I've been listening to a preacher on the internet for a couple of weeks now. He's brought up some questions that I've long wondered, but never really asked. He's way outside the box and goes against most of my upbringing. But still, I find what he has to say fascinating and am quite intrigued. I'm not ready to drop all other teachings, nor am I ready to take off these filters that were installed in my way of thinking when I was a child in Sunday School. I'm just listening and thinking and reading and praying.
For instance, hell. How can it be a big fire pit and be totally dark? Doesn't fire light things up?
The other guy that was crucified the same day as Jesus. He didn't pray a sinners prayer. He didn't confess every single sin. All he did was believe Jesus was who he said he was. Then Jesus said that because he believed that DAY he would be in Paradise with him. Wouldn't the same apply to everyone that believed?
But then he goes on to say that Christ saved his whole creation. Every sinner. No, maybe you didn't hear me, EVERY SINNER. And because he has saved every sinner (ie, every single person that's walked this earth even the people that haven't heard of Christ. Even the people that choose to believe in Allah. Even the people that refuse to believe in any god. Even the two bit whore you saw walking down the street the other day. Even her.) that we'll all go to be with our savior at the end of this life. This one, I must admit, is a little difficult for me to wrap my mind around. Not the part about Christ coming for even the two bit whore, because I do believe that every person is welcome in God's eyes, the part I can't seem to wrap my mind around is saving grace for even the people who choose not to believe in Him in this life.
Anyway, all that to say, last week he made this statement on grace and mercy:
Grace is when God chooses to give you something you do not deserve.
Mercy is when God chooses to not give you something you do deserve.