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This site is meant to give some insight to scripture. It can be used by anyone for lessons. It is also a place to discuss the issues of the Bible, not the Church. You can leave an anonymous comment if you feel the need. All comments are moderated and all posts will be answered, even the oldest of posts. No requirements are needed.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

(47) You're going, whether you like it or not.

With all of our troubles we tend to blame other people.  If we commit a crime, it was the way our parents treated us when we were younger.  If we turn to substances it must have been the way our relationships have gone.  If we fail at something it must have been someone else we were working with on the project that did not do their part.  If we forgot to do something it must have been because no one reminded us to do it.  If you stub your toe, did you do it because you were forced to do it or because you are too stupid to watch where you are going?  Here are the results to the last poll:  Do you believe in predestination?
  • (50%)  No. We have complete free will.  As predicted, since most who come to this site are Christians, most people would have answered this way.  There are many clues in the Bible that point us to this thinking.  Such as: if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.-1 Chronicles 7:14, And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.-Joshua 24:15, and even the whole Sermon on the Mount tells us not to do and not to do certain things.  If we did not have free will then Jesus would never have told us what was right and wrong.
  • (30%)  Not sure.  Good answer.
  • (11%)  Yes. But only a certain few.  Judas, Jesus, Adam, Paul.  Some things in their lives seem like they were destined to do, as if they had no choice. Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.- Luke 22:42, Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me-- to keep me from exalting myself!- 2 Cornithians 12:7, and The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.- Matthew 26:24.  But no where in scripture does it say that the average person can not choose his own destiny.
  • (7%) Yes. Our lives were predetermined. We have no control.  The Bible does not teach that all have no control over their destiny.  This would defeat all purpose of creation.  If God predestines His creation then there is no love there.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.   Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  If love is patient, then  it is not forced on you.  If love is kind, then it is not vengeful.  If love is not proud, then it is not demanding.  If is is not self-seeking then it allows other to choose.  Scritpure says God is love.
Fore knowledge is not the same thing as presdestination.  Yes.  God knows what your decision will be but in all situations there are choices for you to make.  Some people quote scripture as saying God never changes.  That is true, but the meaning of that is that God is always God.  His values never changes.  His Word never changes.  His standards are never dropped.  His love does not fail.  But nothing points to Him not changing His mind.  In fact scripture says He did change His mind, a couple of times.  Maybe in those incidences, His heart was so full of compassion for His creation that He intervened.  If He intervenes then thagt gives us the power and freedom to ask Him anything.  But be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(46) The Book of John

A personal friend and Savior.

John, the "disciple whom Jesus loved", was a son of Zebedee and Salome.  He was a younger brother to another Apostle named James.  He was perhaps a cousin to Jesus Himself.  Jesus called him a son of thunder.  His Hebrew name of Yochanan means, God gives grace.  John is considered Jesus' closest companion, even though Peter stands out to be the one Jesus turns to when He starts the Church.  The book was written around 90 AD, probably from Ephesus.

Here are some interesting facts about the book:
  • 90% of the book is unique
  • This book shows more human emotions of Jesus than the rest
  • There are more direct statements from Jesus on who He was
  • Focuses on people's reactions to Jesus
  • God is mentioned as the Father over 100 times
  • Many of his themes are collected into groups of seven
  • Each chapter shows Jesus in a different role as Savior
  • There are less miracles, healings, and parables in this book than the rest
  • 50% of the book is about Jesus' last days
  • Has two chapters that tell what happens after the Resurrection
  • Last verse was probably not written by John until after his own death, only verse in the Gospels that is first person view.
Who was John?  His father was Zebedee.  His mother was Salome.  His profession was a fisherman.  No only was that his job apparently they were prosperous at the job because scripture says he and his associates had hired help.  Maybe this prosperity gave him an attitude problem.  From some of the words we read about him, he and his brother, he was egotistical; thinking he and his brother should get to sit at the right hand of Jesus (Mark 10:35-41).  Even to ask such a question took chutzpah.  He was bold by thinking they could do the same things as Jesus like driving out demons.  He felt like he was given power and authority before it was actually given to him because he was going to "call down fire" upon people.  But after all of this within a few years of following Jesus, his heart was changed.  He would eventually become the most loved and the most faithful.  He stood by Jesus' side until the end.  He was there in the Garden.  He was there at the Cross.  And he was there at the Grave.  Jesus loved him so much that at His death He handed His own mother over to John to be cared for and watched over by him.  He must have done exactly what Jesus told him to do because after the first chapters of Acts  no one hears about him again until the Revelation. Tradition says that John died of old age.  If that is so he is the only one of the 12 who did.  For more on his life see:

What was his gospel about?  Jesus, the man.  It shows his feelings, emotions, and His his divinity at the same time.  It shows that His promise of eternal life is for everyone...who accepts it.

Why was it written?  So people who are looking for a personal relationship with God can find it.  This book is the simplest of them all to understand since it focuses on people's reaction to who Jesus was.  But unfortunately no one knows how to be in a relationship anymore since we are all viral and electronically motivated.  No one cares about relationships anymore.

Friday, April 1, 2011

(45) The Book of Luke

Theanthropos, the God Man.

Luke actually wrote two books but they could be considered the same book.  He also wrote Acts.  Both of these are to the same person, Theophilus.  Both are a collection of facts either gathered by Luke or witnessed by Luke.  You can tell which one by the viewpoint (1st, 2nd, and/or 3rd).  He switches back and forth to show the reader which ones he was told and which ones he saw.  Luke was not an eye witness of the resurrection but he was a close companion to Paul and witnessed many miracles and hardships that we know about Paul.  The book was written a little before 65 AD, probably in Caesarea.  Some resources feel he talked to Mary and John as well to get much of the story.

Here are some interesting facts about the book:
  • It is the longest of the gospels
  • It is more of a historical account rather than a preachable letter
  • 500 verses are unique to this book alone
  • There are more women documented in this book than the rest
  • More parables are mentioned here than the rest
  • Only book written in the Bible by a non-Hebrew
  • Has many verses dedicated to Jesus' childhood
Who was Luke?  He was a doctor (Colossians 4:14).  Being a doctor he must have been a trusted record keeper.  Notice the geneology he writes goes all the way back to Adam.  He also carefully documented and investigated all he heard and saw (1:3-4).  He was not Hebrew.  He was Greek nut that doesn't mean he wasn't Jewish.  But for the most part we can assume he was not Jewish.  he was a faithful friend because he stuck it out with Paul until the end; even when Paul was locked up on his last breath, Luke was there (2 Timothy 4:11).  Tradition says that Luke died in his sleep at the age of 84.

What was his gospel book about?   Almost every major part of each story you read from this book (besides the the things that are repeated in the other book) has some indication or notion that Christ came to save people, all people, even the ones we consider "outcasts" of society.  He came to give the hopelesss, hope.  He came to give the homeless, a home.  He came to give those who unloved, love.

Why was it written?  For those who feel lost can feel found again.  The problem is we live in a society where people do not know they are lost.  Pride gets in their eyes.  They think they have all of their bases covered and that they do not need God.  It is like the movie Sixth Sense:  "I see dead people.  They don't know they're dead.".  People laugh it off and make jokes about it because they do not realize they are lost.  But deep down inside there is something calling to them, perhaps screaming at them, to wake up to the truth.  Otherwise, they would not be reading things like this to get answers.

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