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« What Will Heaven Be Like? | Main | Whims of Judges »

November 23, 2007

Comments

I have great respect and admiration for Dennis Prager as I've enjoyed many hours of him on talk radio. He's respectful of his guests, well articulate, and highly intelligent.

One thing I've always wondered though is if he's weighed the argument for Christ and what his counter-arguments are against faith in Christ.

I would love to see Dennis as a guest on Greg's show to drill into the aforementioned topic and related topics. Both men are great thinkers and I believe the conversation would be fascinating!

I've heard Dennis Prager interviewed on the subject (a long time ago -- I don't remember by whom or when).

As I recall, he simply couldn't get his mind around the concept that sinners -- especially heinous ones like murderers and child molesters -- could be forgiven and saved by God's grace. To him, that was offensive and unthinkable.

A gem from Schaeffer:

"Romans 3:26 is a verse that we tend to pass by too quickly in the midst of the structure of the first three chapters of Romans, which chapters tell us first why man is lost, and then the solution in the propitiatory death of Jesus Christ. At this point Paul can say: 'that he himself might be just and YET (the force of the Greek construction) the justifier of him who has faith on Jesus'. On the one hand, because of the infinite value of Christ's death, God does not have to surrender His absolutely holy character; and on the other, He does not have to violate man's significance in order for him to be able to pardon guilt and restore man's broken relationship to Himself. This is the very opposite of the denial of antithesis and significance in modern man's leap into the dark, which says that somehow we must believe without reason that God is love. A moral absolute remains, and yet there is a solution to man's dilemma."

-the God Who is There, p. 106

I think Dennis Prager is a perfect example of an intellectually honest man who doesn't have the spirit of God. In his reasoning, the first principle or presupposition is that the scriptures are not reliable, so he makes up his own rules about God's ways and judgements. I wouldn't want to debate him, his logic is solid but there is no common ground that he would accept as true until he is brought to a morally honest place to see that his judgements leave no man with any hope.

His scale of good deeds vs. evil deeds will work out ok with him and for him in his own moral judgement standard as he reasons it's ok based on his own moral judgement. Everyone who reasons this way is barely on the good side of that tpye of scale. This is common to man without the spirit of God, but does not reconcile with the revealed judgement found in Word of God.

Aaron, thanks for that gem.

Brad B

I know who will make it to heaven,

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of embryos and little kids.

“Estimations of chemical pregnancies or unrecognized pregnancies that are lost can be as high as 50-75%”
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

- because the vast majority of humans who have ever lived on earth died before leaving the toddler stage.

If you believe the “pagan babies” (as my mom’s church used to call them) go to heaven, then heaven is mostly populated with babies.

If you believe the “pagan babies” go to hell, then hell is mostly populated with babies.

All I have to say is that would be some accounting system I would need to track al the bad vs good. Can you imagine the burden Prager must put himself through trying to tally up his "good"? But this view goes back to people relying in their own goodness to get them to heaven.

But just like every other religion its all about me and nothing about God. Who gets the glory in Prager's world view? Himself no one else. It is a man centered religion like everything besides true Christianity.

I thank Jesus for what he has done. If I had to be "good" enough I should just throw in the towel because it isn't happening. All I need to do is look at the 10 commandments and see where I am at according to God's standard of "good". I am out but thank heavens for Christ.

I will keep the Romans theme going 5:12-21

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Can someone answer Tony's question? It is actually a serious consideration.

I don't think merely fulfilling one's moral requirements can merit anything. After all, you've only done what you were supposed to do. So I don't think merely living a mostly moral life could undo any desert of punishment for violating a few of your moral requirements.

But what about acts that go above and beyond the call of duty? If justice demands punishment for wrongdoing, then does justice also demand reward for going beyond the call of duty? If so, couldn't a reward include sparing somebody some of the punishment they deserve? If not, then is it possible for people who suffer eternal damnation for their sins to also recieve some reward for their supererogatory acts? Would it be a miscarriage of justice if they didn't?

Alan wrote,

"Can someone answer Tony's question? It is actually a serious consideration."

Well, C.S. Lewis wrote in Screwtape Letters (though you can't take everything Screwtape says at face value) that what we consider a normal human life (that is, life that survives infancy) is actually a rare exception.

