Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Won't heaven be boring?

Only if you're a person who delights in wickedness.

Anyone who thinks that God is pretty awesome will never get bored.

On the flip side, hell is not a place of eternal excitement for those who might get bored in heaven (though I guess that depends on what you mean by excitement).  Hell is described by fire and eternal torment which is highly unpleasant for everyone who is there.  You might be in constant awareness of this suffering for eternity...

But isn't the devil in charge of hell?  Satan is my friend, he'll look after me.

Sorry, but Satan is being punished in hell along with you.  Hell was originally made for the devil and the fallen angels.

It might be a good time to humble yourself, admit your weakness, and repent - trusting in Jesus to take your punishment on the cross rather than taking it yourself in hell.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Are you saying that Christianity is better than my faith?

Of course I am.  And you are a hypocrite if you tell me off for this and have a faith that you defend in return!

If I didn't believe that Christianity wasn't a wise path to follow, I wouldn't follow it.  So I make no apologies about saying that my faith is better than yours.

Perhaps you don't have the confidence in your god that I have in mine!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Do I need to be baptised to be saved?

Baptism is important, and if you are a Christian you should be baptised, though if you press me I'll say, "No, definitely not".

Baptism is a bit like repentance - it is something that people do once they become a Christian (have faith) but by itself it doesn't save.  Some understand baptism slightly different from this but without saying that baptism saves.  So why get baptised?  Because Jesus commanded us to perform this ritual as an outward sign of inward change.

This isn't something to be taken lightly.

Scripture speaks very strongly about the importance of being obedient and being baptised.  Because the bible is so strong on this holy ritual, many have mistakenly said that baptism itself is necessary for salvation.  The problem with taking it this far is that you introduce a deed or action that must be performed in addition to having faith.

Precision of language is important so that you don't mislead anyone: If someone asks if baptism itself saves, you can say that salvation is a work of the Spirit, changing a person on the inside. These changes will bring about obedience (in your actions) to the commands of God.  Baptism is a matter of obedience.  Those who are saved will want to obey because they love God.

Putting it another way, baptism is an effect that is produced by salvation, not a cause of salvation.

Further reading on the heresy of baptismal regeneration
A sermon by Charles Spurgeon on baptismal regeneration
The Christian Apologetics Research Ministry comprehensive article on baptism