If The World Hates You, Remember...

Do you ever wonder why so many people in the world hate Christians? Have you ever wondered why some governments, China for example, do not want Christianity in their land? What is it about following Jesus that causes such hostility?


Christians posses no physical army that would pose a military threat. Christianity does not teach force or violence as a way of spreading its message. Ironically, most people in the world who despise Christianity don't even believe God exists. So why are they so passionate in their opposition to a God they don't believe exists?


In the Bible scripture John 15:18-25, Jesus spoke about this: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'


In this passage, Jesus explains why. Against all logic, the world hates the followers of Jesus. The reason he gives: It hated Him first, and they hate His followers. Simple as that.


You would think that when people hate someone else, they would have a reason, like an offense, injury, or jealousy. That certainly happens, but in the case of our society turning on Christians, something deeper is going on.


America was founded on biblical principles and became a bastion of liberty and freedom as a result. That is why people are desperately storming America's southern border to get in.


Jesus ministry threaten to upend everything in the Jewish religious world, they conspired with the Romans to have Him killed.


Isn't that essentially the same reason worldly power structures hate Jesus and His followers today? Call them communist, socialist, or secular progressives, Christianity brings the kind of freedom and liberty that undermines their godless rule. And such movements have no tolerance for that.


That's sounding more and more like the America we are living in, isn't it?




