Jesus shall save people from their sins (Mt. 1:21)
Lamb of God takes away sin of world (John 1:29)
Messiah/Christ the Savior of the world (John 4:42)
Atonement for sins of the whole world (I John 2:2)
The birth of Jesus was announced by a holy angel to the shepherds tending their sheep, “I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people. For unto you is born this day [in Bethlehem] a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel many holy angels praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will for all people.’” Lk. 2:1-18 After the shepherds went to see Jesus for themselves, they returned praising and glorifying God for all the things which they had heard and seen. Since Jesus was born to be the Savior of all people and the holy angels announced, at His birth, that this great event was Good News for all people, this means all people, not just Christians, will be blessed and saved. Almost all Christians believe that Jesus was God in a human body. Jesus is, thus, called “The Incarnation of God.”
GOD IS LOVE
The Holy Bible says that no person has ever seen God but gives us definitions of God to help us understand God. There are only four definitions of God given in the Bible, the most-often-quoted one being, “God is Love.” I Jn. 4:8 The Bible tells us how much God loves everyone, in what is probably the best-known verse in the whole Bible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him…shall have eternal life.” Jn. 3:16 There is a song of Jesus’ all-inclusive love children sing in Sunday School, Jesus Loves the Little Children, “Jesus calls the children dear, Come to me and never fear, All the children of the world, Red and yellow, black and white, All are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Jesus’ disciples told children, coming to Him, to go away, but He said, “Let the little children come unto me…for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 19:14 These were Jewish children [not having been baptized or dedicated in the Christian faith]—proof Jesus loves all period! A song of Jesus’ unconditional love is, Jesus Loves Me. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. If I love Him when I die, He will take me home on high.” The all-important question is not if I love Him, but does He unconditionally love me, even when I slip and sin? as expressed in this often-omitted stanza: “Jesus loves me when I’m good, when I do the things I should. Jesus loves me when I’m bad, tho’ it makes Him oh so sad.” God, like Jesus, unconditionally and eternally loves all people! A great poem about God’s never-failing love, by Frederick Lehman (1868-1953), is The Love of God:
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
And were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though spread from sky to sky.…
GOD IS LIGHT
A second Biblical definition of God is, “God is Light.” I Jn. 1:5 Light is an excellent symbol for God, who is eternal, since light never ages. When people, from around the world, of all religious faiths, have had near-death or out-of-body death experiences, they have reported meeting beings of light they recognized as loved ones, and meeting “The Being of Light,” they just knew, without being introduced, is God, by whom they felt totally unconditionally loved. The Bible and the holy writings of other religions tell us to be children of light and the light of the world. Jesus told His followers to let their light shine [doing good deeds] so as to glorify God. Christians sing, This Little Light of Mine. “I’m going to let it shine all over the whole wide world…let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
GOD IS SPIRIT
A third Biblical definition of God is, “God is Spirit.” Jn. 4:24 Since God is Spirit, God is omnipresent, which means God is everywhere in the world with everyone all the time. The Bible says there is no place one can go from God’s presence, in the whole universe, not even in Sheol [hell, King James V.] where adults, who hurt other people, go in order to be proportionately disciplined for their sins and, thus, corrected, reconciled, and restored to God. Ps. 16:9-11; 139:7-8 This definition and explanation logically leads to the fourth definition of God.
GOD IS FIRE
The fourth Biblical definition of God is, “God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:29 This definition of God might sound scary, but it is not to make anyone afraid of God. It is to reveal the purity of God and how God makes all people and creation pure by His purging power. The New Testament of The Holy Bible was written in Greek. The Greek word for fire is “pur.” This is the word, via Latin, from which we get our English words: pure, purify, purity, purification, purge, and purgatory. The song, God Leads Us Along, expresses the truth of God using whatever is necessary, except violating free will, to purify all people: “Some thro’ the waters, some thro’ the flood, some thro’ the fire, but all thro’ the Blood.” Fire symbolizes purification in all major and various minor religions. Since God loves sinners but hates sin, God consumes sin, thus, purifying all sinners from all sin!
I have written a book about God’s unconditional love, amazing grace, infinite mercy, and perfect justice. The cover of my book, Spiritual Terrorism, is a picture of a blazing fire. Neither the title nor the fire is meant to scare anyone but to help us understand fire in the Bible and other holy books, in relation to God and judgment, is a good thing. In relation to God, since love, light, and spirit are good things, fire must also be a good thing, since “God is Fire.”
