David,I can certainly accept that I am equally worthy of not being chosen as anyone else, but if God decides to choose some regardless of the fact that they are not worthy, I refuse to accept that it is my fault if I don't get choosen.No one merits being chosen. No one deserves to be chosen. It is pure grace that God saves any at all.If God chooses not to save some, that does not negate the problem. Which is: All men have offended God, by reflecting wickedness and unbelief, when created in the image of God and duty-bound to reflect His goodness.So if God does not choose to forgive them, God is just to judge them.We're back to the chicken and the egg thing.Actually, that is a good example of how it is. Which comes first? Belief, and then rescue? Or rescue, then belief? The Bible teaches the latter.I believe in God until I love him.Nope. I can't love him until I admit that my heart is 'hardened'.Yep. But I can't see that my heart is 'hardened' until I see some evidence that it is so.You are claiming you are innocent and perfectly ~good~? You have never made a mistake? You have never done anything wrong? You have never thought badly about another soul, or said anything against another person? You have never lied? You have never cheated? You have never stolen? You have never coveted what was not yours? You have never had a dirty thought, or said a filthy word? You have never felt pride or superiority over a fellow man? Ever?Hard to believe.And read again the first sentence of your post that we quoted here on this reply . . .you are admitting to being a sinner like everyone else, so perhaps that is God's first evidence of the condition of your heart, out of your own mouth (computer).This is an insurmountable problem for a person; you would think that it wouldn't be so hard for God to simply give me some evidence or something, just to get it started.Maybe He did. You say, "I can certainly accept that I am equally worthy of not being chosen as anyone else". That could be a start.Okay, we're back to square one. You are back to saying that it is my fault for not believing in a God that has never chosen to give me any reason that he exists.Yep.This God, in all his power, knew how I would think before he created the first man (according to my understanding of your beliefs), yet he did nothing to change that.Yep. So, as soon as your God can demonstrate that he loves me, then perhaps I'll be able to do something about it.Jesus Christ is the ultimate demonstration of Godly love, for He gave His life's blood for His elect:"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13 The only way God will personally "demonstrate" to you that He loves you, will be by changing and renewing your heart and mind to appreciate this historical demonstration. Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . .that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:3,6-8IOW's, God works in men to change them from flesh (sin) to spirit (new life) invisibly at first. It is only after a man begins to acknowledge his sins, believes in his need for salvation, and turns to Jesus Christ to be cleansed and forgiven and restored . . .does the man realize God has been giving of His love and grace like a silent and gentle wind. Then God begins to demonstrate His love through the believer's earthly life in many various and tangible ways that can be ~seen~.Fear God? I thought that "God is Love"."Fear", like in reverance, or awe-struck amazement.However, God is also Judge and He is also full of wrath against the sins of mankind. There will be a Judgment Day, and God says He is a consuming fire. "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries." Hebrews 10:26&27Compare that truth, with this opposite promise from Christ:"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." John 5:24Even if God were to show me that he exists, but it turned out that he was a big bully worthy of causing fear, I would still refuse to love and worship him.Only unrepentant sinners should be frightened of God, for He ~is~ angry about sin and will deal with wicked men justly and harshly. But Jesus Christ received the wrath of God and suffered judgment and death on behalf of His people so that they might escape the wages of their sins. Believers will not be judged, because God's anger and wrath against their sins has been appeased by the Son. Their sins are forgiven because Jesus Christ made the ultimate offering to God; exchanging their sins with His righteousness. Jesus Christ was judged by God for their sins as He suffered on the cross. Believers will not experience the horrors of death, because Jesus Christ's death is reckoned by God as substitute for their death. Believers are raised from judgment and death to live a new life with God who can now freely love us, because Jesus Christ overcame death (justified our sins) and resurrected from the grave.God does not "bully" those He loves, forgives, mediates, and protects, but shares all His riches with them forever . . ."He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? . .It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Romans 8:32,34J&R
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