welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

Need Help/Advice

OK, so I am turning the tables and asking for you guys to jot down some of your thoughts and possible some good advice on how to address a certain situation I found myself in.

Now one thing I will tell you is that when I am writing, I take full advantage of back spacing, spell check and the luxury of editing.

As we know.....this isn't the case with conversations.

I sometimes have a hard time articulating what is going on in my head and getting it delivered out of my mouth without it sounding like that Charlie Brown teacher or worse.....coming out completely wrong and either dumbing myself down or sending the wrong message.

For example.......the theory that we all evolved randomly from the same amoeba is one of my "hot issues" that gets me riled up. I have this great DVD called From a Frog to a Prince where creation scientists explain so clearly how the evolution theory cannot simply hold true. They show how the air chamber of a bird could never have been "evolved" from a reptile's air chamber, even with the teeny changes over time as they propose, without the creature going extinct due to them having completely different air flow mechanisms/directions. Or something like that. You see.....I'm not too good at explaining it, but I know what I know and I believe what I believe.

So here is the situation.

I have a friend who is a wonderful person.....she believes in God, in the sense that He exists and acknowledges that Jesus also is real.......but she also believes that there are other ways for people to get to Heaven such as Buddhism, for example. We have a great relationship where we respect each other's beliefs......I don't go over to her house throwing my Bible down her throat and she doesn't wrestle me to the ground to a lotus position to meditate. We're cool like that.

anyway......I was at her house the other day with a group of people. I think we got on the subject of God as a spin off of camping as I was talking about our Soulfest experiences. So a bunch of us were kinda chit chatting and I was saying how awesome it is that we can spread the Good News in so many different ways with events, organizations, media, etc.

So this friend waited for a pause and then pitched this question to me......in a kind, but with a teeny bit of confrontation, sort of way:

"So I have to ask you this....If you believe that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ......what about all the people, say in Africa who do not even know about Him? Are they not worthy of being accepted into The Kingdom due to their ignorance? Or what about all the people who sacrifice everything and serve others all their life but are Buddhist, they won't be allowed?.....I can't fathom your God closing the doors on them. That is the problem I have with your Christian belief"

So at first I am a little taken back as it kinda came out of no-where. Thankfully this one guy, who is studying ministry stuff at his church, had all hard core answers that even referenced specific dates/events such as who was ruling the Mesopotamia region in 817 AD and how that affected Christianity as we "know" it today. But I had a feeling it was starting to sound like those famous Apologetics that came to my church that lost me in the first five minutes. I think what she was searching for was just an straight forward clear cut answer.

So she cut him off and turned to me....."Michelle, what do you think?"

gulp.

I was trying to think of the lyrics to Third Day's Creed as an ice breaker opening statement, but all I heard was cricket sounds in my head.

So, taking all my theological background Children's Bible stories, this is all I could come up with.

"Well I believe what I believe, and I choose to live my life using the Bible as The Word, The Truth.....and I know what the Bible tells me. It tells me that the only way to the Kingdom is through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only."

At this point I am wishing I had one of those fancy iPhones with Internet access so I could jump on BibleGateway and rattle off a few Scriptures.......but alas.....no such luck.

So I just blurted this out......

"I know there is Scripture to back this up, but the Bible speaks about how good works is not the way to Heaven...."

She cut me off.

"But what about those oppressed people in Africa then...what about them? What if no missionary reaches them and teaches them about Jesus? Then what? So they go to Hell?" Now, she was getting a little emotional (in a good way)

I didn't have an answer at the time......I just simply said...

"look, Cindy (not her real name)....all I can say is this. I care about you alot. I try to love everyone (for the most part....keepin' it real!). And I believe it is my job, as a Believer, to share what I believe and bring others to Christ. OK, think of it as an awesome piece of Death By Chocolate dessert. It is so delicious and because there is an endless supply you just want to share it with everyone you love.

