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couple questions

Discussion in 'NonChristian Help Forum' started by Natedeezy, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Natedeezy

    Natedeezy New Member

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    Let me start by saying that I don't really follow a certain religion, but I do think I try to be christ-like, I guess? Also, please don't take offense to any of my posts, I'm here to hopfully get some insight.
    So, here goes.

    The content of the Bible is heavily influenced by someone who never even met Jesus- Paul. Also, the bible was written well past the death of Christ. As a precursor, I enjoy reading Eckhart Tolle, and I've felt for a few months what he describes as bliss, so I've experienced what he does. However, even though I'm reading his exact teaching (I know this bc he's alive), I still can't get back into the place I was once before. Now, he's in that state, and even though I'm studying his exact teaching, and know what he's feeling bc I've been there too, I can't accomplish right now for some reason.

    I hope this doesn't get too confusing.

    So, knowing that the devil is extremely crafty, and thus seems to be quite smart to be able to trick so many people, how can we be so sure that the content of the Bible isn't tainted by the devil, or by him workign through people? The devil tempts, and what's more tempting than having control over MANY, MANY people? That's one possible reason why the content could have been altered- for personal power. Also, I've met a soicopath in my life, and knew them quite well. Now, sociopaths are the life of the party and extremely charasmatic and likeable. However, they don't care about others and lie and deceive to get their way. So, isn't it possible that someone like Paul could have been a sociopath, saying that he spoke to Christ alone in the woods. Seems pretty unbelieveable, and personally I think it's just the type of lie a sociopath would tell- they usually tell outrageous lies as almost a game to mess with people and see how many they could trick. So, isn't it possible, not saying he was, but isn't it possible that Paul could have been a sociopath, which would mean the Bible is greatly influenced by not the word of God, but of man?

    Also, up until quite recently, the Bible wasn't even readable by most people. People had to get their information through a priest, isn't it possible that since the teachings were basically only known by so few, up until recently, using this as a precedent, doesn't this leave room for people to simply make things up, like those who wrote the Bible, or even those who transcribed it. More importantly, it's been translated many times, and referencing back to my thing about Eckhart- I know his teaching, yet can't achieve the inner state that he has, and I also know the power of the way things are worded as being either dead on or completely missing the point with just a ord or two alteration or placement, and so with all these translations, isn't it possible that the message isn't even what was really meant. I mean looking at the bible versus, there are MANY interpretations. And so between people either purposely altering or giving false info, knowing the ability of the devil, or even people not wuite understanding the teaching despite being good-intentioned (eckhart tolle example), how are we sure that the Bible is what God wanted to teach?



    Okay, that's the first part. Second is simpler. Let's examine two people. One lives a regular 9-5 job, is depressed and so they are angry or closed off toward others usually, in fact they can be down right mean and do mean things to others. But they go to church and give lots of money in support, but they don't really face fears nor do they give very much love to others, but was born again and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

    The other person is extremely loving and giving. They are always looking for the opportunity to lift others up and help when they can. They are looked highly upon bc of the way their conduct their life, which is by always loving, and being kind and generous, and brave and knows fear but lives life without letting it effect them. They have found a peace in life and that peace radiates out and effects others in an almost mysterious, unexplainable way- it's the type of feeling when someone radiates love and kindness. But they haven't accepted Jesus Christ, or even more, they know what Christianity is, believe there is something more than what we see and experience in this life, but doesn't call Jesus their savior and doesn't follow any religion.

    Now, neither one of these are me, they are just examples I came up with.

    Which one in God's eyes lived better?
     
  2. lforrest

    lforrest Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin

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    [SIZE=12pt]Welcome Natedeezy! It's good to see another new contributor to the forums. I hope I can answer some of your questions and concerns, there are more scholarly people here better suited to defend the veracity of the biblical canon.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]There is a principle in the bible established in the law that seems good and reasonable: "A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." When this principle was established it was employed to determine the truth when judging people by the law. When judging the truthfulness of what someone claims this can also be employed. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=12pt]Paul, who was then called Saul, met Jesus on the road to Damascus, but he was also blinded by the encounter. What is convincing is Ananias received a vision and he was sent to restore his sight (read Acts 9:10-19). There is other evidence, but that is the most dramatic. So we have verification of the legitimacy of Paul's ministry.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Concerning the two people in your example, I would site (Romans 3) Questions of how good someone is, how enlightened they are, or how loving they are mean nothing because everyone has sinned in one way or another at least once in their life. This has resulted in a separation between them and God. It has created a gap that can only be bridged by accepting Jesus as your personal savior. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Speaking more towards your intentions, I understand you want to attain a state of bliss? I typically don't have a goal in mind for my mental state. I think all Christians would like to please God and be more like Christ. Christ was focused on doing what pleased his Father in heaven.[/SIZE]
     
