Anticipation of the Kingdom

HT for graphic:  thegloriousbattle.com

In a previous blog post thread, GMPilot wrote a comment where he challenged God’s goodness and righteous judgment upon cities and people in the Old Testament.  His contention, “when god deals with his people, one hand holds the grace and the other hand holds the mace.”  He claimed that such cities were never given a chance to “choose life” because God had them exterminated.  GMPilot challenged me by writing, “You’re not going to sit there and deny that, are you?”

First, I will state that GMPilot’s purpose here at Talk Wisdom has always been to challenge the beliefs of Christians.  He even admits (in the comment exchange below) that he is not “seeking to be reached” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, his challenges against God, Jesus Christ, and God’s Word, the Bible are only meant to purposely counter, disparage, and even ridicule (at times) Christian belief.  In doing this, he often shares his contempt for our God of the Bible.  I write this so that readers here will understand where such challenges are coming from and for what purpose GMPilot writes comments here at this blog.

In apologetics, it is always important to realize that the challenges presented by non-believers and the answers given by a Christian may end up never being satisfying to the inquirer.  Why?  Because when a non-believer starts out admitting that he/she is here for the purpose of challenging, and not for the purpose of being reached through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then he/she has already purposed within his/her own mind that he/she will not accept the answers regarding faith (and what is needed in order to be saved from our sins and reconciled back unto God) that are given by the Christian believer.

Scripture tells us exactly why such a mindset is so in non-believers (who aren’t seeking God)  in the “those who are perishing” verses. However, as Christians who are here to spread the Gospel, we are instructed to give an answer to those who are perishing.  Whether or not such answers are accepted are ultimately between God and the individual.

With that said, here is the comment exchange from the previous post:

gmpilot Says:

(Christine wrote:) Steve can certainly speak for himself here if he chooses to and I can’t really speak for him, but from what I have seen of his former comments to you, he has figured out that you aren’t here for the purpose of being reached.
(GMPilot wrote:) If you can remember that far back, please recall that I originally came to your forum because I believed that your premises were wrong, and I wanted you to know why I thought so. It wasn’t a question of ‘being reached’.
All I’m saying is that steve said he didn’t care one way or the other if I heeded his words. If he can’t be sincere about his religion, there’s no reason why I should be enthused about it.

(Christine wrote:) As I have mentioned many times before, it is always good and important to consider the verses before and after the quoted verse for greater context. Plus, if you read the verses along with theentire commentary>, you will gain a much better understanding that Isaiah was writing about An Invitation to Receive the Glory of the LORD’s Restoration.
(GMPilot wrote:)  I read and understood the passage in its context, and Guzik was not needed to tell me that. But the basic message is unchanged: when god deals with his people, one hand holds the grace and the other hand holds the mace. The cities and people I listed above were never given a chance to “choose life”; god had them exterminated. You’re not going to sit there and deny that, are you?

 

My reply:

christinewjc Says:

GM wrote:

If you can remember that far back, please recall that I originally came to your forum because I believed that your premises were wrong, and I wanted you to know why I thought so. It wasn’t a question of ‘being reached’.

C:  Therein lies the problem. Your purpose for being here is completely the opposite of my purpose(s) for writing this blog.

I think that you are wrong about Steve [not] “being sincere about his religion.” It is more about faith, rather than that broad term “religion.” Not every Christian chooses to participate in the work (nor, does every Christian have the gift) of apologetics. Many are here for other worthy purposes, and God gives severally [Note: see relatively – especially in word origin – “mid-15c., “relatively;” 1620s, “relatively to each singly,”] in such matters.

Speaking biblically, when Steve said what he did to you he was probably utilizing what Jesus said about shaking the dust off under your feet as a testimony against them.

YOU are the one who admitted to not WANTING to be reached. You are only here to challenge my beliefs and attempt to impose your own lack of belief upon me. Sorry – no can do! Christ and his promises to believers wins out with me now and throughout eternity.

GM wrote:

I read and understood the passage in its context, and Guzik was not needed to tell me that. But the basic message is unchanged: when god deals with his people, one hand holds the grace and the other hand holds the mace. The cities and people I listed above were never given a chance to “choose life”; god had them exterminated. You’re not going to sit there and deny that, are you?

