Does God want every believer?
Debate Rounds (4)
Not- Hopefully reason AND religion can be used in this debate
It is true that God said " I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me" as the first and foremost commandment. He also said that all other gods are "false".
Romans 6:23- "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Therefore, the price for sin is death, or hell. Sin is when someone willingly goes against the will of God. We are all sinners, and that's why forgiveness is necessary.
Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Thus, even though it MAY be considered that those who do not believe in God, but instead are faithful, loving, and genuine followers of a good religion, like Islam, that they may go to hell because they don't believe God, we don't go to hell because we sin.They are not necessarily rejecting God's teachings, but they interpret them differently, which is NOT a sin. As long as they work for the good of others, love and care for themselves and others, and repent fir their wrong doings, they WILL go to Heaven but will not understand the full glory of God until they believe.
1 Timothy 2:4 "God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
That's why God gives us will. Does a human truly believe in God if it was instilled him, if he was perfect? God gave us will to make choices. As long as we make good choices, and strive for love and betterness, you will go to Heaven.
Your counter argument consists of three 3 points.
1.You quote from the bible that
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me" as the first and foremost commandment. He also said that all other gods are "false".
Romans 6:23- "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This point can be easily "disproved" by quoting from the Quran that there is no Lord except Allah and if anybody worship other than him will go astray. But as this point of you DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING TO the core of my subject it needs not be answered.
2.You again quote from the bible that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Again this point can be "refuted" by pointing out the doctrine of sin in Islam that everybody is born with pure heart.
Unfortunately, again, this point is out of place as far as the core of my question is concerned.
3.You say that we go to the Hell if we do not believe, but we don't go to hell if we sin and repent. But as per Islam DISBELIEF IS THE GRAVEST SIN. Anyway again this point has no connection with my question.
4.You say that we can make choices and if we make better choices we will go to Heaven.Comparatively comes to the point. But it does not resolve the problem.Because:
a)Our choices are influenced by the factors over we which we have little control. More over,the result of our choice becomes important AND THE EFFORTS BEHIND THE choices are not at all considered by the God.No exemtion to anybody else with respect to his bad choice.Otherwise, Can you produce any supportive religious texts in this regards?
b)How many of the followers of a religion make deliberate choices? I think most of the believers' choices ARE CHOICE OF INHERITANCE. That is why WE SEE DO SEE THE PERCENTAGE OF CONVERTS ARE VERY FAR LESS THAN THAT OF THE INHERITED BELIEVERS.
Anyway you see all the above mentioned points are helpless in resolving my question: "DOES GOD WANT EVERY BELIEVER?"
By the by, let me explain my question a little more.
Mr. X lives with a lady whom he thinks to be his mothers. He loves her, cares and respect her. He gives food and shelter to her. When she gets old he looks after her. When she dies he cries in loss of her. He burry her gently and pray for her.
But there lived another lady who was his real mother. She lived a lonely life and deprived of everthing and suffered a lot.One day she died with nobody to burry her andnobody to cry for her.
If Mr x is brought before the God in the last judgement WHAT WILL HE DO?
To understand the situation, one must understand how you go to HELL. In Christianity, one must make the absolute rejection of God and his teachings, and embrace evil. In this situation, has he even sinned?
The answer is NO he has NOT sinned. Mr. X, given his situation, did the best he could to do good to his "mother", giving her food, shelter and love, the Corporal Works of Mercy. It was unfortunate that the women was not her mother, but Mr. X had not willingly or knowingly abandoned his real mother, and therefore it wasn't his fault. Since we see that he did care for his "mother", we can assume that he would do the same for the real one. One is sinning or rejected God's teachings because of a misconception. Rather, because he devoted his life to doing good works, God would bring him to Heaven.
My points were directly related to the issue. Through those arguments I explained WHY people don't follow him even though He wants them to truly believe in him.
1. The Quran, the Muslim "Holy Book" does not disprove the quotes brought up from the Bible. I acknowledge that God influences all religions, but that does NOT mean that all humans, who ARE imperfect, interpret God's message the same way. This is EXACTLY why other religions exist, such as Judaism to Catholicism, which branched into other religions like Islam and Protestantism (Islam is not a form of Christianity, I know) . Notice how most major religions, the majority of the souls on Earth, all believe in the same basic principles of God: that only One exists, the stress on goodness and love, etc. This IS important to the conversation, because we can realize that through God giving free will to believe in anything, people will eventually realize his message, because they are good and He understands that this is the best way to bring people to them because He loves them and wants them to TRULY believe. Obviously, Christianity is the BEST way, but according to Christian belief, he understands all humans aren't perfect.
