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Thread: Is the sacrifice of Jesus over rated?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master


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    Just wanted to add something. One of the things that bothers me the most is what I perceive as the injustice of God....let me explain.

    No one can enter heaven unless they accept Jesus as their Savior. My father dismissed God and religion completely, so he will not be saved. Yet, my father was a very good man. My father commanded my respect and obedience by his presence and intelligence. He never once struck us, but guided us with his example and strength of character. He is why I became an atheist.

    He came from Italy in 1930 not being able to speak English and became moderately successful without ever cheating his customers. His rejection of God started much earlier

    When he was 12, the local priest approached my grandmother. The small town in Italy they lived in only provided up to a grade 6 education. The priest saw potential in my dad and convinced my grandmother to send him to the provincial capital to attend the Roman Catholic monastery. He would be educated and become a priest. My grandmother was torn about needing her son to help support the family ( my grandfather had died years earlier), and the honor of having her son become a priest. She decided to send him to the monastery.

    After the third day at the monastery, my Dad waited until nightfall, scaled the walls and walked 40 km home in the dark. The story he told was that people at the monastery had stolen the socks my grandmother had knit for him. Plus he was unhappy and wanted to come home. My Dad told me this when I was a child of 10 or 11 when I asked him why we did not attend church. His message was, “ There are bad people in churches”

    In retrospect, it is highly likely he had been sexually molested. The “men of God” he trusted had violated that trust....and God had not protected him. For a boy of 12, it was devastating. I now understand his feelings about the Roman Catholic Church and God.

    He passed 40 years ago of cancer I did not weep until 10 years ago. I was at the Grand American. A severe storm rolled in and the shoot was suspended. My two best friends (both Christians that helped me find Christ) and I took refuge in the motor coach and a TV show about cancer came on. Started talking about my Dad and I lost it. Had to get out and I sat in the downpour for 20 minutes crying like a baby. Decades of loss poured out of me.

    It bothers me that my Dad will not be granted eternal life. He is the best man I have ever known
    Don Verna

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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Just wanted to add something. One of the things that bothers me the most is what I perceive as the injustice of God....let me explain.

    No one can enter heaven unless they accept Jesus as their Savior. My father dismissed God and religion completely, so he will not be saved. Yet, my father was a very good man. My father commanded my respect and obedience by his presence and intelligence. He never once struck us, but guided us with his example and strength of character. He is why I became an atheist.

    He came from Italy in 1930 not being able to speak English and became moderately successful without ever cheating his customers. His rejection of God started much earlier

    When he was 12, the local priest approached my grandmother. The small town in Italy they lived in only provided up to a grade 6 education. The priest saw potential in my dad and convinced my grandmother to send him to the provincial capital to attend the Roman Catholic monastery. He would be educated and become a priest. My grandmother was torn about needing her son to help support the family ( my grandfather had died years earlier), and the honor of having her son become a priest. She decided to send him to the monastery.

    After the third day at the monastery, my Dad waited until nightfall, scaled the walls and walked 40 km home in the dark. The story he told was that people at the monastery had stolen the socks my grandmother had knit for him. Plus he was unhappy and wanted to come home. My Dad told me this when I was a child of 10 or 11 when I asked him why we did not attend church. His message was, “ There are bad people in churches”

    In retrospect, it is highly likely he had been sexually molested. The “men of God” he trusted had violated that trust....and God had not protected him. For a boy of 12, it was devastating. I now understand his feelings about the Roman Catholic Church and God.

    He passed 40 years ago of cancer I did not weep until 10 years ago. I was at the Grand American. A severe storm rolled in and the shoot was suspended. My two best friends (both Christians that helped me find Christ) and I took refuge in the motor coach and a TV show about cancer came on. Started talking about my Dad and I lost it. Had to get out and I sat in the downpour for 20 minutes crying like a baby. Decades of loss poured out of me.

    It bothers me that my Dad will not be granted eternal life. He is the best man I have ever known
    It's easy to discuss the final state of non-Christians when dealing with hypotheticals. It becomes much harder when we are discussing actual people that we know lived good lives, but rejected God for whatever reason.

