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So Why Then the Gospel?

 

Here’s a brief follow-up to the last post…

So what’s the point and urgency of the Gospel?

Because we are all going to be held accountable… for the gift of life entrusted to us…

Because of love…

Because of the pain and suffering of not knowing… and, and, and,

As I see it, for openers, the importance-and-urgency of the Good News is that without a knowledge of the God who has sacrificed himself for us– to bear the contempt, anger, and suffering of our sin, to give us a new birth, the assurance of his willingness to forgive us, to break the power of the grave, and to expose the lies of an enemy who has never wanted us to know how good our God is, how compassionate and gracious he is… without the knowledge of such a God who is the source of real love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… we are all apt to live our lives without purpose, afraid of God, afraid of death, afraid of people, accident, disease, and circumstance… and in the process to miss an opportunity to begin to taste now, together, the wonder of a life that will soon be caught up into Something and Someone infinitely and eternally better than what is slipping through our fingers and minds…

Note: Please remember that for several years, this blog has not been affiliated with Our Daily Bread Ministries which is not responsible for anything I write here.

 


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82 Responses to “So Why Then the Gospel?”

  1. poohpity says:

    After chewing over your last post I am understanding I think your meaning and the meaning of “while there is still time”. God does not want that anyone should perish but that is not saying that there are those who refuse the gift He has offered us out of love.

    As we read in the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus Jesus told that even from the place of torment the Rich man learned so His knee actually did bow down but it was to late. Jesus also explained in that parable when the Rich man wanted someone to tell his brothers about that place that many were sent out already so he had time while still living to acknowledge God but made the choice not to. God is the God of the living not of the dead. Rev 1:7

    How can people hear about God unless someone tells them the importance of the Great Commission, sharing the Gospel? John 3:5

    God made a way into His kingdom for everyone but that does not mean that everyone will walk through that narrow gate. Does God want them to? YES

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Please understand that in sharing my thoughts I am in no way attempting to convince anyone of believing as I have come to. My thoughts I share may in some way explain why in part I think as I do.

    I started to write this morning early and seen quickly that in trying to explain why I feel that in the end there is no more hell, no more tears and God’s will is accomplished through and by His sacrifice.

    Then I decided I needed to quiet myself, rest and perhaps the right words would come.

    When I looked in Mart had put up a follow-up to the subject.

    First of all let me say that this is as important a subject as we have ever discussed. Important because it makes us look at what is written in Scripture from different angles and deeper than what is said on the surface.

    Why the Gospel? Simply because God has given us the opportunity to become the “proper help meet” of Jesus the Christ.

    Christians are “an holy nation, a peculiar people.”

    But there are other nations, other peoples. Out of which God has called the elect to be this special people.

    Do you really think then that God abandons all other people to eternal torment, because He didn’t select them from before the foundation of the world?

    Do you believe you were selected, or do you think that you earned your special status on your own?

    We are selected to not only introduce the unbelieving to Jesus, but to show them a difference in being like the world and being like Him.

    How well do you think most “Christians” do in doing this?

    Is the Gospel the good news that our sins are forgiven us through the sacrifice of Jesus?
    Or if you don’t believe as I do your sins aren’t forgiven and you will die in your sin and suffer eternal torment?

    I too was raised up under the oppressive preaching of hell fire and damnation. But over my life I have come to see that such fear mongering only brings people to say they are Christian in order to escape hell, not for the right reasons.

    What are the right reasons, you might ask. In order to be more like Him and less like you.

    And yes there is a Judgement seat of Christ whereby Christians have to answer to Christ for their lives.

    A lot to say on this subject and the day is already getting busy and demanding.

    40 degrees and rain.

    Steve

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Off subject I am thrilled that Mart has come into the conversation and now has seen the problem that exists in posting.

    Steve

  4. Mart DeHaan says:

    In your desire to be faithful to the Father who has given us new life in Christ, I join those who have urged us never to believe anything that seems to be contrary to the Gospel we have received.

    With similar caution, I think the 19th century preacher and author George MacDonald offered good advice when he urged readers to ask God for wisdom when they found in Scripture words that seemed unbecoming to a God of all love and goodness. MacDonald urged readers not to reject such texts, but rather to set them to the side for now, waiting on the Spirit of God for insight.

  5. jeff1 says:

    I don’t find that people of faith are apt to live their lives without purpose, afraid of God, afraid of death, afraid of people, accident, disease.

    The people of faith I have known have been courageous, committed and willing to die if they believed it was against tyranny.

    I don’t believe knowing God is the source of real love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control changes the reality of the world we live in nor does God expect us to see the world differently than it is.

    How do you preach the Gospel to a world that is not listening and doesn’t believe in God as their creator, does God hold you accountable!

    I don’t believe God holds me accountable for what others believe or don’t believe but I do believe He holds me accountable for my own words and actions.

    I have become increasingly aware that often silence rather than misunderstanding is sometimes the best option as these days I am forever being misunderstood or misunderstanding others which is I think down to me feeling alienated from the times I live in.

    Who today doesn’t want me to know of God’s goodness! I don’t find that people are strongly opposed to my beliefs and some wish they shared them but admit they don’t have faith so I see it as a gift bestowed on me from above and accept it for what it is and thank God for it.

    I know it is only my belief that God will end hell and I cannot quote you words of Scripture to substantiate but as we would say here I feel it in my bones.

