Friday, April 08, 2005

What's forgiveness got to do with it?

As I've been pondering about the previous post. It got me thinking about some things on forgiveness of sin.

We usually think of it this way "If your forgiven you got to heaven," what follows is that you have to ask for forgiveness to be forgiven. This just hasn't been sitting well with me lately. I mean what happens in my head that makes me forgiven and this other guy not. Are the Catholics right? To we have to repent of every sin we commit to be forgiven and receive eternal life? I'm a little lost in this. If Jesus died for the sins of the world why do we have to believe it for it to be true for us. If He did in fact die and raise again for "the world" doesn't that mean the words sin are forgiven regardless of som intellectual of spitiual conclusion about life and death. A conclusion that requires you to pray a "sinners prayer" to get into heaven. Usually it goes something like this. "Lord I am a sinner. I know that only you can forgive sins. I am sorry for all I've done. Come into my heart." Am I right? We are praying this because our sins aren't forgiven yet. What if they are? What if sin was taken care of a long time ago on a cross and you, we, us have been forgiven already.

A New Pemise
Maybe the cross was a means to an end.
We are all forgiven for our sins and without being forgiven heaven can't happen but that's not what decides it for you. What if you can go to Hell and be totally forgiven at the same time. What if Eternity is simply the culmination of what you pursued in life. I don't want this to sound like a works based faith... I'm really not parting from orthodox Christianity as much as you may think. I still think that word I used "pursue" has something to do with an attitude or condition in your heart. But what if Hell is not a punishment but a consequence, a hole you dug for yourself.

Maybe the bumper sticker is right and "Christians aren't perfect just forgiven," but neither is anybody else and so is everybody else. We are all forgiven, it's not just a Christian trait but a trait of all mankind because of Jesus Christ.
see the sinners prayer is not what saves you it is something else something deep something mystical.

I'm inclined to pray right now "God thank you for dying on the cross for us. Please show us what is mystical. May we not be those who set down a criteria for perfection but may we live lives in pursute. Seeking first Your Kingdom."

7 comments:

WES ELLIS said...

I realize this post does not answer the "serching for insight" post. they are separate thoughts.

Ashley said...

Wesley,

You never fail to amaze me with your brilliance. (I know I can't spell so just sound it out!!) I have often wondered thoes questions myself without comming to any sort of conclusion as to why it is that way.

I must say that the section I was most impressed was at the end of one of your paragraphs, you possible take on Hell. I don't know if that is at all right although I do know it makes more sense to me than anything else I have heard.

One thing that I do question is then why is it that we go through life living the way we live and missing out on all the "fun" (this isn't what I feel is happening to me although I do know that many say this is what this life is like.) I mean if we all are forgiven and we will all end up in paradise as a result of being forgiven, why so many different lifestyles?

Maybe...

I know in Revelation it talks about the new Earth and it decending upon this, so ultimatley this is our final destination, here on earth. So could it be not so much that when "we" die "we" go to heaven, but more so that "they" must depart from this earth that "they" love so much?

I know that doesn't play too much of a role of how we get to heaven, but just a thought I just had.

Is it that we are all forgiven, but thoes whom recognise that God is who he says he is and that we are his creation, more so than asking for forgiveness. Do we have to want to go to heaven? Is that what it takes?

The more questions I ask, the more I am prepared to ask this one last question...

Will we ever know until we get there? Wherever there may be?

There is something I read earlier that might help us toss this question around some more, although I do not have it with me right now. Later I will post again with some more hopefully helpful stuff.

WES ELLIS said...

Well I have to respond to one part. " I mean if we all are forgiven and we will all end up in paradise as a result of being forgiven, why so many different lifestyles?"
hold on there missy. One of the ideas of my post is that we don't end up aywhere as a "result of being forgiven" Forgiveness is a means to an end it introduces a new kind of lifestyle and a new kind of life. This sustains that there is indeed a hell! people will live in it. And in this our "lifestyles" matters more than ever.

Ashley said...

Okay my tounge/fingers were a little twisted. Typing what I am thinking doesn't always work to my advantage. :) Love you!!!

Danny said...

I typed in "the cross as a means to an end and found the following quote:

"It is essential that you should realize that His cross was the means to an end; for to confuse the means for the end is to rob the Lord Jesus of that for which He came. He came that you might have life! His life ¬ imparted to you by the renewing of the Holy Spirit on the grounds of redemption, to re-inhabit your spirit, to re-conquer you soul, so that you might be "transformed into (His very own) image in every increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another" (II Cor. 3;18). The gift of the Holy Spirit is the end toward which the cross was but the means; redemption was never designed by God simply to make you fit for heaven ¬ it was designed to clear the decks for spiritual regeneration, which would make you fit for earth on the way to heaven." (W. Ian Thomas - The Mystery of Godliness. Zondervan 1972. pgs. 101-103)

Ashley said...

So last night as I was reading my Bible I came across this one verse and got WAY excited!!!! If I hadn't already been in my nice warm bed with my electric blanket I would have posted then, but anyways...

In John 5:24-30, Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent be has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I will tell you the truth, a time is comming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and thoes who hear his voice will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is comming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - thoes who have done good will rise to live, and thoes who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing, I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."

Here we see both, 1. Jesus telling what gives a man eternal life and 2. Jesus showing that he is outside of time. In that thoes whom have died before will also rise and live, or be condemned!

I was super excited, I hope you are too!!! Love ya!!!

WES ELLIS said...

I I like it but notice that Forgiveness of sin is not the end all here

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent be has eternal life"

here it's this word believe, in greek it is pisteuo, This wird is more than an intlecual decision to think it's true. It is to place confidence in. Placing confidence in God is rooted in deep profoud concepts. To really believe is to follow is to pursue. Because if you place you confidence in God, place your trust in God, You'll obey Him. Explain to me how you could possibly believe without pursueing. Forgiveness is not what saves Believing, pursuing, is.

"Condemned" See I still don't see this as a punishment. See if this fits. He's "condemning" people to the pit they dug for themselves, not some place God created to burn all the bad folks. apply this to Jhn 15:6 "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned." what do you think?