Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Mystery Of The End Times

Segments of Christians since the time of Christ have believed that Jesus would surely return during their generation. Every generation of Christians has interpreted Scripture to align it with their present circumstances and political climate. Every "biblical" trick imagined has been contrived to set the date for Christ's return and to define precisely how the end times will unfold. This trend has become increasingly more embarrassing since the development of the printing press, which aided in widely spreading foolish, false predictions.

How many books claiming to know the when and how of the End Times need to be proven wrong before we stop buying them, or better yet, writing them? Books with titles like "Jesus 1994," or my personal favorites: "88 Reasons Jesus Is Coming Back In 1988" and "89 Reasons Jesus is Coming Back in 1989" (yup, when the first one proved to be wrong the SAME author added one reason and resold it under the latter title the following year!).

A plethora of reasons exist for all the crazy predictions: some honestly believed the current state of the world aligned with scripture and wanted to warn people, others probably got caught up in an faulty end times movement, and some others probably wanted to make a quick buck. Whatever the reason, I, for one, wish to see more caution from believers when proclaiming to have all the answers concerning end times....because nobody knows the specifics. We see "in part," as Paul would say, we know the gist of it, that Jesus is indeed going to return, that there will be an Antichrist, etc. etc.

When I was a teenager, I started reading The Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. They are intriguing fiction novels that speculate how the end times will unfold. Recently, I was unsettled while watching an interview with the two authors of the Christian mega-hits. Apparently, while the characters and their roles in the stories are meant to be purely fictional, how the specific circumstances of the rapture, Antichrist, tribulation, and second coming unfold in the books are all suppose to be completely accurate. Now, I believe in Scripture, I believe in the end times, and I believe that these authors are godly and sincere. However, whenever ANYONE claims to have answered the “who, what, when, where, and how” of the end times, a red flag goes up.

While the date-setters win the most annoying award, they are not the ones that really concern me. It’s the teachers who map out EXACTLY and PRECISELY the events, circumstances, countries, leaders, and appearances of the End Times. It's rather alarming because I’m pretty sure they are wrong (not because I think I have the right interpretation of the End Times, but because I have no clue how it will all unfold). I believe the end times will be completely conducive with Scripture, but I don’t think it’s going to play out the way any of us think it will, and it definitely is not going to LOOK how any of us think it will. God has the habit of giving us prophesy that foretells or warns of future events, then we humans have a tendency of fusing our own interpretations and theories to those prophesies, unable to separate our possible analysis from absolute Scriptural truth.

Take Christ's first coming, for example. God’s chosen people, the Jews, were given hundreds of prophesies concerning the coming of the Messiah, hundreds of years in advance. What happened? They analyzed and interpreted Scripture, concocting and sealing the image of a grandiose powerful political reformer that would physically lead a revolt against the governing powers that oppressed God's chosen people. To them, this was conducive with scriptural prophesies and the times they lived in. It was the most likely and sensible scenario for the Messiah. But when the Messiah emerged as a poor carpenter’s son, from parents with a questionable background, growing up in the slums of Nazareth, preaching about peace, loving our enemies, and the hypocrisy of the religious, whose friends were tax collectors, prostitutes, and uneducated fishermen, whose throne would be a criminal’s Cross, the Jews could NOT reconcile this Jesus with their preconceived notions of the Messiah! They could not reconcile Christ with their own interpretations of the Scriptures.

Now, I’ve heard some scoff, “oh it’s so clear, how could they have missed it?” But we shouldn't be too cocky, because we are doing the same thing with end times prophecy. We speculate, analyze, interpret, and flat out guess how it will be and then present it as fact. Over the years, we have drawn up and espoused pretty specific lay outs of what the end times will look like and how it will unfold. It’s all very sensible, mind you; it lines up just right with our current events and our view of Scripture. But we shouldn't be so hasty in carving those sensible interpretations into stone.

For anyone who has read the The Silver Chair in the Chronicles of Narnia series, there is a very telling scene between Aslan (the Jesus figure) and Jill Poll, right before He sends her down to Narnia on a quest.

“Remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of night. And whatever strange things happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. Secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. The signs which you have learned will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances”Aslan (Silver Chair, 25-26).

