|For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 8:53am On Oct 14|
I am Ihedinobi and this is my third account on Nairaland which I created for the dedicated purpose of answering biblical questions and developing material that I believe will be of spiritual benefit to other believers. My first account was Ihedinobi. It was deactivated years ago but you may still find threads where the posts from that thread are. The second is Ihedinobi2. It is still active and I have used it very recently and may continue to. I have history on this forum and have had my ups and downs. That partly contributes to what you see here. I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and am one of those waiting and preparing for His Return or for the day when I will be called to Him.
This thread exists, as the title indicates, for the express purpose of answering Bible questions. It is primarily meant for believers but will also serve any unbeliever who is willing to engage reasonably regarding any biblical question they are wrestling with.
This thread, like others that I plan to make, is my own effort to freely give what I have been so graciously given by the Lord through my own teacher with the help and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Please understand that this is not a thread that I intend to dedicate to long, rambling debates about anything. I am more than willing to answer any biblical questions and defend my answers if need be, but this thread does not exist for the purpose of apologetics. It exists to help those who have difficulties with biblical subjects to arrive at a clear understanding of the issues involved. Therefore, I request that if the intent of any inquirer is to debate any issue, they should create another thread and invite me to it. I will respect the invitation and offer a link back here if necessary or useful. This is to ensure clarity and focus for those for whom I am making this thread.
Please, also keep in mind that the authority that this thread will stand on is the Bible. Every appeal to other authorities will necessarily yield to an appeal to the Bible. If this is a problem for any inquirer, then I must at this point express my disinterest in their question.
Because I want this thread to be handy for those who need it, I will always be seeking ways to make it easy to read. What that may entail is yet to be seen. But compensations will be made wherever necessary.
This post may be edited in future, not least to create an index for questions that have been answered so that everyone can navigate easily to particular discussions that they may want to read.
It is my hope and my prayer that this work will benefit you and strengthen your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and help you persevere through the trials and tribulations of this life until you come to stand before the King.
Please see https://www.nairaland.com/4787663/believers-bible-studies-spiritual-growth
for regular Bible studies developed to help believers grow in the Truth and mature in their faith.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 9:34pm On Oct 16|
What is true about God is also true about Jesus Christ. They are both of the same nature and form(John1:1).
I believe the Father is only greater than the Son just in role or rank.
What do you guys think?
I think I'll just hit the high points and if you want further explanation, I'll try to provide it.
In the Bible, God is a Trinity. That is, there are Three Distinct Persons Who are each God in Their Own Right but Who are in such perfect unity that they are One Being in a way that is completely beyond our ability to understand. Their Unity is complete and Perfect. It has always been and it will always be.
These Three Persons are revealed in the Bible as the Father, the Son/the Word and the Holy Spirit.
The Father is usually the One Who is most clearly known as God in the Bible but He is always portrayed as being separate from us. He is the One most clearly seen as exercising the Authority of God in planning, giving commands and ordering awesome judgments. Otherwise, there is a sense of remoteness and awe to Him for us.
The Son is the One we know quite well from all the "contact" that the Godhead has had with humanity. He is the One Who did the act of creating everything which the Father had ordained and planned. He carries out the Will of the Father such as in executing Judgments that He (the Father) has ordered. He it was Who wiped out the elite units of the Egyptian Army that went after the Hebrews under the direct command of the Pharaoh. He it was Who destroyed the Assyrian army besieging Jerusalem. He it was Who flooded the world in Noah's Day. He is the One Who is most well known to us, not least because He is the One Who took on human flesh to fulfill the Father's Plan of Redemption. I'll come back to that in a moment. He can be hard to distinguish from the Father which shouldn't be surprising because they are really One Being. In Is 6 and Eze 1, for example, it is actually the Son Who is seen there on the Throne but in Rev 4, it is the Father. But the two appearances are so similar that it often has to be explained that all theophanies (that is, appearances and manifestations of God in the earth) are really Christophanies (that is, appearances of the Son in the earth). However, the Son's self-selected Role in the God-Head is as the Executor of the Father's Plan.
The Holy Spirit is the One least "seen" or "heard" of the Godhead. The Father is the One we easily recognize as God. The Son confuses a lot of us because of His more obvious involvement with the Creation. But the Holy Spirit is even unknown as a Person to many. Yet, the Holy Spirit is just as much God as the Father and the Son. However, His self-chosen role in the God-Head is as the invisible, unobtrusive "Empowerer" of all that God does. An easy example of His Work is the restraint that He maintains on evil. Without Him, evil would have already spun out of control. He is more easily connected with the Power of God than the Father and Son are, so much so that there is actually a sect (the Jehovah's Witnesses) which teaches that He is not a Person but is just the Power of God. But He is a Person and He is God but He is the One Member of the Godhead Who is more in the background than the others.
Finally, God is not "a" Spirit. God is Spirit. Angels are spirits. One angel is a spirit. But God is Spirit. Another way to appreciate that is this: every creature is a being. We are all beings. But God is not a being. Rather, He is Being. Note that the word being derives from the verb, to be. What we are saying is that God is not "one of the things that exist", we are saying that as far as words can go, God is existence itself. So, it is hard to understand God and the Three Persons of God in the same way that we understand our own existence and realities.
Now, back to the Son.
Something about the Son contributes to the confusion about the Godhead for most people - believing and unbelieving alike. It is that He became Man. And when He did, not a few things that He said and did left the impression that He was God and maybe-not-God. For example, He says "I and the Father are One", a clear claim to Deity. But then He says also, "The Father is greater than the Son", a puzzle to many as this thread shows. And for us weak humans, the difficulty is understanding how both things could be equally true.
There are other examples of such difficult things. One example is when Peter says that our Lord knows all things and the Lord did not correct or contradict Him but yet He also said somewhere else that the Day and the Hour of His Return was unknown to Him. If He was truly God, how come there was something unknown to Him? But if He wasn't, how could Peter and the Bible itself suggest that He knew all things? Which was it?
There is a technical term used to describe this particular "problem" or phenomenon. It is called kenosis.
Kenosis describes the humanity of the Lord Jesus before the Cross and His Ascension to the Father. In His Humanity, His Deity was self-restrained. That is, He separated His Human Nature from His Divine Nature and did not use His Deity to help Himself. So, even though He was truly God, He did not live among us then as God. He was truly human with human weakness and need to rely on God for everything - which was why the Holy Spirit was the Empowerer of all that He did. So, what He knew in His Humanity was what the Father granted Him to know through the Spirit. He did not use His Own Omniscience so His Humanity could be ignorant of things that His Deity was not at all. That is, He, like us, was to depend entirely on God for everything. And He did.
This is the context in which He said, "the Father is greater than the Son". As Phil 2:6-11 and Heb 2:9 make clear, becoming human to die for us was truly a humbling of Himself from Deity to humanity. In the prophets, the Messiah is often called God's Servant in the popular English translations of The Bible. That is, of course, a position of subservience to the Father. So, if the Son accepted (as Phil 2:7says that He did) the role of a servant, then, of course He was right to say in His Humanity (Phil 2:8...) that the Father is greater than the Son.
