Monday, March 30, 2009

Why does God want/need glory from humanity?

So, I have to admit that I'm a little bummed out that only 5 people (one being me) actually commented on the blog when there are 111 (for now) who joined the group, but then again it may have been a little bit early to simply ask you to become vulnerable with you concept of God. After all, religion and politics are the two things we aren't supposed to bring up at the dinner table; however, I can't stress enough how important I feel it is that these things NEED to be discussed. By being able to discuss these ideas, especially if we can get multiple worldviews (not just the Christian one), we will be able to clear up so many of the misconceptions and judgement held between belief systems.

Now with that said, I'm going to try a different approach and kind of hammer a hard question that I personally have been struggling with so that hopefully it can inspire some good discussion. Oh btw, (and this is not a shot at jason) instead of offering books or websites to go read, try and bring discussion to the table and give ur response to a question someone has so we can all learn from it!

Ok, so here it goes. From the Christian world view, we generally explain humankind's purpose as "to bring glory to God," or something similar. But why does an all perfect God, at least as we typically understand perfection, want/or need glory from us? Perfection means that God is complete and lacking nothing; yet, through desiring our glory (by either want or need) it would seem to suggest that God is lacking in something without humanity.

so what does this mean? to be honest i don't really know. Perhaps God was not complete until man was made, or perhaps, if God has always been perfect, then maybe ever since God was, we were. Thusly, we complete God as he completes us. Not at all to say that we are God or equal to him in anyway, but that there is some sort of strong dependence shared between God and humanity that is demonstrated through a shared glory or love.

Anwyas, this was just a thought i had pass through me during a class one day and i wanted to put it up here to see if anyone has any insights or to point out if maybe im missing something. Anyway lets get some discussion going!!

23 comments:

  1. i don't have an answer but another question, that can sort of be an answer...

    i think in order to maybe answer the question more fully, we need to back up and before we even discuss us completing God or vice versa, maybe the question that needs to be addressed is: why does God even need humanity? For if he is perfect, like you say cammo, then why would he need human beings? if God lacks nothing, human existence is unnecessary. so maybe after probing that question, proceeding to the next would be systematic.

    also, i think we need to (re)define perfection. Because maybe for some, God's perfection is that he is not complete without us - then he would be perfect. just like you said cammo. so maybe we need to think what perfection actually means. as it says in matt 5:20 "be perfect therefore as your heavenly father is perfect" is impossible. it is impossible to be perfect from a black and white standpoint. but "perfect" in this context of Matt most likely means "to fulfill a purpose completely." for example, this computer is "perfect" because it is fulfilling it's job and purpose exactly as it is supposed to. it may not be "perfect" in the style or the fading letters upon the keys, but it is still fulfilling it's purpose as a computer (i understand that a definition of computer is needed, but hopefully you get the point) therefore, it is still "perfect."

    with this in mind understanding God's perfection, may mean that God fulfills her purpose completely - is perfect, when only in connection and in tune with humanity. therefore, i think serving God with all of one's being, in a way makes God perfect. it makes Jesus appear, matt 25:35-39 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

    i believe it has something to do with this, this is how God is made perfect and how glory is brought to God, when humanity and God's intention of a holistic restoration. also meaning, God took a huge fricken risk in allowing us to be apart of his work of saving/healing/bringing restoration.

    obviously there are a lot of loop-holes here but i just wanted to help get this started. blessings-trevo

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  2. One thought that was brought up to me was that God, Who is perfect, creating and wanting to have a relationship with us is the most selfless thing He could ever do.

    If you have something totally awesome/perfect and share it with someone else, that is pretty selfless. It doesn't need to be shared, since it's perfect. You don't need to share it, but you do and that is a selfless act.

    If you look at it in this sense, God is the One sharing and the Thing being shared. In order to be perfect He must be selfless(because that is who He is). But He can't be selfless if there is only Himself. So He made us and shared perfection with us, fulfilling His perfection.

