Charismactivism

Home » Salvation & Eternal Life

Category Archives: Salvation & Eternal Life

The author

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Join the Jesus revolution! Write your email adress to follow this blog and get updates about new posts via email.

Join 2,543 other followers

Advertisements

My Thoughts on Hell

rethinking hell

I was recently interviewed on the Rethinking Hell podcast who talked with me on how I got saved and what my thoughts on life after death look like. As I was born again, I quickly realized that Jesus is the only way to eternal life and that we cannot live without him. Eternal life is a gift, not something we already possess:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)

“Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“Jesus… has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Tim 1:10)

Thus, from Day One of my Christian journey I’ve believed that immortality is conditional, not universal: it is something imparted to us through the grace of God in Jesus Christ. This means that those who reject the grace of God will not inherit eternal life but will instead die, and be dead forever:

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mt 10:28)

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Mt 25:46)

“He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes as an example of what is coming on the ungodly.” (2 Pet 2:6)

This of course goes against the Platonic idea that the soul is innately immortal and that hell therefore would be some alternative form of eternal life, but in torment rather than in bliss. This idea, known as traditionalism or tormentalism, I’ve never found any strong support for in the Bible.

More on this in the podcast episode, which you can listen to here!

Advertisements

Why the Cross Changes Everything

eberhard-grossgasteiger-1201375-unsplash

Every Good Friday I usually go outside to pray when the time is approaching 3 PM. That’s when he died. He who transformed my life.

There was a time when I didn’t care at all about Jesus. He was cool, sure, but he didn’t have as many superpowers as Superman and he was far less badass than Samus Aran. The church, in my opinion, was a boring museum. The Bible was hard to read and lacked pictures.

But when I was confronted with my own mortality and understood the message of Easter – that he died for us to live forever – then I could not get enough of him. I opened the gospels and read. I can honestly say that I have never encountered so much wisdom and love from any other person, before or after.

Some want to reduce Jesus to a non-divine moral teacher. As C. S. Lewis has pointed out, it is impossible. A reasonable moral teacher does not claim to be the Son of God, the light of the world, and the door to eternal life – unless it is true.

But I understand why people recognize Jesus as wise and moral. He is! That’s what makes the painful killing of him so incomprehensible and wrong.

God died on that cross. God himself died for our sake so that we would have the eternal life we ​​in no way deserve. This eternal life, in eternal happiness, is greater than anything we can imagine. No other gift is so great and as wonderful as the gift of living in paradise.

All the peace and justice we long for will be realized to its fullest in heaven. That’s no reason to stop promoting such Kingdom-values here. On the contrary, when we truly have the eternal perspective we will become even more zealous to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. As John says:

“Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as Christ is pure.” (1 Jn 3:1-2)

What I realized 13 years ago is that when we celebrate on Sunday that Jesus arose from death, it is not just that we are happy for His sake. His resurrection shows where we are going if we follow him. His path is the path of life. A life that never ends. It is because of his painful death on the cross that we can go that way.

Today at 3 PM, think of Jesus and pray to him. He loves you so much that he was subjected to one of the world’s most evil execution methods. He gave everything for you. You are too precious and loved to be lost in the bottomless darkness of death. God, your Creator and Friend, calls you to eternal happiness.

Testimony of Salvation and Healing

Recently on a Jesus Army conference, I shared the brief testimony of a new friend of mine who was recently saved and healed from what seemed to be demonic suppression.

A Witch Set Free by Jesus

desiree-kjellin

Originally posted on Jesus Army’s website.

Swedish speaker and author Désirée Kjellin used to be a witch involved with occultism, but a powerful encounter with Jesus transformed her completely.

“IT’S great that yoga suits you”, the psychologist told Désirée. “I think meditation would be the perfect next step.”

He recommended these practices with good intentions, wanting to promote Désirée’s mental health, but little did he know that he indirectly put her on a very dangerous path.

Désirée’s yoga teacher was a passionate believer in new age, and before long she taught Désirée not just the practices of eastern meditation, but also shamanism, Reiki healing and Kundalini.

Désirée joined her at secret pagan meetings in Swedish forests where people worshipped the moon, as well as interacting with “spiritual guides” who for Désirée were a deceased Native American chief and a Samurai. During deep meditation, they became so real to her that she could physically touch them and speak to them. (more…)

Words of Knowledge that Led to Salvation

thumb_img_2195_1024

Kettering

God is so good. Last Sunday I went out on the streets of Kettering with a guitar and some Gospel tracts to invite people to our evening meeting. I met a woman in dark clothing walking with the help of a crutch, who commented how happy I looked when I played. I asked her how she was doing. “Like shit” she said, explaining to me her tough family situation, tragedies in her past and her homelessness.

