Newsletter Archive: God’s Divine Dilemma in Forgiveness – 3/04/2009

For many years, the newsletters for Open Air Outreach were only published through email. Those newsletters were not posted online. We are now in the process of archiving these old newsletters online so that they are available to the body of Christ at large to read and be encouraged and edified by them.

The contents from this post was an email newsletter sent out on 3/04/2009

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The Divine Dilemma God Was In….
Jesse Morrell
Mar 4, 2009

This newsletter has no copy-right.
Feel free to share it by forwarding it on or by printing it off. 

WE THANK GOD FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT

CAMPUS PREACHING

 

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, RALEIGH 

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GOOD CROWD CONTROL

We acquired a permit to preach in the “brickyard” of the campus. The University has made some modifications to the structure of the brickyard. There is now a brick wall next to the stair case in front of the Union. This gives us a great place to preach, providing the students with a place to sit.  I have found that when students sit during the preaching, they are usually calmer and more civil. I think it naturally puts them into a relaxed mood. This helps us because when you have angry students yelling in your face, it can be difficult. A place for the students to sit also makes a nice distinction between the crowd and the preacher. When there is no such distinction, groups can crowd in around you, which also make having a good meeting difficult.

CONFRONTING SIN & EXALTING JESUS

I began the meeting by preaching against the sins of the campus. “It is common knowledge that college students are involved in drunkenness and fornication. I want any of you drunkards and any of you fornicators to know that you are going to hell! God is going to judge your life! Most of this campus is going to hell. Jesus said broad is the way that leads to destruction, many there are that go that way. This campus is full of sin loving God haters.” I went on to call the students to repent of their sinning and put their trust in Jesus Christ. I explained how God can have mercy on them because of what Jesus did on the cross.

THE SIN OF SOCIALISM

An issue that I focused a good amount of time on was Socialism. I asked the students if any of them could give me a definition of Socialism. I waited and waited until it was clear that none of them could define it. It is a very sad day in America when University students cannot even define Socialism. I defined Socialism for them. “Socialism is stealing money from the productive and giving it to the unproductive.”

I explained how President Obama would like to make health care universal by using public tax dollars. This is against the commandment of God, “thou shalt not steal”. It is unjust to take the hard earned money of the person who worked for it and give it to a person who didn’t work for it. The Bible says a worker is worthy of his wages. A student said, “Separation of Church and State” and asked, “Why are you talking about Politics?” I explained that this is not merely a political issue. It is a moral issue. I am against all sin in our culture. I preach against all sin, even the sin of Socialism.

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THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AFFIRMED BY REASON

I decided to start in the beginning with these students – God’s existence. My argument for God’s existence was that if He didn’t exist, we could not exist. Finite or dependent existences require an infinite or independent cause. The proof of the infinite is the existence of the finite. There must be a self-existent first cause or else we could not exist. I brought to their attention the fact that effects cannot be greater than their cause. For a cause to be an adequate cause of the effects, the cause must be equal to, or greater than, the effects. Since we are conscious, intellectual, moral beings, our Cause must be a conscious, intelligent, moral being. The students seemed to follow this logic and could not refute it.

THE TRUTHWORTHINESS OF THE SCRIPTURES

After laying the foundation of God’s existence, I went on to explain the reliability of the Bible. The reliability of the Bible is based upon the credibility of the witnesses. The Bible is essentially a book of testimony. The prophets and the apostles testified to what they had seen and heard. Any testimony that a witness gives in his own favor, makes his testimony questionable. But a testimony if highly credible if the witness gives a testimony that is contrary to his own well-being. His motive for telling such a testimony could not be for his own well-being, thus he has no reason to lie. He must be telling the truth about what he saw and heard. The authors of the Bible gave testimonies of what they had seen and heard, and their testimony put their own lives and the lives of their loved ones in jeopardy or danger. Many of them were martyred. You could not ask for more credible witnesses or more reliable testimonies. Again, the students could not refute this.