C:  How do you know that those peoples were never given a chance to choose life? We would need to dig deep into historical documents in order to find the truth of the matter. However, we DO have other examples of peoples who refused to repent. Take the example of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asked to spare the city if 50 persons could be found who were righteous. Then the request dwindled down to 40, then 30, then 20, then 10. As we know, the only righteous people found were in Lot’s family so they were warned to flee by the angels before the city and all of its wicked and sinful inhabitants were destroyed. Then, Lot’s wife looked back (ignoring the warning not to) and turned into a pillar of salt! Her longing for, and desire not to leave that city of sin showed what was truly in her heart – and she was far from God’s righteousness, holiness, mercy and forgiveness; precisely because she ignored the angels of God and their warnings and thus she refused to repent.

We all have a conscience. It is built within us to know right from wrong. When Adam and Eve sinned, they knew that they had chosen evil and death rather than the good and life that they enjoyed with God. Therefore, the plan of salvation was devised in order to save people from their sins and be reconciled back unto God through the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ. All of the Old Testament saints who believed in God the Father and looked forward to the coming of the Messiah were saved. Once Christ appeared, preached, suffered, and died on the cross; then was resurrected unto life and ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of the Father, people had no excuse for not believing in Him.

I will be doing a post soon (may take a while) where the connections between the Old Testament prophets who prophesied (about the coming Messiah Jesus Christ) and how it relates to the end times, the Jews, and the return of Christ – who is the King and the Jewish Messiah – who will usher in the Millennial Kingdom that will fulfill what God promised the Israelites of the Old Testament regarding their Messiah. What the Jews expected of their Messiah didn’t occur at Christ’s first coming here on this earth, but such prophecies WILL be fulfilled at His second coming. This is what connects Judaism to Christianity, even though the Jewish people of today {except Messianic Jews who accept Yeshua) reject the Lordship of Christ now, it will not forever be so in the end times, during the earthly Millennial kingdom, and ultimately in the eternal state.

Update 11/8/14 –

GM wrote:

So, god told the Israelites “I shall send my son to earth twice. The first time only the Gentiles will believe him, but the second time you will, and then my kingdom will be established.” That’s quite a statement—is there anything in the Jewish scriptures that supports it?

I suggested to him to come to this post and read it.  It helps answer GM’s latest question.

*******

As I have explained before at this blog, I am in the middle of reading and watching the episodes on television of Dr. David Jeremiah’s new book, “Agents of the Apocalypse.”

My reading finally caught up with the television presentations, and I am currently in chapter nine which is entitled, “The King.”

In regards to the Millennium, it may be considered  far to simplistic to say that the  Old Testament saints (Jewish believers in anticipation of the coming Messiah),  we as believers in Jesus Christ, as well as the Jewish evangelists and converts to Jesus during the Tribulation  “get a do-over” after our lives here in this fallen world.  But basically, that is what the Millennial Kingdom will be!  [Also see: Jesus is a Jew]

Dr. Jeremiah masterfully examines the writings of the prophets concerning the millennial kingdom, and twelve features command our attention. I will not be able to cover all twelve in this post, but I will share the first two.

I highly recommend that readers here GET THIS BOOK! It is one of the THE BEST books on Revelation that I have ever read; and I have read at least half a dozen.

Chapter 9 has impacted me tremendously! I have always wanted to have a resource that connects the many prophecies written in the Old Testament to the end times book of Revelation in the New Testament.

The first feature regarding the millennial kingdom that commands our attention include:

“The Anticipation of the Kingdom.”

I have set My king on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:6-9

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

The Old Testament prophetic books tell us a great deal about the millennial kingdom. In the book of Isaiah, entire chapters are devoted to the subject. Before Isaiah, David wrote these prophetic lines in Psalm 2, which describe God the Father gifting the Kingdom to His Son, Jesus Christ.

Some of the most vivid prophecies of the Kingdom age are found in the writings of Daniel. Chapter 2 records that he saw the whole course of the world’s future revealed in the dream of pagan king Nebuchadnezzar. This dream featured the gigantic statue of a man formed with layers of descending quality, from a golden head to feet of clay. Each layer represented a succeeding world empire. The vision culminated when “a tone [that] was cut out without hands” shattered the image (Daniel 2;34) and grew until it filled the earth.

Here is Daniel’s explanation of this vision: “In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

In a later vision, Daniel saw the King coming to take His Kingdom: “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

One of the most famous prophecies regarding the coming of the King is found in the book of Isaiah: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (9:6-7).

In the book of Revelation, the seventh trumpet sounds, and the message that accompanies it makes a bold statement about Christ’s Kingdom:  “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (11:15).

