7-8, Rom 5:5-8, Rom 8:38-39, 1 John 4:16)
-He doesn’t send us to Hell, it wasn’t created for us… (Matt 25:41, Jude 1:6)
-…But we can choose to go there. (Eze 33:11, Matt 18:14, 2 Peter 3:9, Jer 29:11-13)
-We are not good, only God is, and we can’t earn our place in Heaven, we can be with God only by believing in Jesus. (Rom 3:23, Ps 100:5, Isa 64:6, Rom 10:9-10).
(3) The third misunderstanding of this image, is that God wants us to be good little boys and girls and if we aren’t, we are threatened constantly by the thought of eternal punishment and “damnation”. From the first misunderstanding, we are not good little boys and girls, we are all sinful. From the second misunderstanding, God is not threatening us into submission or else we get Hell, but instead, pleading with us to run back to Him otherwise the only other option is to be without Him and the only other place to be is Hell.
(4) Conclusion. The best way to describe God is in the pictures Jesus gives us. Three times back-to-back Jesus gives the parables (analogies/stories) of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Lost Son in Luke 15:1-32. (BTW, these 3 stories back-to-back meant that there was a very important lesson He was trying to convey). At the end of these parables, he concludes:
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who
repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” – Luke 15:7
“I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
– Luke 15:10
“It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead
and is alive again, and was lost and is found.” – Luke 15:32
Friends, the reason Hell exists at all was for the devil and his demons, not for us (See Matthew 25:41, Jude 1:6). God does not want you to go there, He wants you to be with Him like a loving father who desperately wants his runaway child to return home (See Luke 15:11-32). If you still don’t believe me, these are God’s own words given to us through His people, over a span of over 3,000 years!
“Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” – Ezekiel 33:11
“So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
– Matthew 18:14
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
– Jeremiah 29:11-13
For another article like this, click here: https://benbrockn.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/7-myths-about-christianity/
<Original work by BenBRockN. Feel free to reblog, ONLY if you give credit to the original author (me). Thanks!>