    Unfortunately, I think, maybe because I have experienced more hatred among religious people than love that there are some who just want to see their enemies in hell and that just doesn’t ring right to me but then what do I know about anything when all is said and done it would seem not very much!

  6. Beloved says:

    Mart just wondering why this blog and ODB use the same password and name? Just curious.

  7. Beloved says:

    And I still have to log in and out two times before the most recent posts show up. It’s weird.

  8. Beloved says:

    And I’m still very confused and unsettled about yesterday’s blog.

    And- Steve you are the problem with your inability to listen be still and not judge those who choose not to enable you. And you demand that Mart support you!?!?! Yet God forgives you because you don’t know what you are doing and so do I. It’s good to get all the cards out on the table when the game is rigged. Hoping you take heed to this as your alpha-male posturing is getting tiring. If you have Gods Holy Spirit the truth will set you free to be more like Jesus. Time will tell.

    Jesus I trust in you, have mercy on me and Steve. Amen

  9. Beloved says:

    See, I’m very disregulated right now and cannot even read properly. Ugh. It will take me a while to settle down. Pray for me please but you don’t have to post here you are praying. Thanks

  10. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, I am having to log in and out twice as well to see post and it been like that for a while.

    I have days like that too, Beloved.

    Almighty God,
    you know our anxieties and fears.
    Help me to cast all my cares on you,
    and to know that you love me.
    Give me peace of mind, and sure trust in you,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Amen.

  11. jeff1 says:

    wishing all a good Mother’s Day.

  12. poohpity says:

    I think it is very helpful to have open discussions about the differences in our beliefs but it does not help anyone when personal attacks happen. I speak as one who has my far share of personal attacks and knows what it feels like and it is hurtful. Please stop!

  13. Beloved says:

    Thank you for the grace, Viv.

  14. Beloved says:

    When we are hurting, whether for doing right, or doing wrong, we can be sure there is a Savior who knows how to deal with it. Lean on Him.

  15. Beloved says:

    Trials always come for a reason. Come, let us reason together, says our Great God. Reasoning with God is far better than with man or woman.

  16. jeff1 says:

    Very true, Beloved, my quiet time with God how comforting compared to trying to understand or explain to others who just don’t get me nor me them most of the time.

  17. bratimus says:

    Romans 8:1-2

    My Thought on Heaven and hell,

    when it is all said and done, those that are in Heaven with the Father will have no knowledge or memory of hell or the lost with in. As God took on the price of our sin on the cross through Christ Jesus. Would not the same loving God take on the burden of the memory of hell and those that might be in hell. So those with God in heaven just have the Love of God for eternity.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  18. Mart DeHaan says:

    Beloved, the same user name and password used to log in a hangover from years ago when Been Thinking was part of ODB. They kindly let me keep the blog but on my own.

  19. Beloved says:

    Mart thank you.

    Pooh hope you are having a happy Mother’s Day! I had dinner with my daughter and family, it was a wonderful time! So glad I moved back here.

  20. bubbles says:

    A very loved and precious close family member was presented with the gospel many times over. She would “argue,” but not in a hostile way. She would not accept that Jesus died and that she sinned and that Jesus could forgive her if she asked.

    Consider the poor beggar and the rich man. They both died, and being in torment, the rich man wanted water. He was not in Abraham’s bosom. He was not comforted. He was in torment. I am sure he regretted his decisions he made while he was alive. He wanted others to come back and tell his relatives, and look at the answer he received. That is a very sad passage. Jesus spoke of hell often.

    According to Scripture, those who do not accept Jesus do not go to Heaven when they die. It was horrible when my precious relative was killed in a sudden and terrible accident, knowing I will never see her again. Just because I want her in Heaven does not make it so. “Thus saith the Lord” is not the same as what I wish or want. God is a holy God. He cannot look upon sin, and those who die knowing Him as Savior, God will see Jesus’ blood as their righteousness. It’ not what “we” want here. I can’t stand the thought of my grandma being anywhere but Heaven, but it is what has happened and one day God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. I think those tears will be for those who are lost and not only for the tears of us not doing all we could for Him. What about in Scripture when God says, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” That is not God saving everyone. That passage is terrifying and very sad.

    When me make God to be the “god” we want, and when we make the holy, inspired, and infallible Word of God to be what we “want” it to say, no matter how much we want it. . .that is idolatry because we are making up a “god” that is not the true God. The human mind cannot understand God and His ways. His ways/thoughts are higher than ours. We cannot understand all about God.

    I am not angry and I am respectfully submitting this thought. God is a good and loving God, but he also hates sin and we are to fear Him. Look at examples in Scripture: Remember Lot’s wife; Jesus told us to. Annias and Sapphira. (misspelled there) What of those who burned the incense the wrong way? What about the gainsaying of Korah and the ground opened? What about the one who touched the ark and was struck dead immediately? What about Herod who praised himself and fell over dead and was consumed by worms? What about Goliath? Judas? Cain? “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I think that Jesus forgave them because they didn’t understand, but we are still accountable to God for our sins and choices made. What about the Great White Throne judgment?

    This is not what my conscience is telling me. This is what God says in His Word. I can wish all I want and want and hope all I can, but that does not make something so, no matter how much I loved this dear, precious, and close relative, and no matter how good of a person she was, she did not know the Lord, and that breaks my heart. Our righteousness are as filthy rags in His eyes, says Isaiah. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. There was no comfort in her death because she is not with Him now. I cannot stand the thought of it, and it was a horrible time after she died. It is still horrible. I cannot bring myself to think about it. In order to keep my mind, I remember the good times we had, even though life with her was short.
    I look back on my life now, both parents are gone. I can be thankful for them, but still have the lingering thought, “Is this all there was?!?” And just like that, it is gone and over, and I am not alone in this world. No one to witness life to, no one to tell things about. No one to call to tell about the little things of the day. No one with which to share. I am now a DNR. What is the point? There is no one left. It’s all over.

