[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Why did he die?

by Rose~

A certain Jehovah Witness is chopping vegetables in his kitchen. During an awkward manuever, he manages to accidentally cut a major vein. The bleeding commences. His wife gets him to the car and they rush off to the hospital with the two children in the back seat. In the emergency room, while one doctor has attended to the wound and stopped the bleeding, another wheels in the blood. The man has lost a lot of blood. In the midst of the well-orchestrated effort to save the man’s life, the man manages to say, “I am a Jehovah’s Witness. I will not accept that blood. Please don’t give me any blood. I would rather die.” After some time, the man is dead, for without replacement of the lost blood, his life could not be sustained.

The two teenage children have seen the entire string of events. In their distress, they ask their mother, “Why did he die?” She sadly tells them that Dad cut himself in the kitchen and he bled to death. It is a sorrowful situation, but it could not be helped. One of the children then says, “No! He died because he wouldn’t take that blood.” … and angrily flees the hospital.

Why did the man die? We know that officially, he died from bleeding to death, but under the circumstances that he found himself in, his death was not certain until he refused that blood transfusion. It could validly be said that he died because he refused the blood transfusion, although the cause of death would be listed as “bled to death.”

Why do sinners die? (IOW, why do unsaved people go to hell?) Is it because of sin, their sin nature and all their misdeeds … or is it because they refuse the life-giving work of Christ, by not believing and receiving Him who is offered as a remedy for their sin?

Scripture references are encouraged in your answer. Please explain how you come to your conclusion with those scriptures.

75 Comments:

  • People don't "die" spiritually; they are dead at birth, having inherited the sin nature - and its effects - from Adam.

    Jesus Christ paid the judicial penalty for everyone's sin nature and sinful deeds - 1 John 2:2.

    But Christ's death in itself does not rescue them from hell, contra the "L" doctrine. It must be met with faith which results in regeneration (John 3:3-5, 16-28).

    People end up in the lake of fire, not as judicial penalty for their sins, because that has been settled. They end up in the lake of fire only because they do not believe.

    That is why, at the Great White Throne judgment, they are not cast into the lake of fire after all their deeds are recited (Revelation 20:12-14).

    Rather, they are cast into the lake of fire because they do not have eternal life - their names are not found in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15).

    By Anonymous Bud Brown, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:04:00 AM  

  • "The wages of sin is death..."

    We are dying both physically and spiritually, that is just the result of sin.

    "For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"

    Once we realize that we are indeed dying and heading to hell, if we call out to Jesus Christ, He will save us.

    Conclusion:
    1. Our sin condemns us to eternal wrath.

    2. Our rejection of God's mercy and forgiveness seals that wrath.

    By Blogger Jim, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:05:00 AM  

  • Clarification:
    Yes we are spiritually dead at birth, but our potential for spiritual regeneration exists as long as we are in this body.

    By Blogger Jim, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:07:00 AM  

  • Bud, I really like your explanation.

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:15:00 AM  

  • Hi Bud,
    What about the second death? That is what I was thinking of.
    So you would be saying that they die because they don't receive the remedy? Or don't you like the way I posed the question?

    Jim,
    (and Bud)
    I have difficulty with the "spiritually dead at birth" phrase. I know that it is a biblical concept, but I don't really grasp the meaning. What is the second death, if we are already dead? And... doesn't someone have to have been alive once to then be dead? Do you think there was any figurative language aspect to the word "dead" having been used? I have always thought more of unsaved people as "unborn" or "preborn" not so much as "dead." I may be all washed up, though.

    Jim,
    it sounds to me like you are saying that it is both. Am I right?

    IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL:
    I am talking about the second death, where the fate of the man is sealed.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:17:00 AM  

  • I do appreciate your answer too, Bud, especially the part about the great white throne. They are cast to death because they are not in the book of life, all else is inconsequential.
    That is kind of what I was thinking when I asked this question.

    I am still thinking it through, though.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:26:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I believe we are condemned for both our sins and not believing in Christ's gift of salvation.

    As for the second death, consider the following;

    "And as it is reserved for man once to die, and after this the judgement."

    The first death is physical, the second is the eternal torment of our souls in the lake of fire.

    Only those whose names have been written in the Lambs book of life will avoid that final judgement.

    As for being spiritually dead, Adam died that same moment he sinned. Ever since, man's fellowship with God has been stunted and hindered by sin. The blood of animals was a temporary solution to allow man fellowship with God. However only the "Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world", can effectively remove sin once and for all.

    Then as Hebrews says, the way is made open for us to enter the holy of holies, and have unbroken fellowship with God. We are made alive (spiritually) when the Holy Spirit indwells our spirit. In that sense, we were dead prior spiritually.

    By Blogger Jim, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:32:00 AM  

  • I think Jim's answer was very good.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:00:00 AM  

  • Jim,
    That is how I understand it also. The word "dead" needs some defining here and there.

    DF,
    Surely you have more to add!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:17:00 AM  

  • I think it is difficult to define how a man walking about is 'dead'.

    However, Adam and Eve started dying as soon as they sinned. There bodies slowly began to decay.

    We experience that decay at a much faster rate. This is the consequence of sin.

    Morally, sin leads to death. Every sin has the potential to lead one to premature death.

    If you are sleep around, you can pick up a disiese, if you get take drugs you can overdose, if you horde you wealth for yourself, you risk being murdered for your money.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:21:00 AM  

  • I thought Paul said in Romans 7 that he was alive until the commandment came and slew him. I wonder what that was all about? ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 10:46:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose :)

    Really good question:) I'm going to muse on it...

    The 2 computers we own have been in hyper-use lately. (My daughters have research papers due) And I'm preparing for my daugther's 14th Birthday on Friday.

