I AM the God who allows Men to Choose 2 Peter 2:1- 22

We need Choices

Some people reject the exclusivity of the Gospel stating that “there are many roads

Finding truth among all the options

Finding truth among all the options

that lead to heaven.”  There is also the well known argument that says “how can a God of love he send anyone to hell?”  Many will not accept God’s reality because they say “I don’t believe in God because the church is full of hypocrites”.  Our topic this week revolves around some of these issues.  If the topic of alternative explanations intrigues you, there is an excellent short read recording the ongoing debate between a Philosophy professor and a Missionary student which is well worth the read.  Tipping our kings: finding truth in a world full of options by Jack Crabtree and is on kindle. 

False Teachers and Their Destruction

2 Peter 2:1   But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. (Alternate philosophies and many roads- mine)They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute (Hypocrisy in the church- mine). 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly (God does judge the wicked – mine); 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature…

Who are you Lord?

I AM the God of Free Will who allows alternative explanations for you to choose from, just as I allowed Adam the choice between the two trees to eat from (of course I know what you will chose and when).  None the less, I AM the God of Love who draws you by my mercy.  I do not want robots to serve me.  In my love for mankind I have always allowed false doctrines and all the other theories and options that are available to challenge the minds of every generation as to whether or not to want me, my Word and my will for their lives.  However the responsibility of choice is that there are consequences.  If you do not choose me, there is only one other place to spend eternity away from me – Hell; a place that I created for the devil and his angels.

Don’t think that since I am a God of Love that I would not send anyone to hell.  I AM the God of love and justice equally.  In Love, I sentenced my own Son to hell for you so that you do not have to go there for your sin.  In Love I took my own punishment for the sins of the world on myself when Jesus died on the cross.  But if you spurn that love, there is only one other place you can go.

I AM the Just God who punishes the wicked and saves those who trust me by faith.  My justice is not blind as your court system is.  I AM the Omniscient God who sees into the hearts and motives of people for what they truly think, desire and believe.  When the time of judgment comes on this world, I know how to rescue the righteous and punish those who would have none of me.  I AM the Faithful righteous Judge who will not overlook one sin.  I will punish every wrong done by men, both in the church first and outside of it later.  Unless you depend upon my mercy and grace to save you don’t think that I will overlook yours. 

God does not judge the righteous with the wicked

Peter here uses two cases (Noah and Lot) for the fact that God does not judge the righteous with the wicked.  I would like to add one more case to the list.  God spared the children of Israel in Egypt from all of the judgments on Egypt to prove that God makes a distinction between his people and the unregenerate.  He even says as much in the exodus passage Ex 8:22, 23 and 11:7.  Even in the last plague God provided them with the way of escape by which anyone (believing Egyptian and Jew) could have saved the life of their oldest child.  Any future judgment on the wicked will be avoided by God’s true children in Christ because Christ already paid for their judgment on the cross; thus, Rom 8:1 “Now there is no more condemnation for those in Christ.” God’s track record shows us how he knows how to rescue His righteous ones from the future judgment to come on the wicked people of the world as revealed in the book of Revelation.

Exclusivity of God’s Word

Without choices we have no ability to exercise our God given wills.  Adam had that choice.  Satan tempted the first pair to walk out on God and they did.  Ever since then he has been providing man with options other than God’s way.  And ever since then men have been following Satan down those primrose paths.  There must be “many roads”, but none of them lead to heaven except Jesus.  Jesus himself said in Jn 14:6 “I AM the way the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father but by me.” Now you can believe that or not, but the responsibility and consequences are yours just like Adam found out the hard way.  Satan doesn’t care what road you follow, just as long as it isn’t God’s narrow path

In the church there are a lot of hypocrites

We all are to one degree or another.  “There are none righteous no not one.”  “All have

Hypocrisy - Acting like something you are not.

