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Why should I love God?

Discussion in 'Pastor's (or Minister's) Kids' started by Brookt, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Brookt

    Brookt New Member

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    ok, just warning you, this is going to be long. So I’ve been a pastors kid my whole life, pretty typical life for a pk, homeschooled all the way up, required to go to every church activity, and I haven’t minded too much for most of it, except for staying half an hour to an hour later than everyone else at every church activity. That’s why I like driving so much:) not that I hate being there, it just gets old being the last one there every time and being expected to be polite and cheerful and everything every time. So anyway, I’ve been raised in a very Christian home, and am extremely grateful and privileged, but recently, I’ve begun to be skeptical about the Bible and everything it says. I mean, isn’t that what we’re taught to do with evolution? Not to take it just because those in a higher position say so? I’d done that with evolution, and so much so that I have no regard for that idea anymore, it should’ve been thrown out long ago. Even Darwin said it should be if it could be disproved, and it has been, countless times. So anyway, I started doing that with Christianity. I’m a born and raised OPC girl, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way, however, I need to make the faith mine. I’ve logically proved that the creation as shown in the Bible is correct, and from that, that God exists and is who he says he is. Now I’m struggling with whether or not I love him. This is not something that can be logically proven, so I’m kind of stuck. The reason why I am questioning this is that assuming I am saved, which I want to be, I absolutely love him for that, and owe him a debt of gratitude. What I can’t get over is that he didn’t save everyone. Now, I know that none of us deserve to be saved and every one of us deserves hell, but if you go back to the root, he could’ve made everything so that no one had to go to hell and eliminated all that suffering. I know his ways are higher than ours, and if he is who he says he is, then they are, but I don’t understand why hell was even allowed to exist. It almost seems like a “might/holiness makes right” thing, which is hard to accept. At this point, this is just my intellectual hubris demanding a reason, but I’m not sure I can love someone who would create a person just to send them to hell. Other than his glory, that is their sole purpose. Your neighbor, who doesn’t love God, but is a really nice person anyway, their eternal destiny is hell, maybe a cousin who doesn’t believe in God but has heard about Him all his life, someone who you really love dearly, but they refuse to know the Lord, imagine that they have been created only to go to hell, and maybe they really have, and there’s not a thing you or them can do about it, but oh, just imagine if God opened all of their eyes. In Malachi 1 it talks about that whole Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated thing. Imagine being Jacob and hearing that. It’s a death sentence. He will never love God, nor will he be allowed to. He. Had. No. Choice. His being was only allowed to exist so that it could suffer to show Gods glory. If you’re still smiling and nodding, please explain to me how. So the whole problem is, I love God because he saved me, but for the unbelievers sake, I can’t. Please help, I’m really struggling with this.
     
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  2. Macchiato

    Macchiato Member

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    You know I've wrestled with similar things but the more of a relationship you have with God the more he does for you the more you see God truly is good.
     
  3. Loyce KG

    Loyce KG "Put on Christ and make no room for the flesh"

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    God is JUST and most times as fallen creatures we view Him as being unfair. God doesn't play fair because He is God. God is holy and therefore hates sin that He must punish those who sin, yet He is fully loving and desires that everyone is saved. The mere fact that all sinners, all the wicked and good people get to enjoy the fruits of His mercy is enough to revere us. The wicked enjoy long life, riches and his creation. That is unwarranted mercy right there.
    So let's look at 2 scenarios, if John and Mary sin against God, and God forgives mary but punishes John, isn't that justice served to both?
    Judgement is at the sole discretion of the judge in this case. God is just and holds His law high. His sovereignty dictates that He is not answerable to anyone, after all He is the creator. God's will is completely free from constraints of His creation. God's will is inclined to move in directions that HE ALONE determines.
    From a human standpoint, the above judgment would be unfair to John yet God rightfully judges. God's will originates from Him and not us-His creation. He will have mercy on whom He has mercy (Romans 9:15). This sovereignty of God is what make Him the most glorious of all.
    We can't figure Him out yet He has let us in though Jesus Christ.
    Everything is for Him, through Him for His glory.

    “Who could ever wrap their minds around the riches of God, the depth of his wisdom, and the marvel of his perfect knowledge? Who could ever explain the wonder of his decisions or search out the mysterious way he carries out his plans? For who has discovered how the Lord thinks or is wise enough to be the one to advise him in his plans? Or: “Who has ever first given something to God that obligates God to owe him something in return?”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:33-35
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  4. Macchiato

    Macchiato Member

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    What I underlined will trip most people up but God is god and He is sovereign and He doesn't need our approval to do anything. I struggled with the underlined but the more God is kind towards me and my family the more I see his goodness as I see God as good.
     
