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  #76  
Old 04-19-2018, 09:54 AM
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To consider the rational of necessity, sufficiency, or contengency in this case would we not have to first determine the eternal manifestation of the concepts of "need", "place", and possibly "dwell"?
This is true, I'm trying to describe something in man's terms when using such words. As a man I use words I'm familiar with such as the hands of God. A river flowing from the throne of God. Marriage is another word often used to explain things. Streets of God. Walls of Jasper.
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  #77  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Miguel Cervantes View Post
Is it lack of faith that drives us to incessantly ponder what will be? Is it our human faults questioning the promises from on high? Is it not enough to just exist within the promises, greatest commandment and great commission until that day comes?

Humans are impetuous little beings.
I would disagree. Have you ever read anything by Randy Alcorn? I don't doubt his faith. To him his eternal live after his resurrection is a big part of what Christianity is.

Is it wrong to think how wonderful Heaven will be? Is it wrong to picture it as John saw it coming down from God?

Why ponder any doctrine? Freewill, Election, OSAS, loosing faith, the Trinity, Oneness,

Why not just read John 3:16 and put the Bible down? Inquiring minds want to know.

Jasper walls? If John's discription is a way of explaining a spiritual place in a way that "man" can see, then don't we need to understand that as well?
If our resurrection is spiritual then we need to learn as much as we can about how we will experience eternity. We need to see that John's discription is a way to show us it's beauty using terms that we see as beauty as a human. Things such as gems and gold. Paradise has to be painted some way using things we understand.
That once we get to Heaven these earthly images of gems and gold will change and we'll see Heaven's true beauty in a spiritual way instead.

We need to learn that Bible terminology is a way God uses "man's" terminology to explain things. Creation, the flood, the ark, etc. are perhaps a way to explain Israel, salvation, Christ, etc. Maybe a lot of what we "picture" is really just an image such as walls of jasper. A way God uses to explain things we can understand in a man's mind. Things we are familiar with such as marriage.

If I'm going to be sold on buying a spot in the afterlife, I want to know what it will be like. Again this is a man's image. You can't actually buy or even be sold on going to Heaven.

It is also true that we won't know completely until we get there. Just like that motel in Savannah.

I guess when we get too deep in a discussion personally within our own human mind, maybe we should read John 3:16 and lay the Bible down for awhile.

But if the Spirit says sing, then I must sing.
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  #78  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:19 AM
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If I'm going to be sold on buying a spot in the afterlife, I want to know what it will be like.
Similar to the reason why Jesus arose early to leave the multitudes he had just miraculously fed with one fish and one loaf of bread.

They were in it for what he could provide them, not for the faith to follow his teachings.

Not saying this is you, but there is a parallel.

Acts 1:7
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

And similarly, if "sin" is anything that takes our focus off of God, would not focusing on our reward in heaven instead of the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment of all and carrying them out in faith not equally be a sin?

If we are busy pondering and dreaming of the reward we have yet earned the most certainly we are not busy doing the tasks assigned to us.

Faith is stepping out and doing that which we are uncertain of the outcome, trusting that our Savior is leading us in the right direction without question of motive or reward.

Which brings me right back to my questions a couple of posts ago.
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  #79  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:27 AM
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Perhaps we have this image in our head of a paradise that only a man can vision. Streets of gold, rivers, gardens, even a city.
Maybe the Garden of Eden was heaven explained in a way that man can understand. The restoration comes and Christ restores everything. Everything back to it's original glory?
Maybe or maybe he complexly changes everything to a glory even greater than we can understand.
A glory that now includes gentiles worldwide. A glory with no sin. A glory with no wars or hatred. A restored place or a totally New Place that restores what man messed up.

Maybe the old was physical and the new is spiritual. The resurrection could be a way of explaining something spiritual in the only way we could understand. That way was physical.
A physical person coming back to life in a physical body from a grave may be the only way we can understand.

