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Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Wed, 28th Jan '09 9:58 PM


We're going to start a thread for each chapter from now on.

Also, we're going to post the verses of the chapter so you have it right there for reference.

I just need to know, which version do you guys want posted at the top of each chapter's thread? Or would you like to rotate between our favorite versions?

To start, I'm going to put the KJV here tonight. According to your wishes, we can change next week.

Revelation 3

1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These thnngs saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

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.

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 29th Jan '09 5:50 PM

Thanks for starting the new thread Janice, after the last had been erased. I loved this chapter, thought it was great. If we are going with the theme that Oldschoolgal brought up, about how these warnings and admonitions apply to current churches, Sardis was a very interesting inclusion. It was interesting to me that in Sardis God is seeking repentance, yet among a church who really needs repentance for sins there are a "few names" who are not in need of that, a faithful remnant within a church group so to speak. I would've thought that such a presence would've "leavened" the whole bunch, or affected the other members but I guess not.

In Philadelphia, I wonder if they were struggling with doubts concerning what "some" of the surrounding Jews were saying about them, as it seems that despite their purity they needed to hear from God that certain Jews would kneel before them someday showing that God really does prefer them and that they are in the right on particular issues, maybe behavioral ones, hard to say.

The message to the Laodiceans was always a rememberable passage for me, talking about what today might be called "nominal" Christians. I wish you were either truly hot or truly cold, because as lukewarm personages I'm going to spit you out anyways! Tough words for the Churches of the day. It seems to be an issue of being overly attached to possessions..."Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked".

Everyone loves this passage: 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. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Who created that famous painting again based off of this verse?

I would love to get some background info on these Churches if anyone has the time...does anybody know anything about approximate locations or what we happen to know about these Churches at the present time?

As to which version to use for the Bible verse, I don't have a huge preference as to which version we use, but personally I prefer more modern renderings because for me they are easier to read.....

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 164.8 - Posts: 45)
Thu, 29th Jan '09 9:05 PM

Hi, Folks, I just got back from my trip and haven't had time to get into Chapter 3, but have enjoyed reading yours. I'll try to get into it tomorrow. Linda (The trip was good. We stayed with the nicest people and the funeral was sweet)

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 29th Jan '09 10:30 PM

Hey Linda, welcome back! I'm glad to hear that your trip your went well. No worries, this week has been going slow, I'm swamped, Pepperdoc sent me a message saying she was swamped but hopes to get back into participating soon, we've all from the sounds of things been far too busy. I look forward to your contributions once you have the time! Take care.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Fri, 30th Jan '09 12:24 AM

Hey, I sent in a support ticket to try to get the other "chapter 3" thread deleted. Hopefully, it will disappear soon. Sorry - don't have any idea how that happened, but I just downloaded some software on my laptop, so maybe one of those mysterious cyberspace thingies happened when I created it. I'm so sorry! Don't mean to be confusing.

I'll not be working on Chapter 3 till Saturday night.

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 164.8 - Posts: 45)
Sat, 31st Jan '09 1:25 AM

The thing that bothered me is that part about being blotted out of the book. My brother is coming to town tomorrow and he majored in Greek at Bob Jones University (Masters in theology) so I'll ask him about it and get back with you.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 31st Jan '09 6:39 AM

Great Linda, I look forward to that. Back to a brief comment regarding the preterist debate, I'm surprised that the date of when Revelation was written hasn't really come up yet in our seems to be important from a preterist/historicist/futurist perspective. Of course my "current" school seems to argue in favor of the book being written in the late 60's. Here's the wiki section on the dating, in case anyone is curious, which is very short: Regarding this chapter, its not exactly a hotbed of debate concerning the issue....the only relevance seems to be Revelation 3:10-11, which has Him coming "quickly".

I still haven't had time to look up the locations of the churches, but the picture that always reminds me of this verse was created by Warner Sallman and is called Christ at Heart's door. Another famous one is called Light of the World by William Holman Hunt. Here's a link to the Sallman picture (along with a more famous work of his) which always comes to mind when I read that passage:

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 31st Jan '09 2:57 PM

BTW, if I am going to "talk" about the above debate, I hope you will all take it as an "educational" talk rather than my attempts to change anyone, pointing out key issues is just a way to get me and hopefully the rest of the group thinking about both sides.....