    Will add my two cents when I get a moment :) :)

    Lord bless :)

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:26:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    Nice question, something I'll have to be thinking through.

    I apologize for my lack of input/participation here....I've been crazy busy and my brother(who is 12) is dealing with a blood disorder right now and has been having to go to Boston, so things aren't operating normally around here right now....so pray for him if you don't mind!

    I will be back around when I get a few free...

    PEACE,

    NATE

    By Blogger Nate, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:39:00 PM  

  • Thanks, KC, that seems relevant. Expound, oh though wise one!

    H.K.,
    sounds like you have quite a lot going on.

    Nate,
    I look forward to what you and H.K. have to offer. I am sorry about your brother. That sounds very stressful and worrisome. We pray.

    ISN'T THERE ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THAT THE UNREDEMEEMED SINNER DIES BECAUSE OF HIS SIN AND THAT ALONE?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:20:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    Good question and well stated I might add. I agree with much of what has already been said. But to answer your specific question you asked, “Why do sinners die? (IOW, why do unsaved people go to hell?) Is it because of sin, their sin nature and all their misdeeds … or is it because they refuse the life-giving work of Christ, by not believing and receiving Him who is offered as a remedy for their sin?”

    Ultimately I’m not sure you can separate the two. People go to hell because of their sin, and their refusal of the remedy for that sin. The cause for both of these is their sin nature.

    The refusal of the remedy would be irrelevant unless there was a need for the remedy. In the case of the JW, the blood transfusion could not be the cause of death unless there is bleeding that demands it. The refusal of the remedy for the non-Christian would be irrelevant if there had not been sin in the first place which demands it. In other words the refusal could not have killed either if the problem did not exist in the first place. Ultimately it is their sin alone as you stated, because refusing the remedy is a sin.

    Now if you are asking a deeper question as to why the person would refuse the remedy (as seen in your discussion of what it means to be spiritually dead), I am going to argue that the reason they refused it was because of their sinful nature which is spiritually dead.

    I agree with Matthew’s understanding of Adam and Eve dying and decaying once they sinned. This is certainly part of it, but Scripture goes much deeper than that. It tells us that the person that is spiritually dead is unable to respond positively to spiritual things, just like a physically dead man cannot respond to any of the prodding, poking, or pleading we give him.

    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:

    No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him/her to Jesus. This shows us a complete inability in ourselves to respond to the gospel alone (by ourselves) in our natural condition. This does not argue for the Calvinist position alone. This is also the view of may Arminians or Non-Calvinists, and many in the free grace position. This is a picture of spiritual death.

    It seems to me that the real question should be phrased in the positive instead of the negative. It seems clear to see why a person dead in sin would refuse the remedy, but why would someone accept it?
    My answer is going to argue for the effective grace of God. Much like He did for Lydia in Acts.

    Act 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

    The Lord opened her heart so that she accepted the remedy.

    God is the one who ultimately decides who will be saved because He is the one who grants repentance to people to acknowledge the truth.

    2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    But if the Calvinist position is not true, and it is not God alone who is credited for a person receiving faith, then the question still remains. Why does one go to hell and another go to heaven? Is it because one is smarter, more humble, less hard hearted. What is the little piece of goodness in man’s heart that separates the saved from the non-saved if it is not God alone who can be credited for a man coming to faith? I don’t have an answer to that question.

    Sorry for the long post but my time is limited so in wanted to state my argument in one shot. I will not be able to turn this into a discussion but wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

    God bless,

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:46:00 PM  

  • Hi Doug,
    You say:
    Why does one go to hell and another go to heaven? Is it because one is smarter, more humble, less hard hearted. What is the little piece of goodness in man’s heart that separates the saved from the non-saved if it is not God alone who can be credited for a man coming to faith?

    Could it be felt need? Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Is that a "goodness" in man? No. It is a sense of need. I think there are a multitude of reasons why one believes and one doesn't, why one senses his need and the other doesn't, not just "God chose the one and He didn't chose the other." If people perish, it is their own fault, not the choice of God. God, the loving Holy heavenly Father, has done all that is necessary to redeem "man" with His well orchestrted plan of salvation. The only element left to "chance" is faith. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. (if you're elect? Notice this is never added onto any of the gospel offers. :~) ) I am thankful that those who perish will have no one to blame but themselves for refusing the blood.

    John 3:18
    Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

    I'm still not convinced of the doctrine that you hold of regeneration preceding faith. Thanks for sharing, though, Doug, I really appreciate your visits.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 5:12:00 PM  

  • Rose asked:

    " Is it because of sin, their sin nature and all their misdeeds … or is it because they refuse the life-giving work of Christ, by not believing and receiving Him who is offered as a remedy for their sin?"

    I would say both/and, Rose. It seems your question presents the negative and positive of the same question :). So I guess I'm in agreement with Doug up to this point--in regards to your specific question--not necessarily his Calvinist perspective that you brought up in your response to him ;).

    In Christ

    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 5:57:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    I would concider being poor in spirit a Godly quality,
    but even if it is not how did you end up with that felt need and not someone else. Was it chance or God?

    God Bless,

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 16, 2006 6:43:00 PM  

  • Rose no wisdom I’m afraid but the statement that we are born dead seems contrary to what is being explained in Romans 7. We are not born dead but with the commandment comes sin and with sin death. With Adam sin entered into the world and with it the curse, which is physical death. This is the only death that is appointed to men. Romans 7 explains that where there is no law sin is not imputed. Paul clearly states that he was alive before the commandment but that with it came sin and death. This time before the knowledge of the law is commonly referred to as the age of innocence and with the commandment (the understanding of right and wrong or the “law unto itself” for we gentiles) comes the age of accountability and with our sin our death. At that point we are condemned unless and until we are given a new life in Christ as a result of the spirit birth.

