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AAAAmember
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« on: June 28, 2004, 10:25:03 AM »

In the interest of furthering my education and continuing to learn over the summer, I was hoping y'all might be able to answer some questions for me.

1) Why do children die?  And I want a REAL answer to that one.

2) Why don't animals go to heaven?  Any heaven without animals would surely be hell for me, and I can't understand why creatures with such pure souls would not be allowed to go to heaven.

3) I've been looking through some things, and I came across something confusing.  In Acts 26:23, it is said that Jesus would be the first to come back from the dead.  However, this has been done before - Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.  Elisha and God also did the same thing.  I think I might be missing some piece here - help?

4) Why is the Old Testament no longer relevant?  Why do we get to pick and choose what parts are relevant?

5) Why is it necessary to try and convert people to Christianity, when God already knows who will convert and who won't?  

6) If God loved us, why did he give us free will?

7) Why does Satan exist?  Why does evil exist? (I want a REAL answer to this one, too!)

Cool Why do terrible things happen to good people and not to others?  Does God dislike these people?

And finally...9) Why won't BEP answer questions when people ask him?

Thanks guys.

much love,
~AAAA
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michael_legna
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2004, 12:27:46 PM »


Quote
In the interest of furthering my education and continuing to learn over the summer, I was hoping y'all might be able to answer some questions for me.

1) Why do children die?  And I want a REAL answer to that one.

Because man inherits a sinful nature from our ancestors.  We all lie, we also all sin in other ways.  We choose the comfort of the world over obedience to God, because it is easier short term and we worry about the long term later.  Children are especially good as this choosing instant gratification over long term good (I am assuming of course we are talking about children of the age of reason).  They are just a microculture of all mankind.

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2) Why don't animals go to heaven?  Any heaven without animals would surely be hell for me, and I can't understand why creatures with such pure souls would not be allowed to go to heaven.

I don't know for certain that they do not.  But if they do not it is because they do not have a soul.

Quote
3) I've been looking through some things, and I came across something confusing.  In Acts 26:23, it is said that Jesus would be the first to come back from the dead.  However, this has been done before - Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.  Elisha and God also did the same thing.  I think I might be missing some piece here - help?

The verse you are referring to does not say what you think it does.  In it the rising from the dead is arising to a new life.  Not just to the same old one that Lazarus did.  Christ is the first fruits of the new resurrection to a spiritual life of heaven which we will have access to through salvation.

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4) Why is the Old Testament no longer relevant?  Why do we get to pick and choose what parts are relevant?

The Old Testament was aimed at fulfilling the letter of the law.  But God and Christ taught us that God wants mercy not sacrifice.  That He wants us to understand the intent of the law not just go through the motions trying to satisfy the law to earn salvation.  Instead we learn in the New Testament that we can fulfill the spirit of the law through love of God and love of one another.  We are not free to pick an chose, we have to fulfill the whole law, but love does that.

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5) Why is it necessary to try and convert people to Christianity, when God already knows who will convert and who won't?  

God knowing does not put a limitation or requirement on how we freely respond through our free will.  This is a complex question and cannot be done justice in a short post but there is good reasons to witness once one properly understands free will and predestination and their relationship.

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6) If God loved us, why did he give us free will?

Because He wants us to love Him back and without a free will that love would be meaningless.

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7) Why does Satan exist?  Why does evil exist? (I want a REAL answer to this one, too!)

Satan was not always evil.  He was an angel of light, but he had a free will too and chose to be served and the comforts it brings rather than to serve God and enjoy the love he would get in return.  This chosing ourselves over others is the basis of every form of evil.  Evil exists because good exists.  Evil is just the absence of good.

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Cool Why do terrible things happen to good people and not to others?  Does God dislike these people?

God is not the cause of these terrible things, usually we are.  Most terrible things that happen are due to other people choosing to satisfy their own desires over the common good.

Quote
And finally...9) Why won't BEP answer questions when people ask him?

