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October 12th, 2012 (7:57 PM).
Originally Posted by
The point is, what person do you imagine knows that God exists in the afterlife (for obvious reasons) and then still rejects him? So are you saying there are repentant, God-loving people in hell? They don't deserve forgiveness for the sin of not believing in God as much as you deserve forgiveness?
I'm fairly certain if I was 100% sure that God existed I wouldn't reject his love. Which is the point I'm making here. After death, if God is real he would make himself known to the person. And then this person who was bad in life becomes repentant, asks for forgiveness. Who are you to say that they are not receiving forgiveness? Why are you claiming to know which sin in life is worth hell and which isn't? Isn't it part of your religion not to pretend to be God by judging others? Arguing "sin has to be punished" and "people who don't believe in God in life are all going to hell" are two entirely separate things.
Okay, before I say any more, I would like to kindly ask that you stop putting words in my mouth. Did I say that "this particular sin will send you to hell and this sin won't"? Did I judge anyone at all? I simply stated that
all of us have sinned.
Me, you, everyone on earth has committed some sin or another. Tell me, have you ever told a lie? I know I have. Have you ever used God's name in vain? I have. Have you lusted after a person? Jesus equates that with adultery. All I'm trying to say is that no person is better than another. God created us all equal--we are all his creation. However, because of original sin (the sin Adam and Eve committed when they disobeyed God) man was separated from God. Did you know Adam and Eve walked in the Garden of Eden with God himself? But sin ended that direct relationship. And I'll get to it in a moment, but through Christ's atonement, we can once again have a close relationship with God.
Perhaps you're misunderstanding the meaning of "don't judge others." I did not say that I was better than anyone in my previous posts. In fact, I was hoping to
that, because nothing can be farther from the truth.
All men are created equal in the eyes of God.
Originally Posted by
Now, on God's righteousness and judgment. Consider a judge. What does a judge do? He punishes evil and rewards good. He wouldn't be a good judge if he didn't do that. Imagine further if a loved one of his was caught in the act of murder. The judge wouldn't want to send him to prison, but because justice and righteousness must be upheld, he must give him his sentence. It doesn't make the judge love his friend any less, but the judge understands what is right and knows he must carry out justice in the name of righteousness--even if it brings him much sorrow to do so. Because God is holy, he cannot allow sin into heaven. He can't allow it not because he is following some rules that he must keep, but because it is his character. The laws in the Bible were created by him because he knows what is right because, as we mentioned before, he is the only all-powerful, omniscient being. God is righteousness in its truest form. Christ's sacrifice makes us clean, however, so we are given passage into heaven. But, as I said before, people need to make a choice.
Perhaps I didn't explain it clearly. This is how the miracle of salvation works. When a person is born, he is born a sinner by nature, again, because of original sin. This makes us incapable of entering heaven. The animal sacrifices performed by the Israelites in the Old Testament were performed because blood had to be shed because of the sins of the people. They couldn't simply sacrifice any animal, either. It had to be
. This is how serious God takes sin. Jesus came to die on the cross for the sins of
. Because he is the Son of God, he is
, but in a different sense than the animals (a lot of the laws in the Old Testament were also symbolic of the things to come in the New Testament). Clearly, he is holy, and animals are not. He
is without blemish. He took the punishment that
. Because of this sacrifice, all who turn to him can and will be saved. The righteousness and holiness of Jesus is imputed upon the believer (remember, He lived a perfect life, so he really is righteous and holy).
is why believers are given passage into heaven. Not by any good works they may have done during their life time, but because when God looks into the hearts of the believers he sees the perfect sacrifice of his son, and that sacrifice is sufficient. When a person accepts Jesus, the sins of the past, present, and even the future are wiped away. He completely disregards and forgets about them. When God sees us, he does not see our sin but the perfect blood of Jesus Christ.
This is the only reason why anyone can make it into heaven. I'm sorry if I lead you to think that I'm not a sinner. I still fall. I still stumble. I make mistakes. But I have faith that when God looks at me, he doesn't see my sin any longer because he has forgiven me. Why? Because of the blood of Jesus. And also because he loves me, just as he loves everyone else.
I'm not trying to sound conceited. He offers the very same thing to you and to all on earth.
We must also consider the fact that the Holy Spirit is given to those who believe in his name. The Holy Spirit changes us, gives us new desires to not sin and to live for him. Am I saying that Christians no longer have a desire to sin? Of course not. As long as we live in this body, on this earth, we are prone to all kinds of temptations. However, as a person continues to know God more and more, he will want to become more and more like him because of how righteous and loving he is. God's Holy Spirit changes people. In the end, it is his love that leads people to repentance.