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:22:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I have a brother who is a Jehovah Witness, so I've studied their beliefs and thought about their doctrines from time to time. This particular one, about transfusions, is on their short list for things they would like to change one day.

    According to JW's, a blood transfusion is the same as eating blood. I worked in a hospital at one time and found that 'good' JW's would not even accept blood in the case of surgery. So I had a suggestions for them:

    "If you know you're going into surgery, why not donate a pint of your own blood and save it for your own later use? All they would be doing is putting it back where it came from. And if that's eating blood, then you're eating it right now anyway."

    I don't agree with them on much, but I certainly don't want any of them to die, so I hope they will at least consider this.

    I also used to work in a factory, where I sat next to a JW. A note was passed around saying there had been an accident, and if you had this certain rare blood type could you please donate a pint? She passed it along to me. "Not your type?" I asked, and she explained their belief. "For the life of the body is in the blood." said she (Lev 17:11).

    I reminded her that no man has greater love than this, that he give his life for his brother. And how did Jesus do this? By giving His blood. She had no answer to this; and for a while, she even listened.

    To answer your question, Jesus has died for all of our sins, so I believe the form of our debt has changed. Rather than being judged for sins in specific cases, we will be judged by the all-consuming question that dealt with our sins (2 Cor 5:14-15). Did we receive Jesus:

    "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
    (John 3:18)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:33:00 PM  

  • "I reminded her that no man has greater love than this, that he give his life for his brother. And how did Jesus do this? By giving His blood."

    Cleopas, very profound! If that don't take care of it, I don't know what will. Good comment overall.

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:24:00 PM  

  • Great post, Rose :)

    I agree that we need more than forgiveness, we need life.

    I agree with Cleopas when he said,

    "Jesus has died for all of our sins, so I believe the form of our debt has changed. Rather than being judged for sins in specific cases, we will be judged by the all-consuming question..."

    And I think this is consistent with the description of the Great White Throne Judgement in Rev 20.

    I also agree with Bud Brown that there is a sense in which we are dead at birth, even if infants /children go to Heaven. Prior to being Born Again we do not have that life of God in us, so in a sense we were dead to God.

    I don't take NT references to death as absolutely as some do and I also don't think all the references fit together into one grand metaphor necessarily. Even within Romans Paul may shift a bit in how he employs the term (dead/death). That's why I think when the commandment came Paul died in a new experiential sense but that there is also the reality that he was unregenerate prior to the law coming.

    But I disagree with Bud's comment that the judcial penalty has been settled because Christ died for all sin.

    I think forgiveness of all our sin has been settled (the judge is not holding our sins against us) but legal justification occurs only when eternal life is received. (The judge declares us legally righteous)

    Cool discussion :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:25:00 PM  

  • Bud said:
    (It must be met with faith which results in regeneration)

    If faith precedes regeneration why does a person that has come to faith in Jesus Christ need to be regenerated?

    jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:47:00 PM  

  • Jazzycat, do you think that the ability to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life is the only benefit of regeneration?

    God Bless

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, March 17, 2006 12:38:00 AM  

  • Good post Rose!

    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Friday, March 17, 2006 2:51:00 AM  

  • I won’t press for agreement but I will offer this for further consideration and as always I would welcome a better understanding of these things.

    Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesus to have stated concerning children that “of such is the kingdom” of God or heaven. Mark and Luke go further and record His admonition that whoever does not receive the kingdom as a little child shall not enter therein. This childlike state is a state of innocence, not perfection. That state of innocence must be regenerated in us by the forgiveness of sins. The prefix “re” implies preexistence and what has not been generated cannot be regenerated or renewed.

    The spirit birth is not regeneration but the “generation” of a new creature with a perfect nature inherited from God that seeks to please God, unlike the one we inherited from our fathers, which only seeks to please ourselves. While it is surely true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God it is also true that where there is no law sin is not imputed.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, March 17, 2006 3:14:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    It is one but not the only one. In your belief system of regeneration following faith, what is your explanation of John 3:3 which seems to indicate a sinner cannot even see the kingdom before regeneration.
    jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Friday, March 17, 2006 5:55:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat, Matthew,

    IMO, seeing the Kingdom is a privilege that will occur in the future, as will entering there and inheriting a portion of that realm.

    Receiving eternal life as a gift is what happens in the present. Other gifts are given at this time, like justification and the sealing of the Holy Spirit.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Friday, March 17, 2006 6:11:00 AM  

  • Hi Kc,

    I'll mull over what your saying here. These are interesting nuances that I've wondered about.

    Good question, Rose :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Friday, March 17, 2006 6:13:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat, I agree with Jodie's answer. Nicodemus would have understood the Kingdom to be the eschatological kingdom in the future. This is the only kingdom that is the subject of OT prophecy.

    Unless Nicodemus was not born-again, he would not see the Kingdom of God one earth.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, March 17, 2006 7:55:00 AM  

  • KC,
    You said:
    The prefix “re” implies preexistence and what has not been generated cannot be regenerated or renewed.

    The spirit birth is not regeneration but the “generation” of a new creature with a perfect nature inherited from God that seeks to please God, unlike the one we inherited from our fathers, which only seeks to please ourselves.


    I think this is great food for thought! You are thinking kind of in the same way as I about the word "daeth". How can there be real "death" if there was not llife to begin with? How can there be re-generation without generation? Great thoughts! I really need to sort this all out. You ARE wise, IMHO.

    I ponder.

    So the new birth is a totally new person with no counterpart in the unbeliever. And ... the regeration is the renewing of innocence as that we had as an infant. (the counterpart being the hardened heart of the unbeliever?)
    Am I understanding what you are sying correctly?