There's alot of technical wrangling in the debate, which I'll skip unless there is some interest in the details, for example the word "quickly" as used above comes from the Greek word Taxei, singular of Taxos, which then gets into a discussion about how the word is used in the New Testament, and in other texts, etc. My plan is to skip such discussion if it seems too technical, unless there is some interest in it other than my own in the debate. Personally, I actually like Biblical word studies.....maybe Linda can ask her brother (was it?) about such issues.....

Anyway, I feel that anyone who has any resources that can help our Bible study along should use them, books about places in the Bible, words, characters, etc. Anything the group might learn something from. Just my personal opinion.

I can say that one thing I like about the preterist viewpoint is that it leaves room for a much more optimistic ending to human history....personally I like to think that what some sociologists have called the Post Christian Era should really be thought of more in terms of a "regrouping" phase. How's that for optimism, eh?

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 164.8 - Posts: 45)
Sun, 1st Feb '09 8:40 AM

About the location of these pastor mentioned to me that they have unearthed the remains of some of these original churches.

My commentary said Sardis is basically a spiritually dead church, having gotten away from the cross, but it still has a few who remain true. That is probably true in any church and these people may feel they stay within their church, hoping to be an example to others. Maybe they should get out and become part of a working church. My own church is somewhat like that. We members are getting smaller in number and older in years, with not many younger families coming in. The pastor is older and a wonderful person, but unable to visit like he should. He needs to retire and I fear for who the new one will be. I hope he will be someone who will spur us members on to greater things. I do love my church and would hate to leave it, but I will if the right person doesn't get appointed as the new leader. The reference to names being blotted out refers to a person being allowed to die if they don't straighten up. I don't like to judge others, but some of the people in our church don't seem to care whether or not they are faithful to it. That bothers me.

Philadelphia church had few in number (little strength) but was a missionary church. Verse 10 refers to the church being taken away before the tribulation. I long for my church to be like them.

Christ is telling us to be ready for the rapture, which is done by faith in Christ.

From all this, you can ascertain that I take the Futurist view of the book--the rapture, second coming, 1,000 year reign, etc.

The church in Laodicea thought wealth meant blessings, but they were actually spiritually poor and blind.

Verse 20 refers to the fact that there is so much religious "racket" going on, it's hard to hear His voice.

I favor the old-fashioned church service without all the hype that the large, modern churches enter into. There's a church in our town that has 5,000 members. They have 3-4 services, beginning on Sat. night. You go there and have the choice of sitting at round tables while you drink coffee and watch the service on giant screens on the wall. They have Super Bowl services in January (as do many churches now), a giant Halloween carnival in October, fireworks in July, etc., etc. That's all well and good and brings people in, but have they forgotten the message of the "gospel," that we are all inherently sinners and Christ died on the cross for our sins. Therefore, before we can commune with God, we must acknowledge our sins and accept Christ as our savior. It's through His shed blood that we are saved and able to go to Heaven. Everything is not always peaches and cream, as the man in the Crystal Cathedral and Joel Oldstein preach. "Man is born to trouble," and we shouldn't feel cursed when trouble comes our way. That's just part of life. Yes, we can be happy in Christ, but sickness and other misfortunes come to everyone.

Also, the trend is for churches to build giant "cathedrals." About a dozen churches in our town have done this and it looks like a fraternity row on a certain boulevard outside of town. There's nothing basically wrong with this, but this shouldn't have to be a criteria to bring in new members. It's Laodicea all over again.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 1:50 AM

I too follow around leaders, if my pastor was replaced with someone I didn't want to follow, I'd leave in a heartbeat.

I'm also displeased when people don't take their viewpoints seriously. When I meet people like that I'd almost rather they went and did something else than hang out with the rest of us.

On the one hand, I kind of feel like every Church "should" be a big one, but on the other I'm also of the opinion that ten people who take it seriously can do way more for God than 5,000 who might be otherwise inclined. But maybe that's just me.