We are all hypocrites to one extent or another

sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  “I have bound all men unto sin so that I might have mercy on them all.”  There I admit it.  Church is not a club for the pious and righteous but a spiritual hospital for those who know that they are not spiritually well and are depending upon God to make them so.  As to the false teachers, and those who “bring the Way of God into disrepute” in the eyes of the world, they will pay for it in the end by the righteous judge who knows all about their motives.  Peter has a lot to say about them to follow.

Only one choice, and only one life to make that choice

We all have been given one vital choice to make in this lifetime.  It is the purpose of your existence.  Your eternal destiny is dependent upon it.  The Bible gives us guarantees here and now on this matter.  You do not have to wait “until you die to find out” whether you were “good enough”.  It is not about how good you lived your life Titus 3;5 “not by works of righteousness which we have done but by his mercy he saves us.  It is about how good Jesus lived his life and died for you.  If you admit your need for him to have died in your stead, you have life.  Confess that Jesus is Lord, that you are a sinner deserving of judgment Rom 3:10, 23 but that Jesus died for you and you will be saved.  Read Rom 10:9,10,13; Jn 1:12, 3:16, 5:24; 1 Jn 1:9; 1 Jn 5:11-13.

The choice is yours, do you really want to take a chance that Satan is right or that God is right?  Adam found out the hard way and now we all have the same choice to make in this short life.  Heb 9:27

More to come,

Steve

For those who want to read more.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now… for the rest of the story”

(vs 10 continued) and despise authority. and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. 12 But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. (God created the Angelic host.  He owns them they are real and powerful and were made to obey God’s wishes – mine).  They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.

13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. (God is the God of righteousness who will judge them – mine) Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off (God is the God who gave us his way to follow.  He gave us his Word to show us His way He will not make you choose him though – mine) to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. (However God wants all men to repent and gives us time and opportunity to recognize our wrong before he destroys us – mine)

17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. (God created hell for Satan and the angels who rebelled with him not originally designed for man, but will send men there as well who do not apply God’s solution- Christ,  for their sin – mine )  18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (God is the only one who can provide a hope of eternal life and a current life which is free from the control of evil which is present in this world by Satan- mine)  and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  (God will hold them accountable for leading people away from God.  Like Jesus said better to have a millstone around his neck and thrown in to the sea than to lead a little one astray – mine) 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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8 Responses to I AM the God who allows Men to Choose 2 Peter 2:1- 22

  1. chicagoja says:

    It’s funny how just about everybody accuses the rest of the world of being false prophets. Does that mean that there are no true prophets or as the saying goes, “I wonder about everyone except me and thee, and sometimes I wonder about thee.”

    • strostrud says:

      As you so aptly pointed out, no individual human can make such a claim to be the only true prophet because no human being has all knowledge. Only someone who is external to our world, and who knows everything can make such an exclusive claim. I am not saying that everyone is a false prophet, God’s Word says that. This is why I only stand on God’s Word as authoritative. Jesus said it best “I AM the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” Acts 4:12 says that “there is salvation found in no other name given among men whereby you must be saved.” The Bible also says “He that has the Son of God has life, but he who does not have the Son has not life…” Jesus was either lying or crazy in his claims of exclusivity in which case he was not even a good man for doing so, or he was telling the truth and thus his claims to be God incarnate are the answers to all of mankind’s problems and worthy to be listened to and followed. Jesus is our answer and he recorded it in his Word the Bible. Nothing else has that kind of authority. We humans cannot tolerate this kind of claim of sole authority, our free will balks at it. However, the only one you would be hurting by balking at Jesus’ claims is yourself when God asks you what you have done with The Lord Jesus.

      • chicagoja says:

        I agree. However, one cannot really point to the Bible as the absolute Word of God because God never told anybody it was (outside of the Bible, that is). God is a spirit (John 4:24) and so no one has ever seen God (John 1:18). Paul confirms in Romans that God is invisible. While faith is a wonderful thing (I highly recommend it), belief should not be based on what some unknown person(s) wrote thousands of years ago. Nor should faith be based on the external world since no one can accurately speak about what exists beyond space and time (as you said). The Bible says to seek the Truth and the truth will set you free. Therefore, even the scribes who wrote the Bible understood that they didn’t have all the answers (as you said). Thank you for your comments. I’m just trying to keep it real.

