12
Jan
11

No Blessings without obedience?

     Mormonism teaches:  “Justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions.  Because of the law of justice, you will receive blessings when you obey God’s commandments (see D&C 130:21-22).”  (True to the Faith, p. 91)

      D&C 130: 20-21 says:  “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated – And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

      Many Mormons have cited or referred to this teaching to emphasize that blessings have to be earned.  For example, Bruce R. McConkie wrote:  “The law of justification is the provision the Lord has placed in the gospel to assure that no unrighteous performance will be binding on earth and in heaven, and that no person will add to his position or glory in the hereafter by gaining an unearned blessing.”

      No unearned blessings.  Every blessing predicated upon obedience.  Does that always hold true in Mormonism?  What about resurrection?  “Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected – saved from physical death (see 1 Corinthians 15:22).  Resurrection is the reuniting of the spirit with the body in a perfect, immortal state, no longer subject to disease or death (see Alma 11:42-45).”  (True to the Faith, p.139)

     I have trouble reconciling the resurrection of all people with Mormonism’s teaching that every blessing is predicated on obedience.  I think it is fair to say that “the reuniting of the spirit with the body in a perfect, immortal state, no longer subject to disease or death” qualifies as a blessing.  Since all and not just some, according to Mormonism, receives this blessing, I wonder how that blessing can be predicated on obedience.  What obedience did Hitler give in order to receive a body in a perfect state, no longer subject to disease or death?

     I think this is an important point.  If the blessing of resurrection is not predicated on obedience, cannot other blessings, including the blessing of forgiveness, also not be predicated on obedience?    That’s what the Bible says:  “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”  (Romans 4:7-8)

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183 Responses to “No Blessings without obedience?”


  1. 1 Seth R.
    January 13, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Ummm… you realize that accepting Christ and repenting are both “commandments” too, right?

  2. 2 markcares
    January 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Seth:
    How do you reconcile the blessing of general resurrection with D&C 130:20-21?

  3. 3 Seth R.
    January 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Yes, those blessings of resurrection are premised on a law.

    But we all have already kept that law in our premortal life – by not rebelling with Satan and his followers.

    All of us here kept our First Estate Mark.

    Thus we will be resurrected. Problem solved.

  4. 4 Ralph Peterson
    January 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    One of the blessing of obedience is the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

  5. 5 jbr
    January 22, 2011 at 5:30 am

    “But we all have already kept that law in our premortal life – by not rebelling with Satan and his followers.”

    really? ……….

    then either you’re saying that God uses some type of counter balance weight scale… Keep more of them than not and God will nod in your favor.

    or

    you haven’t read this revealed words from Jesus:

    “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do..because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”

  6. 6 Seth R.
    January 22, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Neither of which have anything to do with what I just said.

    As for the verse you quote – we believe in that verse just fine. Fully compatible with Mormon theology – a theology that includes the concept that human beings are fallen.

  7. 7 jbr
    January 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Seth,
    They have everything to do with it.

    Galatians 5:4
    Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

    Romans 3:27
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    The only way a human has “fallen” is because you have rebelled with Satan.

    Then by Heavenly Father’s theology, you best not even stumble (let alone break)one single command (James 2:10) … not Mormon’s theology of “do all you can do and God does the rest”

    Mormon’s ressurection theology falls short of perfection.

  8. 8 Seth R.
    January 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    That’s right JBR.

    Keep quoting random scriptures that Mormons already believe in while making unsupported assertions.

    Eventually you might get lucky and something will stick.

    Let me know how that works out for you.

  9. 9 jbr
    January 23, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Seth,
    That is always the hope ……… that “something will stick” about the hopelessness of attempting to obtain exaltation by the law.

    Listen to Jesus.
    .
    .
    .

    “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do..because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”

    —-“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.——

  10. 10 Seth R.
    January 23, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Yup. I believe in those verses too.

    What else ya got?

  11. 11 Echo
    January 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Seth,

    The JST states that God doesn’t justify the ungodly. That means that God justifies those who obey the law (the Godly). Now read jbr’s verse: “—-”Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are Justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.——”

    We believe that Christ is become of “NO EFFECT” unto you. You are justified by the law (God justifieth NOT the ungodly-JST)

    We are justified by Christ (God justifieth the ungodly-Bible)

    The important thing here to remember is that we are either 100% justified by Christ or 100% justified by the law. The two can’t be mingled together as partners. They can’t go together. It’s one or the other but not a mix of both.

  12. 12 Seth R.
    January 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Echo, God not justifying the ungodly is a part of YOUR theology too.

    It really just depends on context doesn’t it?

    I mean, we Mormons believe that through the Atonement of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can be SANCTIFIED.

    At which point, we wouldn’t be ungodly anymore, would we?

    Problem solved.

    What else ya got?

  13. 13 Echo
    January 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Seth said: “Echo, God not justifying the ungodly is a part of YOUR theology too.”

    No it’s not part of our theology on justification.

    Seth said: “I mean, we Mormons believe that through the Atonement of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can be SANCTIFIED.”

    We Christians believe that through the Atonement of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, we have already been sanctified. We have already reached the very goal that you are working towards. We have reached that goal through Christ’s efforts, you work towards that goal through your own efforts.

  14. 14 Martha
    January 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Seth, I thought an example may help you understand the difference between receiving blessings from the Law and receiving blessings from the Love of God.

    From True to the Faith, 180 comes the following definition of paying a Full Tithe.

    Blessings of Paying a Full Tithe

    The law of tithing requires sacrifice, but your obedience to the law brings blessings that are far greater than anything you ever give up. The prophet Malachi taught:

    “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

    These blessings come to all who pay a full ten percent of their income, even if that amount is very small. As you obey this law, the Lord will bless you both spiritually and temporally.

    As a Christian, I do not pay tithing to receive a blessing from God. I also do not pay 10%. When I go to pay my tithing, I pray to God to ask Him how much He would have me give. I give the amount He tells me because I am so in love with Him. I obey him with the amount He tells me not what earthly man tell me to pay. It usually ends up being more than 10%. It is out of love to God, not so I can receive a blessing. It’s a form of worship and praise to Him, the one and only true God.

    Would you ask your children to perform some kind of sacrifice in order to be fed dinner this evening. That is not a loving God. That is not the God of the Bible. God loves me because I am His. He blesses me because I am His. He blesses me when I pray to Him – when I let my requests be known to Him.

    This is the difference between my God and your god.

  15. 15 Seth R.
    January 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Martha, that assumes that every blessing within LDS theology comes in the same way as tithing.

    Echo, you are confusing your own theology and your own Bible. The message of Paul is not that we are already sanctified. If you had said we are all already justified, you would be correct. But sanctification is an ongoing process.

    And the idea that people can be rewarded for good works even AFTER justification is a common theme in Protestant theology.

    Again, I think you are distorting your own theology here in your eagerness to distinguish yourself theologically from me. Easy trap to fall into when you engage in apologetics Echo.

  16. 16 Echo
    January 24, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Seth said “Echo, you are confusing your own theology and your own Bible. The message of Paul is not that we are already sanctified. If you had said we are all already justified, you would be correct. But sanctification is an ongoing process”

    Notice the past tense in the verse below of us having already being sanctified:
    1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

  17. 17 Ralph Peterson
    January 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Humm,

    1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    So, after they repented, were baptized, were sanctified “by the Spirit of our God”, they were no longer “ungodly” and were justified.

    As Paul says here, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”

  18. 18 Seth R.
    January 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Echo, your analysis assumes that sanctification is a one-time event that – if it happens – only happens once.

    Why assume that?

  19. 19 Echo
    January 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Ralph said: “As Paul says here, “Know ye not that the UNRIGHTEOUS shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”

    The Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial degrees of Glory are all within “The Kingdom of God”.
    There are only two everlasting kingdoms. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of the Satan. Now apply the verse: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?

  20. 20 Echo
    January 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Seth said: “Echo, your analysis assumes that sanctification is a one-time event that – if it happens – only happens once. Why assume that?”

    It’s not an assumption but rather a fact. The Greek for “but ye are” in that verse in your KJV shows that the NIV translates it even more clearly “you were sanctified”. A one time passive event lasting throughout our lives.

    When it comes to the topic of being justified BEFORE GOD we WERE justified and sanctified. That sanctification was imputed to us and remains with us throughout life. No unclean thing can enter God’s presence. We are always prepared to meet God, any time, any day because we have already been justified and sanctified wholly and completely.

    When it comes to the topic of being justified BEFORE MEN, we work towards becoming as sanctified in reality as we already are through the sanctification imputed to us through faith alone. A process that is not completed in this life and bears no responsibility whatsoever for our justification BEFORE GOD.

  21. 21 Seth R.
    January 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Echo, even if you accept that phrase as the literal translation – it still does not demand a one-time and one-time-only event.

    You are just reading the meaning you WANT to see in the text.

    And just because faith is a necessary ingredient of sanctification does not mean it’s the only ingredient.

    And, under Mormon theology – when we see God, we can be sanctified completely and holy before him – through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

  22. 22 Echo
    January 25, 2011 at 12:09 am

    You gain your righteous standing(sanctification) before God through your works. Righteousness has already been imputed to us apart from our works:

    Romans 4:6 ” just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works”

  23. 23 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Echo, repeating the same thing over and over does not constitute an argument.

  24. 24 Martha
    January 25, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Seth,
    As a reply to your comment:
    “that assumes that every blessing within LDS theology comes in the same way as tithing.”

    This is skirting the issue. The difference between the LDS religion and the body of Christ is that we ARE Sanctified so we don’t need the Law for our blessings. We don’t need to work or sacrifice for blessings. When we call Him our Lord, we have a relationship that goes beyond the Law. It’s about the Love of God. It’s in our heart. To have someone tell me I have to do this or that to gain the Kingdom of Heaven is blasphemy in my mind. I am in the Kingdom of Heaven because of my belief in Jesus Christ. I know I will live with my Lord for eternity not because of what I do, but because I have been Sanctified by the Holy Spirit – past tense, present tense, future tense. The only way you can know that is by admitting you are a sinner and asking Christ to come into your life. Then you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit and know that you will live with Him for all eternity. If you don’t believe that, you are NOT sanctified and have no assurance of living with Him for all eternity. Try it, you’ll like it. Thank you Jesus for coming into my heart and bringing me into your kingdom.