So it is at least possible that Tony is exactly right. Heaven is mostly populated by those who didn't live to see the age of accountability.

I heard the Prager radio segment and cringed through the whole thing. As I consider my own good vs. evil I'm left embarrassed at the bad I've done compared to the good. Can you imagine standing before a perfect, good God and say, "Step aside, I've earned my way into heaven."

Part of why I find such relief in the Christian economy is the realization since I'm a youth that the bad things I've done don't go away no matter how many good things I do. What is Prager's judgment for a murderer like King David? How many times do I have to help and old lady across the street to make up for a murder? ...or for a soul-crushing insult to a person for that matter?

Prager correctly understands the plight of man that we have done bad things and want to be good. Jews do well with general revelation. It's the solution that's pretty anemic and insufficient when any man tries to act on that solution.

...and Alan, I've wondered if the dead unborn weren't given life because they couldn't have chosen Christ under any circumstances. Maybe you and I were given life because we could or would. We can only speculate.

If those who die before the age of accountability indeed get automatically to Heaven, then it is the SAFE option to die that way. But as with nearly all safe options, it doesn't give the best results.

We who have survived past that age and have been born again, learn to know God in a situation that will never, through all infinity, happen again. There will never be another world of suffering.

Therefore we will know something of God that the others cannot ever know. This is the risky option, that can either lead to ultimate victory or ultimate defeat. Our faith will have been tested, whereas theirs will forever remain untested.

Pardon the spam, but that lead to an afterthought.

What use should we make of this life then? Well, we shall have plenty of time to praise God, sing hymns, be with other Christians and generally have fun afterwards.

But the one thing that we cannot do after we die is suffer. That opportunity might even end tomorrow. So that is the most important thing to take away from this world. Suffer, suffer and suffer some more.

But not for frivolous causes or it will not do any good. Rather, we should choose the most dangerous ways to serve Christ, and maybe he would deem us worthy to suffer for him then.

[21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
[22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

I wonder what the will of God is, which I must do to enter into the kingdom of heaven?
We Christian revolutionaries do not believe that the kingdom of heaven is a reward. The kingdom of heaven is just one possible outcome of our free will. This possible outcome (the kingdom of heaven) is the covenant Jesus delivered to us.

[28] Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
[29] But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

We Christian revolutionaries believe that with the death of Jesus all sins were forgiven unto the sons of men. The resurrection was proof of the covenant. So you see Tony all the souls created since the death of Jesus were sealed from sin and only the individual that carries that soul can break the seal. Babies and children, who have not had the time to break the seal or learn the will of God, are the only souls that are assured to receive the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. God had to walk on this planet as Jesus to rectify a great deception, the deception of original sin. We may not be as good as God, but the image we carry within us was never evil. I sure hope that is not blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, one day I will find out. Until then I can live in the creation without the fear of punishment for sins. I can seek the will of God, not in search of a reward but to fulfill the purpose of creation.

Solrev,

If the image inside you was never evil why do you need a savior?

Can you also cite some scripture for your theology above I would be curious where you draw your conclusions. If I take what you have to say then the greatest gift I could give my three young boys 6 and under is a bullet in the head to make sure they go to heaven? That is some theology you got going on there. I really want to see the scripture to support it. Thanks

Can you also let me know what it means we reap what we sow? You might want to read the Old Testament and find out how much God hates your sin.

I think Tony is thankful for your theology because he can go live his life like hell and still be saved?

Wes

"Can someone answer Tony's question? It is actually a serious consideration."

Please, dont make me laugh.

Brad B

"Can someone answer Tony's question? It is actually a serious consideration."

Sure, Alan, if you'll tell me what it feels like to be a bat. Speculation's fun, but never more than speculation.

