reply to post by Toadmund
We don't choose God. It's the opposite. He prepares us for faith or we have none.
65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the
Holy One of God.”
70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though
one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
We then see the same idea in John 2:
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would
not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
It's not so much us knowing God. It's God knowing us. But why? I think it is tied to Jesus words about baptism. He said, "You must be born again."
In other words, he already knows us at this point 6000 years later. Is this it then? Can we not come to God now?
How many thieves were on the cross and how many made it off into paradise? There were two and only one repented. This is the purpose of our baptism
into the waters of life. Did the Thief on the cross do ANYTHING to earn his salvation? No, he simply saw the truth. He was the first person into
paradise based on his faith alone.
What made him believe?
Isaiah 53:12 says; "Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself
to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors."
The He here is Christ. Again, why did the one thief receive salvation?
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for
we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
He believed and asked him. Simple. He was sincere and humble. He recognized his own sin and knew he was justly sentenced. Christ, on the other
hand, was suffering for us unjustly. He made this choice willingly. Fear is humbled deference for the authority of God. It's another name for
respect. Love respects others over self. This is the key to love. God gives and receives. So should we. The thief takes. The thief in question
turned from the sin, even at the last minute.
edit on 22-12-2012 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)