Apart from Jesus Christ, God might as well be the devil

.divine light by Amelia PS

I get them all the time from well- meaning friends and family.

You know, the e-mails with the beautiful photos and flowery descriptions of God and His handiwork. The cutsie sayings and wonderful advice on living and giving and caring and sharing. The wonderful graphics with angels and mountains and redwoods. The admonitions to stop and smell the roses before it’s too late. The advice to not take things for granted and to be grateful for all the wonderful things and people that God has given us. All of that may certainly be true…and we certainly ought be grateful. And there is encouragement and good lessons in many of those e-mails. I am grateful for that and those that would share this encouragement with me.

But what about the wrath of a God who is pretty ticked off about what we have done with those gifts He has given us? What about the wrath of God who has given us up to our sin? What about a God who tells us that “the wages of sin is death“? What about a God who is deadly serious about our insistance on replacing Him with a god that we form from our own hearts and minds? That God might as well be the devil as far as we are concerned. Apart from the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus the Christ, and the forgiveness of sin that He gives to us, that God would have us suffer the full consequences of our rebellion.

Once in a while those e-mails have something of Jesus in them. Once in a while they speak of the cross of Christ and the mercy and love that He has for us. And for that I am grateful. Once in a while they do not contain the promise of blessings if you pass the e-mail on to 10 people in 10 minutes, and return it to the one who sent it to you…and for that I am also grateful (nothing worse than “Christian” superstition).

But God did send us His Son. God is loving and merciful. God did give Jesus all power and judgement over creation. God did answer Jesus’ prayer to forgive us by raising him from the dead. The one who died for us, is the same One who will judge us. For that I am greatful.

So, if your looking for something to do, apart from passing on those nice e-mails about a loving God and His beautiful creation…then I would advise you to repent of your sin and believe, be baptized, regularly take and eat His body which was broken and given for you. Drink His blood which was poured out for you for the forgiveness of your sins. Trust in Him when He says that He forgives your sins, all of them. Cast off the yoke of slavery which is the religious project of trying to prove to God, yourself and others that you are serious about God. Realize that deep down you really aren’t all that serious about God (not all that often anyway)…but realize that He is serious about you. Serious enough about you to take the only action that would suffice for you…and that is to die for you, and to forgive you all your sin.

Do all the good in this world that you can do. Just do not connect it to God’s forgiveness for you.

Realize the truth of what Martin Luther said, that “the good that you do will not save you, and that the evil that you do will not condemn you…because of Christ Jesus”.




.Photo by Amelia PS  and Flickr

6 Responses

  1. I’m going to send my well wishers this post when I get one of those warm and fuzzy e-mail chain messages. 😉 (If you don’t mind.)

  2. R.L.,

    You made my day! 😀


  3. I received this one a little while ago:

    Concentrate on this Sentence

    ‘ To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. ‘ When God takes something from your grasp, He ‘ s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence… ‘ The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you ‘ Something good will happen to you today; something that you have been waiting to hear.

    Please Do not break!




    This prayer is so powerful.
    Pass this prayer to 12 people

  4. But as these two references show, the moment that the church was co-opted by the Roman state, it INEVITABLY became and entirely worldly power and control seeking institution.

    And thus became the most powerful vector for doing the “devils work” that the world has ever seen.



    Onwards christian soldiers forever marching into the war.

    The christian inspired imperial conquest continues–as strong as ever.

  5. Well then, it certainly appears that Dear John agrees with your statement that, “Apart from Christ, God might as well be the devil.”

    Our Lutheran Symbols clearly define what the universal Church really is, namely, the fellowship of believers through all time who are gathered together where the Gospel is preached in all it’s purity and the Sacraments are rightly administered.

    As Luther said in the Smalcald Articles, “Thank God that even a seven-year-old child knows what the church is!”

    Dear John, the church is not the church that follows the Bishop of Rome. The church is not any denomination. The church is comprised of those who by the Holy Spirit power, hear and believe the Word of Jesus’ good news to them that there is forgiveness of sins in his name, and with it, life and salvation.

    The abuses committed by Christians in the name of ‘church’ are a shame. Christians everywhere should repent of them. For, there is forgiveness even for those sins.

    Jesus said, “Whoever would come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me!”

    Christians struggle to keep the cross ever in front of them. That is our war; we fight against the unholy trinity–the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. That’s what the Onward Christian Soldiers song is about..

    Martin Luther wrote another rally song that explains the nature of our fight better, John. It’s called “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and it goes like this:

    “A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon;
    He helps us free from every need that hath us now overtaken.
    The old evil foe now means deadly woe; deep guile and great might
    Are his dread arms in fight; on Earth is not his equal.

    “With might of ours can naught be done, soon were our loss effected;
    But for us fights the Valiant One, Whom God Himself elected.
    Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is.
    Of Sabbath Lord, and there’s none other God;
    He holds the field forever.

    “Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us.
    We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us.
    This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will,
    He can harm us none, he’s judged; the deed is done;
    One little word can fell him.

    “The Word they still shall let remain nor any thanks have for it;
    He’s by our side upon the plain with His good gifts and Spirit.
    And take they our life, goods, fame, child and wife,
    Let these all be gone, they yet have nothing won;
    The Kingdom ours remaineth. ”

    Indeed, God may seem like the devil apart from Christ. If it feels like that, John, you are feeling the weight of God’s Law. His Law crushes everyone–believer and unbeliever alike. It leads one to despair, even to thinking that God must somehow be unjust. How could he allow such terrible things to happen?

    But, the Good News is that God provided us a way of escape his wrath. He sent his Son Jesus into our world, to take on our human flesh in order for Jesus, the Righteous One, to take the punishment that we all deserve. Jesus was murdered on a cross, the Righteous One for the unrighteous. Check out Isaiah Chapter 53 to see the Great Exchange foretold.

    Asked a similar question by his followers about why do bad things happen to good people–people get killed by their governments, buildings collapse and kill people–why Lord, where is God? Jesus response–repent, lest something else even worse befall you!

    John, that’s the Good News: that with God, in Christ, there is mercy! There is the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name because of what he accomplished on the cross and life assured for us in his resurrection. When Christ puts his name on us, God looks at us as righteous on account of Christ, and despite our sins, God declares us “Not Guilty.” We are absolved, and we will not die to death, but we will live with Christ forever. That is Christ’s promise to us.

    So, yes indeed–Onward Christian Soldiers! And, Kyrie Eleison! Christi Eleison!

    • P.S. Dear John,

      Christ’s offer of promise is a standing invitation–for you. And, you would be most welcome in our ranks!

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