Short Takes

Olde Tymer

Active member
.
Hello;

Heavyweight evangelists like Billy Graham and Luis Palau usually preached lengthy
sermons during their crusades; which wasn't a bad method considering their
venues. But here on an internet forum, I think we can better serve a world-wide
public with concise messages that cut to the chase, so to speak, viz: strive to
present our material with an economy of words.

Buen Camino

Pleasant Journey
_
 
.
John 3:14-17 . . As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in him have eternal life. For
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes
in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The incident to which Christ referred is located at Num 21:5-9.

Long story short: Moses' people became weary of eating manna all the time at
every meal. But instead of courteously, and diplomatically, petitioning their divine
benefactor for a different diet, they became indignant and confrontational; angrily
demanding better accommodations.

In response to their insolence, and their ingratitude for His providence; God sent a
swarm of deadly poisonous vipers among them; which began striking people; and
every strike was 100% fatal, no exceptions.

After a number of people died, the rest came to their senses and begged Moses to
intercede. In reply; The Lord instructed Moses to fashion a replica of the vipers and
hoist it up on a pole in plain view so that everyone dying from venom could look to
it for relief.

The key issue here is that the replica was the only God-given remedy for the
people's bites-- not sacrifices and offerings, not tithing, not church attendance, not
scapulars, not confession, not holy days of obligation, not the Sabbath, not
rosaries, not weeping, not the golden rule, not charity, not Bible study and/or
Sunday school, not self denial, not vows of poverty, not the Ten Commandments,
nor even one's ideology of choice, i.e. it wouldn't have mattered whether somebody
was Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Baha'i, Atheist, Agnostic,
Pagan, or whatever-- the replica was it; nothing else would suffice to save their
lives.

As an allegory, the replica speaks of Christ's crucifixion for the sins of the world as
the only God-given rescue from the wrath of God; and when people accept it, then
according to John 3:14-17 and John 5:24, they qualify for a transfer from death
into life. Those who reject his crucifixion as the only God-given rescue from the
sum of all fears, are already on the docket to face it.

John 3:18 . .Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not
believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of
God's one and only Son.

I recommend finding a quiet place; anywhere will do. Cover you face with your
hands for a sense of connection, and tell God you have never yet measured up to
His standards and you're pretty sure you never will. Tell Him you would like to take
advantage of His son's death; and thank Him for His time.
_
 
.
When I was a growing boy, the church I attended typically recited the Beatitudes at
the end of services; but with no accompanying explanations. As a result, they
meant nothing to me in a personal way. It was just more rote drilled into my head
like everything else I was taught back in those days.

I discovered later on that the Beatitudes are not something to be admired; no,
they're something to be feared because according to Christ's testimony, as an
expert witness in all matters pertaining to piety; failure to exemplify the Beatitudes
will result in disaster.

Matt 7:26-27 . . Everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on
them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house; and it collapsed and was completely
ruined.

God offered humanity His own son's life and safety to atone for their failure to fully
comply with the Beatitudes; and would appreciate an RSVP to let Him know they
want in on the benefit. Of course if folks consider themselves pious enough to skip
the cross, well more power to them, but I highly recommend they take God up on
His offer just in case their estimation proves faulty; especially seeing as the Bible
says no one yet has measured up to His standards.

Rom 3:23 . . All have sinned; and fall short of the glory of God.
_
 
.
Hello;

Heavyweight evangelists like Billy Graham and Luis Palau usually preached lengthy
sermons during their crusades; which wasn't a bad method considering their
venues. But here on an internet forum, I think we can better serve a world-wide
public with concise messages that cut to the chase, so to speak, viz: strive to
present our material with an economy of words.

Buen Camino

Pleasant Journey
_
I have to agree, extremely long cut and paste post are not my cup of tea. I think most people come to a forum for dialogue not to read a book.
 
.
It occurred to me some years ago, that even if I were to behave myself sufficiently
in this life to get into Heaven; I seriously doubted I could keep it up forever. Sooner
or later my true colors would show themselves and I'd likely get the boot. I thought
to myself: if only holiness were second nature, like it is for Jesus, instead of such an
effort, then my chances would be greatly improved.

And then one day, I ran across a passage in the prophecy of Ezekiel that really
caught my attention. It goes like this:

"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries,
and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you,
and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I
cleanse you."

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will
take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye
shall keep my judgments, and do them". (Ezek 36:24-27)

God made that promise to His people the Jews. Well; I began wondering if maybe
me, a non Jew, could somehow get in on some of that too because its benefits are
definitely very appealing to a guy whose piety, on his own, will never amount to
anything better than unsatisfactory.
_
 
.
A forgiven sinner is still sinful, and they'll go right on sinning same as before and
thus needing forgiveness again and again ad infinitum.

