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Topics - Quasar

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1
Town Hall / What do you use this site for now, Stan?
« on: December 15, 2016, 11:50:19 AM »
Iy is a sjame to see your site abandoned, Stan.  I had the same thing happen to mine.  As a participant at other Christian discussion forums, I use it as a data bank for the 16 years I put into building it, I use at other sites now.

I miss seeing and visiting with you guys.  Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

My very best and kindest regards,

Quasar

2
The Book of Life is the book in which appears the name of every person who is born. The Lamb's Book of Life is the book in which appears the name of every person who has been born again, spiritually speaking, who has been saved through the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. These are not actually books, but God speaks to man in the language that he can understand. To say that our names are in these books is to say that we are in the mind of God. When do our names appear in these books? The answer is found in Psalm 139:16:   
 
"Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance;
And in thy book they were all written,
Even the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was none of them."

Everyone has his name written in the "Book of life". The wicked will have their names blotted out of this book, after they have lived their entire life without repenting of their sins and receiving Jesus as Lord. The righteous, the born-again believers, have their names written in the Book of Life and in the Lamb's Book, and they will never have their names blotted out of either one.

Specific reference to the Book of Life is found in the following :
 Exodus 32:31-33 Moses knew of the existence of God's book of life, and realized a person's name could be removed (blotted out) from it.

Psalms 69:27-28 It is important to remain faithful to the one true God. Not doing so could result in one's name being removed from God's book of life.

Daniel 12:1-2 All of the dead will be raised for judgment, and some of them will receive everlasting life.
 Malachi 3:16-18 Those who fear Almighty God, calling on His name and serving Him, will be found written in the book of remembrance.

Revelation 13:4-9 A person whose name is not in the book of life will serve the beast.
 Revelation 20:11-15 Many books are opened, one of them being the Book of Life. The dead are judged according to their works. Those not found written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire.

Though it is not specifically documented as the Book of Life, it is clearly inferred in Jn.11:26; Rom.8:29-30; Eph.1:13-14 and 4:4-6 amoung many other places.


Quasar

3
The apostle Paul answered a very similar question in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” The idea that a person could “trust in Jesus Christ” for salvation and then go on living just as he/she lived before, is absolutely foreign to the Bible. Believers in Christ are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Holy Spirit changes us from producing the acts of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) to producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The Christian life is a changed life because the Christian is changed.

What differentiates Christianity from every other religion is that Christianity is based on what God has done for us through Jesus Christ—divine accomplishment. Every other world religion is based on what we must do to earn God's favor and forgiveness—human achievement. Every other religion teaches that we must do certain things and stop doing certain other things in order to earn God's love and mercy. Christianity, faith in Christ, teaches that we do certain things and stop doing certain things because of what Christ has done for us.

How could anyone, having been delivered from sin's penalty, eternity in hell, go back to living the same life that had him on the path to hell in the first place? How could anyone, having been cleansed from the defilement of sin, desire to go back to the same cesspool of depravity? How could anyone, knowing what Jesus Christ did on our behalf, go on living as if He were not important? How could anyone, realizing how much Christ suffered for our sins, continue sinning as if those sufferings were meaningless?

Romans 6:11-15 declares, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!”

For the truly converted, then, continuing to live sinfully is not an option. Because our conversion resulted in a completely new nature, our desire is to no longer live in sin. Yes, we still sin, but instead of wallowing in it as we once did, we now hate it and wish to be delivered from it. The idea of “taking advantage” of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf by continuing to live sinfully is unthinkable. If a person believes himself to be a Christian and still desires to live the old, sinful life, he has reason to doubt his salvation. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).


Quasar

4
Ask Your Bible Questions Here!!! / In retrospect, what about Easter?
« on: April 11, 2016, 10:11:06 AM »
As late as the fourth century A.D., the holiday known as Easter was called PASCHA ("Passover" in English). Easter, however, appears to be derived from EASTRE, the name or festival of the Teutonic goddess of spring, to whom sacrifices were offered in the month of April. The word is Germanic, not Greek or Hebrew. We can surmise that when Christianity began to make inroads among the Teutonic (Germanic) tribes, the name EASTER was transferred to the Christian celebration, inasmuch as both occurred at the same time of year.

The earliest observation of PASCHA took place at the same time as Passover, on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan. This celebration is referred to as the "Quartodeciman Passover" from the Latin word for "fourteenth."
Moves towards changing the date of PASCHA began early in the second century. The motivation behind this change was fear of the authorities coupled with anti-Jewish sentiment. The actual course of events appears to have been as follows.

