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In the End and Beginning

DSC02121 As we come to the end of the Sochi Winter Games, an article in the Washington Post asks whether any other host city will ever be able to match the size, cost, and 51 billion dollar showcase created by Vladimir Putin.

At the same time we are hearing stories of some athletes who expect this to be the last time they compete for their flag in Olympic competition. For others the end is the beginning of the next four year cycle of training,  focus, and shared dreams.

DSC02114The staging, enormity, and excellence inspired by the Sochi games can be seen as a small parallel to a much greater venue and outcome.

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to bring fullness of meaning to the Law of Moses, he took  study of the law, rabbinic education, and personal goals to the ultimate level of performance and perfection.

As a generation of spiritual coaches and mentors debated the meaning of individual laws and texts of sacred words, Jesus brought spiritual performance to a level that no one had ever seen before. Even in our own day many still tend to think of the Law of God as a series of individual rules and commandments. But Jesus personified something far greater.

Under Jewish oversight, the Law/Torah of God was far more than a collection of moral imperatives. The first five books of Moses were first of all a Story that reveals the personality and wisdom of our God, the moral mess into which we his dearly loved children and creation have fallen into, and yes—in the process— a group of moral commandments meant to lift our eyes to the snow covered heights of something and Someone better.

DSC02124A lesser and far more defective view of the law and book of God distracts us into arguments about words, texts, and ideas that turn our eyes and hearts from the real story of what is happening to us, our neighbors, and our perceived enemies.

When Jesus walked into Zion, the mountain of God, to reveal a kind of religion and spirituality that had been lost… and to allow his whipped and bruised body to be lifted on an executions cross above the gawking, sobbing crowds of Calvary, he revealed a personal best that was—in inexpressibly immeasurable ways given to reveal the goodness and glory of God—for our rescue.

The sacrifice and significance of that moment brought into focus the highest end, and beginning of what it means to see the best, the most memorable, and the most important performance we will ever see, consider, or enter into together.

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95 Responses to “In the End and Beginning”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Where to begin…..The extravagance and cost of hosting the Olympics seems vulgar when compared to the poverty many in Russia have to endure. So to whose glory was the Olympics produced?

    How can one compare God to anything?

    Look around us and see how many people are sick, dying and crippled, who are mental cripples and slaves to a long list of bad choices and just plain bad circumstances of birth and life; then see if the Olympics matter when compared to their suffering.

    The clock is ticking and time is running out for this world of self absorbed users and abusers of the time given them.

    God became a man because man could not redeem himself, in all of the world of men from the beginning to the end there was no *best man*, so God, who created man, had to make a sacrifice of Himself as no man qualified for the *event*.

    Give Jesus the glory He earned and deserves, by living for Him as He has ask of us, not by giving Him a *gold medal*.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    Was struck by Mr. Wilson’s closing thought, quoting Michael Oppenheimer:

    “But the venues (of future Winter Olympics) might be radically different,” he says — “a lot less accessible and less amenable to host the kind of huge, circus-like event we hold today.” (AP)

    The warming of planet earth may be a factor in future Winter Olympic Games. Can only imagine the games of the latter 21st c. housing a winter climate under a huge dome complete with super air conditioners and massive snow machines!

    The statement could also apply to the coming of the Lord Jesus (Rev 16:15, 16) on the great day. Even as we see the likeness of the Day of the Lord in the gathering of the peoples of the earth at the Olympic Games – so may we prepare our hearts for the ultimate gathering in the fullness of Christ’s Kingdom.

    Prayers going up that the day will find myriads and myriads of peoples faithfully seeking the Lord while he may be found!

    Have a great week-end,

  3. poohpity says:

    In the beginning they were called by faith Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now in the end we are also called by faith like the beginning. The moral laws lead us to daily, weekly and yearly sacrifices then that final sacrifice presented us to God justified, atoned, sanctified and righteous. From Mount Sinai to Mount Zion.

    Just as the athletes prepare for the games we have to make the decision to abide. Everything around us would tempt us not to live in closeness and a vital union with God, a closeness that was bought and paid for through the blood of the Lamb. Only when we understand what we are rescued from do we want know, understand and grow deeper in our relationship to the One who give us so very much. The One who deserves our minds, hearts and souls. When we know where our position is will it help us to not look at all the distractions that can take our minds and hearts away from knowing how much we are loved and that takes the perseverance of an athlete.

  4. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… what huge emotion is evoked in the hearts of those who carry into the Olympics a spirit of possibilities as it opens with great expectations and ends with so many different thoughts, like, that was my last chance and I failed, or
    I’ll be back, or never again, or only four years to train my self to finally get to show the world another way the podium.
    Just being selected for such a great event knowing your country has put there faith in you is such a huge honor I can not fully get my head around it…

    Yet, it pales in comparison to the inexpressible and the yet greatest opportunity ever given, where the God of all Creation is calling us to be on His team, and come to know Him intimately, and then go out into all the world and support or compete in front of the rest of the world and show them His Only Way.

  5. BruceC says:

    While I see a”sort” of parallel between athletes giving their best and God giving His Best for us it makes me think it is a stretch. There may also be a kind of parallel of the athletes striving and we in our Christian life striving also.
    But God gave His Son out of love and mercy for us. And because it was the only way. And it was to His glory. Athletes compete for the glory of themselves and the nations they represent. We too strive; but then again love is involved and glory for King.
    What I see in so much of the “world” is what the Teacher speaks of: Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.

    When I see the hurting and dying of this world the “glory” of the Olympic Games pales. Sorry, but that is my take. The world expounds pride, while we a believers should express and show humility. So I see more of a difference than a parallel.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. quietgrace says:

    I was thinking of what a blessing and an honor it is to be a part of the marathon of followers of the KING of kings and LORD of lords. A very different kind of race where the sick, lame, and less desirable parts of humanity become the winners simply by showing up! OH Joy!

  7. SFDBWV says:

    There’s a TV advertisement in which three old women are in the living room of one and she has her pictures up on a wall for them to see. She is talking to them about the pictures on the wall as if it is like Facebook, when one of the women says that’s not how this works whereupon the old lady says she has un-friended her.

    Finding yourself face to face with Jesus and becoming forever changed as a result is a very personal experience and one that no one could ever train for; however everyone who does accept Jesus gains a crown of victory as did the first Olympians. Only because Jesus has already won the event and invites us up on the podium with Him.

    So like the lady in the commercial says “this isn’t how this works.”

    You can’t compare the Olympics in any way to becoming or being Christian.

    In history the 300 Spartans who held back the Persian invasion of Greece were and are still seen as heroes and victors unsurpassed in the history of personal effort even though they all died in their effort.

    They were betrayed by another Spartan who was rejected by them because he was not physically good enough.

    Jesus invites all to share His victory and Kingdom regardless of and especially because of their defects.