Originally Posted by
If God loves people then he wouldn't send anyone that repents into eternal damnation, whether they repented in life or after death. A God that looks at a person begging for forgiveness for their actions and says "no, burn for eternity", is not loving. You can't reconcile a merciful, forgiving God and a God that judges you entirely on how your life was, disregarding your repentance after death. One of those has to be not entirely true.
Was my analogy of the judge not clear? Forgive me, but do you realize that one can love while still being just?
This is why God the father sent Christ to die for us.
his own life
for you and me. If he didn't love us then he wouldn't have died the excruciating death on the cross. Did you think it was easy? John 15:13 says "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." And you need to realize that he died for you
while you were still against him
. How many of us would do that? How many of us would go out into lands foreign to us (not that God didn't know earth, but it's true that Jesus gave up his position in heaven to come to our corrupt world; yes, you and I know that it's corrupt) and deliberately die for the people who treated him like garbage? Plus, we must remember the other ways he displayed his love for people. He healed the leper, restored the cripple, restored the sight of the blind. He had true, sincere compassion for the lost. Also, because Jesus is the Son of God, he is an exact reflection of who God was and is. How can we say that he's not loving after all the things he has done for people? For
? Not only that, but consider the blessings in your own lives. A lot of those blessings we could go without, but God still gives them to us anyway! I know that many of you own video games (it is a Pokemon forum, after all). Even that is a blessing from God. Many of you are still breathing today. That's a gift from God as well! Now let me go a little deeper. Consider science. Many people say science disproves God--they couldn't be any more wrong. Science actually
the existence of the living God. Romans 1:20 states "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse." Think about the fact that the earth is
just the right position away from the sun
. If it were only a few centimeters closer to the sun, the atmosphere on earth would be too hot for life to exist. If it were any farther away from the sun, it would be too cold. Consider the miracle of the human eye! The complexity of how this body part works is beyond us! We can't imitate the way the eye focuses light, not even with the most complicated cameras and other technology that we have today. Think about just how stable the electrons and protons within an atom are! Oh, how easy it would be for God to simply end it all with the snap of a finger; how easy it would be for him to say the word and cause all atoms on earth to lose that stability, or cause earth to shift in the direction of the sun, or simply crush all under his heel! After all,
we did spit in his face with our sins
. Why shouldn't he destroy all of man kind?
Can't he simply start over?
But no. He doesn't do that. Regardless of how people over the years have disregarded and rejected God, he doesn't do it. Now do you understand the magnitude of his patience? Some of us can hardly stand the sarcastic student in our class who lets his mouth slip (I know I can be rather irritable at times). As I said, he wants all people to be saved, so he withholds his hand. Many people are given the chance to accept his love, but some people don't. People are without excuse: creation itself testifies of the majesty and glory of God. All of it points back to Jesus. This is the magnitude of his love for us. By the time the unbeliever dies, he had already made his choice. For those who have been offered the truth during their lifetime, they are without excuse. Do I enjoy this? No! Does God enjoy it? No! But he is righteous and holy. He cannot allow sin into his kingdom. But as I said, God already went to
to make a way for us, to reveal himself to us, and to redeem us.
Originally Posted by
I think the general consensus of religion would disagree with your claim that we are not all God's children.
Are you not a sinner then? Or are you resigned to going to hell?
There is a difference between being God's "children" and being his "creation." We are all his creation. You, me, everyone on earth. The Bible states that when a person is saved, he is adopted into God's family. People are given the Holy Spirit when they are saved, and Romans 8:15 says "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.'" The term 'Abba' signifies the close relationship people gain with God when they receive him. As I stated before, I am a sinner. However, God is continually changing my life, making me more like him. And again, I'm not saying that I'm perfect. I do admit, however, that he has been changing my desires. He's been placing desires for me to follow after him and reject the sins I once called common. But I'm
. Any change for good in my is all because of Jesus.
Originally Posted by
I'm fairly certain if I was 100% sure that God existed I wouldn't reject his love.
Are you 100% God exists? This is the point of faith. It is through faith that we are saved, remember? All it takes is for us to trust in him, and he will come into our life and lead us. Life isn't simply about "don't do this" and "don't do that." There's a reason why God gave us rules in the Bible. It says that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." God knows that sin will get us into nothing but trouble during our life on earth. This is another act of love on his part: he wants to give us a
life here on earth. Now let me ask you, now: what's keeping you from accepting his sacrifice today?
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