  5. Apokastasis

    Apokastasis [1 Tim 2:4 + Mat 19:26 + Eze 33:11 + Phl 2:13]

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    God wants and can save all - so it will happen. Most bibles aren't properly translated and ignore this fact.

    "who desires all people to be saved and come into knowledge of the truth" - 1Tim2:4

    "Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose" - Isa46:10

    Shouldn't the truth set you free? Isn't the gospel meant to be "good news" (literally) and bring good fruit? What did Jesus say when the sons of thunder proposed that the unbelievers be burnt? He rebuked them because "he came to save lives, not destroy them". He even admitted to be speaking in parables so only a few would understand. God is saving (from sin and death) everyone in their appointed time.

    Here are some links to some really good resources. Look up their youtube channels too if you'd like.

    tentmaker.org
    bible-truths.com (mostly the lake of fire series)
    Love never fails and every knee will bow <3

    (It is God that makes you even consider these things so you are very blessed to have such a heart within you.)
     
  6. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

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    Universalism is a false doctrine. It directly contradicts what Scripture teaches. To say that those who reject God’s provision of salvation through His Son will be saved is to belittle the holiness and justice of God and negate the need of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

    For more detail~~~> Is universalism / universal salvation biblical?
     
  7. Apokastasis

    Apokastasis [1 Tim 2:4 + Mat 19:26 + Eze 33:11 + Phl 2:13]

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    If you feel the need to quote me, at least respond to what I wrote instead of posting links, allowing other men to do our thinking for us. I respect your right to have an opinion on the subject. If you ever feel bothered by the thought of worshipping a God who is less merciful than Jesus and has no problem torturing people for no redeeming purpose, don't be afraid to look universal reconciliation up. It's not the same thing as universalism so I'm not sure why you brought that up.

    The way I see it it is your doctrine that negates Jesus being the savior of the world. It belittles God's love and mercy (and ability to plan) and simply isn't good news to anyone with empathy. It also does not negate his sacrifice because it was the only way for us to be redeemed and uncursed by the law of sin and death. It was also a way for the creator to die for his creation, which is profoundly beautiful and similar to how Adam chose death to be with his beloved Eve. Jesus said to love your enemies and I hardly think he expects us to be capable of more love and mercy than the God who made us. He is not a practicer of hypocrisy. Is yours truly a truth that sets men free?

    "For this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe" 1Tim 4:10

    You know how they say every tongue shall confess Jesus is lord? In another place it says you need the help of the holy spirit for this so judge for yourself what that could mean. Jesus will have a 100% success rate and will make "all things subject unto himself". None can come to him unless "the father drags him". It's hardly our choice, or even his. The father is able and willing to make these things come true, in their time. I don't see why these traditions of men of which you speak, although 1600 years old, should matter to anyone looking for truth. Paul was right when he said there would be doctrines of demons creeping in.

    I won't be leaving a link this time but I recommend the book of Jonah, if you want an example of God's mercy at work. I mean no offense by my straight forward tone but I'm simply extremely passionate about this subject. The passion is directed towards the eternal torment doctrine (which grieved me for a time) and not you personally. I'm 100% sure God in his infinite wisdom is forming you into something that will bring him and the rest of humanity a joy no other person could ever replace, as he foresaw. God be with you, friend!
     
  8. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

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    I shouldn't share an article that says what I want say, better than I can say it? That would be foolish of me. I'm letting them think for me? Hardly, I read and agree with every article I share, or I don't share it.

    Jesus is God. Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?

    Every definition I found says that "universal reconciliation" is the position that all of mankind will ultimately be saved through Christ whether or not faith is professed in him in this life and that 'Christian universalism' is the theological view arguing that all persons will ultimately be saved. That sounds the same. Do you hold to a different definition?

    Can God be the Savior of all people, but not redeem everyone? Yes. The word 'Especially', there in verse 10, is the Greek word 'malista'. It refers to a subset, within a greater whole (see 1 Timothy 5:8 & 1 Timothy 5:17 for other clear examples).

    So, in what way is God the Savior of believers? He saves us from our sin, from his wrath, from the condemnation we deserve, from eternal Hell. That is the special way he saves believers. This special grace was obtained by the atoning death of Christ.

    And how, exactly, is he saving unbelievers? He is sparing them from the immediate desserts of their unbelief and rebellion. This common grace was also made possible by Christ’s atonement. Every benefit, relief, enjoyment, safety, pleasure, provision, and all other such undeserved blessings, are a manifestation of God’s grace, goodness, and mercy to believers and unbelievers alike.

