24
Feb
11

What Qualifies People to Live with Heavenly Father for all eternity?

(I’m repeating this post from over a year ago because some LDS members remarked that it helped them understand our position on faith and works.)

A topic that frustrates both Christians and Mormons is the topic of faith and works.  It usually creates much more heat than light.  Therefore I would like to approach this somewhat differently in an attempt, at the very least, to clarify some of the issues involved.  I would like to address the question in the title.  What qualifies people to live with Heavenly Father for all eternity?

I worded it that way because I have found that the phrase “living with Heavenly Father” is the best way to get Mormons and Christians thinking about somewhat the same thing.  When Christians hear that phrase, most think of going to heaven.  When Mormons hear that phrase, most think of going to the celestial kingdom.

In this post, all I want to do is to try and express, as clearly, as I can, what I believe the Bible says qualifies people to live with Heavenly Father eternally.  The answer to that is quite simple.  The only thing that qualifies people is the vicarious work of Jesus –which the Bible breaks into two parts.   The first part is the perfect life he led, not just as our Example, but as our Substitute.  (1 Corinthians 1:30 and all the passages that talk about the righteousness we have in Christ.)  The second part is his sacrificial death which satisfied divine justice by paying the debt of sin.  In other words, Jesus not only supplied the payment for all sin with his death; he also supplied righteousness and perfection for us through his perfect law-keeping.  His complete payment and his perfect law-keeping are what qualify people to live with Heavenly Father.  Sinlessness and perfection is what Heavenly Father is looking for.  No more – no less.

Yes, faith is essential but not because it is an additional qualification.  Rather it is the way that Christ’s work is credited to individual persons.  Faith is one of those words that cause great confusion between Mormons and Christians. For my Mormon readers, I would like to clarify what Christians mean when they talk about faith.  Faith is not just head knowledge.  It is trust.  Conversion, in Christianity, is abandoning the trust that your works and efforts in any way qualify you to stand before God and replacing that with trust that Jesus’ works are the only thing that qualifies you to stand before God.  When it comes to living eternally with Heavenly Father, it is not even believing that God exists, or so much believing in his Word, but it is trusting in Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death for us.  To a Christian, faith, in the context of living eternally with Heavenly Father, is very specific.

Yes, faith is without works is dead.  But again the works that follow faith are not additional qualifications for living eternally with Heavenly Father.  When people are converted, they cross over from spiritual death to spiritual life.  They become new creations.  They are filled with life and thus naturally want to do good works.  That is why the Bible often calls them fruits of faith.  They come after faith and are the visible proofs and evidence that people have living faith.

Christians are very careful to keep works in their proper place.  They abhor any thought that their works in any way qualify them to live with Heavenly Father.  That idea, to many Christians, dishonors Christ tremendously.  Not only that.  Since the Bible says grace and works don’t mix as causes of being accepted by God (Romans 11:6), Christians say any mention of works in the discussion of how people qualify for living eternally with Heavenly Father actually disqualifies a person to live eternally with Heavenly Father.

Finally, yes, people have to endure in the faith.  It’s who people are trusting in that counts.  If people quit trusting in Jesus works, then they won’t be able to live eternally with Heavenly Father.  But again that is not an additional qualification.  If a fireman rescues me from a burning house and I stay on the sidewalk in safety rather than running back into the burning house, I wouldn’t say that I did something to be saved.  What an insult that would be to the fireman who risked his life to save me.

I pray that in some small way this helps Mormons better understand Christians and also helps them understand why many Christians become greatly agitated at any thought that we have to do something to qualify to live eternally with Heavenly Father.

 

 

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29 Responses to “What Qualifies People to Live with Heavenly Father for all eternity?”


  1. 1 Cindy
    February 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for this clarifying post. I have this discussion all the time with my dear Mormon friends and it helps to have someone else describe it…thank you!

  2. 2 Ralph Peterson
    February 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I understand that is what YOU believe, but you don’t speak for Christianity, nor for all Christians.

    Statements like “Christians are very careful to keep works in their proper place” are rather dubious since Christians don’t agree on the proper place of works.

    And this statement is also dubious, “I pray that in some small way this . . . helps them understand why many Christians become greatly agitated at any thought that we have to do something to qualify to live eternally with Heavenly Father.”