  3. Natedeezy

    Natedeezy New Member

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    Thanks for the reply!

    I have to say I kinda disagree with some of the things you've said. One thing I don't understand is how you said it doesn't matter how loving they are, but in the Bible it says without love I am nothing as well as God IS love. And so based on that it seems that love is in fact very important bc it seems like the only real way to connect with God bc it's what God is.
     
  4. lforrest

    lforrest Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin

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    Love is important, but I would argue not the only thing of importance to God. Truth is also of great importance, as Jesus declared he is the way and the truth and the life. It is also written that without faith it is impossible to please God. If that is so we need to accept what Jesus said in an act of faith.

    To attempt to have a relationship with God without accepting Jesus' sacrifice for our sins is to deny the severity of our sins. That is an elephant in the room that God doesn't just ignore. That is my justification for saying it doesn't matter how loving or good someone is if they don't believe. If the two people in your examples were both believers I would say one is more spiritually mature than the other.
     
  5. LightMessenger

    LightMessenger New Member

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    Warm greetings Natedeezy,

    The main point to elaborate on here is with regard to your two examples of the type of people whom you question which one in the eyes of God He feels would have lived better. There can be no question as to His acknowledgement of the one who works 9-5 and even though they can be angry and mean, the KEY is that they became a BORN AGAIN Christian. THAT is what God says will earn them a ticket to Heaven when they pass on. Now God knows that the fact that they are angry, spiteful, and mean are factors brought about through human inadequacies and it is something they certainly need to work on to be able to control in living a better life. And God knows and understands that. But the second example is of one who is good, etc. but who is not BORN AGAIN. And even though God loves everyone, the mere factor that they are currently denying God and His One and only beloved Son Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior is something that greatly displeases God.

    You may have heard the old saying "The road to Heaven is paved with good intentions." Many people feel that by merely doing good deeds, good works, being loving and caring they will get to Heaven. They will not as that is a false assumption. While those qualities are certainly good and everyone should strive to attain them and then put them into actual practice, that is not what is going to help that individual get to Heaven at their appointed time. There is only ONE way to get to Heaven and that is to give one's life to Jesus Christ by accepting Him as their LORD and Savior. It is then that their name will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life so that when they pass-on God can look for their name and if they were Saved (while on Earth) by becoming Born Again, He will open the doors to Heaven and permit them to reside there for eternity with Him. Those who thought little about becoming Born Again or who felt they had no time to give their life to Jesus Christ will live to regret having taken that action when they pass-on. But at that point it will be too late to change their mind and become Born Again. The time to do that, according to the Holy Bible, is while you are here, now. There cannot be anything more important to a person's soul and spirit than to deliver it to Jesus Christ at the point of their earthly departure and see that He acknowledges that they took the time to become Born Again therefore, they are now true inheritors of Heaven.

    In your second example, that person has already condemned themselves for not accepting Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior.

    Here is the Biblical Scripture and proof that speaks to that.

    "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God." -- JOHN 3:18 (KJV)
    It is good that you have brought forth your question as it will inevitably help all of those who have been sitting on the fence thinking that they will become Born Again tomorrow or the next day. But who is to truly know if they will have a 'tomorrow' or a 'next day' and they pass-away today or even tomorrow as has happened to a great many people? Their soul will be forever imperiled by not having accepted Jesus Christ. But that is their choice as God has given each and every person free will but He expects that they will use that free will wisely such as to save themselves and their soul in preparation for passing-on at their appointed time.

