Tag Archives: Salvation

Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?

Yes. Your deceased, unbelieving loved one is in hell, but I wouldn’t lead with that. Let me explain.

A Reminder

When these six questions were brought to my group they were all challenges we were scared to have someone ask us as a believer. Can you imagine your new friend bringing this loaded question to you? How do you respond to it without losing a soul, but also with gentleness and tact?

How To Respond

Each situation is unique and I would not approach every person the same way, but I think you could combine the truths listed below in a number of different ways and maintain integrity, gentleness, & truthfulness.

1. Speak Truth

It is important to speak truthfully and lovingly into this piercing, heartfelt question. This query is one of heartbreak. Please be gentle with this person, but don’t misrepresent the truth. A well timed word can comfort the heart and a lie can lose souls.

2. Read The Room

Before you bring your sword of truth to bear, remember this -> We do not know with 100% certainty the final state of a person’s heart; only God knows and sees that. We do know that God is good, just, and a God of mercy. We can trust Him to do the right thing, and He is the one that makes the final judgement, not us. So before you declare the truth to your friend see if you need to tend to their heart. Sometimes a hug and a ‘I don’t know” may be all that is needed.

3. A Message From The Grave

We may not know where their loved one is with 100% certainty, but we do know, whether in heaven or hell, they have a desire for your friend. The parable in Luke 16:19-31 tells of a rich man sentenced to hell. There he is starved of the goodness of God and is filled with agony. He begs that his family would be told the right way to get to heaven… No matter where our deceased loved ones are, they want us to know Jesus.

4. Heaven On Earth

The after life will always contain some mystery, but there are certain things we can thank God for now. In this life their loved one got to experience the goodness of God in what is known as common grace: food to enjoy, satisfying work, good friends, rain and sunshine, the beauty of the night sky, etc… The world is full of wonder and we all get to live in it, no matter what we believe.

Conclusion

If this question was brought to you with heartfelt sincerity I think you could use these four pointers to help plant or water the seed of faith in their life. However, if you are approached with hostility I think the best way to respond is through point 2, then show them you care by following up at a different time. In the words of Frederick William Faber “Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.”

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

SOURCES

Exoduse 34:6-7
Lamentation 3:23-24
Matthew 5:45
Luke 16:19-31
BrainyQuote.com

OUTLINE

  1. It is important to speak truth and love into this piercing, heartfelt question without misrepresenting the truth. 
  2. Sometimes a hug and a ‘I don’t know’ may be all that is needed to be done. 
    • We do not know the final state of a person’s heart; only God knows and sees that and He is the one that makes the final judgement
    • We do know that God is good and just and we can trust him to do the right things. Plus He is a God of mercy. Exodus 34:6-7
  3. Luke 16:19-31; we may not know where the loved one is, but we do know your loved one’s desire for you. The rich man, starved of the goodness of God, begged that his family would be told of the right way to get to God/heaven.
  4. We do not know where your loved one is now, but in this life they got to experience the goodness of God in the common grace He set forth on earth (Matthew 5:45).  Food to enjoy, satisfying work, good friends, rain and sunshine, the beauty of the night sky, etc…

Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?

I know this is a tough topic. There are a lot of emotions tied up in this subject. Some of us likely have gay friends or family. Some of us may even identify as LBGTQIAP ourselves.

Before we go any further I have to tell you something very important. God loves everyone. He loves the Lesbian the same as he loves the straight dude the same as he loves the asian little person. These labels are ours, not His. He loves you for you just as you are.

Also there are people who can do this message so much better than me. Check out this talk by Jonathan Pokluda or this one by David Marvin.

My Answer

I decided to breakdown this question in order to get a more unbiased look at it. As a result my two new questions will put the spotlight on all people not conforming to the standard of the bible, in other words… everyone.

This is tough so I’m going to start with a prayer.

Father, let the words that I’m typing be true and if they are not true would you encourage the readers to overlook them or to challenge me with scripture so that I may be sharpened in my understanding of you. Please help our defenses to go down and let your word cut its way into our life. Help me to yield Your Word with grace and mercy and please forgive me where/if I have misused it. I need you! Amen

A Breakdown

The question ‘can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved’ can be split into two more generalized questions: 1) What does it take to be saved? 2) Can someone embracing sin still be saved?

What Does It Take To Be Saved?

There are several scriptures that lay out what is required in order to be saved. John 3:16 is world famous, but the another good verse is Romans 10:9 NIV: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You might ask, “don’t you need to repent and be saved?”

The interesting part about these verses is the absence of the term repentance. However, when we study the book of Acts particularly focusing on the narratives regarding people coming to salvation we start to notice a trend. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20. Do you see it? Where there was salvation there was repentance!

Therefore, I have come to conclusion that salvation and repentance are two side of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance. Thus, one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentances as evidence of one’s new faith.

Can Someone Embracing Sin Still Be Saved?

To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or make the concept one with us. For example, if we say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life. If Bryan did this well we would be able to say, “Bryan is a vulnerable person.” The embraced concept becomes a part of who he is, so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.

As stated at the beginning of this post I wanted to remove the focus on homosexuality and focus on how this question affects all people. When we generalize the original question we can turn it into a fill in the blank.

Can someone embracing (___INSERT SIN___) still be saved?

We need to really think about this question. How does this apply to us? Can I really keep embracing my disrespectful attitude toward my boss and still be saved? Can I continue pursuing these lustful fantasies and still be saved? Your questions could also look like the following?

  • Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?

Conclusion

When we believe in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many, if not all, of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we should confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord, rather than Jesus.

However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. However, I have deep concern for anyone’s salvation who knows they are sinning and chooses to keep sinning anyways. That reaction to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God’s wants for their life. In essence they believe in God, but they declare themselves as Lord.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

OUTLINE

  1. What does it take to be saved?
    1. John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    2. What about repentance?
      1. Whenever I was looking through Acts on how people got saved I saw a trend – where there was salvation there was often repentance. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20.
      2. We also see that bible warns against unrepentance and the result of unrepentance. It also says that we are suppose to cut sin from our lives. Romans 6:1,12,15; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 15:32; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Timothy 3:20; Hebrews 10:26, 12:4
    3. Considering a and b together I have come to the conclusion that salvation and repentance are two sides of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance.
      1. Therefore one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentance as evidence of their new faith.
  2. Can someone embrace sin and still be saved?
    1. I have now generalized the question so that we can apply this to everyone. So the new question might read as such 
      1. Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
      2. Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
      3. Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
      4. Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?
      5. Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
      6. Can someone embrace _____sin______ and still be saved?
        1. I’m not including addictions on this list on purpose because at the point when someone is addicted I don’t know if that person is capable of choosing what is right and what is wrong.
    2. To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or to make the concept one with us (for example if we were to say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability, we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life so that one could easily say, “Bryan is such a vulnerable person” – the embraced concept becomes a part of who he is) so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.
    3. When we believe in Jesus resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many if not all of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord rather than Jesus. However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. I would have deep concern for someone’s salvation if they know they are sinning and choose to sin anyways. That response to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God. In essence they believe in God but they declare themselves as Lord.

SOURCES

The Bible (NIV)
Matthew 5:48
John 3:16
Romans 10:9
Acts 2:38,3:19,11:18,17:30,20:21,26:20
2 Corinthians 5:17
Romans 3:23, 6:1-2
James 5:16
1 John 1:8-10
https://www.theporch.live/messages/3066
https://www.theporch.live/messages/5610

Freewill is an interesting aspect of our reality and topic controversial. Why do we have a ‘will’ that’s “free” if grounded by gravity? I experience limitation and vulnerability. I’m taught and educated by a system that seems built on captivity, not freedom, but by the spiritual illness of greed and selfishness. Freedom…is perverted.

Speaking from experience. I lived a life where my will to be free was perverted. I idolized people and myself, and God. I’ve heard a true message or teaching from a false prophet or preacher. How can that be? The human heart is desperately wicked because of what it desires, it desires the will to be God. And so the human race works hard for this goal because of a teaching that dates back to the beginning of unrighteousness (Ezekiel 28:15).

When reality is so noisy it’s very easy to hear what gives you attention and fall prey to an evil deception. Preachers are as human as the humans receiving what is preached, but don’t be mistaken, false teachers will not go unpunished.

“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” James 3:1

If you come to recognize that you are in a bad spiritual environment, know there is hope, keep your faith. Truth is in the power of the Holy Spirit if you believe in Jesus Christ to understand salvation and the kingdom of God.

When I First Read The Gospel | 1

I’d grown up in church and heard the gospel. I would say that a fearful understanding of hell occurred around the age of 8 and desired salvation every night asking Jesus into my heart just to make sure I was accounted for, because the sensation of burning alive felt real as the enlightenment of truth met my soul.

But was I saved?

I’ve been baptized 3 times just to make sure the appropriate steps were made for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. I was baptized by two pastors one being my stepdad; to publicize my proclamation of faith, and last exclusively by my wife in the bathtub; turned out she was just trying to kill me, talk about literal death to resurrection (totally kidding).

But do I have the gift?


to be continued…

Divided

Divided


It’s sad to reach a point in life when the thought of hell seems much more appealing than to remain in the skin of your flesh. When the thought of escape is your only option, but are petrified. When a call for help is not meant for saving.

I don’t hate my life. But that unreliable feeling of hate sure is poking and prodding. What I hate is being divided by the questions and doubts of people that presume to know me when they don’t have a clue; there is just not enough time in the world to be completely free with people that choose not to believe they can trust you unless you adhere to their “divine” perception for you, then they might believe. As long as you stay within their realm of interpretation and perception.