She then asked me what I was doing and I said that I invite people to a Gospel meeting where there will be worship, Bible study, prayer – and tea. She responded that she doesn’t believe in God – she found it impossible after all the bad things that had happened to her. I gave her a booklet the Jesus Army has printed called The Biggest Issue which asked on the front cover “Where is God when all goes wrong?”

She asked me how I got involved with this church and I explained that I found it on the Internet and came all the way from Sweden to join a training year, living in community and working in one of their Kingdom Businesses. She was really impressed by that kind of commitment to a church. She revealed that she actually carries a cross necklace around in her bag, “I guess I do have a little faith after all.” Then she said that a warm cup of tea would be lovely and decided to go with me to the meeting hall. (more…)

Shouting from the Rooftops

loudandproud

During my training year at the Jesus Army I will have the honour of contributing to some of their blogs. Yesterday my first entry on their visionary Forward blog was published. Here’s an excerpt:

Jesus said: “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” (Matthew 10:27). The original apostolic church in Jerusalem didn’t just experience lots of miracles and have community of goods, they were daily in the temple courts telling people “all about this new life” (Acts 5:20).

Basically, they were unable to shut up! “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” (5:42). When they were persecuted, they prayed and were “filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31). (more…)

Fruits of Evangelism

evangelism

I’m very happy and very tired. Last Saturday was Walpurgis night which for some reason is a huge thing here in Uppsala, hundreds of thousands of people fill the streets and so it’s a great opportunity for evangelism. We were out with the Pancake church at a central square and ministered to hundreds, and one guy from Morocco came and wanted to get saved. Just like that. He had some extremely bad experiences from Islam and had realized that Jesus is the Way, so we helped him receive Him.

The next day was Sunday, I was organizing the service for our house church and we got a new visitor that I had been in touch with on Facebook. She wanted to be saved as well. We rejoiced, prayed with her and then talked about and answered questions that she had about the Old Testament, God’s character and other religions as we went out to evangelize according to our “Come in, go out” principle.

And then last Tuesday my friend Johannes and myself were invited to a folk school where we got to speak about faith, doubt, atheism and theism for three hours. Johannes has struggled a lot with atheism and I used to be an atheist in my early teens before turning to God. We covered several arguments for God’s existence as well as sharing our own stories and answering questions, and it was appreciated. (more…)

3 Dumb Ways to Explain Away that Jesus is the Only Way

one_way_up_wallpaper_by_barishiman

Today I will hold a Bible study in my house church about the first half of John 14, which of course includes Jesus’ famous line “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (v. 6). Now, there’s been a lot of debate about this verse recently here in Sweden. Bishops in the theologically liberal Lutheran church have had a hard time accepting that Jesus really is the only way to God, and so they have used various techniques to explain away Jn 14:6 – all of which are examples of horrible eisegesis.

1. He didn’t say He’s the only way

This argument has been used by the current archbishop of the Church of Sweden, Antje Jackelén. It doesn’t make any sense. Jesus explicitly says that no one comes to the Father except through Him – how could that not mean that He’s the only way? In fact, as Jesus says that he is the way that in itself shows that He’s the only way, otherwise He would have said a way.

2. Jesus is the way just for us Christians

There is no way this is what Jesus and the early Christians meant. The command to make disciples of all nations and to baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:18-20) clearly asserts that Christianity is the only true religion. As the apostles encounter various different believers in the book of Acts they always evangelize and try to bring them into the church. (more…)

Softening the Gospel Makes it Worse

duck-783684_960_720

Cosy and cute, but does it save my soul?

Every weekend I evangelize on the streets together with the Pancake Church, and last week’s Holy Saturday was no exception. I started to speak with two guys about Jesus, and one of them said that he really liked Jesus. He thought that Jesus was a good moral teacher and said: “I believe that when it says that he healed blind people and lepers and stuff, he didn’t actually physically heal them, but he was kind to them and taught that they should be accepted into society.”

“That’s a very tragic and pessimistic view!” I said. “Wouldn’t it be better if He actually physically healed them? As the Son of God He’s surely able to do it, right? Miracles exist, medically verified healings happen all around the world even today. Surely that’s good news, isn’t it?” He was actually a bit speechless when I said this.

There has been a tendency among several Western preachers to de-emphasize miracles, Heaven and evangelism in order to “focus” on peace and justice. They may say things like “Jesus greatest miracle wasn’t to heal the leper but to touch the leper” or “God doesn’t just want to give you eternal life in Heaven but a descent life on earth.” (more…)

The Historicity of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

I hope you all have a blessed Good Friday! Over here this day is called “Long Friday” because people were expected to mourn and have a boring time all day, which made it feel much longer. I think the English name is much better – even if it undoubtedly is sad that Jesus had to die for our sake, it is at the same time amazing since we receive eternal life through His sacrifice.

