Revisiting the Shack

I finally got around to reading this book by Wm. Paul Young and even found his blog (everybody has one these days). I can’t figure out why many professing christian’s disagree with the theology of this book. Maybe because it borders on being a Universalist?

Jesus, in the book, referred to people of other religions seeking to follow God. When Mack (the lead character) asked if that meant that all roads lead to Rome (heaven), Jesus said not at all. When you think about it you can find God in any religion so you are held accountable if you choose to reject Him by being self-reliant and making yourself a god; i.e. establishing your own righteousness rather than seeking after the Righteousness and the Kingdom of God.

Even though you can find God through any religion, all the world’s wisdom trace back to Ancient Judaism which promises the coming of the Messiah whom the Jews are still waiting for and Christians are waiting to come again. You can find God in any religion so all roads to lead to God but salvation comes through faith in the Messiah.

As the Lord Jesus/Yeshua declared to the Samaritan woman in John 4, salvation is of the Jews but a day is coming when true worshippers/followers will worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth for He seeks such to worship & follow Him.

It doesn’t matter what religion you practice. Paul says in Romans 10:9,10 that all you have to do to be saved is believe in your heart and confess your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ (or Yeshua Mashiach). Matthew 7:21 is perhaps the scariest verse in the Bible because Jesus (the real one) declares “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do the will of the Father.” His half-brother says the same in James 2:24-26 when he says that we are justified by our works and not by faith alone in contradiction to Paul. Paul and James were actually agreeing because James was basically defining what faith is. Faith is an active trust in a living God.

We are saved by God’s Grace & Mercy. Grace in the Strong’s Concordance is defined as “a divine influence on the heart that is reflected in the life.” Now that’s a definition you’ve never heard in the church. They have it half-right. It is unmerited and unearned because you don’t have to merit the love of you parents if they love you unconditionally. Also no human can love you unconditionally like your Heavenly Father.

God has mercy on whom He has mercy. You can’t respond to the call of salvation unless you hear His call which you won’t if you get too deep in your own sinful and selfish way of living. God doesn’t show favorites. Jesus said “many are called but few are chosen.” The chosen are those that stand on the Word of God. The ones who possess and not merely possess salvation.

COMMENTS

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  • Lori Colbo 7 years ago from Pacific NorthwestWow, I have a few comments. First of all, I read the book a couple of years ago, against better advice. Although there was stuff I really loved in this book, what bothered me most was the depiction of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The God of the Bible is nothing like the Jamacian woman and the Holy Spirit is not an etheral weirdo.Your declaration that God can be found in any religion, and all roads lead to God completely contradicts that salvation can be found by faith in the Messiah. The problem with those statements is that other religions do not worship or consider Jesus Christ as anything but a good moral teacher or benevolent prophet. Buddists do not claim Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, and Lord and Savior, they don’t even look for Him, so how can you say they can find God in their religion? Nor do Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Age, Wiccans, Muslims, and many cults. Chrisitanity is not just an intellectual acknowledgment that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. It is a whole being, whole life belief that He is Lord of their lives and they will give up all to follow Him. One cannot serve two Gods. I have an acquaintance who says Jesus is her Lord and Savior, but follows are kinds of New Age practices in which she claims to find all sorts of enlightenment in objects and other nonsense. If one claims faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, they will not deviate from His teachings. Paul’s writings are very definitive as well as to how we are to live unto Christ. Your view is very universalist.Having said all this, I did not wish to come out in attack mode. Just to explain what I know of walking with Christ for 30+ years and studying His word. Paul warned the churches not to follow any other gospel other than the one he preached. I see in your message that you have a great heart. Thank you.
    • DenyStatus: Approved.

Mystery of the third temple

One of today’s modern prophecies is the rebuilding of the third temple. A little history though, the first temple was built around 1000-2000 years before Christ (or the Common Era). The temple was rebuilt within a few centuries before the coming of the Christ in the first century. Each of the three main Abrahamic religions believes in a future kingdom with a temple rebuilt for the third time. They use the book of Ezekiel which talks about the rebuilding of a future temple. Maybe we need to stop reading the Bible with contemporary lenses, since this book was written around the time of the Babylonian exile, before the second temple was rebuilt.

