Several years ago, one Jeremiah Johnson, a so-called “prophet” and author, publicly posted on the Internet the generic statement, “God is not mad at you”.
When I read that post, I thought to myself, wait a second! Mr. Johnson, you are speaking to everyone. Every good person. Every bad person. Every child of God. And every child of the Devil. Every child molester. Every murderer.
I knew that God has and does get angry with people. That is evident all the way through scripture, and in almost every book of the Bible.
Johnson said that since Jesus died, God doesn’t get angry with anyone anymore, because Jesus “paid the full price of sin” on the cross, thus satisfying God’s wrath, and appeasing God. Therefore, since the cross, God doesn’t get angry at the sinner anymore!
In response to Johnson, I said, “The angel that struck Herod didn’t get that memo”. I also reminded him of Ananias and Sapphira, and how God struck them DEAD – and all that happened after the cross.
Knowing that Johnson was spiritually out to lunch I challenged him to a public, live video debate. I challenged, and I challenged. Johnson didn’t immediately respond. But after some time has passed, Johnson sent me a “private” message, saying that he is not willing to do a public video debate. But he is willing to speak with me on the phone.
You see, I had that weasel in a corner. I knew that I would be able to smoke him, hands down on that erroneous theology. And Johnson wasn’t very confident about his doctrine, as he didn’t have the courage to face off with me publicly.
I said yes to the coward’s personal phone call. Johnson didn’t respond. days went by without hearing a word from him. After chasing him down, continually reminding him of his offer to speak on the phone he finally decided to call. It was like pulling teeth. Johnson didn’t want to speak with me. He knew I had him on two fronts: 1. His doctrine, and 2. His rash and empty talk.
The Phone Call
The phone rang. I picked it up. Lo, and behold, Mr. Johnson, the “prophet” was on the phone. I told him that the problem is that if he tells everyone that God’s grace will cover their sin, then they will be emboldened to sin.
Johnson said that preaching God’s love and grace will only cause people to turn from sin, because grace and love is appealing to the sinner, and they will repent when they come to God.
That sounds all fine and dandy. That sounds great theoretically. But in the real world that is not how it works. People use the hyper-grace doctrine to excuse their sin – NOT repent of sin. I’ve seen it countless times. Hell-bound sinners always appeal to God’s love and grace as a licence to sin.
I asked him if he believes that God does not get angry with sinners anymore because Jesus already paid the full wrath of God against the sin.
Johnson confirmed that is what he believes.
“What is the full wrath of God against sin?”, I asked the prophet.
Johnson was silent.
“Is it hell?”
“Yes”, Johnson replied.
“How long in hell?”, I asked Johnson, “One day? Two days? Three days? Eternity?”
“The full wrath of God against sin is eternity in hell”, Johnson replied.
“Correct!”, I said, “Did Jesus pay that?”
… (crickets) …
“Did Jesus pay eternity in hell?”, I insisted.
“No. but….” Johnson stuttered.
“Jesus is not in hell right now. Is He?”, I asked.
“So then, Jesus did NOT pay the FULL price, did He?”, I asked
“We just have to believe that He did!” Johnson replied.
“So even though Jesus did not go to hell for eternity, we have to believe that He did?” I asked.
“We just have to believe – but – but – we obviously will not see eye-to-eye on this. I have to go” Johnson quickly ended the call.
You see, Johnson ran because his entire theology was about to collapse.
If Jesus didn’t pay the full price of sin, then why did he die?, You may ask.
Jesus died so that we can say with Paul “I am crucified WITH Christ….”
Jesus died to put an END to sin.
Jesus died so that we could identify with Him on the cross, and in His resurrection. Jesus died to be a catalyst to repentance. It is not a substitution. It is our lives imposed on His.
Jesus did NOT die to give us freedom to live ungodly lives in lawlessness and sin.
Jesus died to give us POWER over sin, and POWER to live in righteousness – Jesus died to give us the ultimate POWER to repent. And when we tap into that power and repent, God will also repent of his anger toward us, and we become recipients of his love.