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How I get peace of mind?


gracerules2008

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I'm sure everyone wants peace of mind in their everyday lives. One of the greatest things in this world that gives me peace of mind is believing that all people are right with God and that after we die we're all going to eternal peace with God in heaven.

 

The only reason I am wholeheartedly convinced that I have God's approval and will be going to heaven is because I am wholeheartedly convinced that everybody else on this planet is approved by God and good to go to heaven.

 

I believe God has made all people righteous apart from their works or faith. There is nothing more powerful in the universe than the grace of God. Man's sin cannot override the power of God's grace.

 

If the gospel does not include everyone then I have no reason to believe that I'm included. If there is even the slightest chance that 1 single solitary soul on this planet will be excluded from the kingdom of heaven then how do I know I won't be one of the ones excluded from the kingdom of heaven?

 

My answer is I wouldn't know. As a matter of fact I would be convinced that I'm guaranteed to be excluded from heaven if there is even one soul that has the smallest chance of being excluded. Why? because I'm not better than anyone else. My works, deeds, actions & thoughts are nowhere near perfect.

 

Either all of us are qualified for heaven or none of us are qualified. Thank God that through Christ all are qualified to enter. True grace is all inclusive. There's no way I could have peace of mind and a clear conscience before God apart from believing that everyone is perfect in His eyes.

 

Otherwise I would be self righteous to think that there's something about me that qualifies me to go to heaven while someone else isn't. After stripping away all that self righteousness from my mind I see that I could be one of the ones who is excluded if even one soul has a chance of being excluded.

 

So the only basis I have for walking around with a clear conscience before God is the fact that He has declared ALL people perfect and complete and one with Him and fit to be in His kingdom. He has deposited this righteousness inside ALL people as a gift. Neither our works nor our faith have any contribution to it.

 

So I get peace of mind meditating on the gospel of grace & peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. I get peace from meditating on the fact that the church of God is NOT a building but it is the entire human race. God's dwelling place is in all of us. The holy city of God lives in the hearts of all people. We are the new Jerusalem. We are the bride of Christ.

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I became wholeheartedly convinced that the gospel included everyone else in the kingdom before I was convinced that the gospel included me in the kingdom.

 

The only way the gospel will work is if it brings everyone in. I've been feeling pretty down lately. I've been facing some personal trials & tribulations that have gotten me so overwhelmed with this life.

 

I feel like I've totally lost the motivation and the willpower to do something with my life that will make a positive impact in society. I had a long talk with the Lord yesterday afternoon in my car in an empty parking lot.

 

I asked Him to do one of 2 things for me over the next 6 months. Either give me the motivation to do something productive with my life that will make a positive difference in the lives of others around me or take me out of this world or give me the courage to commit suicide.

 

I have done nothing productive with my life and it shows. I don't have a right to be on this planet if my life is not counting for anything positive. I believe all human beings are precious to God and have a useful purpose in this existence.

 

But when someone like me has lost the motivation to make myself useful to society in a positive way then all I'm doing is taking up space. The least I can do for the benefit of society is remove myself from the world.

 

Nobody is going to remember my name 100 years from now anyway. The only people who would be hurt would be my parents but hopefully they will understand my reasoning 10 years from now that it was for the best.

 

But it's going to take a miracle by the grace of God for me to be successful at suicide since I don't have the guts to do it. I love myself too much. If I really hated myself then I would have had the guts to end it long ago.

 

So I'll see how God answers my prayer over the next 6 months. Either I'll have the will to make a difference in society or God will take me out of the world or He'll provide me with the power to override my self preservation instinct.

 

Most people have the drive and determination to better themselves and make positive differences in people's lives. I don't know where that drive comes from and why I don't have it.

 

Interestingly enough most people who commit suicide have had so much going for them and so much to offer to this world. My brother was one of them. If you met him then you would say that he is too good for this world just like one of my uncles said he was.

 

I agree that my brother was too good for this world. He was quite the catch for the ladies even though he did NOT believe that about himself. He always volunteered to help people. He put his needs last. My parents were so proud of him.

 

My parents don't want to admit it but I'm sure they secretly think that if one of their sons had to die it should have been me instead of my brother. They are disappointed in how I turned out! I should have been the one to blow my brains out instead of my brother.

