Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Head is Swimming

This morning my head is swimming.  I can't think straight because I could not sleep last night.  Every long once in a while I have one of those nights (like I can afford to skip sleep).  But my head is swimming because of a member of one of the forums I belong to.  He whined and complained, "No one asked me on this forum for the reason for my hope.  (boo hoo hoo)"  [paraphrased from memory]  That is not the nature of the forum but one of the Catholic members asked him to 'go ahead and tell us the reason for his hope.' 

He quoted one passage in Zechariah about the man who would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, and bring salvation.  Does he go on from there and list verses from the New Testament about hope in Christ?  Does he compare Zechariah's prophecy to the events in the Gospel?  Does he even tell us how he was "saved?"  No to all of the above.   After this brief message of "hope" from the Old Testament he delves into a several paragraph diatribe as to why Catholics are going to hell.  That is your reason for hope, buddy?  Really?

I would have gone more along these lines:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16 KJV from memory.

"...Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt. 4:17 NAB

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6

"Believe on the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved."  Acts 16:31

"Teacher what good must I do to gain eternal life?"  He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good?  There is only One who is good.  If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."  Matt. 19:16-17

"Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves Me.  And whoever loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."  John 14:21

"If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."  I Cor 13:1-3

"But one who perseveres to the end, will be saved."  Matt 24:13

"This saying is trustworthy:  If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him;  if we persevere we shall also reign with Him.  But if we deny Him He will deny us.  If we are unfaithful He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."  2 Tim 2:11-13

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well.' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?  So also faith of itself, if it does not have works is dead.

Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works.'  Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you by my works.  You believe that God is one.  You do well.  Even the demons believe that and tremble.  Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.  Thus the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' and he was called 'the friend of God.'  See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?  For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."  James 2:14-26

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access (by faith) to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."  Romans 5:1-5

My hope is in the Lord.  Thank God my salvation is not dependent on the judgement of others calling themselves Christians but condemning billions of Christians because he does not agree with the Church's doctrine.

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