Man complains God is too nice to dead babies

“But… but… that’s not fair! God is giving dead babies an unfair advantage over me!”

I can only imagine the eye-rolling going on in Heaven when God hears some of the absurd things that come from mens’ hearts in their ignorance.

I’ve noticed a strange trend – skeptics arguing not that God doesn’t exist, but that God is mean and unfair, one who doles out punishments and blessings on a whim. Interesting how a God who supposedly doesn’t exist is just a monster, supposedly, for letting too many dead babies into Heaven while we’re having to rep Jesus in enemy territory here on Earth. God is apparently the God of raw deals now.

This attitude is nothing new, and in fact, Jesus was dealing with people’s jealous foolery when He walked the earth. So let’s get in to today’s post:

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 2.00.02 PM

“Question for Christians: why do babies that die at birth get to enjoy heaven for eternity without having to do anything while the rest of us have to prove our worthiness for almost 100 years? It doesn’t sound to me like God treats everyone equally.”

  1. Nobody is worthy of being in God’s presence. Ever.

“10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12

2. You don’t earn your salvation.

“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

But now onto the heart of your question, which is summed up as such:

“Why do dead babies get to kick back with God while I’m busting my back in the daily grind of life?”

You reason that these dead babies have a God-given unfair advantage over you. Morbid, but the Bible actually addressed this line of human reasoning.

You see, some believed that it was unfair that while they may have had to live that Christian life and deal with all the drama of not being apart of the pagan or secular or Jewish crowd, it was straight NONSENSE that other people could convert and be saved up unto the point of their last breath. Basically, these Christians thought, “How dare those lazy tricks get to go to Heaven too! Can’t God see how much more I’ve toiled for Him? They’re not worthy of God like I am.”

Per usual, rather than being after God’s own heart, man points to his works to justify himself before God, rather than pointing to the work of the cross.

God’s heart:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

Man’s heart:

“21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matthew 7:21-23

So anyway, back to Jesus. Jesus addressed these people, these so-called Christians, who were beside themselves with jealous rage that… other people were getting to spend eternity with God. Yeah. Let that sink in – Christians are mad that other people aren’t going to be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Jesus’ response:

Jesus’ face when Christians are mad that other Christians get to go to Heaven.

Jesus responded to this attitude with a parable. We’ll jump into the middle of this parable for time’s sake:

“6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matthew 20:6-16

We serve a generous God. God absolutely treats you equal in that if you had died a baby, you too would have immediately gone to Heaven. Your accusation against God is akin to this:

Let’s say you were gifted a pair of shoes and another person also receives the exact same style, brand and size shoes that you were given. You wear your shoes and they become worn from years of daily use.

Now the other person returns the shoes to exchange them for a different, better pair within the store’s window of time for returns and exchanges, with the gift receipt.

Years later, when it comes time for new shoes, you can’t return or exchange your worn out shoes. The return and exchange period ended years ago for your shoes. You accuse the store of giving the other customer unfair, preferential treatment because they were able to exchange their shoes and you can’t.

Now that your return and exchange period has passed and you’re at the point where it would cost you to receive new, better shoes, you are angry. Nevermind that if you had exchanged your shoes during that window of time, you would have also received the better pair.

Those shoes are our bodies and the better pair are our glorified bodies. Both are a gift to you. If you haven’t reached the age of accountability at the time of your death, you are within the return and exchange period, so to speak. God applies this equally – it’s not as if babies born of only Christian parents go to heaven – all babies go to Heaven.

God has given you the gift of life and you have received what was promised to you. Don’t falsely accuse God of favortism for His goodness and generosity towards… dead babies.

Originally posted to Quora on April 9, 2018

Advertisements

The Rapture Won’t Happen Today – False End Time Predictions

Today is my 30th birthday. As I sit starring out at the clouds that seem to float faster than usual, I can’t help but remember that while I sit here relaxing, Christians around the world are worried that Jesus is coming back in two short days, on September 23.

For at least the past 5 years, pastors and people in the prophecy community have been counting down to this date. First it was the tetrad blood moons in 2015 which would definitely be the hallmark of Jesus’ return, despite the fact that these tetrads aren’t rare.

