Hello I have a few questions.

  • Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Sky_Rail

New Member
Nov 16, 2009
7
0
0
These are questions I have had for some time. Please, I don't ask them to start a flame war or an argument. I just would like straightforward answers to help me clarify and understand. I am a 48 year old father of 2. I attended Bible College in the early 80's. I grew up in a Christian home. My father and mother attended a Methodist church that moved into the gifts of the Spirit and then became Charismatic.I accepted Christ as my Savior and felt I was called to serve God in the Ministry as a Pastor or in Missions. As I grew older and read the Bible I hit a wall and had some strong questions regarding many of the beliefs Christians accept.I have seen so much manipulation of what has been written in the Bible to justify people’s actions it astounds me. I read the Bible and I see so many things that don't make sense and when I question them people blow me off and call me evil for even daring to question the Word of God. My father who was a Missionary to the Blackfoot Indians got cancer in 1986 the church prayed and anointed him and claimed that God would heal him. My father died in 87. Those that prayed stopped visiting my mother and a few said God let him die because he must have had sin in his life. This is so sad staining a man’s name and commitment to his faith to explain why their prayers failed. A few of the things that concern me are.1) If God is perfect then how could he create something that fails. (man)2) If God gives us free will why are those that choose to not follow his plan sentenced to eternal suffering. It sounds more like an ultimatum than a choice.3) If God created us and loves us why does he not talk to us face to face after we give our hearts to Christ? If I created something I loved i would want to have a close open relationship with it.4) Why would anyone who is supposed to be the very substance of Love want to condemn its creation to eternal suffering for making a mistake. If my child makes an error I punish them show them I still love them. I don't alienate them and refuse to meet them face to face.5) In the Old Testament when Pharaoh was told to let God's people go he at one point agreed and told them to go. Then the Bible says God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. How is that free will when God manipulates someone after they repented?Thank you for this opportunity to ask a few of the questions I have. I did not come here to cause contention or start flame wars. I am happy to just pose the questions to you in private.Thanks again.Sky
 

whirlwind

New Member
Nov 8, 2007
1,286
30
0
76
[quote name='Sky_Rail;74958]These are questions I have had for some time. Please' date=' I don't ask them to start a flame war or an argument. I just would like straightforward answers to help me clarify and understand. I am a 48 year old father of 2. I attended Bible College in the early 80's. I grew up in a Christian home. My father and mother attended a Methodist church that moved into the gifts of the Spirit and then became Charismatic. I accepted Christ as my Savior and felt I was called to serve God in the Ministry as a Pastor or in Missions. As I grew older and read the Bible I hit a wall and had some strong questions regarding many of the beliefs Christians accept. I have seen so much manipulation of what has been written in the Bible to justify people’s actions it astounds me. I read the Bible and I see so many things that don't make sense and when I question them people blow me off and call me evil for even daring to question the Word of God. My father who was a Missionary to the Blackfoot Indians got cancer in 1986 the church prayed and anointed him and claimed that God would heal him. My father died in 87. Those that prayed stopped visiting my mother and a few said God let him die because he must have had sin in his life. This is so sad staining a man’s name and commitment to his faith to explain why their prayers failed. A few of the things that concern me are. 1) If God is perfect then how could he create something that fails. (man)2) If God gives us free will why are those that choose to not follow his plan sentenced to eternal suffering. It sounds more like an ultimatum than a choice.3) If God created us and loves us why does he not talk to us face to face after we give our hearts to Christ? If I created something I loved i would want to have a close open relationship with it.4) Why would anyone who is supposed to be the very substance of Love want to condemn its creation to eternal suffering for making a mistake. If my child makes an error I punish them show them I still love them. I don't alienate them and refuse to meet them face to face.5) In the Old Testament when Pharaoh was told to let God's people go he at one point agreed and told them to go. Then the Bible says God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. How is that free will when God manipulates someone after they repented? Thank you for this opportunity to ask a few of the questions I have. I did not come here to cause contention or start flame wars. I am happy to just pose the questions to you in private. Thanks again. Sky[/QUOTE'] Hello Sky and welcome....:) 1. God is perfect and we do not fail. Our flesh body returns to dust but not us...our soul/spirit steps out upon our physcial death and we are as we were before being born in this age. 2. Those those choose not to follow Him are taught in the millennium age. At the end of that time they are again tested, when Satan is released for a short time....Then, those that again follow him, and there will be many, are gone. They don't writhe in torment forever. 3. He does talk to us face to face...everyday in His Word. Psalms 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 4. He died for our sins Sky. We are forgiven upon repentance. Perhaps you have not yet forgiven yourself. He does love us. 5. Did he repent? God used him for a purpose. I've got to go...hope this helped. Again, I'm glad you're here.
 