2. (In response to #4) In direct contrast, our choices are all considered by God. If He is all loving, he understands that because he gave them free will to believe in him, our choices may not be what He desires but....
1 John 4:16- "So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
We can see that He still loves them, because they love. Thus, because they love BY CHOICE, they are doing the will of love! If he loves them, he wants them to be with Him.
This is exactly WHY he understands that people may not exactly follow Christianity, because there choices Can be influenced by outside sources. If X person sees Christians murder his family, he may not support the religion cause he see them as evil. Is this because he rejects their beliefs, or that an outside cause strayed his path? In fact, if he rejects them because they do evil isn't he essentially embracing God's teachings of evil? In a way, even though we may not understand it, because he wants everyone, others will follow his Will. We can even see that those Christians even interpret God differently. This is also why people inherit belief,not because they see murder, but because the message closest to them IS GOD. It may not seem that many aren't converted, but its those outside forces that affect that, but God, because he wants all, finds a way, ie. (not to name drop rudely,) @ZacGraphics, a convert.
".......The answer is NO he has NOT sinned. Mr. X, given his situation, did the best he could to do good to his "mother......X had not willingly or knowingly abandoned his real mother, and therefore it wasn't his fault. Since we see that he did care for his "mother", we can assume that he would do the same for the real one.............."
I think we are on the core of the subject:
I may start with Mr.X's story. Here Mr.X is the representative of the followers of all 'false' religions,his real mother represents the real God, and the lady stands for all 'false' gods.IF YOU ACQUIT MR.X OF HIS "GUILTY',
WHY CAN'T WE APPLY THE VERY SAME LOGIC in the case of millions of followers of 'false' religions' who WORSHIP 'false' god instead of the real God? The believers have already proved by their life that, like Mr.X, they wanted to do exactly what the followers of true religions did for the true God,(even though it may differ in the outward appearance ). BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT NO RELIGION WOULD ADMIT IT. Whether it is Islam or Christianity BELIEF IN THE PARTICULAR GOD is the sole and foremost requirement. In the absence of that particular belief NOTHING DOESN'T MATTER AT ALL (Even if some Muslims and Christians personally try to give some privileges to those group. BUT RELIGIOUS TEXTS ARE AGAINST IT). In the absence of such explicit statement from God himself TO CONSIDER THOSE PEOPLE, I have to believe that God DOES NOT WANT EVERY BELIEVER (Which is ridiculous too, and which cant' be ascribed to God,the Greatest, thus causing me to doubt even God/Religions)
Whenever I put forth this question GOD DOES NOT WANT EVERY BELIEVER, the main point that is pointed out against me(like our Sam and those who commented on this debate has done) is the 'availability of FREE WILL to believe and disbelieve in a particular religion or god or anything else.
Let me analyze HOW MUCH FREE IS THIS 'FREE WILL' and on whose shoulder the burden of this FREE WILL rests.
Suppose we are on a journey and we go to a hotel where continental food items are available. You have the FREE WILL TO CHOOSE ANY FOOD. BUT WHAT ITEM WOULD YOU CHOOSE NORMALLY? Exactly the food you are familiar with, the food available in your country, the food by which you have been satisfied with since your childhood. IS THAT A CHOICE? CAN WE CALL IT A CHOICE MADE OUT OF FREE WILL? No.it is an acceptance rather than a fundamental choice. If we analyze the available food items in the hotel, its merits and demerits, taste differences, health impacts etc and if we finally choose a food item then WE CAN CALL IT A CHOICE MADE OUT OF FREE WILL. By the same token, I can say that majority of the believers' choice is like this. They just accept it or justify it because of their familiarity from childhood and their mind set makes them not in need of other religions. Only a microscopic minority apply this free will.
So if this so called free will is shield for you to 'rescue' God from this dilemma, it is immaterial in the cases of majority of people who take its advantage. And on whose shoulder is the burden of this free will? No doubt, the unlucky followers of the false god.
One of your fundamental arguments is that "free will" is less by choice and more by the situation. However, lets analyze your metaphor of the continental breakfast. I disagree that choosing an item that is easy and recognizable to you isn't free will. The person is willingly choosing to pick a food that may not be the best for them, ie donuts. This is an example of those who reject God. The persons who choose whats best for them, based on merits, ie yogurt, is an example of those who truly accept God, even though it is easier not too. As you can see, this is "free will" in a way, however the latter has the stronger WILL POWER, the ability to do what is right even though you may not want too go through the process.