As those dates came and went, other heavenly “signs” were supposed proof that Jesus’ return is imminent. Now with the August eclipse, the multitude of hurricanes (during hurricane season) and North Korea, an enemy the US has been engaged with for more than 50 years, these are supposed to be the obvious hallmarks of Jesus’ return.

It frustrates me because the Bible is clear:

You’ll begin to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See to it that you don’t panic. These things must take place, but the end won’t have come yet, because nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are only a beginning of agonies.” – Matthew 24:6-8 ISV

While of course some claim that this was only speaking of the destruction of the 2nd Jewish Temple in 70AD, we see that the Roman campaign wasn’t known for “famines and earthquakes in various places.” Likewise, the 2nd coming of Jesus won’t simply come because of war and natural disasters.

It seems as if the pre-tribulation crowd, the most common theology in Western Christianity, has simply forgotten the other things that must happen before Jesus’ return.

“Then they’ll hand you over to suffer and will kill you, and you’ll be hated by all the nations on account of my name. 10 Then many people will fall away, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, 12 and because lawlessness will increase, the love of many people will grow cold. 13 But the person who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the inhabited world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.– Matthew 24:9-14 ISV

While outside of the Western world, Christians face severe persecution, in Israel, Europe, most of North and South America, Australia, Russia, South Korea, the Philippines and South Africa, Christians are able to practice their religion as one of the majority faiths in their countries. We haven’t reached the point where Christians are hated by ALL nations. Christian families aren’t betraying each other as members of their family fall away from the faith. Likewise, there are major areas of the world where the Gospel hasn’t been proclaimed, such as the countries strangled by Islam and/or communism.

15 So when you see the destructive desecration, mentioned by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader take note), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Anyone who’s on the housetop must not come down to get what is in his house,18 and anyone who’s in the field must not turn back to get his coat.

19 How terrible it will be for women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days! 20 Pray that it may not be in winter or on a Sabbath when you flee, 21 because at that time there will be great suffering, the kind that hasn’t happened from the beginning of the world until now and certainly won’t ever happen again. 22 If those days hadn’t been shortened, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.

Has the 3rd Jewish Temple been rebuilt where there’s a possibility that a desecration in the Holy Place could even take place? Have those in Judea fled? Have Sabbath laws become the law of the land, so the city gates will trap believers inside the city of Jerusalem, when it’s time to flee? NO!

Too many churches erroneously teach that Christians won’t face hard times and Jesus will rapture us before things on earth get tough. The Bible teaches us otherwise. Throughout the Bible, both men and women of God faced trials, tribulation, uncertainty, yet God still had His hand over them. So while they had to go through hard times, they were never alone. Likewise, when we face trials and tribulations as Jesus’ return comes nearer, we can be confident that while God won’t remove these trials, He will be with us always. We will never face these persecutions alone. God will remember us as He cuts those trying days short.

Churches are doing a great disservice by teaching the erroneous doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture and devoting countless hours to working out the days or the times of Christ’s return. When people aren’t raptured and rather face persecution, the Church will experience the “great falling away” and the Church will have no one to blame but themselves.

It’s easy to hold people’s attention when you play into their fears – and their hopes – that Jesus will return on X date. It’s difficult to hold people’s attention when you tell them about the trials they’ll face and how they will need to hold fast to their faith. It’s hard to teach others about who Jesus is and how to defend their faith when most people want simple, inoffensive, non-committal answers. People want to feel safe without having to do anything, which… well, that’s not how God works. We’ll have to give up everything to follow Jesus – and that’s not always simple, inoffensive and it definitely requires commitment.

While the world may seem like a scary place, and the teachings of those who try to predict, to the day, of Jesus’ return may feel comforting, it’s important to remember that we can be strong in our weaknesses because Jesus is with us. We don’t need to be afraid. We don’t need to put our trust in bad theology. God has given us the tools to bravely stand up for our faith, even unto death. We can face this coming storm boldly, because we know that Jesus is with us until the end.

Until the Temple is rebuilt, ignore these fruitless arguments concerning Jesus’ return. Instead, rest in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and the knowledge that He is with you until the end.

