Best Backpack Ever
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:12 pm
Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:31 pm
Alright B, lets start there. First I would like to say I appreciate the question, I truly do. It's difficult to gauge how a person feels through some disembodied text on a screen, but for what it's worth, I appreciate you giving me a hearing. Correct me if I misinterpret what you said, but you're basically saying you don't like how it sounds like in Christianity, a person can say “I believe in Jesus, therefore its compulsory Heaven for me”, thus negating personal responsibility. There most certainly is personal responsibility. It takes more than just saying “I'm a Christian, therefore I'm saved by default.” The sincereity of thought and deed is necessary.
If one were to ask me, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” my simplest response would be: “A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ.” If I claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, then it is my responsibility to represent Him truthfully, and obey what He says. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless."(James 1:22, 26) If a person claims to be Christian, and yet they're an angry, bitter mess with the condeming attitude of “We're going to Heaven while all those lousy sinners are going to hell”, they are absolutely NOT right with God. “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Romans 2:1)
I find it fascinating how Jesus was so incredibly merciful and forgiving to all the rejected of society; The poor, the prostitues, the infirm, and how the ONLY people He ever rebuked and spoke to about hell, were the religious hypocrites of His time. They claimed to be of God, but were more concerned with making money than representing love and forgiveness. Jesus Himself made it very clear that those who expect a free-pass into Heaven because they claimed to be Godly, will be sorely disappointed: "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many wonderful works?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!' Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."(Matthew 7:22-25)
So yes, there is indeed personal responsibility. Love is the fullfillment of the law (Romans 13:10) and we who claim to be of God and truth, must live the message with our lives, rather than just espousing it with our lips. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)