Heaven

You can’t have a Rainbow without the Rain…or can You?

You can’t have a rainbow without the rain is the ole’ saying. But is it true? I guess it depends on where you’re at. If you’re talking about life on Earth, the saying definitely holds water.

Cloudy days and storms are the norm in mankind’s life (Job 14:1). Rich, poor, man, woman, young, old, red, yellow, black or white – no one is exempt from heartache, pain, disaster, disappointment or death. Physical conditions and resources may limit the detrimental experiences that we face, but no earthly condition in and of themselves exempts us from all the trials of life.

So the idea of not being able to have a rainbow without the rain reminds us that grief is inevitable, but grief can cause us to look at the blessings of life in a brighter way by reminding us that the storms don’t last forever. Sweet tastes much sweeter after a dose of something bitter!

But did you know the Bible promises a rainbow without the rain? You won’t find it on Earth though – only in Heaven, after we live faithfully through the rain that tries us. EA

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” (Revelation 4:2-3)

Paradise lost, but not Hidden

Thousands of years removed from Eden and humanity still craves paradise. Some seek to create it by force; some by passivity; some by government; some by anarchy; some by education; some by ignorance.

But why? Why do we have such an obsession? 

It’s because there is something in us that wishes to recreate what we lost.

Humanity’s version of paradise depends upon the human desire that’s possessed, but the desire to create…that comes from an innate feeling that tells us that humanity could be – no, that we’re supposed to be more than what this sinful world reveals. So we grope desperately for paradise, seeking to make it, all the while still ignoring the one who created it to begin with; the only one who can create it again. EA

““He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’” Revelation 2:7

One of the “Greatest” Bible Verses

I don’t know the author, but there’s a breakdown of John 3:16 that shows how it is one of the “greatest” verses in God’s Word.

It’s called: The Superlative

FOR GOD – The Greatest Love

SO LOVED – The Greatest Degree

THE WORLD – The Greatest Company

THAT HE GAVE – The Greatest Act

HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON – The Greatest Gift

THAT WHOSOEVER – The Greatest Opportunity

BELIEVETH – The Greatest Simplicity

IN HIM – The Greatest Attraction

SHOULD NOT PERISH – The Greatest Promise

BUT – The Greatest Difference

HAVE – The Greatest Certainty

EVERLASTING – The Greatest Duration

LIFE – The Greatest Possession

Now how great is that?

Total Hereditary Depravity, Part 3 – The Tangled Web That Total Hereditary Depravity Weaves

Beginning with Total Hereditary Depravity, Calvinism weaves a very tangled web. There are some big problems with saying that everyone who is born is born a sinner. Besides the fact that Total Hereditary Depravity contradicts the teaching of the scriptures, one huge problem arises when the question, “What happens when babies die” is asked. Why ask such a question? Because sadly, it does happen; but even sadder is the answer that Calvinists must give when it does.

Calvinists don’t like this question. At least ones who realize what they’re saying. Why not? Well, remember, all a person has to do to go to hell is be born! After all, it’s sinners who are going to hell. And according to Total Hereditary Depravity that’s exactly what a baby is born!

Babies going to hell??? For being born??? According to Calvinism!!! No wonder the question is so uncomfortable. So how is the situation dealt with? Well, there are a few (howbeit extremely, extremely far-fetched) options on the table.

If you’re Catholic, you baptize the baby. This opens a whole other can of worms, but non-the-less the answer is you baptize the baby without faith contrary to what the scriptures teach (Mark 16:15-16). After you baptize the baby you can “worry” about the faith part later and have them “confirmed” without the baptism. It’s not a good answer, much less a scriptural one, but hey, it’s an answer!

Now if you’re Protestant you don’t believe that baptism has anything to do with salvation (at least the vast, vast majority believe this). If baptism isn’t necessary for adults, then how could it be for babies? The only way Protestants who believe in Total Hereditary Depravity deal with the issue is by saying babies who die get a “special exception” from said depravity. So that leaves all the babies who die as members of God’s predestinated, unconditionally elected group. I guess that makes all the babies who survive the one’s we have to worry about!?

Let’s cut to the chase. If you believe that Total Hereditary Depravity is the truth, you have one of two choices. One, the baby won’t go to Hell because they didn’t sin – but we can’t have that because they were born sinners!!! As for number two, the baby won’t go to Hell because they were born a part of God’s predestinated elect BUT you can’t be sure about it since they never expressed their faith. Either way, there can be no genuine hope because if you ask a person who truly believes in Total Hereditary Depravity, they will say you can’t be sure if a baby is in Heaven because they deserved to go to Hell.

(more…)

The Comment that Got Me Put on the Spam list!

Anyone who is familiar with blogging on WordPress is familiar with the fact that dialogue, comments, discussions and debates are expected – especially when it comes to the religious arena.

I have always welcomed comments, questions and even debates on topics that I have written about on my blog whether or not the person agrees with me as long as the conversation goes back and forth and it does not remain one-sided with one person doing all the asking but no answering. Unfortunately this is not the mindset that all WordPress users have. They love to post about their version of the faith, but they do not like to contend for it (Jude 3). They like to spout all the false hoods they possibly can without any consideration or willingness to answer for it in light of the truth.

