Who gets into Heaven?

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.
User avatar
Kurieuo
Honored Member
Posts: 9957
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:25 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Progressive Creationist
Location: Qld, Australia
Has liked: 634 times
Been liked: 652 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#16

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:06 am

Ivellious wrote:
K wrote: I am also very complacent in that I could do a hellova lot more to help others, especially if I'm stacked up against someone like Mother Teresa. I've done bad, various wrongs I really wish I could take back, but no matter how much I wish they remain a permanent in my life history.
Well, I seriously hope that we aren't all judged against Mother Teresa...then there would be lots of open space in heaven I daresay. The point about our mistakes being a permanent part of history is kind of what I meant above. You have to learn to accept your mistakes and move on, and use those experiences to help you do better in the future. As much as I wish I could use my present knowledge and go back in time and redo a few things, I can't. But that just means I need to try extra hard to be a good person in the future and try my hardest not to make those mistakes again.
Yes, it is good to mature from the mistakes we make (although it sadly seems like some don't and keep repeating them over and over)...
Ivellious wrote:
Just wondering, what about the "God" you conceive of accepting anyone into heaven. How much "bad" in someone should God accept?
I think that's a bit of a loaded question...I don't think that the human concept of your good outweighing your bad, or having less than a certain amount of bad, is really adequate to describe it. First of all, I have no clue what the exact parameters would be, nor do I ever expect to know. Personally, I don't believe in the idea of eternal punishment in Hell, either (but that's a separate topic altogether). I guess the way I see it would be that it's not so much a matter of having a certain number of "points" when you die, or having a certain belief system either.

Again, I don't think that any kind of all-loving God could honestly say that a Buddhist monk who devotes his life to charity and purity and pacifism should not be allowed in heaven just because he didn't accept Jesus as his savior. Likewise, my friend knew a rather outspoken atheist (not in the "I hate all you Christians" way but simply in the "I don't care what people think about me" way). She was probably the most active young person I've seen in terms of charity, volunteerism, activism, and so on. She had great grades and treated everyone fairly and kindly. She died in a car crash. I may not have known her personally, but I'll be damned if she wasn't as good of a person as 99% of Christians out there, and I would be offended if someone told me she was burning in Hell right now because she didn't go to church every sunday and praise Jesus during all of her activities. I know not everyone would say she is going to Hell, but some sects of Christianity do, and I think that such a stance is wrong. In short, I think the whole of who you are and what you have done in your life is far more important than your religious beliefs.
It is quite loaded I guess, though unintentionally. Just wanted to get a lot on the table about your beliefs I guess. There are many non-Christians who would deny that "wrong" exists, believing that "sin" is just a Christian construct. Yet, "bad" or "sin" seems to be a concept all religions have in common and seem to deal with in their own way. So it seems you are being quite honest in your responses, rather than trying to "win an argument" so-to-speak, which I think you are to be applauded for.

Mother Teresa for all her good also sinned, but said: "If we admit that we are sinners and we need forgiveness, then it will be very easy for us to forgive others. But if we don't admit this, it will be very hard for us to say, "I forgive you " no matter who comes to us." I tend to agree, and find that those who tend to avoid owning up to or taking responsibility for their bad, also seem to be the most critical and resentful of others.

Moving on though, and past the concept of Hell (another topic), although I'm not so much interested in the goodness of a Buddhist monk... it seems to me even they like Teresa realise their own faults which they are always trying to better via their own philosophy.

The question for those who believe in God, then becomes, well how much "bad" should God accept. Paul writes in the first three chapters of Romans, that we all deserve death. If we break one law, or sin once, then we have broken all. There is a zero tolerance if you will, when it comes to a God who while loving, is also entirely righteous and good. Because for God to accept even one wrong, would be to destroy His righteousness.

So from a Christian perspective we are all damned. This is why I said you might be suprised to find many Christians agreeing with your statement: "Personally, I think God would accept anyone into heaven so long as they lived a good life, but I understand that my perspective isn't really accepted here haha..." God would accept anyone into heaven so long as they lived a good life. The thing is, they must be entirely good. Yet, as Paul writes, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

If correct, then this leaves you and I and everyone in a sticky predicament. There is nothing we ourselves can do to remove that tainted record from our past. We might mature, might learn from our mistakes, and become a better person -- yet our mistakes still remain a stain against us. And if God is fully righteous, then while God might also be very loving, unless He denies His righteousness then we can only be damned into isolation from God. For God to be any other way, would be for God to accept evil, and I don't know about you but for me God accepting any evil is also a scarey thought.

