Larry, I don't mind the arguing, as long as it's good-natured and doesn't get personal :)<quoted text>
There were at least a few times when Moses had to talk God out of destroying the Isrealites. Thats kind of strange since he already knew he wouldn't destroy them. No offense but the whole thing is kind of silly. He knew back then I was going to hell. he knew back then some of you were going to heaven. The plan has been completed, Jesus said it is finished. Why play it out any longer, he knows whose been naughty and nice. Lets get on with it...
Oh thats right, for some reason he needs to let Satan tempt and destroy souls for another who knows how many thousands of years, even though the price has been paid.
Not trying to argue here. JMO.........
It took me a LONG time to reconcile how God could change His mind about destroying the Hebrews while knowing at the same time He was GOING to change His mind about it !?!
But yes, that's exactly what happened. It IS a paradox, and that's how I resolved that little dilemma. In my limited human way, I can't understand how the Lord could change His mind at a given point in time, even while knowing (since He Himself created time) that He was GOING to change His mind at that specific point in time. But we know that WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. So this is possible, too, and there's plenty of other paradoxes in Christianity as well, more than enough to keep human beings debating them for centuries :)
When Jesus said "It is finished" He didn't mean that it was time to pull the plug on humanity. He meant that HIS DIVINE MISSION OF PROCURING SALVATION FOR HUMANITY HAD BEEN COMPLETED. Jesus had lived a sinless human life, and had suffered and died to complete His sacrifice of taking on Himself the punishment WE deserved for our sins. And then in His divine power as God incarnate He rose again, defeating death, sin and Satan forever, blessed be His name :)
Of course the Lord knows who's been naughty and nice :) But salvation doesn't depend on how good you've been, because nobody, NOBODY can ever be perfect, as Jesus was. Salvation depends on WHETHER OR YOU ACCEPT THAT JESUS IS GOD'S SON, WHO LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR YOU. That's it.
As for any delay in all that:
2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
I don't know about that thousand years business. That's from the Revelation, and I've always believed that except for the first 3 or 4 chapters, the Book is largely symbolic, including the thousand years. A few years ago, I participated in a Bible study about the Revelation, which strengthened my opinion considerably, and from which I learned that the Jews of John's day considered "thousand years" to mean simply a long time, in the same way that that famous "144,000 which will be saved" that Jehovah's Witnesses like to take literally, means "a whole bunch of people." Partly as a result of that Bible study, I believe the Revelation is the record of seven divine visions, sent to John, to assure him and the world through him, that the end of the world WILL come one day, wrongdoers will be punished, and that Jesus WILL return to bring all who believe in Him to live with Him in heaven forever.