The Lord is the Good Shepherd. He feeds us, guides us, and governs over us. This is one of many 'word pictures' the bible uses to help us understand what God is to us. The point that the passage is trying to make, is that God will take care of us, no matter what.
A shepherd does not 'rob a sheep of his clothes', sheep shed there coat at regular intervals every year. It falls off. Like when dogs shed at the beginning of summer.
Explain why your god's only son had to suffer die so we can go to magic happy land when we croak.
...When you make friends with fire...it keeps you warm...it cooks your food...it gives you light in the darkness...it defends you and keeps the beast away...
...If you handle fire in a foolish way...not treating it with fear and respect...even a little spark...will burn you, and all of your possessions...
...If you turn your back on fire...you will be cold...you will be in the dark...you will not be able to cook your food...and you will be at the mercy of the beast - who has no mercy...
...God is Love - 1 John 4:8...God is a consuming fire - Heb 12:29...
WHY JESUS SUFFERED AND DIED ON THE CROSS:
The price of FREEDOM is pain. Many of the men who have died on battlefields all over the world can testify to the truth of this. True love/freedom/fire/Jesus/God all are intimately linked. Many times it hurts to do the right thing.
The universe is built with checks and balances built in. If something is too hot or too cold, in other words - is not true to its nature - the universe works to fix the imbalance. That is what hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, natural disasters and wars are all about. THERMODYNAMICS: the Conservation of Energy - energy cannot be created or destroyed, it only changes form. This is an established scientific principal. NO violation of this principle has ever been found.
Sin is people doing things out of harmony with the natural balance of the universe. Sin is doing things contrary to the right working of the universe. The cumulative result of many sins is: the universe stepping in and fixing the balance. The more radical the sin, the more radical the solution.
The Love and Work of God in Christ Jesus, the Son of Almighty God, on the cross, is the payment required by God to balance the universe. Jesus paid the price for our freedom. The LAW required an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, life for a life. That is the universal balance. Energy, in the form of sin, cannot be taken from one place, without being replaced somewhere else. Love pays that price - it replaces the energy taken by sin.
If you do not believe and depend on Jesus, you will have to pay that price yourself. That is the fire of Hell. The energy bill is due at the moment of death. You will have to pay in pain, because that is the price you were unwilling to pay for the freedom you took.
HEAVEN...is not 'magic happy land':
You become what you believe in. If you focus on evil, you will become evil. If you focus on good, you will be inspired to be and do good. Good is walking and living in harmony with the universe. This is the truth. Evil walks in false ideas and actions. To focus on evil is to become pain. To focus on good is to become charity (love that gives and serves).
Because energy cannot be either created or destroyed - and our LIFE and PRESONALITY are a form of energy - at death, that energy changes form. For those who leave life focusing and becoming evil - that energy will be pain and anguish (what you gave others in your life) - forever. For those who leave life focusing on good and the charity of God, which is Christ Jesus - that energy will be happiness and love - forever.
Heaven is happiness and love forever.
All of the various Christian sects ignore parts of the Bible, usually because those parts of the Bible are inconvenient. Why is it O.K. to ignore those parts of the Bible?
I am fighting this myself. I am trying to accept all of scripture. Not just the parts that sound good.
If Jesus and his father are one (John 10:30), then why does Jesus have to pray (i.e. Matthew 26:39)?
As an example to those around Him. To show them how a true believer in God should act if they need anything.
[John 11:41] So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
[John 11:42] I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me."
Did all the fish in the oceans drown during the flood?
[Gen 6:17] For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the BREATH OF LIFE from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall die.
[Gen 7:4] For in seven days I will send rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the FACE OF THE GROUND."
Just those things that breathed air and lived on the surface of the earth.
Did everyone who died before Jesus died go to Hell?
No. The true believers in God went to a place called - paradise or Abraham's Bosom. Jesus retrieved these believers during the three days He laid in the tomb. He took these saints to Heaven at that time.
Will the tribes and natives of Africa, who have never heard of the bible, go to hell?
God is fair. He will give everyone exactly what he deserves.
...[Ezek 33:20] Yet you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of
Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways."...
[Job 34:10-12]"Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding, far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong...For according to the work of a man he will requite him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him...Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice...