 

So if I ever decide to go through with suicide it will only be because I have lost the motivation long ago to live up to what society expects me to be doing with my life. I am not good enough to live in this world and I never will be because I don't even want to be good enough.

 

I want to get married someday and I would prefer it to be with the girl I've been talking to for the last 10 months. But I know I will never be the husband she expects me to be. I am disqualified from being husband material. It would be nice to experience what it is like to receive anal sex with a strap up my butt but I don't think that fantasy will ever come true.

 

I'm not the type of person who believes that I can just pull myself up by the bootstraps and make things happen. No. I'm helpless & weak like sheep. I don't believe that I have a free will. I do not believe that I am master of my own destiny.

 

Many religious people believe I will burn in hell if I take my own life. All I can say to them is that if it really makes them feel better to believe that then that's fine. Knock yourselves out. God still loves them and He has made them righteous in His sight through Christ. God is well pleased with them and He's not holding anything against them even if they continue believing that I'm going to burn in hell. God has made them righteous apart from their faith or works even if they want to believe that their works and/or faith had any part in it.

 

If God is going to let me into heaven then it will have nothing to do with what I did or didn't do in this life nor my faith or lack of faith in Him. It's all about what Christ did for me and the rest of humanity at the cross & resurrection. Jesus came to save the world & He succeeded in that mission. Religion refuses to believe it.

 

Thankfully God is the final jury as to who gets in and who doesn't and I believe He has already declared that everyone is getting in.

 

If He left religious leaders to be the jury as to who goes to heaven and who goes to hell then I know I would have 0.0% chance of making it to heaven since my lifestyle is NOT approved by the religious community.

 

But hey if it makes them feel better to believe they are the jury on God's behalf to determine if I'm going to heaven or hell then I say go for it. Whatever they have to do to feel better about themselves.

 

It's always my goal to share the gospel of grace & peace & universal salvation through Jesus Christ with anyone who will listen. I will continue to do that until the day I die.

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The people who need to hear this gospel the most are the ones who have succumbed to the pressures of religion to please God through their performance. I want people to know where they're going when they die. I want people to enjoy their freedom in the here & now. I want to see people walk around without feeling guilty, without feeling fearful, without feeling shame in the face of God. Your behavior is NOT a problem with God.

 

My whole purpose for sharing the gospel is to take pressure off of people. To take away any feelings of obligation anyone may have toward God. You are NOT under any pressure to believe or work or give money or change your lifestyle. God loves you just the way you are.

 

If even 1 soul is positively impacted then it's worth continuing to spread this good news. Everyone is pure and clean in the eyes of God. So we'll see how things pan out over the next 6 months. I just want the freedom to be myself but I think my parents deep down wished I was more like my brother.

 

My brother was an honor roll student all through high school and most of his college years. I on the other hand was the slacker son during high school and college. I was more concerned about doing what it takes to pass by the skin of my teeth instead of doing my best. I've been that way all my life.

 

My brother actually did his best in every endeavor. He wasn't satisfied with just getting by. Here I am and don't have anything to offer anybody and I'm still alive. I ought to distance myself from all my friends before they start questioning me about why I am not working on self improvement.

 

My 10 year high school class reunion is in 6 months and I'm not going. Why? because I know what happens at these reunions. Everybody has to stand up and be questioned about what the hell they have been doing with their lives for the last 10 years! I'm not about to give myself the opportunity to be exposed to that kind of embarrassment.

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I've been thinking about going back to my cutting practice. Starting tomorrow I'm going to cut myself for 10 minutes for each time I masturbate. This is the only way I'm going to feel better about myself.

 

My masturbation is a sexual addiction that I don't want to break yet I feel unclean after I get my fix. God does not see me as unclean but that's how I feel nonetheless.

 

On my days off I masturbate 7 or 8 times a day. So it's time for me to go back to cutting my stomach with a steak knife for 10 minutes after each masturbation session.

 

I'm doing this to feel better. Afterall it was for freedom's sake that Christ set us free. I'm just choosing to use my freedom to feel better in any way I see fit.

 

Just as jews can feel free to continue their animal sacrifices and catholics can feel free to continue going to the confession booth. The gospel gives them the freedom to be as legalistic as they want to be.

 

The good news is that they don't have to keep doing these things if they don't want to since Jesus already corrected the sin issue once & for all when He died on the cross. It's finished. The blood of Jesus alone took away the sin of the world.