“The Coronation of the King”

Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.  And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron…And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:15-16

In this passage, John tells us how the King will arrive and begin His reign.  He will come as a conqueror, taking back His world.  As the Old Testament prophecies indicate, there is a close connection between our Lord’s victory at the Battle of Armageddon and His reign as King over all the earth:  “The LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle….And the LORD shall be King over all the earth.  In that day it shall be–“The LORD is one,’ and His name one” (Zechariah 14:3,9).  Christ must rid the earth of its evil usurper before He can establish His reign.

In the Millennium, Satan will no longer be the prince of the world.  His era will end, and Christ will initiate His eternal reign of righteousness, joy, prosperity, and peace.  His glory will shine forth and bathe the universe with righteousness.

This is the same message Gabriel announced to Mary.  He told her that one day her son Jesus would serve as the supreme Ruler of the world:  “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).

Alva McClain, the founder of Grace Theological Seminary, describes Christ’s Kingship this way:

The age to come, as [Jesus] like to call it, will be ushered in by the exercise of His immediate power and authority.  He has all power now; He will take this power and use it to the full when He returns.  The age-long silence of God, the taunt of unbelief, will be broken by the transition and resurrection of the church, by the unloosing of judgment long withheld; by the visible and personal presence of the Mediatorial King, and by the complete establishment of His Kingdom on earth for a period specified by our Lord as “1,000 years.”…During this period, every aspect of the Kingdom as set forth in Old Testament prophecy will be realized upon earth, truly the golden age of the world.  Children will be born, life will go on, and men will work and play, but under ideal conditions.5

[5 Source:  From unpublished notes by Alva J. McClain, Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana.]

There is SO MUCH MORE to share!  In future posts my goal is to share the other ten features that command our attention:

1.  The Incarceration of Satan

2.  The Administration of David

3.  The Participation of the Saints

4.  The Elimination of War

5.  The Realization of Prosperity

6.  The Integration of Holiness

7.  The Prolongation of Life

8.  The Celebration of Joy

9.  The Centralization of Worship

10. The Continuation of the Kingdom

 

The song “Joy to the World” is generally played and sung at Christmastime.  Well, the first stanza can be applied to Christ being born in Bethlehem, but did you know that the remaining stanzas actually describe the Second Coming of Christ and how life will be in the Millennium?

Pay close attention to the lyrics!

Joy to the World

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Hat tip: Agents of the Apocalypse by Dr. David Jeremiah

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13 Responses to “Anticipation of the Kingdom”

  1. gmpilot Says:

    Sure, poison the well, Christine. Prejudice the audience against me.
    I know I’m in the minority here, but at least let me speak for myself–”condemn myself by my own mouth” as you might say.

    In a previous blog post thread, GMpilot wrote a comment where he challenged God’s goodness and righteous judgment upon cities and people in the Old Testament…He claimed that such cities were never given a chance to “choose life” because God had them exterminated. GMpilot challenged me by writing, “You’re not going to sit there and deny that, are you?”
    You haven’t answered the question. You’ve run off to begin another thread (this one) and made all sorts of references to me and my ‘purpose[s]’. But you haven’t confronted the question. You’ve merely excoriated me for daring to ask it!

    In apologetics, it is always important to realize that the challenges presented by non-believers and the answers given by a Christian may end up never being satisfying to the inquirer.
    That’s probably because no one has ever asked challenging questions of the believer. Once the Christian (or other) realizes that even one answer rings hollow, s/he must attempt to shore up their own belief.

    Scripture tells us exactly why such a mindset is so in non-believers (who aren’t seeking God)  in the “those who are perishing” verses. However, as Christians who are here to spread the Gospel, we are instructed to give an answer to those who are perishing.
    But, first you are instructed to tell others that they are perishing, and that can be a hard sell sometimes. Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus are ‘non-believers’, but only in your myths and legends. They have their own legends, and believe in them just as passionately as you do. As an atheist, I don’t believe in any of them, and that’s why people like me are hated by people like you. Our very existence challenges the idea that you must have “faith”, which is the basis of all religion. That makes atheists much more dangerous than any worshiper of Allah or Satan; those believers galvanize and ‘”justify” Christianity, while the atheist raises the truly uncomfortable questions such as “Why DO I believe the things I do? Is my belief justified by the evidence?” Atheists have no need for apologetics.
    I’ve said it before: if I were on a desert island with a Christian and a Muslim, both would cooperate with each other long enough to cut my throat. Members of rival religions may be converted, but never someone who rejects the whole concept of gods; they, as a rule, must be expelled or silenced.
    I certainly didn’t sneak onto this blog; you invited me here, knowing full well that I didn’t believe in your god or any other.

