It's too hard!! I do not understand it!!

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  • It's too hard!! I do not understand it!!

    Over the years I have probably heard those too sentences (the topic) repeated over and over especially by new Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
    Although I too have had some problems at first, when I read a small story things got pretty clear to me and allowed me to study with a new prospective and more clarity.

    The story goes like this: When Da Vinci painted his famous "Last Supper" he liked what he saw and invited a few of his students in to see his newest accomplishment.
    When the students arrived they all kept looking closer and closer while continually commenting about how lovely and intricate the lace on the table cloth was. Surely it was too difficult for anyone to do with the exception of the master, Da Vinci himself. It seemed to Da Vinci that the tatting style lace was all that they saw and it made him angrier and angrier until he could take it no more!
    As the story goes, he grabbed a rag and started smearing out the table cloth on the painting, lace and all the while shouting and pointing at the center of his canvas "THE FACE........... LOOK AT HIS FACE!!!"
    Although the entire painting, especially the lace was absolutely beautiful, the master artist wanted everyone to see the simplicity and humility of the greater master, Jesus Christ.

    The question I ask is quite simple really, or is it?
    Why do we attempt to make Christianity more difficult than it really is? I recognize the need for much study and even more if that is the calling, but when we seek the face of Jesus Christ, why must we always concentrate on the "lace" of the Word of God rather than coming to a common ground agreement that indeed, God did love the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son..........?

    Is one sect truly the only one that shall inherit the kingdom of heaven or has it gotten so difficult and full of ism's that the face of God is further than it was from the start because of them?
    Is there some inherent inner workings in us that makes it a need for us to be confused about something so simple, or do we maybe believe that God makes His Word difficult so as to strengthen us all for whatever comes what may? Or maybe if we know more ism's God might give us more land to add to our mansion in heaven? ha

    Example: Why do we teach much more about hell than heaven? Jesus only mentioned hell 13 times in the synoptic gospels (8 times in Matthew and repeated in the other two) and only twice pointed out who was going to go there and one of those was an entire city that he compared to Sodom so that part was pretty much hyperbole. That said, He taught about heaven 69 times just in Matthew alone. Why then, do we children of God insist on concentrating on hell much more than Jesus did to the point of accusing others and pronouncing their eventual destiny to be hell? It would seem that memorizing the beatitudes would be much more beneficial to us than what qualifies as hell bound but that is another bit of confusion.

    Lastly, do you have questions like that or am I just making much ado about "much ado" of the Word?

    Enjoy your Salvation and have a little fun............May God Bless Everyone Mightily..............Bobby

  • #2
    Thank you for sharing this! I do agree with you, we always make things more complicated than they are. Where there's inaccuracies, we try to find the puzzles that fit the spaces. Where there's missing documents, we try and find the answers to these missing documents. Where there's the facts facing us directly to the face, we try and find other loopholes. That's the thing with us, we are so curious to the point that we are questioning our very own beliefs and faith. And of course, it isn't beneficial to our faith in God because we tend to over-complicate things and in the end, we're surrounded by questions we don't have answers for.

    And that analogy, it's very spot on. Like those visitors that Da Vinci invited, we look elsewhere when God is already there in front of us. We are so focused on other things that we forget who is the very important person we should focus on. And it doesn't help that there are many distractors in this world, from money, to technology to other temptations. But it's very important that we don't lose our focus, God should be the only path and we should try to incorporate that in our every day lives so we don't lose our way.

    I guess we become focused on these things because they are interesting in the way that they are temptations. We want to learn about hell because it isn't explained much. We want to earn more money because it makes the world turn around. But if we understand God's word, these things don't matter much. As long as we live our lives according to His teachings, we will be saved. So stop caring more about money and start caring more about the people around you. Because the more that we focus on the unimportant things, the more that we sway from the path God laid out for us.
    Comment>

