Is Jesus the only way to Heaven? How do you interpret these scriptures? - Page 7 - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-03-2004, 08:25 AM   #91
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I agree. However, Se7en, I don't know where you're at in your heart or with your faith, but it sounds like you're pursuing truth and I commend you for that. From some of the posts of your's I've read, I kind of sense that God is working in you. Was it a crappy church experience that drove you away?
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:33 AM   #92
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Was it a crappy church experience that drove you away?

no, not at all really. i was pretty involved in the church, youth group, and any worship music needs. i'm still in contact with some of the people i got to know there and actually the pastor's son is one of my good friends. i guess what caused by 'backslide' was that about two and a half years ago i decided i wanted to know why i believed in my religion. so for a year i read and read and read, and by the end of it i had to take a step back and say to myself, honestly and objectively, that what i had believed for my entire life wasn't truth. one of the hardest things i've had to do in my life...on top of letting my dad know where i stood. he took it better than i expected. i still hold a belief in a deity, but i guess i can't call myself much more than an agnostic these days.
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:36 AM   #93
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Originally posted by Se7en
i have sort of an interesting spin to put on this thread...unless it was already spun and i missed it. anyway.

what do the christians here think about someone who has left the church and/or renounced christianity? the pastor of the church i used to attend believes that once you accept christ - that's it, you're saved not matter what may come but i don't know if that's the common assessment. any opinions on this?

ps. i am one such person
Let's take a look at Scripture. When one comes to faith in Christ, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit. This ties with many other passages that support the idea that you cannot lose your salvation nor can it be taken away from you.

Compare this to the one unforgivable sin - apostacy. The complete rejection of Jesus Christ.

Now, we get into an area that is truly only known by the individual and God. Did they truly put their faith in Christ? Or did the individual only go through the motions? And have they truly rejected Jesus Christ? Or have they strayed and only filled themselves with the things of this world.

Based on your description, if you have a concern that you have lost your faith, I would say no.
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:42 AM   #94
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Well to be very frank,

Heaven or Hell doesnt EXIST .

And even if it existed, Jesus or for that matter any other God ( or whoever is considered God) is NOT the only way..

On the contrary people who believe is such discriminatory exclusiveness can never reach heaven - if it ever existed. !!!
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:43 AM   #95
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Is this your view, or do you have anything else to back it up?
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Old 12-03-2004, 08:58 AM   #96
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Se7en — I'm glad you're not just believing Christianity because it's what your parents believe or whatever. It's a relational thing, not a blief system or a religion. Although it feels like a club, which is why I left it for a while, it's not. I had to make it my own too, but in the end, God just led me through the scriptures and showed me things that helped me in my faith. I'm glad you're seeking truth, and not just following dead religion. I would encourage you to simply pray. If you believe in a deity, ask him to show you the way.

And Acrobat man, the idea of hell is a tough one to swallow, I know. Don't think of it as "punishment" though. Think of it as something we ask for. Hell really is simply the absense of God. I don't think it's a place where we go where there's fire and whatever, I think that's a descriptive view of it, but more than anything its the absence of God.
And I know it sounds close minded to say there's only one way to God, but really, if you think about it, if there is only one way, isn't it close minded not to accept it? And if a faith includes God coming down to our level and dying the ultimate death for our chance at eternity, doesn't it have the right to claim it's the only way? If all religions lead to the same ending, and all religions are true, then how can a God sacrifice his son in one faith, and then allow us to chose another? You know? That's why hell is the other way we go if we don't go to God or accept his sacrifice — if we don't want God, then he gives us what we want, he respects free will, and leaves us completely. Does that make sense?
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Old 12-03-2004, 09:02 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
Se7en — I'm glad you're not just believing Christianity because it's what your parents believe or whatever. It's a relational thing, not a blief system or a religion. Although it feels like a club, which is why I left it for a while, it's not. I had to make it my own too, but in the end, God just led me through the scriptures and showed me things that helped me in my faith. I'm glad you're seeking truth, and not just following dead religion. I would encourage you to simply pray. If you believe in a deity, ask him to show you the way.
A long time ago, I left my faith too, but spiritually speaking, Jesus was pounding on my door to let him back into my life.
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:10 AM   #98
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Originally posted by coemgen
I would encourage you to simply pray. If you believe in a deity, ask him to show you the way.
around the close of my tenure within 'christianity' i was praying a lot. asking if the new feelings i was experiencing were real and whether or not i was movingin the right direction (away from the church). there were nights when i was asking god what the hell i should be doing. the idea of 'giving up' your salvation is a frightening thing...at least it was for me. so after all of the internal struggle and prayer i ended up where i am today. if god is listening and if there's an afterlife and if god's judgement is fair, then i feel that i will be absolved because god should know and understand why i am who i am.
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:17 AM   #99
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There are many skeptics who have become great people. You don't seem to fully doubt God's existence. Maybe find something to read at a Christian bookstore?
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:33 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en

so after all of the internal struggle and prayer i ended up where i am today. if god is listening and if there's an afterlife and if god's judgement is fair, then i feel that i will be absolved because god should know and understand why i am who i am.

i am hugely sympathetic to this. i think people fall away from their churches for very, very good reasons. reasons that, if s/he were to literally explain to God, i'm sure he'd be sympathetic to. we are quipped with reason and free will, and if we exercise these abilities in good faith, always looking for truth and honesty, and if this leads us away from such earthly paths of salvation, i can't help but think that i wouldn't want a part of a God who was unsympathetic to that.

in fact, i would argue that the Godly thing to do would be to trust yourself to disagree with and depart from aspects of Scripture, Church teaching, whatever, that strike you as morally indefensible. at least you're using what God gave you -- brains -- and not compromising your conscience because some pastor or priest or passage tells you something that you know in your heart of hearts simply isn't real, or relevant.
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:36 AM   #101
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Falling away from a church and falling away from God are two separate things.

Time alone with God and His Word can be very healthy.
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:37 AM   #102
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Falling away from a church and falling away from God are two separate things.

Time alone with God and His Word can be very healthy.

totally agreed on the first point. in fact, falling away from an abusive church (for lack of a better word) might bring you closer to God.

what about falling away from Scripture?
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:49 AM   #103
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Originally posted by Irvine511
what about falling away from Scripture?
I can understand this happening, but it is usually driven by bad teaching.

All I can suggest is what we do and tell our 10-year old son: pray first and ask God to help you understand. If there is one job of the Holy Spirit, it is to help us understand God's Word.

It may not happen right away. It may come after talking with others. But I can't imagine God not wanting us to understand Scripture.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:14 PM   #104
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NB.....

I think James sums up my opinion on works and faith.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:28 PM   #105
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I've been reading James recently. It is interesting that the example James gives for "works" is Abraham's offering of Isaac.

"Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." James 2:21-22
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