TexasLynn Added Jan 1, 2019 - 3:22pm
Really good post Marty.  You hit this one right out of the park.
I think a lot of the hatred stems from the individual salvation offered by Christ.  It is your individual responsibility to accept His gift of grace or reject it.  You are responsible for yourself alone.  The church (as in denomination) can't give it to you, your family can't give it to you, your status can't give it to you, AND the state can't give it to you.
It is this individual liberty that is key to the American foundation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The more we stray from that foundation the more miserable and less free we will be.
The world (and her master), naturally gravitate away from the individual to the collective.  You are nothing unless subservient to the whole, the collective, the state. 
Then there is the basic concept of where rights come from.  From the Christian perspective, God bestows promises, covenants, and rights (as in inheritance).  And that which God promises and bestows are unalienable; they cannot be taken away by men.
The world (and her master), naturally abhor this ideal.  For the collective to work, all must stem from the state.  For them, this man-made, benevolent institution is the arbiter and distributor of all things, including rights and even life.  If this collective (state) gives these gifts, then it has the power and right to annul and/or withhold them as well.
Few things in this world should worry a Christian, save discovering the world agrees with him.  That is the time to look very closely at what you believe.
ChetDude Added Jan 1, 2019 - 4:07pm
"Do you ever wonder why so many people in the world hate" what people (or countries whose "leaders") pretend to follow the teachings of a mythical Christ do in his name?
I don't...it's obvious...
A. Jones Added Jan 1, 2019 - 5:56pm
pretend to follow the teachings of a mythical Christ do in his name?
Jesus was "mythical"? I don't think so. There's more historical evidence supporting an actual Jesus of Nazareth than there is for many other sources in the Biblical era. If you don't accept the divinity of Jesus, that's one thing; but to claim he didn't exist at all is either ignorance or denial.
See professor of religious history (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) Bart Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus:
Bart Ehrman on the historical Jesus contra Jesus mythicism
Professor Ehrman, by the way, is an atheist. He accepts the historicity of Jesus because he's an honest scholar.
Marty Koval Added Jan 1, 2019 - 6:36pm
The leaders of countries who pretend to follow the teachings of the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God are actually wolves in sheep clothing. The Bible talks about this in Matthew 7:15-23 -"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. "Not everyone who says to me, 'LORD, LORD,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Many humans are easily deceived by smooth talking leaders who pretend to be followers in Christ, where in reality they are the antichrist and false prophets of this wicked world. These people are deceived, because they are ignorant of Bible teachings. People who know the teaching of the Bible recognize the antichrist and false prophets immediately. Their words and actions set off immediate warning alarms.  
People who make false statements about Christ are just one of many of the false prophets in this world. Saying Christ is mythical, places you in the false prophet category.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 1, 2019 - 7:41pm
If there is hate towards Christianity it could be due to the zealotry of missionaries or the legacy of the Colonial Empires. I don't believe people of other faiths hate Christians simply because Christians believe in Christ. 
ChetDude Added Jan 1, 2019 - 7:54pm
The holly biboli is such a funny little beast. 
Anyone can justify anything using that book of sky-god myths and Jewish Fables written by committees of patriarchal men hundreds of years after the "fact" and then "re-interpreted" into dozens of contradictory, often politically biased versions which are then "interpreted" by other patriarchal folk to scare the children and control the masses...
And also used to put an absolute finish to most rational arguments using the mythical "god" card...
Michael: You've hit the nail firmly on the head...
ChetDude Added Jan 1, 2019 - 7:59pm
'Virtually all Christian scholars agree that Jesus existed, although scholars differ about the beliefs and teachings of Jesus as well as the accuracy of the biblical accounts, and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate"
Okie-dokie -- a criminal named Jesus was baptized by another criminal named John the Baptist.  Anything beyond that is pure speculation and if it weren't for the evil that Christians do in "his name", would be irrelevant...
A. Jones Added Jan 1, 2019 - 8:06pm
 I don't believe people of other faiths hate Christians simply because Christians believe in Christ. 
Devout, jihadist Muslims hate Christians simply because they believe in the divinity of Jesus. You didn't know that?
You don't get out much, I see.
A. Jones Added Jan 1, 2019 - 8:10pm
Anything beyond that is pure speculation
Wrong. That someone named "Jesus" lived and taught certain things has documented historical support. So it's more than "pure speculation."
The problem here, twit, is that you're ignorant of the facts; and moreover, you're smugly content with your ignorance. No wonder you feel so at home on the left: everyone there is smugly content with his or her ignorance about facts.
Marty Koval Added Jan 1, 2019 - 8:16pm
Michael B Bagala:
Basically I agree with you that people of other faiths do not hate Christians simply because Christians believe in Christ. The one exception is radical Islam. While professing unwavering faith in a transcendent deity, radical Islam is a militant, politically activist ideology whose ultimate goal is to create a worldwide community, or caliphate, of Muslim believers. These believers since the 4th century have tortured and murder millions of Christians and other unbelievers of Islam. In certain areas of the world today, these murders continue in large numbers.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 1, 2019 - 9:04pm
Great post, Marty!
FacePalm Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:46am
i'm being reminded of the following:
"Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Gandhi, he asked him, 'Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming His follower?'
Gandhi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.'"
This - plus many years of experience with "christians" - is what has led me to reject both Christianity and quite a few "christians," as well...and commit my discipleship to Christ above all others.
IME, most "christians" are just as Christ described them: "They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me."
IOW, most "christians" i've met simply refuse to humble themselves and obey Him, as in, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, lord,' but do not do what I tell you?"
Most people can readily see dishonesty and hypocrisy, and such "christians" as these quite deserve the hatred of the discerning.  That said, many hate, despise, and fear the Truth, as well as the Light of it, which exposes their deeds and the evils they have done to their fellows; it takes an honest soul indeed, to confess their errors, turn from them, and seek to live a life guided by God-whose-Name-is-Love.
Flying Junior Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:03am
When I was a child in California in the 1960s I do not believe that there really was very much hatred for Christianity in the U.S.  Being part of a church was considered a normal part of life.
Then as a young Christian in the early 1990s, I heard from the pulpit and read in the Bible how we would be persecuted and hated by the world because we were followers of Christ.  Everyone was aware of those who used Christianity as a political weapon such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, but nobody really hated anyone for simply being a Christian.  We all knew that televangelists who exhorted their viewers to call in to pray with a volunteer and then to call back to donate money to the big TV churches were charlatans and mockers of Christ.  But most people didn't see their local churches as fortresses of evil.
Fast forward twenty-five years of phony Christians bleeding money from the elderly.  Twenty-five years of, "Christian," voting guides.  Twenty-five years of maniacs decrying abortion as infanticide.  Top it off with the phoniest Christian yet, a slave to his dick who hates women...  You should get my point by now.  Much of the hatred against the Christian church in the U.S.A. today is deserved.
The other side of the coin is the Catholic abuse story.  That's the double-whammy that is hurting the church today.  I guess I just don't see parallels between the early church and the church in the United States today in that way.
opher goodwin Added Jan 2, 2019 - 6:02am
So many hate Muslims too, and Jews, and Hindus, and atheists.
People just follow their tribes and hate all other tribes.
Somehow we've got to grow into a world that is more tolerant and pleasant. All this hatred and division is so negative and pointless.
I personally think all religion is bollocks but I don't hate it or anybody. I do hate the way children are indoctrinated though. 
I want to live in a world which tolerates all different views. I think religion should be a personal belief. I do not think anybody should be persecuted for their religious views - so long as they don't foist them on others.
Happy New Year to all!!