(Hopefully God can forgive me for comparing Him to a dessert, nevermind with the word "death" in it)

So I just went on to say "I don't claim to know all the answers, I am just doing the best I can and trying to live the life that Jesus wants me to. I am sure God has a "back up plan" for those who do not know Hiim.....I would imagine that if they do not know Him, then how can they deny Him?"

I had no clue on what to say....so I decided to wrap it up and fake that I had a text message from Josh (even though I don't even use texting) and needed to blast outta there.

My closing statement was this:

"So, this is what I believe....and I have nothing to lose and all to gain by living my life for Jesus and these principles. If I am wrong,.....I lose nothing. I still am living a life full of blessings and filled with joy and love in my heart. But I just want to say.....what if you are wrong? What then?"

So it got me to thinking.......I would really like to have another one-on-one with her and have some more insight on what she wants to know. I would love to have just the right thing to share so that it might prompt her to consider searching more in the Bible for answers, rather than her spiritual self help books or inner preparation guides to peace.

So I'd love to ask a favor of my friends.....can you take a few minutes and share some of your input on this? And if you have Scripture that supports what is on your heart, please include that.

I'd love to show her in the Bible, in a loving, not thumping-her-on-the-head kinda way. ;)

Thanks in advance~
*~Michelle~*

ps:
my comment section is now up top with this new layout, btw :)

34 comments:

Karen said...

I know my beliefs differ somewhat from yours, being that I'm "one of them crazy Mormons," but you are absolutely right.

God does have a backup plan.

He is our Father and He loves all of his children equally. (Even the bad ones.)

Just like you would do for your children, He'll give us every possible opportunity to return to His Kingdom. Which means that those wonderful people in the far reaches of the African jungle (oh, sorry, can't call it a jungle anymore because that's not PC), will have the opportunity to learn the truth and accept it after they have passed through this life.

The only Biblical reference I can give you right now comes from 1 Corinthians 15:29. It's an often overlooked passage because, as far as I know, Mormons are the only ones that actually perform the archaic practice of proxy baptisms for the dead, which were commonplace until the Catholic Church declared them heretical in the 4th Century.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Tough one. I agree. Would God create us and have us walk on Earth in all nations/tribes if He did not have a plan for us? I believe Rob Bell did a sermon in the last 3 months that covered this exact topic. Let me look back and see if I can remember the name.

Andrea said...

I believe GOD will give all a chance to choose and I wish I could remember the passage that makes this clear. I am sorry that I can't remember it, but I know it exists b/c as a small child I asked my grandfather (a minister) the same basic question and he gave me the above answer and verses to back it up. I have never ?d it since.
Blessings, andrea

~*Michelle*~ said...

@ Karen....I LOVE you and your crazy Mormon self~!

Thank you....all of you....for helping me with this. I know in my heart that we serve a loving Father who will do whatever it takes to get His children into His Kingdom....

I also told this friend in a prior convo that we (collective we) are not here to judge who will and will not be in Heaven. It is just our job to love/treat everyone like Jesus did.

I am going to check out those Scriptures and that speaker, Rob Bell....thanks so much!

Keep em coming! I knew I could count on my friends. :)

Mich said...

To start John 3:16 says "God so loved the world..." it doesn't say part of the world.
Philippians 2:10-11 "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."
I think the bible shows clearly that God created us to worship and serve Christ. Ultimately all will acknowledge him as Lord, whether willingly or not.
I know there are other verses that probably back this up clearer, but I believe that when the time comes, the Lord will have provided the message of his grace to "the ends of the earth."

Truthfully, I don't think there was anything wrong with what you said. It was truth. Sometimes you just simply have to believe. It is called FAITH.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh Mich.....thank you!

Sometimes I feel that for certain people/conversations I need to be so prepared when you are right....when I just speak from my heart, which God knows...it will be a testimony either way.

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

WOW our church did a study on this one Sunday and I remember taking some notes and wondered if I still had them.

Here is what I believe to be them.