      • strostrud says:

        Thank you. Your comments make me think and study. If I cannot clearly present my information, I cannot hope to help people. And that is what this blog is all about. My answers to your comments are separated from your comment.

        I agree. However, one cannot really point to the Bible as the absolute Word of God because God never told anybody it was (outside of the Bible, that is).

        You think God had to do that? Indirectly he did by the many external evidences throughout history and the non biblical ancient world which corroborate and validate many events, dates, places and people mentioned in the Bible which were previously thought to be only legend (i.e. the Hittite civilization for one was thought to be a legend until they found its library. Now apparently you can study Hittite in the University of Chicago. The ancient Biblical city of Jericho, whose walls came tumbling down, was thought to be legend and has since been found). God claims through various passages that the Bible is his inspired word by way of the prophets; Jesus himself claimed it to be and referred to the Old Testament as God’s Word, and the apostles who also claimed it to be. The empirical evidence found in the science of archeology points to this conclusion. Fulfilled prophecy also proves inspiration. The odds of just 8 of the prophecies which Christ fulfilled are calculated at 1: 10 17power. He fulfilled aprox 360 prophecies. See Josh McDowell’s book “Evidence that demands a verdict”. If it is proven true by the sciences in historic matters, then we can trust it as it relates to its spiritual claims.

        God is a spirit (John 4:24) and so no one has ever seen God (John 1:18). Paul confirms in Romans that God is invisible.

        Yet Paul saw the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus and it changed his life as well as hundreds of others. Isaiah saw God in heaven. John saw God in heaven. Paul also saw God in heaven. Moses saw God’s glory as well as it passed by him on the mountain. I don’t have a problem with God being Spirit. The essence of who you are is spirit inside your body. God made you in his image and likeness. Your spirit will live forever either with God in heaven after you die or in hell as far from him as possible. He leaves the choice to you where your spirit will live for eternity, provided you come to him in the way which He prescribes –through Christ.

        While faith is a wonderful thing (I highly recommend it), belief should not be based on what some unknown person(s) wrote thousands of years ago.

        Belief…the devil believes and he trembles with fear. Belief or faith for faith’s sake is not some ambiguous thing that saves people, just like it is not how much faith you have that allows you to cross a frozen lake covered with ice. Our faith which is dependent upon our knowledge knowing the facts, determines whether we will trust the thickness of the ice. The ice is what holds us up whether we believe it and walk across, or not and slither across on our bellies. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is one of the most substantiated events of history. The historical fact of what Jesus did is what saves us. That is the Gospel, not how much faith we have. Mustard seed faith is all it takes, child like faith is what God demands -pure trust in the historical facts of what he did for you as recorded in scriptures. Our taking him at his word and responding to his invitation to save you – that is the saving faith the Bible describes.

        Nor should faith be based on the external world since no one can accurately speak about what exists beyond space and time (as you said).

        In the beginning God… before he created the first day, there was no time, space or matter – just God. Jesus could tell us about what lies beyond this life because he was there. He created heaven and hell thus he can tell the story (not parable) in Lk Lk 16:19- 31 of Lazarus and the rich man dying where one went to paradise and the other to Hades. The rich man pleaded for Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to warn them but Abraham responded… “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Our sole authority is God’s Testimony on the subject. Thus our “faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.” Not faith for faith’s sake. Only God who is external to our world can teach us what he knows as revealed to his prophets in the Old and New Testaments what eternity is like. He gives us the behind the scenes look regarding the conflict between God and Satan, Job’s sufferings caused by Satan, the creation of the universe, heaven and hell and reasons behind the evils and needless sufferings of this world.

        The Bible says to seek the Truth and the truth will set you free.

