John UKâ Respectfully, I disagree with your assessment of my beliefs. I am not espousing an easy believism by stating that one must turn to God in repentance from dead works, and not simply turning from sin. Scripture does simply tell us to âBelieve on the Lord Jesus Christ...â and âConfess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead...â and many othersâit is belief, but not from a cognitive perspective of âthat sounds goodâ but the Bible teaches that the Spirit draws men. It is not without the spirit drawing men that you would apparently assume I speak of. Let me reiterateâyou will not be saved by simply believing of Jesus, or thinking heâs a good ideaâyou will not be saved unless the Spirit draws you and you turn from your false and phony attempts to manipulate your way into Heaven and believe solely on Christ. However, back to the post at handâthis is in direct contradiction to the âpreacher drawn salvationsâ that are simply men misusing Scripture to elicit a phony Salvation as some person tries to repent of their sin because the preacher made them feel bad. That was my point.
The fact is, you wonât find it anywhere in the Bible where we are told to repent of our sins for Salvation. We are supposed repent and to turn to Christ... but what from? I would refer to Hebrews 6, since it is a rundown of the âfirst principlesâ and lets us know the basics of faith. âTherefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God...â (Hebrews 6:1) What are dead works? Anything that we are trying to do to earn Salvation ourselvesâŚ whether it be church membership, following the commandments, or any of the other works that are laid out for us in Scripture. It doesnât say repent from sin. Should we repent of our sins? YesâŚ Should we turn from our sin and avoid it completelyâŚ as best as we can. However, is it a prerequisite for Salvation? Absolutely not.
The idea of ârepenting from your sinâŚâ is a bad byproduct of many IFB churches that have put more stock in the number of people down at the altar sobbing after a sermon than they have in the Word of God. It is the result of a focus on the numbers of people saved in a serviceâŚ and if you donât have many visitors because youâre crazy, then make the people in your congregation doubt their Salvation so they can come down to the altar one more timeâbecause last time they forgot about that once inâŚ Or they werenât serious enough about itâŚ Or maybe they didnât mean itâŚ OrâŚ You get the idea. Just saying *as a caveat, I am IFB
I read an interesting book by an Israeli physicist named Gerald Schroeder a few years agoâIâm not saying it is right, but he has an interesting perspective: Using relativity, his theory involves an understanding that the closer one is to the speed of light, or the higher gravitational pull one is subjected to, has an impact on how quickly time is felt on that plane. Simply put: Heaven sits atop the galaxy with a mass of X. (Really big number) Earth is down here with a mass of Y. (Much smaller) He also discusses the impact of an expanding universe reducing felt gravity over time. The higher gravity Heaven is under makes time pass quicker there: and conversely slower here. One day in Heaven (in an expanding universe,) passes in 24 hours. That same time period (a thousand years?) or even a billion could pass here. And remember, Adam was day 6. God was holding the stopwatch the first 6 days. Time was counted from Godâs perspective. Just a thought
God took a single chapter to describe His creational work. It is not a science book or a âHow I did it step by stepâ guide. A chapter that teaches us God DID it, and by faith we believe. However none of us were there. No one had a stopwatch on God, so the idea that we can set a certain time is supercilious. We know time passes at a different pace in Heaven, (II Peter 3:8) and we know that God often uses natural (and even slower) methods to accomplish His will. Think about itâwhen He parted the Red Sea, God could have used a huge disembodied hand, but instead used a strong east wind. (Exodus 14:21) So if God chooses to use an expanding universe, who are we to complain? Are we going to put God in a box and say, âThis is the only way you are allowed to have done this!â God forbid. I would rather be honest, and say there is interesting proof on both sides of the argumentâbut the salient correlation is that it MUST involve God, or it would go no where. Just saying.
(Hebrews 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We understand that our faith should be in Godâs Word, howeverâŚ It is nice to ponder the evidence that was left. Think about creation: nature itself has the thumbprint of God on it, and it is with excitement and all that we look at those things in creation that prove God. In the same way I enjoy studying the archaeological evidence that is left regarding the historocity of Scripture. As long as your faith isnât only based on archaeology, there is nothing wrong with looking at those things to firm your faith. Just saying
As I look through Scripture I see that God uses people for what they are: He can draw a straight line with a crooked stick anytime. When it comes down to it, this country was looking for one thing when it elected Trump. It was looking for a successful businessman who can fix the economic problems the Democrats have foisted on this country by their incredible level of spending. He chose, at least this time, to pander to conservative causesâ which is the only reason that Christians are even on the fence for a philandering whoremonger. Do I like what heâs done to back Israel? Absolutely. Do I like what heâs done to try to limit abortion? Absolutely. But we must remember that God also sat Darius and Nebuchadnezzar on the throne and they did some good some times. And if we really want to think about it, God even placed Nero on the throneâŚ Not so certain about the good there, other than Christianity thrives during oppression. My point: Trump has some deep-seated emotional issues that he has yet to contend withâŚ But heâs the president, and his office should be respected. But I am not going to raise him on a pedestal, because he is not GodâŚ And to be honest I doubt seriously if Iâll see him in Heaven. Just saying
I would suggest that the reason Jesus drove out the tax collectors was similar to the reason Ananias and Saphira (I probably spelled that wrong,) were killed. It wasnât about doing business. It was about trying to get rich while using God as your âbait.â I donât have a problem with a Church having a bookstoreâ(especially the ones who carry my books, Lol,) if they are trying to get good authors into the hands of believers, that is awesome. But people can always go to Amazon for a better deal. Conversely, the temple worship of Jesusâ day required the possession of a sacrifice, and they (in the name of the Lord,) lied to the people who were changing money for an animal, (in lieu of traveling 100 miles with a sheep, youâd buy one there.) The money changerâs sin was twofold: first, they were charging exorbitant prices for it to get rich, when the people had no other choice. Second, when some brought in a sacrifice, they would say it was unacceptable and force them to purchase a new one at a higher cost. Again, all for profit. Just a thought.
At the end of the day people need to realize that the phone itself is not a problem. 90+ percent of this issue is a result of social media addiction. Divorces up exponentially, porn addiction up exponentiallyâall related to social media. Screen Snubbing (One researcher called it Phubbing) is just a symptom.
Well, how many of you have ever endured a prayer by some well meaning individual who overused some words; âFather, I love you Father, and father, I want to father, ask you father to, please father watch over this, father gathering and, father bless this food father, and...â
âWisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?â (Proverbs 1:20-22)
In other words, how long are you going to be stuck on stupid?
I donât have a personal Facebook page, and I attribute it to an experience I had back in 2007. I was teaching at a Community College, and had just started a lecture when I noticed a student on his phone. I confronted him about getting off the phone and he said, âHold on!â Surprised, I stopped class, and asked, âPraytell me, what is so important that you are going to tell me to hold on?â (I sound less sarcastic typing this than I was at that point.) His response: âThis morning I had 112 friends, now I have 111. Iâm trying to figure out who I lost.â I stared at him, dumbfounded, for at least 15 seconds before kicking him out of class. The point being, social media has so infiltrated our childrenâs mindset that they cannot make a choice unless it is gaining them social credibility, so moment by moment they are checking to see how culturally and socially relevant they are.