WhiteKnuckle

New Member
Mar 29, 2009
866
42
0
46
The only stupid question is the one not asked.... Too many Christians have what I call, Unemotional Hatred. It's not fueld my emotion, and they don't realize it's there, but most of it stems from not understanding the Word of God. They don't want to understand. Anyway,,, here's some of my thoughts on your questions..
1) If God is perfect then how could he create something that fails. (man)
Even though Man fails,, God still created us. He loves us and Cares, and planned through the foreknowledge of our failures. He provided Jesus Christ the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. His grace is sufficient for us. Even though we fail, He loves us and provides redemtion for us to present us before His throne unblemished in white robes washed in the Blood. Our failures and our shortcommings are nothing compared to the grace, love, and redemtion we have through Jesus Christ. So, all in all, we're set up for eternal success, not failure.
2) If God gives us free will why are those that choose to not follow his plan sentenced to eternal suffering. It sounds more like an ultimatum than a choice.
I don't know the mind of God. I do know that all things set forth from Him are for our own Good. Sin breeds sin, a sinfull man will increase his sins. I'm not sure about eternal suffering and many people don't think there is. However,,We still have a choice to follow or not to follow Jesus. I'm sorry I'm not much help on this question.
3) If God created us and loves us why does he not talk to us face to face after we give our hearts to Christ? If I created something I loved i would want to have a close open relationship with it.
Blessed is he who believes without seeing. God lives in our hearts, inside us, and speaks to our minds and our spirits and directs our feet. He has a personal relationship with us through the Holy Spirit. Which is much more than in ancient times when God only spoke to certain people at certain times. There were times when the Holy Spirit was upon men, but left after a time. Now, He will never leave us or forsake us. We have an open relationship and line of communication ALWAYs to God through Jesus Christ.
4) Why would anyone who is supposed to be the very substance of Love want to condemn its creation to eternal suffering for making a mistake. If my child makes an error I punish them show them I still love them. I don't alienate them and refuse to meet them face to face.
The Lord punishes those He loves. People are alienated because that's what they choose, some say God chooses that for them, I don't believe that. That's why we're supposed to warn others and love others. Show them the Love of Christ so that they will turn and repent and have eternal life. Everone will see God face to face one day. Why God does what he does to humans I don't know. But, the wages of sin are death. If Jesus died only for those who believe, and still saved those who didn't believe then His death means nothing.
5) In the Old Testament when Pharaoh was told to let God's people go he at one point agreed and told them to go. Then the Bible says God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. How is that free will when God manipulates someone after they repented?
Pharoh had a hard heart from the beginning. Everytime he let them go, he later hardened his own heart, and God hardened it even farther. Pharoh played games, and God gave Pharoh what Pharoh wanted, which was a hard heart. God knew before time that Pharoh would never truely soften his heart and repent and turn from his sins and his own mind.
 

Miss Hepburn

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2009
1,670
1,325
113
USA
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Addition to 3 and 4...3. A close, intimate, personal relationship can indeed be had with the Lord. In fact that's why we were made. :)But, one must Be Still and know that He is God ----Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Think about the ways you could Delight in the Lord ---really get into it - see where it leads you. :)It is true many people/Christians have no idea that they are able to be intimate with their Creator/Lover/Father/Sustainer/Best Friend.They don't teach it usually from a pulpit, I understand.4. He doesn't condemn us for eternity for a mistake. The Bible is an Epic Love Story, The Divine Romance - it' hard to understand sometimes with the typical fire and brimstone teachings that I understand are so prevelant in some churches, but when looking at the whole picture - there is completion at the end of the story. Ahh, it is a Love Story. (Maybe we could talk about Hosea sometime...oh, that bad girl Gomer.)I'd like to see how everybody answers #5 - I'm not that familiar with the story.I'm newish.:) Miss Hepburn - My 2 cents.................................................................................................Did I ever tell the story about the thief that walked along with a rich traveler -wanting to steal from him? First chance was at the first rest stop -while the richman went to dinner the thief ransacked his room ---no money.The next evening at an Inn the same thing ---finally the theif confessed along the road - and asked "Where do you keep your treasure? I've looked each night in your room?"The richman said, "Why, under your own pillow -it's the last place you'd look."Bada-bing...................................................................................................
 

Sky_Rail

New Member
Nov 16, 2009
7
0
0
You folks have been so kind and I read through your answers rather quickly and will give them proper time later as I am on Break at work and can't do them justice untill I get home. Thank you so much for your time you have given me. This alone means so much as people I ask face to face roll the eyes and dismiss me as a nuisance. Thanks Again,Sky
 