    • #3
      Regarding your question on why heaven is lesser talked about than hell, I think it's an innate nature in humans to FEAR punishment, so when we are young (in my case, anyway), to fear an ultimate punishment if you don't do good. That's a pretty good motivator, if you think about it, when teaching children manners and doing the right thing. Heaven is more associated with death, so children do not really understand the concept of permanent death, so it's a more complicated topic. Hell or punishment is a lot easier to say, as kids know punishment when they accidentally broke a vase, failed a test, or did something wrong. It is more understandable, and that's why you hear about the threat of hell rather than a reward of a heavenly place.
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      • #4
        People preach hell because they think it will scare people into repenting. Whilst doing so the ignore the good news they are supposed to be preaching. We are getting an invitation from God Himself to be His children. Who has never dreamed of being a prince or princess when they were kids? That's why Jesus came — to make us children of the King. To all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. Which one is better? Serve God because we are terrified of hell or doing everything He commands because we love Him? That said, Christianity is simple: Love God [with all your heart], believe in Jesus and love your neighbor as yourself. Not too hard is it?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Smithee View Post
          People preach hell because they think it will scare people into repenting. Whilst doing so the ignore the good news they are supposed to be preaching. We are getting an invitation from God Himself to be His children. Who has never dreamed of being a prince or princess when they were kids? That's why Jesus came — to make us children of the King. To all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. Which one is better? Serve God because we are terrified of hell or doing everything He commands because we love Him? That said, Christianity is simple: Love God [with all your heart], believe in Jesus and love your neighbor as yourself. Not too hard is it?
          As a couple of the other posters have pointed out, that's a good analysis of the situation Smithee!

          Jesus did NOT tell his disciples to go out and preach hell but rather to go out and preach the Good News! (gospel). Jesus did NOT tell them to bring damnation upon those who would not hear, but instead instructed them to merely walk away and dust off their feet at the end of the city.

          The easiest thing in the world to do is to preach and show grace but unfortunately there are some who would rather make salvation a tad more difficult in the grand scheme of things.
          Jesus told the pharasees (to paraphrase) that they made it far more difficult for people to enter the kingdom of heaven then it actually was.
          My goodness, if you walked across another person's thresh hold at their home while delivering a meal on the Sabbath it was considered a labor. To save your mule, horse or donkey from drowning on the Sabbath was totally condemned by the interpreters of the law. If your fields caught on fire on the Sabbath, you had to let it burn for it was considered an act of God.

          The Gospel and the Grace contained within is so easy to live by even if we do not totally understand why God designed the things the way He did. Preaching and teaching Grace is just as easy.

          God Bless..........Bobby

          P.S. Would you possibly be the same Smithee who raises a little corn and a good friend of my lil' sister Ava?

          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
            Jesus did NOT tell his disciples to go out and preach hell but rather to go out and preach the Good News! (gospel).
            People need to realize they are lost and in danger of Hell before they can understand that the gospel is Good News. The most comprehensive explanation of Christian doctrine is the book of Romans and Paul begins it by showing that all people are lost. It is only after he has clearly made this point that Paul explains salvation by faith in Christ.

            What would happen if a doctor decided not to talk to his patients about disease but simply told them what they needed to do to remain healthy?
            Good news and bad news | clydeherrin
            Clyde Herrin's Blog
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
              People need to realize they are lost and in danger of Hell before they can understand that the gospel is Good News. The most comprehensive explanation of Christian doctrine is the book of Romans and Paul begins it by showing that all people are lost. It is only after he has clearly made this point that Paul explains salvation by faith in Christ.

              What would happen if a doctor decided not to talk to his patients about disease but simply told them what they needed to do to remain healthy?
              Good news and bad news | clydeherrin
              Another good point but a small stretch on the example, in my most humble opinion but allow me the comfort of using your own analogy.

              Since the knowledge of God's judgment was well known and even a part of the culture of the people in regard to His justice system, a New Cure was much more beneficial than to keep touting that which they knew more than enough of.
              There is only one hell and a miriade of diseases so it is understandable why a doctor would concentrate on the effects of one of those many diseases prior to how to diagnose the disease and the eventual cure.

              In today's world, we must teach hell as the alternative to heaven which is a granted. But total concentration on the aspects of hell does not give a proper view of heaven.
              It's like telling someone how Not to lose a Race instead of telling someone how to Win the Race. It might be a mincing of words to some, but to me it means everything in the world. It's the difference between leading one or two to Christ and God's grace versus leading hundreds to Christ.

              Now, I will say this. It is a granted that I have not been in a church setting for some years but rather, I deal with the homeless. The homeless have already compared their lives as a living hell on earth and want to know what they must do to be saved from another one.
              Perhaps those in a church setting need to know more about it..........! I don't think so, but then again, maybe.

