An atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.
'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'
'Yes sir,' the student says.
'So you believe in God?'
'Is God good?'
'Sure! God's good.'
'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'
'Are you good or evil?'
'The Bible says I'm evil.'
The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'
'Yes sir, I would.'
'So you're good...!'
'I wouldn't say that.'
'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'
The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'
The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'
'Er..yes,' the student says.
'Is Satan good?'
The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'
'Then where does Satan come from?'
The student falters. 'From God'
'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'
'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'
'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'
Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'
The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'
'So who created them?'
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'
The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'
The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'
'No sir. I've never seen Him.'
'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
'No, sir, I have not..'
'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'
'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
'Yet you still believe in him?'
'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?'
'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'
'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat? '
'And is there such a thing as cold?'
'Yes, son, there's cold too.'
'No sir, there isn't.'
The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly become s very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that.
There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.
Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'
'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation.. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'
'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'
1 John 1: 5 'This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all'. In darkness there is (in Gal. 5:20) 'the worship of idols, witchcraft, anger of man,
hateds, contention, rivalry, rage, insolence, man instigated conflict, divisions and quarrels'.
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'
'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'
The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'
'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains.. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'
'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.' 'Now tell me, professor.. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'
'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'
'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter.
'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I Guess you'll have to take them on faith.'
'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'
Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it Everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'
To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'
The professor sat down.
The student was Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein wrote a book titled God vs. Science in 1921.
Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. (Law -vs- Law of Love) Albert Einstein
However, God has an answer for this if we but heed His call. In fact that call comes in the form of a command...and that command is the answer not only to loneliness, but also to providing the very best way to spread the gospel - by actually reaching out a hand to whomever God puts in your path.
Scripture says that if we are not loving others, then we do not know God. (1 John 4:7-8) Why? Because God is love, and if He is truly in your heart then He will be pulling at your heart to reach out in some form or fashion. Have you thought about this? It appears many people give it very little thought...or the plague of loneliness and the lack of the gospel being spread in the way where people are anxious to respond, would not be as much of a concern as it is.
I'm sure you notice in scripture the multitude of times that love is indirectly or directly spoken about...and how direct God is about the part love plays in our walk...even to the point of making it a command. Yet, do we take it seriously?
But some how I think that if we were loving as we are supposed to then the church would be getting the similar reaction as Christ got.
People followed Him in great numbers. They would sit and listen to Him for hours. However, how hard is it to get people to go to church with us? When we are with people, do they see something different in us...something that attracts them - instead of repelling them...or causing no reaction at all?
I believe that God's love, is a sacrificial, powerful love that does not show favoritism. It is not man's kind of love that has limits and distractions and usually only hangs around as long as the feelings do.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
I submit that God's whole plan is based on His love...therefore every New Testament scripture either directly or indirectly is pointing at another way of looking at God's love...and it is His love that ties all scripture together. SO... each one is about what His love is, or what it's not...and how important it is to God for our lives. God beseeches us...
Ephesians 5:2 Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of
God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service of worship.
1 Thess. 4:9 But we don't need to write to you about the importance of
loving each other, for God Himself has taught you to love one another.
God is vehemently against worry. It only produces stress, strain and death. Jesus preached against it. Paul preached against it. The whole Bible is against worry because Satan designed it.
Take Philippians 4:6-7 as a command. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The Amplified Bible says, “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything.” I Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
Casting all your care upon him….” Not 75 percent of your care. Not everything but your kids or everything but your finances. Your confession every morning should be, “I do not have a care, because it has been cast over on my Lord.” Cast out every worried thought that would trample its way into your thinking. Roll it over onto Jesus.
If I tossed an item over to someone, and they took it with them...then I no longer have it. So if you asked me for it, I would have to say, sorry!
That’s what we need to do with our cares. We must cast them over on the Lord and not try to take them back! If Satan brings a worried thought to your mind, saying, What if…, you can tell him to talk to God about it. It is in His hands, not yours!