[Rom 2:14] When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what
the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not
have the law.
[Rom 2:15] They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them
If heaven is a place where everyone is perfectly happy, then explain how I could be happy in heaven if I had loved ones being tortured in Hell.
This has to do with the answer to Q7 and the justice of God. Everybody will get what they want and what their actions deserve. All the excuses will be thrown out, everyone will have to pay whatever price they earned through their life.
You see how much the people in the Christian chat room desire for you to
know Jesus. That is how we are to our loved ones. We tell them about Jesus
all the time. We know that ultimately it is their choice. And we are resigned
to the fact that they made their own choice.
Explain why, when racism is clearly wrong, Jesus was clearly a racist (see Mark 7:25-29).
As you know, God came to Israel first. And because of the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God had to give the Jews the first chance. So God, out of His mercy and love, seeing no hope for the children of Israel and the world, decided to take the blame for all the sin and evil of the world. He made everything and ultimately, it is all His doing. That is why Jesus came. God came to earth to pay the price. When Pilot and Herod questioned Him, He made NO excuses. That is why believing in Jesus pays the price.
At first glance the passage may sound racist. But God is only keeping His
promise to Israel. Then, once the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had
rejected Him, the Gospel became available to the rest of us.
Explain what type of offense could possibly justify eternal, unbearable torture in Hell; if you do not believe in Hell, then refute every passage in the Old and New Testaments which describes Hell (such as 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Revelation 20:15).
...love is the fire which burns...forever...in the end...we will all go through
the fire...and the fire will know it's own...that which is not one with the
[Deut 4:24.9] For the LORD your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.
SINS THAT SEND YOU TO HELL:
1. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:
a. to say Jesus is evil, b. what Jesus did was evil, c. Jesus is the devil, d. Jesus was powered by the devil or demons, e. basically, not believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, in the flesh, risen from the dead. (see the Nicene Creed)2. those who reject God exists or reject God,
THE CURE, THE ANSWER:
[1John 1:9.5] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Explain why possession by demons and/or other evil spirits was common during the time of Jesus, but hardly mentioned in the Old Testament, and apparently has been explained completely away today by things such as epilepsy and schizophrenia.
Just because it was not mentioned much in the Old Testament does not mean it did not happen. It just means it wasn't mentioned.
Even though doctors and scientist may 'explain away' demon possession as
epilepsy and schizophrenia, does not say these poor people are not possessed.
It does not say that evil things did not twist their minds to the point of
mental illness. Good examples of this 'being possessed by evil' is the serial
killers of our time, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, etc...
They confessed to being 'addicted' to pornography. Addiction is a word for being possessed by something. Ask a drug addict if the thing that possesses him is a 'good spirit' or an 'evil spirit'. I think he would say evil.
If your god wants us to worship him through our own free will, why does he threaten us with Hell? If you have someone threatening you with a punishment, it isn't free will.
A threat does not take away your right to choose. And I would say what you call a 'threat' to be really a warning from someone who loves you.
It is simple. Your mom warned you not to put your hand on the stove or you would get burned. She was not threatening you, she was warning you because she loves you.
And that God does not hold you physically or mentally back from making your
own choice, says you retain free will.
Explain why Christians have spread the lie that Jews put Jesus to death when, in actuality, it was the Romans who put Jesus to death. (see 1 Thessalonians 2:15).
[Mark 15:12] And Pilate again said to them, "Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?"
[Mark 15:13.6] And they cried out again, "Crucify him."
[Mark 15:14] And Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him."
The Roman Pilate gave them a choice, he said he had nothing to condemn Jesus
for. The Romans were acting at the request of the Jews. The Romans would
not have crucified Jesus if the Jews had not asked for it. Therefore, the Jews bear
the responsibility for the death of Jesus.
Explain why, if the personality resides in the soul, things like drugs and brain damage can affect someone's personality.
I would say the personality is still there. Drugs may cover the true person, but underneath the chemicals. The person is still there.
My uncle has brain damage. He is less than he used to be, but it is still
him. His brain may be damaged, but his personality still remains.
If your god did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, why did he put the tree in the garden of Eden (and at the center, no less)? Was it for shade? If so, why use something so dangerous as a shade tree? If the purpose of the tree was to tempt Adam and Eve, explain why it's OK for your god to engage in a practice that our modern-day courts of law refer to as "entrapment."