I don't really mean this as a "slam" against Christians, but it seems to me that there are sooo many Christians in this country and this country is hardly competitive in ethical matters in "some" ways in comparison to other countries out there. I don't understand why 40 pounds of salt isn't seasoning the rest of society like I think it should. I don't get it. Compare our statistics on violence and rape and some of the worst crimes that can be imagined with many other countries, and you'll find us coming up severely short in the ethics department. Any theories on this anybody? I understand it would "kind of" be a side conversation....but just wanting to hear some thoughts. The only "theory" i've really heard on it is one Christian philosopher claims it's because Christians in general are "caught up in it". Whatever that's supposed to mean, lol, I guess that means the ways of this world or whatever.....

It's kind of funny, in one of my social science classes they even included studies on whether Christians were better behaved then the rest of society, and according to the ones that they just "happened" to include, I guess not. (yeah right, just "happened" to include, I'm sure there were politics involved in the inclusion) I guess the only time we can talk about religion in school is when it's a put down of some kind. I guess they felt it was their duty to keep me away from Christianity while they were busy training me for a job, lol. I think it backfired a little....

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 1:53 AM

Disclaimer: I'm not trying to say there aren't legitimate Christians out there, just expressing "some" of my confusion on the issue, thanks. You could see from some of the history listed in the member background thread why I might be a little confused, lol. It seemed relevant in relation to the behavior of Churches of old as pointed out in this chapter of Revelation at any rate.....

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:14 AM

Jeremy - my thoughts on your comments/questions:

1. Out on the planet, many are considered "Christians" because they are not Jewish or Muslim. It actually has nothing to do with who they are, but by default who they aren't.

2. I agree that it's totally ok to go to a church because of the leader. After all, they are your spiritual leader, counselor, etc., and if you cannot respect them or learn from them, of course it's best to go somewhere with a leader you can trust and respect, much as you would choose a college or a teacher or doctor.

Some churches of 5,000 are actively serving God and their communities - some aren't. Some are mostly social clubs. In choosing a church, I agree that I want to be with a group of people who actively love God and are called according to His purpose and are following that purpose.

3. Ethical matters. Not everyone who says they are a Christian really is one. Also, no one has high expectations for the mass at there, so when a so-called Christian or real Christian falls, it shows much more than someone who doesn't claim to be a Christian. Christian means "Christ like." Those a huge sandals to fill. I think it's just perception. And nature is such that one bad apple really does spoil the barrel of good apples - one good apple has no effect whatsoever on the a barrel of bad apples.

Humans across the board are pretty selfish, foulable beings. That's the whole purpose behind needing a Savior.

4. I don't buy into "caught up in it" nor any statistic that claims we are worse than anyone else. I think it falls under what I said - anyone not Jewish or Muslim is considered a Christian by other places in the world - and that is what they measure by, which just has absolutely nothing to do with actually being a Christian -- a person who has asked Jesus into their heart and who seeks to follow Him and His teachings every day.

I also think it's something else much simpler, too. 1 Peter 5:8 says: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

I also believe satan is real - and he is the absolute enemy of God and Jesus. There is no reason for the enemy to attack and try to ruin the cause of those who already are not saved. He's already got them. Satan's original sin was his desire to be worshipped and higher than God and Jesus. So what he wants more than anything is to steal that from God - he wants to attack and pull Christians away from serving and worshipping God. So, of course he works overtime on Christians, tempting, testing, doing whatever he can to destroy the works of the Lord. I think that is the true explanation of why, if someone actually IS a Christian, they may fall. That's a heavy weight to have the enemy of God bearing down on you. And humans are just human on this earth.

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 164.8 - Posts: 45)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:49 AM

You hit the nail on the head. Remember, people who don't attend church always say it's full of hypocrites. I sometimes think they're right!

Are you going to post Chapter 4? Are we ready for it? Things are getting deeper, aren't they?

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:14 PM

Anytime somebody wants to post Chapter 4, be my guest, we always have the option of updating old threads. I know I won't get around to that chapter for a few more days yet.....

Janice: I have several comments to make regarding your post:
"Not everyone who says they are a Christian really is one." I hear that from Christians all of the time, and I'm wondering since I'm not exactly sure how to judge....what criteria exactly makes one a Christian? Does your statement that "Christian means "Christ like." apply? We will know them by their behavior in other words? Clarify if you can please....