1. Jesus had a sinless walk. God can not sin. He had to be completely holy. See 1 John 3; Luke 23:41. No fault was found in Him even by Pontius Pilate who history and science both confirm really existed. Luke 23:47 states that the Centurion claimed "surely this man was a righteous man as he watched Jesus die on the cross. Jesus was the only person who never had to pray for forgiveness.

2. His Sovereign Work or Acts of God. He had divine power over death, disease, and depravity and demonstrated numerous acts of such throughout the Bible. Psalm 68:20, Rev 1:8, Matt 9:18, Luke 7:11, John 11

Jevohah's Witnesses claim that Jesus was the man form of Michael and the Mormons believe that Lucifer and Jesus are brothers.

3. Only God can answer prayer. John 14:13; Psalm 65:2

4. Self Witness _ Jesus takes on the title of deity. He says I am not I was. John 8:56; 8:59; Ex 3:14; and John 14:7

5. Supreme Worship - Only Jesus/God should be worshiped. Rev 22:9; Matt 28:9 accepts worship - Jesus is God otherwise He would have told them so and not to worship Him.

Hope that helps. I will keep on doing some digging but my ultimate conviction is everything that I believe has happened, will happen or in the process of happening and I would challenge them to try it and see if it doesn't really change them the way we see it.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

chili pepper said...

Michelle,

To begin with I must emphatically (but with the utmost love) disagree with your Mormon friend. God doesn't have a back up plan...He doesn't need one. He clearly states over and over in His word that works (baptism being a work) will not get you salvation. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Baptism for salvation and the false salvation preached by the Mormon religion is sending countless to Hell. It is that very heresy that our very Jesus preached about and warned about in His last days here on earth.

We must also consider that every instance of Baptism in the Bible was following Salvation. If Baptism is necessary for salvation then we must assume that all the old Testament saints are in hell today. As well as babies that die in the womb.
Look at the converts in Acts who believed, then baptized and then added to the church.

Acts 2:44 "And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Secondly, He clearly states that the only way to salvation is through the blood Jesus blood.

Acts 16:31 "Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (doesn't mention Baptism)

He also states that every man shall hear the word. Acts 28:28 "Be it known therefor unto you that the salvation of God is sent unto the gentiles and that they will hear it."

If He says those things in His word and fails to follow through with even one man than He is a liar and we can throw it all out anyway.

I believe God said what He means, means what He says and stands by that.

As for Africa, we should consider that even the far reaching tribes that have never been visited by missionaries before, when first approached by Bible teaching men already have an innate knowledge of God.

Love your friend, Karen, but don't fall for such lies...study it out and pray for her eyes to be open.

Acts 28:26-27 "Saying go unto this people and say hearing you shall hear and not understand and seeing ye shall see and not perceive. For the heart of the people is waxed gross and their ears are dull of hearing and their eyes have they closed lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and should be converted and I should heal them."

Prayerfully,

Kathleen

chili pepper said...

Michelle,

And I forgot to say to you that there is nothing wrong with saying I need to look it up...no lawyer knows every letter of the law...they go to the books to research their case...as long as you take the time and find it...I see nothing wrong with coming back with the answer.

case for Christ is a great book to share with your friend. You could also check out Ray comfort's website and his assistant has a blog called Fish with Trish (you can find it on my side bar)

praying for you in the battle,

kat

chili pepper said...

Michelle,

Sorry to go on but just a word of wisdom. Often verses are quoted out of context, like the one Karen is quoting. If you read that chapter in its entirety I believe you will see that it is saying that the act of Baptizing for the dead was WRONG. Not suggesting that we should do it.

Look at all the wrong ideas in the book of Job for example. You can quote them. And they are scripture but if you take just one verse you could prove a lot of things about God but they would be wrong when taken in the context of the COMPLETE word of God. What the Bible itself calls "...that which is perfect."

I hope that makes sense. It is very late now, I was running on four hours of sleep to begin with and my mind is racing.

In His Love,

Kat

Ellen said...

Very interesting topic! This is another tough topic like why does God allow terrible suffering in some lives...

