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If you died today, do are you certain that you would go to heaven?

  • Yes. Without a doubt.

    Votes: 17 22.4%
  • Think so, but not 100% sure.

    Votes: 23 30.3%
  • Don't know, but wish I could find out.

    Votes: 13 17.1%
  • Don't know. Don't care.

    Votes: 11 14.5%
  • Have other plans.

    Votes: 12 15.8%

  • Total voters
    76
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Drive It Forever
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Discussion Starter #21
I don't think this is about religion. Religion can be sort of like an imaginary friend. A real relationship would need to be with the true, living God.

When we enter into realtionship, and invest time into it, we get to know the other person. Generally this doesn't happen in a crowd. What's the best way to spend time with God and get to know him?
 

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A christain would read the Bible as a way to get to know Him. I guess others would read what their belief system says is God's Word.

The main reason for churches is SUPPOSED to be a place where people of a common belief gather to study up some more. Unfortunately sometimes the people mess it up. THEY made the religions.

It started out pretty simple. I am your God, do as I say & I will take care of you. Then mankind messed up. We didn't do as He said. So then rules were made. Mankind was treated like a kid that needed lots of structure. But the problem there was the relationship was more out of fear than love.

Plan B: Ok, tell you what, I'll be here whenever you need me, just call. Here's some examples of how I've taught others to remember me (songs, lessons, communion, beauty in what you see, etc.) Instead of a reward on earth, you'll get it after you die. But seeing that you messed up before, I'll add this: if you have faith & believe in me, then they'll only be ONE sacrifice, my son.

One of the most "Godly" places I've been is Yosemite.

I see God's love as LESS conditional than people's. You don't have to EARN it, it's there whether or not we acknowledge it. You just accept it the fact.
 

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Drive It Forever
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Discussion Starter #23
princess said:
. . . if you have faith & believe in me, then they'll only be ONE sacrifice, my son.

I see God's love as LESS conditional than people's. You don't have to EARN it, it's there whether or not we acknowledge it. You just accept it the fact.
You've stated the essence of John 3:16 - - For God so loved the world that he gave (sacrificed) his only begotten son, that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Why was a sacrifice necessary?

(And I agree that God's love is unconditional. But we established that sin separates us from God, so sin has to be removed for their to be a relationship - - that's where the condition applies. )
 

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In the old law they made animal sacrifices to get a clean slate each year from their sins.

In the new law once was enough for all of us.

Again speaking only from the Christian point of view....

The "clean slate" for the individual would be:

1. hear, you'd have to know who God is.
2. believe. you'd need to believe He is God & that he DID sacrifice His son.
3. confess. you'd need to tell God your path & His are in conflict.
3. repent. you'd need to change your path.
4. have faith. you'd need to have faith that THIS is the plan & by following it you'll get to Heaven.
5. most believe that Baptism is the "washing" away the sins, for that clean slate.
6. Live faithfully
7. Teach others the same path.


hearing & believing: John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whosoever hears my word & believes him who sent me has eternal life & will not be condemned: he has crosed over from death to life."

confessing, repenting & baptism: Mark 1:5 "The whole Judean countryside & all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River." Acts 2:38 "Peter said, Repent & be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of the Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit."

The books of Hebrews & James is about faith, like Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we do not see."

living the path & teaching others: Matthew 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them & said, All the authority in heaven & on earth has been given to me. Therefore go & make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit & teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


Again this is comomg from MY viewpoint....& from I have learned & read for myself. I am not an authority on the subject. I'd suggest reading for yourself.
 

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Have other plans... Dont get on that list. :naughty:
 

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Drive It Forever
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Discussion Starter #26
princess said:
In the old law they made animal sacrifices to get a clean slate each year from their sins.

In the new law once was enough for all of us.
The "clean slate" for the individual would be:
5. most believe that Baptism is the "washing" away the sins, for that clean slate.
Correct me if wrong. Sacrifice is required b/c "the wages of sin is death". Under the old law, animal sacrifice was the temporary solution until the ultimate sacrifice (perfect man/God, ie Jesus) was made. If baptism could wash away sin, no sacrifce would be needed. This belief discounts Jesus' death. Under the new law, only the blood of Jesus is sufficient to remove sin. Thus if we reject Jesus, our sin can't be removed and it separates us from God.
 

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Under the new law, only the blood of Jesus is sufficient to remove sin. Thus if we reject Jesus, our sin can't be removed and it separates us from God.
But if just the fact He was sacrificed was enough, then there'd be no reason for belief..... :dunno: So there MUST be something more. If he died for ALL of us, then what does someone that feels he's saved do differently than the ones who don't think they are saved? Not reject Jesus would be one thing... but HOW do you do that? What do you do to not be rejecting Him? Apparently even the devil believed who he was, but it wasn't enough for him.

