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Thursday, August 31, 2017

If God Forgave All Sins, His Mercy Would Be Worthless

Is God merciful, as Scripture says He is? Yes, because mercy is a gift many millions of people - and prophets - have felt deeply. But why is it known to be profoundly valuable?

If we have any wisdom at all we know we've done wrong, and hurt people, or animals, or the Holy Spirit, consciously or unconsciously at some time in our lives. This author still feels some shame about it, and knows the sweetness of God's mercy. 

God is infinite and without limitations of any kind; being the Creator of all life, all things visible and invisible, even laws and limitations. 
God could forgive all crimes if He wished to.  But God is especially clear on this one thing: sins against the Holy Spirit are unforgivable, and will be punished with unspeakably terrible consequences - which starkly reveals the precious quality of His grace. 

This is made a law in the Third Commandment of Moses, which is usually translated as "You shall not use God's name in vain." But that is a mis-translation from the original Hebrew, which says, "You shall not carry God's name in vain." Which means that doing evil in God's name can never be forgiven, because you do irreparable damage to God; you kill God by these deeds. 

We're now seeing epic and Apocalyptic evil done in the name of God by religious authorities of all kinds, and especially since Islamists have declared war on the West, and all Jews and Christians. The end of these people will be very terrible.

Hell has many levels, as Dante specified (Link), and the worst of them are reserved for the violators of the sanctity and love of God. "They will be cast into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" - Matthew 13:50. "It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble" [speaking of the young and innocent] - Luke 17:2.

What is the Holy Spirit?  It's one of the three attributes of God Himself. It's not a corporeal being; that is, it has no body, but is pure energy, like electricity. It has personality and consciousness like Jesus himself, and is the very essence of goodness. Jesus said that we may not like him personally, which may be forgiven. But to hate the animating spirit of love and kindness that God sends into the world will never be forgiven. How else can it be? If you are rageful, cruel, unkind, unforgiving, and dishonest with yourself and others, then you're a creation of Satan, the sworn enemy of God - Matthew 12:22.

The Holy Spirit inhabits many forms which may deceive us. Jesus said, regarding those who fail the Lord's final judgement, "Whatever you did not do for the least of these [speaking of children], you did not do for me." All innocent lives might be holy, and must be protected. 

Of all offenses, hypocrisy is the worst.  If we preach to others a certain standard of virtuous behavior, and exempt ourselves from it, we're living a lie.  God hates lies, which violate His ultimate Truth. But there's worse in our world, what this author calls hypo-criticism. There are millions who not only live hypocritical lives,  but also loudly project onto others the crimes that they themselves are most guilty of.  They often go so far as to use the mantle of godliness and religion. Politicians all over the globe do this, and their end will be horrific - Malachi 4:1. 

We all know by now that the terrible torments that afflict this world are caused by sins against the Holy Spirit.  Can anyone say that if we behaved as Jesus did the world would not be utterly transformed? Of course it would.  But that means we would all have to act like angels of goodness and mercy,  an extremely unlikely turn of events. 

Which is why God has promised to intervene and remake the earth. There is no other choice,  because evil nations have nuclear weapons in abundance. North Korea and Iran have sworn that they will plunge us into Armageddon, sooner or later.

Some of you may think God's harsh judgment of the evil ones is wrong and cruel, but consider this:

Which points out another aspect of holiness. We're not all called on to be martyrs.  Jesus used the example of a Centurion (a Roman military officer) who came to him in Capernaum as an admirable man of perfect faith - Matthew 8:5-13.  We must have soldiers and police to build and maintain civilization. 
The Knights Templar of the Middle Ages were made up, in part, of holy priests who were warriors as well. Wherever we are in life, and whatever we do, our faith will save us. We all have God-given talents we can use to assist in His plan.  
So the question for you is, will you use this open window of opportunity to repair your relationship with God? Or will you waste it,  trying to make your own utopia in the wastelands of earth?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Universe Next Door

We are never truly alone. Modern science now teaches in universities what people of faith have always believed, that there are extra dimensions and realms of unbelievable size and scale in the universe; from subatomic particles all the way up to the one trillion galaxies we can see - or prove the existence of - through the Hubble Space Telescope. Each of these galaxies are universes unto themselves. Our own Milky Way Galaxy is so huge that even if we could travel at the speed of light, it would take 100,000 years to cross it. 
But great distances aren't what they seem to be. Realms of angels and demons can't be ruled out.

