Everlasting Love

I must first apologize that I have not been updating the post on a consistent basis lately. One of the reasons I did not get anything written this last week was because of a rather long conversation I had with a friend on facebook, about God’s everlasting Love and His everlasting Judgment.

Unlike most Christians I do not believe in a everlasting Hell. My main argument would be that the Bible in fact points against the existence of a Hell where you go to be tortured for all eternity. The second argument would be that the Bible points to a God who has everlasting love for us and it would seem that a loving God would not punish for the sake of hardening our hearts and hurting us. Instead, I think He would punish us like good parents punish their child, when the child goes astray. A loving parent punishes to help the child understand his or her wrong and turn from it. The third argument, would be that I am not able to worship a God that is willing to send (or allow) millions upon millions of people to be tormented forever and ever.

I must say the conversation my friend and I were having ended with a bit of a unsatisfied result. We needed to, “agree to disagree” because my friend thought I was not willing to change my view and I must say that I was beginning to feel the same about him.

The conversation did however allow me to think a bit more deeply about who I believe my God is. So, I can not complain about the time I took to have the long conversation. The more I look into the God I find in the Christian Bible, the more I am convinced that he has a immeasurable amount of love.

Through out the conversation I had with my friend, I was told about or quoted scripture that seemed to point out that “God can not be mocked” and “we reap what we sow”. I have a really hard time with these scriptures. Of course these seem to be typical points of view that come from many different religions. I have heard about many religions that seemed to take their God as a Great Authority, that would not stand for being mocked. I also have heard about many religions that have huge consequences for going against the “law”, and let you indeed “reap what you sow”.

I guess my problem is that those gods in those other religions I have heard and read about are not the God I fell in love with. When we look at Jesus’ example on this earth, we see something that is uncommon in other religions. We see a God who was willing to sacrifice everything.

The reason why I have problems with verses that talk about God not being willing to be mocked or us reaping what we deserve, is that Jesus’ example on this earth contradicted those verses. Jesus was mocked all through out His life, and Jesus forgave many people who did not deserve forgiveness. When Jesus tells us to forgive 7 times 70 (meaning without measure), He is in fact telling us to not treat others based on what they “deserve”, but rather based on how we as individuals want to be treated ourselves. When Jesus was crucified and mocked he still asked God to forgive those who crucifyed Him.

Why should we think that God changes His example after we die. I am told that we only have this life time to choose God. After we die, God’s love suddenly looks a lot different. If we have not chosen God we are sent to Hell to be tormented forever and ever. Somehow most Christians think that this is not contradicting God’s everlasting love.

I am touching on one of my greatest frustrations, in this post. Christians do not understand why so many people are not wanting to have anything to do with the Christian God now a days. Might it be because they see Him and His people as judgmental and condemning? If you have not “accepted Jesus into your heart”, most Christians would say that you deserve a eternal Hell. Why would a non-Christian want to have anything to do with someone who thinks that lowly of them?

Jesus came to this earth for all of us. When Jesus died on the cross, He died for us all. I often hear of how we are so undeserving of Gods love. How we are like filthy rags to Him and if we have not chosen Him, we are as good as the Devil himself.

I think, if these things were true God would be a idiot for dying on the cross. The truth is that Jesus saw the good in us and that is why He was willing to give everything to let us truly live. When the Bible says that Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8), it means just that, He died for ALL of us. Jesus saw the good in even the least of us, He was a personal God that cared just as much about our examples as our words.

Even if you have not confessed God as your savior. Even if you have not gone to Church or sat down to pray a certain prayer. God loves you! It does not matter what you do or how deep in sin you already are.

The greatest difference between my thinking and my friend’s was who WINS at the end. Sadly for many people, my friend thinks that sin and evil will win out at the end. I personally think that my God is greater then any sin or demon. You might go through a lot of pain before you and the world find God, but I am convinced that God will never give up. I am convinced that my God is a God of everlasting love that will always be there for us and that He will win in the end.

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The Complex Language of God

Man it is hard to understand God. Or so I have been told. I mean, how could I understand “GOD“?!?! He is just too Great, Powerful, Overwhelming, Vast, Tremendous, Incredible, Spectacular, Glorious, Holy, Divine, Pure, Righteous, Marvelous, Magnificent, and Complex to ever be understood by us mere humans, right?

Through out my life I have been introduced to many opinions about the complexity of God. It seems darn near impossible to be able to communicate with Him. So many people have differing opinions on how to hear from God. Most say that you need to be a Christian to hear from Him. A lot say that you have to pray. There is the argument that says you can not know what God wants unless you have read the Bible. I often see people who do not “go” to church treated as though they can not know who God is. Of course the major argument is that you can not know God unless you have accepted Jesus “into your heart”. But, many would like to know what that means?

Because we have so many different opinions on how and what it takes to communicate with God, we have even more opinions on what we think God wants us to do. Many Christians would say that the answer is found in Matthew 22:34-37:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

What does that MEAN though? I feel that many people use this passage as an excuse to waste their lives by putting their potential on hold while they try to “hear” from God. To me, what they are looking for is right in front of them.

I feel as though we spend so much time making God be so Great and Powerful that we look past one of the greatest qualities of God. I realize that God is a Great and Powerful God and He has earned all the adjectives I wrote at the top of the post. But, I do not choose my God above all the rest because I am awed by the Power of Him (at least “power“ in the common sense of the word). The quality that most impresses me, is my God’s Humility.

I serve a Humble God. A God who washed His Disciples feet. A God who has told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. A God who is relational, and know-able.

I would agree that Jesus is a complex God and that we will never be able to understand His infinite wisdom. But, I think that God’s language is clear. He wants us to be humble as He was. God wants us to use our lives to walk out the commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves, I think that it is one in the same as loving Him.

When God tells us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, He is telling us to carry out the second commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves. If you love God you will be showing love to others. It is not too complex at all.