  25. 25 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Well Martha, Jesus also happened to be a big fan of “doing stuff” as well. So I suppose I’m in good company.

    Incidentally, they called him a blasphemer too.

    Blasphemy is always the favorite rallying cry of Pharisees – in any age.

  26. 26 Ralph Peterson
    January 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    ‘The Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial degrees of Glory are all within “The Kingdom of God”.’
    Sorry, but you are wrong.

    Are you saying that “the kingdom of Satan” is an “everlasting kingdom”?

  27. 27 jbr
    January 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Seth you say ” when we see God, we can be sanctified completely and holy before him ”

    Not according to what Jesus revealed. That’s a different gosplel.

  28. 28 jbr
    January 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Should read …….. that’s another gospel.

  29. 29 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    jbr, let me know when you actually have a point to make.

    It’s not exactly news to anyone that you consider my views to be a “different gospel.” Everyone here already knew that.

    If you want to talk to yourself, you can do that on your own time rather than cluttering up the comments here with useless data.

  30. 30 jbr
    January 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Seth,

    I don’t believe you quite understand just who it is that is cluttering up this blog with useless data…….

    As Jesus revealed:

    “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

    Heavenly Father is attempting to get you to see, understand and hear what Jesus revealed….but how can you when you reject that God revealed “the righteous will live by faith…apart from observing the law”

  31. 31 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Mormon theology does teach us to live by faith – apart from the law.

    Again, you are not offering me anything that I don’t already have.

  32. 32 Echo
    January 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Seth said: “Again, you are not offering me anything that I don’t already have.”

    Have you been completely forgiven for all your sins?
    Do you have a forgiveness that you don’t have to do something before you will be forgiven?
    Do you have certainty of exaltation in eternal life with no doubts?
    Do you have perfect peace with God?

  33. 33 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Echo, is it possible for a person to reject God’s grace once he has received it?

    If so, I don’t see that you have any better guarantee than I do.

  34. 34 Echo
    January 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Can you answer my questions first?

  35. 35 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I’m taking my cues from Jesus here Echo – who was fond of answering his accusers’ questions with his own.

    I think you’ll find that my question has EVERYTHING to do with the answer to your questions.

  36. 36 Echo
    January 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Seth said: “I’m taking my cues from Jesus here Echo – who was fond of answering his accusers’ questions with his own.”

    Well then I will also take my cues from Jesus here Seth and ask a question of my own in response to yours. I think you’ll find that my question has EVERYTHING to do with the answer to your question…

    Seth asked: “Echo, is it possible for a person to reject God’s grace once he has received it? If so, I don’t see that you have any better guarantee than I do.”

    Who has a much greater or “better” gaurantee? Is it the one who trusts in what he himself must do or the one who trusts in what Jesus has done for him?

  37. 37 jbr
    January 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Live by faith … Really Seth?

    …”it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”
    2 Nephi 25:23 BOM

    ———————————————————————————-

    “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation”
    Spencer Kimble – Book of Mormon Student Manual

    —————————————————————————————-

    “A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Father and Satan offered a plan to the Father but Jesus’ plan was accepted. In effect the Devil wanted to be the Savior of all Mankind and to “deny men their agency and to dethrone god.”

    Mormon Doctrine, page 193;
    Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, page 8.

  38. 38 Echo
    January 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    That said, now can you answer these?

    Have you been completely forgiven for all your sins?
    Do you have a forgiveness that you don’t have to do something before you will be forgiven?
    Do you have certainty of exaltation in eternal life with no doubts?
    Do you have perfect peace with God?

  39. 39 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    That’s right JBR – after all we can do, it is by grace we are saved. You are correct.

    So what’s the problem with that?

    I fail to see how the Satan narrative is relevant here.

  40. 40 Seth R.
    January 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    The one who trusts in what Jesus has done for him of course.

    Which Mormon theology asks us to do.

  41. 41 Seth R.
    January 26, 2011 at 12:03 am

    1. Yes, but that’s not the end of the story.

    2. Nope – but neither do you.

    3. Nope – but you don’t either.

    4. Nope – but I do have peace with God. I doubt anyone on this forum has perfect peace with God Echo – outside the world of their own grandstanding rhetoric.

  42. 42 jbr
    January 26, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Seth,

    The problem is: by grace “after all we can do”
    ____________________

    You fail to see the connection ? —- “after all we can do” = works righteous
    ——————————————

    FYI … Jesus is the one who revealed “by faith alone by God’s grace”
    FYI … Satan is the one who counters with the alternative

    ——————————————————————–

    You fail to see the connection …… why not concentrate on just the KJV Bible. I’m sure you can get your free copy from Mark Cares or from Truth in Love Ministries.

    We want you to know the true relationship with Heavenly Father that he offers. He doesn’t hold out a carrot and then finally gives it to you …. “after all we can do”.

  43. 43 Seth R.
    January 26, 2011 at 1:56 am

    I already got a free copy of the NIV Bible from one of my Evangelical friends. So I’m covered, thanks.

    Anyway, I don’t see a problem. The verse states that even after all our best efforts, it is still by grace that we are saved – not the works.

    So the verse really isn’t a problem.

  44. January 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    If you maintain that blessings have to be earned (“after all we can do”) and that isn’t salvation by works…I really do feel sorry for you.

    Using this as an anology …Despite the owners manual explictness to the contrary, you’re convinced that using less than perfect gas in your vehical is going to get you to your destination.

    “Grace” doesn’t refer to the name on the tow truck.

  45. 45 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Have you been completely forgiven for all your sins?

    “1. Yes, but that’s not the end of the story.”

    Do you have a forgiveness that you don’t have to do something before you will be forgiven?

    “2. Nope…”

    Do you have certainty of exaltation in eternal life with no doubts?

    “3. Nope…”

    Do you have perfect peace with God?

    “4. Nope…”

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Seth, you have answered the way you have because you trust in what you yourself must do. If you trusted in what Jesus has done for you, your answers would be very different from what you said here.

    Who has a much greater or “better” gaurantee? Is it the one who trusts in what he himself must do or the one who trusts in what Jesus has done for him?

  46. 46 Seth R.
    January 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Echo, you’ve never coherently managed to explain what “trusting in Jesus” actually entails anyway, so I think this is more or less a moot point.

    You offer me nothing I do not already have.

  47. 47 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Seth said: “Echo, you’ve never coherently managed to explain what “trusting in Jesus” actually entails anyway”

    Couldn’t the problem be this…

    2 Corinthians 4:4 ” The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

    1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    2 Corinthians 4:3 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.”

  48. 48 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    So, do you want to learn or do you just want to debate and win the argument?

  49. 49 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Ralph,

    Echo said: “The Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial degrees of Glory are all within “The Kingdom of God” Ralph said: “Sorry, but you are wrong.”

    If they are not within the Kingdom of God, then who’s Kingdom do they belong to? The only other option is the devil. (Satan)

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”

    Ralph said: “Are you saying that “the kingdom of Satan” is an “everlasting kingdom”?”

    2 Thess 1:9 “They will be punished with EVERLASTING destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power”

  50. 50 Seth R.
    January 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Echo, for all you know those verses are directed at you more than me.

    Just throwing out random verses and then just declaring they automatically apply to your opponent without showing how is not competent witnessing.

    I am interested in learning Echo, always have been. But I’m rapidly losing interest in continuing to try and learn from you. I’ve gotten nothing but smokescreens and unsupported assertions from you from day one. You’ve never managed to make the connection in showing why your brand of grace or assurance or hope is any better than mine. All you’ve done is assert that yours is better without being able to actually demonstrate it. You have never shown me how your supposed assurance works, nor how it really provides anything better as a practical matter.

    You assure me that hope in Jesus is great, but then you are unable to give me any reason to hope that he picked me or that he’s still picking me, or that he will continue to pick me in the future. You’ve given me no parameters for judging whether a person is truly saved, other than vague warm fuzzies with no real-world traction.

    I have zero basis for confidence in your particular brand of salvation. It offers nothing quantifiable and no basis for comparison.

    Just believe?

    What’s to believe in? You still haven’t even established that much.

  51. 51 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    . . . .

    Crickets chirping

    . . . .

  52. 52 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    FYI … Jesus is the one who revealed “by faith alone by God’s grace”

    ??????

    Jesus NEVER said that. The fact that you twist and misinterpret scripture to get to that theology means that we can ignore your lecturing.

    You have no more authority to interpret scripture and declare doctrine than anyone else.

  53. 53 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Seth said: “Just throwing out random verses and then just declaring they automatically apply to your opponent without showing how is not competent witnessing.”

    Sorry Seth, I am just trying to take it one step at a time.

    Seth said: “but then you are unable to give me any reason to hope that he picked me or that he’s still picking me, or that he will continue to pick me in the future”

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

    The verse above says Christ reconciled the “world” to himself not counting their sins against them.

    Are you part of the world Seth? Yes you are. Therefore he picked YOU. Therefore he is not counting YOUR sins against you. Yet here you are, you believe he is counting your sins against you because you believe you must first overcome your sins before they won’t be counted against you.

    You are not believing God’s word, you are believing your human reasoning. Lay down your idol of “human reasoning” and believe the foolishness. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Believe God’s word, even if it contradicts your human reasoning, for God’s word is foolishness to those whose God is human reasoning.

    Martin Luther once said something to the effect of him being glad that the Bible didn’t come right out and say: “God reconciled Martin Luther” Luther said that if the Bible had said that in exactly that way, he would have wondered if there was another person named Martin Luther and so he would have no peace of mind whether or not it was meant for him. However Luther said that because God’s word says “World” that he could be absolutely certain that God had reconciled him(Luther) to himself.

  54. 54 Seth R.
    January 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Echo, what gives you any confidence that you have validly chosen Christ? How do you know you have a saving relationship with him?