My scripture would be Romans 1:18-25

Verse 20 is pretty important -
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

And verse 25 -
"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen."

God has revealed himself to all mankind through his creation. Do we choose to worship the creator or the created? God doesn't need a back up. He is completely in control of the outcome and is completely justified in sending us all to hell. It is only by his grace that he reveals himself to us and pulls us from our sin into glory.

Great conversation!

Ellen
couchhound on HC boards

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Just wanted to write a quick note and say I thought you did well with your friend. Situations such as that always cause me terrible anxiety. I hate conflict of any kind on one hand and then am always afraid I won't have the right words to say. Above all I think is to keep her your friend. I know your insides were shaking, as mine would have been!
I agree with Kat, in that there's nothing wrong with telling her you need time to look some things up!

Ellen said...

Very interesting topic! This is another tough topic like why does God allow terrible suffering in some lives...

My scripture would be Romans 1:18-25

Verse 20 is pretty important -
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

And verse 25 -
"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen."

God has revealed himself to all mankind through his creation. Do we choose to worship the creator or the created? God doesn't need a back up. He is completely in control of the outcome and is completely justified in sending us all to hell. It is only by his grace that he reveals himself to us and pulls us from our sin into glory.

Great conversation!

Ellen
couchhound on HC boards

Karen said...

@ chili pepper: I don't personally call it a back up plan. I was simply using Michelle's own words in the context of my reply.

There are many interpretations (and translations) of the Bible. In fact, EVERY denomination of Christianity has their own interpretations of some passage or another. I look forward to the day when it can all be sorted out once and for all.

Karen said...

Sorry, I love a good discussion and I just had to do a little more looking around at things. We use the King James version, and so I was wondering exactly how other versions translated 1 Corinthians 15. I'm sorry, Kathleen, but I don't see anywhere that this chapter is preaching against Baptisms for the Dead. It is preaching the principle of resurrection. The point of this chapter is that because Christ was resurrected, all of us will be too.

I've read through the same chapter in the KJV, the NIT, the New American Standard Bible, and the Young's Literal Translation. For good measure, I also checked the French King Louis II version, too. I get the same message from every one of them. The main point of the chapter is that the resurrection is part of the plan.

And as for vs 29, every version says some form of "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?"

I would really like to see the verse that points out that this is a practice that Paul is preaching against because I genuinely, honestly cannot find it.

Shark Bait said...

God did not call us all to be lawyers, but he did call us all to be witnesses. And don't you trust the witness in court more than the lawyer? The witness just tells what he saw and experienced, the lawyer tries to tell you what it means.

If you are in this situation, or one where people ask you difficult questions like "How do you worship a God as he appears in the Old Testament" or "How can God allow..." There are two ways to respond.

1. You can quote scriptures and arguments.
2. You can say "I don't completely know. But my faith is based on a personal relationship with a loving God who has never let me down, or given me reason to doubt him. He has shown me his love and faithfulness, and thus I have faith that he has a loving plan for all, even if he hasn't shared the details with me."
Then you can offer to find out the answer, or put them in touch with someone who can answer with scripture and history.

There is nothing wrong with not understanding, our faith is based on a relationship, not a detailed set of rules and requirements.

<-SB><

Shark Bait said...

But, just for the record, my 2c worth on the issue:

We are told that God will judge us in righteousness (Psalm 9 and 98 particularly). I am hoping that means we will be judged on what we knew, not what we were expected to know.

James mentions that teachers will be judged more harshly because they know the law (James 3:1) and Jesus tells in parables that servants who know their masters will are judged more harshly than those who do not (Luke 12) While these do not refer to salvation, I believe it does show that we are judged according to our knowledge and understanding of what is required of us.

Jesus speaks in Matthew and Luke about those of use being on the wrong side of the door looking in and seeing the Patriachs and prophets of the Old Testament. We don't know on what standard they were judged, who never knew Jesus, but God had a just "back-up plan" for them, presumably he has one for those who have never heard The Name of Jesus proclaimed.