                         Our universe of over a trillion small universes.

We who have faith know that God is infinite, but only today can we really gain some idea of what that means. Astrophysics now teaches that most of the physical universe is "dark matter", which means it's invisible to us. In addition there are extra dimensions beyond our four: height, width, depth, and time. Yes, time is now recognized as a dimension. Fact is, there are several more, and each, compared to the other, is like zero compared to infinity. Additionally, all space-time worlds are inter-penetrating; that is, only a thin wall of probability separates them, and God is forever next door to us, if we allow it. This is far beyond the human mind's capacity to understand. (Link)

      Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, its imminence, and approach.

Considering this, and the fact that what we see as solid matter is actually mostly empty space, we're entirely at the mercy of forces we don't recognize as being real. If you doubt this you'll have to explain why X-Rays and Gamma radiation are both invisible and deadly. Those rays are a form of light that penetrates our bodies almost as if they weren't there, because they travel through the vast space between all the atoms in every bit of matter. What we think of as solid isn't, in truth.

Try to visualize for awhile what the Creator of this multi-verse must look like. How puny and insignificant the Napoleons, Hitlers, Stalins, and Maos of this world are. Today there are millions of men and women who fancy themselves godlike because their power and wealth gives them dominion over the material world, but their souls and spirits are less than nothing. The Creator doesn't recognize them. They created themselves by distortion, delusion, and lying. They fool millions for awhile, murder many, then are gone. 

The power our Creator wields is unutterably beyond all conception. Our infinite God has infinite power to work miracles beyond all human understanding. 

Book recommendation: The Universe Next Door, by James W. Sire, an expert at finding the way to God's Salvation. (Link)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Apart From God We Are Nothing; With God, We Share Everything That God Is

By ourselves, how strong and content are we? How meaningful is our existence? Each of us alone has to answer this question, but most of us would agree, not very. Which is why we form friendships, tribes, towns, cities, churches, political parties, and nations. 

Socializing with friends and allies is also a key to happiness, as many decades of studies show. When people are asked to rate their life happiness quotient, and they rate themselves 'happy with life', they also rate themselves as 'social'. The opposite is true, too. Those who are 'unhappy' rate themselves as 'not social'. True hermits are so rare and inaccessible that it's impossible to know much about them. 

The same is true for the sense of meaning in life. Those who rate themselves happy and social also find more meaning in their life than those who don't. Those who rate themselves 'open to ideas' and having 'empathy with others' also find more happiness and meaning.  

What if we had a relative who was phenomenally wealthy, powerful, joyful, sociable, generous, attractive, loving, heroic and - although extremely ancient - looked and acted like a vigorous thirty-year-old? If he or she were searching for you, would you try and hide? Or would you send a note of invitation? What if this relative also had an immense family that shared all the wealth, beauty, power, heroism, glory, and endless youthful life? What could possibly keep you away?

Maybe you aren't well, or your house is a mess, or your clothes are worn out? Perhaps you're so short of money that you can't afford a gift? Or possibly you've been bad-mouthing this relative and family out of jealousy? What if you committed a crime against this person or the family? That really would put a damper on things. How awful it would be to experience rejection from them. But what if the invitation said you would certainly be forgiven? Could you forgive yourself?

Or perhaps it's not you, exactly, but the crowd you run with and your closest friends and family who are slanderers that have been envious and jealous; maybe even at war with this great family? You know for certain that if you attempted to respond to the great invitation your 'friends' would be angry and might even excommunicate you from their group. You've seen this kind of shunning before, and know how others crumbled - maybe died - of loneliness and disgrace. Perhaps, as with some eastern religions, leaving them would bring a death sentence on your head. Your misery would be great indeed. Still, we're all going to die anyway, so maybe it would be better to risk it; to 'face the music'? Many others have done so and freed themselves from nightmarish bondage. 

