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Biblical Interpretation
 Shovel Shack : Biblical Interpretation
Subject Topic: everlasting destruction
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dave
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Posted: Jul-09-05 at 11:50pm | IP Logged  

Hey everyone.  I have a question and would like to hear from you all.  I am soaking in God's grace and I appreciate all of your perspectives.  So here is my question.  Well, let me quote the verse first.  "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power."- 2Thes. 1:9.  So if Salvation is by Grace, God's choice, then who are these that will be punished.  And if these are punished why didn't God in all of His grace save them?  I am very confused.  Let me tell you why this question is so very important to me.  It is not a doctrinal question where I want the right answer with scriptual proof.  It is a question that comes close to my heart because I just had my first son.  Now, if God chooses who is saved and not then I cannot rest in peace because I would not know if my son would be saved or not.  But, I know in my heart this cannot be because God is just not like that.  However, I do no some will perish according to the Bible but why they do and not others is beyond me.  So the thing that I want to know from all of you with kids is how do you know for certain that your child will have the Life of Christ?  Because if I cannot know for certain that my son will be saved then Christianity is just BOGUS because it has to give us assurance especially for the ones we love.  Do you see my dilemma?  O.k. I know there are those who believe all are alive in Christ but I do not read that from Scripture.  So if you give me that answer you will have to convince me of what this verse and multitudes mean that talk about destruction, being dead in sin, and so on and so forth.  Well, i hope this is not too confusing.

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BobB
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 1:02pm | IP Logged  

Hey Dave,

Great question. I'm looking forward to hearing what the shacksters have to say.

I myself rarely think about "destruction", "hell", etc. for I am consumed with Christ. Now i do not have children, so I cannot speak of your concern, but if my "being consumed" with Christ was a reality while being a family man then I can only say I wouldn't be concerned as to my childrens "election".



      

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dave
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 1:13pm | IP Logged  

Wow!  Bob that actually was a very great reply!  Thank you very much.  I feel the same way you do, but do you ever wonder about those verses?
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 1:47pm | IP Logged  

The flesh, the Self, that which denies the father and claims the throne for itself, must die. It will be destroyed by the God who is an all-consuming fire and the smoke of its destruction will ascend forever and ever.

P.S. I love Revelations!

      

Bill
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heretic - n 1: a person who holds beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the church.
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BobB
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 2:20pm | IP Logged  

I like that insight Bill. It's a whole new take on an old question. I mean what's left when your campfire has consumed all the wood? Ash, dust?

Dave,

Hell, fire and brimstone used to be part of my repertoire as a "fundamental" and I would have balked at any other explanation than the one the IC taught me. Hell seemed like the perfect place for those who were not in agreement with"us". Atheists, Muslims, New agers etc. I often thought to myself, "those people will get theirs".

I know I do not understand all the language in the Biblical text regarding Hell, everlasting punishment and the like BUT I do understand Christ and my pardon from any such place, IF it exists. I know Jim has given an interesting take on eternal damnation in the shovel letters somewhere and I would recommend reading it.

Just recently, a man I did some business with passed away from cancer(Joe). I never liked him and I couldn't put a finger on why. The deceased was very close friends with another friend of mine(Ian) who is still part of the IC. Some time after, I saw Ian, and asked him how he had been without Joe. His reply was a shock to me. He angrily said he did not miss Joe and that Joe was IN HELL. I guess it had come out after Joes death that he was a pedophile. While Joe was alive he bragged of being a millionaire. He left his wife nothing. Joe had lived a lie but Ian's response of Joe being in Hell disturbed me. 10 years ago I would have been in agreement but this time it just wasn't agreeing with me. I felt pity for Joe, even love. I recognized Joe's need for a saviour and somewhere deep inside myself felt MERCY for Joes life. I didn't engage the conversation with Ian any further, cause he still "challenges" me to go to church.

I don't believe in such a place, for there is no faith existing there.

Sorry I couldn't be more descript.

Bob



Edited by BobB on Jul-10-05 at 2:27pm


      

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mart1
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Dave, you wrote:
"So the thing that I want to know from all of you with kids is how do you know for certain that your child will have the Life of Christ?  Because if I cannot know for certain that my son will be saved then Christianity is just BOGUS because it has to give us assurance especially for the ones we love."

Dave, personally, i think that you bought the wrong 'bogus-meter'.

You and your son both have free will?
Your son doesn't always do what you counsel him to?

My daughter is now 22 and out-of-college with a job.  We are closer than ever before.
But she has a boyfriend, and i think that she may be sleeping with him and having sex with him.  And i'm now at the point of trying to figure out what is the difference between a heart-commitment and a formal 'church' ceremony?

I gotta learn on my own, and so does she.  When i try to ram what i currently think down her throat, i am telling her that she must listen to me.

Freedom and Grace is telling my child to follow the Lord, not what i think today.
I know!  That will probly upset a lot of people!

mart

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mart1
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Dave, i didn't get to my main point in my last post:
Having a child bodily born of you is only a thing of the flesh.
mart
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dave
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 5:55pm | IP Logged  

Bill you wrote, "The flesh, the Self, that which denies the father and claims the throne for itself, must die. It will be destroyed by the God who is an all-consuming fire and the smoke of its destruction will ascend forever and ever. "

I agree with what you say here but the verse I quoted has no reference to the flesh, the self.  It talks about "them" and "those", which to me implies people. 