When my first grandchild was only three years old he looked at my book, pointed to it, and said, “Oh, fire!” He knew that fire will burn and hurt, so he knew not to touch hot things. I said, “Honey, this is not literal fire. It is Biblical fire, symbolizing purification, so it will not burn and hurt you.” I realized that he did not understand the word “purification,” so I knew that I needed to explain it in a very simple way he could understand. When he would get dirty, he liked to have a bath to get clean. I explained purification by fire as God’s way of cleaning adults who get “dirty” with sin, and that hell is God’s “timeout” for adults who sin by hurting other people. It is like the Christian hymn, How Firm a Foundation, “…The flame shall not hurt thee; I [God] only design thy dross [spiritual impurities—sin] to consume, and thy gold [good qualities] to refine.”
A few weeks after my grandson’s fourth birthday I was putting together a fire pit, and he was helping. I noticed that he was looking at the picture of a blazing fire on the front of the large box in which the fire pit had been shipped. Appearing to be in deep thought, he went into the house. A couple of minutes later, he returned holding my book. He pointed to the cover and said, “Biblical fire will not burn and hurt you.” He then pointed to the picture of the blazing fire on the fire-pit box and said, “That fire will burn and hurt you.” I thought, “Wow, how smart and insightful!” At only three years of age he had not only understood what I had shared with him in a very brief-simple way, but, at only four, demonstrated he knows the difference between literal and symbolic fire. He understands what millions of literal-minded adults in Christianity and other religions, living in morbid fear of God, due to believing in literal-eternal fire of hell, do not understand!
This view of God will enable him to grow up having reverence for God, due to a sense of awe [the meaning of Biblical “fear”] about God, without being afraid of God. This will inspire love and worship of God and devoted service for God. This truth of God’s unconditional everlasting love, corrective discipline, and perfect justice is what God wants for all people!
Universal understanding of God as symbolic fire—consuming sin, purifying sinners in perfect love—will have a greater impact on the world than the discovery of fire, resulting in universal peace. In the 21st Century we hear a lot about recycling and going green to protect the environment and life on earth. When we finally have peace on earth, there will be the largest recycling program in the history of the world! The Bible says that mankind will convert swords and spears [weapons of war] into plowshares and pruning hooks [farming tools]. Isa. 2:4 This means modern weapons of war: artillery, planes, tanks, ships, rifles, machine guns, etc., will be recycled into agricultural equipment for growing crops and feeding people! Human hunger will be a thing of the past, and everyone will be living in peace and prosperity. Military academies will be closed, so no one will train for war, thus, nations will no longer fight wars.
This time of peace is symbolized by a universal sign of peace—a lion lying by a lamb—the earth being full of the knowledge of the Lord, righteousness rushing down like a mighty stream, and there being nothing to harm anyone anywhere in the whole world! Isa. 11:6-9 Universal salvation and universal peace are what God had in mind from the beginning when He came in the person of the baby in the manger of Bethlehem to destroy sin and evil I Jn. 3:8 and be the Savior of all people. This is why the angelic host proclaimed peace on earth and good will to ALL!
The word “Gospel” means Good News. This will be the best Good News ever heard when all evil has been destroyed, all morbid fear of God has been cast out of everyone, all people are perfected in God’s perfect love, I Jn. 4:18 and all people are loving their neighbors as themselves. Mt. 22:36-40 This Good News will be the result of Jesus having drawn all people to himself, Jn. 12:32 all people confessing that Jesus is Lord, Phil. 2:9-11 all living in Christ, and God being “all in all”—God of all: above all, through all, and in all. I Cor. 15:22, 28; Eph. 4:6 Then every created being in the universe will be living in harmony with God and in peace with everyone else. This is why Christmas is Good News, not just for Christians but, for all people of the whole world! A blessed merry Christmas to ALL!
Boyd C. Purcell, Ph.D.
Master of Arts Degree in Counseling
Master of Divinity Degree in Biblical Studies
Doctor of Philosophy Degree Psychology and Theology
Ordained Christian Minister; Graduate College Professor
Board Certified Chaplain and Retired Hospice Chaplain
Board Certified/Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Psychotherapist, Christian Therapy, Psychiatric Hospital
Author of Books:
Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb
Christianity Without Insanity: For Optimal Mental/Emotional/Physical Health
Outreach Booklet, SALTED WITH FIRE:
Five Liberating Truths—Symbolic Fire in Religions
Brochures, Spiritual Abuse IS Child Abuse and The Three Most Liberating Truths of the Christian Faith
Bible Study Key/Bookmarker, Most-Concise Summary:
The Gospel in a Nutshell—Salvation of ALL Simple as ABCs
For a lot more free info on Jesus Savior of ALL go to: Website: ChristianityWithoutInsanity.com