    …as Christians who are here to spread the Gospel, we are instructed to give an answer to those who are perishing.
    Then I’ll ask you again: Did god give the people of those locations a chance to “choose life”? Because “you must destroy them totally…show them no mercy” seems to rule out the idea of any kind of choice. I suspect in that passage from Deuteronomy 30, god was speaking to his people only–the Israelites—and not to all of us, as you claim.

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  2. christinewjc Says:

    In this new post I mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of unrepentant sinners (whose inequities and hatred of God and His Laws were legion and where not even 10 righteous people could be found amongst them at Abraham’s request to spare the city) In reference to your demand for answers as to why those peoples needed to be destroyed. Since you dislike my answers, here’s one from a biblical scholar:

    2-6. thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them–This relentless doom of extermination which God denounced against those tribes of Canaan cannot be reconciled with the attributes of the divine character, except on the assumption that their gross idolatry and enormous wickedness left no reasonable hope of their repentance and amendment. If they were to be swept away like the antediluvians or the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, as incorrigible sinners who had filled up the measure of their iniquities, it mattered not to them in what way the judgment was inflicted; and God, as the Sovereign Disposer, had a right to employ any instruments that pleased Him for executing His judgments. Some think that they were to be exterminated as unprincipled usurpers of a country which God had assigned to the posterity of Eber and which had been occupied ages before by wandering shepherds of that race, till, on the migration of Jacob’s family into Egypt through the pressure of famine, the Canaanites overspread the whole land, though they had no legitimate claim to it, and endeavored to retain possession of it by force. In this view their expulsion was just and proper. The strict prohibition against contracting any alliances with such infamous idolaters was a prudential rule, founded on the experience that “evil communications corrupt good manners” [ 1Cr 15:33 ], and its importance or necessity was attested by the unhappy examples of Solomon and others in the subsequent history of Israel.

    Source: Robert Jamieson commentary

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    • gmpilot Says:

      In this new post I mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of unrepentant sinners (whose inequities and hatred of God and His Laws were legion and where not even 10 righteous people could be found amongst them at Abraham’s request to spare the city) In reference to your demand for answers as to why those peoples needed to be destroyed. Since you dislike my answers, here’s one from a biblical scholar:
      I did not ask why they had to be destroyed. I asked, Did god give the people of those locations a chance to “choose life”? You claim that your god gives that choice to all of us, and I contend that god did not give that choice to the people in the places I mentioned above.
      It’s a simple yes-or-no question, Christine, and doesn’t require the skill of a biblical scholar to answer it.

      Like

  3. christinewjc Says:

    GM wrote:

    Sure, poison the well, Christine. Prejudice the audience against me.
    I know I’m in the minority here, but at least let me speak for myself–”condemn myself by my own mouth” as you might say.

    There are new people showing up to follow this blog who may not know the history between us so I felt it necessary to “catch them up to speed” regarding our discussions. If I misrepresented your views in this post please tell me where I did that and I will correct it.

    GM wrote:

    You haven’t answered the question. You’ve run off to begin another thread (this one) and made all sorts of references to me and my ‘purpose[s]‘. But you haven’t confronted the question. You’ve merely excoriated me for daring to ask it!

    I DID answer it – twice in fact! The first was through the example given of sparing Sodom and Gomorrah if there could be 10 righteous people found in the city. The second was Robert Jamieson’s commentary – especially this paragraph:

    2-6. thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them–This relentless doom of extermination which God denounced against those tribes of Canaan cannot be reconciled with the attributes of the divine character, except on the assumption that their gross idolatry and enormous wickedness left no reasonable hope of their repentance and amendment. If they were to be swept away like the antediluvians or the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, as incorrigible sinners who had filled up the measure of their iniquities, it mattered not to them in what way the judgment was inflicted; and God, as the Sovereign Disposer, had a right to employ any instruments that pleased Him for executing His judgments.

    Telling the truth to “those who are perishing” isn’t hatred. To NOT tell them would be indifference (something that you recently accused Steve of doing), or fear (the “they won’t like me” syndrome) or laziness (I can’t do it or can’t be bothered) regarding the spreading of the Gospel – which was Christ’s final command to his followers before his ascension into heaven.

    There are plenty of “feel good” churches out there that minimize the need for repentance at the cross of Christ, the heaven/hell destination in eternity, and some even completely ignore the book of Revelation. Salvation involves both the Good News of redemption and the bad news of perishing for not accepting Christ as Savior.