    Any one who believes themselves to be worthy of acceptance because of personal effort doesn’t understand that it is only because Jesus is worthy as why they are acceptable at all.

    The Olympics are over, time to move on to another subject.


  8. bubbles says:

    oh my.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    By the way Quietgrace, since you mentioned “marathon”, I can’t help but remind all that the word marathon comes from Greek history whereas a man named Pheidippides ran from the battle of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated; after his announcement he collapsed and died from his effort.

    Would that we all put forth such effort in spreading the Gospel.


  10. saled says:

    In his 5th paragraph above, Mart says that Jesus brought spiritual performance to a level never seen before. And in his last paragraph he leaves us with the idea that we may not only see and consider, but also enter into this ultimate spiritual performance. I think of Colossians 1:27 and the phrase, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ And Col. 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

    My own spiritual performance is about at the same level as my figure skating performance. But I love watching others perform and imagine myself possessing the same strength and grace. I think Mart is saying that when we look at Jesus we can aspire to, but never match, his performance. However, here is the mystery: we will share in his glory.

  11. poohpity says:

    Maybe if the topic were to be reread one might find it is only a small parallel to the games just as Paul used training of athletes in a similar way to our relationship with the Lord. Maybe Mart is leaving it up until there is a better understanding of what he is trying to get across. Like you said Steve, “this isn’t how this works”.

  12. quietgrace says:

    LOL! As a world famous musician once said, “Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be, there will come an answer, let it be.” Or something like that.

    Be blessed in God’s magnificent grace and never-ending love today!

  13. quietgrace says:

    Praying for all today.

  14. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Saled – I also noticed how Mart spoke of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem as “…the ultimate level of performance and perfection.”

    I think it bears noticing that farther on Mart describes Jesus’ performance as: “…and to allow his whipped and bruised body to be lifted on an executions cross above the gawking, sobbing crowds of Calvary, he revealed a personal best …”

    Philippians 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
    Who, being in very nature GOD,
    Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself NOTHING,
    Taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself
    And became obedient to death – even death on a cross!

    John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

    This was the ultimate fulfillment of the law, to surrender everything – deity, life, spirit – into God’s hands as an act of love.

    Olympics = giving a lot for personal glory
    Arrival of the Messiah = giving EVERYTHING for the glory of God

  15. SFDBWV says:

    It should be remembered that Paul is speaking to Romans and Greeks and has to deliver the message in a manner they can connect with.

    The Greek-Roman culture of sports is very well documented and Paul very well educated and knows his audience.

    Of a side note, historian Herodotus wrote a history of the Persian wars and in his account he gives corroboration to the story of Daniel whereas the Medes and Persians walked into Babylon through the sewers and brought defeat to the Babylonians.

    It seems long before there was a Queen of Babylon who had built a series of dams and canals on the Euphrates River upstream and so the Persians simply used the dams and canals in order to bring the river level down so that all they had to do was wait and when the river was low enough, walk into the city by way of the sewers, just as recorded in the Book of Daniel.


  16. poohpity says:

    Often times people do things to earn that which is perishable like metals or some other type of reward or praise of man but we earn things that are imperishable and may not be given until we stand before God to give an account of the good we have done through our gift of salvation. (Matt 6:1 NIV; Cor 9:25 NIV; 2 Tim 4:8 NIV; 1 Thess 2:19 NIV; James 1:12 NIV; 1 Peter 5:4 NIV)

    Those crowns seem to cover things like enduring hardships and trials while still knowing and acting like one knows that they are loved fully; faithfully shepherding and leading people in the ways of God not the world with their hatreds and spins devoid of truth and grace; leading others to Christ; knowing our righteousness is due to Christ and not our actions; resist doing things in the public eye rather than privately; taking that extra time everyday to spend time with the Lord out of love and devotion reading, studying His word and praying. Then when the day is done we lay those crowns at the foot of the Lord so that He receives all Glory and Honor. Rev 4:11 NIV

  17. poohpity says:

    1 Cor 9:25 NIV ooops!!

  18. bubbles says:

    I think we should keep in mind that Mart has many other responsibilities in addition to this forum. I think he may also leave a topic up for several days to encourage reflection, contemplation, and interactive conversation so we can learn from each other. It must require ongoing thinking to find so many interesting and new topics. Should we be the ones to call for the topic, especially a new topic to change? I appreciate everything he does for us here, and always enjoy reading his thoughts.

  19. quietgrace says:

    Bubbles I second your thoughts. And, as this is Marts blog and we are here of our own free will who are we to tell him how to run it? Although I suspect he does weigh everything carefully, being the man of God he is.

    Just the other day I was thinking of all the responsibilities you have with this site-not to mention your personal life- and thought how I certainly could not carry out 1/10 of what you do; that God has chosen you because ‘you do what you can’. (Pun intended)

    I like your thoughts and ideas very much and do so appreciate the opportunity to listen, think, and share my own thoughts and faith with fellow believers.
    Blessings, Grace

  20. SFDBWV says:

    When Matthew was in the rehabilitation hospital not yet able to return home and in the care of the people there in that facility one of the disturbing conditions I would find when I came in was that Matthew was neglected.

    The care givers would set him up in a wheelchair put a TV in front of him and leave him there or sometimes just have him pushed out of their way facing the wall.

    I even found him once abandoned in the gym alone and in respiratory distress, because of neglect.

    As soon as I could get the doctors to release him I brought him home where I knew he would be cared for properly.

    It isn’t that the care givers there were incompetent or uncaring; they were simply over extended and could not be in six places at once.

    There is a vast difference between quality and quantity and when we put our irons in too many fires, quality suffers.

    No one should doubt the sincerity of Mart’s efforts and yes this is his blog, but we are invited in to be a part of it.

    Would you invite someone in to your home then set a TV in front of them and go off to other duties you felt more important?

    We often talk of wisdom and the good advice that comes from it; the problem sometimes is that good advice isn’t any more welcome than honesty, when we don’t want to hear it.

    Better to be good at one thing than to be mediocre at many.

    Last nights snow is strikingly beautiful this morning as it started out a drizzle then froze as the snow covered every thing, it looks almost magical as the sun illuminates it and sparkles emanate from every view.


  21. quietgrace says:

    Steve, I hear you. Blessings, Grace

  22. poohpity says:

    Steve, I see honesty about what you think but I also see absolutely no truth in your opinion. The quality of Mart’s writing is still very present. I do know over time that his writings have become less often but the depth of meaning still remains.

    This is another area that needs the use of the self discipline of an athlete to make sure we stop and think before our tongues start spewing sparks that can cause fires and harm. Some opinions are better left unsaid but they are very revealing about our heart condition and the need to in control of everything around us except our speech. James 3:5-6 NIV; James 3:13-16 NIV

    I can see many reasons why the frequency has changed one reason may be the attitudes on the blog which can be disparaging at times; another is going through sickness and then the grieving process from loss of life. I think that is why it has been said, always be kind because one never knows the battle another is going through.

