Sep 25 2011
Here's Some Stuff You Can Do Before Going to Hell

If you're looking for some religious stuff to do, while still being totally lost, here's a little starter list with some neat ideas.

And yes, don't worry:  If you're determined to avoid God, and don't want to give Him what He's after, you can still do all this stuff.  In fact, doing this stuff has been known to HELP some to avoid the dread and risk and messiness of really knowing God. You can do it all without giving Him your heart.

None of these things will save you.  Plus, they'll keep you busy!  (By the way, FunFact: I totally did the accompanying graphic by myself.  I avoid possible copyright issues in this manner. Thanks!)

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Be a scripture memorizer

Go to church camp

Teach Sunday School

Tithe

Be a brilliant theologian

Lead the Cookies-for-Newcomers Ministry

Think you're one of the Elect

Listen to Christian radio

Work in Christian radio

Lead "powerful worship"

Preach the Word for an hour-and-a-half every Sunday

Be a missionary in Africa

Host a small group from your church

Stand for Justice and Peace

Vote pro-life

Go to seminary

Feel guilty every day

Pray for the President

Have a brilliant, theologically astute understanding of Grace

Talk to people about Christ

Say the "sinner's prayer" 

Speak in tongues

Wear a WWJD? bracelet

Start an award-winning ministry to people with AIDS

Be an elder in your church

Argue with your teacher about evolution

Lead family devotions

Keep trying not to sin

Argue theology on your blog

Argue theology on this blog

"Take a stand" for prayer in school

Start a hip, organic church

Use Christian-y cusswords, instead of the real darn thing

"Take" or "receive" communion every week, month, quarter, or year, without fail

Come forward at church camp

"Take a stand" for Truth and combat the lies of Rob Bell

Place a sticker of a fish, preferably eating a Darwin fish, on your car

Pray two hours a day

Confidently trace your church's lineage back to Peter

Confidently trace your church's lineage back to Calvin

Read Max Lucado

Actually want to read Max Lucado

Read the Bible every day

Argue that drinking alcohol would ruin your "witness"

Say "under God" really loud while you pledge your allegiance to a flag

Rue those new choruses that lack deep theology

Be transparent about your shortcomings on your own radio show and your blog

Personally baptize people

Personally lead people in singing Chris Tomlin songs

Personally baptize Chris Tomlin

Sponsor a child through Compassion International 

Steer clear of R-rated movies

Homeschool your children

Mail only REAL Christmas cards, ones with pictures of Jesus and scripture

Be a member of the Tea Party

Be amember of Sojourners and consider yourself enlightened beyond the Tea Party

Be a "prophetic voice"

Be a counselor at a Graham crusade

MAKE YOUR OWN AWESOME GRAPHICS FOR YOUR BLOG!!!!

Wear a Christian shirt that looks kinda like a known-product T-shirt, but says a Christian-y thing on it

Organize VBS

Wear Tebow jersey to Raiders game

Weep openly at small group

Work at Focus on the Family

Tsk tsk Harry Potter

Have a model marriage

Know who Priscilla and Aquilla are

Know who DeGarmo and Key are

Watch, repeatedly, "Fireproof"

Force your kids to watch, repeatedly, "Fireproof"

Go to confession

Eschew the banalities of commercial Christian culture and listen to Sufjan Stevens

Be a key member of a church that offers solid, Biblical teaching -- none of that namby-pamby stuff

Be a pastor who offers solid, Biblical teaching -- none of that namby-pamby stuff

Listen to Rush Limbaugh

Believe people who listen to Rush Limbaugh lack your insight

Give the neighborhood kids "Cross-Pops" (TM) candy for Halloween, plus a tract

Lead your neighbors to Christ

Be correct about every. single. thing.

"Know", theologically, that this post is correct, but live as if it isn't

 

Comments (89) -

9/25/2011 9:08:27 PM
Amanda United States
Amanda
Wow!  This is NOT popular, but it IS truth.  Jesus is the only way.  I spent years of my life doing several of the things on this list thinking they made me a better Christian.  But in all my working and trying, I was missing the Cross.  I was tired and overwhelmed, and feeling dry and distant from Jesus.  When I laid down my pride and accepted His sacrifice, I received HIM... peace, love, grace.  Read Galatians - Jesus never wanted us to work our way to heaven.  He's offering a gift that we can't add to or earn or deserve.  Thanks for sharing this Brant!! : )
9/26/2011 5:23:39 AM
Mike United States
Mike
LOVE it. This is one of your best posts yet. A lot of it hit me hard, because even though I know I am several of those things, I sometimes trust in them as my righteousness--my standing before God. But the only thing that can make me righteous before God is the perfect life that Jesus lived. Thanks, Brant!
9/26/2011 5:50:06 AM
Denise United States
Denise
So . . .  what about the people who have trouble “giving their heart” at all? The ones brought up being taught “this is how you love God”? The ones who love by serving, even if they don’t know how to love an abstract being?
Not trying to argue with you, or maybe I kinda am, but I would like you to talk more about this. I’ve noticed something disturbing: everyone’s heaven is made of people like them. Scholars say you have to understand to get into heaven. Servants say you have to serve. Moralists say do no wrong. Ministers who live in the slums say heaven only welcomes the poor. The group who really love God (and I admire them very much) say you can only go to heaven if you give your heart away. Republicans say you must vote conservative, and Democrats’ heavens are full of liberals. Free-thinking hipsters say ANYONE can get into heaven – if you’re free-thinking and hip and all.
I’ve been told I’m going to hell because I’m against abortion, for gay marriage, I don’t think just Christians go to heaven, I don’t believe everyone goes to heaven, and, believe it or not, because I listen to your show.
Your thoughts are always appreciated, of course, that’s why I read your blog.
BTW, you did make me laugh. Repeatedly.
9/26/2011 6:03:07 AM
Waiting for my flight United States
Waiting for my flight
Thank you for blogging truths that as Christians we need to remember but most are afraid to speak about. Also, thank you for saying the "H" word that so many christians/churches are afraid of using.