Finally, the status of the Lord Jesus after His Glorification appears to be confusing to many too. This has also led to difficulty in understanding His Relationship to the Father now and in eternity. In fact, this is probably the Greatest thing about being human for us:
God became Man. That is the story of Creation. That the Lord God demonstrated the depth, height, breadth and length of His Love for us by entering into eternal union with Man. There is no other way that the Scriptures tell us that Man could have been saved after Adam sinned. The solution that God put to work was to ordain that the Second Person of the Trinity would take on genuine human flesh and die for our sins and be raised from the dead to live forever as Man. That is, God The Son is now not only God but Man as well forevermore. This is how human beings will end up greater even than the angels: because of this seamless union with Deity.
By becoming man to die for us, the Lord Jesus brought human nature into seamless union with the divine nature. Once the Cross was finished and our Lord ascended to the Father, kenosis ended and His Deity and His Humanity became One. So, all that He is in His Deity has impressed upon all that He is in His Humanity now. So, right now, as we speak, and since His Glorification, He has known the exact Day and Hour of His Return because He always knew that in His Deity. Right now, however, He is also the Servant of the Father as much as He is God The Son so He can still say that the Father is greater than the Son and that He sits in the Father's Throne. The Eternal Kingdom is both the Father's and His. He won co-rulership of it through His obedience as a Man to the Father and shares that co-rulership with us if we maintain our faith until the end. This is how becoming Man has affected His Relationship with the Father. He is both Deity Who knows everything and Man Who rules over creation as God's Regent.
There is much more to say but it will take a lot more work to say it and perhaps it will be best to say it all elsewhere. Still, if anything I have said is unclear or needs further clarification or defending, I will be happy to oblige.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 9:57am On Oct 18|
THE PLAN OF GOD
Jesus: Satan came to steal, kill and destroy.
Really? Let's see what the Bible says.
1. Killed 10 of Job's children
2. Killed about 150 of Job's servants (estimated at 1 servant per 100 animals)
1. Killed untold numbers with a flood.
2. Killed untold number of Sodom and Gomorrah inhabitants with fire and brimestone.
3. Killed untold number of Egyptians with plagues.
4. Killed Pharaoh and his army (untold number) by drowning.
5. Killed Israelites with snakes.
6. Killed Israelites with food poisoning.
7. Killed Israelites with sinkholes.
8. Killed off a generation of Israelites by causing them to wander in a small wilderness for 40 years.
9. Killed untold number of Canaanites in battle, way more than the Israelites did by hand.
10. Killed over a 100,000 enemy soldiers, twice.
Total count: Uncountable but definitely more than 200,000.
Who again came to kill and destroy?
I think that there is really no question that death serves as much as God's agent as everything in creation does. He is God after all. Nothing could do anything without Him. So, even if Satan were responsible for every single death in history, well, he wouldn't exist or cause death unless God created him and provided him with ability, opportunity and enabling to do as he does.
However, this is not the whole story.
Free will is the critical other half.
When God first created the whole universe, He did it out of nothing and it was perfect, without darkness or evil of any sort. Then He made the angels who were the only creatures made to be like Him in possessing a free will. The angels were (and are) spirits with incredible abilities that even we now as humans can little imagine much less comprehend. And they saw God face to face and had perfect fellowship with Him.
Each angel was created in a particular "rank", if you will, possessing distinct personality, ability and duties. And Satan was the very highest ranking of all of them. He, just like the rest, was created holy and perfect, wanting for absolutely nothing. At the time, there was only one guardian cherub, that is, an angel whose job was to sort of symbolically maintain the absolute separation and holiness of God from creation. Satan was also the "high priest", if you will, of the angels. He stood before God to represent the rest. In short, the Bible's description of him in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, especially the latter, leaves the reader with the idea that Satan had everything possible that a creature could possibly desire. He was the preeminent creature in God's universe. He maintained superiority over every single angel. And all the angels ruled the universe of that time.
But God never intended that His creatures would serve Him perforce. He always wanted them to make a conscious choice to be His Family throughout eternity. This is why the angels had free will and why man would later come to have it too. Satan had it.
Now, Satan had no reason, no temptation, no tree of the knowledge of good and evil to show him that things could be any other way than they were. This is very important to note. It shows that God is never the source of temptation to do evil. There was no reason external to Satan that he should rebel against God. He manufactured a reason all by himself because every creature possessing free will is essentially like God in the most important way: they possess the ability to decide what to be.
Satan was the touchstone of perfection in creation. He was also the wisest creature that God made. These things were the very things that he corrupted himself with. He figured that he was perfect and wise enough to become God in his own right. What that means is that Satan actually chose of his own free will to ignore the single important detail that he was a created being, not a self-existing entity. God is of necessity without beginning or end. He was never created and will never go out of existence. This is not true of any created thing. God, of course, created all things to be eternal in essence but each thing was created. Therefore, not one of those things God made can ever under any circumstances become God. It is impossible to become God. You are either God or you are not. But Satan sold that lie to himself and began a process of corruption in himself that soon led to full revolt against the God of Creation.
His revolt involved seducing his fellow angels with promises to get them to join him and increase (in their limited minds) their chances of success in taking rulership of the universe away from God. He did succeed at seducing a third of the angels with promises of obtaining material existence in physical bodies. That led to vile corruption of the pristine Earth of that time both from what they did with the bodies of the animals that they took possession of and from their experimentations to create bodies that fit their lusts.
God allowed it to go on for as long as it was necessary to make sure that all the angels who wanted to rebel did and that all those who didn't want to made it clear that they never would. Then He flooded the entire universe.
That ended Satan's activities at the time. Following that was the judgment of God upon him and his cohorts and the rewarding of the angels who stayed loyal to God. It was at this time that the ranks of the elect angels were reshuffled with four of them becoming the new guardian cherubim associated with God's Throne and other angels variously retaining their starting positions, rising in rank or losing rank depending on their zeal in siding with God.
However, God's Creation was fractured. God is a Unity even though there are Three Divine Persons Who are all God in Their Own Right. Therefore His Creation is destined to be a Unity as well. In fact, this was what Satan counted on to preserve him from God's Anger. He figured that God would rather let him get away with his shenanigans than fracture creation. But that would not happen. God did permit the fracturing of Creation to separate the rebellious from the faithful.
Then He created man to replace the angels who rebelled. But this time, man was closer to the beasts than to the angels in makeup. He was a physical being with a spirit. Therefore, he had severe limitations in ability and intelligence which the angels did not have. However, he was created this way in order to demonstrate to the angels that all the lies that Satan had told about God in his campaign to get them on his side were really lies. First and most important, being physical beings was not really something that God had denied them. Rather, it was something that God had spared them. As spirits, they possess ability, knowledge and intelligence and freedom from material restraints and needs that we lack because of our bodies.
There were other extremely sophisticated lies many of which in fact the Bible was given to us by God to refute. Each human life is an opportunity to demonstrate the faithfulness and love and power and wisdom of God where Satan had questioned each.
But this is really the answer to the question why the execution of Satan's judgment was delayed. Satan possessed a free will and sought and created an opportunity to exercise it against God. Man, however, was not smart enough to be that evil. This was why God created an opportunity for him to go against Him, if he decided that he wanted to and also why Satan was allowed to try and seduce man into rebellion against God. That was why the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in the restored Garden of Eden. It was the test of man's heart. Satan was there just to provide man with an alternative to God.
Man was also given all he needed to stay true to God if he wanted. The Garden was perfection. Even though he was a physical being, he never lacked for anything. Life could not have been better for him. He had the perfect mate, the perfect job, the perfect entertainment and God's friendship. What's more, God gave him every single thing in sight except the one tree. He did not need to know anything about good and evil. What for? But then Satan had it all and also wanted to be God. Evil is always arrogance. We sin by reaching for what we think that we have been denied.
That is how Eve was seduced. Adam joined her in sin knowing what he was doing simply because he was afraid of losing his wife. But in trying to keep her, he forfeited everything else that God had freely given to him. That was the same exact thing that Satan did.
Now, this is the background of everything you complained about in your post.
God is good and loving and beneficent. But He isn't stupid. He made the universe to be good an perfect, not because it would hurt Him in any way if it wasn't but because He wanted His Family of Angels and Men to be happy. He created all these wonders that once existed, are existing and will yet exist for our enjoyment. Evil corrupts these things and renders them unfit for enjoyment. What loving father would not try to clear a playground of dangerous material and animals so that his little ones can play safely?
Satan's revolt and the activities of his angels ruined the fun for everyone, so God destroyed that universe by flooding it. Then He remade it to create Man. Then, Man in disobedience ruined himself as well. And God had to do the whole cleanup routine again.
The pattern has continued. Had death not existed, that is, if we physical beings had not been subject to decay and expiration, can you imagine what evil we could have done? Imagine serial killers who are immortal. Does that seem like good news at all to you? There were many depraved nations throughout history whose continued existence would have extinguished all the conscience left in humanity. There were powerful nations which made a practice of sacrificing their young in despicable ways and whose brutality made them rich and powerful so that even those with a decent conscience started to waver in being good. Sodom and Gomorrah were a good example of such nations. Had God not wiped them out, they would have either corrupted other nations or wiped those nations out themselves.
This is why God continues to clean the board to allow other people to make their own eternal choices about Him. If we choose to submit to Him, we can look forward to eternity in a United, perfect family with God as our loving Father forever. If we don't, well, we get to be without Him or His Gifts eternally too.
Now, Satan does come to steal, to kill and to destroy.
From what I already said, I think that it is obvious that if Satan had not chosen to oppose God and if no other angel had, there would never have been death. God did create Satan and give him a free will like He did the other angels, but it was all Satan when he decided to oust God. That had nothing to do with God. God would rather that all His Creatures exist from beginning to eternity without any pain or suffering of any kind but He gave us a free will so that we can choose to be family with Him or not. He can't have the family He desires if we cannot choose to be that family. And we can only be able to make a true choice to be that family if we can also choose not to be that family. So, death is really all Satan's doing. But God has not left things that way. He has taken responsibility to fix everything the way He has been, using every single choice made by every single person - angel and human - to bring about this family he wants. So, even though death exists as a direct result of Satan's actions, God does use it to keep things on course to creating that perfect eternal tomorrow that all believers look forward to.
You should be able to see that in this, the goodness and love and faithfulness of God is manifest. The fact that people die is regrettable for the most part but God made that possible so that people can continue to choose who and what they want to be. After all, at the end of all of this, every single person who has died will be brought back to life. Then each person will go where they have chosen to be eternally.
So, I think it is actually something to glorify God for that death exists and that He uses it the way that He does. Had Satan succeeded at wresting control of the universe away from God (an impossibility though), I am very certain that we would be in a miserable state of existence. Whenever people have chosen Satan's way, it has never worked out right. Hearts are broken, lives are destroyed, people are killed. Every. Single. Time. The angels who chose Satan did not get bodies for themselves. Even had God left them to their devices eternally, they would never have succeeded at getting what they wanted. The reason is that wisdom belongs to God. Satan knows only what God makes him able to know. That is true with all of us. We can never become self-sufficient. So, if the angels were ever going to have bodies, God was the only One Who could give it to them.
God's Ways may be mysterious but His Character and Personality is manifest in the world around us and in the believers we meet who have taken following Him seriously. And from what we see, we know that we can trust Him even when what He does is beyond our ken.
I would add that when believers die or suffer, this can be God's Discipline or it can be Satan's attack (governed by God's purposes and loving supervision of their lives).
I'll take my time to read this. I used to enjoy your writing.
I am happy to hear that you did before. I will pray that you will also find value in it now. And I will wait to see if I can help any further.
Please see the attached Word document for the full conversation.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 7:46pm On Oct 24|
SHOULD CHRISTIANS TITHE
I am new here please. I need explanation concerning tithing. Why do pastors only quote Malachi 3? Whereas there are many verses that talked about tithing, from Old Testament to even Hebrews. Please I need very serious and convincing explanations
Hello. My explanation will be serious but you will decide just how convincing you find it.
First of all, I cannot speak for any pastors concerning why they quote only Malachi 3. You will have to ask them. The best I can do is take an educated guess. And that is that it is probably the best way they can try to convince believers who don't know the Bible well to pay them money. Also, there may be the problem of spiritual immaturity on the part of the pastor so that he does not understand the Scriptures in this particular matter.
Second, the tithe was the income tax of the ancient nation of Israel paid in agricultural products (both animals and plants crops or in their monetary equivalent plus 20% of the value). It was necessary to sustain the Temple worship and provide welfare for the indigent in the towns and villages and cities of Israel. Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21-32, Deut 14:28-29.
After the Lord Jesus Christ came and paid the Sacrifice in His Blood, the Law of Moses was removed and a new Law in Christ was instituted so that the ritual provisions of the Mosaic Law and the rituals associated with the Temple are no longer in force, certainly not for the Gentiles today. So the tithe is no longer in force. Heb 8:6-13.
But under the New Covenant in Jesus Christ's Blood, we are now supposed to cheerfully and deliberately take responsibility for one another so that
1. those whom the Lord has tasked with feeding His Children with the Truth (that is, pastor-teachers) are provided with what they need for sustenance (1 Cor 9:4-14, Gal 6:6);
2. indigent believers find material support from fellow believers (2 Cor 8:13-15, 9:11-12);
3. unbelievers are witnessed to by our compassion and generosity toward each other and them as well (2 Cor 9:13).
So, while we must not return to the Old Testament Mosaic Law in any form so that we do not blaspheme against the Lord Jesus Christ (any recourse to the Mosaic Law denies that the Lord Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and died for our sins, Gal 5:4), we are not therefore to become cruel and uncaring toward others. In fact, we are now called to a higher standard of life where we are to be proactive in helping others who are less fortunate in material circumstances than we are, of course prioritizing our pastor-teachers and fellow believers in this as well.
May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 2:18am On Nov 01|
THE CORRECT WAY TO READ THE BIBLE
"When a wise man points at the moon the slowpoke examines the finger. This is what the intellect does with our stories of the sacred and divine. We cannot pin down the transcendent so we use myth and metaphor to allude to it. The rationalist then attacks the myth as fairy tale and claims victory over the divine."
- Author Unknown
I think it would be very unfortunate for anyone to dismiss the biblical accounts as allegory and myth. But then, why would anyone take that from a "believer"?
I generally agree with this, except that most devotees to the divine don't have much more understanding of metaphor and allegory, insisting that their myths represent literal truth.
True. They too have the same problem of ignorance as the 'rationalist'.
My comment was to say that it is unfortunate that anyone should dismiss the biblical accounts as literal truth because they are. There are metaphors and allegories, yes, but those are immediately clarified as such when they are presented in the Bible. Of course, I didn't always know this. I only learned it within the past twelve months. But when I checked, I found that it was true.
But, as we once argued on Nairaland (and as was argued against us too), once we begin to "explain away" one part of the Bible as allegorical (especially without any clear reason in the text itself to do so), then we must accept that the whole Bible may be allegorical and not at all literal truth. Once the Bible can be argued to be allegorical on a "whim" not justified by the text itself, then anyone can ascribe any meaning they please to what the Bible says.
