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countrymouse
12-13-01, 12:22 PM
Hebrews 11:6 - "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (NIV)

God rewards people who earnestly seek him; the Bible leaves no doubt about that. But do many people seek God? Human beings are intrinsically religious; every culture throughout history has been shown to have developed some kind of system of worship. But does God merely require a general faith, just faith in something or someone above and beyond ourselves? No, "anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists... ."

According to frequently quoted polls, most people say they believe in God. They generally agree that no one can see God, and that God is good, and that God created the world. However...

How many people are looking for a God whose plans cannot be thwarted, and from whom there is no escape? Isaiah 43:13 - "No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?"

How many people seek a God who has no equal? Isaiah 44:6 - "I am the first, and I am the last; apart from me there is no God."

How many people desire a God who is sovereign? Isaiah 45:7 - "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."

Who searches for a God who is willing to sacrifice many people for the sake of his chosen ones? Isaiah 43:3&4 - "I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precioius and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for you life."

Who wants a God who is holy, who will have no fellowship with sin, a God who requires the shedding of blood in order to forgive the sins of his people? Hebrews 9:22 - and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Also look at Leviticus 17:11)


Who, of his or her own volition, goes looking for such a God as this? Paul, in Romans 3:10, answered this very question, quoting Psalm 14:

There is none righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God."

No one in his natural, sinful state seeks God. Left to ourselves, we always choose to live a lie (Romans 1:25). This is why Jesus told Nicodems, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:5)

Before any of us can perceive the truth, God has to re-create us through his Holy Spirit. It is only the regenerate person who recognizes God's holiness and sovereignty. There is no other way anyone can recognize his own sinful and desperate condition. Only through regeneration can anyone gratefully accept God's merciful provision through Jesus, and be reconciled to God. It all depends on God!



To God alone be the glory,

countrymouse

JC FR3AK
12-27-01, 03:42 PM
Got it in one Countrymouse. You have highlighted that it is very important to pray for people that they seek God not just to go and tell them the good news and seem disapointed when they tell you to bog off. Having said that if God tells you to go and talk to a specific person immediatly don't use the cop-out of: I'll go and pray about it for a few weeks just do it, other people may have prayed for that person already and you may be the answer to their own particular cries to God.

countrymouse
12-27-01, 06:40 PM
Hi, JCFR3AK!

quote:
"Having said that if God tells you to go and talk to a specific person immediatly don't use the cop-out of: I'll go and pray about it for a few weeks just do it, other people may have prayed for that person already and you may be the answer to their own particular cries to God."

You are quite right about that.

The point I was trying to get accross is this: People don't go looking for God unless God moves them to do so! Yes, God rewards those who seek him, but they seek him only because he has worked his work of grace in their lives! Many people seem to be seeking a higher power, some supreme being, but when they are confronted with the truth they reject it. It takes God's grace to seek and accept God as he really is.

JC FR3AK
12-28-01, 12:39 PM
Hi Countrymouse, You're right again, but surely all people seek God because he designed us with the intension of us knowing him and all people seek him. After what has every culture in history had? A religion or a fundemental belief in a God and even today in what is percieved to be a largely secular society most people openly admit to believing in a god of some type (whether they woship him or not is another matter.)

Odyssey
12-28-01, 04:18 PM
JF,

The problem with the idea of 'all people' seeking god is that they don't. Paul wrote, '...there is none who is seeking after God' (Rom. 3.11). People may have some form of religion, but that hardly constitutes them 'seeking after god.' They may want religious things, but that doesn't mean they are 'seeking after god.' They may even 'go to church,' but, again, that is not 'seeking after god.' What I am trying to convey is that most people don't seek the 'unknown god,' i.e., the covenant god of Scripture. They seek to create their own version of god. Two completely different things. When god opened my eyes to truth, I saw that the 'god' I was worshipping was man-made. I worshipped more of the human will and the confession of my mouth than I did about the god of the Bible.

Again, Paul flat out disagrees with you and so do I. :)

Grace to you,

jak

JC FR3AK
12-29-01, 09:33 AM
Odyssey,

I suppose it depends on perceptions. When people go to church and hunt after religous things I percieve it to be seeking God. Thinking about it I can now see a clear difference between seeking God and seeking religion. You're right I suppose most people want a 'crutch' rather than the responsobility of knowing God. Sorry everyone!

Renzo

Brandan
12-29-01, 09:47 AM
A lot of people seek god only in a pinch. For example, the drunk guy who is throwing up after drinking too much might say, "god, please stop the pain."

God may very well stop the hangover. But how many people seek the one Holy God when things are good? How many people seek God when everything is going their way? Not many. In fact, nobody seeks God unless they are His sheep.

John 10:15, "I lay down my life for the sheep." The sheep of Christ are those whom the Father draws to the Son. "You do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep." Notice: being a sheep enables you to become a believer, not vice versa. So the sheep for whom Christ dies are the ones chosen by the Father to give to the Son.

John 10:15-16, "I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice."

John 10:26, "You do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep." He does not say, "You are not my sheep because you do not believe."

John 10:26-30, "You do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Odyssey
12-30-01, 09:15 AM
Kermie,

Something else about that is:

Notice that Jesus didn't say that he laid down his life for the 'goats'--just the sheep. Now, the question is: Are all people sheep? No. As Jesus showed us, some are goats and some are sheep.

Grace to you,

jak

JC FR3AK
12-30-01, 01:38 PM
Odyssey,

You say some people are goats and some are sheep. I'm not contesting that fact but what assigns which status to which person? God would not create people who are designated as a 'sheep' or a 'goat at birth would he? I think not because then, what would be the point in creating them? I think it therefore depends on that persons state of mind regarding God at the time, but God would always give someone the capability to be in the correct frame of mind to be considered a 'sheep' otherwise it would be profoundly unfair on a lot of people. If that is true then what could affect a persons mind to be in the correct frame of mind? Only the people surrounding him! This again seems profoundly unfair! Can anyone find a way out of this?

Sorry for babbling!
Renzo

Odyssey
12-30-01, 04:29 PM
Rez,

The same questions and the answers are found in Romans 9.

Grace to you,

jak

JC FR3AK
12-31-01, 09:18 AM
Thanks Jak! I suppose I sould know my bible a bit better. It is however nice to know that someone understood my ravings:rolleyes: !

Brandan
12-31-01, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by Odyssey
Notice that Jesus didn't say that he laid down his life for the 'goats'--just the sheep. Now, the question is: Are all people sheep? No. As Jesus showed us, some are goats and some are sheep.

You're right Odyssey. That's a very good observation. The whole idea of univeral atonement is blown out of the water when Jesus spoke these words. It's amazing to me that others can't see this Biblical truth when it is faithfully presented to them.

Debbiek
01-08-02, 07:00 PM
Then who are the sheep of the "other" fold?

countrymouse
01-08-02, 09:58 PM
The "other sheep" Jesus was referring to were Gentiles. Jesus' earthly ministry was to the Jews. "This fold" meant Israel, the offspring of Abraham.