Making the right choice

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Making the right choice

#1

Post by cnk12 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:37 pm

Here is a situation and two related questions I would greatly appreciate an explanation to or maybe a suggestion of some reading material. A man feels the pull of God in him, and studies the popular religions of our day such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism. After he studies, contemplates and prays, he decides Islam is the ultimate truth. He joins countless Muslims who before him have explored Christianity and maintain their beliefs. He goes on to feel spiritually satiated from that time forward.
1) Is he punished for his sins in hell for eternity because; although he tried his best, he made the wrong choice?
2) If Christ is the one we should follow, is there some mechanism to decide by or indication we can watch for so we know when we are making the right or wrong choice?

I realize I have no place in telling God how to run things "fairly" but, what I'm really asking is... With so many different cultures to influence a person's choice, it doesn't seem like everyone gets a fair shake, does it?

Thanks for your time and trouble,
Charles

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Re: Making the right choice

#2

Post by jlay » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:19 am

If he actually 'studied' he would see that Christ is the only choice that requires him to do absolutely nothing. It doesn't require him to 'try his best' which is another way to say 'self-righteousness.'
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Re: Making the right choice

#3

Post by cnk12 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:45 am

I don't want to split hairs, but what I meant was he "tried his best" to make the correct choice, not he tried his best to be worthy in the eyes of God.

As I seriously consider accepting Christ, I'm concerned about billions of souls who aren't saved for making an incorrect choice that is seemingly easy to make. I say it's easy to make as evidenced by the billions who have made it. They are no better or worse than anyone else, other than they chose wrong.
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around God forgiving all kinds of transgressions except for coming down on the wrong side of a difficult choice. It strikes me as out of character for God, though I admit, there is much about God, no man can understand. Do others have difficulty with this, and if so, how do you come to terms with it? I would be grateful to anyone willing to answer this question and/or those in the original post.

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Re: Making the right choice

#4

Post by Eureka » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:22 pm

cnk12 wrote: I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around God forgiving all kinds of transgressions except for coming down on the wrong side of a difficult choice. It strikes me as out of character for God, though I admit, there is much about God, no man can understand. Do others have difficulty with this, and if so, how do you come to terms with it?
I don't know that I have any useful advice to offer, but I can tell you that you are not alone in having difficulties with these kinds of issues. I've had a LOT of difficulty with "figuring out which religion is actually the RIGHT one" and with accepting specific beliefs within different religions that don't seem to make sense. By discussing my discomforts with people who practice various religions, I've discovered that struggles like this one are very common in pretty much everyone who has taken time to really study their own religion.

The difference between them and me seemed to be that they had developed trust. I'm using the word trust instead of faith because I feel that the word faith suggests an absence of evidence, but I'm trying to describe the well-earned phenomenon that characterizes close friendships. As friendship with another human being develops, your understanding of that person's abilities becomes more complete, and you come to recognize that in certain areas your friend is going to be better qualified at calling the shots than you are. This is how I believe that many people have come to terms with these types of struggles.

Since you mentioned that you are considering coming to Christ, I'd like to make a suggestion. I don't know how you're weighing the options, but if you're anything like me you've spent a lot of time reading and trying to see "what do these guys really believe" and may not have tried a more direct approach--try starting a relationship with Christ and see where that takes you. I imagine that sounds cliche, but I'm only suggesting taking some time to get acquainted. Pray. You can read someone's credentials and talk to their friends all you like, but the interview process makes or breaks it. Perhaps it won't help you, but I highly doubt that it will hurt any.

As for the specific question that you brought up, I don't know what happens to those who make the wrong choice. It seems like the Bible is pretty clear that the only way to heaven is through Christ, but I am suspicious about what this ultimately means. Considering the fact that Christ said "Father, forgive them! For they know not what they have done" in reference to those who crucified him (recently discussed in another thread here) I wonder if God's judgment may take into consideration more than what we understand...

Happy Hunting!

E
"If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag."

