Monday, March 24, 2008

# 242: Response to Questions

# 242: Response to Questions This post is a response to a comment on another post. Since it mentions hell, I thought it would be more appropriate to place it in the main section of this blog. The questions asked are extremely poignant, and the answers will be of interest to many readers/bloggers.

“Anonymous” has left a new comment on your post "Day Nineteen":

Do you do what you do, and live the way you preach with the motive of eternal life? If The Bible didn't give you, and people like you, the fear of hell fire would any one be "Christian"? What really motivates you? Is it fear? I'm not judging you, I'd really like to know... Please explain Joanne

First question: "Do you do what you do, and live the way you preach with the motive of eternal life?" Answer: No doubt, eternal life with God and Christ is the grand prize for all genuine Christians/disciples of Christ. And that should be our ultimate motive to live the way we do. Personally, for me, that is not true; since it is in the distant future, I don’t think of it as much as I should. This may be an error in my belief, and may need correction, but if I said otherwise, I would be lying. The reason for my motive will be answered in the following paragraphs.

Second question: "If The Bible didn't give you, and people like you, the fear of hell fire would anyone be ‘Christian’?" I can’t speak for others because I may be unique in this area. To my recollection, I never feared hell, possibly because of my assurance of being with God for eternity. That confidence may spring from my solid faith in Christ, my love for God and neighbor, and last but not least, the way I make every effort to live as the New Testament commands. Should that eliminate the fear of hell? I can’t answer that.

Even though God freely gives all those who are His beloved children, justification (freedom from all sins) and sanctification (making them holy in His sight), does that make me perfect? Absolutely not. Since Jesus Christ is perfect and my only role model, I continually strive to live a perfect life, but no matter how much I/we strive, there will always be more perfection ahead of us. In this world, perfection is a necessary but elusive Holy Grail.

Third question: "What really motivates you?" This question is the most difficult question I have ever been asked. I would say there are several aspects of the Christian life which motivate me.

The first—and, most likely, the strongest— is this: For a good part of my adult life I was a man of the world. I was a carpenter/house builder, always striving for more money, power, and the good things of this worldly life. When I acquired all of the things that were supposed to bring contentment and fulfillment, I found they did not do for me what they promised to do. I was still empty of anything of real heart-satisfying value.

Then, at the age of about 30, I started to get interested in religion. The promises made to believers in the New Testament kind of hooked me into seeing if there was any validity to those promises.

For several years I was not as dedicated as I should have been and did stray at times. But still, I kept going back, knowing that it was the right way. For a while, I became a Bible student and learned the New Testament inside-out. Then I was astonished at why what is taught in the Bible and what was taught in many churches were not the same. So, for several years, I started going to many different churches and denominations. I found the same story regardless of where I went. Therefore, I became a “Lone Ranger. I could not tolerate hypocrisy.

Then, about three years ago I started this Biblical blog to let everyone know what the Bible taught that was never preached in many churches. To my surprise, this blog has blessed and taught me more than I could have ever imagined, not to mention how many bloggers it has blessed. The main thing I found out was that living with love as the motivator of life gave me the opportunity to live life to the fullest. That is where I am now.

The second motive is that I know it is the correct way to live, disregarding heaven or hell. Many times it is difficult, but at the end it is always rewarding.

One more motive: One does not have to keep up with the Joneses. What I mean is that all the important things the people of the world strive for are stupid and stressful in my eyes, since I found something much better, and more lasting: faith, love and goodness.

One more motive: Jesus Christ was/is a perfect man, and that is the kind of example I needed since I am a perfectionist at everything I do; at least that is what I have striven for all my life. No doubt there are more motives which I cannot think of at this time.

One more comment: At this time I have less material things than the majority of people have in America, and yet if contentment and security could be scientifically measured, I would rank as one of the most satisfied. I am not sure if that is a motive or a result. Thanks much for your questions. May God bless you. JC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am honored that you chose my question as a main topic for your blog. I enjoyed all of your answer, but I especially appreciated the part where you stated, "The second motive is that I know it is the correct way to live, disregarding heaven or hell. Many times it is difficult, but at the end it is always rewarding."
I too have succeeded in "worldly" life and discovered that it really does not and should not be what makes people feel content. I feel like even friends and family can be very over rated... usually causing more grief than happiness.
Although I am still learning for myself, Internal contentness must come from knowing that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be all of the time. And I suppose that if I feel connected with Jesus, The Perfect man, I too will be granted everlasting joy!! Joanne