The Weekend Word

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22 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Someone questioned an earlier article which said Christ has a little flock in all Christendom. This week’s teaching reinforces that reality. In the parable of the sower, Jesus describes 3 types of believers, and only one type makes it to the finish. The other two, including the following:

    “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.”

    and

    “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

    May we not despise God’s means of grace, because His promises are rock solid and only in them is there assurance and hope.

  2. JoelG says:

    “Christ has a little flock in all Christendom.”

    This just makes no sense to me. So this loving God creates all of these people knowing they will suffer eternal damnation with only a few being saved. Now I know I’m just using my reason, but that’s f*cked up.

    Sorry Jean.

  3. JoelG says:

    Either Jesus saves or doesn’t. What’s heaven supposed to without loved ones there who had trouble believing? Doesn’t make a lick of sense.

  4. JoelG says:

    I’d rather not put my faith in a God the brings beings to life only to suffer for eternity. That’s BS

  5. JoelG says:

    I’m done thinking about it.

  6. bob1 says:

    I’m with you, Joel.

    I’ve always been under the impression that because Jesus came and gave his life as a ransom for all (in various NT books), that potentially all can be saved.

  7. JD says:

    I have heard that universalism was more acceptable 100 years ago……..

  8. em... again says:

    “All of the things that Jesus brings up as signs of the end are already beginning to happen in our Lord’s ministry.” the key word IMV in the observation made is “beginning”… it seems to cycle and it seems to be intensifying – yes, all of us are offered salvation… yet not all see its value – not by a long shot, but i do not go along with what is proposed if i read correctly, that only a very small number of “Believers” will believe correctly and, thus receive eternal life… small when compared with the population of the planet, perhaps… but … i’m pretty sure it’s going to be a fairly large number per Revelation 7:9

    what is the qualifier for the “end?” perhaps it could be the dwindling number who understand the message of salvation that the Holy Spirit brings us through various sources… but to conclude that that is the *reason* for the end of this plan of God? that just doesn’t compute – it is just a symptom … on the other hand, i see far more reason to believe that the earth as we know it is winding down thru the increase in our capacity for creating mass destruction and mental confusion, which seem to increase in proportion to the rejection of the Faith… as well as some natural phenomena… yet, God knows – only God knows

    my daughter who is far more tapped in to what the world is about these days observed this afternoon that the two most hated traits on the planet (world-wide) today are white skin and Christianity… if so, we need more sites like the Phxp, more Michaels and more wise teachers who are able to stand… even Lutheran ones 🙂

    i’ve presumed on MLD’s teaching to rabbit trail a bit … i apologize – the subject is a critical one

  9. bob1 says:

    I’m not a universalist.

    But that position has been held by various early church fathers and a few others along the way, is what I’ve heard.

  10. Jean says:

    The data in the following link is probably fairly accurate for my state. The only discrepancy I can see is that from every local pastor I’ve talked to, church attendance is much lower than the data in the linked survey (the most common percentage I’ve heard is an approximately 15% participation rate).

    Note that the survey includes groups many here would not even define as truly Christian.

    http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/iowa/

    What this tells me is that the Church has before her, in her very own backyard, a mission field, because a majority of the people are pagan, even though a large number of them might answer “Christian” on a survey.

    I want to clarify that I am not saying that every person that doesn’t go to church is not a Christian. In addition, I am not saying that everyone who goes to church is a Christian. Only that a mark of a Christian is one who regularly attends a local congregation.

    If we believe the statistics, it’s not to say that Christ is intentionally trying to keep His flock small. I mean, come on, Christianity is the “saved by grace” religion. But what I notice is that more and more people have no time for God in their lives, even though they give him a nod every now and then. There are much more pressing issues, like sports, shopping, mowing the lawn, TV, the internet, cell phone texting, video games, recreational drugs and alcohol, etc.

  11. JoelG says:

    “There are much more pressing issues, like sports, shopping, mowing the lawn, TV, the internet, cell phone texting, video games, recreational drugs and alcohol, etc.”

    I’m going to spend more time focusing on these things. The thought of anyone going to hell is too much for me. If God doesn’t save sinners who can’t help but be distracted because of sin then I truly don’t understand the point of Christ dying on the cross.

  12. JoelG says:

    I’m taking leave of blogs and anything Christian. I’m sorry to distract with my own problems. If the Lord wants to communicate with me He knows where to find me.

  13. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I hope you stick around to work this through either here on the blower through private conversations.

    Election is a difficult doctrine and the church has parsed it in numerous ways throughout history.

    I frankly don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it anymore and instead meditate on the following verse;

    “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.””
    (Revelation 7:9–12 ESV)

    Evidently, a lot of folks find the narrow road even with all the gatekeepers…

  14. em... again says:

    JoelG – don’t you dare leave… your pondering and questioning are needed here… without such input the teachers won’t know if their understood or disagreed with 🙂
    and you are right life’s demands today are crushing to mind and body… i see it in my children and grandchildren

    Michael’s #13 quote from Revelation makes it pretty clear that the gatekeepers down here are not chosen by God, does it not? – He’s perfectly capable of doing that job, Himself

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    #12 JoelG

    If you would like to be in touch, Michael has my contact info… There are a variety of views on these questions, not merely the one set out above.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Who won the red first brought up about Gatekeepers that seems to be some kind of a pejorative that I don’t think was talked about in the article or in many of jeans comments.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess I need to speak more clearly who was the first who brought up Gatekeepers?

  18. em... again says:

    #17 – agree, “gatekeepers” isn’t too accurate… maybe sheepherders? 🙂

  19. em... again says:

    and… the sheepherders are chosen by God… watch out for the wolves in sheepherders’ clothing, tho… none post here, at least not for very long…. IMNSHO

  20. JoelG says:

    I’m sorry for imploding here. I’m sorry for writing foul words. Jean was kind enough to email me privately and all is forgiven all around. I’m on medication for anxiety and that affects all aspects of my life, including faith. The thought of anyone suffering in hell for eternity terrorizes me.

    MLD and Jean are good teachers. I just disagree that God so easily lets his creations choose eternal separation from Him. I don’t think some people can make a clear choice in the midst of such brokenness in this life.

    Thank you Michael, Em and Duane. Duane when you have the time I’d love to hear other views on these questions.

    jstugoodman@gmail.com

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    #20 JoelG

    I’ll try to get something out to you today…

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess I too would like to hear the alternative views to verses 9 & 10.

    V 9 are the people who have already and will continue to kill and cause havoc to the people in Chrit’s church, those who will do so in hatred of Jesus and his followers. – they don’t sound like the elect to me.

    V 10 are the people who did have Jesus (you first have to have that which you are falling away from) who choose instead to follow those in v 9.

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