Confession is like really, really healthy vomit. It may smell and get all over the front of your shirt, but you feel better-you feel cleansed-when you’re done.
But the first Christians didn’t see Jesus this way, as if God were somewhere else and then cooked up some way to solve the sin problem at the last minute by getting involved as Jesus. They believed that Jesus was somehow more, that Jesus had actually been present since before creation and had been a part of the story all along.
For Jesus, the question wasn’t, “How do I get into heaven?
I can’t find one place in the teachings of Jesus, or the Bible for that matter, where we are to identity ourselves first and foremost as sinners.
When we don’t throw ourselves completely into it and we hold back our best efforts because of what happened in the past, we are letting the past decide the future.
for a staggering number of people in our world the for of the Jesus message has been buried under a massive pile of againsts. Somewhere
When the gospel is understood primarily in terms of entrance rather than joyous participation, it can actually serve to cut people off from the explosive, liberating experience of the God who is an endless giving circle of joy and creativity.
Far too often, we don’t start because we can’t get our minds around the entire thing. We don’t take the first step because we can’t figure out the seventeenth step. But you don’t have to know the seventeenth step. You only have to know the first step. Because the first number is always 1. Start with 1.
Jesus did not use hell to try and compel “heathens” and “pagans” to believe in God, so they wouldn’t burn when they die. He talked about hell to very religious people to warn them about the consequences of straying from their God-given calling and identity to show the world God’s love.
when I’m talking about God, I’m talking about a reality known, felt, and experienced, but one that cannot be located in any specific physical space in any tangible way.