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 11 
 on: Today at 10:27:01 AM 
Started by morning listener - Last post by morning listener
I'm actually 'homeless' in the sense of not having a place of my own as well. I sold my place after I lost my job to pay for school. The $ is gone now and Im starting to rack up debt. It will be a year in October. I am however not in the streets or in shelters - I've been staying with my girlfriend. If anything happened to us though, it would be the next step unless I get sorted out soon.

 12 
 on: Today at 10:08:23 AM 
Started by morning listener - Last post by toadbat
Thanks all, right now I am diligently counting my blessings. (And I don't mean in the-beatings-will-continue-until-morale-improves sense, either!). Ml, just for info's sake, it will be 2 years on the 27th of this month that I have been officially without what you could call "a place of my own." (Seeing as there is homelessness and then there is homelessness - if you get what I mean). But I still covet all of your prayers. And while I am not intentionally doing this so that grace may abound (and there comes a time where I ask myself "that isn't what I am doing, is it?"), I still hope to have quite a lot to brag about God on in the end. (In fact, given the outcome each and every time, I am fairly certain I am not doing it for that reason!). LA, Mbg and Ml, you guys are the greatest, and I know simply by making heart transparent here to you, I will begin to some fairly significant changes in my life in the near future. Blessings on you all.

 13 
 on: Today at 10:01:34 AM 
Started by Jeffrey - Last post by Jeffrey
I have a number of Calvinist friends who in keeping with Calvinism push the concept of the sovereignty of God to a great degree. Much of this is in keeping with things like predestination, election,  etc.
I was thinking yesterday evening, probably because I have been reading a wonderful book, "The Incomparable Christ" by J. Oswald Sanders, about Christ. No surprise there.
Anyway, Christ is lovely. He is winsome and wooing to me. I love the passage of Him looking down on Jerusalem and saying how He longed to gather them all in as a hen does her chicks.

And I was thinking of how He Himself told the disciples that if they wanted to see the Father, as they had requested, they had but to look at Him, Christ.
And I was thinking of how one of the ultmate things that could and can be said of Christ, a dominant characteristic was His humbleness. His humility.

I have some difficulties putting together the sovereign God I keep getting told about who had everything lined up before the creation with the wooing, calling, lovely, caring, humble Christ.


 14 
 on: Today at 08:42:14 AM 
Started by morning listener - Last post by mybigGod
Tb over the years that you have come here and exposed your loss of confidence and sometimes your coming to the end of yourself has resonated to encourage me. God lowers the bar so that we can still be free. If we cant achieve to a standard then He takes great care to make us acceptable in our powerlessness.

Some of my most cherished moments was going to parties with the unbelievers. Im not a guy who has addictive problems but the fun I had was greater than the dirty feelings I had tje next day. I admit that I gloried in being free as a sinner. If God isnt big enough to love me even tho I took fun a little to far then He isnt really there at the bottom. If He isnt at the bottom then we would never be able to live transperantly before other men. I found a secret that when I curse I hang out at the bottom where His rest is. Ill pray that you can rest at any position you find yourself in life.

 15 
 on: Today at 08:04:58 AM 
Started by Lone Arranger - Last post by Joker
I think this is a worthwhile topic for exploring how we reason through this kind of thing generally.

Like can we break this down - not our actual personal conclusions about the subject, but how we arrived at them?

....

Like, I guess Im asking, to what extent does the way we each differently problem solve and reason through something factor into what we believe - VS what we've been taught, or simply subjectively prefer to believe? It could be any subject so the content of the belief here is secondary (in terms of what I am asking here).

Your loneliness thread is more valuable, but let's have a go at it...

There's been incidents along the way that made me stop and think, "Wait a minute".  For example, my interest in the "New Perspective on Paul" was sparked by a read-the-Bible-cover-to-cover program, which made me say, "Wait a minute.  The Mosaic Covenant between God and His people has provisions for sin.  This doesn't jive with the Protestant "Roman Roads" salvation narrative.  Was Paul really talking about what Protestants think he was talking about?"  In the subject of life-after-death, I can point to three such incidents:

First is a throwaway line in Larry Niven's sci-fi masterpiece, Ringworld, spoken by a Pierson's Puppeteer, a member of a highly intelligent but cowardly race:  "Our species has no undying part; our scientists have proven this.  We cannot speak for your race.  We fear death, because we know that for us, death is final."  Wait a minute.  How do we know we have an immortal soul?  How does it co-exist with our mind and bodies?  How does it reflect our personality, who we really are?  Does our experience in life, whether through good works or evil deeds, affect it?  How does the biology of the brain, such as the influence of ethyl alcohol or lysergic acid diethylamide, or the stroke that rendered my grandfather unrecognizable, or the Alzheimer's that runs in my father's side of family, how does that interact with it?  If the soul is immortal, where did it come from?  Is it created when sperm is introduced to egg?  (How do you do, Madame?)  Or when a baby takes the first breath of life?  Or was it always there from eternity-past?  (That question got the great Church father Origen declared anathema.)  Why is it glommed onto this body in the first place?  And of course, what's the purpose of eternally torturing an immortal soul?  If God can create a soul, why can He not destroy it?  These are questions for which there are no answers. 

