Originally posted by Nammu
surely if you worship God instead of Jesus then you still get to heaven? Because they're all the same thing.
The catch is the whole purpose of Christ. He didn't come to get people to worship a deity. We already did that. He came to bridge the gap between you
and I and God. Worshiping God is good. Pray to God, seek to know Him as He is, as He reveals Himself. This is good.
However, there's a snag. All of us talk about a loving and good God. He is such. However, in making that assumption, we assume that He must accept us
as we are and grant us paradise not because of who we are, but because He's loving and good. I have found that it helps to picture this in worldly
When someone convicted of a heinous crime stands before a judge, is the judge considered a good man if he lets that convict walk? Not at all! What if,
instead of just letting the guy walk, instead the judge orders the government to pay for a tropical island and all the supplies and anything else the
guy could ever imagine to be delivered to him? It would be absurd. The judge would be impeached, and probably hated by the nation, with no one calling
Christ said, as you quoted, I am the way, the truth, and the life -- no one comes to the Father except through
me (emphasis added). It is
through Christ that we are redeemed. When He came, it wasn't to set up a new deity to be worshiped, where if you said the wrong name in prayer he'd
jump out from behind a corner and yell, "haha! Gotcha!"
God is Just, and He established His law not to get us to follow it, but instead to show us the depravity of our nature, how far we differ from God.
That was the whole point of the sacrificial system He set up with Israel -- Our depravity, which is merely choosing a different path or action than
that which God has chosen, thereby saying we are smarter and better than God, must be paid for. God said the wages of sin is dead, and sin is just
going in a different direction than God. If He is to be just, He cannot abide that without some sort of reconciliation. Imagine hanging out in heaven
and Hitler's just as honored as mother Theresa. One sacrificed her life for the good of others, the other sacrificed the lives of the world for
Then we get to Christ -- He was the ultimate offering. The animals the Jews were called to sacrifice on behalf of their sin were symbolic -- they were
not pure, they just appeared to be on the surface. Christ, on the other hand, was the perfect human. He was without sin, and never did anything that
His Father (God) didn't direct Him to. Unfortunately, that curse in Genesis effected all of humanity, to where we lusted after what was wrong, what
was evil, what was sin. Therefore, we needed God to be made flesh that He could provide the necessary sacrifice on our behalf.
The wages of sin is death, yet He who was without sin came, took our sin upon Himself and sacrificed His life that we might live.
So why does this not apply to everyone automatically? The way God has set up the universe, He has required that we claim that defense. We must claim
Christ's sacrifice on our behalf to be redeemed.
In US court, if you're not read your Miranda rights before you confess to a crime, your admission of guilt is not admissible. However, if you never
say you were never read your rights, the court will still find you guilty. Just like if a person wants to give you a hundred dollars, and is holding
the bill out to you, no matter how much they want you to have the money, there is nothing more they can do until you reach out and grab that bill.
That is why it makes a difference if you just worship God without acknowledging Christ. You're telling God you worship Him and adore Him, but at the
same time you reject His justice and you reject His plan to bring you to Him. You're saying, "well, God, I thing you're the best, but I have a
better idea than this Jesus thing -- I thing you're the best, and that's enough. See ya soon!" That's like Forrest Gump telling Stephen Hawking
that his theory regarding black holes is bunk and instead the universe is just swirly. It would be absurd -- Hawking is a physicist who is brilliant
and has studied this all his life, while Gump is a fictional idiot. Like it or not, God is oodles smarter than you and I, and to say we look like
Forrest Gump compared to Stephen Hawking before God is extreme flattery of ourselves. This is the guy who not only created the universe, but invented
physics in a blink of an eye to govern all action throughout the universe. And we want to tell Him He's wrong?
That's the whole Christ thing, and why Christ must be accepted and loved.