    I don't think any blog/post/talk could ever sum up exactly why God made us/what our purpose is. But I dig the point of this blog, to maybe get some summed up.

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    1. Yes, but if the only alternative to this most gracious gift is eternal torture, it's not much of a choice.

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  3. It is certainly possible that a perfect God would want to share himself or his perfection selflessly with another living entity. I also agree that our usual interpretation of "perfect" may need redefining. Perhaps it was mere curiosity that prompted him to create humanity. What if God just wanted to know if creatures with free will would love him. Or he simply wanted to know what it would be like to interact with a creation like humanity. Going back to the purpose of humanity though, was it so that God could be worshiped by humanity? Before the fall did Adam and Eve worship God? They certainly had communion with God and a love for God. But I see them more as companions of God, and not so much worshipers of God, though worship was probably still involved. I mean they may have chosen to worship God, but that might be a reaction not a purpose. Although I do think it is clear that God seeks this reaction from humanity, John 4:23-24, even demands it. However, this may be simply because humanity is the creation,and we as humanity need to recognize greatness or perfection when it is presented to us and respond accordingly. But I'm not sure this is the same thing as saying humans were created with the purpose of worshipping God. For example, if a King visits a peasant, he expects the proper response, or honor that someone of noble birth is due, however this is not his purpose for visiting the peasant. Perhaps our purpose was companionship. this though begs the question: Was God lonely? or was it just a cosmic experiment? Or did God create us simply because he could?

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  4. hey comments yay!

    first trevor, since writing this original post i feeel like my classes have been completely dealing with this issue very interestingly. Your analogy of the perfect computer is very intersting and i personally like it; on the other hand it raises the question, "what is God's purpose?" Surely we believe that man has some sort of purpose in the world, but we rarely, if ever ponder God's purpose. Maybe God has many purposes and we are among one of them, or is it humanity that is God's purpose, assuming of course that he has one at all. Anyway, my point isn't to deal with that on this post but you have definitely sparked my mind with new questions. Furthermore, i somewhat agree with the idea that are actions to seek relationship with him makes him perfect; however, it is somewhat scary to think that God has some sort of a reliance on humanity. It almost makes one wonder, "If humanity stopped believing completely stopped beleiving in God, would he no longer exist?" I hope you don't think I'm saying the idea you presented is wrong or bad since i have thought the same/similar things before. I am just worried that it creates too much power withing humanity, but maybe this is a power and responsiblity humanity should be more inclined to pursue.

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  5. Just a note from an observer, but the idea that God in some essential way depends on humanity is something that has been avoided by most orthodox theologians: Easter Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant alike. The idea that God needs anything has been fiercely resisted.

    Regarding Trevor's point: it may very well be that this definition of perfection proffered by Christ is not moral completion, but I don't think it is beyond the realm of possibility that Jesus would have demanded moral perfection. In many ways Jesus heightened the ethical expectations of the Law and, as such, moral perfection would fit very well within such a scheme (this also corresponds to James' possible understanding of the Law and perfection).

    Finally, I am curious as to where in scripture we are told our original purpose in creation was to glorify God. I understand that, in perhaps a coincidental way, that is the point now. We are to glorify God because of the lack of knowledge regarding God in the world. However, I have not been pointed to any strong scriptural passages that state our original purpose in being created was to glorify God. If there are no biblical grounds here, then we are working with pure descriptions/explications of why we were created. Fruitful, but if there is not scriptural basis, then a kind of ultimate answer may not be within reach. However, I may be missing passages that make this point.