    I ponder.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, March 17, 2006 8:18:00 AM  

  • Yes Rose. I've tried to refute it with scripture but without sucess. I really would entertain any other understanding that would satisfy the scriptrue as well.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, March 17, 2006 8:39:00 AM  

  • Rose;

    "What about the 'Second Death'?"

    We'll get into the fact that the term "death" has several fields of meaning, just like every other word in human language. It helps to pay attention to the context to figure out what's referred to when the words are used.

    Off the top of my head I can think of these fields of meaning

    1. Physical death - when the material and non-material parts of the person are torn apart. Genesis 21:16.

    It is important to note that God may inflict this upon the sinning believer. I think that is what Romans 6:23 is all about.

    Based upon the context of Romans 6:23 - a discussion of sanctification that spans from 5:1 to 8:30 - the death in view in Romans 6:23 is not punishment for sin, it is the divine discipline that a believer's sinful life deserves.

    2. Spiritual death - The state of being excluded from God's presence (or alienated from God or estranged from God... you get the idea). This is our natural state. Romans 5:12

    3. A metaphor for the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14 and 21:8 indicate that the phrase "the second death" is a metaphor for the lake of fire.

    So the "second death" is the destination of those who do not possess eternal life. They don't end up there as judicial punishment for their sins; that has already been taken care of at the cross (1 John 2:2).

    However, the lake of fire is the place where the natural consequences of their sin - corruption - endures forever.

    By Anonymous Bud Brown, at Friday, March 17, 2006 8:42:00 AM  

  • Hi Bobby,
    I see what you and Doug are saying. Here is the thing that provokes me to ask this question. It is my Non-Calvinist bent. The total depravity concept says that man is not able to believe unless God regenerates him. I have discussed this with a Calvinist last summer and asked him how could those condemned be responsible for believing in Christ if they were not able to? How could they be held to account for believing and receiving something they were incapable of receiving?

    He answered that they were in hell only for their sin, not because of anything having to do with Christ.

    That struck me as wrong because of many Biblical passages, the primary being John 3:18. Do you see how there is a difference? Please add some more to the discussion. I appreciate your thoughts.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, March 17, 2006 8:51:00 AM  

  • HK,

    Is there a difference between the "Kingdom of Heaven" and the "Kingdom of God"? If we hold to the thought that Kingdom is a future privledge, then they would have to be different.

    Consider Luke 17:20-21
    20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, `Look, here it is!' or, `There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."

    Is He speaking of a future time?

    Or consider what Paul says in 1 Cor 4:20
    20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.

    So why would Paul talk about the kingdom of God when warning the Corinthians about those who are arrogant?

    Of course these passages talk about the kingdom of God. So maybe there's a difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Heaven.

    But then Jesus uses the terms interchangably in Matthew 19:23,24:

    23 And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    Whether or not you're regenerate before you enter the kingdom, I wouldn't say is clear. But I also wouldn't restrict the kingdom to a future event although that is definitly one aspect of the kingdom.

    Rose -

    I'm not sure I see the significance of the question. We start off dead. We are not only condemned to eternal death, we are dead. Sin is death. Romans 8:10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Or look at Ephesians 2, we are dead in our trespasses and sin. Or Col 2, "dead in your transgressions and the uncircumsicion of your flesh."

    Whether you want to think about it or not, we're all dead from the start because we are not in Christ. It's not a pleasant thought, but it makes life in Christ all that more glorious. Christ is the one who makes us alive, gives us life. Which Col 2 also speaks to. How that happens is not the point I'm trying to make.

    My point is the question isn't "Why do sinners die?" It's "why are sinners dead?" And "How can we (sinners) be made alive?"

    Or do you believe that man isn't condemned (dead) from brith?

    Consider Romans 5:12
    12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

    So is the death that came through the sin just a physical death or a spritual death as well?

    BTW, I would say the 1st death is physical, the second is spiritual. Physical death, still reigns in our mortal bodies. But the second death has no power over us if we are in Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Friday, March 17, 2006 9:04:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent, there is a present dimension to the Kingdom of God, regardless of whether Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God are the same.

    However, the present mystery aspect of the Kingdom of God is not the subject of Prophecy in the OT.

    Jesus chides Nicodemus for failing to understand earthly things that are contained in the OT. Therefore, Jesus is referring to the future aspect of the Kingdom.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, March 17, 2006 9:32:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Can OT prophecy be limited to the future aspect of the Kingdom? Why could Jesus not be refering to both in His response to Nicodemus?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Friday, March 17, 2006 9:50:00 AM  

  • Hi Ten Cent,
    You say:
    Whether you want to think about it or not, we're all dead from the start because we are not in Christ.

    I do want to think about it! Is that not obvious? :~)
    I want to understand what it means: this word "dead". I don't want to just accept the ideas thrown at me by my reformed friends here in Toledo. One friend always like to say this: "How can you expect a corpse to hear?" (he says this in reference to preaching to the lost and his belief in regeneration preceding faith)
    I don't find this thinking helpful. I guess I don't want to look at the mission field all around me and think of them as corpses. I don't find it helpful or scriptural the way that idea is stated.

    Think about it Ten Cent, (and Jazzy and Doug):
    Mark 6:34
    When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.


    Did Jesus have compassion on a bunch of corpses? Why would he begin teaching them many things if they were dead and UNABLE to hear Him?

    It is not that I don't want to think about it, it is just that the reformed explanation of the passages that refer to the unbeliever as "dead" are unsatisfactory, IMO.

    Bud Brown
    has offered some helpful thoughts on this word. Thank you BUD.