Matthew Chapter 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Thanks Brant for always being bold. At times, I need it to get me off my white horse.




9/26/2011 6:52:17 AM
Tim S United States
Tim S
Thanks Brant;

Seems as though I have been and done all of the things.  I was scared when I did most of them(although I did none very well,certainly not well enough to get into heaven.  My thought always was "I know I am not going ever be good enough to keep from burning, I just want to do what I can to keep my wife and kids from burning. )  I love the reminder that I couldn't have done either, save me or my family, and thanks to a Father who loved me enough and knew I would try.......and fail.  
9/26/2011 8:58:55 AM
Noeiza United States
Noeiza
Lets have a Martin Luther Reform? Post it on...?
GBU! I guess she outbeat brother Martin! Or is family related to him?
9/26/2011 10:02:29 AM
Jacob United States
Jacob
you missed a few...

-Loving others
-Philanthropic outreaches to third world countries.
-Encouraging a 16 year old girl who is faltering in their faith to give up
-Having breakfast with a homosexual
-Loving a sinner and hating their sin
-Letting everyone off of your hook
-Blogging about how silly it is to do good things.
-Holding to quietism.
-Holding to antinomianism.
-Being a relevant existentialist.
-Being beyond question or challenge.

On the other hand, if a person is in Christ, everything listed here and in your blog are great things to do. They can help you grow spiritually. If they are done in faith they actually please God. In fact many of them may be just the sort of thing Paul was talking about in Ephesians 2 where he said:

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Well, all accept for the last 5 items on my list. Those would be the sort of things a Christian COULD do and still go to heaven because Jesus shed his blood for our sins. But why would you want to call what is good evil?

This post insinuates that the many items listed are either, completely unimportant (and therefore a waste of time) because they don’t save us or that they are the sort of things only hypocrites do. Reading this list I wonder what you would consider important at all, or if such a category even exists. I can’t deny that the essential message here is true; apart from Christ all our righteous moral actions are filthy rags. But I object to the underlying insinuation that these things have no value. Such things please God when done by faith. They are legitimate forms of worship. Perhaps I am misreading you but it would be helpful if you qualified your assertions.
9/26/2011 10:33:36 AM
brant United States
brant
Jacob, your critique would be more incisive, perhaps, if I didn't intentionally already list things that are unique to me, like hosting my own Christian radio show, making my own graphics, etc. -- I thought that was fairly obvious, honestly.  I guess I could have referenced every blog entry, aimed at me, but thought that would be overkill.

How am I antinomian?  You've made that charge here, even as you admit what I've written is quite true. I'm no more lawless than "You are no longer under law" Paul, who had to deal with the same "Well, I guess we should just sin all we want" objections that I get.  And yet, we are no longer under law.

There is no underlying insinuation that these things have no value, when God has our hearts.  Indeed, I host a radio show, I pray, we homeschool, have a great marriage, and not only do I sometimes listen to Rush Limbaugh, I've been a conservative talk radio host, myself.  I'm not lawless, nor a "relevant existentialist".  That's silliness, honestly.

These things do not have value in and of themselves, it's true.  In fact, religious acts, apart from a heart turned toward God, are offensive to God.

You can't be holy by doing these things, can't save yourself, can't obligate God to save you.  This is just putting the Gospel in stark, today  terms, and yes, that's always unsettling, even to me.  But so is the "prodigal son" story, which clearly shows a person can do all the right things -- and be lost.  Amazing how that point upsets people in any region, in any time frame.
9/26/2011 10:46:01 AM
brant United States
brant
Denise --

I *totally* agree with that observation, how heaven is always populated with people like -- surprise! -- me.

But I can't escape that it is love that is the issue, that we would *want* to be not only INVITED to the wedding feast, but we're getting married.  I don't think people who resist God, in favor of their own kingdoms, even want that.

I *do* think if someone loves Jesus, they will keep His commandments.  It will follow.  And praying becomes less obligation than desperate connection, like when my wife sits next to me after I get home from work, looking forward to being around me, and I around her.  And caring for others becomes a way to respond to God's love for us.

As for Heaven:  Truth is, I don't know the wideness of God's mercy. I do know any of us invited to the feast will be there because of Jesus, and not because we did awesome stuff.  This makes me love God more, and that becomes apparent in my life when I obey Him.
9/26/2011 10:51:50 AM
brant United States
brant
Just looked over the list again, and it bears repeating:  Some of this stuff is DEAR to my heart.  Sponsoring Compassion kids, hosting a radio show, talking to people about Christ, homeschooling...

