Saved... An easy way out?

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
Katabole
Valued Member
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 12:42 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Gap Theory
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 19 times

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#46

Post by Katabole » Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:41 pm

As a Christian, I know God is a God of love. Why did God create all things?

Rev 4:11, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (KJV)

God created all things for His pleasure.

I do not believe in a God that is going to destroy his children, whether they be Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or Christian, Atheist or Agnostic, without teaching them about the truth first.

Jn 6:45, It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.

That is a prophecy which has not been fulfilled yet. And ALL means everyone that was ever born or will be.

God is a God of the living.

Mk 12:27, He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

In the Book of Revelation, it speaks of what is known as the thousand years. During those thousand years, those who didn't know or hear or care about God will be taught.

Rev 20:2, And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:3, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Satan will have no influence for those thousand years. Christ will teach all. This does not mean that God is a God of second chances. Many never had a chance because of the culture they were born in, their own ignorance or the false religions they were taught.

Rev 20:6, Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

A priest of God has the occupation of teaching the Word of God. That is what a priest does. If you are a believer and you die, you will take part in the first resurrection thus the person who believes will not suffer the second death or destruction of the souls at the great white throne judgement.

If you are not a believer and die then you will not take part in the first resurrection and you may suffer the second death. However, those who do not believe will be given ample teaching during that thousand years. This is what the priests who reign with Christ for that thousand years will be doing.

Rev 20:5, But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

They will have a spiritual body but a mortal soul, mortal meaning, liable to die. Though they have a soul, they are both physically dead and spiritually dead. They are spiritually dead because they did not either know, love, learn or care about God during their lives, which is the essence of being spiritually dead. Those who believe have an immortal soul meaning, unable to die. This is why they are immune to the second death, simply because they believed and died believing in Christ during their lives.

After the thousand years are over, this happens:

Rev 20:7, And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

God is planning to begin a new age after this one. He releases Satan only for a short time to test the souls of his children, to see who are worthy to spend the next age with him and who are not. After a thousand years of teaching, hopefully those who never believed and never had a chance will understand the truth and be able to pass this final test in order to avoid the second death and begin a new age with God.

Those who are deceived by Satan, after that thousand years are over will suffer this fate, which is the same as the fate of Satan. They will have had every oppurtunity to believe. It's sad that as it is written here, that even after that thousand years of teaching, there will be those who will be deceived.

Rev 20:10, And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Rev 20:14, And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:8, But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

God is a loving, merciful God. And a God of forgiveness. But He is also a jealous God and a God of judgement. There is another age coming:

Isa 65:17, For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Rev 21:1, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

To say that God will destroy those who live now and don't believe even if they die as a non-believer is not scriptural and completely a human tradition. The advantage of being a believer and dying as one is being immune to the Second Death. That is the difference. They will learn in the future and be given every oppurtunity. After that, if they follow Satan, God will indeed destroy them. God doesn't want to destroy any of his children. Even Satan is His creation. But in the future, Satan and those who don't pass the final test will be destroyed. God is not going to have them in the next age. We would not want them there either. God doesn't destroy anything if He created it for His pleasure without giving his creation ample oppurtunity to learn.

Rev 21:4, And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

When Satan and all those who follow him are destroyed in the future, there will finally be peace in the age to come.
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

catherine
Established Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:10 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: UK
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#47

Post by catherine » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:43 am

I need a bit of clarification on a couple of points: am I understanding the book of Revelation to be saying that those who have died in Christ (the 1st Century Christians, and all faithful believers up to this present day ) are resurrected to rule with Christ on the Earth for the 1000 years. And as verse 6 (Chapter 20) states it is a real honour to take part in the first resurrection. This is because those people have already been tested and died faithful and will not be in danger of the second (permanent) death. So the 1000 year reign must be for people who are still alive (and any offspring they produce during the 1000 years, when Jesus comes back with the first fruits of the resurrection, because according to verse 5 the rest of the dead, ( I take that to be all people prior to Jesus and those who weren't faithful Christians and non believers??) aren't resurrected til after the 1000 year reign? Won't there be a lot of people who didn't know Jesus amoung these latter resurrected ones? It seems by the ordering of events in verses 10-11 and 13, that the Devil is disposed of before the rest of the dead are resurrected and judged. Won't some of these dead never have heard of the true God or Jesus? If that is so, then God is judging them on their actions and motives etc (John 5:28,29). Imagine Bertrand Russell as one of these. He comes before God and says (like he said he would) 'God, where was the evidence' and God might say, 'well Bertie, as you can see I do exist and I have looked into your heart and know you will serve me faithfully now you have your evidence'. For some reason I thought everyone was going to be tested during the 1000 year reign?? I wonder why God waits til afterwards to resurrect the rest? Anyway He knows best! This topic throws up many interesting threads...