    IF there is NOTHING I can do for salvation, then salvation is TOTALLY arbitrary. Then it doesn’t matter what I believe or which church I attend.

    It is rather strange that those that believe that there is NOTHING they can do to be saved, also believe that they are saved because they believe the “right” things. Isn’t believing the “right” things doing something? A bit hypocritical don’t you think?

    And so I pray that in some small way this helps Evangelical Christians understand why many LDS Christians become greatly agitated at any thought that we don’t have to do something to qualify to live eternally with Heavenly Father.

    Other than these quibbles, I enjoyed this post.

  3. 3 Echo
    February 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Ralph said: “It is rather strange that those that believe that there is NOTHING they can do to be saved, also believe that they are saved because they believe the “right” things. Isn’t believing the “right” things doing something? A bit hypocritical don’t you think?”

    Mark’s post covered this. Here is his statement: “Yes, faith is essential but not because it is an additional qualification. Rather it is the way that Christ’s work is credited to individual persons”

  4. 4 jbr
    February 25, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Ralph,
    I understand why why many LDS Christians become greatly agitated at any thought that we don’t have to do something to qualify to live eternally with Heavenly Father…….

    because there would be no ladder to climb and boast about. No progression process, no showing worthiness …. it’s a totally against everything you hold to be the truth.

    What you’re told as a gospel from Satan……….

    is actually the Gospel Jesus revealed.

  5. 5 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    So, then having faith is DOING something. To have real faith, works must occur. “Faith without works is dead”.

    So again, to claim that we don’t have to do anything doesn’t fly. We HAVE to do good works to have true faith.

  6. 6 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Why can’t you accurately represent Mormon theology?

    I could say that you boast because you claim salvation in idleness. I could say you are so arrogant that you believe you don’t have to do ANYTHING to be saved.

    So, don’t play stupid word games.

    Jesus providing the ladder and then reaching down and lifting us up is no cause to arrogantly boast about position on the ladder. No more so that you standing at the base of the ladder in idleness and arrogantly and boastfully claiming salvation.

  7. 7 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Should read “about OUR position on the ladder”.

  8. 8 Echo
    February 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Ralph said: “I could say that you boast because you claim salvation in idleness. I could say you are so arrogant that you believe you don’t have to do ANYTHING to be saved.”

    You could say that. Now your getting it! This is an important and significant difference between Christians and Mormons.

    Mormons boast about what they must do, they commend themselves. Christians boast about what Christ has done and in so doing, the Lord commends them.

    2 Corinthians 10:17-18 “But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

  9. 9 Echo
    February 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Ralph said: “Jesus providing the ladder and then reaching down and lifting us up is no cause to arrogantly boast about position on the ladder. No more so that you standing at the base of the ladder in idleness and arrogantly and boastfully claiming salvation.”

    The problem is, Jesus has not provided a ladder. The ladder idea is rooted in Satan and not in scripture…

    James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking ALL OF IT.”

    Sinless perfection is required just to get on the first rung of the ladder!

    In the judgment, the ladder will be revealed to you for what it really is….Satan’s ladder. And since you placed your trust in the ladder rather than in the blood of Jesus, you will reap the reward of Hell Fire that will last for all eternity.

  10. 10 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    “The problem is, Jesus has not provided a ladder. The ladder idea is rooted in Satan and not in scripture…”

    The problem is that your statement is false. The ladder is “faith”, “repentance”, “baptism”, “the gift of the Holy Ghost”, “keeping the commandments”, “enduring to the end” and “forgiveness”. These things are gifts from JESUS that He can and does give through His blood. These things DON’T come from Satan. Satan doesn’t promote them. Satan fights against them.

    “Sinless perfection is required just to get on the first rung of the ladder!”

    Maybe on your ladder, but not on Jesus’ ladder.

    Faith in Christ is the first rung of Jesus’ ladder. Repentance is another rung. These aren’t parts of your ladder or Satan’s ladder, but they are part of Jesus’ ladder.

  11. 11 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    “Mormons boast about what they must do, . . . ”

    More falsehoods from Echo.

    2 Corinthians 10:17-18 “But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

    You mean like these people?
    Luke 1:5 ¶ THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
    6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

  12. 12 Echo
    February 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Ralph said: “The ladder is “faith”, “repentance”, “baptism”, “the gift of the Holy Ghost”, “keeping the commandments”, “enduring to the end” and “forgiveness”.

