Living Waters - Asia
 
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This is a question thrown by people who would like to sway others to believe that there is no God.  This question is the relative of the question, "If there is a loving God, then why are there so many evil in this world." 

One trait of God is His omniscience (He is all-knowing).  He knows what will happen for all of eternity.  The things that man know are not even a tip of a nail compared to what God knows.  He even knows what will happen to you a minute from now which you don't have an idea of.  That established, atheists and agnostics would argue that God, if He does exists, with His omniscience, should have decided NOT to give man free will because He knows that they'll just use it to rebel against Him which will result to them going to Hell to pay for their sins.  If He does exists then He must enjoy seeing people go to Hell?

First of all, the Bible makes it clear that God has no pleasure in seeing sinners die which lead them to eternal punishment (Ezekiel 33:11).  He created man for His glory and for His pleasure (Revelations 4:11).  Now here's a question... If you're God, will you derive pleasure from the "love" your created gives you if in the first place, you have programmed them like robots to give you love (they have no choice but to love you)?  I believe that you'll agree that "love" that's not freely given is not true love.  God had to give man a free will so that He can experience true love from His created so that pleasure is achieved.  He wanted man to love Him willingly.  Free will allows man to love God willingly.  That's why God gave us free will. Not doing so goes against reason.  God is a logical Person that's why He saw it right to give man the freedom to choose for himself and He hoped that we'd use it to give Him pleasure. 

But how about the fact that in man's use of his free will to do evil, it results to suffering in Hell? Shouldn't have God just sacrificed His desire to experience true love from His created so that no one goes to Hell?  I believe that God could have chosen to do that... IF He had no power to use evil to bring out goodWhat do I mean about that?  God used the evil of the cross to solve man's problem of sin.  The cross is a reflection of all the evil of man.  The cross is a picture of what any criminal should deserve.  God experienced the cruelty of the cross as if He was a hardened criminal just so He can make a payment for man's sins.  Buddha had no solution for the penalty of man's sins.  Mohammed offered no real solution either.  Catholicism, although claiming to be Christian in beliefs, still gives man a big responsibility in saving himself. The New Age movement can only suggest something that will make you focus on the "here and now" so that you'll not be burdened with what's ahead in eternity. This makes Christianity unique.  It offered a solution.  Jesus was the solution.  God turned evil to good by transferring all of man's evil on His beloved Son so He could pay for them.  The chains of sin on us were broken because Jesus let himself experience the evil of men.

God still uses evil in our time to bring out good.  How many people have turned to God for assurance of life in Heaven after they've realized how fragile and short life is through the death of someone they know?  I believe you and your other Christian friends can name some.  God uses natural calamities like the tsunami in Japan and the big earthquakes that rocked major cities early this year to bring to the minds of people that there is a powerful God that they should fear, or better yet, be reconciled with.  Crimes around us, heavy and petty crimes alike, show how man has gone low in their morals, and therefore, disqualifies them from the future joys of Heaven. Your own offense of God's Moral Standards, the Ten Commandments, should bring you to the realization that you're not a good person, that's why you need Jesus' perfection to be transferred on you to enter into His Kingdom. For Christians, God uses circumstances to bring out new strength from us so that, we, in turn, can also be used by Him to strengthen others. He also uses sufferings to re-focus ourselves to Him so that we can enjoy Him even in this world. 

In conclusion, God gave man free will even if He knew it will cause problems through man's wrong use of it because He also knows the solution to it... Jesus. When God finished making this world on the sixth day, He looked on the whole of His creation and saw that it was all good, including the free will He gave man.  To you who are still living in sin, use your free will by deciding to forsake your sins and to have Jesus be your Lord and Savior.  To us, His children, let us use the free will God gave us to bring pleasure to the only One who can use evil to bring out good for our benefit.  Praise be the Lord!


 


Comments

omar
02/07/2012 8:04am

but god gives man no guidence. Evil whispers in our ear and we can't trust one who we don't know is pure. I god is almighty h can whisper in the ear of man and us know what is right. Why does god let us worship false gods if he loves us. Will we go to hell for not worshipping the true god. God has limitations for his son perfection itslelf lead man from evil. we should not be punished for something we have no knowledge of. Gd should have gave all man knowledge of his being. Then god lets science become born. it goees against his every word and he lets it exist. We can not trust a book lost in the age that has been rewritten millions of times.

Reply
Dennis Mark Aglosolos
02/07/2012 8:20pm

Hi Omar! Let me answer your questions one by one as stated in your comment:
1. Yes, God has given man guidance. The Bible is God's guide-book for how man should live his life. The problem is, we criticize the Bible even if we haven't fully read it. A careful examination of it will show you that it had declared scientific truths way before those truths were found by scientists. Many historical events were foretold in the Bible way before they occurred. This is proof that this book has divine origins. God does not really need to whisper to us what's right and evil. Just read the Bible. I suggest you to start with Exodus chapter 20. You'll read there the Laws that God gave to Moses.
2. God does not want us to do evil things like worshiping of false gods. What He wants is that we obey His Commandments. But He wants us to obey them out of a willing heart. But all of us have decided to go against God that's why, one day, He will judge us and give to us our deserved punishment. Please read the 3rd paragraph of my article again so you'll see my point.
3. Yes, we will go to Hell for not worshiping Him as the true God. In Mark 12:29-30, Jesus said, "...The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." James 2:10 tells us that with even only one offense of God's Commandments, we are already guilty of all. 1 John 3:4 tells us that "sin is transgression of the Law", and Romans 6:23 informs us that the payment for sin is death, including death (suffering) in Hell.
3. It's wrong to say that we have no knowledge of our sins, so therefore, it's unfair for us to be punished. Romans 2:15 tells us that God's Law is written in our hearts and our conscience is proof of that. Any married person who cheats on his wife (adultery) will feel his conscience bothering him. You know through your conscience if something is right or wrong. The conscience is God's warning device for our sinful actions.
4. Everyone has been given proof of God's being. Romans 1:21 tells us that the proof of God's existence is His creation, the world, that's why we cannot be excused for the sins we do by arguing that we did know that there's a God to whom we'll one day give an account of every actions we did in this lifetime. What's proof of a painter? Answer: the painting. What's proof of builder? Answer: the building. What's proof of a Creator-God? Answer: His creations.
5. No. Science does not contradict the Bible. The only reason why there are scientific statements that seem to say that the Bible is wrong is because men who do not believe in God (atheists) are the ones making the scientific declarations. I suggest that you go to this website: www.answersingenesis.org
6. No. The Bible was not re-written millions of times. What has happened was that the Bible was translated in different languages for the benefit of everyone. The Bible was written by several people God himself chose. 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us this, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." What's proof that God told the writers what to write? The Bible was written by different people who, for most of them, do not know each other, in a period of about 4000 years, and yet, they did not contradict each other. That's a big proof that God was the One telling them what to write.

Dear Omar, please study the Bible. We are not pushing you to accept our beliefs. What we are praying for is that you'll take time to examine God's Word so that God Himself will show you the truth that is in Jesus. Why Jesus? Because He, being a sinless God, 2000 years ago, came down to earth to pay for the sins we have made by dying on the cross. He did that because He does not want us to go to Hell. He loved you and me so much that's why He allowed Himself to die like a very evil criminal even if He did NO sin. Now, His sacrifice on the cross can be the payment for your sins if you will just decide to forsake sin in your life once and for all (repentance) and believe that Jesus is the only one that can save you from going to Hell because He has made a payment for your sins. Trust Jesus for your eternity just like how you trust a parachute to save you from plunging to death after jumping off an airplane. Then claim this beautiful promise from the Bible as true and sure: John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will not perish (not go to hell anymore) but have everlasting life (in Heaven with God)".

Thanks for taking time to read my article and posting your comments. I will pray for you.

Reply
Ramsey
07/03/2012 5:57am

you did not answer his question.. this man asks like for example... there's voodoo wich is wrong. why isn't there some kind of white voodoo wich god makes.. where you see imediate results.. not like praying. but real fast results. or visions..

why doesn't god possess people just like the devil does.

i think he might ment that.
and he also mentioned the fact that the bible is way too old so to tell him to go read it is ignoring what he said

02/15/2013 8:26am

@Ramsey

God inspired us (the soul) to understand what is right and what is wrong [Quran 91:7-8] It is up to us to choose a path; whether right or wrong. Voodoo is already wrong and there is no such thing as white voodoo. Quran is already enough for the muslim as a white voodoo. Every single word in it is equal to a spell if you believe in it. God said "We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers, and it adds only to the perdition of the unjust" [Quran 17:82]

11/17/2013 8:24am

That is wisdom

03/10/2012 4:40pm


Interesting article, and I like that you have tried to follow a logical path to reason.

You give explanation of evil - but you give no proper explanation for the 'suffering' to innocents caused by evil done by others.

By your reasoning, God, since He wanted freely given love from His creation - allows that creation (us) to suffer painfully every day by evils done by other people/satan ?

How fair is that? that God make us 'suffer'- so that he may experience 'love'

not very convincing I am afraid.

Ps- I am not Christian but Muslim, but I was troubles by these questions and searched the net, stumbled on your article.

Reply
Dennis Mark Aglosolos
03/10/2012 8:49pm

Dear Muhammad,

First of all, I thank you for taking the time to read my article. I really appreciate it.

Regarding your question about the fairness of God to allow evils done to man by other men and Satan, I'd like to explain that the original world God gave us was perfect and had no sufferings and mistreatment from others. It was man who destroyed the perfect world God gave us when Adam and Eve decided to disobey God (man's freewill in action). Even thorns on plants weren't present before Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3:18). From then on, the world started a spiral journey downwards. Sufferings now abound because we likewise continue to displease God who gave us Commandments to obey through the prophet Moses. We all have lied, stolen things, dishonored our parents, committed adultery by looking at people with lust, etc. And our sins, although when committed is technically done in defiance of God, also affects others. Criminals that murder are not the only ones that bring sufferings to others. We also bring sufferings to others when we commit sin. How many have been hurt by lies we have said? How many people have lost something because we stole these things from them? How many parents are hurt because of our dishonoring of them? How many women have been left with scars in their hearts because we have committed adultery with other women? All of these hurt others because we chose to use our free will wrongly. In essence, God allows suffering because we ourselves chose that sin reign in our lives. I think that's fair.

But here's something that's not fair. Jesus who I believe is God because the Bible says so (John 1:1 / Philippians 2:5-8) and is sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21) came to earth 2,000 years ago and died a criminal's death? Why did He allow Himself to go through that? So that man's sins which is punishable by death (Romans 6:23) can have a payment. It was us who did those sins and enjoyed doing them, but it was He who made a payment for them. Now that's not fair. But He did it anyway because He wants us to someday have a life way different from the life we have here when He brings us to Heaven. If we want God to be fair, what we should have is not just suffering in this world. We should have death and Hell because of our sins. But God instead, gave us mercy and grace when He took our punishment by dying at the cross. All we need to do now is come to Him in humility, acknowledging our sinfulness, so ashamed of them that we desire to forsake sin once and for all, and trust that what Jesus did on that cruel cross is the only payment for our sins. John 3:16 tells us that "...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." And something happened 3 days after Jesus died...He rose from the grave. He conquered sin! And because He was able to do that, everyone who have trusted in Him can also be assured that death will not have dominion over them because God will give them eternal life in Heaven when we part from this world (Romans 6:5 / John 11:25).

It is my prayer that my reply to your comment will be helpful in answering your questions in life. I took time to make this response because I care for you. Please read the verses I gave from Bible. It won't hurt to just look them up.

I pray for God's blessing to you.

Sincerely

Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos

Reply
Muhammad
03/29/2012 3:21pm

Dear Dennis

Thank you for a detailed reply. Much appreciated.

I agree with the explanation that evil is man's doing - that the original world God gave man was free of evil and sinless and it is man's sins that have started the downward spiral you mentioned.

However ! - my question is that God knew this is exactly what man would do with free will (Is God not all knowing???) so he knowingly created man capable of sin and evil, knowingly gave man freewill that God knew for sure man will use for evil - and hurt himself and others in the process.

By analogy, would you give a child a knife when you know the child will hurt himself and others? Of course not.

You said in the original article that the purpose of creation of man was for God to receive freely given love from man – sounds very unfair selfish and even cruel if I may, of God to put man thru this evil just to fulfil that purpose.



thank you and bless you.
Muhammad


Muhammad
03/29/2012 3:21pm

Dear Dennis

Thank you for a detailed reply. Much appreciated.

I agree with the explanation that evil is man's doing - that the original world God gave man was free of evil and sinless and it is man's sins that have started the downward spiral you mentioned.

However ! - my question is that God knew this is exactly what man would do with free will (Is God not all knowing?) so he knowingly created man capable of sin and evil, knowingly gave man freewill that God knew for sure man will use for evil - and hurt himself and others in the process.

By analogy, would you give a child a knife when you know the child will hurt himself and others? Of course not.

You said in the original article that the purpose of creation of man was for God to receive freely given love from man – sounds very unfair selfish and even cruel if I may, of God to put man thru this evil just to fulfil that purpose.



thank you and bless you.
Muhammad


Scott
07/19/2012 12:31am

It is hard to discern the exact reason for our creation. Since God needs nothing. I will say though that we know that if God created us, we are accountable to his law, and for breaking his law, we deserve death and eternal wrath. How much more do we deserve suffering in the present? All suffering is caused by the sin of man, which God created. I believe in the end it will work to God's glory. He is just.

Reply
Kevin
12/01/2012 4:05am

@Scott,

I find it hard to believe that we all deserve death and eternal wrath for breaking any of his laws. The Bible is huge and in many parts contradictory, but at the same time, the Bible commands us to not work on the Sabbath (capitalism has led to the complete destruction of that), we can't eat pork, we are supposed to stone to death any rebellious teens, anyone who is of a different religion, anyone who curses their mothers or fathers, etc. Jesus also taught us that we should mutilate and maim ourselves if it means that we are sinning, like gouging our eyes out, as it is better to live with one eye than to sin and live the rest of your eternal life in hell. But that would pretty much make everybody maimed and deformed.

I know the Bible isn't supposed to be taken literally, but you can't have it both ways, where people take the literal meanings of the bible (like gay marriage and abortions), and twist it to fit into their beliefs, but get upset when these things (like what I said above are pointed out). It's either we must live where all those who follow Christianity abides by the literal teachings of the bible or we take the metaphorical and use it as a moral compass, but it cannot be both. That is the biggest issue with the free will debate. That from a religious standpoint, they'll take the literal meaning of it, but still claim the Bible to be a metaphorical piece of work, that we must apply the teachings to our daily lives, not to live by every word written.

Unknown
10/22/2013 11:11pm

Hi,

I think that God allows these pains and sufferings because He loves us. Why do i say this?

Take you earthly father who regardless of your nagging to go to that high school party says NO.

He says know because he loves you and is trying to protect you because he knows what goes down at parties like that.

He says no not because he wants to be mean but because he wants to teach us a few things through experience so that when he sees we are ready to go to that party we know how to handle it.

It comes back to experience and value. If we look at life we often value things more if we worked hard for them...we see things clearer and cherish them after we have gone through some trial with it/them.

The good people that seem to suffer at the hand of evil are going through exactly that. The good people that die because of seemingly evil situations dont die from the evil they encountered but because God has called them to Him.

God's love has been misunderstood by the way we see love today as the airy floating butterfly love but does it really last.

Our grandparents are still togther for 50 years because they have been at it...gone through things together thus their bond is stronger and love each other more and more.

There are so manythings happening in todays world because God i believe is saying "Look my beloved children, I love you so much I have left you to go out and see the world, but is there any good from it, the idols you worship have they brought any change into your world? You have tried everything NOW Try ME. I wont disappoint you"

We have troubled Christians (of which I am one because we ignore God's request to help us with everything we need be it losing weight or relationships He wants to help us. We just need to ask Him all the time LITERALLY and watch God's Love unfold before your eyes.

I dont know the Bible from beginning to End but because Jesus lives within me thats enough for me to try each and every day to act in LOVE. I know whats right and wrong Thanks to my conscience AKA Holy Spirit the Word of God in the Bible Lives within us we know it because we were created in his Image and readinf the Bible is just a moment where we sit face to face with God/ Love and realize and see that all we really are is LOVE like God 1 with God.

Dont turn from God turn to Him because all He wants to do is Really LOve you...

I LOVE YOU ALL

Reply
Michael
03/29/2012 1:53pm

Dennis,

I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

May you be able to continue receiving love and wisdom from God so that you can continue to bless and guide others.

Mic

Reply
Dennis Mark Aglosolos
03/29/2012 9:13pm

Dear Muhammad,

First of all, I'd like to tell you that I really appreciate your openness to a discussion with me. If only you can see my heart, you will discover how much I care about you and how much I want you to embrace Jesus in your life for I truly believe from my study of the Bible that He truly is the only Way, Truth and Life and that no one can get to Heaven except through Him. I'm not engaging you to a discussion so that another person will be included in the list of Christians. I only want to lead another person like you to the only way to be reconciled to God.

As to your opinion that it's quite cruel for God to put man thru evil as a result of his free will just to fulfill the purpose of receiving freely given love, here's my best answer to that--- Man will have so many questions to God that will not get it's answer in this lifetime. And the Bible is also so clear about that. Deutoronomy 29:29 tells us that "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Obviously, you are not satisfied with the answers I gave you. And I'll be honest to you. That's the best answer I can give you. But in my heart, I know that God's wisdom is so above man's combined wisdom. If you feel that the Bible has not fully answered your question then probably, the answer to your question falls on the realm of the "secret things that belong to God". This is something that we should humbly submit to God... that He knows better than us and that our finite mind will never ever fully understand the thinking mind of an infinite and most powerful God. As just God's created, I must understand that God is more powerful than me and must believe in faith that He has a good reason for doing and allowing things. In the Old Testament, there's this man, Job, whom God allowed for sufferings to come to his life. He lost all of his wealth, his children all died and he got so sick. From chapters 3 to 37, Job wanted to understand God's reasons for allowing sufferings in his life despite him being obedient to Him. He even said at one point that "he looked up, down, left, right, but couldn't find God." He wanted answers so badly but through out chapters 3 to 37, God just gave him silence. When God eventually answered him from chapters 38 to 41, God's answers were questions. God started by asking Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (Job 38:4). He went on to ask Job questions about his ability to do what God has done through His creation of the universe. The gist of God's oration of questions to Job was this, "Are you as powerful as I Am for you to demand an explanation as to why I allowed sufferings to come to your life?" We are powerless compared to God that's why we really have no right to question His actions. That makes God look sadistic, right? I would agree...until I saw how He lovingly gave His life at the cross so that man can have a way out from the punishment of the sins that he committed in his use of the free will that God gave him. God uses His power to do things as He sees it right, including giving us free will that we use to do evil that brings us to Hell. But He also exercised His will to come down from His glory and die a criminal's death so that He can show us that He has a loving heart, willing to give a second chance to the very people that chose to dishonor Him with their sins .

"Why did God give man a free will if He knew that he'll just use it to do evil which results in man going to Hell?" I'd rather stop questioning God when my limited mind cannot anyway understand God. I'd just trust that He knows what He's doing and focus on what He has allowed man to see like the love He demonstrated for sinners like you and me when He died on the cross 2,000 years ago. I would also dwell on the fact that after 3 days, He rose from the grave, because that means that I can have full confidence that He is able to give what He has promised any person who will repent of their sins and trust Him for his salvation...eternal life in Heaven.

I'll keep on praying for you. I'll pray that God would grant to you, not understanding, but faith to believe that God knows what He's doing.

Sincerely

Dennis

Reply
Muhammad
03/29/2012 10:08pm

Dear Dennis

First of all I want to thank you. Your words are sincere and your concern for me and others genuine and this is priceless. So thank you.

As I mentioned earlier, I am born muslim and have lately been troubled by these questions hence posted a question here on your forum. The last answer you gave i.e. our minds are limited and we cannot understand God, or His wisdom – this is the same answer I get from Quran. I suppose this is one of those points where Bible and Quran agree.

However, pardon me for saying this, it is not a logical answer, it is essentially a leap of faith – that requires you do not logically question / judge God.

When you mentioned the Book of Job, I was surprised, because I have recently read the first 20 or so chapters in one sitting and believe me I could relate word – for – word how Job related his feelings. I could not have expressed my questions to God better than how Job did. I think I owe it to myself and read the rest of the book.

But the end explanation, either in Quran or in the Bible, that God is above our judgment questioning or reasoning is not satisfactory.

I still think, no matter how powerful God is, He does not have the right to make another sentient being suffer – let alone create a sentient being for the purpose of suffering to fulfil His desires or plans.

