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Old 07-07-2004, 01:34 AM   #46
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BonoVoxSuperstar:

Jesus told people a parable related to this:
"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber." (John 10:1)
When people didn't understand what he meant, he explained: "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." (John 10:9a)

Before Jesus arrived, God's Spirit resided in a temple building, and a curtain was draped across a doorway to keep everyone but the high priest from coming in direct contact with God.
However, when Jesus died on the cross: "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." (Matthew 27:51a)
This means that Jesus removed the barrier between us and God, and now we can "come boldly to the throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16).

In other words, before Jesus died on the cross, people couldn't come into direct contact with God because their sins remained, but now that Jesus has paid for our sins once and for all and has therefore made us holy, there is no longer any need for a curtain and we can come into direct contact with God.
This arrangement has changed things so that God's Spirit no longer resides in a building, but instead his Spirit now lives in the hearts of those who have accepted Jesus as their savior:
"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" (Acts 2:38)
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own?" (I Corinthians 6:19)

In this arrangement, we are actually able to be in close contact with God on a daily basis and get to know him on a personal level similar to a parent-child relationship:
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we we cry out, 'Father, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:14-16)
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Old 07-07-2004, 07:46 AM   #47
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BostonAnne:

I agree with you.

As a matter of fact, we probably have to serve people in need before we can tell them about Jesus because it's pretty hard to listen when you're starving, hurting, etc...

The only thing I'm not certain about is your use of the word "tolerant".
If you mean tolerant as in willing to respect all people, then I totally agree.
However, if you mean tolerant as in not making value judgements about people's behavior, then I have to disagree.

You've probably heard the story where a mob was about to stone a woman to death for committing adultery ("Do not commit adultery" is one of the Ten Commandments) until Jesus stopped them by saying that the person without sin should throw the first stone. When everyone had dropped their rocks and left:
"Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'
'No one, sir,' she said.
'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'" (John 8:10-11)

Jesus showed love towards her by stepping in and saving her life, he was respectful towards her despite the fact that she was being shunned by society, and he told her that he wasn't condemning her.
However, at the same time he said to her, "leave your life of sin".
Now how can this be? Doesn't the modern day concept of tolerance tell us that loving someone is incompatible with making value judgements about their behavior?
Isn't that being intolerant, judgemental, etc...?
Or is it because he loves her that he cares about not only the state of her physical health but also her spiritual health?
See, I read the same story and see that following Jesus IS to be tolerant, to love. He was asking the stone throwers to be tolerant of the woman by pointing out to them that they too have done something sinful. He is compassionate to her - not intolerant. We should all try to leave our lives of sin - but to do so is to try and follow Jesus in action. He wasn't intolerant or judgmental.
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Old 07-07-2004, 08:02 AM   #48
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Sure tolerance is a verry high value for God. Because he's allmighty it would be easy for him to force us to behave like he expects its but he gives us free choice.

But this free choice dosn't mean that he dosn't tell the people that they are doing something wrong.
(He saved the lady from being stoned to death but he said "sin no more")
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:40 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheFirstBigW
BonoVoxSuperstar:



Before Jesus arrived, God's Spirit resided in a temple building, and a curtain was draped across a doorway to keep everyone but the high priest from coming in direct contact with God.
Do you actually believe in this literally?
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:50 AM   #50
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Do you actually believe in this literally?
Do you have another source that describes this?

The Bible is fairly clear that the cover of the Ark was called the Atonement Cover or Mercy Seat. There are detailed instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle & Temple and how the priests were to prepare, approach and enter the inner room (the Holy of Holies).

This is what makes the tearing of the curtain (from top to bottom) at the moment of the crucifixion so significant. That which separated us from God is no more.
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:31 PM   #51
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Do you have another source that describes this?

The Bible is fairly clear that the cover of the Ark was called the Atonement Cover or Mercy Seat. There are detailed instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle & Temple and how the priests were to prepare, approach and enter the inner room (the Holy of Holies).

