The Observations.net Weblog
But God is nothing like that. He is love. He gives the soul every chance to go to Heaven. Only those who embrace evil and hate the good go to Hell, think ananius and caiphis, hitler, stalin, and mao, hitler clinton, and the like. They would ruin heaven if they were allowed in. They must be separated from the rest of us - that is hell.
Here are the categories of souls:
1) Those who know Jesus Christ go straight to heaven.
2) Those non-Christians who are basically decent people are given the chance to meet Jesus after death, and then go straight to heaven. The reformative life review, as reported by near death experiencers, is not limited to Christians.
3) Bad people who still have a trace of goodness are given a chance. Think purgatory of sorts. They can still learn from the life review. The near death experience is full of stories of people who find themselves in trouble, but reach out to the Light and are saved. Some souls may wander the earth as ghosts until they make up their mind. (I include a ghost account under Reply 3.)
Purgatory for sinners is implied by Matthew 5:25 and 26: "Agree with thine adversary [God's moral law] quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."4) Monsters such as hitler clinton and clown prince mohammed bin salamander go straight to hell. And from hell, there is no return.
The implication? Sinners, at least some, in rebellion against God, will be cast into a spiritual prison, where they will hopefully be allowed to come to terms with the moral law (paying the uttermost farthing) - i.e. they are not subject to eternal damnation.
Unlike purgatory, where sinners are allowed to repent and come to terms with their life, hell is without end. Further, because hell is eternal, its purpose is not punishment. There is no correlation between an eternity in hell and 70 or 80 years of evil. At some point, punishment must end because the debt has been paid. Instead, the purpose of hell is eternal separation for the incorrigible soul, and the protection of the rest of us.
Matthew 25:41: "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
* posted by Robert on Fri 10/19/18
Really? I am me and you are you. God loves us for the persons we are.
Now, here I am. A White man of Welsh/English descent, of the personality type known as INFP - maybe a trace autistic. I have my genetic heritage and inborn traits. I have my family and my history. I am who I am.
Now, say I were to come back as someone else, maybe even as a Chinese woman. That would be absurd. I would not be me anymore. I would have a totally different genetic heritage and life history. My personality, thoughts, and impulses would not even be remotely similar. The person I am would be dead.
Reincarnation is death. It is not a celebration of the individual and his uniqueness before God. If I reincarnate, then my soul is nothing more than an impersonal life force flowing like water, joining maybe with other life forces to animate other bodies.
My personhood would then have no meaning. Life for me would have no meaning. I would have no future. Those I love would be gone.
The doctrine of reincarnation is foolishness and an insult to the personhood of the individuals God has made.
I do not choose buddhism and it's nihilism. I choose Christ. I choose life. And I choose the worth of the individual.
Listen to the words of the Christmas carol:
O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
- Reincarnation devalues human life. This life can be thrown away. There is always another life.
- Reincarnation devalues the individual. The person called you in this life will be replaced by a different individual in another life.
- Reincarnation devalues humanity when it is accompanied by the belief that a human can be reincarnated as a dog or a tree.
- The related doctrine of karma - the belief that every act in this life must be repaid - devalues grace.
- Reincarnation and karma devalue compassion. If a person is suffering, they are receiving their just reward because of bad actions in a prior life.
- Reincarnation and karma make the individual his own god and savior. You work out your own karmic debt instead of reaching out to the gracious God and Savior Jesus Christ.
* posted by Robert on Fri 10/19/18
Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."
I am not a universalist, for as surely as there are evil people who hate the good, there is a hell. But out of the mass of humanity, are only a few chosen? What does that even mean?
Before we try to answer that question, let's look at some other sayings by Jesus and His Apostles.
John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 Timothy 2:3-4 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."