<-SB><

Paula said...

Shark Bait I agree that we will only be judged according to what we know.

Why do I know this?

I have an "across the path" neighbor, she is definitely not a Christian. She is loud and curses worse than any man I have ever known. In the morning I enjoy sitting on my front perch listening as God speaks...it's a beautiful thing!

Anyway, one gorgeous morning as I was...perched with closed eyes, soaking up the praises being sung by His other creations. Suddenly it was like a loud sonic boom!!!

She was using my Lord's name in the most dread-full-est of ways! I began to complain to my heavenly Father about the situation and telling Him what I wanted Him to do to make her shut up. Truthfully this Earthen Vessel wanted to go right over there and smack her dirty mouth or that God would.

In the most gentliest way Father whispered a calm to me, His little offended daughter...forgive her.

No way, Father it's your name!!!

He said, Daughter if you say it, it is a sin. I am your Father and you know better. She knows me not. My Son asked Me to forgive you with these words, "Father forgive her for she knows not what she is doing." And I forgave...now say those words for her.

And so I did and He faithfully has taken care of the situation. Rejoice in the LORD!!!

Also What If...

your friend is a-thirsting and a-hungering...

she is seeking and in a way asking you to be her guide. As she may feel you will be more gentle than the strict male friend.

However, It may just be satan testing you or it may be that this woman is seeking what earth cannot supply. She is seeking to be filled as only Jesus can!

I will pray that God will help you to know whether this is "A TEST! ONLY A TEST!" (remember how they used to do that on the telly?) LOL or if God desires for you to lead her to Him.

I will ask Father to give to her His Living Water and Bread of Life.

Everything is Grace! Praise Jesus!!!
HIS Paula

~*Michelle*~ said...

Woah....waking up to find so many replies....and can't wait to dig deeper.

Just off the top of my fuzzy head....a couple of things jumped out at me.

from Ellen....."It is only by his grace that he reveals himself to us and pulls us from our sin into glory. "

love that

and yes SharkBait.....thank you for what you said....much better than my description/references of the chocolate dessert......with this:

"You can say "I don't completely know. But my faith is based on a personal relationship with a loving God who has never let me down, or given me reason to doubt him. He has shown me his love and faithfulness, and thus I have faith that he has a loving plan for all, even if he hasn't shared the details with me."

What a testimony Paula! WOW! So true.....and yes....I am hoping and praying that I can be the best guide for her.....like my friend says, I do not claim to know it all or be perfect, but I do claim to love Jesus with all my heart and follow His Word.

thanks again everyone....

Karen said...

I completely agree with SB and Paula. I'm so grateful that we will only be judged on what is in our minds and in our hearts. Only He knows what we know and He isn't going to judge us for things that we never had the opportunity to learn. Because He loves us.

And, Michelle, I got so caught up in the rest of the discussion that I completely forgot to say that I really admire your faith and your love for the Lord. And whether you knew the full answer to your friend's question or not, you were able to testify to the most important truth of all, that He loves his children. And I loved your response that, if you're wrong, what's really the big consequence of that? You're still living a good life. It's better than the alternative.

chili pepper said...

Michelle,

Another scripture that I should have mentioned was the verse in Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" This verse clearly shows that after death comes judgment...not a possibility of salvation after death.

2 cor 6:2 "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Again this verse no where implies that you can be saved later...NOW, meaning in this life.

Another thought to ponder...If we can get saved by Baptism or by someone else being Baptized for us...what was the point of Jesus going to the cross?

Why is there a judgement? Why a hell?

Please don't take my word for it. Search it out for yourself. The Bible (I use KJV by the way) is very clear. God left no question unanswered. That is why His word is called that which is perfect. That is why He ceased to send prophets and appear in person to the world after the Bible was given. The answers are there...

And one more thought...it is not about religion. Yes every religion does have their own interpretation...but there is only ONE right answer. Everyone can not be right.

For Him,

Kat

Joey said...

