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The Christian Afterlife

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Opeth
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50 posted 11-30-2002 02:54 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Stephan,

"And Yet, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and two disciples on the "mount of transfiguration" (Matthew 17:1-3)."

~ Of course, I know of this scripture, and it has been spoken to me many times in the same defense. Where does the scripture say that this transfiguration was of the past or present? This scripture, by itself, with no interpretation is just what it is, a vision of these individuals speaking. If Moses and Elijah had already ascended into heaven, the Bible would contradict itself. For it says that Jesus was the first to ascend into heaven, and of this time, he was still alive.

~ This was what was to come, a future event, indeed. A transfiguration, a vision of an event to come.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (11-30-2002 02:56 PM).]

Opeth
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51 posted 11-30-2002 03:03 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Whether one believes in "soul sleep", or a post-death awareness prior to the resurrection of the body, makes what difference?"

~ Everything. Because the false churches set up by Satan have taught "another christ." And believing in this false christ, one also believes in the pagan doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Paul told the Corinths, "this mortal must put on immortality..." We are mortal!!! We must put on immortality!!! We do not possess an immortal soul. This is a doctrine of the devil and the false church.
Opeth
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52 posted 11-30-2002 03:10 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"As to your belief in "soul sleep", the Jehovah's Witnesses also believe in the same... hence an example of denominational religion that believes and potentially uses that to gain converts,"

~ I won't deny this fact, neither should I care. To say, that the false churches established do not include smaller churches would be illogical. Satan, who deceives the whole world, including the Mother Church and her Harlot Daughters, also will most certainly have smaller churches like the Jehovah's Witnesses to throw people off even moreso. But that doesn't mean that Satan isn't smart enough to mix truths with lies. I have found that many denominations have some truth to them, but still they are of the false churches.

"I say that to point out the fact that ANY doctrine can be used to get money if that it is the motive behind it."

~ Excellent point. So, the true Church, and there can be only one, does not seek to gain monetary weatlth.

"Is that the motive behind the Jehovah's Witnesses doctrine?"

~ I don't know. They may indeed be sincere. In fact, in the Bible studies of which I attended, there were several members of the Jehovah's Witnesses. According to my witnessing of their behaviour, I would say that at a layman's level, no.  However, sincerity does not mean jack crap.

Stephanos
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53 posted 11-30-2002 03:19 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

thanks for taking this one step at a time.  

Okay.  You are asserting that this episode was merely a vision of a future event.  Yet what persuasion, scripturally speaking, can you give to support it from the text?  There is nothing in the account that says that it was merely a vision, nor that it was future.  There is however something there which would refute the idea that this is the future.


Consider Luke's account: 9:30-32

"And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.  And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:  Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.  But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him."


How could they speak of his "decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem" if this were merely a vision of a future event.  It seems the evidence here is in support of a present experience, seeing they are speaking of future things that we know happened pre-resurrection day.


This poses a pretty significant problem to your interpretation.  How can I resolve this and still be honest with what scripture says?


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-30-2002 03:20 PM).]

Opeth
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54 posted 11-30-2002 03:26 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"How can you so easily jump from being an agnostic (We cannot know God) to being a recipient of divine revelation, and not only so, but one of the scant few in the universe to be able to get it right!?"

~ I answered this question once before on the other thread, but I will answer it again. After searching for the truth, I came to two conclusions: I was given divine revelation (I am not the only one, btw), or christianity is bogus and we cannot know the existence of god.

And being continuously told that I am wrong...I even had a christian group rebuke me and call me the devil, they actually performed an excorcism on me!!!  It wore on me. Now, if God did give me His divine revelation, then I am failing Him...and my fate would be the Lake of Fire, but I decided to choose the "dormant" route instead. I don't know. Maybe, this is God's plan for my life. It is not a life of inner personal happiness, that is for sure. Maybe that is why I am to suffer, because I am not what I should be...I don't know. I will wait and do what I do...and that is to raise "hell" against mainstream christianity, because I know it is bogus.

"Pardon me, but which Opeth are we to listen to?  I am not making fun of your struggle or attempting to irritate."

~ That was mean spritited, indeed. Yes, your fellow christian friends may jump in and say, no it wasn't, but it was. However, it doesn't matter, as I told you before, I've had much worse, so did Christ and his apostles, btw.

"But in light of all that you said, can you expect someone to really think you've got it figured out?"

~ Absolutely not! Only the Spirit of God can call a person, all others will have no idea what the hell I am talking about, and will call me a loon, they will.