    Jesus speaks about the importance of being Saved and Born Again through Him.
    "Jesus saith unto him, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." -- JOHN 14:6 (KJV)

    "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." -- JOHN 3:3 (KJV)
    For those who want to seriously become Saved right now thus, Born Again through Jesus Christ, here is the Prayer of Salvation that will help them accomplish that. After saying the prayer their name will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life and they will be guaranteed a place in Heaven at their appointed time. Praise Be To God!

    Prayer To Become Saved - Born Again. (To be said Meaningfully and Out Loud.)

    "Heavenly Father, I come to thee with contrite heart as I am a sinner who acknowledges my sins. I ask for your forgiveness and also come forth to declare that I Believe and Accept that Jesus Christ is my LORD and Savior who became incarnate and that He is the most beloved and only Son of God. I believe that He was crucified, died, and was buried for my salvation but arose on the third day through God and sits in eternal glory with you, Almighty God. I thank you for coming into my life, my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, and I will follow you all the days of my life. Amen."
     
  6. Natedeezy

    Natedeezy New Member

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    It has been my understanding that Jesus in all likelihood wasn't speaking literally but more spiritually, which by this I mean with the need for interpretation- which is supported by his speaking in Parables, which we know was his way of getting his message out safely, bc those who opposed him and read them didn't understand them, or thought they were silly, or common-sense (after all, if Jesus was who he claimed to be, then he'd know the personalities of the types of people who'd potentially destroy his message and therefore knew how to spread his message without them doing so). Knowing this, this is my take on his message and response to the idea of being born-again. If all that's important is to be born again, then a person who is terrible their whole life: murders, steals, rapes and is a general sociopath, but on their death bed thinks, ahh what they heck, why not just in case become born again, is then in the same boat as someone whose been born again their whole life (they both are going to heaven). OR even more surprising under this belief is that the sociopath, after being born again, is favored above someone who lived christ-like: giving, loving, always looking for the opportunity to help others or lift them up, is courageous (generally someone who is admirable in their actions). And so it comes down to this- I'll use a life-example to point it out. If someone is in a relationship with another person and they tell that person that they love them but ALL of their actions show otherwise, they cheat on them, physically and verbally abusive, etc.. Do they really love them? Obviously not. And so we can see that words mean very little compared to actions, or as only God can see- true belief (which is what your actual belief is outside of what you claim out loud or think of yourself as having). Which is supported by the verse about "bearing fruit". The verse of bearing fruit, in fact, seems to contradict the idea of simply needing to be born again. But I can see how one could argue otherwise, so, let's look at the verse about the amount of people who make it to heaven is like passing through the eye of a needle. If all one has to do is become born again, especially on their death bed, how can it be so simple when this verse seems to suggest otherwise?

    So, what does it mean to be born again? Is it like the person who tells their partner that they love them? I think that the term born again is tricky. Because on one hand I agree that anyone can accept God at any moment in their life, but what exactly does that mean, to accept God? If it's as easy as simply saying it, why wouldn't we have said it right before coming to Earth so we could remain in Heaven?

    I think it's much deeper than expressing it verbally, it's felt in our hearts, through the feeling of Love. And that makes sense bc the Bible says: God IS love. Now, let's look at one more example. We call Jesus our lord and savior, but others call him Yeshua, and others Yahwee. So is the name important? To bring it all back- I think we've gotten too literal with our interpretation. We call Jesus our Lord and savior but, again looking at the example of the partners, is expressing it, or even thinking that we follow Jesus the truth our real faith? Not at all, they are just words. And so if one person follows Jesus, but another Yahwee, who's right? What I'm trying to point at is these are all just words that we verbally express- and they mean very little. What matters is what's in our hearts, bc it's not what we express with our words that's the true representation of our beliefs, it's what's in our hearts- bc that is the TRUE depiction of our faith. And as the Bible also says,even the tax collectors love those who love them, that's easy. And so it's not really in the easy times that we express our faith as much as in the trying times or times where it's easy to hate. And so why would this be brougth up- talking about how even the tax collectors love those who love them? That SHOWS US AGAIN, that it's about what's in our hearts, not what we declare. It also shows something very important, which is that life is about learning to love. Bc God IS love, and so we display our faith in God by how much love we can feel in the trying times. THIS is the TRUE measure of our faith- not what we declare out loud or think our faith is in our minds.