    If this line sounds familiar to you, that’s because it should sound familiar.

  55. 55 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Who says they HAVE to belong to someones kingdom? Why can’t this degrees of Glory just exist?

    The fact is they do just exist or will exist. They are not part of the Kingdom of God nor are they part of the kingdom of Satan.

    So, you are wrong.

    2 Thess 1 doesn’t even mention the kingdom of the devil/Satan. This verse doesn’t answer the question.

  56. 56 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Echo,

    I don’t understand you at all.

    You keep posting like we have to do something to be saved, but then you claim that we can’t do anything to be saved because it is by grace alone.

    Either it is by grace alone then there is nothing we can do about it. It is totally arbitrary. (Pure Calvinism). It doesn’t even matter what we believe.

    Or,

    There is something we need to do to get it.

    Which is it?

  57. 57 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Seth said: “Echo, what gives you any confidence that you have validly chosen Christ? How do you know you have a saving relationship with him?”

    Is it the one who trusts in what he himself must do or the one who trusts in what Jesus has done for him?

  58. 58 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Ralph, here is a post from the repentance thread for Seth:

    Okay Seth. Since you’re never going to get past the idea that you have to “do” something, let me try to put in terms of what you need to “do” :

    What you need to do Seth, is accept the full and free gift of forgiveness that is being offered to you – – with the understanding that full means complete, and with the understanding that free means there’s nothing you really have to do or pay to get it. Simply believe that it is full and free.

    I have to say Seth, you for one, certainly don’t deserve to receive that full and free gift of forgiveness being offered to you. But then neither did any of us. Because if any of us did deserve it, it wouldn’t be free now, would it? It would be something earned, like wages. And we know what wages we’ve earned now, don’t we? “For the wages of sin is death…” But no, God’s gifts are free: “… but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    So what do you need to do, Seth? Well you’re already standing there in the shower, in that full, free, undeserved gift of eternal life that God is offering to you. So what do you need to do, Seth? There are no works to be done. No wages to be paid. So what do you need to do, Seth?

    What you need to do, Seth, is simply, don’t run out of the shower. Don’t reach up and turn off the water. Believe that you are in it. Believe that it is a gift. Believe that it is full. Believe that it is free. Believe that it is undeserved. And believe that it is for you.

    But you know something Seth? Possession of this full, free, undeserved gift? It creates a change in you. You become humble. You begin feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude. And that sense of gratitude makes you want to do things – – but not doing in the sense of paying for what you’ve received, but a doing which springs from an appreciation for what you’ve already received.

    So you see Seth, what you need to do, is really what you need to stop doing. Stop resisting the full, free, undeserved gift God is offering you. Stop thinking you have to do something to receive it. Stop trying to pay for it. Once you stop trying to “do” in order to receive something from the Lord, you won’t be able to stop “doing” out of gratitude for what you’ve received from the Lord.

  59. 59 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”

  60. 60 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    “Who says they HAVE to belong to someones kingdom?”

    All Kingdoms belong to someone.

    “2 Thess 1 doesn’t even mention the kingdom of the devil/Satan. This verse doesn’t answer the question.”

    There are only two everlasting Kingdoms. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the devil (Satan) There is no “everlasting destruction” in the Kingdom of God.

  61. 61 Echo
    January 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Mark 9:47 “And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,”

    Ralph, as the verse shows, we either enter the Kingdom of God or Hell.

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”

  62. 62 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Around and around we go.

    We have to accept the gift, but we don’t have to do anything, but we have to accept the gift, but we don’t have to do anything.

    Just because we don’t buy this circular approach doesn’t mean that we haven’t accepted Jesus and His atonement in our lives.

    So your approach doesn’t provide anything to us that we don’t already have. As Paul said,

    Philip. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling.

  63. January 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Ralph..
    FYI … Jesus is the one who revealed “by faith alone by God’s grace

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ //////////////////////////////////

    1. Luke 7:50
    Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

    (Jesus didn’t say Your faith after all you can do)

    —————————————————————————

    2. Ephesians 2:8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

    (Now just from whom did Paul get this revelation from ?)

    ———————————————————————————

    3. John 1:16
    From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

    (How do we recieve blessings … Yea right, I’m really twisting the wording there)

    ————————————————————————————-

    4. Acts 15:11
    We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

    (This is the revealed word …. it’s by grace through faith)

    —————————————————————————————-

  64. 64 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Still getting it wrong.

    The Telestial and Terrestrial degrees of glory are not part of either the Kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Satan. Period.

    The Celestial glory is part of the Kingdom of God.

  65. 65 Ralph Peterson
    January 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Apparently this was missed.

    One of the blessing of obedience is the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

  66. 66 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Yes Echo. You made a comment similar to this in an earlier exchange we had.

    But that still doesn’t give me any parameters for knowing when I’ve “accepted” Christ. How do you know your belief is of the right quantity or quality (take your pick which – it doesn’t matter to me)? How do you judge whether you’ve entered into that relationship wholly and validly?

  67. 67 Ralph Peterson
    January 27, 2011 at 12:04 am

    And exactly NONE of those say what you said, nor do they require your interpretation to be correct.

    The problem is not understanding the loyalty, commitment, and engagement that faith and grace requires to be active. Faith is an action principle. Grace is reciprocal principle.

  68. 68 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Luke 7:50 – Saver her from what jbr? You just inferring into the text what you want to see again?

    Incidentally, Jesus didn’t tell her to brush her teeth daily either. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t something you should do.

    Ephesians 2:8 makes your point a little better, but it still doesn’t designate which phase of the process is being talked about and whether it rules out other components to the recipe.

    John 1:16 doesn’t make your point at all because it’s not exclusive.

    Acts 15:11 still doesn’t specify which portion of the process is being described. Justification or Sanctification jbr – which one is Acts 15:11 talking about – because they are two different things.

  69. 69 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Mark 9:47 “And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,”

    It’s one or the other. The Kingdom of Heaven or Hell.

  70. 70 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Seth said: “Yes Echo. You made a comment similar to this in an earlier exchange we had.

    But that still doesn’t give me any parameters for knowing when I’ve “accepted” Christ. How do you know your belief is of the right quantity or quality (take your pick which – it doesn’t matter to me)? How do you judge whether you’ve entered into that relationship wholly and validly?”

    It’s not the quantity or the quality (your focusing on what you have to do or your focusing on you) Take your focus off of yourself and what you must do and instead focus on God and what he has done for you.

    Instead of asking me: “How can I know that I have accepted Christ?” Ask me this: “Has God accepted me?”

    The quantity or quality of faith doesn’t matter…

    Jesus taught this also: Luke 17:6 “He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

    It’s not the quantity or the quality of our faith that counts. It’s God that counts.

    When God tells you that he has reconciled you to himself and that he is not counting your sins against you, believe it. If you have only a small faith, if you doubt it, ask God to help you with your unbelief. Doubting Thomas said: Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief”

  71. 71 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Uh huh…

    Which basically tells me Echo that you have no clue whether you are actually saved or not.

    You are not a hard Calvinist – correct?

    You do not believe that God arbitrarily decides who he will save and who he will damn, right?

    If so, that means you already believe there is some role for the human being in this relationship. Which means that you have to explain to me what that role is and stop with the smokescreen about how it’s “all Jesus.” You’ve already conceded that it’s not “all Jesus.” You’ve said there is a human role here.

    So how do you know you have accepted Jesus Echo?

    And telling me to “just believe” isn’t good enough. Plenty of people out there think they already believe without really actually believing. Plenty of Mormons think they believe and you don’t seem to accept THEIR assurances of belief.

    So why on earth should I accept your assurances of belief? How do I know you aren’t just faking it?

  72. 72 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Ralph said: “Apparently this was missed. One of the blessing of obedience is the Holy Ghost.
    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

    Do you obey him?

    Acts 11:16-18 ” Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

    What does this verse say the people did to recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit?

    Romans 8:9 ” You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

    According to the above verse, the Spirit doesn’t come and go. It lives in us.

    Romans 8:13 “but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,”

    In fact, according to the above verse, a person can’t “obey” in the sense that you mean, until they have the Spirit first!

    `

  73. 73 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Seth said: ” Uh huh…Which basically tells me Echo that you have no clue whether you are actually saved or not.”

    I am certain I am saved because my salvation doesn’t depend on anything I do. I am simply trusting that Jesus has done everything for me.

    Seth said: “You are not a hard Calvinist – correct?”

    I am not a Calvinist at all. I am a WELS Lutheran.

    Seth said: “You do not believe that God arbitrarily decides who he will save and who he will damn, right?”

    Right. I believe God wants ALL people to be saved ( 1 Timothy 2:4 )

    Seth said: “If so, that means you already believe there is some role for the human being in this relationship. Which means that you have to explain to me what that role is and stop with the smokescreen about how it’s “all Jesus.” You’ve already conceded that it’s not “all Jesus.” You’ve said there is a human role here.”

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

    One step at a time on this…

    Let me ask you this: When Christ reconciled the world to himself not counting mens sins against them, was it “ALL JESUS” or did you have a role in that event some 2000+ years ago?

    Seth said: “So how do you know you have accepted Jesus Echo? And telling me to “just believe” isn’t good enough. Plenty of people out there think they already believe without really actually believing. Plenty of Mormons think they believe and you don’t seem to accept THEIR assurances of belief.”

    When the bible says: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” I believe God reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. That’s how I know. I have accepted the message. I believe the very words written here. I have accepted the fact that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. The reason we can say that Mormons don’t believe is because they don’t believe that God is not counting their sins against them. This is made evident by the teaching in Mormonism where you must overcome your sins inorder to be forgiven. As a Mormon, when you overcome your sin, only then will God no longer hold your sins against you.

    Seth said: “So why on earth should I accept your assurances of belief? How do I know you aren’t just faking it?”

    I am not faking it but let’s say for the sake of this discussion that I am faking it.