I think this passage is very relevant to our dealings with eschatology (the study of end times). Are we clinging to the signs in scripture that we, by definition, do not fully understand? Or are we clinging to the interpretations that make the most sense to us now? Do we have enough faith to still follow if the end-times unfold differently then we expect? Will we be taken in by anyone coming in Jesus' name because we've already carved out the image of the Antichrist?

I am not denying that some current events are indeed the "birth pangs" of the end times, but none of us know how long the intervals between such birth pangs will be, or how the "baby" will look when it is born. Speculations are fine and interesting, but we should take care, lest we paint ourselves a false end times picture and fall prey to "the great falling away" or "the many believers that will be deceived" in the last days. I have heard some Christians proclaim the Antichrist will be a raging secular-humanistic atheist. Does that fit with scripture's description of the Antichrist(s) that will come in Jesus' name and be able to perform signs and wonders. Does that sound like any secular humanist that denies the existence of the miraculous that you know of? Is it possible the Antichrist will come in sheep's clothing, infiltrating the church? I have no idea, but I know we need to keep our eyes open to all possibilities, so we are not deceived.

Jesus warns believers to be careful and not to be deceived in the last days (Luke 21:7-9) . We should read the signs of the time, but let’s not inflame them, stretch them, and sometimes flat out make them up. The end times may not unfold how many of us imagine. If we hold onto specific speculations more than the mysterious scripture, we may not recognize the true beginning of it all. We may be in danger of deception. We could be setting massive amounts of people up for disappointment and despair.

23 comments:

"Wolfgang" said...

Wow! It is so refreshing to read someone who thinks so much like I do. From my youth, I have always been fascinated with eschatological writings and engaged on an intense, independent study of Revelation as a teenager.

Most of the Christians I seem to come into contact with in this area put great stock in things like the Left Behind authors and others knowing exactly how things are going to be. They believe in these things as incontrovertible fact.

These people stigmatize Christianity in the eyes of the unchurched and even other Christians. That is sort of the premise of Bawer's Stealing Jesus. The fundamentalists are stealing Him and our religion from us and we must take it back!

This is why in my post the other day, I identified myself as not being "born again." I can't come to God of my own devices. Only the love of Christ, expressed by His death on the cross, the power of the Holy Spirit in my heart, and the Grace of Father in Heaven could begin me to redemption. When people ask me when I was saved, my reply is simple... "about 2,000 years ago, how about you?"

Tia Lynn said...

Yeah, our God is a God of surprises, mapping him out NEVER works. I'm all about seeking truth and knowledge, but on this one, I think it's going o remain mysterious until it actually happens.

I'm going to buy Stealing Jesus. I'm reading a book right now that sounds similar in premise called, "Thy Kingdom Come: An Evangelical's Lament." I'm only two chapters in, but so far the author has a good handle on church history, relatability, biblical theology, and compassion.

Matty Hillard said...

Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are biblical scholars that the meaning of Revelation has been revealed to. They do know how it's going to be, because it is foretold in scripture. All these other theories are cheap imitations trying to confuse the truth.

Tia Lynn said...

Matty, frankly, I would not mind if the Tim LaHaye's of the world were right about a pre-trib rapture, because it's the best scenario for believers, but I don't want to hold onto that belief MORE than the undeniable mystery of it in scripture, because if it does not happen that way, I don't want to be deceived, have deceived others, or despiar.

There are other parts of their theory that don't sit well with me, especially there extreme zionism. But like I said, I don't doubt these men's faith or sincereity, I just hit the breaks when ANYONE says "This is exactly how the end-times will be..."

Anonymous said...

HI TIA! :P

Tia Lynn said...

Hello anonymous. Do we know each other?

keithandjennifer said...

"I have many gay friends, some of whom are Christians and remain celibate, but are still homosexual in orientation, so I have STRONG feelings on this topic" Quote By Tia

I think we need to remember two main points here:

1) You are not born homosexual in orientation. It is a sin.

2) The person must acknowledge it is a sin. It is very clear in the Bible.

If we are not careful all of our love issues will blur some of the truth. It's like a pedophile coming into the church and saying "I am not convicted of "that" sin yet." No I am not saying homosexuals are pedophiles. But, I am saying is that repentance leads to forgiveness and a new life. Not holding on to our sin.

Tia Lynn said...