        The verse doesn’t say seek the truth… as you said. It says, “if you hold to MY teaching … you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The whole verse goes (Jn 8:31 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”) Acts 17:27 “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him (another translation says grope for him as if in the dark) and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” It is placed in us through Adam to want to search for truth in ourselves as part of the curse to experience truth on our own i.e. “tree of knowledge of good and evil” this is one reason for so many religions and philosophies. But men must come to God through his Son. This is why God gave to his church the commission to go to every people nation tribe and tongue. God wants his message of salvation to be known by all. “He is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance.” God wanted Adam as well as all of us to depend upon God to teach us everything.

        Therefore, even the scribes who wrote the Bible understood that they didn’t have all the answers (as you said).

        Of course not. All of God’s unlimited knowledge and all of his truth cannot be fully known now. But we can be confident that what he has given us in the Bible, is truth. And what he gave us is enough to have eternal life so we can eventually learn the rest. Jn 21: 25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” and John 20:30,31 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Jesus rebukes the scribes when he says in Jn 5:39 , 40“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” The wonderful thing about the Bible is that these same scribes were so meticulous as to the transcription of the Bible that we can be assured that we have 99% of what God told the original authors accurately transmitted to us today. A good proof text of this is proven by the accuracy of the Dead Sea Scrolls copy of the book of Isaiah which is virtually identical to our current copy of Isaiah yet was written 1000 years before our oldest known text at the time. This refutes the critique that we have lost the original words of God from our modern versions.

        Thank you for your comments. I’m just trying to keep it real.

        Read the book listed in the blog post. The author asked the question, “If your belief system and worldview could possibly lead you wrong, would you want to know it?” Nobody wants to think that our systematic philosophy and worldview is wrong. Our pride does not want to be wrong. But would you be willing to stand corrected? In light of God’s Word, we need to admit that we are all systemically wrong in light of God’s truth. That is the whole point. We are to gain God’s perspective and understanding on our condition so that we can come to him so that he can give us his truth and life.

        Respectfully,
        Steve

      • chicagoja says:

        Thanks for your comments Steve and keep up the good work. We need more dedicated people like you in the world.

        So here’s my thoughts:

        (1) Do you think God had to do that?
        Archaeology is a two-edged sword. For every discovery that coincides with information in the Bible there is a discovery that is in conflict with the Bible. For example, Jericho existed in a time frame different than what the Bible states and Jehovah was also a pagan god of the Canaanites who had a goddess companion (Asherah). As for prophecy, many of the prophecies in Isaiah were not fulfilled (e.g. they never called Jesus, Immanuel) and the Israelites who made the prophecies said that Jesus did not fulfill them which is why they didn’t accept him as the messiah. By the way, the concept of the Old Testament messiah was always intended to be a human being, a king who would deliver them from their enemies. A divine messiah would have been unthinkable to them.

        (2) God is Spirit (John 4:24)
        The reason for mentioning this verse is that it contradicts much of the Bible, including the things you brought up. If the Bible is to be the unerring Word of God we need to know that we can absolutely rely on it. Otherwise, we’re left “picking and choosing” those verses from the Bible that we want to believe in and ignoring those that we can’t explain. In this case, either John and Paul are wrong or the Bible verses which contradict them are wrong. Either way, it calls into question our understanding of the Bible.

        (3) Faith is a wonderful thing
        As to the life and death of Jesus, I have to respectfully disagree with you. As history, it doesn’t get any more controversial than Jesus, who barely rated a footnote in the history books of his time (e.g. Philo).

        (4) Nor should faith be based on the external world.
        Actually the God we’re all looking for will never be found in the external world. Jesus said as much when he said that the Kingdom of God is within. Further, I’m living proof of it (a long story that I won’t bore you with).

        (5) Seek the truth…
        I agree. Jesus was saying that the religion of the day (Judaism) was not the truth. Their holy book was the Tanakh (basically the Old Testament) and it was not the truth either. Jesus’ teachings were never given to the masses as Jesus forbade the disciples from teaching it. It was perhaps irrelevant as the disciples admitted to not understanding Jesus’ message.