GOD’S RIGHT TO RULE THE UNIVERSE

Once the existence of God and the reliability of the Bible was established, I moved on to explain the law or Government of God. I explained how God’s right to rule is based on our necessity for His governing. We absolutely need God’s guidance and law in order to have peace, harmony, and well-being throughout the universe. We are finite and therefore are naturally dependent upon the infinite. God’s government over us is not tyranny, because it is absolutely necessary.

GOD’S QUALIFICATIONS TO RULE THE UNIVERSE

God’s right to rule is grounded in the necessity of His rule, but His right to rule is conditional upon His qualification to rule. I went on to explain that God is qualified to rule. God’s natural attributes and His moral attributes make God qualified to be the Moral Governor of the universe. God’s natural attributes are omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. These are absolutely essential and indispensable to a universal government. God’s moral attributes are benevolence, mercy, justice, etc. These are absolutely essential and indispensable to a good government. The moral and natural attributes of God qualify Him to rule.

THE NECESSITY OF HELL 

I went further and explained that under God’s moral government, mankind has universally chosen to rebel. All men have deliberately chosen to do what they know to be wrong. Public justice requires God to uphold and maintain His law, because it is essential to the well-being of His universe. Hell is therefore a governmental necessity. Hell is the prison of the universe. God’s law would not be respected or obeyed if God does not enforce His law. God’s law protects and promotes the well-being of His creation. Therefore God must execute the law upon the wicked, provide atonement, or forfeit His law and consequently endanger or destroy the well-being of His universe. God executes His wrath, not out of bitterness, but out of benevolence. God is love. Love required and created hell.

THE BLOOD ATONEMENT SUBSTITUTES ETERNAL HELL

After telling the student that they had sinned against God and therefore deserve hell, I went on to explain the atonement of Jesus Christ. If God forgives mankind, by setting aside our punishment of hell, He must maintain the authority and influence of His law by another means, if He is going to secure obedience to His law and consequently secure the well-being of His universe. God can only maintain the authority and influence of His law if He manifests to His universe His regard for His law. God manifests His regard for His law, either through the eternal punishment of the guilty, or through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. The blood atonement of Jesus Christ reveals God’s regard for His law just as equally as the eternal punishment of sinners would have. Therefore God can now pardon sinners of the human race, if they repent and believe, without encouraging sin and rebellion throughout the rest of His Kingdom.

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CALVINISM ON CAMPUS

In the past, I have encountered many Calvinists on this campus. They usually argue that we are all sinners, we sin every day, but we are once saved, always saved. They have also argued that we are incapable of obeying God, our flesh is sinful, etc. During this outreach, one Calvinist asked me, “Are you saying that we need to obey God in order to be saved?” I explained to him that the Bible says we must obey the Gospel in order to be saved. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him. Jesus is coming back in flaming fire to destroy those who do not obey the Gospel. The Gospel requires that men turn from all sin and rebellion and trust in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ as a substitution made for them. Unless a person repents and believes, they cannot be saved. In order to get saved, a sinner must repent and believe. Therefore, yes, a person must obey God, or obey the Gospel, by complying with the conditions of God’s mercy, in order to be saved.

GOD IS NOT A TYRANT – HIS LAWS ARE NOT IMPOSSIBLE

During my preaching, I explained that God is not a tyrant. God does not command us to do the impossible, at the threat of eternal hell. Sinners go to hell because God has given them the ability to obey Him, but they refused to do so. God is just, not tyrannical. A command implies ability. The very wording of the law shows that man is able to obey. The law says to love “with all thy” and “as thyself”. Therefore our moral obligation is perfectly proportionate to our moral ability. God commands us not to sin and He gives us the ability not to sin. Therefore God is not a tyrant.

After my preaching, a Calvinist approached me and objected to my statement that God is not a tyrant. He said, “God is a despot”. I explained that God is a Ruler, but God is not a tyrant. God requires us to do what is just and reasonable, what we are capable of. The Bible says that God never allows temptation to exceed our ability, but always provides a way of escape. We see this when God tried to persuade Cain to overcome temptation and master sin.

GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF SIN

Upon further reasoning with him, he told me that God is the author of sin. He believed that sin was God’s plan, that God chose the existence of sin when it did not exist by decreeing its existence from eternity past. He said God is the ultimate cause of all things, including all sin. I said that God created the possibility of sin, when He gave us a free will. But the actuality of sin is our own fault, because it is originated in our free will, not God’s.

He said that God could cause us to sin, yet still hold us responsible for sin. Therefore, he argued, we are responsible even though we don’t have a free will. I argued that if man is a mere machine, which God operates, then God is ultimately, and in reality, responsible for what we do. If God causes us to sin, sin is God’s fault. In this scenario, God would be the only real sinner in all of the universe, because God is the only real agent that causes sin to occur. If I took a car and ran over innocent people, the Police would arrest me not the car! If I took a puppet with a knife and killed someone with it, I would be guilty, not the puppet. If man is just a puppet in the hands of God, God is responsible for all that man does, God is guilty of all the sin in the world.

THE “SECRET WILL OF GOD” HERESY

I argued that God, in the Bible, always tells us not to sin. God commands that we be perfect. God is angry with sinners when they sin. God’s eternal decree regarding sin is “thou shalt not”. The Calvinist said that the revealed will of God is that we shouldn’t sin, but the secret will of God is that we should sin. God actually prefers sin over holiness in every instance that it occurs. I argued that if God has a secret will which is contrary to His revealed will, then we cannot believe or trust anything God says, we could not believe or trust the Bible at all! God says that Jesus is the only way, but in his view, there secretly might be many ways! God cannot lie. The revealed will of God is the actual will of God. God says He doesn’t want us to sin. Therefore sin must not be God’s will, or else God is a liar. The fact that sin has occurred, contrary to the will of God, is proof that man has a free will. The fact that God gets grieved and angered over sin proves that sin is not God’s plan and that man has a free will.

I asked this Calvinist, “Did God want to have a sinless universe of a sinful universe?” He said that God wanted a sinful universe, so that He could exercise His mercy. I argued that if God causes sin, just so that He could pardon sin or cure sin, He is like a fire man who starts a fire just so He can put it out! In this scenario, we could not truly praise God for His efforts for man’s salvation.

It grieves my heart deeply that men can believe that God is a despot or that God is the author of sin. I find that the beliefs of the religious on campuses can be even worst than the beliefs of the heathen on the campuses.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, COLUMBIA

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GOING THE DISTANCE

We have preached on this campus multiple times now. It is over a three hour drive to get there from where we live. It takes a total of six hours to drive there and back. Despite the distance, we have had multiple outreaches on this campus.

LIVES ARE BEING CHANGED

One student said that she heard us last time we were on campus. She said that she was very angry at us during that time for preaching so hard against sin and about obedience. Since then, the Lord has really dealt with her. She said she has become very serious about the Lord and hates sin like she never has before. Before, she would feel bad if she sinned, but she still wanted to sin. But now, she doesn’t want to sin anymore! She said she was glad that we were back!

SEXUAL PERVERTS

 

The crowd was especially wicked during out preaching. They were very open, unashamed, and boastful about their sin. Even a woman proclaimed her love for sodomy. One man brought out a naked blow up doll to perform sexual perversions in front of everyone. There were homosexuals and lesbians in the crowd. One sinner held up a sign “This man molests children” with an arrow pointing to where we were preaching. One student got upset with him for his sign and began pushing and punching him. He left after the fight just before the Police arrived.

Of course, the professing Christians on campus were upset that we were “judging” sinners by telling them that they were in trouble with God. But these professing Christians were not at all upset at the wickedness occurring right before their eyes! What is good is treated as evil and what is evil is treated as good.

FAYETTEVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY,

NORTH CAROLINA

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APPEALING TO THEIR MORAL NATURE

During this outreach I appealed to the moral nature of sinners. Men naturally know right from wrong. God has made a conscience a part of our human nature so that He can communicate moral truth to our consciousness. Our human nature tells us not to sin, because God has made a conscience and element of our nature. It is an obvious truth, known through consciousness, that we have a conscience. We know that we cannot help but to assign moral qualities to our own actions and the actions of others. This moral knowledge of right and wrong has an effect on our sensibilities, so that we naturally feel shame and guilt. That is how God designed our human nature, to incline us towards obedience.

I preached, “You all know better than to sin! You all know you should obey God! That is why you will be without excuse on Judgment Day. You are morally guilty because you have made choices contrary to the moral knowledge God has granted you. That is why you need Jesus Christ. You are a criminal under God’s moral government and are in need of a Savior.”

 

DEFENDING HELL-FIRE PREACHING

 

A professing Christian came up to us and said that we should be focusing more on God’s love, not preaching about sin or hell. I explained how Jesus Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, preached about sin, judgment, and hell fire, but not even once mentioned God’s love. Jesus often preached about sin, judgment, and hell fire. The Prophets and the Apostles also focused on fearing God and obey God. No doubt, we should preach about God’s love for the world manifested in the atonement of Jesus Christ. We should preach that God gave His son to suffer and die for our sins, providing a substitute for our punishment. But we should not neglect to preach about sin, judgment, or hell. In fact, it is the truth about sin, judgment, and hell that gives a necessary foundation for a person to understand the necessity of the atonement. If men have not sinned, are going to be judged, and are in danger of hell, they would not need a Savior. Once a person is convinced that they are condemned and hell bound, then they see their need for God’s mercy or pardon through Jesus Christ.

FAYETTEVILLE TECHNICAL

COMMUNITY COLLEGE

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OLD FASHION STREET PREACHING

Though this campus does have a free speech area, this sidewalk is closer to the walking traffic of the students. The free speech area of the campus also has a permit process and time limitations. This sidewalk however requires no permit and is unlimited in time allowed for free speech.

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THE POLICE DON’T LIKE US

 

Shortly after we began preaching, the Police were on the scene to monitor the situation. They have threatened us with arrested many times in the past. They have even lied to us by telling us that the sidewalk belonged to the campus. We have always stood our ground and have called them out on their lies and bluffs.

This area not only has walking traffic from students going to the Union, it also has a bus stop where individuals will wait for a long period of time. This area also provides walls for the students to sit on while we are preaching.

  

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A DECISION TO STOP SINNING!

 

As we were preaching about sin, hell, and Jesus Christ, one man came under heavy conviction from the Holy Spirit. He said that he became so hot that he removed one of the layers he was wearing. He approached Kerrigan to confess that he has repented of his sins. Kerrigan prayed with him to God for the salvation of his soul. He not only was convicted by the Holy Spirit, but he also made the decision to forsake all sin as the Holy Spirit was telling him to!

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, PEMBROKE

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A NEW PLACE TO PREACH

The last time we were on campus, the Police told us that we needed a permit for the free speech area. They showed us where the free speech area was. It was located a good distance away from the Student Union, yet still was near some a good amount of walking traffic. It was an amphitheatre. I’ve actually been looking forward to using this new area because it provides a place for the students to sit and gives a good distinction between the crowd and the preacher. On the grassy lawn where we used to preach, the students would crowd in around us. This new area helps to solve that problem.

THE ADVANTAGE OF A BIG BANNER

Since this area was not near the Student Union building, I decided to use my big banner to try to get more attention. Once I parked my car in the visitor parking, I put together my banner and lifted it up as I walked through the campus, passed the Union, to the free speech area. This helped to let more of the campus know that we were there.

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LOVE IS PROVEN BY MARRIAGE

I preached during the first class change but was unable to draw a crowd. Once I realized that the class change was over, I decided to save my voice for my next opportunity. While I was waiting for my next opportunity, a woman stopped to read my banner. I asked her if she read the Bible. This question opened up a long conversation between her and me.