    Respectfully submitted with thankfulness. Much love and kindness to everyone here, dear friends.

  21. Beloved says:

    Bratimus I love what you said about having no memory of hell or those lost to hell in heaven. It kind of goes with my personal revelation that there will be no more sinning in heaven. These things are not discussed very much. I think we tend to bring our finiteness into our perceptions and interpretations of Holy scripture. Reading the Word with the mind of Christ -Holy Spirit is needed.

    Mart asks “So why the gospel?” Because without it the Book would just be another historical tome sitting on the shelf alongside Homer’s Odyssey. Thrills and adventure but nothing to give us reason to look forward to Life everlasting. No way to reach a loving Holy God.

    Some believe “nothingness” is what happens when we die. Yet the Holy Spirit has fixed eternity in my heart. I’ll stick with Him. It will be a great reward for enduring life here.

  22. jeff1 says:

    Lord, be my guardian and my guide,
    be near me when I call;
    uphold me when my footsteps slide,
    and hold me lest I fall.

    2 The world, the flesh and Satan dwell
    around the path I tread;
    o save me from the snares of hell,
    Deliverer from the dead!

    3 And if I tempted am to sin,
    and evil powers are strong;
    be present, Lord, keep watch within
    and save my soul from wrong.

    4 Still let me always watch and pray,
    and know that I am frail;
    that if the tempter cross my way,
    yet he shall not prevail.

    based on Psalm 17

  23. bratimus says:

    For now we still have the memory of.

    So the work of spreading the Gospel is not done, we need to reach the sum of the whole Gospel.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  24. Beloved says:

    Psalm71: 4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 5 For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth.

    Viv when I read this today I realized the wicked is also me. I am that unrighteous and cruel man. This part of me must and will be consumed by Gods Holy fire. Yet the destruction of Jesus’ flesh was far more effective than anything I can do alone. I love this psalm.

  25. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, I have long realized that I cannot make myself right with God as I have struggled within and that is when God spoke to my heart.

    When my mother died I continued my friendship with her friend and I used to say to her I knew my life was more than just chance but I didn’t understand how I knew.

    God doesn’t forsake us in this life and though I don’t understand how I will be changed I know I can trust God and that is enough for me to know.

    God whose love is all around us,
    who in Jesus sought and found us,
    who to freedom new unbound us,
    keep our hearts with joy aflame.

    2 For the sacramental breaking,
    for the honour of partaking,
    for your life, our lives remaking,
    young and old, we praise your name.

    3 From the service of this table
    lead us to a life more stable,
    for our witness make us able;
    blessing on our work we claim.

    4 Through our calling closely knitted,
    daily to your praise committed,
    for a life of service fitted,
    let us now your love proclaim.

  26. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Bubbles, your comment struck me.
    May Jesus be very very close to you, may He speak to your heart.
    May you be known by Him, let Him be your father and mother and brother and sister. May Jesus fill that empty place.
    In Jesus’ name I pray.
    And for everyone else here, though not for Beloved, ;-)
    But the same prayer for Matt, I pray.
    That Jesus will touch the loneliness, and give life eternal.
    Life that will not end, but be renewed day by day in faith in Jesus.
    And for Mart too!

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Reading Mart’s “disclaimer” I am reminded of all the different people who I have had work for the Town over the years. It was one of my indoctrination talks I had with each one, reminding them that the things they say and do are a reflection of not only them, but of the Municipality.

    Though taking away some of their individuality it became a responsibility for them to consider.

    I as Mayor catch hell no matter what I do or don’t do and am quoted by many without my ever having said a word.

    Certainly I personally have understood Mart could never be fully himself or completely open in conversation here because of his position and affiliation with RBC/ODB.

    Because people are vindictive small minded and often cruel in their responses to whatever anyone says, and quick to spread the stink around, he wanted and wants to protect those he is affiliated with.

    An intelligent move, but at the same time unfair to stifle or censor free thought.

    If you think that people who profess to be “Christian” aren’t small minded, vindictive and cruel, well then just stop talking long enough to listen to what is said or written by some.

    Simon and Garfunkel say in their song “The Boxer”, “That a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

    I love that comment.

    The same applies to Scripture and to “Christians”.

    Open your eyes, your mind and your heart, God is speaking…If you disregard the rest you may miss something wonderful.

    36 degrees and raining.

    Steve

  28. jeff1 says:

    Thanks for your prayer, Forever, and since I lost my mum, dad and brother, plus separation from husband and family gone away I find I am leaning on Jesus the more and then my dad’s words to always focus on Christ and not the difficulties that life will bring.

    New songs of celebration render
    to him who has great wonders done.
    Love sits enthroned in ageless splendour:
    come and adore the mighty one.
    He has made known his great salvation
    which all his friends with joy confess:
    he has revealed to every nation
    his everlasting righteousness.

    2 Joyfully, heartily resounding,
    let every instrument and voice
    peal out the praise of grace abounding,
    calling the whole world to rejoice.
    Trumpets and organs, set in motion
    such sounds as make the heavens ring;
    all things that live in earth and ocean,
    make music for your mighty king.