Jordan

Active Member
Apr 6, 2007
4,875
6
38
[quote name='Sky_Rail;74958]These are questions I have had for some time. Please' date=' I don't ask them to start a flame war or an argument. I just would like straightforward answers to help me clarify and understand. I am a 48 year old father of 2. I attended Bible College in the early 80's. I grew up in a Christian home. My father and mother attended a Methodist church that moved into the gifts of the Spirit and then became Charismatic.I accepted Christ as my Savior and felt I was called to serve God in the Ministry as a Pastor or in Missions. As I grew older and read the Bible I hit a wall and had some strong questions regarding many of the beliefs Christians accept.I have seen so much manipulation of what has been written in the Bible to justify people’s actions it astounds me. I read the Bible and I see so many things that don't make sense and when I question them people blow me off and call me evil for even daring to question the Word of God. My father who was a Missionary to the Blackfoot Indians got cancer in 1986 the church prayed and anointed him and claimed that God would heal him. My father died in 87. Those that prayed stopped visiting my mother and a few said God let him die because he must have had sin in his life. This is so sad staining a man’s name and commitment to his faith to explain why their prayers failed. A few of the things that concern me are.1) If God is perfect then how could he create something that fails. (man)2) If God gives us free will why are those that choose to not follow his plan sentenced to eternal suffering. It sounds more like an ultimatum than a choice.3) If God created us and loves us why does he not talk to us face to face after we give our hearts to Christ? If I created something I loved i would want to have a close open relationship with it.4) Why would anyone who is supposed to be the very substance of Love want to condemn its creation to eternal suffering for making a mistake. If my child makes an error I punish them show them I still love them. I don't alienate them and refuse to meet them face to face.5) In the Old Testament when Pharaoh was told to let God's people go he at one point agreed and told them to go. Then the Bible says God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. How is that free will when God manipulates someone after they repented?Thank you for this opportunity to ask a few of the questions I have. I did not come here to cause contention or start flame wars. I am happy to just pose the questions to you in private.Thanks again.Sky[/QUOTE']Good Afternoon Sky! How are you today?
Question #1 - If God is perfect then how could he create something that fails. (man)
God did create us perfect... there was no sin for us humans whatsoever in Genesis 1. God always call them good. (Genesis 1:3-31) Even the Earth (Genesis 1:1) until an incident happened at that time (Genesis 1:2) Sin for us humans started at Genesis 3. The Truth in the knowledge of God is very detailed and pleasant, but to use that knowledge... God expects us to use common sense... Common Sense is always good for a Healthy Learning, and Healthy debate. (not arguments) Our flesh will return to thr ground... Our soul was created many years ago before we existed as humans...
Question #2 - If God gives us free will why are those that choose to not follow his plan sentenced to eternal suffering. It sounds more like an ultimatum than a choice.
God did say we have free will.John 14:17 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.andII Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.is by far the clearest Bible verses to indicate Free Will. Our choice in path we take indeed. We can choose to hate or Love all of mankind... I of course choose Love, because God created us... Love is a very powerful form. So I also choose to Love God.
Question #3 - If God created us and loves us why does he not talk to us face to face after we give our hearts to Christ? If I created something I loved i would want to have a close open relationship with it.
I agree with Whirlwind that He does talk face to face in His Word, because I experience it when I first read the Bible... now I don't know much at that time, but I felt peace in my heart, because I knew He cares about us...Psalm 40:7 - Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,Hebrews 10:7 - Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.The Bible in itself has has multiple witnesses. God does speak to us in face to face, in His Word... it should always be our primary, as...Mark 13:23 - But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.God promised us to tell us everything. God can never break a promise. Any relationship, including a relationship with God is a 2 way street, that means for a successful relationship between the two, both of them has to keep their promise to one another and fulfill its duty.
Question #4 - Why would anyone who is supposed to be the very substance of Love want to condemn its creation to eternal suffering for making a mistake. If my child makes an error I punish them show them I still love them. I don't alienate them and refuse to meet them face to face.
Correct, Love does not alienate anyone. Love does not condemn anyone. We are created by God as we are part of nature. God only creates everything good as everything God created is nature. Even the punishment you said on here and still love them, is nature.To alienate, to condemn it's creations, to force one, is a form of Lack of Love. A form of Hate. God can not be around in any form that associates Hate and Lack of Love.God doesn't refuse to meet us face to face... It is a lack of Faith that blinds us to not see that He is always there. Physical eyesight can and will deceive us, if our spiritual experience is not healthy. Love always existed in spiritual as well as the outward part. (Physical)II Corinthians 5:7 - (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)As far as "eternity" shows, this goes to say that the more you know His Word... the more you know the meaning behind the word "eternity" and "forever and ever"... God's Words has more than one levels of teaching, hence the reason the Bible is called a Living Book. But God is completely fair and just to His children.
Question #5 - In the Old Testament when Pharaoh was told to let God's people go he at one point agreed and told them to go. Then the Bible says God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. How is that free will when God manipulates someone after they repented?
Each action that a human does (including us and the Pharaoh) has a reason... Is he sincere in his action to let go of God's people? Did he truly repent of his ways and completely gave his life to God? Is his reason good in the sight of God? Or is his reason very selfish for his own way and not according in the sight of God?Discernment is what we need to do in this times... Every action has a reason, regardless if s/he himself/herself doesn't know it. I hope this has help you with this post.
 

Miss Hepburn

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2009
1,670
1,325
113
USA
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Great responses from everyone, wow. Nice to be in such good company. :)I'm sorry our friend has had people just roll their eyes.I would like to add - yes - isn't it wonderful to experience the Lord in His Words -they are alive.But there is a Love Letter we can read and fray the pages - from our re-reading and caressing of them ---but then, there is the Person Themselves ---face to face --it indicates to me, personally, a special person that does not want to settle for a Love Letter.What say you, Sky?Love Letter or the real Thing?Which were you speaking about?Miss Hepburn
 

Miss Hepburn

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2009
1,670
1,325
113
USA
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
God doesn't refuse to meet us face to face... It is a lack of Faith that blinds us to not see that He is always there.-Jordan
I submit, respectfully ---it is not a lack of faith at all - not even a little bit- faith not being within 30 miles of it...you are correct -"God does not refuse to meet us face to face" ---though shy ---what "blinds us" is raw, unadulterated fear.Salt and peppered with a truck load of distraction ---manifesting in supreme lack of focus on the goal.You can take that to the bank.Thanks, Sky.;) Miss Hepburn
 

Miss Hepburn

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2009
1,670
1,325
113
USA
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
If Jesus died only for those who believe, and still saved those who didn't believe then His death means nothing. -Whiteknuckle
Darlin', will you explain what you mean here?Thanks,Miss Hepburn
 