Wes

My soul was created in the image of God. I carry that soul through the dimension of the flush and it is my choice, if I deliver my soul to God upon the death of the flush. I was given free will in the garden. The image of my God is not evil. It is written that your sins shall be forgiven. It is also written that for your soul to enter the dimension of God you must do the will of God. It is no longer about sin (the negative) the question is what is the will of God (the positive)? Moses gave you some do not commandments which many have interpreted as sins not to be committed. Jesus gave you some do commandments so you would know and do the will of God. One of those commandments was to allow the children to come unto Jesus so that they to could learn the will of God. The lessons of the time of Moses are not the lessons of your time. It is written that as you sow so shall you reap, it is also written that the more that you hear the more that is expected of you. Much of what you believe did not come from scripture it came from the reformation. Much of what I believe does not come from the reformation it comes from the revolution. There was a time of scripture, there was a time of reformation, there is a time of revolution, and the whole is greater than the some of the parts. Seek and you will find, the Holy Spirit will provide the divine inspiration through revelations or you can just believe what ever you hear, you have free will. The grace of God is given based on how well you applied what you did hear. How well you apply your understanding of God in your life is always a battle. The brothers of Islam call this Jihad. The brothers of Islam only a peacemaker would say that.

"or for a soul-crushing insult to a person for that matter?"

Hummm. : )

Brad B, Aaron,

It's not speculation at all.

It's a statistical observation.

The vast majority of people die before the age of accountability.

So, depending on how you read the scripture, either heaven is full of babies, or hell is full of babies.

Not to mention the fate of some retarded adults, who have no capacity to understand what jesus is.

So the answer to this question is, for every woman who has ever had a misscarriage (which is probably about 80% of all females), pretty damn important.

Wes,

"I think Tony is thankful for your theology because he can go live his life like hell and still be saved?"


Whoooo Hoooooooooooo! ! ! !

I agree with you Tony.

The question you raise is fundamental to any theology especially if one accepts a doctrine of original sin or sin inherited from Adam or that the creation is just an evil place to be born into so we are born evil, etc. Catholicism handles this question with the concept of purgatory, an intermediate place between the dimension of the flush and the dimension of God. During this stay in purgatory, the souls are purified and redeemed. There are references to prayers for the dead in both the old and new testaments.

Fire and brimstone Protestants send all the dead directly to hell, which have not been repentant and saved. Protestants that are more tolerant let the grace of God settle the question. Christian revolutionaries reject the concept of original sin all together. The soul that was created in the blink of an eye, long before the flush is a viable life form, was created in the image of God. That soul is sealed in God. Until the flush is a viable life form and has obtained the knowledge of good and evil and free will the seal cannot be broken. At some point in time, each one of us has to go down the path of awareness that Adam and Eve followed.

I guess somewhere in all the theologies floating around, there is the truth and nothing but the truth. So pick one or make up your own and let God be the judge. Have a little faith and practice what you preach, but be careful because you can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant, so choose wisely grasshopper.

The idea of heaven and hell sickens me more than any other religious idea. I like the idea that the punishment should fit the crime, and eternal punishment just doesn't fit any crime, especially one that most of the world doesn't even know their committing! "Welcome to hell Mohamed, you're here because you didn't believe in Jesus" "Who's Jesus?" How is that just? How do you live with that? Do you make up some loophole for them to soothe your conscience?

I'm agnostic, so I don't claim to know anything, no one does. But if there is a powerful, wise and just being watching over us who is going to give us an afterlife, my guess is that hell would be temporary, like Dante's purgatory, justice would be served, the law of karma satisfied, people would learn why the things they did were wrong, and then things would move on. Only a truly twisted individual would want to punish someone forever.

solrev,

do-it-yourself religion based on religious pluralism? Isn't that kind of like using a shovel to eat spaghetti? Impractical and dangerous.

"I'm agnostic, so I don't claim to know anything, no one does."

Does this sound like denying the truth thrice before....
Anyways, you make three distinctive claims about what you know in just that sentence. You claim that you are agnostic...so, you claim this knowledge in your denial of knowledge. You claim to know that "you don't know anything", yet another claim to knowledge. Then you make yet another claim to know that no one knows anything. Three distinct claims to having knowledge and at the same time insisting you don't. You managed to squeeze in, three self-refutations to your claim in one sentence...well, at least you know how to do that. Steve, you are absolutely amazing and much more knowledgeable than you give yourself credit for. Sadly, wisdom doesn't seem to be part of the package though.

Tony,

>>So, depending on how you read the scripture, either heaven is full of babies, or hell is full of babies.

Right, and therein lies the speculation, which was my point.