I will complete the book of Job soon, and will share my thoughts here.

Thank you and bless you.

Muhammad


Reply
04/01/2012 8:03am

Hi Muhammad,

Hope you don't mind me jumping into the discussion. I totally understand where you're coming from; I asked this and a host of other questions myself.

Your question was that why would God give us free will if He knew we're going to use it for evil. Try to think about this scenario first:

You have a lovely son and you're enjoying every minute of him. He's growing up as a smart intelligent kid. He's very kind to his friends and other folks except a certain group of people. He grew up to be a typical teen, smarter but not any less "annoying" than any other teen. Let's say you enjoyed being your son as he grows up to be a fine gentleman. He has illusions of grandeur but that's not exactly a bad thing.

Now here's the question, what if that son of yours grew up to be the leader of a country that wipes out a jews in the most horrible ways and other people in war? What if you knew the moment he was born than he was going to do all those horrible things to other people, would you sacrifice all those years of him growing up in your arms.

Now relating that to your question about God, is the "juice worth the squeeze"? For me, I don't think it is. Looking at the world right now and how horrible it has become, I'd rather not create man if I were God. But I'm not God. I don't have infinite knowledge and power. Maybe the juice is worth the squeeze. Or maybe He has other plans for the human race that we don't know yet. And that's the rub, we don't know… yet. At this point, I'm more than satisfied that He does. :)

I don't want to keep this post too long, but I'd like to add two more points. One being this image:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/aa/Rhein_II.jpg. That's the most expensive photograph in the world priced at $4,338,500. For me, I won't pay a penny on that image (or maybe just a penny but I won't spend more than $0.99 on that thing). Now, I don't understand why anybody would spend a lot on that. Maybe he's seeing value on that image that we don't see. Maybe he has a purpose for that image that's worth more than the value he spent for it. We don't know. By the same token, why would God pay for us miserable humans with the precious blood of His Son? I don't know either. But I'm confident that He either has a purpose for us or we're seeing a value in us that we don't really see.

Last point, if we stop believing in the God of the Bible, what options do we have? We could be atheist but atheism can't account for evil. If we're all molecules in motion, killing an innocent would help in the survival of the fittest; which means evil is good. We could go to Islam but Islam instructs that Muslims kill people of other religion where they stand (Sura 2, verse 191), which includes innocent people. I'm sure you could relate to this more than anyone else. So that doesn't account for evil either. We could look at all the different religions (including atheism) but no other belief system fully accounts for evil other than Christianity. Sure there are things that we don't understand but we're not Christians because of the things that we don't believe. We're Christians because of the things that we do. :)

Hope this helps answer your questions and I pray that God would help you find answers to the rest of the questions you have in mind.


Ishmael

ps
The question of free will doesn't actually oppose the question of his omniscience (all-knowing) but his omnipotence (all-powerful) but that's a discussion for a different day. ;)

nour
01/24/2013 11:53pm

salam ishmael

regarding the options u have, well u actually do have the option of islam
basically based on my research we differ in 2 ways
we think the jesus was not killed and he was not the son of god (god has no son and no father)
we believe in one all mighty god : allah
and jesus was lifted to the sky where he will come down once again to fight evil

and concerning why did god create evil ppl? a better question yet why does he let believers suffer? well everything done in this world is actually repaid in judgments day
we get sick -> god is purifying us from our sins

and alah did not create evil people are people are born muslims then they choose their path, their choice their free will even with all the warnings is why they go to hell
if alah wanted more obedience and love he could have created more angels

02/15/2013 8:36am

God does not want his creation to suffer. That is why He gave us the Torah, Gospel and the Quran, to guide us. We are the one who failed to live by it and as a result, everyone become a lovers of themselves and started to treat others without love and respect. In that process, we hurt each other. We often see things in our own perspective view. Dennis was right. Do we ever ask ourselves; how much have we hurt others? If everyone live by the standards that God teach us, do you think that evil can even exist in this world?

Anna
11/22/2013 11:21pm

I am surprised how all you people need a certain answers why and why and why.
Sometimes you get no answer, why do we always look for explanation of God is do it. His reasons only concern him, let us stop questioning his choices.

Anton Go
06/06/2012 1:28pm

Can I recommend a book?
Try reading "If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think About the Question" by Norman L. Geisler.
It provides a clear, comprehensive approach on answering the most difficult question.

Reply
07/02/2012 9:56pm

Hi Anton, thanks for the suggestion. Norm Geisler is a great thinker of our time. I don't exactly agree with his position on the age of the earth but he's a brilliant man nonetheless.

Reply
31428571J
06/26/2012 2:37am

This 'freedom' is contradicted.

Who knows first: when (a) a man's future is determined by his action, or (b) what that action was going to be (by God)?

If it is the latter (b) 'free choice of the will' does not exist.
(and if we have the 'freedom' to go down the wrong path, why such a restricted demand/command as 'believe in me and be saved'?

Reply
07/02/2012 10:08pm

Hi,

Thanks for the comment but if you think really hard about it free will and God's Omniscience aren't contradiction. Let me illustrate why.

Imagine it's election time, Erap & PNoy are head to head on the race. After the counting, the announcement was made that PNoy won.

Now let's rewind time and change it a little bit.

Imagine it's election time, Erap & PNoy are head to head on the race. Right before the election, somebody hands you a video tape. When you watch it, you discover that it's a news report announcing that PNoy won the election. You're shocked about the futuristic news since the election hasn't happened yet.

Now, you already know what's going to happen. You know that whatever Erap does in this race, he's going to lose. Essentially, you KNOW that the decisions that Erap is going to make is pointless because he's going to lose. My question now is that, did he lose his free will? Were the choices he made not of his own because he was pre-destined to lose? Think about it.

Of course not! God knowing our what our actions are going to be doesn't change the fact that we're the ones doing those actions.

Free will and omniscience are not contradictory, that's just a false dichotomy. :)

Reply
07/02/2012 10:10pm

PS. Sorry if you don't know the Erap and PNoy reference. I was assuming that you're from our uncomfortably humid country, the Philippines. :D

caloy60
07/26/2012 3:30am

FREE WILL IS ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFT GOD GIVEN TO MEN. GOD DON'T WANT YOU TO USE THIS FREE WILL IN EVIL WAYS INSTEAD YOU CAN USE THIS BY COMING MORE CLOSER TO HIM. FREE WILL IS THE NON STOP QUESTION TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHEN IN FACT ACTUALLY ALL THE PEOPLE THROWING THIS QUESTION ALREADY KNOWS THE ANSWER, BUT THEY KEEP ON PRETENDING THAT THEY ARE IGNORANT,BECAUSE THEY CANNOT ACCEPT THAT WHAT THEY ARE DOING IN THEIR DAILY LIFE ARE AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD. VERY SIMPLE ,FREE WILL IS THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE . AFTER ALL ,WE WILL FACE GOD'S JUDGEMENT ACCORDING TO OUR DEEDS. THE CHOICE IS YOURS GOOD OR EVIL,GOD OR SATAN....

Reply
Efren
10/20/2012 11:30am

My friends, its because there is appointed time for the judgemen.it is your decision to seek the truth in you heart, for your info on who to follow. please check the book of Matthew 8: 28 until 34.
God bless us all.

Reply
Efren
10/20/2012 11:46am

Check also Matthew 3:13- 17 thanks

Reply
Eric
03/16/2013 1:29pm

Hey. I just stumbled on this page and found it interesting. I was just wondering what you thought of things that are sins but are not committed with malice in mind (for example, a poor person stealing to feed his or her family, lying to protect a loved one, going against the wishes of irresponsible parents, etc...). Do these things also deserve eternal punishment in Hell?

Reply
Amber
04/09/2013 2:05am

Eric,

I'm just rediscovering my faith (since Easter, so VERY recently). I've been doing a lot of reading and soul searching, so this is what I think so far. Could be way off base, but I'm going to throw it out there.

I think all of those things you mentioned are still sins that are punishable. I think the things you mention is part of God's plan using suffering for whatever reason he uses it for. God will provide food, protection, and guidance if you ask, have faith in Him AND it aligns with what He wants you to have. I think that God uses suffering for his own purpose. It is up to Him when to alieviate it and how it is alieviated. You can not take it upon yourself to try and circumvate God's Plan by breaking the rules. Breaking the rules is breaking the rules.

Reply
rog
04/11/2013 11:04am

dear nour

i just want to clarify something about Jesus Christ..
Jesus Christ is God..
God is a single, solitary Spirit known throughout the Old Testament as the Father. He was also known as the Holy Spirit, and in the New Testament as the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost conceived Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary, indicating that the Holy Ghost is also the Father. The Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Christ. ONE SPIRIT incarnate in ONE BODY - Jesus Christ.

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Charles
05/01/2013 1:14pm

I just want to say that God does not want us to suffer in fact we brought the suffering upon ourselves but most of it is because of one rebellious angel named Lucifer or Satan that destroyed a perfect world when he tempted adam and eve. That is why god sent jesus as his vessel since Jesus is God and died for our sins and its only through Jesus we can know our heavenly father and worship him. But the one question is must ask is why did God create children with down syndrome? I mean he must have something special for them.

Reply
05/01/2013 9:32pm

pleas give me a answer from thi quetion

Reply
Jenna
05/08/2013 12:21am

I still struggle with this idea. Recently I watched the Bible series. And I noticed that israel suffered so much, the profets and the disciples of Jesus. All had terrible deaths. If God new that all this was going to happen--why did he allow it? Why was there a need for a sacrifice? Or any lamb blood or anything? It seems really guelsome--almost "satanic" in nature. Or for example my suffering. I had been a christian believer since I was a child. However, I ve been through so much loss ( of my soul). Lost two babies, husbad and my health ( though a horrific trauma). And this last one caused my faith in God to waiver. all along Id believed that all my suffering brought me to a place of peace and understanding. But that last one really made me question. Because I still have one child who solely depends on me, and I am the sole provider in every way. So I asked God--why did he allow this physical trauma? If he knew it would take me farther away from him? I trusted that he would protect me and now I am unsure. Deep down I truly want to believe. But I am scared that what I have been brought to believe are not really truths. I search in the bible and I find discreptancies in the text everytime I read it. And I go to church and some people say some things and others say another. Dont know where the truth is...

Reply
Michael
05/09/2013 11:57pm

Hi Jenna,

One thing that I learned from my personal walk with God is that He cares more for our Spiritual growth more than our Physical comfort. He wants us to grow more dependent on Him - even if at times it entails physical suffering.

"I am the vine; you are the branches." - In the same way that a branch depends on the vine to have life, He wants us to be His children fully dependent on Him for everything.

Some of the things I learned:
1. Surrender to Him, in prayer. Many of the miracles in my life happened when I find myself acknowledging that I'm weak on my own and asking Him take over the situation.

2. If I love the people around me - then God must love them too - probably infinitely more than I do.
I constantly pray for His grace and mercy that me and my love ones will be able to live a life pleasing to Him.

3. I have read the Bible a couple of times - and there are still many things that I cannot understand. But through His grace, I learned to believe that He is in control. He will reveal His wisdom to me if it will serve His purpose.

God promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. If we focus on Jesus, we can have peace - peace from knowing that God loves us so much that He embraced suffering just to show His love for us.

Pray to Him. I pray that He continue to guide you.

Mic

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Caz
05/17/2013 6:34pm

I just found this discussion and I have really enjoyed the debate. I am a former atheist who has been reborn through a personal experience of God. As an atheist I used the "if there is so much evil in the world how can there be a God?" argument to justify my disbelief.

The turning point for me was an "aha" moment regarding free will. It came after reading Matthew 3.9. To paraphrase; Jesus said that if God wanted sons of Abraham (righteous men) he could make them from the stones on the ground. If I believe God is the Creator of everything then I have to believe he can make humans in any way he wanted - he can make us with brains that lack certain ways of functioning so we can NEVER sin. But he doesn't! He made us with the ability to make choices that include the ability to do good or bad.

I had to ask myself, WHY? To me the only answer can be that only what is given freely is truly worth anything. Would I truly enjoy the love of my husband if he had been placed under a spell? Would I truly appreciate a valuable gift if I got it by deceit? There is a saying that even atheists love to quote "if you love something, set it free; if it come back to you it is yours".

God's love is freely given (although I concede there is some threat of burning in hell to give us incentive). It is the most precious thing in all of creation and it is ours for the taking. Please do not get this confused with doctrinal matters between different churches about what is acceptable within their rules. If you wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is your Saviour you really want to follow his word, it is not a burden but a gift. He wants you to love him freely in return.

Given that God wants us to love him freely through the message of Jesus Christ (laying aside all the covenants with the Jews in the old Testament - because they had a different purpose). Can you imagine any other way of designing human beings so that we are not puppets or robots but to give us freedom to choose good or evil?

I believe Jesus was the fail safe in God's design. He knew we would sin and lose our way but He had a plan to bring us back to Him.

I admit that when I see the most evil things happen around me I still struggle to believe that Good will prevail. That is when I turn to Jesus, who had one simple command for us "Love one another", that is all we need to do and if we did that the evil will stop happening.

Reply
Dennis Mak Aglosolos
05/17/2013 8:47pm

@Caz Very well said! God bless!

Reply
Joshua
06/14/2013 5:20am

You write: "Now here's a question... If you're God, will you derive pleasure from the "love" your created gives you if in the first place, you have programmed them like robots to give you love (they have no choice but to love you)? I believe that you'll agree that "love" that's not freely given is not true love. God had to give man a free will so that He can experience true love from His created so that pleasure is achieved. He wanted man to love Him willingly. Free will allows man to love God willingly."

This is one of the most illogical responses I have ever read on this subject. Here's my question: Does man truly have free will to love God when the second and third of the Ten Commandments prohibit the love and worship of other gods or idols? It's like being robbed at gun point, and the assailant threatens to blow your head off if you don't give him your wallet. You can reject his demands, of course, but you'll be killed as a result. In other words, there really is only one choice. That hardly seems like free will.

Imagine if there were no commands or restrictions on who or what you could worship, no threats of eternal damnation and Hell fire, no consequences whatsoever. Now imagine a person choosing to follow, love, and worship God anyway. Wouldn't that be a much better and much more accurate display of free will?

Reply
Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos
06/14/2013 9:05am

Hi Joshua!

First of all, thanks for reading my article. I really appreciate it.

On your comment, you stated that you find free will not really existing in God commanding us that only He be loved by us. Let me respond to that this way... How do you think millions of kids felt after knowing that Santa Claus really did not exist after their parents made them believe for years that he did exist? A lot of them would feel duped by their parents and disappointed that they had believed in a lie for a long time and their parents never really spared them from that.

God is sparing us from the disappointment of someday knowing that the god/s we believed other than Him never really existed making all our devotions to them a big waste. Being the sovereign God that He is, He knows that no other God exist. Man would create their own concepts of god or make a god of someone or something (including material things). But that will not make these gods exist if they really do not exist. These is one reason why God tells us to love only Him because there exist no other that can be worshiped and worthy of any kind of worship. And so in essence, there is love in God's command for us to love only Him because He is sparing us from the disappointment of one day learning that the god we worshiped does not exist.

One thing more, if there are other gods out there, no other god has the power and glory of the one true God of the Bible. And only the God of the Bible can offer forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Heaven through Jesus Christ. He offers these in place of the punishment we have in Hell for offending His Laws. If we will just repent of our sins and trust Jesus as our Savior, we are saved from the penalty of our sins and given assurance of eternal life in Heaven. For this, He deserves to receive worship from His created.

Every Christian that has experienced the life-changing power of the God of the Bible and has received illumination from God's Word believes and proves that there are no other gods out there. That's why, Christians really have no problem in worshiping only Him.

I hope to hear from you again. God bless!

Dennis

Reply
Joshua
06/15/2013 3:57am

You write: "God is sparing us from the disappointment of someday knowing that the god/s we believed other than Him never really existed making all our devotions to them a big waste... And so in essence, there is love in God's command for us to love only Him because He is sparing us from the disappointment of one day learning that the god we worshiped does not exist."

Doesn't God tell us in the second commandment that "You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God"? Isn't that the real reason God commands us not to worship "false" gods or idols, because He is jealous? So, I'm not really sure where you get the "God doesn't want us to be disappointed" stuff, because that's not what the "Word" says. And if you truly follow and believe in the "Word", then certainly you must realize that what you've written above is really just silly.

Needless to say, I don't feel that you've adequately addressed my point, which is that God uses the threat of Hell to coerce nonbelievers into following Him. After all, that really is the sole purpose of Hell, isn't it? Believers decide to follow God because they don't want to spend eternity burning in firery pits. It's really not a choice.

If God truly wanted man to love Him of our own free will, there would be no bribes of Heaven and no threats of Hell. The inclusion of Heaven and Hell in a decision to follow Christ makes that decision a selfish one. Man is making that decision for his own well-being and benefit, not out of love for God.

You also write, "

Dennis Mark Aglosolos
06/17/2013 8:20pm

Joshua,

Here's the thing... If there really is indeed Hell, don't you want to be warned about it?

The Bible is very clear that Hell was not originally intended for man. He made it for the rebel angels led by Satan. But because man also chose to go against God, Hell also became man's fate. And if I may add, I find the existence of Hell very reasonable. Why? Let me explain.

If a love one of yours gets murdered, what would you demand be given your murdered love one? Justice, right? If someone rapes a woman, you want justice to be served, right? Now here's a crucial question. Should God also punish rapists and murderers? I believe that if your love one was the one who experienced the crimes mentioned, you would want God to give your love one justice. Now this makes Hell reasonable because that is divine justice. And to whom are all crimes (the Bible tells us that "sin is transgression of the Law") done against? To God because He is the Lawgiver. Now, realize that He is not just our Lawgiver. He is also the giver of life to us and everything good that we have. Sin is our rebellious act against the One that has given us things that we can enjoy. This is the reason why God has all the right to give punishment for our sins. Is the reality of Hell a threat? Definitely!

But then, the offended party (God) also was the One who made a way for us to evade Hell. And the way was death, death of the One offended. God gave His life at the cross so that we can have life eternal someday in His abode in Heaven. This is something I'm sad about. People are protesting God's punishment for sin but they refuse to show gratefulness for the love He showed through His sacrifice.

Joshua, I can feel your protests against God. But think of this... Let's say, for argument's sake, God is a cruel God. With Him as a mighty, all-powerful and sovereign God, what's your chance against Him? Isn't it more beneficial to just align with Him than to go against Him? But He is NOT a cruel God. The reality of Hell is just a reflection of God's holiness and justice. God is also a merciful and loving God. Romans 5:8 tells us that "God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He is offering that love and mercy to everyone, including you. I pray that you'll not decide to pass on His offer. If you love yourself that much, you'll turn to Him in humble repentance and faith, forsaking sin in your life and pleading for His salvation with complete belief that only He can give you forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Heaven.

I'll be praying for you.

Michael
06/15/2013 1:57pm

Hi Joshua,

Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches".

In the same way that a branch is dependent on the vine to receive nourishment and live - by God's design, man is dependent on God to have life.

With this truth, I believe there are only two rational choices:
1. To stay (connected) with God and have life; or
2. To be separated from God and die.


Should we question God's design of life? Do we want to be self-sustainable, i.e. do we want to have life even if we are separated from God?

Will you agree that a branch cannot live on its own unless it also becomes a vine (tree)?
Do we want ourselves to become a vine (God) - so that we can have life independently from God?

God is (the source of) life. We cannot be separated from God and have life - unless we ourselves become God.



One last thing - "love" for most of us is a complicated concept. But the fundamental component of "love" is the "desire to connect and be connected".
Through the grace of humility - if we can accept that God is the only source of life, it will be "natural" for us to love God - in the same way that a branch would naturally desire to remain connected with the vine.


Mic
"On my own, I am nothing; but with Him, all things are possible."

Reply
Caz
06/17/2013 7:13pm

Joshua, I feel I have an answer that makes sense but it has to start with one simple belief. God has promised that whoever believes in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and follows his Word will have eternal life. If you can not believe that I pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you.

I am not going to guess at why God wants to give us an eternal life, His motivations will be revealed to me eventually. However, the promise of an eternal life which is free from all our worldly troubles is made over and over again in the Bible. Since I also believe that God is loving and just, I have no reason to think that it is a lie or just a big stick to make us do His bidding for whatever reason.