Redeemed22

New Member
Nov 10, 2009
45
0
0
Citizen of Heaven
Sky_Rail;74958]1) If God is perfect then how could he create something that fails. (man)2) If God gives us free will why are those that choose to not follow his plan sentenced to eternal suffering. It sounds more like an ultimatum than a choice.3) If God created us and loves us why does he not talk to us face to face after we give our hearts to Christ? If I created something I loved i would want to have a close open relationship with it.4) Why would anyone who is supposed to be the very substance of Love want to condemn its creation to eternal suffering for making a mistake. If my child makes an error I punish them show them I still love them. I don said:
. In other words, people can fail at many things that do not reflect upon the perfection of the Maker. The perfection of the Maker would come into question if the purpose of God was frustrated by man's various "failings". However, scripture reveals that God frustrates the plans of people and nations, not the other way around. Psalm 33:10. God is a Redeemer. God brings the "perfection" to man in a process.... which is not fully complete until Judgment (on Christ's back or on a person's own). Would you criticize a Potter halfway through the kneading process that the lump of clay is hardly a useful pot? Keep in mind that you are at only the middle of the story, and God is at the beginning, middle, and end, and elsewhere!2) Are you even entitled to a free choice? Isn't it a glorious and underserved thing when we are granted it? Notice that the "ultimatum" that we are granted was an expensive one. Christ gave totally of himself to give us the very option (can you choose without an option?) of salvation. Free will, whatever it is, is not the absence of consequences. What if your boss told you, "Work, or I will fire you!"?....an ultimatum indeed! But is he impeding your free will? A Potter has the right to demand of the clay what He wishes, and to institute just wages for those who disobey. Indeed the Potter may also give undeserved honor to whichever pot He chooses.3) I have often wondered this myself. One of the things I have discovered is that it is pleasing to God and expressive of His glory that His love relationship with us builds within us over time until it is completed in heaven. Like a marriage, where there is a period of courting, engagement, and then finally a seal (ring), ceremony, and consummation, intimacy is a building wave in God's plan. By our free will, we sometimes fail to do the things that He has given the ability to do that increase intimacy- prayer, reading the Word, sharing the Gospel, etc. The Potter doesn't use a pot for certain special purposes while He is still molding it. He doesn't hang it on a wall for all to see, because it is not finished. The Potter will finish His masterpiece, and then there will be full and abundant intimacy, forever. Good question.4) God provides discipline in this life, just as a loving father does. Discipline expresses love, just as you do it to express love to your child, Sky. Judgment is not discipline. Sometimes in English we use "punish" interchangeably with discipline and justice, though they are not the same. God, who is the very essence of Love, is also the very essence of Justice. Did not God love Christ? God's love didn't restrain Him from sending Christ to suffer to fulfill Justice. Love doesn't cancel justice. In fact, it is love that pays the heavy cost of justice undeservedly on behalf of the guilty. The Potter owes the clay nothing. To be honored by the Potter shows the Potter's love. To be discarded by the Potter shows the Potter's holiness. We should have all been discarded. For a Holy God to not discard something that deserved to be discarded, the Potter had to pay a price. And what a heavy price!5) As mentioned before, we have no evidence that Pharaoh repented. At best, we can know he gave in. Sky, you yourself don't think much of a choice comes from ultimatums, do you? Then why would you be impressed with Pharaoh's "choice"? Why would "giving in" be meritorious, and meritorious enough to bend God's plan? Now, suppose you believed, as I do, that the kinds of "ultimatums" from God are loving and just and fair and wonderful, and not actually destroying our ability to choose, there would still be no contradiction. I believe any choice we are given is by grace, and anything decided for us is just. Romans 9:16-24. We accept many things that God has decided for us as perfectly just and fair and absolutely under the right of the designer....that we don't have 3 legs (usually), 9 eyes (usually), or planet- sized belly buttons; that we don't have 19 genetic parents, that we don't live 4555 years, that we can't eat sky trains (individually, that is).... even our repentance is a result of God's kindness... God has set parameters for our choices, and has the right to do so. This doesn't nullify free will. I can't jump to the moon, as much as might desire. Also, God influences our choices. On first mention, this sounds bad. But think about scripture. God speaks to us, and His words are powerful. God's words DEFINATELY have some effect on our choices. So it is natural and just and normal that there are parameters for our choices, and that God influences them. It doesn't nullify free will. Rather it defines it setting boundaries and protecting it. God interfered with my suicide attempt. He "VIOLATED MY FREE WILL" in a sense, but in another sense listened to it: I had previously given my life to Him. Suppose Pharaoh had chosen to be in rebellion of God; God may have honored this choice by keeping Pharaoh’s original plan in place. Indeed, God could have smudged Pharaoh out (killed him) 5 minutes before Pharaoh gave in, and the decree that the Israelites were not free would have still stood. Maybe God in kindness gave Pharaoh more time than Pharaoh could have had coming, and restored Pharaoh's original choice in the meantime. That seems like a silly explanation, but the point is that God is sovereign and has the timeless right to be sovereign by virtue of being the Potter. God was glorified by hardening Pharaohs’ heart. [Pharaoh already chose a hard heart]. God's glory from this went to the world. Romans 9:17. The knowing of God's glory is a favor itself... and by grace. God showed kindness to the world by hardening Pharaohs’ heart. God also made it clear the GOD and NOT PHARAOH set the captives free. It is loving of God for Him to unambiguously display that GOD ALONE is the source of salvation, not some king or TV preacher. It is loving of the Potter for the Potter to make it clear who is shaping and who is being shaped.Thanks for your honest and heartfelt questions. Feel free to ask for clarifications in what I said; I can become obscure when I am verbose, and am not always correct anyway!Saved by the Father who rejoices in the 1 over the 99,-Redeemed22
 

