I have previously discussed the fact that Jesus/God, for some reason, established methods for spreading the faith that were slow and cumbersome. Although Jesus/God is supposed to have the power to telepathic look into every person’s mind and read their prayers, Jesus/God chose not to use that power to ‘transmit’ information to humans.
Christians believe all humans are condemned to hell for the sin committed by Adam, or for just being human and having human needs and desires. They also believe that God, the father, sent himself, in the form of Jesus, to be the blood sacrifice and the atonement for that sin or sins. They believe that Jesus/God died for the sins of the world. Finally, they accept the idea of Paul that a person needs to have faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus/God in order to be saved.
To me, the fact that Jesus/God was apparently content to save only those who received the word via human missionaries is sufficient reason to doubt the existence of God. How could an all knowing and all loving God condemn hundreds of millions of humans to hell just because they live somewhere too remote for the human missionaries of Jesus/God to find them for a millennium or more? Why didn’t Jesus/God send His angels? Why didn’t Jesus/God speak to them telepathically as I mentioned above?
Billy Graham and the preachers stand by this slow process. They promote belief in Jesus/God and insist that this belief is a requirement for entrance to heaven, but at the same time, supporting human-to-human contact as the only method for transmitting the faith.
In the March 8, 2013 Sioux Falls Argus Leader, one of Billy Graham’s readers expresses this thought in a slightly modified way. Billy’s reader says, “I admit I don't believe like you do, but I figure that if I die and find out I'm wrong, then God ought to give me a second chance. Why wouldn't He, if He's a loving God like Christians claim He is?” You can read all of Billy’s answer here.
Billy’s reader is part of a second group of humans condemned to hell – humans that choose to believe something other than what Christians believe. This group would include any human who is currently a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, non-religious or other, non-Christian religion. This group is about two-thirds of the current human population.
Billy states that the Bible does not address the idea of a second chance. If the Bible had included the Apocalypse of Peter, sinners might have had a second chance. In the rejected Apocalypse of Peter, Jesus says, “It is because of them that have believed in me that I am come. It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men.”
Because the Apocalypse of Peter was rejected, there is no second chance. Living a good life and following all the rules leads to an eternity of punishment in hell. A person must learn of and accept the gift of salvation that Jesus/God offers to those lucky enough to live in times and places that the missionaries visit. Those who lived elsewhere or else-when are out of luck.
Billy even takes a page from the door-to-door salesperson’s handbook when he says, “the only opportunity we'll ever have to receive God's gift of salvation is right now, because death may snatch us away at any moment, and then it will be too late.” This offer from Jesus/God is good today only and tomorrow may be too late.
Of course, as I written before, Billy and the preachers have a vested interest in limiting the number of people who can get into heaven. If Jesus/God really loved humanity and admitted everyone into heaven, there would be no jobs for the missionaries, no finger-wagging from the altar at those who back-slide, no need for anyone to attend church and dump money into the collection plate. Billy and the preachers need those collection plates to brim over to pay their bills. A Universalist Jesus/God that loves everyone is not selective enough for Billy Graham.
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