So, I essentially disagree with the unknown author and with your comment above.
I get you but then again there exist certain believers who are hyper-literalists and they are not few. So [my friend] has a point here.
I agree with you that the bible is true but it is not always literal truth and we are able to tell the difference through proper study of the text and not merely decide what is literal on a whim.
My particular concern is in what constitutes allegory or myth in the Bible and how it is identified. [My friend], you mentioned the story the Lord Jesus told about Lazarus and the rich man as an example and, if memory serves me right and nothing has changed in this regard, [our mutual friend] does hold the creation account in Genesis as allegorical. These things are why I joined the conversation.
The correct approach to the Bible is to treat everything it says as literal unless the text gives express, incontrovertible reason, to receive the information another way.
This is a test of faith. All of the claims that the Bible makes, it makes as an authority. It does not consider itself questionable and this has always been a problem for all those who have received God's Testimony from Adam and Eve in the Garden to the Israelite and Judahite kings to whom God sent prophets with His Word [and finally] to us today who have the complete Bible. God offers no reason in the Bible for believing what it says other than that the Bible said it.
It is when we have problems with this that the Bible is closed to us.
Regarding the example you gave, I am not a linguist but a brief Google Search and a look at Britannica's website suggested to me that a parable is not necessarily synonymous with an allegory. So, the fact that the story was called a parable does not automatically make it an allegory. I say this because it is the argument that I am familiar with which is presented for rejecting all the stories that Jesus told during His Ministry as literally true stories. All of them were. This one was no different. In fact, it helps us who are Gentile believers who did not have Jewish traditions passed down to understand that there was a time when dead believers could not go to Heaven but were kept in Paradise beneath the Earth waiting for the Perfect Sacrifice that would open the way to the Presence of the Father in the third Heaven. Rejecting that costs us the robust appreciation of the Cross that the Bible offers us.
Likewise, rejecting the literalness of the creation account locks us out of what the Bible actually teaches about why the Cross is so important. And the Cross is the foundation of Creation. We are immediately at risk when we accept any thought or argument that calls the Cross into question. Without an acceptance of the literalness of Genesis, there is a big question what sin is, where it came from, why the Lord Jesus Christ came to die for us and what it is we are looking forward to in hope.
Now, how can we tell when something is allegorical or a myth in the Bible? In all the examples that I can think of right now, the text itself says expressly that it is about to present or has just presented an allegory.
Here are some examples:
Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah and Jerusalem is Oholibah.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 10:38pm On Nov 07|
THE SIN NATURE
While I may not understand what the term "sin nature" denotes, I don't agree with you on the Bolded. But the Bible says that Jesus "partook of flesh and blood with humans", and "was made like us in all things". Heb. 2:14,17.
But that is not the purpose of the thread, so I'll not go into it.
My thinking was that we could have this conversation elsewhere and link it back here so that anyone who finds themselves wondering about this same thing will be properly educated about it. If that suits you, I would be happy to set it up, but in case you are disinclined to having the conversation, I think I should address the above for the sake of those who may read it.
You are very right, of course, that the Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus shared in all things with us. However, the context of those two verses was addressing the fact of the Lord Jesus Christ's Humanity. As you should see from verse 16, the point was that the Lord Jesus Christ became in every way a genuine human being, not an angel, but a man just like any of us. This does not address anything but the Nature of His Incarnation.
The question of sin in His Incarnation is addressed in Heb 4:15. He had no sin, no matter how much He was tempted. We know this from this part of the Bible. But the question we were really disagreeing on is whether the rest of mankind was similarly free of sin.
For that question we have Rom 3:9-18, 23, 5:19 and 1 Jn 1:8. There are other passages but these will suffice.
The point in them is that every living human being sins. And Rom 5:19 and 1 Jn 1:8 explain why: we all have something the Bible calls "sin". The question I think may be pertinent is whether sin is something you do or something you have.
It could be answered that if you sin, then you have sin. This is true and may just prove my point: that sins, that is, those things we do which are sinful, are proof that we have a condition called sin.
This is why a technical term was invented to explain it. Theologians refer to it as the sin nature. The sin nature is what makes our sinning inevitable.
Once Adam and Eve sinned, something changed about human nature. Every human being since, except the Lord Jesus Christ, has come into the world in a body of sin (see Rom 7, esp vv. 17-18, 23-24). This predisposes every single human being born of male seed to sin. We may be guiltless at birth but from that first breath, we run after sin like it is necessary to our existence. That is what the Lord Jesus had to save us out of.
So, even though the Lord Jesus was as human as it gets - which is the point of Heb 2 -, He was completely without a sin nature unlike us. He had no tendencies at all to sin in any form. But, just like Adam, He was able to sin if He wanted to because He possessed a free will. But He chose instead to submit Himself in every thought, word and deed in every single moment of His Life here on earth to the Father, thus He never sinned.
But we will always sin as long as we have this mortal body because sin lives in our bodies. Our bodies were corrupted when Adam chose in full recognition of the consequences of His Choice to disobey God. This is our burden and it is what the Lord Jesus died to save us from. While our sins have been paid for, His Death also secured for us the hope of Resurrection so that one day our bodies will be changed and we can live in perfect righteousness for all eternity (Rom 8:23).
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 1:16pm On Nov 14|
HOW WE ARE SAVED
we all know what the grace of God is. for those who doesn't, it is the undeserved or undeserving kindness, goodness and mercy of God towards his people. we humans are under his grace due to the finished work of his son, Jesus Christ our saviour on the cross of Calvary. so we being better than others maybe financially, spiritually etc isn't by our power. after all he said in his Word that his gifts are without repentance. Now my question is can this grace take us to the kingdom of God? if yes does it now mean that everyone will inherit his kingdom?
If I have understood your question correctly, you are trying to establish how salvation works.
Yes, God's Grace is really at work for everyone. All human beings benefit from His long-suffering and generosity. Or else we would all be dead and in the Lake of Fire.
But we are saved by grace THROUGH FAITH (Eph 2:8 ). No matter the supply of God's Grace to anyone, without the deliberate choice to believe in the Lord Jesus, that person cannot be saved.
So, the issue is not one of Grace alone but of Faith primarily. God will always provide everything that is needed for anyone who wants to believe to do so and be saved. But the act of Faith is a free will matter. Each person must choose to believe or else they will not be saved.
Except along the line in your life on this earth you decided to be converted from the christian faith to join islam, athiesm, budhaism, judaism, african traditional idol worshipping or any other faith of this world other than christianity.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
That simply means, no man cometh to the father except by christianity.
Not by judaism or abraham or any other faith as it applied in the days when scriptures were written.
Today, there are several faiths other than the christian faith but only the christian faith is the recommended faith.
If you are not in christianity you are among the goat.
If you are in christianity you are among the sheep. matt 25:23
Now, do not listen to any pastor telling you that you must be righteous or born again or go to church before you can be saved.
The only criteria for salvation is your faith in christ.
Without faith it is impossible to please God.
You are exactly right that the only criterion for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. However, it is also true that when one chooses to place their faith in Jesus Christ, they become born again and receive the righteousness of the Lord Jesus so that they become righteous in the eyes of God.
Consequent upon that, the believer must begin to learn to know the Lord so that they can also imitate Him in behavior and attitude. That is sanctification. It is the product of true faith in the Lord.
