there was a good, and helpful, exchange in the comments from yesterdays post that i encourage you to read in full.
in my response to "anonymous", i realized that i need to articulate more clearly "why" we need saving.
r.c. sproul speaks of having someone approach him years ago and ask "are you saved", and in his confusion, he asked "saved from what??" (see his book by the same name)
this is what we need to make clear.
with that in mind, i will put here an excerpt from my response to the previous post. i am glad to have dialogue and hope to have more.
[christ] came as a “propitiation”. [see romans 3:25; hebrews 2:17; 1 john 2:2; 1 john 4:10]
that word means “an appeasement of wrath”. i don’t know how to
get around that. scripture is clear that christ came to die so that the
wrath of god would be satisfied. instead of that wrath coming against
sinner’s, it is placed on christ in their place. god doesn’t “calm down”
or get less angry towards sin. the bible is clear that his wrath is poured
out against sin.…
all men are “by nature objects of wrath” and to deny that god punishes men
for sins and ours out his wrath on sinners is to either deny or ignore a large
part of scripture.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;You [God] hate all
who do iniquity (psalm 5:5)
The LORD tests the righteous,but
his [God’s] soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Let him rain coals on the wicked;fire and sulfur and a scorching
wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;the upright shall behold his face.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up
wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment
of God, (romans 2:5)
but to those [people] who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth,
but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation
and distress for every soul of man who does evil… (rom. 2:8,9)
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God,
what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous,
is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) (rom. 3:5)
Much more then, having now been justified by His
blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.(rom. 5:9)
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging
the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of
wrath, even as the rest (eph. 2:3)
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality,
impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is
because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of
disobedience (col. 3:5,6).
these few verses, not to mention many other speak to the wrath of god against *sinners*, not simply “sins”. “sins” do not go to hell, people do.
the bible is clear. the wrath of god is poured out on those who have not had that wrath satisfied by the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Christ.
i do not disagree that god loves his children. why would i? the scriptures are clear! god is love! but they are also clear that he is just and gracious and merciful. how can he be merciful and gracious if there is no pending punishment? we can’t be saved from something we were never in danger of!
…the bible is very clear. jesus himself is very clear. there are those people who will not come to Christ, and they will go to hell. why do they go to hell? because they deserve the wrath of god due to their sins not having been atoned for.
this does not mean god is mean or cruel. it means that he is just.
"the wages of sin is death." (rom. 6:23)
what is a wage? it is something that is earned.
what all people earn by sinning is death.
all have sinned,(rom. 3:23) so all have earned death.
the only hope of escaping this death is faith in christ.
if there is no faith in Christ, then sinners get what they have earned and what they deserve.
imagine if a judge in your city had on trial a known child molester who had been caught in the act and was known to be guilty. now imagine that the judge not only did not send him to jail, but he set him free.
“you are free to go, because I want to be known as loving!”
that judge would be off the bench as fast as possible and people would be outraged!
so it is with the justice of god.
he *is* loving. he *is* gracious. he *is* merciful.
and he *is* just.
this is why missions and evangelism is so important! we are to spread the good news to all so that they might be saved! it is the free offer of the gospel to all men! and that is another aspect of the love of god, that he sent his son so that whoever believes will be saved! praise god!