Do you really want to love your mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, children ? Love Jesus Christ. It is the best gift you could give them.
Jesus told His disciples that they were the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
Your loved ones may be groping in darkness. If you really love them you can present the Christ that you live shining through you.
Salt was used to prevent the food from spoiling and rotting. The world is in a state of rotting. The Christians are called to be a preservative to halt and arrest the process of rotting.
You are the salt of the earth means that as a follower of Jesus you are arresting and slowing down the inevitable rotting of the Satanified fallen world.
As a follower of Jesus this salt in you will also somewhat preserve your loved ones from going down. So loving the Lord Jesus a most precious enfluence of preserving to your relatives who may not yet be saved.
That is the principle of the 12:00 / 12:01 thing. Time will run out for the unbeliever. That's the point.
Then where do you think that I, as stubborn minded unbeliever, will be at 12:01. I'm not asking for "details". Just what you think will be the case based (presumably) on your interpretation of the bible.
But by loving Him so you are giving them the greatest life and teasure to them.
Surely all this depends where they (and I) will be at 12:01.
Unless we have some idea of where you think I and those I care about are going to be at 12:01 I don't really see how anyone can assess what would constitute reasonable behaviour in anticipation of this event.
Time will run out for anyone's opportunity to receive Jesus as the Savior.
If time runs out and you have not been saved you will go to the eternal punishment. Time may not run out for all at the same time. But time will run out.
That applies to His second coming or your failing to awake tomorrow morning or your accidently being struck and killed.
I'll give you one passage which I think says enough:
"And to you who are being afflicted, rest with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power, in flaming fire.
Rendering vengence to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His strength when He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed ..." (2 Thess. 1:7-10a)
Christ is the Savior. But His second coming is also a matter of "vengence".
The vengence seems to be directed towards possibly two classes of people:
1.) Those who do not know God.
2.) Those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
All the details of how this unfolds may be up for discussion. All the particulars of the timing of how this unfolds may be up for discusision.
But generally speaking one should not want to meet the coming of Christ as one who has disobeyed the gospel to believe in the Son of God.
To such a one it seems not a matter of character improvement or corrective discipline. It is a matter of God's vengence, of retribution. That is punishment for not believing in the Son of God.
Whenever time runs out for the sinner, he is not best served as one who either does not know God or has not obeyed the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Procrastination can lead to disobeying the preaching to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus the Son of God, the Savior.
Do I need to give you more verses like this ? I don't think one needs more. But there are more.
The Bible says to seek the Lord WHILE He can be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts. And let them return to the Lord and He will abundantly pardon. [paraphrased]
Provision for forgiveness is there. Provision for justification is there. Provision for pardon and reconciliation to God is there. Even before you were born provision was made for you.
But you have to choose. And you have to use the avialable time you have to choose to receive this reconciliation. Otherwise you await vengence from God.
If the door closes, you should want to be on the inside of salvation. That is the point. And it is a serious one. When the door closes where will you be immediately after that? In Christ is good. Left outside in disobedience and unbelief is bad.
So basically your answer to the question posed in this thread is that you think it is "reasonable" to live according to Christ because if you don't God's vengeance, retribution and punishment await you.
While Paul was a full time apostle he often performed a job to support himself and his co-workers.
Paul was a full time apostle after his conversion not a full time tent maker. There is no problem if he helped someone or supports himself during his trips. It will be contrary to Jesus' teachings if he went back to a full time tent making job.
I think it is naive to assume that he never practiced his trade while he accompanied Paul. And I just showed you how Paul and his coworkers would labor night and day toiling for their own needs if support was scarce or inconvenient.
I said that Luke was a physician before he became a disciple of the apostle Paul and followed Paul until Paul's martyrdom. This implies that Luke did not went back practicing his profession for his livelihood. For if he went back it will be against Jesus' teachings. There is no problem if he practiced his trade while he accompanied Paul, in fact his medical knowledge may be quite helpful.
It is relevant to the point because if I recall, you said that a normal Christian should not have any time to devote to a artful skill. Dorcas proves you wrong in that.