I believe that a christian would be loyal to the Church because it was founded by Jesus Christ himself who they purport to follow, and he promised to preserve the Church. So when one attacks the Church from outside I can only conclude that they cannot be christian.
According to the Bible, it is faith in Jesus Christ that matters. Possession of such faith makes one a believer. Believers were first called "Chrestians" (in today's parlance, that would mean "goody two-shoes" ) in Antioch and that name was later corrupted to "Christians" (that is, members of the household of Christ). That is why we are so called today. Otherwise, we were variously called "believers", "disciples" and "followers of the Way". None of this had anything to do with the Roman Church or with any visible earthly institution. You are a Christian if you believe in Jesus Christ. You are not if you do not.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 7:02am On Nov 21|
THE POWER OF CONFESSION?
We all know what I am about to unveil. But do we understand it?
I received a major unveiling just today, that God had been leading me into all week.
Let us be careful and cautious of the things we say to our selves and others, the things we listen to and the things we share.
Basically let's be sensitive to what we Confess and what we Receive.
Kindly pray in spirit if you can, to prepare your heart for this.
I am equally fearfully praying for more understanding.
May the Holy Spirit help our infirmities and unbeliefs. God help us all in Jesus name.
The Power Of Our Confessions.
This is too deep for me.
May the LORD who alone gives understanding give us understanding by the Holyspirit in Jesus name.
The wisest man who ever lived says.
A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour confirms it.
When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
It is curious, we all want positive things but often times we confess negative things with our mouths.
God help us all.
Heavenly father help us not to joke with our destinies. Help us not to make jokes while we curse one another.
Help us not to negate our own prayers by own unbelief.
Help us to only believe your Word and not the World.
In Jesus name. Amen.
Very happy to see that you are continuing to be zealous for the Lord. This is a very desirable thing especially in this age of lukewarmness. I keep you in my prayers and continue to pray the Lord to grant you Grace in the pursuit of spiritual growth and production for the One Who bought you with His Blood.
Zeal is very good and desirable if it is for the Truth. There have been many who have been zealous but not according to the Truth. Such people have often done great harm to those who seek and stand for the Truth. You will remember the Pharisees and the Jews of our Lord's day and those who persecuted the Church of whom our brother Paul was once a part.
For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
For this reason, I implore you to direct your zeal to the pursuit of the Truth so that you will grow in it and become effective in it. As it is right now, without proper teaching in the Truth, you are apt to at least confuse people about the Truth when they listen to you. I know this very well as my own history on this forum will show. There is an even worse risk you run every time that you are eager to share something you have learned with others people: you can completely mislead them and betray them to the Lie. So,
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
And if you do possess the gift of teaching, then you must first grow to spiritual maturity before you can use it without risking serious damage to the Church.
Regarding what you have shared here, you are not wrong that what we confess and what we receive are tremendously important. However, this is often very badly misapplied today. The Scriptures do not say that we are so powerful that all of our words can accomplish anything. They say rather:
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
That is, the issue of life is the Truth. Those who submit to it and therefore have their tongues governed by it will be justified by it. Those who do not will be condemned. This is the crux of life. Life and death are in the power of the tongue in the most important way: whether we submit to the Truth or reject it decides whether we gain Eternal Life or lose it. It has almost nothing to do with our material circumstances.
The sense in which it has anything to do with our material circumstances is that those who love the Truth and live by it will often find themselves suffering material difficulty because of it and will also experience miraculous sustenance and sometimes deliverance through their tribulations in this life. Those who don't will not often suffer as much as those who do.
That is, we do not have the power to shape our material reality with our words. We are not gods in that sense. We are only gods in the sense that we have the power to determine our eternal fate. But we can only determine that in the context of the material circumstances to which the Lord God wills to submit us. So, "being positive" in the sense of speaking out loud the wishes we have for comfort and prosperity in this life will not amount to anything of value. It has no power at all to affect our material circumstances but it does possess the power to trap us in a lie. This is also true with "being negative".
The Truth is all that matters and only what God says is true. Our part is to submit to Him and agree with Him. This is what Faith is about. Our material circumstances may be whatever they may be, they are not and never are the issue. The question for us always is: is there anything in this life that is able to make us think that God cannot be trusted? Can poverty or wealth, sickness or good health, popularity or loneliness and any number of other material experiences ever succeed to make us "call God on the carpet"? Or will we trust Him "though He slay me" (Job 13:15)? For us, is He the God Who has power over everything? Or is He the God Who has limits and can fail us in fulfilling all that He has promised? Is He the God Who knows what is best for us? Or is He the God Who needs our advice? Is He the God Whose Love for us is without question given the enormous Price that He paid for our sins in the Lord Jesus Christ? Or is He the God Whose Love for us has limits and we must therefore fend for ourselves sometimes? These questions are what life is about. Our circumstances are our opportunity to answer them in the full view of men and the angels so that our true heart is made manifest to all.
So, again, we should be very careful to receive only the Truth and to align all of our thoughts, words and actions with it so that we will stop being those who being evil cannot say anything good (Mt 12:34). But we are not to assume that in our tongues we possess any power at all to alter any material circumstances of ours or other people's.
May the Lord's Grace continue to help you, brother.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 12:34pm On Nov 28|
THE REALITY OF THE CHRISTIAN CALLING AND WALK I
I have been an atheist for more than seven years now and looking back, I am yet to see what I have missed not worshiping God.
This is a summary of my life since I became an atheist
- wake up in the morning
- plan my day
- eat, exercise and work toward achieving my goals
- go to work, remember loves ones, check up on them and hangout with friends
- get home sleep.
Life has had its ups and downs, but I have pretty much been a giver than a receiver and got married now with a handsome son (despite somebody's prayers for my marriage to fail).
I still don't understand why anyone should worship any God.
So I ask theist... Tell me just two thing that makes it life as a theists better than mine.
If u can come up with two things that makes worshiping God worth it, I will look into my life evaluate, see if I miss such and maybe give worshiping God a try.
In my opinion, this may only be another bait thread for Christians. It seems to me that you made your choice and lived it for seven years and you like your experience. So I cannot see what you would expect Christians to tell you. I would expect that you would dismiss Christianity as a fool's dream and ignore Christians while carrying on with this wonderful life you have made for yourself without God in it.
But, for what it is worth, I will humor you.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Truth that we Christians follow is not primarily about this life. Not many of us believers will have that easy a life. Many of us suffer broken marriages as a direct result of our Faith. Many of us suffer penury or at least economic "mediocrity" because we prioritize God's Truth. That is not to say that following Christ necessarily leads to misery. In fact, even in our sufferings, those of us who want to follow the Lord and stick to the program do find a joy and peace that cannot be explained by our circumstances. So, it is not about misery although being a Christian guarantees more suffering in this life than being an unbeliever will.
What Christians endure everything we endure for is the hope we have for the world to come. We look forward to a Resurrection whereby we will be rescued permanently from suffering. We look forward to eternal rewards and riches and glory that this world has not even a prayer at equalling. We look forward to a New Earth and New Heavens where everything is perfect and there is no more evil or injustice of any kind. That is what our true gain is.
For us, this life is a war, a labor, a test that we must endure everyday. We accept the gifts of work, family, friends and entertainment as some of the things the Lord gives us to make our journey bearable for us. But these things are not what we are Christians for. As your own experience proves, even a staunch atheist can have them and have them in abundance. Very few of the wealthiest people in the world are Christians after all. But only Christians expect what we have in this life to be made infinitely better in eternity.
