God is not running damage control,..........Right?? Since John 17:2 Jesus will give eternal life to all whom His Father gives to Him and John 13:3 The Father gave Him all things
So, there is no immediacy to a person becoming born again or of God or whatever,...right? Since, 1 Timothy 2:4 says: God will have all to be saved?
God has the whole of creation under his control,.........Right??? Since Ephesians 1:11 says: "God works all after the counsel of His will".
I respect what you (Hope and Kratos) are saying and I agree that the light brightens darkened minds, but if I read you correctly, you are stating the importance of most humans believing in the here and now.
To me it seems that all of the saving, is UP TO GOD, and not us. Ephesians 1:10 All come into Him at the fullness of times
None of us can cause anyone to believe in God, The Truth, or Universal Salvation.
Only God can do this and only when HE desires to do so. In fact, only God can do anything with any lasting relevance. Of course he uses US as a vehicle to what the "Ends" are, but does he really NEED "US"??
I think NOT.
Does he choose to use us. Yes!
God calls,.........then the "Called" respond.
God "chooses", from the "Called".
And from "The Chosen", there are the select few, that are selected to be enlightened.
But,....But,....this is ALL OF GOD.
No man can save another. There is nothing we can do to SAVE anyone. It is ALL in God's divine plan to do AS HE WILLS.
Proverbs 16:9 Man devises, God directs his steps
Proverbs 19:21 Man devises, but God's counsel stands
Psalms 33:15 God fashions all hearts
Psalms 90:3 God turns man to destruction then says "return"
Evil and unbelief serve a very important purpose in this world. God is using (IMHO) this world to show man the difference between Good and Evil.
Quotations from the Bible: via L. Ray Smith.
"…an experience of EVIL has God given to the sons of man…" (Ecc. 1:13,
"…I [God] will raise up EVIL against thee…" (II Sam. 12:11).
"I [God] created the waster to DESTROY" (Isa. 54:16).
"The Lord has made…the WICKED for the day of EVIL" (Prov. 16:4).
"…I [God] will bring EVIL from the north, and a great DESTRUCTION (Jer. 4:6).
God told a "lying spirit" to "…go forth, and do so [lie]" (I Kings 22:22).
"He [God] turned their heart to HATE His people…" (Psalm 105:25).
"Behold I [God] frame EVIL against you…" (Jer. 18:11).
"For God locks up all together in STUBBORNNESS [that's an evil]…" (Rom. 11:32).
"…shall there be EVIL in a city, and the Lord has not done it?" (Amos 3:6).
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts… go and SMITE Amalek… DESTROY… SLAY both man and woman, infant and suckling…" (I Sam. 15:2-3).
"…God shall send them strong DELUSION, that they should believe A LIE" (II Thes. 2:11).
God has a plan and that plan includes "Most" of men "Not believing" in the "Here and Now". God rose up Pharaoh for that very day,........for a reason. It was, at the very least, to show CONTRAST of good and evil (Among other reasons).
That is why God planted the tree of GOOD and evil in the Garden in the first place.
Knowing that man would partake of it. It was God's plan for mankind to sink into the knowledge of Good and Evil, by taking part of the Tree. For if our ancestors had never partaken of that knowledge, there would have never had been any "Contrast". We would have only known the Glory of God. Which would have seemed "The norm" and nothing special. Since we would have had nothing to gauge God's Goodness against.
This world is a classroom, of sorts, to show the Divine Goodness of God. Our bodies and this life is only temporary (We are Tents). A kind of "Matrix", if you will, to teach us a very significant lesson.
And that lesson is that Evil is useless, worthless, destructive and in it's essence,......hopeless and fruitless. Once this lesson is learned, what is the rest of the lesson????
To lean not unto our own understanding, but unto God's. Since even we don't know what is best for us. God is the ONLY one who knows what is Good and Best for us ALL!
Now if we learn this lesson, we go on to submit our entire WILL unto God. To become "Robots" or "Sheep", (if you will) for Christ.
To submit every SINGLE THOUGHT and DESIRE to him!
YET,....this does not mean that speaking the truth of the word of God is not "Worth Dying For". In fact, it makes it that much MORE, worth dying for! To be part of the "lesson plan". We are told to spread the Good News to the masses by the Father. Is our life that important to "Not give it up"??? NO! It is important for us to give it up, if need be! To give our very lives to help teach mankind the lessons that God IS giving. And of course, we are not doing it, but Christ though us.
In giving up our lives. What would we be losing??? Since to LIVE is CHRIST, and to DIE is GAIN. We are but a blink in time. We are temps, that God uses to enlighten his "planned group" to the knowledge of the truth. We are from dust and to dust we shall return. So what is the loss of one of us. NOTHING. Since we will all put on immortality in the end. This is not our REAL world. Our Father's Kingdom is our REAL world.
It is true that anyone who is not on the road of Salvation in this life WILL take part in the Lake of Fire. BUT, is that a bad thing??
I do not believe so. Since anything of God cannot be bad in its ends. It may not be a pleasurable experience, but it WILL be a much needed one!
Is this life a pleasurable experience?? I do not believe so (At least not a lot of the time). But it is a much needed one!
Either way, mankind will come to the knowledge of the truth.
Every man woman and child will learn the much needed lesson. And that is that GOD and GOD only has the right answers, the truth, and the ultimate knowledge to direct mankind's lives and destinies to PURE Contentment and more importantly a continuing knowledge and relationship with the one being in the Universe who can make our lives worth living.
Once we all learn this lesson, we will all walk hand in hand and side by side (Mindfully) with our Creator, Father God.
This of course will never be expressed FULLY in our lives here on Earth, because of our situation this is an impossibility for the time being. But, I believe, it should be the guiding point to direct us.
Giving up our every desire to allow our minds to hold "THE EVERY DESIRE OF GOD", should be our ultimate goal in life. And that includes that not all will be saved in the here and now (Since God does all his good pleasure, when he decides to do it). BUT, that ALL WILL BE SAVED as a final result (All will come to the knowledge of the truth). And that GOD and GOD only has control over the ULTIMATE FATE OF MANKIND (Which is Salvation to all, by and through Jesus Christ). Once we understand THIS, we can grow in a certain peace and contentment.
My take on the whole ball of wax, in a nutshell.