“there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”

Jesus himself reminds us that he did not came to save everyone, regardless their behavior or character. Yes, he did come for all humanity; there was never any question (or should not have been) that it made no difference to God in human form what your race was, your ethnicity, or any other attribute.

Paul got it, in his letter to the Galatians, chapter 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

True, true. But does this mean that all, each and every one of us, is saved? No.

From the very start of the Gospel, we are warned that “peace on earth” that is promised to arrive with our Messiah is conditional. Luke 2:14:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Now, Scripture, and Jesus himself, are very clear as to what it will take for God to be pleased. Jesus, God incarnate, tells us in Matthew 22:

37…”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Needless to say, many of us don’t live up to these two great commandments. Just in case any of us think that we can skate and slip into heaven regardless, be advised: ain’t gonna happen, friends. God knows.

The final result is given, among other places, by Jesus in a parable in Matthew 13:

47″Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

There are strong opinions among Christians as to how we are saved, faith alone (sola fide), works, some combination thereof. And, has God predetermined from the beginning who among us shall be saved?

While I may believe this (I do; I’m an unrepentant Calvinist), I also don’t believe it matters in the here and now. We should all live our lives as though we have been predestined for heaven. And that includes not counting on faith alone, but knowing that faith can and will inspire works of charity.

Can we change what God has ordained? Not hardly. But wouldn’t this be a better world if we all acted as though we were saved?

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