    And so it brings me to my point. When Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life, IMO it didn't mean HE HIMSELF, but rather the way he lived and his message bc it demonstrated how to connect to God and demonstrate your faith in God, which, again, God IS LOVE. And so how can God show favor to the person who becomes "born again" on their death bed by declaration, or even someone who declares themselves born again years and years and years before they die, when they still get angry with others and only can love when it's easy, which clearly shows their TRUE faith, which is actually a demonstration of their complete lack of faith, and that their only demonstration of faith is what they claim (but as we saw before in the relationship example, what we claim means almost nothing, and is only surface value). So how is this person shown favor over the person who isn't "born again", yet demonstrates the messages that Jesus taught- they love those who don't deserve it, and live a good life. Can't you see that being "born again" is really just a show or empty statement and what really matters is what's in our hearts? IMO Jesus taught to love bc that is the connection to God, and our faith is demonstrated by how much we honor that love and connection for God by maintaining that connection to God in the difficult and trying times. That's faith. And so, as I said before, I think that thinking we need to call a specific name or something our "God", is missing the point. It's thinking that words are what's important, which again, the relatinoship example shows they aren't as important as actions, or what really matters, what's in our hearts, our true faith. And I think it's why It's said the first will be last and the last will be first. It's easy to do as one pleases and not be loving and make your own rules when you are a very capable person who can get what they want in life. Bc why does anyhting else matter? I've met SOOO many people who are VERY capable individuals who could care less about the bum on the corner or really anyone else who isn't of value to them. They haven't learned the lessons that those who've suffered have. Why do you think the homeless are so kind and caring? Bc they know what suffering is and they've learned compassion. they've learned what Jesus has taught. And so even though they are last here, they have learned the things that actually matter- compassion, love, etc.. It's not to say those people who are capable can't change their ways, they can. But it's not as easy bc it's much more pleasant to live a nice life here and now without any suffering or thoughts of others. And so again, it points to the idea that it's not just about going to church, or being born again in the sense of claiming to be or going through whatever ritual is involved with it, it's about love. And so if it's about love, and we know that words mean very little, I can't see how anything matters outside what our faith in God is, which again is our connection to God, and again, God IS LOVE. And so, the words or our claims out loud, or to others, or what we think our faith is, isn't the true representation. It's our fruit that we bear. What we've learned and how we practice it, bc that's true faith. And so if words don't mean much, and God is love, what matters? IMO connection to God, which is connection to love. As I've shown, there are many biblical verses that demonstrate this, and IMO it's important to see that faith is God isn't done through worship of a human body, it's of a message, which his message was to Love, bc that's how we connect to God. And so, if this is true, I don't see how God could judge us based on what we claim, but rather, our faith, which is faith in God, which if God is love, it's faith in love, which as I've shown isn't done through words.
     
  7. LightMessenger

    LightMessenger New Member

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    If you want to believe what is Biblical with regard to becoming Born Again then you must believe that it is important to speak out and ask Jesus to come into your life and acknowledge Him as your LORD and Savior. The Prayer of Salvation accomplishes that. A person can be as good as they want to be and as sweet as sugar and still not be saved until they verbally acknowledge Jesus as their LORD and Savior according to the Holy Bible. But there really should be no fighting against that or pushing back on it. It is a most simple act of believing in and giving your life to Jesus Christ in order to become Born Again. That's it. That's how generous God is to Save you!

    And yes, even those who may have committed heinous crimes and who are in their death bed, even if they were formerly atheists, if they, at that very moment before their death are repentant and accept Jesus Christ and declare that they will give their life to Him they will become Born Again and their name will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life which is required in order for them to enter into Heaven for eternity. So please don't be fooled into thinking that just saying those few words cannot save you because it can. God, of course, needless to say does not lie about this. It is just too serious a matter in His Divine and precious eyes and of course God is never misleading when He shows others how to become Saved. He wants for every one of His children to become saved and be able to join Him in Heaven at their appointed time. There is only ONE Way to do that and it is through Jesus Christ.

    Prayer To Become Saved - Born Again. (To be said Meaningfully and Out Loud.)