It seems that a counter argument here would be "If God really wanted everyone to go to heaven, He could 'force' everyone to believe in him".
What would happen if he forced people to follow him?
a) It wouldn't be true, because like you have said, an outside force caused that choice, but NOT in any way through the power of the actual person to make a choice to truly believe
b) A real relationship is not one of forcing someone to love. It is about invitation and acceptance.
However, because He loves us, He does all in His power to give us ways to love Him and understand Him, without forcing them too. He has given us The Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, and most of all sacrificed His life for us.
1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also suffered for sins once for all"
Did He die for only those who were righteous? Did he disregard the sinners, the prostitutes the beggars and thieves, the ones who rejected them? NO. He died for all. If he only wanted some he WOULD NOT die for all, even those who did not believe in him.
EVEN THOUGH it may seem God may not want every believer, he really does. and because he is loving in a true way, HE wants the same returned thus free will. Then he offers the only option for the TRUEST path. Then HE invites us to join him. Not only that, but he gives us ways to love him. To supplement this love, he gives us teachings to understand it and be thankful for it. In this way, in this sacrifice, he gains every true believer. The vast majority of humans will accept an open invitation of love, but due to the fact that humans' reason will always be somewhat construed, they may accept the invitation differently, and not necessarily that right one. This is the reason for His gifts to Help us, because He wants EVERYONE to be with him in Heaven. He sees things in the long-run and the short-run. Eventually, through repentance and Purgatory and whatnot, because of His LOVE, one day everyone will accept and believe.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com...
.............."The person is willingly choosing to pick a food that may not be the best for them, ie donuts. This is an example of those who reject God. The persons who choose whats best for them, based on merits, ie yogurt, is an example of those who truly accept God, even though it is easier not too......."
This is true .But this example is more suitable for the choices WITHIN a particular religion.That means THIS IS AN "INTRA -RELIGION -CHOICE". But what I am saying is the choice AMONG RELIGIONS . (INTER-RELIGION-CHOICES)Hence the metaphor says about FOOD FROM VARIOUS CONTINENTS where you choose food as per your customs and familiarity which you have been satisfied with and NOT CHOOSING
Let me ask you a question. Why don't you choose 'SAMBAR', and 'RICE' in the lunch time or 'PUT' and 'KADALA CURRY'( Food in Kerala, My home state) in the morning? What makes you not in need of these food items? There are people who say that today , there are so many facilities available now-books,cds,websites etc-to study about religion and therefore they conclude that if anyone does not study the true religion and not choose it he is liable to be punished by God. THIS IS WRONG. Because it is not the unavailability that makes a person not to understand God's way, but the inner lacking of such a need that prevents him to cross the bars of the influence of his own false religion. You don'nt want even to think about the above mentioned food because you find the food you regularly have is enought to satisfy your hungry.So are not all in need of another food.If we analyze seriously we can find the same reason behind why majority of people are not concerned about the ideology of other religion.They find their religion is quite enough to satisfy their spiritual hungry and their spiritual thirst.So what on earth could lead them to them the truth? Nothing unless they find something wrong with their own religion.
Another important thing. Why God gives favourable conditions to a minority and invafourable circumstances and mind set to a majority of people if he wants everybdoy equally? If Christianity is true every Christians born in Christian family is lukcy to be a born Christian because he does not want to study other religions,not even to analyze his own religion's truthfulness. But the burnden of all these rests on the shoulders of the majority of nonChristian people to find the Christianity.(Applicable to all religions).Suppose Islam is true how many of these 'now lucky'-Christians' might have gone to paradise(Who have now made best choice as your belief). May be only a few. This implies that most of the believers get paradise because their own religion happened to be a true religion.
In short as long as the human beings are created by heridity and choose religions accordingly there will not be A FREE WILL -CHOICE-OF RELIGIONS as far as majority of believers are concerned.That is why majority of Muslims are born as muslims and die as Muslims.That is why majority of Christians are born as Christians die as Christians.That is why majority of Hindus born as Hindus die as Hindus.
If things are as such and one religions is true, IT IS IMPLIED GOD DOES NOT WANT EVERY BELIEVER A(THOUGH EVERY BELIEVER WANTS GOD).
Thanks to you and those commented and viewed this debate.
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