Christianity stands and falls with the death and resurrection of Jesus being historical events. According to the apostles, these are not just doctrines: they are things that really happened, which they witnessed themselves. In this video, I defend the historicity of both Jesus’ death and His miraculous resurrection:

There are some competing theories on what really happened that Passover weekend 2,000 years ago. For a more detailed discussion on what they’re saying and what their problems are, please watch the video. What follows is a brief summary of each theory and my arguments agains them: (more…)

Song: Welcome

The World is often a hostile place, but Jesus is constantly welcoming and commands us to be hospitable. This song is written and sung by me, guitar by Andreas Lundström.

Welcome homeless people, welcome to my house
It’s warm inside and I got food and I’ll never kick you out
I’m sorry that my countrymen just let you starve and freeze
The world outside is hostile but you’re welcome to me

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me

Welcome refugees, bring your families
Welcome to my country where there’s welfare and peace
I’m sorry that the racists promote inequality
But I will fight for your right to stay ’cause you mean a lot to me

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me

Welcome unbelievers, welcome to our church
We offer healing, eternal life and a bunch of other stuff
We’re sorry that we Christians often behaved like piles of sh*t
But Jesus rocks and His Spirit rules so please pay us a visit

We bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to us
We love you and we want you here so please come to us

Welcome Holy Spirit, welcome to my heart
I need your power, strength and love, ‘less I’ll just fall apart
I’m sorry for my egoism and sinful lusts and deeds
I want to serve like Jesus so please, Spirit, wash me clean

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me

Welcome my beloved, says almighty God
Welcome to my Kingdom that awaits you in the clouds
You won’t feel sorry any more when I wash away your tears
You’ll be with Me forever, no more days or months or years

I bid you welcome, welcome, welcome to me
I love you and I want you here so please come to me 

Podcast: Why Eschatology and Eternity Are Important

A new MennoNerds Podcast episode has been released! It’s on eschatology, Heaven and hell and started off in our vlog as a conversation on waiting and patience, which made me think about waiting on the second coming of Christ and the glorious heavenly realm that He will bring:

Deborah followed it up talking about two things that Heaven is and two things it’s not:

And Paul started to talk about hell and three different theological views on its nature: eternal conscious torment, annihilationism and universalism:

(more…)

All Christians Are Refugees

ship-705500_960_720

Most believers are aware of that the Bible says that we are citizens in Heaven (Phil 3:20) as well as foreigners and strangers on the earth (Hebrews 11:13). But did you know that it also says that we are refugees?

“we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.” – Hebr 6:18

The Greek word for “fled” is kataphygontes, which more explicitely means “having fled for refuge”. All Christians have fled from death, evil and sin and entered the safe refuge of the Lord.

This is also expressed earlier in the same letter: (more…)

Idolatry isn’t About Distracting Hobbies – It’s Far Worse

buddha-405611_960_720

Idols – worship highly discouraged

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” – 1 Jn 5:21

Reading the prophetic books of the Old Testament for the first time, I was almost a bit annoyed by the constant warnings against idolatry. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and others constantly bring up how bad idolatry is and how silly idol-worshippers are, bowing down for statues they themselves have made.

I was like, yeah yeah, I get it. Idols are bad, move on please. I thought that not worshipping other gods than God was lesson one of Christianity, the most fundamental ethic of them all, and so constantly repeating it throughout Scripture felt unnecessary. In my view it was as if the driving instructor would constantly remind you to sit behind the wheel when driving an electric car.

Others must have felt the same way, because when the topic of idolatry came up in my church, people started to forcingly convince themselves that they were idolaters somehow. We’ve all stolen, been jealous or murdered sometime, at least if you define the latter as being angry which Jesus seems to do in Mt 5, and so to make sure that idolatry wasn’t something we could just say that we happily avoid, our youth pastor told us that an idol is “everything that you put higher than God”. It could be money, sex, power or Pokèmon. And you didn’t have to worship it, just immerse yourself into it. (more…)

Seven Reasons Why God Exists

Yesterday my friend Andreas and myself made a video where we go through seven good arguments for God’s existence. They are as follows:

1. The universe was created.

2. There is something rather than nothing.

3. The universe is fine-tuned for life.

4. Morality is objective and not just subjective.

5. There are thousands of scientifically verified miracles.

6. Jesus was awesome and trusted by smart people.

7. Ask God to reveal Himself – you won’t be disappointed.

If you have half an hour, I really recommend you to watch the video. We had a fun time making it! Also, check out the apologetics page on this site for more resources.