This is what makes the tearing of the curtain (from top to bottom) at the moment of the crucifixion so significant. That which separated us from God is no more.
To me the tearing of the curtain has always been symbolic. To say that God is so powerful and then to say it can be contained by brick and mortar and fabric doesn't make sence. The tearing of the curtain was symbolic taking away the power of the high priest and giving back to the children of God. I just don't understand why God would regionalize itself and only allow access to certain people, this is just a ridiculous idea to me. To me this is like having several children but not claiming or supporting some because they aren't within you sight. To me that's absurd, if someone can explain it to me better I'm open.
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Old 07-07-2004, 08:43 PM   #52
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This is an apology to Moonlit Angel. Sorry! I actually typed up a nice long response which I thought had potential, only to forced to shut down the computer I haven't been back on since.

For the life of me, I can't remember exactly what I had to say so I'm not going to even try. I read some of the newer posts and I think this thread has gone from fun, insightful debate/discussion to heavy argument. Once again, sorry
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:38 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by FullonEdge
This is an apology to Moonlit Angel. Sorry! I actually typed up a nice long response which I thought had potential, only to forced to shut down the computer I haven't been back on since.

For the life of me, I can't remember exactly what I had to say so I'm not going to even try. I read some of the newer posts and I think this thread has gone from fun, insightful debate/discussion to heavy argument. Once again, sorry
Apology accepted. . Sorry to hear that about the computer acting up-such a pain sometimes, aren't they?

Seeing as you aren't going to try with your reply again, then it seems we'll just have to agree to disagree. .

Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
I just don't understand why God would regionalize itself and only allow access to certain people, this is just a ridiculous idea to me. To me this is like having several children but not claiming or supporting some because they aren't within you sight. To me that's absurd, if someone can explain it to me better I'm open.
.

Angela
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:10 PM   #54
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Originally posted by TheFirstBigW
Perhaps between their death and judgement day, God gives someone like that the opportunity to accept or reject Jesus and therefore him before it's all said and done. Who knows?
No offense, but that's completely illogical.

If you had died and were standing in front of God and he gave you a choice to accept him and his son and go to Heaven, or refuse and go to Hell, at that point, what do you think you (or anybody) would do? I mean at that point it's proven, so why would anybody reject that? Nobody WANTS to go to Hell...
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Old 07-08-2004, 03:47 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by FullonEdge
I read some of the newer posts and I think this thread has gone from fun, insightful debate/discussion to heavy argument.
Sorry if this thread is going in a different direction than you intended.
Feel free to step back in and help us get back on track.
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Old 07-08-2004, 03:48 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
To say that God is so powerful and then to say it can be contained by brick and mortar and fabric doesn't make sense.
To understand this, we have to keep in mind that God exists in three parts (the Father, the Son [Jesus], and the Holy Spirit) and can exist in multiple places at once. God came to Earth in the form of a man (Jesus) while God the Father still remained in Heaven. I guess we might call him "multi-dimensional" or something.
But when there was a temple building in the Old Testament, it wasn't like God would have been homeless if he didn't have a physical building to live in, it's just that the temple was where God in one form chose to hang out, I guess.
But God wasn't satisfied with having to deal with his children from a distance, so he had a plan (through Jesus) to eventually do away with all of the formalities so that he could hang out with each of us personally (changing the concept of what a temple is, from a physcial building to our physical bodies).

Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
I just don't understand why God would regionalize itself and only allow access to certain people, this is just a ridiculous idea to me.
To the best of my understanding, God's plan all along was to reunite all people with him in Heaven some day. It's just that the way he has chosen to do it is somewhat complicated and round about.
As you point out, he started out by making one nation (Israel) his chosen people, while everyone else was referred to as "Gentiles" (which basically means "not Jewish").
However, in Old Testament times, before Jesus was born, God said to Isaiah, "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6).