That is because he is from Oklahoma.   Grin
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2004, 01:42:04 PM »

hi,
  I won't attempt to answer these questions, but they are good ones,so  I will be watching this post for more replies.
I feel the same way as you do about animals. I hit a deer once and was devastated, I cried off and on for two days. I hurt it's back leg and felt that he would be o.k. and called the police. In our area we have a wildlife sancuary and I thought he would be able to be helped. The police betrayed me and told me the animal would not be harmed so they could get my location. The officer that showed up said he was going to shoot it. Not only had I hit and harmed this deer but I had betrayed it into the hands of death.He had every intention of shooting this deer before he even arrived. I know this sounds terribly immature but what can I say I love animals. This is how I dealt with it and every loss since. I asked the Lord to accept this deer into heaven. I have a virtual stable up there waiting for me Grin I trust in  the Lord's answered prayers!
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2004, 04:32:20 PM »

Quote
4a Said:

And finally...9) Why won't BEP answer questions when people ask him?

Thanks guys.

much love,
~AAAA

I don't play games with trolls. I simply help them take a hike.

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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2004, 05:37:23 PM »

Greetings Friends!
     Very good answers michael, I just want to clarify the question about the animals in heaven. I believe they don't because in Genesis 2:7 "the Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being." Here we see man, being the only creature to receive the breath of life. Therefore the only creature capable of eternal life. I know, I have two cats that are like family to me, but I believe that is what the Bible says.

Praise The Holy Name of Christ, By Which Men Shall Be Saved!
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2004, 05:41:59 PM »

hi,
  I won't attempt to answer these questions, but they are good ones,so  I will be watching this post for more replies.
I feel the same way as you do about animals. I hit a deer once and was devastated, I cried off and on for two days. I hurt it's back leg and felt that he would be o.k. and called the police. In our area we have a wildlife sancuary and I thought he would be able to be helped. The police betrayed me and told me the animal would not be harmed so they could get my location. The officer that showed up said he was going to shoot it. Not only had I hit and harmed this deer but I had betrayed it into the hands of death.He had every intention of shooting this deer before he even arrived. I know this sounds terribly immature but what can I say I love animals. This is how I dealt with it and every loss since. I asked the Lord to accept this deer into heaven. I have a virtual stable up there waiting for me Grin I trust in  the Lord's answered prayers!
Take heart and be consoled. What does "all things", "no sorrow", "no pain", etc., in the folowing quoted verses connotate?
It means that the new heaven and new earth can not be equated with our limited physical knowing. It is beyond our limited created imagination.
There will be no sorrow over pets or anythimg in the new dwelling place, but who is to say "all things" does not include animals.

 1.  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
 2.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
 3.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
 4.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
 5.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
 6.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
 7.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Ollie
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2004, 07:07:03 PM »


HI,
Welcome back. It has been a while since you posted other than the few recent ones.

Quote
In the interest of furthering my education and continuing to learn over the summer, I was hoping y'all might be able to answer some questions for me.

1) Why do children die?  And I want a REAL answer to that one.
The same reason people of any age group can die. Illness, accidents, war, tragedy, etc. If you are asking why physical death at all consider the first chapters of Genesis.
What would be a real answer to this question? If you can make that identification as such then perhaps the answer is already evident to you.

Quote
2) Why don't animals go to heaven?  Any heaven without animals would surely be hell for me, and I can't understand why creatures with such pure souls would not be allowed to go to heaven.
Do we have the knowledge that they donot? In Revelation 21 we are told all things will be made new.

Quote
3) I've been looking through some things, and I came across something confusing.  In Acts 26:23, it is said that Jesus would be the first to come back from the dead.  However, this has been done before - Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.  Elisha and God also did the same thing.  I think I might be missing some piece here - help?
Lazarus was brought back to physical life to die physically again. Jesus was resurrected to eternal life never to die again. He was the first in this respect. Elijah went in to heaven without ever having died the physical death.

Quote
4) Why is the Old Testament no longer relevant?  Why do we get to pick and choose what parts are relevant?
The old testament is relevant in revealing God, His people and their relationship to Him. It also broadens the understanding of the new by being a shadow of the good things to come and a schoolmaster to Christ. The ethiopian eunuch learned of Christ through Isaiah.


Quote
5) Why is it necessary to try and convert people to Christianity, when God already knows who will convert and who won't?

God knows, but people do not know therefore the command to go and teach and upon hearing the call of God's word the ready heart responds and believes.

Matthew 28:18.  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 19.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 20.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


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6) If God loved us, why did he give us free will?
To return the love.

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7) Why does Satan exist?  Why does evil exist? (I want a REAL answer to this one, too!)
If you can discern what is a real answer and what is not, then you must know the answer already.