Yet, for us it does not end there. For Christ said He was the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) Christ is the antidote to our sin. As Christians, it is believed that God came down to us in human form, to do what we as humans did not and could not. Live an entirely sinless life. Through Christ's association with us as human beings, and through God's punishment of sin in Christ through His "sin offering" sacrifice, and through God's acceptance of Christ's "sin offering" through Christ's resurrection, there is now a way we can be saved from God's damning wrath. Christ allows us to become draped in white robes, which means God can now accept us when He sees us draped with Christ.

To put it another way, Christ is the cure to our predicament with an all-righteous God. Christ is also the cure which allows God in His love for us, to win out over His righteousness. You can reject that cure, and stand on your own merit (as we all can). But, you like me have already admitted to guilt... Or you can, as I have done, hope in the forgiveness that God offers through Christ and swallow the antidote.

Being Christian is not so much about being higher than thou, as you yourself have witnessed many Christians (who knows from where they have come) are often morally worse than non-Christians. Yet, these morally worse Christians have often swallowed the antidote that is Christ and desire to change themselves through turning away from their old life and following after Christ. They are able to mature and learn from life's lessons, while also hoping in Christ that they will be protected from God's all-righteous judgement in the end.

Whereas other religions are always trying to better themselves, get rid of their sin or what-have-you, Christianity seems to be the only religion which provides an ultimate solution. Christ allows God to accept us as we are, and then for us to be shaped and transformed from the inside-out. All other religions, it is vice-versa. They try to perfect themselves to get to the cure -- whereas as is often the case with medicines one must first swallow the cure and only then can they get better.

User avatar
Byblos
Old School
Posts: 5961
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:21 pm
Christian: Yes
Location: NY
Has liked: 95 times
Been liked: 139 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#17

Post by Byblos » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:47 am

Kurieuo wrote:Whereas other religions are always trying to better themselves, get rid of their sin or what-have-you, Christianity seems to be the only religion which provides an ultimate solution. Christ allows God to accept us as we are, and then for us to be shaped and transformed from the inside-out. All other religions, it is vice-versa. They try to perfect themselves to get to the cure -- whereas as is often the case with medicines one must first swallow the cure and only then can they get better.
That's beautiful, K. It is always said that analogies fail at some level but this is just as good as it can get, thanks.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Ivellious
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1046
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:48 pm
Christian: No
Sex: Male
Creation Position: I don't believe in creation
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#18

Post by Ivellious » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:42 am

Thanks for the respectful and thoughtful responses.

There seems to be a great deal of variation on the part of Christians when it comes to this topic. Some are steadfast in believing that you can only go to heaven if you accept Jesus as your personal savior, while other groups of Christians are much more liberal about it and are fully open to the concept of other religions being accepted into heaven. So here's my take, based on the Christian faith: Presuming the Bible and Christianity are correct, even though humans inevitably sin it is possible after death to be forgiven (if you truly repent) and go to heaven. I've always wondered why not believing in Christianity (which is lumped in as a sin) cannot also be forgiven after death. So, can somebody explain this to me?

I've heard one explanation that one has to accept Jesus before death for any sin to be considered for forgiveness later. I've also been given almost the opposite, where a Christian said that a non-believer who is otherwise "good enough" to get into heaven is placed with God and given a chance to accept God and the mistake of not believing in Him in life. So, basically, I see the second option as essentially what I said above; that being of another faith is a sin and can be forgiven like any other sin at your judgement.

am I missing something in this analysis? Maybe someone could clarify their opinion on this? Thanks.

User avatar
Byblos
Old School
Posts: 5961
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:21 pm
Christian: Yes
Location: NY
Has liked: 95 times
Been liked: 139 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#19

Post by Byblos » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:01 am

I will try to answer from my perspective only.
Ivellious wrote:There seems to be a great deal of variation on the part of Christians when it comes to this topic. Some are steadfast in believing that you can only go to heaven if you accept Jesus as your personal savior, while other groups of Christians are much more liberal about it and are fully open to the concept of other religions being accepted into heaven. So here's my take, based on the Christian faith: Presuming the Bible and Christianity are correct, even though humans inevitably sin it is possible after death to be forgiven (if you truly repent) and go to heaven. I've always wondered why not believing in Christianity (which is lumped in as a sin) cannot also be forgiven after death. So, can somebody explain this to me?