Dino Manalis Added Jan 2, 2019 - 8:42am
 Christians are peace-lovers and should be welcomed!  Happy New Year to everyone!
Steel Breeze Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:16am
the problems most religions have today are not brought on because of individual beliefs,they stem from the actions of religious "institutions"....
opher goodwin Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:17am
Dino - not all Christians are peace-lovers! The KKK and many evangelists have committed horrendous crimes in the name of religion.
Marty Koval Added Jan 2, 2019 - 1:59pm
The people who call themselves Christians (including some pastors) who end up doing evil and bad things are not true Christians. They are Christians in name only and are still living a secular and sinful life. There are many people who have said they have accepted Christ into their hearts, but their hearts have not changed. These people have not  done the following:
Lay down their filthy, crimson rags of human sinfulness at the foot of the cross daily. Pray that Jesus will wrap His robe of righteousness over their heavy shoulders . Fully surrendered their self will for Christ's self will. Secondly, immerse themselves in daily scripture reading and praying to fill their minds with the thoughts and actions of Jesus.
A mind absent of Jesus becomes a mind open for Satan to enter and entice you to do sinful and evil behaviors.  A mind empty of Jesus, becomes Satan's play ground to fool and entice people to lie, cheat, be selfish, get angry, use bad words, physical and mentally hurt others,  hate others, etc.
A true Christian who has fully surrendered their lives to Christ, lives by the fruits of the Holy Spirit, that comes from the Bible Scripture Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control., gentleness and self-control.
But a Christian in name only (which is most of them) are still living with the fruits of Satan, Which are hate, misery, impatience, meanness, wickedness, unfaithfulness, harshness and rebellion.
Only a small portion of the people who ever had or yet to be living on earth, will be true Christians and actually be saved. Mankind loves to be rebellious and believes he can be his own god, because Satan has deceived them. 
Eric Reports Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:05pm
Evildoers (including some who write for writerbeat) put Christians at impossibly high standards.  The rest are not judged in the same light.  Naysayers fart on about the Bible being fake, yet through the centuries have not been able to disprove it.  Hell is ready for you.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:27pm
...hate them right back, lol.
Marty Koval Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:37pm
Flying Junior:
I agree that there are some churches out they that could be considered as fortresses of evil. These churches have pastors, preachers, ministers who are a wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing. They know God’s Word better than most people, crafting and twisting it so much, that some people find themselves feeling confused over what real truth is anymore.
So how can we see through their deception to protect ourselves?  The best way to expose the false lies of the enemy is to know the Truth of the One voice who matters most. Know the real and you'll know what is false.
For example, federal agents are trained to detect counterfeit money, by learning how to spot what is "fake," by understanding first what is "real." They study real money, for hours and hours, every part of it. They know it so well when the counterfeit is set before them, they immediately know that it's false. Because they know the real thing. 
And so it is with us. As we keep pressing in to know God, who is real, who is Truth, and we set our minds on His Word, spending time there, meditating on it, eventually we become very trained in detecting the "fake" and the  wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:59pm
I finally found your message to me. Being a Catholic includes tolerance which I was taught not to have by my Catechism teacher, in St. Peters college, Sri Lanka. She would rile against the Buddhists and Hindus, who happen to be the majority in Sri Lanka. Love, compassion and forgiveness are the basic virtues of Christianity. Tolerance should play a major role, but it does not. 
I find Judaism far more in opposition to Christianity than Islam. In Sri Lanka Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and 
Christians celebrate each others holidays. "Adam's Peal" is sacred to all 4 faiths. From Hindus to Christians make a pigrimage to this Sri Lankan mountain. So for me 
Christianity included the participation of other faiths. I am comfortable with Christ, Yahweh, Allah and Muruga
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:00pm
Oops that is "Adam's Peak" Sri Pada 
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 2, 2019 - 3:02pm
I need to proofread better before I post. I meant to include Buddha, so I am comfortable with
Christ, Yahweh, Allah, Muruga, and the Buddha.
Marty Koval Added Jan 2, 2019 - 4:08pm
Flying Junior:
Catholic sexual abuse of children, which is a worldwide plague and scourge, has been going on for decades and most likely centuries. Personally I knew a priest in New York State that was doing this in the 1960's The Vatican and local dioceses, until recently had done very little to address this sick and inhumane behavior.
I believe this has occurred, because the Catholic Church in its early beginning added items to their doctrine, that go against the Bible. Such as a Priest forgives sins through the Power of Christ acting in him. They say a Priest is a sharer in the Divinity of Christ. Divinity or holiness  can only come from God, who is totally sin free. There is no priest or man that even comes close to being totally sin free.
For any minister or priest to declare that you must go through him to obtain forgiveness of sins is ludicrous, apostate, and diametrically opposed to the Word of God. Only through Jesus Christ, and Him alone, is the forgiveness of sin. Nowhere in the New Testament can you find one case where any of the Apostles ever forgave anyone's sin.  They always pointed their listeners to Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ forgave sins while He was on the earth, and is still the only One who can forgive sins today.  Every preacher and priest is a sinner themselves, and needs forgiveness.  Notice God's indictment on mankind in Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
When various Christian denominations start adding things to their doctrine, that goes directly against what the Bible says, opens that denomination up to be influenced by Satan. Satan is the Great Deceiver and Father of Lies and he is always looking for ways to pull people away from the One and Only True Bible and the Word of God.
ChetDude Added Jan 2, 2019 - 4:25pm
Marty: Ah, the "One True Christian" defense...
The problem with fanatic Christianists (and Islamists, Fundamentalist/Zionist Jews, Hindus, etc.) is that you guys are so goddamn intolerant and supremely arrogant.
You pretend that mere mortals can completely understand the universe and act as if your personal interpretations of contradictory stories from your books of "scripture" (written by mere mortals for mostly political reasons) are the ultimate truth. 
And in your fanatic intolerance you've forced so many of your sky-god myths into repressive legislation in what the Founders meant to be constituted as a Secular Government for a Secular Nation.
Nobody likes a bully.  It's your bigoted intolerance to more tolerant, rational people that generates most of the opposition you that's not generated by your fellow dueling fanatics. 
Thank Gaia religionist fanatics are in the minority among the human race.  So there's hope that as a species we can outgrow the disease.
Marty Koval Added Jan 2, 2019 - 5:50pm
Michael B Bagala:
The Catholic Catechism is unique to the Catholic religion, which summarize its teachings. The Catechism only covers the main teaching points of the Catholic religion, and does not cover many topics that Jesus and the Apostles covered in the New Testament. The entire Bible needs to be read and studied. It is the only true and inclusive source to learn and to act more like Jesus Christ. The Bible is the living Word of God because it is the message given to us from the “living God”.
Logical Man Added Jan 2, 2019 - 7:56pm
Why concentrate on Christians?
Different religious groups are demonized in different parts of the world.
The process is the same everywhere. Religion is used as a tool by tyrants and those at the heads of religions always go along - always been that way, always will be.
Personal belief is one thing - religions are poisonous to human well being.
Marty Koval Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:44pm
 Logical Man:
The reason why I concentrate on Christianity.
