It is probably the universal belief among Christians that Jesus is their safety net. Faith placed in Him will keep that “believer” out of the fires below. As a result of this guaranteed deliverance after death, some Christians are openly rebellious while others seem to be indifferent to spiritual things on a daily basis. I have even had the opportunity of ministering to some Christians who were taught not to worry about sinning because they can always confess it and know that God will forgive it. In other words, they don’t need to stop sinning; they just need to confess it on a regular basis. If they do, God is almost obligated to forgive all the sins that are confessed, or at least that is the impression that some folks have from the teaching that they have received.
Every repentant person (notice that I didn’t add the word “truly!” God knows every man’s heart and can’t be conned in any way), whether he is a Christian or not, will be forgiven. God wants to forgive more than most people want to be forgiven. But He doesn’t forgive the insincere or the manipulative. He sees right through such dark motivations. He is infinitely more knowledgeable than the evil Queen’s mirror on the wall! He knows what is fair, what is fake, and what is flawed. He simply knows it all.
This was the word which was used repeatedly by Vizzini in the Princess Bride. But Inigo Montoya responds correctly when he notably said, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” Montoya was correct…Vizzini was using the word incorrectly. Words are funny that way. The Greek Stoic Philosopher Epictetus wrote, “First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.”
In the English language that is often difficult to do.
We talk about things like English Muffins, which have no origination in England. We speak about hamburgers which have no ham; in the same way we speak of eating eggplant but it has no egg in it. We talk about parking on driveways, and driving on parkways. We say that a house can burn up…as it burns down. I could go on…but I am sure you get the idea. The English language may be one of the most difficult to learn, understand, or interpret.
Communication, written or spoken, is riddled with inherent complications.
We need to learn the meaning of what we say before we speak about what we think we know. When we speak about spiritual concepts or topics, we must learn the meaning that God gave to the terms before we use them.