The Evidence of God

Standard

How do you know God is real?  How did He reveal Himself to you?  I see Him clearly through the world, all the marvelous wonders of our galaxy, from the tiniest of cells to the millions of stars in the vast sky.  I believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Why don’t we all know this?  Does the first chapter of Romans give the answer to this question?

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”

It is possible to know the truth and then suppress it in unrighteousness (not living right can suppress the truth)…

“because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”

Within man is the evidence of God.  I believe this is what is now being called the “God-hole”…

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Externally (in nature) God is clearly seen…so there is no excuse for not believing God (a Creator) exists…from the beginning of the world…

“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

So instead of honoring the Creator, man speculated about what the creation had revealed. This speculation was futile and man’s heart darkened.  I see a pivotal point here – if he offers thanks to an unknown Creator or gives Him glory in any way – I believe God will show Himself. I don’t see a contradiction in scripture because this is consistent with God revealing Himself and someone turning in faith, but if he turns to something else, less than the Creator…

“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”

From a position of pride man lessens the Creator to the creation, making Him smaller (less) than He is…

“Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, amen.”

If man trades his understanding of a Creator for something less, and chooses to worship and serve something less, then he has moved away from truth.  He has exchanged the truth for a lie.

Of course this is speaking historically, explaining the degradation of man’s sin and why the wrath of God must come.  But somewhere, in the shadows of my mind, I’m wondering about the person chosen before the foundation of the world to be found in Him – who was created for good works – possibly living in a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Animist, Sikh, or _______(fill in the blank) home, seeing the truth in the creation around him, knowing there is still a hole that is not filled within him, and then he cries out to the unknown, but Knowable God.  I’m wondering…I’m thinking the One True God will meet him in that place.

I don’t know if this is my wishful thinking, but I do know Jesus said He will not lose any of His sheep…all who are His will come.  He must have it figured out somewhere in eternity – my limited understanding might not be able to comprehend the reality.

Do you think this an honest question?  Is this proper thinking, or is this heretical?  How do you see it?

Advertisements

41 responses »

  1. Hi Michelle,

    Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:30

    All men must come to God through Christ. God chose a remnant out of totally corrupt humanity to present as a gift to His Son, whom he condemned to die for the sins of those he chose as that gift – their sin required a death. Allthose God has chosen as a gift WILL come and the Son will lose none.

    I believe there are some of the elect in every tribe and nation and people (most of the ‘all men’ verses mean exactly that). The Son will seek them and save them, wherever they are. In each one, there will be the awakening by the Holy Spirit of a dead heart to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe.
    God will send someone to those he called before creation to give them the gospel. He will meet them wherever they are and he will send someone with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  2. Hey, Dan!

    I did not grow up with an understanding of predestination. It is something I have come to believe because it is in the scripture, but am not always sure what is being said.

    I suppose I use this passage in Romans because it so clearly states that man is without excuse for not turning to God, when evidence is available. You know the classic question, “What about the person in the deepest jungle who has never heard?” I’m thinking if the person within the deepest jungle ever had an inkling of the truth of the Creator, and went with it, isn’t that God speaking to him/her?

    Then I’m wondering if there are times a vision could be made manifest of Christ. Do you think that’s way out there?

  3. That men are without excuse is, as you say, plain from scripture. that is why I don’t the existance of athiests is a myth. There are those who acknowledge the knowledge of God and those who don’t and call themselves athiests. They become so vitriolic at times because they are fighting against the knowledge of God.

    Everyman hears ‘something’. Also, God has given us the great privelege of being part of the process he as laid out for salvation.

    “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

    Call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved. (The end state.)

    Before you can call on the name of the Lord you have to believe.

    Before you can believe you have to hear.

    Before you can hear there needs to be a ‘preacher’.

    Before there’s a ‘preacher’, there is a ’sending’.