    Does my faking it nullify the truth of God’s saving word? When I tell you that God has reconciled the world to himself not counting your sins against you, does that make God’s word any less true? When I tell you that, am I lying? Read the word for yourself and see! The apostle Paul rejoiced that God’s word was being preached even by folks who were faking it…

    Phil 1:17-19 “The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

    The important thing here is not whether or not I am faking it, but whether or not you are faking it.

    If you believe in your heart that God reconciled you to himself and is not counting your sins against you, then you will know your not faking it. It isn’t more complicated than that.

  74. 74 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Let me get this straight Echo – are you advocating universal salvation here?

    Because it seems you just said you could fake a conversion to Christ – and STILL be saved.

    Did I hear you right?

  75. 75 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Seth said: “Let me get this straight Echo – are you advocating universal salvation here?

    Because it seems you just said you could fake a conversion to Christ – and STILL be saved.

    Did I hear you right?”

    If I am faking it, I am not coverted. I am not saved.
    If I am faking it, and say to you that God reconciled the world to himself not counting mens sins against them, you can still believe through that message I bring to you. Your then genuine faith has nothing to do with whether or not I am faking it because your placing your faith in God’s word and not in me.

  76. 76 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 3:48 am

    OK, so if you are faking faith in Christ, you are not saved.

    How do you know you are not faking it?

  77. 77 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 4:08 am

    2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

    If you believe in your heart that God reconciled the world to himself not counting men’s sins against them, your not faking it.

    If you say you believe that statement and also believe that you must overcome your sin in order to be forgiven, you are not hearing or believing what is written here.

    John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be judged but HAS crossed over from death to life.”

  78. 78 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 4:16 am

    John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be judged but HAS crossed over from death to life.”

    That’s absolute certainty of eternal life right now!

  79. 79 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 5:26 am

    That’s nice Echo.

    How are we supposed to know you really believe in it though?

    How are YOU supposed to know that you really believe in it?

  80. 80 Echo
    January 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I answered both of those questions so I am unsure what it is you don’t understand.

  81. 81 Ralph Peterson
    January 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Believing in Christ is only one aspect of obedience. If you believe in Christ (really) then you will obey Him. That is what being “faithful” means.

    The Spirit stays with you only as long as you obey. If sin controls you then the Spirit doesn’t abide with you.

    Romans 8:9 ” You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, IF the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

    IF the Spirit of God lives in you, then you are not controlled by the sinful nature. If then you choose to sin, then the Spirit will leave.

    Romans 8:13 “but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,”

    In other words, if you repent and obey God, the Spirit will purify you spiritually, thus putting to death the misdeeds of the body done in the past.

    Again, Repentance and obedience are prerequisites for having the Spirit reside in you.

  82. 82 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    No, you dodged the question with a smokescreen of scripture verses with only tenuous connection to the question I actually asked. I didn’t ask you to go on a scripture chase Echo. I asked you to explain in your own words what indicators you have in your life demonstrating that you really do have a valid belief in Christ.

    Quoting a bunch of verses about how “he who believes” has eternal life, etc. is not even remotely an answer to that question. It just shows me you never bothered to think about this and are now trying to hide behind a bunch of scriptures that don’t address the question – hoping that everyone here will be so dazzled by how nice the Bible is that they won’t notice you didn’t answer the question.

  83. 83 Ralph Peterson
    January 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    “Let me get this straight Echo – are you advocating universal salvation here?”

    That is what is sounds like.

  84. 84 Ralph Peterson
    January 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Here is the problem I see, articulated by an acquaintance of mine.

    “You can only espouse one of two positions.

    “Either our thoughts, beliefs, and actions in some way, shape, or form, influence our salvation for good or bad (something we do either helps us earn salvation or disqualifies us from it), . . .

    “. . . or our thoughts, beliefs, and actions have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on our salvation (we are either saved or damned no matter what we do or do not do).

    “If the former, we “earn” salvation, no matter how insignificant the act is for which we are responsible (a ladder may be lowered down to me to get me out of a pit, but I still have to step on to it. It is insignificant, and I wouldn’t really say I “earned” my rescue from the pit, but it’s still an action I must perform in order to receive it).

    “If the latter, it doesn’t matter what I believe, what church I go to, which god I pray to, or anything else. The great roll of the dice in the sky will either put me in heaven or put me in hell.”

    So, Echo, which is it?

  85. 85 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    That’s not really accurate Ralph.

    Covenant performance is not about EARNING God’s favor. That’s the mistake Echo makes. He thinks that ANY reference to human action or a human role in salvation automatically means we are trying to “earn” points with God.

    This is a complete misperception. Keeping covenants isn’t about earning or deserving anything. It’s about doing what God has asked of us in order to have a loving relationship with him – it’s as simple as that.

    God may be freely offering his love right now – but it is still up to us to do what is necessary to accept that offer.

    This is the issue that Echo is hiding from right now by trying to change the subject to how much “God loves you.”

    Yes Echo, we are all aware that God loves us. But this isn’t about what he’s doing – my question is about what you are doing on your end.

  86. 86 Ralph Peterson
    January 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    “God may be freely offering his love right now – but it is still up to us to do what is necessary to accept that offer.”

    You are stepping right over the point here. If there is ANYTHING we need to do, no matter how trivial, to receive salvation, then, in a sense we “earned” it by doing.

    Now it is true that Echo and Co. like to demogog the word “earned” when used in this way. And that is the mistake they make. But there it is. If ANYTHING is required of us to do to be saved, then by doing that anything, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, we get (or earn) the gift of salvation. Not that our effort is in any way near the value of the salvation received.

    If all you have to do is have faith in Christ (no matter how you define that) then by having faith in Christ you have earned the gift of salvation. That doesn’t change the gift nature of salvation at all. It is still a gift given to those that fulfill the requirements/earn it.

    The ONLY way salvation can be TOTALLY UNEARNED, is if there are no requirements. If there are no requirements then it doesn’t matter what church I go to, which god I pray to, or anything else.

  87. 87 Seth R.
    January 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I think I simply disagree Ralph.

    Earning implies that there was some inherent merit in the actions that force a positive reaction. This is not how I read LDS scripture. The acts of LDS covenant performance – in and of themselves – have very little inherent merit, if any.

    What they do however, is allow us to draw nearer to God in our hearts and accept him – become one with him in a loving relationship. It is this relationship that saves us – not the intrinsic merit of how much you paid in tithing or how much Home Teaching you did. There is a free relationship with God here – and in that sense, there must be performance and action from both sides.

    But it isn’t a matter of “deserving” at all. King Benjamin made this abundantly clear when he declared all our works to be pathetic and inadequate. He made it absolutely clear that you and I are NEVER paying off this debt – nor are we even making a dent in it. Read the sermon over again if you don’t believe me.

    What matters in our church is whether you are willing to enter into a loving covenant with God and your brothers and sisters. It is that RELATIONSHIP that saves – not the merits of your works.

    Echo is a victim of his own rhetoric and apologetics here. He has painted himself into a corner where any acknowledgment of a human element in the equation at all means that he loses the debate here and he’s had the wrong idea about Mormons this entire time.

    As a result he has no choice but to stick to this ridiculous rhetoric that there is no human element whatsoever and it’s “all Jesus.”

    It’s a logically and scripturally incoherent position – and renders his entire theology ultimately pointless. But he seems to be stuck with it at the moment.

  88. 88 Ralph Peterson
    January 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    “Earning implies that there was some inherent merit in the actions that force a positive reaction.”

    EXACTLY, that is how and why Echo and co. demogog it. But “earning” has a broader range of meaning which ensnares their theology as well. That is my point.

    “This is not how I read LDS scripture. The acts of LDS covenant performance – in and of themselves – have very little inherent merit, if any.”

    True, but in the broader range of the meaning of “earned” they apply. BUT they also apply to their theology as well. They can’t have it both ways.

    “What they do however, . . .
    . . . not the merits of your works.”

    I agree. But Echo and co. seem congenitally unable to understand and tolerate this.

    “Echo is a victim of his own rhetoric and apologetics here. . . . he’s had the wrong idea about Mormons this entire time.”

    I agree, and that is my point as well.

    “As a result he has no choice but to stick to this ridiculous rhetoric that there is no human element whatsoever and it’s “all Jesus.””

    And as I pointed out, this also has problems. If there is no human element whatsoever, then it doesn’t matter what church I go to, which god I pray to, or anything else.

    “It’s a logically and scripturally incoherent position – and renders his entire theology ultimately pointless. But he seems to be stuck with it at the moment.”

    We are in more agreement than I think you realize. I think you are just having a reaction to my use of the word “earned”. I agree that it is IMPOSSIBLE to “earn” salvation on our own merits. That is NOT what I am trying to express.

    But if God promised that if you stood on your head in the corner for 2 minutes, He would save you, then when you stand on your head in the corner for 2 minutes, you have earned the promise. But that doesn’t change the fact that the value of the standing on your head for 2 minutes is INFINITELY less than the value of salvation.

  89. 89 Echo
    January 28, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I once gave my son the opportunity to earn an expensive Lego set that he couldn’t afford to buy himself. So I gave him a list of things he could do to earn that Lego set. When he did everything on the list, I gave him the Lego set because I was OBLIGATED to do so. He “fully” and “completely” earned it by doing everything I asked him to do.

    The fact that he could not afford to buy the Lego set on his own means nothing. He earned that Lego set, he earned every penny I spent by doing exactly what I asked. Granted, I did pay him very generous WAGES for his work, perhaps more generous than non family members would do, but certainly, the Lego set was not a gift nor can it be considered a gift when there are conditions.

    A generous wage , yes. A gift, no.

    If Eternal life only comes to those who meet the conditions(LDS teaching), then Eternal Life is not a gift. God would be obligated to pay us the wage of Eternal life if we met the conditions. The fact that he is generous does not mean it is a gift in whole or in part. It simply means he pays generous wages.

