10 Sep 2018

Your Whole Life Has Prepared You for God’s Purpose

Religious 19 Comments

I was watching the movie Paul the Apostle of Christ with my son. It focuses a lot on the anguish Paul felt for his earlier sins, when he persecuted Christians. I pointed out that God used Saul’s sins in order to motivate his zealousness for Christ. Among other aspects, Paul really meant it when he told people, “Jesus’ blood covers all of your transgressions.” Paul knew that from firsthand experience. So Paul’s epistles can break through to people who otherwise might have thought they were without redemption.

Likewise, if God had asked someone like me to go tell the Ninevites to repent, I’d like to think I’d do it. But it would probably be halfhearted. In contrast, God asked Jonah who fled. Then after spending three days inside a whale–which if you think about it, is just about the most terrifying thing one can imagine, that doesn’t involve physical torture–Jonah repents and is spit onto dry land. After his experience, the prospect of marching into a hostile city and dressing them down is child’s play. Jonah has just been through far worse, and he has directly witnessed God’s sovereignty. Jonah can deliver his warning of God’s wrath with such utter sincerity and confidence that it actually works.

19 Responses to “Your Whole Life Has Prepared You for God’s Purpose”

  1. Major_Freedom says:

    The storm is here.

    FISA declas imminent.

    • Keshav Srinivasan says:

      Major_Freedom, when you say the storm is here, do you mean that it’s here in some esoteric way that only QAnon believers will detect? Or do you mean that sometime soon, it will be front page news that thousands of Americans have been sent to Guantanamo Bay or something?

      And assuming Trump does declassify some of the redacted parts of the Carter Page FISA application, what do you expect to find there?

      • Harold says:

        I assumed he meant Florence

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Keshav, before we make this a one way street, were you going to show how that infinite rebirth/cycle of human lives belief you have could be proven by repeatable experimentation and hypothesis testing, that would conclusively allow anyone to SEE what only believers in your camp can currently detect?

        Now about the concepts of mirror and of projection.

        Are you sure, I mean really sure, that the reason you ask what you ask of me, is because you are trying to externalize something you believe but at some level can’t coherently explain or understand, thus creating at least SOME concern or anxiety, even if at a very visceral level, such that you perceive such issues as more about other people’s problem?

        I don’t want to sound patronizing. I say this not so that you prove everything you say here, but to implore you to give as open a mind to others, as you clearly demand from others when it comes to wgat you “believe”.

        By the way, did you see Trump’s tweet where he said it’s been 17 years since se[t 11, 2001?

        Do you find the emphasis on 17 at least somewhat ‘odd’?

        It’s not odd once you know the 17th letter of the alphabet.

        Sooner or later what appear to be coincidences you will learn are not.

        • Andrea says:

          I’ve spent a good part of my afternoon researching “the storm.” I’m intrigued Major. I remember when you were Captain Freedom. Your recent post made me want to look more closely at things I’ve been seeing.

        • Harold says:

          “Do you find the emphasis on 17 at least somewhat ‘odd’?”

          My first thought wa not really, since it has been 17 years. That was the anniversary so to say anything other than 17 would be a bit odd. But it was a very odd tweet. I then spotted that his tweet about hosting Congressional medal of Honor society contains 17 words!

          Given your recent efforts can we expect Lieutenant Colonel Freedom soon?

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Speaking about Washington, DC, Trump has said on multiple occasions:

            “I’ve been there 17 times, never stayed there at night.”

  2. Matt M says:

    Jonah always struck me as one of the stupider prophets.

    I mean, the guy tried to run away. From God. In a boat.

    • JimS says:

      It’s like hijacking a train.

  3. Bill says:

    Is a literal belief in the Jonah story required to be a Christian or Jew?

  4. Mark says:

    To Bill –

    “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

    *That* is what makes you a Christian. However, it would be a very poor Christian that did not believe the account of Jonah. First, you would be questioning the authority of Scripture. Second, Jesus Himself specifically referenced the account as historical and referred to Johan as a prophet in Matthew (also Luke 11):

    But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah…The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” Matthew 12:39, 41

    And third, Jesus used the Jonah account to prophesy His own burial and resurrection: “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

    It is unlikely a Christian would question the account, but I suppose it’s possible. But again, that would make someone a very poor Christian – just like a Christian that would reject the Genesis account of man’s origin and believe in evolution.

    • Mark says:

      Oops. In the second paragraph I typoed Jonah as Johan, and in the fourth, I neglected to add the reference – Matthew 12:40.

  5. Mark says:

    Bob: Paul really meant it when he told people, “Jesus’ blood covers all of your transgressions.”

    Actually, Bob, Paul never said that. Covering sins was atonement. That is nowhere in the New Testament. Atonement is an OT concept – a temporary covering. In the NT, Jesus *took away* our sins.

