Sharing about The Father’s House with Others—Which Model?

Previously, I introduced the metaphor of the Father’s House, and we will now look at it further. 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, I think we are all already inside. Using an example of a missionary bringing the good news of Jesus 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 worshiping 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 of 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, of course, 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 of 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.

So follow Jesus and begin to experience even more good news.

What is going on here! Is this some kind of twisted theology? Or 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. But many just don’t know about it yet.

The purpose of sharing the good news is only to tell them about what has happened so they can benefit from knowing about 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 Universalism? Not necessarily. Since humans have the will to choose, I suspect there might be those who do not wish to associate with the Father or be part of the family, so there must be another place for them because I don’t think God will force anyone to remain in his presence against their free will.

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?

  • Jesus without Baggage exists to assist and support those questioning beliefs they have been taught in fundamentalist, traditional evangelical, and other groups. If you know someone who might find Jesus without Baggage helpful, feel free to send them the introductory page: About Jesus without Baggage.

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This entry was posted in Jesus, Kingdom of God, The Father, The Father's House, the Good News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Sharing about The Father’s House with Others—Which Model?

  1. Theressa Hanson says:

    I was taught that God is Omnipresent. I, too, believe that we are all in God’s house. I have reservations about the notion that people can choose to leave just as I’ve always disbelieved in “hell” as eternal separation from God. If God truly is omnipresent, how can there be any separation from God? I think that when people see, in that moment of perfect clarity, they will accept the perfect love being offered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Theressa, you might be right that everyone will be convinced by God’s love. In fact, I hope you are. On the other hand, if there ARE those who do not wish to be in God’s presence, I don’t think they will be punished for it–in ‘hell’ or otherwise.

      By the way, corrections made. Let me know if I didn’t get it right.

      Like

    • Chas says:

      Theressa, we are separated from God, because we live in the presence of destruction. In Him/her there is no destruction, but we can take a first step on the way out of destruction by being aware of that destruction and that it separates us from God, and acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God. This belief in the Son of God is the first door to pass through to come into the presence of God. When we have passed through it, we become aware that we can receive communication from God. Some people might choose to call that the Holy Spirit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That perfect moment of clarity you mentioned: I believe that after all the misery, grief, and pain of this life, and also after all the religious bigotry and misinformation that is spread by Christians themselves, that this moment of clarity will result in a pure and complete surrender to the love of God by every individual. Theoretically, could they turn God down on his offer? Sure. Will any person, upon seeing the true goodness and majestic of our Creator, actually turn him down? I don’t really think so. The love is exactly what we are searching for our entire lives, and to turn it down when it has been so clearly portrayed just doesn’t make sense. I think that God’s sovereign love and power will sweep all of us off our feet in this life, or the next.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. theotherlestrangegirl says:

    The idea that we are all in the Father’s House–and that the doors are there, not so people can enter, but so they can exit if they wish–is a very interesting one. I believe that the doors to the Father’s House will always remain open–God stays strict in His vow that he will not force anyone. I also do not believe that there is any “punishment” for those who choose to leave, as that is just another form of force (In legal terms, it is known as duress–someone acting against their will due to threats of violence or punishment if they do not).

    This is also why I don’t really believe in the anger of God (at least not in the way most Christians mean it). If God supposedly gets so angry at us for rejecting Him or making other choices, why bother to give us free will at all? You simply cannot give someone free will and then get angry at them for using it.

    One thing I do wonder, though, is the idea–which I hear a lot from many Christians, though not all–that we must stand before God at the time of our death and give an account of our lives. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it seems incredibly intimidating. How could anybody, even the best of us, truly live up to God’s standards? Wouldn’t we all fall drastically short? And then what happens? Does God decide to forgive all of us despite falling short? I’ll admit that I find this particular belief troubling and baffling.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Strange Girl, I love this!: “If God supposedly gets so angry at us for rejecting Him or making other choices, why bother to give us free will at all? You simply cannot give someone free will and then get angry at them for using it.” I don’t believe in angry god either. I know that God is often depicted as angry, demanding, and violent in the OT, but I think it is simply because those writers did not have a good grasp of God’s character.

      I have not systematically thought through the suggestion that we will give account for our lives before God when we die, but I know it is a popular belief. Off hand, I think of the parable of the sheep and goats, which was just that–a parable and not a prophecy of the end-time. I seem to remember something similar in the Book of Revelation, which is an apocalyptic writing and, again, not a prophecy of the end-time.