    Of course, we are sinners though and God would be obligated to pay us the wage we earned and the “WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH…” Romans 6:23

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    If you sin against me without repentance and I have truthfully forgiven you and so I then tell you I have forgiven you. It doesn’t matter whether you believe me or not. The fact is that “I ALONE” have forgiven you whether you believe it or not. Forgiving you is my work alone. You are not forgiven because of something you do. Yes, you appropriate that forgiveness in your own heart by believing (accepting) the fact that you have been forgiven. However it’s not your belief or acceptance that caused your forgiveness. Don’t be ridiculous. Don’t be so self-absorbed. Don’t take credit where credit is not due. It’s absurd. How totally blind you two are! And I fear you two will remain blind.

    And when I tell you that I have forgiven you, don’t those very same words in and of themselves give you the ability to believe I have forgiven you just by my saying them? (faith is a gift)

    And if you don’t believe my words, does that mean I have not forgiven you when I truthfully told you I have forgiven you?

    “…The gift of God is eternal life” Romans 6:23

    It’s “All Jesus”!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  90. 90 Seth R.
    January 28, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Actually Echo, what you don’t get is that all gifts are CONDITIONAL.

    They are conditional upon there actually being a relationship.

    No relationship means no acceptance, and therefore no gift.

  91. 91 Echo
    January 28, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Seth said: “No, you dodged the question with a smokescreen of scripture verses with only tenuous connection to the question I actually asked. I didn’t ask you to go on a scripture chase Echo. I asked you to explain in your own words what indicators you have in your life demonstrating that you really do have a valid belief in Christ.

    Quoting a bunch of verses about how “he who believes” has eternal life, etc. is not even remotely an answer to that question. It just shows me you never bothered to think about this and are now trying to hide behind a bunch of scriptures that don’t address the question – hoping that everyone here will be so dazzled by how nice the Bible is that they won’t notice you didn’t answer the question.”

    “But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?” Mark 12:15 and “All men will hate you because of me” Mathew 10:22

    Seth said: “How are we supposed to know you really believe in it though?

    Can you look into another person’s heart and know for certain whether or not they have genuine faith or whether they are faking it?

    How are YOU supposed to know that you really believe in it?”

    When God says he is not counting your sins against you, how do you know you believe it?

  92. 92 Echo
    January 28, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Seth said: “Actually Echo, what you don’t get is that all gifts are CONDITIONAL. They are conditional upon there actually being a relationship. No relationship means no acceptance, and therefore no gift.”

    Well thanks for pointing that out to me! I never knew that! I never looked at it that way before!

    Well I guess I better go find that poor stranger that I gave some money too and get my money back now that your telling me I can’t give a gift without a relationship. Oh, that reminds me too that there is the shoe box I filled up for some child in another country who I didn’t have a relationship with, I guess that wasn’t a gift either since I don’t have a relationship with the child. What about the food I purchased and placed in the hamper at the local grocery store, guess that wasn’t a gift either huh?

    I guess I can’t do nothing about that now since I don’t have a relationship with these people. But thanks Seth for enlightening me, next time I won’t give a gift to anyone until I first demand that they have a relationship with me wherein they must live up to my expectations of them first! Then I will give them gifts!

    I feel so much better now!

  93. 93 Echo
    January 28, 2011 at 4:56 am

    How the God of this world has BLINDED you!

  94. 94 Seth R.
    January 28, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Yup, and in each and every one of your examples Echo – the gift was CONDITIONAL.

    On both counts I mentioned above.

    Try again.

  95. 95 Seth R.
    January 28, 2011 at 6:26 am

    You’ve missed the point. As usual.

    The point of the question was not really to question YOUR faith.

    It was to try and get you to provide me with a basis for judging whether there is a saving relationship with Jesus in MY life or not – under your theology.

    Geez… this is like pulling teeth. What are you offering me Echo? How am I supposed to judge – after signing up for your fabulous Lutheran faith – whether I am really saved or just faking it. What confidence can you give me here. And just quoting Bible verses saying “God did it all” tells me absolutely nothing here. How would I know I was saved at all if I signed up for your party Echo?

    As far as I can see so far – you offer me absolutely ZERO assurance of salvation that I do not already have.

  96. 96 Seth R.
    January 28, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Whining is not a substitute for witnessing Echo.

  97. 97 Echo
    January 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Ephesians 2:1-10 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins …. by nature objects of wrath …But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved…and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ”

    Seth, you are by nature an object of God’s wrath, that explains why you can’t do anything. But God, who is rich in mercy made you alive in Christ even while you were dead! What part can you who are spiritually dead play in being brought back to spiritual life?

    Seth said: “And just quoting Bible verses saying “God did it all” tells me absolutely nothing here.”

    Seth, since God did it all, that means there is nothing left for you to do. That is your confidence. For when you trust in yourself by thinking you must do something, there you will fall. But when you trust in Jesus, and everything he did for you, there you will stand most certainly.

    Place your faith in yourself and you WILL fall.
    Place all your faith in Jesus and you WILL stand.

  98. 98 Seth R.
    January 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

    OK Echo, rather than get into yet another irrelevant scripture verse that you’ve quoted that does not address what I was talking about, let’s get some clarification here.

    Do you believe in predestination?

    Easy question – yes or no?

    Or do you or do you not understand what predestination is?

  99. 99 Ralph Peterson
    January 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Have you ever considered that it is YOU that he has BLINDED?

  100. 100 Ralph Peterson
    January 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Here Jesus describes a blessing for obedience.

    The commandment;
    Matt 18:21 ¶ Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
    22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
    . . .
    34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
    35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (also see Luke 17:3-4)

    The blessing;

    Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
    15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

  101. January 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    And none of those verses say what you wish for them to read, nor is your interpretation correct.

    There is comes a point where witnessing shouldn’t be waisted. Both of you guy’s know that attempting what you’re calling the truth leaves those who listen to LDS short of perfection.

    Over and over you refuse to heed the truth…..that’s fine.

    One day you both will hacve to answer for being less than perfect. Go ahead and plead your case. Your answer is very clearly revealed by Jesus

    “DEPART FROM ME you who are cursed,into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

    The path you choose is not what you’re so sure of. It is ashame that what you both want so desperastly, will fall short.

  102. 102 Seth R.
    January 29, 2011 at 12:03 am

    That’s right jbr, dust your feet off.

    A common tactic of someone who just LOST the debate, but still wants to retreat from the discussion with a bit of personal pride intact.

  103. 103 RLO
    January 29, 2011 at 1:16 am

    “Porismata pullen.”

  104. 104 Echo
    January 29, 2011 at 1:58 am

    You are attempting to suck water out of a dry well saying that I had a relationship with these people and calling a “relationship” and “acceptance of a gift” conditions.

    Who would even think of such a thing as the acceptance of a gift being a condition!?!?

    Only one who is so self-absorbed! Only one who thinks only of himself and what HE HAS DONE!

    He thinks to himself…“The gift I got is all about me, me, me , me me!, it’s all about what I DO”

    Then he boasts: “Look at me! I accepted the gift that’s why this gift is mine!”

    You can be sure a man such as this will receive no further gifts.

    He believes his acceptance of a gift is a meritorious work (condition) rather than seeing that the faith to accept the Gift is yet another gift in and of itself, springing from the love and kindness of the gift giver as he presents the gift TO YOU.

    Gratitude seeks to glorify the giver

    Ingratitude seeks to glorify the receiver.

    The faith to accept a gift comes from the giver of the gift in the very moment he presents that gift to you, the faith to accept a gift does not come from the receiver of the gift!

    One must be presented with a gift before they have the faith to accept it and the gift of God is presented as an unconditional gift to begin with.

    It’s not about YOU!

    You can give sight to the blind but can you give sight to those who have fed their eyes to the dogs?

  105. 105 Echo
    January 29, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I answered this in post 74

  106. 106 Echo
    January 29, 2011 at 2:15 am

    You left out the rest of the parable, the very part that explains exactly what Mark is talking about….

    23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

    26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

    28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

    29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

    30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

    32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

    35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

  107. 107 Seth R.
    January 29, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Echo, you didn’t answer the question about predestination in comment #74. All you said is that God wants everyone saved – which does not clearly answer the question.

    Do you believe in predestination?

    Yes or no.

  108. 108 Echo
    January 29, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Give me your definition first just to be sure we are on the same page. There is more than one definition out there.

  109. 109 Seth R.
    January 29, 2011 at 3:43 am

    God exercises absolute control over the universe and decides which of us will accept him and which of us will reject him when he creates us.

  110. January 29, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Seth,

    Actually, you and Ralph are the only one who is debating.

    You fail to see the connection that “after all we can do” = works righteous ….
    .
    .
    .
    Your failure is to see that that obedience of some work = God allowing you into heaven and that doesn’t = works righteous is either you refuse to see it or you are beyond the point that God will allow you to see it.

    I really do feel sorry that you are deaf to the truth. For you guy’s (you & Ralph) everyhting that Jesus says is one big parable…You fulfill the revealation of Isaiah:
    .
    .
    Matthew 13:14
    In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’ ”
    .

    ———————————————–

    As long as you persue this LDS theology of the resurrection, you will fall short of perfection. As Jesus revealed about people who are EXACTLY like you:
    .
    .
    .Matthew 13:15
    For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

  111. 111 Echo
    January 30, 2011 at 4:17 am

    RLO said: ““Porismata pullen.”

    What does this mean?

  112. 112 Echo
    January 30, 2011 at 4:19 am

    Seth said: “God exercises absolute control over the universe and decides which of us will accept him and which of us will reject him when he creates us.”

    We believe that God wants ALL men to be saved. The Gospel can be rejected.

  113. 113 Seth R.
    January 30, 2011 at 6:08 am

    OK, so that would be a no.

    You believe in the capacity of human beings to exercise free will and reject God’s offer, correct?

  114. 114 RLO
    January 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Porismata pullen means a concocted conlcusion. In this case, the concoted conclusion that jbr “shakes off the dust” for the reason of saving face in a losing argument. The disgraceful allusion to Matthew 10:14 fails to take into consideration Christ’s own reasoning for advising his disciples to take such action:

    “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” Matthew 10:11-15 KJV

    ” … And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words … ”

    The reason why jbr and so many others appropriately “shake off the dust” is not to save face in a losing argument, but because their hearers have demonstrated themselves to be unworthy by their failure to listen to the words of the Lord. The judgment of Christ stands. It shall be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah.