Hi Tony, to me you are a little like the boy who cried wolf too many times. I cant fault you for asking logical questions, hey I dont even dispute that your latest question is logica--based on how you see the world. But, ah the but.. you have demonstrated that you'd rather be mischievous than to seek to answer tough questions. You'd rather post questions and links where the fringe or rare event is to set the tone for all cases. It's bad practice, but you do it out of a spirit of mischief. It's apparent in your humor which you've shared over the years, so if you disagree, something isn't adding up.

I have never gotten the sense that you are willing to settle for good answers even though they are not universal to the nth degree. This is an impossible standard for the rest of your life too, but when it comes to the value of human life it's either 100 percent or nothing with you, it seems. So, when you ask above about all of the *natural* failures to complete, I see a mischievous question not worthy of my time. I feel it's wasted time at this point.

Brad B

"Sadly, wisdom doesn't seem to be part of the package though."

Awe, why not? How do you define wisdom? Isn't it that kind of knowledge that comes from lots of experience? I think considering the amount of time and effort I've spent pondering, researching and striving to understand religion and philosophy I can say I'm at least a little "wise" on the subject. Every religion and philosophy will make a very strong case for itself, but when it comes to the afterlife there's just no evidence for it. Very interesting near death experiences, but no evidence. I certainly hope there's an afterlife, that my existence will be more than just a memory, but I'm not counting on it. The idea that there might not be an afterlife does not make me sad or suicidal, it encourages me to make the most of the life I have.

I listened to Dennis Prager all day today, I don't agree with everything he says, but I love his tone and fairly open minded approach to topics. It's nice to hear someone who knows that there's a difference between what you can know by evidence and discuss logically and what you can only know by having faith. It would be nice to hear more people here admitting that there's a point where reason cannot account for everything and faith takes over.

Steve -
'The idea of heaven and hell sickens me more than any other religious idea.'

Take it up with Jesus, then. It's not like Christians made it up out of thin air. It is what the Bible teaches, from beginning to end.

'I like the idea that the punishment should fit the crime, and eternal punishment just doesn't fit any crime, especially one that most of the world doesn't even know their committing!

People know when they are doing something wrong. It's called the conscience.

The standard for heaven is God's standard, not one that you or I make up. And God's standard is perfection. Which therefore means the slightest variation from that makes us guilty. Do you know anyone who has ALWAYS been perfect? I sure don't. And I am sure not that person!

Like I said, there is not a person on the face of the earth - past, present or future - that doesn't have a conscience. We know we are sinners. We all need a Savior. And there are plenty of testimonies from people in closed off countries where the name of Jesus Christ is not known (because it is illegal to do so), and yet somehow or other Jesus finds these folks. Through a missionary, through a radio program, through a book, through dreams, even!

And yet people such as yourself, who have all the access and opportunity in the world to learn who Jesus is and learn why he came to theh world - you refuse it. Even when you come to a website like this which gives you TONS of information and evidence for the fact that Jesus Christ is exactly who he claimed to be.

That's the saddest thing of all.

***

'I'm agnostic, so I don't claim to know anything, no one does.'

Oh, really? As Louis Kuhelj said quite eloquently, you sure make a lot of claims of knowledge!

"Prager believes he's done more good than bad, but don't all the people he's harmed deserve payment regardless of the other good deeds he's done?"

I thought this was a strange comment if is accurately reflects what Dennis Prager things. After all, why does he get to decide how bad his actions are ? Even if it was true what he said (which I disagree with anyway) surely it is up to the victim of his wrong doing to evaluate the amount of suffering and harm caused not the victimiser.

Brad P,

>> “You'd rather post questions and links where the fringe or rare event is to set the tone for all cases.”

Miscarriages = 50%-75% - it’s not a rare event. That’s the majority. The majority of people who faced god’s judgment were embryos.

>> “I have never gotten the sense that you are willing to settle for good answers even though they are not universal to the nth degree.”

When it comes to questions of God, I am inclined to accept “universal” answers because God is universal.

>> I see a mischievous question not worthy of my time. I feel it's wasted time at this point.

Blogs are 99% for bloviating and and wasting time. Did you think blog commenting was about anything else?