This physical person sees himself experiencing eternal life in a way similar to the way he understands "life" to be. Eternal life vs everlasting death. The grave, Hades, etc. he understands. So maybe our image of Heaven is presented in a way that we understand using our image of "life."
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:29 AM
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Similar to the reason why Jesus arose early to leave the multitudes he had just miraculously fed with one fish and one loaf of bread.

They were in it for what he could provide them, not for the faith to follow his teachings.

Not saying this is you, but there is a parallel.

Acts 1:7
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

And similarly, if "sin" is anything that takes our focus off of God, would not focusing on our reward in heaven instead of the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment of all and carrying them out in faith not equally be a sin?

If we are busy pondering and dreaming of the reward we have yet earned the most certainly we are not busy doing the tasks assigned to us.

Faith is stepping out and doing that which we are uncertain of the outcome, trusting that our Savior is leading us in the right direction without question of motive or reward.

Which brings me right back to my questions a couple of posts ago.
When performing the Great Commission, what will you show if the applicant wants an image of what he is buying in to? How will you sell everlasting life as an alternative to death?
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  #81  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:32 AM
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When performing the Great Commission, what will you show if the applicant wants an image of what he is buying in to? How will you sell everlasting life as an alternative to death?
I never bought into Christianity or Faith in a Savior based on what heaven would look like. It is not a prerequisite for salvation.
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  #82  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:33 AM
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This guy may appear to have a lack of faith as well;

Heaven by Randy Alkorn. He's spent way too much time way past John 3:16;

https://www.epm.org/static/uploads/d...en-excerpt.pdf

If he came to me selling Heaven, I'd want in. His picture is greater than eternal death.
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  #83  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:37 AM
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I never bought into Christianity or Faith in a Savior based on what heaven would look like. It is not a prerequisite for salvation.
You do realize you can't "buy" into it but that I'm using a man's term. There is no prerequisite for salvation. Not one that man can present but that's another topic.

If you are presenting to a tribesman in the deepest of Africa that Jesus died so that he can live in eternal life, don't you think he'd be interested in knowing what the place looks like?
Maybe some image of a place with no hunger, sickness, or war? Some kind of an image of a paradise?
If you told me eternal life would continue as it is today in my village, i'd probably opt for eternal death.
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  #84  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:44 AM
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I never bought into Christianity or Faith in a Savior based on what heaven would look like. It is not a prerequisite for salvation.
I never bought into Christianity based on what He11 would look like. To me the eternal torture scare wasn't a prerequisite for salvation.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:47 AM
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This is true, I'm trying to describe something in man's terms when using such words. As a man I use words I'm familiar with such as the hands of God. A river flowing from the throne of God. Marriage is another word often used to explain things. Streets of God. Walls of Jasper.
You ever see the movie "Arrival"?

Beyond all the other interesting stuff about it (and I don't want to give much away, if you haven't) there's a point early in the story where the gummint is looking for the very best translator they can find. They approach one and ask her about her credentials and stuff...trying to discern her abilities and whether they will be of benefit. Whether she should be the one they need.

They also tell her they are going to interview another colleague of hers (you get the sense they may have some professional rivalry/differing views). She tells the gummint guy as he's leaving to go speak to the other guy "Ask him what the Sanskrit word for WAR ..."gavishti" ...means."

Eventually the gummint guy comes back to her and says "So and So says the word's etymology comes from "a conflict"...but what do you say it means?"

She says "its etymology comes in root form from 'a desire for more cows'."

There are subtleties in language...usage...meaning...that, as believers, we have learned only the Spirit of God is able to "show" as to what He means in the words He gives us.

We live, yet, to a great extent perhaps, in metaphor...as metaphor (to the extent we yet see metaphor as the truest we can approach)...but, as God shows us "what He means" we are changed.

So Jesus said "my words are Spirit, and they are life"...till we meet Jesus...we so easily think we know what "life" means. Even what "is"...is.

