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Even Jesus recognized that distinction. He distinguished between those who are given much and others. We know He does not require much from those only given little.
This is why I believe Paul said for “the Jew first” because they were given the greater opportunity, they received the greater accountability.
Alan and Dina Martin
| 2020/5/18 20:39||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: |
What does it mean to disobey the gospel of God?
The thought came to mind, was the gospel of God preached during Noah's time, and throughout OT history even to the Gentiles?
Being that the term 'gospel of God' essentially means 'message of God,' I'd argue yes, the message of God has been preached throughout mankind's history, one way or another, to one degree or another, leaving all men without excuse for their rebellion against God.
I know that many times we just think of the gospel message in terms of the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. However, we know that even before Christ died and rose the Gospel message was being preached by John the baptist and by the Apostles and disciples.
In Revelation 14:6-7 it says, "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Notice that there is no mention there of our Lord's atoning death or His resurrection, but it's still called the everlasting gospel; because it's a message from God whereby He's warning humanity to repent before it's too late. For those who take heed, it is good news indeed, but for those who refuse to listen it is bad news.
| 2020/5/18 23:24||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: |
The Lord has said in the OT that His own people ignored His offers of mercy and commands for repentance because of their stubborn evil hearts. I think it is fair to infer that the same is true for anyone to whom God offers mercy or commands repentance and they refuse. I don't think there is Bible warrant to assume that anyone knows intuitively that they need to repent and thereby they will be given mercy.
According to Romans 1:20, God has revealed His eternal power and Godhead to all people throughout all time, leaving all without excuse should they continue to suppress His truth in their unrighteousness.
In Romans 2:4 we read that the goodness of God is intended to lead sinners to repentance. What is that goodness which is shown to all people? Many things, from life itself and every breath, to every moment of health enjoyed, to every piece of food on the table, to every piece of clothing on the back, to the sunshine, the rain, etc. etc. Everyone knows all these things come from the hand of a loving and merciful Creator.
So besides knowing that He is Almighty and everlasting, all know that He is also good. That’s why they are without excuse if they reject Him. Not because they don’t know Him, but because they do; albeit not intimately unto salvation until they repent.
They might throw themselves to God's mercy like the Nineveh people did "hoping" He might be merciful once they repented but there is no confidence in such hope, only a "perhaps". There is no law of mercy and I think there is some confusion about that. That is Biblical. No inference necessary.
One of the great truths pervasive through the Bible is that God treats people differently according to His own will and discretion when it comes to mercy. You might as well buy your Bible with erasable ink in order to avoid that.
The Biblical data shows that there is a certain “law” of God whereby He is “bound” to respond in mercy to every person that throws himself or herself upon His mercy. That’s not to say He is bound to forgive sinners based on any goodness in them, but based on His own promise to forgive all who thrust themselves on His mercy in repentance, based on who He is, His character, which He has revealed in His Word. So many scriptures attest to that truth. These are just a few:
“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.”-Psalm 86:5
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”-Proverbs 28:13
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”-Isaiah 1:18-20
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”-Isaiah 55:7
“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”-Romans 10:13
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:9
| 2020/5/19 1:46||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: |
When Moses met with God and asked Him to show Moses "his goodness", this is what God said about His goodness:
And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. - Exodus 33:19
In context, God was about to show redemption mercy to the people of Israel and not show the same mercy to the people of Egypt. This extension of mercy, great mercy, was not because of something "good' in His people. God said He chose them in spite of the fact that they were rebellious and stiff necked. Mercy from God is not because of some goodness in men. This prime text on mercy and God's goodness should be more than sufficient to make that case.
I think there may be a confusing of God’s choosing all of Israel for “service” with God’s choosing of the remnant within Israel for eternal salvation. We know that not all those that were chosen to inherit the promised land were saved eternally, but only the remnant within Israel.
I want to address the Lord’s statement, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” I believe God is simply saying there, “If I choose to show mercy to anyone on my terms that is my prerogative. If I choose not to destroy any sinners when I can rightly do so if I wanted, that’s my sovereign choice.”
Now, that can have a double application, one being earthly and/or temporal, and the other being spiritual and/or eternal. I’ll try to explain.
In the first place, God chose Israel for service and delivered her from the hands of her pagan enemies even though she didn’t deserve it. God delivered them from temporal destruction even though many of them weren’t saved from their sins. That’s what I mean by all of them experiencing a temporal, earthly salvation. They were sovereignly chosen by God for service as a nation.
In the second place, God can grant mercy, grace and eternal salvation to guilty sinners if He so chooses to do so upon His terms. And He has made plain to us throughout Scripture what those terms are, namely repentance and faith. I believe He’s essentially saying, “If I want to forgive guilty sinners upon their repentance and faith I can freely do so, that’s my prerogative.” But that’s different from Him saying that He’s withholding forgiveness from certain sinners for no apparent reason.
| 2020/5/19 2:39||Profile|
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God does call Israel His servant. For sure. But I think there is a lot more God says about Israel ( the people ) in addition to that. For one example He calls them a special treasured people out of all the nations :
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt”
They are His special treasure.
Elsewhere they are the apple of His eye.
Also, His beloved wife.
Also, His sons and daughters.
These references and more indicate a covenant relationship that is much more intimate, loving, personal and deeper than that He chose to have with any other people on earth.
So when God chooses to have mercy on Israel with all the blessings, abundance, protection, instruction, promises and His very daily presence, He is expressing a temporal and most exceeding choice of Israel, love of Israel the people, that transcends by far the other nations.
