doesn't mean I'll be free from sickness and disease...
If it doesn't mean I'll be free from the trials of this life...
If it doesn't mean I'll have riches or be surrounded by friends...
If it doesn't mean that I wont suffer pain or loss...
What is the point? Why should I give my life to Christ if it doesn't guarantee happiness?
Wasting your life following Christ is what is causing you from not spending your time pursuing the things you want out of life, if those are the things you want.
As you've probably read many times here, non-believers spend much of their time learning about the world around us instead of following a deity, hence we have learned a great deal. But, that is something that many of us want out of life, to understand things.
Of course, no one is saying you must give up your faith, but instead, spend a lot less time pursuing it and thinking about it and more time on the things you want out of life.
So you believe it is ok to pursue Christ, just don't go "overboard"... Be well rounded.
But you didn't really answer my question.
Yes, don't go overboard.
I would have suspected you should know the answer by now.
Giving your life to a fantasy/myth/superstition will not guarantee happiness unless one is completely loony. If you find yourself not finding happiness, then you aren't loony and are attempting to find sanity.
If I am looking for a reason to follow Christ, I am thinking maybe an unbeliever isn't the person to go to to answer this question. I wonder if there is a Christian who might give me a solid reason to follow Christ. (Not that I didn't appreciate your attempt.)
You will unlikely get an honest answer from a Christian, especially about this.
But, let's see if they can prove me wrong.
Perhaps then, you are not looking for an answer, but instead, are looking for affirmations? In other words, you have no intention of not going overboard?
I am wondering if every time you make a suggestion, like to "not go overboard", if you feel I will follow that suggestion? Did you feel when you made that suggestion that I was under any obligation?
I actually find your responses interesting, but what I am looking for is a reason(s) to follow Christ if there is no promise of a more comfortable life. Because you do not follow Christ, I would imagine your advice might be limited.
It is the advice of someone who doesn't follow any deities. Obviously, it is not limited.
A follower of one deity who knows very little about the world around them other than what is written in the Bible is the epitome of someone who is limited, and those are the responses you will get from other Christians.
Well, I am glad to know you are so well rounded. So from your biblical knowledge, what would you say is a good reason then to follow Christ?
Following a single deity only leads to ignorance. Hence, we read about all kinds of things that have been written by men throughout the ages and glean the wisdom from them so as to make ourselves better people. Coupled with that, we learn about how the world works so as to gain an understanding of us.
For example, when we learn about evolution, we can understand why we are the way we are and why all other living organisms are the way they are. We know that the Bible, along with a host of other holy books are complete wrong in this regard.
Let's also not forget that Jesus doesn't actually save anyone from the things he claims to, within the parameters of his own religion.
Hell - According to Christianity God sets up a set of moral laws in the Old Testament that human beings CANNOT follow perfectly so Jesus is sent in to provide a loophole by which they can be saved. However according to Revelation MOST human beings end up in Hell anyway, and of course this includes many Christians who fall back into sin.
Death - Of course Christians still die so Jesus never saves anyone from death
Sin - Of course Christians can still sin
Temptation - Of course Christians are still subject to temptation
Really the whole thing is an obvious scam. It creates a problem (sure would be a shame if something happened to this lovely immortal soul of yours) and then offers the solution (but my friend Jesus here can take care of it, for a price). The price, if the Bible is to be believed, is your SERVITUDE to Jesus, but don't worry folks his burden is easy and his yoke is light.
This God creates Hell, a pit of eternal torment. This God has moral standards that no human can live up to, even the "perfect" ones (Adam and Eve). This God does not understand that the Free Will he gives humans necessarily means they will disobey him by acting independently. He then damns his new creation for not being able to do the impossible. So now everyone is going to Hell because two people did what they inevitably were going to do anyway and disobeyed the being that gave them the ability to disobey and naively assumed they never would.
So for a solution he sends a copy of himself in human form to die in a grotesque human sacrifice in order to set up a scapegoat whereby his own version of "justice" (which remember involved damning EVERYONE for ETERNITY) can be avoided by the select few dumb enough to believe an ancient story about a guy with magic powers.
So in answer to the OP's question, "Why should I give my life to Christ if it doesn't guarantee happiness?" can we put you down as not having an answer? Your opinion is she shouldn't, so you have no answer as to why she should?
My opinion is that one cannot give their life to Christ at all, its a nonsensical phrase unless you enjoy servitude to a fictional unjust God.
I hope one day you will know the real God so many of us know and not the false god you have accepted stories about.
Following Christ means putting aside all desires except the desire to follow Christ.
And in the putting aside of these desires for the Christ, in the Christ ALL desires are fulfilled.
So quite frankly your question as posed, is incapable of receiving a meaningful answer that is purposeful.
It is so because it represents a mixed up version of Christ, which ultimately can only to be determined as false.
