23 August 2013

208 ways to get yourself saved

23 August 13: Found two new ways to get saved from the Old Testament -- from the only two guys in the OT to get saved: Enoch and Elijah.
(See 38 and 39)



Fundamentalist, born-again Christians love to say that there's only one way to get saved. But if you believe the Bible, there's a lot more than that. Here are the ways that I've found so far. Let me know if I've missed any and I'll add them to the list.
  1. Say the right things.
    For by thy words thou shalt be justified. -- Matthew 12:37
  2. Do the right things. (Be a do-gooder.)
    And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life. -- John 5:29
    I the Lord ... give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. -- Jeremiah 17:10
    For we must all appear before the jugment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. -- 2 Corinthians 5:10
  3. Believe the right things.
    A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. -- Romans 3:28
    Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- Romans 5:1
    A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. -- Galatians 2:16
    For by grace are ye saved through faith. -- Ephesians 2:8
  4. Do and believe the right things.
    Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. -- James 2:17
  5. Work your way to heaven.
    For you render to each one according to his works. -- Psalm 62:12
    For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. -- Matthew 16.27
    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. 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. -- Revelation 20:12-13
    Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. -- 2 Corinthians 11:15
    The Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work. -- 1 Peter 1:17
    What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? -- James 2:14, 17, 20, 24, 26
    I will give unto every one of you according to your works. -- Revelation 2:23
    Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work. -- Revelation 22:12
  6. Burn your work.
    If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. -- 1 Corinthians 3:15
  7. Work it out with fear and trembling.
    Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. -- Philippians 2:12 
  8. Beat your breast and say you're a sinner.
    The publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified. Luke 18:13-14
  9. Be hungry now and never get full.
    Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. ... Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. -- Luke 6:21, 24
  10. Hunger and thirst after righteousness.
    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. -- Matthew 5:6
  11. Do what is lawful and right.
    When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness ... and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul. -- Ezekiel 18:27
  12. Do whatever a voice in the sky tells you do do.
    As I ... was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light ... And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest ... And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. -- Acts 22:6-10
  13. Do nothing. Die in Adam; come alive in Christ.
    For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. -- 1 Corinthians 15:22
  14. Obey the law of the wise.
    The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. -- Proverbs 13:14
  15. Do God's will
    He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. -- 1 John 2:17
  16. Do the will of Jesus's father.
    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. -- Matthew 7:21
  17. Be a doer of the law.
    Who will render to each one according to his deeds. ... For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified. -- Romans 2:6, 13
  18. Call on the name of the Lord.
    Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. -- Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13
  19. Call upon God.
    As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. -- Psalm 55:16
  20. Trust in the Lord.
    The LORD shall ... save them, because they trust in him. -- Psalm 37:40
  21. Seek the Lord and don't forsake him.
    The LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. -- 1 Chronicles 28:9
  22. Seek the Lord, righteousness, and meekness.
    Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger. -- Zephaniah 2:3
  23. Get to know God.
    In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction. -- 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9
  24. Wait for him.
    Wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. -- Proverbs 20:22
    Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. -- Isaiah 25:9
  25. Wait and come for 1335 days.
    Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. -- Daniel 12:12
  26. Just look at him.
    Look unto me, and be ye saved. -- Isaiah 45:22
  27. Get lost.
    The Son of man is come to save that which was lost. -- Matthew 18:11, Luke 19:10
  28. Get scourged.
    Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. -- Hebrews 12:6
  29. Get tortured.
    "Others were tortured ... that they might obtain a better resurrection." -- Hebrews 11:35
  30. Get lucky.
    I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. ... Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. ... Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: -- Romans 9:15-22
  31. Hope.
    For we are saved by hope. -- Romans 8:24
  32. Repent.
    Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. -- Luke 13:3, 5
  33. Overcome.
    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. -- Revelation 2:7
    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. -- Revelation 2:11
    He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. -- Revelation 3:5
    Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God ... and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem ... and I will write upon him my new name. -- Revelation 3:12
  34. Don't be so darned wicked.
    When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul. -- Ezekiel 18:27
  35. Don't offend the little ones.
    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. -- Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:14, Luke 17:2
  36. Don't be filthy or naughty; receive the engrafted word.
    Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. -- James 1:21
  37. Walk upright.
    Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved. -- Proverbs 28:18 

  38. Walk with God for 365 years and then get taken by him.
    All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:23-24
  39. Get taken to heaven in a chariot of fire that is drawn by horses of fire in a whirlwind.
    There appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2 Kings 2:11
  40. Endure temptation.
    Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life. -- James 1:12
  41. Don't lust.
    Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. -- James 1:15
  42. Bridle your tongue.
    If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. -- James 1:26
  43. Believe in Jesus.
    Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16
    I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. -- John 11:25-26
  44. Believe on Jesus.
    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. -- John 3:36
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. -- John 6:47
    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. -- Acts 16:31
    For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. -- Romans 10:11
  45. See Jesus and believe on him.
    Every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. -- John 6:40
  46. Confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
    If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. -- Romans 10:9
  47. Confess Jesus before men.
    Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. -- Matthew 10:32
    Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. -- Luke 12:8
  48. Ask Jesus to remember you when he comes into his kingdom.
    He said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:42-43
  49. Obey Jesus.
    And [Jesus] being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. -- Hebrews 5:9
  50. Hear the words of Jesus and believe in whoever sent him.
    He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life. -- John 5:24
  51. Hear and do the sayings of Jesus.
    Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. -- Matthew 7:24
  52. Keep Jesus's saying.
    If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. -- John 8:51
  53. Drink Jesus's water.
    Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. -- John 4:14
  54. Get saved by the grace of Jesus.
    Through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved. Acts 15:11
  55. Be dead with Jesus.
    It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: -- 2 Timothy 2:11
  56. Be born again.
    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. -- John 3:3
  57. Be born of water and the spirit.
    Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. -- John 3:5
  58. Be spiritually minded.
    To be spiritually minded is life. -- Romans 8:6
  59. Believe Paul's gospel.
    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
  60. Listen to a preacher and call on whomever he tells you to believe in.
    How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? -- Romans 10:15
  61. Listen to Peter's words. (They will save you and your whole familiy!)
    Peter ... shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. Acts 11:13-14
  62. Believe and be baptized.
    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. -- Mark 16:16
  63. Just get baptized (you can keep the filth of the flesh).
    Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh). -- 1 Peter 3:21
  64. Have a contrite spirit.
    The LORD ... saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. -- Psalm 34:18
  65. Have the Son of God.
    God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. -- 1 John 5:11-12
  66. Don't be deluded by God.
    God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
  67. Don't be blinded by God.
    Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. ... God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. ... Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see. -- Romans 11:7-10
  68. Bear good fruit.
    Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. -- Matthew 7:19, Luke 3:9, 13:9
  69. Be graffed in.
    And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. -- Romans 11:23
  70. Be chosen, not just called.
    For many are called, but few are chosen. -- Matthew 22:14, 20:16
    God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  71. Be perfect.
    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. -- Matthew 5:48
  72. Be meek.
    When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. -- Psalm 76:9
    Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. -- Matthew 5:5
  73. Be washed by the Holy Ghost.
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. -- Titus 3:5
  74. Get your sins remitted by someone who has received the Holy Ghost. (Or who has been breathed on by Jesus)
    And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. -- John 20:22-23
  75. Be pure in heart.
    Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. -- Matthew 5:8
  76. Be upright in heart.
    My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. -- Psalm 7:10
  77. Be converted and become like a little child.
    Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. -- Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:15
  78. Be a saint.
    The LORD ... forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever.. -- Psalm 37:28
  79. Be a child of the needy.
    He shall save the children of the needy. -- Psalm 72:4
  80. Be persecuted for righteousness sake.
    Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. -- Matthew 5:10
  81. Be righteous.
    Righteousness delivereth from death. -- Proverbs 10:2, 11:4
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. -- Matthew 25:46
  82. Be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees.
    Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. -- Matthew 5:20
  83. Forsake all that you have.
    Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. -- Luke 14:33
  84. Hate your own life.
    The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25
  85. Lose your life.
    Whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. -- Luke 17:33
  86. Lose your life for Christ's sake.
    For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. -- Matthew 10:39, 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, 17:33
  87. Belong to a household that has at least one believer.
    And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. -- Acts 16:31
    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. -- 1 Corinthians 7:14
  88. Get saved by your spouse.
    For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? -- 1 Corinthians 7:16
  89. Get saved (or at least have your sins forgiven) by other people's faith.
    They come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy ... When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. Mark 2:3
  90. Follow the commandments (at least some of them).
    If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. -- Matthew 19:17-19
    And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? ... Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. -- Mark 10:17-19
    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life. -- Revelation 22:14
  91. Keep some of the commandments, give all your money to the poor, and follow Jesus.
    And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? ... Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. ...thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.-- Luke 18:18-22
  92. Keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
    Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. -- Revelation 14:12
  93. Do the commandments and teach others to do them.
    Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. -- Matthew 5:19
  94. Sow to the Spirit.
    He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. -- Galatians 6:8
  95. Endure to the end.
    He that endureth to the end shall be saved. -- Matthew 10:22, 24:13, Mark 13:13
  96. Give diligence.
    Give diligence to make your calling and election sure. -- 2 Peter 1:10
  97. Wait until you die and then have the Mormons baptize you (after you're dead).
    Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? -- 1 Corinthians 15:29
  98. Wait until you die and then hear the voice of the Son of God.
    The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. -- John 5:25
  99. Be faithful unto death.
    Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. -- Revelation 2:10
  100. Get buried with Jesus by being baptized into death.
    We are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. -- Romans 6:4-5
  101. Always wear a wedding garment.
    And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. -- Matthew 22:11-13
  102. Be worthy. (Don't get married. Married people don't go to heaven.)
    They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. -- Luke 20:35
  103. Have lots of babies (and be faithful, charitable, holy, and sober).
    And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. -- 1 Timothy 2:14-15
  104. Become a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven's sake.
    There be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. -- Matthew 19:12
  105. Don't defile yourself with women. (Be a virgin male.)
    ...the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. -- Revelation 14:4
  106. Don't love your family more than Jesus.
    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. -- Matthew 10:37
  107. Abandon your home and family for Jesus's name's sake.
    And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. -- Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30
  108. Hate your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and your own life.
    If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. -- Luke 14:26
  109. Don't hate your brother.
    Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. -- 1 John 3:15
  110. Ask your parents to beat you with a rod.
    Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. -- Proverbs 23:13-14
  111. Receive a child in the name of Jesus.
    Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me. -- Luke 9:48a, Matthew 18:5
  112. Receive a Christian.
    He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. -- Matthew 10:40
  113. Receive a prophet in the name of a prophet.
    He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. -- Matthew 10:41
  114. Receive a righteous man in the name of a righteous man.
    He that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. -- Matthew 10:41
  115. Receive the gift of eternal life from God through Jesus.
    The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Romans 6:23
  116. Don't despise government or walk after flesh.
    The Lord knoweth how ... to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. -- 2 Peter 2:9-10
  117. Don't resist the powers that be.
    Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. -- Romans 13:2
  118. Mortify the deeds of your body.
    If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. -- Romans 8:13
  119. Wash your wicked heart.
    Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. -- Jeremiah 4:14
  120. Wash your face and anoint your head when you fast.
    When thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. -- Matthew 6:17-18
  121. Heed yourself and the doctrine.
    Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. -- 1 Timothy 4:16
  122. Get saved by Jesus's name.
    Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [beside's Jesus's] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. -- Acts 4:12
  123. Get saved by God's name.
    Save me, O God, by thy name. -- Psalm 54:1
  124. Get saved by God's shining face.
    Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. -- Psalm 80:3, 7, 19
  125. Get saved by the angel of his presence.
    The angel of his presence saved them. -- Isaiah 63:9
  126. Don't doubt.
    He that doubteth is damned. -- Romans 14:23
  127. Don't fall away after you're saved.
    For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance. -- Hebrews 6:4-6
  128. Don't eat your own vomit.
    For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. -- 2 Peter 2:21-22
  129. Don't blaspheme the Holy Ghost
    He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. -- Mark 3:29, Matthew 12:31-32, Luke 12:10
  130. Don't let God make you wicked.
    The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. -- Proverbs 16:4
  131. Be converted from the error of your ways.
    Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death. -- James 5:20
  132. Turn yourself over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so your spirit may be saved. (For fornicators only.)
    It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you ... deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. -- 1 Corinthians 5:1-5
  133. Make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness.
    Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. Luke 16:9
  134. Make a feast for the poor, maimed, lame, and blind.
    But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:13-14:
  135. Be poor, maimed, halt, or blind.
    A certain man [God] made a great supper [heaven], and . . . said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind . . . that my house may be filled. Luke 14:16-23
  136. Be forced to go to heaven.
    The lord [God] said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house [heaven] may be filled. Luke 14:23
  137. Enter at the strait gate.
    Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. -- Luke 13:23-24
  138. Enter through the Jesus door.
    I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved. -- John 10:9
  139. Return and Rest.
    In returning and rest shall ye be saved. -- Isaiah 30:15
  140. Don't look back.
    Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. -- Luke 9:62
  141. Become a truth-telling child of God.
    Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. -- Isaiah 63:8
  142. Become an Israeli citizen.
    Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation. -- Isaiah 45:17
    And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. -- Romans 11:26
  143. Obtain mercy through Jewish unbelief.
    For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [Jewish] unbelief. -- Romans 11:30
    God hath concluded them [the Jews] all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. -- Romans 11:32
  144. Be an unbelieving Jew.
    Even so have these [Jews] also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. -- Romans 11:31
  145. Don't be a Jew.
    But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. -- Matthew 8:12
  146. Don't be a serpent or a viper, and make sure none of your ancestors were prophet killers.
    Ye are the children of them which killed the prophets ... Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? -- Matthew 23:31-33
  147. Don't be an unrighteous fornicator, idolater, adulterer, effeminate, thief, covetous, drunkard, reviler, extortioner, or an abuser of yourself with mankind.
    The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. -- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  148. Don't be fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murdering, whore mongering, a sorcerer, an idolater, or a liar.
    The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. -- Revelation 21:8
  149. Fear God.
    The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. -- Proverbs 14:27
  150. Fear God and work righteousness.
    He that feareth him [God], and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:35
  151. Fear God and cry a lot while praying.
    [Jesus] who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared. -- Hebrews 5:7
  152. Don't let your eye become evil.
    But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! -- Matthew 6:23
  153. Receive evil things.
    But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. -- Luke 15:25
  154. Pluck out your eye if it offends you.
    And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. -- Matthew 5:29-30, 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-49
  155. Cut off your right hand if it offends you.
    If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. -- Matthew 5:29-30, 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-49
  156. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
    Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. -- Matthew 6:4-5
  157. Be ordained to eternal life.
    As many as were ordained to eternal life believed. -- Acts 13:48
  158. Be drawn by by the Father.
    No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44
  159. Be elected by God before you're born.
    For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. -- Romans 9:11
    Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. -- 1 Thessalonians 1:4
  160. Don't be ashamed of Jesus.
    Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. -- Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26
  161. Don't let anyone see you do anything good.
    Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. -- Matthew 6:1
  162. Don't let anyone say anything nice about you.
    Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! -- Luke 6:26
  163. Don't love the world or the things in it.
    Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. -- 1 John 2:15
  164. Don't be a friend to the world.
    Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. -- James 4:4
  165. Be given by the Father and come to the Son.
    All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. -- John 6:37
  166. Come to the Father by Jesus.
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. -- John 14:6
  167. Be given by God to Jesus (or whatever).
    These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. -- John 17:1-2
  168. Be saved by Jesus's life (if you're a friend) or by his death (if you're an enemy).
    For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. -- Romans 5:10
  169. Don't get circumcised.
    Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing ... ye are fallen from grace. -- Galatians 5:2-4
  170. Be dead in your sins and uncircumcised flesh, and then let God quicken you with Christ.
    But God ... when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. -- Ephesians 2:4-5
  171. Be chosen from the beginning.
    But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13
    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. -- Colossians 2:13
  172. Be predestinated by God.
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate ... Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. -- Romans 8:29-30
    He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us ... according to the good pleasure of his will. -- Ephesians 1:4-5
  173. Give your excess food and clothes to the poor.
    The people asked him [John the Baptist], saying, What shall we do then? He answereth ... He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Luke 3:10-11
  174. Give half your goods to the poor and restore fourfold whatever you have taken falsely.
    Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house. Luke 19:8-9
  175. Be poor, not rich.
    He shall ... save the souls of the needy. -- Psalm 72:13
    Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. --Matthew 5:3
    Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. ... But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. -- Luke 6:20, 24
    Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. -- Matthew 19:23-24
    Ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. -- James 5:1
  176. Be poor in this world, be rich in faith, and love God.
    Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? -- James 2:5
  177. Be sad.
    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. -- Matthew 5:4
  178. Cry a lot.
    Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them. -- Psalm 107:13, 19
    Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. -- Luke 6:21
  179. Don't laugh.
    Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. -- Luke 6:25
  180. Be last.
    But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. -- Matthew 19:30, 20:16; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30
  181. Be least.
    He that is least among you all, the same shall be great. -- Luke 9:48b
  182. Eat the bread that comes down from heaven.
    This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. -- John 6:50
  183. Eat Jesus's body and drink his blood.
    Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. -- John 6:53-54
  184. Have faith in Jesus's  blood.
    God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood. -- Romans 3:25
  185. Be saved and justified by Jesus's blood.
    Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. -- Romans 5:9
  186. Make people revile you, persecute you, hate you, avoid you, say bad things about you, and call you names for Jesus's sake.
    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. -- Matthew 5:11
    Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven. -- Luke 6:22-23
  187. Follow peace and holiness with all men.
    Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. -- Hebrews 12:14
  188. Take heaven by force.
    From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12
  189. Believe in the foolishness of preaching.
    For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. -- 1 Corinthians 1:21
  190. Be innocent.
    He [God] shall deliver the island of the innocent. -- Job 22:30
  191. Give alms to the poor. (May only work for Catholics.)
    Alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness. -- Tobit 4:11
  192. Give a cup of water to a Christian.
    For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. -- Matthew 10:42, Mark 9:41
  193. Love Christians.
    We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. -- 1 John 3:14
  194. Love your enemies, do good to them, and give them lots of money.
    But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. -- Luke 6:35, Matthew 5:44-45
  195. Love God and your neighbor.
    He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. -- Luke 10:26-28
  196. Be a peacemaker.
    Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. -- Matthew 5:9
  197. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned.
    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. -- Matthew 25:34-36
  198. Be merciful.
    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. -- Matthew 5:7
    For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. -- James 2:13