"How easily can some one accept creeds which are apparantly unsettled in even your mind?"

~ You lost me here. If I am to argue the Bible, then what has been revealed to me, is not unsettled.

Essorant
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55 posted 11-30-2002 03:26 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Opeth,

Yes, I am bespeaking you.

It just seems that one should not smite the sayer to try to change the saying, it will not work.  But if you smite the saying itself it might truley change the sayer.
If you think there are flaws about Christianity's saying/reasoning what would you propose as changes to to make it better in these areas, and have Christianity (Christians), the sayer, changed as well?

[This message has been edited by Essorant (11-30-2002 03:47 PM).]

Opeth
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56 posted 11-30-2002 03:38 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"You still have not addressed such  scriptures as the one where Jesus has rebuke for a church that is doctrinally correct, but without ardent love."

~ Give me a break. Don't mix issues. We are talking about the "laws of God" not men. And of course the laws of God are base in love for God and Christ. I used this same argument against myself, Stephan.

"This suggests to me that your whole conception of the "little flock" has at least the possibility of error."

~ We should only go by what the Bible states, and it states to prove all things and to grow in the grace and knowledge of God, therefore there will be errors, but not on the fundamentals, such as: immortality of the soul, trinity, Sabbath, sin, Holy Days).

"In one sweep, your statements accuse Christendom across the board as crooks, swindlers, and deceivers."

~ Remember, most involved in mainstream christianity, will accept Christ as saviour during the 1000 year Kingdom. This makes your above remark irrelevant.

"The specks become motes, and in eyes you've never seen.  You are not God.  And to be honest I sense very little love in anything you say."

~ So, the truth comes out. You waited quite some time to divulge this information of how you actually feel. Interesting, indeed.

"Remember, "You will know a tree by it's fruit"?  Where is the fruit of the Spirit to at least make the things you say palatable?"

~ By keeping the Laws of God. By doing what Christ says to do. Have you heard of the ten commandments? This is the fruit, that God is waiting for...and no, not just the literal keeping, but IN YOUR HEART. Of course, you won't know what that is until the REAL Spirit of God lives inside of you.

Opeth
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57 posted 11-30-2002 03:44 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"If you are really of a Christian concern to help others see, then you will be able to address my honest concerns about your doctrine, by answering the above concern #1 for example."

~ I did answer #1...Do you know how many times that particular scripture was brought to me for proof of mainstream christianity? Countless of times. I was looking for something original.

"You cannot just take honest scriptural concerns, shoot them down, and say you don't want to discuss it with those who aren't "called" and "enlightened" like yourself."

~ Stephan, I have asked you at least 2-3 times to give me an example of a specific, of which you have never replied.

Let me ask you this, since you never answered me, this does work both ways you know?

1. Who impregnated Mary, God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, or all three?

It does make a difference.

2. What is sin? Not your taking, or your preachers, but what does the Bible EXPLICITLY state sin to be? Remember, we cannot add nor take away from the Bible.

3. What about Christ's ressurection. Which day did it occur? What day did he die on?

Very important, indeed.

False christianity breeds a false christ.


Opeth
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58 posted 11-30-2002 03:50 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"If you think there are flaws about Christianity's saying/reasoning what would you propose as changes to to make it better in these areas, and have Christianity (Christians), the sayer, changed as well?"

~ Mainstream christianity if false, period.

If what I found to be true is not, then there is no christian god. If what I found to be true, is indeed true, then the masses are not being called at this time, so they don't have to do nothing, God will call them, if He wants it to be so.
Opeth
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59 posted 11-30-2002 04:03 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Stephan,

This is so easy...come on...

"You are asserting that this episode was merely a vision of a future event.  Yet what persuasion, scripturally speaking, can you give to support it from the text?

~ Who is the first born amongst the dead? Christ. Christ, at this point, has not even died. Therefore, without a single solitary doubt, this transfiguration (which according to Strong is a vision) is a future event.

There is no other way to interpret this, unless Christ is not the fist to ascend into heaven. The bible does state the Christ is the FIRST to ascend into heaven. It cannot be Moses or anyone else.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (11-30-2002 04:03 PM).]

Opeth
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60 posted 11-30-2002 04:08 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

If anything, Lukes version of this event confirms that Jesus, himself, is unequaled in comparison to Moses and Elijah, for Peter's understanding, as God tells them that it is Jesus who is His Son, not the others, henceforth, the others no longer appear.