    3 Rivers and seas and torrents roaring,
    honour the Lord with wild acclaim;
    mountains and stones look up adoring
    and find a voice to praise his name.
    Righteous, commanding, ever glorious,
    praises be his that never cease:
    just is our God, whose truth victorious
    establishes the world in peace.

    based on Canticle ‘Cantate Domino’ (Psalm 98)

  29. bubbles says:

    Pleeas know I was not writing to be cruel. I love everyone here. I’m sorry if it read as cruel.

  30. jeff1 says:

    Bubbles, even though I see things differently, I have very different reasons and I am coming from a very different place than you as we all are individuals with very different experiences and I believe they do shape how we see things whether negatively or positively is probably again down to our individualities.

    I do not think you are being cruel but I respectively say that just as I do not understand all God is doing in the world neither do you and He is the Living God and while I am not pointing the finger at anyone here there are many whom claim to put their trust in God while leading their lives as if He doesn’t exist.

    That really baffles me!

  31. poohpity says:

    What a crack up! Mart it seems did not pull away from ODB because of the things he writes but because of what the bloggers write and rather than having them kicked off by moderators by not following the guidelines he pulled this blog away, is my hunch. If this was that closely moderated there may be no comments allowed, lol. Mart’s comments have always reflected who he is in Christ and tried as he might to get the people here to reflect on their words whether they are a reflection of what they say they believe or NOT!
    ************

    I also think that these latest topics seem to be about rather than discussing things we may know nothing about like what happens to those who have passed from this life to the next and then arguing about our opinions about such matters rather than the difference and changed lives that are brought about from believing in the Gospel and if one has received the Holy Spirit which effects how one lives their lives in the here and now. Is there a difference from when one first came to believe and years later, like is there any visible or inner growth or does one still act as if they never accepted Christ or fully understood the love He has for us which should be reflected in how we interact with others? In other words has Christ really made a difference in how we live in the here and now or is it just a adjective we call ourselves, “Christian” and does that actually mean something?

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Bubbles, there is not a cruel bone in you. Disagreeing isn’t being cruel.

    I speak of people who profess Christ yet do not show it in their words nor actions disregarding the feelings of another.

    Using their words like weapons as well as Scripture.

    Steve

  33. poohpity says:

    As Paul wrote to Timothy which still applies to us today to be careful about what we fill our minds with our own perspectives or biases by sharing opinions, human logic, philosophies or with the truth.

    2 Timothy 4: I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

    3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

  34. poohpity says:

    Steve do you do any of those things you accuse others of? ;-)

  35. street says:

    2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    ran into aristotelian’s three unities today. from my observation they are impersonal.

  36. street says:

    I cannot bring myself to think about it.

    in bringing ourselves to God we have to turn to Him in hope. away from the world of self. the only way we can do this is through the Gospel of Jesus.

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

    the Righteousness and Justice of God is either a place of Great terror or Great Joy. let us carry our cross with joy.

  37. street says:

    as Christians there will always be red herrings. don’t think He is done with us. we have a saying in my house boring is good drama is bad. yet you can be sure there are red herrings too.

    1 John 1:8
    If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

    trust and dependence is found in One.

  38. street says:

    a review of Colossians 2 might help.

  39. Beloved says:

    The word of God is sharper than a two edged sword. The pain is real and worse than any physical/emotional pain.

  40. phpatato says:

    Bubbles

    What you said resonated within me. We are walking beside each other, hand in hand. My thoughts, questions and concerns match yours.

    xo

    Steve you said: Do you really think then that God abandons all other people to eternal torment, because He didn’t select them from before the foundation of the world?

    Do you believe you were selected, or do you think that you earned your special status on your own?…

    Not to be arugmentive (this thought put forward with respect and love):

    What if, God “selected” – every single human being that He has ever created – from before the foundation of the world? He selected ALL, from Genesis to now and beyond. After all, each one of us is unique, special, hand-crafted and lovingly designed. He breathed His very own breath into each of us!! Made and specifically “selected” because He did make us.

    But then because of the free will, that He intended each of us to possess, it is only those who have had that repenting moment of God Help Me; God Forgive Me; to fall to their knees crying out for His Son to save them from their wretchedness, that He sets aside as His own. And as Bubbles said, because He cannot look at sin, He has to (not want to) abandon to torment, those who purposefully, intentionally, blindly rejected His repeated loving “urgings” to repent.

    So YES I do believe I was selected from before the foundation of the world, as has every other man/woman/child ever created and NO I do not think that I earned my special status on my own EXCEPT THAT I can say I did confess with my mouth that Jesus is the Lord. Romans 10:9-10 That did take action on my part.

    xo

  41. street says:

    20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,[a] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

    22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:20-22

  42. street says:

    21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— Romans 9:21-23

  43. street says:

    14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. Romans 9

  44. phpatato says:

    More to ponder and chew. Thanks Street!!!

  45. jeff1 says:

    Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
    whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
    be there at or waking, and give us, we pray,
    your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

    2 Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
    whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
    be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
    your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

    3 Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
    your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
    be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
    your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

    4 Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
    whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
    be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
    your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

  46. Beloved says:

    Pray for Jerusalem!

  47. Beloved says:

    Prophecy fulfilled?
    Zechariah 12 A prophecy:(A) The word of the Lord concerning Israel.