    There are two things that help me with the issue:

    1. The default condition for every human being is "lost." Everyone has sinned and the universal outcome of sinning is death. The default condition IS NOT bound for heaven, but lost because we reject God/Christ. It is an important distinction.

    2. I do not believe the Bible teaches eternal torment for unbelievers. I believe those who are lost eventually find rest in obliteration. Death is a gift from God (Gen 3:22).

  3. #43
    Boolit Master


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    Thank you Ickisrulz. Just a slight disagreement. We die not as a result of our sins, but because of the sin committed by Adam and Eve. Which, BTW, is another example I use to illustrate the injustice of God. We are condemned to death and suffering by actions that were not ours...but that is another topic. I agree we are not bound for heaven...we are designed (maybe predisposed is a better word) to sin. I understand the argument that God gives us choice and we can make good ones or bad ones...He does not want "puppets".
    Without accepting Christ we cannot be cleansed of our sins.

    I wonder about the statement "God made us in His image". Has God made less than perfect decisions as well? He speaks of regretting making man in Genesis just before the Flood when He attempts a do-over for mankind. Again...another subject outside of this thread.

    BTW, I gain a lot from your posts on religious concepts. Read them all and I appreciate your postings.
    Last edited by dverna; 11-14-2019 at 10:20 AM.
    Don Verna

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  4. #44
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    The essence of sin is the denial of God as supreme moral authority. When one says that God is unjust, that falls smack in the middle of moral rebellion. The person who says that is saying, they and not God will determine what is just and unjust. That is dangerous ground on which to stand.

    It behooves us all to remember that God is working on data base of knowledge and wisdom that transends the collective human understanding of anything. I recall a verse from one of James Weldon Johnson's poems..."Young man, your arms are too short to box with God.".
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  5. #45
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    Char-Gar, a better way to phrase it is, “At times God appears to be unjust to me. ”

    God gave us the ability to think and reason. We do not have His wisdom and understanding. He will understand why I see some of His actions as unjust....due to my ignorance and hopefully forgive me

    The most simple example is the death of a baby. I cannot wrap my brain around how that is just, but I concede it might be.

    For example, My pastor preached that the death of the first baby of David and Bathsheba was God’s punishment for their affair. To me that seems unjust. The baby was not at fault, and God killed it to punish David and Bathsheba. Maybe my pastor is ignorant and that was not why the baby died....but that is how my pastor interpreted what happened. If that is incorrect, I would appreciate another explanation.

    There are millions of other babies that have had their lives ended taken by God. They seem innocent but God requires their death. Why?

    Why would an all powerful God that can address any need in the universe require the death of a baby to achieve His goals?

    I believe God will not punish us for rational thought and will not view it as a sin.
    Don Verna

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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    The most simple example is the death of a baby. I cannot wrap my brain around how that is just, but I concede it might be.

    For example, My pastor preached that the death of the first baby of David and Bathsheba was God’s punishment for their affair. To me that seems unjust. The baby was not at fault, and God killed it to punish David and Bathsheba.
    The first thing we have to concede is that we have no idea what happens to a person who dies as a baby. The Bible is completely silent on this. Over the centuries Christians have come up with ideas, but no one knows*.

    The second thing to notice is that in David's case he made no objections about God's course of action. He seemed to think it was entirely reasonable. He trusted God, worshiped God after the child had died and made some interesting comments perhaps related to the afterlife. David might have known something we don't.

    David's moral failing with Bathsheba had serious effects on the Nation of Israel. He lost his moral authority and was unable to act when his son raped his half sister (he was no longer a positive example to his family either). The rapist was killed by his brother, Absalom, who went on to rebel against the king and sleep with his David's women in public. Several thousand people were killed in the revolt against David, including Absalom.

    *One thought is that a child who dies before the "age of accountability" will automatically be saved. Of course if a Christian really believes this, why fight so hard against abortion?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    The first thing we have to concede is that we have no idea what happens to a person who dies as a baby. The Bible is completely silent on this. Over the centuries Christians have come up with ideas, but no one knows*.