No other “religious leader” can compare to Jesus Christ. Every other religious leader is either alive or dead. Jesus Christ is the only one who was dead and is now alive. Indeed, He proclaims in Revelation 1:17–18 that He is alive forevermore! No other religious leader dares make such a claim, which, if not true, is utterly preposterous. Another important difference between Jesus and other religious leaders is found in the very nature of Christianity. The essence of Christianity is Christ, the One crucified, resurrected, ascended into heaven, and returning someday. Without Him—and without His resurrection—there is no Christianity. Compare that with other major religions. Hinduism, for example, can stand or fall entirely apart from any of the “great Swamis” who founded it. Buddhism is the same story. Even Islam is based upon the sayings and teachings of Mohammed, not upon the claim that he came back to life from the dead. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:13–19 says that, if Christ were not raised from the dead, then our faith is empty and we are still in our sins! The truth claims of Christianity are based simply and solely upon the resurrected Jesus Christ! If Jesus did not, in fact, come back from the dead—in time and space—then there is no truth to Christianity whatsoever. Throughout the New Testament, the apostles and evangelists base the truth of the gospel upon the resurrection. One other significant point is the exceedingly important fact that Jesus Christ claimed to be the “Son of God” (a Hebraism meaning “characterized by God”) as well as the “Son of Man” (a Hebraism meaning “characterized by Man”).
The Person and Work of Christ poses an unavoidable question: What will you do with Jesus? We cannot simply dismiss Him. We cannot ignore Him. He is the central figure in all of human history, and if He died for the sins of the whole world, then He died for yours as well. The apostle Peter says, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin, we will be saved.
No other religion comes close to what Christianity can offer a believer. That is the reason I do not talk much about them.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 2, 2019 - 10:39pm
Facepalm: Marty-
i'm being reminded of the following:
"Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Gandhi, he asked him, 'Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming His follower?'
Gandhi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.'"
The same Gandhi who slept with naked women to 'test' his self-control.  Yup, not hard to see why he couldn't stand Christians. 
This - plus many years of experience with "christians" - is what has led me to reject both Christianity and quite a few "christians," as well...and commit my discipleship to Christ above all others.
No, you have your own lusts, that you hate to have criticized.  We all have them, but try not to deny them. 
IME, most "christians" are just as Christ described them: "They honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me."
When you laud lust, you are far from Christ.  He said if you 'Look at a woman to lust after her in your heart, you've committed adultery with her'.  That means, looking at a beautiful woman after the first glance is lust, and you have no issue with that, and fully plan on continuing to do this.  There is a big problem with this.   A follower of Christ does not look at women with lust, or if they do, they confess it and repent. 
IOW, most "christians" i've met simply refuse to humble themselves and obey Him, as in, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, lord,' but do not do what I tell you?"
Humility means you obey Christ's commands, which we see, you clearly do not.  Also, if you err in one point, you are guilty of the law. 
Most people can readily see dishonesty and hypocrisy, and such "christians" as these quite deserve the hatred of the discerning.  That said, many hate, despise, and fear the Truth, as well as the Light of it, which exposes their deeds and the evils they have done to their fellows; it takes an honest soul indeed, to confess their errors, turn from them, and seek to live a life guided by God-whose-Name-is-Love. 
It's dishonest and hypocritical to come up with your own purity standards and to reject Christ's, while claiming you follow Christ.  Big disconnect there, but sin is a form of insanity. 
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 8:59am
Mankind because of his fallen state has a difficult time differentiating between good and bad; right and wrong, moral and immoral, greed and temperance, lust and not want, sinfulness and Holiness.
Mankind's way of measuring these standards are flawed because the vast majority cannot keep the fruits of the Spirit that are described in Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
How mankind in general is living out his life leads to more sinful acts that become the opposite of the fruits of the spirit.
opher goodwin Added Jan 3, 2019 - 9:29am
Marty - Sorry but that sounds like a bit of an excuse to me. On that basis most Christians aren't and weren't Christians and the same for Muslims.
In reality Christians have carried out atrocity after atrocity in the name of Christ. They reckon that up to 2 million followers of the old religion in Europe were put to the sword, burnt or drowned. Then the pogroms against the Jews, the Crusades against the Muslims and the various tortures and deaths related to supposed heresy - and the inquisition. Then we have the evil work done in South America, Africa and against the Native Americans. It makes for sorry reading. So am I to understand that these weren't true Christians? And likewise the TV evangelists fleecing gullible poor folk? They've been every bit as horrendous as ISIS.
opher goodwin Added Jan 3, 2019 - 9:30am
Marty - where is this living Jesus then?
FacePalm Added Jan 3, 2019 - 12:58pm
Not Marty, but i can tell you:
"Wherever two or more of you are gathered together in My Name, there am I, in the midst of you."
The Roman Catholics, almost immediately after Constantine made them an Arm of Empire (instead of the ALTERNATIVE to it, which is what Christ intended) are they who came up with various anti-christ philosophies and justifications which allowed for various exterminations of otherwise gentle and kindly people in, say, the Caribbean basin on Columbus' subsequent voyages, under the guise of "saving their souls."  All liars have a place set aside for them.,,and it's not in Heaven.  The RC's also set out to establish "orthodoxy" and punish/rob/torture/exterminate "heretics," as well.
As Marty noted, the Fruit of the Spirit was absolutely absent in those who did all those antichrist things...just as it is missing in many who claim Christ with their lips today, but whose hearts' distance are made evident by their LACK of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control."  That most of these "christians" don't like having their perfidy and betrayal of Christ made evident is shown by their willingness and pleasure-taking in attacking, smearing, scorning, showing contempt to, and mocking those who expose them.
These words will always remain excellent for sussing out anyone:
"By their fruits shall ye know them," especially if one is apprised of the fruit of the spirit in advance.   Just compare their words with the Fruit, and presto!  Illumination, at least as to the issue of whether or not they're obedient to Christ...
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 1:47pm
opher goodwin:
There are many that claim to be Christian, but are not! They are heathen. Heathen are the unsaved, and those bound for Hell. Calling themselves Christians will not make them saved. This is what the Bible says about heathen cloaked under the name “Christian”:
Heathens are sometimes called Christians or God’s people, which is seen in the Bible scripture Amos 9:12 - so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, declares the Lord, who will do these things..............This scripture is speaking of a time not yet come, but the principle applies to these latter days. Not all that claim to be children of God are children of God.
Heathens pray, which is seen in the Bible Scripture Matthew 6:6-7 - But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.................... It is ironic that the outline for prayer, that comes from Matthew 6:9-13, is what many so-called “Christian” faiths vainly (without thought or meaning, empty of feeling) pray over and over again.
Heathens have religion also! Which is seen in the Bible scripture Matthew 15:7-9 - You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:  ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’
There have always been those that believe themselves to be children of God, but were not. It was the religious that had killed Jesus and persecuted His followers.
Heathens can think God is using them. (However, many times Satan, the deceiver, is blinding them, and deceiving them with false miracles from “God). This is seen in the Bible scripture Matthew 7:20-23 - Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Heathens can go through religious routines and rituals, which is seen in the Bible scripture Luke 13:26 -28  - “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.
Many are religious, but lost.  People may think they are Christians, but may not be. This is seen in the Bible scripture John 3:3 - Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
Questions I have for all people, who say they are Christians: Are you "born again"? Are you going to Heaven, God's narrow way? Or are you a heathen?
Personally I can say, that I have met many people who are Christian In Name Only. These are the people who give Christianity a bad name.
The Bible scripture Matthew 7:13-14 explains exactly what has been going on for eons up to today.
Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 2:47pm
opher goodwin:
Your question, where is the living Jesus? Today, Jesus, The Son of God is sitting at the right hand of the Father of God in Heaven. Jesus will return someday, but only God The Father knows that day. The Bible book of Revelation explains in detail what will happen when Jesus returns the second time.
In believers of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God, now resides in the their hearts. This is see in the Bible scripture John 14:26 - 26 But the Advocate (counselor), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit in totality is far beyond my ability to address in this response. Here are ten things the Holy Spirit does.