If you're reading it as a list of "Here are things Brant thinks are silly" -- you've honestly missed the point.
9/26/2011 11:20:52 AM
Stephanie United States
Stephanie
This post is hard for me. I love many of these things on your list and I get the point that doing these things does not mean you'll go to heaven but my ex-husband and daughter are non-believers and they read a list like this and say "see, you do those things and you're going to hell anyway" They do not understand that being a Christian and loving the Lord doesn't make a person perfect. They are quick to point out how my efforts and practices within my spiritual walk doesn't get me any closer to eternal life than them wishing upon a star. ... I see this post as being used by those like my family to say "see, I told you so. it's all for show" when they do not understand that it's not in the works, it's in the faith. Just because I do many of the things listed on this post, does not mean I'm perfect or even close to okay. However, it does give me more opportunities for growth in my love for Christ. ... I hope my ex-husband and daughter do not read this post. It will provide fuel for their fire. They wouldn't get the underlying meaning and it could become a stumbling block for many people.
9/26/2011 11:23:31 AM
Jacob United States
Jacob
Well, in that case, I must apologize. We seem to be in agreement. However, if you re-read your blog objectively you might find that the post does sort of paint piety in a bad light (which to me implied antinomianism). It would have helped some of us more anal-lytical thinkers if you had clarified that you were NOT saying: Piety as a result of salvation/sanctification is a bad or unimportant thing. You may think it goes with out saying but I imagine you wouldn’t, knowing the treacherous world we live in today. A sheep can never be too carful. If the point had been clear I wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of commenting negatively. But of course you HAVE clarified that and I am grateful and satisfied. Sorry for the disruptions.

Also, I thought that being a “relevant Christian existentialist” was a pre-requisite for being an Air One Christian radio host. I suppose that may not actually be a sin though, so, forgive me, I may have been a bit hasty there. Wink
9/26/2011 11:24:41 AM
beth United States
beth
Thanks for this, I spent so much of my time (wasted) trying to be "good enough" that I was missing out on a relationship with Jesus. It was in listening to your morning show that I began to suddenly get it - God loves me and wants a relationship with me. Once I understood that my heart changed and I began to live the commandments and Word because I truly wanted to not as a way to get somewhere. I began to see that Jesus already paid my price of admission. We are usually quick to tell someone when they've angered us or disappointed us and not so quick to let people know they've made a difference. So Brant - please know you have made a positive impact on my life!
9/26/2011 11:31:07 AM
Eric H United States
Eric H
So Brant, just to clarify, when you said (wrote?) "Here's some stuff you can do before going to hell"
you were not in fact telling me to go to hell?

'Cause that wouldn't be very Christian-y... ;)

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

See the rest of 2 Peter 1 for a definition of "these things".
9/26/2011 11:33:57 AM
Stacy United States
Stacy
I always thought it was "mamby pamby" - thank you for opening up my eyes to the truth of that. ;o) And oh yeah, I agree with the sentiment of your blog. I think the scariest phrase in the entire Bible is "I never knew you" said to those that thought they had it all together...
9/26/2011 11:42:34 AM
Bonnie United States
Bonnie
Am I reading it wrong or is the post NOT challenging non-believers to do these things and see if you don't end up a believer??  I took it as tongue in cheek.  I love people who are not afraid to say "Get it together or go to hell" instead of sugar coating everything with God is love.  He is love but He expects things from us for the gifts He has given.  If it was all so easy we could live how we want and on deaths bed say "Hey, God, forgive me" and there would be no hell.  I suggest people read Francis Chan.  you might not like what he says but it is truth.  It costs NOTHING to believe and EVERYTHING not to!!!!
9/26/2011 11:43:05 AM
Deb United States
Deb
Brant, I think the post is very clear.  None of these things will get us into heaven, yet sometimes we live like this is what it takes.  Good reminder that we want to introduce people to Christ and not to works.  Great art, btw!
9/26/2011 11:52:11 AM
Bonnie United States
Bonnie
Don't works & belief usually go hand in hand???  Are you going to do work for a God you don't believe in?? I feel the more work you do the closer you get to God and the work is no longer work but something you love to do!!!!  Yes Brant works in radio and does so many things but I believe he does it out of love for God and his fellow man not because it's work he feels he needs to do to get into heaven.  It's a catch 22! You can't do the work of God and not fall in love with God.  you can't!!  At least not in my mind!!
9/26/2011 12:00:52 PM
brant United States
brant
Thank you for the thoughtful comments.

Jacob, thanks for your understanding.  I do think we agree.

I just wrote this on Facebook, and for those wondering then, "Well, who can be saved, if it's not by this stuff?"  it might help, I don't know:

I'm still affected by the "prodigal son" story, and the lost-ness of both sons, including the one who didn't think he was lost because he was just...so...good. I'm sure that story was utterly shocking, and ticked people off. And I love that the Father runs toward the one who will come home, and places his coat on him, to cover him. That's what we all need, I think.
9/26/2011 12:08:50 PM
Amie United States
Amie
How do you do it, Brandt?  You open your heart and mind and spout genius!  Brilliant!
9/26/2011 12:15:04 PM
Jenna United States
Jenna
Ugh. IMO I don't agree with the "argue with your teacher about evolution". Why would someone take the class to argue their views. I pay for the class to learn about anthropology and everything that goes along with it. Not for someone to continuously argue that the teacher is wrong. I don't care about her opinion, or my beliefs, I care about keeping my GPA at a 3.9 instead of getting bad grades because I refuse to learn someone else's ideas.
9/26/2011 12:38:13 PM
Jill S United States
Jill S
I was gonna say, you may have left off "donate to your local Air1 radio station"....
Lots and lots to do good, but it won't buy us a spot in Heaven. It's as though we believe our good will outweigh the sin and tip the scales in our favor. But if we cooked that way, we'd be long dead. Just one rotten egg in the recipe is not made up for by adding thousands of good ones... no matter how many more are good than bad, that doesn't make the dish ok to eat. Same with sin. Which is why Jesus went to the cross in our place. We cannot reach heaven with our own two feet. No way. No how. Well said Brant.
9/26/2011 1:02:19 PM
Beth M United States
Beth M
Sadly, one can do all of these things and miss Christ. The christian life IS Christ. His Life. He is the only one who did, can or could live the "christian life." When He walked on this earth, He lived by His Father's life. We live by His Life. He lives His life in and through us. He is the Vine and we are the branches. It is not the branch that produces fruit, but the Life of the Vine flowing in and through the branch.
9/26/2011 1:02:46 PM
Waiting for my flight United States
Waiting for my flight
I love the blog and think it is brilliant also. I love the way the blog is written with a different angle about going to hell. The simple version for this bog would be,

You can do all the things in this list and still go to hell, do you know why?

