Israel Folau is not on the right track. It is true that to reject God is to reject life. But threatening sinners with hell was never the message of Jesus. Jesus offered Himself as life and so should we offer Him as THE WAY. Life and the elimination of sin and death comes from the union of human beings with God. Because of the cross all have this union in principle. But we need to embrace it in order for eternal life to be ours in the present. This is why we minister the new covenant because it is here that we minister life.
‘There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. His life and person is a living invitation to be alive in fullness and wholeness in His person. Jesus declared, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ Matt 11.28 NIV. And again, ‘Therefore, there is nownocondemnationfor those who areinChristJesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death’ Rom 8.1,2 NIV.
There’s a version of Christianity that is a religious sense of entitlement. The Pharisees had it. We can have it. ‘Do this and you will gain heaven’. Don’t do this and you will avoid eternal death or hell. People can live a formulated moral life thinking they have earned their way into heaven and avoided hell. The fact is, Jesus has earned your way into constant fellowship with Himself, our Father and Holy Spirit. There life not only in His name. It’s in His person – His person in you.
It's not true that there is a wonderful empathetic Jesus and cold and heartless Father. Jeff Turner puts it this way, “Christ paints the Father in the most beautiful of hues! According to Jesus, He is a God who is delighted at the sight of little children, goes out of His way to converse with the marginalized, turns water into wine to keep the party going, and who brushes aside religious laws in the name of showing mercy to sinners. He pardons the adulterous without being asked, takes tax collectors as His disciples, and dines with scam artists and traitors. He places His disciples’ wellbeing above the sacred nature of the Sabbath, brings healing to His nation’s foreign occupiers, and assures us that violence is never the way that God solves His problems. ” ―Jeff Turner, Saints in the Arms of a Happy God.
DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
This is a different view of God to that painted by those who shaped the thought of Israel Folau and a contrast to a mindset conditioned by the penal substitution theory – a theological position whose bottom line is basically that ‘Jesus died to save us from God’. No way. Jesus died and lives to save us from ourselves. There’s more to the atonement than the placation of a monster god in an anger fit. Father did not kill Jesus. We did. It was Father who vindicated Jesus, authenticated His authority and raised Him from the dead. To see Jesus is to see our Father because Jesus and our Father are one. The penal substitution theory produces a distorted view of the atonement and you would do well to reject/repent of it. You can find enlightened views of it here.
Jeff Turner summarises a more accurate view of Father, Jesus and the atonement below.
“In conclusion, the death of Christ was not about God the Father needing to vent His rage and fury upon a sacrificial victim in order to appease Himself. It was not about the Father needing to crush someone in the place of humanity so that, on the other side of the crushing He could be pleased with, and relational towards us. It was not about a sacrificial system which God originally instituted, but later decided was incapable of satisfying His needs. It was about the entire Trinity destroying and putting to death the alien entity of sin, the “devil’s work”(1 John 3: 18), in order to save us from its corrupting influence.
It was done so that on the other side of the Cross, we would see and understand what man had lost sight of after partaking of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was to reveal to us that our God is not a cosmic Santa Claus who is making a list, checking it twice, and who will ultimately repay both the naughty and the nice. Our God is Love, and has only ever been seeking to reveal that love to us. He was never out to “get us”, but to rescue us from the consequences of our own decisions. Sin did not change God, and the Cross was not the means by which He reset Himself back to His factory settings. Sin changed us, and it therefore needed to be destroyed so that we could behold the unchangeable nature of our God of love.
The Cross was the ultimate, climactic demonstration of the Godhead’s love for the human race, not the crude display of a deified version of human justice. It was Eternal Love Himself, stepping into our problem, absorbing it into Himself and dying in order to put it to death. It was heroic, self-giving, sacrificial justice.”
― Jeff Turner, Saints in the Arms of a Happy God