For Unbelievers

How would you feel if your thought life was to be shown on National TV tonight?

What if someone told you that your every thought from the day you were born had been recorded and will be shown tonight on national TV? And not only that, but a website will flash across the screen during the program, directing all of your friends and family to where they can watch all of your thoughts about them. How many people would be angry with you? Everyone? Would you be angry with yourself?

Your thought life reveals the real, unrestrained you. Most people think they’re good enough to get to Heaven and God won’t send them to Hell, but God has seen every one of our wicked thoughts and actions. He has seen every time you’ve broken His commandments, lusting over someone you’re not married to, lying and stealing (no matter how little); He knows every time you’ve carved a false idol of God in your mind, a corrupt god of your own imagination who will turn a blind eye to your sin. He has heard every time you’ve used His Holy Name in vain, using the name of the One who gave you life in place of a curse word. You wouldn’t do that with Hitler’s name, but you do it with God’s name! The “Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain,” (Exodus 20:7) and “every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)

Be honest with yourself: when you face God on Judgment Day – keeping in mind that He’s seen your every wicked thought and action – will He find you innocent or guilty? If God gives you what you deserve, should He send you to Heaven or Hell? God has written His moral law on your heart so you are “without excuse” (Romans 1:18-32); you know it is wrong to lie, to steal, to lust, and to curse because God gave you a conscience to know right from wrong. Your own conscience demands justice!

Imagine a courtroom scene where a child rapist is coming before the judge for sentencing. But instead of giving him what justice demands, the judge lets him go free because the rapist is a “nice guy” who has given to charity and goes to church every Sunday. You would be outraged, and you should be! Yet most people think the High and Holy God is just like this corrupt judge, and that they can bribe Him with their “good deeds” so that He’ll overlook their sin.

Again, what would you think if the judge said to the rapist, “I’m a very loving judge, so I’ll just let you go free?” You would not think that the judge was loving at all, but that he was corrupt and not worthy to be a judge! Yet most people expect the Holy God who is “the judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25) to be just that corrupt with them, and overlook their sin.

Infinite Love and Goodness demand Infinite Justice. Because God’s love and justice are infinite He won’t punish only murderers and rapists, but He’ll punish ALL sin wherever it’s found. That’s why “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9) “No thief, no sexually immoral person, no idolater will enter heaven” (1 Corinthians 6:10) and “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” (Revelation 21:8)

Now the question for you, dear reader, is this: is there any hope for someone like you? Is there any hope for the person who has defied God time and again by rebelling against His will and refusing to love and worship Him? Is there any hope for the criminal who stands guilty in the courtroom of God? Yes there is! There is forgiveness with God!

The Gospel (“good news”) is this: Imagine you are in a human courtroom and the judge finds you guilty, and because he’s just, gives you the maximum fine of ten million pounds. But there is no way you can pay the fine, so you’re about to spend the rest of your life in jail. Then someone you’ve never met before steps into the courtroom and says, “I’ve sold all my worldly goods to pay your fine.” Your fine has been paid, so justice has been served and you’re free to go! Well, two thousand years ago God became a man, Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, led a sinless life and then suffered and died under the wrath of God on the cross to pay the penalty in full for all your sins. Then He rose again in triumph over all the powers of death and darkness, so that in Him we can have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

But it’s not enough to merely believe “intellectually” in order to be forgiven by God. The Bible says that even the demons believe intellectually! (James 2:19) In order to have real forgiveness, you must repent, as Jesus Himself said: “unless you repent you will also perish.” (Luke 13:3) And repentance means turning fully away from your life of sin and turning fully to God, trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE to save you and not your own deeds; trusting in Him as the One Who willingly stood in your place on the cross, taking God’s wrath for you; the wrath YOU deserve.

What are you waiting for; don’t gamble with your eternal salvation! “Your life is a vapor,” (James 4:14) and you have no way of knowing which second will be your last. “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7) God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires for you to turn from your sins and live! (Ezekiel 18:23) You have a personal invitation from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

…………..
To discuss this further please email: rpavich@gmail.com

Thanks to http://www.puritanfellowship.com/ for a great tract.

30 responses

28 05 2012
Tera

Slightly more clear yes.

I account for morals the same way I account for blood cells – we evolved to have them because they benefit us. You likely don’t “believe” in evolution, so to you that’s not any sort of convincing argument. Just as your argument that it’s from a deity isn’t convincing for me.

“both opposing positions cannot be right…and you know that.”

I don’t know that at all and I would kindly like you to stop putting words in my mouth.

“Ergo, your worldview is internally inconsistent”

Speaking of inconsistencies I can think of no better example than the bible. It’s full of contradictions.

There is no black and white. There are grey areas for everything. If two people feel differently about the same situation it’s entirely possible for them both to be “right”. It’s also possible for them to both be wrong.

Say a friend accuses your spouse of cheating because they seen them flirting with someone. You can adamantly claim that they are most definitely not cheating on you, while they adamantly claim that your spouse most certainly is cheating on you. Both parties feel that they are “right”, and may defend that position to the extent that their friendship disintegrates.

Perhaps to the spouse, flirting isn’t cheating at all, while to the friend it is. Both of them are “right”, because it’s their own world-view. It’s just a difference of opinion.