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  6. Hello! Just wanted to add some ideas:

    But why does Jesus say,
    "I do not recieve glory from men;" John 5:41

    And that He already had Glory before the world began...so why would He need us to give Him glory?
    "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him, Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have grought you glory on earth by completeing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." John 17:1-5

    And that we were made for His glory:
    "...everyone whos is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:7

    But I personally think God is love, and He wanted someone to love and be his child. And Voila! Here we are today! <3

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  7. Thoughout this universe God displays his glory. It was for man to enjoy. The heavens, in nature, the animals in the field, in god himself.All for our enjoyment of his love, kindness, mercy.
    But as man progressed in life he began to chose things other than god to glorify. Other gods, nature,man made objects.God can not allow this in his world.Therefore he has to make us chose who we as his children glorify.God does not need our glory but he requires it of us because as humans have always chose to glorify something in our lifes, usually ourselfs. Being the creator he can not allow this ALL of the glory is His. RWM

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  8. The question is: Why does God want glory?

    We know that God creates people for the purpose of glorifying Him, but does that necessarily mean that He wants it? In a way He probably does want it, but it wold also seem to me that the world inherently glorifies God. He created the world and because it is His creation and under His control, the end result must be His glorification. Meaning: Even if God wanted glory, He does not lack it because it is naturally attributed to Him because of who He is. In the same way that a human woman cannot bear a monkey baby or anything but a human baby out of her womb, God cannot produce anything but glory from His creations. I hope that makes sense. Glory is a natural product of God's actions, it is not something He must attempt to attain.

    However, another question related to the first is Why did God create humanity?

    The answer would seem to be for His glory, but then we come to a circle between the two questions, making it seem like God is just a glory-producing robot.

    The best way I can think to make sense of these two questions then is to say that "God is Love", which I believe could mean that literally God is the spiritual embodiment of the force of perfect love. Perfect Love as I understand it, naturally seeks to increase itself or "glorify' itself. Love seeks relationships with others, not because it is needed but because that is how love works. When love is shared, it is beautiful. Sex, the greatest expression of shared love, creates new life.

    I think that only an ignorant, naive, and narcissistic man would believe that we as humans could ever completely understand all these things, but perhaps this is a good frame within which we can soothe our frustration with our lack of ability to understand. God does not seek to attain glory, but His actions naturally give Himself, the Embodiment of Perfect Love, that very thing. And if he desires the glorification of Love (Himself) then it is not for His benefit, but for the benefit of all.

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  9. I have not answers to these questions, but I'm grateful to find others asking the same questions. God is great and God is good. He is worthy of all the glory I can give or bring to Him. Having said that, I have wondered why He wants me to glorify Him. Before "in the beginning" angels were encircling His throne saying holy, holy, holy. These created beings were merely doing their job; they had no free will-- no choice.

    I believe God wanted the same adoration, glorification... worship from free will agents. Hence Adam and Eve, the tree, the temptation, the fall.

    God dwells in eternity, outside the confines of space and time. In His omniscience and foreknowledge, God knew the outcome. Although He did not cause it, He did permit it.

    Perhaps only after Adam and Eve had the knowledge of good and evil were they fully vested as free will agents.

    God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man. Every man is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed. Lust, when it is finished brings forth sin, and sin brings forth death. (Please forgive me for being to lazy to look up the reference.)

    With this verse in mind, God did not tempt Adam or Eve, but he drew the line in the sand and said "Do not eat." Satan appealed to Eve's vanity and heightened her lust to be like a god, knowing good from evil. Lust brought forth sin and sin brought forth death. Spiritual death was the immediate result. Physical death was the ultimate consequence.

    Adam, in my opinion, ate the fruit for two reasons: greater love for Eve than for God and fear that he would be alone again.

    For by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin. We were born in our trespasses and sin. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. For by grace are you saved through faith, and that is the gift of God....

    By God's foreknowledge (knowledge before the foundation of the Earth... before Adam and Eve) he takes someone who is dead in their trespasses and sins, takes out their heart of stone, gives them a heart of flesh, and makes them alive (regeneration).

    Then He gives them the gift of faith so they can see their true condition, not unlike Adam and Eve after they ate of the fruit.

    With a clear understanding of sin, this regenerated person repents of their sins. This process progresses through justification, sanctification, perseverance and glorification,

    But glorification of whom? Glorification of man by God's final removal of all sin from the life and presence of one (in the eternal state).

    We love him because he first loved u. That is scripture. This is speculation: we glorify Him because he first glorified us?

    Perhaps, God doesn't want or need our glory at all. Perhaps, He knows that if we glorify Him in all we do, then we will be supremely happy.

    God is love. God wants what is best for us. Living lives that glorify Him brings us the most joy and peace in this life and for eternity.

    He chose me. He brought me back from the dead. He gave me the gift of faith and repentance. He justified me, is sanctifying me, is preserving me, and will glorify me. Why would I not want to worship, adore, magnify, and glorify Him.

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  10. Please pardon my typos. Rather than hitting preview to proofread, I hit post. Proof positive that I am not perfect or complete! ;-)

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  11. It's obvious God needs our worship or he wouldn't have made us. Logically if he Is omniscient and all good at the same time then creating an earth he knew would fail and result in billions of people going to hell would only happen if he NEEDED our worship

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  12. God is GOD! I read this blog and is totally disappointed with your views on who HE truly is and why HE is like this.
    I am a CHRISTIAN and love GOD. I may not fully understand why HE does what HE does. I have the same questions as you guys.. Why did he make us? Why does he WANT not need WANT glory?
    First of all, God is ALMIGHTY. He doesn't need us yet we need Him. He is God therefore, He can do what He wants and nothing and no one can stop HIM. What did He choose to do as a GOD? He created the whole universe, to impart his LOVE and GLORY to us. HE chose to sacrifice HIS son because HE loved us and because we NEEDED Him. And in turn what do we do? We sin. No. We should give our life to Him as a sacrifice and an act of gratitude for what He did for us. In giving our lives to Him, we then glorify him with whatever we do. We may not sing praises but our actions reflect what we feel about GOD.
    Why does HE want glory? Simple, because it is right fully HIS. He is glorious, the most beautiful, ever loving, caring awesome and GOOD God. He created us to give glory. Why? To please HIMSELF. People may say, God is like a self centered and attention seeking god. But no. He has every right to be jealous, to ask for our devotion to Him. He sacrificed himself for us. He sacrificed His life. Like a married couple, one must be faithful to the other for they made a vow to share and commit their lives to each other. It's like GOD, yet what he did is far more incomparable. He didn't only commit His son's life, His life for us, He sacrificed it for us. So He has every right to ask for our whole being.
    In short God created the universe, sacrificed His son for His own glory so that we may glorify Him because of the things He has done for us.

    I admit that while writing this, questions are passing through my mind. But I know, in time they will be answered, all the answers are on the Bible. If you put your faith in God, we will not have any difficulty glorifying and honoring Him with our lives.

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  13. Here is a question that will eventually lead to the question asked...
    If God knows the outcome of everything, then why must we continue to suffer? Why didnt he just take the people that he knows would have made it to Heaven and let them be there in Heaven to begin with? Ive read some about foreknowledge and it says that God can not know the outcome of something unless there is something there to have knowledge of. Example would be a psychic can not know the future outcome of a situation unless that situation actually happens in the future. You can not just say for instance, we are not going to fight, but if we did fight who would win? If you dont fight then there is no future outcome to foresee. So if God did not create us and allow us to sin and suffer then he would not know the outcome because it wouldnt have happened.
    But surely after Satan fell God must have known humanity would suffer the same fate. If an angel in Heaven can turn against God then what chance did humanity have? Destroy Satan at that point? No! Send the already sinful creature to Earth where Adam and Eve are! They have already been given orders to not eat from a certain tree or they will die, what could go wrong there??? Well we know that story...
    So time goes on and God regrets having made man. God sends a flood to destroy all living things other than who and what is on the ark. All things are restored... Almost. Destroy Satan and sin now? Nope! The world is repopulated and sin is in full swing again just like before. More suffering. And if you dont have faith in God even though youre suffering... You get left behind for unimaginable suffering. And if at that point you dont believe and repent, eternal suffering in a lake of fire! I thought God wanted us to have free will so that we could choose to love and obey him and not just obey out of fear. How is this better than loving out of obligation or being programmed to love and obey? Obeying out of fear isnt love at all is it? If someone shoves a gun in your face and demands your wallet, you dont give him your wallet because you love him. You give it to him in hopes that he wont blow your blinkin head off. I dont believe fear necessarily shows faith either, just fear of "what if" its all true. I know I punish my kids out of my love for them. And I know my kids still love me. But they do not obey out of love, they obey out of fear. They know what will happen if they dont obey.
    So now to why God needs or wants glory. I dont know. Ive heard God is glory and deserves the glory from us because he is selflessly sharing his glory with us. I dont know. Was it selfless to allow people to suffer horrible things just so he might be glorified? I know that God/Jesus suffered too, probably more so than anyone. But Jesus was sinless and was never in danger of going to hell to suffer for all eternity. Jesus had faith because he knew that God existed. Its pretty easy to have faith when you know that youre the one that youre supposed to believe in.
    Why does God want or need our glory? Why are there angels around him saying holy holy holy? Because God is selfless? Personally, I wouldnt want someone around me constantly praising me. Id think that would get old real quick. Obey out of love or fear? I dont know. I believe in God, but man are there a lot of questions I have for him.

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  14. God's Glory And Our Duty To Be Joyful

    Nehemiah 8:1-12 & other selected Scriptures

    Rev. Bryn MacPhail


    When God says through His prophet Isaiah, "My glory I will not give to another "(Isa. 48:11), He means to say that nothing in our life should be in competition with Him. This is what is intended by the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me "(Ex. 20:3).

    Our family, our career, our hobbies, our material possessions--none of these things should be prioritized over God. This only makes sense. For how can what is created be valued above its Creator?

    God insists that we recognize His supremacy. He insists on being first in our life. Why does He do this? Is God needy? Does He require our praise to shore up some personal deficiency? Of course not. The apostle Paul reminds us that "God is not served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life and breath and all things "(Acts 17:25).

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  15. God's wants to be glorified, and the way we glorify God is by enjoying Him. God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him (John Piper). Don't serve God out of duty--God doesn't need your service(Acts 17:25)--serve God because it is the source of true joy.

    Do you remember my illustration from last week? If I take Allie out for dinner on our anniversary, and she asks me, 'Why are you doing this?', what is the answer that honours her most? Suppose my answer is, 'Don't mention it Allie--the reason I am taking you out is because it is my duty'. Does that answer honour her? The answer that honours her most is to say, 'Allie, it is my pleasure to go with you'. In the same way, the way we honour God is by taking pleasure in Him .

    I can think of no better summary than this of what it means to be a Christian. Being a Christian is not about subscribing to a certain moral code. Being a Christian is not about singing certain hymns or reciting certain creeds. Being a Christian is about taking pleasure in God, manifest in Jesus Christ --it is about "loving the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind "(Mt. 22:37).

    Although the Christian must never be motivated by duty there remains, nonetheless, a duty for us to fulfill. C.S. Lewis is correct--we have a duty to be happy--that is, we have a duty to enjoy God . What is a tragedy is that I have to tell you this. No one needs to tell a child at Christmas to be happy when they are given their favourite rocket ship. No one needs to tell the teenager to be happy when he is given his first car. No one needs to tell the employee to be happy when she gets an unexpected bonus. When human beings are given a gift, the natural response is to enjoy the gift and to praise the giver.

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  16. How does this translate in the life of a Christian? Well, the Gift and the Giver are the same thing. God gives us the greatest possible gift in the universe: Himself . Our response then, our natural response, should be to enjoy the Gift and to praise the Giver. If this does not seem natural to you, perhaps you need to examine whether you have properly understood the value of the Gift, and whether you have properly appreciated the generosity of the Giver.