  115. 115 Echo
    January 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Seth said: “You believe in the capacity of human beings to exercise free will and reject God’s offer, correct?”

    Can you “offer” a dead man life or must you alone choose to give him life? Did Jesus make an “offer” to Lazarus to raise him from the dead or did he just raise him from the dead? (John 11)

    A dead man can do nothing. Human beings are born spiritually dead. They can do nothing.

    Ephesians 2:4-6 “ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us ALIVE with Christ even when we were DEAD in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”

    Ephesians 2:3 “we were by nature objects of wrath”

    Hebrews 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God”

  116. 116 Seth R.
    January 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    OK… so you don’t believe that human beings are capable of rejecting God’s offer?

    This is a pretty straightforward question Echo. It shouldn’t be that hard to give a simple one or two sentence answer.

  117. 117 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Seth said: “OK… so you don’t believe that human beings are capable of rejecting God’s offer?
    This is a pretty straightforward question Echo. It shouldn’t be that hard to give a simple one or two sentence answer.”

    I thought I gave a pretty straight forward and simple one sentence answer:

    Post 113: Echo said: “The Gospel can be rejected”

  118. 118 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 12:26 am

    OK, so you believe that human beings are capable of rejecting God’s offer then?

    No scripture verses please. Just tell me what you think.

  119. 119 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Seth, God doesn’t “offer” life through the gospel, he “gives” life through the gospel. Human beings are capable of rejecting it.

  120. 120 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I don’t see a distinction to be honest. But it’s not worth arguing over.

    Fine – he gives life.

    And we are capable of rejecting it.

    Which means, Echo – there is a human role in all this, and it’s not “all Jesus.”

  121. 121 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Seth said: “Which means, Echo – there is a human role in all this, and it’s not “all Jesus.”

    And what would that human role be Seth? (remember Lazarus)

  122. 122 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 12:59 am

    No, I don’t think I am going to remember Lazarus Echo, because I don’t think he has much relevance to this discussion. I think the analogy doesn’t really fit well for what you are trying to use it for.

    The human role is to accept Jesus, and not reject him.

    The question then becomes how we do that.

  123. 123 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Acts 16:14 “One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”

  124. 124 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Yeah… so what?

  125. 125 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 1:40 am

    “The Lord opened her heart” = “all Jesus”

  126. 126 Martha
    January 31, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Anyone who wants to believe it. Pray the following. You will be assured of living with God for all eternity. Right now.

    Jesus, I have made mistakes in my life and know that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and ask for your forgiveness. I accept you as my Lord and Savior. I believe you are God that came to the earth in the flesh, you took upon my sins on the cross, you rose again and ascended into heaven. You live and I welcome you into my heart to do as you will.
    I give my life to you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

    Seth, if you accept this challenge the answers to the four questions will change.

    Here are my answers

    Have you been completely forgiven for all your sins?

    1. Yes, and He is transforming me continually into His likeness.

    Do you have a forgiveness that you don’t have to do something before you will be forgiven?

    2. Yes. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of Jesus coming here in the first place.

    Do you have certainty of exaltation in eternal life with no doubts?

    3. Yes, because I already am.

    Do you have perfect peace with God?

    4. Yes, because I know that He is in control and using me to do His will. After all, He is my Lord and Savior.

    Pray the prayer, you’ll like it.

  127. 127 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 2:16 am

    OK, so you are now saying it is not impossible to reject Jesus.

    Make up your mind Echo.

  128. 128 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Seth said: “OK, so you are now saying it is not impossible to reject Jesus.”

    It is not impossible to reject Jesus as I have said all along. As I said before: “The Gospel can be rejected”

  129. 129 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Then it’s not all Jesus.

  130. 130 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 3:33 am

    “The Lord opened her heart” = “all Jesus”

    “The Gospel can be rejected” = “all YOU”

  131. 131 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Right – which amounts to an equation where it’s part Jesus, PLUS part you.

  132. 132 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Wrong. It’s all Jesus or all you

  133. 133 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 3:43 am

    A distinction without a difference Echo.

  134. 137 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 4:34 am

    “The Lord opened her heart” = “all Jesus”

    “The Gospel can be rejected” = “all YOU”

    Let me explain this to you in a way you can perhaps understand using a real life example. Although I doubt you will “hear” it, it’s worth one last shot.

    You asked me if human beings were capable of rejecting God’s offer.

    I responded: The Gospel can be rejected.

    You replied: So you don’t believe human beings are capable of rejecting God’s offer? (notice you have not heard what I said and then…)
    Then you attack me for it when you said: “This is a pretty straightforward question Echo. It shouldn’t be that hard to give a simple one or two sentence answer.”

    Certainly “I gave you” the full capability to “accept” that I believe the Gospel can be rejected just by my saying to you: “the gospel can be rejected.”… “It’s all ECHO”

    Certainly your ears are SHUT, you don’t “HEAR” my words… “it’s all YOU”

    What RLO said fits you exactly, YOU DO NOT HEAR. Here is what RLO wrote…:

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Porismata pullen means a concocted conclusion. In this case, the concocted conclusion that jbr “shakes off the dust” for the reason of saving face in a losing argument. The disgraceful allusion to Matthew 10:14 fails to take into consideration Christ’s own reasoning for advising his disciples to take such action:

    “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” Matthew 10:11-15 KJV

    ” … And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words … ”

    The reason why jbr and so many others appropriately “shake off the dust” is not to save face in a losing argument, but because their hearers have demonstrated themselves to be unworthy by their failure to listen to the words of the Lord. The judgment of Christ stands. It shall be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah.”

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Acts 19:8-9 “ Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became OBSTINATE; they REFUSED TO BELIEVE and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them.”

  135. 138 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 4:48 am

    I pretty much ignored what RLO said because the whole thing boiled down to – “you’re wrong because I say so.”

    In the end here Echo, the division of labor doesn’t really matter much because in the final analysis, it amounts to the same thing:

    Do you have an assurance or don’t you? That was the question we were discussing.

    So far, you haven’t given me any greater assurance than I already had.

    You can call me hard-hearted if it makes you feel better about yourself I suppose. But it doesn’t erase the fact that no additional assurance has been provided here – and Mormon theology has probably been unfairly accused.

  136. 139 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Seth said: “Do you have an assurance or don’t you? That was the question we were discussing.”

    I have 100% certainty. You have no certainty. The reason I have that certainty is because when it ALL depends on Jesus, and it does, we can be 100% certain. When it depends on YOU and ME, we can NEVER be certain. TRUST JESUS, don’t put your trust in YOU. It’s faith in Seth or faith in Jesus. One or the other.

    Seth said: “You can call me hard-hearted if it makes you feel better about yourself I suppose”

    It doesn’t make me feel better about myself. It makes me feel truly sad for you because I care about your eternal fate Seth. The question is….how does it truly make you feel to say this to me? That is the question.

  137. 140 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Echo, you have simply refused to provide me with any parameters or indicators that would demonstrate an ongoing and valid commitment to Jesus.

    You say trust in Jesus 100%, and I agree with that. But what is involved in that trust, how do you know you are doing it, what guarantee do you have that you will continue to keep that trust in Jesus?

    So it really boils down to exactly the same thing Echo – you have no more assurance of your own salvation than I do – because you cannot identify what is involved in trusting Jesus, nor can you tell me what it looks like – other than quoting a bunch of verses that say nothing more than “Jesus did it all for us.” These verses do not answer anything we are discussing here.

    The debate here was never about whether Jesus offered 100% of the way back to God. That’s not at issue here in the first place.

    What is at issue here is how a person accepts that work Jesus has done. And how a person can really be sure he or she has accepted it.

    This is where you have utterly failed to make an argument at all. Every time it comes down to this issue, you simply dodge-and-deflect by saying “Jesus did it all.”

    That’s not an answer.

    How do you know you’ve accepted it Echo?

  138. 141 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Seth said: ” you have no more assurance of your own salvation than I do”

    Yes I have 100% assurance.

    Let’s try this another way if you don’t understand me.

    Name all the things that rob you of assurance?

  139. 142 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I already explained that Echo. Actually in comment 140. You seem to be avoiding facing this issue.

  140. 143 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I assure you I am not avoiding the issue. I just cannot see inside your mind and heart and know what exactly it is that your missing still. I didn’t have the struggle you are having to understand all of this. But I am still here and still willing to continue to discuss it with you in as many ways as I can.

    Take a long look at the verse below:

    Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee”

    That verse tells you that you can have “perfect peace” It doesn’t say you work towards having perfect peace, it doesn’t say you can’t have perfect peace. It says you WILL be KEPT in perfect peace! PERFECT! 100% Assurance!

    How? When your mind is focused on GOD and not on YOU

    Let me re-write that verse for you and all Mormons whose minds are focused on YOU rather than on GOD…

    “Thou wilt not keep in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on themselves and what they must do”

    So whenever the temptation arises to focus on you, realize it’s a temptation of the devil!

    Now keep that in mind as you read further…”

    Seth said: “But what is involved in that trust, how do you know you are doing it, what guarantee do you have that you will continue to keep that trust in Jesus?”

    Notice your questions all focus on YOU. It’s a temptation!

    The definition of faith is “trust” The important thing about faith is that it is a gift from God. If Faith were not a gift from God but instead was something I have to come up with on my own, I would falter in faith and continually lose my assurance because I would be trusting in my strength, my ability to create, strengthen and sustain this faith I am to have. But since faith isn’t something I myself must muster up but instead it is a gift from God and since God is the one who not only creates faith, but strengthens it and keeps me in faith(sustains my faith) until I reach my heavenly home, I can be absolutely certain he will do what he said he will do. There is your assurance and certainty!

    Seth said: “What is at issue here is how a person accepts that work Jesus has done. And how a person can really be sure he or she has accepted it.”

    Again, your questions all focus on YOU.