Jer 13:23 . . Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may
you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Well; in light of the passage above, it's certainly no surprise to me that people need
to upgrade the very core of their being so that they can, by nature, be the children
of Heaven in the future rather than remain the children of Hell that they are now.

John 3:7 . . You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.

We're not looking at a liturgical ritual in that verse, rather, a supernatural action
performed by the hand of God just as humanity's original creation was an act of
God. Well; I strongly urge folks to speak with God about getting in on this particular
benefit especially seeing as how it's required rather than optional.
_
 
.
The passage below is deliberately misquoted. Watch for the revision.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son in order to save
the world and give everyone everlasting life."

Well; the thing is: not everyone will be spared the wrath of God via Jesus'
crucifixion because the benefit is limited to believers.

John 3:16 . . For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God
who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but
they have already passed from death into life.

1Cor 1:21 . . He has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe.
_
 
.
Rev 20:12 . . And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the
books were opened . . . and the dead were judged out of those things which were
written in the books, according to their works.

Ideally the pages for each of us in those books will be blank; that way we'll be free
to go because there would be nothing listed therein with which to charge us and it
will appear as though we have never been anything but 100% innocent our entire
lives.

Now a pardon is nice as far as it goes, but it leaves behind a record of our wrongs;
whereas as exoneration is much better because it wipes those pages; and it's
available.

Rom 4:25 . . He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for
our justification.

The Greek word translated "justification" in that passage means acquittal; roughly
defined as an adjudication of innocence due to lack of sufficient evidence to convict,
viz: exoneration. In other words: God closes the believer's case and it's never
reopened-- not because it's a cold case, but because all charges against them were
dropped, i.e. transferred to Christ.

Isa 53:6 . .We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
way; and The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2Cor 5:19 . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting
their trespasses against them

Rom 8:33-34 . .Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns; Christ Jesus, who died?

If you out there believe God had you in mind when Jesus went to the cross, and are
confident his crucified dead body was restored to life; then RSVP God and let Him
know you want in on this remarkable benefit because you definitely do not want
your sins following you over into the next life.
_
 
.
Humanity was created in the image and likeness of God. So then, we can safely
assume that humanity came packaged with a sense of responsibility, viz: a
conscience.

But I remember what I told you;
That in time you're gonna pay.

"Funny How Time Slips Away"
Willie Nelson, Billy Walker, 1961


That song is correct about the ex girlfriend, but it neglects to take into account the
singer's responsibility.

There are folks out in the world who've never once heard and/or been taught a
single thing about the laws of God, but that doesn't let them off the hook because
no matter how faulty nor how reliable their sense of responsibility might be, they
will be held accountable for how much, and/or how little, they let their conscience
be their guide.

Rom 2:14-16 . . Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature
things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not
have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their
hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing,
now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge
men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Now although retribution for uninformed folks will be lighter than those who know
better, they will still have to undergo some penalties.

Luke 12:47-48 . .That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready
or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one
who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few
blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and
from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Anyway, point being: we needn't fret that uninformed folks throughout the world
won't get a fair shake.
_
 
.
POSIT: I'm special; God understands me. Although He probably may not let others
off; I'm sure God will make an exception for me because I'm not like other people;
I'm different.


REPLY: Unfortunately, the Bible's God can't do that. If He were to make exceptions,
God would be neither equitable, nor honest-- and worse, it would go against His
grain, compromise His integrity, sin against His conscience; and cause Him to lose
the world's respect.

No, God doesn't grade on a curve: everyone is treated equally in God's courtroom.
In a system of divine absolutes; there is neither a curve nor an exception: nobody
gets any favors, nobody is special, and nobody is a protected species.

Deut 10:17 . . Jehovah shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.

Acts 10:34 . .Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God is
impartial.

Rom 2:5-11 . . For there is coming a day of judgment when God, the just judge
of all the world, will judge all people according to what they have done. He will give
eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and
honor and immortality that God offers.

. . . But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who
refuse to obey the truth; and practice evil deeds. There will be anguish and
calamity for everyone who practices evil-- for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.
But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all practice good --for the
Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
_
 
.
The law of God requires eye for eye, tooth for tooth, burning for burning, hand for
hand, foot for foot, wound for wound, and stripe for stripe.

Where does that leave people like Ted Kaczynski who killed and/or maimed 26
people with homemade bombs; or Stephen Paddock who indiscriminately sprayed a
music concert in Las Vegas with a rifle equipped with a bump stock resulting in 471
dead and/or wounded; and the numerous serial killers that are in and out of the
news from time to time? How are those murderers supposed to balance the scales
of justice for all the illegal deaths they've caused?

Well; the fact of the matter is: they can't balance the scales because they simply
don't' have enough lives of their own with which to trade for their victims' lives.