 

If I’m “saved by Grace,” why shouldn’t I live a sinful life?

One of the larger misconceptions about Christianity is, “why would I stop sinning if Jesus has already died for my sins?” Christians unfortunately have a poor track-record explaining the concept of “salvation apart from works” vs. “heavenly rewards based on our works.”

While of course Christians don’t want to grieve God by sinning, (Ephesians 4:30) many are unaware that Christians will face judgement before God. This judgement doesn’t concern the ultimate salvation that they have in Jesus’ Christ finished work on the Cross, but it is one where they will give an accounting for the works that they did here on earth before God, and will be rewarded, or have their rewards taken away.

(The following was originally posted on July 14, 2017 on Quora.)

People make this a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

To even be considered a “Christian,” a Christian must “bear good fruit” or produce the works that show that one has truly put their faith in Jesus Christ, rather than give Him lip service only. (Matthew 7:15-20)

While Christians are “saved” by putting their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and as such, accept God’s grace, Christians will also face judgement. Now this judgement is not one concerning salvation, but one where our deeds will be judged. (2 Corinthians 5:9–10) We will be rewarded or our rewards removed, based on our works. We aren’t saved by our works, but we are held accountable and rewarded based on our works at this judgement:

“1 Brothers, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as mere infants in the Messiah. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you weren’t ready for it. And you’re still not ready! 3 That’s because you are still worldly. As long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, you are worldly and living by human standards, aren’t you? 4 For when one person says, “I follow Paul,” and another person says, “I follow Apollos,” you’re following your own human nature, aren’t you?

5 Who is Apollos, anyhow? Or who is Paul? They’re merely servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord gave to each of us his task. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept everything growing. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is significant, but God, who keeps everything growing, is the one who matters. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same goal, and each will receive a reward for his own action. 9 For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s farmland and God’s building.

10 As an expert builder using the grace that God gave me, I laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it. 11 After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that is Jesus the Messiah. 12 Whether a person builds on this foundation with gold, silver, expensive stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 the workmanship of each person will become evident, for the day of judgment will show what it is, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s action. 14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:1–15

Photo: Christal Yuen

Christians get this commandment wrong all of the time. Do you?

Christians the world over have been threatening their children and grandchildren with punishment if they so much as think about saying “Oh my God!” These Christians couldn’t be more misguided.

“You are not to use my name to deceive, thereby defiling the name of your God. I am the Lord.”  -Leviticus 19:12 ISV

Taking the Lord’s name in vain isn’t about using God’s name as a swear word or saying “OMG.” You take the Lord’s name, using His name, in vain, (Leviticus 19:12) when you claim to be His child, grafted into the vine, (Romans 11:11-22) a believer of Christ, but your fruit, (Matthew 7:15-20) your works show that you don’t belong to him.

I take my husband’s name because we are one family. I take God’s name because I am His adopted child. (Ephesians 1:5) If I am not married to my husband, I don’t get to take his name. Likewise, if I’m not God’s child, I don’t get to take His name by calling myself a Christian.

Legally, I could change my last name to pretend that I had a relationship with anyone (for example, if I changed my last name to “Kardashian,”) but I’d be taking that name in vain. I have no relationship with the Kardashians, so I’d be taking the name in vain – clearly using it on false pretenses to increase my standing among other people.

The Pharisees constantly bragged about being Abraham’s seed and the “chosen people” and children of God. (Galatians 3:29) Jesus Himself accused them of taking God’s name in vain as He said they were of their father, the Devil. (John 8)

“You are doing your father’s actions.” They told him, “We’re not illegitimate children. We have one Father, God himself.”

“Jesus told them, ‘If God were your Father, you would’ve loved me, because I came from God and am here. I haven’t come on my own accord, but he sent me. Why don’t you understand what I’ve said? It’s because you can’t listen to my words. You belong to your father the Devil, and you want to carry out the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and has never stood for truth, since there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies…'”  -John 8:41-44 ISV

It is important to note that taking God’s name in vain is a sin, like all sins, that begins in the heart. When a person takes God’s name in vain, he first rejects God in his heart, but verbalizes his approval of and connection with God to bring himself glory.