    So, God is the Savior of all mankind in His forbearance and daily common grace; He is the Savior of believers in a very special way, in that He sent his Son to die on the cross to absorb all condemnation we deserve (John 3:16). Thus, He is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

    Yes, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Those who have responded to the gospel with faith and repentance will do so gladly and willingly. Those who have hardened their hearts to the call of the gospel will do so with great fear and trembling.

    These doctrines of demons are before you. The biggest problem with them is the assumption that God’s righteous punishment for unrepentant sin is too harsh. When we twist God’s Word to suit our sensitivities, we have set ourselves up as His judge. We have essentially declared ourselves to be more compassionate than God is. We may find the doctrine of eternal punishment disturbing (I know I certainly do), but Scripture is clear that the decision to follow Christ must be made before death, and that decision determines one’s eternity (Matthew 16:27, Revelation 22:12).

    If these doctrines were true, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to die on the cross. To say that those who reject God’s provision of salvation, through His Son, will be saved, is to belittle the holiness and justice of God and negate the need of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. Faith, today, would be unnecessary. The apostles did not need to give up everything to preach the gospel, missionaries are wasting their lives, and the martyrs died in vain. Jesus’ continuous call to “follow me” (Luke 9:23, Matthew 8:22) is silly, if everyone ends up in the same place anyway. Why give up our lives now (Mark 8:34-36), if we can have all this and heaven too?

    Christian universalism, in all of it's forms, are unbiblical beliefs.

    It's ok, I took no offense from your reply. I too am equally passionate about this subject and mean no offense to you, personally.
     
  9. Apokastasis

    Apokastasis [1 Tim 2:4 + Mat 19:26 + Eze 33:11 + Phl 2:13]

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    I actually created my account just to post in this thread as I have had the same issues as the original poster and felt I needed to share what I've learned. How can God ask me to love my enemies and do good to them when he won't do the same? I was so grateful that he taught me to love others. But the fruit of thinking everyone around me was potentially heading towards eternal disaster was hating God, making me unable to keep the most important commandment. Jesus said that his commandments weren't burdensome but for me it was impossible. He said it was good news that would set me free but it sure didn't. At this point I wondered why christians had children, considering the risks of an apostate child. How could they smile and consider it an ethical thing to do, playing dice with the eternity of another human? I knew I would never want to create another human with even the slightest of possibility for eternal torment and thus I declared myself more righteous than such a God. I knew there had to be something more to the story because God doesn't contradict himself so I did my research. The lake of fire series on bible-truths.com was a great start, it's above 1000 pages but it's crammed with scripture research. It was easy to find the motivation to study considering the sorrow the ET doctrine brought me. Tentmaker was another good site/channel. The author Hannah Whitall Smith lived quite a while ago but was also among those able to come to the same conclusion.

    You say you are also passionate about this subject and I respect the fact that you're honest about it. Some people don't seem to live as if what they believe is truth. I converted from agnosticism as a young adult, which for me meant I had to do a lot of reading in order to even be able to believe the basics of christianity in the first place. I live in a very atheist/secular country (You would hate it here. Bless your heart because Texas is beautiful and you people are great, I had a great time going there) so there was absolutely no social pressure from anywhere or anything to gain from it for me, besides understanding the meaning for life. I always have to be honest with myself so I fell out of intellectual faith many times but God pulled me back in every time, giving me something new to ponder. I always prayed for him to "push me away if I'm wrong about something important". So I won't be changing my mind as I've researched this for a very long time and continue to find scriptures supporting my stance. I also don't believe in the concept of free will since God is able and does work our wills as he likes. There is no reason for me to discuss this topic unless you are at least a little interested in what I have to say. You don't have to make a long post to explain where I'm wrong, I'd prefer if you read this trying to understand. I know you're a good person who would have a slight problem enjoying himself next to a God who simultaneously is subjecting other helpless creatures to eternal torment. You're probably someone who thinks sharing your cookie with the kid next to you makes your half taste even better (which of course is entirely correct).

    If you are of the opinion man has ever been able to translate God's inspired scriptures correctly all the time and you have never had the urge to look into the Greek to confirm your beliefs are correct, you may not be aware of the differences between Gehenna, Sheol, Tartarus and lake of fire and brimstone (which of course is a symbol, like the rest of revelation is a sign for something). The purpose of the last one is to purify us, hence the brimstone (a well known chemical process back in those days to purify gold).