    That is why that since the resurrection, and since Jesus is the ONLY way, I believe that God will ‘send’ the gospel in some form or fashion to his elect and the elect will recognize the one true God and come to God through Christ. Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness – he believed in the promise of Christ and still came to God through Christ. I believe that would be the case for anyone who for some reason never hears of Jesus by name and is saved.

    The notion that everyone must have a chance to accept or reject and salvation depends on their decision provides a reason for the ‘boatsing’ that no man can do according to Eph 2:8-9. God predetermined a certain number of the human race to be a people for himself and as a precious love gift for his Son, and will call them, justify them through the blood of his Son and bring them to Glory. All of that was settled in heaven before creation.

    I am sure there will be a multitude of folks in the ‘hot zone’ who never heard the gospel message. If the above is true, the were not among those God elected. I have heard it said that if wasn’t for election, no man would be saved. Such is the condition of fallen man.

    Id that helpful at all?

  4. Since nothing is out of the reach of God, and all things are possible in HIM, I think your question is very good. I do believe the Bible is truth, and could it be that those predestinated are such because HE knew what they would choose? thats what i believe…and I also believe that a person in the farthest reaches of the jungle can call out to an Unknown God and know that there is somthing out there, and it is not to hard for HIM to show himself to him or send someone to that place…no boundaries no limits…Awesome GOd!

  5. Darla, That is THE question!

    I used to wholeheartedly believe that – God, because he loves us SO much he lets us make the final decision. I’ll ask a question in return. Doesn’t that make our salvation ultimately OUR decision? Would that mean that God voluntarily yields a portion of his sovereignty to us? Nice thought, but would he?

    I assume you are referring to ‘foreknowledge’, as mentioned in the. That works if we have properly defined what foreknowledge means. According to Greek-smart guys it doesn’t mean what we would like it to mean. It means exactly what it meant when God told Jeremiah “before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you”. He knows us personally, as human beings, by name.

    It means that God sent his Son to die for what ‘might be’, depending on our decision.

    Also it adds a work, our decision, and grace is no longer grace. Salvation is either all of God “Salvation is of the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9) or God has his part and we have ours. There is an excellent sermon from C.H. Spurgeon on that topic here: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0131.htm

    You’re right, nothing is impossible for God. He could save anyone, anywhere, any way he wanted. Paul in Romans 8:30 (quoted in my earlier post) indicates that for some reason, God has chosen the preaching of the word as part of His process. He has no limits, but he has, for his own glory and from the counsel of his own will, said that some things will come about in certain ways.

    For me, knowing that my salvation is ALL of God, and I did not contribute ANYTHING, makes his love and grace that much more awesome. What trips some people up is the purpose of God in the creation of man. Most would tell us that we are created primarily for a ‘love relationship’. Ephesians 1:12 tells us that we are first and foremost “for the praise of his glory”. Our relationship with him comes out of that. Might I suggest reading Ephesians 1 and 2 and then Romans 8 (a great picture of God’s sovereignty).

    I hope i have not put you on overload. That is a GREAT question!

  6. Michelle – for what it’s worth..

    I believe that not everyone who Lives in Jesus has known Him by that name – rather there are those who know Him wholly and entirely through the (His) Spirit and not as a man named by the Hebrews, Greeks and Romans.

    God has made Himself known through the Seen long before The Son walked and died upon the face of the Earth. He did before and He still does so today.

    Those who do not know The Law (and because of it know sin) can still know God and walk truly in Him by denying their self and walking only in His Way.
    Those whom God has called let no man deny, cause to falter and wander off the True Path shown Him of God before the formation of the world.

    <B

  7. THis is a topic where churches split over what it says. This is my belief- the Bible says…FOr God so loved the world!…are you all some where on the world? God’s predestination works like HIS jealousy -holy and righteous, if there is no free will in coming to salvation than it no longer is saving Grace…take the Grace out of it, and the free will to choose, why would God create the world and all of us, when he already had angels to his worshiping…HE is all knowing and HE is capable of things we can’t even imagine…so I am going to disagree on the predestination theory that God created some to just go to hell, and others to love and share heaven with. I believe HE wants none to perish whichs explains to me why HE is long suffering and has not already returned.