Jennifer, I did not say people are born gay. Tell me, exactly how many gay people do you know well? Because if you think people wake one day and say, "hey I could be straight, but I think I'll be gay for the fun of it," you obviously do not know any gay people or the agony, despair, rejection, and humiliation they go through on a daily basis. There are many different reasons for the causes of homosexuality including emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological, environmental, chemical, and yes, genetic factors. Every case is a different mixture of reasons. I'd be happy to discuss some of those causes in another forum or when I finish my post on Sodom and Gomorrah.

My friends who ARE Christians remain cellibate because they ARE convicted and know they cannot reconcile homosexual ACTS with scripture. However, their orientation has not changed. They have cried and prayed for it to change. They desperately want marriages, children, and companionship. But they are not attracted to the opposite sex. It is a very sad and lonely existence. It makes me sick when Christians alienate them and compare them to pedophiles. I suggest you read about the life of Henri Nouwen, a brother in the Lord who sacrificed his entire life to work among the poor. He remained cellibate, and secretly struggled with being gay his ENTIRE life, though he never acted on it. I believe behavior is a choice, but I know that not everyone chooses to be gay in orientation. I believe Jesus can change that, but He doesn't always. There needs to be a place in the church for our struggling brothers and sisters without fear of rejection, judgmental accusations, vast generalizations, and oversimplified solutions. I'll discuss this with you, but please do not imply that my friends are "holding onto their sin" or haven't sufficiently tried to be straight. They are dedicated to Jesus and have sacrificed more of themselves than most people will ever have to.

Peter said...

Keithandjennifer said, "If we are not careful, all of our love issues will blur the truth."

Now that is funny, because if Christians are known for anything, it's their love, understanding, and compassion for gays! I mean, gays are totally unaware that we view their lifestyle as sin because of all that wimpy love we insist on spoiling them with.

Let's forget our puny "love issues," and join up with fellow "truth warriors" that protest every move gays make with signs quoting Leviticus verses! That'll do the trick. You bring the truth unblurred by that pesky love nonsense and I'll bring the clanging cymbals. Without love that's all your "truth" will ever be.

keithandjennifer said...

"I believe Jesus can change that, but He doesn't always." Quote Tia

Jesus will always change our sinful hearts if we ask.

I do believe that sometimes there is a process of changing our thought lives and patterns. But, Jesus is always faithful to deliver. He is our Deliverer. Or his act on the cross was not for ALL.

keithandjennifer said...

BTW God can also change our thought life too. If he can't He is not God. And He is.

Tia Lynn said...

So what exactly is your point Jennifer? Are you saying gay people who have accepted jesus, turned from homosexual behavior, and remain celibate because their orientation as not yet changed are not really Christians or sincere in their repentance?

I believe God can change all the things you just mentioned, but it's not our place to point the finger at struggling christians (as in actively wrestling AGAINST sin) and say, "well, if you truly asked God for change, you'd get it."

Jesus has been transforming me for the last 12 years and I fall short EVERY SINGLE DAY in an array of areas: pride, judgmentalism, indifference, selfishness, greed, anger, bitterness, etc. etc. I don't believe for one second that the things I fall short of or the things you fall short of DAILY are any better or different than how repentant gays struggle. We all try to put those things off daily, but it's a battle for ALL of us. For them to say, "Oh I gave my life to Jesus and now I'm a heterosexual" would be a lie.

If cliched black and white one liners are all you have to offer to gays, then it's probably best that you don't know any of them.

"Wolfgang" said...

Tia Lynn,

I highly recommend that you and keithandjennifer both go check out this post over at The Naked Soul. I am including an excerpt here:

"Most of us struggle with what appears to be the dark side of life. We have been brought up to believe in dualism, heaven and hell, ying and yang, good and bad. We even have adages to support the concept of dualism, “you have to take bad with the good”, “we must have rain to have rainbows”.

The big question that I want you to ponder today is this, If we believe that our Source is pure love and in being so, is pure perfection, then is it possible, even conceivable that our Source could create anything that is not perfect? Chew on that thought for a moment. You may struggle with this thought for a while, that’s okay, however invariably your answer must be that, our Source, which is pure love and perfection is not able to create anything other than love and perfection. Therefore everything is perfect in itself. Everything!!!! Now this goes against most of what you have been taught and probably against your logical, linear thinking self, however this is a great truth, everything is perfect! Our Source does not make mistakes, nor does it create bad things, nor does it punish you for your thoughts or behavior, nor does it play games with its creations to amuse itself.