So, stay with me for a minute as I set up the end game. If I imagine an eternity with no hunger, no death and disease, no money, no sin it can seem like a pretty nice idea ( or incredibly boring! I mean what will we do all the time? ). For the kind of Utopia that seems to be promised to work, those who are in it will need to want to be there, they will need to be genuinely happy to “love one another”. We won’t need to be constrained by any threats of damnation and we will not be tempted to sin because the major causes of sin will simply be redundant ( no need to work for anything, no sexual jealousy etc). Once you have truly accepted Jesus as your Saviour and His Word as the guiding force in your life you really do find it easy to give up everything that is of this world, it does not take any threat of hell to make you live a Christian life.

I personally, do not believe that God is using any force to make people choose Him. Once you have received the Holy Spirit its no contest, you want to do what is right and share the good news. The bible does go to great lengths to tell people what will happen if they do not repent from sin, and its only fair that it does since we are talking about eternity and humans only have a relatively short time on earth to get it right.

Now to free will. I, like many others believe that God wants to enjoy an actual relationship with his creation, and, for whatever reason, humans have been made his likeness and have a special relationship with Him. We HAVE been given autonomy and choice, that is a fact, and I don’t think it can be any other way. I doubt God directs every single thought and every single action of every single person on this planet. At least if I were God I would not want to, I would prefer that we all get along beautifully and marvel at all the wonders my creation can achieve. Unfortunately there is a design problem inherent in free will which God anticipated and supplied the remedy for. He sent Jesus Christ to redeem us and give a promise to all who would listen.

You say that “The inclusion of Heaven and Hell in a decision to follow Christ makes that decision a selfish one. Man is making that decision for his own well-being and benefit, not out of love for God.” I think you will find that a person who has belief in the grace of God and the work of Jesus on the cross does not need threats or coercion. I do not say I believe in God’s loving grace because I am afraid to go to hell. He can see in our hearts and our actions what we truly believe.

So coming back to the end game. If His followers are to be gathered to Jesus in the last days, what will he do with the people that denied Him and sinned? Spend eternity keeping them in check somehow? Reneg on the promise to the righteous and let anyone enter paradise? No, we all have the chance to find our way back to God and Jesus will not return until everyone on earth has heard his word (thus showing God is just).

One last observation I want make is that the “threats” give believers more urgency in the mission of spreading the word and saving those whom they love from what is truly a fate worse than death. Telling you that you will go to hell won’t change your mind if you don’t believe in God and therefore don’t believe in hell so I’d much rather tell you about His love and how wonderful it is to experience it first hand.

Reply
Efren Jamisola
06/17/2013 7:15am

Why God gave us free will..first thing first..when God created the world and human... At that time He gave man free will to choose ... To choose to follow his commandment or mans decision ... As he let the trees grow from the fields as he let the river flow continuously...the freewill that has no ending ...

But man put things in difficult situation...man chose to be limited.. Man thinks with limits...

Its like you are already his son, and what the father has is also yours, and you thinks you don't have any and your father didn't tell you and give you, your think your father is hiding something from you... Because man chose to know Good and evil even-though from the beginning Man is already good..

God creation is good but Man always contradict, even though God said your are my son..man always think I'm human how can it be..?

Thats why God use human to speak to us that we may understand. He use prophets, use kings but still human rejects this things, man choose to stay as it is.. Thats the reason why God send his only begotten son from heaven to the earth to tell man what is the truth and what is happening in the spiritual realm.. So are you still going to reject the truth and choose your own decision... Its up to you.. you have freewill... Are you going to follow still the decision that the previous man did???

Why he gave you freewill because you are his son. And always be...

Hope it might help ..

Reply
Carolyn
06/17/2013 7:09pm

If I may, in all humbleness because I am new to God’s word, explain my own conclusions on Joshua’s questions. I was an atheist who struggled with similar questions Since I received His Spirit I have studied the bible and devoted many hours to considering what it all means.

Joshua, I now I feel I have an answer that makes sense but it has to start with one simple belief. God has promised that whoever believes in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and follows his Word will have eternal life. If you can not believe that I pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you.

I am not going to guess at why God wants to give us an eternal life, His motivations will be revealed to me eventually. However, the promise of an eternal life which is free from all our worldly troubles is made over and over again in the Bible. Since I also believe that God is loving and just, I have no reason to think that it is a lie or just a big stick to make us do His bidding for whatever reason.

So, stay with me for a minute as I set up the end game. If I imagine an eternity with no hunger, no death and disease, no money, no sin it can seem like a pretty nice idea ( or incredibly boring! I mean what will we do all the time? ). For the kind of Utopia that seems to be promised to work, those who are in it will need to want to be there, they will need to be genuinely happy to “love one another”. We won’t need to be constrained by any threats of damnation and we will not be tempted to sin because the major causes of sin will simply be redundant ( no need to work for anything, no sexual jealousy etc). Once you have truly accepted Jesus as your Saviour and His Word as the guiding force in your life you really do find it easy to give up everything that is of this world, it does not take any threat of hell to make you live a Christian life.

I personally, do not believe that God is using any force to make people choose Him. Once you have received the Holy Spirit its no contest, you want to do what is right and share the good news. The bible does go to great lengths to tell people what will happen if they do not repent from sin, and its only fair that it does since we are talking about eternity and humans only have a relatively short time on earth to get it right.

Now to free will. I, like many others believe that God wants to enjoy an actual relationship with his creation, and, for whatever reason, humans have been made his likeness and have a special relationship with Him. We HAVE been given autonomy and choice, that is a fact, and I don’t think it can be any other way. I doubt God directs every single thought and every single action of every single person on this planet. At least if I were God I would not want to, I would prefer that we all get along beautifully and marvel at all the wonders my creation can achieve. Unfortunately there is a design problem inherent in free will which God anticipated and supplied the remedy for. He sent Jesus Christ to redeem us and give a promise to all who would listen.

You say that “The inclusion of Heaven and Hell in a decision to follow Christ makes that decision a selfish one. Man is making that decision for his own well-being and benefit, not out of love for God.” I think you will find that a person who has belief in the grace of God and the work of Jesus on the cross does not need threats or coercion. I do not say I believe in God’s loving grace because I am afraid to go to hell. He can see in our hearts and our actions what we truly believe.

So coming back to the end game. If His followers are to be gathered to Jesus in the last days, what will he do with the people that denied Him and sinned? Spend eternity keeping them in check somehow? Reneg on the promise to the righteous and let anyone enter paradise? No, we all have the chance to find our way back to God and Jesus will not return until everyone on earth has heard his word (thus showing God is just).

One last observation I want make is that the “threats” give believers more urgency in the mission of spreading the word and saving those whom they love from what is truly a fate worse than death. Telling you that you will go to hell won’t change your mind if you don’t believe in God and therefore don’t believe in hell so I’d much rather tell you about His love and how wonderful it is to experience it first hand.

Reply
Carolyn
06/17/2013 7:09pm

Joshua, I feel I have an answer that makes sense but it has to start with one simple belief. God has promised that whoever believes in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and follows his Word will have eternal life. If you can not believe that I pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you.

I am not going to guess at why God wants to give us an eternal life, His motivations will be revealed to me eventually. However, the promise of an eternal life which is free from all our worldly troubles is made over and over again in the Bible. Since I also believe that God is loving and just, I have no reason to think that it is a lie or just a big stick to make us do His bidding for whatever reason.

So, stay with me for a minute as I set up the end game. If I imagine an eternity with no hunger, no death and disease, no money, no sin it can seem like a pretty nice idea ( or incredibly boring! I mean what will we do all the time? ). For the kind of Utopia that seems to be promised to work, those who are in it will need to want to be there, they will need to be genuinely happy to “love one another”. We won’t need to be constrained by any threats of damnation and we will not be tempted to sin because the major causes of sin will simply be redundant ( no need to work for anything, no sexual jealousy etc). Once you have truly accepted Jesus as your Saviour and His Word as the guiding force in your life you really do find it easy to give up everything that is of this world, it does not take any threat of hell to make you live a Christian life.

I personally, do not believe that God is using any force to make people choose Him. Once you have received the Holy Spirit its no contest, you want to do what is right and share the good news. The bible does go to great lengths to tell people what will happen if they do not repent from sin, and its only fair that it does since we are talking about eternity and humans only have a relatively short time on earth to get it right.

Now to free will. I, like many others believe that God wants to enjoy an actual relationship with his creation, and, for whatever reason, humans have been made his likeness and have a special relationship with Him. We HAVE been given autonomy and choice, that is a fact, and I don’t think it can be any other way. I doubt God directs every single thought and every single action of every single person on this planet. At least if I were God I would not want to, I would prefer that we all get along beautifully and marvel at all the wonders my creation can achieve. Unfortunately there is a design problem inherent in free will which God anticipated and supplied the remedy for. He sent Jesus Christ to redeem us and give a promise to all who would listen.

You say that “The inclusion of Heaven and Hell in a decision to follow Christ makes that decision a selfish one. Man is making that decision for his own well-being and benefit, not out of love for God.” I think you will find that a person who has belief in the grace of God and the work of Jesus on the cross does not need threats or coercion. I do not say I believe in God’s loving grace because I am afraid to go to hell. He can see in our hearts and our actions what we truly believe.

So coming back to the end game. If His followers are to be gathered to Jesus in the last days, what will he do with the people that denied Him and sinned? Spend eternity keeping them in check somehow? Reneg on the promise to the righteous and let anyone enter paradise? No, we all have the chance to find our way back to God and Jesus will not return until everyone on earth has heard his word (thus showing God is just).

One last observation I want make is that the “threats” give believers more urgency in the mission of spreading the word and saving those whom they love from what is truly a fate worse than death. Telling you that you will go to hell won’t change your mind if you don’t believe in God and therefore don’t believe in hell so I’d much rather tell you about His love and how wonderful it is to experience it first hand.

Reply
Carolyn
06/17/2013 7:21pm

I tried to add an answer but I get an error.

Reply
Caz
06/17/2013 7:21pm

I tried to add an answer but I get an error.

Reply
Joshua
06/18/2013 8:09am

@ Dennis: You write – "... Now this makes Hell reasonable because that is divine justice. And to whom are all crimes (the Bible tells us that "sin is transgression of the Law") done against? To God because He is the Lawgiver!"

I’ll give you that, Dennis. God certainly is the "lawgiver", if nothing else. Some of my favorites follow:

Stoning Homosexuals To Death:
Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them…

Stoning Your Children To Death:
Deuteronomy 21:20-21 - “And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die…”

Stoning Blasphemers To Death:
Leviticus 24:16 - “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him.”

Stoning Brides To Death Who Are Found To Be Impure:
Deuteronomy 22:21 – “Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house…

@ Dennis: You also write – “God is also a merciful and loving God. Romans 5:8 tells us that "God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He is offering that love and mercy to everyone, including you.”

It never ceases to amaze me how Christians always cling to the Gospels in an effort substantiate their claim of God being a loving and forgiving one. Christians never seem to remember the God who commanded the Israelites to murder homosexuals and stone to death ill-behaved children and non-virgins.

I wonder why that might be…

Reply
Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos
06/18/2013 9:59am

I hope you noticed in your most recent comment that those are sins that God commanded be punished. You'd probably also protest against homosexuality as a sin (it's not be but God that condemns it -Read Romans chapter 1 & 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Exactly my point. God punishes sins as a human judge would punish a law-breaker. God cannot be a good God if He will turn a blind eye on sin as a judge cannot be a good judge if he'll let a law-breaker go unpunished. If they do that, both of them are corrupt.

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Joshua
06/18/2013 10:48pm

It should be noted that Jesus himself never mentions homosexuality in the Gospels. Not even once. Don't you think that if homosexuality was such a grievous sin, Jesus would have at least mentioned it at some point? Paul is not God.

Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos
06/19/2013 11:32am

Yes, Jesus never mentioned about homosexuality, but he did say this, "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female," (Matthew 19:4), "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female." (Mark 10:6). And the Bible clearly teaches that God inspired Bible writers what to write. And so, whatever Paul wrote about God's disapproval of homosexuality eventually came from Him.

Joshua
06/20/2013 4:53am

Nowhere in these verses does Jesus specifically address homosexuality. Isn’t it really just your opinion that homosexuality is prohibited by these verses, because you so desperately want it to be?

Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos
06/20/2013 8:11am

Read the whole of Romans chapter 1

Caz
06/18/2013 8:32am

Whatever you may find in the Old Testament it was for another time and place, God through Christ put an end to all those Old Testament laws He made a new law, to be written on the hearts of all humankind Jew and Gentile alike: "Love one another".

I love you as I love all my fellow sinners and as He loves you and pray that your eyes will be opened and your heart turned to His truth.

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Caz
06/18/2013 8:34am

Joshua. Whatever you may find in the Old Testament it was for another time and place, God through Christ put an end to all those Old Testament laws He made a new law, to be written on the hearts of all humankind Jew and Gentile alike: "Love one another".

I love you as I love all my fellow sinners and as He loves you and pray that your eyes will be opened and your heart turned to His truth.

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Joshua
06/18/2013 9:55am

I'm amazed that you would try to make some kind of distinction between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. I hate to break it to you, but it's the same God.

You're basically saying that God changed his mind. Your perfect, infallible God somehow got it wrong the first time around in the Old Testament, and he changed his mind? Why would an omnipotent God incapable of error ever need to change his mind about anything?

I knew one of you would try to bring up the "new covenant" stuff, which Christians have never been consistent about, by the way. I've actually seen many of your brothers in Christ site Matthew 5:17-19 as evidence that Mosaic Law is still applicable. Christians can't even agree amongst themselves. And do you know why? Because the Bible isn't the perfect, inerrant book you believe it to be. It's a scriptural mess filled with translation and interpretational problems, violence, barbarism, bigotry, superstition, and contradictions. You and I could make the Bible better in about 5 seconds by tearing out the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Exodus, and 2 Samuel. It would still be far from a perfect book, but would at least be greatly improved.

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Dennis Mark Aglosolos
06/18/2013 10:34am

Yes, Joshua. You're right. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is still the same. God today still hates sin as in the OT times. But here's the distinction. With the Mosaic Law, God made it clear that we cannot be the perfect sinless person required to get to Heaven. Paul said in Romans 7:7 "I had not known sin but by the Law.". Paul was saying that if not for the Mosaic Law, he would not have realized how morally bankcrupt he was and unfit for Heaven. Romans 3:19 adds that by the Law we learn that we are guilty against God. With the new covenant in the NT, what was impossible, He made possible by giving His sinless person to die on the cross. If we trust in Him for our salvation after acknowledging that we are sinful people, the perfection of Jesus will be transferred to us and the sinful "us" gets crucified with Him at the cross. Sins paid, required perfection attained in Jesus Christ. And so, God was not fixing any error He supposedly made in giving the Mosaic Law by giving the new covenant. The old covenant and the new covenant come together to make us realize this... we need God to get to Heaven. This is the reason why in Galatians 3:24, Paul said this, "For the Law was our school master to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." Is the law the way to Heaven? No. But the Law was instrumental in making us realize that we've messed up and therefore need Christ to be saved from the consequence of the mess we made.

We can go on and on with this Joshua, but the fact is, if you don't let the light God's Word illuminate you, things will be the same with you. Can you let me post a suggestion to you, or maybe a challenge? Read the whole Book of John as if you don't have prior beliefs to start with. Read it without prejudice. Then come to me after reading John then tell me if you still feel the same against God. But the only requirement is that you read it without prejudice.

Caz
06/18/2013 8:35am

Sorry about the spam, my browser told me there was an error so I kept clicking submit!

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Caz
06/18/2013 6:10pm

God did not change His mind or make a plan that did not work. Of course it is the same God, that is not news at all.

I have given it a great deal of thought, my own conclusion was arrived at independently as I am not a member of any denomination or follower of any doctrine; everything I believe comes from direct study of the Bible and prayerful; meditation on its meaning It seems to me that there was a very clear purpose for God keeping the Hebrews as his people and being a very strict and demanding God to them. Over the course of thousands of years they had to be kept in check and retain an identity and belief in One God, they strayed time and time again (because they had free will to do so!). The Old Testament prophesies told of the coming of the Messiah, even to the time and place (see the book of Daniel for instance). This shows God had a plan.

I could spell it all out for you but I want you to do some thinking on this yourself. Imagine any other time in history prior to the birth of Christ when the politics and culture of the time would have enabled His message to be spread so effectively, look to the extent of the Roman Empire, the Greek culture of knowledge and Jewish monotheism converging at that time. Study how God has effectively used enemies of the Hebrews in the Old Testament.

I know you think you know better and have hardened your heart to any other opinion but just maybe a spark will ignite your curiosity to look deeper.

Many of the problems you see come from looking at them upside down. Human interpretation is what is fallible; the Bible itself is not. And whether you believe in the Bible or not is not going to make an iota of difference to its truth.

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Joshua
06/18/2013 10:23pm

You write: "Human interpretation is what is fallible; the Bible itself is not. And whether you believe in the Bible or not is not going to make an iota of difference to its truth."

You are making the claim that everything in the Bible is absolutely true, and you're making that claim on insufficient evidence. You cannot claim to know with absolute certainty that Jesus was born of a virgin or that Heaven or Hell actually exists. You have not been to Heaven or Hell. We do not know of anyone who has died, gone to Heaven or Hell, and then returned to us from the dead to tell us about the streets of gold or the pits of fire. There is no evidence whatsoever to support your claims. So, if you want to believe on faith that such places exist, that's one thing. But when you claim to know with absolute certainty that every last word in the Bible is absolutely true when there is no evidence to support that claim, then that claim becomes indicative of either intellectual dishonesty or mental illness.

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efren
06/18/2013 10:30pm

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Matt. 11:25

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Joshua
06/19/2013 4:20am

@ Dennis: If you believe in the divine infallibility of the Bible, you can't just hang your hat on the book of John, and disregard everything else. You write: "You're right. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is still the same" and “And so, God was not fixing any error He supposedly made in giving the Mosaic Law by giving the new covenant.

Do you honestly believe it was reasonable for God to command his people to murder their children for misbehaving? That doesn’t seem like an error to you? In any case, it certainly doesn’t sound like the loving and forgiving God you often reference. God also tells us in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that eating shellfish (shrimp, lobster, oysters, etc.) is a sin. This, like many alleged laws of God, seems like an incredibly stupid idea, yet you seem unable or unwilling to see the absurdity in it. Instead, you casually dismiss these biblical laws as inconsequential because your opinion (which many Christians disagree with i.e. Matthew 5:17-19) is that they no longer apply anyway. I've always found this argument to be a very convenient and self-serving one.

We know now that there is nothing "unclean" about or morally wrong with eating shellfish, and we have learned through science the best times of the year to harvest and eat certain shellfish. The civilized world today recognizes that slavery, regardless of circumstance, is a criminal, unethical practice, yet the Bible condones slavery in both the Old and New Testaments. This is the problem with the Bible. It is an imperfect, ancient book written by highly fallible men. None of the Bible was even written by Jesus, which should be your first clue. The Bible is a scriptural mess that for some reason continues to be used as an authoritative guide to morality in the 21st century. Do we really need the Bible to tell us the difference between right and wrong? Of course we don’t. We figured out the ethical dilemmas of slavery just fine on our own.

Needless to say, I do not believe in the Bible’s authority, as I do not believe it was authored by a God. But can you imagine how good and useful a book the Bible would be if it were truly written by an omniscient deity? Honestly, there is not a single sentence anywhere in the Bible that could not have been written by a first century person with a vivid imagination. There are countless passages in the Bible detailing how to sacrifice animals, how to keep slaves, who you can kill and why. Yet, there is nothing about electricity, nothing about DNA, nothing about infectious disease or the principles of infectious disease. There’s nothing about a cure for cancer. There is nothing particularly useful, and there’s tons of Iron Age barbarism and superstition. This hardly qualifies the Bible as a perfect book.

Reply
Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos
06/19/2013 11:43am

Visit this site: http://www.eternal-productions.org/101science.html

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Joshua
06/20/2013 5:02am

I'm not sure what to make of this, Dennis. The 2nd item on this list you’ve referred me to, this list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible, is Hebrews 11:3 – “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” If you read this entire chapter of Hebrews, you’ll note that it’s actually talking about faith and having faith in God even though we can’t see him. Somehow, the author has concluded that this verse is actually talking about atoms and molecular science. The author’s assertion, here, is ridiculous, desperate and idiotic.

The 5th item on that list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible is Deuteronomy 23:12-13 - "Also you shall have a place outside the camp, where you may go out; and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and turn and cover your refuse.” In this verse, God tells us that after you relieve yourself, you should bury it. Thank God for that! What a breakthrough! Again, this is nothing that couldn’t have been written by any first century person, most probably the same person who decided that eating shrimp is a sin and that we should discipline our children by murdering them (also in Leviticus and Deuteronomy).