Mart, I appreciate your response.  I don't quite get what you are saying to me though.

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Joyce
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 7:58pm | IP Logged  

 

What I have been reading is that the word "eternal" in these references is mis-interpreted and really says "eonian" which means "for an age" instead of eternal.  Those saying this are also saying that those who taught me that there is an eternal torment are slandering God as He is not an eternal tormenter, and keeping people away who are scratching their heads and wondering "Why would I follow a God like that?"

Joyce

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dave
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Posted: Jul-10-05 at 11:18pm | IP Logged  

Thanks Joyce for your reply.  By the way, I wanted to tell you Joyce that in all of your posts I always see the compassion/love of Christ flow through all of your words and it is so fantastic

Anyway, the verse I quoted above talks about God punishing people.  See, I totally don't understand a lot of things but when the Bible says something very clear and there is no way around it then I am left to just say that I don't understand it but I know it is true.  I guess the problem with me is that I want to understand everything intellectually.  The more I learn of the reality of Christ within me the more I see that it is not so much about intellect.  One thing I know is that God has not given me a spirit of fear and He has given me my son who He knows I want to have Life so I don't need to be afraid that He won't somehow accomplish that.  Sounds confusing???  So when I start to think of how a person is saved or how my son will be saved, all I know is Jesus is a Person I can trust!!  Too bad that the "doctrine" in general has created less faith and rest in Jesus.  Or should I say that the "fleshly mind" always demands reasons for why things happen.  It needs to understand the miracle of salvation so that it can put a "method" to it.  What I realize is that is not faith.  Faith needs no reason other then it believes in a God who can do all things.  Anyway I am just rambling on.  Sorry I hope this makes a little bit of sense

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Broken Link
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Posted: Jul-11-05 at 12:48am | IP Logged  

Quote:
Bill you wrote, "The flesh, the Self, that which denies the father and claims the throne for itself, must die. It will be destroyed by the God who is an all-consuming fire and the smoke of its destruction will ascend forever and ever. "

I agree with what you say here but the verse I quoted has no reference to the flesh, the self. It talks about "them" and "those", which to me implies people.

I'm not ignoring that "them" and "those" is in reference to people who were persecuting the Thessalonians.

      

Bill
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Joyce
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dave,

Thank you. 

Yes, you are right it does say punishment.  I don't understand it all either, but do know that even in punishment it is not saying a continuous type of thing.  My question would be, if it is all paid for, why would it even be required?  As I said I don't understand either.  I can totally relate to the trying to understand things on an intellectual basis.  It had been very intensely engrained in me to "have a verse" for everything... like that was our validation.   What I seemed to pick up on was that everyone was using verses to prove their doctrines and yet all the doctrines had differences in them.  It seemed to me that a lot of it came down to everyones "concept of God" and how they saw Him, and so fit Him into their doctrines using the scriptures.

I find it really interesting that I read this post from you in a recent time frame of my being at a conference where a man from Romania was saying exactly the same thing.  All these questions and concerns flooded his mind right after his first child was born.  His talk was on how God brought him to a peace about it.  If I could say anything to you it might be that this might all be for you to "hear from God personally on it".  As we know, there is nothing that can compare to that. 

Joyce 

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mart1
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Dave, in line with what Joyce wrote:
1Co 3:15 - Show ContextIf anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Dave, what i meant in my earlier post is that my daughter is now an adult Christian.  She and i both know it.
If my daughter doesn't end up before the throne of God, casting her crown at His feet, that's her deal.

God is not 'bogus' all of a sudden if my human child rejects Him.

Love in Christ,
mart


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Connie
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Posted: Jul-11-05 at 8:49pm | IP Logged  

Dave,

Welcome! 

Let me share what has happened to my perception of my children and God.  Where I was once so staunch and legalistic in my relating to them, I now find, in the revelation of His grace towards me, that I extend the same grace towards them......they are of His creation and His love for them will lead them to himself in the same manner that He led me to Himself.  In spite of the fact that both of my parents seem to have no knowledge of Him.....

Who has done this for me?  And who will do it for your children? 

Be of good cheer, for your love for your children is eclipsed by His love for them.  In this you can rest.



      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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dave
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Joyce and Connie, those were such wonderful words of encouragment.  I really like Connie how you said that my love is eclipsed by the Love of my Father toward my son. 

Mart, I still hold to what I said about the bogus thing.  If I cannot believe God for my children (some of the most loved people in my life) then Christianity to me is BOGUS.  What I mean, is I totally believe that God will bring Jayden to Himself (I don't understand it and maybe to some it doesn't fit there doctrine but I believe it).  Just sometimes my fleshly wisdom gets the better of me and I wonder the "how" to it all.

Bill, I really think you have great insight into the Life of Christ and I would like to hear from you more, PLEASE.  What were you trying to get across to me??  Do you see something from those verses that I don't or that I am "indoctrinating" them with?  I would like to hear more from you on this.

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mart1
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Dave i hear you and believe me, i have deeply considered many times in my life about whether the Christian God is a myth or not (and i mean toward me when i write that).