Here in lies the struggle, if our Source is perfect, pure love, then how do we explain things like war, starvation, rape, murder, cancer, etc? Do we create that reality? The answer is yes! Most of humanity does not want to accept that. We want to point the finger someplace else. We want to say that the ‘devil’ did it, or we must suffer as a result of our past transgressions, or that we are at the mercy of a vengeful God, etc. We say anything to not believe that we could have possibly created a reality, which we view as bad. How is it possible that we could create the horrors that befall humanity? It must be some outside source, we certainly cannot be responsible for all of the horror and tragedies, which seem to randomly befall humankind.

The truth is, dualism is an illusion that we created to offer believable explanations that we are not in full control, that we often are victims of fate, destiny, etc.

Everyone and everything has a purpose and is perfect within that purpose. Our thoughts, both collective and individual create our reality, a reality that is subject to our perception of good, bad, etc."

He uses Source in place of God because of people's preconcieved notions about God, thus he hopes to reach more people. It's one of the best spirituality blogs I've found. What he says in this post, the two that follow it, and especially the excerpt I've quoted here can be applied to homosexuality. Why doesn't God change the hearts of these devout homoseuals? Because their sexuality is perfect, in that it satisfies a purpose in God's plan.

By the way, I'm glad you've decided to buy "Stealing Jesus". He definitely addresses the issue of Christian sexuality. I will have to look for the book you mentioned as well.

DeeAnn said...

I'm not ever going to make any predictions about the end of the world, but I'd rather be spiritually prepared for it just in case it was tomorrow.

Can we get away from the gay thing for a little while? I have struggled with holding my toungue (or typing fingers) and I really don't want to piss anybody off because I'm just recently feeling like you all like me. Don't worry, I'm not a gay basher, but I do feel like we are all responsible for becoming clean before the Lord, and Satan is going to try his hardest to keep us all bound (or thinking we are bound) to our sin until we submit to it.

Tia Lynn said...

Oh Deann. I love ya, and even if you hold a view I disagree with, I still love ya sister! The gay topic actually came up by accident over on Tonya's blog and escalated. I'll warn you that I am currently finishing up an analysis on Sodom and Gomorrah. Please feel free to comment whether you agree or not, I won't hold it against you. Your imput is always welcome, unless it makes me mad....just kidding:) But if it stresses you out, don't feel like you have to read it. Although, I think it's something all believers need to think about.

DeeAnn said...

The thing that stresses me out is that so many of my friends seem to be arguing right now. I'm hormonal. Everything stresses me out. I had to take a break from even reading everybody's blogs because of feeling like...........ah, I'm getting stressed out again. I do feel like we all throw out blanket statements and we have no idea what other people go through or struggle with.

from Christy Fritz said...

deanne, i typed a short comment last night ( can you believe it was short on the subj), but deleted it and let it go.
i decided to let my fingers rest on the topic completely, in this forum at least.:) even before you asked,so it must have been the right thing to do.

i like the comment about dualism, although it sounds a bit out there for me still...

i've been getting my head around thinking the words, perfection and perfect, are relative terms. (for about 6 mos now) a perfect orange is not a perfect apple... and that is just the truth of it.. i may be a perfect me, but that will not look like a perfect you. (when we are all completely perfected that is , cause i do think sanctification is a process still) it's good for me to remember we'll still all be different and have different thoughts and personalities, even when were absolutely perfect.:)

keithandjennifer said...

Tia,
I published this on my blog today too.

I am trying to use what the Bible says and not what is necessarily politically correct. B/C as we all know, the Bible is not politically correct sometimes. Jesus wasn't either. This is not a one liner, and it IS given with love. I know what Jesus offers us through salvation and I want that love for all people. That is my heart. So here it goes.

First, we have to agree that homosexuality is immoral. (Unlike Hilary Clinton when she said last night that she did not think being gay was immoral. Fox News Report ). The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is immoral.

1Corth 6:9 " Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers or male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God......

Secondly, the next part of that verse answers the question of "being a Gay Christian" for it says : " And that is what some of you WERE. But you were washed , you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. " 1 Cor. 6:11. So to identify yourself as Gay even after being saved does not follow along with this scripture. It says you *were* drunkards, you *were* greedy, you *were* homosexuals. Saying you "ARE Christians but remain celibate because you ARE convicted and know you cannot reconcile homosexual ACTS with scripture. However, your orientation has not changed" (quoted from Tia) is not biblical. You are not even using biblical terminology. Homosexual "Acts" and "Orientation" and all of that are worldly terms trying to side step the truth.

