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Heaven

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by savagewind, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    That was a lot of work Rise. Thanks. I think those scriptures are concerned with the debt we owe God. It is forgiven, I understand. We also have debts against each other. Those are the sins that need evidence of repentance.

    Matthew 5:24,25 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift

    It does not say if God has something against you go make peace. It says your brother has something against you. God's forgiveness is complete, I agree. But the hurt we do to each other is what needs to be resolved. It will not always be resolved. Then it is the offended person's responsibility to be like God and forgive for the sake of forgiveness. Just as we want others to do for us.

    If accepting God's grace means to be forgiven for everything, why does the Lord's prayer say "forgive us our debts". I think it is because there is no way to go about asking forgiveness and making amends to every person we ever offended. But to be heaping offences we have committed against people with the offenses we have committed against God and calling it even does not make much sense, does it?
     
  2. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    Then getting back to the belief that very bad people can get into heaven or back to a kinship with God because God stands by with grace for all does not advocate God's will be done. How so? The possibility that anything can be repented for advertises sin.

    The criminal crucified with Jesus people use as an example that grace for anything can be accomplished at any time. We do not know what the man did. He can not be compared to people who prey on others. He can not be compared to wicked people who sin against innocent others over and over again. There has to be a point where it becomes obvious that a person who can never make up for what he did becomes condemned by people claiming to know God. God is a righteous judge. Are you imitating God when you put no restrictions on sin?
     
    #22 savagewind, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  3. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    That does not suggest that Christ cannot forgive your sins towards other people if you repent but they choose not to forgive you.
    Matthew 5 in context is a broader teaching on issues of the heart and mind versus just doing the right actions, what it really looks like when we deal in love with everyone, not because we need to do that to earn the forgiveness of our sins but because that is what having a righteous heart looks like in action.
    This is where it talks about loving your enemies, avoiding thinking wrong thoughts and not just avoiding doing wrong (Ie it's not enough to just not murder someone, you've got to actually have a heart that doesn't regard someone with wrathful anger because that is the root cause of murder), etc.

    In that context, he's saying don't just go to the temple and go through the motions of offering a sacrifice over your sin, but actually have a heart that desires to go and make things right with those you have offended.
    This falls under the same category of "don't just do the right actions, but have a right heart".
     
     
    The Lord's prayer is what we pray to God, and it says:
    "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."
    We ask God to forgive our debts, because we have forgiven others of their debts against us.
     
    No where in scripture will you find the idea that another man holding an offense against you will prevent you from being right with God. No where do we find the idea that our salvation is dependant on other people's response to us. The only thing that matters is our response to Christ.

    It is a false idea sowed by the adversary which leads people to believe that they have power over another person's fate by choosing not to forgive them and release them of a debt. Someone who is hurt may want the other person to hurt in turn, and thinks that by refusing to forgive them they can bring about hurt to the other person, but this is not true. They are actually only causing additional harm to themselves because their state of unforgiveness makes them unable to recieve Christ's forgiveness. The parable of the unmerciful debtor I posted earlier is a picture of this.
    Consder what it would imply if people had the power to prevent us from being reconciled to God until they forgave us: No matter how much you experience a genuine change of heart, no matter how much you change your ways, no matter how much good you do, if that one stubborn person chooses to not forgive an offense against you then you would be doomed to not be reconciled to God.

    The truth is that Christ took on all our sins, not just our sins towards God but our sins towards each other. So when we see forgiveness we turn to Christ and confess our sin, repenting, and he is faithful and just to forgive us - because he is the one who took the debt and paid it, so we are only indebted to him not to other people (verses on that posted down below). The only requirement he puts on us is that we must be willing to forgive other people of things they have against us in order to recieve the forgiveness of our own debts that he has waiting for us.
     
    #23 Rise, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  4. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    Acts 13
    38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through [p]Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and [q]through Him everyone who believes is [r]freed [s]from all things, from which you could not be [t]freed [u]through the Law of Moses.

    Acts 26
    And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have [k]seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

    Ephesians 1:
    In [a]Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He [b]lavished on [c]us.
    Ephesians 4
    32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven [a]you.

    Colossians 1
    12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us [r]to share in the inheritance of the [s]saints in Light.
    13 [t]For He rescued us from the [u]domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of [v]His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    James 5
    and the prayer [l]offered in faith will [m]restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, [n]they will be forgiven him.

    1 John 1
    9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    1 John 2
    12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
     


    Further:

    Acts 10
    42 And He ordered us to [af]preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
    Note in acts 10 that only He is appointed judge over the living and dead.

    Psalm 51 (This is David speaking to God after he had sinned greviously against other people)
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
    so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
     

    We don't get to be a position of judging people as unforgiven by holding offense against them. He took on all our sin debts to himself, so he has the authority to forgive them all to us, because we are ultimately only indebted to Him.


    Acts 2
    Peter said to them, " Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 8
    18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or portion in this [f]matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the [g]bondage of iniquity."
     

    Notice that it is not having a right heart before God that denies him the gift of God.
    The solution for him is to repent, and it is the Lord who can forgive him of that sin.
     
     
     
    Luke 17
    3 [c]Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ [d]forgive him."

    Here Jesus puts no qualification on forgiving others, he says to always forgive those who repent.
    In the same way Jesus always forgives those who repent. He expects the same of us because he has forgiven us completely. We don't have the right anymore to hold sins against someone whom God has already forgiven through their repentance.
     
     

     
    Mark 11
    25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [[f]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."]

    Matthew 18
    33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from [ab]your heart."
     
    Forgiving others is for our sake, not theirs.
    God is teaching us how to be merciful and loving to the same extent that He is.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    #24 Rise, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
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  5. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    That is beautiful. (posted to Rise about all that that can be viewed ABOVE this post ;)) And I agree it is for following Christ. The thread is about people who have not followed Christ until their last day. On their death bed they are sorry for all the hurt they caused. Truly sorry. Many people hold dear the belief that the worst sinner (Hitler is my example on RF) will be forgiven if God detects sincere repentance in him or her.

    The problem with that scenario is it cannot teach that God is a righteous JUDGE and it causes a weakening of righteous works on Earth because really, what's the point? What would be the point in "making peace with my brother" when it really does not matter?

    What is the advantage of good works if I and Hitler end up the same way? By the way, I do not forgive him so then if heaven is the place to go and he is repentant but I can not accept that he can be repentant then I go to hell and he goes to heaven (as a repentant one). And I go to hell unable to forgive him.
     
  6. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    ....Go to hell unable to forgive him....which would be cool, I mean HOT
     
  7. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    We know from scripture that Christ is righteous, and that all judgement has been given unto Him.
    Further:
     
    2 Peter 3
    9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
     
    His will is that all would come to repentance, because all have fallen short.


    Romans 3:
    9 What then? Are we Jews[a] any better off?[b] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:
    "None is righteous, no, not one;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one."
    13 "Their throat is an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive."
    "The venom of asps is under their lips."
    14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
    15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
    17 and the way of peace they have not known."
    18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
     
     
    Romans 3
    21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
     
     
    If you want people to get what they deserve then you'll have to be prepared to get what you deserve in turn. If you want to be forgiven, you'll have to forgive and stop judging others.
     
    If God gave everyone what they deserved then we'd all be condemned. Our mercy towards others comes from the fact that he was merciful towards us. Think back the question Jesus posed to his discple about the one who loved Jesus more because they realized they had been forgiven of so much. If you think you are righteous enough to be judged without the need for Christ's forgiveness then you decieve yourself.

    1 John 1
    If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
     

    All sin leads to death. We all escaped the death penalty. To judge anyone as having commited an unforgiveable sin, a sin that is too much for the blood of Jesus to atone for, is to not be aware that we have already commited sins that would have led to death without the forgiveness of Christ. Not one of us would have escaped on our own.

