Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Will and the Eternity of Hell

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Josh 24:15

With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Isa 26:9

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Rev 22:17

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart 2Cor 9:7a.

If there were no free-will, then God would be unjust to punish sin, or to reward obedience.

The doctrine of free will, as so obvious and universally understood and believed (though perhaps denied in theory), it didn't need explicit treatment in Scripture. The texts quoted above are an example, that if we just look at the simple language of Holy Writ, we will see that certain things are just understood as true.

I've noticed a pattern, here, and in another instances where this doctrine was argued, that in order for those who disbelieve in the eternity of damnation, a denial of the agency of free-will is necessary. Thus, perhaps if it can be acknowledged, that which cannot be denied in practice anyway (though it is in theory), that we have free-will, then it will be seen that perhaps we've deserved that doom from which Christ saved us.

Also, to those who deny the infinity of God's punitive action, we must weigh in our own mind's that the intrinsic value of God against Whom we sin is infinite. Therefore, if we understand that to choose finite self-gratification over the Infinite worth, and value of God Himself, and that of love to neighbor, then we will understand the infinite guilt incurred when the law of love is transgressed, and the infinity of the punishment (though varying in degree of intensity based on our foreknowledge of sin) that is rightfully attached to such transgression.

With the above being properly understood and appreciated, then the true worth of the blood shed at calvary, by God's own sinless Son, would be better grasped with more gratitude, to understand such a salvation as has been purchased for those of us who truly deserved at one time, an eternal hell.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Power of Words

Due to abuses from the 70's and 80's of the last century, from what has been termed the "Word of Faith Movement", as a back lash, much has been discarded by many Christians, and churches of the power and gifts spoken of in Scripture.

We may talk of several things, some of which have already been covered in this blog. We may talk about healing, the gifts of the Spirit, including tongues, prophecies, visions, dreams, etc.

But, relating to our last post, I think that one of the most tragic casualties of the reactionary responses of unbelief toward the Faith movement is that toward speech itself, as it is one of the most powerful tools the Christian has at his/her disposal. Now grant it, there were abuses by those who agian, suppose that gain is godliness (1Tim 6:5), who attempted to get rich through the power of "positive confession". And there were those who abused these doctrines in order to pursue their Americanized idea of what the gospel is.

Yet that others can abuse a principle, as in this case, the power of words, does not render the principle null and void. This is the same as to say that because others abuse the idea of grace, and live liscentiously renders the doctrine of grace moot. This would be horrible to approach the things of God in this manner.

The principle however still stands. God still created the Cosmos through His word, and we are still encouraged by the apostle Paul to as dear childeren be imitators of God (Eph 5:1). Also, in Mk 11:22 We are still told by Christ (as it reads in the original Greek) to have the faith of God (πίστιν Θεοῦ.). And, faith is still ...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Heb 11:1. Not only so, but our tongues are given a lot of power in Scripture:

Death and life are in the power [Heb. יד yad- power, or hand] of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Prov 18:21.

By thy words shalt thou be justified, and by thy words shalt thou be condemned. Mt 12:37.

And, above all, Christ Himself is the Logos of God, that is the Word of God (Jn 1:1, 14). Therefore, all that can be known of God is revealed in the Logos as the complete expression of the Mind of God. All that will ever exist in actuallity and in potential of Nature, or Cosmos will do so through the Logos. Therefore, the Logos is the underlying Principle behind all things in any given world, be it spiritual, psychic, or physical. It then is no strange thing that we as Christ in the Earth would be exercising our God mandated authority, and dominion through the vehicle of speech.

We are told by Christ to speak to the mountains and the sycamine trees in our life (Mk 11:23; Lk 17:6); He Himself spoke to the fig tree, and it was cursed (Mk 11:13-14, 20-21). He spoke to deaf ears, and they were opened (Mk 7:32-35). He spoke to the dead, and they came back to life again (Jn 11:43-44). And as Christ said, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father . Jn 14:12.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Commanding Forth

Our words have power. This is denied in much of today's Christianity. But there is a good reason why this doctrine is denied much. It is because of the abuses of greedy Western Christians, who ...suppose that gain is godliness as Scripture states.

As a result, a very powerful tool, namely our tongue, is denied us in our Christian experience because of the excesses of the selfish believer. Because of this, many of our potential goes unrealized, because much remains in potential, awaiting us to call it forth verbally.

We are created in God's Image, and likeness, as such, we too are intended to have dominion, and subdue our environment. And a major weapon, and tool toward that end is our tongue. Just as God spoke the worlds into existence, He purposes that we would by faith speak forth 'our world' into manifestation. Our world, being our individual potential as known in Christ since the foundation of the Earth.

Picture, if you will, Christ standing before the tomb of Lazarus. Inside, though is our latent unrealized potential. As Christ, with that Christ Consciousness, we need to command that latency to "Come Forth!", even as Christ did in John chapter 11. He is the Resurrection, and the Life, and in relation to Him, our tongue becomes the conduit for life and power, that may then call forth the giftings, and callings of God.