Wanting to know what's true so bad, i have read a lot about peoples' opinions on religion and mythology and science over the years.  As a teenager, i voraciously read first comic books about superheroes and superheroines, and later science-fiction and fantasy novels...i wanted to know more!

But i've still never found any story like that of Christ and His kind of Love.
'If' He's real, then i've found the fountain of life.  If He ain't, then nothing matters anyways.

Dave, my oldest sister was very smart in school; but she got bored there (and in church, i think).  She started hanging out with people who were haing 'fun'; excitement is enticing.  She got into sex and drugs for a good while.  She had a daughter out of wedlock.  She left her daughter mostly with my ma most of the time.

We would only see her from time to time after that; usually when she seemed depressed and desperate.  Eventually my oldest brother found her dead and naked in her apartment when she was only 30 years old.  None of us know exactly what happened to her.

Many christians would automatically come to the conclusion that she is damned; i don't.

She helped all of her siblings with money and jobs and a ride when my dad was always off working or else drinking in a bar somewhere (i'm NOT knocking my Dad here! Just saying that that's the way it was.)

She married a guy she loved at 19 years old, but they just couldn't live together, and got divorced (she had this kitten which her husband picked up and threw against the refrigerator, killing it, when they were having a 'discussion').  She fell in love with another guy after that, and he dumped her as soon as he found out that she was pregnant.

Hurricanes keep hitting the south-east coast year after year.  There's this place in mid-america called 'tornado alley'.  I've moved thru about 7 jobs in the last 25 years - i got no health insurance and no pension.

Life happens to all of us.  How we react to it is clearly important.
God has never Fed-Ex-ed me a 'certificate of guaranteed salvation' thru any of it.

Do you really expect that from God for your child before you will place all of your trust in Him?
Isn't that backwards?
mart

 

 






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graceman
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Dave--

I believe the concern you have over the spiritual destiny of your son is straight from the heart of God.  (I'm a real prophet, huh?)

Over the course of the last year, the Lord has 'exploded' some myths that had been drilled into my head.  As Joyce mentioned, the word translated 'eternal' in our Bibles (most of them, anyway) is 'eonian' or 'age-enduring'.  I researched this on another website and found this to be so.  The other real 'eye-opener' was the fact that the words in the original languages that our Bibles translated 'hell' has NO CORRELATION to the commonly taught doctrine of 'a place of eternal torment, created by God for the punishment of those who would not receive Christ'.  It is just not there!  This begs the question, 'Where did these ideas come from and what is their purpose?'  I KNOW that they did not come from a God of Unconditional Love, but I believe they were hatched from the devil for the purpose of Spiritual deception and control over mankind.  The fleshly, religious mind-set of man perpetuates these ideas, primarily by people more concerned with 'where they go when they die' than where they might find life.  More concerned with control and 'being right' than how they may be filled.

Jesus, somewhere in the Bible, is identified as 'the Saviour of all men, especially believers'.  Did he merely 'try' to save mankind or was He successful, that is my question.

"Gospel for Today Ministries" and "Tentmaker" have blessed me immeasurably in considering these issues.  I know God has answers for you!  God bless, my brother!

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mart1
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Dave, God asked Abraham to place his child on the altar as a sacrifice.
And then, later on, God did the same thing Himself.
Neither event turned out the way that the 'world' expected them too.

Dave, i think that the best thing i can do for all the people who are inter-twined in my life is to personally get into the flow of Life that God is asking me to jump into everyday.  And to let Him handle the 'future'.
mart
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dave
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Hey guys!  Thank you so much for all of your responses.  It is definitely food for thought.  Mart, thank you for sharing your heart with me.  I appreciate the time you take to communicate with me.  I do believe God for the future.  However, I believe that it "pleases" God when He sees His Faith in us to believe Him for our loved ones.  We are not manipulating Him, but yes I think Faith takes hold of a  "guaranteed certificate of Salvation" because with God anything is possible and we know that He desires all men to be saved.  To believe God that He will give Life to my child is His work in me.  The hope of the gospel (salvation) I think was for not just the individual but families.  I trust my Father because I know He can be trusted.  In other words, I don't trust Him and then say "well, if my child is saved great, but thats up to Him".  I say, "I can trust my God to save my child because He has promised He will".  The promise is, "All things are possible to him that believes".  The only problem is that Satan does not want me to trust God for my child but to live in fear that the one I love is capable of being damned because of his "free will".  But, those issues I am realizing are only ones of the "fleshly mind" trying to understand His salvation.

Graceman, thank you for you encouragement.  I really like what you had to say.  Here is a question for you.  Why do we (including myself, especially myself) have to find an answer to the dilemma of damnation/punishment and God's unconditional Love?  I've noticed that my heart agrees with neither "universal salvation" or "the free will" of man.  Now, in order to understand these verses I quoted the tendancy is for me to find an "answer" to the "how" of the mystery of God and His salvation.  In other words, if I am to believe in God's unconditional love then I have to find an explanation for these verses.  Or if I believe in punishment/damnation of those outside of Christ then I must find an explanation for verses like "Saviour of mankind" and so on.  Maybe God never intended us to intellectually understand His Ways and maybe all of our systems of understanding only reflect one side of God while neglecting another?  Maybe to the "fleshly mind" God is a God of contradiction, and maybe that gives Him immense pleasure.  So what I am saying is what is soooooooooooo frustrating to me is I do not have an answer for the verse I quoted and since I don't have an answer I am tempted to live in fear of the unknown.  I think God wants us to let go of our "answers" and not understand what we think we understand and admit it and then BELIEVE.  To believe in a God "who calls things that don't exist into existance". Faith can move mountains.  What moutain would there be to move and everything makes sense. As in all are saved (universal salvation) or only some are saved (calvinsim or armenisim).  Well, I've rambled on enough and who knows if it makes any sense, but then who cares, right???