  8. Born4battle- where are you getting your theological view from..like commentary/ greek and hebrew bible…just think we may be agreeing inpart, but this is a little hard to discuss in person much less on blogs…Charles Spurgeon is one of my favorites….Romans 8 is my favorite chapter…and I think I am seeing what you are saying, but not sure of where you get it from. Does that make sense? Anyway….how come I can’t access you.. 😉 no blog or website?? or maybe it is only for the ones who have been chosen… 😆 just kidding..

  9. Born4 battle—I teach Ephesians 1, 2 and also Romans 8 hahahhaha I juts reread what you wrote at the end….It is God’s great delight to adopt us in to HIS family…

  10. Sorry Michelle- didn’t mean to highjack your blog..well Godsgal I meant to highjack hers..but I didn’t mean to today!

  11. Darla: You’re not hijacking at all – although I saw what you did to God’s Gal 😆

    I just had to get ready for church and out the door…it was AMAZING!! Stuart Briscoe taught, he’s Pete’s dad (our pastor), I’ve only heard him on the radio so in person was great!! He wasn’t given a 15-20 minute time limit…of course, he still had a bit of one, but nothing like a radio show!!

    He spoke on the Love of God…ooohhhhh! Our God is so awesome!! OK…I’ll come back down to earth and grapple with this heavy topic.

    I can’t throw the doctrine of predestination out of the scripture, for I have no authority to do so, yet for the same reason I can’t throw out the responsibility we have to make a choice either. As I’ve said on other comments throughout the blogosphere, I think we walk a tightrope when it comes to His choosing and our choice to follow. I don’t want to lean too heavily either way and chance falling into an extreme view.

    I don’t think we can know all until eternity (and even then we won’t become all-knowing, omniscient, as He is), only what He has chosen to reveal to us through His word. It seems we are given the choice to serve and yet we are told we didn’t make the choice first:

    “You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that remains…” John 15:16

    “Choose this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 1

    The tension is seen – I think one of the best scriptures for showing the balance is “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Is that 1 Timothy??

    Darla, Born 4 Battle can be found on my blogroll under “The Battle’s Cry.” He’s got an amazing grasp of scripture and gracious spirit. Y’all could benefit from iron sharpening iron…can’t we all?? 🙂

    Love, What is meant by “the Seen”? I’m not sure I’m following what you’re saying…

  12. “But somewhere, in the shadows of my mind, I’m wondering about the person chosen before the foundation of the world to be found in Him – who was created for good works – possibly living in a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Animist, Sikh, or _______(fill in the blank) home, seeing the truth in the creation around him, knowing there is still a hole that is not filled within him, and then he cries out to the unknown, but Knowable God.”

    Our Teacher would never test a Ph.D candidate in quantum physics on the onus of the self in a bildungsroman from the era of American Romanticism.

    That…just wouldn’t be fair. And if we know one thing about our Teacher, it is that He is, most assuredly, fair.

  13. Wow noreaster- love that “if we know one thing about our Teacher it is that HE is fair” at least always Soveriegn.

    Michelle thanks! I sometimes re clarify and sometimes ask alot of questions, not because I have all the answers but honestly want to know.

  14. NorEaster, If you had just said the English Romantic Period, I might have had a shot!! 😆

    He is the epitome of fairness and personifies sovereignty!!

    Darla, I love the back and forth and need as much clarification as I can get. 😉
    You are so right about this being a reason for church splits, and that’s not at all my heart…yet, I want to understand as much as possible, I honestly want to know too.

  15. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Phillipians 2:12-13.

    Divine sovereignty and human responsibility. Both are true. However we are not born with a will free to do anything but sin continually – such is the stat of the natural man. So what happens? God acts upon the human will so that it is an act of human will turned toward God. God just needed to do the turning of man’s will.