I also want to say that one reason I like Brant's blogs so much is because he will be the first to do a gut check about the things he blogs about.Thanks.
9/26/2011 1:36:57 PM
soebs United States
soebs
Politicians, morticians, Philistines, homophobes
Skinheads, Dead heads, tax evaders, street kids
Alcoholics, workaholics, wise guys, dim wits
Blue collars, white collars, war mongers, peace nicks

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God

Evolutionists, creationists, perverts, slum lords
Dead-beats, athletes, Protestants and Catholics
Housewives, neophytes, pro-choice, pro-life
Misogynists, monogamists, philanthropists, blacks and whites

Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
Breathe deep
Breathe deep the Breath of God
9/26/2011 1:50:11 PM
Nobody Important United States
Nobody Important
The post is superb, B, but it may reveal an error in my own judgment of your theology.  Based on some of the things you've said and typed over the years (yes, I'm one of your quasi Mornings w Brant klingons) I have surmised that you (and people like Rob Bell) were anti-hellions.  This post, though, appears to presuppose the biblical validity of eternal torment for those who reject their only eternal hope, i.e. the risen Christ.  If I have misunderstood your theology, B, my apologies.  If I have not, perhaps you could clarify.  In either case, grace to you and yours.
9/26/2011 1:59:03 PM
Molly Sartors United States
Molly Sartors
LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!  Thank you!!  I knew a pastor who had been a pastor for 20 years before he actually accepted Christ as Lord of his life. Lots of "good" things accomplished in those 20 years.  :o)
9/26/2011 4:19:18 PM
High School Student United States
High School Student
I love my list, not in an insane way but organization and structure is more my game.
My mom would have to explain that God is not checking off some list of the sprital stuff I did that day. And I shouldn't be either.

So One day I came a cross a book ("Left behind" #5 or 4) where a child asked her grandmother if she had Jesus in her heart. I pondered that and I am kinda annoyed by the question because there is No check list for having Jesus in your heart. I have an idea of what that means but can anyone clarify this?

9/26/2011 4:46:45 PM
Silvana United States
Silvana
Boy!If every church posted this in their foyer...maybe there wouldnt have been in the past so much confusion!Grew up in the church..and I recognize the games and the pride very easily..wish I didnt! But now I know to pray for them...AND...sometimes ME!
Thanx Brant!
Sil
9/26/2011 4:49:32 PM
Santhosh United States
Santhosh
I've had my doubts about Sufjan... But I listen to him anyways.
9/26/2011 5:08:47 PM
Richard Young United States
Richard Young
Mat_7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus said it, not me.
9/26/2011 6:33:41 PM
TCarr United States
TCarr
@High School Student

1 John 4:
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

John 15:
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. <--Jesus speaking


That's how you know Jesus is in your heart Smile Do you love Him? Do you want to spend time with Him? Do you want to do what He says because you love and respect and fear Him? Do you love others the same way you love God?
9/26/2011 6:34:48 PM
TCarr United States
TCarr
The first step to having Jesus in your heart...is simply to ask Him in. Believe in the sacrifice He made on your behalf, that He died on the Cross for your sins to be washed away, and rose again triumphant on the 3rd day.

<3
9/26/2011 6:36:11 PM
Mike United States
Mike
I've come up with some more that you should have added Laughing --

* Not buying into all of Joel Osteen's "Name It, Claim It" business

* Religiously only listening to Christian radio

* Vowing never to listen to a Lady Gaga song

* Looking down on those who saw The Dark Knight on opening night, but are sitting on the fence about whether or not they'll see Courageous

* Never letting a cuss word slip from your mouth or into your head

* Not having sex before marriage or with a non-spouse after marriage

* Thinking of all the things you'd say to each and every Christian artist about theological problems in their songs if you ever met them

* Believing in The Doctrines of Grace/Canons of Dort and shunning those who strongly oppose them

Anyway, those are just a few things that I struggle with that get ahead of Jesus' righteousness in my life. Pretty much all of those are things I do that I fall into the trap of trusting my situation with God with.

Thanks for the post, Brant!
9/26/2011 6:41:50 PM
Amber United States
Amber
I LOVE this. honestly, you are my favorite Air 1 DJ so far. you are so down to earth and you say things that other Christians or people on Christian radio might be too afraid to say or write because they don't want to step on toes, or whatever other reason. I really like reading your blog! anyways, you're spot on with this list, and some of them really made me laugh, like "watch, repeatedly, Fireproof" and "personally baptize Chris Tomlin" hahaha

Rock on!

-Amber
9/26/2011 7:13:13 PM
Rebecca United States
Rebecca
Lol thank you Brant for this! I really liked some of them! Well i laughed at some of them, and mourned for some of them...
9/26/2011 7:52:03 PM
Hannah United States
Hannah
This made me laugh so hard. I LOVE IT!! I have to say I've done most of the things on that list (many to my sheer and utter dismay). While I like to think I'm going to heaven, I'm not sure because I haven't felt guilty in a while, and my personal quiet times and church-going habits have shattered into chaos, and those might be bad signs.
9/26/2011 8:05:20 PM
Bethany United States
Bethany
I grew up in a Christian home and I went to church at least 3 times a week. I memorized more scripture verses than any other kid in the Bible Explores program. I volunteered in the church nursery and taught VBS and was a helper in the preschool class. In highschool I organized See You At the Pole events and led a Bible study. I brought friends to church, served as a youth representative on the church leadership team, went on mission trips, did numerous acts of service and read the Bible cover-to-cover. Then I went to a Christian college, majored in Religion and Christian ministries, wrote a devotional that was used on campus, breezed my way through theology classes, organized a women's retreat, went to chapel twice a week AND attended at least one Bible study a week. I was an expert on God -  a Christian among Christians...