  199. Forgive people.
    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

  200. Don't judge.
    Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. -- Matthew 7:1, Luke 6:37

  201. Be humble.
    He [God] shall save the humble person. -- Job 22:29
    Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. -- Matthew 7:1
    He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. -- Luke 14:11
  202. Love the truth.
    And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:10
  203. Do good. Avoid evil.
    Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. -- Psalm 37:27
  204. Don't pray in public.
    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. -- Matthew 6:5
  205. Enter the Kingdom of God (It's within you)
    The kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21
  206. Be saved by other people's unbelief.
    (You can have some of mine; I've got plenty.)
    For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief. -- Romans 11:30
  207. Just ask.
    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. -- Matthew 7:7-8
  208. All you need is love.
    Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God. -- 1 John 4:7
    Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much. -- Luke 7:47


125 comments:

Jake3988 said...

I've had a special fondness for the absurity of this verse since I saw it on godisimaginary website:

Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. -- Matthew 18:3

How the hell does one 'become like little children'?!

Chris said...

It's gotta be childbirth (with some conditions)!

1Timothy 2:15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty

Sekais said...

I think they mean becoming childlike in mindset, ie. naïve and unquestioning. Not a particularly good message if you ask me, but oh well.

Jake3988 said...

Nice! Good one Chris!

Actually, Steve already has that one, but cuts the verse off. I actually like (for laughing purposes) the rest of the verse because if the child isn't fully faithful and loving the deal is off.

godisajokeDOTcom said...

Good stuff, Steve. Now do a list of the ways you can lose your ticket to heaven.
That list would be longer. Here is one to get you started:

Don't put your money in the church offering basket when it comes around:

Mat 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Robert said...

Hi there Steve,
I can answer your question on what is necessary to be saved. There are a lot of things you have wrong in your article/post. Here is the link to a blog that I have just set up www.getyourselfsaved.com you can download the free Ebook or just read from the site. That should straighten out any confusion you have.
I am thoroughly impressed though with your Biblical research, well done indeed for that.
As you know (and quoted Matthew 7:7b) in your post, "seek, and ye shall find;" it is heartwarming to know that although your present Biblical spectacles are glaringly smudged with anger, that you respect and have enough interest in God's Word, enough to devote so much of your life to it with this blog.
It would be a shame if you didn't give those spectacles a smear clean now and then and see what the true message of God really is and how easy it is to accept His free offer.
Please feel free to totally ridicule my book and comments on your blog.
May God speedily Bless You with better sight.
Robert.

Jeff said...

#29 - be a member of a saved person's household.

Acts 16:31

The Philippian jailer asks, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” To which Paul and Silas respond, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.”

This is reiterated again in 1 Cor 7:14.

Steve Wells said...

Chris and Jake,

Thanks for pointing out the conditions for getting saved by having babies in 1 Tim.2:14-15. I've added them to the making babies method of salvation. (Sorry it took me three years to get around to it!)

Steve Wells said...

Good one Jeff!

I've added it to the list.

sconnor said...

Here's one Steve,

Luke 10:25-28 (Contemporary English Version)

The Good Samaritan

An expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Jesus a question to see what he would say. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to have eternal life?"

Jesus answered, "What is written in the Scriptures? How do you understand them?"

The man replied, "The Scriptures say, `Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.' They also say, `Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.' "

Jesus said, "You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life."

--S.

Steve Wells said...

Thanks sconnor.

But isn't that #49?

sconnor said...

But isn't that #49?

Oh, man -- I read through your list twice! How did I miss it? Der.............

Cristiano SamZZ said...

Hi Steve. I hope you don't mind, but I translated your post to portuguese in my blog. I gave you due credit, of course.

I guess in 1 Corinthians 1:21 there is another way to be saved, if you believe in the "foolishness of preaching":

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Steve Wells said...

Thanks Christiano. That's a good one!

I've added it to the list.

Misty said...

My absolute favorite Bible verse seems to say that you don't actually need to deal with the question of salvation, as long as you don't make any promises to God that you will be good enough for salvation. Deuteronomy 23:21-23 says "When you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not put off its fulfillment; otherwise the Lord your God will require satisfaction from you and you will be guilty of sin. If you choose not to make a vow, you will not be guilty of sin; but if you voluntarily make a vow to the Lord your God, mind what you say and do what you have promised." (REB translation) Nice little loophole God left, huh? Just don't make any vows to God, and you're home clear; he won't expect you to keep any promises, and you won't be guilty of sin! Forget the question of salvation; just don't promise to be good enough to be worthy of it, and God won't expect it. No contract, nothing to breech, no unrealistic expectations, it's all good. Even us atheists can keep that verse!

Scotlyn said...

I am greatly enjoying your statistical tracking of divine anthropocidal events. Please keep it up!

Just de-lurking to offer two teensy-weensy gramatical niggles. No#29 - either "after your death" or "after you're dead" would both be more correct than "after your dead". No#36 - "strait" is not an old-fashioned spelling of "straight" - it is, in fact, a different archaic word meaning "narrow." We still use the word in a maritime sense - eg. the "Straits of Magellan".