The second thing is this:  One of my ministries in my church is to run the sound board.  The demographics of our church are such that I get to do a lot more funerals than baptisms and weddings.  These funerals go like this: The mourners and speakers talk about how their loved one has gone to a better place - but the Scriptures that are read all talk about the resurrection of the body.  "I am the Resurrection and the Life; if anyone believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live".  Wait a minute.  Why the disconnect between the Bible and the popular understanding of life-after-death?   What's the point of having a body again if we can live a non-corporeal existence; isn't that a step down the food chain?  Why do we even celebrate Easter if we know we're going to live forever as spirits anyway?  O Death, where is thy meaning?

The third incident was at my mother-in-law's funeral.  My wife was broken up; she and her mother had been quite close.  My young grandson went to view the body, and then asked, "Do people in Heaven wear clothes?"  (My grandson either has a precocious mind, or he's a smart-ass like his grandfather.)  My answer was that people in heaven get white robes, like the tribulation martyrs in Revelation.  My sister-in-law took a different tack:  The New Creation, the Age to Come, will be like the restoration of Eden the way it was meant to be.  No clothes in Eden. The mental picture of my 60-something-year-old sister-in-law in the nude threw me off my game, but wait a minute.  What is ultimate hope for us as Christians?

So...

Common Israelite understanding:   I've done what research I can in my spare time, but I don't have the time or resources to do a thorough job. Roswell's link above draws heavily on NT Wright and Geza Vermes.  I've read some of Vermes and quite a bit of Wright, plus some of the 2nd Temple era works such as 1 Enoch and 4 Ezra that speak to the subject.  As far as I can tell, Second Temple era Judaism was far from monolithic.  Except for the Sadducees, most everybody believed in some form of life after death, and they believed in final justice and vindication for the righteous, especially for Israel.  ("God made Gentiles to be kindling for the fires of Gehenna"; William Barclay comes up with such delicious quotes.)  Wright takes the position that the understanding of Jesus and the NT writers was that this will take the form of a transformed world with the righteous dead resurrected to life.  But my point to Roswell was this:  For ANY parable to work, it has to touch on some familiar point the listener can relate to.  Yeah, I know about the lilies of the field, about vineyards and unjust judges and lost coins and crooked property managers and kings who invade your country and sons who take your money and blow it on prostitutes...

Greek dualism:  Ah yes, a favorite target of Wright. Matter is evil; mind is good.  The goal of the soul is to escape the imperfection of matter and its attendant suffering and exist non-corporally.  You can see some of this in the writings of those gnasty gnostics.

Who exactly introduced the Greek dualism?  Those same folks who gave us Alexander the Great, Plato, Socrates, Heraclitus and his "Logos", gyros, and lamb souvlaki.  Hey, I warned you I was a smartass.  Hopa!

Christ was referring to X in the Lazarus parable:  The parable uses the word "Hades" instead of "Gehenna" as the place of suffering, and Hades is the word the Septuagint translators used to translate "Sheol".  (Roswell's link mentions "Abaddon", meaning "destruction".  Peter uses the Greek translation "Apoleian" when he tells Simon Magi to take his silver and go to Hell.  This piece of trivia brought to you by Key Life, bringing you home safely with freedom and faithfulness to Christ.)  1 Enoch and 4 Ezra, roughly from the same time period, mentions the suffering of the unrighteous after death; I'll have to see if this was in Hades or somewhere else.

Death and Hades do not give up their dead until judgment (with perhaps 1 OT citation & 1 NT citation):  First of all, I'm going to have to concede LA a point for the Tribulation Martyrs being resurrected 1000 years before the general resurrection.  That's Revelation 20:4-6.  The rest of his citations are compatible with the General Resurrection or point to a post-trib rapture.  I was thinking of John 6:39 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.", the "last day" being a common understanding echoed by Martha when her brother Lazarus died, John 11:4.   Also thinking of John 5:28-29:  "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,  and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."  Why this system?  Endorsed by Jesus, simple, avoids the complex dancing that pre-millennial Dispensationalists have to do to make contradictory texts from the different authors of Revelation, Daniel, 1 Thessalonians, Zachariah, Ezekiel, and the Synoptics fit into a single coherent narrative.  But it's made LeHaye and Jenkins a lot of money.