        (6) The scribes who wrote the Bible
        If you read a non-biased account of Bible history, almost all historians/theologians agree that most of the Bible is not the original writing and not necessarily even the original copy of what had been transcribed. So many changes and edits to even begin to talk about. By the way, just because there appears to be a Book of Isaiah which has confirmation from another source, it doesn’t make them the original text. Side note: Even the so-called Synoptic Gospels have many discrepancies amongst them relating to the same stories.

        (7) Read the book listed in the blog post
        Being a truth-teller is no fun. I can vouch for that. Yes, I agree, most of our worldview is tainted; Socrates said as much. The problem is that when two people discuss God they both pull out their holy book and say it is the Word of God. That pretty much ends any meaningful discussion. What each person is effectively saying is that God speaks to them but not to the other person. We all want so desperately to believe that we are God’s Chosen People, as if God would ever choose between his children. So I hope you don’t find my Word of God too offensive. It was just the ramblings of some bearded man living in the desert (in the Holy Land no less) who whispered these things into my ear.

      • strostrud says:

        Archaeology is a two-edged sword.
        Archaeology has generally contradicted the Bible in the minds of its critics until they make the discovery that proves that the Bible was right all along. You can argue time frames but external ancient documents have also verified these to be true. Asherah was not God’s companion. Yahweh had the Israelites tear down the Asherah poles throughout the country. His 2nd command was not to have graven images among them. He punished the Israelites over and over for their disobedience in this regard. God says over and over throughout the Bible, I the Lord are ONE. There is no god besides me. Asherah was a lie from Satan to turn God’s people away from Yahweh. The Canaanites were wicked races who were cursed by Noah. They worshiped idols and were evil. And along with the other occupants of the Land of Canaan the Lord was to remove them from that land.
        As for prophecy.
        Of course the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Even the disciples including Peter did not understand Jesus’ full mission to fulfill the entire law in his life and then to die to save the world. They were myopic in their view of being “God’s people”. Thus they crucified him even though they saw his miraculous workings and healings. They wanted King David’s heir to come and remove the Roman occupancy. At one point they wanted to make Jesus king by force after he fed the multitude but he was not interested in just a physical kingdom. The Jew’s minds were solely on the physical restoration of Israel. Even their shouts of Hosanna meant “Deliver us, or Save us we pray” when Christ rode into Jerusalem. But Christ was more concerned with their deliverance from the tyranny of Satan over their souls, and to make a road of salvation for the entire world as the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob referred to though the promised seed of woman in the Garden. The two disciples on the road to Damascus thought that Jesus was to be the promised one to set up the kingdom on earth at that time but were discouraged when he was killed. Then Jesus appeared and revealed to them through all the prophecies that which was supposed to happen to the Christ.
        The Jews today are still looking forward to a physical Messiah. Satan will send one who will be what they want and whom they hail as the Messiah. He will establish a contract with the Jews and there will be peace for a short while. But then all hell will break loose on them. But Jesus Christ will come back not only as a glorified resurrected human but as God Almighty to defeat Satan, establish the throne of his Father David and rule this earth for a thousand years. Many of the prophesies that pertain to that event have not been completed yet obviously and they are still waiting to be fulfilled in his literal physical establishing the kingdom. Jesus Christ did fulfill over 360 prophecies so far. The odds against such are astronomical and well worth considering. God called Jesus Immanuel through the prophet Isaiah 7:14” Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 9:6, 7 also have much to say about him.