In other words, God's plan all along was to try to bring everyone on board eventually, but according to his plan, it couldn't happen until after his son (Jesus) was rejected by Israel, becase one of the purposes of reaching out to "Gentiles" is to make Israel relent and return to him:
"...salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious." (Romans 11:11).

But it is also made clear that in the end Israel will return to God as well:
"And so all Israel will be saved..." (Romans 11:26a)

Of course, this is all rather complicated, and I don't pretend to fully understand it all, but then, as the Bible says, "Who has known the mind of the Lord?" (Romans 11:34a)
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Old 07-08-2004, 03:52 PM   #57
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Originally posted by DaveC
I mean at that point it's proven, so why would anybody reject that? Nobody WANTS to go to Hell...
The Bible says that sin is not just a matter of doing wrong, but it is actually an act of hostility towards God himself:
"Against you (God), and you alone, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge." (Psalm 51:4)
Choosing to follow the rebellious mindset of the world is also an act of hostility:
"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

In other words, people who choose to remain on this course to the end of their lives have chosen a path based upon a hatred of God...they hate who he is, what he stands for, what he has to say...and the fear of punishment and suffering in the end is apparently not enough to change that. Their own choices lead to Hell because they would rather suffer for the rest of eternity than to turn away from evil, submit to God's authority, and be reconciled to him.

Jesus told a story about a man who died and then asked for "someone from the dead" to be sent to his brothers who were still alive so that "they will turn from their sins", but the man was told, "If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead" (Luke 16).
This would seem to indicate that no matter how much of an effort is made to reach out to some people or how many chances they're given, they are going to reject God's offer of reconciliation to the very end.

Like you say, it seems illogical that someone would choose to suffer in Hell for the rest of eternity, but we have to keep in mind that the physical suffering that goes on in Hell (as a "lake of fire" [Revelation 20:15]) is not the whole picture. Another reason why Hell is a place of torment is that we were designed by our Creator to only be happy and at peace when directly connected to him. Hell is eternal separation from God, so in that respect Hell is a continuation of the state that the person chose to remain in throughout the course of their life, where day after day they made a conscious choice to push God away.

It's kind of like a fish refusing to stay in the water. If a fish jumps out of the water and onto the bank, sure it's going to suffer from the effects of heat as the sun begins to bake it, but it's also suffering because it has severed itself from the very life force (water) that it was designed to exist in.
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Old 07-08-2004, 05:17 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheFirstBigW
Choosing to follow the rebellious mindset of the world is also an act of hostility:
"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4)
No offense to anyone here or anything, but that verse sounds...odd...the way it's written. I know it's referring to following a different mindset, but the way it's written, it almost sounds like God doesn't want you to have friends.

I dunno. It just sounded funny to me. Anywho, carry on. .

Angela
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Old 07-08-2004, 05:57 PM   #59
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That's what it looks like doesn't? With verses like that, I used to think God was this cold-hearted being, who wanted everyone to be miserable.

But there's a lot of metaphors in the Bible, so you can't take them too literally
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:02 PM   #60
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Quote:
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Of course, this is all rather complicated, and I don't pretend to fully understand it all, but then, as the Bible says, "Who has known the mind of the Lord?" (Romans 11:34a)
To me this says it all. No one knows. If we don't know the mind of God then we have no clue what God is capable of and how exactly he's working.

All I know is that God claimed us as his children and a God of love. A God like this would not let his children be abandoned. When your eldest son is lost as a father you don't sit back and send your youngest son to find him, you put yourself out there and see if he comes to you.

In other words, yes he asks us to go and spread the word, but do you honestly think he would put the fate of so many of his children in yours and my hands? No way he'd lose the majority of his children.

Like you said God is multi-dimentional and I believe him to work through many different forms but they don't neccesarilty contradict my Christian faith. The God I know would never only present himself to only a select few.
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