Many people want God to supernaturally remove their worry. But that’s not the way to get the peace of God. God’s peace comes by acting on His Word that says to cast all of your worry and anxiety over on Him. You must replace those thoughts with the Word. Philippians 4:8 says to think on “whatsoever things are true…honest…just…lovely…of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
You are the one who must control your mind. The Word says the peace of God will garrison and mount guard over your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7, The Amplified Bible). But you are going to have to do something. You must keep your thoughts under control.
II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” People have told me they can’t quit worrying. They can! Anyone can stop worrying. The verse before that says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but powerful through God to the pulling down of strongholds. The strongholds of Satan are in the mind. He makes suggestions like, It won’t work this time, and What if… and, But….
The power of God begins to operate when you cast your care over on Him. As long as you worry about it, you only hinder the flow of His power and tie His hands.
Meditate on these three scriptures: I Peter 5:6-7; II Corinthians 10:5 and Philippians 4:6. Joshua 1:8 says if you will meditate in the Word day and night, you will be able to see how to do it. Philippians 4:9 says, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do….” As you give your attention to these scriptures, the Holy Spirit will reveal this truth to you and you will then be able to act on it!
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” You don’t have to worry again. The greater One dwells in you. Commit to it. You will never worry again. –Ken Copeland
James 3:18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
It is NOT our job to spread conflict. Some who would disagree with this I've heard argue that Christ said that He did not come to bring peace, as in Matthew 10: 34 "Don't assume that I came to bring peace on the
earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword". However, this does not mean for you and I to spread conflict...as it was Christ speaking about Himself.
Moreover, we need to realize the sword He was talking about here is the natural conflict that truth causes...and the conflict He caused merely by being here amongst us. He did not mean that He came here swinging a sword. His words, His light, His truth, His power, His reaction to the Pharisees, His love of people over rules and His utter love of sinners ALL caused conflict and division just naturally...but, this division is one that is via the Spirit, as it separates truth from lie...light from darkness...and what is inside a persons heart. Where as the conflict humans produce is fleshly and just causes trouble for the reasons of opinion and self-interest.
Conflict that is from the carnal nature is produced from a human's coercion of some sort...to get other people to submit to their ways and opinions for that human's sake...even if they argue their opinions stem from truth.However, in the conflict that stems from truth, human's don't have to say a word or even be present, because it is totally a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the people for the people's sake.
1 Tim.6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and
destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw
1 Cor. 3:3 For you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You
are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you
are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the
Heb. 4:12 God's word is living and active. It is sharper than any
two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the
place where joints and marrow meet. God's word judges a person's thoughts and
He is the Prince of Peace Who's Spirit produces peace along with all the other luscious fruits. His Holy Spirit does NOT grow conflict! In fact if we have the Holy Spirit then any conflict that we would deliberately produce stems from self-interest and the old nature, and NOT from God. If we would be speaking the truth in love however. Truly - in love...then the truth is what will naturally cause the conflict.
Gal. 5:22 But the fruits of The Spirit are
love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith,
Gal. 5:20 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious...idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealously,
outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions...
Let's say you are standing in the grocery line one day and because you kindly encouraged the women in back of you to go ahead of you, she starts a conversation with you. She is thankful and is obviously open to you and so you decide to say something about the Lord to her. However, when you do she automatically gets agitated and turns...then as she leaves after paying she turns around and gives you a sour look.
This is a natural conflict that occurred because of the truth she was faced with...like a clash of light with darkness...which can produce good things down the line in her life because she was confronted with the truth! It was not at all because you were negligent or trying to produce conflict...as you spoke the truth with love!
Now, how about if you were in line and the person behind you had only a couple of things and you had many more items then she had. She is obviously anxious, but you kind of ignore her, but then you figure you better get your witness in for the week, so you turn to her and try to push a track into her hand and tell her that she better get right with God because the end is near.
Then you turn and pay....and as you are on your way out you glance over and see her roll her eyes and shack her head while fumbling to get her items on the belt without dropping them. In this instance I can say that I doubt it was the truth that caused her discomfort.
We can possess better patience when we realize that most people are doing the best they can, especially when we consider all the factors that have made them who they are. Then even if they could do better, you probably can't force that to happen, and why would you want to?