Bishop Sixtus of Rome, who presided from A.D. 116-126, may have been the first to observe a Sunday date rather than the 14th of Nisan. These three reasons support the idea.

1. According to the church historian eusebius, a later Roman bishop named Victor sought to impose a Sunday observance on the entire Church and to break ties with those Christians who obseved the 14th of Nisan. He was opposed by Iraneus, who discouraged such a break and argued that peace should be kept among Christians who celebrated the day on different dates. He contended that even earlier church leaders who did not observe the Quartodeciman date were at peace with those who did. In mentioning the names of one church leader after another, Iraneus used reverse chronological order, stopping at Bishop Sixtus.

2. The rule of Bishop Sixtus coicided with the measures of the Roman Emperor Hadrian that were aimed at repressing anything Jewish. (Hadrian's reign was A.D. 117-13 . It would have made sense if the church had been pressured at that time not to observe the 14th of Nisan. Any anti-Jewish feeling would certainly have been catalysed by Hadrian's prohibition of Jewish customs and festigvals. This culminated in the expulsion of the Jews, including the Jewish Christian church leaders, from Jerusalem , circa A.D. 135. (After that, the Jewish church was composed of Gentiles).

3. According to the fourth century Bishop Epiphanius, the Sunday observance of PASCHA was first introduced in Jerusalem after A.D. 135 when the Jews were forced out of Jerusalem by Hadrian. If the new Sunday observance began with Sixtus in his tenure of A.D. 116-126, this would have allowed time for the practice to have spread to Jerusalem by A.D. 135.

The next significant step on record comes from the late second century, the time of Bishop Victor of Rome. As already mentioned, Victor attempted to make the Sunday observance of PASCHA uniform. A primary motivating factor for Victor would have been the presence in Rome of many Christians from Asia Minor who observed the Quartodeciman Passover. Their presence alongside the Roman believers would have meant that Christians were observing two different dates for the same occasion. Perhaps Victor's only motive was his desire to ensure uniformity within the church.

In any case, by the middle of the third century, blatant anti-Semitic statements are found in various Christian sources. In a work called DE PASCHA COMPUTUS, the author, known as Pseudo-Cyprian, wrote contemptuously of following Jewish practice, expressing the desire for Christians not to "walk in blindness and stupidity behind the Jews as though they did not know the day of Passover."

Finally, in the fourth century, PASCHA became decisively separated from Passover and restricted to a Sunday observance. Not only individuals but church councils contributed to the change in date. In A.D. 314, the Council of Arles recommended a single date for the uniform observance of PASCHA, but it was the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 that was the watershed that solidified this motion. The date of PASCHA was fixed as the Sunday following the full moon that falls on or after the vernal equinox. The edict of Council of Nicaea proclaimed:

"All the brethren in the East who formerly celebrated Easter
with the Jews, will henceforth keep it at the same time as the
Romans, with us and with all those who from ancient times
have celebrated the feast at the same time with us."

Ultimate official support came from Emperor Constantine, whose conciliar letter to all bishops of the same time period announced it "unworthy" to celebrate PASCHA on Passover.

Nevertheless, complications arose because some churches followed the Jewish or lunar calendar. Full uniformity in calculating the date was not secured until as late as the eighth century. The Eastern Orthodox Church still calculates Easter differently.


"Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed."
1 Cor.5:7.


Quasar

5
Ask Your Bible Questions Here!!! / Who is the "Queen of Heanen?"
« on: March 02, 2016, 09:11:38 AM »
The phrase ‘the queen of heaven’ appears in the Bible twice, both times in the book of Jeremiah. The first incident is in connection with the things the Israelites were doing that provoked the Lord to anger. Entire families were involved in idolatry. The children gathered wood and the men used it to build altars to worship false gods. The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” [Jeremiah 7:18]. This title referred to Ishtar, an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess also called Ashtoreth and Astarte by various other groups. She was thought to be the wife of the false god Baal, also known as Molech. The motivation of women to worship Ashtoreth stemmed from her reputation as a fertility goddess, and as the bearing of children was greatly desired among women of that era, worship of this “queen of heaven” was rampant among pagan civilizations and, sadly, it became popular among the Israelites as well.