The fact that they held up her handiwork with tears to Peter surely indicates that they were probably very nice creations.
Dorcas clothing of the poor with garments she made is not relevant to the point here because there is no indication that making garment is her job. Many women made garments themselves and gave it to their friends. Saying the cloths are "probably very nice creations" is mere speculation.
SO WHAT ? The Christian "sister" was a spiritual "sister" like any other female disciple. And what she provided in the way of assistance to the whole congregation was a service like any other serving Christians.
I have no idea what you are attempting to prove with this above observation. Maybe it would help to read your New Testament for yourself. Jesus taught that the greatest among them is the one who is as a servant. And He Himself came not to be served but to serve.
How is Pheobe serving and helping the congregation relevant to the point? The point I made was - with the imminent return of Jesus and the great responsibility to spread the Gospel, the teachings gave no room for true believers to be engaged in other full time activities/professions. That within the present market oriented economy of the world the teachings against saving for the future and lending with expectations of repayment are not relevant.
You have no ground to assume that. And experience with the church life suggests the absurdity of your assumption.
Some congregations I have met with had people of various skills. And sometimes they were employed for the sake of the congregation. Christian brothers, who were also lawyers, may be called upon to assist the church.
I am not assuming, I am showing you that according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Zenas was a Jewish lawyer previous to his becoming a Christian. I see no reason for you to assume without any substantiation that after becoming a Christian Zenas continue to practice his trade . You having a Christian brother now who is a lawyer cannot be related to Zenas case thousands of years back.
That could because like many skeptics and atheists, you reason without God.
I used to reason with God, but on the way I gradually become skeptical because when I reason with God I need to believe and live with many inconsistencies and weird things which my rational human reasoning could not accept. I can't help questioning the claims of fellow Christians like - the earthquake in Gujarat/Haiti is God's punishment, we won the football match with God's help, this man is rich because God blessed him and that man is poor because his forefather despise God, God takes revenge on the Hindus for persecuting Christians and elephants destroys their houses in Orissa, etc,etc,. In conservative Christian community you will always hear claims like that and if you read the Old Testament you will find many similarities.
Then, I have gradually become skeptical about the creation story, original sin, Noah's flood, why God need the Jews to save mankind in spite of him being Omniscience, omnipotent and benevolent. I started enquiring and study how the Old Testament and the New Testament came about. I read about the Church history, the inquisition, indulgence, exorcism, persecution of Galileo, witch hunting, etc. all done in the name of God. So, now I simply could not reasoned with the Judeo-Christian God, sorry.
Maybe your thoughts are always being filled up with accusations from Satan against the Christians. It seems that you are laboring to invalidate them.
With respect to the thread here I am stating my point of view, I am sorry if any of my statement hurts your feeling. Your Satan has nothing to do here, its my plain and simple human reasoning.
Let me change my tone with you for a moment. If Jesus should come back at 12:00 PM tonight where will you be at 12:01 ?
Jesus will not come back at 12:00 PM tonight or at any time in the future. I don't know if you are trying to scare me. I hope you will not mention the"cries from hell in Siberia mine" which some evangelists around here used to instill fear of hell to their listeners.
quote: This is the problem, you are approaching the question ass-backwards.
The first thing you should consider when a proposal such as the existence of a god is: "Is there good reason to believe this is true?"
I don't think there is. Every attempt to support the Christian god simply fails, either through being better explained by other factors or simply crumbling from within.
No. that's not my problem. If I am going to be a human being I have to be one who is a Christian. That's the way I see it.
Who would you submit was a better example of a human being then Jesus of Nazareth ?
Jesus is on the top. I don't think whoever comes in second place is even in the same class. And many fine people, who might be candidates, seem to agree.
See what Mahatma Ghandi or M L King, or Abe Lincoln thought about Jesus Christ.
So if I am going to be a human being, a follower of Jesus, for me, is a must. And I would add that if I am going to be a Christian, I must be an overcoming one rather then a defeated one - "more then conquerors".