        God is Spirit (John 4:24)

        How does this contradict John and Paul’s teachings? Jesus Christ is God one with the Father and Holy Spirit. They were together when they created the universe, made man specifically in His image, dispersed the nations at Babel. They revealed themselves together at Christ’s baptism, and Jesus revealed his true identity on the mount of Transfiguration. Yes, God is spirit. But Yes, God took on humanity in Jesus and dwelt among his people Israel as 100 percent God and 100 percent human. I don’t see how this is considered contradiction or picking and choosing. Paul does not contradict this in Col 1;19 and 2:9 “In Christ dwells all the fullness of Deity in bodily form.” John in ch 1 says that “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word was God.” And this word came to the Jews to dwell among them but the Jews “received him not.” I have no confusion as to Christ’s claims of Deity. Jn 8:58, 59 Jesus calls himself “I AM” using God’s name that he gave to Moses. At this point the Jews knew exactly who he was equating himself to be and responded as any good Jew would do and picked up stones to kill him. Their response tells us exactly who Jesus claimed to be. And I might add, who we need to see him as. This is what people do not want to hear because if Jesus is real, and claims to be God, then all men will answer to him for why he came to this world.

        Faith is a wonderful thing
        I don’t know where you get your information, it sounds like you are getting it from the Jews because they too denied Jesus and tried to cover up his resurrection. Satan doesn’t want people knowing about Christ either. Only through Jesus can we have the hope of eternal life, so it stands to reason that Satan would try to have this point of Christianity dismissed and forgotten. However, if you would allow the same weight of the law of eyewitness testimony be applied, there were hundreds of first hand eyewitnesses of the risen Lord Jesus before he ascended into heaven. This kind of testimony is undeniable. And most of the New Testament was written within 70 years of the actual happenings and some as soon as 30 years afterward. The people who would have been there would have contested inaccurate reporting of the life and times of Jesus. Jesus even claimed that his message would be the source of contention even within families. He said that the Gospel is a stumbling block to the Jews.

        Nor should faith be based on the external world.
        I agree with the words you have said but disagree with your interpretation. Jesus did say his kingdom is within. Not a physical kingdom of the Jewish mindset with the 10 commandments in place but one of which is in the heart where God’s laws are written there. “God in us the hope of glory” as Paul says. However, Jesus also said to Pilate in Jn 18:36“ Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Notice that he said “But now” meaning that at this time he came to die, but one day he will come to establish a physical kingdom there in Jerusalem.
        I tell you this because Christianity is God establishing his throne in our hearts, giving us his righteousness whereby he fulfilled the Law on our behalf, spilled his blood on the cross, gave us his Holy Spirit and his divine nature, gives us the hope of eternal life and the eradication of our sin nature and promises us to reign in the future with him for eternity. Although this is experienced in the heart, there will be a day when this world will be renewed and God will reign over the Jews in Jerusalem and His believers, his church, his children will all be with him.

        Seek the truth…
        Of course the world says that God’s Word is not the Bible. To believe otherwise is to be held accountable. The only reason that the disciples did not understand his teachings were that because they were Jews who were indoctrinated by the legalistic interpretation of the day. It wasn’t until after the resurrection that they started to remember what Jesus was talking about. Peter even could not believe what Jesus was saying when Jesus told him that he had to go to Jerusalem to die and raise again. But Jesus did not forbid the disciples to teach. They spread the good news of the kingdom as Jesus sent the 70 disciples out even while he was still alive. They came back with the report that even demons obeyed them. However it wasn’t until after the resurrection that they had a clue as to what Jesus’ purpose on coming to earth was really about. Lk 24:6 At the resurrection, the angel had to remind them of what Jesus said. And Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to indwell the disciples and who would remind them of all which Jesus taught them so that they could teach others. Jn 14:26 “ But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