She said that she reads the Bible but admitted that she does not obey the Bible. She confessed to living with a man in fornication for many years. I told her that this guy does not love her, or else he would marry her. She said that she does not love him either; they are really more like friends. I explained to her God’s intention behind sex and reasons why marriage is a good institution.

SIN IS NOT WORTHY OF TRUST

She opened up to me and told me almost her life story. She has had a bad past of drugs. She began to cry during our conversation.  She said that she has trust problems because of her past. That is part of the reason, she said, why she doesn’t obey God. I explained how her problems in the past were because of her sin and the sin of others, not because of God. It is sin that is not trust worthy. I told her that is why she should get all the sin out of her life. God is worthy of our trust. God has the best interests of everyone in mind. If we trust God, we will automatically obey God, no questions asked. By living in fornication, I told her she was trusting sin instead of trusting God. But her own experience has shown that sin should not be trusted, therefore she should not be living in fornication.

IS EVERYONE A SINNER?

 

The woman said, “But doesn’t the Bible say somewhere that we are all sinners?” I explained how the Bible says all have sinned (past tense) but that doesn’t mean we have to keep sinning. We don’t have to obey temptations. We can actually obey God! The Bible does not call Christians sinners. The Bible calls Christians saints. A sinner is someone who is in rebellion against God. A saint is someone who is loyal to God.

NOBODY IS PERFECT…. RIGHT?

 

She went on to say, “But nobody can be perfect.” I explained that if this were true, she would have an excuse for her fornication. However, the Bible says that sinners will not have an excuse on Judgment Day. Sin is inexcusable. God has endowed man with free will. God has granted mankind the ability to obey Him, to be obedient, to be morally perfect. We can choose to obey or disobey, to be loyal or rebellious. That is our free choice.

ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED?

She then asked me my views on the “Once Saved, Always Saved” issue. I explained how there are conditions that need to be met in order to receive God’s mercy, therefore there are conditions for staying under God’s mercy. In order to be forgiven, a person must turn from sin and trust in Christ. Therefore in order to stay forgiven, a person must stay away from sin and continue trusting in Christ. If a person turns back to sin, or if they stop trusting in Christ, they are no longer meeting the conditions of God’s mercy and are therefore no longer under God’s mercy, but are under God’s wrath.

It is not a coincident that a woman who is living in fornication says “everyone is a sinner” or “nobodies perfect” in order to comfort her own convicted conscience. And a doctrine like “Once Saved, Always Saved” only encouraged free moral beings to sin against God.

After talking to her for quit a long time, I encouraged her to read 1 John. I told her that we are to love God because He first loved us. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Christ died on the cross, showing us God’s heart. Therefore we should have no problem trusting and obeying Him.

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DRAWING A CROWD

During the next class change, Kerrigan was able to draw a crowd. As he preached against the sins of the campus, a few people started to gather and listen. Slowly but surely more and more people started to join the group. Kerrigan began to engage the group in dialog. He asked them questions like “How many of you are involved in pre-martial sex?” The whole crowd raised their hands and cheered! This draw the attention of others on campus and before you knew it, we had a nice size crowd in front of us.

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A BACKSLIDER TELLS US HOW TO PREACH

 

This man, who is yelling at Kerrigan, is telling him that he is going about it all wrong. When Kerrigan asked him, “How do you know the way the Gospel is supposed to be preached?” the man responded by telling us that he is a backslider. He wanted us to focus on issues other than sin, judgment, and hell. I believe the reason he is living in sin right now is because he does not have the fear of God in his heart. He was probably taught in Church, “God accepts you as you are”, “God forgives you no matter what”, and “You are eternally secure even though you sin every day”. The modern message of the Church has created multiples of men who are just like this individual. What men need to hear is a message of repentance, conditional security, and moral perfection. That will help to get the sin out of our Churches. True conversion begins with the fear of God, with a realization of damnation and hell, with a complete turning from all wickedness, and a radical embracement of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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CALM CROWDS MOST OF THE DAY

 

We had calm crowds most of the day. I believe this is partly because the free speech area provided seats for the students. In this picture, you can see a girl who politely raised her hand because she had a question. I wish all students did that!

GNOSTICISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE CHURCHES

 

As Kerrigan was preaching, I was talking to students individually. One man approached me with the objection, “We can’t stop sinning because of our flesh, our sinful nature.” He said that because of our body, we need to wait until we die and receive a glorified body before we can be free from sin. I explained that the Gnostic’s denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh because the taught that the flesh was sinful. The Gnostic’s were wrong however because the flesh is just dirt. Dirt cannot be sinful. Morality has to do with the moral law and states of the human will. Sinfulness is not a substance, it is a choice. To say that we are sinners because we have a flesh and that we cannot be morally perfect until we get rid of this flesh is to adopt a Gnostic philosophy of morality. They did not distinguish between the physical and the moral. The Apostle Paul said that we are to be sanctified in spirit, soul, and body. Paul said that our bodies are an instrument that we could use as an instrument of righteousness or of wickedness.

No doubt, our flesh has natural desires that we can choose to gratify in an unnatural and unlawful way. Adam and Eve did just that. But our flesh itself is not sinful. Sinfulness is nothing more than disobedience to God’s law. God’s law tells us what type of choices to make, not what type of body or nature to have. Therefore only choices can be sinful. Our body or nature cannot be sinful, because it doesn’t violate any of God’s laws.

I told the man, “I think you are confusing temptation with sin.” Those who have a Gnostic moral philosophy usually believe that the desires of the flesh are sinful. The man responded with, “Temptation is sin.” I answered, “No, Jesus Christ was tempted yet without sin. James says we are tempted by our lust but when lust is embraced it brings forth sin.” The desires of our flesh are temptations, not sin. The devil tempts us to gratify our natural desires in an unnatural and unlawful manner. We do not have to wait until glorification to be free from sin. We simply have to obey our conscience instead of living for our own selfish gratification. We cannot be glorified in this life. That is physical perfection. But we can be sanctified in this life. That is moral perfection. The former has to do with our flesh. The latter has to do with our will.

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ETERNAL RETRIBUTION & GRACIOUS PARDON

 

When I preached to the sinners, I warned them about the coming age of retribution. “God is going to judge your life. It is appointed unto man once to die and after this comes the judgment. If you die in your sins, you will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing your teeth for all of eternity. You need to get ready to meet God. You need to prepare to meet your Maker. Flee from the wrath that is to come.” I also encouraged them, “Jesus Christ has died for your sins. God will pardon your crimes, or set aside your punishment, if you will decide to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.”

THE DIVINE DILEMMA & ATONEMENT SOLUTION

The Governmental Atonement of Jesus Christ

 

By Jesse Morrell

 

DEFINITIONS:

The penalty of the law is the eternal torment of guilty sinners in hell (Eze. 18:4, 20; 2 Thes. 1:9).

Mercy or pardon is when the penalty of the law is not executed (Micah 7:18; Matt. 8:27).

Atonement is a substitute for the execution of the penalty of the law (Heb. 9:22), so that pardon can be granted to criminals instead of the penalty of the law being executed upon them (Matt. 26:28). The atonement is that which solves the governmental problems of forgiveness.

THE PURPOSE OF PUNISHMENT & ATONEMENT

The blood atonement of Jesus Christ substitutes the eternal punishment of sinners. Whatever the purpose of punishment is must be the purpose of atonement, in order for the atonement to adequately substitute punishment.

If the purpose of punishing sinners is to bring personal, vindictive, or sadistic satisfaction to God, then the purpose of sacrificing Jesus was to bring personal, vindictive, or sadistic satisfaction to God. But if the purpose of punishing sinners is to manifest God’s regard for His law, thereby preventing sin throughout His universe, then the purpose of sacrificing Jesus was to manifest God’s regard for His law, thereby preventing sin throughout His universe.