    The Lord, who stretches out the heavens,(B) who lays the foundation of the earth,(C) and who forms the human spirit within a person,(D) declares: 2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup(E) that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.(F) Judah(G) will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.

    3 On that day, when all the nations(H) of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock(I) for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure(J) themselves.

    4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.(K) 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong,(L) because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

  48. foreverblessed says:

    But then because of the free will, that He intended each of us to possess, it is only those who have had that repenting moment of God Help Me; God Forgive Me; to fall to their knees crying out for His Son to save them from their wretchedness, that He sets aside as His own. And as Bubbles said, because He cannot look at sin, He has to (not want to) abandon to torment, those who purposefully, intentionally, blindly rejected His repeated loving “urgings” to repent.

    I do agree with this totally.

    With one exception:
    These people who do end in hell….

    It says in the bible that hell is forever.
    Forever = ages and ages

    That is a very long time, but it does not say in the bible that hell is without end.

    So…. if someone comes to his senses, in hell and earnestly calls for God to save him……

    Then, if that is possible….

    Gos is not going to say:
    Too late now, Judgment Day is gone, you will stay in hell without end.

    That is what I believe.

  49. foreverblessed says:

    About the parable of Lazarus and the rich man: Luke 16:19-31
    Where Jesus said: there is a schasm…

    This parable is one of great debate:
    Does it talk about the state after Judgment Day,

    Some here have decided that this parable is about hell.
    And they say it is the Truth.
    And everybody who does not believe this does not have faith in God.
    I find that a judgment that is not for for man to say.

    It is a certain interpretation of this bible verse.

    Most bible scholars see that this talks about Hades, the time after death and before judgment day.

    The interbellum.
    And in that state it is impossible to go from one state to another.
    But this parable does not say that this state is without end.

    And there is another point about this parable:
    The rich man was crying for help, but not in a repentant attitude:
    His state of mind was still selfish:
    He saw other people as instruments to help him.
    He was not humble, but wanted to be served by Lazarus.

    So in the state of the attitude of his heart it was impossible for him to pass over to the other side.

    And then there is another point:
    Jesus said: with men it is impossible,
    but with God everything is possible.

  50. foreverblessed says:

    Mart does not have the time to read all of our comments.
    It is quite consuming in time to be part of this discussion.

    And then it takes time to think about it, and ask God questions, and wait for the answer.

    Above all:
    We are connected to a Living Person: Jesus Christ.

    And not to a set of beliefs or our own interpretation of our belief.

    I am bound to Jesus Himself.
    He bought me with His own blood, out of the Kingdom of darkness.
    I am His.

    And Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
    I can rest in His calm, in His shade.

  51. foreverblessed says:

    But….
    the question is Mart asked:
    So why then the Gospel?
    Mart answers: to have the Life of Christ, NOW, already now, the life Jesus came to give,
    Life to the full!
    And not live in our fallen state, since Adam, the kingdom of darkness, from which we were bought free, Jesus paid the ransom, and now already we are part of the Kingdom of the Son He loves, Col 1:12-15

    Predestined and Called to be firstfruits

  52. SFDBWV says:

    At 9pm I get Matt tucked into bed, on even dated nights I get him rolled to his left, on uneven nights to his right. He cannot roll himself over. So the on uneven nights he wants me to wake him sometime after 11 and before 12 and roll him over. On even nights it can be whenever he wakes and asks me to get him rolled over.

    I get to the couch and lay down sometime after nine, and usually am up to my big chair sometime after 2:20am. I do this primarily so that I don’t sleep past 3:40 am as that is when Matt wants me to tell him it is 3:40 and then every 5 minutes tell him the time until I get him up at 4:20 am.

    On Tuesdays and Saturdays he has a little routine then that takes 15 minutes after which point I get him a plate with a sliced apple in 8 slices, chocolate and apple strudels and a warm biscuit with butter and jam, 4 mugs of water and a small bottle of juice. Today’s juice is orange pineapple.

    All the other days of the week he has cereal with an eggo except on Sunday he has peanut butter toast and a separate slice of toast with blackberry jam along with his cereal, water, sunny d and chocolate milk.

    While he eats I usually set down at the computer with a cup of coffee and check in on the news, any emails and look in on BTA.

    When Matt is finished eating I get him up to his big chair so he can relax and watch TV or just talk to me. On Tuesday and Saturday I will get him up again at 6:30 so he can relieve himself. Two things he needs help with. Getting up and relieving himself.

    It is at that time I usually go outside and feed the critters and have my “official” prayer time with God, alone, the fact is I am in prayer mode all day long and gather any weather data I may need to in order to send it to the National Weather Service at 7am.

    After that I might write some here or attend to any chore needing done and sometimes I just want to set down with Matt and rest.

    As you might imagine having written this in between attending to Matt I have spent a good bit of my time already on this. After the day gets going I have less and less personal time to do much here.

    I have told you all this so that you might understand why it isn’t easy for me to just set down here and spend a lot of time in explanation to subject matter.

    As to our subject matter and the uproar I have created in expressing myself. I really wish I had just kept quiet about my thoughts and just let things stay as they were. However I wouldn’t be true to myself if I just kept quiet.

    Pat I will answer your questions and give more detail when I can spend some time here to do it. Please be patient with me, the sky is already light and I am behind schedule with my own morning routine.

    35 degrees and partially cloudy.

    Steve

  53. jeff1 says:

    I wonder why God bestowed on me a gift of faith while I see others living with no hope or belief of a better life to come either in this world or the next.

    Maybe its because its a mystery to me why he would choose me while my brother whose mind from a young boy was so disturbed that he went from being a very religious boy to not caring whether God existed that I see my faith very much as a reward in this life.

    If I have learned anything in life it is that when it comes to God there are many unrevealed mysteries (unrevealed to me that is) that I cannot fathom and maybe that is down to my ignorance of the Bible since I did not come to faith through knowing the word of God but from my own experiences in life but even then those experiences are what strengthened my faith in God rather than my brother’s which led him to falling away from his faith.

    I would be interested to hear what your beliefs are on someone who died in an asylum and since their minds are not well enough to make a choice to choose Christ do you believe then they spend eternity in hell and is their Biblical verses that substantiate your beliefs.

    It is my thinking that our own experiences and beliefs are what lead us to bias interpretation of the Bible unless we are totally aware of the Holy Spirit’s leading in all things revealed to us.

    Not trying to catch anybody out or insinuate that your beliefs are not honest and sincere but that there is room for error because we are human with human tendencies.

  54. poohpity says:

    It seems to be rather easy to misunderstand what others say and that even includes what God says if we do not know them. We may not know what lies below the surface into their hearts and minds but I believe and trust that God knows even the thoughts that roll around in our minds before they are acted on and knowing those things I trust that God will be just and merciful in His dealing with humanity. God knows those who will have a hard heart changed and those who will never have a hardened heart changed, He knows those who want a relationship with Him and those who never give Him a second thought. God knows!

    So why would I put time into trying to figure out who it is that when a seed is planted in their heart whether it will not take root because circumstances of life will cause it to fade away or whether it has found fertile ground to grow and produce the fruit of the Gospel? Only God knows! So Why Then the Gospel? Because we never know who it will be that the seed of the Gospel will take root in but if we do not share the Gospel we may have missed the very one who it will take root in.

    The best Gospel we can share is in how we live it out. We may able to fool people but NO ONE CAN FOOL GOD and He is all that really matters in the end as we stand before Him because EVERYONE WILL and He will have no problems separating those who want to be His from those who do not.

    So why worry or be concerned about things that are beyond our abilities to ever know because that in and of itself can distract us from the very things God wants us to be assured of which seems to be the intent of the evil one from the beginning to doubt the justice, love and mercy of our God. Either one believes what God does is just and merciful or they don’t. Does one really trust God as they say they do which leads to submission to His leading or are they still trying to control everything that happens and want God to submit to them?

  55. poohpity says:

    So doesn’t all really come down to whether I trust God with everything or NOT?

  56. poohpity says:

    “People may not always be right, but the same goes for us! Knowing that everyone makes mistakes, only the fool assumes they are the exception. Instead, let’s exercise godly wisdom and listen to the wise advise of others-even if we initially disagree. Sometimes that’s exactly how God works for our good.” Con Campbell (Proverbs 12:15 NLT)

  57. SFDBWV says:

    Just finished up with Matt’s exercises for the morning and have a few minutes before moving on. I need to set and rest a while and will with a cup of coffee and try and begin some of my comments.

    A short answer Viv to your question about mental illness especially crippling mental illness. My thought is that they are not held responsible for their mental awareness and not under condemnation from God nor man.

    Which brings me to this comment. If you look at sin as a sickness you might see that sick people are in need of curing not punishment.

    I am just going to leave that thought there and repost later about some of the other things that have brought me to believe the way I have come to.

    Steve

  58. street says:

    The Lord, who stretches out the heavens,(B) who lays the foundation of the earth,(C) and who forms the human spirit within a person

    this verse resonates with me this morning. thinking of Jesus the law and the prophets foundation and Corner Stone. new life/foundation by faith, a gift of God. thinking of play work and worship again.

    The Word of God, Foundational.

    thinking of a Fountain.

    Emmanuel

  59. street says:

    11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

  60. jeff1 says:

    Steve, any stigmas to mental illness seems to have disappeared over the years so that mankind is accepting that there are those more susceptible than others.

    As for seeing sin as a sickness, I hadn’t, I suppose resisting sin to me was about resisting evil either in thought or action.

    Looking to God for the strength to keep it at bay and filling my head with good thoughts of deeds pleasing to Him.

    Don’t understand why I would see sin as a sickness.

  61. foreverblessed says:

    Old Testament:
    I will bless those that bless you, curse those that curse you.
    Genesis 12:3

    Years ago Steve had an interesting typo:
    Bless those that bless you, and cure those that curse you

  62. Beloved says:

    Steve and Chris B hope your gas tanks are already full. Another plague hits. Jesus have mercy.

  63. street says:

    I wonder why God bestowed on me a gift of faith while I see others living with no hope or belief of a better life to come either in this world or the next.

    i think the answer has to do with hunger and thirst.

    the wick suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

    other long for Righteousness.

    Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

    thinking of the stories of thirst, 1st in Exodus, complaining of thirst, 2nd samson crying out in thirst, and Jesus on the cross, “I thirst.”

    thinking of Isiah 41:17 17
    “The poor and needy are seeking water, but there is none,
    And their tongues are parched with thirst.
    I, the Lord, will answer them Myself;
    As the God of Israel I will not abandon them.

    thinking of the woman at the well in John 4

  64. poohpity says:

    I think the essence of this post and the last was to say if we believe that it is God’s desire that none should perish but have eternal life rather than worrying about whether someone is saved or not or can be saved or not are we as His children going about the business of telling people the Gospel?

    If one is not sure whether someone is saved or not why not ask them if they know who Jesus is and what He has done out of His great love for mankind. If they do not know Him then share what you know, that is if you really care about their salvation rather than guessing.

    I can not begin to tell you how many times I hear AFTER someone has died a person wondering if they were saved or not. To end that wonder tell them the Good News then at least one can be sure that at least they heard. They can not know unless someone tells them.

    After people are gone is not the time to wonder where they went. While people are alive is the time to share so that the Lord through the Gospel will change their here and now trusting the Lord to take care of what happens after they have passed. We can never know, that is above our need to know that is where faith comes into play trusting that God is a compassionate God.

    How many people actually do the good works we were saved to do rather than worrying about what God takes care of?

  65. SFDBWV says:

    30 degrees and still dropping, clear as a bell and frost. The lilacs have just began to come into full bloom will see how bad things are come daylight.

    There is so much to say about the subject it is difficult to not get side tracked while attempting to stay on topic, but the fact remains that “in conclusion” means after looking at everything and coming to the end of the matter.

    First of all let me say I do not disagree with a single word of Scripture as given.

    To begin at the end I find myself in Revelation where the second resurrection occurs and all those who had not accepted Christ come into judgement.

    Death and hell are thrown into that lake of fire.

    Is there literally a lake of fire or is this a symbol of showing whatever goes in cannot come out? It is done away with. Consumed by the “fire”.

    Death is the absence of life, hell is a place of torment.

    They have been done away with.

    Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    “The book of life”

    Look to “Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur” for the book of life.

    Look also at the feasts and ask yourself, who among all of mankind was ever able to accomplish absolute atonement of their sins?

    I come up with Jesus of Nazareth who, sinless Himself, died for the sins of all mankind and no other.

    Going to have to leave it there for now. Life calls and it is there I am needed most.

    Steve

  66. jeff1 says:

    If I am following God’s lead I hope that I am doing as God would want me toward others i.e. kindness, charity, love, empathy i.e. looking at the need and trying to meet it.

    If I keep it simple then I will be focused on what is important to God helping a world in need rather than making judgements that are not mine to make as I am suppose to be working on God’s behalf and not trying to be Him.

  67. jeff1 says:

    As for death and hell, I am well out of my depth in understanding but as I see it even my faith is a gift from God and so without Him I can do nothing as He is the source of all that is good in me when all is said and done.

  68. jeff1 says:

    FINISHED, the strife of battle now,
    gloriously crowned the victor’s brow:
    sing with gladness, hence with sadness:
    Alleluia!

    2 After the death that him befell,
    Jesus Christ has harrowed hell:
    songs of praising we are raising:
    Alleluia!

    3 On the third morning he arose,
    shining with victory o’er his foes;
    earth is singing, heaven is ringing:
    Alleluia!

    4 Lord, by your wounds on you we call,
    now that from death you’ve freed us all:
    may our living be thanksgiving:
    Alleluia!

    based on Corinthians 15: 53-57

  69. poohpity says:

    It does not seem like we have to go far to share the Gospel. We go to Dr appts, to get groceries, to buy gas, even using the internet from home the Lord seems to place people in our lives that need to hear the Gospel. The problem being does one ever think of sharing it no matter where you are or what circumstances one finds themselves in there is always opportunity. Are you going to take that opportunity to share the love of God that was lavished on you or leave it to someone else?

    If you try a new food and find it to be really delicious do you share or tell others about it? I know that is a poor example but think about it the Gospel is life changing and altering don’t you want others to know so they too can experience the love of God and be given the hope that brings to people.

  70. SFDBWV says:

    Like I said it is difficult to not get off track because this matter goes all over Scripture.

    In the beginning did God just create Adam thinking that that was it, no other human’s? Was Eve an afterthought? Or part of a bigger unfolding story and plan?

    If we Christians were chosen before the foundation of the world it would seem, God had other plans than just Adam and as an afterthought Eve.

    There is a huge story here that we are only given a part of.

    It is written that God does not temp us. Yet He allows, lets or instructs Satan to. Take your choice.

    So after Adam and Eve’s fall and death enters creation, what happened to Adam, Eve, Able, Cain and every soul then that died?

    Enoch was taken up by God, for a future use (I believe), body and soul. Noah found grace and Abraham was saved by his own faith. So it is written.

    Jesus was yet born, yet to die and give sacrifice and atonement for all.

    So where did all of these souls go to after death?

    Jesus gives a little view in the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

    Abraham was there in “Paradise” while the rich man in a place of torment.

    Not heaven and not hell, but a paradise and a place of torment.

    Interesting that the soul without a physical body could feel heat and be thirsty.

    So why was Lazarus there in paradise? Was it because of his faithfulness to God? Or the pitiful condition of his life?

    Judgement had not yet come to mankind, but God already must have had a condition in mind as to who went where after death.

    It is written in 1 Peter 3:18-20 that after Jesus’ death he went to that “prison” and preached to those long dead from before the flood.

    I can’t imagine any in that place that didn’t accept Christ. Which was the purpose of His going there.

    At the beginning of Christianity only a handful of People believed, as the Gospel began to spread it multiplied quickly, but in relative size to all the rest of the world still very small.

    Yet people all over the world continued to live and die without ever hearing of the God of Abraham and of Jesus His Son and of His sacrifice.

    So what of their eternal condition? What of them when raised at that second resurrection?