I could but I have to practically shut my ears to Christian rantings... If only Christians practice the live and let live they preach. Recall this tread was create based on real life experience. People disturb me a lot with nonsense.
In order words the worship of God is useless to life on earth... Only necessary for the hope of after life?
Awww... Whats the difference between hoping for after life and not caring about after life?
Thanks... So far, I see no reason why I should fast, vigil, pray, .... For me one thing I miss about Christianity is worship... I love singing and enjoying my own praise songs like I am the God I am singing to.
I still do it sometimes... Otherwise, I don't miss the guilt, need to please, feeling like I owe my life to anything, feeling like I am being watched, need to pretend, fasting, staying up all night, time wasted in praying...
I think being a atheist rocks.
I can sympathize with you on that. But it is my policy to ignore things that I have decided have no value in my life. Perhaps you should do the same. It does make for something of a quieter, more focused life.
That would be the wrong way to read what I said. Life in this world for us Christians is a fight. It is a fight for everyone really but only Christians are actually taking on the enemy here. For that reason, following God is enormously important to us. In following Christ, we gain not only the resources but the training and company we need to get from here to the Goal that God set for all human beings.
Being a Christian, for example, gives me a different perspective on work, family/friends and entertainment - if I am doing a good job of being a Christian, that is - than you as an unbeliever possess.
I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
Rock on then, friend.
I do admit that while there is a great deal of value in fasting, it is something that I find very imprudent to do in my own life. And I neither attend nor particularly recommend vigils to anyone. I think it would take special circumstances for me to do so. As for prayer, what could a believer do without it? In an earthly army, supply lines are everything. Being able to put in a request and have it met is a huge morale booster for any army. How much more for believers fighting through this world?
But I think the real problem here may be a poor understanding of Christianity on your part. I don't say that to insult you. It is entirely possible that you were a Christian for several years before you decided to become an atheist. But not everything that wears a label is true to its name. Christianity, first and foremost, is about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's it: just believing in the Lord Jesus Christ Who was God but also took on humanity so that He could die for our sins and rescue us from certain eternal condemnation.
Then after that is a diligent commitment to learning the Truth of the Bible and adapting to it through the help of the Holy Spirit. And this is something you do not only in the Power of God but with responsibility to God alone so that the pressure of "appearing holy" to other people really has no place in true Christianity. Anyone who is diligent in the Truth eventually finds themselves changing in the best and most authentic way so that they know for sure that God is pleased with them and man cannot really and honestly find fault with them. But this is not to say that we can be perfect, no. Our bodies are corrupted with sin so perfection will remain out of reach until the Resurrection. But we will certainly find that in all the ways that it truly matters, we are becoming better people.
So, it's not about a mechanical system of praying, fasting, going to vigils, attending church every Sunday and not doing this or making sure to do that. If anything is a good thing to do or a bad thing that we should abstain from, as we continue to learn the Truth and believe it, we soon find inside of ourselves both the desire and the strength to do it or abstain from it as the case may be. How it happens is nothing short of miraculous in my experience. I had quite given up on myself before I learned this. And I am sharing it with you in case you might be willing to consider it.
unfortunately u really cannot advise me on how i react to things i see in life.
i simply challenged u to tell me just tow things u enjoy in THIS life as a christian that i dont enjoy as an atheist. if there is none, tell me there is non. your answer above has nothing to do with my question.
you are doing a good job being a christian and i am also doing a good job being a atheist. pls what two things about life as a christian makes you better than me, an atheist.
you live ur life hoping for a better after life, i live my life not caring one bit after after life... what's the difference between me and u
since u fast and pray, tell me two things about ur life that are better than mine.
Christianity is all about Faith in Christ, and this is what you think i dont understand about Christianity? what else should i think Christianity is? what has this got to do with my question?
ok... so what two things do you have as a christian that i dont have as an atheist.
pls answer my question... thanks
It's your life. I don't presume to know how to live it better than you. I was only saying that there may be an alternative to starting threads like this one when Christians make a point of troubling you because of your choices.
I already answered that.
It is for the Lord to decide whether or not I am doing a good job as a Christian.
What we call hope is confidence concerning something we cannot see yet. Just thought to explain that a little more.
My confusion is that you just stated the difference between you and me so I am not sure what you expect me to say in answer to your question.
As I said, fasting is imprudent and impractical for me although it is a very valuable exercise but, yes, I do pray.
I was only explaining that Christianity is not a checklist of activities as you seemed to me to think it is.
My answer was in my first post.
This is not what the thread is all about.
No u haven't. Ur response actually suggested God is useless to this life but Christian only hold unto him for hope of internal life... U are here to believe and suffer for Christ while hoping for a better after life. U have said nothing to show ur life as a christian will be better than mine as an atheist.
In fact, I challenge you to name one thing (instead of 2) that makes ur life on earth better as a christian than mine as an atheist.
OK... So back to my question.
Oga how does ur hoping in after life and me not caring about after life make u a better human than me.
Errrr... Still waiting for my answer
I know what Christianity is
No u havent
I have no concept what you mean here.
I refer you again to my first post. I made no claims regarding having a better life here on earth. In fact, I told you that if you have such a wonderful life here on earth without God and like it too, then it makes no sense to be so troubled about what Christians believe and try to push on you. Your whole concern is what you can get in this life and you have got it and are getting it. You should be happy and unconcerned about whatever it is we Christians are so gung-ho about. That was what I told you.
Then I told you explicitly that this life is a war for Christians, a test and a labor so we have a harder time of it than unbelievers do. So, it is not about this life for us but about the world to come. But you interpreted that to mean that God is useless for this life and I told you that that was the wrong way to read what I said. Clearly, Christians would not survive this war without God's Help. Some, like yourself for example, have given up and just deserted Christ's Army and joined up with the Enemy to actively attack and damage the Church now. Many more are just avoiding the fight but refusing to fully desert themselves, that is, they are incredibly lukewarm. The very few who take it seriously enough to really push hard for progress are not having anything like an easy time in this life. They wouldn't last a moment without God's Help. And God helps them in a vast number of ways with jobs or economic support in one form or another, family and friends, sometimes devoted spouses and whatnot. God gives them just the right sort of help they need to keep marching forward. So, of course, God is critical to them in this life. They don't think the world is all that even if you do. But they are not irresponsible Luddites either. They live life in this world like responsible people and try to get what good gifts God gives to soothe the pain of this world but more than that they fight for a far better world than this one can ever be.
I'm not sure then how else I can answer you.
About the following:
"I know what Christianity is"
Your words seemed to me to suggest otherwise.
Here lies my answer. So worshiping is just usless to humans while on earth. Except the hope u have for heaven l, which makes not difference to our life in the long run while on earth.
We have been over this and I believe I have given u the response that best fits this... U are not in the position to tell me how I react to christian behavior towards me.
Is a life of war supposed to prove that u live a better life as a christian than an atheist? So the reason why Christian preach to non believers is to invite them to a life of war, test labour and harder times while u wait for a world to come? What kind of life is that?
In other words an atheist can live same life u live as a Christian even without Gods help. However a christian lives a live of hardship , labour , war and test but God gives him a help to go through the test... (He he, god tests u and helps u go through the test) and also help them to live the same life an atheists lives without God... Christianity sounds like a bad option here don't u think?