 

It's interesting that in the old testament the blood of bulls and goats worked to relieve the consciences of the religious minds for 1 year but sadly the blood of Jesus, which is more precious than the blood of bulls and goats, cannot seem to relieve the consciences of evangelical christians for more than 5 minutes! There's something very wrong with this picture.

 

The blood of Christ is infinitely more valuable than the blood of goats that it should purge us from sin consciousness not just for a short time, not just for a year but forever. Why? because the blood of animals covered sin temporarily. It didn't take it away. The blood of Christ didn't just cover sins. It forever took away the sin condition that caused sins in the first place.

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Whenever I hear that song by Ray J titled "Sexy can I" it reminds me about how everyone is going to heaven.

 

So I went out to the bar tonight. It was Kareokee night. I didn't drink alcohol. I just had 4 glasses of water and 3 colas. I asked the DJ to play 2 songs for me during the dance session.

 

"Sexy can I" was one of the songs I requested. The other one was "booty call." No I did not get up and dance. Later on one of my friends called while I was still at the bar. He asked to meet me up there and I said sure. Actually 2 of my friends met me there at the bar a little after midnight.

 

I had a friendly conversation with one of the other dudes at the bar who was getting drunk. In my experience going to this bar people like to tell stories when they get drunk. I just sit there and listen attentively. I shake hands and introduce myself.

 

The name of the bar was "hard times." The bar closed at 2am so my friends and I were kicked out. We met up again at waffle house for a late night breakfast.

 

I eat my meals backwards these days. I like to have dinner food for breakfast and breakfast food for late night dinners. I also usually eat my dessert foods for breakfast.

 

It's much healthier to eat ice cream for breakfast than for dessert after dinner because I have more opportunities to burn off the empty calories during the day.

 

I'm actually hoping that the contents of the waffle house food kills me with a massive heart attack since the stuff I order there is high in saturated fat and cholestoreal.

 

Maybe God will answer my prayer to take me out of the world by allowing me to suffer a heart attack within the next 6 months. I don't know. I have been getting tingling sensations in my chest over the last few months.

 

I purposely don't wear my seat-belt when I'm driving because I am that eager to die in a car accident by flying through the windshield. I want to make every provision I can for that to happen.

 

I hardly look both ways anymore before I walk accross the street. If drivers fail to yield the right of way when I'm walking accross the street then I'm not going to bother to correct their mistakes by yielding the right of way for them. Let them clean up my mess if they accidentally run me over. I'll be relaxing in heaven.

 

I just put on a smile most of the time that I was at waffle house with my buddies and joked around with them but I was just going through the motions. I still felt an emptiness and sadness inside me all night long.

 

I can hide my depression in the off-line world when it's really necessary for me to do so such as when I'm at work or when I'm out with friends or family members. Since I'm not really a tough guy the least I can do is fake it when the situation requires it.

 

It doesn't matter if strangers online find out what's really going on inside me because I have 0% chance of meeting them in person in this present life.

 

Well tomorrow is another day. Actually today is my girlfriend's birthday. So I wish her a happy birthday. Hopefully she'll have an opportunity to have a little fun. She turns 26 years old.

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I just thought of something else. If there is going to be a funereal for me the only thing that I would want is for someone to get up and preach the gospel of grace & peace & universal salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ during the service.

 

I prefer to have my body cremated and thrown into the sea since it's nothing but a worthless piece of garbage anyway! I believe I'm getting a new glorified body anyway. A body that does not get sick or tired. A body that does NOT crave for sex or food. Food and sex are the only things I live for in this life. If I have an abundance of these two then I will be happy for the next 80 years. I don't need anything else.

 

My funereal will be a wasted service and a waste of time if nobody preaches the gospel to those attending. A funereal is a perfect opportunity to share the gospel because it will bring comfort and hope to those people.

 

I should tell my family and friends that if something were to happen to me where I die before them to make sure somebody shares the gospel at my funereal. Don't even bother doing a funereal service for me if you can't find someone who will preach this gospel.