This makes me suspect that suffering in the afterlife isn't uniform, i.e. there's one
Hell, but its circumstances may be something akin to the nine levels of Inferno in
Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Wouldn't that be something?
_
 
.
Rom 6:23 . .The wages of sin is death

That rule is very serious because, at most, people have only two lives to forfeit for
sin-- the life they have now, and the one they'll have later at their resurrection; but
unfortunately, their current life has already been forfeited due to Adam's
disobedience in the garden of Eden so they can't use this life to atone for any of
their own disobedience.

And when they're resurrected to stand trial at the Great White Throne event
depicted at Rev 20:11-15; that'll be their last life because according to Dan 12:2
and John 5:28-29 there's only one resurrection allotted per person.

That's at least one of the reasons why no one is coming back from the second
death depicted at Rev 20:11-15
_
 
.
When people neglect to think about the hereafter; they become like a frog boiled to
death by starting it out in cold water.

Mark 4:3-19 . . Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and some fell
among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. These
are they such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness
of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh
unfruitful.

Well, hello there
My, it's been a long, long time
How am I doing?
Oh, I guess that I'm doing fine

It's been so long now
But it seems now that it was only yesterday
Gee, ain't it funny
How time slips away?

(Billy Walker, 1961)
_
 
.
FAQ: What might Hell's culture be like?

REPLY: Seeing as how nobody down there has any more reason to be civil, then I
think new arrivals can expect to be ill treated in that world.

Also, folks down there are deprived of the regeneration spoken of per John 3:3-8 so
they are there as they were here. Well; human nature tends to deteriorate, sort of
like the decay experienced by road kill and spoiled fruits and vegetables. I'd expect
that the lost get badder and badder and badder as time goes on so that even a
saint like Mother Teresa would eventually become so evil that her conduct in Hell
would be disturbing to behold.

And then; according to Matt 7:21-23, not everyone talking the talk will make the
cut.

Well; I would not want to be one of them because they will surely be mocked
cruelly and without mercy by some of the netherworld's unruly crowd. I can just
hear their giggling and their taunts:

Hey Christian! How's about sharing the gospel with us ay? Tell us about the love of
God and how that's working for ya. Awwwww-Haw-Haw-Haw- Hawwwwwwwww!

I'd rather end up in Hell as a Bernie Madoff than a failed Christian because ol' ponzi
schemer Bernie is sure to be given far more respect down there than a bible
thumper.
_
 
.
Ps 115:17-18 . .The dead do not praise The Lord, nor do any who go down into
silence.

The first "dead" in that verse are not yet deceased but might just as well be seeing
as how their attitude towards God lacks reverence.

"any who go down into silence" are the dead who've passed on. Well; they're no
different down below than when up here on the surface, i.e. they're still irreverent.

The wrong side of the netherworld is likely pretty noisy, but communication with
God is impossible. The Bible says to call upon God while He is near. Well, there
comes a time for the dead when God is too distant, i.e. He's permanently
estranged. That's a kind of silence that no one should take lightly
_
 
.
I think most folks would agree that monsters like Kim Jong-Un, Xi Jinping, Robert
Mugabe, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, human traffickers, and drug cartel
kingpins belong in Hell; but why are decent folk down there?

Well; obviously humanity's moral compass points to a different north than their
maker's, viz: sometimes what's tolerable in human reasoning is unacceptable to
God. Why is that?

In the beginning; humanity was created with a conscience patterned after its
maker's conscience.

"And God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . So God created
man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female
created he them." (Gen 1:26-27)

Then came the forbidden fruit incident, wherein humanity's conscience lost its
innocence and became humanistic.

Then the Lord God said: Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good
and evil. (Gen 3:22)

In other words; Man became a tin God conducting himself in accord with his own
moral values.

* There's a rather humorous scene in Dante's Inferno where these two guys who
knew each other in life are quarreling over who deserves Hell more than the other;
which is pretty silly when it's considered that both were condemned to the same
level down there. For example: a number of elitist Christians are far more tolerable
of dishonesty than they are of LGBTQ yet both the liar and the deviant are on track
for the very same fate. (Rev 21:8)

I rather suspect that quite a few folks sincerely believe God has made a big mistake
sending them down there. In their judicious estimation; others deserve it for sure,
but not themselves.
_
 
.
Eph 2:2-3 . . As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which
you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the
kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All
of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature
and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of
wrath.

It's believed by a pretty large percentage of modern Christians that the sinful
nature spoken of in that Ephesians passage is propagated by men. Oh? From
whence did Eve get it?

She was already alive and fully constructed with material taken from Adam's body
prior to the forbidden fruit incident. Since himself tasted the fruit after his wife was
already in existence; then it was impossible for Adam to pass the fallen nature to
her via reproduction.

