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Featured Looking for volunteers for me to talk to about the gospel of Jesus

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Jim, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I agree with your statements here, but wonder how you see the last part fulfilled?.....

    "And once you have a taste you keep wanting to expand consciousness to reach the state which is referred to as the kingdom or heaven."
    What do you see as the outcome of this?
    How is the Kingdom "a state"?
     
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  2. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The gospels were about Jesus, they are not auto-biographical.
     
  3. Neutral Name

    Neutral Name Active Member

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    I will be happy to talk to you. I love to look up scripture. What would you like to discuss?
     
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  4. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I’m thinking now that the kingdom of heaven that Jesus is talking about might be a kind of life that people can have together, when they’re following Jesus.
     
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  5. Vaziri

    Vaziri Islamic Philosopher

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    To fully experience the Kingdom we could not keep this physical form. We can't fully reach it but with proper instruction we can see it from the road so to speak.
     
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  6. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I’d like to have comments and questions on my ideas about the gospel of Jesus. I see Him calling His gospel a “gospel of the kingdom.” He calls that kingdom “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven.” He uses some different analogies to tell us what it’s like. He says we can enter it by following Him.

    Now I’m planning to go through the New Testament again, to see what else He says about the kingdom, and to see what attracts people to it. Why would people want to go there? What is there to see and do there, and how can people know enough about it, to decide if it’s worth all the time and effort, for them, to enter it?

    I remember, when I was trying to decide if I wanted to let Him take over my life, the hardest part for me in making that decision was that I was afraid He might make me into one of those Bible-waving people who go around bothering people about salvation. :)

    Paul says that we’re saved by grace, so I’ve thought for a long time that the best way we can help is by learning to be channels of it.

    I see the beliefs being promoted by all the churches, and the ways that people promote them, hiding the light of Jesus from people, and repelling people away from it. One way I see to inform people about the gospel is just to tell the story of Jesus and what He says about the kingdom. Along with that, I think we need to be trying all the time to improve our character and the way we live our lives, in ways that help improve the lives of people around us, and all people everywhere. I also have some other ideas about what to do, but that’s all I want to say about it in this thread, for now.

    What do you think about all that? What do you see Jesus saying about the kingdom, and how to help inform people about it? What do you think might attract people to it, and how do you think God might let us help with that?
     
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  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Yes, its a collective desire to be taught by the God of Jesus who provided all we would need to rise above the apostasy that he and his apostles foretold. This is a counterfeit form of Christianity that Jesus likened to weeds sown among wheat by an enemy of God. He is thought to have used a plant called "bearded darnel" which in Bible times was a toxic weed that sprang up in wheat fields or was purposely sown by enemies to spoil a man's crop. It so resembled wheat in its early growing period that it was almost impossible to tell the difference. But as the time for harvest drew near, the wheat and the weeds were very different and easy to identify. Only then could the farmer go and pull out the weeds and dispose of them. (Matthew 13:24-30; Matthew 13:36-43)

    We are called to identify those weed-like Christians and separate ourselves from them. That results in peace and harmony in the brotherhood because all follow the Master Jesus Christ, who founded all his teachings on love.....But its not something we see in Christendom...is it? I believe that this is because Christendom does not practice what Jesus preached.....

    But true to Jesus prophesy on the time of the end, the "weeds" will soon be collected and destroyed and the "wheat" will get to enjoy the blessings of the Kingdom under the watchful eye of the Find Shepherd.....each one of his precious sheep, present and accounted for.
     
    #27 Deeje, Jul 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  8. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    So, in a nutshell, what exactly is the Kingdom of God? Why do we need it and what does it accomplish? Where is it and who goes there? Please be specific....
     
