The Uniqueness of Jesus and a Theology of Surprise

There is one thing during the final judgment that is not talked about very much: there will be surprises. Let's look at five. In each case, let's see why they are surprises, and why they should not be surprises. The gospel of Matthew in particular is full of surprises and mysteries.

1. In Mt 7:21-23, what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?


2. In Mt 25:31-46 what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?


3. In Mt 20:1-16, what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?


4. In Mt 24:24 what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?



5. In Jn 16:2-4, what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?



6. Imagine a very religious person who died, and as they were about to tell God, while I was not perfect, I was an obedient and faithful follower, only to be told, "You fool! You followed the wrong thing!" Do you think that will happen? Is so, why?



7. On the surface that does not sound very just. But how could that objection be answered?



8. In Jn 14:6, how is Jesus unique?


9. In and Acts 4:12 how else is Jesus unique?


10. What about those who don't want to be with Jesus forever?


11. What do Heb 7:5 and Heb 10:10,14 about wanting to be saved through Jesus plus something else?


12. What do Heb 10:15 and 1 Tim 2:5-6 say about additional mediators?


13. What are some examples of attempts at additional mediators?



 

The Uniqueness of Jesus and a Theology of Surprise - some brief answers

There is one thing during the final judgment that is not talked about very much: there will be surprises. Let's look at five. In each case, let's see why they are surprises, and why they should not be surprises. The gospel of Matthew in particular is full of surprises and mysteries.

1. In Mt 7:21-23, what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?

A: In Matthew 7:22 some people will though that prophecy, driving out demons, and mighty works, would be evidence proving that they are saved. But while they heard and apparently knew the word of God, they did not combine it with faith (Hebrews 4:2) as evidence by their being evildoers.

2. In Mt 25:31-46 what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?

This is almost the flip side of Matthew 7:21-23. In Matthew 25:41-45, they were surprised, even if they knew the truth that they were not going to heaven. But there is no mention here of any evil things they did; rather it is the good they did not do. Again, they did not have an obedient faith, for faith without works is dead, as James 2:14-17 teaches us.

3. In Mt 20:1-16, what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?

A: In Matthew 7:21-23 and Matthew 25:31-46 can be considered two legs of a three-legged stool, Matthew 20:1-16 is the third leg. Metaphorically speaking, these saved people are not surprised by their salvation, but that their additional work and hardship of heat did not merit them more. But as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For is is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it si the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (NIV)

4. In Mt 24:24 what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?

A: This is another surprise about those who are saved. Even the elect, on earth, could be deceived. The elect can be deceived with a soul-perishing heresy prior to coming to Christ. The elect can be wrong on secondary things. The elect can fall away and be deceived even about things esse3ntial to get right to salvation; though, if they are the elect, they will come back again. Finally, a believer can be deceived about the teaching of another either being good or not so bad, when actually it is quite sinister. We will talk about Paul Tillich and Karl Barth later.

5. In Jn 16:2-4, what is the surprise, and why should people not be surprised?

A: &&&

6. Imagine a very religious person who died, and as they were about to tell God, while I was not perfect, I was an obedient and faithful follower, only to be told, "You fool! You followed the wrong thing!" Do you think that will happen? Is so, why?

A: &&&

7. On the surface that does not sound very just. But how could that objection be answered?

A: First, if they rejected the truth they could see from nature according to Romans 1:19-20, God is not obligated to give them more truth. Second, if they were following a false religion, there are things in false religions that are probably wrong and could show a person seeking the truth to leave it. Third, it is very easy today for someone to get a hold of a Bible, either in paper form or on-line, and read the truth there. Finally, God could tell them He placed a number of His children around them to tell them that Jesus is the only way (&&&). So they have no excuse. You have been telling the people around you that Jesus is the only way, right?

8. In Jn 14:6, how is Jesus unique?

A: &&&

9. In and Acts 4:12 how else is Jesus unique?

A: &&&

10. What about those who don't want to be with Jesus forever?

A: &&&

11. What do Heb 7:5 and Heb 10:10,14 about wanting to be saved through Jesus plus something else?

A: &&&

12. What do Heb 10:15 and 1 Tim 2:5-6 say about additional mediators?

A: &&&

13. What are some examples of attempts at additional mediators?

A: &&&


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