    The second thing to notice is that in David's case he made no objections about God's course of action. He seemed to think it was entirely reasonable. He trusted God, worshiped God after the child had died and made some interesting comments perhaps related to the afterlife. David might have known something we don't.

    David's moral failing with Bathsheba had serious effects on the Nation of Israel. He lost his moral authority and was unable to act when his son raped his half sister (he was no longer a positive example to his family either). The rapist was killed by his brother, Absalom, who went on to rebel against the king and sleep with his David's women in public. Several thousand people were killed in the revolt against David, including Absalom.

    *One thought is that a child who dies before the "age of accountability" will automatically be saved. Of course if a Christian really believes this, why fight so hard against abortion?
    At some point, a fetus is a person...I have heard arguments that a person is created upon conception...but I frankly do not know.

    The issue with abortion is that it is murder...at least in my mind...because at some point the fetus becomes a person.

    Not knowing when a fetus becomes a person, the "safe" option is to say "upon conception". Murder can not be condoned unless it is necessary to save a life. So, abortion may be acceptable to save the life of the mother. And even that is fraught with judgements....is the "innocent" life less valuable than the life of the mother. Does it matter if the mother has other children dependent upon her nurturing and caring for them?

    Like so many subjects on God...I lack definitive answers. I see arguments that can be justified from different and sometimes opposite perspectives. Is abortion wrong always, sometimes or never? I lean towards always or sometimes...but I am not God and I am fortunate that I have never been faced with such a choice.

    BTW, even if David thought it was entirely reasonable that the child should die...was it just for God to take the life of baby. David may have felt he deserved to be punished...but was the death of his baby a just act? Is a mother that believes it is entirely reasonable she should abort her baby doing the just thing?
    Last edited by dverna; 11-15-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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  8. #48
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Char-Gar, a better way to phrase it is, “At times God appears to be unjust to me. ”

    I agree

    God gave us the ability to think and reason. We do not have His wisdom and understanding. He will understand why I see some of His actions as unjust....due to my ignorance and hopefully forgive me

    Ancient Jews expressed themselves in terms of first cause. In any chain of events they looked to the first link in the chain. EX: If I went to the top of a tall building and jumped off, folks today would say Charles killed himself. The ancient Jew would say that God killed Charles. Why? Because God created gravity and it was gravity that killed Charles. When we apply modern (Greco-Roman) thinking to ancient Jewish writting, we will be spun up around the axle very quickle. That is where you are, spun up around the axle, I mean.

    The most simple example is the death of a baby. I cannot wrap my brain around how that is just, but I concede it might be.

    For example, My pastor preached that the death of the first baby of David and Bathsheba was God’s punishment for their affair. To me that seems unjust. The baby was not at fault, and God killed it to punish David and Bathsheba. Maybe my pastor is ignorant and that was not why the baby died....but that is how my pastor interpreted what happened. If that is incorrect, I would appreciate another explanation.

    There are millions of other babies that have had their lives ended taken by God. They seem innocent but God requires their death. Why?

    I do not and will never believe that God requires the death of innocents. Once a person would spouting this stuff to John Wesley and Wesley replied. "Sir, you God is my Devil." I draw my understanding of the character and nature of God from what I know about Jesus. I don't see Jesus killing children. I see Jesus allowing himself to be killed for the sake of the world.

    Why would an all powerful God that can address any need in the universe require the death of a baby to achieve His goals?

    He did not and would not!

    I believe God will not punish us for rational thought and will not view it as a sin.

    Again I agree!

    The New Testament teaches us that if we have seen the Son, we have seen the Father. The Father we see in Jesus is inconsistant with the God of the Old Testament, if we take the views and understanding of the ancient Hebrews as accurate. I do not. This is not to say that the OT does not tells us much about God, but if we can't seperate the religion of Israel from the revelation of God, then we will forever have problems with the justness of God.

    There is much I can and should say on the OT vs. NT, but that would require many hours and an internet forum does not lend itself to that level of teaching. I will only say that if I HAD to accept the OT understanding of God, then I would never have become a Christian.
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 11-15-2019 at 01:32 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #49
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    The first thing we have to concede is that we have no idea what happens to a person who dies as a baby. The Bible is completely silent on this. Over the centuries Christians have come up with ideas, but no one knows*.