Why did I buy a GMC van instead of a Dodge? Why did I paint the bathroom blue? Why do I eat a salad almost every night? Because I wanted to. That is all.
Just look at a monarch butterfly, a sunset, a flower. God has taste. God has class. He likes to make beautiful things. God put the tree there simply because He wanted to. Maybe it looked good there. And the tree was fine there for a long time.
Then the devil in the form of a serpent tempted Eve. It was the devil who
spoiled it, not God. It was the devil who entrapped mankind. Give credit
where credit is due.
Explain why your god created humans as imperfect, then set his standards so high that no one could possibly live up to them, then punishes us for not living up to his standards. Doesn't this also constitute "entrapment?"
Remember in Star Wars, where Luke was on Degoba with Yoda. Luke was not making the grade. Yoda said - you fail because you do not believe.
Also, what you consider perfect, may not be what God sees as perfect. For example, in Genesis where God said His work of creation was 'very good' - that has been translated as 'truly completed'.
Each of us is given this package we call a body and a life. This package should be looked at as 'truly complete' in and of itself. NOT in comparison to others. We are perfect - that is complete - when we accept the package as it is. Bald or toothless, smart or not so smart, pretty or not so pretty.
[Mat 19:26.18] But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
When we put our faith in Christ, He enables us to do the right thing. When
you believe in the Lord, all things are possible, even obeying God and His
Why are the stories of the resurrection inconsistent?
Different witnesses, different times, different points of view, different writing locations.
They had no telephones, cars, TV, or any modern transportation or communication.
They had to do it all from memory.
If your god is kind and gentle, why do some animals have to eat meat?
First, to say 'eating meat is bad' is your opinion. And like the question about the tree in the garden, a matter of taste.
The reason why there is death and destruction and pain and evil is because
MAN has chosen to disobey the commandment 'love one another'. It all started
with Eve choosing to obey the devil instead of God.
If your god is kind and gentle, why did he create parasites?
[2Cor 12:9.16] but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
All trials and temptations are for the increase of faith.
Why should we accept the words of the gospel writers as truth when they are known to be liars? (See Romans 3:7).
The gospel writers are NOT 'known to be liars'. That is contrived accusation and slander.
No computers would run, no cars would work, no one would recover from illness, if there was no truth in the words of man.
Romans 3:7 is talking about mankind as a whole in broad general terms. NOT specifically. And definitely not specifically about the gospels. Which testify to extraordinary events in the lives of some very ordinary people. They all agree to Jesus as the Christ and Son of God; He did miracles, He was tortured and died on a cross, and He rose from the dead.
If you take scripture out of context you can make it say anything.
Explain why your "just and merciful" god sent bears to kill forty-two children who called his prophet Elisha "baldhead." (See 2 Kings 2:23-24).
Sins will be punished. Either in this life, or in the life to come. Mocking a person is evil. He is 'just' because He gave the mockers their just punishment. He is 'merciful' because He loves you enough to answer your questions and give you a chance to repent.
If prostitution is wrong, why are there so many examples of it in Genesis? (For instance, Gen.19:8, where Lot offers his daughters to a mob so that his guests can avoid gang rape).
Examples of evil, even many examples of evil, do not make evil into good. Selling your body for sex is wrong at many levels. It violates the image of God.
Lot was not 'selling' his daughters for money. Lot was in a desperate life
and death situation. The passage sounds more like something someone would say under
great stress. NOT because it was the right thing to do. Along with that, what you acuse Lot of, did not come to pass anyway.
Are all members of other faiths bad? Are they all damned to Hell?
Where is Heaven?
Where God lives. In the heart of everyone who believes in Jesus.
Some have suggested Heaven is a different dimension, so,
all around us, but entirely unobservable.
Where is Hell?
I don't know.
Does God have a God that we don't know about?
[Isa 45:22.15] "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Once Satan has someone's soul, what does he do with it?
The devil does all he can to make that person believe there is no way back to God.
But there is a way:
[1John 1:9.5] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Where does our soul stay while we are alive?
I believe it is in our body.