He is a Spirit of revelation.
He brings conviction.
He extends an Invitation.
He affects regeneration.
He indwells believers.
He teaches believers.
He makes intercession (intervenes) for believers
He brings unity to God's people.
He empowers God's people for service.
He equips believers with spiritual gifts.

Our response to the Holy Spirit are:
We are to be in fellowship with Him.
We are to be Filled by Him.
We are to produce His fruit.
Only True Christians, who have fully surrenders their lives to Jesus Christ are practicing and living what the Bible teaches. The living God is living in these believers via the Holy Spirit of God.
 The other Christians are in name only. They are the ones that give Christ and Christianity a bad name.
FacePalm Added Jan 3, 2019 - 3:24pm
If God is Omnipresent, and Christ sits at His right hand, then Christ is also omnipresent.
He has certainly made Himself known many times to various individuals, revealed Himself, as He did to the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, who - although they had seen Him for many days during His earthly ministry - did not recognize Him until He broke bread with them.  Based on the fact of His appearing to the Eleven in a locked room, it seems to me more likely than not that He can appear to be anyone at any time, and the resurrection body has far more power than our earthly ones.
When He reveals Himself in Power, coming with the Heavenly Host, will be at the end of days, at the final Trump, when the angelic horns sound.
But if you can assume that the King of kings is in His Kingdom, where did He say it is found?
Here's a hint:
"When they say unto you, 'Lo, here!' or 'Lo, there!' do not go; for the Kingdom of Heaven is..."
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 4:06pm
The answer is, the kingdom of God is within you. This is seen in Luke 17:21-Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Basically all non believers and some Christian that are not well versed in scripture realize the kingdom of God is within you.
When you read Luke 20-37, it is obvious it is the coming of the Kingdom of God. Since the context of Luke 17:21 is Christ's second coming, and Jesus is speaking in great detail about the time, place, and conditions of His return, we must see His Kingdom as a literal government, just as real as any government of man. We cannot divorce "the Kingdom of God is among you" from this larger topic. Doing so distorts the true meaning of a literal, soon-coming Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ that will grow to fill the whole earth after His return.
Since the context of Luke 17:21 is Christ's second coming, and Jesus is speaking in great detail about the time, place, and conditions of His return, we must see His Kingdom as a literal government, just as real as any government of man. We cannot divorce "the Kingdom of God is among you" from this larger topic. Doing so distorts the true meaning of a literal, soon-coming Kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ that will grow to fill the whole earth after His return.
FacePalm Added Jan 3, 2019 - 4:15pm
My study has shown me that the word translated as "within" @ Luke 17:21 also means "in your midst," as in "Wherever 2 or more of you are gathered together in My Name, there am I, in your midst."
This is a real Presence, right here, right now; those who seek, find.  To those who ask, it is given.  To those who knock, it is opened. 
Many disciples of Christ have had the "beatific vision" since His earthly manifestation, from the so-called Desert Fathers to all the mystics from Meister Eckhardt to Thomas Merton and a long list of EO saints, as well as many RC ones, as well, like Catherine of Sienna, Juan de la Cruz, and his contemporary and mentor, Teresa of Avila.
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 5:48pm
Believers in Christ are aware of the reality of Christ's presence from our obedience to His Word. This is seen in 1 Peter 2:9 - We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
Note that Peter says that “we are chosen people . . . belonging to God.” If we belong to Him, will He not be present among us? We never lose the reality of God’s presence, no matter how badly we fail; we never sin so much as to lose our salvation; we never sink so far as to banish the Holy Spirit. We can anger God because of our sin, but true believers never lose the presence of the Holy Spirit. While we will never lose the reality of God’s presence, we might lose the “sense” of His presence. Every child of God invariably goes through this feeling of losing God’s presence from time to time, like a landlord who has left his house and gone away on business for a while. He has not left the house completely empty, for, if he had, he would have taken all his belongings with him. But because he has left all his furniture and belongings in that house, does it not mean that he will return once again? Any believer knows that there are times of spiritual leanness when perhaps the Lord determines to test our faith. Does He not push us through the winnowing flames of affliction that we might be all the more pure, which is seen in Job 23:10 - But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
The practical result of being in God’s presence is joy! Many Christians seem gloomy and dejected because they lack this sense of God’s presence. The fellowship is sweet for those who walk with the Lord in obedience and faith. But the sweet fellowship that comes from obedience and trust in the Lord is not a passing feeling. It sustains us, especially during trials, which is seen in Nehemiah 8:10 - Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
James, the Lord’s brother, writes in James 1:2 -  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Trails produce faith and develop perseverance. When we persevere through trials, proving to ourselves and to others that our faith is real, our sense of God’s presence increases, as does our joy.
Logical Man Added Jan 3, 2019 - 6:05pm
Marty, you state that 'No other religion comes close to what Christianity can offer a believer. That is the reason I do not talk much about them.'
How would you know this?
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 3, 2019 - 6:28pm
Are you saying those who do not believe in Christ are going to hell?
Jeff Michka Added Jan 3, 2019 - 7:19pm
Yeah, Micheal BB, that's what Marty and others here wearing Geezus on their sleeves want to say and believe, but consider, would you like to spend eternity in a warm place with interesting people, or spend eternity in a "sky guy" platform full of Martys and Ryans, although the latter will undoubtedly get a special place in hell, where Satan sodomizes him daily like Satan sodomized Saddam Hussein.  Something about gawd screwing "false prophets," I think.
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 7:23pm
Logical Man:
Michael B Bagala:
I have studied the Bible extensively and reviewed what other religions have to offer, and it becomes very obvious, that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
Such an exclusive statement may confuse, surprise, or even offend, but it is true nonetheless. The Bible teaches that there is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says in the Bible scripture John 14:6 - “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He is not a way, as in one of many; He is the way, as in the one and only. No one, regardless of reputation, achievement, special knowledge, or personal holiness, can come to God the Father except through Jesus.
Jesus is the only way to heaven for several reasons. Jesus was “chosen by God” to be the Savior (1 Peter 2:4). Jesus is the only One to have come down from heaven and returned there (John 3:13). He is the only person to have lived a perfect human life (Hebrews 4:15). He is the only sacrifice for sin (1 John 2:2; Hebrews 10:26). He alone fulfilled the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). He is the only man to have conquered death forever (Hebrews 2:14–15). He is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). He is the only man whom God has “exalted . . . to the highest place” (Philippians 2:9). Jesus spoke of Himself as the only way to heaven in several places besides John 14:6. He presented Himself as the object of faith in Matthew 7:21–27. He said His words are life (John 6:63). He promised that those who believe in Him will have eternal life (John 3:14–15). He is the gate of the sheep (John 10:7); the bread of life (John 6:35); and the resurrection (John 11:25). No one else can rightly claim those titles. The apostles’ preaching focused on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Peter, speaking to the Sanhedrin, clearly proclaimed Jesus as the only way to heaven: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul, speaking to the synagogue in Antioch, singled out Jesus as the Savior: “I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin” (Acts 13:38–39). John, writing to the church at large, specifies the name of Christ as the basis of our forgiveness: “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name” (1 John 2:12). No one but Jesus can forgive sin. Eternal life in heaven is made possible only through Christ. Jesus prayed, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). To receive God’s free gift of salvation, we must look to Jesus and Jesus alone. We must trust in Jesus’ death on the cross as our payment for sin and in His resurrection. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22).