    The good and life vs. evil and death choice is just that…a choice. One chooses to believe in Christ or one doesn’t. That is what’s at stake and it’s more important than the temporal feelings of either you or I.

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  4. gmpilot Says:

    GM wrote:
    You haven’t answered the question. You’ve run off to begin another thread (this one) and made all sorts of references to me and my ‘purpose[s]‘. But you haven’t confronted the question. You’ve merely excoriated me for daring to ask it!
    I DID answer it – twice in fact! The first was through the example given of sparing Sodom and Gomorrah if there could be 10 righteous people found in the city.
    God—who “knows the end before the beginning”, according to his followers—must have known he’d maneuvered Lot into a sucker’s bet. God said he’d show mercy to those two cities IF lot could find ten righteous men. But he KNEW that Lot would fail. If he didn’t know, then what kind of god was he?
    But that aside, I wasn’t talking about those two places. I was talking about other ones, where god did not offer life or death to those people. He decreed annihilation, just as he did Sodom. The only difference was that he destroyed that city himself, rather than order the Israelites to do it.

    Telling the truth to “those who are perishing” isn’t hatred. To NOT tell them would be indifference (something that you recently accused Steve of doing), or fear (the “they won’t like me” syndrome) or laziness (I can’t do it or can’t be bothered) regarding the spreading of the Gospel – which was Christ’s final command to his followers before his ascension into heaven.
    In the old days, anyone who rejected “the truth” and clung to the faith of his fathers was often put to death; Aztecs, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, Anglicans, Mormons. It still happens today. Killing someone who disagrees with you on religious matters is properly called hatred.

    There are plenty of “feel good” churches out there that minimize the need for repentance at the cross of Christ, the heaven/hell destination in eternity, and some even completely ignore the book of Revelation. Salvation involves both the Good News of redemption and the bad news of perishing for not accepting Christ as Savior.
    That’s “the grace or the mace” as I said. So why does it offend you, since you describe it in a similar way?
    I do not care if a church minimizes the need for repentance; I will not join them. I do not ignore the book of Revelation, because there are people who believe every word of it and look forward to it happening. Some of those people have access to nuclear weapons, and probably would not mind pushing the book’s ‘timetable’ up a bit.

    The good and life vs. evil and death choice is just that…a choice.
    A choice most people in your holy book were never given.
    One chooses to believe in Christ or one doesn’t. That is what’s at stake and it’s more important than the temporal feelings of either you or I.
    What’s at stake is the choice between the cold hard truth or the warm, comforting fantasy. You and I differ on which is what.

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  5. christinewjc Says:

    1. We do not describe what is written in the Bible the same way. That is a figment of your imagination. You have a bad habit of twisting things in order to prop up your own idea(s) of who God is and who He should be.

    2. Your rambling on about the book of Revelation and “access to nuclear weapons” isn’t part of the subject matter in this thread. Why do you bring up such things? My guess is to avoid the subject of the need for repentance since you wrote, “I do not care if a church minimizes the need for repentance.”

    3. You have made your choice in this life to reject God and His Son, Jesus Christ. However, you also choose to insult what I believe as “warm, comforting fantasy” and claim that you know the “cold hard truth.” Hmmm….that sounds like you think you know better than God regarding how He should deal with His creation. One day, we will both know who believed a fantasy and who believed the truth.

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  6. gmpilot Says:

    1. We do not describe what is written in the Bible the same way. That is a figment of your imagination. You have a bad habit of twisting things in order to prop up your own idea(s) of who God is and who He should be.
    What did I twist? I quoted Deuteronomy exactly, right? God said the people of those towns were to be destroyed, right? If I twisted something, you should be able to show me. Please do.
    Everyone has their own ideas(s) of who god is and who he should be. You do. I do. Catholics do. Santerians do, Muslims do. So what?
    Are you saying that any one of them is wrong, and how do you know?

    2. Your rambling on about the book of Revelation and “access to nuclear weapons” isn’t part of the subject matter in this thread. Why do you bring up such things? My guess is to avoid the subject of the need for repentance since you wrote, “I do not care if a church minimizes the need for repentance.”
    It was you who brought up Revelation first, not me. Usually I completely ignore it.And I still don’t care if a church minimizes the need for repentance. That’s for churchgoers to deal with.

    3. You have made your choice in this life to reject God and His Son, Jesus Christ. However, you also choose to insult what I believe as “warm, comforting fantasy” and claim that you know the “cold hard truth.” Hmmm….that sounds like you think you know better than God regarding how He should deal with His creation.
    I very carefully refrained from being explicit about that. If you believe your faith is the cold hard truth” (and you obviously do), good for you.
    One day, we will both know who believed a fantasy and who believed the truth.
    No, we won’t:

    For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5

    You’re trying really hard to avoid answering the question of whether god offers all of us a choice or not.