The second reference to the queen of heaven is found in Jeremiah 44:17-25, where Jeremiah is giving the people the word of the Lord which God has spoken to him. He reminds the people that their disobedience and idolatry has caused the Lord to be very angry with them and punish them with calamity. Jeremiah warns them that greater punishments await them if they do not repent. They reply that they have no intentions of giving up their worship of idols, promising to continue pouring out drink offerings to the queen of heaven, Ashtoreh, and even going so far as to credit her with the peace and prosperity they once enjoyed because of God’s grace and mercy.

It is unclear where the idea that Ashtoreth was a “consort” of Jehovah originated, but it’s easy to see how the blending of paganism that exalts a goddess with the worship of the true King of heaven, Jehovah, can lead to the combining of God and Ashtoreth. And since Ashtoreth worship involved sexuality, (fertility, procreation, temple prostitution) the resulting relationship, to the depraved mind, would naturally be one of a sexual nature. Clearly the idea of the “queen of heaven” as the consort or paramour of the King of heaven is idolatrous and unbiblical.

There is no queen of heaven. There has never been a queen of heaven. There is most certainly a King of Heaven, the Lord of hosts, Jehovah. He alone rules in heaven. He does not share His rule or His throne or His authority with anyone. The idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the queen of heaven has no scriptural basis whatsoever, stemming instead from proclamations of priests and popes of the Roman Catholic Church. While Mary was certainly a godly young woman greatly blessed in that she was chosen to bear the Savior of the world, she was not in any way divine, nor was she sinless, nor is she to be worshipped, revered, venerated, or prayed to. All followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter and the apostles refused to be worshipped [Acts 10:25-26; 14:13-14]. The holy angels refuse to be worshipped [Revelation 19:10; 22:9]. The response is always the same, "Worship God!" To offer worship, reverence, or veneration to anyone but God is nothing short of idolatry. Mary’s own words in her “Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55] reveal that she never thought of herself as ‘immaculate’ and deserving of veneration, but was instead relying on the grace of God for salvation: “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Only sinners need a savior and Mary recognized that need in herself.

Furthermore, Jesus Himself issued a mild rebuke to a woman who cried out to Him, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you" [Luke 11:27], replying to her, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." By doing so, He curtailed any tendency to elevate Mary as an object of worship. He could certainly have said, “Yes, blessed be the Queen of Heaven!” But He did not. He was affirming the same truth that the Bible affirms—there is no queen of heaven, and the only biblical references to the “queen of heaven” refer to the goddess of an idolatrous, false religion.


Quasar

6
Ask Your Bible Questions Here!!! / What ae the seven spirits of God?
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:58:45 AM »

The "seven spirits of God" are mentioned in Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; and 5:6. The seven spirits of God are not specifically identified, so it’s impossible to be dogmatic. Revelation 1:4 mentions that the seven spirits are before God's throne. Revelation 3:1 indicates that Jesus Christ "holds" the seven spirits of God. Revelation 4:5 links the seven spirits of God with seven burning lamps that are before God's throne. Revelation 5:6 identifies the seven spirits with the "seven eyes" of the Lamb and states that they are "sent out into all the earth."

There are at least three possible interpretations of the seven spirits of God. The first is that the seven spirits of God are symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, and especially the Book of Revelation, uses the number seven to refer to perfection and completion. If that is the meaning of the seven in the "seven spirits" then it is not referring to seven different spirits of God, but rather the perfect and complete Holy Spirit. The second view is that the seven spirits of God refer to seven angelic beings, possibly the seraphim, the cherubim. This would fit with the numerous others angelic beings that are described in the Book of Revelation [Revelation 4:6-9; 5:6-14; 19:4-5].

A third possibility is based on Isaiah 11:2 which says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” This could possibly explain the seven spirits of God…(1) Spirit of the LORD, (2) Spirit of wisdom, (3) Spirit of understanding, (4) Spirit of counsel, (5) Spirit of power, (6) Spirit of knowledge, (7) Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically who/what the seven spirits are, but the first interpretation that they are the Holy Spirit seems the most likely.


 Quasar

7
The Tribulation Focuses on Israel

The Bible teaches that the tribulation is a time of preparation for Israel's restoration and conversion (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:3-11; Zech. 12:10).1 While the church will experience tribulation in general during this present age (John 15:18-25; 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:10-13), she is never mentioned as participating in Israel's time of trouble, which includes the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, and the Wrath of God. Gerald Stanton explains:

The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the "time of the Church's trouble," but the "time of Jacob's trouble." The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4: 30; Jer. 30: 7; Ezek. 20: 37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.). It concerns "Daniel's people," the coming of "false Messiah," the preaching of the "gospel of the kingdom," flight on the "Sabbath," the temple and the "holy place," the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve "tribes of the children of Israel," the "son of Moses," "signs" in the heavens, the "covenant" with the Beast, the "sanctuary," the "sacrifice and the oblation" of the temple ritual.