And I didn't know God. Knew *about* him? Sure, but it's not the same thing.

I met God for real on my dorm room floor after I finally gave up on trying to get there on my own. I was lost, suicidal and utterly DEAD in my sin - even though it looked like I was doing everything just right. God scooped up my lifeless, helpless self and breathed Himself into me. Nothing I did got me closer to God and nothing I do will separate me from Him. Praise God.

Thanks for your post Brant.
9/26/2011 8:16:59 PM
Sis United States
Sis
Also, you must say "hallelujah" and "Praise God" at least 50x a day, if not more...to prove you mean business.
9/26/2011 10:21:12 PM
Yoshi United States
Yoshi
First off, I want to say thank You Brant for being seriously entertaining and always brightening my day with your random yet hilarious stories about life. Secondly, you should add stuff like listening to Breakfast by the Newsboys a billion times, thinking that Tony Dungy is the best football coach ever just because he's such a great christian, and getting your non-christian friends to listen to christian bands. (or the christians-in-a-band sort of thing like Anberlin)And once again, thank you Brant!!
9/27/2011 6:54:56 AM
Isaiah United States
Isaiah
Hi Brant!!
I was just wondering if you were a Calvinist??
Your post seems to go in that direction.
Smile
-Isaiah
9/27/2011 11:16:24 AM
brant United States
brant
Thanks again for the fun and thoughtful comments.

Isaiah, I seriously -- seriously -- have no idea if I'm a Calvinist.  I do know I'm sold on the Gospel.  Not just sold on it, really, but continually scandalized by it, relieved by it, amazed by it, shocked by it, and thankful for it.  I like talking to people about it now.  

As for another comment:  Do I believe in Hell?  Well, definitely.  I do like Rob Bell's "for further reading" list at the end of his book, "Love Wins":  Tim Keller and C.S. Lewis.  Neither, by the way, to my knowledge, endorses Dante's vision of Hell.  I don't either.
9/27/2011 12:59:06 PM
Bree
Bree
Im only 14 but ive donr some of these things just to impress my youth pastor and elders of the church and parents but when i finally gave up i totally felt God working through me
9/27/2011 1:04:53 PM
Denise United States
Denise
Thanks for your clarifying response, Brant. I admit I’m probably not your target audience for this post. I wouldn’t describe myself as a Christian, and I’m not involved in most of the things on your list. I was just disappointed when I thought you were jumping on the “let’s send some more people to hell” bandwagon. I understand better now what you were trying to say.
On the blog: I do believe there’s a god. Do I love him? No, I don’t even know what that means. I can honestly say I love the God you paint in your blog, but I love him like I love Aslan, or other “saviors” in literature, not like I love my little sisters and not like I would ever want to love a significant other.  It’s not because I prefer my lifestyle, or even because I think your God isn’t the “real” God. At times I think he’s too good to not be real. I just don’t know how to love a god that lives in writing, whether it’s a sacred book or an insightful blog. And I can’t imagine I’m the only one that feels that way, which is why I had a problem with your original post. So here’s my question for you: how do you love a God you can only know through text?
9/27/2011 2:15:46 PM
Jake United States
Jake
Brant--You rock man!  I'm right there with you, feeling the line "Lead Powerful Worship" touch a nerve, and just having to laugh.  How many times have I been leading worship, and just feeling off, and realizing that I hadn't invited God to take the reins yet.  Amazing how that brief prayer in my head can alter the tone of such beautiful communal prayer as God starts working through me rather than in spite of me.  

Denise--I wish with every fiber of my being that I could meet you in person to introduce you to the Lord.  Father, Son, & Spirit.  Each touches our lives, in ways we can't even begin to comprehend but can see at times, every day.  The God I love, the lover of my soul, is a gentleman.  He will never force anything upon you, and knocks patiently at the door of your heart, awaiting your invitation inside.  

Sadly, I cannot be there to make that introduction, but I can connect you with someone who can, wherever you are.  The beauty of the Church, is that She's always ready to help you make that first step.  Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you're curious to meet the one who loves you so much that He created you, because He couldn't imagine life without you.  jakecmelik@gmail.com  No matter where you are in the world, I can connect you with someone face to face to help make that introduction.  God is happens to be everywhere, including wherever you are Smile

Peace In Christ
9/27/2011 6:08:44 PM
TCarr United States
TCarr
@Denise: I agree with Jake. You can totally know God through personal experience. He IS the real God, He doesn't just exist in words - His Word, the Bible, tells us that He exists everywhere - and that He walked this earth in a covering of skin, just so that we could finally see the image of the invisible Father!! He is love and came down to earth, becoming a Man, and changed the entire course of history. (We even divide our time by Him! [by this I mean our use of BC and AD])

Jake's right - God IS everywhere! No matter where you go, you can't hide from Him. He loves you so much that (and please don't gloss over this with glazed eyes just because you've probably heard it tons of times - it's not popular because it's a lie, it's popular because it's soul-saving truth) He sent the Son to earth to live and breathe and experience the life of His created human beings. The God of the universe became the weakest of all -- a newborn baby -- and went through all the pitfalls of human life - rejection, despair, torment, hunger, thirst, personal temptation - and offered Himself up as an "atoning sacrifice" to pay the price for all of the sins of mankind against a holy God. He suffered death, and worst of all, separation from the Father, with whom He had been since all eternity, just so that we wouldn't have to experience that forever.

