The Father’s House—Which Model?

I believe the love of the Father extends to everyone, and I like to think of all of us being in the Father’s House, which is a metaphor for those living in the Father’s love. If this is so, then do the doors of that house function to allow people in–or to allow them to leave?

Many believers attempt to invite others into the Father’s House, when in fact we are all already inside. Using an example of a missionary bringing Jesus’ good news to a group that has never heard of him, the discussion might go like this.

I see that you worship a rock and obey what you think it demands. It is a false god and worshipping it is evil! Furthermore, you sacrifice your children to the rock. This is also evil and God is angry with you for doing it.

I bring you the good news about Jesus: If you do not accept him and do what I say, you will die and go hell where you will burn in torment forever. And, by the way, your parents and all your ancestors are already burning in hell. It is too late for them.

This is an exaggeration, but it is what many believers teach. What kind of good news is this?

oil-painting-by-james-barry-1820

By James Barry [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Different Approach to the Father’s House

Let’s consider a different scenario.

I see that you want to be on good terms with God, so you worship a rock. In fact, you want to please God so much that you are willing to sacrifice your children to him. You need not do that anymore.

I bring you the good news about Jesus. He has come to remove your feeling of alienation from God and to replace fear and superstition with peace and love. In time, you will overcome suffering completely. You do not have to do anything to appropriate this good news; it is already yours. I am just here to tell you about it. And, by the way, it applies to all your ancestors as well.

What is going on here! Is this some kind of twisted theology? Some sort of wishful thinking? I don’t think so. But it IS a different understanding of the Father’s House. I believe that what Jesus shared with us to mend our alienation from the Father applies to everyone.

The purpose of sharing the good news is only to tell them about what has happened so they can benefit from knowing it and can begin living in the awareness of the Father’s love that Jesus shares with us. We find ourselves like children in the Father’s House, and there is much growing and maturing to do. But we are in the house.

Is this, then, universalism? It is not. Since humans have the will to choose, I suspect there are those who do not wish to associate with the Father or be part of the family, so there must be another place for them.

Who Will Use the Doors to Leave the Father’s House–and Why?

We cannot know in advance who might decide to leave the house. I do, however, believe that any such decision will occur at a time of perfect clarity and understanding and not based on a faulty concept of the Father or on our confused and scarred psyches. That time might very well be after death.

So, the doors of Father’s House are not to allow those who wish to come in but rather to allow those to leave who ultimately do not want associate with the Father.

I now believe these things.

  • Those who choose to refuse the good news will do so with a clear understanding of the situation.
  • Those who refuse the good news are not punished for their decision.
  • The final decision to accept or refuse the good news might be made after death.
  • Those who refuse the good news will likely be a small minority of those who have ever lived.

I would say, ‘Welcome to the Father’s House!’, but you are already here! The Father’s House includes everyone unless they wish to leave. My job is only to tell you about the good news so that you can begin to experience new life in the Father now and begin to grow.

How do you feel about being in the Father’s House?

***

This entry was posted in The Father, The Father's House, the Good News, witnessing. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The Father’s House—Which Model?

  1. Pingback: Does Behavior Matter? | Jesus Without Baggage

  2. Chad Kidd says:

    The view that we have an opportunity to come to know God after we die is compelling to me. There is not much in the Bible that would go against that theory. Have you read Saddhu Sundhar Singh’s visions? He had some very interesting ideas about what it was like after people die and the progressive knowledge they receive, growing closer to him after they die.

    The beautiful thing about Jesus is that he offers us peace, love, and joy in this life. He gives us real, eternal “LIFE”. The real meaning of eternal life is an elevation in our quality of Life – not how long we get to live. The focus of most evangelicals has been on “What happens to us after we die”? Where are you going to spend eternity? Like the Jack Chick Comic tracts 😦 However, I believe Jesus wants to give us real “LIFE”, Zoe Life right now! Not just after we die! The fear of most evangelicals is that if we do not believe the First of your two examples above is that it would be a de-motivator to evangelism. However, I believe the opposite is true. A God of wrath and judgment is always a de-motivator eventually. A God of love and peace – revealing the true Father heart of God is the best way to show people what God is really like.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Chad, I read Saddhu Sundhar Singh and liked him very much, but it was about forty years ago and I can’t remember a lot of detail. I do recall his response to the vision of Jesus and his remarkable work in Tibet.

    You are right that many people emphasize life after death for those who follow Jesus, but I agree that the new life we have in this lifetime is just as important. I believe the wonderful message of Jesus about enriched life today and eternal life after death is a tremendous motivator for us to tell others about it. We do not need fear and punisment as motivators.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Jesus Speaks of the Father’s House | Jesus Without Baggage

  5. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Reblogged this on Jesus Without Baggage.

    Like

  6. Veronika says:

    I read all of your mind blowing posts with delight! You and other authors like you have enunciated in spectacular fashion The Good News. Raised in an evangelical church I rejected very early the idiocy preached. But still the brainwashing had a life long debilitating effect. I truly thank God and Christ that my faith in them has been restored and made beautiful. And thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny how we can get out of the church (religion) but have such a hard time getting the church out of us.

      Like

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Veronica, I am glad you like the posts! I was raised in all those fundy-evangelical beliefs too, and it was sometimes difficult to let them go. Often, even though I felt a belief was absolutely misguided, I would wonder: but what if it is true? Brainwashing, as you say, is effective.

      I am pleased if I have contributed to your journey.