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  7. christinewjc Says:

    This will be my last post to you on the topic. You most likely will not be satisfied with this comment so I suggest you go and ask another Christian for an answer.

    Rom 1:20

    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

    So, God’s invisible attributes are CLEARLY SEEN and being UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE (including all humans). Even His eternal power and Godhead are evident so that THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.

    Romans goes on to describe WHY people CHOOSE not to worship the one and only God.

    Rom 1:21

    because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    Rom 1:22

    Professing to be wise, they became fools,

    Rom 1:23

    and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

    This includes the idols that were worshipped in place of Yahweh in the Old Testament. The human heart is “deceitful, above all things” and “desperately wicked.” So, we are asked, “who can know it?”

    Answer: God does!

    Jer 17:9

    “The heart is deceitful above all things,
    And desperately wicked;
    Who can know it?

    Jer 17:10

    I, the LORD, search the heart,
    I test the mind,
    Even to give every man according to his ways,
    According to the fruit of his doings.

    Recall how easily the Israelites who were freed from Pharaoh’s captivity through Moses fell into idolatry when they were left to themselves while Moses was delayed from coming down from the mountain.

    Exo 32:1

    Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

    Exo 32:2

    And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”

    Exo 32:3

    So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.

    Exo 32:4

    And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

    These people witnessed or at least heard about the plagues that were placed on Pharaoh and his nation because he wouldn’t release the Israelite slaves. When Pharaoh was forced to relent, the freed Israelite slaves witnessed another miracle – the parting of the Red Sea. They saw these miracles of the One True God, yet their impatience (while Moses was up the mountain) led them away from Yahweh and into wanting to worship a golden calf made by men!

    Such “golden calves” of idolatry are evident even now, and throughout history. Your golden calf happens to be atheism.

    Next, we see how important faith is in the worship of the One True God of the Bible.

    Without faith, it is impossible to please God (see Hebrews 11:6) for we must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    All of Hebrews 11 describes the role of faith in God (Yahweh – God the Father in the Old Testament as they waited for the prophesied coming Messiah – Jesus Christ) and how faith carried along those who diligently sought Him.

    What else is required? For the Old Testament saints, it was offering sacrifices in the form of unblemished animals in order to be forgiven for their sins as they waited for the promised Messiah. For New Testament saints, it is accepting Christ’s sacrifice ONCE FOR ALL in order to be forgiven for their sin and reconciled back unto God. Repentance is necessary in order to receive the mercy, grace, forgiveness and eternal life offered through Yahweh in the OT, and finalized by Christ in the NT.

    However, the New Testament reveals that in the Old Testament we see that David was given the recognition of “being a man after God’s own heart.”

    Act 13:22

    “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David [fn] the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ [fn]

    [fn] (13:22)

    1Sa 13:14

    “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”

    Despite the fact that he committed adultery with Bathsheba, killed her husband, and tried to cover it all up, God gave David that unique recognition. Why? Because the Psalms are filled with David’s prayers of faith in, and praise to God; as well as his pleas for mercy through repentance! What’s more, David will have a special place of recognition in the Millennium under the righteous rule of King Jesus!

    What matters most to God is our choice to believe that He is – and that is achieved through what is written about General Revelation (through the evidence of the quote in Romans 1:20) and then through the Revelation of Jesus Christ at his first coming to save the people from their sins. Christ’s future Second Coming includes the end times Millennial Kingdom to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden and in order to complete the prophetic promises to the Jews, and then the Gentiles in that future Messianic Kingdom.

    Believing that Yahweh is the only True God requires faith. The faith of the Old Testament saints was evident in their looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. The faith of the New Testament saints was as a result of placing trust in Jesus Christ.

    Repentance of sin is required by ALL – precisely because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In the Old Testament, the Israelites (and those former pagans who accepted Yahweh as their only God – rejecting the many idols that were being worshipped) who sacrificed animals and placed their sin upon that animal for repentance and remission of their sins, did so as a temporary act in order to be reconciled back unto God. They had to perform sacrifices over and over again at the Temple in order to be forgiven of them. Jesus’ sacrificial death at the cross covers all sin for all who come to Him in humble repentance for the forgiveness of their sin. Faith in Christ as the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world, repentance of sin; asking for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and eternal love for Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords is offered to all, but only accepted by some.

