Saved... An easy way out?

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Saved... An easy way out?

#1

Post by Himantolophus » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:26 pm

I was raised a Catholic but I consider myself as more non-denominational right now. I have relatives that are striaght up "born-again" Christians and it has lead to some tension in the family over the years as they feel they need to witness to all of us.

But, to the question here. I see "being saved" as something you do when you want to have a personal relationship with God and Jesus. Supposedly is you say this little prayer saying "I believe Jesus died for me and I want him in my heart", that you are suddenly "born again" as long as you live for God from then on.

I don't get it. Catholics and other religions say that believing in God and Jesus is important but that living by the 10 Commandments (the best you can) and doing good deeds for your common Man would assure you of getting to heaven. Now my "born-again" relatives have said that being a good person and helping the less fortunate will not get you to Heaven. Supposedly, by being "saved", this is the only way you can get to Heaven? I see this as a "easy way" to get to Heaven. Using this logic I can be a crack-head or wife-beating alcoholic for 50 years and do whatever you please (cursing, drinking, beating up people, stealing, killing) and when you get around to getting old, you can just pick up the Bible, get saved, and get your ticket to Heaven. Born-agains say God will judge you when you get to Heaven. Won't God have a harsher judgment on the reformed serial killer who is saved? Or will be allow the "saved" killer to go to Heaven over the Church-going Catholic who isn't Saved? Or this example: if Josef Stalin renounced his sins in the last year of his life and became Saved, would he get to Heaven? Compare this to Mother Teresa... is she going to Heaven in a born-again's mindset?

Could someone with a better handle on this explain why this is? Does being Saved allow you to easily escape from your past, no matter how bad it is? What impact does being a moral person and doing good deeds have?

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#2

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:39 pm

If you spend your whole life in service to others, if you give generously to your house of worship, if you are honest in all your dealings, don't you think God would say "Well done good and faithful servant!"? Wouldn't you expect to be welcomed into heaven? Well, you'd probably be greeted with "Away from me you evildoer. I never knew you."

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

Thinking you can earn Heaven because of the good deeds you've done is the lie of most religions, Roman Catholicism included. God offers you salvation in a different way:

But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (Tit 3:4-5)
Himantolophus wrote: Supposedly, by being "saved", this is the only way you can get to Heaven? I see this as a "easy way" to get to Heaven.
Becoming saved isn't about saying the hocus-pocus prayer (the altar call) many Protestant denominations practice. God sees your heart and knows if you have sincerely accepted Jesus as Lord. Do not underestimate the difficulty of becoming saved: most people keep themselves as Lord of their life, until their death.
Himantolophus wrote: Born-agains say God will judge you when you get to Heaven. Won't God have a harsher judgment on the reformed serial killer who is saved?
If you've been pardoned, you've been pardoned, ...I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Heb 8:12)
Himantolophus wrote:if Josef Stalin renounced his sins in the last year of his life and became Saved, would he get to Heaven? Compare this to Mother Teresa... is she going to Heaven in a born-again's mindset?
Anyone who is saved gets everlasting life with Christ. If Stalin repented and accepted Christ as Lord an hour before his death, he would be saved. If Mother Teresa did all her good works apart from salvation, she would not be saved.

The good works that are done as a result of being saved have value for God, and the saved will be judged and recompensed on them. The good works done apart from salvation may have value in the world, but are useless for your salvation.

For we (the saved) are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 8:10)

FL
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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#3

Post by zoegirl » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:44 pm

Himan wrote:I see this as a "easy way" to get to Heaven. Using this logic I can be a crack-head or wife-beating alcoholic for 50 years and do whatever you please (cursing, drinking, beating up people, stealing, killing) and when you get around to getting old, you can just pick up the Bible, get saved, and get your ticket to Heaven. Born-agains say God will judge you when you get to Heaven. Won't God have a harsher judgment on the reformed serial killer who is saved? Or will be allow the "saved" killer to go to Heaven over the Church-going Catholic who isn't Saved? Or this example: if Josef Stalin renounced his sins in the last year of his life and became Saved, would he get to Heaven? Compare this to Mother Teresa... is she going to Heaven in a born-again's
The issue is not whether it is an "easy way out" for some people. YOu consider these examples of evil people as if to say "these evil people believing in Christ are not really getting justice". And this is a concept that, I think, illustrates why CHrisianity is so shocking and beautiful!