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Re: Making the right choice

#5

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:00 pm

cnk12 wrote:Here is a situation and two related questions I would greatly appreciate an explanation to or maybe a suggestion of some reading material. A man feels the pull of God in him, and studies the popular religions of our day such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism. After he studies, contemplates and prays, he decides Islam is the ultimate truth. He joins countless Muslims who before him have explored Christianity and maintain their beliefs. He goes on to feel spiritually satiated from that time forward.
1) Is he punished for his sins in hell for eternity because; although he tried his best, he made the wrong choice?
2) If Christ is the one we should follow, is there some mechanism to decide by or indication we can watch for so we know when we are making the right or wrong choice?

I realize I have no place in telling God how to run things "fairly" but, what I'm really asking is... With so many different cultures to influence a person's choice, it doesn't seem like everyone gets a fair shake, does it?

Thanks for your time and trouble,
Charles

The God I believe in is a God of Justice, mercy, forgiveness and love (of course he is more things but these are the ones I want to focus on), like Eureka said trust is key. I trust that God will be Just in his dealings with people when their time comes, I trust he will be merciful to those that repent, I trust he will forgive those that ask, I trust that he will love those that want to be loved. Also to echo what Eureka has said about "The only way to the Father is through me", what about people who have never even heard Christ's name!! that would make God unjust etc.... I think it is more about your heart condition than what you may or may not know and really it is not for us to sit and ponder where people may or may not go, that is up to God and God alone and all we can do his trust his judgement.

I do however think the truth of Christianity shines above the rest, all religions have an element of truth to them but the truth claims of Christianity is definitely a cut above the rest.

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.

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Re: Making the right choice

#6

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:26 pm

cnk12 wrote:1) Is he punished for his sins in hell for eternity because; although he tried his best, he made the wrong choice?
He hasn't made ''the wrong choice'' as you put it. He has deliberately rejected God after his so-called ''studies'' and gone after idols. He has himself sealed his eternal fate. Re-read what jlay said:
jlay wrote:If he actually 'studied' he would see that Christ is the only choice that requires him to do absolutely nothing. It doesn't require him to 'try his best' which is another way to say 'self-righteousness.'
cnk12 wrote:2) If Christ is the one we should follow, is there some mechanism to decide by or indication we can watch for so we know when we are making the right or wrong choice?
Start by reading the Bible and pray to the God you don't know, asking Him for enlightenment. Understand this about yourself and all those around you:

We are all desperately evil:

1. Ecc 7:20
2. Jer 17:9
3. Isa 53:6

We are unable to redeem ourselves:

4. James 2:10
5: Mt 7:13

Jesus provides the redmption:

6: Titus 3:5
7: 1Pe 2:24

Jesus the only way:

8: Jn 3:16
9: Jn 14:6

Follow any other way and you're toast:

10. Pr 14:12
cnk12 wrote: I realize I have no place in telling God how to run things "fairly" but, what I'm really asking is... With so many different cultures to influence a person's choice, it doesn't seem like everyone gets a fair shake, does it?

How can someone so sinful possibly know what fairness is? Your question is rooted in pride: you want to have the right to make your own way. God has already said there is only One way and that way is Jesus.

Anyway, take heart. God knows those who truly seek Him and devises ways to reveal Himself to them.

FL
Hold everything lightly. If you don't, it will hurt when God pries your fingers loose as He takes it from you. -Corrie Ten Boom

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Re: Making the right choice

#7

Post by cnk12 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:35 am

Furstentum Liechtenstein wrote: He hasn't made ''the wrong choice'' as you put it. He has deliberately rejected God after his so-called ''studies'' and gone after idols. He has himself sealed his eternal fate. Re-read what jlay said:
Isn't the fact that billions of people have chosen other paths, evidence that the true answer isn't clear? I'm sure those with views other than Christina believe just as strongly and are just as sure of their choice as any Christian. My choice will either be Christianity or some form of Agnosticism. But I know many people who have chosen other paths and are just committed as the Christians I know.