However, everything exists because God allows it to exist, but only in a certain time frame.

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Cool Why do terrible things happen to good people and not to others?
People choose evil over good and usually instigate the evil to others.

 
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Does God dislike these people?
No.

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And finally...9) Why won't BEP answer questions when people ask him?
Ask again, perhaps They slipped past Him unknowingly.
I have never known him not to answer a civil "real" question.

Quote
Thanks guys.

much love,
~AAAA

Likewise, Pray I have helped. Again, WELCOME!
Ollie
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michael_legna
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2004, 08:23:27 PM »


Quote
In the interest of furthering my education and continuing to learn over the summer, I was hoping y'all might be able to answer some questions for me.

1) Why do children die?  And I want a REAL answer to that one.


I am sorry I thought you asked why children LIE.  But Ollie answered your real question - so it looks like you go to answers for the price of one.

 Grin
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AAAAmember
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2004, 12:38:00 AM »

Okay...I'll respond to your answers to my questions.

1) Still not satisfied.  One of my close friends and my boyfriend have each lost a younger sibling.  The pain these families have gone through is horrific.  I want to know why God made these children die, instead of taking a rapist's life.

2) Animals don't have souls?  You obviously have never met my horse, Sadie.  Her soul is a thousand times more pure than any human's.  It is difficult to describe/explain to people who don't know her.

3) Explanation accepted.  Thank you.  (That was a thank you to the people who responded - NOT to BEP, who blatantly ignored my question, most likely because he did not know the answer).

4) Explanation not quite understood, but accepted.

5) I've heard God's "call" and haven't responded.  Does that mean something's wrong with me?  Does it mean God doesn't love me enough to convert me?  Why was I chosen to be a non-believer?

6) But by giving us free will, isn't he giving us the opportunity to fail and go to hell?  And isn't that not loving us?

7) Still not getting an answer to this.  Ollie - I didn't understand your answer.  Why doesn't God just kill off Satan?  If he's omnipotent, doesn't he have the power to?

8 ) I meant...why do bad things happen to good people; for example, why do children die and leave their parents and siblings to suffer with grief?  The families I know who have lost children have done nothing to deserve their situations.  And yet rapists and murderers sometimes slip by the system unpunished.  I don't get it.

9) I think I figured out this one by myself.  BEP either doesn't know the answers or is too busy getting high off of his dictatorship power to bother with someone's genuine questioning.  How rude and un-Christianlike of him.

Some new questions...

10) Does submission mean that my husband can beat me or boss me around?  Where is the line drawn between abuse and "acceptable" submission?  If submission is supposed to exist, doesn't this mean Jesus loves women less than he loves men because he gives men control over women?  Why isn't the submission reversed?  

11) If women aren't allowed to speak in church, is this because God thinks they are stupid?  Does He think that they do not love Him enough to speak of Him?  Why are women considered inferior?

12) If I accept Christ, and then murder your daughter, do I still go to heaven?  Would you forgive me immediately?  What if God had told me to do it?  Would you accept that it is all part of God's plan?  

13) How much are Christians allowed to sin?  If they accept Christ, and then tear little animals to shreds, are they still Christians?  

14) What if someone was a Christian and was gay?  Isn't that the same as any one of you being a Christian and telling a little white lie?  Because isn't all sin equal?

15) Are there no scales of evil in God's mind?

16) Why doesn't God ever reveal himself to us beyond a reasonable doubt?

17) Does God hate gays?  If he doesn't, why do Christians hate gays?  Aren't they supposed to act like God?

That's it for tonight...thank you to the KIND people who respond to my questions.  

love,
~AAAA
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2004, 03:56:28 AM »

Greetings Friends!

Some new questions...

10) Does submission mean that my husband can beat me or boss me around?  Where is the line drawn between abuse and "acceptable" submission?  If submission is supposed to exist, doesn't this mean Jesus loves women less than he loves men because he gives men control over women?  Why isn't the submission reversed?  

11) If women aren't allowed to speak in church, is this because God thinks they are stupid?  Does He think that they do not love Him enough to speak of Him?  Why are women considered inferior?

12) If I accept Christ, and then murder your daughter, do I still go to heaven?  Would you forgive me immediately?  What if God had told me to do it?  Would you accept that it is all part of God's plan?  

