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BradW
Member



Joined: 2006/5/30
Posts: 94
Edmonton, AB, Canada

 How much is too much?

I was having a discussion with some friends last night that centered around what constitutes a saving faith.
Is it having the fear of God? faith that Jesus is the Son of God? that He died for our sins? that he rose from the dead? or belief that in Him we shall live?

The big crux of the conversation was the thief on the cross.

Quote:
Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise

How much understanding did he have of the Gospel? Perhaps all he believed was that Jesus was going to come into His kingdom.

In light of this, we discussed that perhaps we are accountable for whatever revelation God has given us about Himself and His Son. In that case, does someone need to hear the whole Gospel, or just have a belief in a One, True God. What is people just believe that Jesus died for their sins and that there is atonement in Him?

By this, I'm thinking of possible tribesmen or people who have never heard of Jesus. I'm sure you've all heard somewhere about God revealing Himself to chiefs or people who would have no other knowledge except for that.

On the same line as this, what constituted salvation in the OT? No one having heard of the name of Jesus. Didn't Jesus say no one comes to the Father but through Me?

So with all this, I finally ask: How much doctrinal error is too much? How about baby Christians? I think that there are many who have very unbiblical ideas about Jesus and God.
How this is answered could have great ramifications on the views of other religions.


_________________
Brad Wright

 2007/7/18 10:04Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: How much is too much?

Quote:

BradW wrote:
I was having a discussion with some friends last night that centered around what constitutes a saving faith.
Is it having the fear of God? faith that Jesus is the Son of God? that He died for our sins? that he rose from the dead? or belief that in Him we shall live?



Faith that if you repent of your sins (which means to stop sinning) that God will forgive you based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. True faith like this is followed by the repentance which it believes in.


Quote:
The big crux of the conversation was the thief on the cross.
Quote:
Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise

How much understanding did he have of the Gospel? Perhaps all he believed was that Jesus was going to come into His kingdom.



Remember that the thief said, "Remember me when you enter your kingdom." He had faith Jesus could do this. He also repented, otherwise he would not have been saved.

Quote:

In light of this, we discussed that perhaps we are accountable for whatever revelation God has given us about Himself and His Son.



Yes, that is true. Remember that all men know God though. He has given us nature and our conscience. All men know to repent.

Quote:

In that case, does someone need to hear the whole Gospel, or just have a belief in a One, True God. What is people just believe that Jesus died for their sins and that there is atonement in Him?

By this, I'm thinking of possible tribesmen or people who have never heard of Jesus. I'm sure you've all heard somewhere about God revealing Himself to chiefs or people who would have no other knowledge except for that.



1. Tribesmen do not go to hell for not hearing the name of Jesus. They go to hell because of their sin which they have not repented of.

2. If a tribesman follows what revelation God has given him, God will lead the man to Jesus. "If you seek Me and search for Me with all of your heart I will let you find Me."

Quote:
On the same line as this, what constituted salvation in the OT? No one having heard of the name of Jesus. Didn't Jesus say no one comes to the Father but through Me?



Ezekiel 33:11
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 18:21-23
But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Also notice that until Jesus died, the OT saints were not in heaven, but in a waiting place. After Christ's death they could enter heaven. (This is my understanding.)



So with all this, I finally ask: How much doctrinal error is too much? How about baby Christians? I think that there are many who have very unbiblical ideas about Jesus and God.
How this is answered could have great ramifications on the views of other religions.


A persons life will show the integrity of his doctrine. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit which comes from Christ will a man be able to live the life described in the New Testament. And Christ will not give His Spirit to any but His own.

I hope I've been able to answer some of your questions.

In love,
Nile


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Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/7/18 10:50Profile
BradW
Member



Joined: 2006/5/30
Posts: 94
Edmonton, AB, Canada

 Re:

Quote:
Remember that the thief said, "Remember me when you enter your kingdom." He had faith Jesus could do this. He also repented, otherwise he would not have been saved.


My point as well. We have to assume that he was given some understanding and believed that somehow, Jesus was going to come into His kingdom. His remark to the other thief also shows a humility and perhaps contrition of heart. Surely he submitted to Christ.
Quote:
Remember that all men know God though. He has given us nature and our conscience. All men know to repent.


Agreed.
Quote:
1. Tribesmen do not go to hell for not hearing the name of Jesus. They go to hell because of their sin which they have not repented of.

2. If a tribesman follows what revelation God has given him, God will lead the man to Jesus. "If you seek Me and search for Me with all of your heart I will let you find Me."


I thought of this during the night that it's the sin that destines people for hell and not their ignorance.

I didn't think of your second point but it is excellent.
Quote:
A persons life will show the integrity of his doctrine. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit which comes from Christ will a man be able to live the life described in the New Testament. And Christ will not give His Spirit to any but His own.



This is very good. Thank you.

I think of what Spurgeon said: "An unholy life is evidence of an unchanged heart; an unchanged heart is evidence of an unsaved soul."


_________________
Brad Wright

 2007/7/18 11:16Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7464
Mississippi

 Re:

Nile, I agree with you.

