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Free will, God’s will, and the importance of the Lord’s Prayer

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Free will Gods will and the importance of the Lords Prayer

Arguably the most challenging concepts for true believers in the Bible to reconcile in our minds is the seeming contradiction between God’s Will and the free will of humans. Some frame the debate as one between predestination and acceptance of salvation through our actions. Others believe that free will is an illusion. Still others believe in predestination through a prescient view. All of these concepts can take a diligent believer on a journey of the mind that spins around in our conscience like a roller coaster that never ends.

The problem is that we’re incapable of fully understanding it because of our physical constraints within the universe. Time is a physical property that is impossible for us to avoid. Even those who have studied and are able to see things theoretically from perspectives outside our dimensional constraints are incapable of acquiring real understanding. In short, it’s truly beyond our grasp.

Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), it’s a concept that compels many to strive to comprehend. Ephesians draws this question in with four very potent verses:

Ephesians 1:3-6 (KJV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

When Christians see that we were “chosen in him before the foundation of the world” and that He “predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,” it poses a question within many who wonder how free will comes into play for our salvation if we were chosen ahead of time. This is reiterated briefly in Revelation in reference to those worshiping the first beast.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. – Revelation 13:8 (KJV)

A good number of churches and pastors take the prescient view and draw from Arminianism. In essence, this perspective believes that the saved, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, believed in Yeshua as Lord and Savior and had their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because God saw that they would choose to believe. It’s a powerful teaching because it reconciles the idea of predestination and free will into a convenient package that people can understand. It does not take away from our responsibility to accept Grace while maintaining that we were chosen beforehand based upon this acceptance.

The premise was created for the right reasons. It points us in the direction that allows for free will to coexist with God’s Will. The result in the minds of those striving to embrace the Word of God is mostly righteous because it attempts to prevent the concept of predestination from lulling people into a sense of hopelessness or impotence. It calls for us to remain diligent and is justified in the minds of those preaching it because otherwise people could fall away by believing that they have no say in their own salvation. If predestination exists without free will, Arminians would argue, then there’s no reason to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit because our fate is sealed regardless of our actions.

It’s a compelling argument, but it’s flawed. The prescient view unintentionally takes away from the sovereignty of God. It diminishes the power of His Will by declaring that predestination was actually precognition. In other words, the prescient view declares that God looked ahead to see which one of us would believe in Him and His Son and would follow the Holy Spirit, then He wrote the names of the people who believed in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That’s not predestination.

It isn’t just for the sake of free will that this concept is believed. It also has to do with our human perspective of fairness. If God chose who He would save and who He would not before they ever existed, it seems unfair to our human sensibilities. This is where things can be very confusing for believers because we cannot fathom a state outside of time. Time itself is a creation of God. Therefore, He exists outside of a physical rule that is unavoidably embedded within out conscience: the rule of cause and effect.

We are persistently constrained to the concept of cause and effect. It is impossible to comprehend the consistent state of God to the point that I hesitate to write about it. As he told Moses, the way that He was to be identified to the Hebrews was as “I Am.” Yeshua reiterated this in John.

John 5:56-58 (KJV)

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

It’s with this concept of existing that our understanding fails. We see the world as cause and effect: we’re born, we do things, we face challenges, we are born again, we do things differently, we die. Our perspective within the framework of a world constrained by time does not allow us to understand the state of simply being. This is most confounding unless we’re able to at least partially grasp that our names were written in the Book of Life before the foundations of the world because our names are written there. For the sake of comprehension it is worded in the Bible as being before, but that is only done for convenience to allow comprehension of a Book that exists outside of the time-space continuum within which we currently exist.

The imperfect way of looking at it is to know that our names weren’t written because of our actions but that our actions are guided by the writing of our names in the Book of Life. It’s imperfect because it once again forces a constraint within our own comprehension, but it’s as close as we can come to understanding it at this point of our existence.

