For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
This is not to be a rant against self indulgence or self reference, but a view of theology that leaves out why Christ came to the Earth. In a time submerged in sin--that is our personal sin--we miss the big picture of the universe's greatest struggle.
We know that there was rebellion in heaven. Lucifer and one third of the angels were cast out. The judgment of God has yet to be fulfilled concerning this most horrible event.
Presently there is an attempt to put a burden on people which they cannot bear. I grew up in such a goody goody atmosphere, ever striving to be better and better, hopefully to eventually earn the right to go to heaven. Christ set the moral example we were to follow in this bettering process.
No one told me how close we had to come in our imitation to achieve salvation, but you had to do your best. That was the goal. A man who preached part time told me, "I do the best I can. No one can ask more than that."
The Sermon on the Mount, which McGee called the sermon on the plateau, was the highest form of self salvation. So we were to follow that. Can you see how hopeless a young boy felt facing this challenge? It was a bloodless religion. It was all up to us.
Avoiding alcohol was very important. Imagine being cast into hell to burn forever, because you drank booze.
It took decades, on my own, to see that a greater struggle was in view than my personal behavior. First I wish to say that Christ died for His people--every one of which will be saved.
But how thrilling to see the great battle take form, not just on earth, but in heaven. The angel Michael and his angels will cast the devil to the earth. Shortly thereafter, Christ will come to earth to set up his kingdom. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years, ending in the Great White Throne judgement.
Why do I repeat these wonderful things? It is as if the little, misinformed boy that I was has been delivered from a religion of self-salvation, to live to see the great plan of God and His salvation. Now, as an old man, I want to revel in this. Please forgive me if I ramble.