I (we) believe God is, in all things, absolute. And He alone absolutely, is able to mean precisely what He says.
And, we are learning.
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  #86  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:49 AM
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You do realize you can't "buy" into it but that I'm using a man's term. There is no prerequisite for salvation. Not one that man can present but that's another topic.

If you are presenting to a tribesman in the deepest of Africa that Jesus died so that he can live in eternal life, don't you think he'd be interested in knowing what the place looks like?
Maybe some image of a place with no hunger, sickness, or war? Some kind of an image of a paradise?
If you told me eternal life would continue as it is today in my village, i'd probably opt for eternal death.
What if a person, Christian's only expectation of Heaven was to constantly worship and praise God, and be in His presence? No expectation of worldly jewels and streets of transparent gold, no awe inspiring landscapes, best fishing ponds ever, best deer hunting ever, a NASCAR track where every driver wins. What IF it your Faith were sufficient to just be in His presence, and worship him day and night for all eternity.

What IF the described elaborate palace and adornments of the heavenly city were extrapolated by man in order to make the sale, the hook, so he could then teach you the spiritual ways of Salvation and Faith and what true freedom from these worldly physical and mental confinements are to come.

What are our expectations? The reward of such a posh existence? or the opportunity to serve, praise and worship Him who has so sufficiently provided for us, based on his plan for us here on earth until that day comes.

I have no preconceived notions of what heaven will be, nor do I see it as a necessity for belief and faith. But I do believe, despite my many shortcomings and failures, that we lead people to the opportunity for salvation by our actions more than by our words.
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  #87  
Old 04-19-2018, 12:21 PM
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What if a person, Christian's only expectation of Heaven was to constantly worship and praise God, and be in His presence? No expectation of worldly jewels and streets of transparent gold, no awe inspiring landscapes, best fishing ponds ever, best deer hunting ever, a NASCAR track where every driver wins. What IF it your Faith were sufficient to just be in His presence, and worship him day and night for all eternity.

What IF the described elaborate palace and adornments of the heavenly city were extrapolated by man in order to make the sale, the hook, so he could then teach you the spiritual ways of Salvation and Faith and what true freedom from these worldly physical and mental confinements are to come.

What are our expectations? The reward of such a posh existence? or the opportunity to serve, praise and worship Him who has so sufficiently provided for us, based on his plan for us here on earth until that day comes.

I have no preconceived notions of what heaven will be, nor do I see it as a necessity for belief and faith. But I do believe, despite my many shortcomings and failures, that we lead people to the opportunity for salvation by our actions more than by our words.
I would agree with most of what you are saying. I still see eternity as a restoration of what was and could have been. That part of our existence was and could have been physical. The Garden of Eden was a physical place.
Now perhaps it was only a way to show us the true existence of a spiritual paradise all along. Maybe that was God's plan. Present a physical paradise as a way to exhibit the spiritual paradise concept in our man minds. To give us a shadow or example such as the Ark and flood. To give us the image of a paradise.

We need or have this image of a place with no more pain and suffering. No more death and war. No more hatred. Maybe a picture of a paradise helps us visualize such a place. We need to see an image of such a place that we can't comprehend. Man in general that is.

It's great that you have reached a level in your path that you don't seek this imagery any more, if you ever did. I still need the picture. It helps me see past the pain and suffering I see and feel.
Such as maybe the sharecroppers needed in the 30's while chopping cotton in the hot sun. They needed an image of a paradise.

Maybe the elaborate picture of Heaven is man made. Possibly as a way to sell Christianity? I'll have to think about that one. Would say the picture of He11 is also a man made image to help sell Christianity as well?
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  #88  
Old 04-19-2018, 12:35 PM
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If Christ died so that we could live an eternity with God, what is wrong with picturing it as a paradise? Why won't it be? I hope and feel that it will be.
I see nothing wrong with this concept. I do visualize it as a paradise such as the Garden or and elaborate new city. Even if it's only spiritual, I have a human's image of it's magnificence. If this is wrong then so be it but it's been painted in my human mind since my early childhood development. Even angels flying around with wings. That image is still in my head. We will see God. God is a spirit. The mystery is still there, yet to be revealed.
I'm sure my image of the place will change one I see it.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:27 PM
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One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

If we bring our wonder to the Lord...He rewards it with His...wonders. It gets so specific it includes all.