              God bless ya theophilus and again, good point.........Bobby

              Comment>

              • #8
                This, really, is why I do not get bogged down in relatively unimportant discussions concerning end times and the like. Really, as day to day Christians we should really be just focusing on the basics so that we are equipped to explain them to potential believers so we are able to plant a seed that God will ultimately cause to grow in them. When we start, especially amongst ourselves, arguing about seemingly "deep" doctrines we scare potential believers away because they just start thinking that Christians aren't able to get along, even amongst themselves.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Knotical View Post
                  This, really, is why I do not get bogged down in relatively unimportant discussions concerning end times and the like. Really, as day to day Christians we should really be just focusing on the basics so that we are equipped to explain them to potential believers so we are able to plant a seed that God will ultimately cause to grow in them. When we start, especially amongst ourselves, arguing about seemingly "deep" doctrines we scare potential believers away because they just start thinking that Christians aren't able to get along, even amongst themselves.
                  I do hope you do not consider the dialog that I and theophilus have had is in any way less than a gentlemanly discourse. The good thing about a Christian discussion group, and this one in particular, is that we can indeed communicate with each other and exchange ideas which might lead to the betterment of our belief systems without fear of retribution. Edification (or strengthening) and dissemination of that strength are the key ingredients to a good discourse upon which all of us can stop a have a full cup of without the body or soul feeling spent.

                  Certainly, Paul and Peter had many a stout conversation but were, by all accounts, Jesus Christ loving brothers who cared deeply for each other. Can we not be the same?
                  Hell is only one part of Christianity and yes, a part that we need not dwell upon for Jesus Himself spent little time on the subject also, which was one of my initial points for creating the thread.

                  Yes, I do agree that there are those times when we study the lace too much rather than look at the face but again, the reason for the thread. And I also agree that studying the "end times" as in John's Revelation of Jesus Christ is a bit tricky and can be a wild ride so I too do not dwell on it too heavily either.
                  That said, did not the "end times" start when Jesus Christ was crucified? That part, I do believe we can indeed dwell upon with much, much thought and prayer.

                  Do have a blessed day and it is so nice to meet you Knotical! I do hope for many more discussions with you. Bobby

                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
                    Over the years I have probably heard those too sentences (the topic) repeated over and over especially by new Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
                    Although I too have had some problems at first, when I read a small story things got pretty clear to me and allowed me to study with a new prospective and more clarity.

                    The story goes like this: When Da Vinci painted his famous "Last Supper" he liked what he saw and invited a few of his students in to see his newest accomplishment.
                    When the students arrived they all kept looking closer and closer while continually commenting about how lovely and intricate the lace on the table cloth was. Surely it was too difficult for anyone to do with the exception of the master, Da Vinci himself. It seemed to Da Vinci that the tatting style lace was all that they saw and it made him angrier and angrier until he could take it no more!
                    As the story goes, he grabbed a rag and started smearing out the table cloth on the painting, lace and all the while shouting and pointing at the center of his canvas "THE FACE........... LOOK AT HIS FACE!!!"
                    Although the entire painting, especially the lace was absolutely beautiful, the master artist wanted everyone to see the simplicity and humility of the greater master, Jesus Christ.

                    The question I ask is quite simple really, or is it?
                    Why do we attempt to make Christianity more difficult than it really is? I recognize the need for much study and even more if that is the calling, but when we seek the face of Jesus Christ, why must we always concentrate on the "lace" of the Word of God rather than coming to a common ground agreement that indeed, God did love the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son..........?

                    Is one sect truly the only one that shall inherit the kingdom of heaven or has it gotten so difficult and full of ism's that the face of God is further than it was from the start because of them?
                    Is there some inherent inner workings in us that makes it a need for us to be confused about something so simple, or do we maybe believe that God makes His Word difficult so as to strengthen us all for whatever comes what may? Or maybe if we know more ism's God might give us more land to add to our mansion in heaven? ha

                    Example: Why do we teach much more about hell than heaven? Jesus only mentioned hell 13 times in the synoptic gospels (8 times in Matthew and repeated in the other two) and only twice pointed out who was going to go there and one of those was an entire city that he compared to Sodom so that part was pretty much hyperbole. That said, He taught about heaven 69 times just in Matthew alone. Why then, do we children of God insist on concentrating on hell much more than Jesus did to the point of accusing others and pronouncing their eventual destiny to be hell? It would seem that memorizing the beatitudes would be much more beneficial to us than what qualifies as hell bound but that is another bit of confusion.

                    Lastly, do you have questions like that or am I just making much ado about "much ado" of the Word?

                    Enjoy your Salvation and have a little fun............May God Bless Everyone Mightily..............Bobby
                    Actually, Jesus never mentioned hell. He mentioned Gehenna, or Hades, but, the people of Europe changed it to hell to fit with a character called "Hel" who supposedly tortures you after death. They invented that word. And in my opinion, for the most part hell seems to be a scare-tactic.

