Isaac vs Ishmael Everlasting Covenant

Abraham had 8 sons, Ishmael from Hagar, Isaac from Sarah, and 6 sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah, all from Keturah, his 2nd wife after Sarah died. There is a blessing for all of Abraham’s children but the special everlasting covenant will go to Isaac only because this promise was for Sarah’s son with Abraham and she only had one son.

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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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Ask God in Faith

If we want something from God all we have to do is ask (Matthew 7:7-11). In Matthew 6:24-34, Jesus says that God will provide all our needs like food and clothing, but we must seek first the kingdom and trust him to take care of us like he does the animals and plants. He continues in Matt 7:9, that God gives generously like any father to his children, and when his child asks for bread, they will get bread and not a stone. He wants to give us the good things that we ask for. Even things like wisdom are available, Solomon asked for wisdom, and God answered and blessed him with more than just that (1 Kings 3:3-14).

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Faith vs Conversion

If a gun is put to your head and you are threatened to convert to something like another religion, you lied out of fear. By swearing allegiance to that religion do you genuinely believe in their theology or are you just saying that to keep from being martyred? Can you choose to TRULY believe a new theology/religion under pressure or would you have to fake it only? Conviction comes from outside information that convinces you right? One can’t will their mind into receiving something that they aren’t convinced of internally. So it is really possible for someone to make themselves believe something? Don’t people usually only believe something they are told, not because they will themselves into believing it? Can you FORCE yourself to believe in Santa Claus despite believing the evidence that he doesn’t exist? If crusaders and colonizers ministered to non-Christians in love with the free option to reject, it would be more effective than threatening them in order to coerce conversion.

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The Substance of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In order for it to be the “substance” of something hoped for there must be something substantive (like a promise) that was given in the past, that we could have hope for the fulfillment of in the future. Since the future has not been seen yet, our evidence for the promise being fulfilled is based on our trust that God will do it because he promised to do it. We must trust that God is faithful to his promises.

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