This is why we must always pray the Lord’s Prayer as Yeshua instructed us. The key is within the portion of the Lord’s Prayer when we are to pray that our Father’s Will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. The Lord’s Prayer is extremely precise. It is a constant reminder of how we must live our lives. It is also a plea for our prayers to call for the Will of God to act on this world.

Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

We are told in the Bible how to live our lives. It isn’t for us to understand how we were chosen or to debate the fairness of predestination. Rather, we are here for His pleasure and the fact that He gave His Son for our salvation is enough for us to be humbled and grateful. He isn’t compelled by anything we do. His Love alone for those who deserve nothing is the most wonderful gift that supersedes any sense of fairness we might try to inject.

 


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Culture and Religion

Did Jesus die exactly 1000 years after King David died?

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Did Jesus die exactly 1000 years after King David died

History doesn’t tell us exactly when Yeshua was born. Luke tells us that He was about 30 years old when He began His ministry and we know it lasted approximately three and a half years.

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, – Luke 3:23 (KJV)

We know that King David died in 970 AD. The math might start sounding pretty cool at this point, but I’ll elaborate.

Scholars put Yeshua’s birth to likely fall in the 6-4 BC range. Experts place the range of His death (and resurrection) between 30-33 AD as a result of the data that they’ve worked out.

If He did die in 30 AD, that would mean that he died exactly 1000 years after his human ancestor King David.

Some will point out that the calendars were changed, going from 364 to 360 up to 365 at different points within this time range across the various regions, but using the accepted calendars, we can claim that it’s possible for it to be a 1000 year gap. Knowing the amazing order and precision with which our Father has established His creation, it wouldn’t shock me to find out some day that it was precisely 1000 years all the way down to the second.

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Conservatism

The problem is more spiritual than political

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The problem is more spiritual than political

Personality politics have pre-empted a commitment to the Christian faith upon which America’s history has been based. It is now more important to defend a person or a group of persons than it is to stand firm upon the truth, which is objective and no respecter of persons.

Some have said we are not conservative because we dare to suggest that a primary challenge would be good for America. Defending the incumbent has become more urgent than looking at things as they really are.

Many in America and the world no longer see events through a Christian lens. They lack the perspective that everything plays a role in God’s eternal plan. That’s why a self-admitted hedonist and adulterer was elevated to the highest office in our land.

Such excuses are used as we need a Commander-in-Chief but not a Pastor-in-Chief. But, God’s Will be done whether it be willingly or unknowingly.

Trumpism is not synonymous with Conservatism. Many true conservatives were disenfranchised through the shenanigans of the Republican Party in Cleveland in 2016.

They did not allow the delegates to vote their conscience. They changed state tallies over the objections of the delegates. They ramrodded through a nominee that many did not choose.

That said, it is wrong to accuse those who propose a primary challenge as being “Never Trump”. I have said repeatedly that he is less problematic than the perverted Democrat alternative and that I will support and vote for him if he is our binary choice.

But it’s obvious that there is much more involved here than just politics. Ephesians 6:12 confirms that there are spiritual forces arrayed against us in this world. They are manipulating human emotions around the world.

Look again briefly at Christchurch. The facts of the matter and the overwhelming body of evidence remain that Islamic Jihad comprises the primary threat to world security. The attack in New Zealand was an anomaly. Whether or not it was a conscious attempt of the perpetrator, it was absolutely a purposeful event by evil spiritual forces.

So many Christians today are Christians in name only. That is a far deeper problem than Republicans in name only in our own country.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern donned a hijab and celebrated the Islamic call to prayer just one week after Christchurch. She instantly unlearned the lessons of former PM John Key who admitted during his tenure that there were Islamic terrorist operatives based in New Zealand. Whatever her own religious upbringing, she immediately embraced Islam as the symbol of her people henceforth.

If Christians in our own country and the rest of the world do not base their view of society upon the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they will continue to be susceptible to every false doctrine that comes along. You have only to look at the words of Muhammad in the Quran to see the mischaracterization of Jesus and His followers.