  23. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… I agree that we all can share our opinions but not to pursue,, demand, or direct the cite to pick up the pace or change venues because we have grown angry, bored, or tired of it all, or do not have any thing of encouragement to share, but voice frustration which would be better vented to the Lord than the others on this blog.
    Of course that is only my opinion… voice, venting, and hopefully encourage some further to hang in there, for there is a season for everything, and seasons change by themselves, even if we don’t like the one we are in.
    Sorry to offend if offended, glad to advise, if advised, and hopefully encourage us all to be encouraged.
    Mart has done exactly what needs to be done, he provokes our thoughts to be shared, hopefully for the betterment of all.
    Prayers going out for those who are carrying a heavy burden today. Gary

  24. BruceC says:

    Our weather here is going into the frigid zone again for about a week. Blowing and snowing is giving us white-outs.

    Sometimes we have a bad day or things get to us. We all have that. They are “take a few deep breaths” times.

    Just for info, my wife’s sister Kathy had surgery today and we are waiting for the results from another sister.

    God Bless all here!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  25. BruceC says:

    Just got word from my wife’s sister in the city and Kathy did very well. They did the surgery with a scope and avoided the more invasive type. She will have to go for treatments and they will have more test results back in a week. Praise God!!!!!
    Keep praying brothers and sisters in Christ!!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  26. bubbles says:

    I do not think anyone would like it if someone, friend or acquaintance, came into their home and began telling them they needed to change the way things were done or rearrange their furniture. We would think, “How dare they?”

    Nor would I ever go into a class and tell the teacher that he/she needed to change something if I was not in a place of authority. As a student I would participate but I have too much respect for he teacher to tell them that I think they need to change things because I don’t like the topic.

  27. poohpity says:

    Bruce glad to hear the good news and will keep praying. :-)

  28. poohpity says:

    Sometimes we can attribute a behavior to having a bad day or things getting to us but when the behavior has been repeated over and over, over the years it then becomes a M.O..

  29. poohpity says:

    When we lift our hearts, minds, souls and our eyes to the snow covered heights of something and Someone better even our M.O. can change. As we live in the shadow of His life and in the fullness of His love it begins to change us by understanding what Jesus did for us.

    The people that participate in the Olympics did not start out being the best in their chosen field but through their love of it practice and stay focused on the goal. They look at footage of themselves to see where they can adjust and change to be better at what they do just like when we see in ourselves things that do not go along with who we are in Christ those failures are really not failures but lessons that we must learn to grow and be fruitful.

    Jesus did the most meaningful, perfect expression to the messes we have gotten ourselves into and will get into. He gives us rewards/awards for things we do out of love for Him, now that is so totally awesome cause He knows our tendencies to mess things up but He seems to recognize we will be in the process of change similar to taking 2 steps forward and one step back.

    None of those participants in the Olympics are shown that much grace if they mess up they may or may not have another chance depending on age or abilities but we are offered a lifetime to grow closer to the Lord thus giving up a little more of our wills over to Him.

  30. SFDBWV says:

    In Luke 7:38-50 is an event in which Jesus is in the house of Simon and whereby Jesus exposes Simon’s lack of courtesy by telling him what he did not do (Luke 7:44, 45, 46).

    Is Jesus being rude to Simon, or exposing his heart?

    There are many varieties of peoples in the world, and the same can be said of friends or acquaintances.

    Some friends are there to get what they can from you, but as soon as they don’t need you any more they disappear, some friends or associates are sycophants who only tell you what you want to hear so that they remain in your good graces; they don’t respect you at all, and then there are some friends who love you and will tell you when you are in err and help you recover from it.

    Which kind of friend are you?

    Jesus spent most of His time telling people where they needed improvement, yet died for them.

    Do we learn from scripture or just learn about them?

    Snow again this morning with the promise of more through Wednesday. Just after I fed the critters this morning the little juncos, cardinal’s, and chickadee’s came flocking in to feed, however soon after the robber chipmunks and greedy hoards of blackbirds came in to over power the little passive first arrivers; a lot of human nature in nature when you take the time to observe it.


  31. poohpity says:

    It is easy to observe nature but not so easy to look in the mirror and admit to our own shortcomings. Jesus gave the Pharisee a little help after he was, in his own heart, finding fault with the act of love and worship of the woman.

  32. poohpity says:

    A friend loves at all time even when we are being a jerk.

  33. poohpity says:

    And a true friend will let us know.

  34. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    I like the Pooh-a-phrase this morning! Thanks for that. :o) Akin to that interpretation is: “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face (idiots) of any kind, consider it all joy…” (James 1:2 unauthorized version).

    Blessings all day,

  35. remarutho says:

    Of course, too often we meet the (unkind word deleted) in the mirror. Maru

  36. poohpity says:

    True dat but when the mirror gets foggy God seems to let us see our own shortfalls in others then they are easier to see.

    The thing is even when we delete the Lord already knows what is in our hearts deleted or not but can change us so that our use of self discipline by deleting becomes less and less when Jesus becomes more and more.

  37. remarutho says:

    May Jesus become more and more today — beginning and end! <3

  38. quietgrace says:

    Steve, you said,
    “Jesus spend most of his time telling people where they needed improvement, and yet died for them”

    hmmmm. That’s not my take on Jesus ministry. Sorry, but the way I read scripture Jesus spent most of his time teaching, healing, and showing God and His love by his words and actions. In my relationship with Jesus He has always been kind, loving, and able to show me the right way of being/thinking without criticism OR asking me to do anything against my will, which, I have to say, I have to submit to Him daily, sometimes hourly.

    Blessings, Grace

  39. quietgrace says:

    Even just posting here raises my anxiety level to nearly unbearable levels, but I must add that just yesterday I was talking to a very close friend, who, when she becomes overwhelmed with life tends to break the law or rules of her living arrangements. I gently pointed this out to her and my fears of the consequences of her behaviors if she continued. She knows and trusts Jesus but her anxiety causes her to do things she wouldn’t normally do, and right now she is living in almost unbearable circumstances. She was deeply convicted just hours before we had our talk and told me how she realized what she was doing was wrong. She then talked about other things she will do to help alleviate her anxieties. But, we both laughed and her feelings were not hurt(she would tell me!)We do need each other to remind us where we may be going off the right track (Jesus way), as it’s easy to try to take care of things our own way sometimes. I know this quite well. I hope I have made my point as I’m almost in full panic mode so must stop now. Blessings. Grace

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Quietgrace (Grace), please be at peace as disagreeing with me is perfectly ok, I don’t mind and won’t demean or abase you for it. In fact take courage and free yourself of any anxiety all together.

    When I say that Jesus spent most of His time telling people where they needed improvement, that is what His teaching is all about, telling us all how to improve ourselves, be better people and find peace in doing so.

    We are forgiven for not being better people, but shown the way to improve through, with and by Him.