13) How much are Christians allowed to sin?  If they accept Christ, and then tear little animals to shreds, are they still Christians?  

14) What if someone was a Christian and was gay?  Isn't that the same as any one of you being a Christian and telling a little white lie?  Because isn't all sin equal?

15) Are there no scales of evil in God's mind?

16) Why doesn't God ever reveal himself to us beyond a reasonable doubt?

17) Does God hate gays?  If he doesn't, why do Christians hate gays?  Aren't they supposed to act like God?

That's it for tonight...thank you to the KIND people who respond to my questions.  

love,
~AAAA
10) No your husband is not allowed to beat you, or abuse you in any way. God did not give men control over women, and neither does he love men more than women. Men and women are partners in life. Women serve and equally important part, because you keep the man stable. Submission is simply helping the man out as best you can, and he is also to help you as best he can. However, when it becomes physically, mentally, or spiritually painful that is when it is abuse. Also, just because you are called to submit to the man who loves you, doesn't mean you can't correct him if he is doing wrong.

11) Women are allowed to speak in church, and God does not think women are stupid. We see in the Bible that there have always been women prophetesses throughout history. He also considers a woman's love just as important as a man's. Some people have a misconception that women are inferior because they are not as strong as men, but there are things a woman can do that a man can't, for example give birth. However, men and women are equal, because we are all equally important to God.

12) We all sin, even after accepting Christ, but I believe that it is the intention behind the sin. So, if you murder my daughter, and intentionally go against God, I believe you have once again covered yourself in sin, and thus have renounced God, and would not be considered a Christian anymore, until you sincerely ask forgiveness, and accept Christ into your life again. I don't know why/if God would tell you to kill someone, unless it were war, or if that person were the antichrist. If it were my daughter that you killed, since we are all human, and I am no exception, I do not believe I would immediately forgive you. However, in order to obey God's word, I am supposed to forgive you. Everything happens for a reason, as we see in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose." So whether I would want to accept it or not(which that would definitely be the case) it would be part of God's plan.

13) As I just stated I believe it is the intention behind the sin. If you deliberately sin, knowing full well what you are doing and continue to keep sining without remorse or intention of asking forgiveness, I believe you have turned from God, and he will not be able to recognize you as his child. Therefore, you would not be a Christian anymore. If your sin has no intention behind it and feal remorse over having committed that sin, you must still ask forgiveness for it, but do not lose your Christianity, because you have not turned your back on God.

14) This is basicly the same question you just asked. But to answer your question, no you can not be a Christian,  and a homosexual at the sametime. One person can not serve two masters. So, if you are a homosexual, you have given in to sin, and have turned your back on God. God sees all sin as evil, and God knows the heart of every person, so he knows the intention behind your sin, which may be a way he judges, but who am I to say.

15) God is the judge of all. He sees everything as it is supposed to be seen. The Bible says that even blasphemy of God the Father, and Jesus Christ His son can be forgiven, however, the only sin that can not be forgiven is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Therefore I believe God knows the value of every sin, and thus holds the scale.

16) Because blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe. God wants you to belive with your own free will, and not have to reveal himself and tell you to believe. Am I saying it doesn't happen, no, because I know beyond a doubt that God exists. However, God does reveal himself, maybe not physically, because if God physically revealed himself to you, you would die, thats why he doesn't physically reveal himself. However, God does reveal himself, one way is through answered prayers, another is through visions, and another way God reveals himself is the Bible.

17) No. God does not hate homosexuals. He hates homosexuality, but not the people committing it. I do not hate homosexuals, sure I think it is a horrible thing to do to one's body, but i do not hate them. However, I know there are "Christians" out there who hate many people, and things. By the way, I don't like to use the word "gay" to mean homosexual, I would rather come right and say it. Plus the word "gay" used to mean happy, and the Bible even says that people were "gay" meaning happy. Plus they use the word "gay" to make it sound more appealing. And I don't equate being in sin with being happy. But back on topic, yes Christians are supposed to act like Christ. Even if it is impossible, because Christ was born perfect, whereas we are born into sin. However, we must still strive with our whole being to be like Him.

Well, I hope I was of some help to you AAAA. Thank you very much for the questions, and I look forward to more of them. Be blessed, and be loved.