      Like

  7. It is amazing how the church system talks so much about what happens once we die, yet we have missed the main point of living in His kingdom now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Terri Hanson says:

    If God is omnipresent, as I was taught, how can we ever be apart from God?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Terry, you raise a good question. I would ask: What does it mean that God is omnipresent? I would ask the same thing of many other ‘attributes’ of God that we find in systematic theologies: What do they mean and how do we know?

      The only things I really know about God is what Jesus tells us, and that is mainly that God loves us all unconditionally, and that he/she does not reject any of us though we might reject God.

      Is there a further aspect to your question?

      Like

    • Maureen Ram says:

      I sometimes read Richard Rohr posts from Center for Action and Contemplation and he would say God is omnipresent but we are not always aware of him/her/Spirit.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Debi says:

    If our souls are eternal, didn’t they exist before we came into this physical plane? And isn’t the soul a “spark” from God, or a tiny piece of God? Then at the end of this physical life, how can any piece of God, no matter how tiny, choose to be apart from God? Aren’t we truly “all one”? And so, perhaps, the goal of this limited lifetime is to return to God and again be a part of the One.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Debi, I think your conclusions are reasonable so long as the conditions you describe are correct.

      If our souls are eternal
      Isn’t the soul a spark from God

      So perhaps you are right. However, I do not subscribe to either of your conditions. I do not think the soul is eternal–either eternal from the past or eternal into the future. Part of Jesus’ offer of eternal life is to make us eternal into the future (and not just as unembodied souls). Neither do I consider the ‘soul’ to be a spark from God. To me, what we call the soul has to do with our awareness, identity, and being alive; it is not something separate from the totality of who we are, including our physicality.

      This does not mean I am right and others are wrong. This is simply what I think the situation is. Thanks for bringing up an intriguing question.

      Like

      • Debi says:

        It seems to me that what you describe as awareness and identity are the mind or intellect, not the soul, unless you see those two as one and the same, which I do not. If God created us, then that is where [I believe] the soul comes from, and if it comes from God, then it must be eternal, both past and future, as is God.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Debi, you are correct. I do not see us as being tri-partite (body, mind, and soul; or body, soul, and spirit). I think we are simply one thing–a person. Of course this is at odds with your perspective, but it doesn’t bother me when people disagree on such things.

          Like

  10. Mim says:

    Can you think of any reason whatsoever that a person who does not have a faulty view of love and a confused, scarred psyche would make the choice NOT to associate with the God who IS love?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      A very good question, Mim; but yes I can–a person who wishes to dominate others and realizes this will not be allowed in God’s community.

      Like

      • Mim says:

        But where does that wish/need to dominate others come from, if not from a confused, scarred psyche?

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Perhaps ego. I don’t know that it is the case that there will be those who refuse to be part of God’s community, but I don’t think we can say there will not be those who, in their free will, will reject it. We all will choose as we wish and will not be compelled. What that means in terms of numbers (even 1), I do not know.

          I hope everyone becomes part of God’s community, but I cannot predict that with certainty.

          Like

          • Mim says:

            I would say the need to control comes from fear. And love casts out fear. 🙂
            Love IS compelling, though I agree it does not force. But since love never fails, and love has eternity in which to heal that within us which resists it, I feel confident in saying that no one can be excluded from God becoming “all in all”. Just my thoughts, and I’ll leave it at that. I enjoy reading *your* thoughts. I appreciate your generosity in sharing them.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Good points.

            Like

  11. Anthony Paul says:

    WOW!!! I have nothing to add to this… I simply stand in awe. I just cannot tell you how many times I have had this very same discussion with my sister who attends a fundamental Bible Church only to have her assault me with Jesus saying, “I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Light” . Thanks for a really great piece which goes to the heart of what God’s Love and Grace are really all about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Thank you, Anthony. I have also heard many believers say that Jesus is ‘the way, the truth, and the light’ meaning that this applies only to the ‘saved’. I agree that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light; but this is what he is to everyone–without restriction.

      Like

      • Anthony Paul says:

        “…but this is what he is to everyone–without restriction.”

        Simply well said… but this is exactly the part that seems to offend so many “good christians”. It brings to mind Jesus’ parable of the workers in the field when the lord of the harvest, having hired so many workers early in the morning for an agreed upon one dinarius and then again at 9 AM and then again at the noon hour and others into the afternoon, agreeing to pay these last “what is right”. Well, you know the story so I won’t belabor the point; it’s just that so many christians are like the first ones hired… they receive from The Lord all that they have been promised (and here they have no gripe) but they just can’t stand the fact that The One whom they served so well would be so generous to these late-comers to the party, as it were. Oh!! Every time it comes up it tickles my insides to tell this story to the fundamentalists because, if nothing else, it shows the unfathomable depths of God’s generosity and that His system of value is far different from our own. You see, Tim, I have come to believe that many christians do in fact believe in God’s Grace…. the problem for us is that they also happen to believe that it applies only to a select few… the elect, as they are called. And so there you have it… the making of the modern day Pharisee; but that’s a topic for another day.

        Thanks for allowing me to rant…. I believe it’s good for the soul.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          “Many Christians do in fact believe in God’s Grace…. the problem for us is that they also happen to believe that it applies only to a select few… the elect, as they are called. And so there you have it… the making of the modern day Pharisee”.

          Well spoken Anthony. It is remarkable how many ways some exclusive believers are like the Pharisees. I always like Jesus’ story of the laborers.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s