    Ten Cent,
    what do you think about kc's thoughts and Bud Brown? Are you willing to think about those? I ask this in a friendly manner.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, March 17, 2006 10:06:00 AM  

  • Hi Loren (Cleopas),
    Your comments are very refreshing. If I were a JW, I would definately want to see that belief on the evil of blood transfusion changed. Interesting logical dissection of the "eating blood" idea. If it weren't so sad, it would almost be humorous.

    You say
    Jesus has died for all of our sins, so I believe the form of our debt has changed. Rather than being judged for sins in specific cases, we will be judged by the all-consuming question that dealt with our sins:
    2 Corinthians 5:14-15
    14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.


    Can you state the all-consuming question? Is it "Did we receive Jesus?"

    I just want to make sure that I understand what you are saying. I think I do, but I want to be sure! :~)

    Also, I appreciate the fact that we both thought of the same passage in John 3:18.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, March 17, 2006 10:27:00 AM  

  • Jodie (H.K.),
    I don't take NT references to death as absolutely as some do and I also don't think all the references fit together into one grand metaphor necessarily.

    This is exactly what I was thinking. You state it much better than I.

    I was just reading about the Great White Throne to my mom last Tuesday and it really struck me how the difference was so plain. No deeds were of any consequence, it is just in the Lamb's book or not. Period.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, March 17, 2006 10:31:00 AM  

  • Rose -

    "Ten Cent, what do you think about kc's thoughts and Bud Brown? Are you willing to think about those? I ask this in a friendly manner."

    I hope I'm not coming across as unfriendly in my replies. Tact is not one of strong suites and for that I apologize. I don't want to come across as if I know everything. I'm afraid I did. And I'm more than willing to consider what others say. And I've already been thinking about it.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Friday, March 17, 2006 1:15:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent, the present aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven in its application to the Church is a mystery (unknown). It is absent from OT prophecy.

    OT prophecy exclusively deals with the future kingdom which is fulfilled in the Millennium.

    Jesus chides Nicodemus for not knowing the earthly teaching of the OT, not the mysteries revealed in the NT.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, March 17, 2006 1:46:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    Brother or Sister, ;~)
    There is a lot to consider for all of us. I appreciate your comments and did not think you were out of line at all. Welcome!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, March 17, 2006 2:12:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes, the all-consuming question is whether we received Jesus. Those who fail to do so are condemned on this basis alone. How could they possibly stand otherwise?

    By Blogger Cleopas, at Saturday, March 18, 2006 2:41:00 AM  

  • To all,

    Please forgive me. Truly I have so many blindspots...how could I not see this when I believed it as a six year old boy. Oh forgive me and be patient with me as even Peter was used in some ways by the accuser. This is good that you guys have held fast to this everblessed truth.
    Forgive me of my faithlessness. *I* have had much shortsightedness and blindness. God is good that he has put in your hearts to say and do these things.

    Truly you are correct Loren. This is the all consuming question.

    Those who did not get on board the Ark in Noahs day perished if they did not believe the message, and I am sure there were some at the ends of the earth who had not heard and yet they died anyway. I have struggled with the implications of this since even infants died in that flood, but it is not for me to know as God is God.

    You are correct Loren...if a man believe not in the only begotten Son of God...he is forever damned. there is no amount of repentance or earnestness about sin that can change this. Whoever got on board the Ark was saved...and so it is with the Only Begotten Son of God.

    He is the very glory of God. He is YHVH saves. Like he told the men and women in his day..."If you do not believe that I am He(YHVH) you will perish in your sins."

    Wow! I am the man. The serpent has affected me in ways I know not.

    Oh the blood of Jesus. He washes us white as snow by his blood and finished work. Forgive me of my flesh men and women and may He be forever glorified eternally. Oh bless and praise His name. He is the only begotten Son of the Living God.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, March 18, 2006 12:03:00 PM  

  • Hi 10 cent,

    I'll second Rose's comments, I'm glad for your input.

    I think observableness may be a sort of key. When the Kingdom is observable, as in John 3, it is future. When it is not observable, as in Luke 17, it is present.

    Also I think we live morally speaking as if it were present.

    Lord bless :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, March 18, 2006 7:46:00 PM  

  • Hi Kc,

    I'm not totally settled on the issue of what exactly the nature of the new birth is. I tilt toward seeing it as Christ in me. Me, but a new perfect Christ minded version of me.

    I'll have to ponder the ...

    where there is no law sin is not imputed

    because gentiles do have a law unto themselves. hmmmm...

    I'll be glad when Zane Hodges commentary on Romans comes out :)

    Aren't I shallow??

    Why wrestle wiht Scripture when you can read Hodges ;)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Saturday, March 18, 2006 7:52:00 PM  

  • HK,

    David said in sin he was conceived. I don't see how to get around that. What I see the law doing is awakening the conscience to condemnation.

    I always think of my old landlord who had back surgery and when he went under the knife they discovered cancer balled up in one spot, but the surgery opened it up and caused it to spread fast and 2 weeks later he died.

    I really believe the death is already there, but the law awakens our conscience to it, but even then we only need Christ to see holiness and the goodness of God as there was no Law in Abrahams time like Israel was given...of course Noah was given one.

    Ah well thinking out loud. Again, please...I make no claim on being a teacher. I am not one, neither do I wish to ever be one.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, March 18, 2006 8:07:00 PM  

  • Brian,

    I think we are born into the human experience of being cut off from the life of God. Also, all death in the world comes from sin. I think we are all in agreement (or close) with certain over all things that only Chirst can solve :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, March 19, 2006 5:42:00 AM  

  • Jodie of all the words I would use to describe you, "shallow" would never be one of them. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Sunday, March 19, 2006 8:56:00 AM  

  • HK & Rose -

    Thanks for your kindness. I appreciate it.