The 36th item on the list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible is Psalm 139:13-16 – “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, [And] skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When [as yet there were] none of them.” The author has somehow concluded that these verses are specifically referring to DNA and genomic science. This is quite a leap. He has taken this incredibly obscure text and said, “Yep, this is precisely what it means. DNA.” There is absolutely no reference to even the faintest hint of the concept of DNA in this passage or anywhere else in the Bible. Psalm 139 is really referring to the omniscient nature of God, not genomics. This would be an appropriate time to question the author’s integrity and/or reading comprehension.

The 40th item on the list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible deals with medicine and references the Book of Ezekiel, chapter and verse 47:12 – “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all [kinds of] trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” The author is citing this verse as a significant contribution to medicinal science. However, this verse creates more questions than it provides answers. “Can all of the leaves be used as medicine? How do we actually use these leaves in the treatment of illness? Do we apply them to the skin? Or crush them up and ingest them? Or are there different applications for different leaves for different illnesses and injuries? Can we use the leaves for all illnesses and injuries? Which specific leaves should be used for each specific illness or injury? What does each one look like? How long should we use the leaves in order to be cured? Or does it depend on the type of illness or injury being treated? Which of the leaves are safe? Which are poisonous? What do the poisonous ones look like? Which fruits and berries are safe to eat? Which ones are poisonous? What do the poisonous fruits and berries look like? Are there other things we can use for medicine besides plants? What are they? How do we make them?” Again, there is nothing in Ezekiel 47:12 that could not have been written by any first century person. This verse does not divulge anything that was not already common knowledge in the era it was written. Don’t you think that a truly omniscient God could have written something infinitely more valuable and useful about medicine, or at the very least offered a little more guidance in this verse? I would still not be convinced of its divinity, but would at least be more impressed with this passage if it actually revealed the medicinal chemical compounds found in each of the various leaves possessing medicinal properties, as well as a description of how those chemical compounds actually counteract the illness causing viruses and bacteria, the factors that determine the successful outcome of antimicrobial therapy with antibacterial compounds, for instance. This scripture in no way bears the fingerprints of an

Joshua
06/25/2013 11:58pm

The 39th item on this list explains the origin of different races of people, referencing the Book of Genesis, Chapter 11. The author of this website you're referred me to explains, “As Noah’s descendants migrated around the world after Babel, each language group developed distinct features based on environment and genetic variation. Those with a genetic makeup suitable to their new environment survived to reproduce. Over time, certain traits (such as dark skin color for those closer to the equator) dominated.” Whether the author realizes it or not, what he is describing, here, is evolution and natural selection. Amazingly, however, the 73rd item on his list of scientific facts is a reference to various scriptures also found in the Book of Genesis that provide “evidence that directly contradicts the theory of evolution, but agrees completely with God’s Word. “ The author has cited the same Book of the Bible to support arguments both for and against evolution, and has consequently revealed an apparent error in the perfect, holy Word of God. You see the problem, here. Evolution is either possible, or not possible. It cannot be both. (It is possible, by the way. Nature provides us with a multitude of examples.)

Dennis Mark Aglosolos
06/26/2013 8:30am

Regarding item #39... let me tell you that we Christians believe in micro-evolution (changes within species) but NOT macro-evolution (a kind changing to another kind like apes to man). Color differences is micro-evolution and not macro-evolution. And yes, natural selection plays a part but not as Darwin views the changing effect of natural selection. To make my point, open this two links: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cfl/variation-within-kinds and http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/are-there-different-races

Joshua
07/11/2013 12:18pm

You believe in "micro-evolution", but not "macro-evolution"? First of all, those two terms essentially describe identical processes, only on different time frames. There really isn't a distinction to be made. Secondly, the evolution of life forms beyond the species level has actually been observed multiple times under both controlled laboratory conditions and in nature. So...

But putting facts aside for a moment, the logical next question for you is if you believe that "micro-evolution" is possible, why not go a step further and accept that "macro-evolution" would eventually be possible over the course of billions of years. You do know the earth is billions of years old, right? Not 6,000 years, but billions.

You keep referring me to biblical scripture and Christian websites, but there is no actual scientific evidence to support any of it. There is no actual evidence that a guy named Noah lived to be 950 years old and was still capable of fathering children after reaching several hundred years in age, as claimed in Genesis. There is no actual evidence that he herded two of every animal, which would have included millions of insect species, onto a boat. Such a feat would not even be possible today, let alone thousands of years ago.

Again, it's generally a bad idea to attempt to confirm the accuracy of religion though science. Science does not work in your favor. And that's fine. That's what makes religion, well... religion. It's faith based. It cannot be proven through scientific methods. So you either believe in it, or you don't.

Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos
07/12/2013 9:43pm

You asked me why I can't believe in macro-evolution when I believe in micro-evolution and you think they're the same? I don't believe in macro-evolution because it's a change from one kind to another kind. Micro-evolution is change within the kind. Two entirely different things!

You asked why I can't bring my belief further from micro-evolution to believing macro-evolution? Because the science of genetics tells us that new genetic information cannot be created, it can only be destroyed. Now, evolving from apes to man would require lots of new genetic information. With what the science of genetics has declared, it makes evolution IMPOSSIBLE! Even mutation, the hero of Darwin, has been found to only destroy genetic information and not create new ones.

As for your claim that a lot of Bible events (like the flood during Noah's time) have no evidence to back them up... I say that you're just ignoring evidences. If the global flood did not happen, then why are marine life fossils found on top of mountains? The eruption of Mt. Saint Helen's also showed that fossilization, deposit of layers or rocks which atheistic scientists claim takes millions of years, can take place in just a small amount of time.

Challenge: You said "the evolution of life forms beyond the species level has actually been observed multiple times under both controlled laboratory conditions and in nature." Give me one. And what I mean is evolution from one kind to another kind and not the usual proofs evolutionists give like with bacteria being resistant after some time because that bacteria is still bacteria (micro-evolution). Give me just one observed evidence of macro-evolution.

Joshua
07/15/2013 8:57am

I will respond to your question regarding marine fossils on mountaintops in a subsequent post to follow. With regard to your "challenge", one example that comes to mind is the induction of multicellularity in a strain of Chlorella pyrenoidosa by predation. This mutation resulted in a colonial form of green algae that has persisted in culture for about a decade, and is now being classified in the genus Coelosphaerium, a completely different family from Chlorella. The algae evolved into a new species, genus, and family. That seems to be fairly conclusive, and would meet the definition of macroevolution used by evolutionary biologists.

Another observable example would be the adaptive radiation of the 600 species of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria. These species are grouped into several different genera. This is an example of cladogenesis at the level of genus, which meets macroevolution criteria. I suspect these examples will in no way satisfy your narrow mind. I suspect your idea of “one kind to another” would be a chicken mutating into a dolphin in a single generation.

In any event, your position that new genetic information cannot be added to a genome is flatly wrong, and has been disproved on multiple occasions. Once again, the real scientific community disagrees with you. And it's not only the scientific community that disagrees with you, but also some of your fellow Christians, as noted at the following website: http://www.theistic-evolution.com/new-genetic-information.shtml. I don't agree with all his positions, but on this particular topic, he gets it right with references to actual scientists and their very real discoveries.

While you continue to push your creationist agenda for which there is no evidence, there exists an immense amount of data that supports every aspect of evolution at every level, data that can be researched and accessed in mere seconds. So, if anyone is guilty of ignoring evidence, it's you. You'd be doing yourself a favor by discontinuing the "science" narrative going forward. With all do respect, it seems obvious that you either don't know what you're talking about or you are being intellectually dishonest.

Joshua
07/15/2013 9:01am

Regarding the "flood", you ask “If the global flood did not happen, then why are marine life fossils found on top of mountains?” Those marine fossils have been found deep INSIDE layers of rock in certain mountaintops, not “on top” of them. This would suggest that they were laid down and buried deep in sediment before the mountains themselves were actually formed and raised, and not deposited on those mountaintops by floodwaters. Mountain ranges that exist today were formed by tectonic activity. In some cases, this activity uplifted the oceanic seafloor and formed mountains, which contain marine fossils as a result.

Take the Rocky Mountains, for instance, where marine fossils have been found. We know that the sediment and rocks that now make up the Rockies were initially formed beneath the sea. The mountains were later raised during an intense period of tectonic activity, and the continued shifting of plates resulted in a gradual regional uplift of the western part of North America above sea level. So, it would make sense to find marine fossils today in the Rocky Mountains, because those mountains are composed of rock formations that rose out of the sea. You do realize the earth’s surface has changed and shifted immensely during its existence, right? You’ve heard of Pangaea, right?

Anyway, in my last post I never specifically mentioned the alleged "flood". What I addressed were the highly improbable feats allegedly performed by Noah that accompany the flood story. As intellectually honest and (hopefully) sane people, we should all be able to agree that these alleged events were not possible. Noah did not live to be 950 years old. He did not herd two of every animal onto a boat, which would have included millions of insects and 100% of the animal types not native to his region. Oh, and dinosaurs. He would have needed two of every type of dinosaur, also. And he would have had to make the distinction, for all creatures, between male and female, including the millions of insects, which I’m sure he knew how to do. These are fairytales that belong on the shelf beside Peter Pan and Jack and the Bean Stalk. There is not a scintilla of evidence to the contrary.

Dennis Mark Aglosolos
07/15/2013 8:13pm

As expected, you'll just give me evidence that is still micro-evolution. Please download Evolution vs. God here: www.evolutionvsgod.com. Thanks for the months of exchange. May the God you don't believe in someday bless you with wisdom to believe that He does exist.

Joshua
07/16/2013 1:24am

No, Dennis. The examples I've given you are examples of MACROevolution, the definition of which you clearly do not understand. Your challenge to me was to present examples of the evolution of life forms beyond the species level (macroevolution), which is exactly what I've done. And there are many more documented examples available to you at your finger tips. Your denial of this clearly demonstrates your willful ignorance on the matter. You act as if any taxon above Species would result in a totally different type of creature, and that just isn't how it works. Look at a taxonomy chart sometime. There are many different closely related genera under the Caninae family, and yet they are all still "dogs". Similarly, humans and chimps also represent very closely related genera under the same family, Hominidae, and share 96-98% identical DNA, depending on inputs used in calculation. The other genera in the Hominidae family are gorillas and orangutans, which would still just be "monkeys" based on your logic. The point is that the gap is not nearly as wide as you posture.

You asked me to download your evolution versus God thingy, and I will. In return, I'll ask you to do some real research on your own, away from these various religious-biased websites you've been sending me to. I don't expect your mind will be changed in any way, but hopefully you'll come to realize how at odds science and religion truly are. Best of luck in the future.

Michael
06/26/2013 9:09am

Hi Joshua,

I can sense that you thirst for the truth, as we all are.
But we can only understand the truth if God chooses to reveal Himself to us.

"Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden"
"..so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”


If you allow me, I pray that God touches your heart and reveal the true answers to the questions of your heart.


We all fall short of the grace of God, but we can always ask for his mercy through prayer, if we are willing to believe:

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

Mic

Reply
Caz
07/15/2013 7:36pm

Joshua, as Mic says it is wonderful that you are seeking and questioning. I think you must have something in your heart that keeps bringing you back to ask more, otherwise you would just go elsewhere. I was like you, I found the Bible so unbelievable and our pervasive, evolutionary world view so compelling I was unable to put my trust in Jesus until He spoke to me. I pray that you can be touched by the Holy Spirit as I was. I think that we who question have have a strong desire for the truth and then it will be revealed (sometimes when we least expect it!). You just have to be ready to hear.

With faith and love,
Caz

Caz
07/15/2013 7:50pm

Joshua, as Mic says it is wonderful that you are seeking and questioning. I think you must have something in your heart that keeps bringing you back to ask more, otherwise you would just go elsewhere. I was like you, I found the Bible so unbelievable and our pervasive, evolutionary world view so compelling I was unable to put my trust in Jesus until He spoke to me. I pray that you can be touched by the Holy Spirit as I was. I think that we who question have have a strong desire for the truth and then it will be revealed (sometimes when we least expect it!). You just have to be ready to hear.

With faith and love,
Caz

Joshua
08/11/2013 9:27pm

You write, "But we can only understand the truth if God chooses to reveal Himself to us." Do you understand how foolish that sounds? Here, take that same sentence and replace the word "God" with the word "Zeus" or "Apollo" or "Santa Claus" or "Flying Spaghetti Monster". There is exactly the same amount of evidence that proves the existence of these fictional characters as there is evidence that proves the existence of "God", which is to say not much. Also, the notion that God picks and chooses who He will reveal Himself to makes me Him sound like an enormous jerk. Why not just come out and reveal Himself to the world. Oh wait, that's coming in the rapture, right? Silly me.


Joshua
08/11/2013 10:00pm

@ Caz: You write, "I was unable to put my trust in Jesus until He spoke to me." This is amazing. I have to ask, what does God sound like? I always imagined that God's voice would sound just like that of James Earl Jones. Anyway, suppose I told you that I also talk to God and He talks to me. You would undoubtedly think that to be a really terrific thing. Now, suppose I told you that I talk to God and He talks to me... through my hairdryer. You would probably conclude that I am suffering from mental illness. I fail to see how the inclusion of a hair dryer makes the claim any more ridiculous or crazy sounding. The President of the United States has claimed on many occasions to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his toothbrush, it would undoubtedly result in a national emergency/crisis. Don't you see the problem, here?

You are living in a make-believe fantasy world.

Caz
06/19/2013 9:19pm

Dennis, I initially thought that "Joshua" was genuinely interested in seeking answers and so I gave my time to giving my best insight. I think you did too. As it is your blog I will not waste anymore of your bandwidth engaging with Joshua. It appears to me that the sole reason for the rhetoric he presents is to show us how we are mistaken in our belief in God and prove the superiority of Joshua's proposition. Of course I will pray that his interest here is showing a seeking of the Lord even while his intellect is arguing against it. I know how that feels I had been there as an atheist for over 35 years.

Praise the Lord I found Jesus - or more accurately He found me :)

Reply
Joshua
06/20/2013 5:05am

I'm not sure what to make of this, Dennis. The 2nd item on this list you’ve referred me to, this list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible, is Hebrews 11:3 – “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” If you read this entire chapter of Hebrews, you’ll note that it’s actually talking about faith and having faith in God even though we can’t see him. Somehow, the author has concluded that this verse is actually talking about atoms and molecular science. The author’s assertion, here, is ridiculous, desperate and idiotic.

The 5th item on that list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible is Deuteronomy 23:12-13 - "Also you shall have a place outside the camp, where you may go out; and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and turn and cover your refuse.” In this verse, God tells us that after you relieve yourself, you should bury it. Thank God for that! What a breakthrough! Again, this is nothing that couldn’t have been written by any first century person, most probably the same person who decided that eating shrimp is a sin and that we should discipline our children by murdering them (also in Leviticus and Deuteronomy).

The 36th item on the list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible is Psalm 139:13-16 – “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, [And] skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When [as yet there were] none of them.” The author has somehow concluded that these verses are specifically referring to DNA and genomic science. This is quite a leap. He has taken this incredibly obscure text and said, “Yep, this is precisely what it means. DNA.” There is absolutely no reference to even the faintest hint of the concept of DNA in this passage or anywhere else in the Bible. Psalm 139 is really referring to the omniscient nature of God, not genomics. This would be an appropriate time to question the author’s integrity and/or reading comprehension.

The 40th item on the list of scientific breakthroughs as foretold in the Bible deals with medicine and references the Book of Ezekiel, chapter and verse 47:12 – “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all [kinds of] trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” The author is citing this verse as a significant contribution to medicinal science. However, this verse creates more questions than it provides answers. “Can all of the leaves be used as medicine? How do we actually use these leaves in the treatment of illness? Do we apply them to the skin? Or crush them up and ingest them? Or are there different applications for different leaves for different illnesses and injuries? Can we use the leaves for all illnesses and injuries? Which specific leaves should be used for each specific illness or injury? What does each one look like? How long should we use the leaves in order to be cured? Or does it depend on the type of illness or injury being treated? Which of the leaves are safe? Which are poisonous? What do the poisonous ones look like? Which fruits and berries are safe to eat? Which ones are poisonous? What do the poisonous fruits and berries look like? Are there other things we can use for medicine besides plants? What are they? How do we make them?” Again, there is nothing in Ezekiel 47:12 that could not have been written by any first century person. This verse does not divulge anything that was not already common knowledge in the era it was written. Don’t you think that a truly omniscient God could have written something infinitely more valuable and useful about medicine, or at the very least offered a little more guidance in this verse? I would still not be convinced of its divinity, but would at least be more impressed with this passage if it actually revealed the medicinal chemical compounds found in each of the various leaves possessing medicinal properties, as well as a description of how those chemical compounds actually counteract the illness causing viruses and bacteria, the factors that determine the successful outcome of antimicrobial therapy with antibacterial compounds, for instance. This scripture in no way bears the fingerprints of an

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Joshua
06/20/2013 5:06am

(continued from previous comment) ...omniscient, all-knowing god. It is completely useless in the 21st century. I’m afraid this also holds true for the vast majority of the Bible.

And on and on I could go, all the way down this half-baked list that you’ve referred me to. I have only scanned it briefly, but have seen quite enough. I mean, a person has to work incredibly hard to reach the conclusions espoused on that website. An immense amount of mental gymnastics is required. It is always amusing to me how religious people will attempt to use science to validate their religions. Science is not on your side. All of the magic and miracles of the Bible that you believe to be true are in direct conflict with the very laws of science that we KNOW to be true.

Dennis, I believe you are a good person, and I know you are trying to help people. I think the basis for your work is misguided, but at the end of day, I truly appreciate your desire to help others. I am very involved in charities in my community, and I know the value and utmost importance of helping people in need. I am not the monster you probably imagine. My approach to good works is simply coming from a different place, a different perspective. Anyway, best of luck.

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b
07/24/2013 8:28am

God is just a term used as an excuse. its gods will, god knows whats going to happen etc... why not spend time learning about yourself and your own family and quit worrying about a fictitious character in an old old old book of compfire stories.

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Eva Sutherland
08/05/2013 9:45pm

Hi Dennis
Have just started reading this page and have not got through all the replies so I hope that you have not already answered my question.
You say that God gives us free will because he needs to know that we are giving him love freely but surely if he knows everything he will know whether we will give him love or not before he gives us free will. Surely there is nothing that he needs to find out by way of this 'experiment'. He knows everything already!
Secondly, surely there is no such thing as free will. Every decision that every human makes is the only decision that they could make at that time taking into account all the pressures, ambitions,knowledge and every other factor at that time when the decision was made. When all these factors are loaded onto one side of the scales there is no way the scales will tip the other way. Therefore, as I see it, there is no such thing as free will.
Thirdly, the bible was written by man.
Nothing in it proves that God exists.



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Dennis Mark Aglosolos
08/08/2013 10:31am

Hi Eva! First of all thanks for reading my article and I also apologize for the late reply to your comment. I've wanted to answer your comments in the past days but I have been under the weather and had no energy to do so. But any way, here are my answers:
*In my article, I never said that God needed to know that we will love Him freely as obviously, if He is an omniscient God, He knows that already. He did not do an "experiment" with us by giving us free will. If you will read my article closely, what I said that God wants us to love Him freely because love not freely given is not true love. Free will is an element God gave to make true love possible.
*On your assertion that there really is no free will because there are factors that influence a decision. I disagree. Yes, there are people who were forced to do bad things because of circumstances. But please remember, there are also people who were subjected to the same pressures but chose to do what's right even if in choosing to do right, inconveniences arise. And I think it's not right to say that the bombers during the Sept 11 attack in the US really had no choice but to kill innocent people at the world trade center and the pentagon. Surely, free will was in play here.
*On your claim that the Bible was just written by man, I suggest that (1) you do a little research on scientific facts in the Bible that It got right first before scientist did, (2) do a research on historical facts that Bible writers prophesied that all came to past, (3) and realize that the Bible was written by several writers in a span of a several thousands of years, and yet their theme was consistent. All of these proves what the Bible said "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21), "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16). God just used man to write the Bible, but what to write eventually came from Him.
Please allow me to pray for you, Eva. I really don't know if you do not believe that God exist or you're just not sure if He does exist. Either way, you face these for things if you don't recognize God's existence:
1. You have no source of moral law. If everything is just material as atheistic scientists claim, then how did morality come out of the chemical soup that the Big Bang supposedly caused? But you do have a sense of right and wrong and your conscience is proof to that ("Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;" Romans 2:15) Morality is proof that God exist for only from Him can goodness come from.
2. You have no hope. In a world full of despair, pain and sufferings, surely you'd want that someday, you be in a better place. Without God, you can't have that hope of a better place. What you'll have is what you have right now.
3. Your life could have no meaning. In an atheistic society that says we are just chemical accidents caused by the big bang, life could just be about living the here and now, and no greater purpose for the future. You work hard, but for what greater purpose than to just provide you with your needs. You live for the present. But for someone who believes in God, he lives for the pleasure of Him he believes has given him the blessing of life and will someday be His companion for eternity.
4. You have no way for recovery. If I, who believe in God's existence, got right with Him whom I have offended with my sins, lived my life with Him as my hope and the reason for being (meaning), died and the reality was there really is no God, there really was no harm done for believing in Him in my life on earth. I lived a life of hope and meaning believing in Him even if He really did not exist. But for someone who denies God's existence, lived life as he desired because any way, there's no God he'll someday be accountable to, then dies and found out that God did exist, there is no more chance to get right with Him anymore. And the Bible tells us that anyone who is not reconciled to God will be punished in Hell.

