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  #1  
Old 11th May 2012, 01:58 PM
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Why does God expect everyone to come to Him to be saved?

I've been struggling with a certain question lately and have not been able to find, or think of, a single explanation for why God expects everyone to admit His existence (I assume that to admit that He is the Lord, you're going to then submit to him).

The issue I have is that if you look at the Bible and its contents from a rational standpoint, there is no reason to believe it. Yes, we know that there was a guy who claimed to be the messiah who died on a cross, but that does not confirm that he was a real messiah (though obviously I think that he was).

You can't look at everything in the world and rationally conclude 'Jesus died for my sins' or even 'there must be a divine creator', even with input from historians and the Bible itself (for the Bible is not necessarily self-supporting to a skeptical mind).

God does not give a person who reads the Bible from a skeptical point of view an obvious reason to believe that the Bible is right, or anywhere near it. With a complete lack of evidence and the fact that the Bible is a book of ancient theology (written, depending on the book, anywhere from six to two thousand years ago) where the OT regularly tells us of things which are either impossible or blatantly false (see: Noah's Ark - there is no reason to believe that there was a mass extinction that effected humanity anywhere in the past 250,000 years, EG since modern humans entered the world).

It doesn't seem to matter how much a person searches - if they apply a reasonable amount of skepticism, nothing is going to conclude to a big picture which makes sense and fits together. Not without faith.

And that's the problem: Faith is irrational! But we're all expected to have faith in the Lord and to come to Him. It doesn't make very much sense to me for God to give us the ability to reason, but at the same time not involve that reason in discovering Him. Essentially, there is no reason to be faithful.

RE: Creation of the universe - God didn't have to make it. And if God made it, who made God? And who made the thing that made God? And who made the thing that made the thing that made God? ... And on and on. There's no reason to believe that the universe is divinely created.

RE: Multiple kinds of faith - Many people argue that there are 'multiple kinds of faith', one of which is getting on an airplane and not expecting for it to crash (EG: For reality to be consistent). However, I wouldn't say that this is faith, but you getting on a plane fervently hoping it won't crash by trusting the pilot, mechanics, etc. to do their jobs right. Yes, that is a kind of faith, but it's not a religious faith - it's a rational one. There is every reason to believe that your plane is (probably) not going to crash. There is no reasoning pointing directly to a divine creator, much less one who actively involves Himself in our lives.

RE: But look at Christians! We seek after the Lord, and those who do so are happy and calm and stuff! - This doesn't mean much. It could easily just be a case of sample bias, or something completely unassociated with faith in the Lord that all of these people have in common. There is no rational reason to believe that the Lord works with people from a skeptical, faithless view.

I just don't get it. Why doesn't it all wrap up? The big picture doesn't come together without faith, so there isn't a way to come to God (to gain faith) through rational thought. Why would God expect everyone to come to Him if, for rational and skeptical people, there is no reason to come to Him?

I has a confused.

James
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  #2  
Old 11th May 2012, 02:25 PM
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Hello James,

There are many people who think the way you do as we are raised to think rationally. God is a Spirit who always existed and we can only please God by faith which is irrational but God says in the bible that It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
I don't have all the answers but I know who does. His name is Jesus and if you ask Him, He will send you the comforter, the Holy Spirit to live inside of you and lead you into all truth.
God also says in 2 Corinthians 3:16 whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 cor 4:4 The god of this age (the enemy) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

So just ask God to reveal Himself to you and He will.

In short, we were created to have a love relationship with God but the enemy blinds our minds and so we'd rather not believe but we will only be satisfied when we are reconciled back to God.

Blessings, Hope this helps

Chad
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  #3  
Old 12th May 2012, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by thelifegifts View Post
Hello James,

There are many people who think the way you do as we are raised to think rationally. God is a Spirit who always existed and we can only please God by faith which is irrational but God says in the bible that It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
I don't have all the answers but I know who does. His name is Jesus and if you ask Him, He will send you the comforter, the Holy Spirit to live inside of you and lead you into all truth.
God also says in 2 Corinthians 3:16 whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lordís glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 cor 4:4 The god of this age (the enemy) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesusí sake. 6 For God, who said, ďLet light shine out of darkness,Ē made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of Godís glory displayed in the face of Christ.

So just ask God to reveal Himself to you and He will.

In short, we were created to have a love relationship with God but the enemy blinds our minds and so we'd rather not believe but we will only be satisfied when we are reconciled back to God.

Blessings, Hope this helps

Chad
I agree with most of your points, but you didn't seem to address my actual concern: If everyone must come to the Lord, why are we expected to if there is no ability to do so on a rational level? Why are people expected to give up such a self-affirming and important thing in order to find the Lord - a self-giving and important thing?

Yes, our sin may blind us, but that doesn't change the irrationality that is inherent in the search for the Lord. Yes, the devil can use logic for evil purposes, but the Lord can also use logic for good and to bring us to Him - so why doesn't He?

James
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Old 12th May 2012, 11:22 PM
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Why do you assume that God is trying to convince everyone and save everyone now?
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Old 12th May 2012, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by martymonster View Post
Why do you assume that God is trying to convince everyone and save everyone now?
I assume that, since God expects everyone to come to Him and search for the spirit, that He must have a reason to expect everyone to do so. Considering that God gave us logic and skepticism to use them, why would He expect people to forgo them to find Him? It just doesn't make sense to me. Why would He expect us all to seek Him while giving no rational basis for such a search? (And if there is a rational basis, what would it be? 'Cause no attempts at explaining it via apologetics have made very much sense - everything I can find is deeply flawed.).

James
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Old 12th May 2012, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Audacious View Post
I assume that, since God expects everyone to come to Him and search for the spirit, that He must have a reason to expect everyone to do so. Considering that God gave us logic and skepticism to use them, why would He expect people to forgo them to find Him? It just doesn't make sense to me. Why would He expect us all to seek Him while giving no rational basis for such a search? (And if there is a rational basis, what would it be? 'Cause no attempts at explaining it via apologetics have made very much sense - everything I can find is deeply flawed.).

James

Maybe God made some of us skeptics so that they wouldn't come to him just like maybe God made Judus to betray Christ.
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Old 12th May 2012, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by martymonster View Post
Maybe God made some of us skeptics so that they wouldn't come to him just like maybe God made Judus to betray Christ.
God didn't somehow manipulate Judas to betray Christ, nor did He create him to do such a thing; God does not give us temptation.

It doesn't make any sense for Him to purposefully deliver people to hell; if anything, that's the opposite of Christian philosophy. Jesus wanted everyone to believe and be saved, and I'm pretty sure the Father would agree.

At no point was it said that the Lord forces people away from Him; He looks for us and wants us to believe in Him and His Word. There's every reason to believe that He wants us all to receive salvation and no reason to believe that He forces or influences people into damnation.

James
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Old 13th May 2012, 12:01 AM
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The issue I have is that if you look at the Bible and its contents from a rational standpoint, there is no reason to believe it. Yes, we know that there was a guy who claimed to be the messiah who died on a cross, but that does not confirm that he was a real messiah (though obviously I think that he was).

That's not at all reasonable. There are two questions to face before making that statement.

a) Using the norms for assessing the historicity and thus reliability of any ancient document how does the bible stack up? My studies lead me to respond "Very well indeed'"

b) If so, then what are the reasonable implications of the story and teachings of Jesus?

God does not give a person who reads the Bible from a skeptical point of view an obvious reason to believe that the Bible is right, or anywhere near it. With a complete lack of evidence and the fact that the Bible is a book of ancient theology (written, depending on the book, anywhere from six to two thousand years ago) where the OT regularly tells us of things which are either impossible or blatantly false (see: Noah's Ark - there is no reason to believe that there was a mass extinction that effected humanity anywhere in the past 250,000 years, EG since modern humans entered the world).

We can be sceptical of anything. People have debated whether Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare/ Some deny the holocaust. Its the reasonableness of any evidence whichever way that makes one's stance reasonable. Have you ever seriously investigated why Christians can accept the biblical texts with confidence and reasoableness?

It doesn't seem to matter how much a person searches - if they apply a reasonable amount of skepticism, nothing is going to conclude to a big picture which makes sense and fits together. Not without faith.

Scepticism itself requires faith in one's intellect to be both judge and jury.

And that's the problem: Faith is irrational! But we're all expected to have faith in the Lord and to come to Him. It doesn't make very much sense to me for God to give us the ability to reason, but at the same time not involve that reason in discovering Him. Essentially, there is no reason to be faithful.

There is nothing irrational about a reasonably based faith. That's what distinguishes it from mere credulity or superstition.

John
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Old 13th May 2012, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Audacious View Post
I assume that, since God expects everyone to come to Him and search for the spirit, that He must have a reason to expect everyone to do so. Considering that God gave us logic and skepticism to use them, why would He expect people to forgo them to find Him? It just doesn't make sense to me. Why would He expect us all to seek Him while giving no rational basis for such a search? (And if there is a rational basis, what would it be? 'Cause no attempts at explaining it via apologetics have made very much sense - everything I can find is deeply flawed.).

James
God has given each one of us an inner knowledge of Him as this verse expresses:
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse

This is grace from Him to us, that we may all know Him, He wishes that none would perish - this would be a reason why, if they reject Him, they are without excuse.

You are trying to rationally figure this out and you can not. You can not because your belief in God comes only from God, our faith in Him is not of ourselves, He gives us the faith in order for us to believe Him.

If it were based on rationale, logic and intellect, then the smarter people would stand proud of their discovery, the logic people would use their logic to try to prove there is a God. The wise of this world will be made foolish, the proud will fall, but the humble will prevail.

When you know that all of your faith is from God, then we praise God for giving it to us. This glorifies God and that is His ultimate goal - to be glorified.
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Old 13th May 2012, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Audacious View Post
God didn't somehow manipulate Judas to betray Christ, nor did He create him to do such a thing; God does not give us temptation.

It doesn't make any sense for Him to purposefully deliver people to hell; if anything, that's the opposite of Christian philosophy. Jesus wanted everyone to believe and be saved, and I'm pretty sure the Father would agree.

At no point was it said that the Lord forces people away from Him; He looks for us and wants us to believe in Him and His Word. There's every reason to believe that He wants us all to receive salvation and no reason to believe that He forces or influences people into damnation.

James

It could be that your premise that He sends people to Hell and that there is such a place is flawed which leads you to even more flawed conclusions untill you flat out contradicting the things that He said just to support your own contradictory doctrines.
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