Friday, September 12, 2014

Co-Opting Heaven

Yesterday I posed the topic of whether miracles are relevant. Here is some additional food for thought from Paul Little:

“You may have had positive or negative reactions to hearing of Christ’s miracles. In our science-oriented society, there is a tendency to try to explain everything by ‘natural’ causes. This tendency puts the emphasis on how a miraculous event happened, while the Bible is concerned with why miraculous events happened. So we moderns ask questions which the biblical authors would not have even considered.
Within the assertion that the God of the Bible exists, there is a necessary corollary that this God indeed has the power to work miracles. If, however, someone does not believe in the God of the Bible, the concept of miracles becomes difficult, if not impossible, to entertain.” Paul Little

Yet, have you ever noticed that people who are “not religious,” “don’t believe in the Bible or take it literally” or who claim to be “spiritual without God” will also tell you unequivocally that they are going to heaven after they die? On what basis do they make that miraculous claim, when they have denied miracles as being literal in the Bible?

There are people who cannot believe Christ was born of a virgin or rose from the dead, but believe they themselves are going to heaven after they die. They would never believe Jonah could survive in a fish, but they believe they are going to heaven after they die. They shut down and don’t want to talk about faith—in fact are offended by faith in Jesus Christ—yet they say they are going to heaven after they die. In any other area of life we would call this line of thinking delusional. But people with this mindset make an exception in reasoning when it comes to their own death and subsequent going-to-heaven.

People are often convinced of going to heaven after they die (a supernatural event) while rejecting the supernatural in Scripture. Even those who say, “Well, you can’t really know” when it comes to the Bible, claim they “do really know” when it comes to their own trip to heaven! They have no foundation for their claim that they will go to heaven other than it is what they have chosen to appropriate for themselves. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gifof God—" Ephesians 2:8

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