    "Heavenly Father, I come to thee with contrite heart as I am a sinner who acknowledges my sins. I ask for your forgiveness and also come forth to declare that I Believe and Accept that Jesus Christ is my LORD and Savior who became incarnate and that He is the most beloved and only Son of God. I believe that He was crucified, died, and was buried for my salvation but arose on the third day through God and sits in eternal glory with you, Almighty God. I thank you for coming into my life, my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, and I will follow you all the days of my life. Amen."
     
  8. Natedeezy

    Natedeezy New Member

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    Where does faith come into play then- according to what you've said, faith doesn't mean much if the person I mentioned earlier who is a sociopath and simply said it as a just in case on their death bed is saved the same as someone who practiced love and kindness their entire life and followed Christ's teachings. If being saved is the only thing that matters, why then doesn't the Bible simply state: say (the prayer you mentioned) and you're set- why all the other 1000's of pages? And again, if it were that easy, why wouldn't we have just said that before we were sent to Earth so we could stay in Heaven instead of come here? Let me try to demonstrate this on a different level. Say your best friend or spouse, whatever applies, tells you that they love and care for you but you find out that they talk bad about you behind your back, steal from you, and cheat on you with others (if they are your spouse) but simply bc they said to you that they love you- according to your reasoning, that's what truly matters?
     
  9. LightMessenger

    LightMessenger New Member

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    Those are good questions, Nate, that deserve good answers! The Bible contains much information for mankind's wisdom. I did not write the Bible therefore, do not have all of the answers. However, being saved is of utmost importance to a person because it, in effect, shows their Faith in God, through Jesus Christ, when they say the Prayer of Salvation. You are reaching out to God in that manner and telling Him that you wish to join Him and be saved from eternal darkness by giving your life to Him in the here and now.

    God has an infallible plan for all of us, Nate, even before we are born into a physical body. He sends each and every person to earth because they are meant to learn certain lessons for their greater spiritual growth. If it were as easy as you say to just say the Prayer of Salvation in Heaven and therefore remain in Heaven then that poor soul would never learn how to progress spiritually and would remain stymied forevermore in Heaven. One needs to undergo many lessons, hard ones mainly, in this life in order to gain that experience that will help them spiritually later on when they return to spirit.

    Faith is believing in something that you cannot see or touch such as God. It is important to a person to have faith throughout their life so that they do not make the mistake in believing that they are self-made and do not need God in their life.

    As for the example in your last sentences, a person who says they love you must be true to themselves first before others can believe them. If they are not true then the person they are saying that to may very well know that they are being disengenious with that statement and the truth would therefore be revealed. In order to love someone else a person must love themselves first otherwise their love is like a bitter fruit unto others.
     
  10. JimParker

    JimParker Active Member

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    I just looked up Ekhart Tolle in Wikipedia to get an idea of what he teaches. It is very similar to a portion of what Christian monks have been teaching for almost 2000 years. Without stillness, one cannot hear the voice of God. Lacking stillness is like trying to study for the bar exam with the TV blasting, two babies crying, the dog barking, and someone running a blender while shouting over the din to tell you about their dreadful experience at the Walmart. So, it appears to me that Tolle had discovered an ancient truth just as have many other "spiritual" people from many religions over the ages. God has not kept truth a secret.

    But, there has been only one Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life by whom all mankind comes to God the Father.

    As to the possibility of the Bible having been corrupted over the centuries, that is a common misconception and a false premise used by various cults in order to make their own "gospel" seem more interesting and exciting. There simply is no such possibility.

    There are more than 35,000 ancient manuscripts and parts of manuscripts, some of which date from within a generation of Jesus' and the apostles. Also, there are many more, non-scripture, writings of the early church which quote the gospels and letters of the apostles providing further verification to the degree of accuracy by which the Bible has been transmitted down to us today.

    A good example is provided by the discovery of the "Dead Sea Scrolls" in the middle of the 20th century. They enabled archaeologists to see scriptures written up to 900 years earlier than the oldest existing manuscripts at the time and there were no significant differences between them. There was nothing that would change any meaning of any passage. Since then, more ancient manuscripts have been discovered and none of them change the message.

    As for translations, some are better than others. Some aren't translations; they are Paraphrases which attempt to convey the essence of the passages. But there are many good translations available and they, in no manner, corrupt the message.

