Comment: Glad to be of service. it's my pleasure.

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Glad to be of service. it's my pleasure.

So I'm wondering, have you read the whole bible? do you read it regularly? It's a little difficult to interact through text when questions aren't answered. maybe you've attempted to answer in a round about way, but I can't see the answers to the specific questions I asked. I'm glad you are explaining your views, but I'm more interested in how you came to those views than the views themselves. I think that is where the most insight can be gained and is the best place to test/challenge those views.
I get why you believe in God for philosophical reasons, and how things that Jesus taught resonate with you, but I get the impression that you are picking and choosing from his teachings when he and the teachers he hand picked to spread his teachings included a lot of exclusive claims like these:

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Acts 4:11-12 "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

1st John 5:11-12 "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Matthew 12:30 "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."

Why pick the love verses and pass the exclusive way to salvation verses when it's from the same source?

Re: "When he speaks of "The Days of the Son of Man" I think he is speaking of a mass spiritual awakening leading to peace and love."

I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion, Mark 13 seems to paint a picture of a lot of persecution till the end, not peace and love.

Re:"I don't believe in a dante's inferno style hell. I don't think a loving God would torture his child. Rather, I think hell is God allowing us to have our sins that we love more than God rather than dwell with God in the kingdom."

I think it's important to remember that Jesus didn't teach that God is everyone's father:

John 8:42-44 "Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

I might tend to agree that people who go to Hell are there because they prefer it to the only alternative (submission to God's lordship), but it's important to address why you believe hell is a particular way. Jesus taught a lot about hell, and it is definitely an unpleasant place according to him. He also taught it is a place of judgement. God is not merely a God of love, but also a just God of holiness: Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Holiness is to be separate from everything that is unholy, and sin is unholy. A judge who doesn't enforce the just penalties for crimes would be considered unjust. The fact that God is just is why Jesus had to pay for our sins rather than just overlook them. In Islam, God just overlooks sin sometimes and doesn't always enforce penalties, whereas in Christianity God is always just and provides the payment for sin himself when he wants to restore someone to a right relationship with himself. He can't just overlook sin without justice being served, else he wouldn't be totally holy.

Re: "Will bad people be separated from good people in the afterlife? Sometimes I feel like heaven and hell is an all or none concept. Either we all end up in heaven when the Earth returns to dust or we all burn in hell becoming the Earth's dust. Either way it's ashes to ashes and dust to dust."

Why would you feel like that when Jesus and his disciples taught the opposite? there is mention of torment that will happen to some, and also mention of joy that will happen to others.

Re: "To love one another is the utmost commandment. Greater love knows no man than to give his life for his brother, and we are to love God with our heart mind and spirit. That's the main message I gather from the Gospel."

Actually, that's only the second greatest commandment:

Matthew 22:37-40 "And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

The first 4 of the 10 commandments are about loving God and the last 6 are about loving your neighbor. The purpose of the Law is not to change our behavior, it's like a mirror which shows us the dirt on our face. It shows us what sin is. The book of Galatians get's into that (Galatians 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.").
Observing the law, much like a mirror will never remove the dirt from your face or the sin from your record, which is why people need the atonement of Jesus to satisfy God's holiness.

Re:"If the truth is that the Second Coming of Christ is within man, it means that I must rise to the calling and serve Christ in this modern day."

Again, how would this correspond to passages where his second coming is visible and and in the same manner as his ascension?

Re:" As for Job and the old testament stuff. I just don't believe it to be historically important. Many of the stories are ripoffs of stories that came way before and they portray a brutal ruthless authoritarian God. The OT God commands Abraham to kill his son to test his faith, kills thousands of innocent children, allows the chosen baby moses to be placed in a breadbasket in a river and left to die, and tortures a loyal servant to please the devil. I do not believe that is the nature of God."

A lot of assertions of Bible stories being rip offs are actually not very accurate if you look into them, a lot of anachronism and spin is usually involved. Jesus didn't view the Old Testament as wrong, on the contrary he treated it as an authority and claimed unity with the God portrayed in it. It's notable that Abraham offering Isaac relates to the fact that God gave his unique son as a sacrifice for us. Yet God didn't make Abraham go through with killing his own son, but with the consent of Jesus went through that kind of pain himself for our sake. Regarding the death of children, if anyone could be trusted to know when that might be righteously proper, it would be an all knowing good God. To simply assume that you know better than God based on appearances(arrived at through your own limited understanding) is kind of presumptuous to say the least. One must also consider that God gave the lives that he took, and that he only gave them temporarily in the first place. This verse is also notable: Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Many commentaries make sense of those events which atheist web sites love to focus on.

Re: "All I'm saying is that Mohammed and Paul claim to be prophets translating a revelation from God. I believe Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Jesus, Paul, Moses, Abraham, John, and the rest all received some sort of revelation from God."

Mohammed claimed that Jesus was not crucified and that Jesus did not die on the cross, and that Jesus was not resurrected, while Paul taught the complete opposite here:

1st Corinthians 15:14-19 "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied."

How can 2 completely opposite messages both be from God when Jesus taught the following: Matthew 12:25 "Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand."

Re: "Like I said with the post, the spirit of God is within man. Not one man, not a group of men, but in all men."

That doesn't correspond to scripture: 1st John 2:23 "No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also."

Again. Instead of giving a general response to the entire post, it would be nice if you dealt with the details of my questions, because they are aimed at the foundations of your views.