The fact is that NONE of us deserve to be saved. Our sins establish us as enemies of God. And no amount of "following the ten commandments" will establish us as right with God. We cannot be perfectly righteous. IT's not an issue of "wanting" to follow the commandments, but an issue of capability. We are sinful and the sin permeates our decisions, our motivations, our actions, our thoughts....Christ's righteousness is imputed to us and He has taken upon HImself the wrath of our sin. So, yes, a murderer is forgiven.....but then again, our hearts are just as murderous and sinful and we are forgiven as well.

And this belief is not really an opportunity to get a ticket to heaven...we are a new creation in Christ as we live in HIm. This new creation transforms us and, although salvation is free, we must live for Him. But we gladly do so, for He has set us free. It is an opportunity to establish a relationship with Christ. And the murderer who truly understands and comes to Christ is transformed.

As to the "living 50 years of sin and then accepting CHrist", who among us knows how long we live? And for those who have heard the GOod news and still want to live for themselves, they are living a risk and have not truly understood the Gospel.

I hope as well, that Byblos would chime in, for I would suspect he would want to clarify the teachings of the Catholic church in this regard. I can only address the protestant concerns.
himan wrote: Does being Saved allow you to easily escape from your past, no matter how bad it is? What impact does being a moral person and doing good deeds have??
We escape the eternal consequences of our past but the earthly consequences are here to deal with. What we did before Christ will still carry consequences and those scars can be healed by Him through time.

For instance, someone who used drugs will still wrestle with temptation and with the consequences from that, with the family relationships, etc....
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#4

Post by Himantolophus » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:16 pm

Anyone who is saved gets everlasting life with Christ. If Stalin repented and accepted Christ as Lord an hour before his death, he would be saved. If Mother Teresa did all her good works apart from salvation, she would not be saved.

The good works that are done as a result of being saved have value for God, and the saved will be judged and recompensed on them. The good works done apart from salvation may have value in the world, but are useless for your salvation.
So, let me get this straight...

So, if Josef Stalin, a man that sent millions of people to their deaths and was anti-religion for his whole life, suddenly repented a year before his death and lived for God until his death, he would be accepted to Heaven by God?

And Mother Teresa, a woman who was very religious and helped out countless people, but wasn't "born-again", would be sent to the fires of Hell?

On what charges? If they both came before God on Judgement Day, God would ignore the evil that Stalin committed and ignore the self-less work and prayer of Mother Teresa? The fact that Stalin knowingly violated every one of the 10 commandments in his lifetime while M.Teresa did her best to live by them. I think saying what you just said basically says "forget by try to live as Jesus did" because if you become saved before you die, you will go to Heaven.
As to the "living 50 years of sin and then accepting CHrist", who among us knows how long we live? And for those who have heard the GOod news and still want to live for themselves, they are living a risk and have not truly understood the Gospel.
ok, this is true. But can't someone on their deathbed suddenly be born-again? Is there a "trial" period afterward where God wants you to prove this new lifestyle to Him?
We escape the eternal consequences of our past but the earthly consequences are here to deal with. What we did before Christ will still carry consequences and those scars can be healed by Him through time.
yeah, but it doesn't change the fact that they did the drugs and committed the sins. Wouldn't that person's past count as a "sin" on Judgement Day? And if they break their promise to God, can they try again? How many breaks of promise does God allow?

It still doesn't make sense at all. Say a a person who had lived a good life, lived by the Cmmandments, helped his neighbor, went to Church every Sunday, and loved his fellow Man went before God when he died. Would the merciful and loving God as we know send this person to Hell if he wasn't saved? Even if his list of sins was a fraction of a born-agains sins? I see this as an awfully bleak outlook as no Man is perfect.

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#5

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:56 pm

Himantolophus wrote: So, let me get this straight...