    Jesus told us:

    Mat 7:13

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

    Mat 7:14

    “Because [fn] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    Therefore, the “all faiths lead to God” mantra of the religionists – past, present and future – falls flat on it’s face. It truly matters in Whom one trusts and in Whom one places their faith.

    Deu 4:29

    “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Pro 8:17

    I love those who love me,
    And those who seek me diligently will find me.

    Mat 7:7

    “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

    Mat 7:8

    “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

    GM’s question:

    You’re trying really hard to avoid answering the question of whether god offers all of us a choice or not.

    Yes! God offers all of us a choice and I have explained it as best I can here in this final comment.

    Like

  8. Ashley Says:

    Chris, I really enjoyed reading this! When skeptics ask the question “Why can’t ‘good’ people go to heaven if they haven’t accepted Christ?” it causes me to realize that they do not understand what heaven really is. Why would someone want to go to a place where the sole reason for its existence is to gaze upon the glory of the Lord and to be united with Christ? That’s where it doesn’t even make sense for people to argue or complain about entering the Kingdom of heaven when they don’t even know the purpose of heaven. It’s also important for us to come into the conversation with an open mind. Even as a blogger, it is evident that you are coming in with an open mind, because apologetics in its very nature causes us to be able to take an honest look at our faith. I especially agree with your scriptures at the end–God is able to open our eyes to Him, but we MUST be willing to see. When God hardened people’s hearts (i.e. Pharaoh) in the OT, it was because they were unwilling to see. Therefore, God made it so they could not see. We do have a choice to see! How freeing! So blessed to have read this, Chris, and keep on with these encouraging blogs!
    -Ashley 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. christinewjc Says:

    Dear Ashley!

    I am so happy and thrilled that you came to this blog, read this post and comment thread, and then added such great points gleaned from Scripture! You, sweet young lady, have wisdom far beyond your years! It is evident to me that you have studied God’s Word and have the gift of applying what you have learned in order to share the Gospel of Christ with others!

    In the short time that I have known you, I see that you are such a blessing and encouragement to all who come in contact with you. Today, your presence here has blessed me immensely! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and write what God has laid upon your heart! I sincerely hope that you will continue to visit, read, and comment! 🙂

    Love in Christ,
    Chris

    P.S. Now that I have approved your first comment, all subsequent comments will automatically appear unless there are two or more links included within the comment. This blog is set up this way in order to avoid “sneaky” spam comments from automatically getting through the spam filter.

    Like

    • gmpilot Says:

      CJW: This will be my last post to you on the topic. You most likely will not be satisfied with this comment so I suggest you go and ask another Christian for an answer.
      I’ve asked a couple of them. One denied it as you have, but not so

      desperately. The other’s answer was similar to the scholar you quoted: atrocities are okay if god orders them.

      So, God’s invisible attributes are CLEARLY SEEN and being UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE (including all humans). Even His eternal power and Godhead are evident so that THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.
      Every other religion that ever existed proves this to be false. The Chinese and the Toltecs and the Vikings never heard of this god until some missionary came along and told them. They had gods of their own, and if those gods are now dead it’s mainly because followers of your god killed the followers of those gods. Just like the Israelites did. (One of those ‘invisible attributes’ is eternal vengeance.)
      And stop shouting at me!

      Romans goes on to describe WHY people CHOOSE not to worship the one and only God.
      See above reply. If there were only “one and only god” all the world would worship him. We all know that isn’t true, despite the efforts of Protestant Christians and Catholic Christians and Mormon Christians to make it so. That doesn’t even include Muslim efforts to spread their faith!
      If you worship “the one and only god”, why aren’t you Jewish?

      This includes the idols that were worshipped in place of Yahweh in the Old Testament. The human heart is “deceitful, above all things” and “desperately wicked.” So, we are asked, “who can know it?”
      Answer: God does!

      Funny, he didn’t seem to know that in Eden, or when he let Noah’s family survive the Great Flood. One would think he’d know how things would turn out generations later, seeing how he’s a god and all. He can see the future (so I’ve been told), yet humans have constantly blindsided him.

      Recall how easily the Israelites who were freed from Pharaoh’s captivity through Moses fell into idolatry when they were left to themselves while Moses was delayed from coming down from the mountain.
      In those times and cultures, when an old man went up a mountain and didn’t come down again after several weeks, it was assumed that he went up there to die. (Everyone ‘knew’ that gods lived on mountaintops back then.) Exodus describes Mt. Sinai as being wreathed in clouds, and described ‘the glory of the Lord’ on its summit a ‘like devouring fire’ (24;17).
      Moses did say he’d be back, though, and he only kept the Israelites waiting forty days. Jesus has kept people waiting twenty centuries! It seems that this god still doesn’t realize that time is much less for us than for him.