    How many sins have you committed on this blog? (I have lost count)

    Have you repented on this blog for your sins? (no)

    James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking ALL OF IT.”

    One sin is all it takes to break ALL of God’s entire law. Your a lawbreaker Ralph. You have broken God’s ENTIRE law. What good has your Baptism done? (it’s had no effect on you)

    Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”

    How many fruits of the Spirit have we witnessed on this blog? (none)

    So much for the ladder.

  13. 13 Echo
    February 25, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Faith without works is dead Ralph and your a man without works.

  14. 14 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Echo,

    By resorting to personal attacks you are demonstrating that you have lost this argument.

    Any further exchange with you is a waste of time.

  15. 15 Echo
    February 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Actually it’s your personal attacks that led me to this very truthful conclusion about you. Friends who truly care tell the truth even if it hurts. They do that in order to help their friend they don’t do it to harm their friend. That’s the difference between you and me. You want to harm me so you attack me personally. I want to help you so I say things in truth that hurt, in order to help you.

    I am not personally attacking you, I am trying to show you the hypocrisy by which you live and the impossibility of your ladder analogy getting YOU anywhere other than outer darkness. I do this to help you. Mormonism is destroying you and your soul. Mormonism leads to outer darkness for all who die believing in it. I want to see you be saved.

    Your religion isn’t working for you Ralph. You can either come back when you can actually LIVE what you claim to believe or give us a chance to reach out to you with the love we have for you by realizing we do truly want to be your friend and we want to help you. We can help you. Jesus can set you free from all of your hypocrisy! Your on the road to outer darkness, that is very clear to me, Jesus can rescue you. But you need to listen rather than attack.

  16. 16 Ralph Peterson
    February 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    “Actually it’s your personal attacks that led me to this very truthful conclusion about you.”

    What personal attacks have I made?

    “I am not personally attacking you,. . ”

    “How many sins have you committed on this blog? (I have lost count)”

    That is a personal attack made because you are losing the argument.

  17. 17 Echo
    February 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Ralph,

    The Pharisees wouldn’t admit their hypocrisy. They were blinded to their own sin. They were wicked! Instead they turned on Jesus and then crucified him. That refusal and blindness landed them in outer darkness. That same fate awaits you unless you stop denying the truth about yourself.

    I can’t help a pharisee, but I can help a hypocrite and a wicked man who admits these truth’s about himself. So which one are you?

    Stop thinking I am the enemy here who is only out to harm you. Satan has brainwashed you into thinking that!

    Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked man flees though no one pursues”

  18. 18 Kent
    February 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I will again repeat what I posted on the other thread about us climbing the ladder verses faith in what Jesus did on the cross.

    Romans 4:4-5:

    “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    So regarding whether Jesus merely provided the ladder for us to climb to heaven by our own works as compared to trusting in what Jesus did in our place on the cross, the above passage clearly says that if we choose to try to get there by our own works, we will always be in debt but if we believe in Him (Jesus) our faith in Him is counted for righteusness.

    So Mormons, choose the loving arms of Jesus who will never leave you or foresake you and He will take you to heaven instead of always trying to climb the ladder that at any time you can fall off of.

    But the grace the Lord provided for us doesn’t give us a license to sin so we should not continue to live the sinful lifestyles we may have lived in the past as, Jesus in Matthew 4:7 said, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

    But when we believe in Jesus we become, as shown in 2 Corinthians 5:17, new creatures in Christ

    “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

    Personally, when I am tempted to sin I ask Jesus to help me not to fall back into the sin but I know, because of what He did in my place on the cross that if I do sin, he has already forgiven me!

    So I know I will never fall off of the ladder as I am already in His arms.

  19. 19 Kent
    February 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    John 6:28-29

    Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Romans 13:8-10
    Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    The above two passages summarize the works we are to do, believe in Him and love our neighbor as ourselves, but even Paul recognized that there are still times when we sin but in ourselves we can’t control it but if we ask God for help, by sowing to the Spirit, we can overcome it because we believe in Him.

    I realize personally that I can never live up to it 100 percent, ever, because at some point I will fall off of of the ladder. But, like I said, I am already in His arms! As there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.