This does not prove Elijah and Moses are alive, nor does it not, but when taken into consideration of the fact that Christ is the first to ascend into the Kingdom of Heaven, we can without a doubt know that it is of a future event.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (11-30-2002 05:58 PM).]

Stephanos
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61 posted 11-30-2002 06:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,


"Who is the first born amongst the dead? Christ. Christ, at this point, has not even died. Therefore, without a single solitary doubt, this transfiguration (which according to Strong is a vision) is a future event."

You are maintaining that the transfiguration was the future vision.  There is nothing to indicate that in the text.  Transfiguration does not mean "a vision".  Check your strongs again Greek word #3339 ... metamorphoo - to transform, metamorphose, change.  Nothing as to future or past is implied.  But we do have that they "talked" about the future event of Jesus' crucifixion.  The only evidence that is in the text is supportive of a present occurence.



"If anything, Lukes version of this event confirms that Jesus, himself, in unequal compared to Moses and Elijah, because God tells them that it is Jesus who is His Son, the other were then gone."

Could you rephrase this?  I really do not understand what you are saying?  That Jesus is superior to Moses and Elijah?  Of course, I agree.  What do you mean by "the others were then gone"?  They weren't gone during the experience.  They were also talking.  Are you saying that this was an illusion so that God could prove Christ's superiority, that Moses and Elijah during the transfiguration scene were apparitions?  You have no scriptural support to say that.  I will point out again, that they were "talking" about what Christ was to accomplish at Jerusalem.  


"This does not prove Elijah and Moses are alive, nor does it not, but when taken into consideration of the fact that Christ is the first to ascend into the Kingdom of Heaven, we can without a doubt know that it is of a future event."


Remember that I do not necessarily agree that Spirits cannot exist consciously apart from the body...  So just because Christ was the first to be ressurected with an eternal body, does not necessarily negate Moses and Elijah as being aware.  You will have to offer a better explanation of what Moses and Elijah represented in these passages.  Are you saying they are holographical, apparitional.... something God did, kind of like a slide projector?  Was all of this "pretend"?  One more time, I will ask... what about the conversation Jesus held with them about his death in Jerusalem, which was prior to his ascension?


"I've had much worse, so did Christ and his apostles, btw."

Your doing it again Opeth...  Now you and your superior revelation are worthy of martyrdom.  This is what Brad was speaking of in the extreme.  I am having trouble believing a scriptural view that you seem unable or unwilling to defend from scripture, and you say that I am persecuting you.  Not true.  I was not poking fun at you.  I was however showing your contradictions.  I am asking you to stick by your guns.  You've waffled around from agnosticism to the "Buddha" position, and that without any willing and patient explanation for those who have questions.  If you have come to the conclusion that you know divine revelation, then tell us that you refute agnosticism.  The two are a contradiction would you agree?  If you still feel that agnosticism has merit, then you have no persuasive claims to divine revelation.  I am not even saying that you have to fully live or realize the revelation that God has given you.  I have many imperfections, faults, sins, but I do not oscillate my position every other day.  I was bringing out the point that you must land on one or the other to convince, or even begin to convince, anyone.  You can view this as an insult, or as tough-friendly advice in using polemics.  You have to be at least somewhat consistent to be even heard.


"Let me ask you this, since you never answered me, this does work both ways you know?"

All of the issues that you raised were never directly aimed at me.  I chose not to take them up at the time.  To be honest, it wasn't a very attractive offer.   You tend to splinter things into a myriad of possible directions when we begin to discuss anything.  One issue becomes suddenly a hundred, which becomes impossible for everyone involved.  I don't want to waste my time, or yours.  If you are willing to discuss one issue at a time, I am willing.  You are the one who is constantly bringing up "The Immortal Soul" doctrine.  I never even heard the term "Immortal soul doctrine" until you brought it up.  But I do believe that your take on scripture may have some serious gaps and problems.  Since you brought this up, and bring this up most frequently, let's start here.  I still need that question about Moses and Elijah addressed...  After we take this one response at a time.  We can address the others.  I'm just not into a free-for-all.  


Stephen.        

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-30-2002 06:48 PM).]

Opeth
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62 posted 11-30-2002 06:54 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Maybe you are not carefully reading my replies. I have already said that this one piece of scripture could never prove or disprove what I have come to known. However, when taken in context with other scripture and with other key elements, it is rather easy to understand, to me, anyways...