I've heard one explanation that one has to accept Jesus before death for any sin to be considered for forgiveness later. I've also been given almost the opposite, where a Christian said that a non-believer who is otherwise "good enough" to get into heaven is placed with God and given a chance to accept God and the mistake of not believing in Him in life. So, basically, I see the second option as essentially what I said above; that being of another faith is a sin and can be forgiven like any other sin at your judgement.

am I missing something in this analysis? Maybe someone could clarify their opinion on this? Thanks.

The Bible is very clear on this point, if Christ is who he claims to be then there can be no other way to heaven other than through Christ. That's my point of view as a Christian.

As a Catholic, however (and I'm not making a distinction between the 2, only that as a Catholic I also look at what my Church has to say on the subject), a recognition must be made that some, through no fault of their own, are unable to come to Christ through the Gospel. But since God can be known through the light of natural reason then salvation may be available to those who lead a pious, virtuous life. Does this mean they were not saved through Christ? Absolutely not. It only means that had they been given the opportunity, they most assuredly would have willingly come to accept Christ and of course God knows that. This is called invincible ignorance. But if the Gospel is heard and rejected, then there is no excuse.

To address your other point about forgiveness of sins, again as a Catholic, I do believe in forgiveness of sins post death (purgatory) but NOT for the purpose of deciding heaven or hell. One's fate as far as that is concerned is sealed at death.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 21289
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 199 times
Been liked: 1063 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#20

Post by RickD » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:38 am

Ivellious, simply put, I tend to agree with what Byblos said, for the most part. This is only my opinion, but I believe anyone who rejects Christ, as the way to the Father, will not spend eternity in His presence. It's also logical for me to think that not every single person will have had the chance to accept or reject Christ, before they die. Does that mean that those who never heard the gospel, will be destined for hell? While obviously, I don't know for sure, I tend to think that God knows who would have accepted Christ, if given the opportunity.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

Ivellious
Esteemed Senior Member
Posts: 1046
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:48 pm
Christian: No
Sex: Male
Creation Position: I don't believe in creation
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#21

Post by Ivellious » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:08 pm

Well, I guess at this point we're simply at an impasse. I understand that there's really nothing anyone can do to take you out of your mindset, and for now I'm fairly set in mine. This is one area where I simply don't agree with Christianity. I just can't understand how you can tell wonderful children of God (from your perspective) that they are inevitably screwed regardless of how they live their lives unless they convert. I can't imagine a God that would literally send over half the Earth into an eternal Hell. I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate.

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 21289
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 199 times
Been liked: 1063 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#22

Post by RickD » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:40 pm

I just can't understand how you can tell wonderful children of God (from your perspective) that they are inevitably screwed regardless of how they live their lives unless they convert
Ivellious, This has nothing to do with "converting". All people sin. God by His unmerited grace, made a way for anyone to have eternal life. God became flesh, in the man, Jesus of Nazareth, lived a sinless life, and took the sin of the whole world on Himself, when he was hung on a cross. he was buried, rose again, and sits at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5). Anyone who believes on Christ, will not perish, but have eternal life(John 3:16). Let me ask you a simple question. If There was any other way for man to be able to have eternal life, and be redeemed to God, do you think God would have sent His only begotten son, to die? Any other way?
I can't imagine a God that would literally send over half the Earth into an eternal Hell.
I could never imagine worshiping a God, who sent anyone to hell either. That's why the God I worship made a way for sinful man to be with Him forever. Anyone who believes on Christ, will have eternal life.
. I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate.
The love and compassion from God comes from His gift of eternal life to anyone who will believe on Christ. None of us deserves God's grace, yet God freely gives it to anyone who will accept what God offers, through Christ.
Again, Ivellious, if there were any other way to gain eternal life, would Jesus have had to die?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

User avatar
zoegirl
Old School
Posts: 3927
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:59 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: east coast
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#23

Post by zoegirl » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:06 pm

Ivellious, if you are seriously interested, I would highly recommend Mere Christianity, by CS Lewis. At least for a good start. It's an easy read and you can even find it online.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

User avatar
Kurieuo
Honored Member
Posts: 9957
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:25 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Progressive Creationist
Location: Qld, Australia
Has liked: 634 times
Been liked: 652 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#24

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:00 pm

Ivellious wrote:Thanks for the respectful and thoughtful responses.

