It's my thoughts that not as many Christians are truly saved as every one thinks there is. In fact even some that say there a Christian might not be. The facts is that every person on earth sins daily, and that would mean you would need to ask daily for Jesus to forgive your sins. Do you die to sin daily? This is one thing that true Christian persons do.
And your life is always changing if your a true Christian person. And how is God able to change your life daily? If you don't every day of your Christian life renew your mind in his word? So yet one more thing we are told as Christian people to do.
Now there is people out there that say once saved always saved. But backside daily. What may I ask does the son of God say about them? He says anyone that put his hand to the pow and turns back is not fit to enter the kingdom of God. So how many backsliders is there that think there going to heaven.
The Bible tells us to be perfect as God in heaven is perfect. Can people be perfect if Jesus is not asked into your heart daily? Remember it's only by grace that we are saved.
Don't think that God has not made a way for you, but think if your on the way he truly made for you.
Marshall, I have warred with the concept of once saved always saved. I now lean more towards it, and yet, I have decided that I won't know fully until I am before God. I know I mess up every day, and I also know that all of the trials that have come at me left and right since the day I accepted Christ have had me to the point where I do understand why some run away. And while I know God doesn't tolerate sin and that He's holy and punishes wickedness, I also know that He sees our heart and has compassion as well. So? Would He send one to hell who simply didn't understand, didn't feel free from turmoil, and turned away because they didn't feel they were ever truly saved or felt God didn't care? I don't know the answer to that. I simply pray that those who do backslide, that God instills a desire in them to read His Word daily, and that He sends people to them daily and opens up their eyes to the truth. I know if He hadn't given me a desire to stay in His Word, I may have been one of those backsliders. But He gave me a desire to not give up, no matter how difficult, and a desire to read. And I've felt I truly needed that reading and all the sermons I could get, to help me break some very strong bondages I've developed through my life.
I am so Very Proud of you my Dear Sister. I am Blessed to know you as a friend, even more so to call you my Sister in The Lord.
Thanks Chris. I'm very glad to know you and Arnie as well and hope you both had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I'd like to address a few things with you...
You said this:
"First, how do you know God doesn't tolerate sin ? there are so many examples where Jesus not only tolerated but foretold and forgave sins, Where does God punish wickedness ? are you referring to ultimate eternal punishment of extreme wickedness ?"
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
God hates sin. This scripture and many many others show us this is true.
then you said this:
"I would presume the latter which as I understand it one must commit the greatest sin against the Holy Spirit to be let go from grace. Hell as it is in the Bible is the place separate from existence , Jesus spent three days there, and we are all headed there before judgement day. You must mean God punishing sinners with eternal separation over the human nature of sinfulness. If this is the case, which it is not, than no one will make it to the Kingdom."
The greatest sin is blashempy of the Holy Spirit, and would be if someone dies in unbelief, which is the same as the unpardonable sin. This cannot be forgiven.
John 3:36...Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them.
You also said that we're not going to be punished for a sinful nature? Perhaps you mean because we are saved by Grace through Faith?? Because of God's Grace and us accepting His gift of salvation we will not be punished, but I just want to clarify, that anyone who dies in unbelief will be punished.
Additionally, Do you have scripture to support this:
Hell as it is in the Bible is the place separate from existence
I'd also like to know where you get the idea that we are all headed to hell after we die to wait for judgement? I don't see that anywhere in the scriptures. Instead, this is what I see:
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
1For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7For we live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
You also say:
Personally, I don't understand why people of faith so often attribute there personal triumphs to Gods handiwork when there shortcomings are there own . Isn't it more rational to think that we move to God or not on our own ? making our spiritual development our own responsibility ?
Not without the guidance of the word, example of the life, and Holy spirit to draw from of course...I am trying to say your victories are enjoyed by The Lord but are yours, by your own will to please Him.
I also don't know where you get this because Jesus says different things like this:
1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesa so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
He also says in 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Our will to please Him simply allows Him to do the work in us... But it's the Holy Spirits power in us which allows/enables/empowers us to live a Victorious life here.
Thank you for clarifying how you are using the word 'tolerance'.