You seem to like to make assumptions about me even though you don’t know me. As I said, I’ve spent years contemplating religion and “belief”, my worldview is one of doubt not belief.

I’m not claiming to be right, I ‘feel’ that I’m right, or I would’t be defending my position but I’m not claiming the existence of anything other than ourselves, which is pretty obvious, no one can deny that humans exist. I’m just doubting what you believe. As I’ve done since childhood, around the same time most children start doubting the existence of Santa.

I’m curious how you’ve removed all doubt. Why would a friend merely telling you that you need to believe and repent convince you so completely while I struggle to make sense of any of it?

Why do priests struggle with doubt? Why did Mother Teresa? People who lived their entire lives in the devotion of God, only to later doubt?

And why does this doubt not kill them/us if it’s so wrong or against God?

Why would God let humanity suffer for so long when he’s all powerful? Letting future generations suffer for wrongdoings committed by people who lived thousands of years before them in a completely different type of society. Why would God not offer us any new guidance for this new completely different society?

The entire concept of God is totally illogical, on a metaphysical scale or otherwise and I can not help but doubt and don’t see how it’s possible that others do not.

I can’t put this any better myself so again, I’ll borrow some “drivel” (thoughts from someone born before Jesus – but I guess since it can be found online it’s drivel.)

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
-Epicurus

28 05 2012
rpavich

Tera,
Quote:

Slightly more clear yes.

Good.

I account for morals the same way I account for blood cells – we evolved to have them because they benefit us.

Ok…now we are getting somewhere; we have a sense of moral right and wrong because it benefits us.

Your saying that random chance mutations over millions and millions of years provided us a sense of morality; right and wrong?

How does that benefit creatures in a worldview where survival of the fittest is the defining characteristic?

Also if morality is nothing more than a product of the random firing of neurons in our brain, then there is no “absolute morality”( i.e. something is morally right or morally wrong in all places and in all times?)

True?

I’m keeping this short to keep on track…this is the crux of the discussion.

29 05 2012
Tera

I’m saying I don’t *know* anything. .. Evolution is the most plausible when you remove the plausibility of God so that’s what I fall back on. But ultimately they are all just theories. It makes more sense to me that our biology evolved to have morals than were created by some divine being that doesn’t appear to be here, perhaps he appeared in the past, but there’s no way for us in our current reality to know that.

Survival of the fittest in it’s most basic sense is for animals with lower brain function, where physically they need to overpower other species, or their own. In a world where survival of the fittest is the defining characteristic, when you take an animal (namely us) that doesn’t have the means physically to protect itself from larger and more aggressive animals our cognitive brains were what often saved us and the more brains working together meant more survival so we evolved to work together, to have empathy and sympathy for our own species. We learned to work together and band together and have arrived at the huge cities we now dis-functionally function in. We’re still evolving though from what I can tell. We’ve learned to mould the world around us, so while our physical evolution is slowed, it seems to me now that we’re a dominant species we’re evolving to have sympathy and empathy for other species. We want to save other species from pain and suffering as much as we do our own.

Morals are what we define them to be. Different societies have had different morals at different times in the history of human kind. What’s “right” is what we feel to be right. .. However, I think we need to bear in mind that what we feel can be severely affected by our life experiences, our preconceived notions about the world which are usually learned from our parents or other caregivers and that while we may ‘feel’ something is right doesn’t necessarily make it so, and vice-versa.
So I think we need to take a long, hard, and honest look at the histories of our societies and where we’ve gone wrong and how to change that.

What bothers me most about organized religion is that it makes claims to know things it can not possibly know and proclaims to anyone who doesn’t go along with it that they will suffer for all eternity for that disbelief. It admits no ignorance or fault and with that kind of arrogance we all suffer consequences, and have been for centuries.

There is nothing wrong with admitting not absolutely *knowing*.

So I’ll repeat some questions that you, yet again didn’t answer, because these are the ones I’d really like answered;

I’m curious how you’ve removed all doubt. Why would a friend merely telling you that you need to believe and repent convince you so completely while I struggle to make sense of any of it?

Why do priests struggle with doubt? Why did Mother Teresa? People who lived their entire lives in the devotion of God, only to later doubt?

Why does this doubt not kill them/us if it’s so wrong or against God?

Why would God let humanity suffer for so long when he’s all powerful? Letting future generations suffer for wrongdoings committed by people who lived thousands of years before them in a completely different type of society. And why would God not offer us any new guidance for this new completely different society?

29 05 2012
rpavich

Tera,
Quote:

I’m saying I don’t *know* anything. ..

Well…you talk like you know things. I guess if you can’t know anything then there is no reason to continue this conversation is there?

PS: you didn’t answer the question besides a bunch of suppositions about what might have been. Just saying that we evolved to have morals doesn’t give a reason we should have morals…it’s just begging the question…a circular argument.

Basically you are saying “just because”.

You went on to say that morals are merely “social conventions,” what is true morally could be untrue in another society.

Let me make sure I read you correctly; There are no moral absolutes…morals are relative and agreed upon.

Violent rape is bad where you live, but there could be a society that’s decided that rape is a good thing and the more violent rape their is; the more “moral” things are.

True?

(PS: you don’t have to type 5 huge paragraph diatribes…I’m only going to address the direct answers and skip the suppositions.)

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