That's because the question posed was never meant to be answered, but instead, a prelude to circumnavigate the rules here in order to evangelize.
I was not aware of such a rule. Would you mind posting that for me to read?
Forums are about discussion, not evangelizing. This thread is not about discussion, it is entirely about you evangelizing your god.
So were roles reversed right now, I'm quite sure you would say I was dishonest.
You said the rules here proclaimed no evangelizing. I was not aware of such a rule.
If there is one, I would like to know about it... if there is not, then you made that up to suit your needs. I would say that is highly dishonest. Is that a rule or is it your opinion?
Evangelism, which is what you're doing, is the preaching of the gospel in order to convert. This is not discussion. Do you understand?
We follow Christ because He is the one, absolute Truth. He is God incarnate. We love Him and praise Him because He is worthy of all honor and glory. Why? Because He is the author and sustainer of life and all things. As one song that I love states, "He gives us breath to breathe and the chest to breathe it, so you can taste and see He's the best, believe it."
The greatest thing He offers is eternal life, salvation, which is far from what we deserve. Even if we suffer in this life, it doesn't compare to what is expected in the next life after death (on both sides of the fence); the faithful to Christ will go on to eternal life as His children in His Kingdom, but those who have gone through this life without giving their lives to Him will go on to eternal punishment. I realize this doesn't sound right or just, but I recently wrote a hub on this very issue and I gave a good defense for it. I urge you to check it out and think over what I wrote. I hope this helps and I sincerely hope you read my hub.
I appreciate the nuance of your phraseology. First, let's consider what you didn't say.
You didn't say "dedicate your life to" or “follow”, neither of which require personal interaction or a relationship. Anyone can dedicate their life to, or follow any cause, idea or pursuit, for any reason. You can follow a news story, an ideology or a sports team and it is in this same manner that many “follow” Jesus. One need only select from the menu the world has constructed bearing an impressive spectrum of concepts regarding who Jesus was or is, and then follow the one that most pleases them. Undaunted in the event nothing on the main menu strikes their fancy, they can instead order a-la-carte to construct the Jesus that suits them. All that is left is to “follow” him, and most that do will of course then call themselves Christians, while the rest of the world looks on in confusion at the contradictory perspectives now abiding beneath that umbrella.
Frequently predicated on expectations of temporal rewards, be it health, wealth or fame, many are soon disappointed or disillusioned when the expected prize is not realized. Either they bitterly distance themselves from “Christianity”, freshly inoculated from the true gospel since they believe they have “been there, done that”, or they revisit the menu in search of a new meal. One can’t always find a way to soothe their itching ears on the first try.
What you did say was “give.” Two components are required for something to qualify as a gift. First, a true gift is given without expectation of reciprocation; otherwise it is a barter or payment. I have frequently heard people give “testimonies” in which they purport to have struck a “deal” with God. They’ll do “this” and expect God to then do “that”. Not surprisingly, like a marriage entered with a “what’s in it for me” orientation, it is only a matter of time before it fails and results in yet another “used to be” Christian.
Second, a gift must be received for the transaction to be complete so there must be someone to do the receiving. Such a precious gift would not be given lightly, so indeed, why would you give your life to Christ? On their own accord, nobody would or could truly do so. If someone's relationship with God began with their giving, they may want to re-evaluate, as this brings us back to the barter scenario above.
A relationship with God begins with His gift to you, but as mentioned, the transaction is not complete until the gift is accepted. Only when we understand we have a Creator we are accountable to, but that we have fallen short of His standard and are in need of reconciliation, will we be open to accepting that gift. Jesus paid the debt of everyone, but doesn’t force anyone to accept that gift. Not doing so leaves one accountable for a debt they cannot pay, but does so by their choice.
Genuinely accepting the gift of eternal salvation is accompanied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which makes possible the spiritual discernment and understanding necessary to even begin to comprehend our purpose, origin or destiny. It is at this point that a person could sincerely and without reservation “give their life” to Christ. Why do it? It is the obvious progression in a relationship where you are delighted to, by choice, be under the Lordship of Jesus.
"the obvious progression"... yes. Like an engagement between two young loves. An agreement to meet. A promise, "Someday I will be with you. I will wait for you." It is such a romance. He calls us to be faithful. It can be so difficult when the enemy's desire is to rip apart. But God says what He has put together, no man will pull asunder. Indeed, it's such a romance.
You might not be familiar with Christ being compared to a groom and his ppl being compared to his bride. This is common knowledge in a biblical community. There is a book called The Sacred Romance, which I have heard amazing things about, but have not yet read. http://www.amazon.com/The-Sacred-Romanc … 0785273425
I just ordered it from Amazon... thanks for the reminder.