The Bible states in Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destructio
FacePalm Added Jan 3, 2019 - 7:30pm
If by "His Word" you mean "the bible," i would remind you that John teaches that Christ is the Word, forever superior to every bible ever written.  Dead letters on dead pages mean nothing until the principles and commands inscribed there are LIVED and OBEYED.
Yes, joy is a great experience to have and maintain - but there's a big difference between it and happiness; the latter is fleeting, like when you acquire a new toy and it soon loses both it's lustre and it's appeal, if not it's functionality.  Joy is a much deeper sense of appreciation and gratitude, from both my observation and my experience.
i don't think we're in much disagreement here, except perhaps for the potential perception and teaching of "pie in the sky when you die."  Most disciples of Christ are far more powerful than they've been led to believe - or been prevented from learning on purpose - and can live the abundant life NOW, just as Christ promised, with the caveat that we abide in Him and He in us, like the vine to the fruit.
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 8:08pm
Word in the bible has a few meanings depending on it usage.
As you mention in John Chapter 1, the phrase "Word" means God. God being the trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), the phrase "Word"  means also Jesus Christ the son.
The phrase, “the Word of God" has a number of different meanings in Scripture. It can mean either something that God has decreed, something that God has said when addressing humans, words that God spoke through the prophets, Jesus Christ, or finally God’s written Word.
FacePalm Added Jan 3, 2019 - 8:19pm
i don't believe that there are any more than ONE "Word of God," and He is the eternal Son.  Living, free of all ideas of men, neither defined by nor confined to the bible.  An Infinite being, by definition, cannot be limited to or by anything touched by the hand of Man, who is a finite being.
Who shall say to Christ "You may not!"?  No man nor body of men, that's certain.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 3, 2019 - 8:37pm
I fully understand Marty. I was born a Catholic, but I also understand Buddhism and Hinduism. For me religion is not a science nor is it purely a philosophy. It is within religion the impossible is realized and there is no limit to the expression of man's soul, thought and emotion. All contradictions find a home in religion.
The reason for my question is that it puts Judaism and Jews in that same category of Heathens and Heretics. They above all else vehemently deny the Godhood of Christ. You are aware of that aren't you? 
Both on my father and Mother's side their ancestors were Buddhist and Hindu. My grandfather was a Buddhist and a Buddhist Scholar in the oldest unbroken Buddhist nation in the world-Sri Lanka. whose Buddhist order (of monks) is the oldest in the world. His position as a Pali Translater and Transliterator made him invaluable to this order and in direct touch with some of Buddhism's oldest manuscripts. 
My Tamil mother's ancestry are Tamil Hindus and one does not get more "Hindu" than Tamil Hindus, the majority of whom reside in South India where Hinduism runs deep. I lived within the world's of both faiths. It takes more than reviews to understand them. 
Just to share some history Buddhism won a series of debates against Christianity in the 1860's. They became world famous. They were held in Colombo and the "Panadura Debate" was one of the best known of them all. 
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 8:46pm
There is only one God no one else. God is three divine persons in one. The Trinity is God the father, the son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They are not separate, but they are all in one.
There will be many people who will deny Jesus as being God, but those same people are on the road to hell. Man cannot die for the worlds sins only God can do that.
There are a number of scripture in the Bible that state that there is only one true God (Word).
Exodus 8:10  - Then he said, “Tomorrow.” So he said, “May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.
Isaiah 37:20 - Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are the only God."
Isaiah 42:8 “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.
Isaiah 44:6 - The LORD is Israel’s king and defender. He is the LORD of Armies. This is what the LORD says: I am the first and the last, and there is no God except me.
1Kings 8:60 - that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other.
James 2:19 - You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
1 Chronicles 17:20 - There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
Marty Koval Added Jan 3, 2019 - 9:52pm
Michael B Bagala:
Yes, I am aware that Judaism and Jews have denied Jesus as the messiah because it did not fit in with their theology. This does put them in the antichrist category with the other religions. 
All the evidence of Christ's death on the cross, His burial in the tomb and His resurrection from the tomb was there for all the Jewish people to see. Their harden hearts blinded them.
The Jewish leaders really wanted to disclaim Christianity. No matter how hard they tried, they never could produced the dead body of Jesus. Why, because Jesus was resurrected out of the tomb.
All of the apostles (except John) were martyrs or put to death for maintaining that Jesus was the Son of God, and had risen from the dead. If it were a carefully crafted lie – you would expect at least one defection. The basic drive within us is that self-preservation is too strong.  Yet, every one of His disciples, close followers gave their life, rather than deny the fact that He is the Son of God and had risen from the dead. This is strong and compelling evidence of the fact of His deity. People are not going to die for a false God.
The Jewish people saw all this, but many would deny it. At the same time, many Jewish people did convert to Christianity, because they saw the truth and the light of Jesus Christ being the one and only savior/God.
And today, there are still Jewish people converting Judaism to Christianity. If people would just open up their eyes, minds and ears they still have hope to be saved.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 4, 2019 - 2:54am
I take great joy when someone despises me for my faith alone and have all the reason to justify the hope that I have within me. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 4, 2019 - 7:31am
Marty/Ward - I respect your faith but see no evidence of any of this. It is all words.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 4, 2019 - 7:58am
Do you see evidence of the big bang?
Evidence always must be interpreted, and like in any court, different people may look at the same facts and draw different conclusions ... this thing called Human Nature. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 4, 2019 - 10:23am
I guess life is a lot easier being faithful, and that's ok for me when someone is. But I had and have a life without god, and I did my best to respect the 10 commandments, not that I thought of them, but because I call it "common sense". The old, worn-out saying
Never do something to someone that you don't want to be done to you 
was my motto all my life. And for that - I didn't need a god. Just - patience, listening and empathy.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 4, 2019 - 11:08am
Thanks for the reply and Facepalm brought up another issue and that is St. Peter's stating "Note that Peter says that “we are chosen people . . . belonging to God.”
The shift from Judaism to Christianity is another major point. 
Jesus is Yahweh and Yahweh became man in the form of Jesus Christ. the fall of the Temple was predicted by Yawheh in form of Christ. that means the Chosen people went from Jews to Christians. 
Also the majority of people who converted to Christianity were from other faiths than Judaism. 
The point here is that unless one believes in Christ they are doomed to Hell. There are no grey areas. 
The Chosen ones are Christians since Judaism was meant to become part of Christianity. 
Marty Koval Added Jan 4, 2019 - 1:16pm
Michael B Bagala:
It might be a shock to some, but the Bible actually says in direct language, that the Jewish people must convert before Christ will return. There are actually three scriptures that make such a reference.
Matthew 23:39 - For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.'"
The prophet Hosea stated in Hosea 5:15 - Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face- in their misery they will earnestly seek me."
When Apostle Peter preached to the Jews, as recorded in the book of Acts, he said that they will need to convert before Christ will return. Acts 3:19-20 - Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the LORD, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you-even Jesus.
Apostle Peter urged the Jews to convert so that God will send the Messiah!
These Bible scriptures do not state that if all or just a portion of the Jewish people must convert, before Christ's return. What we do know is that there were many Jewish people who died in the past that never accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
What we do know is that a substantial number of Jewish people since Christ's ministry over 2000 years ago to today, have accepted Christ's as their Lord and Savior.
A recent University study shows that at least 20% of the population of Spain, approximately 9 million people have a mother with Christian Jewish genealogy. That makes Spain the country with the largest community of Christian Jews in the world.
Data from the Pew Research Center as of 2013, stated that about 1.6 million adult American Jews identify themselves as Christians.
I tell non believers in Christ the importance of the message stated in Matthew 24:42-"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your LORD will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
This scripture is saying: If you have not accepted Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior before you physically die, or your here when He comes the second time, you are doomed to eternity in Hell.
FacePalm Added Jan 4, 2019 - 4:38pm
The actual word used there for eternity, as best i recall, was the Greek word "Aeon," which means a long time, but not eternally forever-and-ever.
There is a saying: "An hour's agony will erase the memory of a lifetime of pleasures," and as i believe i related to you before, to the Creator of time, quite a lot can happen "in the blink of an eye."  Time can stop, reverse, loop - it is not a Good Thing to fall into the hands of God if He's angry with you - but God is, above all, a teacher.  It teaches nothing to torture anyone forever.
God - whose Name-is Love, Light, and Truth - would be inconsistent with a sadistic, eternal, implacable torturer.
But this may well be yet another reason why Christ teaches to "Love the Lord YOUR God..."
One of the best analogies i ever read(as it explained a few things to me) is that God is like an infinitely large, infinitely faceted clear jewel, lit from within.  Those who seek God until they find Him will only have their particular, individual facet illuminated, at which point they'll receive great joy and wish to share it with everyone, only to discover - eventually, and usually to their sorrow - that the vast majority of hearers will not be convinced, and that your individual experience is not universal, and not universally acceptable.  It is just YOUR experience of YOUR God.  It is the same Light that is in each facet, though.
But there are prerequisites to receiving even your individual illumination.  First, one must believe God exists.  One cannot and will not seek that which one does not believe exists.
Second, they must believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Third, they must prepare themselves for all the distractions and temptations to turn away from that Quest, or to be sidetracked into any path which does not accord with Love of God above everyone and everything else.
Would you like to read minds?  Travel instantly from one place to another?  Heal anyone of anything?  Never need physical food or drink again?  Pass though any locked door?
Christ teaches that everything He did, we will do also, and greater things than these...like moving a mountain from one place to another, for example - but many have received gifts like this, and been satisfied with them, and ceased their journey to find the love of God for nothing other than the Love of Him.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:10pm
Thank you for the information. I really was not aware of these quotes. It was in the last few years that I understood that Christianity wasn't "born' out of Judaism but meant to replace it. The Torah is a book about a people while the Gospel is a book that contains the word of God. Since Christ is Yahweh those quotes simply mean for the Jews to worship Yahweh under the new Avatar of Christ. I have already jotted down the quotes. again thanks.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:10pm