      What I think I do know about God from Jesus is that he/she is high on empathy, compassion, and concern for us. So whatever happens I think I can trust in that. Do you have further ideas about it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • theotherlestrangegirl says:

        I don’t know what to think about it, but I can’t imagine why it would be done that way. If God does not intend to punish people for their sins for all eternity (and I don’t believe He does), then the only outcome I can see of such an event is making everyone feel bad and ashamed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          “the only outcome I can see of such an event is making everyone feel bad and ashamed.” Good point, Strange Girl, and why would God do that? It doesn’t seem to me to be consistent with God’s character.

          Like

        • quadratus says:

          Is ‘judgement’ even a thing? Is there a correlation between the mercy we give to others and the mercy we receive from God? …Wheat and chaff, sheep and goats, virgins entering the wedding feast and those who are kept out, servants who are rewarded and servants who are cast out, folks cut into pieces, folks thrown into prison, etc… are illustrations like these just colorful words and phrases to help remind us to be good to other folks? Or, in the end, regardless of how we treated others, does it simply boil down to a free-will choice based on feelings between to either hang out in the fathers house or open the exit door and step into annihilation?

          Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Quadratus, you ask: “Is ‘judgement’ even a thing? Is there a correlation between the mercy we give to others and the mercy we receive from God?” I think that is a good question. If there is judgment, then I think all of us will be judged because none of us live up to the highest standards of love.

          However, I think God knows and understands us (better than we know and understand ourselves) and is not interested in ‘judging’ us. But then the question arises, ‘Who would not want to be in the Father’s house?’ If you are interested, I address this at:
          https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/who-would-reject-the-father/

          Like

          • quadratus says:

            Thanks for the link to the article. Per, ‘judgement’, it is my understanding that in ANE thought and especially Judaism, ‘judgement’ had a positive essence, nonnegative, IOW, God’s judgement meant putting things right, straightening everything out. And of course, there would be some folks who just don’t want to be part of that; don’t want to be an ‘image-bearer’. That said, doesn’t there seem to be more New Testament evidence that there will be a judgement? That the choices we make in the present… matter? That we are not simply playing a game of ‘Risk’ where at the end of the game God simply wipes all the pieces off of the board and says… “well all that didn’t really matter”?

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Quadratus, you said, “it is my understanding that in ANE thought and especially Judaism, ‘judgement’ had a positive essence, nonnegative, IOW, God’s judgement meant putting things right, straightening everything out.” That could be; I don’t have a ‘ready’ answer for it.

            On the other matter, I do think Jesus does talk about judgment, but I don’t think in terms that involve condemnation or punishment in hell. To begin with, Jesus uses a lot of hyperbole to catch attention, and secondly he seems to direct his statements to a specific group of people–those Pharisees who considered themselves the representatives of God and put burdens and exclusions on the common people.

            They considered themselves God’s favorites and Jesus warned them several time that in the kingdom (sometimes described as a banquet) they would be removed from the best seats, which would be given to someone else. This would lead to mourning and gnashing of teeth.

            So, Yes, I think Jesus sometimes talked in terms of judgment–but nothing like the judgment some believers teach about today. Who knows what the social structure might be in the life after death?

            Like

    • Strange Girl, God has mercifully provided a way for us to be reconciled with Him and to meet His standards, not our own. God did this by providing a substitute who was willing to pay our penalty, if we are willing to accept that arrangement. This was the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, who died to cover the penalty we would have to pay for our wrongdoing (Romans 3:24). As, right, no one can live up to Gods standards, and that is the point of Christ coming to be that “standard bearer”, in our place. All we have to do is accept this substitution and by faith receive all that Jesus accomplished through His death on the cross. Yes, he has forgiven us all, not just despite our “falling short”, but because of it. The Father had to send the Son for the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2:2, which is a “two-part act” that involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to him. The only way to procure this grace is through faith believing.
      God does not get angry for just using free will, his anger is for rejecting Him, thus calling him a liar, 1 John 5:10, by not believing the report. The only way mankind judges himself is by not believing, as our salvation is in our court, not Gods, as he has done all he can, John 12:47,48.
      Bottom line, John 3:16 is the quintessential scripture that gives hope to all that ‘believe and receive’, but John 3:36 is the one that warns wrath to all that ‘doubt and reject’.

      We shall all (believer and non believer) stand before God at the judgment and give an account of what we did, whether good or bad. That’s 2 Corinthians 5:10. As there are degrees for both, believer and unbeliever. The difference?; For the believer, it is rewards, for the unbeliever it is degree of punishment, as for Gods judgments are true and righteous, Psalm 19:9. So since God is just and will judge between right and wrong, this gives ultimate moral significance to our lives and makes us accountable for our actions, for the believer, and for the unbeliever.

      Liked by 1 person

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