    You talk here as though your salvation is dependant on your accepting it. This is a misunderstanding on your part. Here’s why…Your salvation isn’t dependant on your accepting it as if Salvation is simply an offer that once you accept it it’s yours. No. It’s not like that. Salvation is the message that God has ACCEPTED YOU. He has CHOSEN YOU. He has saved YOU. So accepting this message is the same thing as believing this message just as it is written. Again, you don’t want to be asking me: “how a person can really be sure he or she has accepted it” Don’t focus on you, focus on Jesus. You can be really sure that he has accepted YOU FOR IT IS WRITTEN that he has!

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”

    Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

    Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy”

    There’s your assurance and certainty!

  141. 144 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    “the kingdom of heaven is like . . . ”

    “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

    Which supports my point.

    Thanks.

  142. 145 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    So your solution is to ignore the problem Echo, and pretend it does not exist?

    You’re the one who admitted that human beings have a role in all of this. And now your position seems to have become – “yes, there is a human role in the equation, but ignore that part.”

    You just keep switching all over the place.

    Whining about how I’m focusing on me does not answer the question of how we are supposed to know whether a person has really validly converted to Christ. It merely tries to change the subject.

    Your responses are not responses at all. Let’s take your scriptural examples:

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”

    The only way this passage provides a 100% guarantee is if the people Jesus is speaking to here actually accept him. If they do not accept him, they have no guarantee whatsoever.

    Unless you believe in predestination – like five-point Calvinists. If you believe in that, well then… yes – this verse does present a 100% guarantee – regardless of any shortcomings in the human subjects.

    But you’ve already denied being a five-point Calvinist. And you’ve rejected the idea of predestination. So where is the 100% guarantee?

    Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

    This is a poor verse choice on your part – because it seems to make Christ’s acceptance of us contingent upon our accepting others. Kind of like where Christ suggests in the Gospels that we will only be forgiven if we forgive others. This is a CONDITIONAL verse Echo, and it doesn’t make your point very well at all.

    Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy”

    Yes, not because of the merit of our works – but by Christ’s grace. Echo – we both already believe in salvation by grace, so this is a non-issue. But Christ’s work is still for naught if we do not accept it.

    So… can you see how crucial this question of valid acceptance is for determining whether we have a guarantee?

    And incidentally Echo… it does no good to accuse me of being self-centered in this discussion.

    YOU are the one who brought up all this talk about “guarantees” and “where is your assurance of salvation?” and all that stuff.

    YOU Echo, are the one who centered this discussion on me – on the human individual rather than Christ – in the first place. It is YOUR approach Echo, that is self-centered.

    Every bit as self-centered as mine has been. The moment you started focusing on HUMAN assurances, HUMAN guarantees, and HUMAN hope in Christ – you made the discussion ABOUT HUMANS.

    A 100% percent guarantee is a HUMAN reward Echo.

    So don’t try to back away from that now and say “it’s all about Jesus.” Your own rhetoric has been about human beings as well as Jesus from the first comment on this thread.

    You are not being honest with me Echo – or with yourself.

  143. 146 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Seth, what WOULD give you assurance?

  144. 147 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Echo said, “Yes I have 100% assurance.”

    Even the author of Hebrews didn’t go that far.

    Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, IF WE HOLD FAST the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope FIRM UNTO THE END.
    7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
    8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
    9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
    10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
    11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
    12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
    13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
    14 For we are made partakers of Christ, IF WE HOLD THE BEGINNING of our confidence STEDFAST UNTO THE END;
    15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

  145. 148 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Seth said: “John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” “The only way this passage provides a 100% guarantee is if the people Jesus is speaking to here actually accept him. If they do not accept him, they have no guarantee whatsoever.”

    When the passage says: “you did not choose me” what exactly will they be accepting Seth?

    Seth said: “Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” “This is a poor verse choice on your part – because it seems to make Christ’s acceptance of us contingent upon our accepting others”

    Isn’t the verse saying that our accepting others is contingent on Christ first accepting us? Or does the verse say: “accept others then Christ will accept you”?

    Seth said: “Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” “Yes, not because of the merit of our works – but by Christ’s grace. Echo – we both already believe in salvation by grace, so this is a non-issue. But Christ’s work is still for naught if we do not accept it.”

    Do you not believe in: “Saved by grace AFTER all you can do” (book of Mormon)? Have you done all you can do? Do you even try to do all you can do? Have you tried to do all you can do in this thread?

  146. 149 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Ralph, the verses you gave support what I said, your focus is wrong…

    Heb 3:6 6″But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast THE CONFIDENCE and the rejoicing of hope firm unto the end… 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning OF OUR CONFIDENCE stedfast unto the end.” KJV

    Verse 14 in the NIV ” We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”

    Ralph, are you holding to the confidence (100% assurance) you had at first? Or did you ever even have 100% confidence to begin with?

    The consequence of not having 100% confidence is “fear”…

    Revelation 21:8 “But the FEARFUL, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    When you hold to 100% confidence without fear…

    John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS crossed over from death to life.”

  147. 150 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Your focus is wrong. Even the Jesus’ disciples had to endure to the end to be saved.

    Matt 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Matt 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

  148. 151 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Here is another blessing for obedience taught by Jesus Himself.

    John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    The blessing of knowledge follows obedience.

  149. 152 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    More blessings of obedience, the love of God.

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

  150. 153 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Another blessing of obedience, food.

    Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

  151. 154 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Another blessing of obedience, the true and living God will be our God.

    Jer 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
    24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

  152. 155 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    GO ahead then, be obedient for without obedience is fear and the “fearful shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

  153. 156 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    GO ahead then, be obedient in keeping ALL the commandments for without obedience is fear and the “fearful shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

  154. 157 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Once again….GO ahead then, be obedient in keeping ALL the commandments for without obedience is fear and the “fearful shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

  155. 158 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    GO ahead then, be obedient in keeping ALL the commandments and then God will be your God for without obedience is fear and the “fearful shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

  156. 159 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    GO ahead then, endure to the end and be obedient for without obedience is fear and the “fearful shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

  157. 160 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Yes, indeed, without obedience is fear. Within obedience is faith, love, peace, the Spirit, and knowledge. The Bible tells me so.

  158. 161 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Remember to keep ALL of the commandments, not just some of them. Now teach Seth about obedience to ALL of the commandments because he isn’t obedient. If you don’t teach him how to be obedient to ALL of the commandments, your not being obedient to all of the commandments yourself. You ARE your brothers keeper. That is a commandment.

  159. 162 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    More blessings of obedience, the love of Christ.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

  160. 163 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Echo, I find Ralph’s opinion interesting, but I don’t find it particularly binding. Some of it I agree with, some I have disputes with. But this isn’t really between me and Ralph. I was talking to you Echo, not Ralph – so don’t bother trying to change the subject by playing us off each other.

    Regarding your non-response to my remarks on John 15:16 – you yourself have admitted in this thread that people are capable of rejecting Christ’s gift.

    That automatically means we are capable of accepting it. This is not all that tough of a concept. Romans 15:7 can go either way – and either way, it’s not a great proof-text for you. As for your response to the passage in Titus, you are misreading the Book of Mormon passage in any event.

    The Book of Mormon does not require human-powered perfection before salvation. Neither does that passage in Nephi require it. I’ve already had extensive debates with you on this point, and I find it rather discourteous that you are seemingly deliberately ignoring those past conversations (which I put quite a bit of effort into) and simply going back to your same tired talking points like I never said anything at all.

    The passage in 2 Nephi does NOT require human-powered perfection. You are misreading it, and I’m starting to suspect that you are DELIBERATELY misreading it – mostly due to your refusal to even so much as acknowledge the exegesis I provided you in the past on this passage.

    As far as I’m concerned, if I remain in the covenant, repent, and do what I am able to – with complete faith an reliance on Christ, I do have assurance of the Celestial Kingdom.

    And no – that does not involve perfect performance of all the commandments. The Book of Mormon makes it clear that it does not involve that. But as part of the covenant relationship, things are expected of me – repentance, faith, love of God, and willingness to constantly strive toward God – whatever level of righteousness I find myself at.

    This is Mormon theology.

    But enough about me.

    I noticed you dodged the majority of my comment, preferring instead to try and force the discussion back onto more comfortable ground of Bible-bashing over specific verses.

    As I already told you Echo – your selection of Bible verses does nothing to enlighten or solve our dispute here. I asked for you own answers – because you’ve already made this conversation about YOU and YOUR ASSURANCE.

    Which means I need YOUR answer – not the Bible’s.

    If you don’t like it, then I suggest in the future that you refrain from trying to bribe Mormons into your congregation with incentives like your own “personal assurance.”

  161. 164 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Another blessing of obedience, to know that we know Him.

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

  162. 165 Ralph Peterson
    January 31, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Seth said, “The passage in 2 Nephi does NOT require human-powered perfection. You are misreading it, and I’m starting to suspect that you are DELIBERATELY misreading it – mostly due to your refusal to even so much as acknowledge the exegesis I provided you in the past on this passage.”

    You are exactly right. They are purposely demogoging this verse with their out of context misreading of it.

  163. 166 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Seth said: “Which means I need YOUR answer – not the Bible’s.”

    Sorry! You won’t find assurance in my answer. You will only find assurance in the Bible for it contains the word of God.

    “faith comes from hearing the message” Romans 10:17

  164. 167 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    No Echo.

    Not good enough.

    You made this about YOU when you boasted to me of your OWN personal assurance.

    Now own it – personally.

  165. 168 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Seth said: “I noticed you dodged the majority of my comment”

    As RLO stated…

    “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” Matthew 10:11-15 KJV

    ” … And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words … ”

    The reason why…so many others appropriately “shake off the dust” is not to save face in a losing argument, but because their hearers have demonstrated themselves to be unworthy by their failure to listen to the words of the Lord. The judgment of Christ stands. It shall be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah.”

  166. 169 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Mathew 7: 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

  167. 170 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I could say the same thing about your reaction to the sacred and holy words of the Book of Mormon Echo.

    Pearls before swine.

    Actually, I don’t say this – because I find self-righteous and over-dramatic responses online to be rather meaningless.

    So instead, let’s stick to the issues.

