Here's a little conversation that took place over at Doorman-Priest's blog between myself and a guest host (Mimi) at his site. My comments in blue and Mimi's in red.
Mimi - May I call you Mimi?
You said - “We are saved; the whole creation is saved,” by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, whom the God of love called forth from the grave to give us new life.Could you clarify that for me please? What do you mean 'we are saved'?Are you speaking of Christians only? or, everyone?What does it mean for all of creation to be saved?
Waynedawg, of course you may call me Mimi.
The passage that comes to mind to help explain what I mean is from Romans 8:18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. (Mimi cites Romans 8:18-25)
In my humble opinion (my opinion only, that of a simple pew warmer), when Jesus established his kingdom he included the whole of creation, not just humans.
By "saved" I mean that we were brought into the kingdom, the not yet perfected kingdom, in which we see only "through a glass darkly" until the kingdom in its fullness and perfection is realized in all its glory, the new heaven and the new earth, the dwelling place of God.
Jesus calls us to join with him to work to bring about the kingdom of God in the present, because the present is all we have. By our words and by our deeds, he calls us to live out the two Great Commandments, to love God above all and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He reminds us often in the Gospels of our role as servants in the present kingdom. He asks us to serve, rather than wait to be served.
I believe that the the kingdom will not be exclusively "Christian", in the conventional meaning in which the label is used - whatever conventional meaning you choose for your own.I hope this answers your questions, Wayne. I wish to make it clear that these are my views, not Doorman-Priest's views.I thank you for your questions, because answering them helped me to clarify my own thinking.
Mimi - Thanks for the response!
I'm not able to get on-line as much as I would like over the past week or so.....so I'm a little late reading your response.
I love that verse of Scripture. It's ashame that all of creation became a burden to our sin and that creatures have to 'groan' because of our sin nature.
I agree with your comments until you said...."I believe that the the kingdom will not be exclusively "Christian", in the conventional meaning in which the label is used - whatever conventional meaning you choose for your own."
I'm not sure really what that means...but I have always understood the term 'Christian' to mean 'Little Christ' or 'One who follows Christ'.
I mean that in the sense that the person is 'Born-Again like Jesus said we must be in order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. The Holy Spirit now lives in the changed person and now he desires not to do the things that are contrary to the Word of God.To be a Christian is to have a longing to be with Christ, fellowship with Him and in all one does, to bring glory to Him.
Wayne, I believe that anyone who lives a life of self-giving, a life of loving selflessly, a life of service to others, a life of sacrificing for others is Christ-like and a follower of Jesus, whether they know it or not, or whether they proclaim it or not.
It's not so much about proclaiming to be a Christian by words, as by demonstrating a Christ-like way of life.I believe that the kingdom of God is much broader than we can ever imagine.
If that is so Mimi, then we make Christ out as a liar and Scripture is in error.
Wayne, then we disagree, and I will not engage in further argument with you.
Peace to you.
So, in essence, Mimi concludes that a follower of Christ is not someone who has been Born-Again as Jesus say’s one must be in order to inherit the Kingdom of God (John 3:3), rather, she say’s that all one has to do to go to Heaven and be saved is to lead a life of self giving, lead a life of loving selflessly, a life of service to others, sacrifice for others and, whether they know it or not or proclaim it or not, they are a Christian.
It’s the same as saying, “my good works and deeds are enough to earn me a spot with the Master for eternity.”
Isaiah 64:6 immediately comes to mind here……But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Filthy rags. Actually, the correct translation would be likened to a menstrual cloth that women use when they are on their period. (Sorry for the image you just imagined, but now you understand how disgusting our unsaved ‘works’ are to God when we try to merit salvation based on our deeds.)
It’s only God’s grace that saves us and nothing else folks (Eph 2:8-9). These people that think doing good works will earn salvation will hear some very disappointing words on Judgment Day…..
Matt 7:21 - “Not every one that says unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but one that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
What is the will of God for those seeking salvation?
2 Pet 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God wants us to repent and trust the Gospel (Matt 3:2, Matt 4:17, Matt 9:13, Mark 1:15, Mark 6:12, Luke 5:32, Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19..to name a few)
Once we repent and put our trust in Christ to save us, He will. He will turn a blind eye to all who try to buy their way into Heaven with their good deeds and works. He will look upon their deeds as filthy, dirty and disgusting rags and will cast them into the Lake of Fire.
Be not deceived.
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