    And it is the message which is important, not the exact equivalent word in modern English to the ancient Hebrew or Greek words. And that is because the is no such thing as an "exact equivalent" word in any translation. (Other than words like "and" and "before") Every word in every language is spoken in the context of the culture and current usage of the people speaking the language.

    It is my opinion, based on personal observations, that those who insist that the scriptures have been corrupted have some personal conscious or unconscious need for them to have been corrupted. Serious investigation of the reliability of modern translations invariably concludes that they are reliable.
     
  11. Natedeezy

    Natedeezy New Member

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    Thanks you for the reply! I hear lots of people say this, so could you explain what exactly you mean by "there has been only one Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life by whom all mankind comes to God the Father."? Like, what exactly does it mean that the only way to God is through Jesus, like him as a person, his message, what's most important? I am also curious about your thoughts on 2 passages from the Bible. One is related to your comment about the only way to God is through Jesus, It's Luke 18:19: A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20"You know the commandments, 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'"

    And I'm also curious about your take on this passage, John 10:34: The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." 34Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I SAID, YOU ARE GODS '?
    Oh also, I forgot. 1 more question. Do you believe that Satan can be forgiven and come to heaven?
     
  12. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    Well to be quite frank, this assertion does show you don't know the Bible well. Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and sat under His personal teaching for over 14 years.

    Please read Acts 9 and 2 Cor 12

    Of course it's not that unusual that Paul does have a lot to say, as he was the Apostle to the Gentiles, which most believers are.
    Again called and appointed BY Jesus, as shown in Acts 9:15
    No, as is already shown in the book of Revelation. He has already been judged and awaits his eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Rev 20:10
     
  13. JimParker

    JimParker Active Member

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    <<…what exactly does it mean that the only way to God is through Jesus, like him as a person, his message, what's most important? >>

    What God did in Jesus is what is most important.

    The story of the fall of man, Adam and Eve eating the “forbidden” fruit, tells us of the choice that every person makes; “Will I serve God (because He is God) or will I serve myself as if I were a god?”

    Mankind was created “in the image and likeness of God” but wanted to have life in himself and for himself. Only God has life by nature. (Life is an attribute of His divine being.) Man, being created rather than divine, has life as a gift from God. Choosing to serve oneself and be a god in one’s own right is a choice to separate oneself from God. When we do that we separate ourselves from the source of life and we die.

    When God the word became flesh (John 1:14), He deified human flesh. We still die because of our sins, but all of mankind will be raised imperishable and immortal. The power of death has been overcome; death can no longer hold mankind in the grave. Through the deification of man, all of mankind has been reunited with God through Christ.

    “Where” any particular individual spends that eternity depends on the choices each person makes.

    Rom 2:6-10 (God) “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, …. but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, …

    It is because Christ has deified human nature, that all mankind is able to come to the Father if anyone chooses to do so. No one is forced to choose what is best but God (the Holy Spirit) draws everyone to Him.

    An illustration of God’s invitation to eternal “glory, honor, and peace” is found in the parable of the King who invited guests to the wedding feast prepared for His son. (Mat 22:2-10) The king represents God the Father, the Son represents Jesus, and the servants sent to call the guests, the Holy Spirit. (perhaps speaking through the prophets)

    It is also indicated in John 3:16-17.

    Concerning << Luke 18:19: A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.>>

    Jesus rejects the ruler’s calling Him “good” because the ruler has no idea that Jesus is God the word incarnate. He thinks Jesus is a traveling preacher, a rabbi. (Teacher) No human being can truly be called “good” because al have sinned. Since the ruler was unaware of Jesus’ sinlessness and deity, calling Him “good” was an error on the part of the ruler.

    Concerning << John 10:33-34: The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I SAID, YOU ARE GODS '? >>

    That is a reference to Psalm 82:6 I said, “You are gods. And all of you are children of the Most High.”

    Mankind was created to be LIKE God; we are like His “children.” It has always been God’s will that we be like Him and draw near to Him by imitating Him.