"No one has high expectations for the mass at there, so when a so-called Christian or real Christian falls, it shows much more than someone who doesn't claim to be a Christian." I agree with that, when a Christian falls of course the media or whomever picks it up right away, broadcasts it to the four corners of the whole globe about them being "hypocrites", and when an athiest or agnostic does likewise, we never hear about it. I wonder why that is....many of them have similar ethical/spiritual goals for themselves, so when they fall it seems to me we should hear about it all the same....but we don't.

"And nature is such that one bad apple really does spoil the barrel of good apples - one good apple has no effect whatsoever on the a barrel of bad apples", this statement, assuming I understand it right, I don't think I agree with regarding whether one good apple affects a barrel of bad apples. Jesus was a good apple, who has inspired many to become good apples, whether they were bad apples to begin with or not. I don't expect anyone to make the impact He has had, but I imagine there would be some kind of similar effect from those who have become "godly", even if on a lesser scale. I just don't think I'm seeing as much of that as I think I opinion of course.

"Humans across the board are pretty selfish, foulable beings. That's the whole purpose behind needing a Savior." I would agree of course, but I'm not sure that we would be saying exactly the same things, it's hard for me to tell without further discussion of course. I think that "one" of the main reasons for needing a savior was to teach us how to live. Not just someone to give us doctrine, or give us the answers to why we live, but also someone who can teach us how. I feel that religion should have some capacity to answer any question philosophy asks. Answers to ultimate questions are one thing, and I can't but help to think they do some good, but how to redeem the personality from sin on a practical level does seem to be a missing element in some of today's Christianity, and I have to wonder if some of these well-known failures aren't the fault of individuals as much as they are faults in our understanding of the "how to go about redeeming". Whatever we seem to be doing now, depending on which group we are talking about perhaps, it doesn't seem to be doing much good! Again, just my thoughts....

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:27 PM

BTW, there are some Christians who express similar sentiments to mine that I expressed in the last paragraph and who appear to be trying to work on the problem at any rate....I don't mean to apply that I'm original or that I somehow know what I'm doing or that there is no hope for Christians on that issue, because I hope there does apply to my first question that I asked. If this problem does exist, then how would I judge who is and isn't a Christian? Based off of behavior alone? Personally I'm not a big fan of "willpower" to solve problems like that within humans, which is what many of them are trying to use I think. I think what we call "willpower" alone has been proven to be extraordinarily unnaffective over the ages when dealing with sin. But if there isn't really a good "how-to" manual right now within Christianity on how to become holy, then these failures seem almost inevitable to me, and I don't think behavior alone is enough to make a decision on who's real. I'm going to quit saying just my opinion or theories so gets to be redundant after awhile, and you get the idea at any rate, lol. I'd like to hear what y'all have to say, but we can move on to the next chapter if we are at a point of disagreement again merely. It's fine.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 7:29 PM

Last, I'm not sure I understood everything in your post anyways without clarification, so clarify if there are misunderstandings present in my response.....I guess it is getting deep in here, lol.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 9:48 PM

1. I was literally talking about apples. You are so right that Jesus changed a lot of lives. But there have been countless millions who have not accepted him or his teachings. One of the biggest surprises in my life was when I reached an age to understand one huge fact.

I thought people did not accept Jesus as Savior because they just weren't convinced God exists and that Jesus is, in fact, the literal Son of God.

Then I grew up and learned the most shocking thing. There are people who do believe in God and actually can believe Jesus is God's son - and they don't care. They don't want him. And it was that way with some Jesus himself taught in the fless and lived among as a constant example.

2. You said "Not everyone who says....I'm not exactly sure how to judge....what criteria exactly makes one a Christian?"

Maybe that's why Matthew 7:1 says "Judge not, lest ye be judged." We can't judge. It's not our place. And it's a heart issue that no one can ever really know but each person himself. Sorry. I know that's not the answer you wanted, but it's literally the truth. But we can be wise.

I've heard a joke before that when we get to Heaven, people are going to be as surprised by who IS there as by who isn't.

3. You said "Does your statement that "Christian means "Christ like." apply? We will know them by their behavior in other words?"

