What a sad depressing event at Sandy hook, just before Christmas....
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Texas has hit the nail square on the head.... :)
There is no possible way to gain entrance into heaven except through Jesus Christ...He and He alone paid our sin debt. As Texas has shared...knowing Him and the wonder of His love is beyond human explanation or reason or understanding. But, He is real and when I think about the answered prayers...again and again....and His being there not only when I fall...but in spite of my fall...we can't really explain Him and that is the jest (if you will) of Him. It is only by faith. Think about something logically...if acceptance into His care eternally was performance based, wouldn't we all be wondering if we did enough? And, perhaps most convicting is at the cross, we are all on equal basis. Why would a perfect God come to earth, to die such a horrific death, if we could merit salvation from sin/h e l l on our own good deeds? We are praying for you...no man comes to the Father except the Spirit draw him.
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I have enjoyed learning more about him and spending time with him. I am excited about sharing him with others.
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I also grew up in a United Methodist. For a number of years, I thought that as long as you did enough good things in your life to overcome the bad things that you would go to heaven. But when I took a Catechism class in the 8th grade at our church, the minister said that you can never do enough good things to counter the bad things (sin). (See Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.). So instead of working for salvation by being good, he said that you had to believe that Jesus paid for your sin when he died on the cross (like your favorite verse John 3:16) and ask him into your heart (accept the gift), so I prayed and did.
Since then, I have had ups and downs in my life but God was/is always there when I reached out to him. He gives me peace, comfort, teaches me, has answered prayer, and provides for all my needs. I have enjoyed learning mo
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I'm actually from a methodist-based family. I didn't actually mean 'puragatory' literally. I just used it as a metaphor since we were on the religion topic as an 'in between or in limbo' suggestive.
"Purgatory" is non-existent...as much as some of the Catholic faith adhere to. I suspected when you used the "very Christian" terminology and subsequent use of purgatory that your family history might be Catholicism. Having said that...preachers/priests/ministers/ leaders in any organized religion, as well meaning as you have rightly addressed...have fallen. Only those who truly are saved by grace, desire to make things right with their Saviour and restore fellowship with Him. Please do not hesitate to contact me through email. I would love to have further opportunity to discuss some other issues you raised, but know that this is not the forum to do so. Thank you for your kind response, but any good in me is only His righteousness. I have none.
My peronal favorite is "You For God So Loved the World that he Gave his only begotten son for whom ever shalt believeth in him shalt not peish but have ever lasting life." -- John 3:16.
Still working on that personally. Amen and May God Bless you both
First of all, RMiller and Texas thank you for sharing your personal feelings, point of view, and advice. They do not fall on deaf ears. When I say :"very christian family" I mean a large #white of ministers and truly good hearted individuals devoted to God. However as I mentioned not all of them share that quality and the ones who do not have made me question my faith. If I question my faith, its fair to suggest my heart was not purely devoted to it to begin with. Basically I agree with everything you both said. I use the word basically only because I myself am still in a position of 'purgatory'. I will say that I genuinely love good people and regardless of differing opinions, I would and do gladly refer to both of you as good people and pure at heart.
Happy New Year and God's blessings on you.
Early you talked about your Christian background/exposure. May I offer this verse for contemplation.
Colossians 2:8-9 "Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body."
Spiritual powers of this world are satan and demons. They provide counterfeit belief systems, multiple ways, and philosophies that are used to confuse believers and non-believers. We (all of us, myself included) need to return to the true source, which is God. May your weekend and week be a blessing.
Only by the grace of God I am what I am...
Happy New Year!
You always add more joy with your gift of encouragement.
Maybe that can be a New Years' resolution to find a group of people that truly have God as their focus and see if they are for you. Maybe RMiller can provide the name of her church or others and you can sneak in and sneak out without filling out a visitor's card.
These verses reflect the joyful relationship that we can have with God when we follow his Word and commands. They talk about the struggle of "fitting in" with those around us to feel accepted (and maybe even doing things in our heart that we know are wrong) as compared to being steadfast in our relationship with God to experience true love and joy. These also recognize the struggle (ie wanting to fulfill pleasures) that we have and the times we stray from God and ask Him to not give up on us but to continually be there for us.
Maybe your "Christian" role model(s) has been the person that struggles with pleasing man vs. pleasure for self vs. pleasing God; it is confusing. Maybe you you could take a few hours or Sunday mornings and find that group of Christians that are more concerned about following God than pleasing themselves or fitting in.
RMiller, Thank you for your transparency and talking from your heart.
In reading my Bible this morning, the following seemed to fit with a portion of what RMiller was saying.
"Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.
You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!
Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands.
As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!
I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!" Psalm 119:1-8
I can assure you that this will be met with much resistance and perhaps its usual criticism. That's O.K., because I count it gain that I would be met with insults for His sake. I think of Calvary and the excruciating death of crucifixion and I humbly bow at such love my Saviour has for us. He is not a fairy tale to me or the millions who died as martyrs before me and continue to die because of their faith in Him. Does that happen in other forms of spiritual dimensions? Certainly...and people from all around the world will die for less causes than a god. My claim to righteousness and an eternity in heaven are because He died for me and that has made all the difference.
The Holy Spirit (who guides and directs) and is one of three persons....indwells us at the moment we willingly receive Him as our Saviour. He does not impose Himself, nor will He force someone into accepting His love and forgiveness of our many many sins. If He did, then He wouldn't be true to His character because He gave us the will to love Him or not. I have often given my email out and will do so again for anyone wishing to seek truth...I can't give it to you, only lead you to Him....and any good that someone sees in me, is Him...my earthly flesh is nothing and it doesn't matter who I compare myself to, outside of Him. There will always be someone better than I and someone worse than I..but before God Almighty...the playing field is level...we stand guilty. raeaason at comcast dot net
death and torture...and then they came upon a tool that had clear wear and use...so the visitor asked about the tool. satan (won't capitalize his name) told the visitor, "that's my tool of discouragement...it's my most affective tool I have." When I thought about the story....I realized the sting of that ugly truth. Some of your posts reveal a sense of despair...a result of discouragement in mankind. I understand that sentiment...been there done it...over and over and over again. Once in awhile I go through a roll like this....get my thrashing from a couple of regulars and get discouraged. But, God continues to give me the strength to tell others, who may only listen. about who He is, not who man has said who he is/isn't...He is someone who loves me, loves you and only wants your best. Just please don't look to man,,,he/she will let you down every time...or at least once. He's not in most houses of worship, nor is He in many professing Christians...cont.
many of my circumstances that He said No...or wait...now make perfect sense. Will I always understand why things happened to me that He allowed? No. I just dealt with a couple of things over the past month or so, that once I handed it to Him to deal with...the end result was better than had I put my human desire/flesh first. There is God's sovereign will and their is His permissive will.
" I've read the bible, but as I got older I began to have doubts and questions>"
Ahhhh...the proverbial tool of the enemy...."Surely God hath not said.." It has worked thus far for you hasn't it? Please know I wouldn't be responding if I didn't believe that you do have questions...and you are asking. And I? I see how the enemy has you doubting, just like he does to everyone. There was a story told one time about someone who went to visit the d e v i l and have a conversation with him. satan took the visitor down to a room full of various tools of death and tor
I just re-read some of your posts and noticed your one comment about things happening and if they are negative things, that the individual didn't have enough faith and you don't buy that. I'm not certain what type of background you are coming from, so my response to that would be two fold. As a Christian, when I think I want something, or I don't want something to happen, and I have petitioned God for it....His response...if I am in right relationship with Him is to give me the desire of my heart...according to His will. And, He does answer prayer(s) based on our faith in Him...but the answer is not necessarily a result of our lack/abundance of faith...rather His will, period. Because He knows the beginning from the end, if you will...He sees what we cannot see. He answers always the prayers of a believer.....yes...no...and wait. Waiting, for this inpatient person is by far the hardest task to accomplish. When I look back over my life, cont.
probably knew she was going to die, so let's start at the point of the mother....do you see how incredulous it is to try and reckon why God allows something or not? We don't have His mind, nor a remote possibility to understand why. If I have to explain Him for people to accept Him and His love, which is unconditional....then He isn't a true God. Because a true God loves regardless and in spite of us and many here will concur that we don't question our parents, when we are children..do we? Religion? Organized religion? Jesus hated it...because He knew that people would see each other in their worship, instead of Him and He knew organized religion would do things in His name and not one ounce of truth is in organized religion.
As God cannot be explained. The only truth I know is that He loves me....and I fail Him...He still loves me. Was He there the day in CT.? I suppose that it isn't simple enough to speak to the removal of God from the public domain and this, like other tragedies shows direct cause/affect (if you will). We asked Him...no...told Him...to leave. Another perspective is, with the fire power this man had, more lives could have been taken...at some point...he shot himself and the senseless murders stopped. This begs the question...was God there? If we believe in evil (and that word does describe what happened) than we have to believe that 27 lives were not enough for him....but some force (I want to think it was God) did indeed stop him from any further actions. Someone is certainly going to jump on this one and say...why didn't He stop this jerk before it started? My response...why think just of the children? A mother who loved her son that day..cont.