These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10, etc.).2

The Church is Absent from the Tribulation

Not one Old Testament passage on the tribulation refers to the church (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:4-11; Dan. 8:24-27; 12:1-2), nor does the New Testament ever speak of the church in relation to the tribulation (Matt. 13:30, 39-42, 48-50; 24:15-31; 1 Thess. 1:9-10, 5:4-9; 2 Thess. 2:1-11; Rev. 4-18), except as present in heaven.

Such silence speaks loudly and supports the pre-trib position, especially when combined with clear, explicit statements that promise her exemption from that time (Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10). Note the clear promise to the church of Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth".

If pre-tribulationism is indeed the teaching of Scripture, then we would expect that passages dealing with the tribulation would consistently make no mention of the church. This is exactly what we find. However, Israel is mentioned often throughout these texts. Dr. Robert Gromacki has studied the New Testament book of Revelation, chapters 4-19, which gives the most detailed overview of the seven-year tribulation in all the Bible. He has shown the following:

However, there is a strange silence of the term in chapters 4-19. That fact is especially noteworthy when you contrast that absence with its frequent presence in the first three chapters. One good reason for this phenomenon is the absence of the true church and true evangelical churches in the seven years preceding the Second Coming. The true believers of the church have gone into the presence of Christ in heaven before the onset of the events of the seven year period. The church is not mentioned during the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments because the church is not here during the outpouring of these judgments.3

Conclusion

Only pretribulationism is able to give full import to tribulation terms like "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7), as a passage specifically stating that the tribulation is for Jacob (i.e., Israel). John Walvoord concludes: "Never are tribulation saints given the special and peculiar promises given to the church in the present age. The nature of the church in contrast to Israel therefore becomes an argument supporting the pretribulation "

Viewpoint.5

Since God's purpose for the tribulation is to restore Israel (Jer. 30:3, 10) and judge the Gentiles (Jer. 30:11), it is clear that this purpose does not include the church. This is one of the reasons why she will be taken to heaven before this time. The church's hope is a heavenly one, not participation in the culmination and restoration of God's plan for His earthly people-Israel. Maranatha! W

By Thomas Ice


Quasar

8
This is one of the most highly controversial issues to be found in the Bible. Jesus resurrection body is mostly seen as physical, yet according to the what the Bible teaches us in 1 Cor.15:42 to 54, it is hardly possible Jesus body was the very same as the one He died in. Because we read in the Corinthian resurrection passage, the body is sown perishable and raised imperishable, in verse 42. And in verse 52 and 53, the body is changed in a twinkling of an eye from perishable to imperishable and from mortal to immortal.So, how is it then that Jesus appeared to more than 500 eye witness in a materialized physical body, according to 1 Cor.15:6?

IMO, the answer to that question may well be in the fact of what is found in Gen.18-19 and 32, as well as in other places, about the angels who had the power to materialize physically in the mission God sent them here on earth to accomplish. With that in mind, it is therefore entirely possible for the resurrected Jesus, the Son of God, to have the same powers as the angels had, and is how He appeared in the materialized spiritual body, in a physical form.There is another example of this that appears will take place during the Millennial reign of Christ here on the earth, when He will reign on the throne of David in the restored kingdom of Israel. All of those who participate in the first resurrection, in Rev.20:4 and 6, will be made priests of God and of Christ, and rule with Him for 1,000 years. Here again, there will be resurrected bodies, changed from perishable to imperishable and from mortal to immortal bodies. But will need to be materialized physical bodies in order to serve in a human environment, clearly visible to everyone during that period of time, much the same as it was with Jesus for 40 days after His resurrection.The following are links to the views of others on this interesting, but controversial subject.


http://www.theexaminer.org/volume6/number1/editor.htm


http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/eschatology/resur_body.htm



Quasar

9

1- Passover: The Death of Our LORD Jesus Christ

 2- Feast of Unleavened Bread: The Burial of Our LORD Jesus Christ

 3- Feast of Firstfruits: The Resurrection of Our LORD Jesus Christ

 4- Pentecost: The Giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church

 5- Feast of Trumpets: Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church

 6- Day of Atonement: The Second Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ

 7- Feast of Tabernacles: Inauguration of the Millennial Reign of the LORD Jesus Christ on Earth.