    Here is a piece of a work by Horatius Bonar:

    “I do not deny that in conversion man himself wills. In everything that he does, thinks, feels, he of necessity wills. In believing he wills; in repenting he wills; in turning from his evil ways he wills. All this is true. The opposite is both untrue and absurd. But while fully admitting this, there is another question behind it of great interest and movement. Are these movements of man’s will towards good the effects of the forthputting of God’s will? Is man willing, because he has made himself so, or because God has made him so? Does he become willing entirely by an act of his own will, or by chance, or by moral suasion, or because acted on by created causes and influences from without?

    I answer unhesitatingly, he becomes willing, because another and a superior will, even that of God, has come into contact with his, altering its nature and its bent. This new bent is the result of a change produced upon it by Him who alone, of all beings, has the right, without control, to say, in regard to all events and changes, “I will”. The man’s will has followed the movement of the Divine will. God has made him willing. God’s will is first in the movement, not second. Even a holy and perfect will depends for guidance upon the will of God. Even when renewed it still follows, it does not lead. Much more an unholy will, for its bent must be first changed; and how can this be, if God is not to interpose His hand and power? ” Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) Scottish minister and hymn writer, Free church of Scotland.

    Spurgeon would agree.

    Darla, about my theology. I guess most it just from reading the Bible for myself. I’ve used all the tools also and dig into folks like Spurgeon. For the most part, all the tools and really smart dead guys (and a couple of live ones) have clarified what I thought the Bible was saying from just reading it, and helped me articulate it better. I have also swallowed men’s doctrine at times just because the ‘men’ were pastors teachers and taught things pleasing to the flesh. The Bible has always set me straight – applying the Berean principle.

    I hope this has not been too long…..

  16. It is NOT too long…I’ve never read Horatius Bonar but his words reminded me of RC Sproul:

    The act of grace by which our eyes are opened to the things of God is regeneration, spiritual rebirth. It is an act that only God can perform. We are no more able to regenerate ourselves than a blind man is able to see by a sheer act of the will. A blind man can decide to see, but he cannot see unless his eyes are healed.

    Regeneration does not take place in stages. It is instantaneous. It is accomplished by one touch of the Holy Spirit upon our souls. It is a sovereign work, a thoroughly effective work accomplished by the immediate power of the omnipotence of God. Only God can bring something out of nothing and life out of death. Only God can quicken the human soul.

    When God quickens a human soul He does it immediately. When I say “immediately” I do not mean immediate with respect to time, though indeed it happens spontaneously. I mean by the term that He does it directly without means, without the use of secondary causes. (The Latin word immediatus actually meant “without intermediary.”) Pleasing God, RC Sproul.

    That’s what is so cool to me about the whole substitutionary atonement…it took God in the flesh to become the mediator of a New Covenant…from start to finish it’s all His work!!

    See, Dan, yours wasn’t long at all! 😉

  17. Michelle:

    See? That’s the difference. I have never even left America, but YOU have been to England! And, aw shucks, do I get jealous of that! 😉

  18. Born4battle- I totally agree with what you are saying, God is the one who softens a heart to HIM, my hang up is if it is more of “who is chosen”…and my past is anything to do with it…I have been told that I am not chosen…and now that I know HIM, I believe that I am. I was just clarifing the stand you have, and thanks for sharing. 😉

  19. Wow, Darla, I know you were talking to Dan, but what?! 😯 Who told you that you were not chosen?? Has this person ever read the scripture? The proof you are chosen — You love Him. You can’t conjure up the depth of love that is displayed in your life without Him…KNOW you were chosen to be found in Him, before the foundation of the world…and at the right time He revealed Himself to you. Remember, He is the lifter of your head — which He did in a miraculous way (having read a portion of your testimony).

    I see that you know this, “and now that I know HIM, I believe that I am” Praise the Lord!! Sometimes the shame I feel over my past will overwhelm me, or someone will hear my testimony and question it, at those times I have to run to Him and wash myself in the water of His Word. Truth and Life is ours NOW…I’m preaching to the choir…

    I love you, Darla, you’re so real!! 😉

  20. These, I think are basic ‘assurance’ issues. Some of the same things apply:

    Michelle already mentined loving him.