  9. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    @Jim

    Although I have read your OP and understand your request,
    • I invite you to change the focus of your inquiry briefly,
      • יְהוָ֥ה (HaShem) has something to offer to all inhabitants of this world;
      • That which HaShem offers is His presence, companionship, protection, guidance, support, and mercy;
      • To benefit the most from his "living water", each of us is called to trust Him (cf. Jeremiah 17:7), i.e. accepting his Lordship/reign/kingdom.;
      • That is
        • the “gospel of the kingdom/kingdom of God/kingdom of heaven.
      • At a specific point in Time and Space, HaShem approached Abraham and entered into an agreement with him,
        • HaShem promised Abraham a posterity as numerous as the stars;
        • HaShem promised to bless Abraham and his physical heirs who confirm and abide by the agreement for themselves; and
        • HaShem promised to bless those who bless Abraham, to curse those who curse Abraham, and to bless "all the families of the earth" through Abraham (Genesis 12:3).
        • Abraham promised to follow and obey HaShem, i.e. to accept HaShem's authority and reign and to trust Him.
      • When the descendants of the 12 tribes of Abraham's great-grandchildren (through Abraham's son Isaac and grandson Jacob) found themselves suffering in Egypt, HaShem personally appeared to Moses and assigned him the task of overseeing the descendants' exodus from Egypt and their 40-year long journey to a divinely chosen place, where they settled.
      • Over the next centuries, Abraham's Jewish descendants in Canaan formed a nation-state, Israel, under the leadership of human kings. From time to time, prophets rose up to remind the people of the terms of the agreement between Abraham and HaShem and, pointing out their previous failures, to call them to repentance and and to fulfill their obligations.
      • According to the Romano-Jewish 1st century historian, Flavius Josephus, http://www.netours.com/content/view/25/29/
        • 2. Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him.
      • John the Baptist was, according to New Testament sources, the cousin of Jesus of Nazareth who baptized Jesus.
        • John the Baptist - Wikipedia "John the Baptist is mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus and revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Baha'i Faith, and Mandaeism. ... According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself and Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified as the spiritual of the prophet Elijah."
      • Subsequent to his baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth begins his public "ministry" [my choice of words]. Now, to respond to your OP.
    • In light of the foregoing, perhaps Jesus of Nazareth's following words will begin to make sense:
      • Matthew 9:9-13. "As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
      • Matthew 10:2-7. "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ "
      • Matthew 15:21-28. "Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once."
      • Matthew 18:11-13. [“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.] What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray."
    • Until his death, Jesus of Nazareth's "mission" was directed to "the lost sheep of Israel". When asked to help a non-Jew, Jesus typically rebuffs the request. When the non-Jewish petitioner persists, he does not call them to repentance or to follow him or invite them to enter the kingdom of Heaven. His pre-death mission is to the descendants of Abraham. His death ended that portion of his mission.
    • Following his death, if you believe it, his mission was/has been to participate in the fulfillment of HaShem's third promise to Abraham, which was to bless "all the families of the earth" and bring all non-Jews under the Lordship (reign) of HaShem.
    • Many have been and will be called into the kingdom. It's a lot like herding cats and dogs.
    • As for current Christian efforts to convert Jews, at this time I am not a fan of it. The righteous among Abraham's descendants don't need conversion. The lost among Abraham's descendants need to be blessed and sent back to their fold.
    • Regarding the future of Jewish-Gentile relations, I am reminded of the following words from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin Tractate, 105a:
      • "The ministering Angels exclaimed before the Holy One, blessed be He, 'Sovereign of the Universe! If David comes, who slew the Philistine and gave possession of Gath to thy children. [and complains at Thy giving a share in the world to come to Doeg and Ahitophel], what wilt thou do with him?' He replied, 'It is My duty to make them friends with each other.' (cf. Note.)

        Note: "It may be observed that it is not taught here that they actually have a portion in the world to come as a right, but that they will nevertheless enter therein, God bearing their iniquities to make this possible (v. n. 1). This is in accordance with the general attitude of Judaism that punishment is not everlasting"
        • Terry says: In my opinion, Jesus of Nazareth's post-resurrection commission says that Gentiles have a place in the HaShem's kingdom and "a portion in the world to come", not as a right but as a gift of the Holy One's mercy and will be a fulfillment of His third promise to Abraham. Living water for all from the Fount of Living Water.
     