There seems to be a great deal of variation on the part of Christians when it comes to this topic. Some are steadfast in believing that you can only go to heaven if you accept Jesus as your personal savior, while other groups of Christians are much more liberal about it and are fully open to the concept of other religions being accepted into heaven. So here's my take, based on the Christian faith: Presuming the Bible and Christianity are correct, even though humans inevitably sin it is possible after death to be forgiven (if you truly repent) and go to heaven. I've always wondered why not believing in Christianity (which is lumped in as a sin) cannot also be forgiven after death. So, can somebody explain this to me?

I've heard one explanation that one has to accept Jesus before death for any sin to be considered for forgiveness later. I've also been given almost the opposite, where a Christian said that a non-believer who is otherwise "good enough" to get into heaven is placed with God and given a chance to accept God and the mistake of not believing in Him in life. So, basically, I see the second option as essentially what I said above; that being of another faith is a sin and can be forgiven like any other sin at your judgement.

am I missing something in this analysis? Maybe someone could clarify their opinion on this? Thanks.
Given your more recent post, you seem quite decided in your beliefs here, but for what it is worth I will respond anyhow.

Re: those Christians who say others can come to God via some other way but Christ are by no means within Christian orthodoxy. In other words, if they -- those who believe someone can be saved without Christ -- began their own brand of "Christianity" it would be considered a Christian cult (distortion of Christianity) by mainstream Christian denominations.

Historically this was never the case. Yet, post modernity with its political correctness has heavily influenced our society in the 20/21st century. Thus, the general watering down of traditional Christian beliefs of Particularism towards Universalism could be seen as largely postmodern influences in our society today. Yet, these beliefs have no historical root in Christian orthoxy whether Lutheran, Anglican, Evangelical, Catholic and others. Anyone who suggests one can be saved without Christ is therefore making up their own brand of "Christianity" (if it be called Christian) to suit their own tastes and wishful desires.

Now "presuming the Bible and Christianity are correct", lets look Scripturally at the issue. There are over 100 Scriptural passages which support Jesus as being the only way -- the only way of being made right with God and escaping His righteous judgement. In fact, early Christians were known as followers of "The Way". Not "a way", but "The Way" (aka Christ).

What of the belief that a non-believer who is otherwise "good enough" can get into heaven? Well, again, the question becomes who decides what is "good enough"? For a purely righteous God "good enough" is 100% good. Why would human standards of what we consider or desire to be "good enough" be good enough for an entirely righteous God? Yet, suppose someone has a chance to be saved by accepting Christ after this life...

In Scripture, the emphasis is always on this life, not the hereafter. There is no special revelation that there will be a chance hereafter to accept Christ and the forgiveness that is there for us, but rather the opposite. In fact, Paul writes in Romans 1:18-23 that God is evident in the world we live, leaving us all without excuse. Those who ignore this, ignore God, their hearts are darkened. This supports it is possible for someone to be saved on account of their response to God's natural revelation. However, those who reject God only having experienced His natural revelation have no excuse. How much less excuse will those have who hear the good news of Christ and reject it?

Furthermore, Paul writes in Romans 2:14-16: "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus."

From this passage we can deduce that those who are generally good without Christ or God, are still a law unto themselves. They've place their self first, and the law written on their hearts bears witness against them on the day of God's judgement. Notice that it is through Christ Jesus that Paul says God will judge us. As such, those without Christ will stand on their own merit. And for an entirely righteous God, the only passing grade without Christ is receiving 100% on having lived a morally good life.

But, there could still be a chance for those to accept Christ hereafter? Firstly, I think Scripture is clear that those who reject Christ in this life are lost. Secondly, there could be a kind of permanency to who we are when we die. CS Lewis wrote of Hell allegorically in one of his the Pilgrim's Regress. In that book, those lost appear unable to change their minds and predicament. They are forever outcast and unable to come to God. From memory, all those lost need to do is make the decision to cross over into heaven, but they are forever lost in their blindess to God, and experience enormous fear and pain whenever they get a taste of heaven or God. I mentioned this, because while I do not agree with everything CS Lewis believed, I do agree when we die there is a kind of permanency to who we have become.