Eva, we have sinned against God. Proof to that is our disobedience to His Commandments (lying, adultery, hatred, dishonor of parents, etc.). On God's appointed Judgment Day, He'll definitely declare us guilty and deserving of Hell. But God did something unimaginable. He made a payment for our sins when He died on the cross and then rose from the grave after 3 days. If you'll repent of your sins (admit you're a sinner and show God a true desire to start honoring Him) and trust on Jesus for your salvation (for He is the sinless God who became man and died on the cross for us) and not on religion or good works, He promises you forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Heaven ("For God so loved the w

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Joshua
08/09/2013 4:31am

@ Dennis: Your claims regarding biblical prophecy and scientific discovery revealed in the scriptures are just silly. Any example of apparent prophecy fulfillment can be explained, by its creative interpretation or by being written after the event occurred. As I’ve mentioned before, the Bible is filled with obscure passages and vague observations that can easily be retrofitted to match any number of later events and scientific achievements. The same can be said about the predictions of Nostradamus. And what about all of the unfulfilled prophecy in the Bible? I mean, there are a multitude of failed biblical prophecies. For instance, the major prophet Isaiah prophesied that Egyptians would learn the language of Canaan (Isaiah 19:18). Not only has the Canaanite language never been spoken by Egyptians, but it is now an extinct language. I could go on for days. And why aren’t all of mankind’s scientific achievements to date foretold in the Bible? Man has written countless books through the ages covering the fields of science, medicine, mathematics, even morality and ethics that are far more useful to us today than the Bible. If the Bible is truly the “Word of God”, why isn’t it, you know… better? How is it possible that 5th grade math and science books contain more usefull information than this allegedly “perfect” book that was written by an alleged all-powerful, all-knowing God?

You also write, “realize that the Bible was written by several writers in a span of a several thousands of years, and yet their theme was consistent.” The same can basically be said about Sanskrit literature in Hinduism and many other religious texts. I don’t see how this makes the Bible unique.

You also suggest that without the existence of God, man has no source of moral law. This idea is incredibly silly. You do realize that your God commanded the Israelites to murder their children for misbehaving (Leviticus). Does that sound moral to you? Further, perceptions about “right vs. wrong” are vastly different among individuals, cultures, and religions. For instance, the 9/11 hijackers flew commercial jets into the World Trade Center towers IN THE NAME OF GOD!!! They inherently sensed that what they were doing was precisely moral and mandated by their religious doctrine. Is it right or wrong to force women to dress in cloth bags and to douse their faces in acid or “honor kill” them for committing adultery? I would say this is wrong, yet much of the Muslim world would say it’s right. Is slavery right or wrong? I would say it’s wrong, but your Bible condones the practice of slavery. So, if all humans possess a divinely-instilled sense of right and wrong, why does this sense of right and wrong vary so much throughout the world and throughout history?

You also suggest that if you don’t believe in God, then your life has no meaning. Honestly, that is one of the most idiotic assertions I have ever heard/read. That’s the only way I know how to respond to what you've written. Absurdity of the highest order. You live in a fantasy world. What about my Aunt who is an inner city social worker and also an atheist? Her passion in life, her sole existence is centered around helping and nurturing impoverished and underprivileged children. Is her life also meaningless? You are a narrow-minded half-wit.

Joshua
08/10/2013 2:48am

More Biblical Errors:

Israel will live in peace with its neighbors:
Ezekiel 28:24-26 predicts that Israel will live in peace with its neighbors: “No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns…”. You’ll note that Israel has never lived in peace with its neighbors at any time in recorded history, nor is it likely to.

Destruction of Egypt:
Ezekiel 29:8-12 – “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.” This passage is one of the most erroneous in the entire Bible. Egypt has never been a desolate waste, there has never been a time when people have not walked through it, there has never been a period of forty years when Egypt was uninhabited, and it has never been surrounded by other desolate countries.

Ezekiel 30:10-11 further predicts that Nebuchadnezzar will destroy Egypt: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He and his army—the most ruthless of nations— will be brought in to destroy the land. They will draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain.” However, Nebuchadnezzar was defeated in his only attempt to invade Egypt.

Nile River Will Run Dry:
Ezekiel 30:12 continues with a prediction that the Nile River will run dry: “I will dry up the streams of the Nile and sell the land to evil men; by the hand of foreigners I will lay waste the land and everything in it. I the LORD have spoken.” There is no evidence that this has ever happened in recorded history.

Davidic line will endure forever:
There are several instances in the Old Testament where God promises David that the descendants of Solomon will rule Judah forever. For example, in 2 Samuel 7:13-16 God tells the prophet Nathan: “He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” However, the Davidic line ended with King Zedekiah in about 586 BC.

And on and on I could go. How do you explain these biblical errors and failed prophecies, Dennis? How dare you condescendingly suggest to anyone that they conduct research on “historical facts that Bible writers prophesied that all came to past”, as you claim? What about all of the claims in the Bible that the prophets were flatly wrong about? How do you reconcile this?

trolll
08/06/2013 2:29am

if god is all-knowing and he is perfectly good in all aspects, how does he know what it is like to feel lust, which means he is A. Not all knowing or B. not perfectly good. In that case, I go so far as to why he judges people if he is not qualified.

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Dennis Mark Aglosolos
08/08/2013 10:41am

When Jesus came to earth, He subjected Himself to everything we experience, including being tempted to sin. In His case, Satan, himself, was the one who tempted Jesus. And the circumstance... Jesus was so vulnerable to giving in to sin as He had just gone through 40 days of fasting. But He never gave in to temptation. In fact, He rebuked Satan for what he was doing. Hebrews 4:15 says that He "...was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." On that basis, the Bible is clear that Jesus tasted how it is to be tempted. And because He did not succumb to sin, He is very much qualified to judge humanity someday.

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Epicurus
08/09/2013 10:30pm

I enjoyed reading all the comments from the Christian apologists. It amazes me how people can quote a book that was written in the bronze age by people who were basically scientifically ignorant. For some reason though they feel that the bible has the wonderful mysteries of the universe all figured out. Where we come from and what we are destined for.

The question that is posed is the right one that people should ponder. Here is my take. God creates humans. God gives humans freewill. (God basically gives man the rope to hang himself with) God is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at once. (Allows pain and suffering in the world) God has a plan for everyone.(God has a plan for people to be born into a family where food and clean water are plentiful and some people god has a plan for them to be born, starve, not have clean water to drink and then die before the age of 5.. Not to mention natural disasters that will and have taken the life of millions. And while all this is going on and even by the time I’m finished typing this sentence.. thousands of more innocent children and people around the world will die.) Why doesn’t Yahweh, Allah, Shangdi, Mazu, Shou Xing, Tu Di Gong, Krishna, Vishnu, Kali, Ishvara, Ra, Isis, Anubis, Osiris, and the Christian God step in and end this suffering? The answer is simple because he doesn’t exist.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

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siddhant
08/23/2013 2:26am

Greetings my fellow enthusiasts,
I am happy to see so many people interested in this topic other than me
Firstly dont attack christians or tell their beliefs are wrong rather lets ahve a healthy discussion.
In my way of understanding i cannot put religion into words as it is so beautiful same as for god.
I am in between I cannot stay away from god yet i do not believe in him.
Bible is your holy book I do not have any right to question it though even i found somethings unsatisfactory.
God for me are all the same be it allah, vishnu, christian god, zeus etc and in my belief god should not punish us for following other religions. God is not clear in his words if he is there because no matter how much i pull myself away from him
I cannot go away its actually so beautiful. Joshua for you this maybe rubbish but im neither christian nor hindu neither muslim yet i believe in god but I do not know what he wants who he is or how is nature is religion and science do not go together and never will. Science is hard practise and proofs while religion is faith. The power more powerful then god is imagination which made god himself possible in our minds aswell as science and yet even more powerful than imagination or god is love which can make you disobey god even if he comes there himself so I dont know what i am or if god exists or not but i believe in my own god and i believe in love
Dennis you are a great fellow I wish god may watch upon you and me and all that exist. Some questions only god can answer and which we canjot interpret

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Suzel Velasquez
09/07/2013 2:59am

I just get scared because I don't want to hurt anymore....

I don't want to be bored with life either though. I want to experience the good and great things life has to offer.... and not the sad or depressing violence and trageties that I see outside of me and even sometimes inside me (my personal life). Please help me Lord, I surrender to what your plans are for me... it's just way too sad and overwhleming what is happening to other people... and myself. I am powerless so maybe it's not so good then and I should focus on myself then, like my brother said. I just hope that I get some peace somehow and the inspiration and motivation for others and help them out and have fun in life too...

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09/20/2013 11:58pm

FREE-WILL IS A SCRIPTURAL REALITY

Does God control who is saved and who is lost? Is it man's choice or is it God who dictates man's decisions concerning salvation and the Christian's lifestyle?

FREE-WILL

John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me, 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

Jesus was speaking to certain Jews who were trying to kill Him. Jesus said they were unwilling to come to Him. They had free-will; they just rejected Him.

Luke 6:46 "Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord,' and do not what I say?

Why would Jesus ask, why they disobeyed, if they did not have free-will? If they did not have a choice, Jesus would have commanded them to do His will. They would have had no option, but to obey.

Acts 7:51 "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

These men resisted the Holy Spirit . You cannot resist the Holy Spirit if you do not have free-will.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

The Lord does not want any to perish. If men do not have free-will, everyone would have already repented. All mankind would be saved. Without the free-will of man the Lord would not need patience.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober of spirit, be on alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

It would be a hollow warning to tell Christians to resist the devil, if men do not have free-will. Resisting the devil would be impossible without free-will.

Without free-will , there would be no sin that could be resisted.

Without free-will, no man could resist the gospel, and all who heard it would be saved.

SATAN WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE.

ALL MEN HAVE FREE-WILL!


YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search >>> steve finnell a christian view

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Joshua
09/24/2013 6:48am

@ Steve and Dennis: As Christians, you believe your God to be a perfect omniscient deity, which means that He necessarily knows what every possible creature in this world will do under any possible circumstance, even before they are created. He has a plan for all of our lives, and He knows precisely how our lives will play out. And yet you still believe that God’s omniscience and man’s free-will can co-exist in the same coherent framework? Really? I would love to know how these two propositions are reconciled.
If God is truly omniscient, then surely He knew that if I came into existence, I would become an atheist and would reject the Gospels. Yet, God knowingly allowed me to come into existence. Indeed, He is the ultimate cause of my existence, correct? Therefore, it must be the case that God wanted me to be an atheist and to reject His Gospels. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have allowed my existence at all. And it must therefore follow that God wants me to go to Hell. The number of people who go to Hell must be exactly the number of people that God wants there, not one person more or one person less. After all, God knows precisely who will reject Him before they are even born. God is all-knowing. And not only does God create people who He knows will reject Him, He has also created the mechanism with which to punish these people. These people are predestined to spend an eternity in Hell, and yet God knows this and creates them anyway. For some reason God has given me free-will, but He has known all along that I will use it to reject Him and therefore spend eternity burning in fire. He knew this before I was even conceived. So I have to ask – exactly what kind of sick game is your God playing, here? And if you say that I’ve got it all wrong, that God really wants me to go to Heaven and is HOPING that I will change my heart and repent, then you are also saying that God is actually NOT omniscient after all. Your doctrine teaches you that God does not HOPE for outcomes, because He already KNOWS. So if God exists, He already knows that I will not change, nor will the billions of others who are nonbelievers or are subscribers to other faiths, and He has known that since the beginning of time. If God exists, He has created me and billions of other “lost souls” for no other purpose than to suffer for eternity. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that it’s a strange sort of “loving” and “caring” God you worship that would bestow this kind of cruel and gruesome fate on humanity. Good thing He doesn’t exist!
Also, you’ve quoted a spectacular amount of scripture here, as if any of it actually provides evidence for anything. Sorry, but it just doesn’t. Your Bible is unreliable at best and completely fictional at worst. Consider, for instance, the numerous discrepancies in just the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection alone: What day did Jesus die? Was it the day after Passover, as Mark explicitly says (Mark 14:12-16), or was it the day before Passover, as John explicitly says (John 19:14)? Who went to the tomb on the third day? Did Mary go alone, or did she go with other women? If she went with other women, how many were there and what were their names (John 20:1, Mark 16:1, Matthew 28:1, Luke 24:1)? Was the stone rolled away before they got to the tomb (Mark 16:14, Luke 24:2, John 20:1), or was in not (Matthew 28:1-5)? What did the woman/women see in the tomb? Was it one man (Mark 16:5), two men (Luke 24:4), or one angel whose appearance was like lightning (Matthew 28:2-3)? Seems like this detail would be pretty difficult to mistake, and yet there it is – a glaring mistake. And on and on I could go, as there are countless other discrepancies in just this one story alone.
I mean, this is the salvation story we’re talking about here, arguably the most important event documented in the entire Bible, and there are blatant errors and inconsistencies all over the place. Don’t you think that if this were truly the perfect Word of God, that He would have made sure that His scribes at least got the details of the story correct? And why did God need scribes, anyway? Jesus is God, and yet not a single word in the Bible was actually written by him. Not one. That should be your first clue. How anyone could believe that the Bible is the perfect, infallible, inerrant Word of God is beyond imagination. It is indicative of intellectual dishonesty, ignorance, or mental illness, none of which are good scenarios. We know now that there are all sorts of historical errors and mistakes in the Bible, and as a result, most Biblical scholars recognize the difficulty in knowing with absolute certainty whether or not Moses actually existed or what Jesus actually said and did. We have discovered there are entire books that were at one time considered canonical, but that ul

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Joshua
09/24/2013 6:49am

(continued from previous post)... , but that ultimately did not become part of scripture (for example, other Gospels and Apocalypses). We have discovered that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (for example, written in the name of an apostle, but by someone else). We have discovered entire passages of scripture that were added centuries subsequent to the original authoring of certain books, including John 5:7-8 which is the only passage in the Bible that explicitly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity and is actually a forgery added to scripture in the 16th century. We have discovered, in fact, that we don't have the original copies of any of the biblical books, only copies of copies of copies of copies of copies that were made centuries later, all of which have been altered, which begs the question, if God actually gave us His Word, why didn’t He also preserve it? I implore you to think honestly about these things.

01/22/2014 3:33am

Thanks for the article, you make some nice points on this topic. I would only like to add that Catholics DO believe we are saved by the grace of God alone. If you look it up in our catechism you can see that very plainly yourself. Thanks and many blessings! Laura

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01/23/2014 1:25am

Hai brother
I want one answer
"why god given freedom to man...pls send me reply

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Jacob
02/15/2014 7:10pm

@Dennis, Caz, etc.

To the those who have responded to this article and defended it's contents, I thank you all greatly for
enlightening me with the mixture of facts, opinions, and biblical understanding. For the longest time I had asked myself why God had given man free will, and I had always personally concluded "If a man were to be stranded on a deserted island, would he prefer the company of another person, or that of a puppet?" I appreciate the passion and life changing stories included in the debates I've read through.

@Dennis
You've given me more understanding from the scriptures that I had had originally. You've inspired me to search for deeper meaning in the Bible, and I thank you greatly for that.

@Can
Your story has truly touched me. Not only do you have a firm grasp on your beliefs but after 30 years of living in the dark you found light. I'm not only proud of you, but I'm overjoyed knowing that there are people who are not willing to prove or disprove, but to merely understand, learn, and in your case, reconnect.

@Joshua
I admire you for your persistence on the subject and your strong grasp on your debates with Christians. However, I do not admire you for your ignorance, branching your own opinions off of the original concept of this article, not to question or to learn about another person's beliefs, but to slander them and disprove them. You talk but do not wish to listen, you claim to know but do not wish to learn. There are good atheists and bad athiests, just as there are good and bad Christian men. You are no better than bad Christian men in forcing their beliefs on others. My understanding from looking through this article was to read the shared perspective of a fellow Christian to broaden my own insight. I believe you have done the opposite. Rather than pointing out every little flaw by looking up multiple pieces of information to support your stance, and insulting those who are willing to debate with you, simply listen. There are Christians who seek to directly disapprove athiests on matters such as this as well, deafness to the voice of others, but you are merely another member of the deaf crowd if you continue you agendas of ignorance.

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Joshua
03/02/2014 10:23am

Let's try again: If God has always known what you will have for breakfast tomorrow, can you choose to have something else instead? Let’s consider the possible answers:

Answer #1: Yes.

Then something can happen that God didn’t know about, so God is not omniscient or inerrant. God thought you would choose one thing, when in fact you chose another. Therefore, God got it wrong, and God didn’t know your eventual choice. And Christian theology, consequently, is wrong about the nature of God.

Answer #2: No.

So then you can't choose to do something other than what God has always known you would do, even from before he created you. God knows every last detail about the past, present and future, and has a specific plan in place for all of us, remember? In that case, God’s inerrant omniscience means you don’t actually have free-will because your actions have all been pre-determined for you by God’s foreknowledge of your actions. In effect, you are no different than a robot. And, as a robot, of course, you can’t be held responsible for your actions. Accountability lies with the thing controlling you – which is God. And that means all this stuff about human disobedience, sin and the need to beg God for forgiveness is also wrong.

The above example clearly illustrates that the Bible must be wrong about at least one, if not two, of the central tenets of Christianity. It’s either wrong about the nature of God, or about human free-will, or both.

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Joshua
03/02/2014 10:35am

And I find it enormously amusing that you call me ignorant, when you're the one who can't see the incompatibility between omniscience and free-will. The two things cannot coexist. It's impossible. The fact is that an omniscient God that is capable of making decisions and intervening in our lives is an absolute impossibility. If God knows, and has always known, every infinitesimal detail of the future, how can he change his mind about anything and still be inerrant? How can He intervene in our lives and change the original “plan” He initially laid out for us? He can’t, of course. To do so would mean that He didn’t actually know the future to begin with and that His original plan was somehow faulty or mistaken. Think of it this way: If you’re a god who’s omniscient, and you know everything about the past, present, and future, including all of your own personal choices, then you also know what you’re going to do tomorrow at 12:00 noon. Therefore, when 12:00 noon comes around tomorrow, you don’t have a choice. But if you change your mind anyway and do something different, then you weren’t really omniscient. So, if God really knows the future, then He can’t change it. Period. And if God can’t change the future, then He can’t be omnipotent, either. In fact, a truly omniscient god would be totally powerless to do anything. There would be no logical way that an inerrantly omniscient God could even decide to make a decision, because He would have already known of that new decision and its outcome, an eternity prior. An inerrantly omniscient God cannot even decide to decide something, let alone influence anything. Everything in the universe in which an inerrantly omniscient God resides would be absolutely and unchangeably preordained. God’s alleged omniscience renders Him completely paralyzed, unable to move, unable to decide anything, unable even to think, since all His own actions, even the actions of His own thought processes, are also fully and unchangeably preordained. Nothing in a universe occupied by an inerrantly omniscient God can be changed, not even the thoughts of that God itself. Therefore, such a God in such a universe would have absolutely no purpose at all. Despite what Christian theology would have you believe, an omniscient, omnipotent god that has free-will cannot exist. And if it can’t exist, then it doesn’t exist.

Jacob
03/02/2014 11:38am

@ Joshua

You are once again not listening. You are so obsessed with being right you are not willing to understand or accept anyone else's beliefs. In one way of thinking, a Christian would only wish to change your mind not for the sake of being right and proving you wrong, but for the sake of saving your soul if there is in fact a heaven and hell. You wish only to be right for the sake of pride. I am a man who is willing to swallow his pride and learn from others. If I do not know something, I will not argue. I will give you a respectful agreement that you have a point, and educate myself so that I may be able to explain what I believe later on, as I'm sure you have during your discussions with other people on this page. However, I do not do this to slander your beliefs, but to restart the discussion so you may broaden your perspective and do the same. The people here are trying to introduce you to a new way of thinking, and though some of them you have fair response for, you are not treating them with the same dignity they are treating you with. I will not be disrespectful of your beliefs, as you have with many of the people commenting on this post, but I will do my best to understand them.