      These people witnessed or at least heard about the plagues that were placed on Pharaoh and his nation because he wouldn’t release the Israelite slaves. When Pharaoh was forced to relent, the freed Israelite slaves witnessed another miracle – the parting of the Red Sea. They saw these miracles of the One True God, yet their impatience (while Moses was up the mountain) led them away from Yahweh and into wanting to worship a golden calf made by men!
      Yes, and when god saw it (he didn’t know they were going to do that?) he was so outraged that he was ready to exterminate his Chosen…and would have done so if Moses hadn’t talked him out of it. (Ex 32:9~14) Some regard this as evidence of god’s ‘long-suffering’. Others say it shows his eagerness to smite whatever annoys him.
      The offense of the Chosen People™ was worshiping a god they could see. Since they were fresh out of Egypt, they fell back on the patterns they knew. I guess it was about then that god decided to let that whole older generation die in the desert and let only the post-Exodus people enter the Promised Land.

      Such “golden calves” of idolatry are evident even now, and throughout history. Your golden calf happens to be atheism.
      I don’t worship anything, but I’m an idolater, which involves the worship of…something. Umm…oookay.

      Without faith, it is impossible to please God (see Hebrews 11:6) for we must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
      All of Hebrews 11 describes the role of faith in God (Yahweh – God the Father in the Old Testament as they waited for the prophesied coming Messiah – Jesus Christ) and how faith carried along those who diligently sought Him.

      The followers of Yahweh did exactly that—and when Jesus arrived, he did not fulfill the prophecies they’d been told. Well, Deuteronomy has rules on dealing with false prophets. That is why Jews don’t follow Jesus—but you know that.

      What matters most to God is our choice to believe that He is – and that is achieved through what is written about General Revelation (through the evidence of the quote in Romans 1:20) and then through the Revelation of Jesus Christ at his first coming to save the people from their sins.
      I can choose to believe that Santa Claus is (and for years, I did). It didn’t make it true.

      Christ’s future Second Coming includes the end times Millennial Kingdom to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden and in order to complete the prophetic promises to the Jews, and then the Gentiles in that future Messianic Kingdom.
      Did the prophets actually say the Messiah is supposed to come twice?

      Believing that Yahweh is the only True God requires faith.
      Especially when other people in other lands have faith in True Gods of their own.

      …Faith in Christ as the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world, repentance of sin; asking for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and eternal love for Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords is offered to all, but only accepted by some.
      Which is an improvement, I guess; the Son offers ‘life’ to all, but his Father only offered it to some.
      That was my whole point of contention on this thread. Your original claim is false.

      Therefore, the “all faiths lead to God” mantra of the religionists – past, present and future – falls flat on it’s face. It truly matters in Whom one trusts and in Whom one places their faith.
      Hmm, good thing I’m not a ‘religionist’, isn’t it? I can’t place my ‘faith’ in any “whom” spelled in capital letters.

      Yes! God offers all of us a choice and I have explained it as best I can here in this final comment.
      No! God offered no choice to Ai, and Jericho, and Makkedah, and Gezer, and Hebron, and Sisera, and the land of Goshen. He did not tell the Israelites to preach to them; he did not even allow them to come near, except in battle. All god wanted from those people was their blood—and he got it, just as he plans to do again.

      Thus endeth the thread.

      Like

  10. Cry and Howl Says:

    Hello Christine! Wow! I see you have a lively discussion going on here. Anyway as I recall didn’t Christ repeatedly caution people about hell? Saying something like certain folks were not going to enter heaven, but the real “woe” was directed to those who hinder those who could enter …
    Just sayin’
    I surely hope you and your lovely family are doing okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • christinewjc Says:

      Hi Steve!

      Nice to see you back here. My family is doing very well – thanks!

      GM put forth his usual rant and then claimed I was “poisoning the well” of readers against him. However, when I asked him to show evidence of something I wrote about him that was untrue (so that I could retract it) – he says nothing!

      Yes – Christ spoke more about avoiding hell than about heaven. Jesus paved the way so that no one would have to go there but certain people don’t want to hear about or believe in such truth.

      Good point about “those who hinder those who could enter.” When someone insists on countering God and what is written in the Bible, they are guilty of doing their own kind of “poisoning the well.”

      Like

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