The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: Evil or Good?

tree-of-knowledge-good-and-evil

While trolling through my email, I came across this notification by answersingenesis.org, the above titled article by Harry F. Sanders, III on August 15, 2018…I thought y’all might like it, as I found it to be interesting. [THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE]

A recent Facebook commenter asked a very good question about the creation week. V. P. asked, “If God saw that all he had made was ‘good,’ then wouldn’t the forbidden tree and its fruit be deemed ‘good’ as well?” This is a valid question to ask, but one not often considered.

And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).1

And the Lord And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:16–17).

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 1:31).

The Purpose of the Tree

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, referred to in the question as the “forbidden tree,” was placed in the garden of Eden, most likely on the sixth day. Its purpose appears to have been twofold. The first and most often considered purpose was to provide man with a choice: to love and serve God willingly or to rebel against him and reject the one prohibition he had given them. The second purpose is less clear, but Genesis 2:9 points to a possible option. This verse describes all trees as being either pleasant to look at or good for food. While the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was certainly not good for Adam and Eve to eat (because it would bring death), there is no indication that animals could not have eaten it. This is a small but significant detail. With this second purpose in mind, the popular view of the “forbidden tree” changes. It could have been described as good simply because it had a purpose.

The Source of Sin

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not evil by its nature. There was nothing wicked about the tree. To claim this would imply that God created something evil, which would contradict Genesis 1:31. The tree was not the source of sin; man was. God gave man a very clear command in Genesis 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The command was simple: do not eat of that one particular tree. The consequence was equally clear: if man ate, he would die. The fruit was not poisonous, evidenced by the fact that Adam and Eve did not physically die soon after eating it. The tree was not the problem; man was the problem.

The tree did not contribute to man’s sinfulness beyond providing him with an opportunity to obey or disobey.

The tree did not contribute to man’s sinfulness beyond providing him with an opportunity to obey or disobey. Man was explicitly commanded not to eat from the tree, yet he decided to do it anyway. This is analogous to a parent telling a preschool child not to put his hand on the stove burner. If the child does so, there are consequences for the child beyond the risk of him getting burned. However, the stove is not evil. It is still serving its intended purpose. The disobedient child sinned. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil can be viewed in a similar light. It was not somehow bad because man used it to disobey God. God confirmed that in Genesis 3 when he issued the curse. There were consequences for the serpent, the ground (thus the tree—and all other trees for that matter), Adam, and Eve. However, God specifically said that the ground was cursed because of what Adam did—not because of some undesirable quality of the tree (Genesis 3:17).

Conclusion

While the tree of the knowledge of good and evil served as the opportunity for man to disobey, it was not wicked on its own. God could rightly have looked at his creation after day six, after making that tree, and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). There was no intrinsic evil in it, so there could not have been wickedness in the “forbidden tree.” The wickedness would be introduced later, but not by the tree. Instead it would be introduced by Adam and Eve’s choice to rebel against God’s command, which caused death and Adam’s sin nature to pass on to all of his descendants (Romans 5:12). In short, the answer to the commenter’s question is, yes, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good. The fault for man’s fall lies with Adam and Eve, not the tree.

Godspeed My Friends, I hope you enjoyed this article!

MK Murphy

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Comparatively Speaking…We All Suck

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The bible is rather explicit on this point!

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;”” ~Romans 3:10 NKJV

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” ~Mark 10:18 NKJV

For there is not a just man on earth who does good
And does not sin.” ~Ecclesiastes 7:20 NKJV

The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” ~Psalm 14:2-3 NKJV

This was but a sampling of what the bible has to say about the righteousness of the species of man. As the title of this blog posting indicates, COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING…WE ALL SUCK! That is of course if you compare man to God. Comparing yourself to others in the human race does you no good! While speaking on the good of a person many will think that they deserve to go to heaven because they are no Hitler or Stalin! Think about that for a moment. Nowhere in the bible does it indicate that only Hitlers and Stalins go to hell. No, nowhere!

We are saved by the grace of God…a gift to us that we do not deserve to have. Consider what God did for us, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8 NKJV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~John 3:16 NKJV

All the while we are reminded from the very beginning that man is a bad boy on the block:

the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV

Do not get me wrong, man can do some good things, too. But the underlying ideology is that man is evil from his youth. Men do great things, we can accomplish feats of amazement, creating what was not long ago a thing of incomprehensible power, and the list can go on and on… Consider the following:

abacusThe Abacus (unknown when it was created) was used Mechanical_calculatorsprior to the Arabic numeral system. This sooner or later morphed into the calculating machine which came on the scene in the 1850’s. Which then morphed into the adding machines. Now I couldn’t tell you which idea came first the adding machine or the computer, but it is my suspicion that one was UNIVAC_1101spawned of the other. The crazy powerful computers (some truly are super computers.) The ENIAC (the first computer) was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania and began construction in 1943 and was not completed until 1946. It occupied about 1,800 square feet and used about 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighing almost 50 tons. iPhone8Then there was the UNIVAC 1101 which weighed about 8.4 short tons (7.6 t) and used 2700 vacuum tubes for its logic circuits. Its drum memory was 8.5 in (22 cm) in diameter, rotated at 3500 rpm, had 200 read-write heads, and held 16,384 24-bit words (a memory size equivalent to 48 kB.) Now you have the power of an iPhone (i have an 8 with 64 GB of memory); therefore the comparative difference is 1333333.333333333 times greater in your hand than that of the UNIVAC computer.