Sorry to come over all school-marmish...if you've read "Eats, shoots and leaves" you'll know where the impulse comes from. :)

Steve Wells said...

Thanks, Scotlyn, for the corrections!

matt311 said...

Scotlyn, you're not alone; it's because of that book that I became a grammar stickler.

Steve, I might be a little hazy on this, but isn't there something on how to be "saved" in the Book of Revelation? I'm not sure, but I'm just throwing it out there.

John B Hodges said...

I have an essay at
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/JesusEthics.htm
that people here may like. I went through the four gospels and collected everything Jesus says about what we should DO. It's quite a list. And it's very important, because Jesus says we have to DO as he says to enter Heaven. From the essay:

What might disqualify you? What would keep you OUT of Heaven? To start with, failing to follow Jesus' teachings. Matthew Chapter 7: (also Luke chapter 6)
24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; 27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

Giant Hogweed said...

Misty,

Thanks for the Deuteronomy verses. They're a great compliment to Judges 11:28-40. Most believers who defend this story claim that god doesn't ask for or demand that Jephthah sacrifice his daughter. But, per your Deutoronomy citation, since Jephthah made his vow to god to sacrifice "something" in exchange for success in battle, J would have been guilty of sin had he not followed through. I mean, under those circumstances, who wouldn't gut their daughter and burn her body and entrails on an altar to "create a pleasing scent unto the lord"?

Starsplash said...

I am really enjoying you peoples naivete......fabulous.

slkj said...

So making babies saves you? Lol, I've always thought the Bible was too cruel to women but God does give them a bit more privilege that men don't have.

Andy said...

I never knew this kind of site exists, but I was greatly amused when I came across it.. to say the least, the author has indeed done a great deal of research - and indeed impressive research at that! You even surpass the research done by most of the "professing" Christians, I think.

This is what happens to ANYONE who reads the Bible and PULL OUT ANY CONCEPT based on what is written... the Bible does hold a lot of facts, and mindboggling at most, such that MERELY reading through it without careful and CONTEXTUAL UNDERSTANDING could result to incoherent ideas. I do not say that these are incorrect interpretations, but rather, INCOMPLETE. It's like feeling the tail of an elephant and concluding the elephant is like a snake!

My suggestion therefore is to really GET UNDERSTANDING and WISDOM by connecting these seemingly incoherent principles and you might be surprised at the simplicity of The Message...

Jesus intended everyone to be saved, but He chose to present His Teachings in manners which "seem" too hard to understand because there is more to the stories than what He taught then - the morals and lessons from those teachings transcend literal interpretation that even today, those facts are still applicable. This is why the Bible is a Living Book, and still amazes me...

TO the Author, just continue with your study, this is a good start... but I also suggest you listen to someone who is eager to share to you the simple way of salvation.. for it is only "by hearing of the Word of God" that you receive the gift faith that will bridge the Way of Salvation being preached by Christ...

sconnor said...

andy,

He chose to present His Teachings in manners which "seem" too hard to understand...the morals and lessons from those teachings transcend literal interpretation...This is why the Bible is a Living Book, and still amazes me...

The bible is a hodgepodge of ideas; a virtual grab-bag, where anyone can pick and choose, making it mean whatever they want it to mean, so they can support any deluded agenda they want.

...but I also suggest you listen to someone who is eager to share to you the simple way of salvation.. for it is only "by hearing of the Word of God" that you receive the gift faith that will bridge the Way of Salvation being preached by Christ...

...Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo.

The Christian’s Delusion Of Salvation

God -- who so loved the WORLD and wanted to save everyone -- initiated a plan, of restoration, by sending his son, to be tortured, crucified and sacrificed, to save humanity. Sinful, imperfect fallible humanity -- who couldn't possibly save themselves -- in the end, must pick someones interpretation from a book 9that is difficult to understand) on how one is supposedly saved and accept and believe in Jesus etc., so they can have eternal life and yet, the other 70% of the world -- at this moment in time -- are other religions, the non-religious, or unbelievers, who are not bible-believing Christians. Didn't God consider his other earthly children, when he put his feeble, plan into action? The other 30% of christians who are supposedly saved, are further reduced to even a smaller minority because presumably there are certain criterion that only certain True Christians™ follow -- like Andy. Andy knows the real way someone is saved -- he has the one true way to salvation.

Looks like Jesus' torturous, sacrifice was futile. God's inept, plan is incapable of saving everyone and hinges on the fallible imperfect human beings who couldn't save themselves, in the first place. God’s plan -- in using a spurious book with hard to decipher directions for salvation -- is tragically flawed, wholly inadequate and morbidly negligent. The number of lost souls, who will be tortured in the flames of hell for an eternity is monumentally, mind-blowing.

Your god is imaginary.

You do NOT know god's will or character.

You don't have any special information that we don't already possess.

You have simply fabricated an insanely and fantastic, massive delusion by idiosyncratically interpreting the superstitious, spurious words of scripture, and constructing an imaginary god-character by offering bloated rationalizations from the confines of your limited imagination.

You are an absolute loon!

--S.

teavee said...

How about these which talk about avoiding death?

Proverbs 10:2 "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death."
Proverbs 11:4 "Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death."
Proverbs 13:14 "The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."
Proverbs 14:27 "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."
John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Hebrews 5:7 "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;"

And these?

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
1 John 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."

teavee said...

How about this one?

Be dead in your sins and then get "quickened" :

Ephesians 2:1,4-5 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; ... But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"

Colossians 2:13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"

Steve Wells said...

Thanks, teavee! I've added them to the list.

I bet there's another hundred ways to get saved waiting to be discovered.

teavee said...

Maybe not a hundred, but a here are a some more to consider.

Have your multitude of sins hidden by being converted by someone from the error of your way.
James 5:20 "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

Get buried with Jesus by being baptized into death. Get planted together with others in the likeness of Jesus' death.
Romans 6:4-5 "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"

"Don't love the world or things in it" seems to be a requirement for salvation.
1 John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Do God's will.
1 John 2:17 "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

"Be faithful unto death" will get you a life crown supposedly representing salvation.
Revelation 2:10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

This harsh and somewhat ironic verse from the OT seems a little out of place by mentioning not dieing and delivering a soul from hell which is very similar to NT salvation. But it seems it should be included. I'm not sure how to take "shall not die". Earthly or afterlife?
As a child be corrected by rod beatings.
Proverbs 23:13-14 "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."

I'm not sure if this would count. I'm not sure exactly what "yielding your members as instruments of (un)righteousness" means. It says do like but doesn't exactly say you will be like those alive from the dead but it certainly seems to suggest it. And being "alive from the dead" seems to suggest salvation.

Romans 6:13 "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

teavee said...

Maybe not a hundred, but a here are a some more to consider.

Have your multitude of sins hidden by being converted by someone from the error of your way.
James 5:20 "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

Get buried with Jesus by being baptized into death. Get planted together with others in the likeness of Jesus' death.
Romans 6:4-5 "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"

"Don't love the world or things in it" seems to be a requirement for salvation.
1 John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Do God's will.
1 John 2:17 "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

teavee said...

And a few more.

"Be faithful unto death" will get you a life crown supposedly representing salvation.
Revelation 2:10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

This harsh and somewhat ironic verse from the OT seems a little out of place by mentioning not dieing and delivering a soul from hell which is very similar to NT salvation. But it seems it should be included. I'm not sure how to take "shall not die". Earthly or afterlife?
As a child be corrected by rod beatings.
Proverbs 23:13-14 "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."

I'm not sure if this would count. I'm not sure exactly what "yielding your members as instruments of (un)righteousness" means. It says do like but doesn't exactly say you will be like those alive from the dead but it certainly seems to suggest it. And being "alive from the dead" seems to suggest salvation.

Romans 6:13 "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

teavee said...

Sorry for the multiple post. My last two of the three can be deleted being they are the same as the first.

teavee said...

Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." could be added to 37 and 107, perhaps just the verse reference.

teavee said...

Misty points out (and Giant Hogweed later comments on) how not fulfilling your voluntary vow promptly is a sin (Deut 23:21-23). I too can't help but think of poor Jephthah vowing to sacrifice his poor daughter via an involuntary vow he made when the "Spirit of God" came upon him, although the "spirit" part in the vow is disputed by Christians. He was either crazy, or couldn't help it if God was messing with his mind.

But Jephthah at least (freely?) lets his daughter have two months, thus postponing the sacrifice he easily could have made right after returning home. Did he sin according to Deuteronomy? It's not pointed out as such when Jephthah is mentioned and praised later in Heb 11:32-34. Perhaps this is a contradiction to be listed at SAB.

Steve Wells said...

OK teavee, I think I've added your suggestions. They were great! Thanks.

Except for Romans 6:13, that is. I'd like to add that one, though, as "Use your members as instruments of righteousness." (That's how I always use my member.) But it looks like Paul is talking to people that are already saved and is just telling them what to do with their members. But maybe I'm misinterpreting.

teavee said...

Yes. It seems Paul is talking to those already saved and can't lose their bestowed grace (Rom 6:6-7,9,14,17-18,22,23) but it seems Paul also talks to them as if they could choose to lose their grace or they still have to be careful not to lose it (Rom 6:11,12,13,15,16,19). You would think once you're truly saved you would not need someone to tell you how saved you should think yourself to be (as 11 suggests), you would just know or at least have an unwavering belief. Perhaps there is something here that could be added to the "fall from grace" contradiction at SAB.

teavee said...

A few more to consider.

Walk worthy of God when called upon.
1 Th 2:12 "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory."

Be called with a holy calling according to God's purpose and grace given in Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:9
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"

Be a chosen elect and get shortened days.
Mark 13:20 "And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days."

Be added to a church by God because you should be saved.
Acts 2:47 "... And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Be given by God to Jesus.
John 17:2 "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

skanksta said...

I am in awe of the bible knowledge of you guys !

teavee said...

Matthew 25:46 "... but the righteous to eternal life." can be added to "54. Be righteous".

Steve Wells said...

Added Matthew 25:46. Thanks teavee.

teavee said...

Move 138b to 131.

Steve Wells said...

Thanks again, teavee. I've moved it.

Steve Wells said...

teavee sent me another 25 or so ways to get saved. (Thanks teavee!)

Now no one can have any excuse if they end up burning forever in hell. With 166+ ways to get saved, there's bound to be one for everyone.

Xaratherus said...

What I've always found humorous is that you could talk to five different "Christians", and get five different answers as to how you can be "saved".

I guess this explains their confusion...

Marisa said...

Cherry picking and taking things out of context at its best. Bravo. Now, use an accurate translation, learn the original languages, or learn from someone who already knows them, and study the context and history. Then try again.

Steve Wells said...

Out of context, eh Marisa?

Well, why not take a few and put them back into their proper context for us? I'm sure they'll sound better and make more sense in their original languages and whatnot.

Exploring the Unknowable said...

So, Marisa, I guess people have to master koine Greek, Aramaic, ancient Hebrew, Coptic, Aramaic and Latin to be able to understand the Scriptures properly. So why is it so many people WHO DO understand these languages think the Bible is full of shit???

Also, if it takes such linguistic acumen to understand the Bible and get saved, then how are all those midwesterners who don't even know basic facts about physics, geology, astronomy, and history can all be saved?

agema-makedonin said...

Don't forget 1 Corinthians 5:5

Just have to throw the flash to Satan so the spirit be saved on the day of the lord.

Steve Wells said...

agema-makedonin,

I think 1 Cor 5.5 is covered in #106, isn't it?

agema-makedonin said...

Hi Steve, I guess it is #107, sorry to bother you.

Anyways, do you know this book:
http://www.godweb.org/fosdickguide.htm

It is a interesting read. Explains alot of those contradictions that you have gathered. Yahweh seems to be a diety that evolved as any other diety.

Nothing wrong with that for a normal person, not for a inerrantists.