        The scribes who wrote the Bible
        There are no Non-biased opinions about this. Either you believe the testimony of the scriptures or you are trying to dismiss them. Even your statement is biased.
        As mentioned above, most of the New Testament was written before 70 AD. Within one life time of the actual participants. Most of the New Testament can be reproduced from early church fathers writings. As mentioned before, the Dead Sea scrolls are 99 percent the same in the book of Isaiah as we have today. You cannot refute that fact. The significance is that the transcription process was so accurate from copy to copy that we can be that sure of the rest of the O.T. we have as well is just as accurate.
        The synoptic Gospels are not discrepancies! Each book of the scriptures was written with the authors personality and style in tact as God directed them to write. Each of the Gospel writers had a different emphasis that they were bringing to the table i.e. Luke as a doctor described the story from Christ’s humanity where as Matthew describes it from the point of his lineage of kingship. Mark has a different emphasis than John’s account. Mark wrote his gospel in the historic present tense like in the first person description of the historical information presently. 50 times he used the word “immediately” 142 times many times and he uses the word “and” all through the narration so as to give you a sense of urgency. Mark shows us that Jesus came as a servant. It is a book of action. Mark 10 : 45 is the key verse. He came to serve. His emphasis what Jesus did. This is why we need all of the gospel accounts because each person brings to the table of God’s body a different gifting and perspective. Unity amongst diversity. The body of Christ is designed to be this way. It is not a bad thing.
        Tainted worldviews
        In the end God’s Word tells us that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. We can choose to do it now and live with him, or we can choose to do it before his throne and be sent to hell. But all will bow and confess. What do you want to bet your soul on? Paul says 8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” Gal 1:8. Then in vs 11 he continues to say this: 11” I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” Peter says the same thing in 1 peter 1:20, 21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

        God speaks to them but not to the other person. We all want so desperately to believe that we are God’s Chosen People, as if God would ever choose between his children.

        Yes God speaks to his prophets and apostles but not to the other religions of the world. He says so much in Exodus 11:7 God says to the Egyptians that he makes a distinction between them and his children. Thus the plagues were not felt by the Israelites. Also why do you think that Moses’ staff ate the other staffs when they all became snakes before Pharaoh. It was to show Pharaoh that only Moses had the authority in spiritual matters not his magicians. All roads do not lead to heaven. There is only one God, with only one way to come to him. And why did God send those particular plagues? To show Egypt that each plague was a direct attack on their puny gods. Each plague for their different gods i.e. the first plague was for their Nile river god Hapi, turned to blood, a sign of death. And the last one was for Pharaoh – the descendant of the gods himself could not protect his own son. This is also why there was only one door on the Ark of Noah, meaning that there was only one way to avoid God’s judgment on the wickedness of the people of that day. As they entered the Ark, God shut the door behind them keeping them safe and the others out. There were no handles on the door because God closed Noah in which is a picture of salvation’s security of the believer. Jesus said that I AM the door to the sheep fold. You must enter through him and he will never cast you out.

        So I hope you don’t find my Word of God too offensive.

        God’s Word is what you will be held accountable to. This is why I cannot claim any authority in myself. Not Plato, or Darwin, or the Pope or Buddha. God is the one who says your sin has come between you and him. Only God can prescribe the punishment and the cure alike. Only God’s word matters. Not your opinion or mine.

        To anyone reading this, Jesus died for you, and offers you eternal life. The Christian life is hard by design. It requires admitting your sinfulness and need for His mercy and forgiveness. It offers amazing benefits but it is something that God must do in you unlike religion which is trying your best to please God. People are not born Christian even if their parents are Christians. Each person must come to their own decision of faith in what God says. I am a sinner and I deserve death. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me. Forgiving me. I need you to give me God’s righteousness because I cannot earn it nor do not deserve it. AMEN

        Enough said.

        Steve

      • chicagoja says:

        Steve. Thank you for your comments. You’re a man of your Word and your faith and that’s a good thing regardless of your belief systems. It was Socrates who said that, “I know one thing: that I know nothing.” What he meant by that is that the illusion of life is beyond our limited ability to comprehend reality. Certainly, God is also beyond our ability to comprehend although it never keeps people from trying, even myself. As for my beliefs, they’re actually not mine per se. Many of them even run counter to the belief systems that I was raised with. I’m simply a channel for the Word of God. My “conversion” is no different than Paul’s really. Therefore, I don’t need a Bible although I read it often and I don’t need faith either as faith is, in reality, a belief system based on one’s assumption that they are wiser than Socrates. I wish you the best of luck and I’m always open to discussing the Word of God.

      • strostrud says:

        Thank you for your kind words and for the mental jousting. As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another Prov 27:17.

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