Miss Hepburn

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2009
1,670
1,325
113
USA
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Redeemed,Impressive.Are you by chance 22 yrs old?:) Miss Hepburn
 

WhiteKnuckle

New Member
Mar 29, 2009
866
42
0
46
Redeemed22;74978]Don said:
. In other words, people can fail at many things that do not reflect upon the perfection of the Maker. The perfection of the Maker would come into question if the purpose of God was frustrated by man's various "failings". However, scripture reveals that God frustrates the plans of people and nations, not the other way around. Psalm 33:10. God is a Redeemer. God brings the "perfection" to man in a process.... which is not fully complete until Judgment (on Christ's back or on a person's own). Would you criticize a Potter halfway through the kneading process that the lump of clay is hardly a useful pot? Keep in mind that you are at only the middle of the story, and God is at the beginning, middle, and end, and elsewhere! 2) Are you even entitled to a free choice? Isn't it a glorious and underserved thing when we are granted it? Notice that the "ultimatum" that we are granted was an expensive one. Christ gave totally of himself to give us the very option (can you choose without an option?) of salvation. Free will, whatever it is, is not the absence of consequences. What if your boss told you, "Work, or I will fire you!"?....an ultimatum indeed! But is he impeding your free will? A Potter has the right to demand of the clay what He wishes, and to institute just wages for those who disobey. Indeed the Potter may also give undeserved honor to whichever pot He chooses. 3) I have often wondered this myself. One of the things I have discovered is that it is pleasing to God and expressive of His glory that His love relationship with us builds within us over time until it is completed in heaven. Like a marriage, where there is a period of courting, engagement, and then finally a seal (ring), ceremony, and consummation, intimacy is a building wave in God's plan. By our free will, we sometimes fail to do the things that He has given the ability to do that increase intimacy- prayer, reading the Word, sharing the Gospel, etc. The Potter doesn't use a pot for certain special purposes while He is still molding it. He doesn't hang it on a wall for all to see, because it is not finished. The Potter will finish His masterpiece, and then there will be full and abundant intimacy, forever. Good question. 4) God provides discipline in this life, just as a loving father does. Discipline expresses love, just as you do it to express love to your child, Sky. Judgment is not discipline. Sometimes in English we use "punish" interchangeably with discipline and justice, though they are not the same. God, who is the very essence of Love, is also the very essence of Justice. Did not God love Christ? God's love didn't restrain Him from sending Christ to suffer to fulfill Justice. Love doesn't cancel justice. In fact, it is love that pays the heavy cost of justice undeservedly on behalf of the guilty. The Potter owes the clay nothing. To be honored by the Potter shows the Potter's love. To be discarded by the Potter shows the Potter's holiness. We should have all been discarded. For a Holy God to not discard something that deserved to be discarded, the Potter had to pay a price. And what a heavy price! 5) As mentioned before, we have no evidence that Pharaoh repented. At best, we can know he gave in. Sky, you yourself don't think much of a choice comes from ultimatums, do you? Then why would you be impressed with Pharaoh's "choice"? Why would "giving in" be meritorious, and meritorious enough to bend God's plan? Now, suppose you believed, as I do, that the kinds of "ultimatums" from God are loving and just and fair and wonderful, and not actually destroying our ability to choose, there would still be no contradiction. I believe any choice we are given is by grace, and anything decided for us is just. Romans 9:16-24. We accept many things that God has decided for us as perfectly just and fair and absolutely under the right of the designer....that we don't have 3 legs (usually), 9 eyes (usually), or planet- sized belly buttons; that we don't have 19 genetic parents, that we don't live 4555 years, that we can't eat sky trains (individually, that is).... even our repentance is a result of God's kindness... God has set parameters for our choices, and has the right to do so. This doesn't nullify free will. I can't jump to the moon, as much as might desire. Also, God influences our choices. On first mention, this sounds bad. But think about scripture. God speaks to us, and His words are powerful. God's words DEFINATELY have some effect on our choices. So it is natural and just and normal that there are parameters for our choices, and that God influences them. It doesn't nullify free will. Rather it defines it setting boundaries and protecting it. God interfered with my suicide attempt. He "VIOLATED MY FREE WILL" in a sense, but in another sense listened to it: I had previously given my life to Him. Suppose Pharaoh had chosen to be in rebellion of God; God may have honored this choice by keeping Pharaoh’s original plan in place. Indeed, God could have smudged Pharaoh out (killed him) 5 minutes before Pharaoh gave in, and the decree that the Israelites were not free would have still stood. Maybe God in kindness gave Pharaoh more time than Pharaoh could have had coming, and restored Pharaoh's original choice in the meantime. That seems like a silly explanation, but the point is that God is sovereign and has the timeless right to be sovereign by virtue of being the Potter. God was glorified by hardening Pharaohs’ heart. [Pharaoh already chose a hard heart]. God's glory from this went to the world. Romans 9:17. The knowing of God's glory is a favor itself... and by grace. God showed kindness to the world by hardening Pharaohs’ heart. God also made it clear the GOD and NOT PHARAOH set the captives free. It is loving of God for Him to unambiguously display that GOD ALONE is the source of salvation, not some king or TV preacher. It is loving of the Potter for the Potter to make it clear who is shaping and who is being shaped. Thanks for your honest and heartfelt questions. Feel free to ask for clarifications in what I said; I can become obscure when I am verbose, and am not always correct anyway! Saved by the Father who rejoices in the 1 over the 99,-Redeemed22
Well said!
 