Praise The Lord, Whose Love Never Ends!
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2004, 08:34:24 AM »


Quote
Okay...I'll respond to your answers to my questions.

1) Still not satisfied.  One of my close friends and my boyfriend have each lost a younger sibling.  The pain these families have gone through is horrific.  I want to know why God made these children die, instead of taking a rapist's life.

God gave us a free will, to intercede and stop every act of every human when it didn't go exactly as He wanted us to act would be to remove that free will and we would become automatons, non-beings.  That is not what He wants and neither do I - Do you?

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2) Animals don't have souls?  You obviously have never met my horse, Sadie.  Her soul is a thousand times more pure than any human's.  It is difficult to describe/explain to people who don't know her.

I did not say they did not have souls, I said that if they didn't go to heaven (which I am not sure of) then the reason would be because they don't have souls.  If you claim your horse has a soul perhaps you could prove it.  I was under the impression you were an atheist.  But you couldn't possibly be one and believe in souls, there is no scientific proof for them that is certain.

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5) I've heard God's "call" and haven't responded.  Does that mean something's wrong with me?  Does it mean God doesn't love me enough to convert me?  Why was I chosen to be a non-believer?

Well you cannot be a non-believer if you heard the call but didn't respond, you can't hear from something you don't believe even exists.  Your problem is you are wrestling with tough theological issues and still think you have to understand them all before you can accept God's love  that is not the case.  God doesn't force anyone to be converted, He reveals Himself and gives us the grace to respond - it is up to us to choose to or not.  He knock but we must open the door and invite Him in.  You just need to keep searching earnestlyand you will find the answers you need.

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6) But by giving us free will, isn't he giving us the opportunity to fail and go to hell?  And isn't that not loving us?

Yes, we do have the possibility, but with out that free will we could not truly love Him.  So without free will we could be gauranteed going to heaven to be with a God we loved, but the love would be meaningless.  Do you think that is what God wants?

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7) Still not getting an answer to this.  Ollie - I didn't understand your answer.  Why doesn't God just kill off Satan?  If he's omnipotent, doesn't he have the power to?

God is using the fact that Satan will act predictably to test our free wills and our response to God's grace.  It give us a chance to prove who really loves Him.

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8 ) I meant...why do bad things happen to good people; for example, why do children die and leave their parents and siblings to suffer with grief?  The families I know who have lost children have done nothing to deserve their situations.  And yet rapists and murderers sometimes slip by the system unpunished.  I don't get it.

God does not intercede so sometimes we do bad things to each other and sometimes they happen to bad people and sometimes they happen to good innocent people (like me Grin).  If God were to step in and prevent any of these acts it would be taking back the gift of free will and then we are not freely loving Him but loving Him by force.


Quote
Some new questions...

10) Does submission mean that my husband can beat me or boss me around?  Where is the line drawn between abuse and "acceptable" submission?  If submission is supposed to exist, doesn't this mean Jesus loves women less than he loves men because he gives men control over women?  Why isn't the submission reversed?  

You have not read the entire verse - it goes both ways.  Submission and love are both required from both sides.

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11) If women aren't allowed to speak in church, is this because God thinks they are stupid?  Does He think that they do not love Him enough to speak of Him?  Why are women considered inferior?

This is a cultural issue for those times.  It was less about gender and more about the preparedness of the women of that day.  It does not hold today when the women of the world are much better educated and able to fully participate in the events and discussions.

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12) If I accept Christ, and then murder your daughter, do I still go to heaven?  Would you forgive me immediately?  What if God had told me to do it?  Would you accept that it is all part of God's plan?  

If you repent and are truly sorry and ask for God's forgiveness then yes you could still go to heaven.  Iw ould forgive you if I was behaving as God wants me too, but I don't always.  I would hope to forgive you.  Your killing someone is not part of God's plan - God is not the author of sin.  God does not plan for you to kill anyone - it is your free will that does that.

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13) How much are Christians allowed to sin?  If they accept Christ, and then tear little animals to shreds, are they still Christians?  

They can sin alot and do, as long as they are truly repentant and seek forgiveness.  But a true Christian will sin less because they know how much sin bothers God and bothers even themselves.  It comes to the point of the feeling of sinning being worse than the pleasure one gets from the sinful act.