1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Colossians 1:20 "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Some of these passages certainly seem to proclaim universal salvation, while there are other passages that speak of eternal damnation (although some univeralists argue that the Greek for eternal doesn't really mean eternal). Not being a fundamentalist, I'm not locked into arm wrestling every Biblical passage into absolute harmony. Discounting the old testament, which can be quite bizarre, even the New Testament has passages that seem to contradict. If so, so be it.
So, are few chosen? In this life, most humans go about their way, often unmindful of the eternal. Many humans are evil. Only a few humans live in dedication to God.
But are only those dedicated few chosen for eternal life? Will heaven be only the abode of the Apostles, St. Patrick, Billy Graham, my childhood pastor Joe Porter, and a few good Sunday School teachers and deacons? I think not. God is love.
Jesus saw how evil His generation was and how so few responded to the truth. You can shout anti-semitism all you want, but the Jews of His day and their Khazar inheritors are some of the most evil, narcissistic, self-serving people in all world history. Many or most of Jesus' generation likely did go to hell. (See Mark 11:13-21 - Jesus cursing the fig tree.)
But God is love. Heaven will have far more citizens than most fundamentalists are willing to admit.
Jesus said in Revelation 3:5, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
Everyone's name is initially recorded in the Book of Life. - Everyone who has ever lived or will ever live - It is God's default position to save the human soul and grant eternal life. It is only through the embrace of sin and the rejection of Christ that any human's name is blotted out.
* posted by Robert on Sat 10/20/18
Where does the Bible say that all souls immediately go to heaven or hell? It doesn't.
Paul says that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". That is true of those who know Christ. Christians don't haunt the world as ghosts.
But what of other people?
My grandpa was a bad man. He beat his wife and kids. He was an adulterer and thief.
Some decades ago, my aunt, who is of stable mind, was in her kitchen. He walked into the kitchen and sat in a chair. The whole time he would not look at her or communicate. After a few minutes, he vanished.
I think he was in a state of purgatory. God did not send him directly to hell. I think God put my grandpa in timeout and basically told him to think about his life.
* posted by Robert on Sat 10/20/18
Some people tell stories of having seen hell during a near death experience. They tell tall tales of satan torturing people (although the Bible tells us that satan is not yet in hell and that he presently roams the earth as a devouring lion.) These so-called NDErs speak of reptiles and other creatures tearing into people's flesh and eating their innards.
These knucklehead NDE claimants tell stories of various people subjected to horrible punishments for a variety of trivial reasons. For instance, a child sent to hell for watching too much TV or whatever.
OK. God is love. Hell is not a torture chamber. It is a place of separation for those who embrace evil and hate the good.
So what of these so-called NDErs? Quite simply, they are full of shit of the most foul and putrid kind. I don't think that they please God by maligning Him.
* posted by Robert on Sat 10/20/18
Not really. Yes, there is something supernatural / paranormal about the NDE. People accurately describe events and actions near their bodies, and even away from their bodies, while they were clinically dead. This phenomenon is attested to time and time again.
But their visions of the afterlife seem to be affected by their beliefs. Catholic priest Steven Scheier had an NDE in which Jesus sentenced him to hell, but Mary came to his defense. Mary was the gracious intercessor and even the holy Trinity had to defer to her. No Baptist would ever have such an NDE.
The NDE points to the existence of an eternal soul that outlives the mortal body. But the messages brought back by those having NDEs are of little value.
As such, I do not base my beliefs on the NDE. The New Testament, written by the Apostles and those under them, is the highest source of knowledge. As an independent human with my own mind and soul, I am also willing to go by my own experiences and thought processes.
Note: C.S. Lewis said that the door to hell is always locked from the inside, not the outside. People send themselves to hell, not God. NDErs who see hell are creating their own visions of hell. They are not seeing a real place; it is their dream, their hallucination. We cannot base our theology on a hallucination.
Even those NDErs who see the Lord Jesus may be creating their own visions. Jesus is very real and He is Lord. But we should base our understanding of Jesus on the New Testament and not on any NDE.
* posted by Robert on Thu 03/28/19