Adstar

New Member
Sep 17, 2009
286
6
0
Hello Sky_rail Hope i can help you with some of your questions.
Sky_Rail;74958]These are questions I have had for some time. Please said:
He does not condemn people for sinning. He condemns people for sinning wilfully with a rebellious attitude to what is Good. Hate what is evil Love what is Good. God has provided the atonement for our mistakes. When people reject that atonement they are saying "I have no mistakes to be forgiven for" therefore they demonstrate that they are calling evil good and calling what God has provided evil. People are not condemned for sinning but for rejecting the idea of sin and rejecting the forgiveness God has freely provided as a gift.
5) In the Old Testament when Pharaoh was told to let God's people go he at one point agreed and told them to go. Then the Bible says God hardened Pharaohs’ heart. How is that free will when God manipulates someone after they repented?
Have you read the story of Pharaoh? You said you attended a "Bible College in the early 80's." Did you read the bible there? What do they do in Bible colleges anyway? I have never been to one. I would have through they would study the bible. I am really amazed that you have not read the story of Pharaoh. Maybe in a Bible College they do not study the bible but study doctrines of men? Lets have a look at the story of Pharaoh and see what happened.NKJV translation.Exodus 88Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Entreat the LORD that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD." 9And Moses said to Pharaoh, "Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only." 10So he said, "Tomorrow." And he said, "Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11And the frogs shall depart from you, from your houses, from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only." 12Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. 13So the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields. 14They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said. Note it says that he (pharaoh) hardened his heart. Did you read this before Sky_rail? If you have then why did you ask your question. Hey i am not trying to denegrate or humiliate you. I am trying to make you ask yourself an important question.Lets go on and read more of the story.Exodus 828So Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me." 29Then Moses said, "Indeed I am going out from you, and I will entreat the LORD, that the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. But let Pharaoh not deal deceitfully anymore in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD." 30So Moses went out from Pharaoh and entreated the LORD. 31And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained. 32But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also; neither would he let the people go. Once again here we see pharaoh after being given a second chance hardened his heart again against the will of God. Pharaoh was in total rebellion against the will of God. So how genuine was Pharaoh's repentance Sky_rail? The scripture above states that Pharaoh Hardened his Own Heart Twice. Note, No hardening was done by God up until yhis point. I ask again Sky_rail, did you ever read the story of Pharaoh or did you simply take the word of a teacher of doctrine about what happened?Lets go on and read more. This is important. Exodus 98 So the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. 9And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt." 10Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast. 11And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses. Now we see God deciding to keep pharaohs heart hard to complete the series of signs to leave no one in doubt that it was God himself who was freeing the Jews from Egypt. Pharaoh was already lost, God chose to use him for his greater plan. By pharaohs stiff-necked rebellion he made himself available to God to be used as a vessel of Gods wrath.Not only did God harden the heart of pharaoh but he has hardened the heart of other people who have repeatedly rebelled against His will. This will happen in the future also. 2 Thessalonians 28 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.2 Corinthians 4 The Light of Christ’s Gospel 1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for this opportunity to ask a few of the questions I have. I did not come here to cause contention or start flame wars. I am happy to just pose the questions to you in private.Thanks again.
I hope these words prompt you to ponder carefully just who you are getting your information from. All Praise The Ancient Of Days
 

Sky_Rail

New Member
Nov 16, 2009
7
0
0
I have gotten so much information and I am taking it to heart and giving all the replies the time they deserve. I would like to just rerspond quickly to Adstar as he has implied I did not study the Bible.Adstar please read the whole account. In Exodus God laid out the plan of what he intended to do even before Moses carried out the plan. Read Exodus 4: 21-23. God told Moses HE would harden Pharoh's heart. It was God's plan to do this. This is where my question is born. In Exodus 14:8 after pharoh lost his own child he let them go then it says he changed his mind, why? God hardened his heart. If God did this because he wanted to show his power then I question a loving God. This would have been an oportunity for Gods power to be revealed in a conversion of a Godless nation. Instead god hardened pharoh's heart. Maybe God is hardening my heart. Maybe the reason I don't get it is because God wants to make a point with me. So where is my free will?Please don't question my studying the Word. This is the same way I get treated by those who taught me. They say " Hey it's God he can do what he wants! Granted, but that's not a loving God.
 