 

My funereal should NOT be about me and my accomplishments in this life. It should be all about Christ and His accomplishments for humanity. For someone to stand up and give a eulogy about my life would be a waste of time for all those who would attend especially if the gospel message was left out. All glory goes to Jesus who is the eternal living God. The speaker can keep the gospel message short and simple like the following:

 

"Good news. gracerules2008 is in heaven and this same heaven is waiting for everyone else beyond the grave. Take comfort in this. Jesus Christ is Lord & Savior of all people. God came in human form NOT to condemn the world but to save the world from sin & death. He accomplished this mission in His death, burial & resurrection. All creation has been reconciled to God. Just as ALL died through the sin of one man (Adam), ALL were made alive eternally through the righteousness of one Man (Jesus Christ). Christ is the 2nd Adam. He is greater than the 1st Adam. Which means that at the very minimum Christ will surely save everyone that Adam condemned. God is love. His mercy endures forever and His love is everlasting."

 

It was about 1 month ago when I was talking to a friend of the wiccan religion. Somehow we got on the topic of the things of God. I told him that I believe that everyone is going to heaven. I saw a change in his eyes after a few minutes. I had to get going for the evening. I shook his hand and he smiled telling me "I love you brother!", I replied "I love you too brother. If I don't see you again in this life then I'll see you again in heaven for sure!"

 

We shook hands and I left. I could tell he had a sense of joy and peace of finding out that he was assured of heaven regardless of his works, lifestyle, religion, sexual orientation, race, gender, morality, education, job status, etc.

 

Maybe he was used to christians judging and condemning him for his affiliation with the wiccan religion and he was rather surprised to hear someone assuring him that God loves him unconditionally and that he's good to go to heaven without any improvements or lifestyle changes on his part.

 

So regardless of what anyone's religious practices are the good news is that God has made all people righteous APART from their works or faith. Which means you are righteous before God no matter what your religious practices are or whether you don't practice any religion or whether you are agnostic or atheist or satanist. I am no more or less righteous in the eyes of God than anyone else whether I engage in religious exercises, disciplines or not.

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There's nothing wrong with religious rituals, traditions, disciplines, practices in themselves. What is wrong is when I start believing that participating in these things makes me more righteous in God's eyes than those who don't participate in religious practices. That's self righteous thinking.

 

So again it's for freedom that Christ set us free. I'm free to observe the sabbath day or the feast days or the dietary laws or the 10 commandments in the old testament as long as I understand that God has already made me righteous APART from these observances and as long as I don't judge others as unrighteous for not observing these practices.

 

I'm free to either stick with religious tradition or abandon it altogether as long as I understand that God's view and approval of me never changes regardless of which path I take. We're not under any laws. We're not even under the 10 commandments. We have no obligation to God whatsoever to obey the 10 commandments.

 

Furthermore we have no obligation to God whatsoever to participate in any self controlling behavioral methods. This means we're not under any obligation to God to exercise harsh treatment towards our physical bodies. We're not obligated to fast from food or sex. We're not obligated to quit watching R rated movies. We're not obligated to stop looking at pornography.

 

All things are permissible and lawful but NOT all things are profitable or expedient. (1st Corinthians 6:12). It's permissible for me to steal but it's not profitable. Why? because I don't know about you but where I live if I steal something I will likely get caught by the cops and be faced with a 50,000$ fine or thrown in jail. Unless I want to spend the next several years of my life in prison it would NOT be profitable for me to steal something. I may not be under any obligation to God to obey the 10 commandments but I am still under obligation to the human authorities to obey their laws.

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I've said it before that there's nothing more powerful than the grace of God. Which means no sin can override it. You can be a serial cop killer and not lose your salvation. Yes you can murder 50 cops and still go to heaven.

 

You can walk around cursing God until you knock on death's door and you are still going to heaven. All sins were judged in the death of Christ. His blood took away an INFINITE number of sins.

 

Speaking of cursing God I think it may be good therapy to do that more often when you get angry. The next time you get angry don't be afraid to cuss God out until your heart is content. Try it and see what it does for you.

 

God's view of you will never change. I don't care what you do. I don't care if you think of every foul name in the book to call God. I don't care if you tell God how much of a jerk he is for allowing certain things to go wrong in your life.

 

It does not take God by surprise. He knows all about us inside and out and loves us anyway. There's no use in pretending that I'm always in agreement with God about the decisions He makes otherwise I would be a hypocrite. I might as well be honest with myself and honest with Him when I disagree with something He has done.