    We are changed and transformed by our association and relationship with Christ, no longer who or what we were, but improved and made better.

    I hope I am not confusing you, if so, just forgive me and spend the day listening to some nice music or doing whatever does give you peace.

    A snowy cold day.


  41. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… I just read this morning that if one does not do what is his conscience, he finds no rest.
    What better than to express what feelings are abounding our conscience, than to express ones feelings, or get it off our chest, when out of the mouth comes things of the heart.
    I believe the world could be much better and different place if only the sins of omission were done, or doing the right thing, rather than, just the sins of commission, doing the wrong thing.
    Because,”Evil succeeds when good men do nothing.”
    The conscience is then seared, the ear slowly deafens, the eye glances away, and the tongue sleeps, lest it wag or wave the flag of truth.
    If only the original God-given conscience could speak out to evil when it first shows itself.
    To constantly turn the cheek instead, is to advert the eyes, to lessen the hearing, and to ignore the conscience.
    But to speak the truth, there is a time when one must face his abuser.

  42. quietgrace says:

    “We are forgiven for not being better people, but shown the way to improve through, with and by Him.”

    Thank you, I needed that today. Grace

  43. oneg2dblu says:

    “So long as we hang back from doing what conscience urges, there is no peace.”
    George Mac Donald

  44. quietgrace says:

    Gary thank you for your post. Been there, done that, many times. Sometimes the best way to face the bogeyman is to address it face to face and it’s amazing how it shrinks in size and power.
    Timely post also. The H.S. is doing some soul cleaning and spiritual renewal in me today. Praise God!
    Blessings, Grace

  45. SFDBWV says:

    Reading CT Direct I came upon a very disturbing article, it seems the upcoming movie “Son of God” has omitted the devil.

    The first movie “The Bible” had the devil laced into the movie including the accounts with Jesus, but it produced a problem; the liberal media accused the producers of using an actor that looked like Barak Obama and so too much attention was given that story rather than of Jesus.

    So the next installment “Son of God” is devoid of the devil.

    I find it sadly outrageous that once again the liberal’s among us have to spoil everything in order to have the world the way they want it seen.


  46. oneg2dblu says:

    Ever wonder why, When we do something for God, to whatever the extent our service may be, it always seems so much less then what He has done for us?
    Even if we heal others in His name, a thousand times over,
    He first healed us. Even if we could love everyone in this world, He first loved us.

    The only way to truly put Him first, is to follow Him!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  47. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, the liberals won’t ever upset God’s plans.
    Support the movie and show the world that Christian themed movies are valued beyond any so called tempering.
    This movie was done with excellence, and God will use it as He sees fit, even to trim it if need be. Gary

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    Should we now be concerned about all the books that were not included in the bible, as some were clearly trimmed out!
    I suspect the edit room floor is full of hypocrisy.
    Just a thought…

  49. BruceC says:

    My wife and I reserved the DVD set; “The Bible”, before it aired on TV and received it shortly thereafter. It is wonderful. We likely will not go to see “The Son of God” as we have already seen it in The Bible. I pray that the Holy Spirit waters this “seed” as it shows across the nation, and also the “seed” of the movie “Noah” when it debuts. That has also been criticized already but I will reserve my opinion until I see it myself. Anytime movies like these and “The Passion” are shown the seed is being planted.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  50. foreverblessed says:

    Mart started a beautiful topic:
    -The sacrifice and significance of that moment brought into focus the highest end, and beginning of what it means to see the best, the most memorable, and the most important performance we will ever see, consider, or enter into together.-

    O that we would see this depth and the width and the height of God’s love for us. That we would get to know Him better an better, so that we would know and see that He knows best for us, so that we would yield to Him, not reluctantly, but willingly, because it is the best way we are sure about that.
    That we would be filled with His love for us, that we breathe in His life, that we not want to live without being attached to Him for one moment.
    That we may see that His life flows out of us, and touches all who we come into contact with, and all for whom we pray.
    And that this life in faith in Him is sooo much higher than just being morally OK, following a set of rules, but not knowing the great love God has for us. And we see to it, that that love grows in us, and becomes our own.

  51. quietgrace says:

    Foreverblessed, Thank you for sharing that beautiful word from the Lord. I end my day with a smile now, knowing that everything’s going to be ok.
    Thank you Father for reminding us of your great love, the greater thing.

  52. poohpity says:

    Amen forever and thank you! I do not think that Jesus fulfilling all the components of the law would have us to go back to live back under some type of laws again. It seems to be His presence in our lives and His love that changes us. If it were any different we would tend to boast.

  53. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Bruce, how goes it with your sister in law’s situation after the fire?

    We are still getting snow this morning and it is 15 degrees, it looks as though you may be headed for some serious cold temps in the next couple days.

    I am guessing that the movie “Son of God” is the segment from the “Bible” movie series? We had noticed how much the devil in the movie looked like Obama, but I had really not read any criticism concerning it. When I read this yesterday I laughed out loud. How petty can these people get?

    There was another movie “Noah” out about 16 years ago; Matt and I got all excited and taped it while we worked. It was ridiculous and inane, we didn’t even watch it clear through. It was shown in the light of a fantasy.

    What a shame we have yet another division amongst us in the names of “liberal” and “conservative”. I wonder if there is a better *title* for the people who are against everything Christian…Oh yeah there is it is called “Anti-Christ”.

    Sorry to say this spirit is also very active within Christians and many are eating up every meal he offers as they sign on to his false representation of every thing and stand against everything good and decent in the world.

    Of course then there are also many who like Scarlet in “Gone with the Wind” who say “Oh well I will worry about that tomorrow”.


  54. BruceC says:

    Thanks Steve for your concern.
    My wife has only spoken with her sister once since that terrible night. There is a sad history here, One of laughing and ridiculing us due to our faith, coming to us only in time of need, and others that I will not get into here. She is insured but we know not for how much; and there is no guarantee that any money we give her will go directly to NEEDS.
    I hope all here pray for her salvation and that of her semi-ex-husband(no legal divorce) who lives right next door, and the salvation of her children who are all adults now. Compassion is wonderful and we should show it as often as we can. But I think it should be mixed with wisdom too.

    Yes, it is going to get colder here for the next for days; but that seems to have been the usual story most of this winter. I thank God we do not have to go through it the way the original people here (the Iroquois) did.

    I hope that the unity of Christ and in the Word will shine from this blog and attract others to Him. As Steve has said there are so many divisions today and some take God’s Word as something they can ignore or re-write for the sake of pleasing man and political correctness. And the unbelievers are always looking for ways to point the finger as they did to Roma Downey in the way Satan was shown in the movie “The Bible”. She assured all that there was no intent there.
    I only see things getting worse; and pray that the Lord help me to give my best for Him at all times until He returns for us.