The abomination of desolation mentioned in the book of Daniel was about the rebuilding of the second temple. Jesus’s reference to the abomination of desolation was to the destruction of the same temple which took place in AD 70. It didn’t take much research to show that there was a seven year war between the Romans and the Jews, in which the temple was destroyed at the midpoint. It looks like people who are still waiting for the rapture today have the right events, but they haven’t realized it’s all ancient history now.

The Dome of the Rock is practically onsite of Solomon’s temple today. This was built by the Muslims in the 6th or 7th century. It’s not likely they are going to tear this down in the future since it has been standing for so long. People that are still looking for the temple to be rebuilt don’t know this interesting tidbit because they don’t study the history of geographic locations.

Jesus said “destroy this temple and I will rebuild it within three days.” The Christ’s temple is His Body, otherwise known as the Church (not divided by walls and borders). The Lord already reigns through His people. It is a spiritual reign. Waiting for Jesus to return and set up His Kingdom on earth is waiting for a political kingdom. It is the same mistake that Jesus’s first century followers made as well.

So if Jesus established the third temple in the first century, where does that leave salvation today? Some people who reject Preterism say this means our salvation is in the past. Time is man-made so there is no past, present, or future. It is all one time. Salvation is an ongoing journey that flows out of one’s relationship with their Creator.

What is the Gospel? Aka the Kingdom of God?

Luke 17:21. . .”-the Kingdom of God is within you.”

I’ve heard this question asked in every religious article in relation to this post. Think about it, what is the gospel that Jesus preached?

Is it the health/wealth that the Word/Faith prosperity churches teach? There does have to be some truth to this or it wouldn’t have such an impact. At least health wise. Wealth is relative and okay to enjoy but not be the primary focus in life.

How about “Ask Jesus into your heart” and be baptized. You won’t find this phrase anywhere in the bible?

Today’s verse (in the older translations) declare the Kingdom of God to be within us. In John 18:36 Jesus says His Kingdom isn’t of this world. The world is more properly translated as “realm”.

God is spirit and the things of God are spiritual. This is why we are commanded to live by faith and not by sight.

The real good news is that heaven is all around us. The only thing lacking is awareness Most of us are to blinded by materialism to actually “see” it or enjoy it. Maybe we really don’t believe in the things of God?

The only real sin (missing the mark) is unbelief. This leads us to chase after worldy things in an attempt to fill that void. Even politics is what people turn to when they lost faith in God.

Have to admit that worldliness is really good for the economy. It’s also exhausting with the endless work and trying to solve the various economic crisis that develop.

Seek first the Kingdom and all else will fall into place. The only way to deal with problems in society like racism is to be at peace with God, which supernaturally puts one at peace with his fellow man.

Idolizing the government: Separation of Church and State

I love the Strong’s Concordance. I learned enough about the definitions of words in the Bible to get me kicked out of church. For example, the definition of Grace is “a divine influence upon the heart that is manifested in the life.” The word charismatic just means grace motivated. Too bad some charismatics end up promoting a prosperity gospel into making this about material wealth (which is not bad in and of itself.).

I was reading 1 Corinthians 6 one day, you know verse 9 where it says “homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”? At least in the new translations. Just like in the book of revelations where the newer translations say “sexual immorality”, the older translations just say “fornication”. The latter meaning is perversion of something (porneo in Greek) and not necessarily about sex. Religious zealouts pervert the law by trying to follow it without understand the spiritual meaning is about loving God and our neighbor.

Spiritual adultery is not trusting in God which leads to an enslavement to materialism.

The older word is 1 Corinthians 6:9 for homosexuals is “effeminate”. The meaning of this word is “soft”. How else do you explain why Paul started the chapter off talking about people suing each other? The people of the day were becoming soft and enslaved to the elite, or 1% of their day. Cross reference this with Proverbs 28:1 where it says “the righteous are as bold as lions” and a verse towards the end of Revelations where it says “the cowardly will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Separation of Church and State is one of the foundations for the Amerian Constitution. Though it has never came to fruition. Evangelical Christianity, or the Christian Right, aligns itself with the Republican Party and even Zionists in an attempt to build a man made kingdom or Theocracy. This didn’t work when the Catholic Church had a Theocracy, it won’t work with Protestants. The Kingdom of God is already here for those that walk in truth and already established because it belongs to God and needs to building up, just an awareness that it is within.