    I have more to say, lots more, but I leave things where there are for now. Asking for you to think about what you know of Jesus of His sacrifice and love for us all. And try and realize there is much more to the story than we are given.

    My hope is given in faith for what I have not yet seen, but believe.

    Steve

  71. Beloved says:

    Great pic Mart! Two trying to juggle as one! That’s what we do here 🤔🙏🤷‍♂️🤣✝️

  72. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Steve, thanks for giving some more thoughts.
    Lots to think about. I was going to say that I am done talking about the afterlife.

    As Jeff said:
    “If I keep it simple then I will be focused on what is important to God helping a world in need rather than making judgements that are not mine to make as I am suppose to be working on God’s behalf and not trying to be Him.”

    I gave said it so many times: how can we as humans decide that people who have not chosen for Jesus in this life, will be lost forever, without end.
    I have said so many times: that forever is not the same as without end.
    But then still, how can we think that God will stop ever to be searching after the lost?
    Why have christians chosen to believe that it is over with God’s mercy after day of judgment?

    I am so done with talking about this.

    But the way Jeff talks about it is much more humble:
    Let’s not make judgments that are only God’s to make.

    I remember a missionary, who had many visions of people in the afterlife, Sadu Sundar Singh, an Indian christian,
    He saw hell, it was a dreadful place, ouch…horrible.
    He could hardly stand it, but there he was and talked to angels guarding hell, and he asked the angel:
    “Will anybody ever come out of this dreadful place?”
    The angel answered: ” I don’t know, only God knows”.

    So this is my point: only God knows if anybody can ever come out of hell.
    And so I agree totally with Jeff, who are we to make those judgments?

    And she said something else:
    Could it be so that your own interpretation of bible verses, Like Lazarus and the rich man, that it could be wrong?

    That is a good question too.

    That Steve came up with 1 Peter 3:18-20
    Yes, I would like to discuss that too. There is another verse I Peter’s writing that is equally interesting.

    (Steve, Being chosen…. to me it means: to be firstfruits, with a tremendous task to be servants to those who will yet be called.
    Not chosen to be the only ones, and the rest is lost)

  73. foreverblessed says:

    “Asking for you to think about what you know of Jesus of His sacrifice and love for us all. And try and realize there is much more to the story than we are given.”

    Yes, since Mart talked about the Body and Blood of Jesus, I have been thinking about it.
    Jesus had to be part of the human race, to be able to save us.
    Flesh of our flesh, and blood of our blood
    “A body You have prepared for Me”
    The Hebrews book is all about it!

    The impact of His Body and blood is so immense, so great, so all encompassing.
    The depth of it we cannot fathom.
    Wonderful Truth.

  74. foreverblessed says:

    I would rather talk about the Cross,
    And that when Jesus was lifted up
    “I will draw all to Me”

  75. bratimus says:

    With this topic what keeps coming to my mind is the teachings of Jesus.

    The parables of, the sower, the wheat and tares and the wise and foolish virgins.Jesus taught His followers this in the time Jesus walk Earth.

    They are in the Gospel of
    Christ

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  76. Beloved says:

    Just thinking…
    If the word of God is not enough, what else is there? I can’t think of anything personally. Mystery is not for us to know, yet. But I do trust and believe what God has revealed in the Word.
    That’s my opinion. Anything else is speculative. I’d personally rather spend my time putting a puzzle together than to spend time searching outside the bounds of scripture. Jesus message is enough for me also! And His presence with me. Oh He’s enough!!

  77. Beloved says:

    I heard of a Catholic priest and a Buddhist priest who met together once a year on retreat. What did they talk about?, someone asked. Football, they replied, football.

  78. jeff1 says:

    IMMORTAL, invisible. God only wise,
    in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
    most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
    almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

    2 Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
    nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
    thy justice, like mountains high soaring above
    thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

    3 To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
    in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
    we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
    and wither and perish; but nought changeth thee.

    4 Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
    thine angels adove thee, all veiling their sight;
    all laud we would render: O help us to see
    ’tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

  79. jeff1 says:

    Its the numerous interpretations of God’s word that makes me realize there is room for human error and so as my dad says keep focused on Christ as He never leaves us from the cradle to the grave and beyond.

    I have peace in Christ which is where I believe God wants me to be as I have spent enough of my life running from Him and that didn’t work out so well so now in my latter years I can finally put my trust in Him rather than getting anxious and stressed at the world around me I can know God is always working His purpose out and that is enough for me to rejoice about.

  80. foreverblessed says:

    All this I have spoken while still with you.
    But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
    Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
    John 14:25-27

    Today is Ascension Day, a national holiday in our country!
    Thank God Jesus did go away, so that the Spirit could be sent to us.
    We are not left orphans

  81. jeff1 says:

    Holy Spirit, come, confirm us
    in the truth that Christ makes known;
    we have faith and understanding
    through your helping gifts alone.

    2 Holy Spirit, come, console us,
    come as advocate to plead,
    loving Spirit from the Father,
    grant in Christ the help we need.

    3 Holy Spirit, come, renew us,
    come yourself to make us live,
    holy through your loving presence,
    holy through the gifts you give.

    4 Holy Spirit, come, possess us,
    you the love of Three in One,
    Holy Spirit of the Father,
    Holy Spirit of the Son.

    based on John 14: 25-27; 16: 12-15

  82. Beloved says:

    Hebrews10: 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses

    dies without mercy

    on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God,

    and has profaned lthe blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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