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graceman
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Dave--

"Why do we (including myself, especially myself) have to find an answer to the dilemma of damnation/punishment and God's unconditional love?"

For myself, the answer to this is about really coming to 'trust' God.  I was taught to 'trust' God, no matter what I DIDN'T understand; that was called 'exercising faith'.  The way I see it now is that it might have been 'exercising my will' but I don't think it was 'trusting' God.  I simply chose to 'believe' and go on...whatever that meant in my circumstances.  I think God has more concrete answers than that.  Reality of what Christ has truly accomplished rather than the 'cranking up' of my will to 'trust' Him...and thereby please(?) Him.

If I understand that all condemnation was laid on Christ at the cross, that would certainly effect the way I SEE God.  Not as one who is primarily interested in justice, but rather mercy, kindness and Life.  Big difference.  Oh, by the way, when I made it my responsibility to 'trust' God no matter what, I wasn't very successful at it.  I was still filled with apprehension, anxiety, etc. certainly not the fruit of the Spirit, anyway.

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Joyce
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To me it is noteworthy to say that we have ALL been dealing with a monstrosity that put all this fear in us in the first place, that has an erroneous concept of God, and because of desire to control, (on purpose as I understand it) misinterpreted and gave wrong information with regarding it all.  Then we're left down the road with all this baggage and told to "trust".  That's how I see it anyway...

Joyce

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dave
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Graceman

Thank you for your reply.  That was great!  I like what you had to say about trusting.  So my question is do you think that God could just be asking us to trust in Him (His goodness, His Love) and leave the "uncertainties" in His care?  Or do you think that He has an answer to our confusion?  I still do not have an answer in my mind about what Jim calls "the Arguement" and what the verse I quoted above means.  Nothing makes sense to me right now.

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mart1
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Hey, Dave!  Just a thought...
Most of my life i feel like it all started when i was pushed out of a plane and sent into free-fall.
I only got so much time before i hit the ground.

But i later found out that i got a parachute.  Sometimes i check my back to see if my parachute really is there.  Other times, i see that it is there but then wonder if it is adequate to bear me up when i really need it, or whether it's gonna just rip into shreds when i finally pull my rip-cord and deploy it.

But the best times are when i just enjoy the sensation of free-fall and trust in the guys who made my parachute and packed it.

Personally, i got no idea how to make a parachute, or how to pack it.
mart
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graceman
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Dave--

I think God has already made us 'trusters' in Christ.  If He is my life, and He is...than I do trust God.  In the new creation He has made us we trust and believe Him.  Now, I do have feelings and thoughts to the contrary...somewhat less than before.  I don't think God asks us to trust Him any more than we know Him either--in my opinion that would be 'unfair'.  My (growing) confidence in God is a direct result of greater revelation in WHO God is--He's WAY MORE worthy of trust than I ever thought.  One BIG reason He's WAY MORE worthy of trust: Jesus Christ has COMPLETED the work of God on our behalf--it is out of our hands!  That is a GREAT thing to see!

You see, the idea I had before was that I 'chose' to believe God and by MY OBEDIENCE (exercising my 'free will' to trust Him--no matter what) I would come to a greater understanding of WHO God was.  Now I see God reveals Himself and His complete provision (Jesus) within us, and we just trust in what He is and who He says we are.  I do believe that God will allow us to fall flat on our face in our 'free-will obedience' and it will hurt; I've experienced it--we all have.  The 'tests' for us are over--what I mean is Jesus Christ got the 'A' for all of us--He is the genius within, He forever "aces" all the courses.

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mart1
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Graceman, sometimes it feels to me that God is holding out a carrot on a stick before me to keep me moving ahead.

Took me a while, but i'm coming to praise Him more and more for doing that; because learning 'the Way of God' is the purpose of my life in the first place.

But i can't stand when people try to do that to me.
Well-meaning?  Perhaps.
All-knowing?  Certainly not.

Personally, i think that one of the 'churches' greatest, most obvious faults is this and that congregation shouting out,  "Hey!  We got all the truth over here!  Man, you don't hook up with us and you are going NOWHERE!"

KJV:
Mt 24:26 - Show ContextWherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

mart
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Meph55
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Hi Dave, all

The more God reveals His heart to me, the more i know your child(ren) will ultimately be with you, be with Him, forever.  For now, it could be something possible for God to do (for you), eventually.  

Or it could be something you know deep down that He will do, for you know His heart to be that way, even if it doesn't jibe with all your understandings or opinions. 

He believes for us, even when we are still not sure.  (HIS) faith is the evidence, til we see. 

In His time, His  way.  I didn't realize that His overwhelming the most rebellious was an option, let alone see it as His will. 

Though i see so many examples of His fearless failproof love  in the scriptures and in my experiences, in my own life. 