    The second thing to notice is that in David's case he made no objections about God's course of action. He seemed to think it was entirely reasonable. He trusted God, worshiped God after the child had died and made some interesting comments perhaps related to the afterlife. David might have known something we don't.

    David's moral failing with Bathsheba had serious effects on the Nation of Israel. He lost his moral authority and was unable to act when his son raped his half sister (he was no longer a positive example to his family either). The rapist was killed by his brother, Absalom, who went on to rebel against the king and sleep with his David's women in public. Several thousand people were killed in the revolt against David, including Absalom.

    *One thought is that a child who dies before the "age of accountability" will automatically be saved. Of course if a Christian really believes this, why fight so hard against abortion?
    We fight against abortion, because it is murder to take a life, either before or after birth. It has nothing to do with the age of accountability of the child, it is about the actions of those taking his/her life.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  10. #50
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post

    BTW, even if David thought it was entirely reasonable that the child should die...was it just for God to take the life of baby. David may have felt he deserved to be punished...but was the death of his baby a just act? Is a mother that believes it is entirely reasonable she should abort her baby doing the just thing?
    I for one, do not attribute the thinking of David, nor the thinking of an abortion minded woman to the thinking of God. Scripture is replete with example of humans who failed God and did the wrong thing. If there not so, then why would we need a Savior.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  11. #51
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    Char-Gar

    You make a lot of sense. Most of my difficulties are rooted with the writings of the OT. The NT is “refreshing” by comparison.

    I am attending an Evangelical church that requires we accept the inerrancy of the Bible to become a member. This church has a phenomenal pastor and that is why I attend. And accepting the OT as “perfect” is likely never going to occur for me.

    As you put it, “I am spun around the axle!” Trying to make it all fit and reconciling God as the Hebrews viewed Him from the God that Jesus showed us creates the disconnect I struggle with.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me a better understanding.
    Don Verna

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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    We fight against abortion, because it is murder to take a life, either before or after birth. It has nothing to do with the age of accountability of the child, it is about the actions of those taking his/her life.
    I don't disagree with what you have written. I just pointed out a paradox and wasn't actually asking a question.

    It's funny how you and dverna concentrated on my comments about abortion when it was an aside to my post.

    My main point was we have no idea what happens to an infant that dies and that human life extends beyond our time on earth.
    Last edited by Ickisrulz; 11-15-2019 at 03:16 PM.

  13. #53
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Char-Gar

    You make a lot of sense. Most of my difficulties are rooted with the writings of the OT. The NT is “refreshing” by comparison.

    I am attending an Evangelical church that requires we accept the inerrancy of the Bible to become a member. This church has a phenomenal pastor and that is why I attend. And accepting the OT as “perfect” is likely never going to occur for me.

    As you put it, “I am spun around the axle!” Trying to make it all fit and reconciling God as the Hebrews viewed Him from the God that Jesus showed us creates the disconnect I struggle with.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me a better understanding.
    You are quite welcome. What I have learned has come about through hard study, reflection and many years. On the theological spectrum of American Christianity, I fall into the Evangelical camp. However within that camp are many different shades and groupings.

    The term inerrancy is certainly a loaded term and it means quite a few different things to different people. For the far right, it means that each word in the Bible holds the same value as each other word. I commonly refer this to the "flat book" understanding of inerrancy and I do not buy into that.

    There is another broad camp that understands the Bible to be "plenary inspired", this means that God inspired the whole man or woman. This makes room for individual points of view, different personalities, context and culture. The ancient Hebrew was a different breed of cats, even from the modern Hebrew. The Old Testament is essentialy ancient Asian writings, which brings with it a very different way of looking at the world and communicating what is seen and heard. The ancient Hebrew mind processed stuff and expressed stuff in ways that at times is opaque to us.

    We were born into a Western culture whose thought patterns follow Greco-Roman logic. The New Testament writters stood astride of both the ancient Asian and Greco-Roman world. The early church experienced it greatest grown in the Greco-Roman world, and that created no end of of disputes and conflict within the early church. Thankfully folks like Saul (Paul) of Tarsus knew how to communicate the Good News to the Greco-Roman mind and the Ancient Hebrew mind as well.