This isn't something that's just made up, either - there is no doubt about there being at one point in time a Man named Jesus who (from a secular point of view) had superior and radical ideals of behavior. The religious leaders feared Him; He was crucified like a criminal... and yet, His disciples saw Him die and abandoned Him at the Cross -- this Messiah, the One whom they thought was going to lead Israel into political freedom, hung there lifeless and unmoving. Their dreams of liberation were crushed.
BUT! Oh, the glorious "but." Death wasn't the end of Christ's story, as you know. The disciples, and many other people besides, witnessed Him alive again after the third day when He arose from the dead. Think about it -- the 12 original disciples spread the Gospel, the good news that we are destined for hell but God Himself intervened and made the way for us to be reconciled to Him again, and most ended up being tortured and killed for their faith. Who in their right mind would go to their death proclaiming something they hadn't experienced (His resurrection), or that they knew was just a lie?

But it was not a lie. Christ IS ALIVE today and is seated at the right hand (position of greatest honor) of the Father. And He waits for you to believe in what He did - He shed His own blood for the forgiveness of all of your sins against God and others.
The bad news: Whether you've never hurt a fly, and always helped elderly people cross the street, or you've murdered hundreds of people, you are going to the same place: separation from God for eternity after death. (And eternity is kind of a long, long time.)
The good news: Whether you've never hurt a fly, and always helped elderly people across the street, or you've murdered hundreds of people, God waits for you to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and the Lamb that was slain so He could love you without violating His righteous principle of justice. Smile

(totally didn't mean to preach the whole dang thing... it just kinda came out.... sorry ^^;;;;)
9/27/2011 9:38:10 PM
Aaron United States
Aaron
Brant what you said is absolutely right I understand what you are saying because this article was about me a year ago, for 18 years I believed I was going to heaven just because I said a prayer not because I believed what I was praying, I justified my life every day and i was a modern day pharisee,  I had all the head knowledge. Until one day God just got real blunt with me and said aaron you have all the head knowledge but you do not believe in me. And that was the day I accepted Jesus christ as my personal savior my lord and master and author of my life, the irony was I taught Sunday school before I got saved, then it was about my pride. now its all about him.  Christians you know how you don't like it when a non Christian says I have to get my act together before coming to christ, if that irratates you ask yourself arnt you doing the samething?  Just because you work in church does not mean you are going to heaven. Brant you are right on on this one. You can not do anything to save yourself, only Jesus can save you.
9/28/2011 12:37:43 AM
slouchy fedora United States
slouchy fedora
oh, oh!!  can we add "admonish those who participate in dressing up and trick-or-treating at Halloween... but send them all an invite to their "Halloween Alternative TRUNK-or-treat event at church."



9/28/2011 6:40:21 PM
LeighAnna United States
LeighAnna
Hey Brant.  Smile
I get what you're saying completely.

Good works cannot save us, only Jesus can. So your list has meaning. Good works cannot save us, we know that. But just because we are Christians doesn't mean we shouldn't do good works, in fact, we should to bring Glory to God through what we do. Non believers just need to know that all this junk together isn't going to outrule their bad. If someone killed a person you're very close to, and then they got to heaven and started  listing all the things they did that were good, it still wouldn't make up for the life that was lost.

I invite any one else reading to visit my blog, too. It's called http://WWW.notationsfromfork.blogspot.com/ I post on Christian topics and other misc. Items.

Thanks for being on air, Brant.  Smile
9/29/2011 11:34:08 AM
Micah H United States
Micah H
Brant, I don't get this - ? I see what you mean: that the only way to God is through Jesus. I believe that, too. But after you have done that, aren't most (definitely NOT ALL) of these things good? If you truly mean them, that is, and are doing them for the right reason?... I mean, a lot of the things you listed, Jesus told us to do! Anyways... I'm just trying to understand, please no debates or any ugliness. Just a little help Smile
P.S. Brant, you are so my FAV DJ on Air1!!!!! Smile
9/29/2011 4:33:38 PM
Matthew United States
Matthew
I asked my mom once "How does one know God?" Her answer: "Spend time with Him."
9/29/2011 4:55:28 PM
aaron United States
aaron
People I'm sure Brant is not saying that you shouldn't do these things he is saying you can do these things and not be a Christian....I don't understand how you guys don't get this lol. There are so many people that base their faith on their works and not their relationship with christ. For example. I used to do tons of stuff for the church I swore up and down I was saved but I never accepted who christ was in my life untill a year ago. You can do get works and not be saved,  and good works do not save you, christ does. That is what he is saying lol just because you go to church does not mean you are a Christian.
9/30/2011 7:12:26 AM
Brad United States
Brad
Quick question. "combat the lies of Rob Bell"?  I don't understand that one. Is he preaching falsehood?
9/30/2011 10:45:40 AM
TCarr United States
TCarr
@Brad Rob Bell is a universalist, from what I have heard (he believes EVERYONE is going to be saved regardless of whether or not they have put their faith in Christ). And I believe it, we watched his dvd "Everything is Spiritual" in our small group...it was full of nothing but confusing pseudo-junk. :/ Not a fan of him.
10/2/2011 3:43:40 PM
anonymous United States
anonymous
Rob Bell has denied that he's a universalist, but that's truly what he is. He basically says that eternity (Heaven or Hell) is really just a state of mind, so if you reject Christ, your life will be "Hell" while you live on earth. Then after life, since Bell's god is so loving and can't go against his love, he will be obligated to accept everyone into heaven.