Quasar


10
Review John 3:16; 10:27-29; Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians.1:13-14:

The parable of the Sower:

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Mark 4:10-20

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Sower

Hebrews 4  [New International Version (NIV)]

A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

4 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard it did not combine it with faith.[a] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”


Quasar

11
Ask Your Bible Questions Here!!! / What is "conditional security"
« on: March 24, 2015, 09:32:53 PM »
“Conditional security” is a theological term used in reference to the salvation of believers in Jesus Christ. It describes the enduring quality of the Christian’s salvation. In other words, a Christian’s salvation is “conditionally secure.” This begs the question: upon what condition is the believer’s salvation secure? Proponents of conditional security assert that the salvation is conditional upon remaining faithful until the very end. To use an analogy the Bible uses, the athlete must finish the race in order to receive the prize. To support this view, those who adhere to the doctrine of conditional security would point to such biblical passages as the following:
“And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:11-13)

“So therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:12-14)

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

These passages, and many others that could be cited, point to the conditional quality of the believer’s salvation. In each of these passages, the biblical author (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) uses conditional language (e.g., if you endure, then you will be saved) to highlight the nature of the believer’s security in Christ. In order to ensure the security of our salvation, the believer must: 1) Endure to the end; 2) live by the Spirit; 3) hold fast to the preached word; and 4) sow to the Spirit. It’s not as if the gift of salvation is lacking in any way, but the individual believer must earnestly strive to remain faithful. In the words of Paul, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Given the weight of the biblical evidence, it would seem that the view of conditional security is unassailable. How could anyone argue with the notion that the believer must remain faithful until the end to secure his salvation? Yet, there is another side to this debate. This is the age-old theological debate between Arminians (those who hold to conditional security) and Calvinists (those who hold to what it called “eternal” security or Perseverance of the Saints). Where the Arminian can trot out dozens of biblical passages that point to the believer’s conditional security, the Calvinist can point to an equally large array of biblical passages to support the view of eternal security, such as the following:

“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” (Matthew 24:24)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:28-29)

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Just as with conditional security, many more passages could be listed that detail the eternal security of the true follower of Christ. For each of the above passages, one thing stands out—the eternal security of the believer has nothing at all to do with the individual effort of the believer, but on the preserving grace of God, whereas the passages that support conditional security seem to focus on the believer’s ability to remain faithful.

What are we to make of all this? Does the Bible teach both conditional and eternal security? Does God speak with a “forked tongue”? The answer to both questions is “no.” Yet, we must be able to reconcile the passages that speak of the believer remaining faithful with the passages that speak of God preserving the believer to the end. The key to this riddle is in looking at what theologians have called the Doctrines of Grace (DoG). The DoG have been alternately called the Five Points of Calvinism (a misnomer as Calvin never articulated just “five points”) or TULIP (an acronym based on the aforementioned five points). Here, in brief, are the DoGe:

Total Depravity: Due to original sin, man is born thoroughly corrupt and is unable to do anything pleasing to God, nor does he seek after God.

Unconditional Election: Because of man’s depravity, God must step in to secure the salvation of the believer. God does this by electing him unconditionally (i.e., man contributes nothing) to salvation.

Limited Atonement: In order to receive those God has elected unto salvation, atonement must be made to satisfy God’s righteous judgment on their sin. God does this through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Irresistible Grace: God applies the merits of this salvation in “real time” by drawing His elect irresistibly to Him by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished through the means of preaching the gospel.

Perseverance of the Saints: The salvation God has wrought for believers is seen through to the end as God preserves and sanctifies His elect until the end.

In order to evaluate whether or not the believer’s salvation is conditionally or eternally secure, one must first deal with the preceding five points of the DoG. Perseverance of the saints is not a stand-alone doctrine, but logically rests upon the other four points. The linchpin of the DoG is the first point, total depravity, which, if true, the other four points must necessarily follow. Space does not permit a thorough defense of the doctrine of total depravity, but suffice it to say that the Bible unequivocally teaches that man is, on his own, totally incapable of coming to God for his salvation (Matthew 19:25-26; John 6:44; Romans 3:10-18; and many more).