Sadly, not always. I wish it were that cut and dried. But I will quote again in Matthew 7:16-20:

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7 is just an all-around great book to read - and parts go with Revelation as we're reading right now - including the stand at the door and knock passage.

And I personally understand the Bible to at least imply that being saved and being Spirit-led are not necessarily the same thing.

To be saved is to confess to Jesus that you are a sinner, that you now believe that Jesus is the real Son of God, and that you wish God in the name of Jesus to forgive you of your sin and be your savior, to come into your heart forever.

To be led by the Spirit is to ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you on how to live day to day and show you God's will for your life, your day, your moment.

The fruits of the Spirit are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. (Galatians 5:22).

Also fruits of the Spirit are: All goodness and righteousness and truth. Ephesians 5:9

4. And finally, John 13:34 says "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

The best we can measure a person is by our fruits, by the fruits of the Spirit showing in our lives, and our love for others. An apple tree cannot bear an orange, though a trickster might try to fake it - but you can only fake it for so long before the truth is found out. A non-Christian cannot bear Christian fruit, and a true Christian cannot bear non-Christian fruit.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Mon, 2nd Feb '09 10:40 PM

You clarified alot, I can see now that it's hard to read a post and really "get" what people are saying sometimes without further clarification of points. I think I agree with all that.

"To be led by the Spirit is to ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you on how to live day to day and show you God's will for your life, your day, your moment.The fruits of the Spirit are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. (Galatians 5:22)." I would ask you again to further clarify this statement so we better understand each other. I'll tell you the "details" of my position, and you can tell me if we agree or not! I don't think humans in general even if they were filled with the Holy Spirit would have the "ability" to merely hear and obey, as I think there are often personal obstacles in the way.

To me, like it seems to me you brought up, there is a serious issue with knowing what God wants you to do and "wanting" to do what God wants you to do. I think people can have sincere intentions, know what God wants them to do, and still fail to do so, whether they are filled with the Holy Spirit or not. In my redemption-from-sin theology, which I'm still working on btw, there would be a certain amount of preparing ahead of time, so that when you are on the spot and know the will of the Holy Spirit, you also "want whole-heartedly" to do what is being asked. Personally, I think that takes a certain amount of work that many just are not all that involved in.

The way I was brought up, the general consensus I got about how to handle such a situation where you know God's will in a situation and what He expects you to do but do not "want" or desire the same thing (maybe like Jonah) , was to force yourself, what I called "willpower" earlier, to do it anyway so to speak. But I think there are times when various desires or passions are so inflamed that this just would not work out well when you are in the "grip" of a situation in the midst of life. I'm seriously considering that perhaps self-discipline, sometimes called "ascetism" in a religious context, ahead of time regarding certain areas of our lives might really be the best route to heading off such problems at the pass. I don't think the "force" it approach "works" so to speak for large numbers of people.....Anyway, I don't think anyone who hears or simply knows the Holy Spirit automatically obeys. I don't think you think that either. Where we may or may not disagree is on the cause, why not obey? Is it simply a matter of free will disobedience? Or are there ways of re-ordering people internally ahead of time so that when people are in that position, this problem ceases to be a problem any longer?

I'm not sure I made all of this clear, such is the nature of posting on Sploofus, but hopefully we will understand one another more in time......What do y'all think about it? Really, whatever your views are I don't really care, just curious about it is all....

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 7:30 AM

Did you see Indiana Jones- Last Crusade? Remember toward the end when he was trying to get to the chalice to save his dad's life? Remember the huge chasm that looked impossible to cross, but in the book it showed someone crossing it in mid-air?

I think it is a life-long struggle to be shown the will of God and do it, when it is contrary to your own will. The career and job I have right now are God's will. He showed me and I'm here. It is not the career I wanted, and the past 2 jobs are not jobs I wanted. But since God is a big-picture God, and I'm a "I can see this one pixel in the picture" type of person, I just tie a knot and hang on and keep the car full of gas.

It may never be easy to make those decisions since God doesn't say to go down that path and then shove us down it. He may only make things very non-pleasant elsewhere so that you're motivated to get back on that path.