    You state that one of the selling points of your faith is that it gives YOU (note the emphasis on YOU Echo) an assurance of salvation. Then I try to discuss you and you say it’s all Jesus and refuse to demonstrate why YOU have an assurance.

    That’s bait-and-switch Echo. You offered us personal assurance, but then when I try to make the personal human connection, you yank the plate away.

  168. 171 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    As it so happens, I’m not really interested in the idea of personal assurance. Because, unlike you, my religious motivation is not completely focused on me. I’ve been talking about “me” a lot in this thread Echo – that is true. But the only reason I have been doing so is in response to your human-centered argument about personal guarantees and assurance. But my theological focus is not really on myself.

    I am far more interested in being part of the cause and the covenant that God has provided – the fate of my fellow human beings, and the glory of God that is to come. That is my motivation, my hope and my faith. It’s not about self-centered “personal assurances” for me. I have my eyes set on something far more grand and magnificent than this.

    You are willing to content yourself with mere forgiveness Echo. I however have found God is willing to do far more than simply forgive us – he aims for the glorification of the entire universe and all humanity with it. And I have the privilege of submitting myself to this grand vision. What could ever compare to that?

    Certainly not half measures like nit-picking over whether you have a “true assurance.”

  169. 172 Echo
    January 31, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Seth said: “And I have the privilege of submitting myself to this grand vision. What could ever compare to that?”

    And when will you begin submitting? That is the question.

    Take care.

  170. 173 Seth R.
    January 31, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Already doing it Echo.

  171. 174 jbr
    February 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Echo,
    I congratulate you for your persistent dialog.

    What I came away after all this is still that any Mormon who says that they believe “by faith” is (for the avg LDS) decieved or knowingly being the deciever.

    It’s about agency and progression for the LDS. If in doubt…qoute.
    .
    .
    .
    As for the highest heaven: “No man or woman…will even enter into the celestial kingdom without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are, I cannot go there without his consent“————- Brigham Young

    .
    .

    “Neither a man nor a woman can be exalted in the celestial kingdom unless both unite in the unselfishness of the everlasting covenant of marriage and unless both choose to keep the commandments and honor the covenants of that united state” Ensign, January 2001

    .
    .
    “Man cannot be redeemed from this spiritual death by an act of Christ alone..”
    The Restored Church”, Pgs. 562,563
    .
    .
    “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation”—— Spencer Kimble – Book of Mormon Student Manual

    .
    .
    A LDS woman came to our bible class 2 weeks ago when she heard that we are topic was on LDS using the presentaton Pastor Cares has. She admitted many would like to leave the LDS because of the pressures of “doing all you can do” then ……… but so many don’t because of the culture of LDS. For many in the LDS, there is no salvation outside of the walls of LDS church. As she said they have teams of people who are willing to come to our church to “correct” the misinformation. As far as we know, seth or ralph could be just such … what else does it explain why every OP after OP the amigo’s are there.

    Take heart echo, we have perfection.

    .

  172. 175 Seth R.
    February 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Tell me jbr….

    Can you get into heaven without accepting the things Paul said about Jesus Christ?

    Yes or no?

  173. 176 Ralph Peterson
    February 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    “A LDS woman came to our bible class 2 weeks ago. . . ”

    Nice anecdotal evidence. LOL!

    “As she said they have teams of people who are willing to come to our church to “correct” the misinformation.”

    LOL!

    Hear that Seth, we are a “team”.

  174. 177 Seth R.
    February 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    jbr, I’ve actually been kind of ignoring this website for several months. I only recently came back on a bit of a whim.

    I’m just a “private citizen” jbr. I don’t have a “calling” from the LDS Church to do this kind of stuff. In my real ward, I’m the Ward Financial Clerk – I keep track of tithing and fast offering donations, write checks for the different organizations, and do stuff like audits with the Stake (got one coming up this month actually).

    The other people in my ward (including my Bishop) are aware of my “hobby” in apologetics. They are generally tolerant of it, but consider me a little weird for actually wanting to debate with people of other faiths. Most of them consider it a bit of a waste of time.

    I have no official affiliation with the LDS Church other than being baptized into it. The LDS Church does not bankroll apologists. Organizations like FAIR are purely a bunch of private individuals banding together to counter the kind of lies and misinformation we’ve come to expect. No one at FAIR receives so much as a dime from the LDS Church for their apologetic endeavors. Neither do any of the other various Internet skirmishers like myself. We’re just people who believe in what we are doing – usually with an intense appetite for debate.

    Christian counter-cult ministries, by contrast, usually are trying to make money off what they are doing. Lighthouse Ministries, Mormonism Research Ministries, etc. These guys have anti-Mormonism as their main occupation and have a vested financial interest in the whole thing. Yet, they have the utter hypocrisy to accuse Mormons of being in it all for the money.

    But no jbr. I’ve never met Ralph before in my life. I don’t work much with him. And as I’ve stated before, I don’t even necessarily agree with his approach all the time. Nor, I imagine, does he agree with mine all the time.

    One final general observation:

    I’ve tended to notice when debating with Evangelicals (and ideological Lutherans), that when they start whining about “professional apologists” it usually means they just lost the argument and are now trying to lay down a smokescreen of personal attacks to cover their retreat.

    Sorry jbr, it isn’t going to work. We know you just got served. Changing the subject isn’t going to work here.

  175. 178 Seth R.
    February 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Actually, I apologize for that last sentence. Unnecessary and snotty.

    I stand by the rest of the comment though.

  176. 179 Echo
    February 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    JBR said: “It’s about agency and progression for the LDS…”

    The LDS response “Don’t give me what Jesus earned for me, give me what is coming to me”…

    God’s response: “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23… Eternal Death rather than Eternal Life.

    JBR said: “As far as we know, seth or ralph could be just such … what else does it explain why every OP after OP the amigo’s are there”

    I think Seth and Ralph are just passionate about what they believe, that’s something I admire very much about them both. It’s passionate people like that, that I want to include in amongst my list of close friends. :-)

    I have spoken with Seth for years now. Ralph, not near as long. Seth and perhaps even Ralph remind me of the apostle Paul(Saul). Such a passion has Seth. Now all Seth needs is a similar-or-not-so-similar road to Damascus awakening. “Seth, Seth, WHY do you persecute me?”

    I think Seth needs to search his heart for the answer to “WHY” he persecutes people to begin with. And he needs to learn the difference between what “is” persecution and what isn’t persecution, for I am sure the Pharisees thought Jesus was persecuting them when it really was the other way around! In other words….there is more than meets the eye and it all stems from the heart.

    A true follower of Christ should never persecute even their greatest enemies.

    Anyways JBR, don’t be too hard on Seth as you continue your conversations with him. He has grown on me over the years and I desire to be his friend. Hopefully one day he will stop resisting that effort.

    I am going to take some time away from blogging to do some serious reading for personal growth that I have been longing to do for awhile.

  177. 180 Ralph Peterson
    February 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Echo said,”The LDS response “Don’t give me what Jesus earned for me, give me what is coming to me”…”

    Echo,
    you wouldn’t know what the LDS response was if it jumped up and bit you.

    One of the things Jesus “earned” for me is the gift of repentance and forgiveness of sins.

    Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give REPENTANCE to Israel, and FORGIVENESS of sins.

    Matt. 4:17 ¶ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH.

    2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should PERISH, but that all should come to REPENTANCE.

    Mark 6:12 And they (the twelve) went out, and preached that men should REPENT.

    Eph. 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the FORGIVENESS of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

    Col. 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the FORGIVENESS of sins:

    John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: SIN NO MORE, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

    John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and SIN NO MORE.

    D&C 19:15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
    16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
    18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
    19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
    20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.

    I use my agency to accept these wonderful gifts from Jesus.

  178. 181 Seth R.
    February 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Echo, you’re a nice enough person. But the critiques of Mormon theology are simply misguided.

    Now as far as attacking goes on my end – I didn’t start this.

    I don’t have a blog devoted to saying why Evangelicals are deluded, or why Lutheranism is wrong, or why atheists aren’t going to heaven. That’s Mark’s gig – not mine.

    But if the true Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is being attacked – expect a response from me. And expect it to be hard hitting. A lot of my fellow Mormons will simply smile and take it while people on the Internet flagrantly misrepresent them, and in some cases – lie about them and insult them. The stuff being said about us on places like CARM and exmormon.org is often simply vile – and almost darn near qualifies as hate speech.

    This blog is not to that extreme. If it were, I wouldn’t even be here. But some of the same spirit of misrepresentation found on CARM, the same critical tone, and the same false views about my people do carry over into blogs like this one. And I’m not going to quietly take it.

    I didn’t not fire the first salvo here Echo. You guys did. And attacking Mormonism “with a smile” does not hide the fact that you are still attacking.

    You picked a fight and I answered. I does no good to devote a blog to attacking Mormonism and then get resentful when actual Mormons answer disagreeing with you.

    Aside from letting my tone get away from me on occasion, I don’t regret any of it.

    You’re not a martyr here Echo. You’re not a mean-spirited “anti-Mormon” in my estimation. But you aren’t a martyr who is being picked on either. You’ve misrepresented Mormon theology and teaching, and constantly refused to acknowledge my explanations to the contrary. Well, on this thread I’d had enough, and decided we were going to have this whole assurance of salvation thing out once and for all. And we have.

  179. 182 Echo
    February 2, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Seth said: “I don’t have a blog devoted to saying why Evangelicals are deluded, or why Lutheranism is wrong, or why atheists aren’t going to heaven. That’s Mark’s gig – not mine…But if the true Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is being attacked…You picked a fight and I answered. I does no good to devote a blog to attacking Mormonism and then get resentful when actual Mormons answer disagreeing with you…”

    Jesus spent a good portion of his time warning the Pharisees about the danger of their religion. Not to pick a fight with them, but because he passionately loved them. In fact, had he failed to do so, he wouldn’t be showing them any love at all.

    We love you Seth.

    Take care. Gotta catch up on my reading and growth. :-)

  180. 183 Seth R.
    February 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Actually, part of what Jesus was doing with the Pharisees was “picking a fight.” But anyway…


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