                    Of course, like all things, that's debatable.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      We are getting complicated again I believe, ha ha........
                      Whether Hades, Geena, Tartarus, Tartaroo, Gehenna, Sheole or the 13th century Anglo take on Hel, it still amounts to the same thing so far as our understanding. Ergo, a place we do not want to go. Whether it is just a dark place, or fire and flames complete with demons the general gist, no matter the language or history of it, is a place separated from the Father and is totally devoid of any communication with Him.

                      Just being separated from the Father is scary to me........

                      Somehow this thread has gone awry. Everyone wants to talk about hell. hmmm..........I guess it's the most major complication in Christian life. Or is it?

                      God Bless..........Bobby
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
                        We are getting complicated again I believe, ha ha........
                        Whether Hades, Geena, Tartarus, Tartaroo, Gehenna, Sheole or the 13th century Anglo take on Hel, it still amounts to the same thing so far as our understanding. Ergo, a place we do not want to go. Whether it is just a dark place, or fire and flames complete with demons the general gist, no matter the language or history of it, is a place separated from the Father and is totally devoid of any communication with Him.

                        Just being separated from the Father is scary to me........

                        Somehow this thread has gone awry. Everyone wants to talk about hell. hmmm..........I guess it's the most major complication in Christian life. Or is it?

                        God Bless..........Bobby

                        I highly doubt hell exists, if it does, that'd contradict a whole heck of a lot of stuff in the bible
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Okay, let's take our eye's off of a moment of joy, so to speak.
                          In Matthew alone we have Jesus speaking of hell in 5:22 / 5:29 / 10:28 / 11:23 / 16:18 / 18:9 / 23:15 and 23:33. If He were only speaking in hyperbolic term rather than in truth then it would still be misleading those He was speaking to, would it not? To do so would be a great sin, would it not?
                          I do submit to you that if Jesus were in error and sinned then that would make the entire scenario of Jesus being sinless a lie would it not?
                          Such a transgression would also negate Him as being the very Son of God for even one lie told is enough to make the entire gospel only supposition, would it not?

                          Which conflicts do you refer to so that I might understand your stance?
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AGustOfWind View Post


                            I highly doubt hell exists, if it does, that'd contradict a whole heck of a lot of stuff in the bible
                            Not necessarily, considering many references to hell actually use the word Sheol.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Knotical View Post

                              Not necessarily, considering many references to hell actually use the word Sheol.

                              Sheol wasn't translated into hell. Hell was added because of hel. Also, if there really is a hell, it's likely we'd all end up there, because nothing unclean can enter heaven.

                              Everyone Is Going to Heaven – A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom
                              that article doesn't represent my beliefs, I'm unsure as to the topic of hell.
                              Again, it seems like a way of scaring people into converting.
                              Also, as this article points out, repenting is what Jesus wants, not punishment. In fact, according to the bible, punishment is contradictory. You cannot be disciplined in hell, you're never given another chance. What if someone never heard the word of God? Perhaps they lived in a secretive tribe on a distant island, and do they really deserve to be damned because they were unaware of god's grace? No they don't.
                              God may not be fair, he is just. But still, damning people to eternal pain is not just. Have we committed an eternity worth of sins? No, because we haven't lived for an eternity.
                              I could maybe see something like purgatory, where you are tortured for a limited amount of time, to account for your sins.
                              But eternally? No, because we cannot commit and eternity worth of sins. And, in fact, the bible would again be contradicting itself if there were a hell. Because hell contradicts the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" philosophy. However, I'm unsure as to the exact meaning of that philosophy.
                              Also, I doubt souls can feel pain.
                              And again, hell would not be just, especially if predestination were true (I don't believe it to be so.), because then, people, innocent people would be damned no matter what. Which, again, is unjust. This isn't about fairness, but hell is literally the definition of unjust, and, damning someone there is extremely unjust.
                              Is it a possibility? Yeah.
                              Is there non-metaphorical biblical evidence? No, not really.
                              Is it just? Absolutely not.
                              Is God just? Absolutely yes!
                              Would that be a contradiction? Indeed it would!

                              Again, even a purgatory type thing wouldn't be very moral. Especially since the whole "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" philosophy, has most likely been rendered false since Jesus came along. So if a thing like purgatory is rendered false, then a horrible idea like hell would be rendered false.

                              Again, I don't know, we don't know.
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