What does the story of Salvation look like in The Testimony? A question from the audience after last week's talk. Here's a survey that explains.
Having A Live Audience
The last couple weeks we've had a live audience when recording talks. The questions have been great and I am out to answer the ones I can.
Last week I was asked about Salvation. How is it different in the Testimony than, say, in the Bible?
This is a fundamental question, so I felt I needed to address it as best as I can given the current state of our work. I don't normally deal with 'Application' level questions since most will depend on a completed manuscript. But, this is pretty clear and I can cover it just by quoting the Bible.
I was anticipating this material when I shared the Tucker and Sheldrake videos here on the blog last summer. Those are linked in the description of the talk linked above if you missed or are interested in reviewing these other videos.
In the traditional Christian sense of Salvation, there are only 2 possible outcomes of life. Either 1) Heaven or 2) Hell. And, you only have this life to determine which.
John the Baptist in announcing Joshua's soon public appearance, said there are 3 possible life outcomes, not 2. The 3rd case is to go around in life on earth over again.
This 3rd case is the most common. It makes Joshua both more particular as to whom he lets into his house and more merciful since nearly everyone who missed the mark simply gets another chance. Think of someone who lived on a remote island 2000 years ago and could not hear the Gospel message. This case is not mercifully explained in normal Christianity.
The expert in this subject in Lazarus, having been brought back to life himself. It might be that all of his writings are parables for these issues, but at least the Feast at Cana, Nicodemus at Night, the Woman at the Well and his own resurrection are on this topic. I touch on all of these in the talk linked above.
In essentially every case knowing about and understanding John's 3rd case is needed to fully explain the parables involved.
So, the question of salvation should be phrased differently. What must we do to gain everlasting life? How do we avoid going around again and again here on earth?
I think there are 3 things that bear on receiving this prize. 1) Develop your own personal character, as measured against the commandments. Every inspired story in the Testimony is either a positive or negative example. You can expect to be tested on this question. 2) Get to know Joshua as a friend. Learn to have a conversation with him. 3) Should he ask you to do something, then do it, hopefully without giving him too much flack.
As we get further along with our manuscript work this list may get refined some. But, it is a very good place to start.
Watch the talk above for many more details.