    Our Pastor’s sermon at our church Sunday morning spoke in part about how sometimes the church reflects the culture instead of Christ. How selfishness, jealousy, and “popularity” importance has crept in among others and needs to be taken off and replaced by Godly values and the love of Christ.

    God bless all!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  55. poohpity says:

    I think sometimes it is a stumbling block for us to judge the performance of others and neglect the fact that there was only One who earned 10’s across the board for His performance. I am in the process of change but there are times when pride creeps in, jealousy, selfishness, vain conceit and so much more but the problem comes when I try and rise above a kneeling position on level ground with others beneath the Cross looking up to Jesus. The minute I feel like I got it all together then I begin to look down on others, thank God He never leaves me there.

    All humanity is in the same mess together we all share that commonality. Some look to Jesus for His grace, mercy and forgiveness to live in, covered by that then others live without knowing that the Son of God came to wash away our guilt and shame who feel their performance can earn recognition never admitting to any wrong doing or need.

    I can not expect others to live a 10 across the board when I know it is an impossibility if it were possible Jesus would have never had to come and die as He did. That is why my eyes, ears, mind and heart need to stay committed and focused on Him not how well I or others perform.

  56. quietgrace says:

    Good morning all!

    Pooh you are so right about the presence of Christ that brings change in us. You and I both know that well as only He could have brought about the amazing turn-around in our lives. Where once I was lost, He found me. When I was blind, well, now I see. Not perfectly, but as in a dark glass, but clearer still than before. The veil between our world and His is only opened by Him and the light He emanates to and through us. I thank God for what He has done for me and for you!

    Yesterday was a rough day for me, but when I went to bed I felt as if my heart had been changed to the shape of a heart and felt such love. God revealed to me another source of my shaming from two different authority figures, one a judge and one my mother, in Feb. of ’65. I was shamed and blamed for abuse that had been done to me-a child. I have carried and felt that pain especially during February all my life. I am so grateful for the prayers on this blog and for the miracle of Love that heals and changes our lives, no matter how ugly or seemingly impossible. Jesus Christ IS the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen

  57. poohpity says:

    quiet, I also feel it is wonderful for you to stick up for what you believe and disagree when you see the truth not being taught. There will always be some push back and we will not always be able to get the approval of others we seek but I know Jesus is pleased when truth is taught. You seem to able to do it with grace and I admire that.

  58. quietgrace says:

    Pooh thank you. I love Jesus. His way has many bumps and turns, but He makes the trip worth it all. He gave His all, His very life for me. Wow. That’s grace.

  59. cbrown says:

    What Roma Downey said about the movie “SON of GOD” matches up well with this topic. “This is a battle of light and darkness.
    It became ugly when people started making nasty statements. Something that had been born of a beautiful intention was suddenly under attack, and we were caught in the middle of spiritual warfare.

    I knew it was just like Satan the narcissist to make it all about him and create division. I am sure he loved being the center of attention for even one day.

    But for our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time, no more distractions.

    You may think of me as a gentle Irish angel, but nobody, not even the devil, should mess with me. Get behind me Satan. This is a love story, and nothing anyone can do will stop that message from reaching millions of people. The darkness is no match for the light, something we are assured of in the book of John where it says: “And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

  60. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all,
    I have no condemnation for any of our works because, believe it or not, some are actually called to do good works.

    No, we are not called to hang on the cross for our sins to gain our salvation to save our souls, only Christ does that. He’s been there, done that!

    Salvation is not of works!

    let us not pretending we can live as lawless either because, believe it or not, if we truly follow Christ we are also Under His Discipline, and that discipline, believe it or not, will always follow the law.

    The path of Jesus Christ does not ever ignore it or pretend it no longer works for any good in us, but only works against us.

    Satan must love hearing that one!

    Those type of expressions, (condemning all works) when versed out of nowhere, are only versed to protect a certain way of thinking that the church has brought into the equation, and just to support a doctrine, because, other than that, that way of thinking has no real merit and may lead many falsely sinning astray.

    If you think you are saved through a doctrine, that’s great, be careful that is not replacing the very work and belief in Jesus Christ alone, which has nothing to do with believing or supporting any doctrine.

    Christ never followed any doctrine, He followed only what was the Will of His Father, and all that was asked of Him.

    What He asks of us is … “Follow Me”
    Jesus Christ

    “The frustration of the Divine Plan is man’s tragedy.”
    Two Listeners 2-20-2014

    Today’s misleading doctrine teaches, “All sin has already been forgiven, past, present, future.”

    If that were true, than any path will do.

    If that were true, if that were really true, then sin could not ever separate us from God, but, it is through that very act of separation that God uses to punish us when we do sin, and then He uses that separation to bring us back to Him, because, “Sin Always Separates.”

    Now, I know some are going to dig out the verse that says, “Nothing can separate us from the LOVE of God…”

    Am not talking about God’s love here, but I know you are, and you are confusing it to support your doctrinal thinking.

    I’m speaking only to our current sin, our current walking away, and not about anyone snatching us out of God’s hand either.

    Our sinning is always going to be considered living outside of His Will, and finding ourselves separated and needing to return, or repent, to be restored to a right standing, or call it being prostrate at the foot of the cross if you must, call it whatever works for you, (except don’t call it works,) and return to being Again Under His Discipline,or where we know we must turn around and again Follow.

    “It would hardly be kindness if he didn’t punish sin,
    not to use every means to put the evil thing far from us.”
    George Mac Donald

    I trust this will be seen as only sharing a kindness to some here, for it is given in His Love.

  61. poohpity says:

    God did punish sin on the back of His Son. Any who loves and knows the Lord will follow Him not the world or sin that is a given. If one is following after the world or sin then maybe they have not fully given their heart to God but that does not mean we will never sin again. Anyone who thinks they will never sin again is totally wrong and is calling God a liar. 1 John 1:10 NIV

  62. oneg2dblu says:

    We who are saved, are saved by Christ alone.

    We are not to carry any of the “past guilt” of those sins that brought us to our need for salvation, and that were forgiven us when we were saved.

    But, are we also to continue to walking in today’s sins treating them as feeling they are also already forgiven us?

    Your doctrine may say so to you.

    In case you missed my point, repentance is still available, returning is still the path to be taken when we find we are walking the wrong way.

    Please don’t be misled by any churches teachings that say otherwise.

    I do not know about you but my walk says to me, I’m still a work in progress not finished yet!

  63. quietgrace says:

    Gary thank you. We all have our blinders. God is so much more mystery than known, in my eyes. Hope all is well with you. Blessings, quietgrace

  64. oneg2dblu says:

    Who is it who thinks they will never sin again?
    Only those who can think there is no sin, or no law to be broken again?
    Maybe only those who think there is no longer any sin to be found in them, perhaps that would be deception at its best.
    Have to go my battery is almost dead.
    Have a blessed day,

  65. quietgrace says:

    Pooh and Foreverblessed I must say goodbye as I’m just a little too tender from healing and need to protect myself a bit. I’m going to take Jesus hand and go away for a while. Thank you for your prayers and fellowship. Maybe I will return in the future. I will continue to pray for you on your journey’s. Grace

  66. oneg2dblu says:

    Grace… will miss your ever quiet grace and your valued voicing. Your are certainly Walking in Good Hands!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  67. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… that is a great verse and is also very telling for it says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
    Quoted from a 2008 updated NIV.