     
    Romans 2:4
    Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
     
    1 John 4
    19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.
     
    Tasting the goodness of God is what makes me desire more of Him, not fear of His punishment.
    I make peace with my brother because it's the loving thing to do, what God would will me to do by His Spirit, because I desire to be obediant to the lordship of Christ.
     
    I don't do it to earn my salvation. Christ earned my salvation. I merely choose to submit to Him and then because all judgement has been commited to Him he is the one who decides my repentance and faith in Him makes me justified in the sight of God.
     

    Remember that Jesus loved righteousness. He didn't just do righteousness, he loved it. He didn't have to force himself to be righteous out of fear of punishment, he wanted to do it.

    8 But about the Son he says,
    “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
    9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.”[e]

    As we become more like Christ through the Holy Spirit's work in us, we start to love righteousness and obedience more than rebellion and sinfulness.
    It's not something we do to become saved, it's something we do because of what we have become through faith in Him.
    The goodness of Him is what changes us to want that more than we want the sin of the world. The more we abide in him, the more righteous fruit that results.

    Matthew 6:15
    "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
    Mark 11:25
    "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
    Luke 11:4
    'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'"
     
    Jesus told us to forgive everyone, even those we think don't deserve it. He told us to go further than that even - He told us to bless our enemies. You can't truly love your enemies if hold an offense against them. And you'll know you have truly forgiven someone when you can ask God to bless them and mean it from your heart.
    It's radical stuff to the human mind, but once we start having our mind renewed to have the perspective of Christ we start to realize why He told us to do this.
     
    #27 Rise, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I suppose most of this depends on what you think the After life is about.
    The first Christians most likely believed as the other Jews.
    They probably believed that their souls were for eternity with no beginning and no end. They knew that they would spend no more than a year in a corrective state. much like the later Christian Purgatory, before continuing as souls in the after life. Some Jews held other beliefs, But none of them as important as living their lives in a way that brought Gods plan nearer to fruition, this entailed following god''s commandments and laws and how they should treat theor fellow men.
    Christians took a few words from the new scriptures and devised the whole concept of Salvation through Faith. and with the prospect of Heaven or Hell.

    This is a far cry from the Jewish view of an almost universal afterlife for ones soul.

    Christians must have been influenced in some of these new Ideas by the gentile recruits. Especially Greeks and Romans with their plethora of God's and well developed religious ideas of paradise and hades.

    Jews were likely to believe in repeated reincarnation to complete their life's obligations to God. Or they might have believed in a future resurrection at the time of the Messiah's coming.

    I think the "New" Christians got these Ideas muddled and confused, and devised their own belief of a bodily resurrection for the faithful.
     
  9. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    Yes sir I agree. I am not judging anyone who is living. The thread is about the dead. I have heard it said that if someone did arrive in Heaven and there was Hitler there he would not question God about God's wisdom of giving Hitler the same reward that is accommodated the righteous man. Relative righteousness as few are righteous and without the need of forgiveness for something.

    It is my opinion that if I was alive at the same time I heard of the crimes against innocent people that the Nazis did I would have to stand prepared to forgive anyone who repented of those crimes. The reason? It is because if the evil doer comes to the realization that he is bad and wants to quit being bad but cannot feel free to be forgiven for what he has done already he might keep doing badness. Why not?

    But isn't it true that a dead person cannot stop doing badness for the sake of goodness because he is dead.

    What about someone who is nearly dead? Forgiving that person would certainly be up to the one who the crimes were committed against. I would never choose to judge the victim who cannot feel that forgiveness is warranted. Would you Rise?
     
  10. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    I think people are misunderstanding these texts and taking them out of context.

    I don't think any "God" would tell someone to forgive the man that tortured, raped, sodomized, and murdered their four year old son, etc!

    Those people are supposed to be put to death - righteous anger and action.

    Supposedly YHVH didn't forgive, and murdered all but a few people on the earth!