    Romans 7:15-18
    For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
    Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    Romans 8:1
    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

  20. 20 Ralph Peterson
    February 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Romans 4:4-5:
    “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    These verses are consistent with my analogy/parable, because, climbing the ladder isn’t what saves you. Jesus is what saves you.

    And remember,
    James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
    • • •
    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    • • •
    26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    1 Thes. 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

  21. 21 Ralph Peterson
    February 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    “The above two passages summarize the works we are to do”

    Thanks for admitting that we HAVE to do something.

    “Paul recognized that there are still times when we sin but in ourselves we can’t control it . . .”

    NOT so. Paul said, (1 Cor 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    “Romans 8:1
    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

    And the Spirit is given to the obedient.
    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.

  22. 22 Kent
    February 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Yes Ralph we have to decide, after hearing the gospel, whether we believe it is true or not and yes God will not tempt us beyond what we can handle but no one, in even 10,000 lifetimes, can ever live up to the complete perfection Heavenly Father demands of us but I believe for those times when we fall short we are not condemned for it if we are in Christ Jesus but we are condemned for it if we are judged for our own efforts that all are hopelessly doomed to failure (climbing up the ladder) as we either keep the whole law completely or none of it.

    We love our neighbors as ourselves because we believe on Him whom the father sent so I see it as a result of being saved and not a work to become saved but, as Paul pointed out in Romans 7 and 8, that there are times when we don’t live up to it as we don’t do the right we want to do but the wrong that we don’t want to do and even one time can keep us out of the presence of Heavenly Father for eternity.

    I am just a layman who tries to express what I believe with all of my heart is the truth so I am not trying to win a debate here and if I get some point wrong, I am trying.

    The way I see it is we have to believe one gospel or the other.

    1. The ladder that we have to climb by our own efforts (Mormon beliefs) that if even if Jesus provided it for us on the cross, we will fall off if it at some point.

    OR

    2. The grace that Jesus provided for us by dying on the cross in our place where even if we fall, Jesus has already caught us in His loving arms. After all, He said, “It is finished.”

    In fact, as I said, I am not trying to win a debate but I am loving my neighbor (you) as myself by pointing out what I sincerely believe, based on reading the true scriptures of the Bible, that you are following a false gospel that is warned about in Galatians because I don’t want you to be accursed.

  23. 23 Ralph Peterson
    March 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    “1. The ladder that we have to climb by our own efforts (Mormon beliefs) that if even if Jesus provided it for us on the cross, we will fall off if it at some point. ”

    No, we don’t “fall off of it” just because we fail to be 100% obedient. I get the impression that you folks are really paying attention but are only looking for flaws.

    The ladder is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the first 4 principles of that gospel are;
    1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2) Repentance
    3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.
    4) the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

    Now, tell me, if you loose your temper (a sin) how exactly did you fall of this ladder?

    Did you loose your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

    Did you loose the opportunity to repent?

    Did your baptism become null and void?

    Did you loose the “Gift” of the Holy Ghost or did you offend the Spirit that will return to you when you repent?

    No, the only way to “fall off the ladder” is to turn your back on God and totally walk away from Him.

    “2. The grace that Jesus provided for us by dying on the cross in our place where even if we fall, Jesus has already caught us in His loving arms. After all, He said, “It is finished.””

    I have already been through this “it is finished” issue. Believe what you want about it, but it is very clear that you folks misunderstand what Jesus meant by it. So your continued use of it in this context is unconvincing.

    If you really care about me then I suggest that you not misrepresent what I believe or what I have said. And don’t pull an “echo” and impute sin when loosing the argument.

  24. 24 Echo
    March 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Ralph said: “If you really care about me then I suggest that you not misrepresent what I believe or what I have said. And don’t pull an “echo” and impute sin when loosing the argument.”

    First off Ralph, unlike you, I am not here to win an argument; I am here that God may win souls unto salvation through his word.

    I didn’t point out your sins to “win the argument” nor because I was “losing the argument” nor did I point them out to “attack you personally.” I pointed them out to show you that your ladder to heaven analogy doesn’t work for you in the same way it doesn’t work for anyone who sins which includes all of us.