    Let us not forget to verse this as well, in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    Clearly the author was writing to believers, and if all believers already have their sins forgiven, past, present, and future, why would he John the Apostle, then write such foolishness as to say, “If we confess?”

    How does one confess those future sins which are still unknown to us?

    How are they also already forgiven if not confessed?

    Oh yeah, then there is this other conflicting verse in James that says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 NIV

    James 5:19,20 (NIV) “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
    James 5:16 NIV

    Do you think the New Testament writers were lacking truth, in error, or just confused about those future sins?

    Just a question every believer needs to ask themselves in all honesty.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  68. poohpity says:

    I do not think the NT writers are confused at all, I think folks often twist the words, taking partial truths out of context in error trying to bring people back to Judaism and the old covenant. Just like the people who make movies or TV shows about the stories in the Bible use artistic merit to either add or subtract from it but at least they try and stay true to the principles of the story.

    Gary most often the things you accuse others of are so off base and it seems you may grasp things out of the air and state it is reality but only your reality.

  69. lovely says:

    We will still sin actually because of our fallen nature Ephesians 2:3 , which our fallen nature will die one day but the spirit live on and will be with the Lord (for believers). We ‘ll agreed we’re unfinished product. 2 Corinthians 5:8 Shows you have a body and a Spirit.
    Your spirit man wants to praise God but your body says “I am tired”. Romans 7:23 &
    2 Corinthians 10:3-4 . These scripture are evidence that we’re in a battlefield. It is said when you win the battle field in the mind you won the battle. The key is not to empty our mind but to “renew our mind” .fill it with the word of God.
    Everyday we have a choice as to what we fill our minds with. Cause that’ll affect your decisions. Your believe and action. So the more you fill yourself with God’s love , the less likely you’ll sin . That’s the difference between law and grace. Galatians 3:10
    You see Gary, in James 5:16-19 why does it says to pray for each other because to me God knows we can’t solve the sin problem . That’s why there is a need to pray and seek the Lord.
    From now until heaven we have a race to run Philippians 3:14 ,

  70. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Quietgrace, yes stay close to Jesus, till you are strong in Him.
    Psalm 91:1-6
    1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.’

    3 Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
    4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
    5 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
    6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

    What does God tell us, sometimes we get in fear again because of what others write.
    If Gary writes “But, are we also to continue to walking in today’s sins treating them as feeling they are also already forgiven us?”
    And you do not want to continue in your today’s sins, then honestly, that message is not for you. Just skip it, it is for those who continue to sin, and think that they will be forgiven anyway.
    But if you do not want to sin, and do not want to stay in your sin either, even if you believe that you are saved forever, then what is the problem? That writing is not for you, it will only make you fearful again, wavering: I am not saved, I failed.

    Yes lovely, you are so right, I was thinking this week, when I was having singing lessons, that it is so similar to our daily walk with Jesus. When I sing, my throat must be wide open, I inhale deeply the air, and let it out. Once singing and difficult notes come along, my throat get tight, and I obstruct the air going out.
    That is how it is in my walk with Jesus, totally surrendering to Him totally yielded, then I read something that other christians write (like on this blog), and woops: stress, the calm is gone. I have to get back to Jesus and be in total calm in Him again, be in His shadow, and under His wings. I remember to open up, and I open up the throat, and there comes the air out freely again.

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, you keep mentioning the name of George MacDonald, so I started to look him up, and found him on a website: his name, with a stripe or live (what is the english name for it?) that goes with a dot and a com.

    In the website, this George MacDonald is linked in a line with Sadu Sundar Sing, and C.S. Lewis, very interesting thought.
    Since the topic has moved on, I will put some of his writings here, as they have a meaning in this topic, the end and the beginning:

    “God is the Father welcoming his prodigal children home not just their creator or judge. Whether we realise it or not we are all on a road leading back to him. He is our Home. MacDonald believed that people were either responding to God or turning away from him . For MacDonald there was no absolute need for a moment of conversion as traditionally understood. We are all at different stages on the journey – a journey that has its beginning and end in God. ”

    “The bible is a sign post to Christ. It is Christ, not the bible, who is God’s revelation to humanity, and one reads the bible in order to respond to him. Right belief is secondary to obeying the light you have already received. For MacDonald social justice and the gospel could not be separated. ”

    “MacDonald recognised that truth could be separated into scientific truth and poetic truth (cf. C. S. Lewis’ treatment of Myth). He held firmly to the literal truth of the resurrection and the miracles of Christ which he regarded as evidences of the higher law of love. ”

    “He rejected totally the doctrine of penal substitution as put forward by Calvin which argues that Christ has taken the place of sinners and is punished in their place recognising that in turn it raised serious questions about the character and nature of God. Instead he argued that Christ had come to save people from their sins, and not from the punishment of their sins. The problem was not the need to appease a wrathful God but the disease of sin itself. ”

    “Salvation is a process of evolution toward Christ-likeness. We are marred by the Self. Sin is choosing not to obey and conform to the will of the Father in response to which God must send his consuming fire to burn the evil out of us.

    “The wrath will consume what they call themselves; so that the selves God made shall appear.” (Unspoken Sermons 1, p44).

    MacDonald would accept no compromise with sin but saw evil as a discord that will eventually be brought into harmony with God when the whole of creation is reunited with him.

    Hell is not a place of punishment but a place of purification to prepare one to enter God’s presence. True repentance, however, is essential.

    “All pains, indeed, and all sorrows, all demons, yea, and all sins themselves, under the suffering care of the highest minister, are but the ministers of truth an righteousness.” (Mary Marston, Vol.II, p.321). Some things that we call evil are sent to bring the sinner back to God.

    He was open to the possibility that some might recognise good for what it is but still choose the bad, but he did not think this very likely.

    Thus Hell is not a place of eternal conscious torment in fire but an ultimate, final encounter with God. Hell is knowing the infinite loss of God and is forced on no one. It is self selected. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done”, and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done”. (The Great Divorce, p72). It is a falling out of the hands of the one who loves us.”

    Anyway, many of these things we have discussed in past topics on this blog, it is good to read some more insights about it, presented by this man George MacDonald.

  72. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed,how does George MacDonald view the Holy Spirit and Pentecost?

  73. oneg2dblu says:

    Still spinning the threads that bind us together here…
    I would love to quote E.B. White here with his quote about threads of love, but I don’t want to push us off in another direction, as we are already going all over the place, thank God.