    Do you hunger for His word?

    Do you have this ongoing consciousness of remaining sin and do you grieve over it?

    Do you have the settled assurance of faith that you are his?

    Who is chosen? God chooses whom He will for His glory. I

    Speaking to the choir?

    SHAME on any person telling another they are not ‘chosen’, or ‘saved’ for that matter, including those who would pronounce folks saved because they raised their hands, went down front, signed a card or whatever.Only God knows that. In fact, even ‘fruit’ can be counterfeit!

  21. “Divine sovereignty and human responsibility. Both are true. However we are not born with a will free to do anything but sin continually – such is the stat of the natural man” (B4B)

    We are born only to sin (no free will)? The world would be a lot worse if this was the actual case – thank God it is not. Imagine that for one actual second – all of humanity only having the capability to ‘only sin’ (outside of the Christian faith of course) – we would see nothing good at all on this planet.

    As for free will, a simple denial of this is about as realistic as denying gravity – we can’t quite see it but if you ‘jump’ right now you won’t ‘fly’. Free will is the same thing. If I have the ability to make a choice (which I do) – then I am proving that I have that ability – thus free will. If I could not choose then I don’t have a ‘free will’.

    “God just needed to do the turning of man’s will” (B4B)

    So God is about usurping every and all things a human does – why did he even bother creating us then? Are we not just his pawns in a big game of chess? He controls all things and thus we are more like robots (just not knowing it for some reason) – and even as I write then God has ordained it. Whatever happened to God creating us with responsibility? God does not have to do everything on our behalves in order for it to be godly.

    “The man’s will has followed the movement of the Divine will. God has made him willing. God’s will is first in the movement, not second. Even a holy and perfect will depends for guidance upon the will of God. Even when renewed it still follows, it does not lead” (Bonar)

    This is not an argument against ‘free will’ – Bonar outright admits we have that capability in his first paragraph. What Bonar is saying is we cannot follow God unless God is revealed to us – and is getting into philosophical rants about God. But I ask quite simply – can you choose to ‘reject God’? If so, then even with all the persuasion by God of this revealing of Himself – a human can still make a choice (bad in this case).

    It’s all quite simple really – I wrote this comment and someone will comment back – was that comment pre-ordained or made by consciencious decision to respond? Now someone can say ‘God lead me to do it’ – and even if God leads – you still act upon it.

  22. It’s not about God usurping anything – at least I don’t think it is. It’s about man’s total depravity. Were it not fot God’s restraining hand, we might all be Hitlers – or worse.

    We are born in rejection against God.

    Our will is involved in receiving Him, but God actually turns the will towards Himself – there is no coercion.

    Why are we created? First and formost to worship Him and bring him honor and glory. The first Adam failed miserable, but God was determined to have people for himself. Man could not/would choose God due to sin, so God set in motion hia plan. He elected a remnant, called them, justified them and glorified them – all before the worlds were formed.

    When someone is among the chosen, called, justified and glorified ones, he/she will not ‘reject him’. Those whom the Father has chosen to give to the Son WILL come to the son and will not be lost. (John 6 – it’s what it says).

    All of this falls into the theme of God’s total and complete sovereignty of his creation.

    All of this cannot be received/accepted by the natural human intellect. Those who have been born again, of the spirit of God, can’t/don’t understand it all either, but at least wa have the faith to believe – God gave it to us.

  23. BTW here is a good link: http://www.gcaarchive.com/index.shtml

    It’s the archive page for some excellent teaching. Scroll down and donload, listen, whatever. The setting is Grace Christian Assembly in TN and is all about sovereign grace. Listen to one session on say, Doctrines of Grace and you’ll understand why I visit there. These are not exegeting from the original Greek, like Dr. James White, but are really sound and suitable for anyone, including those who have yet to know and receive their Savior.

