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Word Of Faith Prosperity
The main problem I have with these prosperity guys is the way they distort the gospel. This is no trivial matter. Recall Paul's passionate warning to the Galatians: "[If] anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." (1:9). Strong language indeed, yet necessary to make clear the point that any deviation from the true Gospel message is in reality "no Gospel at all" (v6). And only the Gospel message, the true Gospel message, has the "power of God" to save a sinner from hell (Romans 1:16). Those that unfortunately buy into "Jesus died to make you rich" believe a false gospel that cannot and will not save on Judgment Day.

Explain Revelation 17:4
I believe the passage refers to apostate Israel, the Jews who rejected Christ and were involved in the persecution of His followers in the 1st century. If the beast mentioned in this chapter is identified with the Roman Empire, then the harlot seated upon the beast's back symbolizes the 'buddying up' that occurred between the Jews and the Roman Empire as they opposed Christianity. Read Jeremiah 3 and you'll note language very similar to that of Rev 17, which I believe strongly associates apostate Israel with the woman described in Rev 17.

What Are Essentials Of Salvation
Bobby1: How's it going? Nice name.

With regards to the blog question, I always like to go back to Ephesians 2 in response to any question about salvation: "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (vv8,9). According to Paul, what's 'essential' for salvation is God's grace (and that alone).

Burn In Hell For Eternity
Cluny: I wish I was as good with the Greek as you are. But anyways, I do agree with your response to the question. In fact, the Mark 9 verses were what immediately popped into my head upon reading the question. I doubt you can get more explicit than what Jesus says there.

So in other words, my answer to the question is a YES. The alternatives are annihilationism or salvation for the unrepentent. Anyone care to argue for either?

Fire Insurance Salvation
The pastor of a church I used to attend often used that exact phrase to refer to a person who has, I guess, 'faith enough' to escape hell yet isn't striving with his utmost to serve Christ. The concept of 'fire insurance' might be what Paul speaks about in 1 Corinthians 3 when he wrote, "But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value...But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames" (vv 12-15).

Properity Gospel Biblical
The health/wealth distortion of the gospel, if I can be so blunt, sickens me. Very attractive, however, is it to the 'itching ear': You mean to say God 'is on my side' and He'll get me anything I want? I just have to say the magic words and POOF! He'll do as I command? Baloney. The Christian is a servant, better yet a 'slave' (Romans 6:22), of the Lord Almighty, and certainly not the other way around. The Christian must live in submission to His will and strive with every ounce of strength to obey His commandments (1 John 2:3).

Can You Lose Your Salvation
It just so happens that this exact question popped into my mind the other day, and I am in the process of studying it now. Colupy, I'm in the same boat you're in: I want to say that you can't lose your salvation, but there are some Bible verses that raise some questions that I need to sort through. For example, Hebrews 6 is an interesting passage that seems to suggest that losing salvation is possible, although the passage might be interpreted in another way. My question to those who'd say 'yes' is: What exactly do you have to do to lose your salvation? What about those who say that ex-Christians were never really Christians in the first place (aka 'false converts')?

Immortality Of The Soul
Phil: "You are making the common linguistic mistake..."

You articulated this very well, and I agree completely with what you have said. Though commonly used interchangeably, 'spirit' and 'soul' are technically different terms, as you have indicated in your post.

As the author of Hebrew writes, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spiri..." (4:12).

With regards to the spirit surviving death, I also agree with your position, as this truth is supported by Scripture (Lu16:19-31, 23:43, 2Co5:1-10, 2Co12:1-4, Php1:21-24).

Is Jesus' Kingdom Here
Cluny: "In other words, it's that wonderful paradox: Already, but not yet."

You sound like an amillenialist.

I definitely agree with your comments on Jesus' reign. He's King on the throne RIGHT NOW.

Liberal Theology Biblical
From what I understand, liberal Christians deny the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, even to the point of dismissing the Bible's historicity. Therefore, the Bible becomes to them allegorical and merely a collection of books that teach us how to live our lives. Some liberals, I believe, also deny the reality of miracles, including the literal resurrection of Christ.