Sorry, got a little overboard there…but the idea was that man can do good. However, man whatever good he does has a nasty and historical tendency to take what is good and use it for evil intents. Consider the Tower of Babel. Man sought to be as God. Look at Sodom & Gomorrah. The Sodomites sought to do evil and unnatural things and were therefore destroyed due to their great abominations in God’s sight. The two towns of evil were discovered in the 20th century with the added mention of “The entire area was covered with a thick layer of ash from the firestorm that totally destroyed the town.” ~The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Apr 16, 2008 – by Bryant G. Wood PhD.

Sadly, man has proven himself to be good and bad, righteous and evil…and he needed no help from anyone else! We can do it all on our own. Consider medical advances over the last several decades. Some great and others not so much so. Heart transplants, lung transplants, the advancement in cancer research and survival rates have increased astronomically, stem cell research,  and of course Planned Parenthood.  Each can be used for the betterment of the human race, just as much so each can be used for the detriment of the human race. It has always been easier for man to destroy than to create. Now, man has kicked God out of schools and has, in essence, divorced God from his own soul.

We all fail to realize that man, his spirit and his soul, and everything he possesses, everything in and on the earth, as well as throughout the universe…IT ALL BELONGS TO GOD!

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” ~Psalm 24:1 NKJV

It is truly our purpose to glorify God, that is our purpose in life. All we have to do is accept Christ into our hearts and lives and live for Him, seeking the Holy Spirit of God to be poured into our hearts and souls and therefore be guided by Him.

that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Romans 15:6 NKJV

Let us seek to follow God and follow Him, thereby, glorifying Him by yielding our whole self, heart and mind to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that we may do what we were originally designed to do!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

How Burdensome Are Keeping of the Commandments?

Jesus once said, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:30 NKJV

Take My Yoke1

Yet, Jesus was both man and God, He was without sin. Jesus, being both fully man and fully God was far and away better capable of enduring the temptations of this world than we. We, on the other hand, are wholly the species of man and are born into sinfulness. As reminded to us by the Apostle Paul and King David, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10 NKJV) Now, I do not mean to, nor intend to, contradict the bible; however, I will speak some things here which will appear to do so, but in actuality are things that we people tend to think and say without further research.

To follow these commandments of the living God is a burden to the species  of man. Why is it so? Because we seek the easy way out of every situation. Sometimes that entails lying…yes, we learned to do that when we were young. “No, I wasn’t taking the cookie out of the cookie jar…I was getting it for you!” And “No, that wasn’t me you saw taking that stick of gum, it was someone that looked a lot like me.” And so on, and so on… We tended to turn lying into an art form, even though everyone could see through our lies. We learned this task quite easily because we thought it would keep us out of trouble. It comes easy to us because we are steeped in sinfulness. Instead, we just got into deeper troubles throughout our lives. Until, of course, we came to God and gave our lives to Jesus. Though, it may have become easier, overall, but because of our history with lies and other sinful behavior…it was a new way of life. Much likened to quitting smoking or some other bad habit. Now-a-days, telling the truth is the new hate speech.

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” ~Matthew 23:4 NKJV

We have even learned the fine art of sinfulness from those who mentor us. Our parents made a great number of mistakes, but we learned from them both good and bad. We have learned from certain church leaders, pastors, priests, deacons, etc. They have all had a hand in teaching us both good and the bad. But instead of using these moments for good teaching moments, those great teaching moments were brushed under the table and it seemed to be another Monty Python moment…

It would be far greater a learning experience if our parents and leaders alike would use both good and bad moments to teach us right and wrong. Unfortunately, most parents and leaders tend to not use those moments because they do not desire to be seen as doing wrong and therefore do not see those bad moments as failures, but rather as moments of righteous indignation.

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” ~1John 5:3 NKJV

Keeping God’s commandments is tough enough, especially coming from a background of sinfulness. If we were to take a daily tally…we each would be on the losing end! Completely because of our sinfulness. At any given moment, we are thinking sinful thoughts and bombarded by sinful behavior from the television.

The fact is this, we can do nothing by which we can deserve our salvation through Christ other than to accept such a gift as grace from God, through Christ, and to do our best to follow Christ. Which means we will try to live as Christ mandated us through the Great Commission:

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV

We shall never be able to live up to such a high moral standard of perfection, it is the perfection of Christ which is in us that allows us to stand in God’s presence. We do have our victories, at times. Sadly, we must look at our sinfulness and our failures as learning and teachable moments…to ourselves and those around us. Consider what the Apostle Paul said to us:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV

This has always seemed to be quite the conundrum to me. But when you look at how we act individually, you can better understand it. Especially with an objective mind!

To dwell on our sinful failures on a daily basis, if dwelt upon too deeply, can either drive us to depression or suicide. But that is not the point, is it? No, it is not! The point is this: That by giving our lives over to Jesus and accepting His gift of grace and salvation, Jesus took our sins upon the cross and He was judged guilty in our place as a substitution for ourselves. He hung on a cross two thousand years ago, before we were ever born. But God knew we were to be born because God formed us in the womb, He formed our inward parts.

It becomes less burdensome to fulfill God’s will, in our lives, when we accept the fact that Jesus carries us through all of the muck and mire. Yes, we are going through it all, but we can rely on Jesus to guide us through it all…even at our weakest moments. Why? Because God loves us, all of us…Jew and Gentile alike! He abhors our sins and our sinfulness but He loves us as His creation!

WoeToScribePharisee

We will, all so often, wonder why the church or it’s leadership would cast upon our shoulders such heavy burdens that they themselves would not aid us with, nor would they acct accordingly. Jesus spoke on this subject within the warning to the Scribes and the Pharisees: “Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees” (Matthew 23 & Luke 11.) Sadly, man, regardless of his position tends to enjoy power and has no desire to give up such power. This is just as true for those who are in positions of authority within the church. There is but a small segment who will yield their power, or command over others. It takes a man of strong moral guidance and position to do so. The unfortunate truth about humanity is that they have the desire to feel important. even if that importance is false and at his own doing.

No matter how you look at it, we (the species of man) still have a long way to go and a long road to follow in order to learn about God’s humility. Our purpose is to glorify God, but our bravado consistently gets in our way…doesn’t it??

As mentioned before, none of us is perfect. The only way we can stand justified before God is through the perfection of Jesus. By accepting Jesus into our hearts and to Lord over our lives it is His perfection that God the Father sees…yes, even through our wretchedness. Even as wretched as we are, God loves us and gives us chances beyond our abilities to comprehend. That is the love of our Creator! We have until our dying breath…and that includes our church leaders. It is up to them to teach us the ways of God, but it is also up to us to learn those ways and read our bibles daily! It is up to each of us to check & challenge our leaders, in love, thus ensuring that we and they are on the same path. God wants each and every one of us to enter into the Kingdom through truth!

desires all men to be saved

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV

We can surmise that by reading 1 John 5:1-5 a way of choosing the right and moral path!

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” ~1 John 5:1-5 NKJV 

Earlier in 1 John we were warned not to love the world.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” ~1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

If we will separate ourselves from loving the world and the things in this world, our faith will grow stronger and our hearts will be bound with great strength to Our Lord & Savior, Jesus. This is how we separate ourselves from our sinfulness and sinful behavior…by not setting our sights on the things of this world! Much like dieting or beginning a new routine for your life, it is burdensome in one respect because you are not accustomed to living that way. But once the habit is solidified and set in place, there is no longer a burden…because it is a part of your normal routine of life.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

…avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…

While on Facebook, someone wrote a single question:

Pls share your opinions. CAN A CHRISTIAN LOSE SALVATION ?

Foolish businessAnd foolish me…like so many others like me, responded. Boy-Oh-boy, let the games begin! You just wouldn’t believe it…you would think it was a political posting of some sort! I guess looking back at it in hindsight, I was really not all that surprised by what was to happen. Christians are as social, argumentative, and crazy as anyone else on the face of this earth…sadly, me included! We each will battle to justify our position and our argument, to sustain it’s viability. And if that is not bad enough, we will denigrate those who we think answer us rudely, even though they are just answering a question that we posed. [I don’t think I went that crazy!] But I was asked/told that something I stated was not in the bible, my response was it was in the bible and the scripture. When I responded with that I was accused of arguing…HUH?@#$!

At another point in time, I came to some semblance of sanity and stated/posted:

I have come to the conclusion that this is one of those “…foolish disputes…” (2Tim 2:23-26)that Paul spoke of that we should avoid as children of God! WOW!

I received several comments, some of which were “we aren’t arguing,” and “I wouldn’t characterize the end of time as a foolish or ignorant topic.” Which was not really the topic of discussion anyway. The topic, overall, was what did you (the respondent) believe? Therefore, the question went to the heart of one’s doctrinal beliefs. And trust me…there were a plethora of discussion threads! What was stated by me was that the argument was foolish, in that, we were instructed to avoid such disputes as we are to be of “…one mind…” as written:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4 NKJV

How can we be “…like minded…” and of “…one mind…” where we are arguing over doctrinal issues that, in my opinion, should have been settled long, long ago! And while arguing, we treat others as though they are heathens and tend to answer curtly, coarsely, and denigrate one another in order to show our dominance over their “ignorant beliefs.”  WOW! Just wow! That is all I have. I am of the mind to argue and my wife will attest to such. However, there are times where I will just attain that “AH-HAH! Moment” that we all seek. And often are hit with at one of the most inopportune moments…you know…when you are winning the argument…er..eh hem…spirited debate. [Yeah, that’ll work for me! LOL]

YES! God does work in very mysterious ways, but why couldn’t He wait a few more posts cause I was winning?

So, my Christian friends, can’t we all just get along? What is it that makes us so different, yet very much so the same as all others in this world? As I have mentioned in a previous post, where I was looking into other platforms but Christian oriented, might not be such a great idea after all. Why? Because we each still possess a propensity to argue, as Tony Robbins once stated, because we knew we had to win! We were right after all and that opponent of ours was but a heathen.