So baptism is the rebirth into the life without the sin you allowed Jesus to carry away for you. The acceptance of the "Holy Spirit". The symbol of your acceptance of belief. I've heard the emphasis put on different parts of the same thing. When I've heard people use the term "washing away sin" it's usually about the rebirth, the new life afterward.


I am by no means an authority!! My knowledge of other faiths than Christianity is VERY limited. My knowledge of Christianity comes from what I've read & heard. I am not afraid to try to answer questions, but I don't consult anything but the Bible. It may seem dumb, but I figure the place it started is the best place to learn..... Kinda a brand loyal thing, I guess.... :)
 

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But baptism is just that - a symbol - as you said. It is an act of obedience. The thief on the cross wasn't baptized but is in paradise (heaven) according to Jesus.
I agree that just the fact that Jesus died for us isn't enough. If we only believe, that's not enough either. As you said, from the book of James, the demons believe & they tremble. He died for all of us so that we would accept his invitation to make him Lord of our life. This means selling out to Him - the tell tale sign of which is obedience. Now, we are back to the baptism thing which is commanded of us as an act of obedience. If you don't give your life to him 100%, you are rejecting his free gift.
 

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The thief on the cross has been used as an example many times to show that we don't need baptism.... :dunno: But there's many examples of people being baptized. I would assume that if while alive, Jesus himself tells someone He'll see him in "Paradise" that's good enough. Since He's not walking on the planet now, we'll have to assume the other examples are what we need to do.

The book of James talks a lot about faith vs. works getting you a spot in Heaven. Although I think what you do matters, I don't think you can "EARN" you way to Heaven. It's always struck me as funny.... thinking of something like a points system to get there.... :lmao: extra credit of you attend a church.... :D I seriously don't think that's how it all works. It's attitude. You can't earn grace or it wouldn't be grace, right?
 

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Drive It Forever
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Discussion Starter #30
I think you are right on target. You can't earn grace or a ticket to heaven. Too much is often made of baptism - - with or without - - it will neither guarantee admission to heaven or keep you out.

Grace is indeed a gift offered to everyone, but not everyone accepts the gift (Jesus' death for our sin). Funny how we'd never leave a gift unopened on Christmas, but so many will not accept grace - - the greatest gift ever. Can you imagine how the giver feels?
 

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Having been the giver of some pretty great gifts, I know I've been truely disapponted by the receiver's reaction! :paranoid:

I have known people that got "dunked" but I wouldn't call it baptism since they kept right on doing the things they'd always done. They felt like now they could do anything & still have "admission". I don't agree! I DO think following the examples we have is important. But it's not the water that makes the difference, it's the whole package of acceptance.

To me, the old law was more physical stuff, the rules & boundries, the rewards were seen, as were the punishments. The new law is more inside & spirtual.... the attidude, the mindset with the rewards/punishments being later.

Most of us can behave when we see the pay off.... but to do it on the faith there is a reward is much harder! I think it's especially hard for the past 2 generations of people in our counrty.... they are used to things instantly.

Personally I've lost far too many loved ones to think this is all there is. I want to see them again! :yes: My plan is to go to Heaven. Does that mean I think I'm perfect? NOPE!! Far from it. It does mean I have the faith that it's there & that if I show God I love Him by following the examples of how to do that, I've got my "admission". I do think I can screw it up though, if I lose my faith or stop living a life that shows he's in it. It's not a far fetched thing to me, like winning the lotto. It's personal & real. :D
 

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...the rite or institution of baptism is suposed to be a public statement to those around you that you solemnly profess to believe in Jesus Christ, and have asked Him to be your personal saviour...unfortunately many churches today have made this ceremony into something with much less significance, and something not requiring such personal introspection...
...baptism by and in itself, has nothing to do with salvation, salvation is a gift of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself when we acknowledge Him as Lord and saviour...
...once we surrender our lives to Christ, according to scripture, our lives our no longer ours to walk as we please, but we are to do the bidding of The Lord. Unfortunately today, its really more a matter of who or what we call Lord of our lives...as scripture says: "...for wherever you find your treasure is, there you will find your heart." Luke 12:34.
...we will never be perfect as long as we are here on this earth, it is literally impossible, that is why Christ died for us, because we could do absolutely nothing by ourselves, it took His crucification and resurrection to defeat our ultimate enemy and set us free through the forgiveness of sins, as he bore them upon the cross...does this mean we are to behave perfectly at all times, again, it is impossible as we aren't perfect, just forgiven...so don't beat yourself up princess, all who walk a circumspect lifestyle and sincerely try to keep Christ as the center of their lives, even while we can and will stumble, will ultimately go to be with Him.

cheers,

Lorne Miller
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:D
unfortunately many churches today have made this ceremony into something with much less significance, and something not requiring such personal introspection...
That's what I was trying to say. :thmsup:

To me it IS significant! Part of the whole package of acceptance. :yes:

I used to say, "if God wanted me perfect, he would've made me that way".... A cop-out & an easy excuse to not even try. I've since learned....he did. :D I'm the one who made the choices to highlight the imperfections!