I'm probably misrepresenting just a little bit, but that seems to be the jist of what he says.
10/4/2011 9:38:17 AM
Shelley United States
Shelley
LOVE LOVE LOVE this.  I get it Brant. And thanks Smile
Shelley
10/5/2011 6:18:55 PM
Erica United States
Erica
Hey Brant, thanks for doing this blog. I love to listen to you. Some of the talk show hosts on my local station are so theologically-unsound, that I almost feel safer listening to secular radio.
10/8/2011 7:06:43 AM
Ajatt United States
Ajatt
True Dat Brant! Thanks for being on the air!
10/9/2011 12:30:04 AM
drewbert United States
drewbert
My wife and I discovered some other things that we could do to fill up our time while not actually serving Jesus:

*"Serve" at a local church

*Talk about your "heart for the nations"

*Talk about how much we "suck"

*Talk about how we didn't hear the sermon because we were too busy "teaching Sunday school"

*Have several maps up in your home. Vaguely talk about "the ripeness of the harvest" in other countries.

*Read Amy Carmichael

*Quote Amy Carmichael

*Buy Amy Carmichael books for others

*Send people "care packages" without actually caring

*Talk about how hard life has been, but you're constantly looking for "God's grace" in it

*Give examples of when you evangelize even when you haven't done it in several months

*Proudly display your Amy Carmichael collection (along with Hudson Taylor's spiritual secret)for all to see

*Own 23 bible commentaries

*Leave your bible open on the coffee table when someone comes over, even though you normally put it away

*Talk about wanting to emulate a New Testament Church

*Lease your apartment in 6 month increments in case you get "the call"

*Tell your friends why you only leased your apartment for 6 months

*Use said apartment to "minister" to "the brethren"

*Have an "open home"

*Comment on Brant's blog because it'll be "such a blessing"

10/9/2011 7:52:07 AM
Lauren
Lauren
Bahaha So, I read the title, THEN I look at the picture at the beggining, and I find myself laughing LOL.
10/13/2011 2:43:50 AM
Kevin United States
Kevin
That list made me laugh, and I don't believe I will go to hell for laughing at the list.
10/17/2011 11:58:40 AM
Skegeeace United States
Skegeeace
For the person who's been through this list and then come to know that doing all of that isn't the same as having Christ, it's a HUGE mind blowing experience.

What's not so hot is for the new believer that's been told, "Great! Now go out there and grow your faith!" and are then told to do these exact thing in order to "grow close to Christ."

It LITERALLY can feel like, "I'm damned if I do.(try to do these things to show myself approved like in James 2:17) and damned if I don't (work to try and "prove" my salvation like it says in Phil 2:12).

It's sometimes heart-breakingly exhausting to deal with that.

One thing you can add is:

Obsess, cry, and have suicidal thoughts over whether or not you have Jesus/know Jesus/are Elect/are Saved/etc. LOL Although, it tends to come with the territory of trying to know and love Him.
10/17/2011 12:39:44 PM
TCarr United States
TCarr
Obsess, cry, and have suicidal thoughts over whether or not you have Jesus/know Jesus/are Elect/are Saved/etc. That would be me.
11/7/2011 5:50:42 PM
Lauren
Lauren
Jesus LOVES you and you have to trust Him no matter WHAT. I'll pray for you TCarr. And if you pray also, the faith will get stronger, and God WILL start working in your life. In His PERFECT time.

God Bless you.

Your Sister In Christ,
                   ~Lauren
12/3/2011 6:49:18 PM
jenny United States
jenny
"Obsess, cry, and have suicidal thoughts over whether or not you have Jesus/know Jesus/are Elect/are Saved/etc. That would be me." me three! :/
Thanks for telling the Truth, Brant. It's a toughie but we all need to hear it. These things are only put to good use if you give your heart to God.


12/21/2011 7:55:19 PM
Learning to walk South Africa
Learning to walk
Thank you Brant and to everyone who commented on this post. God sent these words across my path at exactly the right time. I'm so thankful. It was just what I needed to hear and reading the comments made me realize that I'm not alone with my thoughts and questions.  
6/20/2012 11:05:11 AM
Lauren A. United States
Lauren A.
*****I KNOW I AM LATE POSTING*******
this made me fall out of my chair laughing. it makes so much sense, but it has a boat load of humor, too. one of my favs. i UNDERSTAND it. i really try to do these. A LOT. prayer, anyone? <3
8/24/2012 6:38:15 PM
Andre United States
Andre
True.

I did many of those things. Then woke up one day with cancer.
And found no place for repentance.  I was/am a hypocrite.  I am going to hell.  Scary.  Watch out!