 

I argue with God just like I would argue with my parents or friends or girlfriend, etc. The only difference is that God always wins the argument in the end. He's always right and I'm always wrong.

 

Just because I'm not always pleased with His decisions does NOT mean He's not looking out for my best interests at all times. Not everyone is pleased with God's decisions all the time.

 

So what should that tell me? It tells me that if God can't please everybody all the time then why should I be so worried about making sure I please everybody? If a perfect being can't please everyone then how much less will I as an imperfect being be able to please everyone?

 

When we were growing up we didn't always agree with the decisions our parents made for us but later on we realize that some of those decisions they made were for our good.

 

In the same way if God allows me to go through hardship then it's going to be good for me. He will use that hardship as an opportunity to build my character & grow me. thereforee a greater good comes out of trials. If God just gave me everything I wanted and I was always pleased with His decisions then I would have no opportunity for growth and learning.

 

So instead of asking God why I'm having to go through this or that I should be asking God what I can learn from this experience and what it is He wants to change on the inside of me. Being changed on the inside is more important than changing my circumstances.

 

But if you feel the need to cuss God out then He understands your frustrations with life. He's not going to get mad at you. As a matter of fact He is hugging you the whole time you are railing at Him. He loves you.

 

See part of being free in Christ also means freedom from the obligation to love God back or love your fellow human beings. You may hate God. You may spit on Him, yell at Him, call Him a jerk, mock Him, hate the rest of the world but God will always overcome you and shower you with His overwhelming unconditional love!

 

It's amazing that even a hardcore satanist who gives verbal allegiance to satan and verbal hatred towards God on his death bed will still meet God face-face after his physical death and be welcomed into heaven as this satanist gets the revelation of God's love for him on the other side.

 

God's not even going to bring up the fact that this satanist spent his entire life worshiping satan. All of that is forgiven. God's not keeping a record of anyone's wrongs.

 

I believe that the damascus road experience that paul had with Christ in the book of Acts will be the same experience everyone will have on the other side of the grave. Adoph Hitler had this experience when he crossed over. He got the revelation of Christ in him the hope of glory.

 

I don't know what they do when they get to heaven but it's quite possible that mother teressa and adoph hitler are right now laughing together and playing cards with each other.

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It's high time that I learn to make the best of whatever situation I find myself in. I'll try to keep this mindset while I'm going through my personal trials and tribulations.

 

I also have to keep in mind that I'm not the only one who is going through pain and heartache. Everyone else goes through hard times. I think I've had an easy life compared to most people.

 

Well for right now I'm going to listen to Mike Williams and Glenn Klien on their radio show. That might help cheer me up. I like their format because it's more of an open discussion about gospel related issues. It's not so preachy.

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Unfortunately it's hard to find books from authors who believe in universal salvation. Everytime I check out the religious section at borders bookstore they are pretty scarce. The only one I found was "the gospel of inclusion" by Carlton Pearson.

 

I was just online doing a google search on other universalist books. There is one titled "the Inescapable Love of God." Another one titled "If Grace is True."

 

You won't find any of these kinds of books in christian bookstores nor will you find any other books that teach universal salvation.

 

I believe God ultimately wins in the end. If God is perfect infinite love & He created us for His good pleasure then it stands to reason that He takes no pleasure in anyone being lost forever.

 

If He's all powerful and all knowing then it makes perfect sense that He would come up with a cure that was effective enough to drag all souls home safely in the end.

 

God is not a loser. He can't lose. He's God. In the book of Isaiah chapter 46 God says that He will accomplish all of His good pleasure. It is His good pleasure to save everyone and He certainly succeeded in setting out what He purposed to do.

 

The redemptive plan of God is much more powerful than man's unbelief and rebellion. The death, burial & resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is more powerful than human stubbornness and resistance. All of that rebellion and pride was burned away when Christ died on the cross.

 

You see I do not believe Christ died to be punished for any of our bad behavior. A blood sacrifice is not necessary for God to forgive bad behavior. God by His nature is love & love keeps no record of wrongs. So I believe God forgave our individual sins and bad behaviors (whatever you perceive as sinful or bad) before time even began.

 

However I believe His death was the means that God used to remove the sin condition that entered our universe through the 1st Adam. John 1:29 reads that "Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the SIN of the world." The word sin is singular not plural which implies it was the sin condition that was removed NOT individual sins that were being punished.