Guess what? We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, which also makes us adoptive brothers and sisters. We are a family and we should be able to get along in these matters. Why, you ask? Because if we cannot get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ…how can we think that we will get along in the heavenly with God? Or even with Christ Himself?

The more I learn, the more I find out I still have a very long distance to go before I get to be even a halfway decent Christian…and that still doesn’t make me a good one! We each need to take a step back from time to time in order to see, or assess ourselves, as to how good we are as Christians. And YES…I do mean an HONEST assessment of yourself! We, as the whole body of Christ need to be:

bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-6 NKJV

Sometimes we may take a little longer than usual to get that “AH-HAH!” moment to slap us in the face. You know the drill, some of us just aren’t very sharp or quick witted! Yes, I’ll own that! There will come a point in time, usually during your discussion, where you will note that the argument is foolish or ignorant. So the bottom line is this:

Do you continue on with the argument until you win, or cease arguing and acknowledge to foolhardiness of the argument?

foolish-positinionMany of us have that propensity to fight on until we win [standing on sinking ground in a foolish position] and others are struck with an ethical roadblock [which is not a bad thing]. But there is that small segment of the population who, despite that ethical roadblock which crops up on them, can and will continue the argument until they are victorious. Which type of person are you? Sadly, I have a lot of work to do as I am of the ilk who has, in the past, continued on until victorious…which still makes me the loser in the long-run!

Please learn from my mistakes, that you do not have to go through life wondering why things are the way they are?

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Original posting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilovebeingachristian/permalink/330412207486570/?comment_id=330965957431195&reply_comment_id=331074717420319&notif_id=1526187331985687&notif_t=group_comment&ref=notif

Attack Your Problems Head On

david-goliath

I was listening to a podcast of CARM on my way home one night and heard a commercial for Harvest America Moment with Greg Laurie which said of David,

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. ~1Samuel 17:48-49 NIV

We are to attack our problems as David attacked Goliath, the Philistine. We each have our own problems and shortcomings, but God at that moment had told me through one of those great AH-HAH! moments that it wasn’t the problem itself but my inability to obey that holds me back. Think about that for a moment or two!

attackAll too often we feign an attack, ultimately to no avail, because of our inner fears and insecurities. We constantly and consistently fail to push forward to glorify God in all we do all due to fear. We fail to have faith in God and His ultimate power. Who could be more powerful than God? The very one who created our very souls, our spirit, our bodies, the very world upon which we now live! It just get any better than that, don’t you think? Our God loves us and empowers & equips us to do His will. (1 Corinthians 15:9–10, Hebrews 13:20-21)

And do not think I am pointing fingers at you, only…I have to stare at myself in the mirror and do it to myself, as well! Yes, I am guilty of such failures! Remember the

There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 & Psalm 14:3

We are each guilty, in some small way, or grand… I am 57 years old this year and I am having more “AH-HAH!” moments within just this last year than I have had in a very long ah-ha-moment3time! IF, and that is the qualifier, I stay on this path…could you imagine all of the other ah-hah moments I am destined to have in the future? There is so much more to learn, so many difficulties to overcome, so many problems to solve, and so many challenges to overcome! But we each must persevere our plight of doing what is right and just and good in God’s eyes. We each must set our minds on things above and not our earthly plain. For the earth will come and go, it will change from one day to the next, but the heavenly realm we seek shall never change, excepting only the increase of those elected by God to be saved!

I was watching a clip of Legends & Lies, by Bill O’Rielly, about Stonewall Jackson. He was of such a mind that he did not concern himself about such trivialities of how he would die, because God had ordained such a thing. He was one of those individuals that took chances, chances that others would think foolish but he saw as necessary, and if he were to die such was the determination of God, Himself.

Sometimes God will use a show on television to teach us something. Sometimes we learn from that all encompassing ah-hah moment by reading a biblical passage, or verse. It is different for each of us, because God can use all things for His good! We are all called by God to do His will, but not all have responded to that calling. Remember the passage?

For many are called, but few are chosen.” ~Matthew 22:14 (NKJV)

We all have to learn to make those difficult choices in order to accomplish what we must, to God’s glory. At times it may be something on a small scale, but at other times it is on a grand scale! We must be willing to make that leap of faith! Believing that God is behind us desiring us to do our best to His glory!

No matter your position in the working world, nor in your youthful stage in life…God desires you and I to do our best at all times. Why? Because we are, potentially, a light to others who need to see God and we are the light for that person, or those people.

LightUntoTheWorld

Sometimes, and this may be difficult to grasp, WE are the only ones who will cross someones path for God’s sake…there is no other they will meet to bring such a light in their lives.

Think about that for a moment! That is a heavy load to bear for others in this world, but there are times it is true. It is for this reason that we must each challenge ourselves to face our problems head on! We each have a Goliath or a problem or , perhaps, a challenge (or two, or three) in our lives…WE MUST FACE EACH ONE DIRECTLY AND HEAD ON.

Such a thing is much like falling off one’s bike, we need to get back on that bike. Problems and challenges are the same exact thing…we must never stop facing them, because they will always be attacking us throughout our lives until our dying breath.