WhiteKnuckle

New Member
Mar 29, 2009
866
42
0
46
[quote name='Sky_Rail;75147]I have gotten so much information and I am taking it to heart and giving all the replies the time they deserve. I would like to just rerspond quickly to Adstar as he has implied I did not study the Bible. Adstar please read the whole account. In Exodus God laid out the plan of what he intended to do even before Moses carried out the plan. Read Exodus 4: 21-23. God told Moses HE would harden Pharoh's heart. It was God's plan to do this. This is where my question is born. In Exodus 14:8 after pharoh lost his own child he let them go then it says he changed his mind' date=' why? God hardened his heart. If God did this because he wanted to show his power then I question a loving God. This would have been an oportunity for Gods power to be revealed in a conversion of a Godless nation. Instead god hardened pharoh's heart. Maybe God is hardening my heart. Maybe the reason I don't get it is because God wants to make a point with me. So where is my free will? Please don't question my studying the Word. This is the same way I get treated by those who taught me. They say " Hey it's God he can do what he wants! Granted, but that's not a loving God.[/QUOTE'] I think Adstar gave a good answer. This is a huge study just on this one deal alone. It does appear that God just gave Pharoh what Pharoh already had from the beginning. God gives us what we want, be it salvation or sin. And, God knows this from the time of our birth. It seems to me that the struggle between God choosing one for salvation and one for condemnation is hard, and exists in most believers in one shape or another. We're all afraid that we may just be serving God for a purpose at this time, only later to be chosen for the flames. Just like Judas, or Esau, of Pharoh, and many others. Fear clouds our minds from understanding, as the Devil screams in our ear,, "God didn't choose you! Look! God is not Loving, He is causing this person to sin!" etc etc... Pharoh hardened his heart from the beginning, and lived a life of sin from his birth. He had no desire to repent towards God, even as the first few times he hardened his own heart. Everytime he let the Israelites go, he went back on his promise, either of himself, or in the latter, God hardened his heart. But, the fact of the matter is, If Pharoh was repentant towards God from the beginning, He wouldn't have gone back on his word. God passed his Just Judgement over Pharoh, and allowed all this to happen for His soverign purpose. This story lead and helped people for thousands of years. Had it not happened, people would've been lead astray. Just as in times past,, where God seemed to have been absent and quiet, people started sinning, and rebelling saying, "Where is God now? Surely He wont be back. or There is no God." When God doesn't seem to be paying attention many if not all of us lull ourselves into sleep and slowly and surely start falling. Then God shows up, and says, "Hey! What are you doing?" and we repent. By the great things in the past, the Egyptians were slaves for 400 years, surely they thought the same thing. Yet after 400 years (which isn't a long time to God, and he's aware of our timeframe) God showed up, and delivered them. God was just as patient with Pharoh, and could've destroyed him or made him repent. But because of these actions and events it set the stage for thousands of years of Glorifying God, and keeping others aware of Gods soverign judgement, and plans for our lives. To urge us to stay under the wing of God, and to be aware that God is not slack or taking his time, to make us aware that no matter how long or how bad it seems, God is still watching and has a plan. Our lives are not our own, no matter what you believe. God's sole purpose is for His Glory, and by His Glory is our Salvation. By our Salvation God is glorified. We all have a choice in our lives whether to do good or to do evil. If we choose in our hearts and our minds that Evil is what we want, then that's what we will get. But, there's a difference between the flesh wanting evil and our minds and souls wanting good. By being a follower of Jesus Christ, we may physicaly crave, and be tempted by sins, of all kinds. But, that's not what we want. If we seek them we will find them. That's the difference in being repentant towards God and remaining in Sin. We are aware of our sins, and even if we sin, intentionaly or unintentionaly, We know it's wrong, and we don't want it. We hate the fact that we sin, we hate that sin is there, we don't want it although our flesh craves it. We are aware and because of the Lord we would rather have righteousness rather than sinfullness. Pharoh wanted sinfullness, and wanted himself to be glorified even when God was present and making himself known. All Pharoh did in his life was to glorify himself. Even in the beginning, after his own people suffered, he hardened his own heart. God knew he would do this. What Pharoh wanted was to be glorified and didnt care that his own people suffered, or that another people suffered for it. What is worse, that God would allow someone to be evil, and use that evil for His own purpose so that many would be saved for centuries. Or that God would turn that one person from evil and loose the many?
 

Sky_Rail

New Member
Nov 16, 2009
7
0
0
I understand what you are saying, but all one can do is assume Pharaoh’s heart was as you say. God planned from the start that he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. The reason you convey is to save many in the future. On the other hand if God allowed Pharaoh’s heart to soften and he repented and forsook his gods to worship the Hebrew God than imagine the souls that would have been saved. I beg you to understand that I am only seeking answers to questions that raise doubts in my life. I shared this with the Founder of this board and I say it for you. My questions are only to clarify these things in my own heart, because if I profess to believe in God and his plan for Salvation through His blessed Son Jesus Christ and I harbor doubt I am a hypocrite. It is hard for me to believe God is a loving Creator when people are manipulated in the name of free will. I see so much manipulation in the Church it hurts me deeply. My former wife left me for another man. Then she and that man lived together until one day they started going to church and the pastor married them. The New Testament teaches that she committed adultery and that the very act of that Pastor marrying them was in direct violation to the Word of God. So as far as I see it both the Pastor and they are guilty of sin after the fact of their claim of faith. Myself; I was celibate 16 years after I was wronged and have met the most wonderful woman in the world. She pulled my heart from despair and showed me that I was worth something. She is everything that Proverbs portrays as a woman of God. She has the same questions as I do. I know that it sounds like I am just bitter and you are not to be blamed for reaching that conclusion. I on the other hand can only say to you that my questions stem from long before these things happened to me. I refuse to claim I love God and believe He sent Jesus Christ to be my Savior while doubt is in my heart.
 

