“So Maybe It’s Neither 100%?” Part 1

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So what do you think about salvation being neither all up to you nor all up to God?

Arminianism teaches that God certainly desires that all be saved and has provided redemption for all, but He cannot overcome the “free will” of a person. So God is WILLING BUT UNABLE to save everyone. So you have to do something…or else, too bad?

Calvinism teaches that God is able to save anyone that He desires, but He has chosen to provide redemption to only some. So God is ABLE BUT UNWILLING to save everyone. So God has to do something…or else, too bad?

Is it possible that God is BOTH WILLING AND ABLE to save everyone? That we set our hope on HIM, not theology?

For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10 (NRSV)

He is the savior of ALL people, ESPECIALLY of those who believe. This, I believe, is Real Life Jesus.

“People We Do Like”

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Laura’s Essential Life List for this week is titled “People We Do Like, Do Want In Our Church, And Do Want To Spend Eternity With.”

What a brilliant and extremely Essential Life List to have! Why not start yours today?!?

So what do you think? Why not start your very own list of people you do like, do want to have in church, and do want to spend eternity with?

Well, for one thing, it doesn’t sound very much like something Jesus Himself would do, does it? Not very welcoming, is it?

It can be a bit of a shocker to realize that some of the very same people that we may want to exclude by outward appearances have every right to be included because of their inward appearance: washed in the blood of The Lamb.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Revelation 5:12

These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14

My words of advice to any reader who feels like a “Church Outsider” are: Remember who you really are, press in to what is already yours, and hold fast to what has already been purchased for you by the Blood of the Lamb. Don’t give up. I just have to believe that there is a welcoming church for you.

“The Priceless Value Of Being Agreeable…No Matter What!”

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So what do you think? Do you feel that God is disappointed in you no matter what you do or don’t do?

Do you feel helpless to do anything about it? Are you hoping that by being nice and agreeable that God will maybe not be so disappointed in you?

Here is the good news. God is not disappointed in you. He knows what you are made of and all your limitations.

For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:14 (NRSV)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:25 (NRSV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NRSV)

God has made a way for us to overcome our limitations. His way is through Jesus.

To find out a more about “Flamethrower Mommy and Ghost Dad,” select “Current Comic Strips!” from the Menu and then the banner graphic for this particular comic strip…or just use this link “Flamethrower Mommy and Ghost Dad”.

So Who Is It All Up To?

These two recently posted comic strips present two opposite answers to the question “So how does salvation happen?” Both of these are answers that I’ve held at different times in my life, though neither satisfies my heart currently.

The first which is titled “It’s All About Me!” pulls from Arminianism for its view of salvation. The main stumbling point to this view is it focuses on what a person does or does not do. The person is the causative factor, and God provides salvation afterwards as the effect. “It will happen because I have done what is required for it to happen.”

The second which is titles “It’s All About God!” Pulls from the Calvinism for its view of salvation. The main stumbling point to this view is that it focuses on what God does or does not do. God is the causative factor, and the person receives salvation prior to any action on their part. “It will happen because God has said it will happen.”

Soon I will be posting a different view of salvation, one that seems best to me at this time in my life. This is important because our view of salvation can influence other beliefs as well and make a difference in how we live.

You may have noticed that I used the same New Testament verse as a support for both views.

I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11 (NRSV)

This is a verse about relationship, and so when salvation is viewed as being about relationship, it is much easier to step outside of traditional thought and look for new understanding. Maybe it’s not all up to me or all up to God 100%. Maybe it’s both and neither simultaneously from the very beginning.

“It’s Not All Up To God”

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The New Testament tells us that Jesus went about “preaching the gospel” and telling people to “believe the gospel.”

But what was that message? And what does it have to say to hurting children?

This is a companion to yesterday’s post titled “It’s All Up To God!”.

The images used in this graphic page contrast two different worlds, yet whatever the gospel is, it must have a message to both worlds.

Whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a starving child, “Your salvation depends on whether or not God chose you before you were born. It’s all up to God. As much as He would like to save everyone, You must be one of the fortunate elect for Him to save you. If you are, you will be saved!”

Whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a starving child, “God wants to save you, but you did not get chosen. You must suffer not only now but for all eternity.”

Eventually the starving child may begin to think that God is cruel, and that God wants to save him or her, but He won’t.