"Blogs are 99% for bloviating and and wasting time. Did you think blog commenting was about anything else?"

I am not certain on where Tony is coming from with his original post.

But if we're wasting time here, perhaps the next question to take up is the old medieval favorite "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?".

It appears that some questions are asked just to see how many knots others can get tied up in attempting an answer.

If you fold a piece of paper in half 300 times, how tall will it be?

ANSWER: It will be taller than the Matterhorn.

oops - i meant fold it 30 times

Tony said: "I know who will make it to heaven,

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of embryos and little kids."

Very possibly, but do you have any biblical reason for saying this?

Think on Jesus' answer to the Sadducees in Mark 12: 18-27 (or Mt. 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-38. Then review Wes' verses from Romans 5:14-21.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to conclude that these souls are all like the angels in heaven.

But I think you are implying that the idea is preposterous. Is that so? I don't see a reason why a Christian must think that though.

Markku,
Another thing you won't be doing in heaven besides suffering is evangelizing!

Steve said: ""Welcome to hell Mohamed, you're here because you didn't believe in Jesus" "Who's Jesus?" How is that just? How do you live with that? Do you make up some loophole for them to soothe your conscience?"

Greg Koukl has made the point that you are not in hell because you don't belive in Jesus. You are in hell because you are guilty of sin. Jesus has offered a way out of your sin. Will you take it?

William wrote,

"Markku,
Another thing you won't be doing in heaven besides suffering is evangelizing!"

And that way, sooner or later you will get the suffering as a freebie. So I guess evangelizing should be the primary objective.

Taking Alan and Tony seriously for one moment.

Are both of you under the impression that any souls that were born into an everlasting life with God would live suspended eternally in the developmental stage in which they last existed on this plane of existence? If not, then the age at which one passed from this life is of little consequence to the expression of their life that extends beyond this material world. It seems silly to discuss heaven or hell as populated with babies.

As to how the demographic breakdown of eternal life breaks down, that is pure speculation and impossible to address. I am not certain that just because Tony expresses only two possibilities as it relates to the ultimate destination of thsoe who die very early in life that it necessarily means that only those two possibilities exist. As with all speculation, one is forced only to imagine other possibilities and your concern is a bit diluted.

William,

huh, what are you saying - you think the dead embryos will go to hell? Yeah i tend to agree that the bible seems to indicate such.

That's one reason why craig's middle knowledge view is so rich.

I think we cannot overlook the possibility, that God simpy allows those, who have not developed any real consciousness when they die, to vanish into nonexistence.

Of course, if we actually knew this to be the case, the pro-choicers would immediately seize it as an argument. But it wouldn't work that way. Even if the baby doesn't go to hell because of abortion, there is still reason not to do it simply because it is an offence to God.

Tony,

Did I say dead embryos go to Hell? No, I sure can't find anywhere I said that. Please read my post again.

Also please indicate where you find the Bible saying that dead embryos go to hell.

I am asking you to actully read the above suggested passages from the Bible, then contemplate how they might relate to what heaven is like for souls and how extensive this resurrection might be.

Jay is also touching on what I am hoping you will understand, that "the age at which one passed from this life is of little consequence to the expression of their life that extends beyond this material world. It seems silly to discuss heaven or hell as populated with babies."

Christ tells the Sadduces that they err because they do not know the scriptures or the power of God. I am encouraging you to not make the same mistake.

Hi Jay, you point Alan and Tony to a good question when you ask

"Are both of you under the impression that any souls that were born into an everlasting life with God would live suspended eternally in the developmental stage in which they last existed on this plane of existence?"

The unfortunate thing is that neither of them will even give any consideration that there is a God who is not sitting idly by but is in every way ruling over His creatures and His creation. This question you ask which is going right to the center will never even be considered. Too bad.

Brad B

William,

>> "Also please indicate where you find the Bible saying that dead embryos go to hell."

Note in my first post i only said IF you believe babies go to hell, then hell is mostly full of babies, and if you believe the contrary, then heaven is.

As far as which one is true - i dunno. If i had to guess, i'd say god sends babies to hell and adopt craig's middle knowledge approach. But the bible is vague on this issue - so it's just a guess.