I don’t always comment on other people’s blogs (in fact I rarely do, I usually use the “like” button) but there are certain topics that I can hardly resist; one of which is the doctrine of Calvinism and the particular subset beliefs that fall into its teachings. Because I stated the truth about a certain belief essential to Calvinism the author reported me as spam and it stuck.

For the last couple of weeks I have not been able to make any comments (complimentary or otherwise) on any blogs that I have never commented on without them being spammed, and I have even fallen into the spam category on blogs that I have commented on before. So what was the comment that got me spammed? Here you go:

The blogger wrote – “Now before we get too deep into a discussion of the five points of Calvinism, my point today is to simply ask you to think about one thing. If you are reading this and have been saved by God’s grace, then you are one of His chosen people. Before you even existed, God chose you to be one of His children. He chose you to be saved. He chose you to live for eternity with Him in Heaven. How does that make you feel?”  

Unconditional election is a false doctrine that’s not essential to salvation, but it is an essential piece of the Calvinistic puzzle. Calvinists usually don’t mind talking about the “joys” of unconditional election but they don’t like to mention the “woes” of its counterpart very much – the unconditionally rejected! Hence, I took the blogger’s comment about the “unconditionally elect” and tweaked it slightly to fit the “unconditionally rejected” point of view with my comment.

My response was -“If you are reading this and have not been saved by God’s grace, then you are not one of His chosen people. Before you even existed, God did not choose you to be one of His children. He chose you to be condemned. He chose you to live for eternity with Satan in Hell. How does that make you feel?

My reply was not rude. My reply was not hateful. My reply was not personal. But still yet the person reported me as spam.

My reply was completely logical. My reply was completely doctrinal. My reply was about the truth according to Calvinism (albeit the truth that most Calvinists don’t like to speak of) because the opposite of unconditional election is nothing but unconditional rejection! I guess the truth really does hurt.

In the near future I am going to do posts on each of Calvinism’s “five parts” but until then I will try to make it off of the spam list…if that’s even possible.  EA

Where’s Purgatory Again?

Read, “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to unto him” (Matthew 18:34) and some read into it the doctrine known as “purgatory.” Read purgatory into it and you’re not reading the whole lesson Jesus gave.

The man who was thrown into prison in the parable only avoided prison because his lord had compassion on him to begin with. He was facing a life sentence with no chance of parole. The debt he owed was un-payable and only his lord’s grace made forgiveness possible!

When a person sins we face a sentence that we can’t afford. The debt of sin we owe is un-payable and only forgivable by the grace of God through Jesus (Romans 6:23). Jesus either pays the whole price or he pays no price. If a person can’t work his or her way into Heaven (and they can’t – Ephesians 2:8-9) then logic teaches that they cannot work their way out of Hell.

The Bible teaches nothing about a “place” or a “state of being” between Heaven and Hell where someone “serves time while being purged of their sins” before going on to Heaven. The Bible teaches nothing about praying to Mary or other “saints” to intercede for those who have passed on. The Bible teaches nothing about paying the church for its prayers or any other benefits. The Bible teaches nothing because there is nothing to teach.

When the Bible talks about the price that was paid to keep us out of Hell it never refers to “indulgences!” It refers to the blood of Christ that purchased our salvation (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

When the Bible talks about our sins being purged so that we may be given an entrance into Heaven it never refers to a place of “purification!” It refers to the blood of Christ that purged sin from our soul (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:7).

The time of spiritual cleansing is before death – not after! Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

1 Peter 1:22 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart”. The apostle addressed his words to Christians who were presently cleansed – not Christians who would be cleansed at a later time! (more…)

Jesus Will Come Again

A beautiful song with the above title reminds us about a fact that the world scoffs at, and we as Christians sometimes take for granted and forget. Here’s how the first stanza and chorus reads:

“Jesus is our loving Shepherd, And He is a faithful guide. He is coming back from Heaven for the church of Christ, His bride. He has promised all the faithful that a home to them He’ll give: And to glory will receive them. Evermore with Him to live.”

As much as it is necessary for someone to believe that Jesus was crucified for our sins, buried and defeated death (Romans 10:9), you must also believe the Bible’s teaching concerning His return. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus returned to Heaven in front of His disciples, which were afterwards told by two “angels” that Jesus would return in the like manner that He left. (Acts 1:9-11) If you believe Jesus is who He said He is, then you must believe that His return is inevitable.

Will all be well when He returns? Will the earth be filled with peace and happiness? Not unless you consider great noises, heat and fire peaceful (2nd Peter 3:10). Will He return in secret? Not unless you think you can hide lightning! Christ said that all people would see Him return (Matthew 24:27,30). Will people, including some Christians, be unprepared to see and meet Him? Sadly, yes they will be (Matthew 24: 45-51). Will His return usher in the judgment day in which the majority of people will sadly be cast into Hell? Unfortunately, yes it will (Matthew 7:13-14; 25:31-34,41,46 & 2nd Corinthians 5:10).

His return is no fairy tale (2 Peter 3:1-13). (more…)