All sin is forgivable, but you must repent and turn to God through faith in Christ

ALL sin (except rejecting Christ until you die) is forgivable. However one MUST REPENT of sin and turn to God through faith in Christ. without repentance, there is no forgiveness.

Acts 26:20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Acts 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.

Christ is the one God gave to grant repentance and forgiveness.

Acts 5:31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

If we believe, we receive forgiveness of sins.
Acts 10:43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.

But belief MEANS obedience to Christ (ie, stop sinning).
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

If we believe, we will confess our sins and be forgiven.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But if you do not have the belief, which leads to obedience, then you have the wrath of God still upon you regardless of what you say or do.
John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And people in those situations will be judged and enter the lake of fire.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:16-23 (NASB)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Revelation 21:7-8 (NASB)
7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

 

Some would say “Repentance is between the sinner and God (or possibly a person the sinner has offended). It isn’t up to US to determine who gets to be forgiven, or under which set of visible conditions. I think a lot of people on this board miss that. WE (Christians) don’t have the right to decide the repentance level of someone’s heart before deigning to socialize with them. Or show them a basic level of respect.”

But CHRIST said otherwise.
Matthew 18:15-17
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 

Luke 17:3-4
3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

PAUL taught otherwise.
1 Corinthians 5:1-2
1It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

We must let people know they need Christ. If someone claims to be a Christian, they must know they need to stop sinning.

John 3:16 does not say man can choose to believe or not

Many try to use John 3:16 to say that God gives man a chance to believe or disbelieve in Christ. But no where does that verse say this.

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 does not say man has a choice. It explains that God loved His creation (universe) or the collection of those who would believe (depending on your understanding of the meaning of ‘world’), that He gave His only Son so who ever believes in Christ will have eternal life. It is a description of those who have eternal life – anyone who believes. That does not mean man has a choice – just that those who  believe have eternal life.

Different meanings of the word ‘world’

In John 3:16, we see

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

The original word translated as “world” in Greek is ‘Kosmos’. These are the various definitions for that word, and we will look at examples of these different definitions in scripture:

  1. an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
  2. ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens.
    1 Peter 3:3

    Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;

  3. the world, the universe

    Matthew 24:21

    21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

  4. the circle of the earth, the earth

    Matthew 4:8

    Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;

  5. the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
  6. the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ

    This is the ‘world’ – those who do not trust Christ.

    John 14:17

    17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

    John 15:19

    19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

    John 17:9,14

    I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;

    14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

    2 Peter 2:5

    and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

    1 John 3:13

    13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

  7. world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
    1. the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
  8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
    1. the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
    2. of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16-17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

      John 1:29

      29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God whotakes away the sin of the world!

      John 3:16-17

      16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

      John 6:33

      33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

      2 Corinthians 5:19

      19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation

       

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:9

How does the idea that Christ died for the elect  line up with 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 ?

First we have to recognize that the connotation of a word is determined by the context. There are times when the phrases “all” or “everyone” or “whole world” do not automatically mean “every individual in the entire world.”

We see one example in Luke 2:1-3

 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earthThis was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Obviously “all the inhabited earth” did not mean “every inhabitant of the world.” Caesar’s decree did not apply to people who were not of the Roman empire, so it could not have means everyone in the world. The context for both “all the inhabited earth” and “everyone” was limited to those of the Roman empire.

A second example is when the Pharisees were speaking about everyone following Christ in John 12:19

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

The world did not go after Him – only those who followed Christ did, there were plenty left (in the local area and in the entire world) who did not – including the Pharisee who spoke and the one who heard it.

A third example is seen in Mark 1:32

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.

 We know not all the sick and demon-possessed of the world were brought to Jesus. So “all” doesn’t always mean “all”.

Another example is Matthew 8:16

16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill .

“All” were not healed – only all of those who were brought to Christ. The context limits the meaning of the word.

A fifth example would ‘everyone’ in  Mark 1:35-37

35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

Obviously not everyone in the world was looking for Jesus – only a lot of people in the crowd of people who had been with Jesus the day before.