And deep-down i sensed that He was more gracious than the eternally tormenting God, but i felt the need to remain "scripturally" loyal to my past teachers (and my conscience?) til God showed me otherwise.  

I get many of my old notions blown away from time to time.  Like:  that He's as angry and "wrathful" as portrayed by some of my past teachers, (including my own imaginations) whether we used the OT or the NT. 

Like He's such a gentleman about not letting lost blind helpless (without strength) slaves of sin who apart from Him can do nothing folks be overwhelmed by His glorious presence and consuming grace and love.

Like He is able (somehow denying His character, His being LOVE Himself) to override His own stated desire (or will) to save all of His loved ones.  Like that our alleged "free will" must dictate what God can do to save us.  Like the threat of eternal torment showcases God's "higher ways".

Or that He isn't aware of or didn't plan for the mistranslations of the greek word aion so He's taken by surprise when His children accuse Him of eternally tormenting so-called "unbelievers" (since His hands are supposedly tied after one of His unbelieving loved ones have died physically since their alleged "Free Will" binds Him to their dictates). Blown away by Him, in His way and time. 

Like He didn't plan and can't use the "religious spirit" that is such a part of 'christendom' for His overall plan (hence helping me, us, see that those folks are simply as precious and loved by God as me and you, instead of our being resentful or bitter at their "religiousity" and "bondage to traditions" etc.)

That He doesn't really love others as much as He loves me, His child.  Another lie blown away by LOVE that can not fail.  By Truth that suffered, but overcame.  By the God Who WILL reveal Himself, as He wills.

He really does make us "not ashamed" of His really good news (for in Him, in the new creation, we are all we need to be, complete, righteous, etc. in Jesus).  He's made us ambassadors to share it with our fellow human sufferers. 

his love dave c (cont. below)



Edited by Meph55 on Aug-23-05 at 1:32pm
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Meph55
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(cont)

It seemed so foolish, that His cross could take away all of their iniquities plus ours - but that was just the old dead world thinking i came out of, and He was helping me take those rags of limiting God and the cross off my frame;

It (the old thinking) was saying we aren't really and we all will never be: good enough. (all of us including the last guy on trial on Nancy Grace, the people in jail, the latest cruel dictator, etc).  But Jesus and His cross IS good enough, and that makes us all good enough.  for God. 

And He's the One that really matters or counts in all this.  Good will towards men and women (to the whole world). 

They (those who presently are resistant or feign disinterest or actively rebel against Him and His saving love) may not all accept His graciousness and escapeless reconciliation YET (though His word states He has already reconciled the world to Himself, not holding their iniquities against them).  

Though not "saved" YET (or not having the God-given realization of His 'good will hunting for you' infallible intentions) His plan for the world isn't bound by the world's own ideas -including "christendoms" - regarding what can or can not be done by God in the afterlife and/or the way He brings us to salvation anyway: His thoughts are so much higher.  So part of it (His plan) can include His saving some people later than others, in the particular order HE's devised, according to His word).  LIFE revealed.

But, until He shows us Himself, His love and grace, His salvation (in a nutshell:  Jesus and the cross reconciling all the world) it is a possibility.  And even if we don't see it as a possibility (HIS desire and HIS completed work to save the whole world, HIS SALVATION), we (who He has already given realization of our being saved by HIM) are still SO loved (though He may not have revealed  yet to us His whole plan or work to save the world completely), and our children will possibly sense that we realize that WE are SO loved.  And that's awesome and powerful in itself! 

He knows their (all of our) hearts (oh so well), He's planned their (our) whole lives and even the times of their (our) realizing the salvation that He's bought them (us) and further revelations of Himself,along with further maturing and growing in grace.  He can take care of all that, and of all of them. and of all of us. all. 

He's given me some more passing understanding peace, after years of wondering and anguishing over my relatives, and the muslim i never met, the buddhist that i used to be, etc.

He's also shown me that His plan involved me being deceived for a time.  (what??!!) God, using evil or deception (though being perfect and sinless and holy?)  Could there be other areas He's yet to reveal Himself to me more clearly in time?

He may have even planned for my being deceived by certain mistranslations of the greek word aion and by well-intentioned folks who thought i actually had a "free" will that could override God's will, or by my own readiness to convict God of eternally tormenting my loved ones if they didn't come to agree with me in this lifetime.

i still don't know it all or have all the answers (yet) but for now, knowing Him more and more is enough.  Whether i live on for decades or pass silently in the night, He is enough.  For me, for my wife and for my child.  (for all.)

Love, that will not fail.  dave c.

 

 

 

 

 



Edited by Meph55 on Aug-23-05 at 2:37pm
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mart1
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Thanks, Dave.  I want to be as open-minded as you sound. Sometimes i think that i am; sometimes i know that i'm not.