Where to start....so much to address...God is a jealous God and He will not have any gods before him. He is the only One that died for His creation and rose again, the One that stands the test of time,and He is forever loving and graceful. As for the ones that have not heard the gospel, they shall receive a chance. The gospel is traveling now at the speed of light, reaching areas that have been uncharted. It's the denying of the gospel that your friend has a true problem with, not the message getting out there. There is no greater love story. I could through scriptures out there, but I am going to make you feel a little better by saying that you witnessed just like Jesus. he did not thumb through the Old Testement as He wlaked through town, He spoke from the heart as the words of old were threaded throughout the inside. Witness with through, but witness your way. As you do so with the main ingredient, compassion, you cannot go wrong. We plant the seeds, the Holy Spirit waters, and God brings the increase. I hope that this has helped a little :)

Karen said...

Kathleen, thank you for addressing my questions, and also for letting me know which version of the Bible you use. Makes things much easier! :-)

Also, I really hope no one reading this thinks I'm being antagonistic! I just really enjoy learning what other people believe about things and seeing where it does/n't fit it with my beliefs.

I'm curious about your thoughts on baptism. Jesus answered Nicodemus's question about being "born again" by saying in John 3:5, "...except a man be born of WATER and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

If baptism isn't necessary, then what is your take on being born of water?

We believe that we must be baptized in water, just as Jesus was, as part of the process of accepting Christ as our Savior. We believe that EVERYONE has to be baptized in order for this to happen. Our practice of Baptisms for the Dead is simply that, a practice. We are not forcing the dead to do anything. We believe progression is eternal and those souls that didn't have the opportunity to learn or accept Christ here will have the chance while they are waiting for judgment (which we do not believe happens immediately after death). While waiting for judgment, they have the chance to learn and to accept Christ. They also have the chance to choose for themselves whether to accept the baptism that was done for them or not to. We aren't forcing it on them. Just giving them the option.

This is such a fascinating conversation. Thank you so much, Michelle!

Larry said...

When I'm witnessing to an unbeliever, I use very little scripture. The least amount possible, maybe just John 3:16 along with my testimony. Why? Scriptures will not impress them nor change their unbeliefs.

Instead, I always aim for the fences and try to hit a home run. Maybe, I would say something like this, "I don't know all of the answers, but I know that God is a good God, and I can prove that He is alive."

She is now a deer in the headlights and is forced to ask the next question which will be something like this: "Sure! Right! Prove it to me now, okay?"


Openly pray for her, believing God will show up on the scene with words which will comfort her or with a way He can reveal Himself to her.

Now, your thought is: what if God doesn't show up? Remember: it's His job to redeem, not yours. He wants to prove Himself big to unbelievers. So, just allow Him a chance to do this...and you will be surprised at what happens.

chili pepper said...

Joey,

Beautifully spoken.

Karen,

Born of water refers to the physical birth and the water that comes forth at birth. Born of the spirit refers to the rebirth through acceptance of Jesus gift on the cross.

chili pepper said...

One more thing, is that Baptism is shown all throughout the NT as the public confession of your sin, death to self and rebirth through Jesus. It was to be the step joining the believers to the church not their salvation.

christy rose said...

Michelle,
The conversation that you stirred up is absolutely wonderful. you know the only way we truly know what we really believe is to think about it, talk about it, and study it.
I lean toward witnessing by my own personal relationship with God. I speak what I believe and what I live and let God bring people to the Truth. Scripture pours through my mind when I am around unbelievers but I seldom us Scripture with them. Revealing the love of God and sharing it with others will demonstrate the heart of God to them, a love that they can not refuse.
I had someone ask me last week about all the people that lived and died before Jesus and what is their hope of salvation. My answer to them was, I do not have all the answers, but I do know this. God created every person on the face of this earth to love them. His desire is to be united with man through the Holy Spirit and walk with him eternally. Jesus is the redemption for all of mankind and God is no respecter of persons. It is God's desire that all men come to repentance and benefit from the works of their redeemer. So, somewhere, somehow every person has got to be given the opportunity to accept their gift of salvation. We are not God. We do not know everything! But we know that God has made a way for everyone and no one has been left out, otherwise, He would cease to be Love and cease to be God. Anyway, that is how I respond to those questions and somehow it does seem to help people see God's love without having to have all the answers. I think you are getting a lot of good advice here today. I hope it helps,
Christy

Home School Dad said...