We are not going to debate the theology. My point is simply that Christians are not standing for our faith the way that Muslims do for theirs.

In America, as long as we continue to embrace every strong personality without discernment, we are headed for disaster. Worldwide, both here and abroad, if we do not understand our own beliefs, we will jump on the bandwagon and condemn our own traditions in favor of political correctness every time.

At NOQ Report, we strive to objectively analyze the news and current events. We present analyses that you are not seeing in the mainstream media. You are free to agree or disagree. We are crowdfunded and your continued support is much appreciated.

Freedom of speech and opinion is what America is all about. NZ has no 1st Amendment as we do nor a history of free speech. The UK imprisons street preachers because it might offend Islam.

In the United States, we can discuss Presidents and ideologies freely and objectively. This is a right we must treasure and defend vigorously or it will go away!

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Conservatism

What Steven Crowder’s latest pro-life Change My Mind reveals

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What Steven Crowders latest pro-life Change My Mind reveals

Steven Crowder in his most recent edition of “Change My Mind” experienced more aggressive pro-abortion arguments than he had in the previous installments. The episode featured people arguing that moral personhood began at birth or even “experience.” Often times, Change My Mind demonstrates that under scrutiny, arguments have flaws. Such is the method that got Socrates killed. With all of these discussions, the failure to prove the lack of humanity for a fetus proved unconvincing and logically undefended by its proponents. But I want to address the intrinsic instinct, the universal morality, that could not stay buried under layers of denial. These pro-abortion advocates, deep down, know they are wrong.

In all four conversations, late term abortion was supported. However the caveat of threat to the mother was brought up, despite the rarity of such occurrence. Steven Crowder called them out, citing the fact that they said they would support third trimester abortion even if it were not a threat to the mother by their own previous admission. The proponents then hesitantly agreed. So Crowder then asked “why bring it up?” That is the question. Why would abortion advocates rely on such extreme examples?

I believe that deep down, those who have not finished their leftist training have not intrinsically forsaken the convicting power of conscious, because of what I observed in this video. The latter two proponents came off as not even believing what they were saying. The first was a hardcore stoner. The second was a perhaps shy of being a feminist. The stoner gentleman said “breath” was the transfer of moral personhood and if a baby came out and had yet to breath, it would not yet be human, therefore justified in killing it. The last one suggested the ultra vague notion of “experience” rendered moral personhood. Yet she agreed that the experiences of the unborn were valid human experiences and then whimsically concluded that it was still okay to kill them.

She, in particular, sounded really unconvinced in her own stance. I thought she was going to make a utilitarian argument that would have led to an interesting discussion about quantifying human suffering. This would have been a better argument than “experience” which is even less defensible than sentience. The gentleman in the beginning argued that a fetus was a parasite but then insisted it was not autonomous. Biologically speaking a parasite is autonomous from its host.

These two claims are mutually exclusive. Three of these students presented arguments that I was unconvinced they themselves even believed. I am shocked that this was my takeaway, for on every other Change My Mind, even the other three installments on abortion, I believed that the guests genuinely believed their own arguments.

If a fetus is not human, there would be no need to rely on extreme examples to defend abortion. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that abortion is an affront to natural law, as science increasingly supports the notion of human life at creation. The Founding Fathers so cleverly wrote that our rights were self evident. The affront to these self evident rights will naturally be difficult to defend logically. This is why the abortion advocates had such poor arguments with premises that could not withstand charitable scrutiny. In this case, the pro-abortion advocates all believed a conclusion of abortion permissibility, without internally accepting the premises necessary to support the conclusion and the implications they would ensue from said premises.

There is a difference between a person being reputably evil and plainly gullible. That difference would be seen as someone who simply accept that a fetus is not human and simply doesn’t care. These college students weren’t there yet. Nor is the rest of the country as a whole. So there is reason for hope.

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