Ultimately, as I consider Christianity, I am deeply concerned for billions of people/souls headed for an eternity separate from God. Billions who made their choice thinking along the lines of "yep, this is surely the way I should go"... rather than "it's clear Jesus is God, but I think I'll reject him because it'd be more fun to be Jewish" ... the prospect is heart wrenching!

Would I be reading too much into it if I considered what Jesus said on the cross (Father forgive them for they know not what they do) to mean he saves non Christians that reject Him?

Charles

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Re: Making the right choice

#8

Post by 1over137 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:13 am

cnk12 wrote: Isn't the fact that billions of people have chosen other paths, evidence that the true answer isn't clear?
A question: How many of them are really honest? Honest in their searching, honest with their heart...
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Making the right choice

#9

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:22 pm

cnk12 wrote:
Isn't the fact that billions of people have chosen other paths, evidence that the true answer isn't clear?
How so? Consider:

-Isn't the fact that billions of people are overweight evidence that slimness isn't a clear choice for health?
-Isn't the fact that billions of people are addicted to______________ evidence that moderation isn't good?

You try one!

-Isn't the fact that billions of people are____________ evidence that ____________isn't all that great?


So, the answer to your question is..._____________.
cnk12 wrote:I'm sure those with views other than Christinanity believe just as strongly and are just as sure of their choice as any Christian
So? The guys that flew the airliners into the WTC believed they were right. Is believing you are right when you are wrong worth anything?
cnk12 wrote:My choice will either be Christianity or some form of Agnosticism.
You are not serious. Please, choose agnosticism. Christianity doesn't need another false Christian in it for the sacrements and a the nice Church wedding.
cnk12 wrote: Ultimately, as I consider Christianity, I am deeply concerned for billions of people/souls headed for an eternity separate from God. Billions who made their choice thinking along the lines of "yep, this is surely the way I should go"... rather than "it's clear Jesus is God, but I think I'll reject him because it'd be more fun to be Jewish" ... the prospect is heart wrenching!
:pound: You are not ready to make a commitment to Christ. If you were, you would truly be concerned for the lost and would give of your time and your resources and your talents for them.
cnk12 wrote: Would I be reading too much into it if I considered what Jesus said on the cross (Father forgive them for they know not what they do) to mean he saves non Christians that reject Him?
You are quoting a verse without understanding the context. The Bible does not contradict itself. Anyone who rejects Jesus is toast, period.

Sorry.

FL
Hold everything lightly. If you don't, it will hurt when God pries your fingers loose as He takes it from you. -Corrie Ten Boom

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Re: Making the right choice

#10

Post by cnk12 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:00 pm

cnk12 wrote:
Isn't the fact that billions of people have chosen other paths, evidence that the true answer isn't clear?


How so? Consider:

-Isn't the fact that billions of people are overweight evidence that slimness isn't a clear choice for health?
-Isn't the fact that billions of people are addicted to______________ evidence that moderation isn't good?

You try one!

-Isn't the fact that billions of people are____________ evidence that ____________isn't all that great?


So, the answer to your question is..._____________.
That is a very poor analogy; the point was clear, but somehow you've missed it!
cnk12 wrote:I'm sure those with views other than Christinanity believe just as strongly and are just as sure of their choice as any Christian


So? The guys that flew the airliners into the WTC believed they were right. Is believing you are right when you are wrong worth anything?
Though I'm sure it was clear to most, I was referring to the 99.9999999 percent who aren't extremists in their world views...just like I'm not referring to David Koresh or Jims Jones when I use the word Christians!

cnk12 wrote:My choice will either be Christianity or some form of Agnosticism.


You are not serious. Please, choose agnosticism. Christianity doesn't need another false Christian in it for the sacrements and a the nice Church wedding.
So you're the one that knows what's in every man's heart and the one I have to be approved by to accept Jesus! Will you at least consider going easy on me when YOU come back to earth to judge the world for their sins?
cnk12 wrote:Ultimately, as I consider Christianity, I am deeply concerned for billions of people/souls headed for an eternity separate from God. Billions who made their choice thinking along the lines of "yep, this is surely the way I should go"... rather than "it's clear Jesus is God, but I think I'll reject him because it'd be more fun to be Jewish" ... the prospect is heart wrenching!