    I'm not sure about the details of your faith but I find both Calvinism and Arminianism to describe a God I don't want to become like. It's a choice between a God that creates people for specifically for torture and a God that is unable to keep from torturing us despite not wanting to. I'd honestly prefer most pagan gods to someone like that because most of them are not that cruel. Even the worst of humanity is more loving and forgiving.

    I believe God is able and willing to make humanity in his spiritual image, giving us a heart that is able to obey his will (mentioned in Ezekiel, also mentioned later as a circumcised heart)? It is God that works in us to do these things, that's why Jesus is the lord of the Sabbath. We rest from our works and allow him to save us from our sinful ways. "Without him we can do nothing" and "What's impossible with man is possible with God". In Ezekiel it also says many times that God doesn't enjoy the death of anyone but wants us to come to repentance. God always gets what he wants in the end or he probably wouldn't want to create things. In revelation the last enemy to be defeated is death. The wages of sin are death, not torture. We know from the psalms etc. that death is likened to sleep and is a place without perception, thus the names Sheol and Hades. Jesus uses well known pagan imagery in Luke 16 to make a point that refutes the idea that "rich men are blessed by God because they are soo amazing and he hates poor people", he's not describing the afterlife. Paul also uses pagan poems to confirm man is the offspring of God and tells them about their "unknown God" while speaking to the greeks, which does not mean validating their entire mythology. Paul says resurrection is needed or all is in vain. So I believe people die when they are killed.

    I know Jesus is our creator God. I was implying your idea of God was unchristlike. Jesus said to come to save lives and not destroy them when the sons of thunder proposed calling down literal fire from the sky, which seems pretty merciful to me. He didn't harm people (he could have allowed the witnesses to stone the adulteress) but healed them, dined with them and blessed and likely prayed for his enemies. The things he said about fire are not quite literal as "his words are spirit". Jesus had empathy for the hungry people who had followed him and not eaten for days. He wept over Jerusalem and her people and wished he could gather them as a hen gathers her young. Seeing the sorrow of Lazarus' family he wept too. When Phillip wanted to see the father you probably remember what Jesus said. His words are the words of the father and they are one/united. When he told the father to forgive the people who killed him, that's surely what the father wanted as well. That our creator is so loving, longsuffering and wonderful should be amazing news for every seeking soul.

    Universalism means all religions contain some important principles that are the way to God, which to me is partly true. There are elements and ideals of charity in the larger religions (weightier matters of the law) that I think brings people a bit closer to God and love. The Samarian did stop when the Levite and Pharisee didn't after all. But the rich man who did all the commandments lacked Christ still, which means I cannot stand for Universalism as a whole. But the two you describe are both correct statements in my opinion. Others prefer calling it the victorious gospel.

    Absorb condemnation? Come on, that's just unscriptural. I know some translations say he "became sin" but what the greek says is "became sin offering" (same greek translation as the OT). God incarnate, the only true witness to what God is truly like, willingly laid his life down for his enemies - knowing we were currently enslaved to sin and eventually would become his friends. As in the story of Abraham and the Levite priesthood, God is always the one providing the sacrifices. God doesn't change but is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. If mankind would just be like him, we'd be in paradise already.

    Aren't you kind of adding to his word by coming up with these details? God is the one who created Satan (the destroyer to destroy, the one who sinned from the beginning). Satan is the one who blinds us and makes us unable to believe. God is the one who gives us faith and the one who can order Satan around (In Job and the gospels Satan clearly obeys God). Instead of torturing us a better solution would be to simply give us faith and a new heart. Those who are not elected to believe in this life are resurrected and brought through judgement to learn righteousness (as per Isa 26:9). It may actually be a tougher road to go for salvation after the resurrection but in the end it says God will be "all in all". We all have a choice and for me it makes me happier thinking God predestined me to at least try and choose his way.

    We can only confess Jesus as lord with the help of the holy spirit though, and this is probably not as in calling him lord but not doing what he's saying. Are you trying to add to the word of God or something, with all those details? I honestly would be surprised if there wasn't at least some amount of fear and trembling in everyone present, as if any human ever reacted differently to any revelation of God. Can you not see that it is a spiritual statement supported by the myriad of psalms prophesying that every being shall give praise to the Lord?