Our Belief In Hell
The idea of hell is perhaps difficult to accept in light of our belief in a loving God (1Jn4:8). Therefore, many people (even Christians) use this as grounds for denying the reality of hell. This despite the clear teaching of Scripture (Mt10:28, Mk9:42-49, Rev20:15 for example). However, I think that it is a mistake to believe that God will not punish sin. God is just. Those who have not Christ, who are not justified by His finished work on the cross, must pay the wages of sin (Ro3:25, Ro6:23, 1Co5:10). God is holy. Sin is offensive to Him, and nothing sinful can even approach Him (Is6:5, Rev21:27).

TULIP Biblical Or Not
Joseph: Nice summary and Scripture references.

Calvinism strongly emphasizes the sovereignty of God, seemingly at the expense of human free will. However, it is possible to take a moderate position on each of the five points (which I actually do) and still affirm human free will. Negative reactions to TULIP often occur in response to those who hold extreme versions of each position. For example, I affirm 'limited atonement' in the sense that I believe Christ's work on the cross, while sufficient for all, is applied only to the elect. I would deny, however, the extreme position that Christ's atonement is sufficient for the elect only (or that Christ died for certain people and not others).

Dead In Christ Shall Rise
Gina: "Paul is also very explicit..."

More like 'Eugene Peterson is very explicit'. And I don't understand how 1Th4:13-14 refutes my position. But anyways...

More on 2Co5. The verse in question (v8) ought to be interpreted in light of the context of the chapter, no? Ok, Paul employs imagery that, I believe, makes the case for the soul's ability to be 'absent from the body'. He compares our present bodies to 'tents' (v1) and resurrection bodies to 'houses from heaven' (v2). Taking his analogy seriously, I would argue that Paul is making that point that our bodies 'house' our spirits, and upon death we are 'naked' (v3) or 'unclothed' (v4) until the resurrection.

(Also, what about 2Co12:2?)

Dead In Christ Shall Rise
Gina: "Moses was resurrected per the new testament book of Jude..."

Couple of questions: Jude never said Moses was resurrected. Do you have anything other Scriptures to back up the idea that Moses was resurrected?

Also, what do you make of what happened in 1Sam28, when Samuel made an appearance after his death?

Dead In Christ Shall Rise
Gina: "...this is why Paul said to be absent from the body..."

'We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord' (2Co5:8). Upon death, the individual leaves the body and goes to be with the Lord. Paul is very explicit here.

'I knew a man...(whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth,) such an one caught up to the third heaven' (2Co12:2). If being out of the body were impossible, why would Paul be uncertain about whether this man was 'caught up' in or out of the body? (And obviously, this was a conscious experience.)

Were The Nephilim Real
MarkV: "...why there was no mention of the daughters of God...?"

The lack of mention does not indicate that there weren't any holy 'daughters of God'. In my last post, I tried to make the point that the way the intermarriage is described in Ge6 is similar to what is stated in Ex34, which prohibited Israel's 'sons' from marrying pagan 'daughters'. Also of note is the fact the Bible indicates that the ancients used marriage ('giving/taking of daughters') in treaty-making. Think about Solomon and all of his wives. Given the data, what is stated in Ge6 communicates an unholy mingling of the two groups of people.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Why Ungodly People Prosper
Because their entire focus is on material (as opposed to spiritual) gain. Christ's warning clarifies what I mean: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Mt6:19-21).

Were The Nephilim Real
Part2, please.

"Others also question why only sons and not daughters are associated with the line of Seth?"

Consider Ex34:15-16, which says, "Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land...And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same." Notice the lack of mention of Israel's daughters, which is very similar to what is described in Ge6 regarding the 'sons of God' taking the 'daughters of men'. The mystery goes away, then, when we consider the way intermarriage between peoples is described in the OT.

Were The Nephilim Real
MarkV: "And why is the term 'sons of God' not used with this meaning in any other place?"

I know the questions were directed at Larry, but...

The term is used throughout the Bible, it seems, in three ways: (1)angels, (2)God's people, (3)judges/rulers. It refers to angels ONLY (correct me if I'm wrong) in Job. It refers to judges/rulers in Ps82 (cf Jn10:34,35), and the context clearly speaks of 'sons of God' as being men. However, overwhelmingly, the term corresponds to God's people, and Deu14:1 is an example of such a correspondence (which strongly supports the interpretation of 'sons of God' in Ge6 given the fact that Moses authored both passages).

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