1. This was a transfiguration. The definition of transfiguration is basically what you called it...like a slide show or television broadcast of an event.

2. The Bible states that no man has ascended to heaven accept Jesus Christ. If this is to be true, then how could Moses and Elijah already be in heaven? They can't be. They are asleep, awaiting the second coming.

3. Taken in context, one could easily argue that the whole purpose of God's Spirit recording this event, was to enlighten the Israelites, certainly Peter included, that Jesus WAS not Elijah, who was prophesied in the OT, but who was John the Baptist read Matt 17:11-13.

4. Moses and Elijah are dead. They are not yet born again. Being born again is the only way to have eternal life. Read 1 Corinthians 15th chapter.

5. Read Acts, where Peter says that all of the OT leaders (Moses, etc) have died without ever receiving their promise, yet.

Taken these scriptures and many others, of which I can not remember from the top of me noggin, it is clear that this story of the transfiguration proves nothing of an immediate life after death.  
Opeth
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63 posted 11-30-2002 06:58 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

It is so simple to me, it makes me lol.

How could anyone be possibly in heaven, when Christ has not yet returned to earth? And when reading the bible, it is only until his return that the first ressurection takes place. Until then, noone is born again. One must be born again, this mortal must put on immortality. Are we to beleive that everyone goes to heaven (who are saved, that is), and when Christ returns they all go back into their bodies for a ressurection? LOL! Only Satan could author this ridiculous and nonsensical occurance. Why would they need to go back to their bodies, if they are already in heaven??!!! LOL!
Stephanos
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64 posted 11-30-2002 07:05 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

I'm trying to boil this down, to what I see is the root of this discussion on the transfiguration...


"Who is the first born amongst the dead? Christ. Christ, at this point, has not even died. Therefore, without a single solitary doubt, this transfiguration (which according to Strong is a vision) is a future event."


Your view is that the transfiguration has to be a vision of the ressurection in the future.  Because if not, you would be at a loss to explain Moses and Elijah's appearance pre-resurrection day.  

My view is open to the possibility of Saints having an existence of sorts after death, but before the ressurection day.  


Notice that my view provides explanation about the appearance and conversation of Moses and Elijah in which they mention things as if,  1) after their physical death, and 2) before the crucifixion of Jesus... and by implication before the ressurection day.   But your view provides no explanation of this.

Your problem with my view seems to be that since Christ hadn't died, this has to be a vision of a future resurrection.  But my view also has an explanation for this... The glory of the transfiguration as a present glory of Christ, and not merely a future glory.  It is the revelation of his full divine nature that caused his face to shine like the sun.  This would not limit the transfiguration to a future vision, or require us to believe, as you say, that this glory is a future event.  My whole point is that there is no scriptural evidence that this MUST be a future event.  But there is at least some scriptural evidence that it is a present event... namely that Moses and Elijah were talking of Christ's crucifixion as the future.  


I have answered your problem with my view.  How do you answer mine with yours?  You may find my answer unconvincing, and we may discuss what weaknesses you percieve.  But you have yet to offer me any explanation for Moses and Elijah talking as they did.  


Stephen.
Stephanos
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65 posted 11-30-2002 07:10 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

"This was a transfiguration. The definition of transfiguration is basically what you called it...like a slide show or television broadcast of an event."


That is precisely what I did NOT call it.  Go back and read my post.  Or better yet read Strong's Greek dictionary.  Transfiguration means a changing, transforming, metamorphosis.  
Stephen.
Opeth
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66 posted 12-02-2002 10:23 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

1. The transfiguration neither proves or disprovesdoes that Elijah and Moses are alive after death. This scripture, by itself, would be considered at secondary evidence. One must start with thte primary evidence.

2. The transfiguration can be intrepreted your way, yes. But to me, this is clearly a future event, and was shown to the apostles in order to show them that Jesus is above Moses and Elijah, that He is God's son and the Kingdom which is to come on this earth. With God all is possible. I have no qualms that they are speaking of events that may have or have not yet taken place.

3. This was a vision of a time to come.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (12-02-2002 11:45 AM).]

jbouder
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67 posted 12-02-2002 10:33 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Opeth:

What do you mean by "primary" and "secondary" evidence?

Jim
Opeth
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68 posted 12-02-2002 11:17 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Concerning the Dead and the Transfiguration

Primary evidence of “soul sleep.” Primary evidence is what I call scripture that directly deals with the subject of an existence or non-existence immediately after death up until the Second Coming of Christ.