  24. I think the beauty of this conversation is that we are born into sin, but even at the fall of man. God had a plan and it is still in motion today..immediately after the fall God started the shadow of the cross…I have been reading through Exodus and it is amazing when looking for it that HE has placed a shadow of HIS redemption plan all the way back there…

    Dan- I am secure in my salvation, I hunger and thirst for HIM, seeking HIS face more than HIS hand. I don’t need tons of rewards I just need HIM as HE is my reward. Love and joy, peace that passed understanding..they are all mine…and I think they are yours too 😉

  25. Hey, Society, glad to see you back. I thought maybe my last comment made you think I didn’t want you around – please forgive me if it came off that way, it was not at all my intent. 😳

    To all:
    I know I’ve already mentioned yesterday at church, but it was such an inspiring message – the Love of God. Stuart Briscoe is an elderly man and has been in the ministry for many years, so his presentation just flows from years of speaking…and of course, being British he has a beautiful grasp of the English language. He spoke on a portion of Romans 5:

    “…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

    He wanted us to see that the love of God cannot be understood without first understanding the wrath of God. For WHEN He demonstrated His love we were yet sinners — What we are is all wrong – What we have done is all wrong – Where we are going is all wrong…and yet He did not love us in an abstract way. He demonstrated His love, He made His love evident by dying for us while we were ALL WRONG. He didn’t choose us to be found in Him because of anything good in us, only because of His goodness did He choose to die. Amazing love!!

    It’s all about Him…

  26. “It’s about man’s total depravity. Were it not fot God’s restraining hand, we might all be Hitlers – or worse.” (Dan)

    Man is totally depraved…I don’t think this is true. Are we depraved with the ability to be more depraved – yes. Do we have th ability to do good with the ability to do more good – yes. I don’t quite see the ‘total’ part – we are not 100% depraved (we’d be worse than animals with our capacity to be creative – and we were created higher than the animals). This doesn’t bare out in reality. I would ask someone to test this theory out for themselves and see if how much of humanity is totally depraved (some are mind you – but some is not all).

    “We are born in rejection against God.” (Dan)

    Theological hotbed – so I am guessing kids are going to hell huh? Are we born this way or just with the capabilties?

    “but God actually turns the will towards Himself – there is no coercion.” (Dan)

    So we can choose to reject God then – since there is no coercion?

    “Those who have been born again, of the spirit of God, can’t/don’t understand it all either, but at least wa have the faith to believe – God gave it to us.” (Dan)

    Then we are both on the same footing here – you cannot claim for 100% fact that God functions the way you say he does? You cannot know this ‘He elected a remnant, called them, justified them and glorified them – all before the worlds were formed’ – that’s theological guesswork and at best philosophizing about God’s plans. Which I understand – I do some philosophizing also and I am game for the discussion.

    “please forgive me if it came off that way, it was not at all my intent.” (Michelle)

    I thought you were quite splendid in convo Michelle – no offence taken whatsoever. It’s a discussion and we are getting into some dicey topics so I know how it is – none of us want to offend one another but religion…well religion is what it is. You’re more than forgiven – you’ve said nothing wrong by me.

  27. Society, you said:

    “Then we are both on the same footing here – you cannot claim for 100% fact that God functions the way you say he does? You cannot know this ‘He elected a remnant, called them, justified them and glorified them – all before the worlds were formed’ – that’s theological guesswork and at best philosophizing about God’s plans.”

    Much scripture has been either presented directly or made reference to in this blog and others here at Michelle’s place, by several people. Since you have not commented on scripture provided and only continued to declare what you think and that other(s) comments from scripture cannot be right, I sense that you are not serious about God or the eternal state of your own soul (Heaven or Hell). Nevertheless I offer the passages below, which speak to things I cannot possibly know (in your thinking), as things that CAN be known.

    “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will – to the praise of the glory of his grace .” Ephesians 1:3-6a

    “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

    In the end it matters not a whit what men ‘think’ about God if it does not agree with what God says about himself and his revealed plan for humankind. And that includes me, sir.