For instance, your one year old is crawling and maybe even beginning to walk. She has the innate desire to explore and so she touches everything that is on her level. No matter if it could possibly hurt her, she will touch it anyway.
This is but one of a mixture of reasons she does this…and one does not need to go to college to know what they are. She is not only driven by her age, but she is also driven by her inborn temperament and personality…but with no practical knowledge to temper her exploration. Grasping this understanding makes it easier to have patience with her. However, sometimes we still get agitated and impatient until we practice keeping these very important facts in mind...that essentially, she is doing the best she can.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
Proverbs 2:2 Tune your ears to
wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
Take a minute and think about the natural world around us. God's creation is another place to gain great insight as well. Look at a kangaroo for instance when you take your children to the zoo. Can it walk? No, at least not in the conventional sense. Kangaroos hop. Their legs cannot move independently of one another, so expecting kangaroos to walk or run like you and I would be ludicrous.
This gives a zoo keeper, for instance, all the patience in the world when trying to lead them from one place to another. He knows that this animal has fixed limits that cannot change, so getting impatient would be a waste of time and energy. Therefore, having this very basic knowledge gives him something very valuable and attainable - patience. This in turn leads to a more enjoyable experience as he works with these unique creatures.
God commands that we love...and patience is the first ingredient. (See 1 Cor. 13:4) Being patient with others shows them Christ...and it comes much easier with the understanding that most people are doing the best they can with what they have. ~
In fact this is why God is able to have such patience with us...and why He wanted us to taste, but not permanently stay trying to live up to the law -- because the law had zero patience...whereas Christ has immeasurable patience! Likewise why He wants us to emulate Christ so we can better obey His command to treat others as we would want others to treat us.
God understands that we are doing the best we can with what we have, this is why He has such patience with us ~
Psalm 103: 14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only
Romans 7: 8 I know that nothing
good lives in me; that is, nothing good lives in my corrupt nature. Although I
have the desire to do what is right, I don't do it. 19I don't do the good I
want to do. Instead, I do the evil that I don't want to do. 20Now,
when I do what I don't want to do, I am no longer the one who is doing it. Sin
that lives in me is doing it.
21So I've discovered
this truth: Evil is present with me even when I want to do what God's standards
say is good. 22I take pleasure in
God's standards in my inner being.
23However, I see a
different standard [at work] throughout my body. It is at war with the standards
my mind sets and tries to take me captive to sin's standards which still exist
throughout my body. 24What a miserable
person I am! Who will rescue me from my dying body? 25I thank God that our
Lord Jesus Christ rescues me! So I am obedient to God's standards with my mind,
but I am obedient to sin's standards with my corrupt nature.
Romans 9: 22 If
God wants to demonstrate his anger and reveal his power, he can do it. But can't
he be extremely patient with people who are objects of his anger because they
are headed for destruction? 23Can't God also reveal
the riches of his glory to people who are objects of his mercy and who he had
already prepared for glory? 24This is what God did
for us whom he called-whether we are Jews or not.
God wants us to be patient not only based on His command to do so, but also based on our understanding that most people are doing the best they can ~ as well as the understanding that when we are showing impatience it is usually because there is some demand we've made of another that was not met...meaning that they really had no choice as far as you were concerned. So impatience is many times brought on because we are only thinking of our own wants, as well as expecting that others should be and act like us...and not treating others in the same way we would want to be treated.
1 Cor. 9:22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Romans 14:1 Welcome people who are weak in faith (patience), but don't get into an argument over differences of opinion. (impatience)
How NEW is the New Testament? Or better yet, how NEW is the New Covenant? Does New mean new? Or does it just mean a little newer? Well, then if the New Covenant is just a moderate improvement on the Old, then it isn't new and either God is lying or the writers were lying or they were trying to get us confused...and Jesus' work in ministry and on the cross would not have been able to fulfill the law like it has. However, we are now under the authority of the New Covenant because Jesus came as our forever Priest and His arrival made everything new! He came to fulfill the law, the prophets, how sin is dealt with, how sinners are viewed and sin paid for.