I called you ignorant not as an insult to your intelligence, your thought processes, or education of religious beliefs, but to describe your intolerance and inability to WANT to understand the personal beliefs of individual Christians and other religions. I'm not telling you that your wrong Joshua. I'm not saying that your stupid. I'm saying that you need to learn to be respectful of another man's opinions and not just find ways to prove them wrong. When you are disrespectful, or are unwilling to understand another man's viewpoint, you lose credibility in everything you say. I know a lot of the thoughts you express are not your own. You do not believe in God, that is a fair belief among men. But your means of persuasion are not of respect and willingness to understand, as I said before, ignorant.

I value your opinion. You state your case with impressive detail. But in turn you will only gain credibility by doing the same for your fellow man. So while I side with the respect the people here have shown you in stating their opinion, you have received less from me.

Do not describe another man's beliefs as silly or make sarcastic statements.

"They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart."

Ephesians 4:18

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Joshua
03/03/2014 11:03am

Look, buddy, I was a "born again" Christian for twenty years. Grew up Southern Baptist, had a mother who taught Sunday School every week, I was "saved" and Baptized at the age of ten, went on mission trips, went door to door passing out tracts, studied the Bible and prayed for hours and hours on end - the whole nine yards. So believe me when I tell you that there is nothing ignorant about my views on Christianity. I guarantee you that I know more about Christianity and the Bible and its history than anybody else posting on this thread. Every Christian view that's been expressed here, was also held by me at one point or another. So, for you to call me ignorant on the subject is just plain fallacious. You don't know anything about me. And your protests about my lack of "respect" strike me as hollow and incredibly hypocritical. I mean, give me break. Christians don't respect other religious beliefs, do they? Christians don't respect Islamic beliefs, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Scientologists' beliefs, and so on. And none of those religions respect Christianity, either. Wars have been fought for millennia over all this nonsense. If a Muslim knocked on your door today wanting to share with you the good news of Muhammad, would you accept it with an open mind and heart? Of course you wouldn't! The truth is that it's only when your own particular brand of religion is being criticized or scrutinized that we hear cries of "disrespect" and "intolerance". "I am free to proclaim that your religion is false, but you must respect mine!" This is precisely what you're saying when you tell that Muslim standing at your door that the only way he can get to paradise is through Jesus Christ. Do you honestly think that Muslim will not be offended by that statement? Are Christian missionaries being respectful of others' beliefs while they're convincing them to abandon those very beliefs in favor of Christianity? What about this blog? Isn't the owner and author trying to use it as a tool to change the minds of nonbelievers or subscribers to other religions? He's not being respectful of their beliefs, is he? He's trying to convince them that they're wrong and to ultimately change their beliefs, or unbelief. So let's be honest, you don't have a problem with disrespecting the beliefs of others, you just don't like the way I do it. Your entire argument, or complaint as it were, is patently hypocritical. Apparently, there's a right and a wrong way to be disrespectful? This is lunacy. If you were really serious about any of this, you would be insisting that Christians cease and desist their efforts to CONVERT people.

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Joshua
03/03/2014 10:13pm

And not to put too fine a point on it, but there is something incredibly arrogant about telling a person that they're inherently bad and that there's something wrong with them, that their life somehow needs "saving", and that, by golly, you're the one who can get them saved. This is the absolute height of arrogance and disrespect! Think about that.

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03/05/2014 3:08am

Brother Dennis:
I am new to this site but have been reading all the messages. I am glad you are nourishing up others in the word of the lord and helping them in there spiritual struggles.

Just a few questions I have...We all are creatures of little faith but with Gods word we are strengthen daily. I myself have " mustard seed faith" but lately have been leaning on the word of the Lord.
See with : Man it is impossible but with God all things are possible..

Yes God is awesome! I would looking on a free will question and this topic answered the question but I have another question....

I got in some trouble with the Law and now I am on probation and on the sex registry......now don't judge the book without reading the cover...... I was on an adult website and happened to click on one night some gal that said she was a teenager.... I questioned her about if she couldn't find anyone her age to talk to and all that. Of course it got a bit spicy as most adult chat site's get but it didn't appear right but I was taken in by all this. To make a long story short I went down to meet this person but it turned out to be a police officer....... Boy did Satan really do a number on me.... I was deceived by this.... and I can not look at it any other way....... but I can also look at it as correction...... but what a way to go for correction. Now I am under bondage as a lot of these sex offenders are......There are moral issues about these internet sex sting operations and although I took a plea deal. I bowed down to them and I told my probation officer that I would never bow down to man again. Now I am in denial because of my " thought". So is it right to tell the truth when they want you to tell them that you thought that this was a teenage gal?
I also have another issue about my free will about attending and getting back in church again. Seems one has to have a chaperone because some churches have kids. There was no kids in my ordeal or in that matter no victim. how should I handle that free will?
Should I rather obey God or what's your view's. Maybe someone can answer that one for me. One church had a meeting with me and my probation officer and it doesn't seem the church wants to help me and be a chaperone to me and have washed their hands of the matter. So if free will is having man call the shots under a court order from the stipulation their is a bit of something wrong with the law.

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Dennis Mark Aglosolos
03/05/2014 9:26am

Hi James!

First of all, "thanks" for reading the article!

I'd like to start with my response with this fact from the Bible that a Christian, although he has been justified by God (declared sinless) through Jesus, as long as he is in this world, will still be in situations that he falls to sin, and God knows this (1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."). What God expects from us is that we right away confess are sins to Him as soon as we realize that we have done evil in His sight. He'll forgive us right away if we do that as 1 John 1:9 promises. But that does not mean that God stops there. He will allow consequences (but not eternal consequences) for the sins we have committed to give us a lesson so that we'll not do these sins again.

Now, we must understand that our obedience to Him is a must and is not dependent on situations. He wants us to tell the truth at all times, even if doing so will put us in difficult situations. Even if doing so will reinforce mistakes done by people or systems, like in the case of sting operations. God will deal with people and their mistakes on an individual basis, and you can count on that. Now where is free will here if God wants us to obey Him at all times? To obey or not to obey is still your decision. You may say that God does not really leave you with any choice if He'll give you consequences for your actions. Please understand, that even in non-spiritual things, there is always a consequence for our actions (e.g., if I choose to eat several bars of chocolates, my blood sugar level will go up. If I just take a bite, there will be less harm on my body) and so , why should with spiritual things be different? And again, as Christians, we must take as comfort the fact that God allows consequences for our mistakes, not to harm us, but to make us better Christians. Our response to his disciplining and the trials he allows will be an opportunity for us to glorify God in our lives.

As for Christian churches that refuses to chaperone you... I'm so disappointed about that. The Church should be always ready to help. But we must understand that people who make up churches are also humans who are also still capable of making ungodly and unloving decisions. forgive them. I suggest that you go look for another church and don't stop until you find one that can help you. Pray that God will lead you to one.

I'll be praying for you.

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03/05/2014 10:25am

Pastor./Teacher

I didn't know you where in the Philippines. You know you are right as I came to that same conclusion myself but the deception is a bit hard for me to grasp coming from law enforcement.

Now the way I look at this is from the stand point of job to use an example. Job never cursed God and even though Satan played a number on him it was an example to use.

You are right as Christians we are all tempted even the Moses struck the stone and God told him not too. Paul killed and watched Stephen getting stoned and than a change occurred on the road to dasmascus.
I sort of look at this as a wake up calling of correction but what a way to be corrected. Being under the sex registry for a deception trumped up by police. And than there stipulations of having a chaperone to attend church with.
Now tell me this..... What Christian from the church would have to go to be approved by a sinner to be a chaperone to someone to attend church? If attending church is not of one's own free will than the circumstances seem bleak.
Even if I went to another church down the road it would still be the same process. That is sort of the bondage the Government is laying on these sex offenders... my offense never did involve children it was just an internet chat room thing. I was deceived.

I know its a lesson that I learn but the bondage is a bit much for a victimless crime.
And when it comes to church I would rather serve God than man anytime. So I have no free will to attend church.

That's basically the main point of my question and that's why I'm a bit upset but God provides a way and God makes it right even when we get down in the valley.

So when law enforcement says I have to have a chaperone I would not want to lay this burden on someone of the church as they are sinners just like me but some don't understand the commandment Love thy neighbor. By the way I'm in the USA

I would love to use Peters principle in Acts 5:29 and I also like the verse in Cor: 10:13

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Zac
03/11/2014 8:09am

It is like this! God knows all things, he knows the beginning from the end so, saying that he knew that the angel which would become the devil and satan would deceive man before it happened and he allowed it, then he punishes man for sinning of which God allowed after not giving them the knowledge that the devil was going to deceive and yet allowed two innocent people who did not know the difference between right and wrong as they had yet not eaten of the fruit. So, God who know all, allowed sin to enter into the world through a disobedient angel and then condemned man and woman to death for what an angel had done knowing beforehand that the angel would do what he did and then claims to love us all, pure psychopathy, God is the greatest psychopath ever lived.

Then Jesus comes to the earth and sets men free from the sin his father God allowed in the first place so that makes Jesus party to murder also, The gentiles were never given the law of Moses so sin was not counted to the gentiles since they had no law from God and now we are supposed to obey laws and command that Jesus commanded, notice he "Commanded" and did not ask for loyalty but demanded it which is self evident of Jesus being a psychopath as well.

In reality, the reason why so many people are leaving religion and the worship of God is because their moral compass is so messed up trying to find the true map to serving the true God of Which allowed sin in the first place.

Here is a beautiful way of expressing it:

Its like this: I created man and woman with Original sin in mind, then i destroyed most of them for sinning when i allowed it in the first place. then I impregnated with myself as a child, so that i could be born. Later, I will kill myself as a sacrifice to myself to save all of you from the sin I gave you in the first place.

And then he says he loves us. Whatever!

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03/11/2014 10:17am

Hello Bro Zac......... Pastor Dennis I hope you don't mind if I take this comment

Dear Zac..... They say to error is human to forgive divine. God is all knowing and he predestinated the world in which we live. In the book of Genesis when God created the world he created all living things and even man and women. God talked to Adam just like a father would talk to his Son. Things where good and than he created woman.
Up until than Adam had fellowship with God. God also commanded of every tree and fruit you can eat but the tree of knowledge of good and evil you cannot eat for in that day you will surely die.
Than along comes this serpent that speaks to Eve and tells her that you will not surely die for you will be like Gods
Now this serpent was more sub till than all the other beasts and said to Eve that the apple would make you wise.
Now they were naked before than but when Eve ate the apple and than gave it to Adam to eat both there eyes were open and they knew they were naked and they were also ashamed. Even when God ask Adam .. who told you were naked .. he knew that they had disobeyed God's commandment or order. Well God keep his promise that they would die and they did die... they died spiritually.
No more fellowshipping and things were never the same in the Garden of Eden.
Now after this serpent temped Eve and she ate the apple and gave it to Adam to eat confusion set in and they were driven from the Garden. But the lesson in all this is temptation.
Now before all the action and the eating of the apple. they had free will to eat any of the trees and fruit but the fruit of the tree of good and evil was forbidden.
Well the serpent did a number on Eve but just than God set in a redemption plan for mankind.. and I will put enmity between theee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This sub till serpent was one of the beast of the field which God had made.
So Eve was tempted by the serpent, God made the serpent correct but still they had free will if they could eat of all the fruit in the Garden but not of the tree of good and evil. They broke Gods law that day.
.Now God's a good guy he comes up with a redemption plan right then and there.
Now Sin entered the world thru their disobedience so all died from Adam to Moses.
Free will has always been given us.
So a few thousand years along comes Jesus Christ. for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in his shall have eternal life.
Isn't it nice to know even thou we make bad choices that God still loves us. Yes, the word became flesh and dwelled among us.
So while we were yet Sinners Jesus paid our sin debt for us.

God would never have mankind sin. Sure there is Job in the bible but the devil tested him, but he never sinned unto death as he was faithful to God. Even the devil tested Jesus after he was baptized.

Now all these are examples of free will at work with mankind. Are we to Sin, no way, but if we do we have an advocate with the Father in heaven.

So God is the God of good, The devil or Satan is the God of Bad. Now God banished the devil from heaven because he was proud and God didn't like that.. So there is your evil fighting against good.

In the end God win's, our free will to do evil or good is still our free will. and sure the serpent can tempt us just like Eve but if we build up the word of the lord than we can over come the devil's will.

See the devils will wants you to worship him or anything else that doesn't pertain to God's will.. So mankind is fighting the battle of good and evil with these spirits.

Now we worship God is spirit and truth but the devil wants your free will to worship him.

So Zac you may error on that point but rest assure that God still loves you but will the free will he gives you he wants you to serve him and not man only God.

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Den
03/12/2014 12:03am

I choose not to answer anyone who doubts God's existence.Its funny how people seek evidence when the Bible is quoted from yet choose to believe in a big bang.Your scientists are still wondering what lies beyond the observable universe.At a traffic stop when your lights go green you choose to believe that every other car has stopped at a red light.You hardly see the captain of a plane yet choose to believe that whoever is piloting the plane is sane.Free will is a great gift.So great you can choose to accept or reject the Giver.I don't question His existence because my existence is a miracle.Receive His love today.God bless you all

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Joshua
03/13/2014 12:17am

You write, "Your scientists are still wondering what lies beyond the observable universe." While science has given us so much, I actually somewhat agree with you, here. Scientists haven't given us all the answers yet. But they're working on it, and making advances everyday. On the other hand, you're basically making a "God of the gaps" argument: that because we still have questions, and because there are still "gaps" in our knowledge of the universe, that the only possible answer must be God! You're just filling in the gaps in your knowledge with the idea that an imaginary ghost in the sky is responsible for everything, but that isn't evidence for the existence of God. Not by a long shot. Thousands of years ago, primitive people didn't know the cause of thunder and lightning. So they filled that "gap" in their knowledge with the god Thor. But today we know about electricity, we understand weather patterns and the causes of thunder and lightning. And so that "gap" in our knowledge is now closed, and we realize we no longer need Thor in order to explain these very natural occurrances. So trust me when I tell you that the gap where your bible God currently resides in closing more and more everyday. Science has definitively shown us, through evolutionary and archaeological discoveries, that Adam and Eve must have been fictitious characters. They weren't real, and many of your fellow Christians agree. Many conservative evangelical scholars are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis creation story. So, if Adam and Eve are fictitious, then there was no “fall of man” or original sin. And if there is no original sin, then what exactly did Jesus die for? If there is no original sin, then the “work” of Christ makes no sense whatsoever, and the foundation of Christianity collapses under the weight of its own “creation” myth. Read this article:
http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/138957812/evangelicals-question-the-existence-of-adam-and-eve
The fact that Christians can't even agree on Creationism should tell you something.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 1:12am

You also write: "At a traffic stop when your lights go green you choose to believe that every other car has stopped at a red light." This is silly. Yes, when the light turns green, I trust that other drivers have appropriately stopped at their red lights. I trust this because observable experience has demonstrated that the vast majority of times, other drivers will in fact stop at their red lights. This is observable, testable, repeatable, verifiable, and so on. This cannot be said about your God. The same principles apply to your example of air travel. I mean, how many flights take-off each and every day? Thousands and thousands! Yet, there are relatively few incidents related to air travel. It's the safest mode of transportation available. This is a statistical fact, and this very observable data compels me to trust that the airplane pilots are sane. Again, there is no such observable data for your God.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 2:26am

You also write, "I don't question His existence because my existence is a miracle."

I hate to break the news to you, but your existence is not a miracle. There are billions of people on this planet. The birth of a human being, an entirely natural process that has occurred billions and billions of times, hardly qualifies as a miracle. Sorry.

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den
03/12/2014 12:54am

@Joshua
Hell isn't a threat by God to get people to believe in Jesus.Free will wasn't given to only humans.Angels have free will too.That's why Lucifer and other angels could rebel against God.Hell was prepared for Lucifer and his fallen angels.Why then do humans go to hell you may ask.We are spirit,soul and body.Every spirit is immortal.When the body dies,the spirit lives on.There must be a place to keep the spirit.The born again spirit spends eternity with His Maker and the spirit that rejected its maker spends eternity with Lucifer and his cohorts because they have the same rebellious nature.You might ask why God made Lucifer knowing he would rebel against Him.That's freewill.God told Rebekah that her son esau would serve her younger son Jacob yet Isaac(their father) told esau that if you grow restless,you can break your brother's yoke off your neck.Esau had a free will to change what God said

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03/12/2014 10:30am

Joshua, I am not an authority on the bible and all of man's infinite wisdom is not Gods. Man could never comprehend what God has created. In the book of job he is questioning God, and so are the ones' that are trying to comfort Job, about like what your doing.
So God out of a whirlwind counseled job.
See job thought he had it all and the one's that came to comfort him thought they had it all also but God set them straight I think one of the questions was ..
Where was thou when I laid down the foundation of the earth......so if you have understanding you should know
You know words without knowledge are puzzling to human's but to God his knowledge is all one should know.
So in a nutshell, we all have free will, just like job he could of cursed God and died..... That was his free will........so evil came upon Job with boils and his children killed and his riches gone but be never denounced God.
Sure he got mad and sure he got angry and sure he was counseled by the visitors that tried to comfort Job but in the end God blessed him with more than he had lost.
So that is an example of Good overcoming evil..... Now remember it was the Devil testing Job.....So why got lets things happen we don't know. God is still testing man today in one way or another but in the end he makes it right... because he loves each of us.
Now Esau if you read your bible was a lesson.
God is always giving lesson's and principals for mankind to live by.

Free will is good.. Just think for a minute.. we would be a prisoner or our own self and we could make be a bunch of robbers and thieves. Now were getting into the Ten Commandments but I don't think the Devil gave us the Ten Commandments.
Now you have a choice to follow the Ten Commandments.. that's your free will. The Ten Commandments are a different subject but still its a choice and a free will choice at this.....
So one can follow God or they can choice some other God to follow.

People are always testing God with question's all over the world but the bible makes it simple. If you love God don't worry about your mistakes that one makes in the past. God will forgive you if you ask him too, and God is the only person you have to bow down to not Man.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 12:47am

I don't need a lesson on what is written in the Bible. Believe me, I know it better than you. But you're the child molester, right? Awesome! Let me tell you about what my life is like. I currently serve on the Boards of several charities in my town. Three weeks ago, I volunteered with a group that produced over 100,000 meals for the homeless in our city. At lunch today, I'm going to spend time mentoring students at a local elementary school, reading to them, helping them with there work, as I do every week. I volunteer at a women's shelter, my Rotary club raises thousands of dollars every year for United Way and other charities. And so on. Then there's you, a convicted sex offender, really no different from the evangelists and pastors who've been convicted of molesting children, no different from the Catholic Church where child sex abuse runs rampant through the clergy. You all are the same bunch evangelists, Church Fathers, and “believers” who will turn right around and tell me with a straight face that you’re still going to Heaven because you believe in God and “repented”, but that I’m going to Hell because I don’t believe in some invisible ghost in the sky, no matter how much I help those less fortunate, no matter how hard I strive to ease the suffering of others, no matter how decent and productive my life is. The shame of it all is that Christian theology (John 3:16, etc.) actually says you're right! So what if you raped a bunch of kids and maybe even killed one, as long as you repent and believe in Jesus you can still go to Heaven! Isn't that great news?!?! But that poor atheist who has benefitted humanity and contributed to the well-being of others is still going to Hell. I mean, this is absurd. Any thinking person should find this principle insulting and totally unacceptable.

Joshua
03/12/2014 10:29pm

Are you kidding me? Of course Hell is a threat! Christian theology tells us that Hell is God's punishment for not believing in Him. And any God that has to bribe or threaten His followers, in my opinion, is not worthy of praise or worship. People should do good things for goodness’ sake, not for the selfish prospect of reaping individual rewards in Heaven or avoiding eternal punishment in Hell. Any religion that makes its point by threatening violence and eternal torment, which is precisely what Christianity offers, is morally bankrupt from the start.

