TO UNDERSTAND OUR CONDITION AND HOW GOD WORKS IN PEOPLES LIVES
Roman 3:10b None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Romans 9: 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. .... 6:43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
I hope the above verses touch the heart of the unbeliever with the fear of God. The fear of God is a blessing as we do not fear what is not real and if we fear God in our heart, the unbeliever is at least a believer in God. Hope is for the continued Mercy and Grace from God to pour out upon this believer; for the gift of faith to be received in the name of Jesus Christ. God's Grace and Mercies prepare the "soil of the soul" for the Word of God. These are the beginning works in the un-believer that will bring them to a saving Faith in Jesus Christ.
Above is my simple chart, depicting the lives of 2 people, from birth to after death, using biblical references to track their spiritual journeys. Both people develop beliefs, they guide their life by. Both may feel, they have freedom. During their walks upon this Earth, one life is apprehended by God.
Here is how the chart works from the bottom up.
TIME LINE: The bottom bar is just that; at some point on this line you become a physical being and at some point along this line you cease to physically live and are placed into the Earth. Before the beginning of this "time line" God had His Gospel planned, to redeem mankind to Himself.
HADES: The next bar represents a spiritual holding place for the souls of those who's sins have not been paid for by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
EARTH: This bar represents the physical Earth we walk upon, the soil and so fourth. This is where our physical bodies are returned to.
SOILS OF SPIRITUAL CONDITION: These 4 bars, represent the condition of the human soul & mind and our inability to receive the Truth of God's Word. Each condition, with it's downfalls and goodness is given by Jesus in the "Parable of the Sower". Only when the seed of The Word of God is planted in "prepared soil" or "good soil" can His Word and Work take root. Look at Paul quoting several passages of scripture here to the Church in Rome chapter 3. "There is no fear of God before their eyes"; this statement comes at the end, of much that says, there is "no goodness" in us!
SPHERES IN THE SOIL: Each line represents one persons life. The small sphere marks their birth into this fallen sinful world. We have no choice but to come into this world as sinners; it is our inherited condition. This is how we all begin our days upon this earth. Even the Christian is a sinner that has been purchased and saved by Jesus Christ. Both people live their lives; both die and their bodies return in some manner to the soil. One is apprehended by God and comes to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. After their bodies die, their souls take different paths. Read the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 that Jesus tells; after death people have full awareness of being.
ARROWS OF GRACE, MERCY & FAITH: Represent the gifts of God being poured out to whom He is pleased to give them to. The preparation of the soul by God, prepares our heart to see our "badness". Sinful mankind cannot reach to God, God pours out His Truth upon our soul as we are destined for our graves. By the Holy Spirit Counsel, we see our sin and helplessness. By God's Word we see Our Savior Jesus; we receive the gift of Faith. Coming to faith in Jesus, God covers us with the blood of His Son!
THE LINE OF SALVATION: By the Grace of God, through The Holy Spirit and Word of God, a person is given the ability to possess Faith in Jesus. When this is poured out on a person and that person comes to a saving Faith in Jesus; Jesus's perfect work, His blood, His obedience to His Father is applied to our sin penalty which, we cannot pay. This propitiation is forever and God will not let you go!
VISUAL SKY & SPACE: The sky we look into is there on the chart to say that the realm of God, Heaven, is above or separated from the visible sky and space around us, around our earth.
GOD THE FATHER, SON & HOLY SPIRIT: Our God is our True Creator, the One Who spoke all things into being. Our God is Holy, Perfect and Pure beyond our understanding. Our God, is the One "What" there is only One of. There are many physical beings or creatures and spirit beings, in God's creation; there is only One God. Our One God is "Multi-Person-hood-ive" Jesus tells us to call God "Father"; what a privilege! The Son is in the Father and the Father and Son are One, The Spirit is "God the Holy Spirit, sent by the Son and is of the Son. The Holy Spirit is the Counselor of Truth, our guide. Their devotion to each other and to self is beyond our understanding. The Holy Spirit is a gift to the believer from Jesus to see our sin, guide our lives, build our faith and knowledge in and of God.
3rd or TRUE HEAVEN : This is the realm of God, angels and those souls who belong to Him.
If it is all God's Work, what are we to do? Pray Christian pray! Unbeliever pray! Get on your knees and beg God for His Mercies, for yourself as an unbeliever. The believer, pray for your unsaved family and friends; your pastor, church, city, state, nation and world. Draw close to God through His Word and your church; do not become shoddy with your attendance but seek that beautiful spiritual life as you humbly bring your life before Our Lord Jesus every single day.
SDA vs Christianity, as our walks in life
Self Devised Autonomy is the “individual sphere of being” in which, all people; outside the Kingdom of God, live. They create their outlook on life and function within a construct of beliefs and behaviors. This can provide perceived freedom, control and comfort. Not able to choose God, without The Spirit and Grace of God; the Word of God cannot be apprehended for faith. They collect input information from the world and create their belief system. Capable of civil goodness and human love but are not capable of True Spiritual Awareness (TSA). Can those who do not believe in Jesus Christ be "spiritual"? The answer is yes; God made us both physical and eternal spiritual creatures. Seeking "spiritual" sources apart from the True God is a horrible thing. Separated from The Spirit of God and the Word of God; the world of the spirit, though real, is also separated and fallen away from God. It is the most dangerous place for a person to dabble and pry in spirit play.
The un-believer, may point to the biblical believer and say, “You have lead yourself to believe these things”. The Truth becomes the lie and the amalgamation of thoughts, ideas and information, becomes the SDA's truth. This may contain everything, from hard religious dogma and scientific intellect, to, “I just don’t care, I’m watching TV”; ignorance of The Word of God.
The Christian should be living a life centered on Scripture Authority; which begins to grow in the life of a believer when they come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. This is the Grace of God. The work of Jesus Christ, revealed in scripture, delivered to humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s Church. The elect person is brought up through the soils of the human soul and mind by the Mercies of God where the seed of the Word of God can be planted. This work causes conviction in that persons mind and heart, the recognition of sinfulness and need of a Savior. The believer, recognizing Jesus as God, and being in repentance of sin; The Holy Spirit of God takes up residence in the believers soul and guides their mind. Now, with God in control of that life, that person can go forward to produce fruit for Jesus Christ.
FROM THE TOP OF THE CHART DOWN
PSALM 113: 4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! 5 Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, 6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
JOHN 14: 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Philippians 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
EXODUS 3:4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
MATTHEW 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
JOHN 3: 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
PHILIPPIANS 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
GENESIS 1:6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
Jesus to the thief on the cross
LUKE 23:43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
JOHN 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."
EPHESIANS 1:7 "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.."
COLOSSIANS 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
HEBREWS 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."
ROMANS 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
COLOSSIANS 1:10 "so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.."
EPHESIANS 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Jesus told them:
MATTHEW 13:3 saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
Jesus explains the parable:
MATTHEW 13: 18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
ROMANS 3:23 .."for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.."
GENESIS 1:9 "And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth.."
GENESIS 3:19 "By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
ECCLESIASTES 9: 10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."
LUKE 16:22b "The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side."