On the one hand:
Lu 12:57 - Show Context"And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

On the other hand:
Mt 7:1 - Show ContextJudge not, that ye may not be judged;

Clearly, He musta been talking about different objects of our personal judgments in those two places.
mart
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mart1
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Graceman, i believe that the first verse above is telling me to judge myself all of the time, relentlessly, as His disciple. And that the second verse is telling me to never judge others, relentlessly, as His disciple.
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dave
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Mart,

How can God ask you to judge yourself but not others??  If the reason that God does not want us to judge others is because our judgement is usually always unjust then why do you think that our "judgement" of ourselves will be any more just?  And what are we judging if we judge ourselves?  The only thing that can be judged is the flesh and that is crucified in Christ.  How can you judge yourself when over and over the Bible says you are complete, righteous, perfect in Him?  You cannot judge a perfect person can you?  As soon as you see yourself as perfect and complete in Christ then your focus will shift from off yourself and onto Him.  Sin is self absorption....ironically, we think judging ourselves is good but if it means self absorption (which it always is) then isn't that just remaining in bondage?  To be perfect in Christ releases us from having to judge oursleves or others and allows us to truly live!!!!!!!  Mart, you are perfect in Christ...just rest in that.

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daniel
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In Eph.3 it says that God love and grace is greater then anything even what we can think.God is love and He is the very foundation of the universe all we are all apart of Him .So what ever at the foundation will come out to all that is a part of that foundation.

Love in Christ Dan

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Meph55
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hi all

thanks mart, God does all the revealing so well, and 'in Jesus' we are definitely as open or closed minded as we need to be.  You are complete in Him with me and all who He has reached so far. 

He has planned it all so well (though i admit to being perplexed at times), and that makes it all HIS plan, never thwarted or interrupted even by anyone's so-called "free will" or "refusal or acceptance to walk down an aisle" or ignorance or expert knowledge about John 3:16 or 17 or 18.

He wills (according to the original greek scriptures of His words and thoughts) that all be saved, and says that all ARE already reconciled to Him, (by Jesus and His cross) with none of their iniquities being held against them, and pronounces Him, Jesus, as the Savior of the world (pretty confident in His Son and His Son's work, huh).

Still, He saves each in their own special order, and all at the right moment of His choosing, (what a thought!).  And, not to forget, HIS LIFE is displayed through clay vessels, more than "correct statements of faith" (as precious as pure doctrines and the rightly divided word may be, for God reveals Himself through all kinds of truth) still LIFE is expressed beautifully through perishing outwards and rejoicing suffering innards.

He does chasten us and there is His unique coming and white throne judgment (i'm still studying about this) that He will bring to those in need, in love (and He is not mocked), and He does refine in the lakefire of Himself:  for as long a period of time (or age or aion/eon/s) as He deems necessary.  For only He can judge such things rightly.  (and i'm still studying)

And us, as IN HIM, can only judge angels if needed, because we are IN HIM. 

The smoke of the torment of those thrown into His lakefire consuming self can last no longer than HE decrees is needed. 

Since death and the real "hell" of the bible which is also the "unseen place" are also cast into Fire Lake, (where those not written in the scroll of "LIFE" are sent for a time - eon/s, which is the "second death") then all those things that can not go on into God's NEW CREATION or on past the periods of time (eons)

(cont.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meph55
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(cont.)

past the point where Jesus gives up all authority and power to the Father, past the point where time is and God is ALL in all (still studying God being all in all as well as everything else) are destroyed and/or renewed (the new reconciled creations which bow to Him and confess Him Lord and are with Him always in their order and not destroyed like death and hell - unseen place - are destroyed) by God and His purifying, refining FIRE.  Not by the waters of Noah, like the world, destroyed/renewed? by fire.

And then since the bible then says that death will be no more, it would seem that God, the consuming fire, is (will be) surely destroying death and the unseen place or ""hell" (from an old english word for hole: haole, i believe).

I continue to see how wonderful God is as I learn (He reveals to us whatever He wants, He is our wisdom) to distinguish various concepts such as:  the Lake of Fire (or FIRE LAKE as i affectionately refer to God and His refining love), our consuming purifying God, from the "unseen place" or "hell" or the "sheol" of the OT where ALL went after death and were unconcious i believe - unlike the rich man and lazarus - from "death" and from any other sense of alleged eternal torment - ET, which is a pagan concept in many religions and cultures that have a fearful vengeful impatient wizard of oz type of god.)

And Paul said it was nothing if they judged him, so perhaps Jesus was speaking to the Jewish people at that time about not judging others with their faulty 'old life' mentality which is really death judging; yet admonishing them to judge rightly by the Name or character of a merciful, loving, patient Jehovah-God who revealed Himself in the OT as the LIFE and lover and carer for the oppressed and hurting, and the God of the underdog and so patient. 

Anyhow, i believe Dave's children will be with him and that only God can reveal and give us this comfort; and that there are unique distinct meanings for such words as to 'judge'.  Judging from the OLD death world of human wisdom and judging from God's heart.

His love dave c.



Edited by Meph55 on Aug-20-05 at 9:34pm
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dave
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Dave, I really appreciated what you had to say!!!  I am still growing in my confidence that my children will also recieve Life.  For some reason, my "doctrine" that I've always been taught basically says that nothing can be for sure.  But, I am learning that the only "sure" thing I have found is not even found according to my logic.  Therefore, I am convinced that since I am in Him and He is in Me, then He can save my son!  How??....I don't know.  Why?....I don't know.  When?....I don't know.  All I know is who He is!  And He is Love!  Thank God He loves my son! 

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dave
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Dave,

I sense real confindence in Christ as you write!!  I am attracted to that.  To see you confident in the God who Loves is amazing because it brings such peace not only to you but to those who read what you wrote.  Thank you.