Also, your ridiculous comments about free-will are simply astounding. I can't tell if you're just being willfully ignorant, here, but something is definitely not connecting properly in your brain. Imagine, for instance, a mechanic who decides to build a defective motor. He knows well in advance that the motor will malfunction after he builds it, but he decides to build it anyway. Then when the motor malfunctions (which he already knew would happen before he built it) he becomes furious and decides to destroy his creation. This is obviously the behavior of either a lunatic or an idiot, and yet it mirrors precisely the behavior exhibited by God throughout the Bible. God's creations are constantly malfunctioning, exactly as He knew they would. He put Adam and Eve in a situation where He knew they would fail, and then He punished them for it. In Genesis, He sends the flood to destroy His creation due to the fall of mankind. But if God is really omniscient, then not only did He know that His creation would fall prey to sin, but He also knew He would eventually destroy most of His creation in a flood, even before He created it. And He went ahead and created it anyway! Does this make sense to you? Was God just bored or something? In Exodus, God threatens to kill the Israelites for worshipping the golden calf, but is actually convinced by Moses to change His mind. God actually changed His mind. Think about that for a moment. Why would a truly omniscient, omnipotent, and inerrant God ever need to change His mind about anything? Does this seem like the behavior of a perfect, omniscient creator? Honestly? This is nonsense.

Look, it's pretty straight-forward. If the omniscient God knows the future with absolute certainty, how can he be omnipotent? For knowing the future, he can no longer change it. If God cannot change the future, then he cannot be omnipotent. But if God can change the future, how can he be omniscient? Does God have free will? For knowing what he will do in the future with certainty, he can no longer be said to have free will. He does not make any decisions for all his future actions are already known to him. And all of mankind's actions are already known to him. The omniscient God is an unthinking, non-volitional being, and cannot exist in the same coherent framework as free-will. So, it's either one or the other. They cannot both exist. This isn't difficult.

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03/13/2014 1:05am

Oh brother Joshua wake up, ye of little faith. Sure God is all present and so is the devil. Gods' people do not wrestle with flesh and blood but with principles and the dark things of this world.

Let God be true and every man a lier. We all have free will to do good and evil but the bible is a book of correction and a book to guide us in daily life as we journey thru this life

If we didn't have the book how would we journey our life? God made every living creature. Some choice to follow there own path that leads to destruction.

How do you think all these other religions got here? They questioned and they questioned. See man's wisdom is not god's wisdom and he frown's on the proud.

Cannot God make dry bones live? Who set up the world or formed the World? Who measured the earth? Who tells the wind to blow here and there?

My man, if you think upon these things than you will probably come to your own man-made conclusion and there is only one conclusion and that is God.

God is real and he is no respecter of person. Those people we wicked in Noe's day and even in Sodom so God destroyed them.

Now all this is in the bible. Man made all these belief's and religion's because they couldn't comprehend God's word which is the only word that we should follow.

One has to choice, that's a Choice we make, weather to follow God or man. Sure Hell is real and God points that out, he doesn't want us to Go to Hell but if we disobey him than we deserve the punishment.

Why do you think Jesus Christ came to this earth? Not to bring Peace. We he came to earth for many reason's..... To teach, to minister, to heal, to preach, to redeem the lost, and give us hope in his saving grace. For Jesus died for us when we were yet sinners.

Now is that not love. But you see Jesus could do it because Jesus was God in the flesh. So chose this day who you will serve and that is your free will.

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03/13/2014 1:14am

Oh brother Joshua wake up, ye of little faith. Sure God is all present and so is the devil. Gods' people do not wrestle with flesh and blood but with principles and the dark things of this world.

Let God be true and every man a lier. We all have free will to do good and evil but the bible is a book of correction and a book to guide us in daily life as we journey thru this life

If we didn't have the book how would we journey our life? God made every living creature. Some choice to follow there own path that leads to destruction.

How do you think all these other religions got here? They questioned and they questioned. See man's wisdom is not god's wisdom and he frown's on the proud.

Cannot God make dry bones live? Who set up the world or formed the World? Who measured the earth? Who tells the wind to blow here and there?

My man, if you think upon these things than you will probably come to your own man-made conclusion and there is only one conclusion and that is God.

God is real and he is no respecter of person. Those people we wicked in Noe's day and even in Sodom so God destroyed them.

Now all this is in the bible. Man made all these belief's and religion's because they couldn't comprehend God's word which is the only word that we should follow.

One has to choice, that's a Choice we make, weather to follow God or man. Sure Hell is real and God points that out, he doesn't want us to Go to Hell but if we disobey him than we deserve the punishment.

Why do you think Jesus Christ came to this earth? Not to bring Peace. We he came to earth for many reason's..... To teach, to minister, to heal, to preach, to redeem the lost, and give us hope in his saving grace. For Jesus died for us when we were yet sinners.

Now is that not love. But you see Jesus could do it because Jesus was God in the flesh. So chose this day who you will serve and that is your free will.

To all you all peace and understanding and may the love of God fill your hearts with understanding that there is only one God and maker of all creation and he is ever present.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 1:26am

First off, I'm not your brother. Secondly, what you've just written makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is idiotic, nonsensical, unreasonable gibberish. And since you don't seem to be getting it, I'll just repost my earlier comment to you and hope it sinks in this time:

I don't need a lesson on what is written in the Bible. Believe me, I know it better than you. But you're the child molester, right? Awesome! Let me tell you about what my life is like. I currently serve on the Boards of several charities in my town. Three weeks ago, I volunteered with a group that produced over 100,000 meals for the homeless in our city. At lunch today, I'm going to spend time mentoring students at a local elementary school, reading to them, helping them with their work, as I do every week. I volunteer at a women's shelter, my Rotary club raises thousands of dollars every year for United Way and other charities. And so on. Then there's you, a convicted sex offender, really no different from the evangelists and pastors who've been convicted of molesting children, no different from the Catholic Church where child sex abuse runs rampant through the clergy. You all are the same bunch of evangelists, Church Fathers, and “believers” who will turn right around and tell me with a straight face that you’re still going to Heaven because you believe in God and “repented”, but that I’m going to Hell because I don’t believe in some invisible ghost in the sky, no matter how much I help those less fortunate, no matter how hard I strive to ease the suffering of others, no matter how decent and productive my life is. The shame of it all is that Christian theology (John 3:16, etc.) actually says you're right! So what if you raped a bunch of kids and maybe even killed one, as long as you repent and believe in Jesus you can still go to Heaven! Isn't that great news?!?! But that poor atheist who has benefitted humanity and contributed to the well-being of others is still going to Hell. I mean, this is absurd. Any thinking person should find this principle insulting and totally unacceptable.

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03/13/2014 4:46am

Oops, I missed one comment up there about me being a child molester. I am on the registry as a sex offender not a child molester, there is a difference.
This was a sting operation on the internet. I was in an adult site, but yes I talked to this person that claimed to be a teenage girl. Now why did I do that when I never asked for any Sex from her.
Why was I so curious to ask her if she wanted to meet me and not me wanting to meet her.. Now I would think there is a difference right there.
Although I went down to meet the person there was a phone call on my way down there and the person wanted to change the meeting place. So right then and there I asked to back out but she persuaded me differently. Yes I was gullible and went anyway.

Moral of the story, It wasn't a teenage girl, and thank God for that. Now thinking of how the internet chat went from the gal's perspective is she conned me the whole time.

Now when people con you it is very easy to lose your free will. But if you think about your right and wrongs and use it correctly and ask God for forgiveness he is faithful and just.

See even though we have free will to do right and wrong we cannot justify ourselves. Man cannot justify man. Man will trick you any way he can.

Now in my case I use this as a learning lesson that you never know who's on the internet that you are talking to. In another way you can use this lesson as to how much the law will go to deceive a person and lie to them for there gain. Even my interrogator said after the interview he did not know what to charge me with.

So one has to think what kind of games is the Government playing with the public and was this correction or just a way to say well you did the crime so will keep you in bondage and lock you in prison for your thought that this was a teenage gal.

Free will is good like Brother Dennis said... Man will try to break your will with enticements and things of that nature. But got wants to correct your free will.

Yes man took me for a ride and yes I took a plea deal but the truth never came out unless it was the States and that was a one sided thing.

So there are two side's to every story, just like there is good and bad in the world and just like there is free will and non free will, but in the end we have a choice.

Joshua
03/13/2014 6:06am

@James: What kind of fools do you take us for, James? Who do you think you're kidding, here? You are a liar and a pervert. The truth is that you were looking at porn, or something equivalent, and getting yourself all worked up, then you started looking for some action, started chatting with someone who clearly told you they were a minor, and then you set out to meet an underage girl with the intention of hooking up with her. Those are the facts. But what you should have done is ended the conversation as soon as the person on the other side of the computer indicated that you were communicating with a minor. Period. End of story. It doesn't matter how you try to spin it, or how you try to deflect blame back onto the police, you are entirely at fault. You are entirely to blame. You are a disgusting, and as a father myself, I find your excuse-making sickening. Your rambling, incoherent nonsense does not conceal what you really are, no matter how many times you try to invoke your God's "forgiveness". You are a scumbag. And while your "God" might forgive you, society does not, and that's a very good thing. I commend those churches you visited for not allowing you in. And I hope your registry follows you for a very long time.

Joshua
03/13/2014 6:22am

@James: How dare you try to play the victim. You are a slimeball.

03/13/2014 7:03am

Joshua, Joshua, Joshua, What are we gonna do with you. Your missing the whole point.

Yes I am a slime ball and so are a lot of people in the bible that didn't repent and ask God to forgive them and sin no more.

See that was my choice. It was also her choice to contact me the next day. See the first night I didn't go down there, but the second night I asked HER is she wanted to meet me.

Now that was her choice. Now common sense said no teenage gal is going to meet a strange on the internet.

The main theme of this article is free will and the sins or evils' of man.

I don't care what people call me, it makes no difference, what matters is what God understands. Man in his infinite mind cannot understand that.

So yes we have evil and free will to choice that evil. There is no temptation that man can't face that God doesn't provide a way

So do we sin any more, God forbid. Did Jesus tell the lady at the well she was a Scum bag... He just said go and sin no more.

See she made a choice to have an adulterous affair.... that's called adultery .......We don't know if she had it with a young boy or not but the point is God gives us lesson's in many ways.

We as mankind don't want God's lesson's and try to do it our way and in the end we fail. His way is the only way.

Now these sting operations have immoral issues, get that straight. So is Government always right. I believe you just want to question everything.

Let Got be your guide and show you the way. If you didn't want to seek all this you wouldn't be texting and upsetting others with a lot of your ways of thinking.......

You see your ways are not God's ways and my ways are not Gods' ways So we strive to enter the straight gate and that gate is very narrow.

God changes the heart but you have to have the free will to accept it and it seems that you and some of the other comments on here are not being filled up with the word of the lord and being filled up with the word's of man.

A final comment to all.. Look at God as a puzzle. When you get the puzzle right than you get the man right. Now you have your own free will to interlock the pieces but if you don't get the puzzle to right than you don't get the man right.

Everybody likes a perfect puzzle right.?

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Joshua
03/13/2014 7:42am

This has become very tiresome and boring. I don't know how many times I have to explain this to you people. IF GOD IS TRULY OMNISCIENT, THEN HE DOES NOT HAVE FREE-WILL AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE. OMNISCIENCE AND FREE-WILL ARE INCOMPATIBLE. THESE TWO THINGS CANNOT LOGICALLY CO-EXIST. PERIOD. IF YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND THIS, YOU ARE BEING WILLFULLY IGNORANT OR YOU ARE JUST PLAIN STUPID. There is no other way to say it.

And by the way, the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery (John 7:73-8:11) is a forgery, as it is not in the original text of John or any other Gospel for that matter. This story, where Jesus famously says “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (KJV) did not start appearing in the Greek manuscripts until the 5th century - that's almost 500 years after Jesus' time. The story was completely fabricated, made-up centuries after the original "inspired" text was written. It's fake. Bogus. An absolute fraud. And the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible correctly footnotes this passage as fraudulent, specifically that it is "missing from the most ancient authorities" and is "doubtful". Look for yourself.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8:7-11&version=NRSV

And I'd be happy to point out the rest of the forgeries in Bible, if you'd like. They are innumerable. Entire books of the Bible have been shown to be forgeries. 2 Peter was not actually written by Peter. Ecclesiastes was not actually written by Soloman. And on and on I can go, if you'd like.

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03/13/2014 9:47am

Boy Joshua, you are trying to win me over. What would you like for me to do? It appears to me that you are right and your God has all the answers to how the world was Created.

How man was given free will to do good and bad, How Jesus or some God came to Earth to save each person from themselves and where were going to go once we all die.

Should I just bow down to you right now and say give me this living water that I thirst for or should I just say you win with all your worldly experiences.

I wonder who you pray to when your all alone. The people that have God are never alone. He is there in the good times and the bad times.

Were is your God when you have a good day or a bad day? Satan is the author of confusion and will press you to the limits.

The last point I'm going to say in this matter is you need to get your house in order. I guess we are always trying to get our house in order, and that is your free will to do that.

God is all knowing and he is all present. If you have God in your heart he will keep you from falling but sometimes temptation is to great and you tend to backslide on your own free will.

Theirs many in the bible that did just that. I wonder he made the blind man see or is that not in the original manuscript.

See God takes the simple things to confound the wise and I am not wise like you with your understanding, but my understanding is that there is a living God and he works in our hearts if we accept him with our own free will.

Now you have your own free will so except your free will to pray or ask your people that you help to save you. You know I wonder if a man would give up his live for another in this day and time.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 12:05pm

Are you trying to break my irony-meter, James? You are a convicted sex offender, and you're telling me that I'm the one who needs to get his house in order? This is absurdity of the highest order. Honestly, James, I have no idea what you're even talking about anymore, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you are a lunatic. Nobody can be that stupid.

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03/13/2014 12:30pm

We as Christian's make errors and I really wouldn't have talked to a teenager that night. That was the farthest thing from my mind but it happened. So sue me.

I'm sure your life is not better and we've all made mistakes in our lives...... oh wait a second you have never made a mistake in your life. Would I have made the mistake if I knew it was a deception that they where out to catch any one or anybody that night.

Did you ever get a speeding ticket and others didn't. Boy you must be proud of yourself if you never gotten a speeding ticket.


So what is your point in this free will matter? Did not the thief on the cross ask Jesus to remember him when he comes into the kingdom or was that a misprint of the bible or a passed watered down document?

You know we can preach... we can't save.... God does the saving but its if you want to be saved.

Now Jesus said if they don't listen just dust the dirt off your feet and go on your way. So I'm gonna have to go on my way since you have that iron-clad mentality.

God Bless you and may you come to know the truth about your destiny.

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Den
03/13/2014 1:33pm

Dear James I would kindly suggest that you stop replying to Joshua's comments since his mind is already made up about our God.Joshua claims 'he was a "born again" Christian for twenty years. Grew up Southern Baptist, had a mother who taught Sunday School every week, he was "saved" and Baptized at the age of ten, went on mission trips, went door to door passing out tracts, studied the Bible and prayed for hours and hours on end - the whole nine yards.' In Hebrews chapter 6:4-6, the Bible says "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." It's therefore impossible to get Joshua to recognize our beliefs since he believed what we believe for 20 good years and possibly concluded that it's a load of rubbish.I believe those who searched out this subject for answers have received answers.This would be last comment on this subject.My existence is a miracle because i didn't create myself yet I have this great mind and a will to choose freely.Joshua I hope your earthly wisdom and knowledge would be useful to you after this life.You created yourself so stay alive.James continue in the faith my brother.We are saved by grace not good deeds.This is what baffles many.I pray God's blessings on everyone.All will see how great is our God

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03/13/2014 4:22pm

Den this subject intrigues me. My hats off to pastor Dennis for bringing this topic up during my time of trouble. Sure we lose a lot of things when we do evil, but you see God is a loving God and he gave us the right amount of faith.

Now I only have mustard seed faith but I know I have two choices in life just as we all have, we can follow God or follow our desires or our other Gods and all of those other Gods are desires.

Joshua 24: 14 & 15 and I didn't comment I'm just quoting scripture say's it all in a clear understandable words.

I think everybody should have a new experience with the lord and renew there minds. Sometimes man's minds' get cloudy and we don't think before we act and the choices we make can be disastrous and we sometimes tend to make lite of it.

Now God wants everybody to come to him, no matter what religion you have their is only One and that's God the maker.

See free will gives us choices. Just think for a second if we never had free will. What would this world be like or what would you and me be like? We would be most miserable we would have to serve God from the day we where born, but God didn't Create man like that....... he gave free will to all of us.... and what we do with the free will is up to us.

Sure we might stumble and get in a bit of hot water in our walk in the faith but God never gives up ......God is the God in the Good times and the bad times.... he will never forsake you because God loves you and wants you to seek him... seek and you shall find.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 10:22pm

You ask, "Did not the thief on the cross ask Jesus to remember him when he comes into the kingdom or was that a misprint of the bible?" Well, actually, it depends on which Gospel you read. Luke 23:40-43 says that one robber mocked Jesus, while the other came to his defense: "Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'"

However, Mark 15:32 and Matthew 27:42-44 clearly state that both robbers mocked Jesus on the cross and neither came to his defense: "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’ The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.." Look it up and see for yourself, James. So, here we see another blatant contradiction in scripture. Is the story true? Your guess is as good as mine. And that's the problem with the Bible. It's not reliable.

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Joshua
03/13/2014 10:27pm

And there are many other discrepancies in the story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection: What day did Jesus die? Was it the day after Passover, as Mark explicitly says (Mark 14:12-16), or was it the day before Passover, as John explicitly says (John 19:14)? Did Jesus carry his cross the entire way himself (John 19:17) or did Simon of Cyrene carry it (Mark 15:21)? Who went to the tomb on the third day? Did Mary go alone (John 20:1), or did she go with other women? If she went with other women, how many were there and what were their names (Mark 16:1, Matthew 28:1, Luke 24:1)? When the woman/women arrived at the tomb, was the stone already rolled away (Mark, Luke, John) or was the stone rolled away by a great earthquake after the women arrived (Matthew 28:2)? NOTE: Matthew 28:2 actually recounts the second of two earthquakes documented in this Gospel. The first earthquake, as documented in Matthew 27:51-53, is said to have caused several sealed tombs to open, and the occupants of those tombs, the “many fallen saints”, were all miraculously raised from the dead. These resuscitated corpses later entered the holy city (Jerusalem) where they were seen by many people. It should be noted, however, that these momentous events are not mentioned by any contemporary non-Christian sources. In fact, none of the other Gospels mention the occurrence of any earthquakes either, or what basically amounts to a zombie outbreak, which is incredibly odd considering how monumental and chaotic such events would have been – two “great” earthquakes, decomposed bodies or skeletons exiting their tombs and wandering into town, etc. I mean, this is fantastic stuff! How could these events have been overlooked by the other Gospel writers? Further, the author of Matthew, whoever he was, gives no further details about these events. No reaction to these events is described in Matthew, nor does he mention what happened to the saints’ corpses after their appearance in Jerusalem. Did these decomposed, resurrected corpses resume their normal lives, or did they simply return to their graves after a brief time among the living? These are incredibly important questions for which there are no answers to be found in scripture or anywhere else. What did the woman/women see at Jesus’ tomb? Was it one man (Mark 16:5), two men (Luke 24:4), one angel whose appearance was “like lightning” (Matthew 28:2-3), or two angels (John 20:12)? Seems like this detail would be pretty difficult to mistake, and yet there it is – a glaring mistake. What were the women told to tell the disciples? Were the disciples supposed to stay in Jerusalem to see Jesus (Luke 24:49) or to go to Galilee (Mark 16:7, Matthew 28:7)? Did the women tell anyone what they saw at the tomb (Matthew 28:8) or did they stay silent (Mark 16:8)? When Mary returned from the tomb, did she know that Jesus had been resurrected? Yes (Matthew 28:7-8, Luke 24:6-9, 23), or No (John 20:2)? When did Mary first see Jesus? Was it before she returned to the disciples (Matthew 28:9), or was it after she returned to the disciples (John 20:2, 14)? Did the disciples never leave Jerusalem (Luke 24:49-53, Acts 1:4), or did they leave immediately and go to Galilee (Matthew 28:16)? After the women, to whom did Jesus first appear? Was it eleven disciples (Matthew 28:16), was it two disciples in the country and later to the eleven disciples (Mark 16:12, 14), was it only ten disciples (John 20:19, 24), or was it first to Peter, and then to twelve disciples (I Corinthians 15:5)? But it couldn’t have been to the twelve disciples, because Judas was already dead. Did Jesus stay on earth for a while after his resurrection? Luke 24:50-52 says no, the resurrection and ascension to Heaven all happened on Sunday. But John indicates Jesus stayed on earth at least eight days after his resurrection, and Acts 1:3 indicates Jesus stayed on earth at least 40 days after his resurrection. Where did Jesus’ ascension to Heaven take place? Well, in Matthew and John there is no ascension. Paul does not mention the ascension anywhere in his writings, either. Luke 24:50-51 says Jesus ascended from Bethany, while Mark 16:19 says he ascended from Jerusalem after supper, and Acts 1:9-12 says he ascended from the Mount of Olives. And on and on I could go, as there are several other discrepancies in just this one story alone. This is clearly not the inerrant "Word of God".