    Denying the influence of personality, history, culture and context of any Scripture, will get many people spun up around the Axle and when it comes to matters of faith, this is not a good thing. In the end, our faith is all about Jesus. If we keep our eyes on Him and don't get distracted by Ancient Hebrew writting, we will push on.

    There is allot to learn from the Old Testament about God and his efforts to save a rebellious, sinful and fallen race of people. This wonderful story however is contained in some pretty funky writtings that often misdirect our thinking.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  14. #54
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    I don't disagree with what you have written. I just pointed out a paradox and wasn't actually asking a question.

    It's funny how you and dverna concentrated on my comments about abortion when it was an aside to my post.

    My main point was we have no idea what happens to an infant that dies and that human life extends beyond our time on earth.
    I think we do have a pretty good idea what happens to the soul/spirit of an infant. A through study of scripture produces a strong understanding of "prevenient grace". This simply means the grace which goes before. Scripture teaches us that God loves us before we knew him. God's grace does not start when we know and accept His grace. God's grace is active even within the womb. The child who does not survive either the womb or early childhood, is well protected by prevenient grace. They are with our loving and gracious creator God.

    This I so believe and have told to many parents who have lost children at a young age. This is a very ancient theological understanding of this matter in the Church. I didn't think it up.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    I think we do have a pretty good idea what happens to the soul/spirit of an infant. A through study of scripture produces a strong understanding of "prevenient grace". This simply means the grace which goes before. Scripture teaches us that God loves us before we knew him. God's grace does not start when we know and accept His grace. God's grace is active even within the womb. The child who does not survive either the womb or early childhood, is well protected by prevenient grace. They are with our loving and gracious creator God.

    This I so believe and have told to many parents who have lost children at a young age. This is a very ancient theological understanding of this matter in the Church. I didn't think it up.
    If everything you wrote is the way things actually work (I'm not saying it isn't because I am not sure) then it would have been better for most people if they had not been born.

    Of course I am making the assumption that most human beings will not be saved.

  16. #56
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    If everything you wrote is the way things actually work (I'm not saying it isn't because I am not sure) then it would have been better for most people if they had not been born.

    Of course I am making the assumption that most human beings will not be saved.
    God has chosen to use grown humans as His primary working tools in this world, to acts in His stead. This is well set out in the Genesis story of creaton. This is the prime concern. Just taking all unborn souls unto him, works against His stated purpose.

    All CAN be saved, but not all WILL be saved. There is that pesky matter of free will. It is our task to gather as many into His Kingdom is possible. Many are lost because of indolent churches and christians.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    God has chosen to use grown humans as His primary working tools in this world, to acts in His stead. This is well set out in the Genesis story of creaton. This is the prime concern. Just taking all unborn souls unto him, works against His stated purpose.

    All CAN be saved, but not all WILL be saved. There is that pesky matter of free will. It is our task to gather as many into His Kingdom is possible. Many are lost because of indolent churches and christians.
    I agree with everything in your post.

    My point is, if a person is condemned because of his free will choices, it would have been better for him if his free will had been taken away (i.e., he didn't survive birth and childhood) and he got a free pass to heaven.

  18. #58
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Just wanted to add something. One of the things that bothers me the most is what I perceive as the injustice of God....let me explain.

    No one can enter heaven unless they accept Jesus as their Savior. My father dismissed God and religion completely, so he will not be saved. Yet, my father was a very good man. My father commanded my respect and obedience by his presence and intelligence. He never once struck us, but guided us with his example and strength of character. He is why I became an atheist.

    He came from Italy in 1930 not being able to speak English and became moderately successful without ever cheating his customers. His rejection of God started much earlier

    When he was 12, the local priest approached my grandmother. The small town in Italy they lived in only provided up to a grade 6 education. The priest saw potential in my dad and convinced my grandmother to send him to the provincial capital to attend the Roman Catholic monastery. He would be educated and become a priest. My grandmother was torn about needing her son to help support the family ( my grandfather had died years earlier), and the honor of having her son become a priest. She decided to send him to the monastery.