    We all know we are loved here, so much so, that we are soaking in it, some even gasping for breath!

    “If Grace were an ocean we’re all be drowning.”

    To Lovely, that was a lovely well written clear response, thank you.

    To Forever blessed, you have outdone yourself and to the good of all who have read your posts. You’ve done your homework and have shared so much more,thank you.

    You have blessed me many times by sharing, and the the Two Listeners, God at Eventide, is now part of my every day feeding.

    However, do I have to know every doctrinal position they ever believed in order to glean what is presented by them, or can I allow all God’s tools, even opposing voices to have their place, and do their work in us.

    Perhaps this quote can have it’s proper perspective,
    “The Arc was built by Amateurs, and the Titanic by Professionals.”

    God’s tool box must be a very large and diverse one
    and in there there is a place for each of us.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  74. oneg2dblu says:

    ForeverBlessed… I’m not done yet. :)

    I have never been taught or thought of Hell as being anything but God’s absolute judgement or unchanging Wrath given in the fulness of His justice and being as absolute and irrevocable.

    As if it were for an Eternity…

    I was taught that every person goes to one of two places when they die, no second chances after death as we all physically go back to dust, and spiritually we all go to a final judgment, which is rendered upon us for all eternity.

    The whole reason why it is so very important to God, who gave “us” the Great Commission, “Go into all the world and teach the Good News,” as the prerequisite to His second coming.

    Only two places exist in eternity for me, one being in the light with God, the other as being cast out from His Presence, and forever (no pun intended))into complete darkness.

    I do not do well playing around in the gray areas that are so fondly held by others when playing with God’s word, which is written in black and white, and especially where we know man can’t ever seem let it be, as he finds he has to always color it to fit his needs.

    We have today even supported a rainbow of colors just to show God that his black and white words are clearly not seen as fitting for us all.

    This may be my favorite quote, “All a man’s ways seem right to him but in the end lead to death.”
    Almighty God

    I’ll leave all that untold mystery to Him, and let Him decide which color He will choose for us, be it black or white.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  75. cbrown says:

    Perhaps this quote can have it’s proper perspective,
    “The Arc was built by Amateurs, and the Titanic by Professionals.” Gary,is the meaning of the quote scholars master pieces can sink but humble men inspired by God have revealed His salvation?

  76. oneg2dblu says:

    I will say this, every church I have entered has taught me something, and many of them after being exposed to their teachings, taught me that I did not belong there.
    Every person as well, but who leads me and who put them in my path, that is the stuff of the great mystery for the rest of the world to figure out, but no longer is it mine to guess, for I’m blessed forever!
    Pun Intended :)

  77. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown… The jewel in that message is found by all those who will dig it out for themselves.

    I believe who we will ultimately serve one master, the one who we will obey.

    I feel we are all engaged in building something to suit someones needs, and we best to let God be the judge, lest we build for ourselves and in vain.


  78. oneg2dblu says:

    Who we ultimately serve, is our master, the one we will obey.
    Low battery again… later.

  79. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,
    I hope all is well in your lives. I’ve enjoyed and am still enjoying reading the comments on this blog topic. I thought I had read all of them only to find out after I had refreshed the page that I was pretty much still at the beginning. I’m learning SO much from all who contribute to the BTA blog, and I want you all to know that I appreciate your willingness to share the wisdom that our Lord gave you. Bubbles, I *third* your comment, “I think we should keep in mind that Mart has many other responsibilities in addition to this forum. I think he may also leave a topic up for several days to encourage reflection, contemplation, and interactive conversation so we can learn from each other. It must require ongoing thinking to find so many interesting and new topics. Should we be the ones to call for the topic, especially a new topic to change? I appreciate everything he does for us here, and always enjoy reading his thoughts.” I was reflecting on that the other day…the magnitude of the responsibility that Mart has to shoulder in order to keep RBC ministries strong and cutting-edge for a 21st century world. My Pastor has to do the same thing as *Pastor* of a world-wide ministry.

    Love to all…

    Mid 50’s was the high today in Texas.

  80. foreverblessed says:

    Cbrown, you asked about the Holy SPirit and Pentecost, what George MacDonald says about that, I couldn’t find anything, but as the man considers it literal that Jesus rose from the dead, I would think it logic that he thinks it literal that the Holy Spirit was being send on Pentecost.

    Gary, sorry that I disturbed you, with the grey areas of George MacDonalds views.
    But I do congratulate with the fact that you call yourself blessed forever! Great, keep it up!

    I see that you like things to be black and white: that God is black and white about heaven and hell.
    But I do think that what he wrote about the grey areas, as much more sensible in God being merciful.
    and that there is a place in heaven for all who are repentant, even when having been in hell, That hell can be considered as a refining place, burning out all that is evil. Even if the bible verses say
    Matt 25:46
    ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’
    I leave here room for some grey areas:
    eternal probably meaning: ages and ages for the hell part.
    I know that it is disturbing more many,
    eternal for hell ages and ages
    and eternal for eternal life for ever and ever.
    Sorry for that, but it is to me more important that God is merciful without end, then for people to be undisturbed in their black and white views.
    As it would mean terrible loss of many,
    and the increase of Gods Kingdom never ends,
    Isaiah 9:7 (KJV)
    and God who is always love, as love: always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    1 Cor 13:7
    Psalm 86:7 even when that is a sincere call from hell
    Psalm 145:18

  81. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… Do you believe then that fulfilling the Great Commission makes no Eternal difference for the rest of the world?
    If so, wouldn’t it be both a waste of words and time if we all are eventually really going to be in Heaven anyhow, because of God’s great love?
    If all created mankind are going to eventually get to Heaven anyhow, then why would Christ die for “us” while we were still sinners, if all sinners are Heaven bound?
    Why would there be any shedding of innocent blood for the remission of sins?
    All things are possible with God except for Hell being an eternity?
    I am sorry I have not yet matured enough to read that into the storyline, but I am still a work in progress.

  82. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, it is good that you ask this, because there are assumptions in your questions that are not mine, neither did I give reason that it is so:
    first, Jesus had to die, because only sinners that accept His Cross can enter heaven, they can only go when they are washed in the blood of the Lamb.
    If Jesus had not payed for our sins, none of us could go to heaven.
    If everybody would go to heaven anyway…. that anyway does not exist, the only way is through Christ and His Cross.

    Second, of course it is very important that we preach all the same that we did, because it is hell to go to hell, even if it is one day,
    So we are part in the message of saving people from their sins. Jesus saves us from our sins.
    We do not want anybody to go to hell, terrible, a place in hell of ages and ages is horrific. A terrible fate.
    So we work, or rather we are yielded to God so that we are being used by Him to preach, as the Holy Spirit directs, as the message is suited as each one needs them, (that is also what the God at eventide message writes many times March 2 is one of them,but there are more)
    God bless you Gary for ever and ever, and that is seriously meant as never and never ending

  83. oneg2dblu says:

    Foreverblessed… I agree we should all preach the same message. The Good News!