Critics of Calvinism and the DoG will assert that if we teach and hold to these doctrines, holiness and piety will go out the window. In other words, if salvation is eternally secure, what restrains a believer from sinning at will? Claiming faith in Christ becomes the ultimate “get out of hell” card. The Apostle Paul asked the same question in Romans 6:1. Paul’s response was that sin is not compatible with the new life in Christ (Romans 6:2-4). Far from advocating a license to sin, the DoG actually do more to promote Christian piety than the doctrine of conditional security. The Puritans, known for, among other things, their piety and strict devotion to holy living, were predominantly Calvinists. In the DoG, piety is seen as the grateful response of the believer for God’s amazing grace in salvation (Romans 12:1-2). These doctrines, if held and believed rightly, make the works we do a response of true love to our gracious God who loved us enough to save us from our sin and misery. The Heidelberg Catechism (one of the earliest confessional documents of the Protestant Reformation and a teaching tool for children and new believers) is broken into three sections: The Misery of Man (our sinful state); Of Man’s Deliverance (God’s gracious act of salvation through Jesus Christ); and Of Thankfulness (our response to God’s grace, which also outlines our duty as Christians).

So if we accept the premise that the DoG are true (i.e., biblical), then how do we reconcile that with all of those passages that purportedly speak to conditional security? The short answer is that we (believers) persevere (remain faithful until the end) because God preserves us. To put it another way, if we do nothing to obtain or earn salvation (salvation being a free gift of God’s grace), then how can we lose salvation? Conditional security is acceptable only to those who also believe that they somehow contributed to their salvation in the first place (which Arminian theology logically implies). But this flies in the face of such passages as Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast,” which clearly assert that we contribute absolutely nothing to our salvation; even the faith necessary to receive the gift of grace, is itself a gift of God.

On the other hand, Arminianism gives man a reason to boast in the end. If by my cooperation with the Spirit of God I remain faithful to the end, I can boast (a little) about how I was able to stay the course and finish the race. However, there will be no boasting in heaven except to boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31). The doctrine of conditional security is not biblical; the Bible is quite clear that we persevere because God preserves us.

Recommended Resource: Eternal Security by Charles Stanley.

 From:  www.gotquestions.org


Quasar
 
 

12
Religion & Theology / Merry Christmas
« on: December 25, 2014, 10:01:05 PM »
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you all!  And may the Lord Bless you and keep you safe from danger or harm and in the best possible health!

Quasar


13
The way in which Jesus fulfilled the Jewish feasts is a fascinating study. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Jewish prophet Amos records that God declared He would do nothing without first revealing it to His servants, the Prophets (Amos 3:7). From the Old Covenant to the New, Genesis to Revelation, God provides picture after picture of His entire plan for mankind and one of the most startling prophetic pictures is outlined for us in the Jewish Feasts of Leviticus 23.

The Hebrew word for feasts (moadim) literally means "appointed times." God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal to us a special story. The seven annual feasts of Israel were spread over seven months of the Jewish calendar, at set times appointed by God. They are still celebrated by observant Jews today. But for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption through God’s Son.

The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks) and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays (Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.

Many Bible scholars and commentators believe that these fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled by Jesus. However, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) for all believers in Jesus Christ is that they most assuredly will. As the four spring feasts were fulfilled literally and right on the actual feast day in connection with Christ's first coming, these three fall feasts, it is believed by many, will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord's second coming.

In a nutshell, here is the prophetic significance of each of the seven Levitical feasts of Israel:

1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah's sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.

3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in I Corinthians 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."

4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was actually established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter's great sermon and his first proclamation of the Gospel.

5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:52).

6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) – Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they "look upon Him whom they have pierced," repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).

7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) – Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord's promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).

Should Christians celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).

While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.

Recommended Resource: Faith of Israel, 2d ed.: A Theological Survey of the Old Testament by William Dumbrell.


Quasar

14
Post Complaints & Recommendations Here / Inaccessable forums
« on: October 05, 2014, 10:25:06 AM »
In a visit to your site today I was unable to access either the Religion and Theology or Catholicism forums, except the last thread that had been posted on them both.  Just thought you would want to know.

Sunday 10:30 A.M. October 5, 2014.

Quasar

15
Humor is the best Medicine / She's new to football
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:49:54 AM »
A guy took his girlfriend to her first football game. Afterward he asked her how she liked the game.

"I liked it, but I couldn't understand why they were killing each other for 25 cents," she said.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well, everyone kept yelling, 'Get the quarter back!'"
 

 

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