Once again, you have tried to set me straight on the character of God. You have let me know that He is nothing but love; that He adores just about everyone, regardless of belief or lifestyle, because after all He made each of us just the way we are; and that your take on Him is uniquely valid, because He told you these things personally, as opposed to those of us who believe that ancient and obsolete tome known as the Bible.
And that, as usual, is the end of the conversation. You have no interest in discussing the matter further.
Which makes me really sad, because it makes God sad. It is His will, you see, for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). He is in fact “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
But I know this is irrelevant to you, as a scripture-free theologian. So let's instead delve more deeply into your worldview. How do you answer questions like these?
- Why is there suffering in the world? Is this God of yours unaware of it, not being truly omniscient? Is He unconcerned about it, not really being love? Or is He incapable of stopping it, being a power or two short of true omnipotence?
- If the Bible’s moral dictates can be safely ignored, then who decides what’s right and what’s wrong? You? Your friends? Your political allies and heroes? Or is it just a subjective free-for-all, wherein we each get to decide for ourselves what’s right or wrong based on our deepest thoughts?
- If so, what happens when your idea of “right” conflicts with someone else’s?
- If Jesus' atonement for man's sin applies to all without regard to our relationship with Him – if in fact we can deny Him entirely and still go to heaven – then can we just go on rampantly breaking His law? Do we even have to be kind to one another? Are adultery, murder, theft and idolatry among the acts that are perfectly okay with Him? If not, where is one to draw the line?
The thing is, no human being has ever been able to come up with coherent, consistent and non-contradictory answers to such questions simply by thinking about them, or by listening for voices from heaven. There is in fact only one source that does answer them all coherently, consistently and without contradiction, and that’s the Bible.
Which leads me to a number of things I’m dying to ask you:
- What if you’re wrong?
- What if you must indeed be born again to see heaven (see e.g. John 3:3)?
- What if there really is no salvation apart from repenting of what God defines as sin (see e.g. Luke 3:3)?
- What if your denial of Jesus as He revealed Himself really will result in His denial of you before the Father (see e.g. Matthew 10:33)?
- Are you so sure of what you believe that you’re ready to persuade a holy God that He should let you into His heaven for all eternity?
I’d love to hear your answers to all these questions. I’m not trying to win an argument here; my sole motive is to persuade you to hear the gospel gladly, and to become heaven-bound through repentance and trust in the Savior.