A person that is saved may have a struggle with old thought processes just like a greedy person struggles with their old thought process of greed. However, to identify themselves as Gay Christians is not biblical. Tia, the study by Neil Anderson that we are about to do in our Home Groups deals with thought processes a lot. It goes into a lot more detail that this blog. I would encourage you to take it. It starts next week. As Bryan (our Pastor for those of you who are reading and don't know who he is) has stated in his sermons you have to fill the bad places with good. (My paraphrase) Meaning, a person that struggles with bad thought processes must actively begin to renew their mind. They must see themselves as a new creature and begin to walk in that. That is not to say that they don't struggle but they begin to walk out the word.

This is something that is very important b/c of the verse :

"What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.

So it is very important not to throw around the "Gay Christian" terminology. Because it does tell us in scripture to judge those in the church, and a person that is saying they are a "Gay Christian" is saying they are in the church.

And as far is politics are concerned here is the latest from the Democrats on the topic:
"All of the Democratic candidates support a federal ban on anti-gay job discrimination, want to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays from serving openly in the military and support civil unions that would extend marriage-like rights to same-sex couples." Fox News Report 8/10/07-same link above.

That is all I have to say. Except there is hope in Jesus for all of us. He can change us and make us new. The road is narrow though. Don't be deceived.

Tia Lynn said...

Jennifer, I really appreciate you taking the time to lay out your perspective, it makes it much easier to decipher. I think we might have a semantics issue going on here. When I made that comment on Tonya's blog about have many "gay friends, some of whom are christian, but remain celibate," perhaps I should have explained that my friends who struggle do not go around proclaiming themselves as "gay christians." There are only a select few accountability friends that even know their weakness. My entire point is that they HAVE turned from that lifestyle and are actively seeking change. You can call it whatever you like, "orientation," "thought processes," but the fact still remains that my friends and many others remain unattracted to the opposite sex after conversion. I was never making the case for people struggling with homosexuality to go on in it. I'm saying that all believers in the end will be made perfect, but as we struggle with the flesh and all have our own specific weaknesses, some might always have those tendencies during this life. Of course we should be replacing our thoughts with what is pure and holy and pour ourselves into serving others. Many heterosexuals who have vowed to stay celibate do just that, but they don't cease being heterosexual, but rather keep their desires under control.

Paul says some people *were* living sinful lifestyles and in my opinion, when someone turns from it and seeks change, that is repentence. If they are not naturally attracted to the opposite sex and remain celibate forever or until that changes, I think that is an amazing sacrifice and an act of obedience. You said once people come to christ they need to see themselves as a new creations and then walk in that. Well, why do you think gay people who become christians but their orientation hasn't changed remain celibate?? They are not WALKING in their old life anymore, but walking in obedience even if the feelins don't align. People who have come to Christ don't want to remain gay, to be ridiculed and rejected by fellow believers. Life would be much easier just to be straight for them. But it's not as easy as you are making it.

If you want to judge those in the church, be my guest, but I think most of us (guilty self included) need to put down the gaval and take the logs from our own eyes. I don't want to see people with sincere, broken hearts and total trust in Jesus have their faith negated because of a particular weakness that is despised in the church WAY more than other weaknesses. Even Paul had a "thorn in the flesh" that he asked the Lord to remove numerous times. It didn't magically disappear when he converted. Does anyone know if he says God ever removed it?

I don't know how politics got brought into this, but I personally don't think gays should be discriminated against in the workplace. They should be able to work and be paid fairly for their work. If they want to serve their country in the military, they should be able to. I find it hypocritical that a person can commit every crime but first degree murder and rape, yet can still serve in the military, along with fornicators and adulters and all other kinds of sinners, but law-abiding gays can't serve their country. It's not a Christian army, it's the American Army and gays are Americans, too. I'm obviously not for gay marriage, but I'm for civil unions in general because they remove the sexual context from it. Anyone can get a civil union-spinister sisters that never married, other family relations, etc.

