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Why monastic? - There is well-being (healing) in the quietness. "Be still and know I am God." Ps 46:10

Friday, November 6, 2015

Has The Gospel Message Lost Any Of Its Glory Since First Delivered?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.. ..And man, "male and female, in His own image".

And every thing was very good" [from Genesis 1:1, 27 and 31].  And God himself, surely? Is both Life (itself) and Perfection (without flaw or weakness or limitation).

"..The Lord God breathed into his nostrils (the) breath of life, and the man became a living creature" [Genesis 2:7].

But in their heart, mankind has wandered away from perfection and God who is life. (A possibility and side effect of thinking ability?) "For all have sinned" (in the original language - missed the mark) "and come short of the splendor of God" [Romans 3:23]. And "the results of sin" (imperfection) "is death" [Romans 6:23]. Imperfection, being the opposite of Life/God.

"But! The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus!" [Romans 6:23]. "Which works" (the rescue) "was finished from the foundation/creation of the world" [Hebrews 4:3].

Jesus said, "If I be lifted up from the earth" (on the cross) "I will draw all men to me" [John 12:32]. Another translation puts it like this - "And I" said Jesus, "when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

1 Timothy 4:10 says "we trust in the living God! Who is the Savior of all men! Especially of those who believe." Another version says "who is Saviour of all men -- especially of those believing." God, our Father, is the savior of all.  -- Perfect (surely?) makes no mistakes. Can lose nothing.

"...He made known to us the mystery of his will, that when the times reach their fulfillment He might gather together all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth" [Ephesians 1:9,10]. "And through Jesus to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven.." [Colossians 1:20].

"Behold," the Book of Revelation says "I make all things new.. the river of life from the throne, as clear as crystal.."

"He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes between nations. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, with none troubling, for the Lord Almighty has spoken" [Micah 4:3,4]. "The cow and the bear shall graze, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox" [Isaiah 11:7].

Christianity has been made up of human beings, and the gospel message has been passed down through human hands for nearly two thousand years. That the message has lost some of its glory, and picked up some baggage along the way, is not surprising. As the Gospel (Greek for "good news") has come to be preached and taught, it would seem one of two impossibilities would be true. God is not perfect, certainly not all powerful. Or, God is not all good. But some darkness resides within Him. (And thus He too misses the mark, and can only fade?)

Is it possible we have come to greatly underestimate Him? And His great plan (intent) of salvation and reconciliation (perfection)? "The grave" has been translated to read "hell". Which, surely, casts a great shadow upon His character. And contradicts both the good news and the Holy Bible. The "lower part of the earth" and "the place of the dead" is still the grave.

"Preaching via the Spirit to those awaiting the ark and flood", was in that day, not in a mythical, all hope is lost 'hell'. "These will be coming into eonian (agelasting) chastening/curtailing" has been translated into "these will go away into eternal punishment" [Matthew 25:46 ]. And the phrase "in the deepest depths of darkness, locked into judgment" also, does not equate to a lower chamber in 'hell'! A closer translation for judgment, would be "decision" (from the Greek word "krisis"). Even "Gehenna" the city dump has been translated to read 'hell'!

"All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee" Psalm 22:27.

"So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" [Isaiah 55:11]. "I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and it turns not back, that to Me, every knee shall bow and every tongue swear" [Isaiah 45:23].

"‘As surely as I live' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me, every tongue will acknowledge God’” [Romans 14:11]. Ultimately, all humans will repent.. there may even "be weeping and gnashing of teeth" in "outer darkness" but if God says all will bend the knee and all families of the nations will worship (rejoice) before Him, who are we to contradict His Word. His Promise.

In 1 Corinthians 15:22-28, it says, "In Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order - Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then (also) -- the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having abolished all rule, authority and power.. and the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.. all things having been subdued unto him, that He may be (the) all in all".

From Revelation 21:1,4,5 - "There will be new heavens and a new Earth.. God shall wipe away all tears ...there shall be no more death. Behold, I make all things new."

"..Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.." [Psalm 46:2]. Even if man's world were to crash in an hour and fall in a day, "HIS kingdom will never end!" [Luke 1:33].

"We will not fear, for God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" [Psalm 46:1].

Jesus said "Abide in me" [John 15:4] and “if you abide in My word, truly my disciples ye are, and ye shall know the truth" [John 8:31].

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.. We may come near, then, with freedom, to the throne of grace, that we may receive kindness, and find grace -- for seasonable help" [James 4:8; Hebrews 4;16] ..for the help and ongoing transformation we need.

"We shall be like Him" [1 John 3:2].

"For the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness (gentleness), faithfulness, humility, and self-control (temperance)" [Galatians 5:22,23].

"God is love" [1 John 4:8].

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