The good news of God is not that Jesus died on the cross as a payment or penance for your sins. I’m not the only one to believe this, but it’s still quite popular so I just wanted to put that out there. The entire concept that Jesus died as some form of payment has been debunked, it simply doesn’t line up with a God of love, nor with a healthy human self-image.
If you don’t believe me, use the method I always use to test salvation hypothesis, put yourself in God’s shoes. Yes, I realize that I am a limited being, but if something seems morally wrong to a human, chances are, God feels that double. In this case, my first born child broke the rules and continues to break them, to save the first I demand that my second child be murdered to satisfy me. Sound like something you might go to jail for? Yeah, exactly.
The good news of God is not that God will provide for your every need if only you have faith and can pray to Him. While the Bible does suggest that humans have been given authority over the earth, by God and by Christ, it would directly contradict free will for most of our prayers to be answered. Despite the fact that God created the world out of nothing, scientists have discovered that since then, nothing else has been created from nothing, and so everything you gain, someone else loses. Where do you think that $1 Million dollars would come from? Be careful what you wish for.
The good news is also not that we now have a way to pursue perfection. Yes, Jesus was the son of God, and according to record, was perfect, so we should definitely look up to Him and follow his example, but we will never be him. You will only ever be you, and to spend your life attempting to be perfect, because you believe you are worthless, is degrading to the person that God created you to be to begin with.
Once again, put yourself in those shoes. Your child spends their whole life telling themselves and you how horrible and corrupt, disgusting, little, and terrible they are. How does this make you feel? What do you want to tell them? I imagine it’s something like, “No! No, my child! You are perfect just as you are, you need to change nothing about you for you are mine!” (Sound familiar?)
The good news of God IS this message, that God loves us! It’s amazing I know. Our sins have been forgiven, they were always forgiven because God never turned his back on us. Jesus came to tell us this, and to set the record straight. The Hebrews had spent their entire history coming up with ways that humans fell short of God’s love, but they were missing the mark, so Jesus came down to say once and for all, stop the sacrifices, I only want your hearts. Stop the killing and the fighting, you are all my children. Stop beating yourself up, because I love you and will always love and have always loved you and nothing you do can change that. How wonderful is that message?
To answer the next logical question, yes, there is still sin, but it isn’t what you think. It’s not some grandious dark cloud or evil entity waiting to tackle you when you least expect it, it is simply living in a way that will bring you the most pain. This is why God hates it, because it’s bad for us, not because it’s bad for Him. He’s God! Nothing is bad for Him. He has no kryptonite. So, step one, love God. Step two, love yourself because God loves you. Step three, love your neighbor as you love yourself because God loves you. Pretty simple.
No go, eat, drink, and be merry, for God loves us all!