Kind regards.

wentworth said...

jake3988: Jesus was using something called metaphor...children are inncent, not capable of sin, and that is what we should go back to being.
-
While I understand one can make fun here and there, wouldn't you agree that 99% of this advice is worthwhile to follow, whether one is Christian or not?
-
BTW, Steve, impressive work and blog, raising good questions.

wentworth said...

Just food for thought: I'm the first to admit there is a lot of insanity related to religion and christianity. I love Bill Maher's movie Irreligulous and highly recommend it. But just because most people are stupid in their interpretation of Christianity doesn't mean Christianity is stupid, just that most people are stupid. What I'm getting at is consider Mother Theresa...there is someone who truly understood Christianity. And, in fact, I'd say the Dalai Lama is more christian than many Christians. And I recommend Joel Osteen, he really is a sincere guy, not perfect but sincere.

therapon8 said...

To me it always seem skeptics don't understand certain things in the Bible because they take it at face value and don't look at the real message within it. Like when the Bible says it will deliver someone from death by being righteous, it does not mean you will NEVER see death. But you'll never spiritually die.

deanna said...

There is only one way to be saved to believe in Jesus Christ the son of God who died on the cross for your sins...no other way.

Tony said...

Interesting that Deanna doesn't read the whole bible.

The Pathway Machine said...

The amount of trouble you atheist will go to mock someone elses belief. Does it surprise me? I guess not because I would go as far to mock your beliefs. I find myself having to make some sort of logical justification for doing so and the jest of it amounts to a sort of intellectual abscence. You strip away the polish and you can no longer see your cultural nemisis reflection.

Each of the 173 points you, the skeptical army have made falls short with the very simple preface your interpretation ascribes to.

There is nothing you can do to get saved. It is an undeserved kindness, or as the "Christians" say - without having the sense about them - grace.

Somewhere . . . out there . . . I like to think there is someone who can see beyond their beliefs. And I know that you like to think you have only facts, but in this you deviate not one wit from those oppose.

Like I posted on my website, The Pathway Machine, somewhere . . . people, whether they believe or they don't believe, do in fact believe, what they want to believe.

Stephen said...

I just looked at the link "Fundamentalist, born-again Christians love to say..."

Arrrgghhh!! The Stupid... it BURNS!
Steve Weeks

YS said...

Many of these things are little rivets off the main idea of Salvation through Christ

The points about judgement according to works.
1. you have to accept Christ and you will be saved
2. do good works after receiving Christ and you will be rewarded for them

basically, to go to heaven you only need to Accept Christ as Savior.
Everything you do after will add or detract from further blessings.
But you're still saved.

I tried to read all of them but I feel like you twisted many of them a bit absurdly.

For example: The hungry one is not God saying "starve thyself so thee can go to heaven". It means to not fill yourself with food or other worldly goods so you think you have no other needs because your biggest need is Christ. And that is what you should fill yourself with...So in the end it narrows down to believing in Christ.

I've read some of your blog and I have to admit you do have good points that are hard to argue. In the end it is my choice to accept through faith what I cannot understand.
I fully accept you don't have to make that choice. I'm not saying to. And I will not condemn you to Hell. Not my place.
However this post stretched things a bit too far...

teavee said...

Here are some I found a while back that could be considered.

Do nothing. Christ will undo what Adam did for everyone.
1Cor 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

Make a feast for the poor, maimed, lame, and blind.
Luke 14:13-14 "But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."

Love a lot to have your many sins forgiven.
Luke 7:47 "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."

Have the Son of God.
1 John 5:11-12 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

Seek God and don't forsake him.
1 Chron 28:9 "...for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."


Give diligence to added abounding qualities to make your calling and election certain. (This is a long one.)

2 Peter 1:5-11 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ"

Stephen said...

For a moment there I thought you had pushed a really hot button there, Steve. I mean, 58 comments on the very day of posting! Then I see they're all (but one) at least four months old. I wish I had as much biblical familiarity as most of those posters, though... for me, sadly, this is mostly a "spectator sport". I enjoy it, though!
BTW, have you ever gotten your smeared biblical spectacles cleaned as Robert suggested in '09?
(I know the answer!)
Happy Holidays to you and everyone else.
Steve Weeks

cafeproz said...

I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to agree with YS... there is a lot of distortions and misrepresentation of the scriptures.

Belief is irrelevant, just plain fair minded reading would weed out a majority of the zillion ways listed.

The are valid points to be made in that arena but if I were you i'd go for quality points

Pithikodolofono said...

you're all ignorant of the truth.
The cross is foolishness to you.
This isn't hard to understand, when you really look at what it is saying.

Stephen said...

OpenID cafeproz said...

"Belief is irrelevant, just plain fair minded reading would weed out a majority of the zillion ways listed."

In other words, you apply your own standards of interpretation, rather than going by the word itself.


Blogger Pithikodolofono said...

"you're all ignorant of the truth.
The cross is foolishness to you.
This isn't hard to understand, when you really look at what it is saying."

Oh, please enlighten me. I've had my ear to the cross for hours, but I can't see anything.
Steve Weeks

Pithikodolofono said...

Then you are lost.
This whole view is skewed.
How can I understand it yet unbelievers on this page don't?
What's so hard???

Stephen said...

Blogger Pithikodolofono said...

"Then you are lost.
This whole view is skewed.
How can I understand it yet unbelievers on this page don't?
What's so hard???"

Oh, noes! I is lost!
Seriously, can you offer any explanation other than this gibberish?
Steve Weeks

Sophie said...

Epic -- thanks for putting this together!

Pithikodolofono said...

Whatever man, this is not a joke.

Stephen said...

Blogger Pithikodolofono said...

"Whatever man, this is not a joke."

>>crickets<<
Steve Weeks

Pithikodolofono said...

Seriously?

Cujo600 said...

The post with the "194 ways to get yourself saved" could have been written only out of intellectual ignorance and mindless atheistic intolerance.

Tony said...

Cujo doesn't read his bible either, it seems. He probably thinks salvation is by grace alone and will thus likely burn in hell for ignoring the other 193 ways.

I just wonder why he hates the Lord so much?

Aquaria said...

What I'm getting at is consider Mother Theresa...there is someone who truly understood Christianity.

If you meant that it wants you to suffer and be denied pain medication and take money from corrupt dictators to fund abusing people--

Hey--Your'e right! She truly did understand christardery!

And, in fact, I'd say the Dalai Lama is more christian than many Christians.

You're defining christian in a silly way, then. christian != good. Far from it.

And I recommend Joel Osteen, he really is a sincere guy, not perfect but sincere.

Being sincere about stupidity, avarice and dishonesty isn't something to be proud of.

Aquaria said...

The amount of trouble you atheist will go to mock someone elses belief.

It's because so many of your christers go to the trouble of shoving your beliefs in our face all the time. Stop bothering us with it and stop trying to force your Bronze Age bag of stupid into our government and public schools and we'll be quite happy to stop mocking you for believing in such stupid things, m'kay?

Does it surprise me?

Of course it doesn't. christers are always primed to have hissy fits over people pointing out the truth about them. Why would you be an exception to that?

I guess not because I would go as far to mock your beliefs.

We don't haw any. That's the beauty of atheism. We don't believe in imaginary things.

But if you want to make fun of reality, like that the earth doesn't go around the sun, go ahead and make a fool of yourself that way.

I find myself having to make some sort of logical justification for doing so

Try. It would amuse me.

and the jest of it amounts to a sort of intellectual abscence.

Well, at least you're aware of your deficiencies.

You strip away the polish and you can no longer see your cultural nemisis reflection.

Polishing is what christers do. As in polishing a turd. Do keep up.

The rest isn't worth addressing, unless one wants to address the word salad babbling of a two-year-old who can't get his way at everything. But then, that's what so many of you christers excel at.


Here. Have a mint.

Aquaria said...

To me it always seem skeptics don't understand certain things in the Bible because they take it at face value and don't look at the real message within it.

There is no message in it. That's what you don't get.

Like when the Bible says it will deliver someone from death by being righteous, it does not mean you will NEVER see death. But you'll never spiritually die.

You have zero evidence of this. Asserting things for which you have no evidence is commonly known as lying.

I can't speak for everyone else, but I'll warn you that I don't take kindly to being lied to. It shows a despicable lack of respect for people who haven't let their brains be poisoned by your disgusting delusion.

You might want to start over, and consider how dishonest you sound when you make up crap like your ignorant assertion of "spiritual" anything with ZERO to back it up.

And, no, your genocidal scumbag manual doesn't count as evidence.

Welcome to reality.

Aquaria said...

The cross is foolishness to you.

Why, thank you for getting that point!

Now do you understand why it is foolish to us?

Bonus points if you can do it without ad hominem.

This isn't hard to understand, when you really look at what it is saying.

It's not saying anything. That's what you don't get.

josephbarrett said...

What you fail to grasp is that for Christians they have a real relationship with the living God . Not a God you have to go to Mecca or some other place to find , but a God that has come to us with his hand out offering a relationship with us . see Revelation 3 : 20
I do not base my relationship on what I have read in the Bible it just reinforces the real relationship I share with God. I had an encounter with God about 10 years ago when people were praying for me when I was overcome by the most amazing feeling of pure love I've ever encountered in my life . I have had many beautiful moments of love , even lust and even euphoria of different drugs but they were nothing in comparison to that feeling of love I felt that night . Prior to that I was very similar to many of you who had heard of God , maybe read a little about him as a child or had some knowledge of him, however I knew only of him ( mostly I did not like him for the things I had endured and seen around me in the world ) but from that time onwards I began to know of him.
I do not have to defend the Bible because still at times some of it I don't fully comprehend ,but, I can testify to you all that God is alive and his main desire for your life is to be reconciled to friendship with him . I challenge all who read this to simply pray this prayer for 10 days as though it was youre very life that depended on it .
" Dear God , I do not know you in any personal way , shape or form . God I actually doubt or dismiss you to be real in my life or this universe. God I am prepared to believe, to believe in you and turn from these beliefs if you will show to me in my life that you are real. God if it does turn out to be true that you are alive and would like a personal relationship with me God , than God I am sorry"
If you will earnestly pray that prayer over 10 days as often as you have a private moment either out loud or within yourself than I will assure you that your beliefs shall surely be resurrected . All the best Joe

Tony said...

Thanks josephbarrett, that's just great. If god truly wants to be my friend he'll take me aside and say "it's ok if you don't believe in me, that's cool, I won't torture you in hell for eternity. Now, where's the beer?"

Friends don't burn friends in hell for eternity. Not even facebook friends.

Cujo600 said...

Tony said..."Cujo doesn't read his bible either, it seems. He probably thinks salvation is by grace alone and will thus likely burn in hell for ignoring the other 193 ways.

I just wonder why he hates the Lord so much?"

You really think that this is a logical conclusion? Why don't you get an elementary education before you start giving us your senseless opinions based on your mindless ignorance.

Cujo600 said...

Tony said..."Thanks josephbarrett, that's just great. If god truly wants to be my friend he'll take me aside and say "it's ok if you don't believe in me, that's cool, I won't torture you in hell for eternity. Now, where's the beer?"

Friends don't burn friends in hell for eternity. Not even facebook friends."

Maybe in your world that makes sense, but if you tried applying that logic to someone who has committed a crime and for the state to say - it's cool, no hard feelings, you probably wouldn't see your logic have as much sense. Moreover, God has made it abundantly clear that He will not tell you that it's ok, so just keep thinking that you'll get away - it's your only chance, and it's not a very good one, my ignorant friend.

John B Hodges said...

abilderv To Cujo600, and others of that kind, I have written a letter, which can be found here:
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/open-letter-to-the-saved

That will (I hope) inspire you to check out for yourself what Jesus is reported to have said, about who will and will not be saved. I dare you do do what I have done, and read through the four gospels with a notebook and pen, looking for Jesus' instructions to his followers. My findings are here:
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

Even assuming that the Gospels are true, you really don't have grounds to be smug.