So, if Josef Stalin, a man that sent millions of people to their deaths and was anti-religion for his whole life, suddenly repented a year before his death and lived for God until his death, he would be accepted to Heaven by God?

And Mother Teresa, a woman who was very religious and helped out countless people, but wasn't "born-again", would be sent to the fires of Hell?

On what charges? If they both came before God on Judgement Day, God would ignore the evil that Stalin committed and ignore the self-less work and prayer of Mother Teresa? The fact that Stalin knowingly violated every one of the 10 commandments in his lifetime while M.Teresa did her best to live by them. I think saying what you just said basically says "forget by try to live as Jesus did" because if you become saved before you die, you will go to Heaven.
From the surprise expressed above, I can see that even though you describe yourself as "non-denominational," you still have a works-based view of salvation...probably a heritage of your Roman Catholic upbringing. I gave you biblical quotes stating clearly that salvation is a gift from God, and nothing you can earn or deserve. Scroll back up and read the quotes.

Neither I nor you know if Stalin or Mother Teresa were born-again, so to take those two as examples clouds the issue and makes you focus on their lives rather than on what God's word says.
Himantolophus wrote: But can't someone on their deathbed suddenly be born-again? Is there a "trial" period afterward where God wants you to prove this new lifestyle to Him?
There is no trial period. God is not an employer wanting to see if you'll fit in. When you're saved, you're saved, period:

While Jesus was on the cross, the criminal cruxified next to him said "...Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'" (Luke 23:43)

The criminal was about to die on his cross. No time for baptism, no time for good deeds, no time to tithe, no time for anything but to ask God's forgiveness, which Jesus gave freely.

FL
Last edited by Furstentum Liechtenstein on Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#6

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:58 pm

Himantolophus wrote:
Anyone who is saved gets everlasting life with Christ. If Stalin repented and accepted Christ as Lord an hour before his death, he would be saved. If Mother Teresa did all her good works apart from salvation, she would not be saved.

The good works that are done as a result of being saved have value for God, and the saved will be judged and recompensed on them. The good works done apart from salvation may have value in the world, but are useless for your salvation.
So, let me get this straight...

So, if Josef Stalin, a man that sent millions of people to their deaths and was anti-religion for his whole life, suddenly repented a year before his death and lived for God until his death, he would be accepted to Heaven by God?

And Mother Teresa, a woman who was very religious and helped out countless people, but wasn't "born-again", would be sent to the fires of Hell?

On what charges? If they both came before God on Judgement Day, God would ignore the evil that Stalin committed and ignore the self-less work and prayer of Mother Teresa? The fact that Stalin knowingly violated every one of the 10 commandments in his lifetime while M.Teresa did her best to live by them. I think saying what you just said basically says "forget by try to live as Jesus did" because if you become saved before you die, you will go to Heaven.
Under God's judgment both are guilty on their own terms. Even Teresa would have her sins as much as she was a saint.

Yet, the antidote to God's judgment is Christ. And if Christ is not the antidote then all of us stand condemned in our own sins before God and no one is saved.

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#7

Post by FFC » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:08 pm

It still doesn't make sense at all. Say a a person who had lived a good life, lived by the Cmmandments, helped his neighbor, went to Church every Sunday, and loved his fellow Man went before God when he died. Would the merciful and loving God as we know send this person to Hell if he wasn't saved? Even if his list of sins was a fraction of a born-agains sins? I see this as an awfully bleak outlook as no Man is perfect.
It's not about how much or little we sin. It is the fact that every one of us is born with a sin nature and can not stand in the presence of a Holy God. whether you are Hitler or Mother Theresa unless you are cleansed by the blood of Christ you can't be saved. Unless, through belief, you take part in the sacrifce of Christ the sinless lamb of God who died on the cross to take away your sins, you will be separated from God for all eternity. This is a terrible truth that those without Christ despise and hate to hear. The good news is that God gives you every opportunity to repent and believe. The problem is that this makes no sense to the unsaved person, because the unsaved person can only discern what is earthly.
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

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And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#8

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:15 pm

Himantolophus wrote:I was raised a Catholic but I consider myself as more non-denominational right now. I have relatives that are striaght up "born-again" Christians and it has lead to some tension in the family over the years as they feel they need to witness to all of us.