Adstar

New Member
Sep 17, 2009
286
6
0
[quote name='Sky_Rail;75147]I have gotten so much information and I am taking it to heart and giving all the replies the time they deserve. I would like to just rerspond quickly to Adstar as he has implied I did not study the Bible.Adstar please read the whole account. In Exodus God laid out the plan of what he intended to do even before Moses carried out the plan. Read Exodus 4: 21-23. God told Moses HE would harden Pharoh's heart. It was God's plan to do this. This is where my question is born. In Exodus 14:8 after pharoh lost his own child he let them go then it says he changed his mind' date=' why? God hardened his heart. If God did this because he wanted to show his power then I question a loving God. This would have been an oportunity for Gods power to be revealed in a conversion of a Godless nation. Instead god hardened pharoh's heart. Maybe God is hardening my heart. Maybe the reason I don't get it is because God wants to make a point with me. So where is my free will?Please don't question my studying the Word. This is the same way I get treated by those who taught me. They say " Hey it's God he can do what he wants! Granted, but that's not a loving God.[/QUOTE']Ok, i stand corrected in regard to your personal situation in regard to bible study. But my post, while being a response to you is also a post that others read. And in many cases there are people who simply rely on some "preacher" some "prophet"? or some other talking head to guide them. That is the path of great danger making a mere man ones messiah. In the back of my mind i am always mindful that the thoughts I give may not be just to the person i am righting toOk now to your observation on God's dealing with Pharaoh:
Adstar please read the whole account. In Exodus God laid out the plan of what he intended to do even before Moses carried out the plan. Read Exodus 4: 21-23. God told Moses HE would harden Pharoh's heart. It was God's plan to do this. This is where my question is born.
Yes i have read the whole account. And you are correct that God said He would harden the heart of Pharaoh even before Moses talked to him. But God did not say " I will harden Pharaohs Heart from the very start" Did He? God knows the future, the end from the beginning, He has foreknowledge of all history and that includes each and everyone’s response to His Will. God knew that Pharaoh would reject His will twice by his own free will. The scripture i quoted confirmed this when it says twice that Pharaoh hardened His own Heart. Then it goes on to say that God hardened His heart on the latter occasions.
In Exodus 14:8 after pharoh lost his own child he let them go then it says he changed his mind, why? God hardened his heart. If God did this because he wanted to show his power then I question a loving God.
Remember God gave Pharaoh ( a man engaged in genocide against the enslaved Hebrews , remember that they had a policy of killing the male babies of the Hebrews. People tend to forget this fact) 2 chance to let the Hebrews go free. Pharaoh reacted to this merciful God by playing Him as if He was a fool. He agreed twice to let the Hebrews go. But as soon as the troubles where lifted by God, Pharaoh broke his promise to God. So how long should God have been longsuffering toward a genocidal enslaver who was showing Him wilful contempt and allow the Hebrews to suffer under such a tyrant?
This would have been an opportunity for Gods power to be revealed in a conversion of a Godless nation. Instead god hardened pharoh's heart.
Well Pharaoh was not the Egyptian nation. And God showed clearly that He existed to Pharaoh by the clear signs He worked through Moses. Pharaoh must have thought that his gods of stone and obelisks would beat the God of Abraham in the end and was holding out for this victory that never came. As for the Egyptian nation. God has his eternal plan and at the time for His purpose He chose to work through the descendants of Abraham to give a message to the world that we today rejoice in. In fact you can use that same argument (about God converting Egypt ) and expand it to the entire world. The fact was that mankind (and the Hebrews where the same in this) where rebellious towards God. And still today most people are rebellious towards the will of God.
Maybe God is hardening my heart. Maybe the reason I don't get it is because God wants to make a point with me. So where is my free will?
I don't think God has hardened your heart. Maybe it is just a case of having little faith/trust in God. If you had a hardened heart you would not be in here with a genuine desire to seek and understand. You would have come in here as a dedicated anti-christ, a troll out to destroy. But i see by the attitude coming through your posts that you are genuine. I am only a human being and i may be wrong but that is the feelings i am getting. :)All Praise The Ancient Of Days
 

Adstar

New Member
Sep 17, 2009
286
6
0
Sky_Rail;75152]I understand what you are saying said:
Yes but only after they have by their own free will rejected His will. Those that are "manipulated" where already on the path to destruction. It is not the case that Pharaoh did not have the option to repent and accept Gods will to let the Hebrews go. i believe if he did then forgiveness for his crimes against the Hebrews would have been granted.
I see so much manipulation in the Church it hurts me deeply. My former wife left me for another man. Then she and that man lived together until one day they started going to church and the pastor married them. The New Testament teaches that she committed adultery and that the very act of that Pastor marrying them was in direct violation to the Word of God. So as far as I see it both the Pastor and they are guilty of sin after the fact of their claim of faith. Myself; I was celibate 16 years after I was wronged and have met the most wonderful woman in the world. She pulled my heart from despair and showed me that I was worth something. She is everything that Proverbs portrays as a woman of God. She has the same questions as I do.
You should not be surprised that there are false christians. But the existence of false Christians does not make Christianity false. His Word stands on His Word, not on the fallible humans who claim to follow Him.
I know that it sounds like I am just bitter and you are not to be blamed for reaching that conclusion. I on the other hand can only say to you that my questions stem from long before these things happened to me. I refuse to claim I love God and believe He sent Jesus Christ to be my Savior while doubt is in my heart.
Do you reject the Gospel message? Do you reject the Atonement of sins by the Work of the Messiah Jesus?And do you do this because you do not understand God in totality?Faith is Trust and we all need a portion of faith to have a relationship with God. If you are holding back acceptance until you understand everything then you will never accept Jesus. Because scripture reveals that we will never understand God to this extent while being in this state of existence.1 Corrinthians 139 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.But if you have some faith, even if it is only a little then cry out to God for more.Mark 921 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! May you trust in God and see your faith grow.All Praise The Ancient Of Days
 

Sky_Rail

New Member
Nov 16, 2009
7
0
0
Thank you Adstar for your profound patience with me as well as all the others here. These are just a few questions of the many that cause me to doubt. All of you have given me much to ponder and think about. I must assure you I am sincere. I have received a very warm welcome here with inteligent responces. I have much to think over. Thanks to all of you.Thomas