Stephen said...

Someone finished his Kool-Aid!
Steve Weeks

josephbarrett said...
"What you fail to grasp is that for Christians they have a real relationship with the living God . Not a God you have to go to Mecca or some other place to find , but a God that has come to us with his hand out offering a relationship with us . see Revelation 3 : 20 "
... and so forth.

Carlos Bosque said...

Zephaniah 2:3 I can't quote because my bible it's in Spanish but the message is look for god and maybe he will save you. Regardless of how much you do to be save, according to the bible, your salvation it's not guaranteed. God makes the last call and as far as I know his choices hasn't be quite good at all

Mark said...

How little you know or understand. You are like a ignorant child who picks up two pieces of a jig saw puzzle, and because they are different colors, you say they do not fit together and therefor must be a contradiction. You do not realize there is more than meets the eye than what you can see on one piece of the puzzle. You carelessly ignore the fact that there is a bigger picture that was created by someone far greater than yourself. What you pass of as contradictions and foolishness is the only thing which can save your soul.

Carlos Bosque said...

@Mark Im curious to know, what are the facts and the bigger picture that we the children are missing? We need convincing evidence of these facts that you claim, you have to understand that you must give details like we the children have done, before we can take your comments seriously.

G said...

Oh the joy, the revulsion and the frustration of reading this blog and the various responses. Some of the exchanges here are rather like listening to scientists trying to explain quantum physics to sheep. One thing's for sure - if heaven is so chock-full of such prejudiced and ignorant simpletons (yep - I'm talking about you, dumb-ass christian), then I simply do not want to go there thanks all the same...

Love Bomb said...

Steve you are my hero. One of the xtian lies is, you are saved by gods grace alone and nothing you can do will lead to salvation and basically, no matter who you are you deserve to be fried for eternity because of the sins of Adam and Eve. No justice, no compassion no real forgiveness. As far as i can see (without a sanitized interpretation) God is a dick. I wouldn't turn to that asshole if the whole "word of god" were true and I new it. It would be morally repugnant.

Robert Lambert said...

The Scripture totally agrees with you on this! (1 Corinthians 1:18)

bob said...

Everthing in Scripture, from Genesis to Reveation, that relates to salvation is summarized by Ephesians 2:8-9.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast."

Steve Wells said...

Everthing in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, that relates to salvation is summarized by Ephesians 2:8-9.

Really, Bob? Even Malachi 2:3?

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces."

Oh, and Ezekiel 23:20?

"For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."

Yeah, I can see Ephesians 2:8-9 in those verses.

And then, of course, there's this from Luther's "epistle of straw":

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14

Your faith can't save you, Bob. God's going to spread dung on your face. Sorry about that.

Stephen said...

But... Steve, it's **God's** dung!
And, if spreading you up with it is part of his Plan, don't you think that's a good thing? Troo Believers (TM) would line up for that treatment, then lick their lips!
Steve Weeks

bob said...

“Really, Bob? Even Malachi 2:3?”

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces."

Oh, and Ezekiel 23:20?

"For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."

Part of my statement says “that relates to salvation”

Malachi 2:3 is talking about corrupt priests, and Ezekiel 23:20 is talking about Israel’s idolatry and corruption.

“Yeah, I can see Ephesians 2:8-9 in those verses.

And then, of course, there's this from Luther's "epistle of straw":

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14

Your faith can't save you, Bob. God's going to spread dung on your face. Sorry about that.”

Steve and Stephen, you are stumbling around in the dark. You have the Law, the Gospel and many other things in the Scriptures all mixed together in confusion.

Here is what the Scriptures are actually saying in regard to salvation.

Beginning with the actual purpose of the Law or commandments:

The main purpose of the law (commandments), besides trying obeying it, is to bring to light our thoughts, intentions and true condition.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

In this respect it is the job of the law in God’s word to corner us with no means of escape; it is there to apprehend us. It is the heavy handed arresting officer, severe judge and merciless jailer all rolled into one. It is there to get our attention and shine a light on what we are doing wrong and to reveal our condition to us, while at the same time executing judgement on all our excuses.

“The [human] heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.

But then grace – which works in partnership with the law, is the next step in the process (via heart felt remorse and repentance) that follows after we have been convicted by the law – will come and bail us out, and begin to change us from within, through the Holy Spirit.
This is what is meant by ‘born again,’ that is, becoming a new and changed person:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2Corinthians 5:17

Renewed:
The pot cannot remodel itself; only the Potter has this power. The patient cannot operate on their own heart; that work belongs to the Surgeon, and so everything happens at God’s pace and timing, since he alone knows what is specifically going on with each individual...

“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind.” Jeremiah 17:10.

...and how to affect repairs and change in them. We just need to be the quiet patient and let the Physician do his work.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Mark 2:17

continued...

bob said...

The difference between the law and grace:

Understanding the difference between the Law and Grace and their individual purpose – and that the Law [commandments] must come first to convict us and to alert us to our condition...

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

...so that Grace can then rescue us – is the biggest and most important key to understanding the whole purpose for God’s word and how it works.

This is the main sticking point that the world has when trying to grasp the real meaning of and the overall reason for the Bible’s message, that being:

A Righteous, Holy Creator and Judge, an infinite God of infinite justice, cannot but require an overall account of and reckoning for sin and crime.

But, he has provided a means of escape from this reckoning and punishment through sacrificing himself in our place. The price of redemption, which is infinitely beyond our means, could only have been paid for by an infinite God with infinite means (which exposes the folly of trying to gain salvation through works).

The laws’ job is to drive us to despair (by exposing our burden of sin) and cause us to flee to the peace and tranquillity of his grace.

“Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28.

This is God’s system of rescue; he has provided no other way.

But if we keep arguing and struggling with the commands, we cannot be changed because we are still stuck in the first part of the process; and so we only go around in circles with a tortured conscience.

Conclusion:
The law is an enormous mountain about to fall on our heads, accompanied by the thunder and lightning of God’s anger and judgement.

Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly… Now all the people witnessed the thundering’s, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. Exodus 19:18; 20:18

But grace, obtained through faith in the Son, is the calm spring meadow of God’s favour and kindness.

The commandments, or law, point out our crimes/sins and prove the need for grace, so the law and grace are two separate institutions which have separate functions but which work together in God’s service for our good.

“The Law was given, in order that we might seek after grace. Grace was given, in order that we might fulfil the Law. It was not the fault of the Law that it was not fulfilled, but the fault was man’s carnal mind. This guilt the Law must make manifest, in order that we may be healed by divine grace.” St. Augustine.

continued...

bob said...

The fact that God himself had to make atonement FOR us demonstrates the seriousness of our condition, and that scratching at the debt with good deeds (even to all eternity) will not even put a tiny dent in it. And the notion that God ‘owes us’ for our good works, is trying to make him our servant. God owes us nothing; he does because he desires to do, for free, not because he has to.

“For God so LOVED the world that he GAVE his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

John 3:16 plainly states that we are not to put our hope and confidence in good deeds or works, but in Christ alone, and that we should be saved NOW rather than after a lifetime of drudgery, pain and misery in order to gain credit with God; he wants to give us salvation NOW, BEFORE Judgement day. Judgement day will be too late to receive forgiveness; the door will be closed.

And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

Judgement day is judgement day; it is not judgement and forgiveness day.
Forgiveness day is right here, right now.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation. 2Corinthians 6:2.

Handing God an invoice for our good works places us outside the Kingdom of Grace. He does reward good deeds but only for their own sake, freely done out of gratitude towards God, but certainly not as a means of gaining heaven.

There are scriptures that seem contradictory to this...

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead. And: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:17, 26

...but they still all still reside under the one roof of, “For by grace you are saved through faith …not of works…” (Ephesians 2:8-9) and being motivated by gratitude and love towards God because of grace freely given.

And, “faith without works is dead” simply means that to lay around on the couch all day is no help to God’s kingdom.

We need to be saved first, and then the tree will be made good so that it is able bear good fruit.

And once saved, we have already been granted entrance into the Kingdom and are part of it and have a share in it by means of inheritance, because we have become the sons of God.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!” 1John 3:1.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:14, 16
“whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:3.

Being blinded by the doctrine of good deeds to attain salvation...

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those that are perishing, whose minds the god of this age [Satan] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2Corinthians 4:4

...over that which is provided by Christ, is evidence of God’s wrath and judgement on disobedience (sin/crime) and idolatry, because in reality, the doctrine of good deeds or works is nothing more than a prison.

continued...

bob said...

Our inherited sin:

Children lie and steal without anyone having to teach it to them; it comes quite naturally, demonstrating that we inherit a sinful nature from the start and which can also be shown by Genesis 5:3.

“And Adam… begot a son in his own likeness, after his image.”

Adam, the first of mankind, was a sinner by nature; so whoever he fathered would necessarily be a sinner also, i.e., in his image, and consequently on down the line to us.

This sinful and selfish nature taints everything we do; sin piles on top of sin. Any good works/deeds we do, which are tainted with sin, cannot make atonement for sin.

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

The only good deed that can save us is Christ’s good deed/work on the cross. Our own deeds, however good they may seem, have no ability to save us...

“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1John 1:8.

...and nor is it their purpose to do so. The only purpose for our good works is to help others and advertise God’s kingdom and his grace etc. (see next page)

• If our works were good enough to save us then what was the purpose in Christ’s sacrifice? The fact that he went through with it proves that our works are nowhere near good enough, regardless of how many we perform.

• Also, once having received grace and therefore salvation, what is the purpose of running around and doing good works in order to gain salvation, since we already have it anyway?

• And do we really believe that our deeds could even stand in the same light as that of the Redeemer’s work on the cross?

A valid reason for trying to gain salvation through works does not exist, since it is unobtainable by this means.

To anatomise further:

A common confusion is in the distinction between faith, grace and works.

Faith, grace and works are separate institutions with separate functions but which all work in God’s service.

• Faith is brought in and established within us by hearing God’s word...

“faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

...and is the means by which we then obtain grace, and is also from then on the trust in God by which we live.

“And the just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

• Grace, which was generated on the Cross, is the mechanism by which God forgives our sins, and is received by means of faith. Once received, grace continues to work in us for the rest of our lives, and it needs to, because while we are in this body we cannot be perfect.

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Romans 7:24.

• Works/deeds of the law (commandments):

Since fallen human nature detests following the commandments and only does so outwardly and against its will (not willingly done from the heart but done in procrastination to avoid punishment and/or to gain favour), any works that are done will be tainted in some way (inwardly having some bitterness, resentment or hatred towards the commandments) and would therefore be worthless as atonement for sin. In fact they are actually a liability in this regard, and demonstrate to us how far short we fall.

“And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.” Romans 7:10

continued...

Steve Wells said...

Hey bob. Could you shorten your responses a bit? No, a lot. Shorten your responses or I'll edit them for you. (For length and clarity, of course.)

Here are a couple verses to inspire you:

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matthew 5:37

Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Matthew 6:7

bob said...

...and is the means by which we then obtain grace, and is also from then on the trust in God by which we live.

“And the just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

• Grace, which was generated on the Cross, is the mechanism by which God forgives our sins, and is received by means of faith. Once received, grace continues to work in us for the rest of our lives, and it needs to, because while we are in this body we cannot be perfect.

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Romans 7:24.

• Works/deeds of the law (commandments).
Since fallen human nature detests following the commandments and only does so outwardly and against its will (not willingly done from the heart but done in procrastination to avoid punishment and/or to gain favour), any works that are done will be tainted in some way (inwardly having some bitterness, resentment or hatred towards the commandments) and would therefore be worthless as atonement for sin. In fact they are actually a liability in this regard, and demonstrate to us how far short we fall.

“And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.” Romans 7:10

So we can conclude:

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:27, 28.

