Many evangelical Christians are constantly holding out the promise of “eternal life” if one just accepts their Lord, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior. But what does this mean, exactly?
According to their beliefs, they are being more than a little duplicitous. They believe that each human being possesses an “immortal soul” that is the true “us.” When we die, our soul “continues” so that, according to their scriptures, we all “live forever.” That is unless the word immortal has a new definition.
So, if we aren’t being saved from death (everybody dies), what are we being saved from? According to the New Testament, we would be being saved from an eternity of excruciating torture. Those with faith in the One True Religion go to a place that is labeled a paradise, but is not described in much detail. No mention is made of having meaningful work to do or hobbies or whether we would still need to eat, etc. More than a little detail is provided for the torture palace, Hell.
So, “we,” aka our immortal souls, all live forever, so why are we promised “eternal life?” This sounds like one of those promises one gets from the various shopping channels: We guarantee our knives will cut things! Any knife that could not cut things could hardly be called a knife, I think. So, check that box as “done.”
So, we are promised something they insist we all already have. The obfuscation is they are really promising freedom from Hell, but they don’t want to mention Hell in their pitches to those they would convert. If you broach that topic, you end up with a very bad scenario. For example:
Q “Who created Hell?”
A “God did.”
Q “Who ordained we would go there if we didn’t get right with your Christian god?”
A “God did.”
The scriptures of evangelicals are rife with contradictions and confusions (why else would apologists be needed?) and one thing that pops up is you can find scripture that claims that whether or not you will be “saved” was determined, by their god, before you were born, in which case it hardly matters what you are going to do. In fact, the numbers of people so claimed to be “pre-saved” is quite small, so their god is consigning 99+% of us to eternal torture and there is nothing we can do about it.
Their basic messages are: “Do as we say or burn in Hell.” and “Meh, do as we say and you’ll probably burn anyway.”
And this is offered as “a message of hope.”
And they say that politicians invented “spin,” sheesh!