Andie
8/24/2012 7:00:47 PM
Anonymous United States
Anonymous
It's not too late, @Andie
2/2/2013 7:00:20 PM
Daniel United States
Daniel
guess I'm going to hell.
2/2/2013 7:25:57 PM
Kalvin United States
Kalvin
Isn't Rob Bell the guy that does the nooma videos?
Whats bad about those?
2/2/2013 7:26:35 PM
Robert United States
Robert
Lol wearing a Tebow jersey at a Raider game!  
2/2/2013 7:39:45 PM
angie United States
angie
AWESOME!!!!
2/2/2013 7:47:00 PM
Desiree United States
Desiree
It's the difference between going threw the motions sooo you can be safe... And Really LOVING others!
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
2/2/2013 7:48:35 PM
Kathy United States
Kathy
Honestly, I wish I'd never read this post. There is nothing redemptive about what you've said whatsoever. I noticed dying for your faith isn't on this list. What about the martyrs who gave EVERYTHING for the cause of Christ? Would you make light of that also? Pretty unfortunate writing, from my view. Now that you've made light of living a sincere life before Christ, (not to mention making light of hell) how would you suggest we live? The tone of this post is a major distraction on any valid point you desired to make.
2/2/2013 8:31:40 PM
Gunner United States
Gunner
Honestly, I enjoyed You taking on the stigma that "If You vote Right, You're voting God" I live in Texas. People in Texas love three things most of all: Football, Jesus, and Republicans. (not neccesarily in that order) I think about how Mormonism was once just accepted in Christian circles to be a cult. Joseph Smith was once a liar and a heretic, etc etc. When the Republican that ran against President Obama (I'm not trying to get in a political debate about wether or not Gun Control, Universal Healthcare, or having a dog named "Bo" Is biblical, so stick with me here) It seems that as Christians, we are willing to change our spiritual beliefs to fit our worldly beliefs if they dont fit together quite right. Mormonism was wrong until the Republican was a Mormon. This was right until Reagan said it was wrong. I need You to vote Your conscience as long as that conscience is right. I am tired of the spectacle we make out of things as Christians. If we don't like Gay marriage, we make a very vocal and visual stand. If we don't like abortion, we will stand outside of Planned parenthood and lock arms in solidarity. Because, By God, that stuff, and every person who partakes is bad! But when a guy runs under the (R) and is a Mormon (Which again, we used to think meant You were in complete conflict with Christianity) We will elect him, because We were taught that Republicans were the good guys, they were the ones who followed the Bible, and stood for our beliefs against the big bad Democrats. So, even when his faith, what molds him as a person, is considered to be morally wrong by so many, we change our beliefs to justify it. And that is stupid.
2/2/2013 9:12:04 PM
Sharon United States
Sharon
I think it's interesting, after all these years, a lot of people still just don't *get* your blog posts. It's like I see them sitting at their computer with confused looks on their faces.
2/2/2013 10:36:42 PM
Samantha United States
Samantha
To my dismay, I found that I am many of the things on your list.

Very convicting stuff, especially that last one about "knowing theologically" that you're right but not living it. I guess the only way I can take this feeling of being completely inadequate and making something good of it is to take it one day at a time. Realizing that doing and knowing are not sufficient when God's love and grace is absent is the first step. Accepting His love and grace and then sharing that love and grace are the next few steps.
2/2/2013 10:51:10 PM
joe United States
joe
People don't get humor and irony to make a point. Those that do are impacted greatly by it. Those that don't are offended by it and get opposite thus point being made.... Here's a tip..... If you don't joke about pivotal serious things and you see someone using humor to make a point regarding pivotal serious things, assume you're misunderstanding and ask question. For the love of all that is holy. Don't assume. Ask questions. Please.
2/2/2013 10:53:02 PM
joe United States
joe
Sorry. On cell. They get opposite the*
2/3/2013 9:02:36 AM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
It is true, but I was really laughing. I don't think you HAVE to do any of these things, while having the best relationship with God. That's what I believe.
Thanks Brant for being so awesome. You always get me thinking!
2/3/2013 9:15:26 AM
Stefany United States
Stefany
Brant,
Your post reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha. Thank you for making me think and laugh!
2/4/2013 1:27:19 PM
Jared United States
Jared
Kathy,

I disagree, everything about this post is redemptive. The purpose is to point out that we can do all those things and still fall short. Brant is really just repeating Jesus' words paraphrasing them slightly, ok, a lot. In the end it doesn't matter how good you are, or how good you look. All that matters, is that you have a relationship with Jesus. Only He can save you despite how hard we try to earn it or pretend to have it. We can fool others and even ourselves, but we can't fool God.

2/9/2013 4:39:56 PM
barry anderson United States
barry anderson
bye saying i am not racists.well you said it you are!!lol so think before you talk in jesus name!!thankyou!
2/9/2013 5:16:51 PM
shelby Biggs United States
shelby Biggs
AMEN!!!! I have two years of bible college countless hours of passing out tracts/one on one witnessing and i was totally lost! Until I came to the cross with NOTHING to offer except sin and shame! When I look in the mirror that monster I saw starring back is gone! I am lost in him!
2/9/2013 7:08:57 PM
Christine United States
Christine
I believe it doesn't matter who you are or what you do God loves all of us. If you do all those things without accepting Jesus into your heart you are a good person but not a believer.

All you have to do to get to heaven is believe and have faith.
2/9/2013 7:33:41 PM
Bacilia United States
Bacilia
Well, I have to say that I am impressed with the fact that you have things in there relevant to Catholics as well as ProtestantsSmile I love it when people actually take time to do their homework before they make such blunt statements! (no sarcasm intended) It is a very admirable quality, and I think I'll be listening more closely to the things you say on air from now on.

You, sir, have my respect.
2/9/2013 8:05:53 PM
Abigail United States
Abigail
For the most part, I would agree. However, I do have a few disagreements. In reality, I think if you either a) pray for two hours a day or b) be a pastor giving solid Bible-based sermons, that G-d will eventually grab you and you will become a Christian. You cannot pray/study the Bible (in detail) and not have G-d rub off on you and make you his own. Smile  (Even if you don't realize it.)

And while we're at it, I like that you have "Say the 'sinner's prayer'" on that list. Smile
2/10/2013 6:02:28 AM
Stephen United States
Stephen
Without love, all I do is meaningless. And dude! I so miss Degarmo and Key!
Comments are closed