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Joyce
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dave,

I couldn't agree more with what you are saying about what Dave C writes on this subject.  I have been blessed not just by this time but others when he writes about this.  I keep thinking... wait a minute, I don't know if this fits into my theology because I feel there's a lot I don't know yet and have to leave to God, but when Dave C writes with what you described as such confidence, it seems you can't help but be blessed somehow.  I don't understand it logically, but there is something in it all that is always ministering to me within.  

Joyce

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Rest and Trust
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We presently have 3 teenagers and a daughter who is in her early twenties. With children in these age groups the verse about "admonish your children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart" tends to become a mantra.  I believe that as parents we are to look for the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our childrens minds to the knowledge that He will come into to them and become one with their spirits. As parents one of the more profound ways that we have found that is effective in our childrens lives for this purpose is simply believing in our union with the Holy Spirit and living/resting in this reality ourselves.

A thought about the broader issue in this topic about everlasting punishment- The analogy of marriage is often used to describe our relationship to God through (God the Son) Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke also of marriage being the union of a man and a woman, "the two being seperate will become one". The same, I believe, applies to our union with God- the two spirits being seperate (the Holy Spirit and our spirit) will become one. One of the basic fundamentals of marriage is that it is entered into voluntarily by both persons. There are those who do not want to enter into marriage with the Spirit of God. To say that God forces Himself into union with those who do not want to be married to Him does not make any sense to me. What kind of a person is it that forces themselves into union with the unwilling?

What is eternal/everlasting life?

 Jhn 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

If a person wants to receive their identity from satan why would God force them otherwise?

The perspective that God will bring everyone around eventually is extremely compelling until it is countered with the person who in their dieing breath proclaim their total rejection of God.    

 

Just my two cents..............     

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mart1
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Thanks, Jim!

Dave, you asked me:
"How can God ask you to judge yourself but not others??"

Dave, i'm supposed to be enlightened with the Spirit of God now descended upon me and welcomed by me to be intimate with me, while others have not yet welcomed Him into their lives.

I don't understand you.
Does the Spirit of God in one's life make a difference?

Dave, i know that my 'old man' ain't totally dead/gone yet.  I believe that Paul said the same thing about himself using different words.

To me, 'now forgiven' means one thing; 'perfect' means another.
I ain't perfect!  But praise God, i am forgiven.
mart


 
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dave
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"...to present you HOLY and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight"- Col.1:22

"And you are COMPLETE in Him"- Col. 2:10

"...that we may present every man PERFECT in Christ"- Col. 1:28

There are many, many more verses that say that you are PERFECT, COMPLETE, AND RIGHTEOUS IN HIM!!!!!

Mart, you are an absolutely NEW creation!!  Nothing needs to be added to the NEW creation in Christ. 

What you see as being "imperfect" is merely your flesh (ie. appearance).  But, you are no longer defined according to your flesh!!  You are defined by who you are in Christ.

Anything that is not REST in Him is a lie.  All I am saying Mart, is that you can REST in Him!!  He is your Life and it is His Life that defines who you are.  Yes, you are forgiven, but you are also a NEW creation that is PERFECT, COMPLETE, AND RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST.

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Connie
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amen, dave,amen.

The thought that I always come back to is: why would anyone reject God if they knew who He was?   That leads me to the conclusion that anyone who does "reject" God must not be rejecting the true God, but a distorted god that religion has portrayed. In this rejection, God's grace will abound towards that deception.  How it abounds has yet to be seen, but I know His grace will abound.



Edited by Connie on Aug-21-05 at 10:09pm


      

Connie
"Wow!It's so bright in here!"
II Cor.4:5-6

    
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dave
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Connie I have often thought of that myself.  But, then I realize that my flesh rejects Him everyday.  Just like Peter, I vow that I will not deny my Lord and then I see that I deny Him in so many ways (speaking according to the flesh).  Now, that we are in Christ, and have a new heart we cannot even think of living without God and His Love.  Our flesh is still flesh and it still wants to justify itself thus rejecting the finished work of Christ.  But, who we really are in Christ, relies moment by moment on What He has done through His death and resurrection.  I often wonder, do all people desire Grace like I do?  Do all people desire God like I do?  Do all people feel excited when learning to rest in Jesus?  That must be fruit of being a New creation!!!  Of course, now we come back to the highly debated question, "are all in Christ"?  And I will not answer that since I have already and it doesn't matter anyway.  As His children we wonder, "how can anyone reject a Daddy like mine"........and it brings much joy to our Fathers heart

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graceman
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Rest and Trust--

"If a person wants to receive their identity from Satan why would God force them otherwise?" (your comment)

That's why its called unconditional love.  The man we write off, as he curses God with his last, dying breath...isn't he as qualified for UNCONDITIONAL LOVE as we are?  Or does he slip into hell as the Eternal Gentleman sorrowfully walks out his hospital room door...Oh, if HE WOULD HAVE ONLY BELIEVED IN ME SO I COULD HAVE SAVED HIM.

