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1  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Embracing Atheism Could Save the Church? on: Today at 10:50:45 AM

Just started reading the article, and the author misses the point in the first few paragraphs.

article:  "Both sides (progressive christians and fundamentalists) miss the point. Belief in Jesus is getting harder to "do" when deep down we all know that the Bible is fading away into pre-science irrelevance."

At least he puts his primary error right up front.  What he isn't understanding is that the true Church is growing very quickly over all, but primarily in areas of the world where the Bible is still being believed as the Word of God, which it is.  Only in the "sophistocated" societies of the western world are the churches shrinking (with some strong local exceptions, of course).

As we see in several passages of the Bible, there must come a "falling away from the faith" before the final End-time comes, and Christ returns to get us.  So we can rejoice as we see "nominal christians" becoming honest and stopping the pretense, while the number of new Believers is growing rapidly.  Kind of a "last chance to receive Jesus" -- which is very gracious of our God to be so patient, isn't He.


2 Peter 3:9-10  Amplified
"The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the [material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up."

If i know God, as i would like to think i do, then He will raise up two or more new Believers in His Word (both Living and Written) for every nominal believer that admits they don't really believe Him.  And then He comes to completely conquer all sin and evil and death, forevermore.  HalleluYah!  Go Lord, go!!
2  Forums / Main Forum / Re: New Here? Read This First! on: Today at 10:30:56 AM

Hi there, and welcome!  How did you find "grace and freedom"?  Smiley

(Or rather, how did He find you?)

(Sorry, i'm a bit nosey, as you may see...)

3  Forums / Key Life Forum / Re: So what about pot? on: September 17, 2014, 08:03:43 PM

Thanks, worc.  I hope you make it back here more often.  And though i'm not very disciplined about praying regularly and often for others, i think i can commit to a bit more discipline when it comes to you (assuming Divine approval which seems extra likely...).

As far as the topic goes, i once laughed at the idea that pot was a "gateway drug" to harder drugs, but that is exactly what happened to me and a lot of folks i used with.  Anything that affects the judgment like weed or booze is a great lead-in to the more dangerous chemicals.  Anything that distorts our relationship with God is going to lead us further away from Him, (until He hopefully draws us back to Him -- and hopefully before we die).

Ephesians 5:17-19
"Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit..."

Personally i think this verse applies to any intoxicant, not just wine -- anything which can lead to "dissipation" (getting "wasted", as we called it lovingly).  The amazing thing is that there is much greater joy in being filled with the Spirit than in drugs, as you know, but we have to come to know Him to really appreciate that fact.
4  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Yet another cool,& somwhat neRdy aRticle!!! on: September 17, 2014, 07:40:04 PM

Yep, definitely nerdy (in other words, he's one of "my kind of guys").

Jesus is the answer to his questions a third of the way into the article:

article questions:  "How does the church define where its borders will be? Where does the right hand of fellowship begin and end? How inclusive or exclusive should we be? Who needs to be evangelized?  Who is going to heaven and who is going to hell?"

Biblical answers:  Only those people who have Jesus Christ living in them are members of His Church, and His Body.  Fellowship can extend to those who either are united to Him, or are interested in finding out more about union with Jesus.  He is very exclusive regarding those who don't want Him, but He inspires us to reach out to them in invitation anyway.

Everyone who doesn't know Jesus, from the inside out, needs to be evangalized, since they are heading for the final destruction in the Lake of Fire, and He wants to save as many as can become willing to receive His unending Life.

It isn't our job to judge who is being saved.  But we have some clues:  if they are attributing their "salvation" to their own goodness/works, they don't yet know Him.  If they attribute their "salvation" to a religious organization or group, they don't yet know Him.  If they think they can get to Heaven, and have immortal Life with Him by any means other than trusting in, and depending on, Him (which is faith), then they don't yet know Him.

And on the other hand, if they know they are completely dependent on Him for righteousness, and for salvation, and they want Him to take over their lives and will, forever, to guide and empower them as their Savior, then they are saved.  And if there is no evidence of any "fruit of the Spirit", yet they claim to have Jesus living in them, then there may be the possibility of (self-) deception.