Our people have a passion for people...both in disciplining and in their personal joys and sorrows. Do we have hypocrites in our church? Yup! But the core...the majority actually genuinely love one another and our desire is that others around us will come to know who Jesus is. We have loved ones who aren't saved, we suffer monetary losses, we lose jobs, get cancer and yes we bury people. We go through trials and up and down mountains...we aren't any better than Joe Schmo down in the prison or a woman working the streets. We are only saved from His wrath through His blood...not ours...for our sins....You, along with many try to reckon a loving God allowing something like the tragedy in CT. and not stopping it. Or for that matter...all bad and God didn't start us with bad and evil. But, He did give us a will and we are free to exercise it and...we did. To debate the semantics of if God could have, or why doesn't He...arguments won't satisfy the inner most soul, cont.
He forgives those who are His own over and over and over again and again. He died...once...for all. He knew we would be incapable of "keeping the law." And, we are..incapable. And, because we become Christians "true" brethren, our sins..past...present...future...were nailed to the cross when only one sacrifice was acceptable to God, His Son. As horrific as this tragedy was in CT, and every other senseless act of violence perpetrated upon man since Cain and Able......nothing compared to a Father willingly sacrificing His Son for the sins of the world...for nothing He did wrong. I can't explain the Trinity, nor is the word in the Bible. But, I have faith in a living God, who knows my name and is personally involved in my life. I am currently attending, for the first time in 60 years of my life, a truly Godly, Christ honoring church where the Pastor walks the talk. And, his talk is about Him, our Lord...not about himself. He has a passion for people, cont.
change, people change...but He doesn't. So, I've put my trust in Him to help me cope with the changing circumstances and people in my life. Sometimes when I'm out and about, and I see a passerby, I wonder for a moment...could they be one of the many I've witnessed to on various forums? I wonder who they are by name also, not by just a blogger. You mentioned the good people..."there is none good..no not one." And, so...He sees us equally guilty before Him...not some more or some less. I can't bring anything to Him anymore than the young man who massacred those people last month in CT. What....I'm somewhat better because I haven't done that type of action? Forget that....without HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, I stand guilty before the Father. Not one sin more or less....keeps me from heaven or h e l l....only Christ can do that. You (again general ref.) mention that He demands too much...to which I say...but He gave all. And, even in that giving, cont.
The last statement is a bit confusing..sorry. To address your reference to the church in West Boro...The things they do, with respect to slain servicemen/women and their loved ones at a time when pain is deepest for any individual is not something the God I serve would in any manner condone/sanction. It is pathetic and cruel. Again, not Christlike.....It hurts me deeply to know people who have rejected Christ based on either a simple choice to do so....or worse....because of "religion" or a person claiming to be a Christian. And, for the most part, I am helpless to make an appeal on behalf of my loving God. So, I can only speak to what He's done for me, through me and in spite of me in my life and the lives of friends and loved ones I share this world with. Surely you know that the word Christian is tossed around rather flippantly and borders blasphemous more than I care to recall. I must keep my eyes on Him. I've learned that circumstances cont.
Heart wrenching than if a secular person hurts us. So, I do understand your apparent disgust and disappointment in those who would call themselves, Christians. But, we fail....we are only finite and still carry the sinful nature. When we fail, we have yielded to the control of the enemy, not to Christ. He is not faithless and He is not cruel. It boggles my mind when people charge a perfect God with crimes He never, nor ever will commit. He paid for ours, dearly. It is at those moments, when I think about His suffering at Calvary, that I become humble and contrite, especially if it is me who has done some hurt to someone. You emphasized the word, "VERY" in your description of growing up in a Christian family. I ponder...what your description entails. The word...very...is strong..good or bad. You've mentioned good people who aren't Christians and bad people who claim to be. And, you have a valid argument both or being confused and or angry at....cont.
I would like to express my apologies for the countless people who obviously left you with a sour taste about the word, Christian. Perhaps no one finds your thoughts more hurtful, albeit with some unfortunate truth in them...than a real Christian. I would also concur with you that more than once, and I feel confident that I speak for many Christians, we get disappointed in our 'brethren' and their actions. I'm 60 and one thing I'm still learning is to look to Christ, not to man. He/she will let you down every time....(and like you the word "you" is a general term). I've met, become friends with, loved dearly and been hurt by "Christians." Time will not permit me to belabor the spiritual walk with and away from my Saviour. My confession is that I took my eyes off Christ. I cannot describe what spiritual, deep spiritual pain feels like...suffice to say that when a "Christian hurts another "Christian" it is far more heart wrenching tha
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