A theist does not understand how God could sacrifice his Son

Monday Musings for February 14, 2022

Good morning, Musers,

I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea that my sin caused Jesus to die for me. But those are the facts of the case. Jesus did die for me. Facts and feelings are related, of course. But it is the feelings that seem to cause all the trouble. Here’s what I mean.

I am comfortable with the idea of God’s sacrificing his Son for other people’s sins… theologically. I get it. We all sin! And even if just one of us sinned, the result would be the same: Jesus would have to die! But the idea that I must personally appropriate the sacrifice causes a little angst. I must assess the data, and I must make decisions. This means that the spotlight is on me.

There are countless people behind the scenes in a stage production... like stagehands and musicians. They may even have a chorus! But there is only one person in the spotlight — and theologically — that person is me. I am the one who must decide about my sin. I am the one who must decide about Jesus Christ. That’s a lot of deciding. That’s a lot of angst.

Because decision-making is a lot of work and involves risk, we might be tempted to put it off. But there is a problem lurking in the shadows: no decision is a no decision. That is, not making a decision is the logical equivalent of deciding no. I am not saying that indecision does not exist. I am saying that indecision is itself a decision. That decision is no, and here’s how that works.

Let’s say you are up in the air about whether you should go to go buy some milk. My question is, as far as the proposition about buying milk goes, how is not deciding different than deciding no? Going to the store is a yes/no proposition. How you spend your time while you are not going is irrelevant. Not going because you chose to spend time in indecision has the same logical outcome of not going because you decided not to go. The yes/no test for buying milk yields a no.

It works this way with salvation, too. A postponed decision is a no decision. If a person who is in the process of deciding about Christ dies, that person is not saved. The feelings attached to indecision might fool people into thinking they are safe. But a postponed decision is a “no” decision in the here and now. Postponing a decision about Christ is making a decision against Christ.

That being said, you should take all the reasonable time needed to make an informed decision. This is a natural process — one God knows about. But God will not be mocked. There is a difference between seeking God earnestly and playing fast and loose with your life.

Do you remember Paul’s conversation with Felix about Christ? Felix stopped him and said that he would hear more about this at a “more convenient time” (Acts 24:25). As far as we know, Felix did not follow through — and for sure, Felix died. But, unless he came to Christ and we don’t know about it, he is not in a place called I’ll-talk-to-you-later. He is in a place called hell.

You see, hell has two kinds of people: people who said no to Jesus Christ and people who postponed saying yes. Don’t be like Felix. Don’t postpone saying yes. Go and buy the milk.


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