The scaring part of the Gospel

The Good News does have a scaring part. Believing in a Kingdom of God includes the possibility that I might “miss the connection” and get excluded from this Kingdom.

Jesus tells quite some stories about people who missed the connection. The most impressive of them include Luke 16:19–31 (The rich man and Lazarus) or Matthew 25:1–13 (Parable of the Ten Virgins), Matthew 22:2-14 (Parable of the Wedding Banquet). The Gospel does not mean that everything is hunky dory, that the world is full of joy, peace and egg cake.

Jesus warns us about a problem, but also tells us what we can do about it. He calls us to “repent”, that is, to turn away from our sins.

One problem with this call was the question: but what about the original sin? Okay, we can repent from our personal sins (put aside the question who has authority to judge whether something is a sin or not), but you cannot reasonably demand to go back to paradise and change the history of Mankind. Christians answer this question by giving Jesus the title of “Lamb of God” or “Redeemer” because he died on the cross as an atonement for all our sins, including the original sin.

The image of the Lamb of God is an important aspect of Christian faith and serves as inspiration for prayer. But like every religious symbol it can suffer from hypertrophy.

A statement like “the holy God cannot let sin go unpunished” (found here) is dangerous because it can grow into comminorism. Though this is a very abstract theological discussion.