Christ came to pay for our complete salvation while we were still in sin, which means we are not to look at people by human standards anymore. (2 Cor. 5:16). In the OT people were stoned or put to death because they were defined by their sin...not only because of their sin nature, but because the law was punitive and sin had to be punished! Therefore the only way to deal with the sin was to punish the sinner. However, Christ's life and death gave humans back their worth...so unbelievers as well are to be viewed as people that Jesus loves and are in the process of being drawn back to Him.
The New Covenant is "New" for another reason...because now the overwhelming factor is that we are new creatures in Christ, so essentially we are just like new born babes that have never sinned. It is just-if-I'd never-sinned! Some Christians say they are, 'sinners saved by grace'...but that is not biblically true. We are not sinners anymore. We are not just bandaged up...or renewed, no...we are completely new - justified before God!!
The following section of scripture does not contradict the fact that we are completely saved by grace...
1 John 3:4"Those who live sinful
lives are disobeying God. Sin is disobedience. 5You know that Christ
appeared in order to take away our sins. He isn't sinful. 6Those who live in
Christ don't go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven't seen or known
Christ. 7Dear children, don't
let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God's approval as
Christ has God's approval.
8The person who lives a
sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin
since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what
the devil does. 9Those who have been
born from God don't live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they
can't live sinful lives. They have been born from God. 10This is the way God's
children are distinguished from the devil's children. Everyone who doesn't do
what is right and love other believers isn't God's child."
We are saved by grace!! The above scripture does not contradict that...altho many Christians still think that even tho we are saved by grace we still have to work hard at not sinning so we are accepted by God. However, they are misinformed. BTW, God does not contradict Himself, so if we ever come across a contradiction, then there is something we don't understand. So, the problem is with us, not Him...so this would be the time to seek God and do further study.
Believers have been cleansed of sin and are now completely new people, with the Holy Spirit living inside! Therefore what we all need to learn is that when scripture either speaks about the believer having a new nature or the indwelling Holy Spirit, it is the same thing as saying that a believer does not keep on sinning. In fact they can be interchanged.
It is just like if you were talking about a butterfly. You could call it a butterfly, or an insect that does not perpetually crawl on it's belly any longer. Each would be equally true!!
A believer could not keep on sinning without being convicted by the Holy Spirit. Then the conviction would begin a change in the opposite direction via the power and guidance from the Holy Spirit. However, if a person does not have a new nature as well as the Holy Spirit, then their sin would not be interrupted by conviction and therefore the desire and power to begin a change would not occur...which means they could easily keep on sinning.
I remember what a Pastor once said, "We have to learn to be good at being wrong." David in the Psalms was called a man after God's own heart because he was good at being wrong.(Psalm 51) His fight to keep his sin from being exposed was fairly short lived, and then he was open and honest about his wrong doings...which makes me think he knew something about God that many of us don't. We hide and blame and get defensive...then argue and become self-righteous, all to cover up that we are insecure about the possibility that we may not be right.
Our will is quite stubborn. There are people that remind me of a 2 year old child...as I've seen two year olds hold their breath till they literally pass out! I guess I would say that the typical 2 year old is the epitome of the human nature. Do you know of any perpetual '2 year olds'?
We were born with a nature that at it's heart is self-centered. Therefore, because of pride, we have a hard time admitting that we are imperfect and very possibly wrong. This is however one of those things we must conquer in order to grow.
We have to take off the mask of pride, as it is imperative for us to humble ourselves and allow God to change the way we think, so we are OK with being an imperfect person in an imperfect body, among imperfect people in a world that is also imperfect...otherwise it will be very hard to embrace all of God's love (including loving God and neighbor as oneself), His ways and discipline...and therefore find any success in this Christian life.
Another big reason we quickly put on our mask of pride, is shame. Just as Adam and Eve ran from God and hid themselves out of disgrace, this is why we try and put up our defenses as well. However, Jesus also bore our shame and then ignored it, and by His example we can count it as nil too. Take time in Heb. 12- http://nlt.scripturetext.com/hebrews/12.htm
YES! We have His written word so we can feed on truth, the truth of God that sets us free. However, because we have a tendency to look at things very black and white as well as punitively because of the human nature we still battle with...we must read scripture in the light of Christ's life, grace and His Holy Spirit...other wise, we will have a tendency to read it as a rule book and feel condemned and shamed!
