Excuses....for “a lack of faith”

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by stilllearning, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    My entire Christian life, I have heard these excuses being made for Matthew 19:24.....
    “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

    I have heard some say, that the Greek word for “camel” us similar to the word used for “rope”, so Jesus actually said rope instead of camel.

    Another popular explanation for this verse, are the several variations about a small opening at some point in a cities wall:
    One I have heard, is about an opening so small, that a camel has to get down on it’s knees, to make it into the city.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Now all of these excuses make a sermon more interesting and make a preacher sound well studied; But they are excuses, for a lack of faith.

    We know that none of these explanations can be true, because of what the Lord said 2 verses later........
    Matthew 19:26
    “But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”


    It is not “impossible” to fit a rope through the eye of a needle, nor is it “impossible” for a camel to get through a small opening.

    We need to stop, making excuses for a person's “a lack of faith” and remind them that this is The Bible, they are talking about.
     
  2. Truth Files

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    "We need to stop, making excuses for a person's “a lack of faith” and remind them that this is The Bible, they are talking about"

    Absolutely !!!
     
  3. rsr

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    I'm not following. Which excuses are you talking about?
     
  4. stilllearning

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    Hello rsr

    You asked.....
    Well Jesus said........
    “.....It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

    And we know, that everybody will have the opportunity get saved: So Jesus must be wrong.
    (Because we don’t have the faith to believe that He can put a camel through the eye of a needle.)

    So we make up excuses, for what Jesus must have really meant!

    Either He wasn’t talking about a real camel, or He wasn’t talking about the eye of a real needle!
     
  5. jaigner

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    This is clearly an expression to prove a point, not a literal, concrete observation. Scriptural writers, as writers in our day, often use clearly absurd exaggerations to illustrate a point of truth.
     
  6. stilllearning

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    Agreed.

    But why all the theological gymnastics, to explain it away?
     
  7. canadyjd

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    What makes you think everyone will have an opportunity to get saved? Haven't untold millions, perhaps billions, of people lived and died without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  8. asterisktom

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    Agreed. Or why all the theological gymnastics to explain away a passage like Mark 13

    28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

    In the words of Gilbert and Sullivan, "You have to be carefully taught."
     
  9. stilllearning

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    Hi canadyjd

    You asked.......
    Simple........
    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    --------------------------------------------------
    You continued.......
    Of course.

    But each and every one of them, had the opportunity to get saved, by responding to the natural revelation all around them.
    And every soul that positively responds to this light, will be given more light, eventually finding someone to tell them about the Lord.

    But every soul that rejected this light, pushed themselves deeper into Spiritual darkness, eventually becoming unreachable.........
    Romans 1:19-32

    But each, had an opportunity to get saved.
     
  10. stilllearning

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    Hi asterisktom

    An interesting passage.

    Is the fig tree budding, referring to the Jews returning to the nation Israel, or regaining complete control of Jerusalem?
     
  11. asterisktom

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    You are saying this about everyone? Everywhere and at all times? How about all the Amerindians, say, of the 5th century BC? Did they all have this opportunity that you are speaking of? Could none of them "find someone to tell them about the Lord"?

    Romans 10
    14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent?

    I realize that Paul is applying this passage to the Jews, but it is applicable worldwide and through the ages.
     
  12. asterisktom

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    Hi stilllearnng,

    I believe that the fig tree refers to Israel as a spiritual entity. It is interesting that there is no mention of fruit, just the leaves. The leaves here, I believe, are a profession of righteousness. Leaves without the fruit brought upon the fig tree in the earlier incident a curse from Christ. The withering of the fig tree was a prophetic precursor of what was to happen also to Israel, and did happen. Read the passage (Mark 11, the cursing of the fig tree) and you see that the two incidents, the cursing and the withered result later, are separated by Christ's dealing with the Jews, cleansing the Temple.

    More could be said here, but a distraction is happening right now. Such is life, eh?
     
  13. stilllearning

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    asterisktom

    You asked........
    I often think about the Amerindians, and what the Lord said.........
    Matthew 23:15
    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

    ------------------------
    Without a doubt, each and every one of them, were exposed to God’s creation;
    But I will leave their disposition, to God’s righteousness.

    He knew each and every one of their hearts and arranged accordingly by who’s womb they were born into!
    --------------------------------------------------
    As for Romans 10:14 &15
    These two verses, are man’s wicked response, to God’s promise in V.13.

    God says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    Then the wicked respond with,“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

    Then God responds in verses 16-18, with“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”
    I.e. They had natural revelation, so they didn’t need a preacher!
     