    HK & Matthew -

    Can we look at John 3 again. First, let me address Matthew's comment. I'm not sure that Jesus' reference to earthly things is related to His statement about the kingdom of God. I think He may referring to His comment about the second birth. That's what Nicodemus is asking about. He's not asking about seeing the kingdom of God, he's asking about how can a person be born again, how can he enter again into his mother's womb. That's what he wasn't understanding. So I think relating kingdom of God to "earthly things" and therefore it must be the future kingdom might not be a strong connection.

    Which brings me to your statement HK. Because I still don't see a good reason to seperate the future kingdom from the present kingdom. Could it be that the future kingdom is a revelation/culmunation of the what is begun now, the present kingdom? Isn't the Kingdom of God like a mustard seed? Growing, bigger and bigger.

    You said, "Also I think we live morally speaking as if it were present." So you say, "as if it were present." So do you believe is not present now?

    I guess I don't understand the problem with John 3 referring to the present kingdom as well as the future kingdom. Because until the light of Christ is shed in our hearts, or until Christ makes us see (takes away our blindness) we will not see the kingdom of God. Because the kingdom of God is in our midst, isn't it?

    I know this is a bit of tangent for the original topic of the post, sorry about that.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Monday, March 20, 2006 7:02:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent, the new birth is prophesied as part of the New Covenant. This is in connection with the establishment of the Kingdom.

    Jesus certainly expects Nicodemus to understand what He is saying. Therefore, the present dimension of the Kingdom is excluded from discussion. There is no way that Nicodemus woudl have understood the Kingdom except in eschatological terms.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, March 20, 2006 8:11:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Why isn't Jesus' first advent able to be associated eschatologically with His arrival as the Jew of Nazareth? In other words didn't Jesus fulfill aspects of the Shalom prophesied, in "eschatological" texts such as found in Is. 28; 35; etc. It seems to me that Jesus' coming initiated the "in that day" (last of days/end times) spoken of throughout the OT.

    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, March 20, 2006 7:22:00 PM  

  • Well, the establishment of the eschatological kingdom was offered to the Jews, hypothetically while Christ was on earth and actually at Pentecost. Had the Jews turned to Christ after Pentecost, Christ would have returned and established the Millennium.

    The delay in the fulfillment of prophecy is incidental.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:48:00 AM  

  • KC,

    What does Paul mean when he says, "Where there is no law, sin is not imputed."? Does he mean that they're is no judgement for that sin? So from Adam until Moses, was there no spiritual penalty for sin?

    I think verses 18-20 of chapter 5 of Romans explain what Paul is talking about. "...through one transgression their resulted condemnation to all men..." So all men are condemned. Does the condemnation result in just physical death? I don't think that's what Paul has in mind, because in verse 21 he contrasts sin reigning in death with grace reigning through righteousness to eternal life. So I would say that if he's referring to physical death, he's also including spiritual death, the condemnation of all people outside of Christ. Eternal spiritual death, separation from God. And I think that's how we're born dead. Everyone is born into this world, spiritually seperated from God. Then Christ, when we believe in Him, reconciles us to God, so that we are no longer separated. We then have "eternal life."

    Am I off-base? I'm still not sure what Paul mean by sin is not imputed when ther is no law. But I'm not convinced that there's an age of innocence.

    Your Brother In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:47:00 AM  

  • Matthew-

    Does Christ not reign now? Do we have to wait until He returns physically for the Kingdom to begin?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:49:00 AM  

  • Thanks Kc :) :)

    Back to ya...

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 7:03:00 AM  

  • Hi 10 cent,

    I agree with what Matthew has said but will check out John 3 again to see what you are gettng at :)

    Also, Christ certainly reigns now. But will reign visibly and explicitly in the future. Would you agree with that?

    God bless,

    Jodie (HK)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 7:08:00 AM  

  • Hi Jodie,

    "Also, Christ certainly reigns now. But will reign visibly and explicitly in the future. Would you agree with that?"

    I most certainly agree. Which is why I wouldn't separate the two, the present kingdom, and the future kingdom. It's all the same kingdom, as far as I see it, just different time periods.

    And I believe that there are times when Jesus is specifically refering to future events. I'm not sure if it's necessary to omit present meaning from the John 3 passage.

    Rev. 1:6 talks about how Christ has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father. John's not talking in the future here. It's already done. We are a kingdom. Maybe you could argue that we're not "the Kingdom". But again, I don't think it's necessary to omit the present meaning from the John 3 passage. I think it is true that Nicodemus was looking for an earthly kingdom. What they did not understand is that Jesus had to die for the kingdom to become a reality.

    So why couldn't have Jesus been refering to the kingdom as a whole, present and future? Being born again is a heavenly thing. It's not an earthly thing. Which is one reason that I can't hold to Matthew's arguement that Jesus was chidding Nicodemus for not understanding earthly things, so Jesus must have been talking about the future earthly kingdom.

    I think I've ramble enough. Am I making any sense?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 8:48:00 AM  

  • Hi Ten Cent,
    Can I throw in my Two Cent? :~)

    Is Christ reigning on the throne of David right now?

    Luke 1:31-33a
    You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;


    On another note ...
    Ten Cent,
    I read what you said a few comments earlier:
    Everyone is born into this world, spiritually seperated from God. Then Christ, when we believe in Him, reconciles us to God, so that we are no longer separated. We then have "eternal life."

    In thinking of my own uneasiness with how the reformed sometimes referring to unbelievers as "corpses" ... and then thinking about Bud Brown's expounding on the words for "death" ... and your definition of what Spiritual death means to you - I am brought to think of Christs speech on seeds. Maybe a seed is a better illustration than a corpse - what do you think, brother? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 9:50:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    "Is Christ reigning on the throne of David right now?"

    If He's not, then who is? Or do we not have a king yet?