I hope this was helpful to you, my friends! Godspeed!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Christian Alternatives To Facebook by Pastor Duke

Many Christians have gotten a little fed up with Facebook. Whether they are finding that their posts mysteriously disappear, or are not shared with all of their friends due to Facebook’s decision to censor religious speech, (Facebook, Apple, Google censoring religious speech?) or they are tired of posts that use inappropriate pictures or language, or they just want a place where they can go to get uplifted and encouraged, Christians have been looking for alternatives to Facebook. It was because of this need that I decided to use the popularity of my own website Taber’s Truths and our Facebook Fan Page to enter the Christian social networking niche and launch Christian Faithbook. However, since I have always had a big tent philosophy towards other Christians and Christian websites, I wanted to provide you with a list of the best Christian Social Networking sites for 2013. I have used a 3 point criteria for this list. I have made the decision on who to include based on the number of members, number of features, and whether the site is moderated to weed out spam and inappropriate posts and pictures. This list is not ranked, but just the 10 best Christian social networking sites I could find based on that criteria. [Original Article]

Top Christian Alternatives To Facebook For Social Networking

Christian Faithbook. The Faith and Family Friendly Christian Social Network

Of course, I believe that Christian Faithbook should be in this list otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to enter into the Christian social networking market. It offers…..

• Facebook like styling and functions with a wall for friends posts and ability to like posts or comment on posts

• Uploading of Video, Audio, and Pictures

• Christian Groups and Forums

• Instant messaging of friends

• Membership of 450+ in 3 weeks

• Moderation of posts and pictures.

XX  Kindle

Kindle is a Christian social network to share your prayer requests. It offers….

• The ability to share prayer requests worldwide

• Groups for churches or Bible study groups to gather together and share their prayer requests with one another.

• Ability to comment on prayer requests

• Ability to let people know you support their prayer request.

Christians Like Me

Christians Like Me is a Christian social networking website that connects Christians from around the world.

• 1500 Members

• Christian groups and forums

• Chat room

• Member blogs

• Picture and Video uploading

Christians Like Me also seems to have some type of drug information section, a news section and a live TV section featuring the morning messages of John Hagee but I am not sure how these are relevant to Christian social networking.

XX  Faith Freaks

Faith Freaks is a Christian Social Network that is geared towards teens. Faith Freaks is a safe on-line environment dedicated to helping young people by providing help, hope & encouraging them to grow in their faith. Our trained volunteers help young people find resources to overcome the many challenges that they may be facing. Including, but not limited to, suicide prevention, depression, peer pressure, drug or alcohol abuse & other challenging or life threatening situations. We help by providing many types of resources both online & in their own communities. Additionally we try to encourage healthy decision-making. Moreover we strive to glorify God by providing an alternative social network that is safe, clean, friendly, and Christ-centered

• Over 72,000 members

• Private messaging

• Christian chat room

• Christian forums

• Member blogs

• Picture uploads

• Prayer request section

• Counseling for youth.

Faith Freaks is an impressive site and something every Christian should check out.

XX  Shout Life

ShoutLife.com is a free community / social networking website that offers customized profiles with unlimited photos, networks, events, private/instant messaging, blogging and more.

We are unique in that our community is clean and family friendly, yet is still feature rich. We focus on creating and promoting a fun and positive environment. At ShoutLife.com, you can connect with your friends and meet new people as well as amazing music artists, authors, comedians, organizations and more.

• Personal member profiles

• Author, Musician, Comic, and Group profiles

• Christian groups and directory

Shout Life has a great website design but I did not see a lot of features available. Of course they might be hidden until you sign up.

XX  Holy Pal

Holy Pal is a Christian social network powered by the Ning platform which is similar to a blog powered by blogger. Ning powers lots of different social networks and each one is created and managed by individual users. Holy Pal has ….

• 13,000 members

• Picture and Video uploads

• Christian groups

• Christian forums

• Member blogs

Holy Pal has a clean design and seems to be moderated. I could not tell if it has a Facebook style wall.

Faithbook by Fellowship of World Christians ‘Working Together in Union with Christ’

Faithbook is as the name suggests an alternative to Facebook. I could not tell how many members it had due to the need to sign up before seeing anything however it offers…..

• A Facebook style wall

• Video and Picture uploads

• Christian chat room

• Christian groups and forums

• A radio (podcast) channel

• Christian news

Faithbook looks like something to check out although I am not sure it is moderated.

XX  God’s Faithbook

God’s Faithbook is another Facebook alternative that has a simple design and not a lot of features.

The blogs are not moderated and are filled with spam posts. However it does have these things to offer.

• Almost 10,000 ,members

• Personal profiles

• Video and Picture uploads

• Member blogs

• Christian Chatroom

• Soduko and Crossword Puzzles

It looks like that God’s Faithbook has some good ideas but needs some TLC and knowledge to make it come into a full-fledged Christian social network.

Conversant Life

Conversant Life is part social network, part Christian bookmarking site, and part blogging site. It tries to tie together social networking with sharing content from other websites and having users create blog posts. It is actually a great idea and seems to have some very good traffic.

• Member profiles and messaging

• Posting your favorite videos and articles

• Member blogging

• Video and podcast uploads.

I use conversant life as part of my social strategy for Taber’s Truths.

???  Fellowship of Christian Bloggers.