In this world, we are able to change our decisions throughout life, refine who we are and who we will become. Such is the priviledge of living in a temporal world that functions in the way ours does. However, at death, who we are when we die is essentially the person we will be hereafter. Consider the angels, and those who were cast down. There is no turning back for them now (at least none we are made aware to). Satan's decision and those angels who fell with him -- their decisions appear to have a permanent quality to them. So too I believe ours are, only we have our life here to make a decision clear to God in our heart and actions.

Finally, if we are still accepting Scripture is correct, here are two passages:

One must be born spiritually, emphasis seems to be on this life - John 3:5-6: Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit

How much more emphasis can there be on this life with those who do not believe being judged already - John 3:16-18: 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Conclusion
Historically, Scripturally and orthodox-wise, any other way to God except through Christ does not make sense . A self-processing Christian who believes otherwise could not be identified with the title as being a follower of "The Way" (Christ) like early Christians were. You can accept a recent adaptation of that in light of the extreme political correctness which saturates our westernised societies today, but you would be doing so out of personal taste and wishfulness, not based on any real Christian roots.

Now I hope I am wrong. I would love nothing more than for more people to be saved. But I understand God's righteousness means we all stand condemned, and based on all I've read Scripturally and understand historically of Christianity and Christianity itself, it seems to be the case we must make a decision in this life, especially once we have heard to Gospel.

If Christianity sounds plausible, then I would not want to avoid properly investigating its truth claims in this life, and risk not having the decision hereafter. Leaving a decision about Christ for the afterlife does not seem like a good wage to make as far as Scripture, historical Christianity and Christian orthodoxy is concerned.

User avatar
Kurieuo
Honored Member
Posts: 9957
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:25 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Progressive Creationist
Location: Qld, Australia
Has liked: 634 times
Been liked: 652 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#25

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:30 pm

Ivellious wrote:Well, I guess at this point we're simply at an impasse. I understand that there's really nothing anyone can do to take you out of your mindset, and for now I'm fairly set in mine. This is one area where I simply don't agree with Christianity. I just can't understand how you can tell wonderful children of God (from your perspective) that they are inevitably screwed regardless of how they live their lives unless they convert. I can't imagine a God that would literally send over half the Earth into an eternal Hell. I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate.
Re-read what I previously wrote before my last post.

domokunrox
Valued Member
Posts: 456
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:52 am
Christian: Yes
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#26

Post by domokunrox » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:55 am

You know, Ivellious. I really do believe you're very genuine in your dilemma.

However, its hard to get a grasp as how you think the problem is.

Is this problem an Emotional problem or an Intellectual problem? We've shown you evidential AND logical support behind our position, so I don't think anyone here is convinced we can help you unless you understand that the problem is emotion based.

None of us here are saying that your feelings don't matter. But we're trying to explain to you that Jesus felt far more emotional about the problem. His love and passion for us was so strong that he died for us. Not to condemn the world, but to make it possible for anyone regardless of how good or bad they lived their life. Think about that very carefully for a second.

In our view, you can be 99% bad, 1% good, but you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior as THE ONLY WAY you can make it to heaven, you would make it in.
Think about that.

On the same idea, you can be 99% good, 1% bad, but if you reject Jesus upon hearing his amazing gift for you to accept, and you let your pride get the best of you, then you don't make it in.

Again, by your system or ideas on how people get into heaven. Are you saying that heaven is going to have scales to weight in your "good" and "bad"? Are you absolutely sure you want to assert that people who are 49% good, 51% bad wouldn't make it in? If you make that exception, how about the person who is 48% good? How close of "goodness" do you need to be? and not only that, but according to what standard? Think about the bias and limitations on that. The final judgements just wouldn't be fair.

In the end, Ivellious, Pride and Ego just isn't going to cut it. I often have to tell people who believe in some sort of Karma system is that there is no Pride or Egos in heaven.

