I heard a sermon on this passage which I completely disagreed with. If I understood correctly, it seemed the pastor said that believers who do not bear fruit, or refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to work through them to bear fruits of love would be taken away and “purged or cleansed” in the fire to help them grow…something to that effect. As I understand it, believers can suffer loss but I’ve never read or been taught they will have to go through some type of purgatory. This teaching sounds like more “overcomers” theory.
I have always thought that there was more to the story about the shepherds visiting the birth of Jesus than what Luke says. For example, I’ve been told that these were shepherds of the flock of sheep that were used in the temple sacrifices and therefore they were making sure that the lambs being born were without blemish. This is the reason they were sent to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was born without sin. Also, the plot of land they were using was the same plot that Boaz redeemed for Naomi in the book of Ruth. Is there any evidence of this or is it all a cute story like the little drummer boy?
I’ve been thinking about the statements you wrote like, “If what we say we believe doesn’t result in action, it’s doubtful that we really believe it. True faith will manifest itself in Spirit led work” and, “Faith brings salvation, which brings gratitude, which brings a desire to express our gratitude through acts of service.”
I am one of those Christians who have had doubts about my own salvation ever since I asked the Lord to save me. Often I wonder if I have truly believed he died for all my sins. If not, I really want to believe. It’s been already 3 years since I asked the Lord to save me and there’s has been absolutely no gratitude from my heart because of doubt. And because of my doubts, there hasn’t been any expression of my gratitude in the form of acts of kindness toward others. Was I even saved from the start?
What is going on in John 20 when Jesus breathed on the disciples and told them to receive the Holy Spirit? Prior to this event, Jesus told them He could not send the Holy Spirit to them until after He returned to His Father. Then after this event He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. So what happened in John 20, how do we explain this?
Re: Must God Choose Us? Could you explain these two verses. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” and John 6:44 says, ” No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” They seem to contradict each other.
I believe we are saved by grace alone and we have no requirement other than faith. My question is, are some of my dear friends who believe they have some responsibility in maintaining their salvation by their works not saved?
In John 16:33 Jesus said we will have tribulation in this world, but to be of good cheer or courage because He has overcome the world. I have to say I’m not real sure exactly what Jesus meant when He said this. I know in my head there is nothing more powerful than God or Jesus and that He always has the final say when it comes to anything in the world. But how are we supposed to be of good cheer concerning pain and suffering?