    Fortunately, I wrote something about this years ago in an aol message board, and I can just edit it a bit and repost it here.

    Atonement is from the Old Testament, and it was something that priests had to do over and over again because it was temporary covering, and could never take away sins. Hebrews 10:1-4 tells us “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” And in 10:11 we read, “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.”

    Yet with Jesus’ priesthood, we see the contrast between the New and Old Covenants: “It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrew 9:23-28

    Again, in Hebrews 10:12-14 we read, “But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

    John 1:29 “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

    1 John 3:5 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.”

    1John 2:1,2 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

    The point is that everyone’s sins were taken away (not covered) at the cross, and God’s wrath was satisfied; that is the meaning of propitiation. And we are to spread that good news. That is why we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:18,19 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

    The Bible is clear that God’s desire is that all men be reconciled to Him, and it is also clear that Jesus death reconciled all men to God and forgave the sins of everyone (which does not mean salvation – we’ll get to that soon):

    2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

    2 Corinthians 5:18,19 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

    Colossians 2:13,14 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

    Read 2 Peter 3:9 again. Then read 2 Corinthians 5:18,19 again. That’s the gospel – the good news that is now our ministry – to tell the world “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” An amazing verse. And as the rest of the verse reads, “he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” We are to tell the world that the free gift of eternal life is available to them because sin, the barrier between man and God, has been removed and Christ’s life is offered to all.

    Jesus’ death reconciled everyone to God. His resurrection provides life. Jesus’ death on the cross wiped out everyone’s sin, but that doesn’t solve man’s biggest problem – death. Christ’s death takes care of the sin problem, but had nothing to do with giving us life. The reconciliation that was provided through Christ clears the deck for salvation, but is not salvation itself. All men will not be saved, because all men don’t accept the free offer of His resurrected life. Too many Christians think that it is Christ’s death that provides salvation, but it isn’t – it was His resurrection. Notice what we read in Romans 5:10:

    “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

    Notice that we are not saved by His death, but by His life. His death provided the reconciliation, His resurrection provides us life. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Unless someone accepts that gift, they remain spiritually dead and will spend eternity apart from God.

  6. Tel says:

    The purpose of your life is what it does.


    Kind of tautological… putting it in company Pythagoras and Darwin, and Mises I suppose.

    The alternative argument claims that the arrow falls somewhat lower than where it was aimed, so you aim higher than what you hope to achieve. I never liked that saying and it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page so probably no one else likes it either.

    • Harold says:

      Darwin is not tautological. There are many external things that must be true for Darwinism to be true.

      • Tel says:

        Let’s consider three possible future scenarios:

        [1] humans get taller on average over the next 100 years.
        [2] humans get shorter on average over the next 100 years.
        [3] humans stay exactly the same over the next 100 years.

        Which scenario would disprove Darwin’s theory and thus satisfy Karl Popper’s concept of “falsifiability” ?

        • Harold says:

          4) Humans give birth to ducks. Darwin disproved

          Your problem is that the things required for Darwin to be correct are so likely to be true that it is difficult to see how they will not happen.

          Basically the requirements are inheritance of characteristics from parents with slight modification of those characteristics to produce variation and selection. Given these conditions evolution of some kind is inevitable, but this does not make it tautological because these conditions are not logical requirements. At the time of Darwin these were not certain – see Lamarkism which proposed that acquired characteristics were inherited. The Greeks believed in spontaneous generation. It may seem obvious to us now but it was not obvious at the time.

          I said some kind of evolution – which we could call micro evolution- was inevitable. That does not mean that evolution of complex life as we have seen it was inevitable. It is logically possible that such evolution would never happen. Disprove micro and the whole thing is gone, but prove micro and you have not proved that all life in earth is a product of this process.

          I think what you and Tel are getting at is that you suggest this (so-called) macro evolution cannot be disproved once we have accepted micro evolution.

          As I said, we can disprove it by disproving micro. One way to disprove evolution is for any creature to bring forth offspring not of its kind.

          Disproving macro is also possible and would be easy if it were not true. Obviously disproving something that is true is going to be really hard. The theory was established well ahead of our knowledge if genetics. It could have worked out that the picture we get from looking at the genes was different from that we got from looking at fossils and morphology. Maybe whales would not be genetically similar to land mammals, despite their appearance. That would have scuppered the theory. However we found that the picture from the two ways of looking matched very, very well. We could still discover such discrepancies, but it is looking quite unlikely. There are many ways to show evolution is wrong, we just have not found any so far.

      • Andrew says:

        Please enumerate some of these “many external things.” I can only think of one: Certain traits are heritable from parent to offspring. That part is fairly obvious and the rest of it seems completely tautological.

  7. Khodge says:

    So true.

    It seems my entire life (full of bad decisions and hard, slow maturation) with one goal that I never would have been able to grsp. And, yet, I still don’t have many questions.

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