 

Which makes sense if you think about it. It's more productive to take away the sin condition that caused sins in the 1st place than it is to atone for individual sins but still leaving the sin condition unsolved. Otherwise the animal sacrifices would have continued from the old testament until now. There would have been no need for God to come to earth in the flesh.

 

Jesus Christ being the 2nd Adam destroyed the condition of sin & death and brought in the condition righteousness & eternal life into our universe. The entire universe is now flooded with righteousness & life. Our will has nothing to do with either what the 1st or 2nd Adam did.

 

Since Jesus has appeared at the end of the ages (2000 years ago) to put away sin by His blood sacrifice (hebrews 9:26) then there will be no future judgments from God against sin on this planet. It won't be necessary. The cross did the job that God purposed it to do. The end of the world is NOT a future event. It happened 2000 years ago.

 

Will there be a 2nd coming of Jesus Christ in the future? who knows? Anything is possible but I don't want to be preoccupied with what might or might not happen in the future. My mind is more focused on getting the good news out about the reconciliation of the entire human race into God through Christ.

 

So God is the winner. If He came to earth in the flesh to DESTROY the works of the devil then the only question I need to ask myself is this: Did He succeed in His mission or did He fail? I personally believe God succeeded. The works of the devil is to steal, kill & destroy. The devil has been put out of business 2000 years ago. Death holds no power over anybody.

 

There is no such thing as free will. You and I have no part to play in God's eternal plan. It's not about you or I, it's all about Christ. I think free will is bondage in disguise because then it puts the pressure and burden on us to help God carry out His will. Who am I to think that God needs my help to accomplish whatever He sets out to accomplish in His eternal plans?

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I also believe that God will use my current weaknesses for a greater good. I still cry out to God to take away my desire for masturbation and soft drinks because these things are not good for me. But for now He's not taking it away because it still has a useful purpose for a greater end.

 

I think He's using my weakness to keep me humble. Afterall if I never sinned and never had weaknesses I'd probably forget all about God and become one arrogant son of a gun and have little to no compassion for others who are trapped in sin addictions.

 

I believe everyone has a thorn in their flesh. Everyone has some type of bad habit that they are just NOT meant to overcome in this life. I think the key here for me is to learn to accept myself in spite of all my fleshly weaknesses instead of waiting until I've shaped up before accepting myself.

 

Once I understand that I cannot change myself and that I need to start accepting myself then it will be easier for me to accept others and not expect anything more from others than what I expect from myself.

 

To put it more bluntly God will take away my masturbation addiction when He wants to take it away and not 1 second before or after. So yes for right now it is God's will that I remain trapped in this sin. He's going to use it to work together for a greater good.

 

I've already tried to quit my bad habits through self determination, new years resolutions, self effort, trying harder, etc and I only made it worse for myself. The result was that my desire for this sin became more inflamed!

 

Nobody has any idea just how many times a day I succumb to temptation. I know it doesn't mean God loves me any less. Like I said before if God was going to send anyone to hell in the first place then I would be the first one He would send there for I am the chief of sinners in this present generation! I have no excuse for my sins whatsoever.

 

If it was up to me to reform my fleshly behavior then Christ died in vain. My problems go deeper than just my outward behavior. The root of my addictions is my faulty belief that this activity has some useful purpose in my life. Obviously I believe I'm gaining something out of the addictions I have otherwise I wouldn't be doing them.

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Well today is thanksgiving. I just finished eating dinner with my family. I baked a cake last night. I'm just waiting for my food to digest before I eat some chocolate cake.

 

I'm just thankful to God that He sent His Son Jesus to be the Savior of the world and that the world has been saved through Him. Jesus came to earth to do the will of the Father. It is God's will that all be saved & Jesus accomplished that!

 

So God is awesome. It's easy for me to take for granted the good things God does in my life everyday. I'm thankful for the air I breathe, the warm bed, good food, birds, sunsets, my friends, family, cat. These are all blessings from God.

 

I think a huge part of the reason I get depressed is because I focus too much on what I don't have when I should be focusing on the good things I do have. Most people on this planet are going through much harder times than I've ever had to go through in my life.

 

So I just need to keep all of this mind to keep perspective and not take anything for granted. I haven't earned any of these blessings from God. I am blessed because of His grace & unconditional love NOT because I have done anything to deserve it.