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Mercy Man
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What if God makes it a condition of salvation. Does that make Him impotent or unloving? The same God of unconditional love seems to allow babies to be born with no limbs (for sure I wouldn't if I were God), allows people to suffer for years in torment (for sure I wouldn't if I were God), doesn't seem to stop the tsunamis or terrorists (for sure I would if I were God), hasn't given me the winning numbers to the lottery (for sure I would if I were God) and was apparently on the john when the serpent snuck into the Garden (definite possibility I could have been). Either unconditional love might not mean what we think it might, or He seems awfully impotent and absent-minded at times. Maybe the "If I were God..." preamble is really a non-issue because I am not God, and have very little clue as to the manifold wisdom of God. Maybe He does what He does according to His own purposes, and He can do that because He is God.




      

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Broken Link
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Is believing the condition for approving the award of salvation, or is believing merely the proof of salvation?

      

Bill
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Mercy Man
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Broken Link wrote:
Is believing the condition for approving the award of salvation, or is believing merely the proof of salvation?


Isn't that a little bit like asking, "which came first: the poop-eating, canibalistic, skin-like-shoe-leather chicken, or the smooth as silk, delicate, pristine egg? Meaning, are you possibly asking a loaded question?


      

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dave
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I am very interested in what is being said here.  I have not made up my mind on this.  So I have a question, "can anything good come from the flesh"  or "can anything good come from those in Adam"?  If we were in sin and dead to God can we believe??  I'm not so sure anymore.  Don't get me wrong, the flesh believes all kinds of things....we make gods all the time and "believe" them.  In fact, the demons believe and shudder.  What kind of faith is that??  What I have come to realize is that my flesh in fact rejects Christ and His finished work.  Oh, of course it will not say it like that.  It likes to pretend it really believes, like it can do some good...etc.  But all flesh is the same, it rejects God.  When we were "in Adam" we were dead and sin was our master.  The flesh identified who were were!!!!!  How we would like to believe that there is something good....how we would like to believe that Ishmael is the chosen son!!!  How can it be possible that it has nothing to do with us???  That doesn't make sense.  Abraham must have had to go into his handmaid...that was the ONLY way (according to man).  but, nothing good ever comes from the flesh...it is utterly corrupt.  My whole life I thought that "I believed" and I took credit for my faith....I made the "right" decision to believe in Christ.  Now, everything is starting to look like a miracle...I don't think I can manufacture faith.  Faith is evidence of Christ alive in Me!!  I still get confused at times because it brings up all kinds of questions in my mind that I don't have an answer for.  Like, is God just choosing people then or are all people saved.  But, I have come to realize that to see faith as a miracle does not mean I have to believe in any doctrine like calvinism or armenism.  That is just my fleshly mind trying to comprehend an uncomprehendable God!!  Do I understand God...not a chance!  Do I understand how all can be of God and yet we are still people that make real decisions....not a chance.  But then again, I don't understand anything my faith rests in.

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Broken Link
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If you're asking if I shouldn't give both parts of the question equal consideration, I think I did. Does God save us because we come to believe, or do we come to believe as the realization of our salvation dawns? There are different perceptions at work in each choice in the question. I can put a ribbon on poop, but I don't believe that makes it any more attractive.

      

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BobB
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or do we come to believe as the realization of our salvation dawns?

This is a good thought. What exactly did we believe before? It was "another Jesus" for me, and the proof was my endless human effort to please him. As tenderness and mercy prevailed in my life, the true Jesus came into view and exposed the false. Yes! He revealed His salvation for me over time and revealed it had been from the beginning.



      

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graceman
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Mercy Man--

"Maybe He does what He does according to His own purposes, and He can do that because He is God."  (your comment)

I couldn't agree with you more!

"For God does not dispatch His Son into the world that He should be judging the world, but that the world may be saved through Him."

My question is: Is Jesus a 'wannabe Savior' conditional upon man's believing or is He the Savior/Redeemer of mankind to become manifest to men through divine revelation?

"God, who WILLS that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth.  For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a Man, Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom FOR ALL (the testimony IN ITS OWN ERAS), for which I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I AM NOT LYING) a teacher of the nations in knowledge and truth." 1 Timothy 2:4-7

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Mercy Man
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Referendum on Health Care (Canadian version) A. Do you support the continuation of a health care system that gives equal access of high quality care to all citizens and permanent residents, regardless of their geographical location or ability to pay?, or, B. Do you support the implementation of a system, spawned by greedy Capitalists, that perpetuates unequal access, and dictates the level of health care, based on being eligible to participate in a plan, and the ability to pay? Choose A or B.

Referendum on Health Care (American version) A. Do you support the continuation of a health care system that offers state-of-the-art technology, freedom of choice, and timely service?, or B. Do you support the implementation of an archaic system, developed by the Socialist hoards, that is characterized by bureaucratic inefficiency, slow service, and high taxation? Choose A or B.

A. Do you believe in the all-loving, omnipotent God who saves everybody, or B. the spiteful, impotent God, and wannabe Saviour, that doesn't. Choice A or B.

A. Do you believe that you believe (have true faith) as you come into the realization of your salvation (you've been bought with a price by the precious blood of the Lamb) or B. Do you believe that you somehow earn your false salvation with God through your works in the form of faith? Choice A or B.

I guess once the questions have been formulated, all the thinking has been done, and I can only respond A or B. 

Edited by Mercy Man on Aug-23-05 at 2:08pm


      

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