It’s incredible the amount of attention you will draw to demons when living for your faith “Jesus as Lord” by recognizing sin for what it is and how I’m in desperate need of salvation. It’s incredible the sirens and temptations in place just for you. It’s a constant crouching (Genesis 4:7):

“Those people see you as a tyrant. That woman wants you. That man desires you. Do this to get rich. Say that to make a difference. You’re a sexy beast, well endowed, who can resist. It feels good to be right. It feels good to have power. You’re a liar. You’re a fraud, poser, fake, and the list goes on because you’re unworthy. Don’t waste my time. You have our undivided attention. Look at him, he is better than you in every way. You’re smart and beautiful, but ugly and stupid too. I feel depressed. You’re unstable, unfit, unqualified. Here is your kingdom of heaven! No, there it is!”

I ask myself, “why is this happening?” But it only makes sense. Because…demons are taking the time the world does not have to get to know you and me. Whether the world or I want to believe that or not, the truth sets us free. I hate this spiritual war that divides my soul and blood into pieces as bread for demons and wine for their minions. If you are a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ, you’ll understand this war, but if not then I hope this will prick at your conscience because you’re held captive thinking you’re free.

They are clever. The devil and his demons … but I see them. And they know that I see them. “It’s a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). I’m in hell learning the tips and tricks of insanity navigating my way through the crowd in hope to save some if not all, “have you heard…“.

It’s sad…

Nathan Dooley

Chronological Bible Study-The Beginning of Beginnings

img_4762-1.jpg
The Baker Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines

Join me on Mt. Sinai with God and Moses to discover the beginning of our beginning. This is a very exhausting study but well worth the time and effort. In my Bible I learn that Moses is the author of the first five books also known as the Pentateuch. These books were more than likely written during the 40-year period of Israel’s wanderings in the desert: 1446—1406 BC

Note: the “BC” given after the calendar year (1446—1406 BC) means “Before Christ” but if you see “BCE” (nowadays), don’t be alarmed, it just means “Before Common Era“. (According to my research). The reasons surround appeasing those not Christian and an arguably inaccurate calculation of  Jesus’ birth. It’s believed that Jesus Christ was born around 6—4 BC, which is why these labels (BCE/CE) “CE” for “Common Era” are being used today by many publications rather than (BC/AD) “AD” meaning “the year of the Lord” as it references a Latin phrase: anno domini (“the year of the Lord”—after Jesus was born.)

So why Moses? “God… Why Moses?”—A prayer guiding me through a lot of scripture to uncover the context of that time. Moses was beautiful in the sight of his mother and lovely in the sight of God. God heard the outcry of the sons of Israel at the time of their oppression in Egypt and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It’s time to organize the sons of Israel as God’s covenant people and Moses is the man God will be with to do it. It all points to Jesus Christ.

Coffee At Midnight In The Giant City

Featured photo: Ben Jacobi www.bdjphoto.com 

Have you ever discovered the moment you’re awake at midnight with some coffee looking at a photo that is talking to you? That is where I’m at. When I first encountered this photo the word “maze” came to mind describing my immediate perception, but learned that this maze is called “Giant City” in Illinois. But aside from that information. This photo that speaks is, actually, not the one talking.

The very Person in my mind I think about when looking into this photo is Jesus Christ. But I don’t claim to see an image of a person I’ve never seen, nor do I claim to hear His voice having never heard what it sounds like. I claim to perceive Him. There are a number of different ways this photo is interpreted for bearing meaning in my life, but there is only one that will make a difference. The meaning of Jesus Christ. When I look at this photo I experience a walk with the Holy Spirit of God teaching me the truth about myself within the maze of this world. No matter the path this world has to offer, it is a path to death just as you see the paths presented in the photo, but there is a path you won’t see unless you perceive it. That path, is a path of faith.

To experience faith is to place your confidence in a promise that someone gives you.

I promise you, follow me and we’ll get out of this maze.

The question is whether you’ll believe in the promise even if the person that promised dies. That is what Jesus Christ—being the image of God as the Son of God—promised. He promised that He would be raised from the dead and resurrected to the right hand of God. That is recorded to have happened in history past, but is still a living promise today. The promise is for those that believe to be resurrected with Him right now, having been baptized with Christ as a symbol of obedience by repentance. You’ve chosen to acknowledge that all born from the seed of Adam are guilty of sin (lust, idolatry, and pride) and so convicted to the point of death that you place your trust in the promise of God. The grace of God is given through that promise of faith, you have mercy, not wrath. But if you do not believe in that promise, you have His wrath, not mercy.

So my purpose in the maze of this world is to plant a seed, a seed of promise. The promise that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Everyone is born into this life by the design of God, a design that was good corrupted by evil. So every person has had, has, and will have the opportunity to believe, ask the thief on the cross that died with Christ.