:pound: You are not ready to make a commitment to Christ. If you were, you would truly be concerned for the lost and would give of your time and your resources and your talents for them.
I know I'm not ready which I why I asked for help with what was bothering me. And yes I admit I don't give my time and resources to Christ as I haven't made a choice in the matter yet. Is the time you spent on your sarcastic arrogant reply in that vein? Was it designed to bring people closer to Christ?
cnk12 wrote:Would I be reading too much into it if I considered what Jesus said on the cross (Father forgive them for they know not what they do) to mean he saves non Christians that reject Him?


You are quoting a verse without understanding the context. The Bible does not contradict itself. Anyone who rejects Jesus is toast, period.
I know I didn't understand the context of the verse I quoted. That's why it was in the form of a question with a question mark at the end of it.
Sorry.

FL
Apology accepted, but do me a favor and don't answer any more of my posts if you can't be serious. Phew!

To anyone else who reads this I really would appreciate any serious replies or suggestions, and thanks for the others.

Charles

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Re: Making the right choice

#11

Post by 1over137 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:46 pm

1over137 wrote:
cnk12 wrote: Isn't the fact that billions of people have chosen other paths, evidence that the true answer isn't clear?
A question: How many of them are really honest? Honest in their searching, honest with their heart...
I asked this question as a start of our discussion. I think many people do not want to see from whatever reasons.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Making the right choice

#12

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:49 pm

To put what others have said a bit differently look at it this way: in accepting Islam what he is really doing is rejecting what Christ said about himself. Jesus said that whoever believes in Him has everlasting life. Jesus said he is the only begotten Son of God. That Muslims do not believe what Jesus says about himself is their problem, not Christ's.

So do not look at it as trying to figure out which religion is right. Look at it as whether or not a person believes that Jesus actually said. If they believe him, they will rely on him for their salvation, that is to say, they will believe in Him forever lasting life. If they do not believe him, that is to say, if they do not believe what he said about himself, then they will not believe in Him forever everlasting life.

In the end, it is a very simple question: what do you do with Jesus? How you answer that determines where you will spend eternity.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Making the right choice

#13

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:49 pm

cnk12 wrote: Apology accepted, but do me a favor and don't answer any more of my posts if you can't be serious. Phew!
I was being very serious. You are shopping for a religion the same way people shop for soap: which cleans better? I offer you a very simple answer: go for the cheapest because all soaps are pretty much the same. The outside of your cup will be spotless! Mt 23:25

Since you don't like my abrasive style, I now turn you over to the gentler 1/137 and the more refined Jac3510.

FL :razzing:
Hold everything lightly. If you don't, it will hurt when God pries your fingers loose as He takes it from you. -Corrie Ten Boom

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Re: Making the right choice

#14

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:07 pm

Furstentum Liechtenstein wrote: Since you don't like my abrasive style, I now turn you over to the gentler 1/137 and the more refined Jac3510.
Abrasive? :shock: nah just a little rough that's all. :lol:
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.

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Re: Making the right choice

#15

Post by B. W. » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:30 pm

cnk12 wrote:Here is a situation and two related questions I would greatly appreciate an explanation to or maybe a suggestion of some reading material. A man feels the pull of God in him, and studies the popular religions of our day such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism. After he studies, contemplates and prays, he decides Islam is the ultimate truth. He joins countless Muslims who before him have explored Christianity and maintain their beliefs. He goes on to feel spiritually satiated from that time forward.
1) Is he punished for his sins in hell for eternity because; although he tried his best, he made the wrong choice?
2) If Christ is the one we should follow, is there some mechanism to decide by or indication we can watch for so we know when we are making the right or wrong choice?

I realize I have no place in telling God how to run things "fairly" but, what I'm really asking is... With so many different cultures to influence a person's choice, it doesn't seem like everyone gets a fair shake, does it?

Thanks for your time and trouble,
Charles
Before we engage any further let me ask you a question:

What do you mean by a fair shake?
-
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