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What is grace? The basic definition of grace is favor, the free and undeserved help, one way, as the person receiving the grace did absolutely nothing to deserve it or warrant it. Unmerited (undeserved) favor.
We can and do give grace to other people. However, grace in it’s purest expression, the deepest meaning of it, is a gift from God to individuals. It is generous, free and undeserved. There is a depth to it that is unimaginable because it is so huge, so deep, so vast.
There is common grace which each and every person receives. And whether a person wants to believe it, or not, it is from God. Whether a person believes something or not does not change it from being factual truth.
Nothing exists simply because it exists. There is something holding it together. God. Common grace is called common grace because its benefits are experienced by, and intended for, all of humanity, without distinction between one person and another.
There is God’s sustaining care for His creation called providential care in creation (meaning advantageous, favorable.) We have rain, sun, crops grow, we breathe, we wake up and our planet still exists.
There is a restraint of sin, or providential restraint of sin. While some individual people do absolutely horrendous things, people as a whole group are not as bad and horrific as we could be. There is something restraining us, a conscience, some sort of moral code. Problems arise when people are designing their own moral codes, but again, there is something restraining many to most individuals that they can behave in a semi civilized way and do not totally and completely run wild.
There are providential blessings to mankind. Advancements in medicine, technology, basically anything that people have done that improve the lives of other people are outcomes of God’s common grace. His creation, the brains He gave people, the ability to reason and experiment and study and learn and design, all our from God and His common grace. med are seen as initiated by common grace.
And then there is a special grace which is different. Saving grace. That is the grace from God by which God draws people to salvation. What is salvation? Well, there is an eternal existence for our souls. There are two possible destinations. Although it may feel like death is the end when someone we know dies, it is not. Not for that person. We do not all go to heaven, and hell is not a place to be joking about. Both are real. In 2003 a research group discovered 64% of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die, but less than 1% think they might go to hell. Once again, truth is truth, reality is reality, whether or not an individual decides to believe it. For more in depth information, the big picture, please visit this page.
Understanding the reality of an eternal existence is important because it shows how infinitely dependent we are on God for everything. The Biblical language for hell is symbolic. Souls without bodies cannot have a literal fire burning them. However, fire and darkness in hell are vivid descriptions of what happens when we lose the presence of God. Remember, physically alive here on earth, whether we believe it or not, whether we accept God or not, there is that common grace from God sustaining us and our life. Darkness in hell refers to the isolation, and fire to the disintegration of being separated from God. Away from the favor and face of God, we literally, horrifically, and endlessly fall apart. It is almost unimaginable it is that horrific.
To be away from God is the worst thing that can happen to us. Why? We were originally created to walk in God’s immediate presence. God is everywhere and upholds everything, only in Him do we all speak and move and exist at all. So in that sense, it is impossible to be away from God. Even hell could not exist without God upholding it, and having a purpose for it being there. The Bible says sin excludes us from God’s face, His presence. All of our life; the joy, love, strength, purpose, meaning, ability, everything is found in God’s presence, His favor.
Separation from God and His blessings forever, hell, is the reality to which all the symbols in the Bible that describe hell point to. We are not destroyed out of existence but we are ruined and destroyed, completely incapable of all the things a human soul is for. No more reasoning, feeling, choosing, giving or receiving love or joy simply because the human soul was built for enjoying the true God, and all human life flows from that. It is a common grace that in this world, every person, even those who have turned away from God are kept capable of reasoning, feeling, love, joy. Hell is the place where we lose God’s supportive presence all together, and no matter what a person is experiencing here on earth, it is not the hell of eternity.
As you ponder this, please, please, please…if you have ANY genuine questions, comments, concerns, thoughts, that you would like to share or express, please contact me! Thank you!
First things first, this is not about converting to a new religion. This is not about religion at all. It is about life, real life!
Second thing. Many people do believe that this life here is all there is. If this is you, please consider that if that is true, then what we do in this life actually does not matter as the end result to whatever we do is the same, nothingness.
Some may say well what we do will live on after we are gone, in people, or in memories. But ultimately that too is meaningless since ultimately everything on this earth either dies or is destroyed in one way or another.
God planted within you the desire to live a meaningful, purposeful life, for a purpose much greater than yourself, and He alone can satisfy that desire. You were made by God, you were made for God, and you were put here for a purpose, His purpose. Life is not going to make a whole lot of sense without an understanding of that concept.
There is an eternal destiny. Eternal means lasting forever. No end. We are made from dust (Genesis 2:7), and to dust we will return to an eternal destiny (Genesis 3:19.) Those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken, some for eternal life [heaven], and some for disgrace, for eternal abhorrence [hell] (Daniel 12:2.) Isaiah 66:24 also talks about hell “And they shall go out and see the corpses of the people who rebelled against Me, for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring for all flesh.”
Heaven and Hell are real. Some may ask, what if they are not? My response, what if they are?
The document that states they are, the Bible, is true and using the same tests as any other historical document, can be proven as true.
How much we have to lose by denying truth. The reality and intensity of that denial is immense. After reading about the truth of the Bible, if you have questions or points to discuss, please always feel free to ask!
You do not earn your way into Heaven through your charitable works or by behaving well or by adhering to certain religious principles.
Your ethnicity or religious background does not grant you entrance, not even for us Jewish people, despite what some might believe.
This is for ALL people, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religious background, or anything else.
SO, what does that all mean for you? For me? For anyone? So glad you asked!