    But God himself said the wages of sin is death and I don't remember him ever changing his mind on this. That's not even me adding to his word. If you find it disturbing I can recommend the lake of fire article series I previously linked. I'd be surprised if that didn't set you free if you read it with an open mind. Maybe this is God's way of revealing something he has wanted you to know for a while. He clearly has worked in you to dislike the ET doctrine already. If you think eternity means infinite time then it's pretty clear you haven't researched the greek. It usually means age, as in "this wicked age". There comes an age to right wrongs for the sinful, which is judgement. In the end death will be abolished so once we're there that's about as close to eternity we humanly can get. Eternity is the only duration of time long enough to enjoy the fullness God's loving ways after all. Again, it's all there in the lake of fire series if you want to check it out. The person who strangled another for a denarius had to work until his original debt was repaid, but was eventually free from debt.


    You are completely missing the point. Jesus specifically asked to be spared "if possible" and he wasn't so it clearly wasn't possible. He is the sin offering "slain from the foundation of the world" who "takes away the sin of the world" and foreshadowed by the entire old testament and the suffering Messiah foretold by the prophets. Jesus also said he came for his lost sheep that time and by dying (with the letters YHWH written above his head) he allowed the whoring Northern kingdom to be legally remarried as I understand it. Death is not really required in order for God to forgive as he easily forgave pagans who repented (see Jonah) without a sacrifice. Jesus forgave sins even before he died and told us to do the same. It says in Isaiah he doesn't enjoy sacrifices but prefers obedience, and Jesus was actually an example of both.

    Why wouldn't we give our lives now if we love him? I have nothing better to do on this earth than to try to do God's will as well as I can and allow myself to be changed into his image, do you? I know there are better things out there than what this world has to offer so I don't feel like I'm missing out. Heaven is not simply a location like the pagans would have us believe but a state of being in oneness with our creator. Wherever God dwells, his heavenly kingdom is as I understand it. Servants work for their wages for a time but a son would work because he loves his father and wants to make him proud and happy. I also think it would be troublesome later if I go completely against the will of God since it will be way more work to straighten me out (Sodom will probably be pretty easy to straighten out compared to the Pharisees for example).

    Our earthly lives are not the end all be all of existence and plenty of muslims and people of other faiths die for what they believe in too, which doesn't make them 100% right about everything. Jesus said people would come in his name, claiming he is the Christ (not referring to imposters), and deceive many and I trust him on this. He said there would be wolves ravaging the flock. He said it would happen and to me it really looks like it did. In my opinion, while it's a pity, it shouldn't matter in the long run if someone "wasted their life" since they will be with God sooner or later. God is able to plan all things perfectly to his divine purpose and awaken the dead.

    Only some people are able to heed Jesus' call for people to follow him as "his sheep hear his voice". He knows that none can come to him lest the father drags them. He also spoke in parables on purpose so that people would "hear but not understand". Sounds pretty diabolic until you realize some were simply destined for salvation at a later date.


    I can agree with this one as most bibles contain mistranslations of the greek word aion and translate several words to the pagan hell. They are, however, not unscriptural. In the first 400 years of Church history universal reconciliation was the most common doctrine, look it up.

    Unlike many, you actually take this hell thing seriously enough to inform others and I respect you for that. Some people allow it to make them cold and complacent to the fates of others and become terrible people while others go mad and start yelling in the streets, frustrated about the foolish people who won't listen. Both are natural reactions to bad news, I guess.

    For me I think realizing God willed the existence of every person around has given me a reason to respect them more. Realizing God wishes to see them at their best and will get them there makes me completely unable to harbor hate, beyond thinking some of their actions are stupid and evil. God wills all to come to knowledge of the truth so I want that too. There are just so many details to go into, I have no idea what you already know and English is not my native language so I apologize if my explanations seem all over the place. I can promise you that I am being completely honest about researching this for a long time, sometimes while crying (both sad and happy tears). But you shouldn't have to take my word for it. If you dislike the ET doctrine as much as you say you do I think there is a big possibility that you will learn something new so I think you owe it to yourself to be honest, do the research and let go the same old "God is too holy to forgive sinners!" and "Jesus died for nothing then?" everyone on those mainstream sites you link to mindlessly uses. I'm guessing you cannot love God fully (important commandment) while he figuratively dangles the neighbor you love (also important commandment) above a literal fiery furnace with a timer set to infinity. It shouldn't make any sense to you and I can tell it doesn't. I put peace of mind and love of God before pride and the doctrines of men once and maybe you will too one day. Have a wonderful day either way because the sun is always shining bright behind the dull shadows of the earth and her clouds!

    "As all die in Adam, all shall be made alive in Christ!"
     
  10. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

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    I am thankful that you found your way out of agnosticism and into God's Word. Continue in His Word, as they are the words of life. As for what we have been discussing, I think it's safe to say, that the one thing we can agree on, is that we disagree. Welcome to CF, I hope you stick around!
     
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