    #29 Terry Sampson, Jul 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  10. Vaziri

    Vaziri Islamic Philosopher

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    Onement with all. Reach a blissful state. Everywhere and no where. No one to go. Heaven is at hand.
     
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  11. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I think that the farmer in the parable is God, and I don’t think that He has appointed anyone to do the sorting for Him.
     
  12. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Can you give me a synopsis, and tell me in a paragraph or two, what your point is?
     
  13. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    did He not say?......the kingdom is within you
     
  14. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    In your OP, you wrote: My reason for posting ... [is] because I want to allow as much freedom as possible for people to say what they think.
    In my response, I exercised the freedom you offer, and said what I think.

    In your OP, you wrote:
    • I’m looking for volunteers for me to talk to about what I think about the gospel of Jesus.
    • Jesus calls His gospel the “gospel of the kingdom,” the kingdom that He calls the “kingdom of God” and the “kingdom of heaven.” He uses analogies to describe it..
    • Jesus says that people can enter that kingdom by following Him.
    • That’s it. That’s what I think about the gospel of Jesus. I’m hoping that there will be some comments and questions.[/QUOTE]
    Here, I respond:
    • My previous post contains my comments.
    • I agree with your assessment of Jesus' gospel of the kingdom.
    • I note that your assessment omits several thousand years of history of HaShem's interactions with Abraham and his descendants, within which Jesus' earthly life has context
    • The only question I can think of is this: Given HaShem's promises to Abraham and his heirs (including Jesus) and Jesus' post-resurrection commission, what does the Baha'i Faith offer you that converting to Judaism or following Jesus would not?
     
  15. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    I think Jesus is talking about a new age.. not the end of the world. Look into the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching how to shame your enemy.
     
  16. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I wasn’t objecting to that. I’m sorry that I didn’t make that clear.
    I see that as a valuable contribution, and a very good reason for me to study what you wrote, carefully and thoughtfully. Thank you.
    Answering that would be off topic for my purposes in this thread.
     
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  17. Marcion

    Marcion Tantra-Yoga Universalist

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    It is not the historical Jesus who describes "the Kingdom" in that way, but that is what Christians have laid into the mouth of their mythical or religious version of Jesus.

    The historical Jesus however says no such thing, rather he speaks of the 'Rule of God' (not of Heaven!) and he explains what he means by that in two parables.
    The explanation of these parables, is that the Rule of God is what you get if you expand your individual consciousness into the infinite Cosmic Consciousness (Holy Spirit).

    So you see how a relatively simple explanation given by the real Jesus was turned into something quite foggy and syncretic by later Christians. This fogginess suited them well because in Christianity the focuss is on ritual and the importance of external authority rather than on powerful individual spiritual practices as given by the historical Jesus.
     
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  18. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Thank you. Just now added a note to the OP. I’ll copy it here.

    The Jesus that I’m talking about here is the one that I see in the gospel stories in the Christian Bible. That is not to discourage anyone from talking about any Jesus they want to talk about. It just means that in this thread I won’t be discussing any Jesus other than the one that I see in those stories.
     
  19. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I can see that as possibly being true, depending on how you mean it. Something like a response of a person’s whole being to the reality of oneness with the world around us. Losing the illusion of a line of separation between “me” and the the rest of the world. What you mean by “Rule of God” might be very different from what I think “kingdom of God” means in the gospel stories.
     
    #39 Jim, Jul 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  20. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    @Marcion I would like to know more about your historical Jesus. Is there a collection of his sayings, and stories about people’s experiences with him, on the Internet somewhere, not behind a paywall?
     
    #40 Jim, Jul 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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