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Last night I was hanging out with my friend Josh in the wal-mart parking lot. I've come to find out that our mutual friend Joel does not want to hang out with me that much because of my doctrinal beliefs.

 

Now both of them are christians. Josh too has come to the understanding that everyone is saved. Joel believes that only believers in Christ will be saved.

 

Which is fine. I don't hold anyone's beliefs against them. I'm just surprised that Joel is kind of avoiding me just because I believe everyone is saved. I've never pushed the issue with him about this doctrine so maybe he read some of my myspace blogs on the subject of universal salvation and didn't like what I wrote.

 

He told Josh that the only reason I believe in universal salvation is because it makes me feel better about my brother's death. I can understand why it may seem that way to him and others.

 

He's not the first one who has suspected that I am attracted to this doctrine only because of what happened to my brother.

 

It is also strange that Joel would not confront me directly if I said something that offended him. It seems to me like true friends would sit down and talk about it if there's been an offense taken to something one of us said or did.

 

So I don't know what is going on with him. I am a little hurt and I do feel the sting of rejection but I don't hold it against him. I don't even want to try to convince him to hang out with me. I want him to follow his heart. If his heart is telling him that it's not good for his spiritual health to hang out with me then so be it.

 

I still love him as a brother in Christ and my door is always open if he ever wants to hang out again. I'm not going to turn my back on him. I won't call him though. I'm leaving the ball in his court to get in touch with me and confront me himself.

 

I'm human and I make mistakes and I probably did say something that has bothered him to the point of not wanting to hang out. I just hope he will confront me to my face so we can talk about it. It was not my intent to offend him.

 

It's only a matter of time before I say something that someone is going to take offense to and it's only a matter of time before I take offense to what someone has said.

 

Anyway we all have to walk our own spiritual journey. So maybe Joel is at a place where he feels the need to part company with me over our doctrinal differences. I can't judge him for it.

 

At the same time I'm not going to change my doctrinal position just to keep friends around. If you really believe in something how can you not take a stand for it?

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I'm surprised Joel has not gotten around to taking me off of his top friends list on myspace. I'm actually # 1 on his page and he has logged on today.

 

Anyway the whole thing is just very strange. He and I have never had arguments as friends. We've always gotten along and he always spoke well of me until what I learned about from Josh last night.

 

What's even more strange is when Joel made it a point to leave the wal-mart parking lot before I got there last night. It was going to be just him & Josh meeting up last night but when Joel found out I was going to join them he left before I got there.

 

His behavior makes it seem like my belief in universal salvation makes me dangerous to be around like I have a plague or something.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I try to stay away from most churches because most of the sermons in the average american church are poisonous to the human mind.

 

I know that if I were to go to the local baptist church down the street tomorrow morning I would probably hear a sermon that will bring condemnation to my mind as the pastor will say many things that give me a feeling that I can't live up to what he's preaching.

 

I saw parts of the passion of Christ movie the other night on you tube. I feel so unworthy every time I watch movies about Jesus' life, death, burial & resurrection. I wish I was more loving and forgiving like Jesus is. I wish I could love my enemies but the love that my flesh produces waxes cold over time

 

I truly believe that Jesus is the eternal God who left heaven & came to earth in the flesh. I believe that in eternity past God had an appointed time to come to earth in human form. It's hard to believe that it was only 2000 years ago. But God left the realm of eternity & entered into our realm of time & space.

 

I can't love people the way God does. Any love that oozes out of me is really God's love working through me. It's not me trying at all. I get so easily irritated and impatient.

 

I have too much pride that God needs to purge out of my soul. It is an uncomfortable experience but one that is necessary nonetheless. I still have a long long way to go before I've exhausted my current self righteousness.

 

I still have a lot of it. I may be at a place where I'm no longer judging another person's relationship with God but I'm still judgmental & critical in other ways. I don't like the critical attitudes that I see in myself.

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I went to church this morning for the first time in 4 months. I'm actually fortunate enough to find a church that is grace & freedom based. I really enjoyed the service.

 

Actually our church is getting much better. The pastor has changed his format to where it's less preachy & more of an open discussion. He sat down and we all had an open discussion about the tree of knowledge of good and evil and Romans chapter 1.

 

This format is more to my liking because everyone is welcome to give their input and participate in the discussion instead of having one person stand up and lecture for over an hour.