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03/14/2014 12:54pm

Wow Joshua were did you get such knowledge.? Your words of all things is truly remarkable. Now all that you have said is Worldly knowledge.
You have upset pastor Dennis and several others on here.

Now what is your whole point in all of this rambling....tell me.

Now the Bible is knowledge or how to live by for those who follow the teachings in it. None one that I know of in the world or under the sea can compare to the knowledge of God.

Everybody errors everybody sins, weather your saved or not we still have sin.
We worship God in Spirit and truth, that's our own free will... Who you worship is your own free will.

Now do you need a Damascus Conversion? I think there are a lot of people in this world that do. That's right the Damascus things was God's teaching.

And who did he convert? That's right Paul.... because he was persecuting the church, killing the Christian's, sending them to prison and all sort of Government things that are against God's principals.....

And do you know what... Paul was knowledgeable and you know that he confounded the Jews and also preached to the Gentiles.

Paul before his conversion, Paul knew God but he glorified his not. Read Roman's Chapter 1 and than tell us about your understanding if its of man or if its of God's wisdom.
I think you need to escape from your own spiritual prison and walk with the Creator
Now I'm sure you'll come back with some silly answer after you read Roman's Chapter 1
A lot of things you talk about are irrelevant . If you want to talk about science than how did god create the human body, bible says from the dust of the earth. Now that dust must of contained that DNA that you all where talking about. Can anybody create a human being from the dust of the earth.....don't tell me they can cause its impossible but man will try.....

You just read Roman's and than ask for forgiveness.

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Michael
03/30/2014 9:17am

I just want to put my thoughts in if I may.
I'm 48 years of age I have had a terrible life and it still sucks. I've tryed talking to god I've gotten nothing. No sign, signal, nothing. I've been trying to kill myself since the age of 15. I've been raped by two men at the age of 6 yes 6 and raped by a woman at that same age. I've tried praying talking and I'm sorry he ain't home
I'm 48 and I have nothing i mean nothing. With all due respect reading a book is not the answer
After everything I've seen and been through god is not home. I've been homeless without a coat in the middle of winter and he still wasn't there nor was he she it listening. In my own view this is hell. Hell is a very unpredictable place to be anything could happen at anytime. A book isn't going to change the world or people, specially today there's to much hate and just not enough love. People don't care about life and it's because of what we were taught as children. I was raped at 6 by two men and one woman my lack of trust in the human race in family, friends people and yes god and everything the book talks about is gone. I don't trust anyone now not even myself. So I've decided to leave I will kill my self and this time I will succeed. I've seen enough and I'm tired of trying to do the right thing. Talking to god or praying over a book isn't going help when we need water, food, shelter, to just plain live. In a world where there is no such thing as love. Love left just as god did gone. I'll do it my self and this time I will not fail
I'm tired of struggling and eeking my way through life. Enough is enough
I'm just another bad example of bad parenting with no love.

Sign Michael son of no one important enough to mention

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03/30/2014 10:57am

Hello Michael:
I have to comment on your post as it is a bit distressful.. I know when the Pastor will send a reply also but reaching out is good so don't be ashamed.

I am going thru some hard times myself. I am a registered sex offender. Yes, I was talking to a fictitious teenager on an adult website. Nobody else on that website would talk to her, at least that's what she said so I talked to her. Turned out to be a police officer. And yes she enticed me and lied to me and everything to get me to come down and meet her. Finely I gave in when she said she was home alone the second night. I was more curious than anything but my choice none the less. Although the conversation was a bit spicy and dirty I never asked for sex from her when I went down there as a matter of fact I ask her if she wanted to meet me and not the other way around. I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

The point is that fictitious teenager was using all her wiles to get me to do something. Was she Satan and deceiving me...presenting me with a false opportunity. Enticing me, suggesting I bring condoms, wanting to cam, asking for pictures, etc. So you tell me.

In every trail we go thru in life Satan is their and if you are weak he will get a strong on you.. See Satan wants to win.

Now I know we all get down and things don't seem worth living for and that's when Satan can really get a hold of you. He can make one have thoughts of suicide. Some people on the registry have already committed suicide.
Now when people do that the Satan win's.

I know your troubles may seem bleak but if you make the right choice you over come evil. Its your choice weather to let Jesus into your heart or go on living and being down on yourself.

God is there to strength you and pull you out of the fire. If you pray to him and ask him he will come into your heart.

You might say, well I've tried this Jesus Christ and its not working. Well trying isn't the way.......Its trusting.......... and its trusting that he will cleanse you and give you a new heart and a new way at looking at yourself.
Doesn't matter what's happen in the past, the past is past. This is right now, today.
Now their are many God's but there is only one God... and no man' comes to the father but thru him..... and that's Jesus Christ.

Ask him to come into your heart just kneel down and pray and tell it to the man above. And you know if your sincere about it and you ask him to take away those sins you have and those thoughts about killing yourself he will strengthen you/
But you got to let him take control of you and not you take control of yourself or your bad thoughts.
We worship God in spirit and Truth and we trust him.
See just think if man put trust in himself were would he be?

Now I don't know you but God no's you.. He loved you before you knew he loved you.
Remember we all have Pit falls in our life. We all make bad choices and that's when evil comes to us if we let it, but with God we can over cove those Pitfalls

Michael, take a stand in your life and look for the good. Life is not a bed of roses, we have to stand up and if you have God on your side you got an awesome person.

Learn to love him as he loves you.

God Bless you Michael and may your life renew itself with your choice......... and I think you would want to chose God over man or Satan anytime. We've all lived it our way for a long , long time.

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Michael
03/30/2014 12:27pm

You've got to be kidding me, after writing everything about being raped I get a response from a registered sex offender you got to be kidding. See what I mean trust no one. And god is laughing at me. This is a joke right? Why would I take any advise from a RSO. I think free will is actually is curse sent by god or whom ever is in charge
I feel that I'm tired of thinking of hope and trust. I've had enough with all of you.
I'm leaving, I'm sure no one will even notice I'm gone.
You James should not preach about something you don't know. But.......
Whatever
Michael

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Den
03/30/2014 1:49pm

Dear Michael please don't take your life.I come from a place where people laugh yet have nothing.Hungry yet hopeful.I am sorry for what you had to go through as a boy.As a little boy,i was subjected to the same thing by my own cousin.I made up my mind a long time ago to not let it draw me back in life.God didn't ask people to rape people.People chose to rape others to satisfy their selfish desires.God knows what you have gone through and He cares.It doesn't matter your age.He's able to give you a new life.He wants a relationship with you.He loves you my brother.God never asked us to trust mankind.Never! So don't be shocked when people don't show love.Love is misunderstood by many,even Christians.The bible says God is love.Christianity is a relationship between a Father and His children not a religion or one of the many religions.

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Den
03/30/2014 1:59pm

Dear Michael,you can experience this relationship today.Do you want to feel His presence and His love?it's simple! The Bible says if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths the Lordship of Jesus,we are saved.You will then begin to experience what im talking about.It will happen just like that! The peace of God will fill your heart and mind.Repeat these words and your life will never be the same again. "Dear Jesus,i believe you are the son of God and you died in order to reconcile me back to the Father.I believe in your life,death and resurrection.You are the Lord of my life.Please give me the Holy Spirit to enable me enjoy all your benefits as a son of the Most High God"
Amen

You are blessed Michael

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Dennis Aglosolos
03/30/2014 2:00pm

Hi Michael! I'm the writer of the article you commented on. First of all, I'd like to say that it broke my heart to read about what you went through. What people did to you early on in life is downright evil. I really understand if you feel that there's not enough love in this world. But there are people who care for you. In fact, James, the guy that responded to your comments did that because he cares for you. Right after reading your comments and before making this response, I actually prayed for God's help to you and that He'll hinder your plan of taking your life. And if I'm just near where you are, I would have drived to meet you and have you feel loved and cared for. But I'm in the Philippines that's why I can only pray for you which I think is the best I coulddo for you.
You know Michael? God understands how hurt you are more than you can imagine. Why? Because 2,000 years ago, He also experienced a lot of injustice. He was crucified on a cross like a wicked criminal despite having no sin. And He did that willingly so that He can rescue us from this sin-cursed world. You see, He wanted us to enjoy the world and the life He gave us. He gave us a perfect world at the start void of any pain like what you went through. But man chose to go against Him by sinning. Because of that, the perfect world we had was turned into this. That's the reason why Jesus had to die on the cross... To remove us from this kind of life to a life with Him in Heaven. We can receive that gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Heaven if we are willing to forsake sin in our life and trust Jesus for our eternal destiny. He'll even give you a bonus. He can also help you forgive those who have wronged you.
I'll pray for you again after this response. Please give God a chance to move in your life today.

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03/30/2014 5:23pm

Michael

You seem to doubt. If I had came to you as a murderer would that have been more easier to grasp? Which is harder to under that one is a murderer or a sex offender.

Michael a sin is a sin and we are all born in sin. If we confess our sins to him he is faithful and just to forgive us and I don't doubt God.

Of course there is a person in the Bible that doubted him at one time and that was one of his students named Thomas......I guess that's were we get the phrase doubting Thomas.

Thomas walked with Jesus during his ministry and when they took him to be crucified. all the disciples scattered . Now Thomas loved the lord but he even after being with him all this time and learning from him in his ministry, he still had the doubtful effect syndrome that a lot of people do today.

After Jesus was crucified he appeared to the disciples. The Bible says they were together in this upper room and all of a sudden Jesus appears to them and show's him his wounds, He appears to them again and this time Thomas was there.

They tried to convince Thomas that they had seen with there own eyes and even saw the scares and wounds of Jesus but Thomas just would not believe.

All of a sudden Thomas in in the room with the other disciples and Christ appears to them .... he says: John 20:27 look at my hands and feel my wound, and he said take your hand and thrust it into my side , AND BE NOT FAITHLESS, BUT BELIEVING.

Thomas answered and said , My Lord,, and my God. Jesus said Thomas , because thou have seen me thou hast believed, blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe.

Now take it from Thomas.. his dream's were shattered when his Jesus was crucified he didn't believe in the resurrection and thought the worst. The story is in in the bible for a reason .

And that reason might be your reason or anyone that has reason that Jesus doesn't talk to them or wants to show them a better way.

Now you just leave all your care's to him and he will take of you. and when you pray don't expect immediately things. You have to be patient . You have to learn and grow in Jesus.

Yes Michael, he wants to fulfill all your dream's and give' you the desire's of your heart, but first you got to let him into your heart.

and than he starts working. and don't worry right now let him take control and pray to him, read your bible if you have one, maybe even go to church.

and Michael, even though I sinned he still loves a sex offender sometimes he allows things to come upon us to correct us.

I'm not saying being a sex offender or a murderer is a way to be corrected but if that's what it took who am I to judge.

So you ask God to forgive you of your sins, he will forgive you, hill love you, and keep you from falling and he'll also comfort you with his word.

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Michael
03/31/2014 2:15am

First let me say thanks for your thoughts and prayers. But,after going through everything I've been through. I'd like to share another terrible event that happen if I may. First free will, why would god the creator of everything throw his only son to the wolfs and be butchered? What kind of love is that? After being raped my father decided to give me my first taste of beer. By 17 drinking became a problem for him so he threw me in a detox for 30 day and when I finish and went home he threw me out for good and brought me to the airport in Boston and give me a one way ticket to Florida and before I boarded he looked at me and said don't come back and if die in a gutter I don't care. So he basically threw me to the wolfs. While I was there the first person that tried to to help me offered me a place to live a job, so when we got to his place the first words out of his mouth was he wanted me to take my cloths off so he could take my picture. So, I pulled out my knife and took his money and his car and drove to the nearest bus station and went somewhere else. I been dealing with these fucking waste of fleshes seems like forever. I hate all of them, So anyway I was abandon with no job no money and nowhere to live or go. Now in my life I've had to live with the fact that both of my sons we're conceive under the influence of Budweiser and nothing else. The oldest boy is now 28 with his own little girl I think I've never met him or the girl and I had to pay child support for the whole 18 years and cunt mother thought it would be best for me not to be around him. I feel and always felt that I just did the same thing to that boy that my father did to me admit my job was to protect that child but the money was more important than a father.
Amazingly enough my second boy,his mother didn't want him because she was way to busy having fun so he lived with me full time and with her part time and I was really great at that I taught him well. Today he doesn't drink, smoke, no drugs got a job he's doing better than I ever did. And now neither of them want anything to do with me or my life.

I've seen enough, we are suppose to be like god and live our lives threw gods eyes or image and follow a book and live by that book.
Free will has taken my life and my children's lives. What ever kind of game god is playing it has not been fun or funny. Basically the meaning of life is pain how much pain can we take and give all in the name of god. Because of what god did to his only son Jesus I have no choice but to hate him because I know what it feels like to be thrown to the wolfs. So my faith is not so good I hate everything about my life I hate that I have to steal food out of a store to eat. Sin? Yes I've sin as I'm supposed to we have to eat.

August of last year I meet a lady in the metal ward of a hospital and we talked for hours. And we connected really connected. Connected to the point where she asked me to marry her and I said yes. We connected because she was also abandoned and yes raped so we both know what it feels like to have no one.

But I still want out, god is not there and I can't expect him to even care. I think the part that real upsets me is that I've been good I've never been to prison I've never killed anybody although I've have truly thought about hunting them pieces of shits down and taking them out and I've wished terrible things on my exes who kept me from my boys. So yes sin I do.
I've tried to be a good guy and I treat people the way I want to be treated. I don't drink or do drugs or do anything to hurt anyone I practice be a good guy not because of god but because I like like being nice and good.
But god, I'm sorry

I just think it would be better if I didn't live on this planet any longer.
Leaving seems to be the only hope I have left.

As for RSO it's amazing he's trying to help by throwing in murder along side of RSO and saying a sin is a sin. I don't understand his reasoning but that's between him and god.
Good luck with that.

I've always believed in god and I still do believe in a god. But I think he's not here to help when people are treated bad and abused everyday.
I sorry

I've been on my own for a long time and I never ask people for anything. Getting out is the best way. So I don't have to do this anymore.
If killing myself is a sin then so be it.
It's called free will remember its a gift

Thank you for letting me voice my thoughts

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Dennis Mark Aglosolos
03/31/2014 10:25am

Dear Michael,

I was once asked the same question you asked about what kind of a father God the Father is for sacrificing His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. My answer was plain and simple. "If not His Son, Jesus, then it would be us who will have to pay for our sins." We must understand that God the Father did that because of His love for us. This is what the Bible told us... "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting love. (John 3:16)" "But God demonstrated his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)" And Jesus was very clear about His willingness to do His Father's will... "I must be about my Father's business? (Luke 2:49)" The Apostle Paul affirmed this fact likewise "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)" To summarize, God sacrificed His Son out of love for us so that we will not be the ones to pay for our sins and Jesus was so in agreement and willing to take His part on that plan.
And Michael, you may feel abandoned by people, abandoned by God. Yes, I agree that people seem to have abandoned you. But God never abandoned you. He is there all along. He is just waiting for us to turn over our lives to Him. If you feel that He's not really there, it's probably because you haven't really let Him work in your life. He wants you to surrender everything to Him... your pains, your anger, your sins, and then trust Him for your eternal salvation. I just encourage you to really take God's promises and I can assure you that He'll make you realize what He can really do for you. He will make His presence felt in your life that can bring peace even in the midst of pain. He'll give you the "peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7)"

Michael, God loves you and He wants you to experience it through a relationship with Him. All you need to do is declare your own sinfulness to him and trust Him for your eternal salvation. He has given you a small taste of His love already through the Christians that have prayed for you and those who have tried to engage you through this article. Even my wife prayed for you when I told her about you. I have also asked several people in our church to pray for you and I'm sure they remembered you in prayer last night.
I'll continue praying for you. Again,please allow God time to move in your life.
Sincerely
Dennis

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Michael
03/31/2014 4:03am

These will be my last words.
Thanks for all your kind words, except for the RSO I don't know what he, it is thinking.

Thanks
I'd like to say something about faith and hope but I'm a nobody.
I guess all I can say is how are we supposed to love our selfs when we don't know how. If we did love our selfs there would be less hate less pain in the world. Where ever I end at least I won't have to do this and live like this anymore.
I want to say I love my wife and she deserves better. And I feel bad that my plan will make her very sad but she knows how I feel and I think in time she will understand. Which in she will be ok

Good luck
And be good to one another
Sign Michael

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03/31/2014 6:03am

Michael, Michael, Michael..

Jesus Christ never told us to love ourselves. When Jesus came to the disciples after he was crucified he appeared to Simon Peter when they where fishing and couldn't catch any fish.

John Chapter 21 gives you the whole meaning and the whole principle of what he said to Simon...........now remember Simon denied knowing Jesus three times according to the bible.

So he says to Simon Peter ... lovest thou me, he said it three times.
so he never said love yourself that you believe in me.

That right their show's that God is on your side. Simon Peter Sinned when he denied knowing Jesus...... He bore false witness, he lied, to save his skin. He deceived himself.

And here Jesus appears to Peter and says, loveth thou me. That right their tells you about Jesus's loving heart.

Now you say your a nobody when last night you wanted to end it all. well there a lot of people that want to end it all ... now remember this.. The body is the temple of the lord and you destroy the body than you destroy what god created and you will be lost forever and than you can live with Satan the rest of your life.

I don't believe you would want that choice.. No man would want that choice.. no matter if they where the worst sinner on earth.

Now the bible has the answer to everything no matter how smart one thing he is, weather it be his own thinking or being influenced by the things of the world. All you have to do is search and seek the word........not the word of man...... not the word of your thinking.... but the word of God. He is life changing and will never do you wrong.

Michael. I'm going thru trails myself...... Now God didn't say we wouldn't have trails in our life........now why do you think we go thru trails and suffering........weather were a believer or a non believer we all go thru trails and circumstances in our lives.

Trails are for Correction...... Just like some of the Court trails today... its for correction..... but you see if we can't correct ourselves in God's way than how can we correct ourselves in Man's ways.

People can label you anyway they want, weather your a sex offender, a murderer, or a thief..... but God doesn't label if you ask his forgiveness.

I want to leave you with this verse... Isa...1:18 Come now let us reason together, saith the Lord, Thou your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, thou they be red like crimson, they will be as wool

I am going on 60 myself, sure I've did a lot of things in the past that I am ashamed of , I have to forgive those people that used me also.

It maybe hard to forgive others but if we can't forgive others how do you think God can forgive us. Now when you pray.... you pray for those that trespass against us, Your forgiving them. When Jesus was crucified on the cross he told the Father.... God forgive them for they know not what they do.

So you correct yourself, get your self together. Sure I'm working daily on getting myself together and getting my house in order, we all are constituently getting our house in order.

I'm sure all of us pray that you seek Gods divine counsel and walk with him and try to live Gods' way. Now after you have tried your way to live God's way, and found it didn't work your way.. Start trusting.

How many times can God forgive you in the bible for your sin... that's in matt 18:22 so search that out and you will find the answer.

Now all this internet preaching is good but basically its your decision. You can either follow your ways or God's ways and I can assure God's ways are better than Man's ways.








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LostButNotAsLostAsMost
04/15/2014 9:25am

WHAT IS GOD?
please define.

One of the biggest problems with any discussion, is the definition of GOD.
To one person GOD is everything, then there is the GOD of Love, GOD of Hate, GOD of Light, GOD of Knowledge. etc etc etc

You cannot keep using the word GOD in multiple contexts.
either there is ONE GOD or infinite GODS.
example of phrases I have read like "GOD hates evil", if you are speaking about the GOD of love, then GOD cannot hate evil, if you are speaking about the GOD of ALL, then yes GOD can hate evil. The Bible is littered with this flip flop definition of GOD, making it impossible to communicate the spirit of the bible with each other using words. precision is key.

The Bible was inspired by a being of spirit and empathy and translated and written down by man using human words and understanding.
Its like us today trying to explain to the 12 disciples of Jesus, how the internet works.

Jesus died for our sins, ya ya ya, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!
and don't give me blah blah blah.amen, and praise the lord.
I live in the 21st century and have 21st century knowledge.
don't give it to me in 1st century or 99th century speak.

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