Explain why your god lets airplanes with sinless infants on board crash.
We are all given a certain amount of time on this earth. Some of us have 100 years, some only a day. Some of us die at 90 in our sleep, some of us die at 5 of a snake bite. That is simply the way it is. It is part of the package.
We must make the best of the life we have here. We must tell everyone we
love that we love them, because tomorrow may be the end. It is not how long
we live, but how we live it.
If we are created in your god's image and likeness (Gen. 1:27), how can we also be imperfect?
Adam and Eve were created perfect. They may have looked different than us. Our imperfection came after the fall from grace in the garden.
We regain the image and perfection of God by confessing our sins in the name
of Jesus and obeying the commandments of God.
Matthew and Mark say that the last words of Christ were, in Hebrew, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" This has traditionally been translated as, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" However, a more accurate translation would be, "My El, My El, why has thou forsaken me?" El is the name of a specific pagan god. Why would Jesus call out to a pagan god at the moment of his death?
'El' simply means 'god'. It is used in lower case for all other things people worship. Including pagan gods.
Many latino people name their children 'Jesus'. But there is only one 'Jesus'
who is the Son of God. And there is only one True God. The Holy Father of
Jesus; God, king and Creator of the universe.
If your god is everywhere at the same time, and hell is the absence of (or separation from) your god, how can he be omnipotent?
...God lives in Eternity and is trans-dimensional...He has no beginning or end because He operates in dimensions adjacent and invisible to our own...Time is one of the 4 dimensions visible to us (length, width, height, and time)...Eternity is: another dimension of reality, not visible to us...
The trouble with your reasoning is you are thinking in the temporal terms of this space time reality. God is not restricted to our universe. He can go anywhere He wants any time He wants. Being in different dimensions than our own enables Him not to have to obey the laws that govern the working of this universe.
And if there is one place He has set aside for Hell, well, that is His sovereign
right as God. I have not the power, authority, or intelligence to judge God
- neither do you.
If it was foretold that Jesus was to be crucified, and if he knew this, and if he was the son of your god, why did he do everything he could to avoid being crucified? (See, for instance, Matthew 26:39).
Because, according to medical testimony, crucifixion is very very painful. Along with the physical pain, He had to take on the weight of all our sins - and the sadness of being rejected by the Jews, the people He came specifically to save.
Jesus had to endure all the temptations we endure. So, He had to be tempted to take a short cut. But, He did not fall to the temptation. He walked to the hill, and allowed rough iron spikes to be driven through His hands. He allowed thorns pounded into his head. He allowed whips to tear His back to a bloody mess.
He completed His mission.
Matthew 1:23 says that Jesus would be called Immanuel, which means "God with us." Why does no one (not even his parents) call him Immanuel at any point in the New Testament?
[Luke 1:30] And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
[Luke 1:31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Because the angel told Mary to name Him Jesus.
In the Genesis story, your god tells Adam and Eve that the day they eat from the tree of knowledge they will surely die (Gen. 2:17). The devil tells them that they will not die, but that their eyes would be opened and they would know the difference between good and evil (Gen. 3:5). Wasn't Satan telling the truth here? Is your god a liar? Jeremiah 20:7 and Ezekiel 14:9.
Obviously, Adam and Eve died. The devil lied there.
What the devil did was to mix a little bit of truth with a great big lie, in order to make the lie sound truthful. That is what advertisers do all the time. "If you buy our thing, all your troubles will fly away!"
And that a person did not understand something, does not make God false. It just means the man did not understand.
Ezekiel 14:9 deals with the consequences of worshipping idols. God deals
with that sin most severely.
Here is a verse that will keep kids confused for years: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22)
Much of the problems you seem to have with scripture and God is taking things out of context. As I said before, you can make scripture say anything, if you take it out of context.
This is the KEY verse to understanding which kinds of prayer will be answered:
[Mat 7:11] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give GOOD THINGS to those who ask him!
The thing you ask for must be good. God will not give you things that are harmful or against His will.
If you are proud or arrogant, God will not even hear your prayer:
[Luke 18:13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!
[Luke 18:14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
[Job 35:12] There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride
of evil men.
[Job 35:13] Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.
All Glory and Honor are yours Almighty One, forever and ever, Amen!