Blackmail And The Gospel




God is inherently a moral being, he is particularly morally good. He is so utterly good that he can’t do evil and hate evil. Therefore, as a creator, he couldn’t help but make a good world originally. As morally capable creatures, we chose evil in the garden. From that day forward, good and evil have been at war in the heart of every man. So what does this have to do with blackmail? Let us look at the logical presuppositions of blackmail. Blackmail is only effective as a means of getting something from someone because there is moral and immoral, good and evil, law and unlawful, right and wrong, shameful and honorable. Another way of looking at it is if someone thought that there was nothing that was shameful, evil, wrong, nor immoral, then they would dismiss blackmailing threats because they don’t care about the threat of being exposed.


Let us connect these two overlapping ideas. When we as humans choose to do something that offends God, this makes us criminals in His kingdom. His established a kind of multifaceted punishment of time out, torture, and isolation. Our current system is somewhat based on his chosen punishment. The court system tries to be just, exacting a punishment that fits the crime, mainly in the length of time that they are in punishment. I will not defend the logic of Hell's punishment here.


Furthermore, my thesis is as follows: since God is everywhere, He has seen all of the wrong things we have done; therefore, He has grounds for bringing us before his court and punishing us. When Jesus comes into the picture, he cuts a deal with the judge, if you will, that he will take our punishment. In return, He “blackmails” us into making a deal with him. If we do not take his offer, he will leave us to our sealed fate, a.k.a. our court date and verdict as guilty.


Where the gospel differs from blackmail is that there is a potential for blackmail to allow for somebody to get away with an injustice or wrong if they were only paid or do whatever is demanded of them. The kind of blackmailing that happens with the gospel is that justice is still being served, it is just a substitutionary kind of justice, in particular, being poured out on Jesus Himself. The offer to obtain the absolution is free, instant, and total (for the rest of our days on Earth and into eternity), but there is still a cost. The demand is that we must come and follow him, deny ourselves and pick up our cross. We essentially become voluntary slaves to His cause.


When we share the gospel with unbelievers; this is the paradigm we use. The paradigm can be called substitutionary blackmail evangelism. The blackmail offer is that the perfect one will stand in on our behalf if we voluntarily enslave ourselves to the righteous cause of Christ for eternity. If we willingly do this, not only are we declared right or without sin (justified), but we are adopted into the family of God through betrothal to God’s son Jesus. We go from being criminals in need of help in a hopeless state, and God yells into our empty tomb of a soul and says, you are in trouble, but I have a plan. I want to end with a few scriptures that speak of such things as this.


“For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand, the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand, the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous. So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans‬ 5:6-11, 15-17, 19, 21‬ NASB1995‬‬

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans‬ 8:1-4‬ NASB1995‬‬
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Romans‬ 10:4, 14-17‬ NASB1995‬‬
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