As to a specific instance one needs to look at the intention.  tearing an animal to shreds is not a sin if the intention is to say a small child from being malled by a vicious dog or something.  But if you are doing it just to see it suffer then yes it is sinful, but it is the intention really not the act that is sinful.  So a Christian would have to truly repent of the intention and the act to be forgiven.

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14) What if someone was a Christian and was gay?  Isn't that the same as any one of you being a Christian and telling a little white lie?  Because isn't all sin equal?

Being gay is not a sin - acting on it is.  You must chose a life of celibacy if your predilictions are such that you are not sexually attracted to the opposite sex.

Lying is not always sinful.  A little white lie is generally not a sin.  Because they are called white lies for a reason, they are generally told to save someone's feelings, so the intention behind them is not hurtful.  Also lying to your torturers during war to save your battalion is not a sin.  See it is the intention behind the act that is important.

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15) Are there no scales of evil in God's mind?

Yes but we all fall tot he wrong side on them - everyone.  It is only through His grace that any of us can be saved at all.  So there is no use in thinking about I am better than that ax murder or rapist.

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16) Why doesn't God ever reveal himself to us beyond a reasonable doubt?

Because then we would know and not have faith.  Once you know you no longer believe - they are two different and contrary states.  If we knew we would be forced to believe.  We know there is gravity and we cannot even with our free will deny its existance.  So if God revealed Himself we would be forced to know Him and forced to love Him, that is not what He wants.

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17) Does God hate gays?  If he doesn't, why do Christians hate gays?  Aren't they supposed to act like God?

I don't know God's mind but I don't think He hates gays and Christians should not hate gays.  Hate the sin - love the sinner.
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Matt 5:11  Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2004, 09:23:52 AM »

"There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.  And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,  who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried,  and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.  And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'  But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'  And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house--for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'  But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'  And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'  He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

Luke 16:19-31
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2004, 09:07:49 PM »

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1) Why do children die?  And I want a REAL answer to that one.
Children are human. All humans die, some sooner and some later. Humans die because death became a part of humanity since Adam's disobedience.

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2) Why don't animals go to heaven?  Any heaven without animals would surely be hell for me, and I can't understand why creatures with such pure souls would not be allowed to go to heaven.
Only humans were made in "the image and likeness of God". Therefore those who are in union with Christ through the new birth can enter into Heaven.

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3) I've been looking through some things, and I came across something confusing.  In Acts 26:23, it is said that Jesus would be the first to come back from the dead.  However, this has been done before - Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.  Elisha and God also did the same thing.  I think I might be missing some piece here - help?
Those who were resurrected such as Lazarus, may have eventually died. Christ is unique. He raised Himself, God the Father raised Him up, and God the Holy Spirit also raised Him from the dead. He rose to die no more since He is Lord.

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4) Why is the Old Testament no longer relevant?  Why do we get to pick and choose what parts are relevant?
We need to be clear on this. While the Law of Moses, or Old Covenant  is no longer applicable, having been replaced by what is far better -- the New Covenant, the Old Testament as Scripture IS VERY RELEVANT and is inextricably woven with the New. The Bible is one unified whole, with the New Covenant being the ultimate covenant.

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5) Why is it necessary to try and convert people to Christianity, when God already knows who will convert and who won't?
Christ has commanded that the Gospel be preached to "every creature". There must also be a response from sinners who hear the Gospel: "He that BELIEVETH and is baptized shall be saved.  But he that BELIEVETH NOT shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). While God knows all things, that does not mean that sinners do not need to "obey the Gospel".

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6) If God loved us, why did he give us free will?
To test our love for Him. When we freely love God in response to His love, it is the love that He looks for in humans.

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7) Why does Satan exist?  Why does evil exist? (I want a REAL answer to this one, too!)
Satan was originally the most beautiful angel in Heaven, Lucifer. He too had a free will, and he chose to love himself over God [just as Adam did]. Because of his own pride he rebelled against his Creator. This was sinful and evil. Then Satan caused other angels and human beings to also rebel against God.  Therefore evil exits in the universe.
 
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Cool Why do terrible things happen to good people and not to others?  Does God dislike these people?
When calamities come upon God's people, it is to prove or test their faith and love. It is also a mark of God's favour, in that those who pass the test receive greater eternal rewards than those who do not suffer.

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Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2
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