    The way in which we are to imitate God is described by Jesus at Mat 22:37-40:

    “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

    At John 10:33, “The Jews” identifies the people who wanted to stone Jesus as those who were opposed to His preaching. They had already decided they were not going to accept anything He said and that they would seek a reason (excuse) to kill Him. Jesus did not speak plainly to them because of the hardness of their hearts. (See Mat 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”)

    << Do you believe that Satan can be forgiven and come to heaven? >>

    First, consider what the word "heaven" means. It is a word which we use to describe something of which we have no direct knowledge. In eternity, we will all be in God's presence because it will be God who sustains everyone's existence. Our experience of His presence may be what determines what Heaven is and what Hell is. IF we hated God in our physical lives, how will we experience His love and eternal presence in eternity?


    Universal salvation is not an “official” teaching of any denomination of which I am awar. But I do think that it is a possibility based on my trust in God’s mercy.

    Mic 7:18 Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
    He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.

    What God chooses to do with Satan and the demons and all condemned sinners is God’s business and way above my pay grade. But it wouldn’t surprise me if He made repentance and forgiveness available to all of creation, not just us “Bible thumpers.”
    <<Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus>> :huh:

    That was a personal vision/revelation which only Paul experienced. It is hardly the equivalent of what the apostles experienced living with Him for three years or the experience of the men on the road to Emmaus.

    You are confusing categories of experience.

    << and sat under His personal teaching for over 14 years.>> :wacko:

    That is absolutely NOT what that passage says.

    "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven."

    JTLYK: The words "fourteen years ago" do not have the same meaning as "for fourteen years."

    In that sentence. Paul referred to a single event which occurred 14 years prior to the writing of 2 Corinthians, not to a 14-year period during which Paul "sat under Jesus' personal teaching." Please don't make up stuff and pretend "it's right there in the Bible."



    "Step away from the Bible and no one gets hurt." <_<
     
  14. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    Well you can try to show this was not as valid or real as Jesus choosing the 12. It wasn't exactly personal, as v7 shows the men travelling with Paul also heard this sound and Ananias was also part of Paul's call and confirmed it to Paul what Jesus had told him.

    Well it is if you take all of what Paul taught into account. If you actually study the timeline you will find out it was well over 14 years between Paul's conversion and writing in 2 Corinthians. Also Galatians 1:11-12 is pretty clear about WHO taught Jesus.
    Your opinion is noted, but as it is NOT corroborated with anything but denial, it is dismissed.
     
  15. JimParker

    JimParker Active Member

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    << Well you can try to show this was not as valid or real >>

    Is English a second language for you? (Seriously. You seem to be having difficulty understanding what people post to you.)

    I didn't say that Paul's vision was invalid. I said it was not the equivalent of the apostles spending 3 years with Jesus.

    Do you understand the difference or do I need to attempt further clarification?

    <<If you actually study the timeline you will find out it was well over 14 years between Paul's conversion and writing in 2 Corinthians.>>

    Again, do you need help with the English language?

    I ask because, if you actually read what Paul said, you wouldn't have made such a ridiculous statement about Paul being taught by Jesus for 14 years.

    2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven...

    Note the word "ago". That means "at a point in the past." "Fourteen years" tells you how far back in the past.


    In the 2 Cor 12:2 Paul said that He (though he avoids naming himself) had an experience 14 years prior.

    There is no "timeline" required. Paul, himself told you it was 14 years earlier.

    BUT, HE DOES NOT SAY, suggest, or in any way imply, that he spent 14 years being taught by Jesus.


    <<Galatians 1:11-12 is pretty clear about WHO taught Jesus.>>

    Again; READ what it says.

    Gal 1:11-12 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

    There Paul explicitly says the he was not taught the Gospel by ANYONE. The Gospel came to him through a revelation of Jesus Christ. That happened on the road to Damascus. It lasted no more than 2 or 3 minutes and nobody else who was traveling with Paul heard or understood what had happened.

    Do you know the difference in meaning between "teach" and "reveal"? (apparently not)

    Here: Be taught by a Mirriam-Webster Dicionary and perhaps the difference will be revealed to you.

    Teach:

    : to cause or help (someone) to learn about a subject by giving lessons
    : to give lessons about (a particular subject) to a person or group
    : to cause or help (a person or animal) to learn how to do something by giving lessons, showing how it is done, etc.

    This is what teachers do in a class setting.