But, to the question here. I see "being saved" as something you do when you want to have a personal relationship with God and Jesus. Supposedly is you say this little prayer saying "I believe Jesus died for me and I want him in my heart", that you are suddenly "born again" as long as you live for God from then on.

I don't get it. Catholics and other religions say that believing in God and Jesus is important but that living by the 10 Commandments (the best you can) and doing good deeds for your common Man would assure you of getting to heaven.
While Catholics may place a high importance on keeping moral laws, having received some theological education in a Catholic college, the RCC does not theologically believe it is by such things one will get into heaven. I can understand the confusion since a high importance is placed on morality (and guilt) and confession, however you are simply wrong about the RCC faith you were raised in if this is what you believe about it. Byblos might have a few more comments to add regarding this??

A key distinction between RCs and Protestants I see is that in Catholicism the way an individual person comes to God is through the Church who is in Christ. Protestants believe on the other hand that one can have a direct personal relationship with God through Christ rather than going through any church body or organization. Thus, religious practices and morality may play a large part of Catholicism, however it is being a part of the RCC which is theologically viewed as being in Christ or Christ's own which makes one saved.

I don't think it should also be ignored that you have quite a mix of Catholics, perhaps just as much as you do Protestant denominations. Some Catholics are quite liberal to the extent they believe a Muslim is also saved on account of their Islamic faith, right down to the more orthodox who believe only those under the RCC will be saved.

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

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Post by Byblos » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:48 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Himantolophus wrote:I was raised a Catholic but I consider myself as more non-denominational right now. I have relatives that are striaght up "born-again" Christians and it has lead to some tension in the family over the years as they feel they need to witness to all of us.

But, to the question here. I see "being saved" as something you do when you want to have a personal relationship with God and Jesus. Supposedly is you say this little prayer saying "I believe Jesus died for me and I want him in my heart", that you are suddenly "born again" as long as you live for God from then on.

I don't get it. Catholics and other religions say that believing in God and Jesus is important but that living by the 10 Commandments (the best you can) and doing good deeds for your common Man would assure you of getting to heaven.
While Catholics may place a high importance on keeping moral laws, having received some theological education in a Catholic college, the RCC does not theologically believe it is by such things one will get into heaven. I can understand the confusion since a high importance is placed on morality (and guilt) and confession, however you are simply wrong about the RCC faith you were raised in if this is what you believe about it. Byblos might have a few more comments to add regarding this??
Almost right Kurieuo :wink:. Catholics certainly do not believe we are saved by anything other than God's free grace. Emphasis is placed not just on morality and confession but on the sacraments as a whole, chief among them is the sacrament of reconciliation and penance. Also contrary to popular belief, Catholics do not believe that practicing the sacraments constitutes a work as the sacraments in and of themselves are also considered a gift from God (commandments of sorts) to keep us close to Him through His son Jesus Christ.
Kurieuo wrote:A key distinction between RCs and Protestants I see is that in Catholicism the way an individual person comes to God is through the Church who is in Christ. Protestants believe on the other hand that one can have a direct personal relationship with God through Christ rather than going through any church body or organization. Thus, religious practices and morality may play a large part of Catholicism, however it is being a part of the RCC which is theologically viewed as being in Christ or Christ's own which makes one saved.
I'm not sure I can agree with this but the conclusion might be the same nonetheless. First, Catholics most certainly can have a direct relationship with God and Jesus just as they can have a direct relationship with the church. Jesus and the church are 2 sides of the same coin; that is why you will often hear Jesus called the bridegroom and his church is the bride. They are inseparable.
Kurieuo wrote:I don't think it should also be ignored that you have quite a mix of Catholics, perhaps just as much as you do Protestant denominations. Some Catholics are quite liberal to the extent they believe a Muslim is also saved on account of their Islamic faith, right down to the more orthodox who believe only those under the RCC will be saved.
I disagree with this. There's one RCC, one church, one Bible, and one catechism (of course, each one of which is with their own set of controversies but that's beside the point). The bottom line is if a church or a group considers themselves in full commune with the church of Rome then they adhere to its core teachings and doctrines. Exceptions are minor and have to do with local traditions (human, not apostolic Traditions) and not doctrinal issues. An example would be priest celibacy in the Eastern church (of which I am a member) is not practiced. Priests are allowed to marry, albeit before being ordained. We do have another order of celibate priesthood but that is by choice.