“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and it is those things that make a person unclean. It is out of the heart that evil thoughts come, as well as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, false testimony, and slander.” -Matthew 15:18-19 ISV

If you want to honor God and make sure that you’re not taking His name in vain, make sure that your actions, your fruit, your works, testify to the fact that you are God’s child. Don’t honor God with your lips only – make sure your actions show who you really are.

“Then the Lord said: “Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, worship of me has become merely like rules taught by human beings.”  – Isaiah 29:13 ISV (referenced in Matthew 15:8)

TL;DR – “Faking my name for personal gain, is taking a name in vain. ”

Leviticus 19-12

Photo: Kristina Flourhttps://youtu.be/-7i1QCoIw2Y

If you’re obsessed with modesty, you’re the type of person Paul warned about.

Have you noticed that the Church seems preoccupied with policing the clothing of women – from the smallest of baby girls to the oldest of women – the Church is obsessed with something they call “modesty.” Maybe you’ve seen it at your church – women in denim skirts that touch the floor, or women in spaghetti-strap maxi dresses with a white t-shirt underneath at a funeral – I know I have.

If it’s what’s on the inside that counts, why is it that the Church puts so much emphasis on how people look outside of church services?

The only thing that matters is, “what does the Bible ACTUALLY say?” Let’s use the actual Bible, in the original Greek, rather than an English translation. 1 Corinthians 12:23. The word used is the Greek word “εὐσχημοσύνην” (euschémosuné – Strong’s Concordance #2157) which means, “decorum, becomingness.” Therefore, are you dressed correctly for the occasion? It has nothing to do with being “too tight” or “too revealing.”

Is it proper decorum to wear a bathing suit to a church service? No. Is it proper decorum to wear a bathing suit to swim at a church pool party? Yes. Is it proper to wear a dress suit to church? Yes. Is it proper decorum to wear a dress suit while swimming at a church pool party? No. The Bible is saying that Christian women should know the difference!

Decorum is all about acting appropriately for the position that you hold and the event that you are at. Christians aren’t supposed to stand out for all the wrong reasons – like being inappropriately dressed for the occasion. Christians draw negative attention to themselves by not having proper decorum. We see this at the Wedding Banquet parable in Matthew 22:1-14. A guest is kicked out for not wearing the proper wedding clothes. It’s not that they were immodest or revealing, NO! It’s that they were  dressed inappropriately for the wedding (like wearing a sports jersey or jeans to a wedding would be, while modest, inappropriate.)

In 1 Timothy 2:9, the word “αἰδοῦς” (Aidos – Strong’s Concordance #127) is translated as “modesty” but in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, it can also mean “reverence.” This is the only verse in the Bible that this word even appears. It’s important to note that there is a play on words here, if you’re not familiar with Koine Greek. The word derived from “κοσμέω” (Cosmos – Strong’s Concordance #2889) means both “adorn” and “world” and is translated as such throughout the Bible. So women aren’t to adorn / make their world be about hairstyles and jewelry. When you understand the actual passage, you see it’s about not being materialistic, and being concerned with being a good person on the inside.

Women today, especially Christian women, make clothing and hairstyles their world. How many “modest” bloggers spend all of their time making outfits of the day, blogging about modest fashion, policing others’ clothing and acting “holier-than-thou” because they’re soooo “modest?” Even if you dress like a frump, if you’re like many “modest” bloggers, you’re being the kind of woman 1 Timothy talks about NOT being.

Nakedness was our original condition before sin. We only covered up because of sin. We only feel shame because of sin. The high priests and Aaron only covered their thighs and up to their neck, because they were in sin – they had no covering before God, because Jesus hadn’t come yet. We have Jesus. Our sin is atoned for. We have no shame because we are right with God. When we are under the covering of Jesus, it’s as if we’re back in the garden, before sin. Nakedness is not a sin. Being naked or showing skin isn’t automatically improper – it depends on the occasion. Likewise, showing skin doesn’t mean you’re trying to lure others into sexual sin. Christians need common sense!

Photo: Viliman Viliman