If God is so loving, why do bad things happen?
God created us to be in perfect unity with Him. Everything about the Garden was perfect, but because of one man's sin, we now live in a fallen world. Even in their sin though, God showed grace and mercy. First, is was HE that went searching for them, when they went and hid from God. THEN, God kicked them out of the Garden. Why was this showing grace? Because if they had stayed in the Garden, they probably would've continued to eat from the Tree of Life,which would've caused them - and us - to live forever, in a fallen world.
Yes, God created us with free will, and yes, there are things that we just will never understand, this side of Heaven.
God's Will is always done. However, I don't believe that his will and desire are one and the same. The Bible says that Jesus cried when he found out that Lazuras had died. Now, I personally think that he cried because He hurt for his friends. I also think that maybe he was sad at having to bring him back, instead of leaving Him in Heaven.
God feels our pain. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 As Christians we are not spared from pain. In fact, if you are a true believer, it isn't IF you will be persecuted/suffer pain/strife/etc, but WHEN. BUT, if through my struggles, I can show Jesus to someone else...then it helps me to see the blessings in it - even through bitter trials, like the death of my husband, and Sister In Law.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Will too much grace - and not enough law, lead to more sinning?
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, - Romans 5:20
Think of it this way. Take any two year old, set them near a filled cookie jar, and tell them "Do NOT touch that cookie jar!" Chances are, that after you tell them that, they will want those cookies even more, and will usually find a way to sneak some.
Whereas, if you leave the cookies alone, and distract them with better things, then the kid won't care as much about the cookies.
Can one lose their salvation?
No. Simply put, our salvation makes us new creatures: 2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Saying we can lose our salvation, would be like saying that a Butterfly could turn back into a Caterpillar. Do Christian sin? Of course we do! But as a new creation, when I do sin, I have this strong pull to go towards my creator. Now, if someone is mowing down a schoolful of kids, then I would have to wonder about his salvation in the first place.
Is grace just an excuse to get a free pass to Heaven, without having to do anything?
Well, like I said before - remember the two trees? The Tree of knowladge of Good and Evil, and the tree of life? We STILL have that choice, of which "tree to eat - even as Christians. Now, you can choose to do things your way, trying your very best to be a good person, and follow all the rules and commands, by eating of the "good" side of the tree - but guess what? ITS STILL THE WRONG TREE. God doesn't want us to be ME powered - he wants us to be JESUS powered. To do that, we need to eat off of the Tree of LIFE - with is Jesus. Abide in Him, and I promise you can't NOT do great things!
A Grace filled, Jesus filled Christian isn't powered by his own Flesh. He is powered by being overfilled with Jesus Himself.
Last edited by Freebird!; Dec. 30, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
Reason: Forgot a question!
Oregon, sitting on my couch looking out the window at a mountain
I remember a few years back on the tv show Survivor, a woman won. I think she was a Christian based on her comment after winning. I don't remember the exact words, but the gist of it was that she lied and cheated and backstabbed her way through the game (as most are wont to do - isn't that how you win?). She said it would be okay since she would just ask for and be given forgiveness. I don't think that's how it should work. I mean (if you are Christian), yes, you know you are going to sin, you sin every day, but hopefully your sins are small and maybe because you "forget yourself" (like you catch yourself gossiping or something), not premeditated because you know all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and your misdeeds will be washed away. Anyway, that's how I took that one particular situation, and it really made an impression on me and actually made me mad that she would choose to behave that way!
And speaking of "grace" - I guess now the song Amazing Grace makes more sense to me...