Boy, we get deep here! I just love this FAMILY!!! :yes:

I know not everyone is agreeing with what's been said here, & want them to know how much I appreciate their thoughtful maturity in letting the discussion happen without harrassment!!

:grouphug: mmmmmaaaawwwwah to you all!
 

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Drive It Forever
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Discussion Starter #34
princess said:
It does mean I have the faith that it's there & that if I show God I love Him by following the examples of how to do that, I've got my "admission".
But you also said grace can't be earned, and I agreed b/c:
"For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph 2:8-9 if I've remembered right).

I also agree that we should love God and understand the origin of that love:
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins."(1John 4:10)
"We love him, because he first loved us." (1John 4:19)

There's nothing we can do to get to heaven, b/c it was all done for us - - we only need to accept that which has already been done. But again, many reject this gift.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
princess said:
To me it IS significant! Part of the whole package of acceptance.
If you mean that after accepting Jesus, baptism should follow, then I would agree.
If you mean that baptism is needed to be accepted by God, then I disagree.

Baptism can (and should) be significant. When applied to applied to infants, to non-believers, or weekly-whether-you-need-it-or-not :D , significance is lost.
Unfortunately, baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc, can be divisive among Christians. Fortunately, are unified through the Gospel.
 

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Baptism is a much bigger deal in the rest of the world especially where religion wields a pretty big stick. I know this first hand from my trip to Moldova in Eastern Europe. Typically when someone says they have accepted Jesus Christ, there isn't much commotion. However, when they are baptized, that is when they are ostracized. People then know that they are serious (of course their actions have been proving this as well along the way).
This definitely shouldn't be a cause for division. We should be unified through Christ!
 

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Unfortunately, baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc, can be divisive among Christians. Fortunately, are unified through the Gospel.
THIS is a point my mom & I get into..... the details. I don't think God cares about them. I grew up in a church that had the EXACT same thing every week. 2 songs, a prayer, 2 songs, communion, 1 song a prayer.... you get the picture.... then they wondered why as soon as they could the teens dropped away!! I was determined that when my kids were here, they'd see that it doesn't have to mean the most boring day of the week!! We took them to youth rallys, concerts, had a houseful of teens over nearly everyday.... we'd have Bible time, praise time...but we also played & watched football & other stuff. My kids still attend church. As do MOST of the kids that were teens with them at our church.

As you can imagine, I don't do "pew warmer" well!!! I taught Sunday school when my kids were babies....then went on to work with teens when they were teens. I am having a harder time finding a niche now though. :dunno: I really like being involved, but I'm having a hard time finding a spot for me.

I don't think God pays attention to brand name.... (the name on the building) or what we wear or what order we do stuff in or if we use a paino or not or if our communion is with one cup or 60....


Anyway, I don't separate spirituallity & organized religion.... but I do think we must remember that any organization on the planet will have people which means they will have flaws. I don't follow any person. Just Bible.


Baptism after.....how can it be a symbol of YOUR faith if someone else decides? :yes: I think God accepts all of us, it's up to us to accept Him back!
 

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princess said:
THIS is a point my mom & I get into..... the details. I don't think God cares about them.
I agree strongly with this point, and also agree with your 'two rules' from earlier. Unfortunately, it seems to me that some RELIGIONS get too caught up in the details, and worse, sidetracked from the TRUE message of Christ. I've seen religious discussions on other message boards disintegrate into hateful bashing, and in my HUMBLE opinion, the hate expressed by "Christian" leaders such as Falwell and Robertson (not to mention that guy Phelps!) are quite a long way from the teachings of Christ. When I hear some of their messages, it's not hard to see why some people are turned off from Christianity because of it.
 

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the hate expressed by "Christian" leaders
It's so unfortunate!! But true!

We don't have to all agree, that's the beauty of humanity. :yes: I don't think being a Christian means shoving your belief down someone else's throat. Since the word "christian" means Christ-like, I just can't imagine that being His way of doing things.

My theory is that the pushy ones more wrapped up in themselves & not in what they're supposed to be teaching.

Oh well, there's always going to be good & bad people....even in what we perceive as the Christian area. Every group has their extremists. :dunno:

People that really are Christians don't even have to tell anyone.... it's usually obvious.

I still stick to my answer.... I KNOW where I'm going!! :D
 

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I've never met anyone with first-hand information of what happens in "the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns...." There is certainly no universal consensus on the matter.

According to some, I meet the criteria for heaven.

Some may disagree.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks.

What will be, will be.
 
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