    Biblically speaking, there is no ladder to heaven. I have shown you the impossibility of climbing up the ladder by pointing out your own hypocrisy and sins and I did this in order to get you to see how your ladder isn’t going to get you where you want to go. So I tell you all of this in order to help you get where you want to go.

    Think of it like this…

    There are two bridges that go to a destiny that you want to reach. One bridge is so old that it will collapse when anyone attempts to drive over it. So anyone attempting to get to their destiny by going over that bridge won’t make it to their destiny, they will go down with the bridge and DIE.

    A man (God) has put up a warning sign that the bridge is unsafe for travel and the sign tells you to use the other bridge.

    Another man, an evil man who wants to see you go down with the bridge when it collapses and die (Satan) comes by and pulls the sign up out of the ground and takes the sign away.

    After the evil man drove away, a Good Samaritan comes along waving a warning flag at you and yelling: “The Bridge is going to collapse! The weight of your car is too much! Don’t go that way! The other bridge is safe this one is old! Some man took the warning sign away!”

    By pointing out your sins and hypocrisy (the car your driving in), I am simply showing you that the bridge you have chosen will collapse under the weight. So when I point out your sins and hypocrisy(the very thing that will cause the bridge to collapse), I am simply like a person standing by the roadside waving a flag as you pass by me and I am warning you because I care. So you can see that the motive of my heart is not to hurt you, but to get you on the right bridge!

    But here you are Ralph, you’re the man in the car. You see me by the roadside trying to help you avoid death and all you can do in response to my concern for you is hurl insults. I mean, who in their right mind wouldn’t take the time to stop the car and listen to what the good Samaritan was saying or at the very least take the time to examine the bridge up against the weight of one’s car to see if the bridge is sturdy enough or not?!!

    Ralph, what would you call a man who was willing to drive over the bridge, not only completely ignoring the good Samaritans grave warnings against doing so but choosing also to run over the good Samaritan with his car to boot??!! What would you call a man like that who was so unwilling to take the time to first consider for himself whether or not this Samaritan is telling the truth and whether or not his car was going to make it?!!!

    And what would you call a man who drives his car over the Samaritan many times in anger not only because the Samaritan told him how heavy his car was but also in revenge for the car that he himself chose to drive?!!!

  25. 25 Kent
    March 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Ralph, I believe what Jesus said that the works of God are believing in Him (Jesus) who He has sent (Heavenly Father)So we are obediant by believing in Him and not ourselves.

    In fact we are to die to ourselves, climbing the ladder so to speak-which is doomed to failure, and believe totally in Him and not ourselves daily so it is all about Him and not about us at all.

    Luke 9:23

    And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

    And yes losing our tempers, being angry without a cause, is a sin.

    Matthew 5:22 (King James Version)

    But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    But, as I said, even Paul recognized in Romans 7-8 that there are times when we sow to the flesh and sin even when we don’t want to and that by relying on ourselves, climbing the ladder, we will fail the good news is that we are already forgiven as there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

  26. 26 Ralph Peterson
    March 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Should read, “No, we don’t “fall off of it” just because we fail to be 100% obedient. I get the impression that you folks are NOT really paying attention but are only looking for flaws.”

  27. 27 Ralph Peterson
    March 1, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    “Ralph, I believe what Jesus said that the works of God are believing in Him (Jesus) who He has sent (Heavenly Father)So we are obediant by believing in Him and not ourselves.”

    That isn’t the only thing Jesus said. He also said this.
    (Matt. 4:4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    And,
    Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe ALL things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    If you really believe in Jesus, then you will also believe ALL that He taught, (not just what you think Paul meant).

    He also taught this,
    Matt. 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
    • • •
    10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    “But, as I said, even Paul recognized in Romans 7-8 that there are times when we sow to the flesh and sin even when we don’t want to . . . ”

    This contradicts what Paul said here,
    1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    “. . . and that by relying on ourselves, . . . ”
    No one is claiming that we “rely on ourselves” in the way you are trying to imply.

    ” . . . climbing the ladder, . . .” We can’t even climb the ladder by ourselves. We can’t baptize ourselves. We can’t have faith by ourselves because we don’t learn about Jesus by ourselves. We must either study the words written by others or we must listen to the words spoken by others.

    “. . . we will fail . . . ”
    To do what? To repent when we sin? To endure to the end? To continue in His word?
    John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    . . .
    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

    If you are to continue in Christ’s word, THEN you MUST give up your sins.