Your entire position in this thread (and apparently in life) is rooted in your belief that there ultimately lies a choice between some sort of bliss or damnation.
I don't think you can assume that at all.
If I think back on the couse of this discussion it seems to my recollection that the issue of judgment entered in when I made a comment directed at the kind if impatience I often see from skeptics, as to WHY hasn't Christ returned yet ?
I got into explaning to someone that His delay was advantageous to them. Then you pressed the issue and I gave you frank and honest replies about that particular aspect of the gospel.
I do believe that there is time for everything. There is a time to love your dad because of just who he is. Compared to other men, you're father is the best. (Assuming a pretty normal family life).
On the other hand there was also a time for you to revere you father's warnings. You didn't involve yourself in something because of your father's stern warning not to.
Some would call this a "holistic" approach. But whatever, there is a time to love your father and want to be well pleasing to him. And there was also a time when you did not want to get into trouble with him.
If God is the ultimate reality, we should not expect that there is only ONE aspect of our relationship with Him. I am captured by the sheer beauty of Christ. His preciousness and worth has attracted me. Even it has set me free from all religious duty. My heart is opened wide to Christ because of His sheer value and worth.
But at other times I fear God because I know no one is getting away with anything. His record of our doings is infallible. We must not think no one saw, no one heard, no one observed. What was done TO you to hurt did not escape the notice of God. Conversly what you DID to another God also saw.
So, yes there is the fear of God and a time to have that fear. But there is also the sheer preciousness of God. What could possibly be of more precious worth then God ?
My message is therefore "holistic" for lack of a better word. Sure one should fear the damnation that God can justly inflict. Yet also one should not want to miss the most desireable One from Whom all beauty, love, and wonderfulness issue.
It does not matter HOW you come to Jesus. How you come is not that important. That you COME to Jesus - that is important. Whether through fear of damnation, through weariness of sin, through thirst for inner satisfaction, for forgiveness, healing of mind or body, for a new start ..... HOW you come is secondary.
That you COME to Jesus, that is what really matters. I don't despise ANY motive to come to Jesus Christ.
It seems Pascal has everything to do with you. Whether you realise it or not.
Jaywil writes: I can't think of any good reason to not become a believer and follower of Jesus today.
You can't? You can't even see why there might be a case for significant doubt or even (gasp!) why others might be equally convinced of their own equally implausible alternative doctrines?
Then I would suggest that it is you rather than I that has not thought this through sufficiently.
I did not come to Jesus immediately myself. So I could not say that that was true.
I had and still have many questions about the Bible.
But perhaps people like you come here to see if you can be FORCED to believe in Christ. No one is going to force you. God is not going to force you.
Consider the awesome power of your own deciding will. Feel the weight of your own choice. So do not come expecting me to argue SO well that you will be FORCED to believe in the Son of God.
You cannot be forced. I might be able to render you a little help. But you may want to be helped to go the other direction. That too is a choice you make.
Isn't the free choosing human will awesome ? Think of what power of decision rests with each of us.
Benjamin Franklin. For one thing we can actually be sure he did most of the things that are attributed to him; we know we are talking about a human being and not mythology.
But this portion of your argument is an "Appeal to Popularity" logical fallacy.
You need thinking lessons.
Ben Franklin was a fine and smart man. The one thing I remember Benjamin Franklin said during the founding of the Independent American nation was he cautioned all the statesmen not consider themselves too highly.
In essence Franklin said, each of them should not consider their own opinions to be infallible (including himself), no matter how strongly they felt about them.
I think that was humble and excellent advice to smart men who were pulling in ten different directions about what kind of country the US should be.
But it doesn't compare to the words of Jesus. Sorry. Jesus cared nothing for ANYTHING except the will of His Father. The will of His Father was absolute even unto His torture, crucifixion, and having been made sin for us. This man cared nothing for Himself to the uttermost.
And popularity is not the issue. You commit a genetic fallacy though if you say that popularity automactically disqualifies Christ from being the most respected of humans ever to walk the earth.
So watch your own logical fallacies and don't imply that the source of the belief proves the incorrectness of the belief.