    Reveal:

    : to make (something) known
    : to show or prove that (someone) is a particular type of person
    : to show (something) plainly or clearly
    : to make (something that was hidden) able to be seen

    This is what happens when someone suddenly understands.




    Previous to the revelation to Paul, on the road to Damascus, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, Paul did not understand the Gospel in spite of the fact that he knew the scriptures better than most people of his generation.

    He thought Jesus was a blasphemer. He thought all of Jesus followers were also blasphemers. That's why he got warrants to hunt them down and kill them.

    When the truth of who Jesus is was REVEALED to Paul, by Jesus, in a vision on the Damascus road. Paul was already a scholar on the scriptures having been TAUGHT by Gamaliel. When Jesus revealed Himself to Paul, it was revealed to him that all the scripture he knew and could recite by heart, every last word was about Jesus.

    That was a REVELATION. That's how he came to know the Gospel.

    There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament which makes even the slightest suggestion that Jesus personally taught Paul for 14 years as you have so absurdly stated.
     
  16. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    I really wish you would learn to use the tools on this forum properly.

    I'll ignore your typical tantrum.

    You said; "That was a personal vision/revelation which only Paul experienced. It is hardly the equivalent of what the apostles experienced living with Him for three years or the experience of the men on the road to Emmaus."

    I responded to what you said. If you don't want misunderstandings then make your responses clearer or more succinct. In this case the shoe fits.
    and so you know, despite providing NOTHING to the contrary, that it wasn't for 14 years as well?
     
  17. JimParker

    JimParker Active Member

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    I am not ranting or mocking.

    You have a serious problem understanding what people post to you. It appears to be almost impossible for you to understand simple statements.
     
  18. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    So how long did it take John to write Revelation and how do you know how long one takes? Three years at least for the 12 apostles but obviously more time for Paul, but I don't speculate on the length as you seem to do.
    The revelation definitely did NOT come on the road to Damascus, as Ananias had to tell Paul more to even get him started. We know based on Gal 1:17, that he went to Arabia after his conversion, and then returned to Damascus for 3 years, before going to Jerusalem. You seem to forget that Moses spent many years in the desert of Median, preparing just as did John the Baptist did in his day.
    More ranting and mocking I see.
     
  19. Natedeezy

    Natedeezy New Member

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    JimParker, thank you for taking the time to write that out! You are unlike most Christian's I've met, and I'm thankful for that! StanJ. For a Godly man, you seem to be quite provocative and then play the noble card when someone calls you on it. I'm guessing this trait leaks into many facets of your life (I'm speaking from personal experience- I'm guilty from time to time of it too), and I can assure you from the amount I do know about the purpose of life, this is definitely not smiled upon by God.

    I have another question that is a bit different, but I think still applies to everything. I had an experience with a sociopath. I dunno if you've ever met one- they're actually quite common, and most people who have met one don't know bc they're very good at keeping it concealed, but I was luckily around them long enough to spot them. Anyway, they lie, are deceptive in all forms of life, are very charismatic and the life of the party, but they basically have no conscience. Anyway, I get caught up in the idea that I or anyone else could have just as easily been born into their body and be naturally drawn to these things. So, I get caught up in the idea of what's the point of everything- being nice and good, when it's all pretty much a product of the body and situation I was born into- and if any of us were born into a sociopath body, they'd be like them. I know if you've never met one, you'd think you'd be able to will your way to God, but believe me, I've talked to them and asked them why they lie and after a few times asking they finally told me. But then the next couple times we hung out they lied again- they hadn't changed at all. In fact, I don't think it's really a choice they'd willfully make. I saw an interview of someone who said they identified with sociopathic traits when they heard about them, lack of empathy etc, but they believed that bc of thir upbringing with a loving family, that's what caused them to not act of these impulses. they said they still had them, like it was ingrained in their body, but they just didn't act on them. And please don't mistake sociopathy with the natural urges we all have, like that of the libido and whatnot, this is quite different. So I was wondering what your take on that is in regards to the purpose of life and everything.
     
  20. lforrest

    lforrest Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin

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    I have had the same question concerning sociopaths. No liar can go to heaven, so what hope is there for them?

    The hope I see is the healing power of Jesus Christ, who can heal their mental disorder.
     
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