    However, I do not feel convicted to preach that Hell is ever given as the possibility of being just a one day event for those who are cast there.

    Do you have scripture to back up that assumption?

    I’m not trying to be difficult here, just trying to be obedient, and scriptural.

    “The philosopher occupies himself with what God might intend, the Christian with what God may want him to do.”

    “Unto every one who God hath sent into the world, He hath given a work to do.”

    George Mac Donald

    I’ll receive those quotes as being just as motivating as the Great Commission, which I believe is given to all Followers of Christ.

    There is a work to do.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  84. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, the reason I asked the question was in your synopsis of his thoughts was the following;”For MacDonald there was no absolute need for a moment of conversion as traditionally understood. We are all at different stages on the journey – a journey that has its beginning and end in God”. ”That raised some question in my mind.I agree that we are all at different stages in our walk toward Christ but as Jesus emphatically stated, “you must be born again”.

  85. oneg2dblu says:

    Forgive my misquote it should have said,
    “Unto every one whom God hath sent into the world, He hath given a work to do in the world.”

    “Follow me,” as being the first one I’ll quote here, and “Go into all the world,” as the second, which is only given after we follow and are receiving His Holy Spirit.”

    Yes, we must be Born Again, or we would still continue to follow the world instead.

  86. foreverblessed says:

    Hello Gary, you ask what verses, see what I wrote at 9.50 am March 3. So I do not have to repeat it.
    My assumption is that it may be possible that a person who has been in hell for ages and ages, might come to his senses and be repentant. That is my assumption, maybe it is not possible. But if it is possible, then I know that God is mercifull, why would He not be mercifull.
    And when the bible says in hell eternally, then eternal means ages and ages, but I have written that already on March 3. So read it there.
    God is merciful, and He is the same now as forever.
    He is unchanging, always the same. That is my faith in my God who is an everlasting Father. And which father on earth would punish his son forever and ever? Which father on earth would not rejoice when his child would repent, even if it takes ages.
    It is a saying we have too,”You took ages to come” for the person we were waiting for, the waiting seemed long, but ages was a bit overdone, it was only half a day. See, that is what we do too.
    Anyway, I keep it with this: Love always hopes
    God keeps up the hoping, Yes that is our God.

  87. foreverblessed says:

    Cbrown, yes indeed, I was a bit curious about that too, “no absolute need for a moment of conversion as traditionally understood” but on the other hand, in my own memory I cannot say that there was one particular moment that I was bron again, it seemed more like a slow process, and a process which is still going on, because do I yield to Jesus totally? It seems to me, I yield more every day that is passing, so an ungoing process.
    I even wonder, is there a difference in a christians, the ones who have had a testing time, a time of waiting for God, who did not seem to respond, but waiting, and we waiting, and persevering. But if we have passed that stage, we are in, totally saved, and secure While others who still have to go through that process, and maybe their salvation is not secure yet, because they have to show to God they persevere.

    I come tho this because of a book about Rees Howell, a man from the Revival in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. and when he really started off, it was a ministry of intercession. Intercession! (Anyway, that is a bypath, but the sending of Jesus into the world is this: the ministry of reconciliation.)
    There is so much on persevering in the New Testament.
    And: He that overcomes…
    Revelation 2:7,11,17,26 Rev 3:5,12,21
    So persevere all of you, hold on to God, even if He seems silent, He is there still the same now and forever, merciful

  88. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, The Bible teaches that you are born again spiritually and are a newborn not able to eat solid food but just milk that is easily digested. As you read God’s Word and as a result of trusting God in life’s circumstances you grow in faith. That was my experience, After I accepted Christ as mu Savior I was aware of God’s Spirit with me even when I was disobedient. There was a time when I was carnal in college and the military but when I was 26 I walked into a Friday night revival meeting In Jacksonville, Florida and committed to do things God’s way. He is teaching me to be content in all of life’s circumstances. Praise God!

  89. poohpity says:

    The only means of salvation is believing in Jesus and His identity as God incarnate, accepting what was done on the Cross and His resurrection then telling others confirms what you believe. (Romans 10:9-10 NIV) That can only be revealed to a person through being “born again” by the Spirit. It is God’s Spirit who brings us to that place. In John 3 Jesus taught what it means to be born again and He is the only way.

    If one reads in Luke, Jesus taught that once one is in Hell they can not cross from there to Heaven. (Luke 16:23-26 NLT) Jesus inferred that there was plenty of time while we are living in the flesh to learn and make a choice to believe.

    There is such a great warning of who we learn from because many wolves can be dressed in sheep’s clothing and can lead us away from truth. That is why it is so important to be grounded in God’s Word.

  90. oneg2dblu says:

    How much longer will we all continue to misread each others words, or think we clearly see others intentions, and then use our misreading as a proof to ourselves or to others when we’re found voicing their supposed faults to fit our faulted perspective.

    Matt 25:46
    ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

    Eternal punishment does not read to me as another gray flighty opportunity for a second chance at going to Heaven.

    Unless, one dares to claim we can also color eternal life as a gray temporary condition as well.

    Why would we want to have any wiggle room with God’s clearly written word other than to have it our way?

    The verse does not say they might go, it clearly says they will go, and go for an eternity.

    God is Eternal, and God’s word is without end.

    I do not see much wiggle room in changing what is already called by God as eternal, like eternal punishment, as anything other than eternal punishment.

    But, I have been labeled legalistic before.

    To me, the bible is not man’s creative coloring book given for us to color in our imaginations and desires.

    We do all try though, because we can’t help ourselves.

  91. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… thanks for sharing that verse in Luke, it should lead us only to believe what it actually says.

    What a great chasm we sometimes try to fill in with our gray colors that support our way of thinking.

  92. Artle says:

    The spirit of discord is easily defeated where two or three have gathered in his name.

  93. Artle says:

    Matter of fact, it has zero chance of existing.

  94. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Artle, we all worship the same God, and I do too.
    Gary, and Pooh, I know very well what these verses say in Luke 16 and Matthew 25.
    But the bible also says; Love always hopes
    So how do you connect that with eternal punishment?
    How is that possible, all hope gone, no more hope left for the person in there, and yet the bible says:

    Love always hopes. 1 Cor 13:7

    And that is my last word on this…

    Love you all, and God bless you this beautiful morning, see what great thins He has in store for us now today, how He trough us will touch more people that light may shine in their hearts, His light, the light of the Morning Star, Jesus!

  95. poohpity says:

    Those that make a choice not to believe I do not think they care if there is a heaven or hell. God does not seem to push Himself on anyone however the door is open while we are in the flesh. It is God’s love that has given the way with multiple opportunities to receive the key to enter or make the choice not to. That is why it is so important to spread the Good News so all can hear and make that choice for themselves. God’s choice is that none will perish but gave us that free will choice.

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