    Make no mistake, we were made to enjoy God. David exhorts us to this end in Psalm 34, "O taste and see that the Lord is good "(Ps. 34:8), and in Psalm 37, "Delight yourself in the Lord "(Ps. 37:4). The apostle Paul uses the imperative tense to command us to "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! "(Phil. 4:4). And surely this was the point Ezra was trying to drive home when he addressed the people of Israel in the Book of Nehemiah, chapter 8.

    The context of Nehemiah, chapter 8, is that the construction of the wall surrounding Jerusalem had just been completed, and the Jewish exiles were now returning to their homeland. The people then gathered together and asked Ezra to read them "the book of the law of Moses "(Neh. 8:1).

    Please take note of how the people responded to the reading of God's Word in verse 3, "Ezra read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday ". Did you catch what is happening here? The people listened to God's Word from sunrise until noon! You would suspect that these people must have been bored to tears--I mean we can scarcely endure a sermon that exceeds 20 minutes! But listen to how verse 3 ends, "and all the people were attentive to the book of the law ".

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  17. If that is not remarkable enough in itself, listen to what Nehemiah writes in verse 5, "when (Ezra) opened (the book of the law), all the people stood up ". Whether they stayed on their feet from sunrise until noon, we will never know, but what is unmistakable is the pleasure the people of Israel took in listening to God's Word. Surely these people could say with the Psalmist, "O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all day long "(Ps. 119:97).

    The people were not passive listeners to the law either--Nehemiah records that the people shouted, "'Amen, Amen!' while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground "(Neh. 8:6).

    The people of Israel were undeniably enthusiastic about God's Word. Why were they so enthusiastic about God's Word? Because they valued it. Human beings praise that which we value. We praise little children, we praise our favourite sports team, we praise a good meal, we praise favourable weather--human beings naturally praise that which we value. It is, therefore, never irreverent to praise God for His Holy Word.

    Not only did the people of Israel praise God when they heard His Word read, but it also moved them to tears. Nehemiah records that "all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law "(Neh. 8:9). The people of Israel responded appropriately when they praised the Lord for His Word--it demonstrated that they valued it--but, Ezra admonished the people for weeping, "do not mourn or weep "(Neh. 8:9), he told them.

    What was the proper response for the people of Israel? Listen to the command issued in verse 10, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared ". Ezra commands the people of Israel to celebrate--he commands them to throw a party! 'Go get some steak and wine' he tells them. Why the celebration? Because "the joy of the Lord is your strength "(Neh. 8:10).

    If we truly value God and His ongoing faithfulness, Christians will be regarded by others as people who love to celebrate. Why does the local tavern get more people on a Saturday night than we get on a Sunday morning? I suspect it is because people don't expect to have a 'good time' at church. They suspect that coming to church may actually make them feel worse.

    How could anyone think this? It might be because we lack a spirit of celebration. It might be because many of the people attending church are here to ease their conscience rather than to enjoy God.

    Remember, the only way to honour the Giver is to enjoy the Gift . Too many Christians, I fear, think we are here to pay back the Giver. We don't like being in debt, we want to earn our way. Sorry--God's grace doesn't work like that. Our obligation is not to pay back the Giver, rather it is to enjoy the Gift.

    And by Gift, I don't simply mean Christ's death and Resurrection, but I mean God manifest everyday through His countless acts of grace. God's past faithfulness in Jesus Christ provides the basis of our faith in future grace. God not only gave Himself on the cross 2000 years ago, but He offers Himself to us daily through His Holy Spirit. The basis of my joy is not simply a God who worked in my past, but a God who is working in my present, and a God who is working in my future--a God whose mercies are new every morning.

    If our life is not marked by unwavering joy in Christ, we need to question whether we really value Him as we should. Human beings praise that which we value. God should be praised at all times, and in all things--not because He needs our praise, but because we need to praise Him. We need the joy that is found in Christ alone .

    I urge you this morning, "Delight yourself in the Lord "--enjoy all that God is for you in Jesus Christ. Amen.