John 3:13

Jesus is the only one to ascend into heaven, he says this himself. For any of us to add or take anything away from this scripture based on what we may think, would be done so in vain.

So, where are Moses and Elijah if Christ is the only One to ascend into heaven? We cannot, with a carnal mind, just make something up because we want to believe a certain way.

Now what about the saints of the OT…are they in heaven? Have they received their rewards?

Heb 11:8-10,13

Clearly, to argue against this is to use the carnal mind. It states that these have died in faith and have not yet received their promise after their death all the way up until this passage was written.

Which leads to another question, what was "the promise?" Heaven? Hmmm…

Let’s see if Christ disputes the state of Abraham and the prophets. Are they alive in heaven or are they dead and buried?

John 8:52-53

Here is a passage where certain Jews were debating Christ and claimed that Abraham and the prophets were dead, not alive in heaven, but dead; a perfect opportunity for Christ to correct their misbelief by telling them that they are no longer dead, but alive in Heaven. But Christ never disputes this fact that they are indeed, dead. Compare this with the Hebrews verse above. The coincide with each other.

Psalm 146:4

When a person dies, the spirit of that person returns to God and his thoughts (consciousness) perish. The only hope for eternal life then rests in the resurrection, and being born again into the Kingdom.

Psalm 115:7

The dead do not praise God. Why? Because they are dead. I mean, if they were in heaven they most certainly would be praising God, right?

The Spirit of God inspired David to write the Pslams and did so for a purpose...Until the resurrection occurs, they will remain that way, dead.

There is more, but I will stop here…these are examples of primary evidence in showing the state of existence or non-existence of person upon death. Not one person is in heaven at this time. Also, it should be noted that Heaven will come to earth, and the reward of the saved is not heaven, but the Kingdom of God, as the true Gospel exclaims.

It hurts to think that those we loved who have died are just dead in the ground. That is one reason why, and main reason at that, the human race created the belief in an immediate afterlife, it is a comforting thought, for sure.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (12-02-2002 11:53 AM).]

jbouder
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69 posted 12-02-2002 12:19 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Opeth:

I think it is important for you to consider the nature of the Old Testament promise before you consider following your current line of reasoning too far.

The "promise" since "the fall" was that God would reconcile man to Himself.  Remember the "bruise his heel" and "crush his head" lines in Genesis?  This was the earliest revelation of the then future Gospel or "good news" that man would be redeemed.

As God revealed more about his promise to the patriarchs, Moses and the prophets, the Hebrew people were given a clearer picture of what this future promise would be.  Sure, eternal life is the result of God keeping his promise but, according to the Christian, it was faith alone in the future promise of God to redeem mankind that comprised the "Gospel" of the Old Testament.  It wasn't strict adherence to the Law that saved, but rather faith in the future fulfillment of God's promise that saved (otherwise, the Pharisees would have been the holiest of the holy).  I think the Epistle to the Hebrews makes this abundantly clear.  

Just as the object of Christian faith surrounds events that transpired 2000 years ago, the object of the pre-messianic Jewish faith was the future fulfillment of God's promise.  Same object of faith from different points in time, both focused toward a historical event ... future to the B.C.E. Hebrew and past to Christians.  Those described in the passage of Hebrews you quoted died BEFORE the promise of God was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Just curious ... did you happen to glance at the link I shared earlier in the thread regarding good interpretive practices?  You are still proof-texting and you seem to be using Psalms as (in your words) primary evidence of the truth of the doctrinal position you are defending.  Regardless, the soul-sleep vs. spiritually conscious but dead issue really isn't of primary importance.  Otherwise, don't you think you'd be able to find didactic writings in the Bible describing your after-death state in greater depth?  One view or the other (or an entirely different view) may be correct and, in my opinion, is of little present consequence.

Jim
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70 posted 12-02-2002 12:55 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth


1Cor 15:20-23

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

~ In context, how can one interpret this, but to say that Christ is the first to have arose from the dead and all others are still asleep in the ground.

"For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead."

~ Why need a resurrection if people are already in heaven? Well, the previous verse answers this question...those that have died in faith are still sleeping. The promise, which I will clarify laters, will come to all, at the Second Coming.

but let's continue...

"But each in his own order:"

Ready, follow here what Paul is saying...

"Christ the firstfruits..."

Yes, he alone has ressurected from the dead. So, when will the others be made alive, when will they awake from their sleep?

Let the Bible answer, not man...

"...afterwards those who are Christ's..."