I don't want to read about the sacred romance. Thanks. I thought you guys were labeled the body of Christ. That one I can deal with. It's kind of like that country song where the guy says something about dancing for Jesus. The thought of that is really, really creepy. I expect a meeting of the minds, not gyrations in an attempt to endear myself to someone.
Im a little confused. I didn't expect you were going to read that book, you simply didn't seem to understand the comparison of a love between a God and His ppl and a sacred romance. I was just explaining.
Oh. Sorry. I thought you were suggesting I read it and I was attempting to divert the thought away from something that makes my stomach queasy.
I'm curious. Looking at Christ in a romantic manner; doesn't that negate the glory of a Creator?
It's not a romantic notion like that between a man and a woman... it's not a sexual love... ew, ew, ew.
It's the story of the Kinsman Redeemer. One of my favorite stories in the bible. It's the story of Ruth.
It is the story of a hero and a weaker vessel. It's the story of mercy and love and kindness. It's beautiful.
Oh. Well, you used the word romance in the original comment so I was steadily gouging out my mind's eye up until this point.
I suppose the story of Ruth is an interesting analogy. Although, I simply thought of the story as an attempt to show the Jews that everyone is acceptable in God's eyes. She was a foreigner, correct? But, through her fealty to Naomi she was deemed righteous and became an ancestor of Christ. I didn't think about it past that point, other than to think Naomi was a little devious in the way she manipulated events to get Boaz to notice Ruth. I don't know a lot about ancient customs, but telling her to sneak in and lay at his feet made me think his honor was somehow compromised and he felt forced, on some level, to marry Ruth. Not a lesson I'd like a daughter to learn.
No, she wasn't being devious. She lay at his feet, at night, while he slept. In my mind it was always a bit suggestive... it probably set his mind to wandering, there's a lot of commentary on it, but who cares. It was her story, not mine. I can't judge. It is kind of reminiscent to me of David when he sneaks into Saul's cave at night and leaves Saul's spear sticking out of the ground by Saul's head and then leaves... to show Saul he could have killed him. In that way, Ruth could have killed Boaz, she could have stolen from him while he slept. She uncovered his feet and he didn't even wake. Instead, she lays submissively at his feet as if to say, "I offer myself to you."
To me, the story of the Kinsman Redeemer was always representative of our relationship with Christ. We were without a future or any real direction in a foreign land. We were in need of protection, food, shelter, love. So we hear of this powerful man. We learn he's kind and that there may be a place for us in his family. So we submissively lay ourselves at his feet. In return for our sincere need, he blesses us by purchasing us. No one else can claim us, no one can abuse us or make us their slave. We are his to be nurtured, protected and cared for. Our futures are provided for. There is no need to worry ever again. He is the great rescuer.
Not sure on part A = following Christ. Part B about happiness there is a great book sharing about it published worldwide in 30 countries and 22 languages. It is called The Happiness Trap. It has of least given myself a totally new perspective on 'happiness' and what it means especially with today's world. It stems from 'Mindfulness' and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Sometimes one part leads to another part and a lighted path is shown. I dun'no always, yet I find resolve with Part A more today with Part B explained in a different light than how we are socialized to think. Then one may ponder the grand scheme of things with the varied background providing for Part A.
I can think of only one reason to follow Christ.
Because He died for me.
He cleanses from sin, and offers peace with God.
That is his gift to me. I don't earn it. I didn't ask for it.
He cleansed my sin through His death, he paid my fine.
So I will live for Him.
Close, but not quite there yet.
Because someone told you He died for you.
Because someone told you He cleanses from sin, as defined by that somebody, and told you He offers peace with God.
Because somebody told you that is His gift, as they ask for donations.
Because somebody told you you are now sinless and told you it was because He paid the price of that state.
So you will live for Him, because somebody told you all these things without ever offering any proof or evidence they are true.
Not really, Jesus had no choice in the matter, He was convicted of crimes of the Roman State and crucified as a sentence, just like many, many other criminals of the time.
Following Christ allows you to undergo experiences in life you would have gone through, anyway, but the difference is that you now have Jesus at your side to give you hope and to pray for divine intercession. The smallest things can be achieved through faith and prayer.You have hope that things can get better because prayers move the hands of God.
Also, sometimes our thoughts are filled with all sorts of negative thoughts, but if we fill our thoughts with Jesus and keep our eyes on Jesus we get a perspective of life about what really matters and what the true riches of life are.
The Bible also says that if we receive Jesus in our lives, we go to heaven. In general, I find that nothing we experience in life, good or bad, ever goes to waste but always serves a purpose. Rom. 8:28 says that all things work for the good of those who love God and fit in his plans. And while this life isn't perfect, there is the assurance that our future will be.
So in addition to a friend who sticks closer than a brother, we have the assurance of eternal life...
This is the answer I was looking for. Thank you GOL. You are grand, as always!