I can say with 100% certainty that Jesus came to meet all of God's requirements for me and you, so now my only requirement is to follow Jesus Christ in heart, word and deed. However, aside from this I will always leave my conclusions about anything in the hands of God. I will never say I know Him so well as to say that He would do something or He wouldn't with a 100% surety.
Proverbs 21:2 All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.
There are some things however that I am confident of, altho you'll need to find out for yourselves. One of those being that God has not poured down His wrath yet so as to cause something like 9/11. However, it is in the studying that you begin finding this out for yourself...and it is in finding out that you learn how extremely important 'context' is, as it is what makes or breaks the meaning of any given passage, chapter, parable or story...therefore your further understanding of God.
When reading and studying in context ~
~ Consider who the writer is speaking to or speaking about. The Jews? Gentiles? Jewish Christians? Pharisees? Us?
~ Consider the words that create the meaning ~ such as: any, all, many, few, only, etc, etc.
~Consider that when the writer is speaking about love for instance, (unless it is 'the love of money' and etc.) then that love is God's kind of love, not man's. So you would refer to where you would find the definition and substance of God's kind of love...for instance 1 Cor. 13, 1 John 1-5, 1 Cor. 9. Also, the words; law, the Prophets, Pharisees, gospel/good news, walk/walking, tongue, carnal/sinful nature, etc. It is important you know the definition and content of these words. Such as Gal. 5: 19-21 is where you can find what's contained in the carnal/sinful nature.
Please take some time in the following chapter, considering all the wording so as to get the clearest picture. I submit that God did not cause 9/11 or any other disaster as He is NOT WILLING that any...ANY...should perish, but that all...ALL...should come to repentance. I am not saying that He would not take a specific group of people, or some one's life out of judgement because He knows they will not turn their lives over to Him...but all in all the time of judgement has not yet arrived. I would also add that if the time of judgement has arrived then there are some very evil individuals and groups that He would go after, NOT after a large mixture of people including many young children. Sorry, I think some people are watching too many "The Monster That Ate Manhattan" movies!
So, what is God saying in the following portion of scripture concerning this subject?
http://nlt.scripturetext.com/2_peter/3.htm As we read through to verses 14 and 15 God is apparently saying that judgement is to come sometime in the future, but it has not yet happened because of His patience...and then while we wait what we are to do in the meantime.
What does it mean to take something out of context? In my experience it means - that the information that should be considered is not being taken into account. For instance what I just mentioned - which is to not overlook the small words.
1- It can also mean, for instance in the happenstance concerning 9/11, that one has not considered the whole reason why God created mankind in the first place. It was to create us according to His image so we can have fellowship with Him and He with us. He did not create us to destroy us.
2- Another consideration is that because He decided to create us with a freewill, He obviously didn't want puppets...therefore when we decided to go our own way He didn't give up on us. He bore with mankind as we went through many situations until it was time to bring about the ultimate in order to show us how much He wanted us. The ultimate, meaning, His Son...who bore the sin of the world, and now God is patiently waiting until that last person that will come to Him does so.
3-God so loved the world that He gave His only Son...and this was not a little thing. In fact it was the greatest act of love ever for all of mankind. This is why I believe God would not waste even an ounce of this gift by causing such an event as 9/11 and thereby destroying so many lives as though His Son died for some and then for others He didn't. I submit that God would not do this and leave such destruction. It was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us...so if He had only died for the righteous and everyone else had no worth, then I could see Him destroying whole groups of people. But again, He paid every person's salvation before they ever received the gift...so because of the high price He paid I can see that He would want to wait til that last person received it!
4-Luke 16:15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." In the above section of scripture (2 Pet) God is addressing people who want the end to come so badly...and then He tells them that He will wait because of His great patience, and to not despise this because it is that same patience that saved each one of us.
Can you think of other scriptural reasons why God would be patient and hold off in bringing judgement yet on a large scale?