  14. stilllearning

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    You are right; it is interesting, that there is no mention of fruit, just the leaves.

    Sure enough, the Jews in Israel today, are not bringing for any fruit of righteousness!
     
  15. zrs6v4

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    Stilllearning, I have enjoyed this post. Thanks

    I would disagree with your observation.

    Romans 1, 2, and 3 condemn all mankind for sin. Further those who reject natural revelation, special revelation, or both are condemned. They are simply helpless in the hands of God and need Him to come to them rather than digging around looking for Him. They will never find Him in their sinful nature that knows only sin. See Romans 3

    Just as the angels, no man deserves to be rescued. We agree on this Im sure. The issue is that even with the availability of special revelation (the Gospel) people still need to be rescued by the grace of God opening their eyes from spiritual blindness and death. Apart from the Spirit's saving work by the will of the Father through the work of the Son, those with special revelation are no better off than those only with natural revelation.

    I do absolutely agree that God loves and desires people to come to Him and be with Him through Christ's atoning work. Yet, He chooses to leave many/most in their sins that His grace will be glorified in those whom He has chosen to rescue from His justice.
     
  16. stilllearning

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    Hello zrs6v4

    Nice to visit with you.

    You said.......
    I agree, we are helpless without the Lord, but......the Bible makes it clear that God is waiting on us, to respond to the light He gives us.......
    Revelation 3:20
    “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”


    Just as God’s response to those who reject His Light, by plunging them into more darkness; God also responds to those receiving this Light(natural revelation or a Gospel tract, etc), by giving them more light........
    Ephesians 5:13-14
    V.13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
    V.14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

    --------------------------------------------------
    God has given each of us a free will, to receive Him or reject Him.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    Because there are varying expressions of "litteral."

    Failure to include genre of the text into an understanding of litteral is as great a mistake as dismissing the text entirely. Some forms of text are figures of speech, some are outright doctrinal commandments. Knowing the difference means that we do not have to explain anything away.

    We expect poetry to be flowery and draw illusion to things that may be true, but not litteral in a very plain sense. We expect allagory to be similar -- stories are crafted to make a point, but the allagory does not have to be true in and of itself to make a truthful point or "the moral of the story" as is often the case with parables, etc. So too with figures of speech, which would have been quite plain to the original hearers or readers of the text in question, but to us far removed by almost 2000 (or more in the sense of the OT) years of history are not clear at all. Just like a 1st century indvidual would have no clue what we mean by "google it" we often don't realize when their own cultural terms are inserted into the text. That is what careful study of the Word involves.

    Further, there is also an issue in Scripture with "prescription" and "description." I've seen many a congregation led astray by a preacher taking a descriptive passage and making it prescriptive. By context, we must discern what is actually being said, and which inferences and doctrinal directives should be drawn from the text in question instead of blindly following every word in the most purely litteral sense, and if we do so, we eliminate the issues with trying to explain away passages like camel and eye of the needle.
     
  18. zrs6v4

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    Just some observation questions on Revelation 3:20.

    1. Who is Jesus talking to? A. the church as a whole B. Those who are saved but fallen away in the church C. Those who aren't saved in the church D. everyone in the cosmos

    2. What does it take for someone to hear Jesus' voice?

    3. How do you open the door?

    4. Does everyone hear Jesus' voice; how do you know?

    5. What is hearing Jesus' voice mean?

    6. Is Jesus saying that He gives everyone light, but its up to them to open the door as they hear? OR Is He saying, if you hear and open the door I will come in?

    7. Is it possible that only some people actually hear Jesus voice, and those people who hear?

    8. Is it possible that Jesus is knocking and some don't hear His voice at all and because they don't hear they don't open the door?

    etc...


    Before making an interpretation I always ask myself 100 questions and try to be honest with the text all though we all are tugged by what we already think we know, hehe.

    With all that said, Im not sure I agree that the point of Rev. 3:20 says that Jesus gives everyone light (special revelation light). How did you come to that conclusion?
     
    #18 zrs6v4, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2010
  19. glfredrick

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    That "revelation light" is called previnient grace. I cannot find that in the Scriptures. It was a concept exemplified by Arminian John Wesley to explain how humans dead in their sin and trespasses can have the human strength to reach out to God.
     
  20. Winman

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    This verse hinges on the word "generation". The word generation can mean those men who were presently living, or it could mean all of mankind from Adam to the last person who is born in this world.

    I would say it is obvious that Jesus was not speaking of those men who were alive at the time, as there is absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus returned in 70 A.D. and set up his millennial kingdom. It is up to you to prove that took place.
     

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