But Christianity is not easy. It's never been "get saved and now the living is easy." It's just "accept Jesus's love and he'll be there with you."

But Jeremy, I think all my answers and comments may be so simplistic as to frustrate you a lot. I'm sorry that I'm not a scholar. I've just studied the Bible pretty much as a stand alone book, with references within itself.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 7:51 AM

No worries Jank, I'm not finding your explanations "simplistic" by any means. Perhaps I opened a whole other can of worms by bringing up too is a problematic solution at any rate. I won't get into its problems as a solution as I see them, but I will say that I like your foundation in the bible, it keeps me on my toes since I've read so many extra-biblical books.

I hadn't thought about it, but you probably are right, it would require the reading of books outside of the Bible to understand such solutions, because even though there is ascetism present in various parts of the Bible, the Bible or it's authors seem to assume that it's readers know something about that already, and in today's world we really just don't. I think it probably was much more common in the ancient world......I kind of feel the need to "dabble" in it, even if just out of curiosity's sake as to how it would affect my character, but know at the same time that when it's done wrong it's harmful, and I don't have much guidance on the issue. Perhaps that is why I'm asking, and maybe I will find some at Church.

Thanks for responding, it was fun! You really do know alot about always have me googling my questions or looking up verses you post or that pop up in my mind, lol. And I'd hate for you to think that your posts were wasted, because trust me, they are not. I'm sure that big walloping helpings of Scripture are really one of the things I need most right now......I wouldn't continue to post if I wasn't getting anything out of it.

I suppose we really are overdue for chapter 4, I'll start the thread here shortly if I don't see someone else do it by tomorrow. Of course, all of these threads are open if anyone feels the need to post......

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 11:52 PM

Argh! I didn't get my complete copy and paste in my post and also left off my wind up.

I meant to include John 13:35 (which was the whole reason to post 13:34 to set it up):

35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

We should be able to "judge" the truth of someone's Christianity by whether they love others (as God has loved them - verse also in John).

And so I was going to bring it full circle (and I guess this week is exhausting me more than I even realized to leave it out) with what I started:

As Indiana Jones looked out over the chasm and in the book, he saw no way to just step out and not plunge to his death. And yet his motivation was so strong to save his dad's life, that he took the chance, no matter how much he didn't want to.....he acted totally on faith - faith in his father's writings/drawings in the book, collected in his research. He stepped out in fear - but only when he stepped out in faith did he see the passageway that was camouflaged by the rocks. And both were saved from death.

On my screensaver, I have typed:


Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 10:52 PM

It seems to me that we are slowly coming to the bottom of it. The passage you quoted from the 13th chapter of John, uses the word "disciple" and not "Christian". I actually think that someone can be a Christian in the modern definition that I'm often given, which i think I am personally moving away from, in that they believe in the stuff and still not be a disciple. It seems that there is this message out there that you can believe, repent, and be "saved" so to speak, and then not take the next step which is to enter into discipleship of some kind. Of course it sounds like we might have differing ideas of what exactly discipleship might mean, and that is fine of course if that happens to be the case, I don't want to split hairs here.

And, quite frankly, I felt there were times when I tried to follow God, and there was no bridge, instead I just fell off the chasm screaming the whole way down, only to hit the bottom. I don't think "sin" was the cause of it. Did I misunderstand? Was that somehow part of His plan? Personally, I don't think I have the answers to these questions just yet....

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 9:44 PM

I don't think there's an exact line you have to cross from Christian to disciple. But I think you're on to something big that there is a definite difference between those who accept Jesus for fire insurance, as opposed to those who fall in love with him in their soul.

I've accepted long ago that there are things I may never have an answer to this side of the grave.

My main hangup is that there is child abuse, children found to have been kept in basements and closets for years, and ...well, everything that hurts an innocent. And you have only to read the book of Job to learn quickly that bad things happen to good people who didn't do anything wrong. (Sometimes I think the worst thing that happened to Job is that his wife survived. Not much support there!

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 10:23 PM

Job would be a fun book to read, I haven't read it in a long time......why did Job suffer? What a question to ask!! I remember from my own reading of the book long ago, that I felt I was left with some unanswered questions when I was done, oh well.

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