Originally posted by Machine
There are several scriptures in the Holy Bible that describe certain aspects of Heaven. I’m looking forward to existing in a dimension that God has
prepared for those who love him. One scripture that I love to read is this:
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that
Think about this for a minute. God tells us in this scripture that no one has thought of the things God has prepared for those who love him. New
bodies, new hearts that are without sin, perfect relationship with God. As Christians we look forward to serving and worshipping our God in eternity.
He has wonderful things in store for us!
Machine, I think you made a good point here, and brought the discussion back on track at the same time. It seems to me real spirituality has more to
do with one's heart-felt relationship with God than with one's own mental fantasies of "What's in it for me?" If one loves God, one trusts that
God's gifts will be better than anything you could dream up for yourself.
However, I'd like to echo somebody who made a comment about the distinctly Protestant assumptions you've made in a number of your other statements.
First is the notion that Christianity is "based on the Bible" or on selected texts therefrom. This is a pretty modern idea, not really making much
of a serious appearance until about 15 centuries after Jesus.
The Early Church was based on direct teaching and guidence from Apostles [not just the 12 --there were many more] that Jesus commissioned to go out to
preach the Good Message ["evangelion"]. As the original Apostles died off, the guidence was given by men they appointed.
This is the institution known as "Apostolic Succession." On the basis of Apostolic Succession, Church Councils were organized to smooth out
differences in the way each community looked at things. The first known Council is mentioned in Acts of the Apostles chapter 15.
The question that occasioned this Council was that preachers from Judea were telling gentile converts to Christ in Antioch that they needed to be
circumcised & keep the Mosaic Law, too. In their official decision, "the apostles and presbyters with the whole church" wrote an epistle to the
gentile Christians of Antioch.
If the reason that it was not necessary to keep the Law in all it's detailed commandments was because they would be saved by means of believing in
Jesus's personal sacrifice instead-- well, this would have been the right time & place to mention that. But they didn't. According to the
"apostles, etc." these necessary things
entail solely "To abstain from which was offered to idols and blood and fornication."
The point I am making is that it was the living existence of Apostles and then later men of Apostolic Succession who actually decided which teachings
were essential, and which of the many, many religious writings were to become part of the Christian Bible.
Today you have the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic and Oriental Orthodox Churches, all of whom consider the Bible important as a source of
lessons and instruction and inspiration. But they all teach as dogma
that which has been handed down to them by Apostolic Succession, and what
has been decided in Church Council, not what each individual preacher thinks the Bible is saying. [BTW the official Christian definition of the term
"dogma" is "those things which are absolutely necessary for salvation."]
Until Protestants schismed off the Roman Catholic Church, there was no discernable body of Christians who claimed that "accepting Jesus's death as
a personal sacrifice" was the only requirement for salvation, nor that one could dispense with the Church and substitute your own interpretation of
the Bible as a source of dogma. Those ideas are recent innovations, and not even ones currently held by the majority of people who have been baptized
As a discussion point:
What makes anyone think that Christianity teaches you will "go to heaven?" What I read in the Bible always says that God & angels are in the
heavens, and no man ever went there except Christ. Salvation refers to resurrection on a new earth,
AKA "paradise" or "The Kingdom." No
going to heaven, a place/condition/dimension not designed for humans.