Brad B,

It should be obvious that souls will not exist in the "developmental stage" in heaven. Our heavenly bodies will not be made of matter. So there is nothing to develop materially. Assumedly, God will instantiate some sort of ideal avatar and bind it with our souls upon death. And with this vehicle, we will engage in heavenly activities – whatever they may be.

Markku

Annihilism would be an intersting option. But it is not widely accepted as a possible endgame.

I find the several references to "age of accountability" a bit troubling, mainly because I don't find such a concept unequivocally taught in Scripture.

If there is an "age of accountability," what exactly is that age, and where is it unequivocally defined in Scripture?

And if there is an "age of accountability," then there must logically be a state of "unaccountability" prior to that "age of accountability." Where does Scripture tell us that one is "unaccountable" for being a member of the rebel race of man?

Instead, I find this admission from David:

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,And in sin my mother conceived me."
(Psalm 51:5)

...and this one, recorded twice by David (Psalm 14, 53), and repeated by Paul:

"There is none righteous, not even one..."
(Romans 3:10-11)

And what honest parent can appeal to the myth of the "humility" or "innocence of a little child," as if children needed coaxing or training before they're able to display their very own self-centered sin nature?

It seems to me that a truly biblical approach to the question of the unborn and babies remains in keeping with what the Scriptures say: Those who are saved (ending up "in heaven") are those -- and only those -- whom God chooses/elects (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1).

Perhaps in His sovereignty He may choose/elect from among the unborn and babies, but there seems to be no unequivocal indication in Scripture that they all automatically and innocently go to heaven due to some "age of accountability" principle.

I agree with Tim we can speculate and discuss it all day long about babies going to heaven.

But here is a more important question for Tony and Alan. What are you two going to do with your problem of sin? You both have full knowledge of the truth but you seem to deny the truth. I would be more worried about that than anything else.

That is something you both need to deal with.


Tim wrote,

"If there is an "age of accountability," what exactly is that age, and where is it unequivocally defined in Scripture?"

It is not unequivocally taught. That's why I didn't unequivocally state that babies go to heaven. And if there is such an age, it cannot be same for everyone since there are severe developmental differences between individuals.

One thing can be known for certain: That God thinks there is a difference between doing a forbidden thing whilst knowing right and wrong, and not knowing. Otherwise His argument here wouldn't make sense:

Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?

It is then debatable whether the difference is so great, that the one goes to heaven and the other to hell.

Markku, what do you make of this from the apostle Paul?

Rom 9:10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived {twins} by one man, our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11 for though {the twins} were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to {His} choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
Rom 9:12 it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
Rom 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
Rom 9:15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
Rom 9:16 So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
Rom 9:18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
Rom 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
Rom 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
Rom 9:23 And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

In a nutshell, why do you rate people's good vs. bad as if this has any merit with God?

Brad B

Hi Tony, which god do you speak of?

Brad B

Brad B,

"In a nutshell, why do you rate people's good vs. bad as if this has any merit with God?"

This is not about rating people's good versus bad. It is about a qualitative difference between two kinds of bad. And the debate is whether that difference is so great, that the forbidden actions are not accounted as sins in the other one.

Romans 9 is about God choosing two kinds of destinies in life, with one having more glory than the other. The point is, God owns everybody's life and He doesn't need to explain these kinds of choices or make them by people's merit.

Heaven/hell is a different thing. It is not simply about what use God wants to make of a person, it is about punishment. And for that, you need an actual crime.

Hi Markku, if you believe what you said above, why do you say this:

"One thing can be known for certain: That God thinks there is a difference between doing a forbidden thing whilst knowing right and wrong, and not knowing. Otherwise His argument here wouldn't make sense:"

earlier in the thread?

Is it according to him who wills or runs[?], contrary to Rom 9:16 and Eph. 2:8,9?

I venture to guess that we are not even aware of 99 percent of our sin.

By the way, what do you make of the scriptures calling Lot righteous? Lot who seemed to demonstrate serious fallenness is called righteous, even after offering up his daughters to crazed Sodomites. Are you prepared to say God is waiting to see who will respond to this or that decision, and how will the man handle this or that temptation?

P.S. I dont agree with your handling of Rom 9. and the way you misuse the word glory

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