    I think it means the normal anger, and grudges, and such that we HOLD need to be let go - forgiven.
     
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  11. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    Righteous anger is a response to injustice.
    Forgiveness is to not hold an offense against anyone, like forgiving a debt instead of holding on to it until you get satisfaction.
    You can be both righteously angry in response to something and choose to forgive.
    But righteous anger is to be angry at the proper thing; God hates the sin but does not hate the sinner. We are angry at the injustice, but we don't hold anger against the people who were used by the powers of darkness to inflict injustice upon others.


    Jesus tells us that it is not only the will of God that you forgive, but it is necessary for you to be forgiven:

    Mark 11
    25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [[a]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

    Matthew 6
    14 For if you forgive [c]others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive [d]others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

    There are no qualifications or restrictions put on that forgiveness. He said forgive everyone so you can be forgiven, period.
    If you don't want to forgive someone else then he won't forgive you either.



    While it may be "natural" to assume that one doesn't have to, or shouldn't, forgive certain people for certain things, that is not the way of the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Just as it may be "natural" to hate your enemies, or want punishment eye for an eye, Jesus teaches us that the way of His Kingdom is different. We love our enemies, we bless them, and we turn the other cheek rather than slap them back.
    The natural mind can have trouble accepting some of this, but if you seek to have your heart and mind renewed by the power of His Holy Spirit then you can be sure you will start to understand the wisdom behind what He said.


    Also:

    Ephesians 6:12
    For our struggle is not against [e]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    Recognizing that people aren't the enemy, but the demons behind them are, can really reshape one's perspective dramatically to see things more the way God sees them. Once you realize that people act the way they do because they've grown up in darkness, afflicted with pain, influenced by demons, it's a lot easier to have compassion even on those who hurt you because you realize that is not the "real" them, not the person God created them to be, but the result of what has happened because of this corrupted and demon ruled world we live in.

    I believe this is why Jesus and Stephen could both, with their last dying words, ask the Father to forgive the people killing them because they didn't really know what they were doing.
    People who are in darkness aren't in their right mind. People who have the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit are in their right mind.
     
    #31 Rise, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  12. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    I have a troll word for your philosophy of God not forgiving a person's average sins if they cannot forgive another person's monstrous sins. It is not even Biblical imo.

    I see again the the nonbeliever comes out the winner. I'm talking about Ingledsva post #30.

    The scriptures are written by believers, for believers and about believers and believing.

    I have not had any extreme evil done against myself or my loved ones. But if I had then I would think your idea of "God cannot forgive me for not forgiving it" is ludicrous.

    The point is still if you saw Hitler (so sorry man, you are the worst in the imagination of the West) walking about in Heaven would you consider him family like everyone in heaven is family? He has a refuge then when the souls he defiled do not because for some it is impossible even to forgive God for what was. Oh blasphemy! God need not be forgiven. Is that right?
     
  13. Tbone

    Tbone Member

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    Heaven is not the reward of the saved.
     
  14. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    OK. I do not disagree. What is the reward of the saved? Is there one?
     
  15. Tbone

    Tbone Member

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    Eternal life ruling with Christ when He returns to this earth to set up His Kingdom.
     
  16. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    How is "eternal life with Christ" not heaven?
     
  17. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    I was wondering the same thing as the Earth isn't going to last forever.
     
  18. Tbone

    Tbone Member

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    The key word is earth.
     
  19. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    I believe the Earth can last forever if it is God's will that it does. The sun too of course ;) . Can't have Earth without the sun. I do not know why the present view of Christ is that He will come again to be seen on Earth. They use one scripture that I know of which I believe can be interpreted any number of ways least of all that He will come again in the flesh. I do not expect that will happen ever. God is a Spirit. The Son is in the likeness of The Father, a spirit.
     
  20. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    But if you are Christian - how does that line up with -

    Joh 14:2 In my Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

    I don't remember it adding - he then turned and trotted down the road to one of his father's mansions.
     
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