Comment: I'm always worried about being misunderstood

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I'm always worried about being misunderstood

Before I can address what you said, I need to know what you meant by "faith in Christ." I can think of 3 different definitions for "faith" in this phrase:

1) Faith = works. If I have faith in Christ, I would believe in Him, rely on Him, and strive to follow Him.
2) Faith = belief alone
3) faith = statement

If you meant definition number 1, we have the same beliefs but are using different words. It's pretty clear that if we love Christ, we would keep His commandments: love one another as He had loved us (John 13:34 and 15:12), that we love God by keeping His commandments (including the basic 10 necessary for a righteous society) (1 John 5:2-3), and so on. It's a given that nobody is perfect and so fall short of the whole Law, but that when we have faith in Christ, we do our best to follow Him in every way. We will fall short, and so God's grace will rescue us.

An analogy I have for "faith in Christ" is similar to being faithful to my spouse. If I am faithful to my spouse, I do not look at porn nor flirt with any man other than my husband, and I would teach my children to be faithful to their spouses. That would be a "10 Commandments" level of faithfulness. A Christlike level of faithfulness would be include not laughing at dirty jokes, teach children to respect members of the opposite sex, not speaking bad about my husband, praise him in both private and in front of others, trust and support him, and so on. However, if my "faith" is the same as either definition 2 or 3, am I actually being faithful?

I read the scriptures you referenced, and I love the commandments more. They show the world what specific things they need to do in order to become better. There is always room for improvement, always room to grow. First we can strive to live the basic Ten commandments, and from there strive for Love God and Love thy Neighbor As Thyself, and then there is "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

It is a given that everybody is imperfect. Everybody sins, because we all have weaknesses and shortcomings and the ability to choose good or evil. How grateful I am for Christ's Atonement! How grateful I am for Christ! Without Him my mistakes would never be washed away, my hands could never be clean. I would be stuck, unable to return to my Father in Heaven. But Christ's grace IS sufficient, if I only believe enough to trust Him and His power, and to follow Him. Go where He wants me to go, do what He wants me to do, say what He wants me to say. Learn His gospel little by little, and incorporate what I learn in my life, relying on the power of Christ's atonement to make such changes possible.

Personally, I think we are on the same page. You, too, say that obedience is an important element of faith. But I think you mistake all sins for outright rebellion. Christ did not condemn the woman caught in adultery and commanded her to go and sin no more. The pharisees, sadducees and those in power who deliberately twisted the Law of Moses and rebelled against God and had Christ crucified, knowing full well who He was, are condemned. They are in a far more horrible state, to be in open and willful rebellion against what they know to be true. It is far harder for someone who knowingly gives God the finger to have a change of heart and repent.

Now, I went ahead and did a word study on hell, and I found something very, very interesting: there are a lot of scriptures in the Bible that use hell as a state or a condition, achievable here on earth. For example, Psalms 9:17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." In context, this is talking about something that happens to these people in their mortal lives. Also, David (I believe) wrote in Psalms 139:8 "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." This was also in the context of the different places and conditions he could be while alive on earth. And here is this psalm by David, too: "I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me." (Psalms 18:2-5, or 2 Samuel 22:4-6) Once again referring to hell being a state of being surrounded by wickedness on earth. There is a scripture that talks of hell as a group or a nation (Isaiah 28:18) with whom the wicked of Jerusalem could make an agreement with, and so I conclude that "hell" in this verse means Satan and his angels. In the New Testament, James 3:6 reads "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, it is set on fire of hell."

There are very few scriptures that talk about someone being cast into hell, and those are in the New Testament. So, yes, there is a place for sinners to go, but it is a mistake to reject the concept of hell being a state of mind, based solely on Biblical evidence. There is evidence and hell being a literal place (though the exact nature of that place is up for debate), and of it being a state of mind, and of a condition or environment here on earth, and of it being Satan and his angels.

Thank ou for asking me to do that word study. That was awesome ^_^

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine