Struggling with "Deny Yourself:" What Keeps People Out of the Kingdom

Bob8102

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I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?
 

Maria Billingsley

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I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?
Receive His Holy Spirt, only then will you know the truth of the Kingdom of God. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Be blessed and stay healthy!
 
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Tolworth John

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, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved

May I make a suggestion.

That rather than worry about whether one has to suffer self denial to be a Christian.
That you find out through the Christianity explored web site whether there is a church running this course in your neighbourhood.

The course let's one discuss aspects of Christianity over a series of weeks. It let's one find out about Christianity, meet Christians and decide whether you want to take it further by attending church.
There is no commitment to attend church in the course.
 
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bling

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I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?
When you see someone being totally unselfish, getting nothing back in return, and yet are happy, do you think that you might want to get to know them better?

It sounds like you are happy with your life, so why do you want to change it?

Heaven is a place filled with unselfish, unconditional, sacrificial Lovers and there is no one there being loved for the way they want others to perceive them to be, so if that is not a Love you want to have or the kind of Love you want others to Love you with, then you would not be happy in heaven.
 
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1watchman

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To DENY SELF, as the Bible says, is to turn from one's ideas, reasonings, preferences, etc. and call upon the Lord Jesus with faith in Him, and RECEIVE HIM (not just His teachings). The salvation of our Creator-God is IN His "...beloved Son" (prayerfully read Matt. 17:5; John 14:23; 1 Jn. 5: 10-12). Therein is salvation, and that one will then be "sealed" by the Holy Spirit's presence forever. It is all about this relationship, not just a belief; and I add that one should make the Lord Jesus their best Friend daily.
 
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Romansthruphilemon

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Jesus said deny yourself in Matthew 16. In his earthly ministry Jesus was dealing with Israel, and in Matthew 10 Jesus told his disciples to not go to the Gentiles. In Matthew 15 Jesus wouldn’t even talk to the Gentile woman and said that he came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. So if he is dealing with Israel and won’t even talk to the Gentiles how can he have your doctrine just one chapter later?

Deny yourself is not your doctrine to be saved. If it is then Paul is really confused. Because Paul says in Ephesians 2 that salvation is not of yourself. He says it is not of works. Deny yourself is pretty different than not of yourself or not of works. No way is it compatible, it has to be rightly divided not just blended together. It was doctrine for Israel. It would be good to deny yourself but it’s not a requirement for you to be saved. To be saved you have to believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

This is a short video that shows that you should be trusting Christ not what you do in order to be saved:

 
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VCR-2000

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Yes, that exactly what I struggle on. God/Jesus doesn't want us to have any of our individual preferences at all, he wants us to deny everything about ourselves, there is no room for our own expression.

Just like in the book 1984. It's not fair that I get eternal punishment for wanting to have at least some of my individual traits and whatnot. So, all free choice is effectively moot and useless. After all these years of hearing America the great, freedom of expression, and all that. There is no way out.
 
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TexFire316

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I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?
You are in a conflict. First you claim to be christian, but then admit that you want things of this life more than God. Can't be both, you have to choose or the choice is made (to your detriment) at the time you breathe your last.
On the one hand, you would be an enemy of the Most High God, but on the other hand, He is your God and He owns you. I prefer the later, and have for the last 45 years. I chose good even though He got the raw end of this deal. ;)
 
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VCR-2000

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You are in a conflict. First you claim to be christian, but then admit that you want things of this life more than God. Can't be both, you have to choose or the choice is made (to your detriment) at the time you breathe your last.
On the one hand, you would be an enemy of the Most High God, but on the other hand, He is your God and He owns you. I prefer the later, and have for the last 45 years. I chose good even though He got the raw end of this deal. ;)
So this creation of me here is worth ultimately nothing. I can't be able to enjoy things of this life and God at the same time. What we our individually and our tastes, preferences don't matter to him. He wants to use us only to execute his own plan. I don't feel free. I will never feel happy or at ultimate peace with God because of this.
 
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ldonjohn

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Acts 16:30-31, "the jailer ask Paul "what must I do to be saved?" Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
To "believe" means more than just saying "I believe in Jesus." To believe in Jesus means to believe Him. To believe He will do what He says He will do for anyone who comes to Him as a helpless hopeless sinner who needs a savior looking to Him as their only way to have the forgiveness God offers.
Believe and trust Him to forgive your sin, to give you a new life in Him, and to change you. Then leave the rest up to God. If you will get in a good church that teaches the Word of God and study His Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life, in time He will change the way you think, the things you want to do, the way you treat others, etc. He will change you into someone who can & will enjoy the things that He provides for you in this life.

John
 
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1watchman

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Acts 16:30-31, "the jailer ask Paul "what must I do to be saved?" Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
To "believe" means more than just saying "I believe in Jesus." To believe in Jesus means to believe Him. To believe He will do what He says He will do for anyone who comes to Him as a helpless hopeless sinner who needs a savior looking to Him as their only way to have the forgiveness God offers.
Believe and trust Him to forgive your sin, to give you a new life in Him, and to change you. Then leave the rest up to God. If you will get in a good church that teaches the Word of God and study His Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life, in time He will change the way you think, the things you want to do, the way you treat others, etc. He will change you into someone who can & will enjoy the things that He provides for you in this life.

John
Very true! To be saved for Heaven, have God in our life, and be blessed, one must have a RELATIONSHIP with God. When God speaks of believing, He means TRUST, RECEIVING HIM, and that is by having the Lord Jesus in our heart. Jesus says: "no man cometh to the Father but by Me". That must be a personal relationship. I often view it as making the Lord Jesus your best Friend, as well as Lord of your life. Meditate on John 3; John 14; Romans 8, and one can hear God speaking to them.
 
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SANTOSO

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I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?
I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?

Hi Bob,

You are right to say that you have to deny yourself to be saved !

Just like Jesus told his disciples:

THEN Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. -Matthew 16:24

Look carefully what happen in Matthew 16:23 ,before THEN ?:

But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your MIND on the things of God, but on the things of man." -Matthew 16:23

Jesus is talking that Satan is setting his MIND on the things of man, not of God !

Why ? You may ask !

Let us look what apostle Paul, Jesus’ disciple have said :

By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He ( Jesus ) CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH, -Romans 8:3

IN ORDER THAT THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW might BE FULFILLED IN US, who walk not according to the flesh but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT. -Romans 8:4

For those who live according to the flesh SET THEIR MINDS ON THE THINGS OF THE FLESH,

but those who live according to the Spirit SET their MINDS ON THE THINGS OF the Spirit. -Romans 8:5

For TO SET THE MIND ON THE FLESH is DEATH,

but to SET THE MIND ON the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE. -Romans 8:6

For the MIND that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. -Romans 8:7

The reason Jesus have said what He have said is for this purpose:

God send His Son, Jesus Christ and that Jesus condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the Spirit be fulfilled in us according to the Spirit.

For those who did not deny themselves still set their minds on the things of the flesh and reap death, as a result.

For the mind that set on the things of the flesh cannot be subject to God’s law according to the Spirit.

Therefore, it is necessary to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and that person deny himself.

Only when that person deny himself by setting his mind on the things of the Spirit is rewarded with LIFE and PEACE, that comes from Jesus Christ, God the Son.

You will get a fuller of understanding when you read Roman 8 but all is spiritually discerned.

As what apostle Paul have said:
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. -1 Corinthians 2:14

As our Lord Jesus Christ have said:
“When the Spirit of truth, that is, the Holy Spirit comes, He ( Holy Spirit ) will guide you into all the truth ! “

Choose Life !
Call Jesus Christ as your Lord and be saved !
Yes, deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Jesus!
GBU
 
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bling

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So this creation of me here is worth ultimately nothing. I can't be able to enjoy things of this life and God at the same time. What we our individually and our tastes, preferences don't matter to him. He wants to use us only to execute his own plan. I don't feel free. I will never feel happy or at ultimate peace with God because of this.
I am sure you have seen or at least know of people who have unselfishly helped others, so can they be happy doing that? Would you be happy being unselfish helping others? How do you feel about having other lovingly unselfishly sacrificially helping you? Lots of health care workers are helping those with the virus right now, putting themselves at risk for no reward, would you want to do the same if you had the chance and ability?

You might think: “those people are trying to earn their way to heaven or have others praise them or feel they owe something to society or something like that. Christians get nothing more from helping others, but they can allow themselves to be motivated by a gratitude type of Love.
 
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Robert8102

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To VCR-2000 and everybody:

VCR, I know what you mean when you say if you wanted to give up your freedom, you would move to some totalitarian country like China or North Korea. Freedom is important to conservative Americans. But the Bible, God's Word, defines freedom differently than American political conservatives define it. To conservatives, freedom means freedom to do what you want and not have the government control you instead. But to God, freedom means freedom to be able to live as He intends people to live, when He created them. It does not mean freedom to follow one's own evil desires. From a humanist point of view, Man is good; from a Libertarian point of view, Man is good and needs little governance. From a biblical point of view, Man is fundamentally evil, having inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve. Governments tend to consist of evil people, just like the people of the world in general are evil. Dictatorships are where the evil rulers use their power over the people for their own, selfish gain. In free countries, government is voted in by the people, and is responsible to the people to not impose selfish, evil rule from above. But in all countries, individuals are selfish and evil. True freedom is freedom from sin, self and selfishness.

One of the key doctrines of the Gospel is that Self has to be deposed. But Self does not want to be deposed. This is my problem. Self screams bloody murder at the thought of being kicked off the throne of one's life, and replaced by Christ. To begin to comprehend the gospel, one has to realize that Self is evil, sinful and selfish. Men are not good with some evil tendencies. Men are evil with a veneer of goodness. To be in right relationship with God, Self has to be deposed. This is a very hard doctrine, but it is true. The first step in moving toward salvation is to realize and accept that one's self is evil and needs to be deposed. Realizing that in one's head does not change one's heart. But it's a start. You, like me, need to get as many Christians praying for you as possible, as you start to feel your way toward truth and salvation. Then we need to diligently seek to find out what one has to do to be saved. We need to be honest with God and others about where we are at. We need to keep asking Him to help us find the way. We need to admit it if we are quite possibly not Christians and, by the nature born into us, do not want to live the Christian life, do not want to please God, want to please ourselves. But God help us! We are by default headed for eternal destruction.

I have put it that I am like as if the rich young ruler, who rejected Christ, instead of completely walking away, kept hanging around Jesus and his disciples, hoping yet for some kind of entrance into the kingdom of God. My Self screams bloody murder at the entrance requirement for the Kingdom: that self must be deposed. But what's the alternative to entering the kingdom of heaven?

I keep hoping that I can find a palatable way to be saved and be in the Kingdom. I look, for instance, at the account of the woman at the well who encountered Jesus. Jesus said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is Who says to you, 'give me a drink,' you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water." He did not talk to this woman the way He talked to the Pharisees. He was basically positive with her, though He did gently confront her with her sin ("the one you have now is not your husband") and with the requirement of the Father that we worship Him in spirit and in truth.
But, primarily, He offered her something positive: living water. Sometimes I remind Jesus of His conversation with that woman, and, myself, ask Him for living water. But if I'm not ready to deny myself, then I guess I'm not ready to receive that living water.
 
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Lukaris

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I think statements like these from the Lord center on keeping His commandments as best we can in the circumstances we are in. The Lord told the rich young man to keep the commandments ( Matthew 19:16-19 ). It seems the Lord told the rich young man to deny himself but that is because the rich man said he “kept” the commandments as if it was a done deal ( it is not until the day we die).

St. Paul in faith to the Lord, repeats that we are to keep the commandments ( Romans 13:8-10). This is repentance that is to be expressed in works ( Acts of the Apostles 26:19-20 ) which is what St. Paul means in that we are saved by grace through faith to do good works but not by works ( Ephesians 2:8-10 ). St. John the Baptist preached the same ( Luke 3:7-15 ) which is the bridge between the old & new covenants echoing what King Solomon preached ( Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ). The Lord concludes this is in John 5:22-30.
 
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VCR-2000

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I am sure you have seen or at least know of people who have unselfishly helped others, so can they be happy doing that? Would you be happy being unselfish helping others? How do you feel about having other lovingly unselfishly sacrificially helping you? Lots of health care workers are helping those with the virus right now, putting themselves at risk for no reward, would you want to do the same if you had the chance and ability?

You might think: “those people are trying to earn their way to heaven or have others praise them or feel they owe something to society or something like that. Christians get nothing more from helping others, but they can allow themselves to be motivated by a gratitude type of Love.
On the contrary though, there are many times when I would feel like unselfishly helping others. I have thought about donating my older electronic gadgets to charities or thrift shops. :)
 
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VCR-2000

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To VCR-2000 and everybody:

VCR, I know what you mean when you say if you wanted to give up your freedom, you would move to some totalitarian country like China or North Korea. Freedom is important to conservative Americans. But the Bible, God's Word, defines freedom differently than American political conservatives define it. To conservatives, freedom means freedom to do what you want and not have the government control you instead. But to God, freedom means freedom to be able to live as He intends people to live, when He created them. It does not mean freedom to follow one's own evil desires. From a humanist point of view, Man is good; from a Libertarian point of view, Man is good and needs little governance. From a biblical point of view, Man is fundamentally evil, having inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve. Governments tend to consist of evil people, just like the people of the world in general are evil. Dictatorships are where the evil rulers use their power over the people for their own, selfish gain. In free countries, government is voted in by the people, and is responsible to the people to not impose selfish, evil rule from above. But in all countries, individuals are selfish and evil. True freedom is freedom from sin, self and selfishness.

One of the key doctrines of the Gospel is that Self has to be deposed. But Self does not want to be deposed. This is my problem. Self screams bloody murder at the thought of being kicked off the throne of one's life, and replaced by Christ. To begin to comprehend the gospel, one has to realize that Self is evil, sinful and selfish. Men are not good with some evil tendencies. Men are evil with a veneer of goodness. To be in right relationship with God, Self has to be deposed. This is a very hard doctrine, but it is true. The first step in moving toward salvation is to realize and accept that one's self is evil and needs to be deposed. Realizing that in one's head does not change one's heart. But it's a start. You, like me, need to get as many Christians praying for you as possible, as you start to feel your way toward truth and salvation. Then we need to diligently seek to find out what one has to do to be saved. We need to be honest with God and others about where we are at. We need to keep asking Him to help us find the way. We need to admit it if we are quite possibly not Christians and, by the nature born into us, do not want to live the Christian life, do not want to please God, want to please ourselves. But God help us! We are by default headed for eternal destruction.

I have put it that I am like as if the rich young ruler, who rejected Christ, instead of completely walking away, kept hanging around Jesus and his disciples, hoping yet for some kind of entrance into the kingdom of God. My Self screams bloody murder at the entrance requirement for the Kingdom: that self must be deposed. But what's the alternative to entering the kingdom of heaven?

I keep hoping that I can find a palatable way to be saved and be in the Kingdom. I look, for instance, at the account of the woman at the well who encountered Jesus. Jesus said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is Who says to you, 'give me a drink,' you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water." He did not talk to this woman the way He talked to the Pharisees. He was basically positive with her, though He did gently confront her with her sin ("the one you have now is not your husband") and with the requirement of the Father that we worship Him in spirit and in truth.
But, primarily, He offered her something positive: living water. Sometimes I remind Jesus of His conversation with that woman, and, myself, ask Him for living water. But if I'm not ready to deny myself, then I guess I'm not ready to receive that living water.

First off, I'm very sorry to everyone here that my posts might have come across as arrogant or mocking. I don't want to be anti-Christian.

I can understand that freedom to God is living as how he intended it, and that is all still well and great, even though I may find that struggling sometimes. I can understand that at the end of the day, he loves and cares for all his children.

I guess it just that it seems to rub off to me as language games. Many American conservatives are railingly anti-communist and believe totalitarianism to be abhorrent. The thing I see is that it seems to be only horrible when a man or even group of men want that over individuals, but if God wants that over us in his own way no matter how counterproductive or such, it's not only merely good, it's perfect. I still struggle about it though, and don't know how to cope or reconcile with it, that's why my sign says "agnostic" right now even though that doesn't fit either.
 
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FutureAndAHope

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I think that the most major reason people - including me - stay outside of the kingdom of God is Jesus' requirement to "deny yourself." We want to pamper ourselves, not deny ourselves. I don't know for sure what denying myself would mean for me, I only know it is a requirement.

Do I have to deny myself in order to be saved? Do I have to commit an act of self-denial in order to be saved, before I am saved, or while in the moment of being saved? I disagree with those who say you do not have to become a disciple of Christ in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life. My understanding of the gospel is that Christ wants all or nothing. As Pastor JD Greear put it in his book, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How To Know For Sure You Are Saved:

"Engaging in the mission was not a special calling that a few special followers received after many years. like Obedience 2.0 or 'Platinum Medallion Discipleship.' It was inherent in the very first call to follow. It was for anyone who would come after Jesus."

So, I'm wondering what I have to do to be saved. If one commits to denying oneself, can they be saved? What it one commits, then, five minutes later, changes his mind? If you say, "no just kidding, Lord, I'm not going to obey" after committing your life to Christ, then does He not say, "No, just kidding, I did not save you?"

I have been wondering, do I have to steel myself up for a life of self-denial before I can get saved? How does one do that?

I figure there must be something in the Christian life and the gospel, that enables self-denial. Because I cannot seem to be willing to just steel myself up and deny myself. God/Jesus must offer me some ability to deny myself through His power. But I am always, I guess, subconsciously, looking to get saved first, for sure, then worry about dealing with the hard stuff later. What do I have to do to be saved, as far as Jesus' requirement that I deny myself, goes?
It really depends what you mean by deny yourself. We are to avoid blatant sin, to deny our lusts. But God actually would have us make the most of the good things he has given us. The bible states:

ECC 3:13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man
 
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