When?

"...at HIS COMING!"

The Second coming, then those who have died in faith will arise, be born again upon their ressurection.

It can't get any easier for me to understand.

Didactic enough, Jim?

Isaiah 54:13

But I understand, it is not for the masses to understand the truth...yet. They will eventually be taught not by man, but by God.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (12-02-2002 12:58 PM).]

Opeth
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71 posted 12-02-2002 01:08 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth


1Thes 4:13-17

Are dead people in heaven or are they asleep, awaiting a resurrection?

"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope."

~ They are dead, asleep, awaiting a resurrection.

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in faith."

~ Yes, Christ is to return and when he does then comes the first resurrection, where those who have died in faith are raised and born into their spiritual bodies, those alive who are of the called will change into their immortal born again bodies and will meet Christ in the air, whereupon He will set his feet down on this earth as prophesized by Isaiah, to rule the earth.

The Gospel, the True Gospel of God, that the Kingdom of God is at hand!

Notice verse 16...

"For the Lord Himself will desecend from heaven with a shout...And the dead in Christ will rise first."

Verse 17

"Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them...to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."

~ So, Christ is to do a 180 turn and head back to heaven. No! One cannot just add to this scripture their thoughts and opinions. One must find the answer in the Bible and it is there to find, oh yes.
Opeth
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72 posted 12-02-2002 01:16 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth


Zech 14:1

Talks about the Great Day of the Lord, the same one in the NT.

What will happen?

"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives..."

Christ, for sure. No return trip to heaven, but to establish His Kingdom on earth.

Read what Daniel has to say about this same event: The Day of the Lord (the Second Coming of Christ), and those who sleep in the earth!

Dan 12:2

"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life (born again), and some to shame and everlasting contempt (lake of fire)."

Completely in context, because this event certainly hasn't taken place. It coincides with the prophecies of the NT.
Opeth
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73 posted 12-02-2002 01:33 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

So what of the promise by God to Abraham. Let us not go by what man says. Let's go by what the scriptures say.

Gen 13:14-15

And God spoke to Abraham...

"Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants FOREVER!"

This is the promise made to Abraham.

Has this promise been yet given? No. Abraham never inherited the entire earth and is still asleep in the ground...So, has God gone back on His promise?

Absolutely not. Christ confirms the promises are still intact, read...

Rom 15:8

Because when Christ estbablishes His Kingdom on earth, THEN the promise will be fulfilled. Now a Christian might say, what about us Christians, what do we have to do with Abraham and the promise? Everything! Because when you are truly called and given the Spirit of God, you become a spiritual child of Abraham. You become one of his descendants!

Gal 3:7

"Therefore know that only those who are of faith..."

Paul speaking about Christians

"...are SONS (spiritually) of Abraham!"

and therefore, heirs to the promise!!!

[This message has been edited by Opeth (12-02-2002 01:43 PM).]

jbouder
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74 posted 12-02-2002 01:40 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Opeth:

In the majority of the verses you've cited, the subject of paramount importance is the resurrection.  The terms "sleep" or "asleep" should not be stretched to mean more than physical death without good reason.  Regardless of their post-mortem spiritual state (aware or unaware), those who have "fallen asleep" are not accessible to us any more than they were to 1st century Christians.  

Do the verses you quoted support that the resurrection of believers is a future event (at least for Paul)?  Of course they do.  Do they necessarily shed light on the state of consciousness of departed souls?  I'm not convinced that they do.  Regardless, the issue is moot ... it makes no difference one way or another to either the living or the dead if disembodied souls are awake or asleep.  Of primary importance is that Christ's resurrection provides us with assurance that, one day, we too will be physically restored, yet without death.

I'm not in 100% disagreement with you on these points, Opeth.  The doctrine of the resurrection is of extreme importance to the Christian.  I simply believe you are overstating the importance of things that are not necessarily crucial to orthodox faith.  I am just as convinced that you will not be judged harshly for believing in a soul-sleep as I am that I will not be judged harshly for deciding that the issues should not be distracting me from more important things.

One of the hallmarks of "mainstream Christianity," by the way, is the overemphasis of secondary and trivial theological matters (some call these things "distinctives").  They tend to divide Christians rather than unite them around the important message of the Gospel.  This is why I've found the seemingly simple Lutheran "Law & Gospel" hermeneutic so appealing.  It has a way of bringing the focus back to where it should be ... to the person, works and promises of Jesus Christ.

Jim
 
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