• Good deeds in general are for the benefit of others, advertising God’s kingdom and grace...

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Mathew 5:16

...and for strengthening our relationship with God as we are working in partnership with him; and they also help to keep us humble, by demonstrating our weakness in our inability to do the right thing all the time (our conscience also bearing witness to this fact).

And overall, they also help to keep us occupied and focused on the journey while traveling on the King’s Highway.

“A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray.” Isaiah 35:8.

continued...

bob said...

All of the above should also be seen in the light of the difference between what we may consider as holy and the actual reality of God’s holiness. For example, when the full realization of God’s holiness relative to his own corrupted human nature finally dawned on Job (“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you…”) he reacted by saying,

“Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5, 6

Now Job was a blameless and upright man...

“Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Job 1:8

...but only relative to the rest of mankind. Relative to the Creator’s holiness he was still a sinner, as he says of himself,

“Behold, I am vile…” Job 40:4

It is impossible to properly understand God and his word without understanding the reality of God’s holiness.

To summarize:

Everything we do is corrupted to some degree (other than when God’s own righteousness is working in and through us; so the credit is still goes to him), but grace, which is apprehended by faith, continually operates within us all our lives to compensate for this problem and to get us over the line.

Even the best saints still only stumble and bumble their way into heaven (the source of much of the criticism of Christianity is caused by the focus on its fallible followers and/or false Christians rather than its infallible founder – Christ)

“If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1Peter 4:18

An example of this:

“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel of the Lord [Christ].” Zechariah 3:3

And since we have no righteousness of our own before God, he, through grace, gives us some of his righteousness.

Then he answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.

And to him he said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will cloth you in rich robes.” Zechariah 3:4, 5

The verses are precise and true when they state:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9

“And their righteousness is from me,” says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 (That is, righteousness freely given to us from the abundance or store of God’s own personal righteousness, which is called in the scriptures “God’s righteousness” or the “righteousness of God”)

continued...

bob said...

Good deeds and works are a result of having BEEN saved; not of TRYING to be saved. They are only an outward manifestation of what is already going on inside. “For a tree is known by its fruit.” Mathew 12:33

This is also what the scripture is saying in Ephesians 2:10

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

We could not perform God’s pre-prepared good works unless we were changed through grace and made compatible for those good works in the first place.

This applies to all scripture that refers to good works.

“…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace…” 2Timothy 1:9

Addressing the confusion that can be caused by some scriptures:

Verses in The Epistle of James for example, where it states in verse 2:21...

“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the alter?”

...and in verse 24...

“You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only”

...is simply the writer of this Epistle, as Luther says, being “unequal to the task”* of warning those who would lay around on the couch all day while not contributing anything to God’s kingdom, that is, not moving or doing that which is required of us by God after having received grace.

As James himself quotes from Moses (Genesis 15:6): “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” James 2:23.

There were no works; he simply believed God’s promise in order to gain righteousness.

And as Paul also says,

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. Romans 4:2-4

Note: Other than the problem mentioned above, there are many good sayings in the epistle of St James and it should be held in high regard.

The reasoning of some, concerning works and salvation, may cause them to isolate and quibble over the meaning of some verses and words, but the overall general weight and direction of what the scriptures say, from Genesis to Revelation (especially Paul’s epistle to the Romans), will put these verses and words in their proper meaning and context.

*The Works of Martin Luther vol. 6. Preface to the Epistles of St James and St Jude.

bob said...

"Hey bob. Could you shorten your responses a bit? No, a lot. Shorten your responses or I'll edit them for you. (For length and clarity, of course.)"

Here are a couple verses to inspire you:

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matthew 5:37"

That is the minimum required to cover all angles and excuses. We are talking about whole purpose of the Bible from beginning to end, i.e. salvation, and it will take a little bit of space, so there is no evil going on there.

"Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Matthew 6:7"

Matthew 6:7 is refering to prayer.

Steve Wells said...

bob, you say "it will take a little bit of space" and I'll give you a little bit, but you'll get much less space than you've been taking up lately. I won't force others here to scroll through pages of your cut and paste preaching. I don't read it; I doubt if anyone else does either.

Stephen said...

Wow, someone has *waaaaay* too much time on his hands.
Of course, I'll have an eternity to burn but at least I won't be eating those peanut butter and dung sandwiches. :-P
Steve Weeks

John B Hodges said...

Bob's essay delivered in multiple comments, about faith, grace, and works, is eloquent and well-developed, but it does not remotely resemble what Jesus taught, as reported by the writers of the gospels. His sources are the letters of Paul, with commentary by Augustine.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the "synoptic" gospels because they present basically the same view, paint essentially the same picture. Jesus warns of the impending end of the world and Judgment Day, which could come any time but will certainly come within the lifetime of his contemporaries; "this generation will not pass away until all of these take place." "There are some standing here who will not taste death" and so forth. On Judgment Day God will "repay every man for what he has done." Notice, 'done', not 'believed'. Jesus gives many instructions, commands, about what his followers should DO. He says that DOING these things is necessary if you are to have any hope of salvation, i.e. being admitted to Heaven when the Earth is destroyed. "Every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand." His instructions are drastic. See
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

bob said...

Steve,

"bob, you say "it will take a little bit of space" and I'll give you a little bit"

That's all I needed, thanks.

John, you say,

"but it does not remotely resemble what Jesus taught, as reported by the writers of the gospels. His sources are the letters of Paul"

My sources are from throughout the Scriptures not just the letters of Paul, and who himself is,

"...a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which he promised before through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord..." Romans 1:1-3

"On Judgment Day God will "repay every man for what he has done." Notice, 'done', not 'believed'."

What you DO follows from what you believe.

"...that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"Jesus gives many instructions, commands, about what his followers should DO."

They would not DO what he said if they did not believe in him first and then keep that belief.

"He says that DOING these things is necessary if you are to have any hope of salvation, i.e. being admitted to Heaven when the Earth is destroyed."

Again, this "DOING" cannot happen without the initial belief and the maintainance of that belief. The belief is paramount. Without it, what we DO amounts to nothing in regards to salvation.

As you yourself quoted,

"Every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand."

John B Hodges said...

Ah, but Bob, you have really missed the point. (Jesus' point.) The DOING is necessary, if you are to have any hope of being among the few who will be saved. What does Jesus say about accumulating wealth? About fighting evildoers? About following the Law of Moses? (I'm not asking what Paul says, I'm asking what Jesus says.) Do you even KNOW? Most Christians don't know, and very few DO. Most rely on theology that says BELIEVING is sufficient. Usually they deny or re-interpret what Jesus said... In my experience, whenever I quote the words of Jesus to a Christian, invariably, without exception, they immediately reply "He didn't mean THAT." (I get that even from folks who are literalists about Genesis.) If you do that bit of study that I did, going through the gospels and collecting everything Jesus commands his followers to DO, it becomes clear why few will be saved.
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

John B Hodges said...

And, Bob, by the way, you support Paul's authority by quoting Romans: "...a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which he promised before through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord..." Romans 1:1-3 .... Excuse me, but this is from Paul's letter TO the Romans, i.e. this is how Paul describes himself. Even so, I will be so rude as to point out that there are major differences between the teachings of Jesus, as reported by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the teachings of Paul.

bob said...

John, you say,

“Ah, but Bob, you have really missed the point. (Jesus' point.) The DOING is necessary, if you are to have any hope of being among the few who will be saved.”

You have it in the wrong order/priority. As I pointed out in my previous comments, salvation comes first followed by the ‘doing.’ So the ‘doing’ lends nothing to salvation since the salvation came first. Helping your neighbour and good works is simply a means of advertising God’s kingdom and grace.

As Jesus says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Mathew 5:16

If we rely on the ‘doing’ for salvation then that is an affront to Christ and his work on the cross which saves utterly. Salvation for the world was already organised right from the beginning without any input from us.

...of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8.

Reliance on good deeds for salvation is idolatry.

The ‘doing’ is simply our way of honouring our commitment to him and for what he has done for us.

Also, what is the standard for how much we should do? If our neighbour does more than us, is he more saved than us? Can one person be saved a little bit and another one saved a lot? Of course not. Saved is saved regardless of our works. Otherwise everyone would be running around trying to get the best position in the afterlife, like the arrogant Pharisees and scribes.

“What does Jesus say about accumulating wealth? About fighting evildoers?”

Tell me what YOU think he says.

“About following the Law of Moses? (I'm not asking what Paul says, I'm asking what Jesus says.) Usually they deny or re-interpret what Jesus said... In my experience, whenever I quote the words of Jesus to a Christian, invariably, without exception, they immediately reply "He didn't mean THAT."

Tell me what YOU think Jesus is saying about the Law of Moses.

“(I get that even from folks who are literalists about Genesis.)”

Jesus himself taught a literal Genesis, as does all of Scripture.

“And, Bob, by the way, you support Paul's authority by quoting Romans: "...a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which he promised before through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord..." Romans 1:1-3 .... Excuse me, but this is from Paul's letter TO the Romans, i.e. this is how Paul describes himself.”

Who he wrote the letter TO does not alter the fact that he is a bondservant of Christ. He wrote letters to different people in different areas, Jews and Gentiles, as a servant of Christ.

“Even so, I will be so rude as to point out that there are major differences between the teachings of Jesus, as reported by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the teachings of Paul.”

Why would Paul teach a different message to Jesus if he was Jesus’ servant? Can you be so rude as to validate your assertion with something from scripture?

bob said...

John,

The work of redemption has already been organised and completed by God on our behalf and for his glory. “It is finished!” John 19:30.
Our salvation is not subject to our own wills but to God’s will alone, which is just as well, given our weaknesses.

“...as for myself, I frankly confess, that I should not want free will to be given to me, even if it could be, nor anything else be left in my own hands to enable me to strive after my salvation. And that, not merely, because in the face of so many dangers, adversities and onslaughts of devils, I could not stand my ground and hold fast my free will – for one devil is stronger than all men, and on these terms no man could be saved – but because, even if there were no dangers, adversities or devils, I should be forced to labour with no guarantee of success and beat the air only. If I lived and worked to all eternity, my conscience would never reach comfortable certainty as to how much it must do to satisfy God. Whatever work it had done, there would still remain a scrupling as to whether or not it had pleased God, or whether he required something more. The experience of all who seek righteousness by works proves that. I learned it by bitter experience over a period of many years. But now that God has put salvation out of the control of my own will and put it under the control of his, and has promised to save me, not according to my effort or running, but according to his own grace and mercy, I rest fully assured that he is faithful and will not lie to me, and that moreover he is great and powerful, so that no devils and no adversities can destroy him or pluck me out of his hand [“…neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28]. I am certain that I please God, not by the merit of my works, but by reason of his merciful favour promised to me. So that if I work too little or badly, he does not impute it to me, but like a father, pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying which the saints have in their God.”

From Luther's 'Bondage of the Will'

John B Hodges said...

Bob, Bob, Bob... Someone Is Wrong On The Internet. (Do you think it possible it could be you?)

The highest authority on what "real" Christianity consists of would have to be the words of Jesus, as reported in the four gospels. Regardless of what you believe about the reliability or "inspiration" of the Bible, I cannot see any other source in Christendom that could make a better claim. If Jesus says one thing, and Stephen or Paul or Pat or Jerry or Benedict say something different, I think the words of Jesus would have to take priority.

No one is "saved" until they actually enter Heaven. No living person is "saved". No "Christian" should count themselves LIKELY to be saved unless they KNOW, and are MEETING, the criteria that Jesus taught were required.

I do not think it unreasonable of me to ask that you do what I have done, read through the four gospels and collect what Jesus says on the subject. Or, if you are too lazy to read your own (censored) Holy Book, they read the essays that I have written, about what I found when I did that bit of study. I have given you the URL more than once. You ask what I think? Read
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/open-letter-to-the-saved
and
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

If you are too (censored) lazy to do even that, then consider:
In Matthew 19:
16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."