Finally, and maybe the greatest blessing to Israel, is that they were called to become holy as He is holy so that they could declare and display to the nations the character, divine nature and glory of God in and through themselves. Much the same as today as we become more like Jesus and declare and display His glory to the nations thus fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant to be a blessing to the nations.
But, I think Scripture would confirm it is understating the mercy shown to Israel by God's special blessing to them to describe their covenant relationship ( special to them and not others) as only servants and otherwise make them no different in intended blessing, grace and mercy than that offered to or give to the other nations.
A new thing was done for the Gentiles when Christ came. Jesus Himself said that and He almost got thrown off a cliff for it. But the Scripture is clear that the Gentiles are a wild branch grafted in. The tree has always been Christ, true Israel.
| 2020/5/19 3:53||Profile|
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//Everyone knows all these things come from the hand of a loving and merciful Creator. //
Christians far too often quote Romans chapter 1 to condemn most of humanity to hell because God made it evident He exists by the things He created. Therefore, they conclude, all humans who do not accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are without excuse.
But this line of reasoning is simply ridiculous . Trees and starry night skies and beautiful sunsets do not lead one to the only name under heaven by which we must be saved. Believing there is a god, believing there are supernatural forces at work in nature does not bring a person to Jesus.
I know what Paul wrote in Romans 1, but that is the problem with reading someone else’s mail, especially when the writer is no longer around— we can’t ask him questions about what he exactly meant. For example, Jesus said: “No one can come to Son unless the Father draws him.” (John 6:14)
And as stated above “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Was Paul saying that primitive men were told about Jesus by the pretty flowers? We don’t know because he doesn’t tell us, and Rom 1 must be read in conjunction with the rest of scripture.
| 2020/5/19 7:45||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
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Hi Todd, in my comments on Romans 1 I never once said that everyone knows the name of Jesus, but that everyone has always known certain basic things about who God is. So respectfully, your reply is a straw man.
| 2020/5/19 9:27||Profile|
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Sorry Oracio - I did not mean to imply that you specifically say this.
But nonetheless the great majority of Christians do.
Your argument seems to be that if a person who is far removed from any true gospel influence obeys the light he is given, he will be led to Jesus. That is something that is easy to say but hard to prove.
Maybe that’s not your position — if not I apologize.
| 2020/5/19 9:43||Profile|
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Pondering your concerns, two passages came to mind.
I hope they will be of some benefit to you, even if they do not answer or address all that is in your heart
What the Lord spoke to Jonah reveals His heart - for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. This is what the Lord said to the prophet -
" And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left."
Another passage from Matthew 10 -
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
These two passages express God's general concern for men.
I would not presume to understand how God deals with all men, but I will take Him at His word that He desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.
I assume you also trust His heart and character to judge righteously. I sense that your difficulty is with the theological suppositions of men. There are certain matters too weighty for us, and we do well to remember the words of David - "I have made my soul as a little child".
Children trust their Father - we simply need to trust our Father to do what is right.
Alan and Dina Martin
| 2020/5/19 9:47||Profile|
| Re: Mak|
God's judgments also destroy evil doers, everyone whose name was not found written in the lamb's book of life.
ALL descendants of Adam are evil, NONE excepted.
Rom. 3:9 –
……… both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
Ps. 14:2-3 –
The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
That includes YOU. And I.
Our evil selves must be destroyed. Our evil selves were destroyed. We were and are continually crucified with Christ.
Gal. 2:20 –
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Rom. 6:3 –
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
And likewise, the evil self in every person not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life must be destroyed. Just like you and I.
The second death is not to teach men righteousness, but to annihilate the presence of evil from God's new heaven and earth. This will be the ultimate victory in the destruction of the work of Satan.
The question is: What is the second death.
I must say there are many things in the Bible that I do not fully understand. Based on my present limited understanding, this is how I see it:
I think we all agree that the first death is the death of the outward physical man. It grows old and dies when it loses its physical life. Death is really the loss of life. Man’s physical body is dust and returns to dust, just like the animals on earth.
But God made man infinitely higher than animals. Although God made man out of the dust of the ground, He made man in His own image and breathed His own breath into man and man became a living soul (Gen. 1:26,27, 2:7). Man has an outward earthly body and an inner eternal soul.
Eccl. 3:11 –
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
I believe that Adam, before his fall, being in the image of God, actually had God’s own life in him. We know from the New Testament that eternal life is the life in Christ, the great and eternal I AM.
1 John 5:11-12 –
And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
When Adam sinned, as God warned him, he died. His soul died. It did not become non-existent. It will eternally exist. But it lost God’s light and life and peace and joy and sunk into darkness and death and torment.
And in Adam, ALL die.
While we still have our earthly life, amidst our toils and sorrows and troubles, we still have earthly comforts and pleasures and the warmth and light of the sun. But when our earthly life is over, these will be gone, and, our souls will be left in a state of total darkness and torment without the life and light of Christ. This, I now consider, is the second death. It is the eternal existence of torment without the peace and joy and wonders of God’s light and life.
Those who are saved in Christ now will not be hurt by the second death (Rev. 2:11) because they have already passed out of death into life (John 5:24).
There are now 2 possibilities for the rest of mankind:
(1) God will leave them eternally in the torment of the second death, OR,
(2) Because of God’s infinite love and mercy, there will be universal restoration and all men will be saved by God’s amazing grace.
I am inclined to believe in universal restoration. There are ample scriptures to support this.
1 Cor. 15:26 —
The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
This will be the ultimate victory in the destruction of the work of Satan.
added: Not all are IN Christ - but YES - all who are IN Christ will be made alive.
Scripture does not say: “all who are IN Christ will be made alive”
Scripture says: “In Christ all are made alive.
| 2020/5/19 10:20||Profile|