It's a real kick in the head (so to speak) to see as vision is focused...narrowed...to One, and only One... how much that is not "else"...but ours...is seen.

Jesus said He would do that...to share a single eye with us...and to see all in that...that there is ever to be seen. There is nothing He has withheld. And nothing His Father isn't patiently waiting to show.

There was a great struggling discovered when coming to these words of Jesus.

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

It was always there for the believing, even when I was there for the arguing.

Thanks be to God Jesus has ended the argument between God and man...in Himself.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:48 PM
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One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

If we bring our wonder to the Lord...He rewards it with His...wonders. It gets so specific it includes all.

It's a real kick in the head (so to speak) to see as vision is focused...narrowed...to One, and only One... how much that is not "else"...but ours...is seen.

Jesus said He would do that...to share a single eye with us...and to see all in that...that there is ever to be seen. There is nothing He has withheld. And nothing His Father isn't patiently waiting to show.

There was a great struggling discovered when coming to these words of Jesus.

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

It was always there for the believing, even when I was there for the arguing.

Thanks be to God Jesus has ended the argument between God and man...in Himself.
Amen, I will bring my wonders unto the Lord to experience his wonders. My reward perhaps. Treasures.
A vision so wide yet I'm focused on my human view. The unity of it all. Everything shared. The throne even. To share in ruling the Kingdom. To inherit what Jesus inherited. To see Jesus as he is and become like him.
To have dominion, become like them, joint heirs with Christ, children of God, brothers of Jesus, regain the image, sit with God on his throne, etc.

So this Kingdom? Thrones, City, Paradise, ruling, etc. is just a way of presenting things in a way man can understand?
No actual kingdom to help rein? No actual thrones, No city? No marriage? Just words used to describe things in a way man understands?
What exactly is this Kingdom that I will help rule? What message of unity shall I see this as? If city is wrong then tell me now. I need a better image. What am I becoming a joint heir with Christ to receive? No actual paradise?
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  #91  
Old 04-19-2018, 10:01 PM
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I still have this burning question. Jesus made a literal and bodily return to Heaven. Angels told us that he would return in like manner.
“The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’”
If this isn't literal then where is Jesus now? The tomb was empty.
Was this really a symbol of what a spiritual heaven would be like? We needed Christ's physical resurrection as a symbol of our own spiritual resurrection to a spiritual heaven?
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:16 PM
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I still have this burning question. Jesus made a literal and bodily return to Heaven. Angels told us that he would return in like manner.
“The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’”
If this isn't literal then where is Jesus now? The tomb was empty.
Was this really a symbol of what a spiritual heaven would be like? We needed Christ's physical resurrection as a symbol of our own spiritual resurrection to a spiritual heaven?
Who are these enemies?
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:18 PM
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You asked!

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:24 PM
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Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

If this is an image or way of explaining a spiritual place, what about the preceding verses explaining he!!? A lake of fire? Is it not a lake of fire? Just a way to explain to man a spiritual place of torment?

"against the rulers, against the authorities"
Again, was Paul just using words that man understands to explain something that isn't?

"And he shall reign forever. And we shall reign with him."
Is this for real or just some way to explain something to man?

Jasper walls, lake of fire from sulfur?

Trying to see what is literal and which is figurative. Which is spiritual and which is physical. Can Satan actually burn in a fire?

I understand that Heaven is real and He11 is real, I just don't know if the words to explain them are literal or just used to allow humans to visualize.

Last edited by Artfuldodger; 04-20-2018 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:23 PM
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You asked!

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Thanks. So no actual footstools made of people?
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:48 PM
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Thanks. So no actual footstools made of people?
No. God is not out to get people. That's exactly why He made a way for them through Christ!
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