Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson Demonstrate and Extol Forgiveness as a Virtue Worth Practicing

Robert Downey, Jr. recently described the power of forgiveness in his own life, and recommended it as a practice to his colleagues, as described in this article.

Forgiveness is vastly underrated as a lifestyle strategy.  However, Jesus Christ practiced it to perfection and look where it got Him: to the highest place in heaven!

Everyone is going to heaven, but we won’t all end up in the same place there.  Forgive and be like Jesus.  You might end up closer to Him in heaven.

Here’s a two-minute video clip of Downey delivering his message about forgiveness at the 2011 American Cinematheque Award Ceremony:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AAJuynxnTQ&feature=player_embedded]

Names of the Lord: Jesus Is the Standard

What is the standard by which we are judged?  Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus was lifted up from the earth (John 12:32) – in the flesh on the cross, and in the spirit to heaven.  He is the One to whom we are to look.  He is the One to whom we are compared.

There is no use comparing ourselves to each other (or to Hitler – that’s how low everyone seems to want to set the bar).  We must compare ourselves to the only One who is a true standard:   Jesus Christ.

See also Isaiah 11:12 and John 3:14-15  and How Can God Let Bad People Into Heaven?

The Standard is His name.

Call on His Name

He Who Ascended Is He Who Descended

In Ephesians 4:8-10 the apostle Paul gives in capsule form the grand outline of the journey of Christ.  Of course, since Christ is a type of God this passage outlines the journey of God Himself.

That is, God Himself descended from heaven to become Jesus of Nazareth.  He lived as a man, was crucified, and died.  He arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven where was revealed as God Almighty in the Second Coming.  Thus, He who ascended is He who had descended.  To God be the glory!

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

John Stott Challenges Woody Allen on Death

In this less-than-two-minute video clip, John Stott declares that Jesus Christ has conquered death.  Oh, how that truth gets lost so often in today’s discussions about Jesus.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.  – Hebrews 2:14-15 NASB

Shout it from the housetops: Everyone Is Going to Heaven.  There is no reason to be afraid of death – but there is abundant reason to repent of our sinning.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeHqOeaAIps&feature=feedf]

“Heaven” – Christian Song

Michael English sings Heaven.  The lyrics are included.

Much like the song I Can Only Imagine, the truth is more closely approached if you will listen to, and sing, the song in the present tense rather than the future tense.  We can and should do this because Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again, and therefore The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now.

Do not postpone until tomorrow what God has granted for today.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4EaJGYqeIA&feature=feedrec_grec_index]

You Could Say God Died Twice for Us

You could say that God gave up His life two times on our behalf: First, He gave up His life as God to be birthed as Jesus of Nazareth in the earth.  Second, He gave up His life as Jesus of Nazareth to be raised from the dead to heaven as our God forevermore.  It was two different lives with two different deaths – one an echo of the other.

In any case, when He tells us to lay down our lives for the sake of others He is preaching what He has practiced.

For more on this subject, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

Where and When Is Hell?

Q:  “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters,  and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”  (Revelation 21:8 ESV)

How do you interpret this verse?

A:  This verse describes all those who lived outside of the blessedness of the kingdom of God, which is in our midst.  In other words, hell is a condition on this earth in this life for those not living in the light of the presence of Christ.

Everyone Is Going to Heaven

Steve Hays of Triablogue Gives Weak Rebuttal

Steve Hays, writing for the blog Triablogue, has posted Does Everybody Get His Wings?  This is his rebuttal to my post Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

If you are familiar with the traditional heaven-or-hell scenario for human afterlife, you will recognize that this is the position that Steve holds.  Thus, he makes all the standard objections you’ve heard to everyone going to heaven.  In so doing, Steve relies largely on theological reference books to support his case.  By contrast, I’ve tried to write in such a way that a common-sense person can read the Bible and make up his or her own mind about the subject.

Steve apparently has ignored The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven, which is the book-length treatment which substantiates my post.  Thus, Steve has only addressed the overview of the biblical case and not the case itself.  Since I deal in the book with all the objections he makes, I see no reason to go into them again here.  Steve’s rebuttal might have been stronger had he 1) dealt with the book itself and not just the overview, 2) had he not invoked academic texts unavailable to most readers, or 3) offered more logical and fewer technical objections.  Nonetheless, I commend him for at least addressing the overview post.

When you read Steve’s post it’s apparent that he’s well-educated and a good writer.  However, the logic he offers on the subject of hell is the standard, “Look, you should just trust the traditional view because you don’t have enough theological education to question the experts.”  Never forget, however, that hearing the word of God and doing it – not theological studies – leads to the greatest knowledge and understanding of God.