    I fear for your soul. . .

  28. I can certainly see the debate escalating. Again. Nothing wrong with a good discussion, of course, but sometimes people get lost in debates. Not the points, or the ideas one might be trying to convey…but the self.

    [Sigh]

  29. “I sense that you are not serious about God or the eternal state of your own soul (Heaven or Hell).” (Dan)

    This again – make it 13 notches for the various Christian belts. This happens to me about once a month I would say…I’ll give you a chance to recant your claim here (cause I am not sure you know if it is true or not).

    “For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ”

    Even predestination here has to do with a ‘plan’ and not ‘specifics’. It seems like the plan of Jesus is being delineated upon here – the predestination of that plan of inclusion (ie: adoption). It’s also used in such a general sense no one could make a single claim that passage means ‘me’.

    “because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.”

    Again we are getting into plan here – and the role of Jesus as mediator (at the right hand of God). As for predestination, as much as I love the theory it is utterly useless to any human being. Even if God is into a whole pre-destination thing (of this I have no cares either way) – we do not know who is and isn’t pre-destined and will never know that (we are not God).

    Paul writes to comfort the Roman contingent reading – as we see by the end of this chapter a whole discourse on trials and stuff. Paul needs to re-assure these people that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”. These people were in a difficult place and Paul use the language he does to comfort the people – and what better than being foreknew for this purpose (which might include death).

    But is Paul making a theory of this – no…he rarely talks about this subject and when he does – it’s a comforting aspect for the trodden believer(s) or to talk about the width of God’s plan. Oddly enough, in both usages by Paul – he addresses to different things (ie: persecuted people and people who were struggling with law/circumcision debate). He changes uses of this whole foreknew thing to suit the crowd he is writing to…mainly to assure them he is right in what he is saying.

    But I would say – can anyone know who is pre-ordained to be in heaven and hell. No. Do we have the mind of God on this…no. But we can be assured we have a place in heaven due to the messiah’s activities and our participation in the ‘following’…we have an assurance (a Christ who has God’s right ear). That’s Pauls point – not some doctrine about who’s making it or who is predestined – he likely doesn’t even care – as long as he doesn’t lose any from Ephesus or Rome along the way.

    Thus – I am giving you that chance to recant.

  30. “Nothing wrong with a good discussion, of course, but sometimes people get lost in debates” (NorEaster)

    Sorry Noreaster – I saw the predestination thing and I couldn’t help but want to get into the discussion about it (having some inkling about it’s depth). Sorry if I offended anyone in here – not my intention at all.

  31. OK guys, no one can know the state of another’s soul.

    I really don’t think Dan was trying to say this to you, Society. I may be wrong but I think he is saying he is afraid for your soul if you do not believe Jesus is God in the flesh. Not that he is damning you in any way.

    When we call ourselves “believers” that is what we are claiming, to believe Jesus is who He claimed to be — the great I AM.

    No one has the right to declare anyone lost – or saved – for that matter. It is only evident through the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our own spirit that we are His. I can’t know that about anyone else, except myself.

    No judgments here – the end has not yet come…

    Hey! I have a new post, why don’t y’all read that one!! 😆

  32. “Society. I may be wrong but I think he is saying he is afraid for your soul if you do not believe Jesus is God in the flesh” (Michelle)

    Agreed…but that’s not what he said – he did say this ‘I sense that you are not serious about God or the eternal state of your own soul’. If I said that to you Michelle (or anyone in here) – what do you think I am implying with that sentence? One, you dont care about God and two, you don’t care about yourself (my soul was mentioned) – nice…two commandments in one sentence.

    I do not believe Jesus is God/Deity in the flesh – that’s not to say I don’t ‘follow Jesus’ and believe he was ‘the son of God’ and ‘Messiah’. I can say like John ‘every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ (1 John 4:2). Jesus (last name not Christ) the Messiah has come in the flesh and gone.