    Of course you may say what about the reference to the "house of Jacob". Is the house of Jacob believers or unbelievers? Is it Jews in general or just believing Jews? So when the Jews believed in Jesus, did He not reign over them?

    My point being that I don't believe that Christ has to physically sit in "David's throne" to be king. Could it be more the idea that Christ was given to be their king (and our king when gentiles were grafted in) upon their belief in Him?

    I really don't have a problem with refering to unbelievers as being dead, not having spiritual life. Apart from the grace of God, so was I. Calling them corpses, in my estimation, is a little to picturesque. I wouldn't think that the term in general would be good when trying to evangelize. But I wouldn't shy away from the idea, or even the term "death", in reference to an unbelievers spirituality. Just the same as I wouldn't shy away from terms like "blood sacrifce" or "shedding of blood" in conjuction with forgiveness of sins. These are all important terms when I consider that I was taken from death to life. I think it puts our sin into perspective. It is the rotting of our spirit, the continual decay, the stench of which is very offensive to God. Christ reverses that. Gives us life. And when I think about it I echo Paul in Romans Romans 11 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!"

    In Christ
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 10:36:00 AM  

  • Christ is certainly not on the throne of David, for He is on the Father's throne.

    Are we to say that the throne of the Father is the throne of David?

    Are we to say that David was promised the providential rule that God has exercised from the very beginning over all creation?

    The fact is that there is very little teaching in John about the Kingdom.

    We may use this silence to infer that their is no revelation in John of the mystery aspect of the Kingdom. Therefore, when Jesus uses the word Kingdom in John 3, He is not deviating from conventional Jewish ideas about an earthly kingdom.

    And Nicodemus would not see this kingdom unless he was born-again.

    To infer that Jesus means that Nicodemus requires spiritual regeneration to understand or comprehend the kingdom is to read concepts into this text that are not there.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:03:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent thanks for engaging this. I think Vs. 12-14 of Chapter 5 are the key for determining that death in this chapter is referring to physical death. Vs. 12 explains how death entered into the world through sin and while Vs 13 affirms that sin is not imputed in the absence of law Vs. 14 makes it clear that in spite of the fact that sin was not imputed prior to the law being given that death still reigned from Adam to Moses, inclusive. If this passage were referring to spiritual death that would imply that not only Adam but also Moses and Abraham perished in hopelessness because of the fact that death reigned. We know this not to be the case and that the only death that reigns over all men is physical. The following verses serve to differentiate between the loss of physical life from sin and the gain of eternal life by grace.

    By Blogger Kc, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:27:00 PM  

  • Matthew,

    So will Jesus step down from the Father's throne to assume David's throne in the Millinial Kingdom?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:13:00 PM  

  • Very assertively, I'm at work so this has to be quick, John w/o a doubt speaks of the Davidic kingdom and it's fulfillment and coming in the person of Jesus--i.e. just look at the OT quotations John uses in his gospel, many of them are taken directly from prophetic OT passages in referent to the Davidic kingdom--far beyond incidental or coincidental usage.

    Furthermore,in MT. 13, Jesus says that the kingdom has presently come (He uses the present tense)--what other kingdom, given the Jewish understanding, would He be referring to, but the Davidic?

    I'll come back and sustantiate this later. Also where does it say that Jesus is sitting on the throne of the Father? Hebs 12 says He's at the right hand of the throne of the Father, not on the throne of the Father. What else is required in order for the Davidic kingdom to be initiated or established? I would say nothing--it's an everlasting kingdom (II Sam 7) that we currently are experiencing as believers in Christ.

    I'll be back on this!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, March 21, 2006 6:12:00 PM  

  • KC -

    I'm glad to engage in the conversation. Thanks for bringing it up.

    However, I'm going to disagree with you on this. If Paul is only referring to physical death (and I'm not arguing that physical death isn't part of it), then you have to assume that either physical death is the only consequence of sin or that there is no consequence for sin apart from the law. Because Paul makes it clear that sin was in the world even before the law. And he makes it clear that through the one man, Adam, through his transgression, there resulted condemnation to all men.

    So if Paul is only talking about physical death, and if sin was present before the law, and if by Adam's sin all are condemned, then the condemnation that Paul is referring to is physical death. Then on the other side of the physical death, the other option that we can receive is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So wouldn't the logic be, that if I believe in Jesus Christ and receive His grace that He offers, then I'm not under that condemnation, I'm justified (vs. 16) And if the condemnation is physical death, then I must not experience physical death. Right? Yet, people who believe in Christ still physically die everyday. Why would he use a mis-matched analogy?

    And here's another thing. If Paul means that the condemnation for sin is not imputed when there is no law, and if he's only talking about physical death, then why did people die before the law? I'm still not sure exactly what means by that phrase, no matter what he's referring to, physical death or spiritual or both.

    What's the fear with having it mean spiritual death as well as physical? Are you trying to separate "death" from "condemnation"? Or are you trying to say that people aren't condemned from birth? Or are you just trying to figure out a way to explain the phrase about sin not being imputed where there is no law?

    It's an important question to address, because I, too, am a little confused by the phrase.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:17:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent it would be difficult to discuss this if we did agree. ;-)
    I am only trying to understand this as well and really don't have an agenda or a doctrine I'm trying to promote.

    I may not fully understand all that is implied by the use of the word impute but if sin is not imputed then I take that to mean there is no consequence for it. Isn’t that what happens when we are forgiven? I think your point concerning the logical conclusion that grace would lift the condemnation is precisely what is being explained in verses 15 through 20. The gift is not like the offense in that it is not the remedy for physical death as would be the logical conclusion. It is instead to eternal life so that even though sin reigns in physical death, grace reigns to eternal life (Vs. 21).