Ah, the religious, faithful Marty is just another whiny Xtain deleter that cannot abide anyone not automatically falling into line with their religion.  Now ol Marty wants us to believe he is the pipeline to gawd, but he can't be.  Ryan has laid claim to that.  You folks are entitled to believe in your sky guy and sky guy politics, just don't expect me to join in your proclamation of personal belief.  You evangelic politicos have no problem with a serial womanizer and liar, why?  Well, the Orange Used Condom will save those lumps of flesh that if let come to term will save the good white people and create more wage slaves.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:19pm
No matter how you look at it God is important to man. God was either discovered or invented. 
God was "Discovered" for those who believe in God
God was "invented" for those who do not believe in God.
Nevertheless, the belief in God gave birth to civilization and the sciences. This belief is the reason mankind evolved through the ages. What I mean by evolution is the evolution of civilization.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:51pm
Please Michael BB, maybe gawd is important to you.  And that's fine.  Gawd is a fantasy sky guy to me.  My dislike of religious dogma stems from being told unless I believed the worlds was 6000 years old, I would be 'sent to hell."  I was  a young man, but recounting this to parents, no demand to participate in phony religion was ever made again.  If you read Ryan here, you should develop an instant distaste for believing in sky guys. 
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 4, 2019 - 7:46pm
I wasn't telling you anything. I was reflecting on the importance of God on mankind, regardless whether one believes in the concept of God or not one (not necessarily you) can discuss or debate how this concept has shaped mankind. 
I had to face what you did I would not be a believer. The American version of religion or God is stifling at best. The Protestant version stripped Christianity of all the glorious art and beauty one sees in the Catholic church. American Protestantism has no life. It killed that spark of inspiration and then adopted the barrenness of Judaism. the result is frightfully empty. 
Marty Koval Added Jan 4, 2019 - 8:29pm
The people who's final destiny is Hell will be forever. Note in the following scripture the words everlasting, never goes out, eternal means it is forever. There is no chance for a pardon or escape. 
2 Thessalonians 1:9 - They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
Mark 9:43 - If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
Jude 1:7 - In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Matthew 25:41 - Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
The people who will be there will experience what is said in Matthew 13:50 50and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth........Weeping and gnashing of teeth is the description of the torments of the damned in Hell.
The people who have these harden hearts and outright denies Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have no idea of the pain, misery and total isolation they will experience.
FacePalm Added Jan 4, 2019 - 8:46pm
Do you have access to a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance?
i looked up the 2Thess reference, and it concurs with me; in fact, the majority of the cites you mention go to 166, "aionos," which also has it's root in "aion," 165, meaning "an age."
It'll be long enough.
Didn't i tell you of the experience i had where time stopped?
But i am in no way qualified to pronounce any kind of judgment on anyone, so i won't.  i'm only called to love my neighbor like i love myself.  i warn where warning is advisable; i encourage the flickering candle, not extinguish it.  "One who waters will be watered," as the Proverb states.
Marty Koval Added Jan 4, 2019 - 9:51pm
Face Palm:
I have three Concordances. Strong Concordance, The NIV Exhaustive Concordance and the Young's Analytical Concordance.
You are a wise man to say I am in no way qualified to pronounce any kind of judgment on anyone. The wisdom of the Bible in James 4:12 states - There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor?
This lawgiver and judge is Jesus Christ. He presides over Judgment Seat of Christ and The Great White Throne. This judge does not allow any defense attorneys. The verdict has already been predetermined and the rewards or punishment established.
The Judgment seat of Christ is only for the people who have confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9). It is a judgment seat for the saints only; those for salvation. (2 Corinthians 5:10). In the judgment seat of Christ, saints will receive crowns or rewards according to their work of God on earth not the works they done for God and according to the treasures they laid in heaven.
The great white throne is for the unborn-again; people who neither accepted nor believed in Jesus Christ. They rebelled and rejected God’s only son, Jesus Christ.
Revelation 20:11-12 - And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:13-15 - And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The great white throne is for eternal damnation where people will be cast in the lake of fire that was described in Revelation 20:15.
FacePalm Added Jan 4, 2019 - 10:26pm
i have no wisdom.  At best, i'm a good parrot, in that i have a bit of a memory and can repeat the wisdom of others slightly. 
Not that you'd do this, but every time i hear or read a compliment, i'm reminded of the Proverb which reads: "The words of a flatterer spread a net for his neighbor's feet."  IOW, i'm instantly on my guard; i may accept the compliment, but i'm wary, looking for the other shoe to drop.
i think we've had this conversation before, but i strongly suspect that MANY "christians" are going to be quite surprised when their body dies; John's Revelation teaches that the 2nd death is the lake of fire, and that those whom Christ has redeemed will not be hurt by it, not that we'll be spared the even the sight of it.
But Christ has often stated "According to your faith, so be it done unto you," so i'll rely on that.  i won't believe or utter the words "i'm saved" unless and until i hear Christ say "Well done, My good and faithful servant," at which time i'll repeat His words to Him - "None is good but God alone."
That's another of my beefs with so many "christians."  As best i recall, in Matthew ch. 24 Christ describes all the horrible things that are going to happen to His disciples because of their belief in Him, but concludes with the words, "But he who endures to the end will be saved."
Don't know about you, but i'm pretty clear that "will be" is a future tense, an action which has yet to come.  Best not to pretend to yourself that something is true that may not YET be true, lest one begin to act as did the Ungrateful Servant, and suffer his fate, too.  Besides, it's best to remain humble as opposed to becoming arrogant, haughty, and pretentiously superior...a stench in the nostrils of Man, and how much moreso in those of our Creator.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 5, 2019 - 3:21am
When you have nobody in life to talk to, you still have god. HeItShe is pretty patient and quiet and does neither approve nor disapprove of what you say or do. Pretty tolerant, that one ;-)
Marty Koval Added Jan 5, 2019 - 8:40am
Many people have asked: "What does it mean that he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13)?"
The answer is:
Those who endure to the end and are saved will stand firm through ridicule and hatred. Matthew 24:10 says that when many turn away from the faith, they will “betray and hate each other.”
Those who endure to the end and are saved will stand firm through false teaching. Matthew 24:11 goes on to warn of “many false prophets” appearing and deceiving the masses. We tend to imagine a “false prophet” as a flamboyant type, easily spotted and easily rejected. However, if this were true, then many would not be deceived by them. Instead, the false prophets are men and women with outward displays of Christianity, charismatic charm, and a way with words. They weave their heresies with Scripture, just as Satan does (see Luke 4:1–10), so that those who do not know God’s Word thoroughly are taken in by their great-sounding teachings (2 Timothy 4:3–4). We are already seeing this take place with the explosion in recent years of hyper-grace teaching and the prosperity gospel. Millions are being deceived, with Bibles in their laps, because the words of the false prophets are ego-soothing, exciting, and more desirable than Scripture’s focus upon self-sacrifice and surrender.
Those who endure to the end and are saved will stand firm even in the midst of a rampantly sinful culture. Matthew 24:12 says that “because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” This is a cause-and-effect statement that we are seeing played out before our eyes. As culture redefines reality according to its lusts and depravity, those clinging to scriptural definitions of sin are being quickly outnumbered. As wickedness becomes more popular and socially acceptable, people without a solid biblical worldview are being swept up by its grandiose promises. They are “rethinking” and “reevaluating” the Bible’s relevance in our modern world. The definitions of gender, sexuality, and morality are being challenged, even within some segments of the church, causing those unschooled in truth to collapse beneath the weight of these “new insights.” It is no wonder that the flicker of love that may have been ignited by the Holy Spirit is squelched in favor of a new love and a new god created in the image of the culture.
When Jesus says, “The one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13), He is speaking of those who are truly born again, whose lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. True followers of Jesus Christ will withstand the onslaught of wickedness, recognize and reject false teaching, and cling fast to the truth of God’s Word. They will overcome this world and be granted reward in the world to come (Revelation 3:21). Those who have been sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22) have His power working in them to enable them to stand firm (Romans 14:4; Jude 1:24–25).
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 11:01am
To the liberal secular worldview, hatred of the Judeo-Christian American worldview is hatred of their rival. It is akin to Islam's hatred of the unbelievers, whether Christian, pagan or liberal atheist.
If you hate the other side, you're less likely to be converted on contact. That's a way the meme protects itself. If you see yourself in a major conflict for "saving the world", then you work more diligently and intentionally to spread the meme. When you see the other belief systems' members at best ignorant and at worst evil, you will readily reject their arguments and always "educate" your children to prevent them from giving the other side a way in.
Islam takes it one step further by killing those who leave the belief system and murdering those who challenge its core beliefs. Liberal secularists have groups calling for active violence against unbelievers, such as Antifa members beating people up they suspect of being white and/or conservative. Liberal bullies readily threaten violence, whether sending Dana Loesch death threats against her kids via phone calls or rape threats to conservative women. But liberals don't yet kill unbelievers, though the Communist governments sending those who didn't fit the dogma to die in "re-education camps" is the same as jihadis killing Christians and atheists.
Liberals are already moving in that direction by having the privilege of defining love, rational, educated, kind and polite as only applying to their worldview .. and because of their cultural and social power, they can censor all other views as hate speech or stupid, poor quality content.
Hate speech laws are liberal blasphemy laws. Thus a liberal bully calling for the death of pro-lifers and whites isn't guilty of an offense, while a conservative can be banned, lose their source of income and literally assaulted for sharing a moderately conservative opinion. Since liberals control many institutions, they have the institutional power to remove you from professional organizations, deny you educational credentials, drum you out of academia and entertainment, or use the local and state government to ruin you. (Repeat prosecutions of the Colorado baker is one example of this.)
Marty Koval Added Jan 5, 2019 - 3:20pm
Tamara Wilhite:
The following are the ten reasons why many liberals hate Christians:

