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Gone over to the dark side...

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by anx66, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    What exactly does it mean to have a relationship with God?
     
  2. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    What does it mean that faith is the evidence?
     
  3. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    You could study and meditate on the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 to get insight into that answer. And overall I think you'd do well to read the Bible, carefully, in order, to get the proper perspective. That is better than the inconsistent answers you're getting here. It sounds like you may be actually re-examining your choice to reject God; and you should at least want to make sure that you get fully informed by the Bible (even again, if you've already carefully read it all) to best understand what you are rejecting or (I pray) changing your mind about believing and living by.
     
  4. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    No, but they are not irrelevant. I've thought about what my assessment would be if I hadn't grown up as a Christian. What would I consider evidence for a powerful, loving God. Regular verifiable miracles would be one. But even people representing God who seemed to represent a quality of life not otherwise visible might be evidence. At the moment, however, I'm afraid that my agnostic friends are closer to that than the typical CF poster. To someone who doesn't know Christianity, or its history and different varieties, and who is probably judging mostly from news stories, Christianity looks like a way of claiming supernatural authority for cultural tradition.
     
  5. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    Could you tell me what a personal relationship with God is like, from your perspective. The prodigal son could see, touch and hear his father, but how does this translate into your relationship with "God".
     
  6. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    Plenty of Christians claim God is a healing and miracle working God today, as testified by the Bible. That's partly why I would like to see a miracle or healing. Otherwise the scripture is incorrect and the God who supposedly wrote the Bible, is non-existant. If people are going to claim a God of miracles/healings then this should be substantiated by miracles and healings being seen. Do you see where I am comming from?
     
  7. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC Member

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    There is evidence but it is not in words.

    Also real miracles can only be performed when they are perfectly necessary, even if you have divine power, it cannot be exploited in any way because if you try nothing will happen, it won't work.

    1 Timothy 1:6
     
  8. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    A great get out clause, that one.
     
  9. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I didn't think you were. But how is it that we've come to such opposite experiences and beliefs about God?

    Well, if you're just looking for rational reasons to believe, then check out the following:

    www.reasonablefaith.org
    www.crossexamined.org
    www.str.org

    But He does, nonetheless. He is as apparent to me as my wife is. I interact with Him daily, just as I do my spouse.
     
  10. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    Good question. I would say that being reconciled to God through repentance from sin and the atonement of the blood of Christ breaks the barrier in the inner person from the life of God that was lost by the Fall of man. God's eternal life is being indwelt by His Spirit through a living faith in Christ; and this is something that one who is justified before God with a clean heart can discern, be comforted by, and above all be enabled to (consistently) overcome temptation and do the good one knows they ought to do. I can say that I know this firsthand and that the thing I'm most amazed by is how He has not suffered me to tempted beyond what I am able according to His promise (1 Corinthians 10:13). To see, hear, and touch the Lord (by faith) is also something that can be done through the ministry of the Holy Spirit when one is rightly relating to God through Christ - and that is primarily through the Spirit's enlightening as one reads the Scriptures with a willing heart. It is practical and not sensational, yet as real as anything. And maybe above all it should be emphasized that it does not happen on one's own terms. We must do our part and God will minister to us as He sees fit, whether that's in a subtle, barely discernible way or through a powerful eye-opening spiritual experience. Any and all of this can of course be counterfeited and/or imagined, but there are ways to test the reality and source of spiritual experience- and seeking God according to the terms of His covenant in the Scriptures will surely result in a corresponding relationship and experience which will also be in line with God's promises and God's way also delineated in Scripture. It is all very practical and objective, yet neither mechanical nor a cookie cutter experience for everyone who genuinely knows God.
     
  11. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Scripture says that salvation does not come through the will of man but through the sovereign will of God of God. This means that we do not choose God, but He chooses us. If He does not extend His mercy and grace by initiating the process, a person cannot be truly converted.

    Anyone can believe the gospel on an intellectual level. Even the demons do that. But just believing it in the head does not mean having the saving faith to make a full heart commitment to Christ. And the gospel will not be good news to a person who does not see clearly the terrible future that he has without Christ, and only God can show him that.
     
