For ever who reads this, sorry for the bible thumping, but if you want to know GOD, you must learn HIS nature. I know of no other way to learn of him, than reading his word.<quoted text>
I've never understood the emphasis and focus on Salvation: we do not know where we were before birth, why the concern (fear of) where we will be after death. Birth and Death are the price of admission to God's Kingdom.
Yes, fundamentalist and evangelicals sell fire insurance. Pray a prayer and let's all go to heaven, but wait there's more...
According to the principle of Christ, the focus should be on abundant life (what happens between birth and Death): John 10:10 New International Version (NIV) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Love is the evidence of salvation (you have entered into the Invisible Kingdom): "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:14-16).
Christ is our example: Jesus is our great example, our divine pattern. As He related to others, so must we. "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philp. 2:5).
Principle of reciprocity in the Bible: "Therefore, accept one another, JUST AS Christ accepted you" (Rom. 15:7). The Lord has extended His grace to you; your obligation of love is to extend that same grace toward others.
The Torah taught the principle of reciprocity:
What is hateful to you don't do to another. This is the whole Torah;
the rest is just commentary. Rabbi Hillel (died c. 9 A.D.)
Birth and Death are the price of admission to God's Kingdom.
We are told that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and we are told that the 11th Commandment is the Prime Directive - the principle of reciprocity, do unto others, love thy neighbor.
Love ... Mercy ... Compassion ... Forgiveness. These are godly manifestations of grace. We experience them from our heavenly Father on a daily basis. Indeed, we would all be lost without them. Should our God withhold any of them from us, we would have no hope. There is not a one of us who does not appreciate more than words can ever express the reality of our gracious acceptance by our merciful Father.
It's about relationship a Father and His children<quoted text>
This is the core of any religion worth its salt, once reciprocity is understood then forgiveness of self and others is a natural outgrowth, it is there that the pathway to salvation (peace of mind, freedom from fear) lies.
This is an old message, Christ is one among many who have brought it to us.
How many of us realize, however, that we are also expected to manifest these same divine qualities toward others ... especially toward our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I also wonder how many of us realize that if we don't, then these outpourings of grace will be withheld from us. What far too many "church folk" seem to forget is that the nature of our relationship with the Father is in large part determined by the nature of our relationship with His children.