If we disagree on this issue that is fine. I was bombarded with lies about gay people and was on the verge of despising them. Until God brought one gay man after the other into my life and allowed me to see their kindness, suffering, rejection, and desire for the true living God. Love covers a multitude of sins and I will NEVER accuse a believer struggling with being gay that they haven't "truly" asked for change when I've seen my friends, in particular, weep and hurt over their weaknesses daily. They are on the narrow road, stumbling along like the rest of us.

"ma" said...

Wow
such a variable of beliefs, but how do they align with God?
God is perfect and created beings with the capability of free will choice. The beings chose to doubt His perfection and imperfection entered Utopia. The loving God who also must be the loving Judge in order to truly be loving allowed Sin to enter our nature, the creation, etc.
In that people are born very different from the original "perfect" model. And with each era of sinful life lived, generation to generation of disease to disarray plagues our bodies, minds and souls.
Imperfection is now the status with which we live. God did not "create" the blueprints for hemaphrodites or craniopagus twins or albinos in His original perfect plan, yet they are born into this world.
Imperfection, or anything other than Gods original plan is sin ( falling short of the Glory of God).....would you walk up to a albino and say "you are sin".?
Are you anemic? that's sin, cancer? that's sin, premature balding.......you guessed it.
So, when brain chemicals , hormones and wiring shift, and someone is born attracted to the same sex, that is deffinately NOT part of the original plan ( and ANYONE who wants to argue that, please, for His sake, just look at the reproductive system...the plumbing only works one way!)
But your sister being molested wasn't part of the original plan either, or your uncle bobs bipolar disorder or your tea totalling fathers liver cancer.
But each of us, when presented with the our imperfect nature has choices.
Jesus' sacrafice on the cross provided freedom from original sin ( which began in Eden) and chosen sin, which we as humans commit daily.

Daily, moment by moment we can hold on to sin and cultivate it in our hearts and minds....maybe it's a prideful attitude, maybe it's a poor self image, maybe it's fear or anger or jealousy, maybe it's revenge or self motivation or a need to excel.
These are all sin, and as one person said, anyone who doesn't give their sin to God can't be healed of it.
But how many of us truly DO give all our sin to God....if we did, we'd excel the apostle Paul for sainthood, only his confession was that he did that which he didn't want to do and he didn't do that which he wanted.
If you gave all so much to Christ, you'd never once complain about anything, or have one compassion-less thought, you'd never again give a pat answer, or lose patience or act in frustration or stand in front of the mirror for an extra second.
But Jesus didn't die for the perect, but the imperfect, because we , the imperfect sooo need a Savior.
So if someone for whatever reason, be it chemical or emotional ( which usually means damage & baggage) is attracted to the same sex, the sin we are to address is the thought life and actions taken on behalf of that attraction. If no choice of sin is commited, then no sin is comiited.
We are ALL sinners and fall short of the Glory of God.

As for healing?
well, Joni Erickson Tada has prayed for healing probably all her life, and no healing has come, so she awaits the other side of eternal life to have hers.
Do you know any vigins who have endometriosis? They pray for healing, and for few does it come.

Maybe that will be the same for many of us who are just too imperfect and broken to wrench ourselves that far open for God to get in and clean out the original and not so original sin.

Not until you are at whits-end, facing the degredation of original and not so origninal sin can you begin to really know God's mercy, and understand why Jesus agreed to Calvary.
It'll rip those pat answers and quick little bible verses right off your tongue, and for that ,be grateful.

andy said...

1Corth 6:9 " Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers or male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God......


Does this mean NO Americans can get to heaven... I mean isn't the American dream, Economic rationalism and free market economy really based on GREED?

"nor thieves nor the greedy"

careful how you use scripture or it may bite you back ;)

Tia Lynn said...

The funny thing about that verse, if you really think about the reality of Christ's sacrifice and grace, is that it is TOTALLY true that homosexuals, fornicators, liars, thieves, the greedy, the prideful, or any other tyepe of SINNER will NOT BE in heaven because God will look upon us in LIGHT OF WHAT JESUS DID. Those ugly realities are COVERED by the blood of Christ. So because of God seeing us through JESUS, NONE OF US will be those sinners in heaven, but will many of us struggle against such things in this life? You better believe it. And we ought to demonstrate for each other the the same grace we claim for ourselves. We may struggle and fall, but His mercies are NEW EVERY SINGLE MORNING, and thank God for that.

dave said...

absolutely awesome...and to connect that aslan quote...thanks.

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