Brad, When I read your original post, the question that came to me is: what are you trying to avoid, or get out of and still get to heaven? Brother, methinks all of us are tempted with this concept, but the devil uses different language to camouflage the idea. We ask all those questions about others in other places in bygone eras, how was/is it like for them? To me the answer is found in Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." What really concerns me is the principle stated in 1 Peter 4:19: "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
If we take this seriously, it will not leave us much time to ponder the situations beyond our control, don't you think?

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/7/18 11:26Profile
BradW
Member



Joined: 2006/5/30
Posts: 94
Edmonton, AB, Canada

 Re:

Ginny,

Personally, I don't [i]think[/i] that I'm trying to cut corners, or just get a "ticket to heaven", or anything like that. I'm always examining myself to see that I'm in the faith...and repenting when there are deviations on my part.

In the discussion that we had where this arose, we are simply exploring concepts and probing our thoughts to encourage us to really get into and study the Bible.

I am fully aware of the need for repentance and the turning away from ALL sin in my life and, by God's grace only, He is bringing me more and more into the knowledge of the exceeding sinfulness of sin.

Quote:
1 Peter 4:19: "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
If we take this seriously, it will not leave us much time to ponder the situations beyond our control, don't you think?



After I got home yesterday, I read Titus 3:9
Quote:
But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless



I'm now considering not attending these meetings or at least going in with a much different attitude. I think that if we really followed this scripture, we would have a lot less division in the church.

Thank you for your concern.

Blessings,

EDIT: I should mention that in the discussions, there is no personal contention between the brothers that attend. We are all very good friends and are simply challenging each other to think about what we truly believe and why.

:-)


_________________
Brad Wright

 2007/7/18 11:43Profile









 Re:

Amen brother,
Eph 2:2-4

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
KJV

 2007/7/18 11:58
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re: How much is too much?

Quote:
The big crux of the conversation was the thief on the cross.



The thief on the cross believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and was counted righteous for that faith. At that time, the Gospel in its fullness had not been revealed, there was no New testament, thus any who were "saved" were done so on the basis of their faith. Christ said that this faith was God given-
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, [b]Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.[/b]
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, [b]Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.[/b]

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Quote:
By this, I'm thinking of possible tribesmen or people who have never heard of Jesus. I'm sure you've all heard somewhere about God revealing Himself to chiefs or people who would have no other knowledge except for that.



I am sure you are familiar with this verse-
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Sadly many rest on the fact that God will reveal Himself to whom he will, but the problem with this thinking is that man will corrupt that revelation. Look at the first two chapters of Romans, and see how the revelation in creation is perverted by men who seek to create their own gods, and their own righteousness before God.

Natural revelation is not enough to save man, as it can only make him aware of a Creator. But then man intuitively knows that his life is wrong, he lies, he steals etc. then he tries to please his idea of god by the Law, which we know that no flesh can be justified by. So here is where Paul comes to front of the matter, and says-
Romans 10:14 [b]How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?[/b] and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

See men know they are not right with their Creator, but they also have no means to be right apart from the work of Christ. So I would say that sadly, a man who had never heard the Gospel would not be in Heaven regardless of all his effort to be right before God, and this should create a burden for us to share the Gospel with all.

Now since I am of the Reformed thought, I would also suggest that God's elect will never perish, thus if a man in the middle of nowhere is one of the elect, he will be saved. God will move Heaven and Earth to save that man because He has loved him with an everlasting love.

Quote:
On the same line as this, what constituted salvation in the OT? No one having heard of the name of Jesus. Didn't Jesus say no one comes to the Father but through Me?



Consider this verse-
Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

What was the Gospel that was preached to them? Look back at genesis 3:15
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Of course the seed of the woman would be Christ, then God would through the history of Israel unfold more and more about this "seed" or the Christ, through the sacrifical system, through the mouths of the Prophets etc.

I am sure the Jews were keenly aware of Isaiah 53
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

The Jewish people knew that they needed righteousness before God, but they went about it in the strength of their flesh, and through the Law, thus we can understand the shock when christ told the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector, and of the two went away justified(Luke 18:10-13).

In all of this, we must remember that when Christ walked the Earth, there was no NT, the Gospel waas still shadowy, and not until the Epistles do we begin to see the unfolding of the grandeur of the Gospel, and its effects upon God's people.

Good topic by the way, blessings to you all:-D


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patrick heaviside

 2007/7/18 13:16Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re:

Quote:
God will move Heaven and Earth to save that man because He has loved him with an everlasting love.



God loves everyone with an everlasting love!


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/7/18 13:30Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7464
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
EDIT: I should mention that in the discussions, there is no personal contention between the brothers that attend. We are all very good friends and are simply challenging each other to think about what we truly believe and why.



Good for you, Brad.

The reason I voiced my concern is because I have heard thse issues discussed and people can get so very serious about it. Seems to me there are more serious subjects one needs to be more concerned about.

Blessings,
ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2007/7/18 22:38Profile





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