2 Corinthians 13:5
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified."

Romans 8:9
"But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

Again, we are not the Judge (though we may one Day be part of "the Jury" that judges the nations).  And we can "fellowship" with many people who are seeking Christ or are at least open to being evangelized.  Yet we must always recognize that "fellowshipping" with Believers does not make a person a Believer, only oneness with Jesus does.



5  Forums / Key Life Forum / Re: So what about pot? on: September 15, 2014, 06:47:57 PM

Hey, worc, good to see/read you again!  I'm glad you came back, at least for a while.  

I agree that mary-jane might have some medicinal qualities for some physical conditions, but i wonder if there aren't other drugs which could serve the same exact purpose without the psychedelic/psychotic effects?
  
Knowing my own rationalizing mind, if they had legalized pot for medicinal purposes back when i was using, i can imagine i would have "developed" some rare disease which can only be treated by smoking weed.  Our capacity for self-deception is enormous, isn't it...

Hope you share here on many topics, worc.  I've missed your unique point of view and ways of expressing it.
6  Forums / Key Life Forum / Re: So what about pot? on: September 14, 2014, 04:50:46 PM

Good reminders, thor.  

Yes, i was one of those who was so hardened against God/Jesus that i got angry when anyone tried to share anything from the Bible with me.  And yet, when i was in "the depths" of my addiction i would sometimes cry out to that God i didn't believe in, for some kind of peace of mind.

Of course, He was faithful to answer those prayers, though it took a long time, and more suffering before i was ready for His kind of peace.

John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

If anyone reading this post is stuggling with drugs, keep praying to Jesus for freedom from the compulsion and obsession.  He will remove them when you are truly ready for a new life, in Him.  And if you attend any 12 step meetings for recovery, remember that the Serenity Prayer, which is said at almost all meetings, is asking God (through Jesus Christ) for His peace of heart/mind (serenity) to accept what you cannot change in your life, His courage to change what you are empowered to (by Him), and His wisdom to know the difference between what you are enabled to change, and what you need to accept, for now.

Here's what they call the "full version of the Serenity Prayer".  Don't just say it -- pray it, OK?

+++++++

God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will,
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen.        

7  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Cosmology, Immortality and the Soul on: September 14, 2014, 12:40:02 AM
According to the author of the the article and in many other sources, the place of "sleep" or, at least "where the dead go" was only vaguely described in the Hebrew scriptures as Sheol. Life was everything. Earth was the place to be. The body was pretty much it. This was the view, but was seen as gloomy and bleh and largely unjust because it was widely understood that both the righteous and unrighteous went there.  This is why the later doctrine of resurrection emerged, widely attributed to Daniel, and was not uniformly accepted (as we can see in debates between Jesus and the Sadducees). This was unique to the Israelites. The Greeks did not have such a concept.

.......
 

The resurrection concept was not originated by Daniel.  It is at least as old as Job, possibly one of the oldest writings in Scripture.

[from http://biblehub.com/summary/job/1.htm ]:
"The book of Job is Narrative History. Its author is unknown yet it is possible that Job himself wrote it. It is possible that Job is the oldest of any book of the Bible written approximately 2100-1800 B.C."

Answers.yahoo.com :
"What is the oldest book in the Old Testament?
Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C."

So are there any possible references to the resurrection in Job?

Job 19:25-27  Amplified
"For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, and at last He [the Last One] will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin, even this body, has been destroyed, then from my flesh or without it I shall see God,

Whom I, even I, shall see for myself and on my side! And my eyes shall behold Him, and not as a stranger!"

We see here that Job has faith that after his body has been destroyed, he will still see God with his own eyes.  And Job was written long before Daniel.  

The resurrection was firmly accepted by the pharisees of Christ's time, and He was Himself the perfect Pharisee, (teaching and keeping the Law of God flawlessly) and He demonstrated the Raising to New Life which had been prophesied for centuries.  The sadduccees were like modern "liberal" scholars -- they did not accept some basic Biblical teachings, including resurrection, and they mostly even denied an afterlife beyond death.  (See, for example, the wikipedia article on the subject.)

m.l.: "Read up on it. This is something that is widely accepted, by Jews, Christians, secular and apologetic scholars and so on as historical fact (actually some say Isaiah)  - the Sadducees were still rejecting it by Jesus' time. But if you know better thats awesome.
But since we see multiple errors in each others "approach" it wont be worth the trouble of setting me straight. Arguing/debating with you has gotten old."

Sorry you feel that way.  I was looking forward to sharing our perspectives so we could both learn some new things.  I would especially like to see you critique my outline of conditional immortality in the theology forum topic "Eternal torture appears to be dead at last" -- you might help prevent me from making some mistakes should i decide to broadcast it more widely.
8  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Cosmology, Immortality and the Soul on: September 13, 2014, 07:43:50 PM
According to the author of the the article and in many other sources, the place of "sleep" or, at least "where the dead go" was only vaguely described in the Hebrew scriptures as Sheol. Life was everything. Earth was the place to be. The body was pretty much it. This was the view, but was seen as gloomy and bleh and largely unjust because it was widely understood that both the righteous and unrighteous went there.  This is why the later doctrine of resurrection emerged, widely attributed to Daniel, and was not uniformly accepted (as we can see in debates between Jesus and the Sadducees). This was unique to the Israelites. The Greeks did not have such a concept.

.......
 

I see multiple sources of error in this approach.  But I have only a touchscreen keyboard right now, so i'll have to stick with the first one I noticed, for now.

The resurrection concept was not originated by Daniel.  It is at least as old as Job, possibly one of the oldest writings in Scripture.

[from http://biblehub.com/summary/job/1.htm ]:
"The book of Job is Narrative History. Its author is unknown yet it is possible that Job himself wrote it. It is possible that Job is the oldest of any book of the Bible written approximately 2100-1800 B.C."

Answers.yahoo.com :
"What is the oldest book in the Old Testament?
Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C."

So are there any possible references to the resurrection in Job?

Job 19:25-27  Amplified
"For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, and at last He [the Last One] will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin, even this body, has been destroyed, then from my flesh or without it I shall see God,

Whom I, even I, shall see for myself and on my side! And my eyes shall behold Him, and not as a stranger!"

We see here that Job has faith that after his body has been destroyed, he will still see God with his own eyes.  And Job was written long before Daniel.  

The resurrection was firmly accepted by the pharisees of Christ's time, and He was Himself the perfect Pharisee, (teaching and keeping the Law of God flawlessly) and He demonstrated the Raising to New Life which had been prophesied for centuries.  The sadduccees were like modern "liberal" scholars -- they did not accept basic Biblical teachings, including resurrection, and they even denied an afterlife beyond death.  (See, for example, the wikipedia article on the subject.)
9  Forums / Break Room / Re: Time for Judgment on: September 13, 2014, 02:19:18 PM
I'm running out of compassion.  It's time for some serious judgment, and it's coming one way or the other.  I'm sick of reading horrendous stories in the news about some flipping a**h**e doing some terrible thing.  Surely terrible things have always happened throughout history, but it seems to be getting much worse - either because society seems much more permissive (people no longer believe in a disciplinary God who watches) or because there are more people - or both.  

I read today about some guy who cooked his girlfriends puppy and fed it to her (without telling her what it was) then handed her the paws.  Such stories fill me with rage, and I'm a seriously flawed x-sinner (now perfect positionally in Christ) who well knows what I jerk I can and have been.  

So if I'm offended by this cr*p how must God feel?  There is this tendency among Christians to apologize for the judgment of God while failing to highlight the truth - His exceeding and far abundant mercy and grace.  It's one part judgment to a trillion billion parts grace, but we feel we have to apologize for that one part.  All I can say is it's a good thing I'm not God.  I'd do a Hannibal Lector on that guy - cook and feed him his own body parts and see how he likes it.  

Okay, I vented.  I realize the difference between my "animal" brain, a.k.a. natural man and my logical brain (that I hope I'm letting the Holy Spirit direct).  But I'm telling you judgment is coming.  It might not look like a lightening bolt from heaven, but people can't continue getting worse and worse without consequence.  Either through civil unrest, attacking forces, natural disasters, or whatever - judgment is coming.  It's only unfortunate that everyone suffers when an entire nation (or the world) come under the consequences - regardless of what you consider to be the source.  