I know what Christianity is
I am human incidentally. And so are all the Christians I spoke of. And I described how believing in Jesus Christ makes a difference to our lives. I don't see the connection between that and what you say here.
The fact that I point out an inconsistency in your actions and words us not the same as telling you what to do.
I would have to make an argument that we live a better life in order to be proving it, would I not? Have I made such an argument so far?
We call unbelievers to escape the sure Anger of God that is coming. That is what leads to the whole war. But the war is necessary to separate those who really want to be with God from those who don't.
The life a believer lives and the one that an atheist lives are different. The principles governing them are diametrically opposed to each other.
Perhaps. I just didn't see that you did from what you said.
Your answer in the post did not Christianity is a better life that than atheism... The reason why Christians need God (according to ur post) is to help them through a life of war, test, and hardship... Something an atheist does not have to go through to live same fulfilled life every Christian crave for
The majority of Christians do indeed crave the sweet things of this life even to the point of going AWOL in the army. But the craving is not itself consistent with the Faith. So, it is not actually right to think that we become Christians because we crave this "fulfilled life" you refer to. Rather, Christians drop out of the fight mostly because they crave this "fulfilled life".
What difference does believing in Jesus Christ make that makes ur life better as a Christian than mine as an atheist.
I am reacting Christian preaching all around me all day... Let it go... This has nothing to do with the op.
So what's ur argument? That u live better or not?
Anger of God that is coming... In another news Christians will b like 'god does not put anyone in hell people chose to go there' what's he going to be angy for exactly?
All these are not what I am asking u sha... It seems there is nothing,not even one thing Christians enjoy on earth as Christians that atheists don't.
I know, that's why I am asking u the benefit of one over the other. Me think there is not difference hence I am wondering why anyone would bother about a seemingly useless God.
Believers aren't the only ones in this war. It's an all-encompassing war.
On one side is God Whose Will is being carried out by the elect angels and by faithful human beings. On the other is Satan and the rebellious angels aided very often by faithless human beings to oppose God's Will.
For now, because of a kind of truce that has persisted for a while, there is a large middle ground where many of God's human troops are avoiding battle and many humans while technically on Satan's side are largely useless to him. In the Tribulation which is coming very soon indeed, this middle ground will be all but wiped out and nearly everyone will be forced to pick a side.
For Satan, the objective is to prevent human beings from actually giving their allegiance to God or sustaining that allegiance until the end of their lives. This is because human beings were created to replace him and the rebel angels after they rebelled. If he cannot prevent either of those things from occurring, he tries to prevent those who choose for God from actually being useful to Him by helping others either to make the same choice or to sustain it. That is his play. This is why the world's good things were made so enticing by him. They exist to a large extent to distract human beings who would otherwise follow God faithfully and be useful in doing so.
So, while we believers in Jesus Christ do desire and ask from God and receive from Him much that you unbelievers value such as work, family, friends and entertainment, the ones among us who take the Faith seriously understand that these things can easily be turned against us by our Enemy so while we work to get them and ask and receive them from God, we prioritize them below our Faith and its constraints upon us. That is what it means to "take up your cross daily and follow [Christ]".
Those who live life like that are living it right and will therefore not only escape the Coming Wrath and Judgment of God but will in fact receive unimaginable rewards for it along with Eternal Life.
So, as I said before, even though you have dropped out of the fight and Satan rewarded you for doing so with trinkets and very little overt aggression anymore (he does not love you any more now though. He hates every last human being because each one is a potential replacement for him and thus a guarantee of sorts for his eternal destruction) so that, like most unbelievers, you have possibly better external circumstances than most believers, especially serious believers, if we factor in what is coming for every human being and the comfort that God gives believers as we continually engage with the battles each day brings, then you may be having less than you think.
My answer then would be - as you will also find in my first post - that as far as your definition of "the good life" goes per your opening post, Christianity does not offer you anything that unbelief cannot get you in this life. In fact, Christianity makes you possibly a worse offer - as far as this life is concerned: real action in a real war against an incredibly agile and particularly hateful enemy but with all of God's Comfort and Help to bring you all the way through to the other side safely.
Whether you decide to fight or not fight for or against God or Satan though, I must repeat, every human being is involved in this business one way or another and everyone has the same concern: God is coming back to judge the world. How we choose to deal with that is up to us and is not devoid of its consequences.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 12:18am On Dec 06|
THE REALITY OF THE CHRISTIAN CALLING AND WALK II
You said, "But only Christians expect what we have in this life to be made infinitely better in eternity."
This is a lie!
Not necessarily. There may be an argument over what "better" objectively means but no other religion or philosophy out there thinks of Eternity as a perfection of what life ought to be. All the others have some notion that either describes Eternity in terms of this world, for example, Islam is concerned with sex and food and water, or presents Eternity as some ethereal existence completely divorced from what we know about life through our experience in this world, for example, becoming or returning to being part of the Brahmin as Hinduism holds.
But Christianity teaches that this world is damaged because of a war that intimately involves human beings. When that war is over, everything will be fixed and for those who have been faithful to God, life will finally be everything it was meant to be from the beginning.
Na wa o...
Is this sophistry or what
See how you just turn this matter upside down now now.
Okay, just so I am not the one getting things wrong. What exactly is the Christian idea of the afterlife?
What do you mean by "perfection of what life ought to be?"
Why do you think it may be sophistry?
To your first question, I have already answered it to some extent in my response to a similar question. I will add a little more to fully answer your question.
The Bible teaches that God made man and gave him rulership of the earth. Man lived in a paradise at the time. He had access to the Tree of Life which kept him revitalized all the time. But when he disobeyed God, there was a break in his otherwise perfect existence. He lost access to paradise and also to the Tree of Life and was forced to work for his food and get little in return for his hard work. Also, for the first time, man became exposed to death. He was condemned to steadily lose vitality until he dies and returns to the dust from which he was made.
Clearly, if man had never committed treason against his King, he would never have experienced death and the earth would not have become what it is today.
But, by choosing to rebel against his Overlord in agreement with the first rebel, man lost favor with God and became Satan's vassal instead. Satan, by that maneuver of deceiving man, forcibly took back control of the earth from man (he was once God's Regent over the Earth before he rebelled). Consequently, man became an agent of limited authority over the Earth and also lost all that he may have had if he had stayed true to his Sovereign.
Man is a spirit that lives in a body. So, death is not really an end to his existence. When God decreed death for him, it was to make sure that evil had an end and that man could still be saved. Otherwise, man would be hopeless in his failure against God. Death then is what happens when our bodies wear out and our spirits are released from them. When that happens, every human being receives a temporary body and is then taken to a place in keeping with their choices in life. Those who choose to return to God in repentance through faith in Jesus Christ are today taken to God's temporary Headquarters in the Third Heaven where they rest from the war on earth waiting for the Return of God's King to the earth and their own Resurrection. Those who choose to persist in rebellion against God also receive their temporary bodies but are taken to Torments in Sheol which is under the Earth. There they must suffer until the Last Resurrection when they will be consigned to the Lake of Fire after their own Judgment for eternity.
This is the first part of "after-life" in biblical cosmology. No dead person is unconscious, they are only absent from life on earth.