God inflicts the penalty of the law upon sinners, not for any sadistic or vindictive reasons (Eze. 18:32; 33:1; Lam. 3:32-33; Heb. 12:10). God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Punishment is governmental, not personal. Punishment is executed out of benevolence, not bitterness. God inflicts the penalty of the law upon sinners, out of a benevolent care and concern for the well-being of His universe (Dan. 6:14-16; Esther 1:15-22; Ecc. 8:11). God promotes the well-being of His universe by maintaining the authority and influence of His law by manifesting His regard for His law. Therefore the atonement of Christ was not necessary to satisfy any sadistic or vindictiveness in God. Rather, the atonement of Christ was necessary to promote the well-being of God’s universe, through maintaining the influence and authority of God’s law, by manifesting His regard for His law.

Through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, God has manifested His regard for His law. Since the blood atonement of Jesus Christ substitutes the execution of the penalty of the law, fulfilling the purpose of executing the penalty, God can remit our penalty if we repent and believe, without disrespecting His law or encouraging sin throughout His free moral universe. The blood atonement of Jesus Christ has made pardon possible for everyone. At Calvary pardon was made possible but at conversion pardon is made actual.

THE DIVINE DILEMMA OR GOVERNMENTAL PROBLEM

When mankind rebelled against God, God found Himself in a divine dilemma. On the one hand, God has His universe as a whole that He considers. He has their well-being and interests in mind. Through His law, He is governing His universe to promote the highest well-being of all. If God simply pardons mankind, this would encourage rebellion throughout the rest of His free moral universe. He needs to punish mankind to demonstrate to His free moral universe His regard for His law, lest His law falls into contempt and the well-being of His universe is not secured. The authority and influence of God’s law throughout the universe must be maintained through a public demonstration of His regard for His law.

On the other hand, God loves mankind and has a gracious disposition towards them (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8). He wants to pardon them, to set aside their punishment (Isa. 28:21; Micah 7:18; Ps. 86:5; Neh. 9:17; Jn. 8:10-11; Jas. 2:13; 2 Pet. 3:9). The governmental problem with pardon is that if God simply pardoned us, His universe of free moral beings would question His regard for His law, and think that they too can sin with impunity. His law would be weakened and the well-being of His universe would be endangered, if God simply pardoned criminals. Therefore God, in order to promote the well-being of His universe, needed to manifest His regard for His law, either through the eternal punishment of the wicked, or through the blood atonement of a substitute.

How could God pardon mankind and uphold His law and government throughout the universe at the same time? How can pardon be extended to sinners, and public justice be satisfied, at the same time? This was the governmental problem, or the divine dilemma, the atonement needed to solve. The atonement of Jesus Christ manifests to His universe His regard for the law, just as equally as the eternal punishment of sinners would have, so that sin and rebellion is prevented in His universe through the atonement of Christ just as equally as it would have been through the eternal punishment of sinners. The atonement perfectly solves the governmental dilemma God was in, so that He can safely, wisely, and lovingly exercise His mercy upon criminals when there is repentance and faith.

For more on the doctrine of the governmental atonement:

http://www.libraryoftheology.com/atonementwritings.html

PRAYER REQUEST

SPRING BREAK OUTREACH

Dear Friends,

Please pray for us as we will be preaching for two weeks to Spring Breakers in Daytona and Miami Florida. Millions of students flock to these beaches during their break for reveling. You could say this is an opportunity for us to reach thousands of Universities and Colleges all at once! Please pray that the Word will be clearly preached, that the Holy Spirit will convict their hearts of their wickedness, and that sinners will decide to submit and surrender entirely unto God. We thank you for your prayers!

God Bless,

Jesse & Krista Morrell

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Lindale TX, 75771

Special thanks in advance to our supporters.

THE BATTLE IS ON! We couldn’t do all of this without you!


Visit Our Main Website: Click Here


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