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OrthodoxWilderness

believe in god = saved?!?

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i am curious as to what you guys think of this topic, does the simple fact that you are "christian" mean that you are going to heaven? and if so what IS heaven? i have views on this subject and would like to talk this over with anyone who is willing :) 

also, martyrdom. good or bad?      

do you think that the fact that you believe in god should mean that you have a long, healthy, happy life?

and do you think that church is necessary or that all praying can be done from home?

 

cant wait to hear your answers!

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These are some great questions you've got! 

First of all, ideally, yes being a Christian means you will go to Heaven. However, the discrepancy exists where people claim to be Christians, but don't live as followers of Christ should. A Christian is someone who has devoted their life to following God. We believe that Jesus is God in the flesh and that he died for our sins. The Bible says that by believing Jesus died for us, and that he is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the only way to the Father, then we will be blessed with eternal life with Him. That is the definition of a Christian, and it is how Christians should live. Obviously we are not perfect, no one is. But we repent when we sin, praying for forgiveness, and seek guidance from the Lord to be stronger in Him and live as we should. Many people today believe that simply going to church makes them Christian, or saying they believe in God makes them Christian. In reality, they are lying to themselves because one is only a true Christian when they know Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and seek to live well with the Holy Spirit. So, overall, yes, Christians go to Heaven because we follow Him and how He wants us to live. Sadly, it has become an epidemic today of people claiming to be Christians when they don't live like God wants them to. 

Next, there is much wonder over what Heaven really is. Truly, what I believe from what the Bible says, is Heaven is God's domain. There is where we will finally experience His glory to the fullest. It is eternal, where our weary souls are fulfilled in the presence of the Lord. It's in the Bible that the streets are laid with gold, and everyone there appears as they did in the prime of their lives. It is perfect, holy, and eternal. 

Martyrdom is also an interesting topic that I've thought of myself. I can't imagine how being killed for your Christian faith can be considered a "bad" thing in the eyes of God (obviously we are human and can only go based on what we learn from the Bible). Many disciples in history became martyrs for their beliefs, because they were killed for spreading the good news of Jesus. Paul is an example. Obviously I don't think it should be a goal for Christians to go and die just to be martyrs; that's wrong, the Bible doesn't say to do that. Just remember to always stand strong and steadfast in your faith and Christ. Then, you will walk the path that God laid out for you.

"Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow"

Regarding believing in God for a happy life, the Bible doesn't say that is always the case. The Bible says that in the world, the wicked will prosper, but as Christians we should not be tempted to turn to those wicked ways. The great shall become the least and the least shall become great. We are not of this world, and our true prosperity awaits being with Christ forever in Heaven. Refer to Jeremiah 29:11 "'I know the plans I have for you' declares the LORD, 'Plans for prosperity and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" God has a plan for everyone, and if you hold close to Him, then your life will fall into place as it should according to Him. 

Finally, church. Praying and asking for guidance and forgiveness is incredibly important, but we should never forget how important it is to WORSHIP God and study His Word. Church provides a place where people can gather together to do these things (as the Bible says it is good when people come together to worship the Lord). Unity and brotherhood are so important in Christianity and going to church really is the ultimate output for that. It's a place entirely dedicated to Christ. When people gather there to study, pray, and worship, it is truly a beautiful thing and is vital. Everyone has their own personal relationship with Jesus, which very often is addressed during alone time. Church is important and as Christians it is important that we go to come together and give thanks to God. However, if God is calling you to stay home on a Sunday and work some things out with Him alone, then do that. Everyone needs alone time to get right with God. I'll admit that I've been struggling with pornography, and I am incredibly ashamed. But very often I'll pray for ten to twenty minutes alone for the strength to keep fighting and for the guidance of what steps to take. I do that because it's part of my personal relationship with God and I address it in private prayer. But, it is also important that I find people I can trust, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to hold me accountable and help me in this battle. That is the importance of going to church: helping each other and being there for each other on everyone's spiritual journey. 

Responding to your message was awesome, and I can't wait to hear what you have to say! :) I've never openly admitted my struggle with pornography before either, so thank you. I believe that God was using you to help me take that next step I needed to take. 