Notice that here Jesus is asked how to get to Heaven, and Jesus does NOT reply "Believe in Me." He says, keep the commandments, and adds "sell your possessions and distribute the money to the poor."

In Matthew 25, verses 31 to 46, there is a long passage depicting Jesus on Judgement Day, casting into eternal punishment those who did not do good works.

There are many other passages like this. Reading Matthew, Mark, and Luke, he (almost) never says "Believe this, and this, and this". Instead he says "Do this, and this, and this." Go read. Get wisdom, get understanding, you smug, arrogant fool.


Stephen said...

Well, it looks like you gents have a lot to discuss. I'm not too impressed with this Jesus fellow, based on his treatment of the fig tree in Matthew 21:19-20.

But he *does* say (Matthew 21:22) "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Same in Matthew 7:7-8...

So, Bob, there are only three possibilities here:
1) you haven't been praying sincerely, believing, that I see the light (you said you would),
2) the bible is false in these two passages and elsewhere, or
3) there is no god to answer your prayers.

My money is on 2) and 3).
Steve Weeks

bob said...

John, you say,

“The highest authority on what "real" Christianity consists of would have to be the words of Jesus, as reported in the four gospels. Regardless of what you believe about the reliability or "inspiration" of the Bible, I cannot see any other source in Christendom that could make a better claim.”

You do not seem to be aware that Jesus is the Creator, the God of the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, who was manifested in the flesh as recorded in the gospels (John 1:1-14). Moses, the Psalms and all the prophets speak of this.

“If Jesus says one thing, and Stephen or Paul or Pat or Jerry or Benedict say something different, I think the words of Jesus would have to take priority.”

This is true, but Paul was not saying anything different in regards to salvation.

Paul simply continued on with what Jesus began. Jesus was the 'stumbling stone' to those who hold to a doctrine of works-salvation.

“But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence” Isaiah 8:14

As Jesus says, “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder” Matthew 20:44

Before Paul was converted, he was himself a staunch proponent Judaism with its false doctrine of salvation by works of the law and good deeds.


You say,

“No one is "saved" until they actually enter Heaven. No living person is "saved". No "Christian" should count themselves LIKELY to be saved unless they KNOW, and are MEETING, the criteria that Jesus taught were required.”

But Jesus himself says,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life [saved].” John 5:24

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life [saved]. He who believes in him is not condemned [saved]; but he who does not believe is condemned already [not saved], because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

The “criteria that Jesus taught” is that you first believe. This is what he says we have to DO, first and foremost. No works required. The ‘doing’ simply follows on from our believing.

Now this next verse, as an atheist, is where you come in.

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19


You say,

“I do not think it unreasonable of me to ask that you do what I have done, read through the four gospels and collect what Jesus says on the subject. Or, if you are too lazy to read your own (censored) Holy Book, they read the essays that I have written, about what I found when I did that bit of study.”

That’s a big presumption on your part, especially in light of the fact that you have not made much headway in addressing the particulars of my argument.

bob said...

“I have given you the URL more than once. You ask what I think? Read
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/open-letter-to-the-saved”

From your article:

“Finally, what of the Gospel of John? In many places in John, Jesus is reported to say that those who believe in him will be saved. But that is not all he says. Even in John, we find that Jesus also requires- REQUIRES- people to obey his commandments.
In John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life [saved]; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.”

Again, the belief comes first before we can obey him. To obey him we first need to believe. So the belief is everything, because is impossible to obey him and follow the commandments which are summarized in Matthew 22:36-40 “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets”) without first believing.

As it says in Mark,

“And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 10:26-27

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23

You say,

“No one should consider themselves LIKELY to be "saved" unless they are making strenuous effort to DO all the things that Jesus said for his followers to do. "Salvation by faith", if it is taken to mean by faith ALONE, is the heresy.”

“Salvation by faith alone” means ‘Salvation by faith in Christ alone.’

As Jesus says, “Your faith has saved you.” Luke 7:50

We are not to lean on anyone or anything else, including our own works, for our salvation. So the heresy remains with you.


From your other article:
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

“The Ethics of Jesus
I set out to do the following: Search the four Gospels for everything Jesus says about what we should DO. Skip the miracle stories, the biography, the travelogue; collect only the ethical teachings. Once they are collected, step back and see what we've got.”

There is your problem right there. It should be ‘Scripture alone’, and ‘ALL of Scripture.’ You can’t just pick out the bits that fit your argument.

You say,

“Put plainly, I think the gospel of John was a late forgery, a revisionist theology that praised Jesus to the skies while burying what he taught. I think the gospel of John bears as much resemblance to the historical Jesus as "Twas the Night Before Christmas" bears to the historical Nicholas. Legends about Jesus grew until the historical figure was eclipsed by the legend, and his drastic, demanding, apocalyptic teachings were ignored.”

I’m very impressed with your ignorance.

“May he rest in peace.”

The Creator of heaven and earth is not dead.

“If you are too (censored) lazy to do even that, then consider:

In Matthew 19:16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."

Notice that here Jesus is asked how to get to Heaven, and Jesus does NOT reply "Believe in Me." He says, keep the commandments, and adds "sell your possessions and distribute the money to the poor."


In Matthew 25, verses 31 to 46, there is a long passage depicting Jesus on Judgement Day, casting into eternal punishment those who did not do good works. There are many other passages like this. Reading Matthew, Mark, and Luke, he (almost) never says "Believe this, and this, and this". Instead he says "Do this, and this, and this."

As pointed out above, no one can keep all the commandments without first believing i.e. “with men it is impossible” (Mark 10:26-27).

“Go read. Get wisdom, get understanding, you smug, arrogant fool.”

As Jesus says, “But whoever says ‘You Fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:22

bob said...

Stephen,

"Well, it looks like you gents have a lot to discuss. I'm not too impressed with this Jesus fellow..."

Well you should be; he is your Creator (John 1:1-14).

"...based on his treatment of the fig tree in Matthew 21:19-20."

You don't rip weeds out of your own garden?

“But he *does* say (Matthew 21:22) "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Same in Matthew 7:7-8...

So, Bob, there are only three possibilities here:

1) you haven't been praying sincerely, believing, that I see the light (you said you would),”

Salvation is a different matter. It is God himself who decides to whom repentance is granted. All I can do is pray, as I said I would.

“2) the bible is false in these two passages and elsewhere, or

3) there is no god to answer your prayers.

My money is on 2) and 3).”

Wrong bet.

Stephen said...

Bob said:
"Well you should be; he is your Creator (John 1:1-14)."
Sadly, I remain unconvinced.

"You don't rip weeds out of your own garden?"
Sure I do, lovingly, but this was not a weed, but a fruit-bearing tree which happened to not have fruit because it was out of season. It would have been more impressive had Jesus caused the tree to bear fruit out of season rather than kill it. It would have made a better metaphor, too.

"Salvation is a different matter. It is God himself who decides to whom repentance is granted. All I can do is pray, as I said I would."
Well, then, Matthew is a liar.

"Wrong bet."
So you say. Prove it.
Steve Weeks

bob said...

“Sadly, I remain unconvinced.”

Well I can’t help you there.

“Sure I do, lovingly, but this was not a weed, but a fruit-bearing tree which happened to not have fruit because it was out of season. It would have been more impressive had Jesus caused the tree to bear fruit out of season rather than kill it. It would have made a better metaphor, too.”

A better metaphor for what? A mountain being cast into the sea? I don’t think so.

“Well, then, Matthew is a liar.”

No, it’s your poor interpretation of the Scriptures that is the problem. God will not force anyone to believe in him. You have been given all the necessary information, so if you still do not want to believe then you are lost.

“So you say. Prove it.”

Prove everything made itself from nothing.

bob said...

John,

Can you not see the giant hole in your argument? No one is going to give up everything and follow Christ unless they fully believe in him first. So without the belief you cannot be saved, as shown by the following.

“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:21-22

His belief in, and therefore his commitment to Christ was insufficient to overcome his love of worldly things. So just keeping the commands (verse 19-20) is not sufficient to be saved.

Also, you are trying force a spiritual book, the Bible, to conform to your materialistic world view. In so doing, you have invented your own Jesus and shaped God and his word into an idol of your own invention.

John B Hodges said...

Bob, I wonder if you understand the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.

I have given you a list of quotations, that the writers of the gospels allege are sayings of Jesus, in which Jesus says that doing X is necessary if you are to enter Heaven. You have replied that "the belief comes first before we can obey him. To obey him we first need to believe."

I have not addressed that until now, because I thought it a trivial point, and thought that surely you recognized that it was a trivial point. But maybe not.

Belief may very well be a necessary condition, before you can enter Heaven. Indeed, I have never argued otherwise. That does not mean it is the only necessary condition. There may be many necessary conditions; all that means is that you must satisfy them all.

You have said several times that works are not sufficient, for salvation. That may also be true. Indeed, I have never argued otherwise. That does not mean that works are not necessary.

So when Jesus says, for example
Luke 6:
46 "Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? .... 49 But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."

And in Matthew 7:
21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Do you "believe in Jesus" then, when he says such things? I have shown you a number of places where Jesus says that doing what Jesus commands is necessary before you can enter Heaven. You must believe AND obey; both are necessary conditions. Further, it seems clear to me, Jesus is saying that you must do ALL that Jesus has commanded. Do you have "Faith in Jesus" when he gives these warnings?

Works alone may not be sufficient; even faith and works together may not be sufficient. Consider Luke 17:9-10
9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

So, AFTER you believe, AFTER you have done all that Jesus commands, STILL you are not worthy of Heaven. THEN you hope for grace.

Many have persuaded themselves of what I call the Tinkerbell Theory of Salvation. In the original stage play of Peter Pan, at one point Tinkerbell is injured and dying. Peter appeals to the audience, "All of you who believe in fairies, CLAP!" The audience (usually) claps, and the hidden light bulb that plays the role of Tinkerbell brightens; Tinkerbell is healed. So, if people BELIEVE in fairies, they will exist; similarly, the theory goes, if people BELIEVE that they are saved by Jesus, then by that fact they will be.

In other words, the theory is, that belief alone is sufficient, and works are entirely optional. There are quotes that, taken out of context, would seem to support that. But that would require ignoring just about everything Jesus is reported to have said in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

bob said...

John, don’t get me wrong, I know exactly what you are getting at.

You say,

“Bob, I wonder if you understand the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.”

I certainly do. When it comes to salvation, to believe/have faith is both necessary and sufficient.

Scripture seems to point more to a ‘hierarchy’ of conditions with belief/faith in Christ being the vital condition and necessary foundation or cornerstone. So whether we work, or don’t work, we are still not saved if there is no foundation of belief/faith.

You say,

“I have given you a list of quotations, that the writers of the gospels allege are sayings of Jesus, in which Jesus says that doing X is necessary if you are to enter Heaven. You have replied that "the belief comes first before we can obey him. To obey him we first need to believe.
I have not addressed that until now, because I thought it a trivial point, and thought that surely you recognized that it was a trivial point. But maybe not.”

On the contrary, it is anything but trivial since it is required to initiate and maintain our obedience to Christ. It is at the very heart of our faith. Without belief/faith/trust in Christ, you cannot please him.

E.g., “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesus says, “You must have faith” and “Your faith has saved you,” etc. and in John he says “whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life [saved].”

But ‘to believe in’ and ‘to have faith in’ are one and the same thing.

Without faith/belief there will not be GENUINE desire to obey, and therefore anything we ‘do,’ is by default sin (has resentment and bitterness attached to or mixed in with it).

Therefore, “…the just [saved] shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

You say,

“Belief may very well be a necessary condition, before you can enter Heaven. Indeed, I have never argued otherwise. That does not mean it is the only necessary condition.”

When Jesus says you must obey the commandments (all of which are encapsulated in the two commandments in Matthew 22:37-40 i.e. “on these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets”) he does so under the proviso that belief/faith has to be established first.

Otherwise, “Who then can be saved?” Mark 10:26-27

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23

To argue that Jesus was emphasising the ‘doing’ sans the believing simply because he did not mention it, is just an argument from silence. His audience at the time would have been aware from his teachings in general, that to give up everything and follow and serve him you must have faith/belief in him.

You say,

“There may be many necessary conditions; all that means is that you must satisfy them all. You have said several times that works are not sufficient, for salvation. That may also be true. Indeed, I have never argued otherwise. That does not mean that works are not necessary.”

This is speculation. As Jesus says to the woman, “Your faith has saved you.” Luke 7:50

Despite what she did for Jesus it was her faith/belief that saved her, not her works.

And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness [saved]. Genesis 15:6

So salvation through belief/faith was in operation long BEFORE the Law of Moses. It was, and it still is based on faith in God’s PROMISE of salvation which He promised right from the beginning in Genesis 3:15 where Christ is there called the Seed. The original promise still stands and has not been overridden or voided. It has authority over Moses’ Law which has its own specific purpose, as pointed out in my previous comments above.

bob said...

You say,

“So when Jesus says, for example Luke 6: 46 "Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? .... 49 But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."
And in Matthew 7:
21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

This has nothing to do with salvation by works. Here Jesus is simply pointing out the difference between a true believer and a pretender. We can only rightfully call him Lord/King if we obey him and we cannot obey him without committing to him in faith/belief. The pretenders who may go by the name ‘Christian’ have not built their house on the rock, which is Christ himself (see below), but on their own idolatrous notions or ‘sand’. When judgement comes their ‘house’ won’t stand.

Rock of his salvation. Deuteronomy 32:4-31

Rock, Salvation, Defence, Fortress. Psalm62:2

The Rock, Most High God. Psalm 78:35

And that Rock was Christ. 1Corinthians 10:4

You say,

“Works alone may not be sufficient; even faith and works together may not be sufficient. Consider Luke 17:9-10
9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

So, AFTER you believe, AFTER you have done all that Jesus commands, STILL you are not worthy of Heaven.”

No, here Jesus is simply saying that there is no extra credit for doing what is expected of you. You don’t get a medal just for doing your job. “We have done what was our duty to do.”

“THEN you hope for grace.”

No, saving grace comes by faith/believing. As pointed out above, “Your faith has saved you.” Luke 7:50. Grace is in operation from the outset.

In spite of our weakness and what may be going on within us we should never doubt our salvation, because Christ (“the author of our eternal salvation” and “the author and finisher of our faith” Hebrews 5:9; 12:2) himself says,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2Corinthians 12:9

You say,

“Many have persuaded themselves of what I call the Tinkerbell Theory of Salvation.”

Many have persuaded themselves that salvation depends on works rather than faith or that works have equal footing in regards to salvation. But this is false.

You say,

“In the original stage play of Peter Pan, at one point Tinkerbell is injured and dying. Peter appeals to the audience, "All of you who believe in fairies, CLAP!" The audience (usually) claps, and the hidden light bulb that plays the role of Tinkerbell brightens; Tinkerbell is healed. So, if people BELIEVE in fairies, they will exist; similarly, the theory goes, if people BELIEVE that they are saved by Jesus, then by that fact they will be.”

Peter Pan is not Christ, so he cannot redeem anyone from sin and death.

John B Hodges said...

Bob, you say
"Here Jesus is simply pointing out the difference between a true believer and a pretender. We can only rightfully call him Lord/King if we obey him and we cannot obey him without committing to him in faith/belief. "

So, Bob, hasty question (5:50m AM, gotta get to my job) are you saying that if you do not obey, do not DO all the things that Jesus tells his followers to do, then they are not REAL believers, and therefore ARE NOT SAVED?

bob said...

John, you say,

“So, Bob, hasty question (5:50m AM, gotta get to my job) are you saying that if you do not obey, do not DO all the things that Jesus tells his followers to do, then they are not REAL believers, and therefore ARE NOT SAVED?”

That is correct. But we cannot obey him without committing to him in faith/belief.

And I would also add a very important point: that it is no good believing in a fake Jesus that has been fabricated from our imagination. We must believe in the Jesus who is revealed in the Scriptures as a whole, not one that has been constructed from bits and pieces of our own presuppositions, ideas and distorted/misinterpreted scripture, otherwise we are just engaging in idolatry and honoring the devil in the place of Christ.

As Jesus himself says,

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look there is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24

And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2Corinthians 11:13-15

A good example of a false Christ is your own version of him, as can be seen from your article (www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus) where you say “May he rest in peace” which indicates that you believe that Jesus was just a man who lived and died (like the Islamic Jesus).

But according to the God’s word, Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, the Creator of heaven and earth.

The Jesus that you hold to does not exist, except in the person of the devil himself.

John B Hodges said...

Bob, This site collects quotes from the Bible about how people can be saved. You said "Jesus is the author of the entire Bible", so you can't disavow any of the mishmash. When Jesus says that if you do not do x then you will never enter Heaven, that means that doing X is a necessary condition for salvation. When he (or anyone in the Bible, by your theory) says that you will be saved if Y, then Y is a sufficient condition. If there is any sufficient condition, then there cannot be any other necessary condition. Therefore there are lots of logical contradictions to be found in the Bible, and from contradictory premises ANYTHING can be logically derived.

I sincerely believe that the "synoptic" gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, give is the best view we have, flawed and edited and unreliable as it may be, of what the historical Jesus may have taught. I also sincerely believe, based on what I read in the Bible, that "Christianity" has not much resembled what Jesus taught, since Jesus died and Paul appointed himself Chief Apostle.

I understand that you don't want ever to die, and don't want to give away all your wealth, follow the entire Law of Moses, practice nonviolent pacifism, or give up praying in public, either. That's tough; I can't offer you any hope on that score. I don't think there are any sufficient conditions for salvation. But take heart; nonexistence won't hurt a bit.





bob said...

John, I also noticed in your question...

“...are you saying that if you do not obey, do not DO all the things that Jesus tells his followers to do, then they are not REAL believers, and therefore ARE NOT SAVED?”

...that you are still putting the horse before the cart. We need to be saved first before we are compatible/fit for Christ's service. We cannot obey him without first being saved and changed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2Corinthians 5:17

As Jesus says,

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45

So if we don’t believe/have faith in Christ we cannot, as corrupted sinners serve him and do what he asks. As pointed out in the next verse; someone might call Jesus ‘Lord’ but they are only having a lend of themselves...

“But why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

...if they have not first believed, been saved, and changed into a ‘good tree’ that can bear good fruit.

In this regard your articles actually do harm by steering people away from the true Christ/God of the Scriptures, to a weak impotent Christ who cannot even save himself, let alone anyone else.

John B Hodges said...

So, Bob, sounds like we can tell if someone is truly saved, because if they are truly saved then they are a new creature and are then both willing and able to obey all that Jesus has commanded.

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Christians, and (according to the story) he replied "I don't know, I've never met one." This is a man who went to college in England. But since I went through the gospels and collected all of Jesus' commands to his followers, I know what he meant. I'm luckier than Gandhi; I've actually met one, a guy named Rusty, whom I met in the 1970's.

bob said...

John, you say,

“Bob, This site collects quotes from the Bible about how people can be saved.”

And then mangles and distorts the message so that it has little hope of saving anyone.

“You said "Jesus is the author of the entire Bible"

I said Jesus was “the God of the Bible.” The third Person of the Trinity; the Holy Spirit, is its Author.

“so you can't disavow any of the mishmash.”

It is a spiritual book, so obviously the materialist is going to struggle with it.

“When Jesus says that if you do not do x then you will never enter Heaven, that means that doing X is a necessary condition for salvation. When he (or anyone in the Bible, by your theory) says that you will be saved if Y, then Y is a sufficient condition. If there is any sufficient condition, then there cannot be any other necessary condition. Therefore there are lots of logical contradictions to be found in the Bible, and from contradictory premises ANYTHING can be logically derived.”

It is not possible to have a correct understanding of the Bible unless we include ALL of Scripture, and put Christ at its centre, from Genesis (origin of sin and death) to Revelation. The good news of salvation only makes sense in light of the bad news of sin and death. To understand any story you need to start at the beginning to get the big picture.

“I sincerely believe that the "synoptic" gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, give is the best view we have, flawed and edited and unreliable as it may be, of what the historical Jesus may have taught. I also sincerely believe, based on what I read in the Bible, that "Christianity" has not much resembled what Jesus taught, since Jesus died and Paul appointed himself Chief Apostle.”

Jesus was resurrected and it was him who appointed Paul.

But the Lord said to him, “for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15


“I understand that you don't want ever to die, and don't want to give away all your wealth, follow the entire Law of Moses, practice nonviolent pacifism, or give up praying in public, either.”

More nonsense.

“That's tough; I can't offer you any hope on that score.”

That is true. That’s why I put my hope in Christ.

“I don't think there are any sufficient conditions for salvation.”

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those that are perishing, whose minds the god of this age [Satan] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2Corinthians 4:4

“But take heart; nonexistence won't hurt a bit.”

If I am wrong it’s not a problem, but if you are wrong, then that doesn’t bear thinking about.

The spiritual realm is the higher reality, since the physical realm is only temporary, as any cemetery can bear witness to. It seems to me that you are taking an awful gamble if you believe that we are just lumps of meat walking around.

bob said...

John,

“So, Bob, sounds like we can tell if someone is truly saved, because if they are truly saved then they are a new creature and are then both willing and able to obey all that Jesus has commanded.”

Yes, as the overall weight and direction of the whole of the scriptures point out.

“Mahatma Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Christians, and (according to the story) he replied "I don't know, I've never met one." This is a man who went to college in England. But since I went through the gospels and collected all of Jesus' commands to his followers, I know what he meant. I'm luckier than Gandhi; I've actually met one, a guy named Rusty, whom I met in the 1970's.”

Perhaps Gandhi could not see the big picture of what the scriptures are saying either.

The whole purpose of salvation through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Timothy 3:16), was to restore God’s honour and name which have been profaned by our sins.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned.” Ezekiel 36:22

Any doctrine that downplays or removes sin and redemption from the heart of the gospel is defiling the name and honour of God.

“It is not for your sake that I will act, says the Lord GOD; let that be known to you” Ezekiel 36:32

*God is redeeming His people in order to restore the honour and glory that is due to Him, and which we have defiled through our sin. The big picture of Christianity is that when we sin we do far more than just condemn ourselves to death. When we sin, we dishonour God, and not only do we dishonour God, but we defile His creation. When we sin, not only do we go down, but we bring God’s name down with us, and we bring God’s creation down with us as well.

The good news, however, is that when God redeems us, He not only redeems us but He also redeems His own honour and glory and He redeems the whole creation along with us (Rom. 8: 18– 21; Rev. 21: 1– 5).

It is not only God’s honour that resides in His Word — His glory does, too. Jesus said in John 15: 7– 8

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”

When the word of God is believed and obeyed, God is glorified. In Isaiah 55: 11, God says,

“My word . . . that goes forth from my mouth . . . shall not return to me empty . . . it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

When God fulfils His Word, His honour is vindicated and His name is glorified! In Revelation 4– 5 we are given a picture of what is going on in heaven. The heavenly host worship and praise God for three things — first, for His eternal being; second, for His work of creation; and third, for the Lamb’s work of redemption. The four living creatures surrounding the throne sing without ceasing:

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4: 8

This is the eternal being of God, the great “I am.” God is eternally self-existent and He is worshiped unceasingly for this great fact.

*Excerpts from: Dismantling the Big Bang [Theory]. Hartnett, John ; Williams, Alex (2005-07-01).

John B Hodges said...

Bob, "Go in Peace".