Follow because it makes you feel right. If anything in life doesn't make you feel right when you do it, then it isn't worth doing!
I've got to agree with kess here. So many Christians claim to follow Christ, yet when we look solely to the example of Christ the claim becomes confusing and your question becomes impossible to answer. I don't notice anything in the story of Christ which shows him free of any of those trials. He simply found a way to assign meaning and value.
Those who seek personal gain, riches and glory may have missed the point.
Which was my point. Following Christ does not promise any of those things. If you look at the disciples, they did not gain financially, nor were they free from suffering. Some were tortured for their faith. We do not follow Christ with the hopes of an easier life, we follow Him because we are devoted, because He is worthy of our allegiance. What we are promised though, is what was stated, a friend who sticks closer than a brother, a savior. All men are promised eternity, Jesus promises life to those who follow him.
Still, that is hope for personal gain. What did Christ gain, personally, by his actions? Was he motivated by desire for personal gain? To me, the story is about giving. Till it hurts. Literally. To follow because of hope for gain is not walking in his his footsteps. It's hanging on the coat tails. In my opinion, of course.
I have no idea what you are driving at with that question.
Im not really driving at anything. I just wondered if you had witnessed your mom's faith at this level. I know at times in my life, I knew that I would follow Christ even if there were no promise of Heaven. That nothing on earth tempted me, just knowing God was my greatest reward. He is truly so beautiful that falling in love with Him is easy. It's only when the things of this earth come in and choke out our clear vision, that we begin to falter. Hearing you speak reminded me of the verse in Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him..." and I wondered if maybe you had seen your mother live that kind of walk.
Ah yes, the motive of this thread is revealed, another opportunity to evangelize. Quite dishonest.
You were unaware of my affiliation with God? You did not know I was a Christian? I am sorry you were not able to understand, but my motives have never been hidden. God help me, any thread I start, having to do with religion, will always find me on the side of "fervent follower" if that helps you in the future.
Yes, I am quite aware, but I thought when I read the OP that you were actually being honest and wanting to hear answers. You proved me quite wrong about that.
Yes, I understand that now and will not make the same mistake of taking you seriously or honestly again.
Thanks for that confirmation of this thread being created in dishonesty.
If you would like to avoid any threads I start, as I do most all of the ones you start, that might help you avoid anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Like dishonesty and evangelizing?
Had the thread, from the get go, been about evangelizing, I would take no interest, but since the OP appeared to ask an honest question, I offered an answer. But, now that we know the thread was created under false pretenses, it's too late for that.
"Forums are primarily focused on discussion between many different people.
I'm pretty sure you have reached way too far on this one. Nice try. If you are all through on this thread, do you think you could take your leave now?
Evangelize: to try to convert (a group or area) to a different religion (especially Christianity).
Discussion: : the act of talking about something with another person or a group of people : a conversation about something.
So, you consider these definitions synonymous? They are identical as far as you're concerned?
I have discussed my love of Jesus with you. Are you moved to convert? Yes? Lovely. No? I had not expected you to. You must realize that there are Believers on this forum, that, as members of this forum, would like to talk to others about the things that interest them most. I do not sew much to speak of. I cook, but I seldom have need to discuss it. I'm not into cats... but I really love Jesus. I am coming from a dark place that I lived in for a number of years. I draw strength from good discussion as someone who is trying to stay off of drugs or improve their health would, from a few supporters. It is harder to have positive discussions when you attempt to sabotage every thread I start, but I have learned that is part of the whole experience on the HP's forum and not much can be done about it. So again, if you are not interested in this subject, other than to attack it... maybe there is a thread you would enjoy more?
No, you preach the gospel, you evangelize your faith.
Evangelizing to other believers makes no sense, they are already Christians. Or, are you trying to convert Muslims to Christianity?
So, you have personal problems, what does that have to do with preaching the gospel here?
But, you have confirmed already this thread is not about discussion, it is about evangelizing, and I did nothing to sabotage it, but instead, offered an answer and you know that for a fact.
Is ED stalking you?
What really bothers me is that like-minded people are not allowed to discuss things without others chiming in simply because it is their right to do so. it doesn't matter if they are being rude, calling names, attacking or whatever, it is their right to do it and they are going to do it no matter what.
Now to answer your OP. We follow Christ because he is the Way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way nor is there any other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. Jesus Himself said, "Many shall come in my name and will deceive many. " He also spoke of the anti-christ spirit which is already in the world. We see it on a daily basis.
Without holiness, no one shall see God. Jesus is the holiness we put on.
I don't know whether to take it as a compliment or just stop posting.
He is indeed, The Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but by the son.
No one is stalking anyone, SirDent.
In other words, you want your rights but don't want to others to have the same rights.
And, what names and what attacks have people made on you, SirDent?
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