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#27

Post by jlay » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:09 am

I've always wondered why not believing in Christianity (which is lumped in as a sin) cannot also be forgiven after death. So, can somebody explain this to me?
When you say "not believing" you are combining ignorance and rejection into one category. Rejecting Christ will not be forgiven.

I think the OP question is bit on the shallow side. Who gets into heaven, looks at eternity only from a perspective of "what's in it for me?" It really misses the story of God's holy majesty, the utterly corruting nature of sin, man's desperate condition, and God reconciling man to Himself through Christ.

God can forgive anything. That doesn't mean that God will forgive in a way that contradicts His nature.
Christ is the means through which redemtion occurs. That being his life, death and resurrection. It is sufficient to forgive all. Faith is the means of approriating God's mercies. the Bible is consistent OT to NT that faith is credited as righteousness. Abraham trusted God, Noah, etc. and it was credited as righteousness. They didn't have 1 Cor. 15:3-4, but they acted on what revelation they had. If anyone is denied heaven it will be because they rejected (not in ignorance) what was revealed to them.

Many Christians wring their hands wondering about the person in the jungles of Africa, and we rightly should have a concern for the sinner. However, I trust God to reach everyone. I've known too many who have been burdened with going to the mission field. Why just yesterday, I found out our Orthodontist left a successful practice to move to Jordan and witness to Muslims through dental practice there.
I just can't understand how you can tell wonderful children of God (from your perspective) that they are inevitably screwed regardless of how they live their lives unless they convert. I can't imagine a God that would literally send over half the Earth into an eternal Hell. I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate.
For one your premise is faulty. People in general are not children of God. John 1:12. You seem hung up on how people live their lives. OK, who has lived a life worthy? What you are saying is that a person can actually live a 'good' life and yet come to absolutely zero revelation about God. Or, that they can live a good life, and reject that revelation. It's a contradiction. Even a person like me, who has not lived a good life has revelation about God. You may reject what you know about God, but you can't claim not to have revelation. Your problem is that you keep putting off your own responsibility. When you take a test, you are not responsible for my answers, but your own. You can keep saying stuff about others, but you are only accountible for what you know.

So let's look at 'good.' Jesus said there are none good but God. How are you defining good?
-How many murders can you commit and still be considered good?
-If I lie to you, even once, what does that make me?
Now, you might say, murder and lying are not the same. No, they are not. But, is it possible that a holy God has a higher opinion of truth than say, you or I? If so, whose standard should matter? (Isaiah 55:7-9)
-How much poison does it take to contaminate purified water?

Practical example. Let's say I have committed a serious crime. I am going before the judge. I say to the judge, "But your honor, all my life I have done good. I've only committed this one crime. Therefore my good outweighs my bad, so you should let me go. And, BTW, if you don't, then I reject that you even exist."
What would a 'good' judge do? If a judge overlooked this serious crime for these reasons, then he is corrupt and not worthy of his office. A good judge would say, "your past deeds have no bearing on the law you have broken." In fact, the judge would likely be offended by such pride. This approach is laced with pride. It says that my crimes should be overlooked because of how I see myself, and that the standards of the law are secondary. When you say you can't understand, it is because you are not intersted in God's perspective. You demand that God reduce himself down to your logic. That being, if God doesn't comply with your standard of good, law and justice, then..oh well, we're just at an impasse. This is nothing more than shaking your fist in the face of God. It amazes me that people think God should respond. If someone walks up to you, shaking their fist in your face, cursing your existance, then what kind of response would you have?
I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate.
This again is faulty reasoning. The question is, why in the world would an eternal, all mighty, majestic and Holy God, show mercy to such wicked, self-centered, self-decieved, wretches like ourselves? Yet, God came into our world, walked in our shoes, was rejected by men, and yet suffered and died to purchase our freedom from sin. And you want to talk about compassion?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

User avatar
B. W.
Ultimate Member
Posts: 8365
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:17 am
Christian: Yes
Location: Colorado
Has liked: 102 times
Been liked: 260 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#28

Post by B. W. » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:30 am

Ivellious wrote:Well, I guess at this point we're simply at an impasse. I understand that there's really nothing anyone can do to take you out of your mindset, and for now I'm fairly set in mine. This is one area where I simply don't agree with Christianity. I just can't understand how you can tell wonderful children of God (from your perspective) that they are inevitably screwed regardless of how they live their lives unless they convert. I can't imagine a God that would literally send over half the Earth into an eternal Hell. I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate.
Ivellious, please look over Kurieuo’s post again. They are well thought out and help answer you. I'll add a bit further...