    After the third day at the monastery, my Dad waited until nightfall, scaled the walls and walked 40 km home in the dark. The story he told was that people at the monastery had stolen the socks my grandmother had knit for him. Plus he was unhappy and wanted to come home. My Dad told me this when I was a child of 10 or 11 when I asked him why we did not attend church. His message was, “ There are bad people in churches”

    In retrospect, it is highly likely he had been sexually molested. The “men of God” he trusted had violated that trust....and God had not protected him. For a boy of 12, it was devastating. I now understand his feelings about the Roman Catholic Church and God.

    He passed 40 years ago of cancer I did not weep until 10 years ago. I was at the Grand American. A severe storm rolled in and the shoot was suspended. My two best friends (both Christians that helped me find Christ) and I took refuge in the motor coach and a TV show about cancer came on. Started talking about my Dad and I lost it. Had to get out and I sat in the downpour for 20 minutes crying like a baby. Decades of loss poured out of me.

    It bothers me that my Dad will not be granted eternal life. He is the best man I have ever known
    That issue has bothered many, many people. However, the whole disturbing issue is predicated on an statement that may or may not be true. Yes, I believe that we must accept Christ, but the assumption is that death cuts off all possibility of making that choice. In 1st. Peter 4:6 it is written that Christ went to the dead and proclaimed the Good News to them. Who is to say this is not ongoing? I am not going to say that.

    I know that God is gracious, loving and just and wil leave such matters to Him.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    I agree with everything in your post.

    My point is, if a person is condemned because of his free will choices, it would have been better for him if his free will had been taken away (i.e., he didn't survive birth and childhood) and he got a free pass to heaven.
    I have seen a child steal, lie, and beat up a smaller child etc, etc. They have committed sins because they too have free will. So their free will has not been "taken away". Rather, God may give them a "free pass", because they have not yet been exposed to, understand, or be able to accept Jesus as their savior. In this case ignorance/immaturity does warrant the "free pass". I suspect the same "free pass" is given to those who are mentally handicapped and lack the understanding to accept Jesus.

    An adult is different. I can only speak to my experience, but if anyone had told me years ago that I would believe in God and Jesus I would have ridiculed them. I think even ardent atheists receive messages from God and the Holy Spirit. And not just one attempt either. But the atheist needs an open mind to hear the Spirit. For many, they may need to hit bottom before they listen or try to find hope. I was lucky that was not my case. God put two Christians into my life who became my closest friends, then I began reading the posts in the Chapel on this forum...those influences affected my atheism. Now, I am blessed with a fiancé who is also a believer.

    We have the choice to listen to or ignore Gods messages to us. He does not want us to fail, but he allows us to fail.
    Last edited by dverna; 11-16-2019 at 02:53 PM.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Jesus “died” on the cross for our sins. But God cannot die....Jesus certainly suffered but He did not die.

    IMHO, many Christians seem to over rate His sacrifice.

    When I was an atheist, I had no illusions of everlasting life, yet I would have died to save my children. I think every decent person would do the same.

    Jesus “died” knowing he would not die....not much sacrifice there. Jesus “died” to provide a path to salvation for billions of God’s children. We would die to save one of our children.

    Should we be grateful that He gave us a way to salvation....CERTAINLY!!

    Was it much of a sacrifice....not in the big scheme of things.
    I get what you mean. It is sort of like Superman charging into a hailstorm of bullets - it ain't exactly brave when you know you're bullet proof.
    Perhaps Jesus knew he would come back to life, but I think you have to admit he did die. Perhaps the knowledge that He would come back to life somewhat diminishes the sacrifice, but the fact that he also knew it was entirely voluntary greatly increased the magnitude. God, the creator of the universe was being crucified by little peons. As they hurled the insults Jesus could have been thinking, "you have no idea... I could squash you like an ant you little..."

    Also, St. Paul mentioned that he makes up for what is lacking. So whatever you think might diminish the suffering of Christ - there is a saint who has experienced it. Christ didn't have a abusive parents? So what? There are oodles of saints who did.

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