I read through this thread and a couple of things jumped out at me..
Somebody asked about the word "perish" - imo, "to perish" is a potential, but which will never happen. This whole thing.. human history/God's truth proving drama, is in order to teach everyone some absolutely unbreakable truth (a rod of iron if you will
I always believed in UR and the 100% Goodness of God.. been saved 34 years, but about 17 years ago I had what to me was quite an experience. My son, aged 16 at the time, asked me two questions which i answered, but I was not all that happy with my answers.
His questions? "Why was the tree of knowing good and evil in the garden?" and "Isn't it great we get to be an ant farm?"
So I prayed for better answers. I really, really, really, have a very deep desire to understand Truth, all Truth and nothing but, The Truth.
Bam!! the answers came back to me during prayer immediately!! And the whole thing ended with our Father asking me
I'm telling you (as the saying goes) the answers knocked my socks off.. knocked me for a loop.. And I was a pretty solid and happy believer before this. My socks are still knocked off.
Truth as I understand it, or imo:
"Why was the tree of knowing good from evil in the garden"?
Because when God endowed thinking ability, an offshoot (sooner or later) is being able to make choices. So when He endowed rationality, a whole new world (er tree) of possibilities 'came to be'. And our loving Father.. He can only be true/honest, so there was that tree smack dab in the middle of the garden of life.
"In the beginning God, and
Nope, "In the beginning, God."
God is Life, life itself, the life force. Who/What else could be? (Yes, the force be with you
) He is Life. And, He is also Perfection. Certainly?
Perhaps you too see the 'problem', the dilemma.. the paradox? Fine and dandy to endow the ability to make choices, but what happens once one chooses any (teeny, tiny) thing which does not agree with God's choices? One begins to move away from Perfection.. and so they become the opposite of Life. Hence death. Hence needing to be rescued. Both from imPerfection and its result, non-life/death, the opposite of God/Life/Perfection.
He built into all things from the very beginning ("from the foundation of the world") the rescue. And He has only interfered with mankind's choices/'free-will' one or two other (dire) times, otherwise, it would not be choice, nor anything resembling 'free-will' (as imperfect as that too is).
Yes, I began to see how totally, totally wise (and truly all knowing our Father is!!) He saw all possibilities from 'the beginning', and where they would go, and He (of course) has done all things, in order to bring about the best 'end' result possible.
Because God endowed thinking ability, all suffer, some even horribly! But because God is Life, He suffers, lives through and experiences all sufferings and affronts which ever occur. Why would He put Himself through all that?? Because He's not creating an ant farm, or robots, but His very own family.
And, an eternally un-breakable paradise. Un-breakable because everyone will fully understand, and it will be deeply engraved upon every heart, mind and psyche, the knowing of all good from evil / life from death / true from untrue. Deeply engraved. Sad to say, but how do humans learn best? By experience.
Add to that what has to be a veRy long day of the examination (judgment) of all things.. all human history.. as to what went wrong.. and perhaps in some small instances, what went right. An intense 'day' of review for all of us. Deeply. Engraved.
I like to ask ET'rs, why is there a 2nd resurrection? I'm assuming 'their' belief is so he can cast them into a lake of flesh melting fire and thus unimaginable torture and torment forever and ever. Did someone say something about thinking ability? (Oiye!)
[ This insight came later.] It's only at the end of judgment/examination/engraving 'day' that is recorded the notorious words (paraphrased) "those NOT believing
will go to the 2nd death"/will perish. But!
After having experienced being resurrected, woken up, from ones sleep in the grave, and after having witnessed and lived through a veRy long day of the examination of all things, along with all your friends, etc... Who's noT going to "believe"???
God is Perfect, the 'end' result can only be the utter best-one-possible. I will leave it at that. Except for the question which came at the end of the answered prayer 17 years ago, the one my (our) Father asked me!
"Why? Did God wait so long and only create the universe and man and woman, not only aFter the first bound to occur rebel thought occurred, but after it had ripened into outright sedition and trickery?" (Long, because surely when there was 'only' the Father, the Son and the angels, there wasn't that much to go astray about! He is infinitely patient. Didn't He know what would happen? Of course He did.) I was in prayer and the answer, by praying, came right back at me.
"Why did God wait so long, and only create the universe, and man and woman, not only after the first bound to occur rebel thought occurred, but after that rebellion had ripened into outright sedition and trickery??"
thanks for bearing with me.. We cannot conceive of how utterly, utterly wonderful He is.
I thought this was a different thread.. but i guess this fits here ok too.. and sorry is SO long!