Let me just say, I don't think it's that far off to say that God won't tolerate sin though. Something had to be done about sin.... God didn't leave it 'unchecked'. However, God is extremely patient and fore-bearing in regards to sin.... He is giving humanity time to repent before He returns. If that's what we are calling 'tolerant' than I would agree with you.
I wholeheartedly agree with you in that we are not puppets, but we have a part to play in obedience, that is most important to God... to clarify though, we are saved by Grace thru faith, not by works, so that no man may boast. Our obedience comes from a new motive of a new heart with new desires.
There is one more thing which I am unclear on in regards to your teaching on hell.
Do you believe hell is a literal place?
You said: "Jesus went to the grave, we will too... as I recall we await judgement day in the Grave in non-experience this is the Hell /grave ." I would like clarity on this further if you don't mind. Perhaps you are saying that our bodies physically go to this grave.. but our spirits are immediately united with Jesus??
Thanks.. Blessings, Carla
Thank you for the breakdown, I think I am understanding you a bit more.
In regards to hell, Jesus spoke more about the reality of 'hell' in the bible, than He did about 'heaven'.
It's not comfortable or enjoyable to think or speak about, but we can't deny what Jesus clearly teaches in regards to it. For us to ignore it would be irresponsible and dishonest. (I'm not saying you are doing that...)
I don't believe in preaching fear for salvation, that's not what we're instructed to do, but we can't ignore what the bible teaches about hell (again, I'm not saying that you are...I'm just highlighting it as important).
In Luke 16 Jesus clearly teaches that there is awareness after physical death and that there is torment for those who are in the hades.
We have not meet my name is Chris. I am sharing in response to a statement you made, "Please bare in mind these are responses aimed at another persons statement and should be seen in this context." I do not know what this means for sure. Both Seek and Carla are Family and friends to me. We look out for one another, to say something to one is the same as to say it to all. By the words you share, you speak as a Believer, then you are Family as well. So what exactly should be seen, and in what context would it be different?
I am 52 and I have grandchildren who know far more than I do, about computers not to speak of our children. As I shared I could see you are part of His Family. I have seen and have been hurt by others. I was being overprotective and if I offended you please forgive me. The last thing I would want is to stifle another. This is open to all who, want to share His Love. So Welcome my Brother.
Sin separates us from God which is one reason why He hates it. God does forgive sins but ONLY if we ask His forgiveness. Scripture also tells us that if we do not forgive our brothers and sisters (sin), that our Father will not forgive us. God is holy and there is no sin in Him and He cannot abide with sin. He promises to forgive our sins if we seek Him and obey His commands to forgive one another and love one another, etc.
God also states many times in scriptures that He punishes the wicked and chastises those whom He loves (for their sins). Whether the punishment is in hell or a punishment here on earth, He does punish in ways we may not always even notice is punishment. Even what we reap (reap what you sow) for our own actions here is a form of punishment that we bring on ourselves. He also says vengeance is His, He will repay. Is that now or later? Vengeance is in a sense a punishment.
God is not wicked, true...which is why He cannot abide by sin. And knowing how humans are, He provided us a way to be made righteous through Christ, to forgive our sins knowing we can't overcome them on our own and that as long as we live in the flesh, we are still in a sinful body.
As for "extreme wickedness", I find scripture is also pretty clear on this. Is the homemaker mother of 3, who devotes her time to her kids and is always a help to her neighbors, lives a good life, but has never accepted Christ extremely wicked? Yet because she hasn't accepted Christ, she is destined for hell as well. But we wouldn't see her as being extremely wicked in that sense of the word.
As for calling the grave as hell, I disagree. Many scriptures also talk about the lake of fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the scripture on Lazarus in Abraham's bosom cannot be any clearer. The rich man was in hell, not Lazarus. He was in Abraham's bosom, not in a grave.
If she knows and denies Jesus then she is done
For what can be known about God is manifest plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:19–20
is the fire and brimstone image really in keeping with the love of Christ ?
Is the fire and brimstone image promised to those who love Christ? That's the question we need to ask. That is only given to those who reject Him. They are not keeping with the love of Christ and in fact rejecting His love.
God tells us to forgive others as He forgives us. Jesus was obeying His Father by forgiving others and asking forgiveness for them. He prayed for them. That doesn't trump what God says happens to those who don't accept Christ.