In the past, I was sure that the chemistry of the forbidden fruit had something to
do with the first couple's altered moral perception; but now I seriously doubt it
because Eve was the first to eat the fruit, and when she did, nothing happened. She
remained just as shameless in the buff as before. It wasn't till Adam tasted the fruit
that she began to feel exposed; so I'm pretty sure that the underlying cause is far
more serious than the chemistry of that fruit.

If Eve's fallen condition wasn't due to the fruit, nor due to Adam's body, then what?
Well; obviously the Serpent did it to them, a.k.a. the Devil (Rev 20:2)

The ruler of the kingdom of the air-- i.e. the spirit world --has the power of death
(Heb 2:14) and the ability to tamper with the human body and the human mind in
ways not easily detected; e.g. Luke 13:16, Mark 5:1-5, and Eph 2:2.

The Serpent was apparently all set and ready to wield his power the moment that
Adam crossed the line and ate that fruit. It amazes me how quickly it takes effect.
Not long after Adam tasted the fruit, he and his wife both immediately set to work
cobbling together some rudimentary aprons to cover up their pelvic areas.

This power of death allowed the Devil is apparently an absolute that could only be
overturned by Christ's crucifixion.

John 12:31-33 . . Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world
shall be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.

Heb 2:14 . . Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their
humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death;
that is: the Devil.

That is at least one good reason why folks need to RSVP God about His son's
crucifixion to avoid leaving this life under the Devil's supervision. They've got to get
that arrangement dissolved now, while an opportunity for freedom is on the table.
_
 
.
Consider a Jewish man; he's undergone circumcision the eighth day as required,
and successfully completed Bar Mitzvah. From that point on he is obligated to
comply with the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God on oath per
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Now supposing that same Jewish man begins to have second thoughts about the
covenant and thinks maybe he would like to try something else. Well; he is not at
liberty to just up and walk away from the covenant; no, not when he is very likely
indebted to it via one or more of the curses listed at Lev 26:14 39, Deut 27:15-26,
and Deut 28:15-68. Those curses have to be satisfied first before he can even
surmise himself free to transfer his affections to another religion. However; if that
man would like; Christ can do it all for him.

Isa 53:6 . .We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
way; and The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Gal 3:13 . . . Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse
for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.
_
 
.
FAQ: What might Hell's culture be like?

REPLY: Seeing as how nobody down there has any more reason to be civil, then I
think new arrivals can expect to be ill treated in that world.

Also, folks down there are deprived of the regeneration spoken of per John 3:3-8 so
they are there as they were here. Well; human nature tends to deteriorate, sort of
like the decay experienced by road kill and spoiled fruits and vegetables. I'd expect
that the lost get badder and badder and badder as time goes on so that even a
saint like Mother Teresa would eventually become so evil that her conduct in Hell
would be disturbing to behold.

And then; according to Matt 7:21-23, not everyone talking the talk will make the
cut.

Well; I would not want to be one of them because they will surely be mocked
cruelly and without mercy by some of the netherworld's unruly crowd. I can just
hear their giggling and their taunts:

Hey Christian! How's about sharing the gospel with us ay? Tell us about the love of
God and how that's working for ya. Awwwww-Haw-Haw-Haw- Hawwwwwwwww!

I'd rather end up in Hell as a Bernie Madoff than a failed Christian because ol' ponzi
schemer Bernie is sure to be given far more respect down there than a bible
thumper.
_
It's impossible to be a failed Christian. If you have Christ you're more than a conqueror.
 
.
The disturbing scene depicted at Rev 20:11-15 will be presided over by none other
than the sweet little babe away in a manger.

John 5:21-23 . . Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all
judgment to the Son

Acts 17:31 . . He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the
man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the
dead.

Misogyny was given quite a bit of negative press during former US President
Trump's administration; while misandry was treated as if acceptable. But malice is
unacceptable with God on any level; and I think we have to accept the possibility
that there are just as many, if not more, man haters on the wrong side of the
netherworld as there are woman haters.

Rom 2:9-11. .There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does
evil: For God does not show favoritism.

Women are not a protected species with God; nor is their gender a mitigating
factor. They will be judged solely on the basis of their lives just the same as men.

Rev 20:12-15 . . I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and
books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead
were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea
gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were
in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. . . And
whosoever's name was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of
fire.

* I would really hate to be a woman infected with militant misandry because in the
end, it will be a man that casts angry women into the lake of fire and permanently
ruining any chances they might have had for happiness in the future. For all
eternity, condemned man haters will grind their teeth with hot tears and white
knuckled fury that they ultimately lost out on everything because of one lone male's
obsessive control over their lives.
_
 
Back
Top Bottom