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  18. Imagine the situation where you have done everything in your life to glorify God and then at the gates of heaven God says " Hey you know what, I've changed my mind - I'm sending you to Hell"! Can this happen? Why not, God is God, he can do whatever he wants, who are we to judge. So you can see the argument that I am making here...it is not enough to say God can do whatever he wants. God has to be judged...he needs to be judged as harshly and critically as he supposedly judges us.

    The problem I see is that most Christians never critically reflect on what the Bible is saying or what they've been told the Bible says. If your worldview doesn't allow for critical analysis of the Bible then you will simply try to explain everything in terms of Biblical teachings. One of the options has to be simply that maybe the Bible is not infallible or at least the way it has been interpreted is not correct.

    I totally agree with what Gary wrote...there is no real choice is the alternative is eternal Hell. And I would argue further that this is not real love for those that follow Him.

    Real love would be someone who follows God with absolutely no obligation to do so AND no consequence for not doing so.

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    1. Part of love is trust. Many places in the Bible God proves that he is true to His Word and therefore if you have truly done everything perfectly (if it was possible) to glorify Him, then there would be no fear of Him suddenly changing his mind. It just wouldn't happen. Mind you, not because He *couldn't* but because He already said He *wouldn't*, and He doesn't break His Word. So no, that situation could never happen. Now, if you don't believe Him then that's a different discussion.

      There is no such thing as "no consequence". By definition choosing one thing, is to not choose the opposite. I think many people are misled into thinking there are 3 choices. There really is only 2: "Choose God", or "Don't Choose God". Either you choose God, or you don't. Even by "not choosing" you are still making a choice. You are choosing "Not God". Putting off God for stuff, putting off God for people, putting off God for your own sake.. all of these are small sessions of choosing "Not God" even if you aren't outwardly opposing him.

      So then, God says "Ok, I guess you don't want what I am offering, so I will stop providing it." We can understand this concept. If you give someone a gift, they can choose to accept it or reject it. If someone offers you food, but you refuse to take it even if you're starving to death, are they being mean because you won't eat? You could very well starve, but the best they can do is only offer it to you if they aren't trying to force it down your throat. (and thus removing choice from the equation) Just like the food will eventually rot, becoming useless for nourishment, I think we fool ourselves into thinking that the offer will last forever. God is everything good. Every grace, every break, every mercy, every tiniest bit of relief or happiness. The wrath of God is the removal of Himself. Can you imagine if every single thing God has given you was taken away? No breath, no body, no love, no mercy, no breaks, and above all..no hope or ability to change your mind and decide you do want to choose God afterall. Welcome to Hell.

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  19. Many parts of the Bible actually portray God as a fool...and I'm not having a go at God here, but those that have potrayed him as such. If you want to follow a God that shows as much human folly as the one presented in the Bible then that is your perogative. Incidentaly they also show a God who changed his mind (Sodom and Gomorrah).

    You want me to believe that God firstly created angels (who rebelled) and then humans (who rebelled). Now tell me, why would these creatures have wanted to rebel if they were in the presence of God? Maybe they found out he was an idiot!

    Your analogies miss the mark because they fail to factor that God is the one creating the situations in the first place e.g. God is the one offering the starving man food, but he was the one that burnt all his crops in the fist place so that he would starve and have no option.

    Do you honesty believe that a God would even need to "test" humans to be with him?

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  20. Every computer programmers and game developers would tell you the joy of being able to "create" the [fill in whatever you like]. They have absolute and full control of the [fill in whatever you like] and still they do it anyway. Imagine what they can create in year 20000000000000000000000000000000012. We are the creation of other smarter [entity]. As simple as that. Period.

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  21. All things, including GLORIFYING GOD, telling the truth, not commiming adultery, is not for GOD. It is for us. It is to develop our spirit, it is what is best for our spirit. GOD does not need us or anything from us. GOD wants us and wants ALL of us to enter HEAVEN because HE loves us. The things that GOD ask of us is for us for our SPIRITUAL WELL BEING.

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