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May 29, 2007

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“would rather go to hell than go to heaven and worship a megalomaniacal tyrant”

Wow, I don't think I've heard it expressed quite so boldly before. Unfortunately, unless they have a change of heart, people like that will get exactly their wish.

Such a response shows the rebellion that is such a natural part of the human heart - we will not have *anyone* telling us what to do and how to live, and anyone who dares to - including and most especially God - will receive our wrath.

There are many adherents of Milton out there.

point well taken..The Bible is full of comparisons and it is good for us to take note. The comparison of the husband loving his wife as God loves the church..It is a beautiful way of showing an amazing truth so that we can understand...As for an atheistic mind, one needs to pray for their eyes to be open to the truth....

I missed the chapter where Hitchens explains why megalomania is wrong. Because I have learned from The Chris not to accept anything without evidence, I am not going to take merely his word for it. And given The Chris' opposition to megalomania, I am pretty sure he wouldn't want me to take his word for it. After all, if God is not great, neither is The Chris.

Good morning all,
This is why I'm so thankful for a church and staff that trains us to ' hear with an ear leaning towards obedience.' One of the keys to being a successful Christian is learning how to be under authority. In fact if you were to have to summarize the key characteristic of Jesus, it was submission to authority. Buy the way, the higher one is in authority, the higher the authority they are accountable to.
We as Christians should take this very seriously. The Bible says we are to be subject to the governing authorities. We are to pray for them, and be engaged in a legal and respectful manner, understanding that they are God's ministers. Yes even Sadam was God's minister. He will be held accountable for his stewardship of his ministry. Now before you get your nose out of shape, God said that He can and will appoint the basest of men to rule over us---- if He needs to. Just remember that, 'Christian', the next time you decide to stay home from the polls just because you aren't happy with the candidate.
As for Kelly, we need to understand that she is in complete darkness. She has knowledge and wisdom, but is totally void of understanding. She has no concept of what Jesus was speaking to when He called it, 'the outer darkness'. The absolute and complete dispare awaiting those who reject Christ.
In one of Greg's commentaries, he used the term moment by moment. When we refer to 'an eternity in total seperation', we loose sight of the fact that the seperated soul will experience that total issolation one moment at a time. They infact will experience an eternity of total and utter dispare in one moment, then move on to that same exact total and utter despare in the next moment and the next, and next---------for enternity! They also will know with absolute clarity, that Jesus was right, that they rejected Him, that their punishment is just, and here's the worst torment of all; that the enternal torment they are suffering is totally needless. If they would have surrendered their pride and accepted the simple and plain offer God extended to them, they would be in His presence and experiencing all that go's with that----moment by moment for eternity.
Here's the bottom line. Instead of focusing on her circumstances, we need to be accutely aware of her 'condition', which is lost.
Be very, very careful of your words. Read Psalm 39. Take special note of the opening verses. How seriously you take that advice may determine Kelly's eternity.
Finally I noticed something about how Jesus handled two such cituations. The adultress brought to Him in the temple, and the Samaratan women at the well. He addressed their circumstances 'briefely', but didn't dwell on it. He made sure they knew God hadn't changed His mind about sin. In the temple He merely said 'sin no more'. But with the woman at the well we get a better sense of His priorities. He draws her attention to her circumstances, five former husbands and now living with a man not her husband. Then He completely drops the subject, and in the entire rest of the discourse He introduces her to her Savior and the rest of the town got saved too. Her response to His knowledge of her circumstances, shows the spirit was convicting her at some level. Jesus was more concerned with Her immediate condition though; she was in need of her Savior.Kelly is in the exact same condition at this moment. What should our priorities be then concerning her.

P.S.
I was in the same frame of mind that Kelly expressed. ' Sure it might be a little warm, but we'll party hardy!', that hell among other things means total isolation wasn't even a thought. Now that I know the Truth, it scares me to death to think that the way I say something might harden a 'Kelly's', heart. The message of the cross is offensive,truth must be spoken, but not in an offensive manner. All of our conditions were the same at one time. And in case we forget, Satan doesn't rule hell, God does. Satan's torment will be the worst of all!

Despite the best efforts of the Bible writers, dressing spiritual truths in concrete or visible terms always falls short. We cannot fully grasp the truths of God or the afterlife. For example, take the "streets of gold" mentioned in Scripture. Why do we need streets in Heaven? Why gold...because it's a rare commodity on Earth? Why not silver, asphalt, or Formica?

Similarly, trying to frame God in human terms always reduces Him to just a more powerful version of ourselves, for better or worse.

Why do we need streets in heaven? Hmm... Maybe to walk on?

I like how John Piper "spins" the many exhortations in the Bible to praise God: they're not commands from God's mouth; they're outpourings of affection from people who are in love with God. He points out that most of those exhortations come from people themselves in the midst of praise, not dictating commandments (the exceptions rarely ask for high praise, but rather _exclusive_ praise).

He claims that a heart full of affection will naturally pour that affection out by asking others to share it verbally. ("Wasn't that a great movie?" "Isn't she the most beautiful ever?")

Quote: "Why do we need streets in heaven? Hmm... Maybe to walk on?"

But streets are for autos and carriages...!

Again, you are putting an Earthly picture on a spiritual place. Why walk? Won't we be able to appear and disappear anywhere we want at will? Heaven is not like Earth. It does no good to try and frame it that way.

Well according to John, "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth"(Rev 21:1). If the word "earth" means anything at all then...

Also we will have resurrected bodies like Jesus', right? Didnt Jesus also walk, and eat, and was touched? As the Scriptures say,

"Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence." Luke 24:36-43

I have a question, why is it that Christians all of sudden think that God gave up on His original plan (physical earth, physical bodies, animals, trees etc)? I see no reason to think this way.

There is a very interesting book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn that talks about this. I definitely recommend it brother!

It's just that when I begin to literalize Heaven, one thing leads to another and it eventually ends up being just a higher version of Earth. For example, where do those golden streets lead to? What lines those streets? Are they homes? What are resurrected people doing in those homes? Do the streets have gutters? Storm drains?

I like to think that whatever awaits us, we cannot conceive of it. But rest assured it will be far greater than we can imagine, and certainly not mundane.

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