As a last mention, I wanted to include FOCB. They are a group of Christian bloggers that have joined together to help encourage one another. This is a small social network of about 100 members and they are exclusively for Christian bloggers but many times when people are looking to connect via a Christian social network it is to connect with other bloggers, so I thought I would mention them.

Blessings to all of you!

Pastor Duke

********

Now Here is Where I and Pastor Duke Part Ways…

Since the writing of the original article, it would seem, many of these platforms are non-existent (XX). One seems to be a one-time fee based ($$) system and another is in existence (focbonline.com), but only has one posting, which for all intents and purposes is non-existent, the remainder I will touch on in order to see how they compare to say…Facebook or Titter. Thus far, I am unimpressed…Facebook for it’s platform and functionality is by far the greatest of the social media platforms.

But I continue looking into other platforms while sifting through my iTunes apps store:

(All those highlighted in RED are those that I continue to toy with.)

Christians Like Me is a platform that reminds me of MySpace…does it even exist anymore?? Yes, as a matter of fact it does. Chunky but functional. I will be playing around with it to see what it has to offer. The others, not so much.

FAITH BOOK & Conversant Life due to the fact that they are overseas based would be the answer as to why my AVIRA Security indicates that they are unsecured and are open to the public, even though they do not show the information you type in to sign-up or sign in.

MyPraize (www.mypraize.com) claims, “…is a free Christian social network with the best of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube.” This is both app form and online My initial playing with it on-line was rather chunky, as well as, my attempting to maneuver around. I sought help, but it didn’t seem to grant me any. Not the same in trying to make friends, but I will continue to play.

Christbox.com in both app form and online is chunky but functional. It reminds me of an upgrade to a bulletin board system back in the 1990s. It has some functionality of Facebook, but it is not facebook-like by any stretch of the imagination.

WWJDNOW is a simplistic messenger repository for prayers.

Way2Jesus is, also, a simplistic version of Instagram, in my opinion. No bells and no whistles…just picture posting and check-ins.

ThePowerOfOne is an app platform where your church, or organization, signs up to use. It enables a group/church/organization to maintain contact with one another through their set-up. Uncertain, specifically, how and through what it will make the connection.

iC (Instant Christ) I would say this is a hybrid of LinkedIN & Twitter rolled into one. Similar but with limitations. It has a nice and appealing look, but could be better, they have the ability.

MissionHub is more like a Goal making Reminder board. It is good for what it is, an aid to help you walk with Jesus by following the steps you have created. I will send notifications, but instead of using the phone notifications it is all via email.

FaithLife Much like LinkedIN. You share, you create different groups for discussions, church, books, bible study, etc. It could be a great way to network for church groups, churches, bible study groups, etc. But it is not necessarily limited to these. Helpful and seems to be self explanatory and fairly user friendly.

Precarii is a prayer app. Seems to be a very powerful prayer circle of friends. I have no friends and I set up my first prayer…and WOW! The responses were awesome! 31 people came to my following and prayed for my first prayer request. What a circle of diligent and ardent Christian Prayer Warriors! KUDOS!

VOKE A video sharing app, I would probably liken it to Instagram/Snapchat, but it does not have all of the added features that either one, or both, have to work with.

CollectiveFaith Unlike many other apps, you seem to have to sign-in every time you try to use it. I find this rather inconvenient on one hand, but more secure on the other.

MyDub I was not impressed, while I was setting up an account it required a password with 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number & 1 special character. I did so and it kept erroring out saying my password did not meet criteria. That being said, I emailed them and lo-and-behold the email was dead. There were no guiding principles.

Shine this app has the feel of a hybrid between LinkedIN and Twitter, maybe just LinkedIN…you decide. You create a chain of invites and build up your Christian network. You share, you discuss and you create groups.

$$ PrayerPower seemed like it was going to be an interesting and good prayer circle application set-up, based upon the grouping people and adding them through their cellular phone numbers; so you end up messaging (I assume) for all of your prayerful needs. Much to my chagrin it turned out to be a fee based. Sorry, paint me the king of cheap…I LIKE FREE!

PrayerWall Is an app that is a prayer platform where you pray with others, kind of liken it to Twitter. Not bad overall, but it also serves as a prayer reminder. Neither good nor bad…it just is so.

FaithLife is an app which is tied to LOGOS Bible Software. While I find their software intriguing, but no time to really try it out as well as it is an a-la-cart system of pay for this and pay for that – well set up in itself, but just need to get use to it. But as far as the FaithLife app, not quite certain how to use it, yet. But there are groups to join and I assume friends to be made. We shall see.

 

Many of these platforms have great potential to overtake Facebook and it’s lead in the world community, but there needs to be greater innovative ideas put into place! It is my firm opinion that each of these platforms could supersede Facebook just in the allowance of all speech without repercussion. While I, along with so many others, believes that one could share his or her opinion without all of the “colorful metaphors” that are used in today’s vernacular. But the transference of ideas is what is most important, in my opinion. Facebook lead because of it’s freedom to speak one’s mind without any problems, but now (in the advent of the 2016 election campaign & the liberal mindedness of the leaders in many of these corporations) have begun a war to stifle freedom of speech. Consider, for example, Google employee James Damore who was fired for freely speaking after Google promoted freedom and diversity of speech…hmmmmmmm…that was just the beginning.