    I understand sin to be abhorrent to God, so much so that without Christ sacrifice we would be eternally separated from God and only fit for destruction but by Christ sacrifice all men receive justification to life. His sacrifice was not an afterthought as a result of the fall but a part of God’s plan even prior to our creation and the only people condemned to the second death are those that believe not on Christ. I know it is not a popular perspective but to believe not is to reject and a person must be exposed to the Truth in order to reject it.

    In essence then there are two condemnations just as there are two deaths but we are only appointed to one death and one condemnation. The second death and second condemnation occurs when we believe not on Christ.

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:58:00 AM  

  • I am really enjoying this discussion. There is much to think about, much to consider. I am glad I brought it up.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 1:05:00 PM  

  • 'So will Jesus step down from the Father's throne to assume David's throne in the Millinial Kingdom?'

    Absolutely

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:18:00 PM  

  • KC-

    You make some good points. And it raises some more questions for me.

    Do you believe there has always been law? Or do you believe that the only law is the law of Moses?

    I think Romans 2:14,15 address this.

    "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,"

    Or how about Romans 1:16-20? Where Paul talks about "The righteous man shall live by faith." And that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.

    I think Paul makes it clear that everyone is exposed to the truth. We are without excuse.

    Maybe it could apply to very young babies who have no understanding or severly mentally disabled people? If there's no way for them even comprehend the creation of the world so that might have some understanding of who God is. But even my 14 month old knows right from wrong. She understands that there is a law. And she understood it many months ago. If she were to die, I believe she would be held accountable. I would love for there to be rock solid proof that God would automatically bring her into His presence, but I just don't see it in scripture.

    What I do see, though, is a loving, compassonate God who is holy and just and true. So whatever He decides or has decided to do is right.

    Sorry, that's a bit of a side note to the discussion. I would still maintain that there's only one condemnation and it includes both spiritual and physical death. Christ gives life to our spirit, but our physical bodies are still under the curse of sin, decaying and will, unless Christ returns, die. We will be given our "undieing", glorified bodies when Christ returns. And those who are not in Christ, are spiritually dead forever.

    I know, I haven't substaintated all my claims here. But maybe you can respond and I'll try to fill in whatever holes are left.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 3:58:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent please don't feel burdened to prove your understanding to me and I would consider your suspicion concerning who might not be capable of accepting the law just as valid as mine. I really don't know nor do I think the scripture is clear on these things.

    In my honest opinion what you see in your daughter is only a reflection of the nature she inherited and not a revelation of her understanding. In my opinion her nature leads her to sin but she lacks the ability to understand it as such and shall remain innocent until she can. I think this is why Jesus said of such are the Kingdom of Heaven. One thing I am confident of is that when she is able to understand she has a parent who will clearly show her the Truth and for that I'm grateful.

    Concerning the law, at present I see the knowledge of right and wrong as being “a law unto themselves” or Gentile law if you will but the perfect law of God was not given to man until Moses. I do find a requirement that God has always held for man; from Adam through Abraham then to all the children of Israel and even to now God has required that a man believe Him. Those who trust Him reap blessings through faith while those who deny Him reap reproach. It is therefore not our sinless perfection that warrants His grace (not of works) but rather His mercy is bestowed on us in abundance through our trust in Him. We agree that the Truth will be made known to all men but not all men will believe in the Truth.

    One point you made I can only agree to and happily so.

    “What I do see, though, is a loving, compassonate God who is holy and just and true. So whatever He decides or has decided to do is right.” ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 5:27:00 PM  

  • Rose I agree. You are brilliant. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 5:29:00 PM  

  • KC,
    :~)
    You're nice to use such hyperbole.
    I agreee with Ten Cent's statement too.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 6:02:00 PM  

  • KC-

    Thanks for your kind words and for being a peacemaker.

    And I believe you to be correct when you say that we just don't know. That's why I'm thankful there's so many things we do know. Just as you've said, God requires us to believe Him. And praise God that He has provided a way for us to do that. A person, Jesus Christ. Isn't it great to have a sure faith. I cannot have absolute confidence in my job, my abilities, or in anything else in this world. But I can have absolute confidence in Him. Praise God He's given us opportunity to know the gospel.

    Romans 8:37-39
    But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced 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.

    And we know that whenever anyone is confronted with the gospel, they will be held accountable. I had a friend once say that the only sin that keeps you out of heaven is the sin of unbelief. But to give a final answer to your question, Rose, I would have to say it's both/and. A sinner dies (or is dead) because of his sin, and he stays dead because of his unbelief. Because there is not life, spiritual life, without belief in Christ.

    John 20:31
    but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

    Thanks for the dialogue, KC.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 7:37:00 PM  

  • KC,

    I think and hope you are right. I guess my struggle is with things...well like in Sauls case where he is told to kill the Amalekites and the children as well. Everyone for a sin that was commited before all of them were born. A Holy Prophet ended up having to do what Saul wouldn't.

    I hope you guys don't get upset with me for posting this. Its just that as Ten Cent says...I can only find solace in that God is Just and that it is really us who are unjust and quick to excecute judgment as Jonah gleefully awaited the distruction of Ninevah and God told him there were thousands who did not know their right from their left. He does have compassion on those who are not awakened to their sinful state as illustrated there, yet at the same time we see the Amalekites all being killed all the way down to the last infant over a sin they never commited themselves.

    All I am saying is I don't fully understand everything but I know God is more compassionate than we are as given the opportunity 10 times out of 10 if we are really to be honest with ourselves, we are like Jonah and in our compassionate understanding we are like Saul.

    Only Christ is truly compassionate and yes he loves Children and tells us to be like them so I am comforted that He is more loving and just than I and that I cannot fully understand Him.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, March 22, 2006 7:43:00 PM  

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