As for Muslims being saved on account of their Islamic faith, I don't believe that's the case at all. They're not saved due to their Islamic faith per se, but may be saved due to the mental desire to be (saved). This, by the way, is applicable to all, not just Muslims. In other words, the church recognizes that many people are incapable of being physically baptized or are not in a situation to hear the Gospel but do still express the desire to be saved and live a pious life as if they were. God does recognize their baptism of the heart and may offer them salvation on that basis (the mere desire to be baptized into Christ). This, by the way, is a great point we use against the argument put forth that the sacrament of baptism is a work, it is not; it's not the act of, but the desire from the heart for baptism that makes us reborn into Christ.

Himantolophus (and K), I hope I've answered your questions. Please let me know if I can be of additional help.

Byblos.
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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#10

Post by Katabole » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:31 am

Hi Himantolophus,

Being a former Catholic myself I can understand your point of view. God has at this present moment, sent no one to Hell (the lake of fire in Revelation), not even Satan. God has however, sentenced Satan to death as described in Ezekiel 28, He just hasn't executed him yet. There is a tradition within the Catholic faith which has influenced many other denominations within Christianity, that bad people somehow go to Hell and good people go to Heaven. The Catholic faith was also greatly influenced by Dante's Inferno in the past. There are descriptions of Hell in that book, that were taken as verbatim and taught to people. This is what Jesus says about human tradition:

Mk 7:13, Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Human tradition makes void the Word of God.

The Bible says that when we die, the good, the bad and the ugly go to heaven. Mother Teresa is there. So is Joseph Stalin, Genghis Kahn, Pope John Paul 2, etc etc.

Ecc 12:7, Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

God made man from dust. When this organic body dies, the spirit God placed in it, (and I will describe the spirit as the intellect of the soul, which is the soul) returns to God and God is in heaven.

There is a double witness of this in the New Testament:

2Cor 5:8, We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

So to absent from the physical body is to be present with the LORD and He is in Heaven.

As for whether believing in Jesus through blind faith is enough or following commandments, the only thing a person can take to heaven with them is their works. When a soul goes to heaven however, depending on what that person did in their life according to their works, Jesus tells a parable about this in Luke 16, about the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man and Lazarus both went to heaven. Lazarus ended up on the good side. The rich man ended up on the other side. Whether Joseph Stalin ended up on the other side, I don't know. Maybe he repented in his last breath and if he did and meant it, God forgave him. We can speculate and give opinions all we want, but the bottom line is, do our speculations and opinions measure up with what the Bible says. If it does not, it is human tradition. Do I think Joseph Stalin was an evil man? Yes, absolutely. But I am not his judge. There is only one unforgiveable sin (unforgiveable means that if it is committed, God will not forgive the soul that commits it and destroy the soul that commits it, during the great white throne judgement of Revelation in the future) and no one has comitted that yet. Remember, Jesus says do not fear those who can kill the (physical) body, but revere Him who can not only kill your (physical) body but your soul (spiritual body).

All other sins, God will forgive. Jesus says it very simply, what a believer should do:

Jn 14:15, If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Many Christians do not understand the difference between a law, a commandment, an ordinace and a judgement.

The ordinances were nailed to the cross with Christ:

Col 2:14, Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The law is still binding according to what Jesus states in Mt 5: 17,18. The judgements and commandments also still apply.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the law, commandments or judgements are done away with. The ordinances, however, are done away with as the above scripture attests to. For ex., we do not have to sacrifice animals anymore to atone for our sins.