The Christian Left is the polar opposite and doing just as much damage. And they wonder why Libertarian types don’t get into politics much. It’s hypocritical for the Right to say they are against Democracy yet think your vote matters. Democracy looks good on paper but can never exist in this world and only seems to result in more taxes and regulation and less freedom.

God told His people in 1st Samuel that they don’t need a ruler. Anarchy begins to make more sense since it involves taking full responsibility for ourselves and not being dependent on a system.

I have generally felt less patriotic the last few years. Nationalism is basically idolatry. Once you realize all nations become corrupt and the kingdom of God isn’t bound by any boundaries, then you realize it’s all built on a lie.

The Preterist Reformation

As Christianity declines in western culture and the United States in general, many who still defend the church think it’s time for a another Reformation. The Protestant Reformation exposed the churches lies with regards to selling indulgences and the office of the Pope. The latter was technically an abomination with calling the supreme pontiff the “holy father.”

Also the Catholic Church was known for keeping the public from reading the actual biblical texts, so no one could think for themselves. Of course, even in Protestant world many people who attend church still don’t read the actual text; they just rely on whatever their preacher tells them.

So what would the next reformation be? It’s been 2000 years and many are starting to wonder about this whole Jesus coming back thing. I know for me, I started reading the book of Revelations about 20 times in one years back in 2013.

Here are some of the things that led me to the conviction that Preterism was true:

  • Read the Bible with a first century mindset; how the text in the first part of Revelation said “these things which must shortly come to pass.” Of course God’s timing is different than man’s but no one in the Old Testament ever waited several thousand years for a promise. Also the word for second coming, aka parousia, referred to judgement on Jerusalem which could have easily been AD 70, if the book turns out to be written during the 60’s and not towards the end of the century like the established church proposes.
  • Ask yourself “what if these events already happened?” I asked myself this multiple times and that’s when it slowly dawned on me.
  • Read historical accounts outside of the Bible and find out about a war between the Romans and the Jews that took place from AD 66-73; note the fall of the temple took place at the midpoint. It turns out the Left Behind series was accurate, though it was basically historical fiction.

If you think Christianity will become more popular when the lies get exposed, think again. It was the lies that held it together; the biggest one being the hellfire and brimstone which was taken right out of Dante’s Inferno. It was the lies that held it together this long. But if it hadn’t been for the lies, we never would have heard the truth, for those that can see through it.

What does this mean for the nation of Israel?

I am still researching about Turkish-Mongolian settlers that raided the ancient hebrews thousands of years ago and borrowed the ancient texts which was subsequently used to build a false religion of Judaism around. This religion later was taken over by Christianity when it became the state religion of the Roman Empire. Islam would have never started if it hadn’t been for the corruption of the first two.

So what is this so-called Israel today? Mostly just a historical site. Jewry is more of an ethnic group. The Zionists are a political movement, mostly European atheists from what I read, who are using bad theology to rule the world from Israel.

The Catholic Church

The nation of Israel exists along with the Catholic Church to preserve the religious texts which point to the one true God. The ancient Jews, people of Judea, were chosen to reveal the one true God through the Christ. The current state of Israel exists to preserve the Torah which even the prophetic writings say is written on man’s hearts, and even Jews say one can practice their religion anywhere; the law boils down to simply loving God and loving one’s neighbor.

The Catholic Church simply means “universal church’. While the Judeo-Christian faith is the basis for truth, the one true God can be found anywhere.

The Future

Sadly, in another 2000 years there will still be people who are still waiting for the soon return of Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t doubt if there was another group waiting for the soon return of Donald Trump along with it. American Evangelicals seem to only support the nation of Israel so they can kick the Jews out of the United States and make Christianity the state religion of the U.S.

A comment on Quora under the topic of Preterism said that if this was all true, that would make true Christians just another form of Deism. Much of the Quakers profess to be Deists. It simply favors rationality of blind faith and doesn’t really believe in an overly personal God. Just because God is sovereign doesn’t negate your freewill, which most people don’t really believe in anyway.

The best argument as to whether we have freewill is to compare our relationship with God to a marriage, just like the Bible does. Who chooses who? Both choose each other. I am sure many hyper Calvinistic types will still twist this. And even atheists say that if a God exists then man doesn’t have freewill. My only conclusion is that giving man freewill was a sacrifice on God’s part because He didn’t want machines.