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Jesus ultimately cares about the judgement of our eternal soul.

Is it contrary to any Christian belief or doctrine to believe in a Holy deception; that the reason He made His return unknown and mysterious is to keep us in line or away from sin?

If we are anxiously awaiting that he can return any moment, we are more likely to stick to His way and in result, preserve our soul? I am not saying He is lying, but loves us so much that He will give us any impression possible to keep us away from the Devil or Hell.

Does this go against any other Christian belief or doctrine?

EDIT

Notice how Biblical passages can look like lies but are not. Please read this very good Christian writers article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/october/26.56.html

"He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. … For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone." [All Scripture citations from the New Living Translation.]

At first blush it sounds really good, but that day I had to say what I really thought. Through tears I told the group, "I don't get how this is true. He did not rescue us from a fatal plague. He did not keep us from striking our feet on a stone but, in fact, allowed much worse than that."

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    I think this would be better phrased as "Is it a heresy" rather than "Is it a sin". It would be easier to answer using established doctrinal teachings, at any rate. – David Stratton Oct 6 '12 at 21:56
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    Jesus is Truth, so lying is not an option for Him. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Oct 6 '12 at 22:53
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    Deception? I think you are conflating non similar concepts, nowhere is there even a hint that we are being lied to. – Caleb Oct 7 '12 at 6:39
  • @Wikis: I am not saying He is lying, but loves us so much that He will give us any impression possible to keep us away from the Devil or Hell. – Greg McNulty Oct 8 '12 at 0:43
  • for the close voter(s) I edited in the title into the text to get rid of the 'is it a sin' construction – KorvinStarmast Nov 25 at 18:29
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I think to answer your question we have to address some foundational items of Christianity.

  1. First Christianity is a religion based on being saved by grace. Nothing done by you will warrant salvation for your soul. (Romans 3:23 (No one is good enough), Romans 6:23 (God gives us the gift of salvation), Ephesians 2:8 (Grace saved us)). It seems that the foundation of your argument implies that by telling us He will come back at any moment will make us "remain in the faith." One could argue that you are "working" your salvation.
  2. Second I think there is a heart condition behind this statement. Think of someone who is living ready for war to break out. They would stockpile food, possibly ammunition, water purifiers, etc. They live with a mission in mind. The same with someone who lives as if Christ could return tomorrow, because in reality He could. If I truly believe that Christ is coming back at any moment coupled with Luke 12:16-21 would really change how I approach life.
  3. As a fun final note, depending on where you land in Calvinism (a good portion of Bible based believers (not talking about people who say they are christians but are more of a functional atheist)) then God has chosen you to believe and you believe purely based on his effectual calling.

    I know I probably did not answer your question but I hope I shed some sort of light from some angle. It is a very interesting question to ask. As always I recommend praying through all questions for if God does exist He will answer your questions (in due time).


Based on the first comment.

what if I pray and find that this concept is true?

I always recommend that if there is a question about the Bible, God, Jesus, etc.. First find what you can from the Bible and pray. As long as emotions/your view is set aside and a humble prayerful approach is made, I believe all questions can be answered. They just may not be answered expediently or the way you like.

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I know I should probably reference these, but I'm going to appeal to common knowledge

Before answering, I just want to re-emphasize two central teachings that are common to the vast majority of Christianity:

  • It's safe to say that almost every denomination, and almost every major division within Christianity agrees that God does not and cannot lie. I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule, and agnostics/atheists may balk at the idea, but for the most part that's accepted teaching for the vast majority of Christianity.
  • Most (but not all) Christian denominations and traditions accept the Diety of Jesus. In other words, Jesus is God. (There are exceptions.)

If the second point is true, then to say that Jesus lies is to say then God lies. And the first point flat out denies that.

So, according to Scripture, as understood by the overwhelming majority of Christianity, it is absolutely a heresy to say that Jesus would deceive us to protect our souls.

And most denominations that I am aware of state that Heresy is a sin.

So yes, to the overwhelming majority of Christianity, it would be be accurate to say that it's a sin to believe that Jesus would lie to us to protect our souls. Not only does it go against "any other Christian belief or doctrine" it goes against two central, almost universally held Christian beliefs/doctrines. The doctrine of God's character and the doctrine of Christ's Diety.

  • David, would one characterize the sin as blasphemy, or something else? (I find myself in agreement with your answer) – KorvinStarmast Nov 25 at 18:25
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This is what Jesus said:

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:36-44)

Jesus told his disciples that only the father knows when he (the Son) will return. There is no deception here! He says it could be soon or not.

There are places in Scripture where prophets are told to seal up a mystery until the end - Daniel (8:26,9:24,12:4,12:9) and the Apostle John (Rev. 10:4) come to mind. If it were a matter of keeping a secret, Jesus would have said, "I know, but I am not authorized to tell you." God is not shy when it comes to saying that there are things that He choses not to reveal.

But, you say, if Jesus is God, then he must be omniscient! And if omniscient, he must know when he will return. Jesus is omniscient, but when he spoke those words to the disciples, he spoke the truth as a man who had taken upon himself certain limitations, as Paul explains in Philippians 2:

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2: 5-11)

(Note: Theologians debate how much and in what ways Christ emptied himself and how those limitations were divided between his human and divine natures, but that is a huge question.)

In Revelation, Jesus is now glorified and the seven seals are broken, revealing God's plan for the end. Jesus has broken those seals and now knows the time, and he told John to keep it a secret. This means that the savior and the church (with John as representative) - not God alone - are keeping this secret, out of obedience and for reasons known best to God.

(Note: Preterists, partial preterists and historicists would agree that Jesus has already opened the seals. Some dispensational, pre-tribulation rapture, or other interpretations may view the opening of the seals as still a future event.)

There is a second way to take all this: Jesus comes for us on the day we die. That means that the day of his return varies from person to person, soon for some, far off for others, with one big arrival at the end of time when those still living meet him.

  • If you could drop in a bit of the 2 Philippians you refer to what would make a good answer even better. – KorvinStarmast Nov 25 at 18:27
  • @KorvinStarmast - I will oblige. – Paul Chernoch Nov 25 at 19:15

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