The gospel of grace and peace proclaims that God has reconciled all things to Himself through Jesus’ finished work at the cross. (Colossians 1:20) Now that we know that all humankind has been reconciled to God and none is lost, some questions may arise among those who have grown up in traditional or evangelical church teachings, such as:
- Does that mean there is no need for faith in Jesus?
- Is there still a need to preach the gospel?
- What about those who don’t believe the gospel?
- What exactly are we saved from?
The post below addresses these questions.
According to the gospel, Christ has been made unto us from God wisdom, righteousness, holiness and redemption. By one man’s obedience, all has been made righteous. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. We all are included in His redemption. We are redeemed from the curse of sickness, lack, identity crisis, low self-esteem, guilt and shame, etc.
Does that mean there is no need for faith in Jesus?
I believe salvation is for the soul (mind, will and emotions), so faith in Jesus is necessary. (Hebrews 10:39; James 1:21) When we believe the good news that we are righteous and accepted by God who has never forsaken us from the beginning, we will experience peace for our conscience and healing for our mind and emotions. We begin to live life with hope and expectancy of good things to come, and enjoy the divine dance with our loving God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The kingdom of God is within us, and Christ in us is the hope of glory.
When someone dies without believing in Jesus or having heard about Him, s/he will still be with God, for the spirit returns to Him who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). S/he will not be in a place called “hell” (which is implied as eternal separation from God or eternal damnation or everlasting punishment or torture). Hell or gehenna as mentioned in the gospel accounts refer to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD70 (which was described in the book of Revelations concerning the end of the old covenant age and the establishment of the new covenant world “new heavens and new earth”). Hades is simply grave or a place of the unseen (or ignorance of God’s love and of our true identity, which shall not prevail against the church).
Is there still a need to preach the gospel?
One can say that we still need to preach the gospel. This is because when we proclaim this gospel of grace and peace, we are reminding others of their true identity. They will be awakened to who they really are, and start reigning in life through Jesus Christ.
“Much more those who receive abundance of grace and gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One Jesus Christ (not one day after they die)“. (Romans 5:17; words in parentheses are mine)
Praise the Lord for the good news. That’s why we continue to preach or proclaim the gospel so that more and more people will know the unconditional love and amazing grace of God, and become established in their true identity, and start to reign in life!
What about those who don’t believe the gospel?
A preacher once said, “the efficacy of the cross is done, whether we believe it or not. But by rejecting it, our experience will not be what our acceptance would facilitate. It’s the same ‘River of Fire’ (Dan 7:10) – God’s Love – that flows from the throne down upon all of us. To those who believe, it will be the joy of heaven.”
I agree that those who believe the good news, it will be the joy of heaven. As for those who don’t believe, they will not get to enjoy the benefits of salvation that believers enjoy, which includes peace for the conscience, divine healing, freedom from guilt and condemnation, etc.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve became afraid of God after they disobeyed Him in the garden of Eden, but it wasn’t God’s love that caused them to distance themselves from Him because He draws people to Himself with lovingkindness. Rather, it’s the fallen human mindset that blinds people to see the reality of God’s love, and hence Jesus has come to show us how good and loving God really is. This good news of knowing how much God loves us will help to build our consciousness of God as our loving Father. In fact, our God is a triune God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is in constant fellowship with us because He is a relational being, not a legalistic judge or book-keeper.
What exactly are we saved from?
In conclusion, salvation is for the here and now, not one day in the future. “Behold, now is the accepted time (of favour); behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Jesus came to save us from the Adamic curse of living a performance-based life marked by stress, guilt and condemnation, that we might live the abundant life freely and lightly, flowing with the unforced rhythm of grace (unmerited favour), where He works miracles among us by the hearing of faith (about our right standing with God). 🙂
[Post updated on 10 March 2011]