Katabole
Valued Member
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 12:42 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Gap Theory
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 19 times

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#48

Post by Katabole » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:02 pm

Hi Catherine.

When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He returns with all those who have died before us, the good, the bad and the ugly.

When He returns, everyone who is alive on the planet physically dies and enters their spiritual body.

1Cor 15:52, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

That last trump is the seventh trumpet of Revelation; the last one.

1Cor 15:44, It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1Thess 4:13, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

In other words, don't think that those who have died are outside in some cemetary in a hole in the ground as non-believers think. When they physically died as believers, they were resurrected. Those who physically died as non-believers, in my opinion, are across the gulf mentioned in Luke 16 and also return with Christ to be taught.

14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Christ will return with those who died.

15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

Why? Because they are already with Him.

16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (that trump of God is the seventh trumpet of Revelation)

17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

We are changed from the physical to the spiritual in the twinkling of an eye.

18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Then the thousand years begins.

The "rest of the dead" from Rev 20:5, is speaking of the spiritually dead, which remain spiritually dead for that 1000 years while they are taught. Not the physically dead, because they're already physically dead.
Ezekiel 37 is an excellent illustation of this. Though it may appear as if it is speaking of physically dead humans, it is speaking of those who have been spiritually dead for a very long time.

Eze 37:1, The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

3And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

4Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

5Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

7So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

9Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

11Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

12Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

13And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

14And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

If you notice in verse 4, it says, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. The Word is what makes the spiritually dead come alive, described as breath, the Hebrew word ruach, meaning spirit. Once spiritually alive (meaning they know the truth because they have been taught it for that 1000 years), they form as verse ten describes, an exceeding great army. God will utilize that army in the final battle of Armageddon/HamonGog when Satan is released from the bottomless pit. In verse 9 you'll notice the phrase "four winds". Found in a few places throughout the Bible, everytime the four winds are mentioned it is speaking of the end of this age. Imagine winds from four directions, blowing towards one solitary point as an oversimplification.

If a person dies as a believer, they take part in the first resurrection, meaning they are resurrected immediately when they die and are immune to the Second Death. Yes, like everyone else they go through the great white throne judgement but it is reward day for the believer on judgement day not punishment day. When those who died as believers return with Christ, those believers and those on Earth who believed when He returns, teach the masses of the spiritually dead, both those spiritually dead that return with Christ and those on the Earth that are spiritually dead for that thousand years.

I hope that helps and doesn't cause confusion. :D This is one of the most debated topics in Christianity. God is absolutely fair and will teach all his children the truth.

Peace

Ron
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

catherine
Established Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:10 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: UK
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#49

Post by catherine » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:31 pm

Hi Katabole, thanks for your reply. I'd like to discuss some points you made:

'When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He returns with all those who have died before us, the good, the bad and the ugly'. I still think scripture supports only believers in Christ as coming with Him, they are the ones who have the first resurrection, and as you noted, those Christians alive when Jesus comes, will be changed into their immortal spirit bodies and be caught up in the air to meet Jesus and the others. See 1 Cor.15:23.

'1Thess 4:13, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

In other words, don't think that those who have died are outside in some cemetary in a hole in the ground as non-believers think. When they physically died as believers, they were resurrected'.

This scripture is plainly saying that they are indeed dead or asleep (there are plenty of scriptures that support no activity in the grave, after all death is the opposite of life), and Paul is saying in verse 14 that they will be awoken or 'brought with Him' when he returns. It doesn't really matter to me if they are resurrected immediately at death or when Jesus returns, because I would imagine that it would seem like just a second had passed either way.

The rest of the points you make about the rest of the dead being 'spiritually' dead could be the case, but I still read Revelation to mean they are physically brought back to life and then judged. Verse 5 of Revelation 20 talks of the rest of the dead being restored to life (Amplified Bible). If this was meant to mean spiritually then they would not be going off to eternal torment surely, as is the fate of many after the 1000 years.(verse12-15). It still reads as physically to me.... y:-?

Katabole
Valued Member
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 12:42 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Gap Theory
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 19 times

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#50

Post by Katabole » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:32 am

Hi Catherine.

I'll use scripture and briefly explain what I believe scripture is actually illustrating. It may be oversimplified but I hope it helps to answer your questions.

Hb 9:27, And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Men is speaking of mortals in physical, flesh bodies. All mortals die only once. The judgement mentioned here is the Great White Throne judgement of Revelation.

Ecc 12:6, Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

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

The loosed silver cord is the spirit body. The broken golden bowl, broken pitcher and broken wheel are speaking of the flesh body when it dies. As verse 7 clearly points out, when the physical body dies, it returns to the earth. God made man from dust. The spirit (body) returns to God in heaven.