This is the state of the world today, and that great person is God, our Creator, who is looking for every lost family member who ever went astray. Most of the world is lost in the wilderness and afraid; estranged and disconnected from their only hope of escape from worldly hell. Life on earth almost everywhere is filled with hardship and trials; strife, great suffering, and death. It's getting worse, too. 

But it's not too late to reconnect with the glorious family. It's your relatives who are searching for you. Make the first move. A simple prayer will do. You'll know what to say. 

                                               The Prodigal Son

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

So You Find It Hard to Believe In Christ's Resurrection? Join the Club

Almost anything is easier to believe than the reports that Christ came back to life after being crucified, and spoke to his Disciples and Apostles before ascending to Heaven. Even though he bore the torture wounds on his body, he appeared more healthy and joyous than he was in life, they said. This
resurrection claim is unique in human history; only existing in mythology before Jesus came to earth. 

It deserves mentioning that the word Christ means "The anointed one." Jesus was a Jew who was recognized as the Christ only after his execution, and his believers were dubbed "Christians" by the authorities, and not with respect. 

But it is a documented fact that after seeing the resurrected Jesus in the flesh, his Disciples were transformed from cowering, panicked, and silent fugitives into fervent speakers, witnessing on his behalf. All but one were murdered for their faith, but not one recanted or tried to flee his fate.  Millions more Christians experienced similar visions and went happily to their death in the following two-thousand years. Miracles and testimonies about them fill our literature. How else could a religion that demands so much of its believers have thrived and taken over the Western world? In 312 A.D. Emperor Constantine himself had a vision and converted to Christianity, thus ending the persecution.  

The Apostle Paul - who was once a rabbi and a deadly enemy of all Christians - heard and saw the resurrected Jesus as an all-powerful and luminous angel, brighter than the sun. The vision caused Paul to fall off his donkey, and he was blinded for three days. He ate nothing during that time, ceased persecuting and killing Christians, and converted to the new faith. 

The deeds of the early Christians are recorded in Roman state documents, such as those by Josephus, an historian living in Jerusalem at that time, and not a believer. He ingratiated himself with the Flavian family - Emperor Vespasian, and his two sons, Titus and Domitian - who were tasked with subduing the Jewish rebellion of 69 A.D., occupying Judea, and destroying Jerusalem; including the Second Temple of Solomon.  

The evidence is there for all to see that Judeo-Christianity has always been vibrant and powerful, until recently. It exists outside of human reason and science. We moderns should be used to such things by now. Science itself has gone beyond reason and logic, in many instances. The technology we see in old episodes of Star Trek and Star Wars, such as talking computers and smartphones, are becoming commonplace. Take a look at Quantum Mechanics, which is now cutting-edge science, no longer science fiction. Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein never saw this coming: (Link) 

Still, the dead coming back to joyful life is a tough nut to chew on. So the big question is, can you be a faithful Christian and win the reward of Heaven even if you think the literal Resurrection is merely a metaphorical story? The answer is yes. This author never believed it until witnessing it, and it was this author's faith in the spirit of Jesus - not the written words - that made such a revelation possible. Consider these good reasons for believing in the spirit of Christ: 

The example of Jesus willingly going to his death with courage, poise, and fearlessness is so powerful that it enriches the lives of everyone in every age of humankind. If we understand the power of faith, and the love of God, we become indestructible, emotionally and intellectually. Death, suffering, anxieties and irritations disappear like a bad dream. Faith, like a candle in the night, draws others to us and lights our path. 

How is it that snow-covered and dead-looking branches and twigs suddenly burst forth in flowers, leaves, and fruits with the coming of spring? Isn't this a resurrection?

Christ's example of nearly-infinite forgiveness heals and repairs damaged friendships and loves every day. You won't read about this on the internet, but such generosity is the key to lasting relationships.

One aspect of the crucifixion is a real stunner. Christ gave salvation to the thief who was next to him on the cross, because he recognized Jesus and asked for forgiveness: Matthew, Luke, and Mark

Here is the key: