#whatdoyoumeme – Jesus Knocks

#whatdoyoumeme

Geeks Under Grace is committed to celebrating our faith and pop culture. That is why we love memes. But sometimes, they are used to cause damage to ideas and organizations. Certain critics will especially try to poke fun at “Christian logic” in an attempt to tell viewers we are irrational or out of touch.
We are going to look at some popular memes that have tried to disarm the beliefs of Christians and the word of God.
jesus2
The image depicted above is Jesus knocking on the door. He is asking to be let into a person’s home, symbolizing salvation from sins. The meme depicts Jesus rationalizing the only reason someone should get saved is because God will do harm to them if they are not saved. The author of this meme is trying to point out it’s cruel and unusual that God would give someone the choice to be saved or harmed by the same person.
Now let’s ask the panel: Is God’s plan for salvation as cruel as the author seems to think?
Colby Bryant:  Before we get too deep into this fallacy of reasoning, I want to point us to the next step after the most quoted verse of all the Bible. Everyone knows John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Look at what’s shared there: God’s love, the hope of a Savior, the averting of eternal calamity,  and the promise of everlasting life. No wonder it’s so well-known and loved. Yet, many complete their understanding of Jesus’ fireside discourse with Nicodemus with only that sentence.  So much more is said and in need of our understanding.  The verse immediately following, John 3:17 is this:
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
You see, many have a misconception of Hell. Despite all of the Scripture, art, and literature that has made such vivid pictures in our minds of what Hell is like or will be like, many lose sight of what Hell exists as: the eternal place where those who defied, denounced, and turned away from God in this life will experience the full expression of their heart’s desire throughout Eternity, chief of whom being there is Satan. If the life of a person is lived in defiance to the ways of God and their heart never accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord and the way of deliverance from the sins that lead us away from God, then yes, they stand condemned before God. They were condemned before the choice they never made. Without Christ, we already stand condemned, as is clearly illustrated in the following verses of John 3:18-21:
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
You say, like the meme, “But God rigged the rules against us. If He loves all of us so much, why doesn’t He let us come to Him unconditionally AND THEN do whatever we wish, be whoever/whatever we wish, and exist however we want to.” Why? Because, God establishes order. His creation was made with order, and it exists with order. There are right things, and there are wrong things, no matter how murky modern morality paints the picture of our world. Scientifically, there are absolutes in life we experience everyday. The laws of gravity and physics are non-negotiable and no respecter of persons. Mankind observes them continually at practice in the world, and we grow to know them as resolute facts of life.  Yet, here’s another: sin cannot exist in the eternal presence of almighty God. In eternity in the very presence of God in Heaven, there will exist no sin (Revelation 21:27, 22:15). Sin, at its root, is disobedience to God, and for those who want nothing of God’s order in their lives and seek that disobedience through separation from Him in this life, they will experience it eternally as well.
Is that God “sending people to Hell”? No, they send themselves by refusing to accept in believe in Jesus Christ as the one to bring order into their existence. Jesus came to show us the need for God and His order in our lives and that our Creator benevolently seeks to have connection with His creation. He died to provide the way to God, because otherwise, we would have no way of being with Him, because our sin separates us, despite the depth of God’s love for us.
Michael Mordenga: Like my colleague, I also have qualms with this meme. It seems to suggest God has no right to decide the final fate of people. If we were left alone by God, then we should all decide on our own where we should go after death. Therefore, Jesus offering salvation over damnation is a cruel step in between.
What this meme fails to understand is who God is. He is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13) and the King of existence (1 Chronicles 29:11). If God is reigning over all of creation, that puts us in a different spot. When God meets us face to face at the end of our life, it won’t be because he is interfering with our life, but scoring it on a very perfect scale. It’s sad to think only at the gates of the afterlife will people finally realize this life wasn’t about them being in control.
One might argue God is setting us up to fail. We are born in this world with no hope of being perfect like Him. Why would he let so many people get punished just for living their life?
The reality is clear. He gets to be king, the source of perfection and a light that cannot be tarnished (1 John 3:5). Only out of love does he get to be a salvation from the above punishment. Only out of care for us as His creation does he get to interfere with our grim reality. That is why Jesus should not be seen as the punisher looking to give people an ultimatum: turn or burn. It’s more like a King saw his subjects breaking lethal laws and found a way to bring them back.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6)

Michael P M

I am a minister for Campus Ambassadors, a gymnastics customer service rep, a social media enthusiast and a writer. I try to collect obscure video games, I love comics and somewhere on Amazon I have a self published book. I am married to a beautiful and grounded woman. But most importantly, I have been seized by a great affection in the Lord.

1 Comment

  1. Ricky Beckett on August 13, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    There’s also the fact that the verse this meme is based on is Revelation 3:20, where Jesus knocks on the door. People think this is Jesus talking to unbelievers, but in the context He’s talking to a stagnant church that already knows Him, specifically Laodicea. This is where decision theology falls apart, which purports we must “accept” or “choose” Jesus. We cannot do this apart from His grace, for one can only say Jesus is Lord by the Holy Spirit alone (1 Corinthians 12:3). Jesus knocks on the door of the Christian heart who has shut Him out, and he/she is only able to let Him in because they already have the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for the unbeliever to let Jesus in unless they first have the Holy Spirit. That is, at least according to Scripture.

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