Now, having shown that the scope of the word “all” is limited by the context, we need to look and see what the context of  2 Peter 3:9.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We can see Peter was speaking of God being long suffering toward us, believers.  Since the context is believers, the “all” refers to all believers, not all people.  We see that God is long suffering toward us – toward believers. He is not willing that any who would come to believe should perish, but all who would come to believe should come to repentance.

What about the context of 1 Timothy 2:3-4? We only have to look back a few sentences before this passage to see what Paul was speaking about.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 tells us that christ came into the world to save sinners, and that Christ’s perfect patience is an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Just like Peter was speaking about believers in 2 Peter 3:9, so too was Paul was speaking about believers . The context limits the scope of “all” to “those who would believe in Him for eternal life. ”

So yeah, Christ died for believers.

When did it become wrong to fear God?

When did it become a bad thing to fear God?

I see so many pastors (famous men) preaching that somehow people have to have to “right” motivation to have “true” Christian faith.

Somehow if people want to avoid hell but do not want to have a relationship, they have “phony” faith. Some people START with fear of God, and God moves them towards love for God. When did that become wrong?

It seems to me that we should fear God. Too many Christians want to have a genie of a God but do not want to leave sin behind. They do not FEAR the wrath of God, but want to have a “friend in Jesus”.

It used to be that hell fire and brimstone preaching led many people to faith in Christ. People left alcoholism or adulterous relationships for Christ because of fear of hell. These days, people who are wanting to avoid hell, who are afraid of what God might do to them if they do not get right with God, are condemned for having the wrong motivation.

But God’s word TELLS us to fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28

 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

It seems to me that people need to repent, turn to God through faith in Christ, and have deeds which demonstrate repentance.

Acts 26:20

20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Does it really matter if they do that because they love God or because they fear God’s wrath? Is one motivation really better than the other? I have known children who love to please their parents and so obey because of they love their parents. I have known children who fear punishment more than they desire to do what they would be punished for, so they obey because they fear their parents’ wrath. Which is better? I think each is effective and good and needed – for that individual person. The same is true for God’s children. One motivation is not better or worse.

 

A LETTER FROM AN EX-WITCH WRITING ABOUT HARRY POTTER

Here is an article someone wrote about the dangers of Harry Potter. I thought it might prove useful to some…
“I am writing this urgent message because I was once a witch. I lived by the stars as an astrologer and numerologist casting horoscopes and spells. I lived in the mysterious and shadowy realm of the occult. By means of spells and magic, I was able to invoke the powers of the “controlling unknown” and fly upon the night winds transcending the astral plane. Halloween was my favorite time of the year and I was intrigued and absorbed in the realm of Wiccan witchcraft. All of this was happening in the decade of the 1960’s when witchcraft was just starting to come out of the broom closet.”

A LETTER FROM AN EX-WITCH WRITING ABOUT HARRY POTTER

Christians should judge

There is much discussion where people are trying to say that a Christian should not judge. They seem to think Jesus said to not judge. But that’s not what Jesus said.

Christians ARE to judge – discern between right and wrong and if they have a particular sin in their lives, they need to correct it. Christians are to call other Christians on their sin and pray for them.

Let us look at the words of Jesus:
Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:36-38 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Notice, Jesus said if you do not judge, then you will not be judged. He did not say those who judge will be judged most harshly. Jesus said to not be a hypocrite. But that with the measure you use, that is what you will be judged by. He said to forgive and you will be forgiven. We are to take care of a given sin in our own lives before we rebuke someone else about that sin.

Jesus Himself said we are to judge what is right or wrong  – not merely by how things appear, but with righteous judgment.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Luke 12:57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?

In fact, Jesus said to call sinners on their behavior:

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

Paul said to not be a hypocrite:
Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

But we are to discern what is right and wrong and avoid wrong. Jesus and the apostles were clear we must not sin and must call people on their sin.

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

1 Timothy 5:20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction

Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

Jude 1:3-4 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

So Christians should judge their own actions first and deal with sin in their own lives. But we are to judge the sins of those inside the church. Even so, this does not mean we are to judge someone as being better or worse than ourselves. If someone outside the church does bad things I still have the responsibility to judge whether that thing is good or bad. Whether someone does something good or bad does not necessarily indicate a person is good or bad. Judging something to be a sin is a good thing. Judging someone is not. There is a distinct difference that people who are doing things that others call wrong do not make.

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