Teaching Series
The Gospel: It's Not About . . .
. . . Salvation
Mark Johnson
A fear-based focus on hell and salvation was common in the time of the Reformation and carried forward through the Great Awakening sermons of Jonathan Edwards and are still found in some "hellfire and brimstone" sermons today. Being saved from eternal torment is a major focus in reformation theology. Although being saved has always been present in Christian teachings, the Protestant sects have developed new ideas about "finding salvation," and the doctrine of salvation has grown in import and emphasis. Clearly salvation (and escaping hell) is good news, but is it the Gospel?
Recalibrate Questions
  • Does fear play a role in your view of God and salvation?

  • Does the Adventist doctrine of a limited time of punishment help allay some of the fearfulness of hell?

  • What do you think Paul meant when he said, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures"?

  • Why do you believe Christ had to die?

  • Where do we first find the essential principle of humanism, "You will be like gods"?

  • Is Paul supporting or condemning the idea that "if it feels good, do it"?

  • Will any be saved who are not selfless in their love and concern for others?

  • Is a preoccupation with salvation a selfish attitude?

  • How does a focus on either forgiveness or healing influence your picture of God's character?

  • Proof texts are great, but can you get a clear picture of the Great Controversy without all of the Bible?

  • What would salvation and eternity be like if God was judgmental, arbitrary, severe and unforgiving?

  • Who do you want to see first in heaven, God the Father or Jesus? Would it make any difference?

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