Edited by Echo12

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thanks, i agree with everything you said and ill admit i was surprised, most people i talk to think that just because they SAY i believe in god they should lead charmed lives and then go to heaven, i think that the wicked and the holy will all go to one place, where gods light will shine more glorious then the sun. but the pure love of christ will, according to the holy fathers burn the sinners and be the most marvelous thing in the world for the holy, the more righteous you where in this life, the closer you get to be to god.  

as my name says i am orthodox christian and there are a lot of different denominations out there that all think different things. i find it fascinating to see everyone else's views (like yours) and compare them with what i know about the faith! however i firmly believe in everything you said in the above post and am really grateful to you for writing it. i would write more but im not very good at a long article :)                     

one thing i DO want to add, reading through it again is that there always exists the person who genuinely believes that Christ exists but is too wrapped up in worldy passions to care.

as a follow up question, people who haven't heard the word of God, like a random aborigine. God loves all of his creatures, so how would he judge someone who has never even HEARD of Gods name, never heard him mentioned. you could argue that he would go to heaven, as he did not have the choice to fight for Christs sake, but then you could argue that if you raised your children on top of a mountain away from any mention of God it would ensure his (the childs) passage to heaven.

what are you thoughts?

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Well I see someone who hasn't heard of God being much like a child (and in many cases, such a person is a child). Jesus says that we must make ourselves like children, because children are entirely dependent on their parents and we must cling to Him that same way. If a child dies, and his/her parents were raising that child to believe that God doesn't exist, or if the child never heard of Heaven, I believe that child would still go to Heaven. Like you said before, God loves all of His creations. It is not the child's fault that his/her parents raised him/her that way, and based on how children are talked about in the Bible, I believe God would see that they do not know right from wrong, or true from false, so they would go to Heaven. A similar argument exists for someone who has never heard of God. If they live in some kind of seclusion, or terrible circumstances surrounding their life, then it is possible for someone to go through life without hearing the good news. I haven't really thought of that before, but I guess that person would go to Heaven. Just like a mislead child, that person did not know the truth. It is obviously very different from someone who has heard of God and decides to ignore that fact or purposely live away from it because that person has actively rejected what Jesus offers us. Because of that difference, I would be inclined to say that, like children, that person (the one who has not heard of God) would go to Heaven. But of course it's all God's will and we don't know for sure! And I totally agree about what you said with discussing varying beliefs among Christians. Healthy discussions really lead to a deeper understanding of Christ and what it means to be a Christian. 

Edited by Echo12

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but what if the child was brought up to believe that, for example. killing random people was GOOD. since he thought that that was a good and reasonable thing to do, even though it wasnt, would, in the eyes of God, that be good or bad?

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That's great question, and I would believe that child would go to Heaven. The Bible says that parents, other adults, and leaders in the church and the community should always strive to be examples for children and show them what it means to live with the Holy Spirit. It also says that leading a child or someone else purposely astray from what is right in God's eyes is a sin. That being the case, the guardians who led the child to believe that killing was right would be the ones at fault, and the child would not be at fault until he/she is old enough to learn and understand for him/herself that killing is wrong. That's a case-by-case thing that really has multiple answers depending on how various passages and messaged in the Bible are interpreted. 

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yeah, i guess there is no real way to find out, is there? because you could also argue that a sin is a sin weather you know it or not. and therefor the child would be at fault unless he went to confession. right?

but on the other hand, if god loves all of his children equally he will probably send some kind of a sign, like all nations know that helping is good and killing is bad, unless it is done under specific circumstances, right? like war or to protect ones honor. so you can assume that he has told all nations at least how they are supposed to live.  

it really makes you think...

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On 1/3/2017 at 2:59 PM, OrthodoxWilderness said:

i am curious as to what you guys think of this topic, does the simple fact that you are "christian" mean that you are going to heaven? and if so what IS heaven? i have views on this subject and would like to talk this over with anyone who is willing :) 

also, martyrdom. good or bad?      

do you think that the fact that you believe in god should mean that you have a long, healthy, happy life?

and do you think that church is necessary or that all praying can be done from home?

 

cant wait to hear your answers!

Being Christian, truly christian, does mean going to heaven. Naturally, it can only be truly decided between the person and God whether they ended their lives as a true christian or just said the word.

Martyrdom, is a sad thing because it has to be. Those, however, who rather lose their lives than defy God are the most faithful people heard of frankly and that kind of love for God is admired, and should be followed in our own lives.

Loving God should not guarantee any of that. It only guarantees us a place in Heaven. God has a purpose for what we go through, whether we understand or not.

I think prayer can be done from home, but the fellowship is a good thing to have.

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