    ” . . . the good news is that we are already forgiven as there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”

    If that is true, then why did Peter say this?
    1 Pet. 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

    And why did Jesus teach this?
    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.

    Obviously, God requires us to DO something BEFORE He forgives us of our sins.

  28. 28 Echo
    March 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Ralph said: “Should read, “No, we don’t “fall off of it” just because we fail to be 100% obedient. I get the impression that you folks are NOT really paying attention but are only looking for flaws.”

    Has it occurred to you that your impression might be wrong? What about the possibility that because you’re so busy trying to load the bullets in your gun in order to shoot us that you fail to pay attention to the flaws we see in your ladder? Lay down the bullets and the gun Ralph, we want to be friends.

    LDS repentance includes overcoming sin. You are not fully repentant until you overcome your sin.

    The opportunity to repent and actually repenting are two very different things. The unrepentant do not inherit the kingdom of God even when they are provided the opportunity to repent but fail to repent. No unclean person can enter God’s presence. Since God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all God, no unclean person can enter any 1 of the 3 kingdoms of the LDS heaven because in each one of those heavens is the presence of God. That leaves outer darkness as the ONLY alternative.

    Sin makes us unclean. We have to die sinless or fully forgiven if we are to be able to stand in the presence of God. In LDS theology you have to overcome sin in order to be fully forgiven.

    Can you overcome all your sin? That is what it takes to climb that ladder. But we are simply waving the flag warning you that your ladder is going to come crashing down on you and destroy you.

    The LDS ladder climbing into to heaven is a road of fear, of terror. It is filled with fear and terror because of our sins. Now biblically speaking…Sin leads to eternal torment in outer darkness. And rightfully so, for God HATES sin! Always has, always will! We better be terrified because of our sins! Sin is so bad in God’s eyes that one little sin deserves and eternity of torment in outer darkness!

    Yet, God says, perfect love drives out “ALL” fear…. You’re not on the right road Ralph.

    If your sins don’t terrify you, you have a hardened heart. Hardened against the truth of scripture. For sin is hatred of God! You seem to have missed this teaching in scripture for you openly and freely parade around this blog in your sins piling them up to the heavens. Your actions really show that you’re on the ladder heading right down into the very pit of outer darkness itself! Do not harden your heart! Feel the terror!

    There is no ladder to heaven!

    Amos 9:2 “Though they climb up to the heavens, from there I will bring them down.”
    The ONLY thing that can heal a terrified heart is forgiveness. But denial of the terror within will lead you to reject that forgiveness!

    I am not talking about LDS forgiveness where you have to overcome your sin before you will be forgiven. That’s a lie! A lethal and very deadly lie!
    Biblical forgiveness is immediate, it doesn’t depend on you or your first overcoming your sin, it depends on the blood of Jesus and on Jesus ALONE. It is finished!

  29. 29 Echo
    March 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Ralph said: “” . . . the good news is that we are already forgiven as there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”

    If that is true, then why did Peter say this?
    1 Pet. 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

    And why did Jesus teach this?
    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.

    Obviously, God requires us to DO something BEFORE He forgives us of our sins.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Repeat, Ralph said: “Obviously, God requires us to DO something BEFORE He forgives us of our sins.”

    Listen carefully….

    God doesn’t require us to DO something BEFORE he forgives us. Jesus already forgave all our sins.

    Listen to this, God forgives sins apart from works contrary to LDS doctrine….

    Romans 4:6-8 “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    7 “Blessed are they
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    8 Blessed is the man
    whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

    NOW comes this…..

    “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.

    In other words, we have already been forgiven and so we NOW should forgive others in the same way that we have already been forgiven. Those who HAVE been forgiven will forgive others. If they themselves have been forgiven and won’t forgive others, THEN they won’t be forgiven.

    The parable confirms this…

    Mathew 18:21-35 “21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
    22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

    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 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. 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.”

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________

    Biblically speaking….

    God forgives us apart from our works, then we forgive others in the same way that God forgives us. If we fail to forgive in the same way that we were already forgiven, we are not forgiven.

    LDS speaking…

    God forgives us BECAUSE of our works and one of those works is to forgive others first!

    The LDS doctrine is the doctrine of the devil!


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