In the 2nd Century Tertullian begins teaching “Hell” as an eternal punishment by fire for the immortal soul. Throughout the 3rd century and in the beginning of the 4th Century Original Sin Theory (that everyone is born wicked and evil) gets solidated by St. Augustine of Hippo.By 430 A.D. The Catholic Church begins to widely accept Eternal Concious Torment (Burning Punishment in Hell Forever) and Original Sin (everyone is born wicked) as a Church Doctrine.
Thus, The Gospel (Good News) of the 1st century Church declaring The Kingdom of Heaven and Heaven’s King Jesus ushering in God The Father’s forgiveness, grace, love and Spirit and help for anyone, Jew or Gentile who believes on The Lord and his teaching, sadly gets turned into “You are all born wicked and evil, so evil that you are all deserving of eternal hell fire and anguish forever and ever.”
Throw in Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century (Satisfaction Theory) and the now more well known (Penal Substitution Theory) of Protestant reformists like John Calvin in the 16th century and we have a wonderful recipe for what is the foundational teachings in many Christian Churches these days. It goes something like this; “You are born wicked and evil deserving to be punished in eternal hell fire by God with unceasing pain, gnashing of teeth and anquish forever and ever without end… unless you accept Jesus who died in your place taking all of that wrath and anger from God that you rightfully deserve… Now Love God with all your heart and accept his sacrificing of His own son on your wicked behalf or burn forever with everyone else who refuses His Love.”
This strange and confusing message has been what the Original Good News Message of Jesus has sadly, over time been twisted and unfortunately turned into and really nothing could be much further from The 1st Century Gospel Truth.
The Love, Wisdom and Truth that was being taught and demonstrated by Jesus and The Apostles in the 1st Century Church looked and sounded nothing like the above mess it has all so often become and is way too often taught.
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One True Church of Christ, One Holy Spirit, One Kingdom of God, One Father, One Love, One Power, and The Same Message as it was in the beginning with Jesus and The Apostles before others got a hold of it, misinterpreted it and began teaching it all wrong.
Let’s get back to Jesus (The Rock of All Ages) and what The Gospel Message of The Kingdom was in the 1st century because that message is still The Very Good News of The Kingdom that is still advancing and changing lives with Love unto this very day.
~ Stay in Love, Pastor Scott Boggs