  12. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    A person who decides to adopt a Christian profession by just an intellectual belief in the existence of God and the gospel will just have religion and not be truly converted. Even the demons believe that,and they will never have saving faith. Many church members will get a rude shock at the judgment when they realise that an intellectual belief and even years of faithful church service will be not be enough to save them from hell.

    God is sovereign. Jesus said that those whom the Father will give Him will come to Him. So if the Father does not choose a person, they will not come to Jesus, even if they come to church and be very religious and moral and adopt the outward appearance of being Christian.
     
  13. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Yes. I'm very skeptical about modern miracles. I understand why some would expect them. There are certainly Biblical statements that could lead to that expectation. But even in the NT it doesn't look like there were miracles on demand. Jesus rejected that approach in Mat 4:5.
     
  14. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    Sir, I'd appreciate if you stop putting words in my mouth. I never said that just an intellectual belief and profession of Christianity will save anyone. I said we need to submit to the judgments of God's Word, adopt its mindset, and follow the faith of the Apostles. That is what the Apostles preached (Romans 12:1-2 etc). That is more than just an intellectual belief. And you know who are going to be most shocked on Judgment Day- those who called Jesus Lord but continued to work lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-27, Luke 13:23-27, 2 Timothy 2:19, etc).

    And what kind of a gospel are you preaching by saying that a person can only come to Jesus if they are chosen? God has chosen all who repent and receive the reign of His Christ, the ultimate Chosen One. He is drawing all men and those who follow through in cooperating with His drawing will come to faith in Christ (Titus 2:11-14, etc). The Bible knows nothing of unconditional election to salvation; and if such were true nothing would even be at stake right now regarding anyone's salvation, so there'd not even be a point for you to bother with this matter.
     
  15. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I'm merely sharing the true gospel according to the Scripture. And my purpose was to let the OP know what his future will be if he totally walks away from Christ, and how he needs to diligently press into Christ to make his calling and election sure. I'm not very interested in any discussion outside of that.

    If my sharing of the honest gospel, showing the absolute sovereignty of God in who He chooses to save and not chooses, is touching nerves, then I am not apologising for it. If by being brutally honest I can save some souls from hell, then I will not make any compromises about it.

    Perhaps, if you have feelings of opposition to the gospel I am sharing on this thread, you may need to get with Christ and find out why.
     
  16. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    You twisted my words and you ought to be interested in being accountable for your own words. The Scriptures below show the absolute sovereignty of God which the Scriptures preach. No one will be able to blame God on Judgment Day that He was not drawing them to partake of His provision of salvation in Christ that He had clearly offered to all men in His Word. If only the lost had not resisted the light that shined before them they would have truly been safe from God's wrath on judgment Day and in eternity. No one will be able to say they were barred from salvation because God did not choose them and offer them the same grace which He had offered to others who repented and followed the light they had to the end unto eternal glory.

    John 1:6-9: "6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

    1 Timothy 2:1-6: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

    Romans 5:18 "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

    Titus 2:11-14: "11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

    Isaiah 55:6-7: "6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
     
  17. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    This is what I mean, the difference in beliefs among Christians.
     
  18. Vicky gould

    Vicky gould Shekinah Supporter

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    Hi Steve C, sorry this has happened to you but you are in good company a man name Ghandi had the same experience. India was under British rule and the were treated as at best second class people. Ghandi read the Bible and he thought this was the way to save his country with her caste system and so much more, If this Christ was real Ghandi was ready to become a Christian and lead his followers to to the Lord. When he went to an English church he was accosted and physically thrown out with those wonderful Christian words And don't come back which must have been their interpretation of the Great Commission, kidding. Steve the Lord holds each of us in His hand and of all those He has and will lose none. Think of Peter and his three times denying the Lord. How must he felt in those days from his denial of the Lord how terrible did Peter's own flesh attack Him. Then the Resurrected Lord takes care of His most jmportant task as the Great Shepherd to seek His fallen sheep and He seeks Peter. Peter denied the Lord three times not only does Lord only does He restore Peter in front of everybody and adds to that restoration the charge to feed the Good Shepherds sheep. The forgiveness of our Lord is all about this fallen people who He is making into a spiritual church and we are the Living Stones. The Good Shepherd has come for you just as He did for all men. The majority of the sheep have refused His salvation but it still is the God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who seek the Lost.

    Hebrews 11 is the great Faith chapter and those who were saved and went on to become priests, prophets and all who accepted Christ as their Savior and Shepherd in response to the free gift of Faith. As the Holy Spirit would have it He followed it with Hebrews 12 which continues the theme of faith but now it includes the trials we go through in our walk with Christ through the Valley of Death. We are told that the Lord has designed the way you are to walk and walk with you His sheep. The Lord tells us we will have trials but if we let Him use these trials it will strengthen of hands, our good works, and our legs our walk. The Lord is telling all of us that we will have trials of all kinds just like the unbelievers but you have something those who have no hope, Jesus Christ. The course He has laid out for us is the course we need to run with Him fixing our eyes not on the storm but on the Way, the Truth and the Life who is the finish line we should all be focused on. The Lord says do this and I will bring a harvest of righteousness redeeming our fallen time. Those who do not have him will only have the temporal things of this world that can and does rot away

    Lord please train as the athletes running the race you have designed perfectly for each one of us and who the Son runs the race with us. He is your personal trainer and while we cannot see His purpose at this time we do know that there is real blessings for us if we run the course with the Lord.

    God's blessings I am and will be praying for you on your rum through this portion of the Valley of the Shadow of death. Glad He has not given up the Good Shepherd never does.
     
  19. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    They won't absolve you from your obligation to yield to and follow that which you can know of the God of the Bible. To bow to Jesus as your rightful Lord and to follow His Word honestly to the best of your knowledge and ability is not unreasonable nor have you seen and/or known anything which proves to you this is not the right way- on the contrary you have a mountain of evidence available which tells you that it is. If you can do better than those you've known, and known of, who have professed Christ; and you can be a better example of what a Christian ought to be and is able to be, then that would be tremendous. I hope you will do that, but you sure have no solid reason to not seek the God of the Bible with all your heart much less to deny His existence.

    "5 Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?" (Jeremiah 2:5)

    " Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment... Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands." (Job 34:12, 17-19)

    "“It is not the things which I do not understand in the Bible which trouble me, but the things which I do understand.” -Mark Twain
    -You ought to ask yourself then a related question: Is it the inconsistencies about the Christians I've known which trouble me most or the things I know about how Christians ought to live that I don't like and don't want to do lest I actually be a consistent Christian which trouble me most?
     
  20. anx66

    anx66 Member Supporter

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    Doesn't John in his Gospel state that the Holy Spirit,when he comes, will lead you (Christians) into all truth? If so, why are there so many differences amongst Christian beliefs. Truth is that which agrees with how things really are. How could I know the truth, if there is so much variation?

    Also, I've be castigated by one of my pastors, in public, for not believing what he believes. I've been told to agree with everyone, at a particular prayer meeting, so that a particular prayer would be answered, despite the fact that it didn't fit with what the Bible seems to teach. It's like the truth is something difficult to find in society and likewise in the Church. When I first became a Christian in 1985, I heard the gospel and believed it, and was taught the beliefs of the particular denomination I belonged to, and thought that those beliefs where those subscribed by all churches which were "alive". Since, having the internet it has opened up my eyes to the huge variety of views that people have, and it seems that each person is fortunate if he finds the truth. Even on these forums, the variety of beliefs is amazing. It's all very confusing, to say the least.

    It's a lonely road in the Christian life, when you can't find agreement with those around you. This may paint a picture of me be a challenging person to get along with, but my desire is to know the truth and to live by it. Your God, if he turns out to exist, may punish me for not believing he exists, but how can I know the truth when there are so many apparent versions of it.

    Steve
     
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