And when Jesus was asked the question in John, "What can we do in order to do what God wants us to do?" Jesus replied with, "What God wants you do is to believe in the one whom He sent."
Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you know you gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan

Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#11

Post by Himantolophus » Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:14 pm

ok, but if someone can be Saved on their deathbed having lived their life of sin, why would they bother to live their entire lives Saved? It just seems to be human nature to take the easy way out. If all that is required to go to Heaven is to repent your sins and let Jesus in, then why not do it when you are about to die and live "normally" otherwise? I'm not saying this to "enable" people to be bad, but humans all sin and they may look at this "saved" thing as a safety net for when they are approaching death.
Neither I nor you know if Stalin or Mother Teresa were born-again, so to take those two as examples clouds the issue and makes you focus on their lives rather than on what God's word says.
The criminal was about to die on his cross. No time for baptism, no time for good deeds, no time to tithe, to time for anything but to ask God's forgiveness, which Jesus gave freely.
As I said above, I see this as "enabling" a person to live as sinfully as he/she wants because he/she knows he has a way out of his sin when death is near. I see what you mean by the scripture but it doesn't motivate anyone to live their lives as Jesus would. Why choose this path at an early age when you can just repent before you die? It seems like you end up at the same conclusion ---> Heaven.
Under God's judgment both are guilty on their own terms. Even Teresa would have her sins as much as she was a saint.
yes, but to compare and contrast those sins it would be no comparison. To use the Egyptian "scale", if you weighed M.Teresa's sins vs. Stalins or Hitler's sins the differences would be clear to God. M.Teresa would be chosen to go to Heaven... where am I wrong?
It's not about how much or little we sin. It is the fact that every one of us is born with a sin nature and can not stand in the presence of a Holy God. whether you are Hitler or Mother Theresa unless you are cleansed by the blood of Christ you can't be saved. Unless, through belief, you take part in the sacrifce of Christ the sinless lamb of God who died on the cross to take away your sins, you will be separated from God for all eternity. This is a terrible truth that those without Christ despise and hate to hear. The good news is that God gives you every opportunity to repent and believe. The problem is that this makes no sense to the unsaved person, because the unsaved person can only discern what is earthly.
then why live a moral life? Why follow the Commandments? If you can become saved at any point, why bother? If people like Stalin or Hitler can repent and get to Heaven just as easily as a Saint can, then where is the motivation to be a good person?
I see the people on these Envangelist programs saying that all of this stuff is evil. Stuff like homosexuality, war, pornography, abortion, evolution. Even stuff like movies, swearing, dancing, alcohol, gambling, etc. My point is, why live lives without these things (not all, but some) if you can live life WITH them and simply repent after you're done having "fun". If God doesn't judge you by your actions, then why act in a good manner? You can say "it's in the bible", but if there's a "loophole" then you can basically live how you want and repent later.
I'm not sure I can agree with this but the conclusion might be the same nonetheless. First, Catholics most certainly can have a direct relationship with God and Jesus just as they can have a direct relationship with the church. Jesus and the church are 2 sides of the same coin; that is why you will often hear Jesus called the bridegroom and his church is the bride. They are inseparable.
there are many Catholics and Muslims that are "devoted to God". What is the difference between a Catholic or Muslim who is devoted to God (goes to church, helps others, prays for others, is a good person, talks to God) and a born-again Protestant who does the same thing? I just see the little prayer and them going up to the stage. I see the kids of these parents growing up in private schools with ridiculous rules. The poor kids grow up ridiculously naive on so many topics and when they leave home they turn into crazy partyers. To be honest, I haven't done the "saved" prayer, but I am a more moral person than many of them. I believe in God and Jesus. But I also do things that "born-agains" would frown upon. But if I died today, I sure as heck wouldn't think I was going to Hell, that's for sure!

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#12

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:33 pm

Himantolophus wrote:ok, but if someone can be Saved on their deathbed having lived their life of sin, why would they bother to live their entire lives Saved? It just seems to be human nature to take the easy way out. If all that is required to go to Heaven is to repent your sins and let Jesus in, then why not do it when you are about to die and live "normally" otherwise?
Firstly, I see that certain terms like "Saved" and what this means, "let Jesus in" and what this means, that all such terms need explaining. Ambiguity often gets added when using such jargon. I believe in your case that such terms are adding a lot of ambiguity. For I really having a hard time understanding how someone who lived their lives in whatever manner they pleased, how such a person could truly repent and want to accept Christ.

If someone lived a life of sin and became hardened in their ways then how could their heart change towards God on their deathbed? Your words seem to show a superficial understanding of what it means to accept Christ, that is, just say the magic words and your saved. I do not believe that is the case and instead see that it is a heart response as much as it is intellectual ascent. One can not just generate a heart response in an instant.

So to re-iterate my previous thoughts, if God's sole game was being just and fair, then we would all stand condemned. However, God chose to offer a way of mercy and grace through Christ. Thus, it is not longer whether or not we deserve to be with God, but whether we want to be with God and choose to accept Christ's gift. Many will see foolishness in such a thing, perhaps like yourself, however I and many others, Catholics and Protestants alike, do not.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:
    18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    19For it is written,
    "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
    AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
    ...
    21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
    22For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
    23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
    24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    ...
    27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
    28and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
    29so that no man may boast before God.
    30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
    31so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#13

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:58 pm

Himantolophus wrote:
Under God's judgment both are guilty on their own terms. Even Teresa would have her sins as much as she was a saint.
yes, but to compare and contrast those sins it would be no comparison. To use the Egyptian "scale", if you weighed M.Teresa's sins vs. Stalins or Hitler's sins the differences would be clear to God. M.Teresa would be chosen to go to Heaven... where am I wrong?
Even on the Egyptian "scale" there is a side with sin. Therefore both M.Teresa and Stalin stand condemned under God's judgment. Even if M.Teresa was leaps and bounds ahead of Stalin, she still fails to meet the perfection required to be with God in whom complete holiness and righteousness is found.
Himantolophus wrote:
It's not about how much or little we sin. It is the fact that every one of us is born with a sin nature and can not stand in the presence of a Holy God. whether you are Hitler or Mother Theresa unless you are cleansed by the blood of Christ you can't be saved. Unless, through belief, you take part in the sacrifce of Christ the sinless lamb of God who died on the cross to take away your sins, you will be separated from God for all eternity. This is a terrible truth that those without Christ despise and hate to hear. The good news is that God gives you every opportunity to repent and believe. The problem is that this makes no sense to the unsaved person, because the unsaved person can only discern what is earthly.
then why live a moral life? Why follow the Commandments?
There is no longer a "why" when one comes to Christ. Living morally just becomes a way to live. The question becomes, "why not live a moral life?" to those who have accepted Christ. If it is by grace we are saved, then as Paul writes: "Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?" (Romans 6:1) How does Paul himself respond to this question? Romans 6

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#14

Post by zoegirl » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:05 pm

I think K has the right of it. Being saved is much more than just getting a "get out of hell free" card. It is the realization of who we are in relation to God, the awareness of the need for a savior, and an awakening of the love for Christ.

The most beautiful picture I can think of in scripture is that of the woman who pours perfumed oil on the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her tears and the oil. THat is a picture of somebody being saved. That adoration, the gratitude, the eyes opening, the mind awakening to what Christ has done for us. OUr good deeds, our righteousness, is like filthy rags and cannot reconcile us to Christ.


And anyone who puts this off in order to live their own lives has not truly comprehended this relationship. Not to say that there aren't deathbed conversions, but those conversions would not be ones of "I guess now will be the time to accept Christ" it must be a saving that brings about that new creation in Christ.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#15

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:07 pm

Fürstentum Liechtenstein wrote:
Himantolophus wrote: But can't someone on their deathbed suddenly be born-again? Is there a "trial" period afterward where God wants you to prove this new lifestyle to Him?
There is no trial period. God is not an employer wanting to see if you'll fit in. When you're saved, you're saved, period:

While Jesus was on the cross, the criminal cruxified next to him said "...Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'" (Luke 23:43)

The criminal was about to die on his cross. No time for baptism, no time for good deeds, no time to tithe, to time for anything but to ask God's forgiveness, which Jesus gave freely.
Good example of someone whose past sinful life did not matter to their salvation.

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