    “to believe Jesus is who He claimed to be — the great I AM.” (Michelle)

    I am a believer (in God – the I AM) but I don’t believe that statement. Now there is some claims to Jesus being divine in the NT (not gonna argue that) – but there is no concensus from book to book to letter. John and one verse of Paul allow for divinity (and John can be read a few ways – not just literally all the time) – but there are 4 real problems here that orthodoxy (these councils) did not ‘Flesh’ out.

    (1) God cannot die…that is a fact none of us would dare argue. Fact is – Jesus does die (for a period of 3 days). Are we going to admit God can die…what a sturdy foundation we have been given?

    (2) God cannot be tempted…another idea from the Tanakh and even the NT “for God cannot be tempted by evil…” (james 1:13). – Yet we know full well Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness – for what…40 days! Granted he did not give in – but if he was God then who cares – that’s not being tempted at all. Ants build nice houses – but they don’t tempt me to want to live in them.

    (3) Jesus is proclaimed to have been human – yet the orthodox position is clearly Jesus was 100% God and 100% human…I got some bad news for everyone – there is nothing human about that statement. Jesus has a whole 100% more than any of us in these convo’s – his God side…making him not a human but someone in the appearance of humanity.

    (4) Jesus says he follows the One – “”What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD” (Mark 12:28-29). That is the Shema in Jewish circles – which all Jewish people have recited for decades (prior to Jesus even) – and was supposed to memorized as the greatest teaching. Jesus, oddly enough, calls it the foremost teaching – so he agrees. What he is also saying there is ‘God is One’ in agreement with the scribe…does he think he is the One? From context – it doesn’t seem that way.

    I think I raise fairly valid questions on these issues – and give plenty of reasons (from scripture itself) why I do or don’t accept certain ‘beliefs’. Does that realy make me any different than anyone else here?

  33. Pingback: The Evidence of God II « Losing My Religion

  34. ” Now there is some claims to Jesus being divine in the NT (not gonna argue that) – but there is no concensus from book to book to letter.”

    We see this so differently. I see complete continuity from beginning to end, especially when I study covenant. From the Tanakh I see pictures of Jesus throughout, and I’m not talking about someone’s interpretation, I mean from my personal inductive study. When I read through the Prophets I get so excited because I see the working out of His plan happening on earth today.

    If it wasn’t a concept any of the Jews at that time were willing to concede – that Messiah could be God in the flesh – then why did so many Jewish people follow Jesus as God? They understood Him to be God, many still do today without any disconnect between their worship of Him and their Jewish faith.

    I was thinking of something I read on your blog last evening, wondering why to be called a Son does not make Him equal to the Father. My father does not consider me less of a human being than he is. I do not consider my daughter less than me because I am her mother. There is a heirarchy in the Trinity: Jesus came to do the will of His Father, but that does not make Him less than the Father. They are One, as He claimed, which is why the chief leaders wanted Him killed. I keep going back to John 6, and without typing the whole thing and commenting, it’s rather impossible through this medium to discuss. So I’ll leave you to study it and hopefully see that Jesus desired them, the Jewish people, to see Him as the One come from heaven – that their sustenance, their source of life (eternal life) was to come through Him.

    “I think I raise fairly valid questions on these issues – and give plenty of reasons (from scripture itself) why I do or don’t accept certain ‘beliefs’. Does that really make me any different than anyone else here?”

    Asking questions and discussing ‘beliefs’ does not make you any different than any of us. The essential belief of Jesus being God in the flesh, Savior of mankind, is the difference I’m hearing. Most of us, here, believe this to be the crux of our salvation; without that belief, most of us would ask, then what’s the point?

  35. Michelle – sorry to take so long answering your q…

    By ‘The Seen’ i meant all things of Nature (or Creation if you will) Seen by mankind):

    19 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, [even] his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:

    Romans 1:19-20

    We can know all that is known of God through Creation – if we watch it carefully and learn from it to heart.

    Follow ?

    <B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s