Pristine Grace

The Big Lie
by John Pedersen

The big lie of evangelical Christianity is this: God loves everybody and wants to save everybody, and has done all in his power to do it, but you need to choose and accept what he has done for you and everybody else or you will not ever experience the love God has for you. 

This lie denigrates God and exalts man. It portrays God as a divine facilitator who can do nothing without man’s permission. It exalts man as the one who has the power to determine his own destiny, a power greater than the intention and desire of God’s love. In the big lie, God may love someone and desperately long for their salvation, but they, by their contrary choice, may thwart His intention and force him to watch helplessly as they ruin their lives. 

Now it may be very flattering to think that something we do allows God to do something for us, to think our own will and choosing is worshipped, as it were, by the God of the universe, but flattery only insulates us in self-deception and self-righteousness. 

For the rest of us who only find discouragement in the big lie, there is good news: 

The truth of the gospel is not a “higher version” of the aforementioned lie. The truth of the gospel stands in diametric opposition to it and is, as to its meaning, the antithesis of it. 

The gospel exalts God and denigrates man. In the gospel, God is exalted as a Just God and a Savior, i.e., the God who justifies, forgives, and saves sinners while maintaining His absolutely righteous and holy character. The gospel denigrates man as one capable of determining his own destiny and teaches man is helpless and hopeless without the love and mercy of God. 

Some say the big lie can be concluded by statements in the Bible and we should not be quick to “judge” those who hold to notions of universalism and “free will”.  Such only reveal their complicity and belief in the lie and are to be rejected. The fact people are able to pervert the message of the Bible is not reason to conclude the Bible lends itself to perversion, to the contrary: it is instead reason to conclude that the deception of sin is so great one may stand in full view of the truth and deduce what is contrary to it, though the truth be as plain as the nose on their face. 

Be sure of this: If God loves you, He will save you, and no power in the universe will thwart Him in doing so. And be consoled in this, contrary to the big lie, which places the weight of your salvation on your shoulders: 

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light, for He takes the yoke and bears the burden for those He loves, and His blood is not shed in vain.  All for whom Jesus died are saved by His righteous blood, and no one who looks to Him will be disappointed.