 

I believe that the new testament church had this kind of format of where people came together and reasoned. They met for bible study, prayer & fellowship. They met in their homes and they didn't have 1 person standing up and lecturing for over an hour.

 

I talked with my pastor one on one after the service and told him that I liked his new format. He said that he felt the Lord had put it on his heart to change his format of teaching by getting less preachy & getting input from others through an open discussion.

 

He said that you can feel free to give your input that others may think is totally off the wall and he won't judge you for it. I'm not afraid to tell him that I believe everyone is saved. I suspect he already knows that's what I believe because earlier this year I gave him links to Mike Williams and Martin Zender's websites.

 

Then when I came back to church a few weeks later he asked me for more information on Martin Zender so I gave him a you tube link to zender's video on "how to be free from sin while smoking a cigarette."

 

Today I asked him if he had listened to some of Mike Williams stuff and he said he liked it very much. I suspect that he is keeping an open mind about universal salvation especially since I heard him say that he can learn and be encouraged by me and others as well.

 

My pastor is a good example of a man whose heart is much much kinder than his doctrinal beliefs. He believes in hell but I've never heard him preach on it. I suspect the reason he doesn't preach on hell is because deep down he doesn't really believe that anybody is going to burn in hell.

 

So maybe he's afraid to admit it to himself or maybe he's afraid to come out of the closet and say that he believes everybody is going to be saved. I recall him telling me in one of our one on one conversations (I speak with him one on one after most services) that he feels that there is a wall even among us grace believers that we are afraid to explore past.

 

Now since he is a man who has demonstrated that his heart is much kinder than his doctrine I don't have a problem telling him that I believe everyone is going to be saved. I am very comfortable coming out of the closet with christians whose hearts are kinder than their doctrines.

 

Billy Graham is another example of a person whose heart is kinder than his doctrine. He is a closet universalist. That means he believes all are going to be saved but he won't come out in the open because of the severe opposition he would face from the christian community. We saw what happened when Carlton Pearson came out of the closet.

 

At the same time I won't be pushy about it either and I won't stop going to his church whether he changes his doctrine or not. I go there for the exciting fellowship whether we agree or disagree doctrinally.

 

He's very humble in his teaching style and he does not act like he knows it all. He's willing to be real and honest. Many pastors get up on the pulpit and lecture as if they know it all. I've been guilty of acting that way myself.

 

I can't define God's grace. Any definition I give will be a limited understanding but the good news is that God's grace has a tight grip on me even if I don't have a grip on His grace. I believe grace is unmerited favor but it's also much much more than just that.

 

The doctrine of hell can't be true otherwise I would be forced to come to the blasphemous conclusion that my heart is kinder than God's heart. Now I don't hold it against those pastors who preach & teach this doctrine of hell because I used to believe & preach this. I'm also sure they don't know any better. They've never really contemplated this critically. Maybe they've never investigated the original greek and hebrew meanings for the word hell. Again I'm going to assume that their heart is kinder than their doctrine.

 

I'm just a finite human being who struggles with selfish tendencies & self righteous tendencies everyday and even I would feel it's unjust for my worst enemy to be tortured or tormented for eternity. I still want to see my worst enemies in heaven. I would save them if I had the power to do so. How much more would a God of perfect love be determined, willing to do the same?

 

If God really loves everybody with the same everlasting love then surely He will do whatever it takes to bring them into heaven. He's already done it. He's already saved humanity and resurrected everyone from the dead through the death, burial & resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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But even while I'm acting self righteous I'm still righteous in the eyes of God. A person's self righteousness does not change his standing before God.

 

In order for the gospel of grace & peace to be consistent one would have to be free to be as legalistic & self righteous and judgmental as they want to be. It was for freedom that Christ set us free.

 

But just because all things are permissible does not mean all things are profitable. It may not be profitable for me to be self righteous because of the damage that it does to human relationships.

 

Just as it may not be profitable for me to engage in a promiscuous lifestyle because I run the risk of catching STDs as well as getting emotionally attached to all those women I sleep with. I personally can't have sex without getting emotionally attached.

 

1st Corinthians 6:12 says that we can live anyway we want to and still be accepted by God but how we live may not always be profitable to us or to society or personal human relationships. So I believe morality is not a gospel issue but it's more of a society issue.

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