The second part is that after circa 6000 years of human history counting from Adam and Eve, the number required to replace the angels who rebelled against God will be reached in human believers who together are called the Church. At that time, God will begin to warn the world of the Return of His King who would be bringing God's Vengeance against rebellion against His Authority. This is what we call the Tribulation. It will be open warfare finally between God's Side and Satan's side. At that time, Satan will appoint a special man to lead the earth side of his campaign with the view to destroying the Church and the nation Israel and thus make it impossible for the King to return. God will warn the unbelieving world at that time of the serious implications of continuing to rebel against Him then with terrible judgments such as this world has not seen or heard in thousands of years. But wickedness will only increase until the Lord Jesus returns and the Church is resurrected. That is, all dead believers from Adam and Eve to the last one to die or be killed during the Great Tribulation return to life on Earth in new bodies which cannot be harmed or destroyed ever again and all living believers at the time also have their bodies changed to become these new bodies too. Then, they gather and enter final battle against Satan and his angelic and human forces. That is what we call Armageddon.
When the earth has been cleared of all the aggressive enemies both angelic and human, then the Lord Jesus will renew the Earth changing it back into the perfect state it was in before Adam sinned, only better.
But there will still be unbelievers in the world who just never chose to join Satan and his armies in aggressive rebellion against God. And there will also be new believers who only come to believe because they have finally seen Jesus Christ return to the world. These latter will mostly be Jews. These two populations will exist side by side until the thousand years is done.
That thousand years or the Millennium will be a time when Christians who stayed faithful to the end of their earthly lives or the return of the King will rule the world with Jesus Christ. So, this again is part of the "after-life" in Christian cosmology because a large population of believers will now be living on Earth again but in eternal bodies completely freed from the constraints and troubles of life in this world but they will be the rulers of this world with the Lord Jesus Christ.
After the Millennium, the unbelieving population will begin a new rebellion to try to oust the worldwide Government of Jesus Christ. The rebellion will be tolerated for a short time before it will be summarily squashed and the entire material Universe finally destroyed.
Then, the whole population of, first, believers who chose loyalty to God in Jesus Christ, and, second, unbelievers who decided to remain in rebellion against God, both from the Millennium, will be raised from the dead in Resurrection bodies each suited to their status as believers or unbelievers. Then there will be the Last Judgment after which all rebels will be consigned to the Lake of Fire for eternity and a new Universe will be created by the Lord Jesus Christ to which God the Father will return to spend eternity with His Children for all eternity in the New Earth that will be made.
Both this new Universe and the Resurrection bodies will still be material things but not in the way these current ones are because they will be perfectly suited to spiritual existence and thus will be eternal in nature incapable of ever wearing out or being destroyed. Also, unlike these current ones, they will be perfect with no trace of evil or wickedness in any form.
The Bible does not say very much about what Eternity will be like. But it does talk about beautiful forests of trees on the new earth which produce delightful foliage and fruits which the inhabitants will eat in enjoyment and large rivers of the water of life that they will probably drink and swim in. But none of these things is presented as needful at all, that is, as necessary to survival. They are just more delights that God's children will enjoy in eternity. But with bodies as powerful as the Resurrection Body is, it only stands to reason that something like sex, for example, will hold little interest to us at that time given all that we would be able and also free to do with it. We certainly won't need food or water, as I said, but we would certainly be able to enjoy both if we wished for them. But the greatest pleasure would be to finally be able to see God face to face and live with Him, never leaving His Presence for all eternity.
This is the final part of "after-life" in Christian cosmology.
I believe that in all the foregoing, your second question has been answered. Man was created to be with God eternally and enjoy the beautiful universe that God made for him and the angels. Today though, things are not so. Much is wrong with man and with the universe itself. This is because of the war I spoke of. Many things that man takes pleasure in are injurious to him, for an obvious example, you could consider heroin or meth. There are more subtle things than those but they all harm the user. In eternity, our desires will finally be purified so that we want things that are actually good for us and we will also finally possess an uninhibited ability to actually enjoy these things and in doing so please the God Who loved us so much that He paid a Sacrifice beyond our ability to fully understand in order to save us from our own selves.
You said, "Not necessarily. There may be an argument over what "better" objectively means but no other religion or philosophy out there thinks of Eternity as a perfection of what life ought to be. All the others have some notion that either describes Eternity in terms of this world, for example, Islam is concerned with sex and food and water, or presents Eternity as some ethereal existence completely divorced from what we know about life through our experience in this world, for example, becoming or returning to being part of the Brahmin as Hinduism holds.
But Christianity teaches that this world is damaged because of a war that intimately involves human beings. When that war is over, everything will be fixed and for those who have been faithful to God, life will finally be everything it was meant to be from the beginning."
Does Christianity not have sects that believe eternity to be in terms of "this world" like jehovahs witnesses?
There are many tribes, languages and skin colors in Nigeria. There are even natural-born Nigerians and naturalized Nigerians. But there is really only one thing which is called Nigeria and which each of these categories claim to possess in order to be Nigerian. This is true of all things.
In Christianity, there is one core idea that is what Christianity is. Sects, religions and denominations may claim rightly or wrongly to be associated with that core idea but it is that core idea to which one must address oneself if one wants to deal with Christianity, not with sects, religions, denominations etc.
The Bible defines what Christianity is. It is Faith in Jesus Christ, God Who also assumed humanity for Himself in order to die for human beings and thus save us from our sins and the just condemnation awaiting every sinner. This is what you should address yourself to. If any sect misrepresents this, then regardless what claims it may make for its identity, it is not Christian. If it does represent this accurately, it should still proceed to line up with the Bible's position on everything else in order to be a good exemplar for examining Christian claims.
The Bible does not say what you have here quoted the Jehovah's Witnesses as saying. It does not hold that eternity will be in terms of "this world".
But it is true that the Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to rule this world for a thousand years. And after that thousand years and another worldwide rebellion against His Government at the end of it, the entire universe will be destroyed and then the Last Judgment will occur at the end of which a new Universe will be created with a perfect Earth where God the Father will come down to in order to live with His Children for eternity.
That Eternity will be spent in a material reality just like this one except only Perfect is true but even the Millennium will be in a world very different than this one because of how this planet will be changed by the Second Advent. Not only will physical conditions be much different than they are now, the very principles that govern human existence now will be replaced with new and perfect ones. It is common knowledge (you find it even boldly written on the walls of the UN), for example, that during the Millennium of the Reign of Christ, there will be no war. Still, that is not eternity. It is still time in this physical earth with sinful human beings and a corrupted universe. In eternity, things will be completely different.
In the Eternal Earth that will be created after the Last Judgment, for example, there will be no oceans. Also, the Capital City of that Earth, the New Jerusalem, will be a perfect Cube and a perfectly beautiful place where all the Church will have their lodgings. But while there will be amazing trees whose fruit will be a great delight and rivers of the water of life, these things will only be delights not necessities. Food and water would no longer be necessary at that point to sustain human existence since we will be immortal at that point. Sex would be hardly important because of the far more amazing pleasures of eternity that would take up our time and thought. When you consider how powerful the Resurrection Body is and how vast the present universe is and therefore how much better the coming one will be, the pleasures of this life that exercise our imagination so much will lose at least some of their appeal.
This is what the Bible teaches irrespective of what any "Christian" sect may believe or teach.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by JJOF(m): 1:47am On Dec 06|
This is good work bro. Thumbs up.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 10:20am On Dec 06|
This is good work bro. Thumbs up.
Thank you for your kind words, dear friend.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by ATMC(f): 6:54am On Dec 07|
Keep it up.
|Re: For Believers: A Thread For Biblical Questions by Ihedinobi3: 11:33am On Dec 07|
Keep it up.
Hello Ada. Good to see you here. Thank you for your kind words.