Liberals are relativists and hate Christians because Christians believe in absolute truth. 
Liberals do not want anyone to say that immorality is immoral. 
Liberals are selfish and are more interested in their "feelings" then they are with what is right for others. 
Liberals misunderstand what Christians really believe. 
Since liberals see themselves as the superior enlighten ones they do not recognize that taking a position against their position is not automatically hate. 
Liberals do not want to listen to what makes sense, they would rather listen to their senses. 
Liberals ignore the clear evidence of the result of their philosophical positions influence on the last 40 years. It had been a social disaster and they do not want to hear it. 
They see Christians as intellectually inferior. 
Liberals see Christians as wanting to impose their religion on them when in truth it is the liberals who have used the courts system to impose their secular humanism religion on all of us. 
Liberals are spiritually lost and blind to the truth of the gospel. Consider the following bible verses:

 And many are doing what is said in the Bible scripture
1 Corinthians 2:14 - "But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:57pm
I was reading through your thread of comments and where you say that "Heaven is within us" sounds purely Buddhist. In Buddhism God is realized within us. Nirvana is being fully conscious and fully awakened. 
You disclaim Christianity based on what you see as the wrong things it has done but none of the great achievements. Without religion, Christ's words would have simply remained in the Middle East. 
Because religion is a creation of man all its excesses both good and bad are also the results of man and can stand independent of the word of God. 
Marty Koval Added Jan 5, 2019 - 8:01pm
Michael B Bagala
Here is my response to your about Heaven is within us question
Luke 17:20-21 - 20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst .” Some translations say minds or 'within us"
So what about the concept of the Kingdom of God being in our hearts? The Scriptures show that this subject should be on our minds. After all, we are supposed to pray what is said in Matthew 6:10 - your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And Jesus told us in Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Many have mistakenly limited the Kingdom of God to a philosophical perspective or a way of thinking. In reality, the coming Kingdom of God is far more than what is in the hearts and minds of Jesus’ followers. In fact, it is the Kingdom that God’s faithful elect will enter at Christ’s return and that will be established here on earth.
Michael B Bagala Added Jan 5, 2019 - 8:53pm
The section where Christ replies by "it is here it is there" quoting others regarding heaven is also found in Hindu literature regarding other aspects such as "soul", "truth", "Dharma" with wordings that state. "It is neither here nor there" or "it is here it is there" or "Is it here or there?". echoes through different faiths.
the conclusions hardly vary except in how elaborately it is stated. Mahayana Buddhism with its Boddhisatvas, Buddhas, heavens, and hells is as elaborate as Hinduism in placing truth-self-heaven-God-soul- in the center of man. However, Hinduism places it both "here and there".
both in the soul and in a God outside of the human body. then it goes into variations.
What I like about Buddhism is the Kalama Sutra which is a treaty on how to think. Also, I like the Zen aspect of Buddhism which focuses on the present and even more specifically on the moment of the present and how to be mindful of it as in Mindfulness