It is a shame that as human beings we limit sin to such things a lying, stealing, swearing, things we do so much so that we miss what sin does and really is. Real sin is an attitude that tries to get away with it to get ones own way. Your own answer demonstrates this. No one will be good enough because all seek to get away with it. Get away with what? Lying, cheating? More than that so add to this anger bitterness, jealousy outburst of wrath, manipulations, conniving, scheming, unforgiveness, etc and etc. Ivellious, how do you justify your own unforgiveness, anger, lying, etc, and yes, even love?

Point is this. Sin is not temporal things or actions. It is an attitude that justifies – to get away with it. Get away with those few things I just mentioned as well as others things we do in attempt to get away with it. Such attitude as this seeks to entrap God by pitting his own character traits against God’s own Character. How – for example look at what you wrote: I can't imagine what sense or love or compassion there is in only looking at one aspect of a person's life and using that to determine someone's eternal fate..

One such attribute- really? Are you not trying to a get away with it? See how easy it is pit God’s own nature against his own nature to love? God is not looking at one little ol’ aspect of your life or mine. He looks at the human heart. He seeks to change it in a just and fair manner. Such is love that offers a choice and from that, a person awakened invites Christ within, so Jesus by his grace will change the direction of one's life.

Actual Love does not rape the soul, nor force one to change. Such love shows justice to the soul in honoring what that soul desire as Job 34:11 states clearly. God's love proves just to all because it will not rape, nor force one’s soul to become something they refuse. Instead, God proves his love upon the cross we all put him on – to get away with it. The cross seeks to persuade men and women to stop their ‘I can get away with it’ attitude. Those that see what they have done - come to their senses seeing God's great love offering forgiveness by believing on Christ Jesus and are changed. Those that refuse will be respected and reap eternally what they have sown.

God will not allow heaven to become a place where people get away it – carry that sin attitude – get away with it – to mock him, spit on him, put him on trial, bear false witness against him, demand he perform on human terms, seeks to enslave Him, manipulate him, drive nails jealousy into him, take his royal crown and replace it with one made of spiked thorns get him to do whatever, however, to cause God to go against who he is no matter how clever the ploys are. That is sin; it is eternal because it is in our eternal hearts.

Dying mortal death ushers into the realm where repentance is impossible and any forced afterlife change is unjust to the person who now, as an eternal being learned real well, they can continue to try to get away with it. It is in this mortal life where God can begin the change in our hearts and seal us in such just manner so we will not continue to try to get away with it any more. That is called and begins by being born again, not by one's own corruptible spirit but God’s own incorruptible Spirit who changes you from the inside out.

If you like to deal with these last three paragraphs above themes and discuss further, we can. For now, Ivellious you need to see what you are doing, how you try to get away with it, and ask yourself, if allowed into heaven unchanged what would a sinless heaven become? The Lord is incredibly fair and seeks to offer himself on that Cross to persuade that we need to be saved from ourselves as we cannot set ourselves free from our justifying to get away with it.

Fact is we cannot get away with it in the end no matter how hard we work to be good because that work to be good enough is just another justifying excuse to - get away with it. The offer is before you, what will it be? How long will it take? How long do you have?
-
-
-

-
Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

fromabove
Newbie Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:25 pm
Christian: No
Sex: Male
Creation Position: I don't believe in creation
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#29

Post by fromabove » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:41 pm

What worries me about all this is that some people say they 'believe' rather than they "think" in regards all questions of faith. Does anyone on here want to go to the Heaven of the God of the Old Testament which would resemble Sharia Law is certain aspects?

Danieltwotwenty
Ultimate Member
Posts: 2879
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:01 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Aussie Land
Has liked: 37 times
Been liked: 11 times

Re: Who gets into Heaven?

#30

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:41 pm

fromabove wrote:What worries me about all this is that some people say they 'believe' rather than they "think" in regards all questions of faith.

Please elaborate, what are you implying with believe v I think.
Does anyone on here want to go to the Heaven of the God of the Old Testament which would resemble Sharia Law is certain aspects?
how did you come to this conclusion?


Dan
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

Post Reply