Heaven Is A Kingdom Not A Democracy

If a person doesn’t agree with God’s teaching and instructions now, then why should they expect to submit to him in the Kingdom of Heaven? Why should God even accept them into the kingdom if they don’t even trust, accept, and agree with his word and instructions? Most people wouldn’t move to a foreign country that enforced laws they don’t agree with, so why would any choose God’s Kingdom if they don’t like its ruler or laws?

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The Sin of Being the Tempter

Jesus says in Matthew 18:6-7 and Luke 17:1-3, that anyone that causes the children (of Israel) to sin should have a millstone tied around their neck and cast into the sea. This implies that tempting others to sin is worse than sinning against God or them.

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Stoning in the New Testament

Are people supposed to be getting stoned to death in the new covenant? The Moral laws of the old testament, still apply because they preexisted in the Sinaitic covenant (law of Moses). Adultery, murder, stealing, etc, were sins in Genesis, so rather than being specific to Israel, these laws apply to all people, through the Adamic (Adam’s) and Noahide (Noah’s) covenant. However, under the new covenant judgment for moral laws is saved until final judgment (Matt 13:24-30). This is why Jesus didn’t engage in immediate judgment (like calling fire from heaven) when Samaritans rejected him in the first century, even though James and John suggested it (Luke 9:51-56). Christians don’t stone people in the new covenant because Jesus will judge them at the end, until then they have time to repent and get saved by receiving the holy spirit.

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The Cost of Jesus’ Sacrifice

Most religions in the world teach that you must work for your salvation by overcoming sin on your own. We are to do this by following a system of laws alone (Quran, Dharma, Talmud, etc) to qualify as a “good person”. Christianity is different in that we are rescued from slavery to sin (John 8:34, Rom 6:6-20) because we cannot escape it on our own. It’s the holy spirit that was promised to circumcise our hearts (Deut 30:6, Jer 4:4, Ez 36:25-27, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:16-21, Rom 2:29, and Col 2:11) so that we could accomplish the task of keeping God’s commands. Lastly, the Holy Spirit is only available to those who received Jesus as Lord (John 14:15-17, Rom 8:5-11).

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Proof of God Won’t Save People

Some Christians may believe that different categories of unbelievers (Muslim, Atheist, Wiccan, etc) get saved more easily than others depending on what the barriers are but it’s a heart issue, not a mind issue. Proof of God is not the problem, no amount of intellectual debate will win someone over. Many former atheists have testimonies about God simply revealing his love to them through a believer’s actions.

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Jephthah’s Sacrifice of his Daughter

Was Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter to YHWH in Judges 11:29-40 legitimate? God never required human sacrifices, and always told the Israelites to substitute their firstborn males that were dedicated to him with animals (Exodus 13:11-16, Numbers 3:40-51). The firstborn of all clean animals got burnt on the altar, for unclean animals they could be killed outside the camp (unclean animals don’t belong on the altar) or substituted with a clean animal. Humans however were never to be killed and to be substituted with a clean animal, just like how Abraham substituted Isaac with a ram. Substitution for humans was always God’s intent and this points to Jesus being substituted for our sins.

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God’s Sovereignty and Free Will

Some thoughts on the fate vs free will (Calvinism vs. Arminianism) debate. Calvinism teaches that people are predestined to be saved and those who are not elected are pre-determined to be damned and Arminianism teaches the opposite and that everyone has a choice and that God is not 100% in control. I think there is more to this and that both are true on different levels. God’s “elect” people are known from the beginning because God can see past, present, and future, and therefore knows who will choose life and receive Jesus. Meaning that God didn’t cause our choices but allowed the circumstances for the choices he knew we would make. Thus his elected people are simply those that he knew would receive the new covenant, but he didn’t make them believers directly.

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A Lesson from Micah’s Idol

The bible was written by people who were the minority (mainly prophets) so in essence, it is a “minority report”. The prophets were a heavily persecuted minority by both the Israelites and their leaders. Israelites throughout ancient times had different views from what the bible teaches and did what they felt was right. Often the leaders even made up rules that gave them power and control. Jesus called out Israel’s leaders for this in the 1st Century when he said they “substitute god’s laws with man-made traditions” in Matt 15:3-9. Throughout the bible itself, we can see how the people casually worship idols and don’t reverence God’s covenant, meanwhile the authors are always trying to get people to go back to the covenant they are in. Let’s look at one example in Judges chapters 17 and 18 with Micah’s promotion of idolatry.

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