Gen 2:7, And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground,

2Cor5:8, We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

When we are absent from the physical body meaning it dies, we are immediately present with the Lord in the spirit body. There is a definite disctinction between the physical and the spirit body

1Cor 15:44, It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1Cor 15:50, Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Physical bodies aren't going to be present in the kingdom, only spiritual bodies. Yes, God has the power to raise us all back to life in our physical bodies but that is not the plan. Spiritual bodies will inherit the kingdom.

Jn 11:11, These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

You are right, sleep means death, specifically physical death. Raising Lazarus from the dead may seem to be a contradiction to scripture, because it is appointed for man only once to die but there were only 3 examples of Jesus raising the dead to life in the Gospels, for the sole purpose of showing He is God and He has the power of God. He will do the same to us on the last day as He did to Lazarus, except we will be raised in incorruptible, immortal, spirit bodies.

Lk 16:31, And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Jesus rose from the dead and not everyone on earth believes that. According to what Abraham is saying to the rich man across the gulf here, the only way anyone is going to be persuaded, is if they hear Moses and the prophets, which make up the books of the Bible, which encompasses the Word of God.

If a non-believer dies and that soul does not return with Christ for the thousand years, the only thing they have waiting for them is the judgement because they are already physically dead and by being a non-believer they are spiritually dead as well. They would have no hope on judgement day, because they were never taught Moses and the prophets to be persuaded, which means they would suffer the Second death; the destruction of their soul.

If however, they do return with Christ and are taught Moses and the prophets, so that they may be persuaded, then they will not suffer the Second death and be resurrected at the Second resurrection with the rest of the beievers, so they could enjoy the eternity with those believers and God.

I cannot believe that a God who claims to be just:

Dt 32:4, He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

...is going to let those who didn't believe suffer the Second death without being taught Moses and the prophets first, so they could be persuaded. And I hope from what I've included, that destroying them was never his plan. He will indeed destroy them at the great white throne judgement if they are not persuaded by Moses and the prophets.

Hope that helps.

Ron
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

catherine
Established Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:10 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Undecided
Location: UK
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#51

Post by catherine » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:27 pm

Thanks for your reply Katabole, I've just posted a reply in 'Christian Theology' controversial scriptures which touches on this subject. It's amazing how we all arrive at different understandings and we can all claim to be the ones with the truth. Maybe none of us has it quite right. If I strip this down I arrive at just a few 'truths' which I'm sure most would agree on: 1: we all die at some point in our lives 2: we want to live again and be with ourfamilies3: Jesus is the only way to live again and be reconciled to God. 4: Many will be 'punished'for ever and not be part of the New Heavens and Earth. :)

User avatar
BavarianWheels
Prestigious Senior Member
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:09 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Southern California
Has liked: 2 times
Been liked: 14 times

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#52

Post by BavarianWheels » Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:13 pm

catherine wrote:Thanks for your reply Katabole, I've just posted a reply in 'Christian Theology' controversial scriptures which touches on this subject. It's amazing how we all arrive at different understandings and we can all claim to be the ones with the truth. Maybe none of us has it quite right. If I strip this down I arrive at just a few 'truths' which I'm sure most would agree on: 1: we all die at some point in our lives 2: we want to live again and be with ourfamilies3: Jesus is the only way to live again and be reconciled to God. 4: Many will be 'punished'for ever and not be part of the New Heavens and Earth. :)


I like this. It puts our divisive beliefs into perspective and again points to Christ as Lord and Savior of ALL who believe on Him....but I'm more right than "you"...

:mrgreen:
.
.

JCSx2
Valued Member
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:16 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Location: North Carolina FT Bragg Area...........
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Saved... An easy way out?

#53

Post by JCSx2 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:34 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:
catherine wrote:Thanks for your reply Katabole, I've just posted a reply in 'Christian Theology' controversial scriptures which touches on this subject. It's amazing how we all arrive at different understandings and we can all claim to be the ones with the truth. Maybe none of us has it quite right. If I strip this down I arrive at just a few 'truths' which I'm sure most would agree on: 1: we all die at some point in our lives 2: we want to live again and be with ourfamilies3: Jesus is the only way to live again and be reconciled to God. 4: Many will be 'punished'for ever and not be part of the New Heavens and Earth. :)


I like this. It puts our divisive beliefs into perspective and again points to Christ as Lord and Savior of ALL who believe on Him....but I'm more right than "you"...

:mrgreen:
.
.


LOL at BW, and AMEN to Katabole's statement.
Definition of a Veteran. A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including his life." That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Post Reply