That is a response that I have heard far too often. It's right up there with my home schooling conversations that begin "what about socialization?

People need to confront their own need for God before they are able to help other people. I am not saying that your friend is using the question as a smoke screen. But that type of questioning is getting in the way of her dealing with her own issues.

We can only see God's plan for our lives when God turns the light on. The truth is that there are missionaries working in every corner of the world getting the message of Christ to every nation. The truth is the gospel was preached in Africa long before it was preached in America. The truth is that when people who care about others as much as your friend seems to become christians they often are given burdens for the very people they were concerned about.

One thing you might tell your friend is the analogy of the oxygen mask. In an airplane when the mask comes down airplane passengers are urged to put their own mask on before putting their children's on. We may have a desire to help those less able than ourselves (our children) before we help ourselves. However if we don't get the Oxygen on ourselves first we put our children and our selves at risk. It's the same way with the what about the heathen questions. We may be genuiely concerned for the plight of those who have never heard of Jesus. But until we first are saved what do we possibly have to give of any use to them?

I am excited about 3TTT in the fall. Send me an e-mail sometime so we can start talking about the transfer.

Karen said...

Chili Pepper, I agree that baptism is for a remission of our sins.

Why was Jesus, being perfect, baptized?

chili pepper said...

Baptism is an outward sign of our remission of sins, it does not give us forgiveness. Only Jesus death on the cross and our acceptance of that gift can bring about our forgiveness.

Jesus Baptism was to be an example for us and as a foreshadowing of his death, burial and resurrection to come.

Karen said...

Absolutely. It's a remission of our sins and Jesus set the example for all of us by obedient to the commandment as stated in Mark 16:16:

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

Someone who doesn't believe isn't likely to get baptized. You have to have both for it to work.

chili pepper said...

Hi, Michelle.

Please stop by my blog today to pick up an award I have for you.

Hugs,

Kat

chili pepper said...

I saw this when I came to leave a message. Unfortunately, I was running out the door and did not have time to reply.

Bottom line is that again, I must disagree. I believe the teaching that Baptism is necessary for salvation is complete heresy.

Number one let's look at the verse you quoted. It says he that does not believe shall be damned but not he that is not baptized shall be condemned.

Second let us consider that Jesus refused Baptism to his cousin John. If Baptism were necessary for salvation, what kind of Savior would refuse it to his kin and one of his most ardent followers?

Third, let us consider the old testament saints. There was no ordinance of Baptism prior to John. Are you implying that all those who gave their lives for the work of the Lord are denied Heaven?

Fourth, let us consider the thief on the cross. Jesus assured him that because he believed he would be with Jesus himself in Heaven.

Now, this man was not Baptized. So we are left with two alternatives. Either Jesus lied in which case, he is not the perfect sacrifice and no better than the rest of us...there for none of us are forgiven. Or, Baptism was not necessary for salvation.


Just some things to think about.

Kat

Hope said...

Hello!

I came over here from Kat’s at Art’s Chili. I did not have time to read through all the comments, so I do not know if anyone has already left these scriptures.

I think you did well to stand on the Bible to be truth, and that you are walking by faith, even though you do not have all the answers. The truth is if anyone really wants to know God and the answers to their question, they will go seek for those answers.

Jeremiah 29:13
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

I believe that anyone who seeks God will find Him…God knows all hearts and whether or not each person really longs to know Him.

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

The following scriptures say that people are willingly ignorant. It also says that God is not willing that any should perish.

2 Peter 3:3-5
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:


2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I am the same as you…I think of my best answers afterwards.

♥Hope

 

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