As for me, I am beginning to feel that if God doesn't act soon I'll need to start apologizing for God NOT judging mankind.  

I can definitely relate, l.a.  My human nature would like to see some serious "evening-up of the score" for lots of people, especially ISIL fanatics right now.  But i keep getting convicted that "vengeance is Mine says the Lord, I will repay".  And of course, it usually kicks in sooner or later that Jesus instructed us to love our enemies and bless them, since they are only acting as fool-tools of the evil kingdom.

I doubt that our society is quite as bad as some of the cultures of the past.  I understand the ancient ass-yrians used to stick a pole up the butt of their enemies and watch them squirm to death.  Kind of like a more economical form of crucifixion.  And i can't imagine what it would have been like to walk down a roman road with Christians being burned alive on both sides of the road as human torches.

Still, i sure do look forward to what perfect Justice is going to look like.  With outstanding, exacting, fairness of fitting the punishment to the crime, for all who reject Christ's forgiveness.  And i try to remember that even at the final Judgment, somehow mercy and compassion will be shown by Him in some ways we may not foresee.


James 2:13
"Mercy triumphs over judgment."
10  Forums / Break Room / Re: Pow! To the moon. on: September 13, 2014, 02:06:17 PM
Quote
A sixth grade teacher stormed out of a school after a heated phone conversation and stabbed herself to death in a Holiday Inn bathroom stall, according to a police source.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2753534/Sixth-grade-teacher-storms-school-heated-phone-conversation-stabs-death-Holiday-Inn-bathroom-stall.html#ixzz3DCmF5z7X
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I understand this person.  I understand feeling rage and grief in such proportions that you feel self destructive.  Don't worry; I'm learning how to separate these parts of myself - by that I mean I'm learning about how to quiet my impulsive emotions and let the reasonable common-sense part of me take over.  I read an excellent book titled, "Dinosaur Brains."  The author believes in evolution so you might have to ignore that if you don't, but the book is well worth reading.  It explains why we lose control and what to do about it.  Because of that I can tell when the more emotional/animalistic part of me is threatening to assert herself and because I recognize it I can take steps to control it or for the more logical me to reason with it.  I recommend the book.  I'm sorry this person didn't have a chance to read it.  She'd still be alive.  Sad

I haven't been very good a "letting the reasonable common-sense part of me take over" with respect to hostile emotions.  But when i got desperate enough i had to turn to God.  And, like they say, "When Jesus is all you have left, then you find out He is all you needed."

Yes, i know it seem too simplistic.  But it's true in my experience.  Back then i wouldn't have believed the verse below, but i have learned to rely on it as more true than my feelings.


Isaiah 26:3  Amplified
"You (Lord) will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You."

11  Forums / Break Room / Re: Three Curtains on: September 13, 2014, 01:57:40 PM

I think that is what i was trying to say, MERKS, in my bungling way.

Once curtain three is opened, it is no longer in the calculations of probability, since we have certainty that it is not the correct choice.  There are only two remaining choices, so they both have a 50 percent chance of being the correct one.  The elimination of curtain three changes the 33 and 1/3% chance, of each of three choices, to the 50% chance of each of two.  

We always have to add up to 100%.  Right?
12  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Cosmology, Immortality and the Soul on: September 13, 2014, 01:47:22 PM

.....

Personally, I think the "time between" might be like the time I had my wisdom teeth out, or the time I had an emergency appendectomy - one minute, I'm talking to the doctor, then (when the drugs kick in) I'm absent, alive but totally devoid of thought or feeling or memory, (and actually, when the darkness was descending, thinking my life might be totally over when I check out like that), then I wake up in a new world with a new lease on life and all kinds of possibilities before me.

.....


Yeah, the "sleep of death" could be kind of like being "slightly unconscious" -- but able to be awakened as needed.  If so, then a verse which some theologians use to "disprove" the sleep state after death (which is mentioned many times as sleeping in Scripture), would mean something slightly different.

2 Corinthians 5:8
 "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

This could well mean Believers can be well pleased to be absent from the body and present happily resting in Jesus for the Resurrection and our new immortal bodies.
13  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Cosmology, Immortality and the Soul on: September 13, 2014, 01:37:08 PM

Those readers of this forum who don't read the theology forum postings may not be aware of the long series of topics related to the death of the eternal torture doctrine.  The current one is "Eternal torture appears to be dead", and in the first post of that topic there is an outline of all Scripture relating to what the Bible actually says about the Second Death.

The first section of that outline is very related to this current topic.  Here it is:

A.  On immortality:

  1.  Jesus Christ alone has immortality at the present time.  1 Tim 1:17, 1 Tim 6:16
  2.  Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden so they would not become immortal as sinners.  Gen 3:22-23
  3.  Believers in Christ will "put on immortality" at the First Resurrection.  1 Cor 15:52-54
  4.  Believers seek "glory, honor and immortality" in Christ.  Rom 2:5-9
  5.  Unbelievers are never said to be given immortality (please search Scriptures to verify).
  6.  The "lost" are now perishing without the Savior Who is Life.  John 3:15-16, 1 Cor 1:18
  7.  Those who never repent will perish in the End.  Luke 13:3-5, 2 Peter 3:9

I invite readers to try to find any Scriptural passage which clearly says every one has immortality in some way.  If it is not to be found in the Word of God, then the verses cited here establish that immortality is only given to the "saved in Christ", and so there is no possibility of any mortal human being being consciously tortured forever.

The remaining sections of that outline, in the first post of the "Eternal torture appears to be dead" topic, further elaborate on the consistency of Scripture, which is that the lost will be terminated/destroyed in the Lake of Fire, and we will see only their dead bodies in the never-ending "memorial" Fire, not living people suffering throughout eternity.

(And if you can see that clearly, then you will want to praise God for His wisdom and fairness, as well as His compassion and mercy for those people who persistently reject Him, and reject eternal Life with Him, in Jesus.)

Eh?


 cheesy  Got a question  huh

I asked it.

Eh?
14  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Cosmology, Immortality and the Soul on: September 13, 2014, 01:34:26 PM
In response to:

Quote
A.  On immortality:

  1.  Jesus Christ alone has immortality at the present time.  1 Tim 1:17, 1 Tim 6:16
  2.  Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden so they would not become immortal as sinners.  Gen 3:22-23
  3.  Believers in Christ will "put on immortality" at the First Resurrection.  1 Cor 15:52-54
  4.  Believers seek "glory, honor and immortality" in Christ.  Rom 2:5-9
  5.  Unbelievers are never said to be given immortality (please search Scriptures to verify).

1 John 5:11,12
  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1 John 5:13-14
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Believers are indwelled by God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit giving them eternal life. The earthly body (does not have eternal life) dies but the spirit (having eternal life) lives, to be later reunited with a glorified body. Eternal life begins in this life in the born again believers and consummates with resurrection.

Thor  cool

As Believers in Jesus Christ, we have His eternal Life in us, but we have no immortality of form.  We have to "put on immortality" at the Resurrection.  We as mortals will die (unless He comes first), but as children of God we are guaranteed that we will be given immortality at the right time and forever.

So we will likely die the first death, but not be terminated in the Second Death.  Thus we have eternal Life, in Him, right now, but not immortality until He comes to get us.


John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never (truly) die. Do you believe this?”

So we Believers can die the first death, which is more like a sleep until Resurrection (according to the prophets, Jesus and Paul), but we don't die the final death in the Lake of Fire.  Still, we have to put on our new perfect bodies to be immortal.


1 Corinthians 15:51-54
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last Trumpet. For the Trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

15  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: September 11, 2014, 12:25:29 PM
Which threads about eternal torture in the other forum are you talking about?

The topic in the main forum has "immortality" in the title, as well as "soul".  This present topic, here, shows all the Scriptures containing the word "immortality", and demonstrates that the "soul" is mortal, so it will die a final death, unless given unending Life in Christ.  As Jesus informed us, Gehenna (the Lake of Fire) destroys both body and soul.  [Matthew 10:28]
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