LA's Isaiah 26 reference is interesting because earlier in verse 14 it denies a resurrection of the unrighteous unto judgment:  "The dead will not live, the departed spirits will not rise; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out all remembrance of them."  Death is their judgment.  I've long recognized that the Bible does not always present a consistent message.  I deal with it rather than deny it or try to explain it away.

 16 
 on: Today at 07:39:39 AM 
Started by donna - Last post by B.Player
I think Jesus agrees with some of what you are saying Donna.

If I remember correctly, here are some quotes attributed to Jesus.

"Obedience, obedience, obedience - the straight and narrow way"

"Men seek God and marvel that they find Him not, never realizing that He is to be found on the path of obedience."


(I am not sure about the exact wording)

 17 
 on: Today at 06:42:07 AM 
Started by savedbygrace - Last post by savedbygrace
Now as a followup to the previous " Created for the day of evil " Let it be known that He created them for destruction, unconditionally, not giving any consideration as it is stated in Rom 9:11

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth)

The Purpose of God[in election or reprobation] does NOT depend upon the foreseen actions of men, lets get that clear NOW !

Now that said, Yes their final eternal misery shall be for their sins, conditioned on  their sins against His Law, but they were still created unconditionally by God to be destroyed conditionally for their sins !

And in this God's Justice is Magnified, Glorified. Now unto the Election of Grace, the Vessels of Mercy, to see the destruction of the wicked, will be to them a manifestion of God's Grace, so  their Election is to the Priase of the Glory of His Grace Eph 1:6,12

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Those who Trust in Christ for Salvation, the Credit is to God's Glory ! Now it , the destruction of the wicked, is to the Election of Grace, is to the Praise of God's Grace, because they experimentally know, If not for the Sovereign Election of them to Salvation by God's Grace, they also, if God had so pleased, could have been created Vessels of Wrath instead of Mercy, for it was all according to Him that worketh all things after the counsel of His Own Will Eph 1:11

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

 18 
 on: Today at 05:52:57 AM 
Started by morning listener - Last post by morning listener
  Am in a lonely spot now that only God can fix. Just transferred from the homeless shelter I have been living on-and-off now for nearly the last two years, to one in neighboring Lodi, CA (Yep, the very same one from the CCR song) that I have not lived in, in around ten years. (Although, it is not quite the same shelter, but a better one). I dunno, I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I was of the thought that if you screw-up, you can only go retro-grade so back far, or only in a different fashion. Yet, it's always there waiting for you.

  I guess we in Christ get so caught-up in the world's way of reckoning things, that we begin to mark success by it. Don't get me wrong, though, there is definitely earthly consequences for not keeping your distance from those things God has warned you about; hence my position. But, there is always definitely much more grace as well.

 
                                                   Peace out!


 






My god man. How long have you been homeless?
I'm so sorry you're lonely on top of it. Count me in for a brother hug as well.
Prayers.

 19 
 on: Today at 04:52:59 AM 
Started by Lone Arranger - Last post by Radio Roswell
Interesting link to a blog about the rise to the idea of resurrection to the Hebrews in the second temple period after Babylonian captivity until Jesus day.

This would make sense in some way to Jesus ministry teaching on it and the non compromising posistion he met with the Sadducees.

What strikes me is the evidence the blogger raises in the almost cynical writing of Ecclesiastes on death. Funny that should be my favorite OT book and the's first book I read in the Bible. cool no surprise

I'm sure Joker could share light on this as to it's validity.

http://www.theocentric.com/theology/eschatology/to_life_death_and_the_afterlif.html



 20 
 on: Today at 04:08:13 AM 
Started by morning listener - Last post by Lone Arranger
Following is a poem in prose form I felt inspired to write.  It's how I've been feeling for awhile.  Thought I'd share, given the subject of this blog.  Don't take it too seriously.  

Time To Say Goodbye

Sometimes all you can do is breath...one breath at a time through the loneness, through the pain, through the regret.  I've been where you are you see, before the storm, before the clouds, before the rain; and now you must take your path.  I can't walk your path - we wear different size shoes - and so our paths must part; but it tears my heart as you go.  Sometimes I wonder why we love knowing that everyone, every thing, we love we must lose one day.  We give our all - more than we can afford to lose - only to have bits and pieces of ourselves ripped away, leaving us bloody and torn.  We hobble unmended, lurching from day to day - just trying to make it through, bleeding out from our loses, our memories, our partings.  And all the while, before, we tried so hard, bought insurance, loved the best we could, fought to keep life sane and together.  All for naught, all for the place in which we now stand on the wind swept barren plain of the culmination of our lives, alone as the clouds of death gather over head and the thunder tolls.  Sometimes I wonder why we love....  And yet the soul demands it.  I only wish it didn't cost so dearly to say, "Goodbye."  

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