I pushed off the posting of this blog an additional 2 weeks to give me the time to try each of the platforms. Thus enabling me to see what they were and how they handled. Hope It was helpful to you…it was helpful to me. Though, I will not tell you which is best or the worst of the bunch, that is not my purpose here. I am presenting to you other options for what seems to be liberally run and conservatively limited & censored platforms. It will, in fact take me a longer time to determine that which I like and that which I find sub par for use. Could these take the place of Facebook or twitter? Yes they could, but will they? That is the $64,000 question! Will there be a platform to take over? Eventually, I think there will be, because I think people are vying for such a thing to happen. They need their outlet of privacy and other forms of outbursts. Will it be a pay or fee system, it very well could be…BUT why pay when you can throw your tantrums for free?

Hope you were  able to get something from this. Hope it was an interesting possibility placed before you!

Godspeed my friends!

MK Murphy

Once Saved, Always Saved ~REVISITED

eternman

Some of you are probably wondering, will he ever just move on? What is up with this topic? This, quite honestly, is a hot topic for many, not just myself. And as like so many, I want everyone to have as much knowledge and understanding at their fingertips in order to make a truly wise, understandable, knowledgeable, and prayerful decision as to what they truly believe about the subject matter at hand! In the past (August & September of 2015) I wrote a two part blog posting on this very subject (Once Saved, Always Saved? & Once Saved, Always Saved? ~Part 2). The blog postings were cursory and were unassumingly ambiguous, in that, I still was not certain at that time about the subject. However, I desired to get as much of the information out to you so that you could decide for yourselves, despite the fact that I was not 100% sure in either case. Many have the belief that once saved & always saved is a fallacy and a license to sin, because if one cannot lose their salvation then they can do anything without regard to consequences. Remember Father Zosima’s quote, from Dostoevsky’sBrothers Karamazov“, “If there is no God then all things are permissible.”

This is not what the bible teaches. And if you can lose your salvation then you aren’t truly saved, hmmmmmmm…also, this is not taught within the biblical text. So, this, I hope, is the last of this question and my input on this subject, as I am (as you can see) grasping information from numerous sources. But no promises on this being the last word on this topic of discussion. Also, it is not like I do not have other topics to discuss, as I have in my drafts anywhere up to 40-50+ topics. But as with anything else, your mind is constantly thinking on what NEEDS to be heard and understood by those who follow your blog(s). I hope I keep everyone busy and tantalized by the topics that are posted.

My greatest problem, that which holds me back from this teaching, is the fact that I believe that somehow we (mankind) can subvert our salvation through our God given right to choose (good or bad, right or wrong, righteous or evil, etc.) I understand that the grace of God is how we receive our salvation which is a gift from God. I also understand that many rely on this scripture:

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ~John 6:37-38 NASB

My problem with this is that God, Jesus, says, “…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…” which leads me to believe that though Jesus will not cast a person out, but if he can chose to be saved by calling on God, can he not also choose to walk away from such a glorious gift, as well? Consider the story of George Wilson, the man who refused a presidential pardon. This is my dilemma, which I hope to solve by the end of this particular blog posting. Therefore, my friends, this will probably be my longest post, or several blog posts, only time and research will tell. Sorry!

So, what is the Doctrine of Free Will? According to Matt Slick of CARM.org he has defined as such:

Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion.  There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people.  There are two main views:  compatibilism and libertarianism…The compatibilist view is the position that a person’s freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture and that his free will is consistent with God’s foreordination…Libertarian free will says that the person’s will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely…[see more of this refer to What is free will? ]

Free will and the Christian religion

The problem of free will assumed quite a new character with the advent of the Christian religion. The doctrine that God has created man, has commanded him to obey the moral law, and has promised to reward or punish him for observance or violation of this law, made the reality of moral liberty an issue of transcendent importance. Unless man is really free, he cannot be justly held responsible for his actions, any more than for the date of his birth or the colour of his eyes. All alike are inexorably predetermined for him. Again, the difficulty of the question was augmented still further by the Christian dogma of the fall of man and his redemption by grace. St. Paul, especially in his Epistle to the Romans, is the great source of the Catholic theology of grace. ~Catholic Encyclopedia

This might be a good segue to ask what was the point of the law? What was the purpose of the law? Remember what the Apostle Paul told us, in Romans 7:

…I would not have come to know sin except through the Law… ~Romans 7:7 NASB

So, the law was a means of accomplishing your salvation, that linked with the blood sacrifice of animals could land you into heaven. Of course, you would have to adhere to all of the 613 laws on the books and properly and morally give your blood sacrifices throughout your life. And Jesus taught us that He was “…the way the truth and the light…” by which we could “…come to the Father” and it was only through He that we could do so. Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry He, during the Lord’s supper, stated (according to the Apostle Matthew):

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” ~Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV

We are reminded of the “My blood of the new covenant”, which was a foretelling of His own trial and tribulation that the Christ had to endure in order to become the final sacrifice…for us all…once and for all! Yes…do you you get it now? He died for you and me, for all of us and for all those not yet born. Now, with the “New Covenant” through the blood of Jesus we are no longer held accountable to the law. Now we are to live as Jesus lived; Jesus being our premier example of how to live.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. ~John 19:30 NKJV

When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He meant that His task was completed for all mankind; i.e., He was that final sacrifice. Upon that moment Jesus gave up His Spirit and His blood was spilled on our behalf, as our final sacrifice. We were freed from the law…although, keep in mind the law is what we use to determine if we are sinning in any particular area of our lives. Of course, this is a no braniner since,  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (for better context refer to Romans 3:21-26 NASB.) This is why we are saved by grace through faith [in the blood of Jesus…the lamb which was slaughtered on our behalf.] Further consider what the Apostle Paul had written:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB 

CrucifixionJesus suffered for each and every one of us and He was held accountable for each and every one of our sins. Those nails, the crown of thorns, the cross upon which He bore our sins…it is in our place that he was condemned, it was for our sins He died.This was prophesied by Isaiah, one of the major prophets:

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. ~Isaiah 53:3 NASB

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. ~Isaiah 53:7 NASB

We all think, at some points in time, that we are good people. But what exactly Maniacsdo we use as a basis for our arrogant statement? Why? Because we didn’t kill anyone? Because we aren’t Hitler? Stalin? Mao Tse Tung? Pol Pot? THAT is a bit relativistic, don’t you think? The list could literally go one for quite some time, but for brevity I will leave it there. But, yes, Jesus died for each of them. Yet, they did not accept Jesus…they rejected Him and therefore, Jesus also rejected them. Remember what Jesus taught?

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:32-39 NASB 

license-to-sin

Now, from a moral standpoint we are not given a license to sin. Because as children of God we are to strive to be better than what we once were. Unfortunately, I know people who take this literally as a license to sin. And if they do sin, there is no admission of such a thing, because it wasn’t them but the evil one who sinned within them…hmmmmmmmm.

So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.~Romans 7:17-20 NASB

This is but one, there may be others because the Apostle Paul generally refers to other things he has written about. However, people take this out of context for their benefit in order to sin and continue to keep on sinning. We are meant to understand that we do wrong because of the sinful nature within us. That being said, we are to use Jesus as our Godly example of how we are to live out our lives. But because that is way too hard to do…we should just let our bodies do what they will do, because our souls are saved. That is ungodly thinking and antithetical to the teachings of the bible. Look at the Apostle Paul who killed Christians his brothers & sisters. You can see in his writings that he is tormented due to the memory of what he once was and what he did, but he knew and held on to the hope that Jesus forgave him and he made great strides to do God’s work and fulfill the purpose for which he was created. Let’s look at King David who was a warrior, an adulterer, he lusted, and he killed in order to hide the truth, but God was there and saw it all. Consider, for a moment, that if we were to live as though we have a license to sin then why didn’t the Apostle Paul continue to torment and torture Christians? If what happens while in our flesh truly didn’t matter, then Paul had a license to continue to do what he was doing. And the same could be said of King David. But they each knew they were wrong due to the sin that was within them and they struggled to be better. If God could save David and Saul (Paul), then that gives us great hope…because God wants to save each and every one of us. He desires all of mankind to be saved and to enter into the heavenly realm.

I love the Matt Slick explained his point of view on this, in his article THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

…Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” Usually, the eyes brighten at this point. I then keep going…

Well, I think I truly kept my word, this is the longest post I have written…<<whew!>>

Here after the teaching of the Beatitudes while still speaking to the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised and forewarned us:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 5:17-20 NASB

All in all, I believe the final belief that can be derived from this post is that we are saved eternally from the aspect that Jesus was that final sacrificial lamb to die for all of our sins. Those who have not yet been born and those who have died. We are told that we will answer for our sins, but unless we lived a life antithetical to God’s word without ever seeking God’s forgiveness, we are saved. Though we sin, we will still answer for them but we are heaven-bound.

Do not forget about the thief on the cross…REMEMBER HIM?

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:39-43 NASB

You can be on your deathbed, and if you are truly seeking God’s forgiveness, He will give it. You might consider reading the minor prophet’s Book of Jonah. If God was willing to forgive the Ninevites, how much happier do you think God would be that YOU seek His salvation and forgiveness?

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB

So now is the time for you to seek God out, pray to Jesus. Find a bible believing church in your area and start associating with the like minded. Search out a bible that you can read and that is good for your soul. I read the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and the KJV. Most of my references are NASB & NKJV. To help you look here:

BibleSpectrumChart1

Also, one of my other blogs I posted What is the Best Bible to Read? Which has numerous references and articles for you to glean through in order to make your decision.

May the Love of God Shine upon each and everyone of you in your life’s journey toward salvation! I pray for each and every one of you that you find your way, if lost; those of you who are already saved…I pray for you to see and understand God’s will and purpose for you in your lives.

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

REFERENCES:

The Bible (BibleGateway NKJV & NASB)

The Assurance of Salvation by Matt Slick (CARM.org)

1 John 5:16-17, The sin leading to death

What is once saved always saved? by Matt Slick

What is the Eternal Security of the Believer? by Matt Slick

What is the difference between eternal security, once saved always saved, and perseverance of the saints? by Matt Slick

If eternal security is true, why did the Holy Spirit depart from Saul? by Luke Wayne

Can the Christian believer lose his salvation? by Matt Slick

What is free will? by Matt Slick

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem