It is clear that God forgives our sins as Christians who have accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. There is no sin that is not forgiven that would prevent our entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven… Psalms 103: 12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” This statement alone gives us incredible comfort that our human weaknesses will be overlooked. But, we should never use this gift as an excuse to do whatever we choose because we know that it will be forgiven.
Forgiveness is only a part of this equation. Because God forgives our sins does not mean that He forgets them !!! 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” So, we see by this statement that at the final judgment, we must all give explanations for all that we have done. This clearly indicates that although our sins are forgiven that they are not forgotten.
Many of us will find this to be an extremely embarrassing and shameful experience and it may be a good way of considering our actions prior to committing a sinful action knowingly. The event of relating all of our sinful actions in front of the entire human population will probably not be pleasant. However, after this experience, the names of the saved that have been written in the Book of Life will be saved from eternal damnation…. It I not humanly possible to indicate our gratitude for such a gift for which we did nothing, but attempting to lead a more Christian based life may be a start !!!!
As what we consider to be human civilization moves along through the years since the world was created, we find some interesting developments concerning religious beliefs. Christianity did not come into effect until after the death of Jesus as a unified religious persuasion, and even then there were many disagreements as to doctrine. It really was not until the Bible was assembled into the final form that we then had a document that described the requirements and behavior expected by God from his creations. At that point, all further discussion concerning Christian doctrine should have ceased. But we find, just as the Jewish community attempted to interpret the Law in various ways; that the Christian churches also attempted to interpret the Bible in various ways also.
In the early days of the Church, the various interpretations were less noticeable amongst other churches because of the lack of communication between the groups. If a church altered the Word to suit the particular agenda of the leaders, then that change may have only affected that church. However, as time moved on and we are now in a world of instantaneous communication and exchange of knowledge, it is much easier for anyone to see the differences within individual congregations that are different from our own beliefs. There are many different denominations theoretically adopting the exact same doctrine. This begs the question as to why there are different denominations at all. There is only one Bible and the words and doctrine within the Bible are absolute….We are not entitled nor should we even question the doctrine contained in the Bible, but attempt to live within the requirements given to us.
Jesus warns us many times about the end times and the indications of the coming of the final end. He tells us of many people being attracted to doctrine that they like rather than what is contained within the Bible. The words of the Bible are not open to interpretation or opinions, but must be accepted as they have been given to us by God regardless of whether we like them or not. In the world today which is filled with incredible evil and immorality, many churches have altered their acceptance of the words of God and substituted their own opinions because it satisfies the desires of the congregate and this is wrong !!!! Anyone or group that alters the Bible in any way has placed themselves in a position equal to God and this is a very dangerous action to take. There is one God and He has given us one Bible and that is the only instruction manual for Christian belief and behavior.
The Bible is clearly the most important document ever given to mankind. It is the best selling and probably the least read book ever printed. However, the miraculous aspects of the document are obvious to those who have read it with the acceptance that it truly is the word of God. One of the incredible characteristics of the Bible is that it will give to the reader what that reader needs at that particular time. The same reader can read the same passage at another time and receive a slightly different understanding that would be helpful at that time. The numbers of levels of understanding within the Bible are endless. No one will ever not discover new information every time that person reads the book. But, there is a problem !!!!
There have been so many revisions of the original translation that much, if not all, of the miraculous aspects of the book may have been removed.It is a reasonable assumption to believe that any time the Bible was first translated into a new language that the translation would have been inspired and under the guidance of our Lord. The KJV is generally accepted as the first translation into English and is therefore the only translation that can be trusted. The problem is that any revision to that translation reduces the understanding of any particular passage to what the translator was getting at that time. This action reduces the chance of further understanding or deeper levels of teachings to only the one that the translator writes. The excuse that it is easier to read is without validity; the Bible was not written to be easy but to give us the words of God in the way that He wanted.
The number of different denominations is further proof of the error of adjusting the words of the Bible.If only one Bible were to be used by all denominations then there would be no reason for more than what our Lord wanted. One Church, one Bible without controversy or confusion…And who is the author of confusion???
The question of sin interfering with our prayers depends upon the degree of faith that each one of us experiences. As humans, it is impossible for us not to sin and if sin interfered with our prayers, then none of our prayers would be answered. The fact that most of our prayers are answered does not solve the problem though. Sin is a human action that can be controlled to some extent. There are actions that we take that we know are sinful, yet we take that step anyway. This type of sin may have an impact on our requests to our Lord, but we do not know.It just seems reasonable to assume that our Lord does not look favorably upon this type of activity!!! We are not discussing forgiveness, but how sin affects our requests to God. There are those people that take advantage of any “interpretation” of doctrine to excuse themselves from responsibility for their actions, and we could conclude that this type of activity may affect any requests we make from our Lord. The fact is that we do not know what and how our requests are looked upon by God, and all of our thoughts are human in nature. God does not think the way that we think nor does he act the way that we act, but we are given instructions for our behavior and we are expected to strive toward those directives. The act of attempting to improve ourselves and our actions would most certainly please God because it is essentially an act of faith.
We do know, however, that doubt will have an effect on our prayer requests. There is much doctrine concerning doubt all throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.Satan is always attempting to place doubt in our path and is successful very often.The very first human experience described in the Bible is Satan creating doubt in the mind of Eve. Satan does not have a difficult job creating doubt in our minds considering the sinful nature of man. The more often that we sin, the easier it becomes for doubt to fill our minds because we realize that we are not worthy for any consideration from God for anything that we ask of Him. It is only because of the incredible grace of God that we are able to come to Him and ask for His assistance. If we approach Him in faith and without doubt we are assured that our requests will be fulfilled in spite of our sinful nature…..
The question of taking the words of the Bible literally has been debated ever since the book was assembled into a single document. It is also interesting to recognize that any element of confusion concerning Biblical writings is clearly the work of Satan and that knowledge adds further interest into the debate. However, the influence of Satan upon all aspects of our lives requires greater discussion that we will advance at some later time. But, in terms of the Bible, the question should be understood and then forgotten because it has no value to a Christian other than causing confusion.
We must always keep in mind that the Bible is written in two separate concerns. One is the carnal life and the other is the spiritual life. We find that when the book addresses the carnal aspect of our lives that it uses stories and descriptions that can be understood and to which we can relate as humans. Certainly there are events that are unusual, but if we look carefully, we will notice that the explanation is always given by which the event can be believed to have actually happened as described. God sometimes intervenes within an event, but that intervention is always told to us so that we may understand the validity of what has happened. The real issue though is not whether the event has happened according to the biblical description, but rather what is the lesson that we are being given.
When the Book describes spiritual events, it sometimes uses imagery and descriptions that seem difficult to understand or even believe. We are told of beasts with different heads and events that boggle the mind. However, we as humans are not equipped to grasp these happenings, but we should never try to interpret their meaning but rather try to understand them. Discussing the issue of taking the Bible literally is exactly that, interpreting the Word rather than acceptance and understanding. The answer to the question as to should the Bible be taken literally is yes, it should be taken literally. If we interpret any of the words of the Bible, we diminish the importance of this miraculous gift given to us by God…..
Any time that we, as humans, attempt to understand the God figure, we inevitably have misconceptions that make that understanding less than accurate. One of these reasons is that we have no reference to our Father other than our earthly father. The relationship that we have all experienced with our earthly father is the only basis by which we can envision our heavenly Father. For some, that relationship was a pleasant experience and their conception of God is one that places God in a position to which He is entitled. However, for most people, their relationship with their father was less than pleasant and as a result, these people have difficulty embracing God as an unconditionally loving Being….
Even though we may have had what may be considered a “normal” relationship with our earthly father, it is inevitable that our father made many mistakes and misjudgments concerning our lives. Often times, as children we were not told the truth because our father thought it would be better to tell us something else thinking it would be better for us. Unfortunately, at some point, we discover the truth and our feelings of trust is damaged, sometimes beyond repair. There are others that have had terrible relationships with their father or no relationship at all, and their perception of the father figure is effected accordingly…. In every case however, we see our earthly father as he is: human, flawed and sometimes unreliable. But, it is the only reference that we have of the father figure.
As we consider God as our Father, it is impossible not to bring these references to our thoughts. Our heavenly Father is not very much like our earthly father, but it is a big step to take in order to overcome our only fatherly experiences. It is difficult to turn over our lives with complete trust that everything that happens to us will be in our best interests.The love God has for each of us transcends all of our weaknesses, mistakes, arrogance and outright rebellion. He will never lie to us, He will never abandon us, He will never punish us ( although He may chasten us ) and we can be confident that everything that He does for us is in our best interests.It is not an easy step to take to give our lives to God, but if we are aware of the obstacles we must overcome, it becomes much easier. We, as humans, cannot comprehend the degree of love that our Father has for each one of us, but it is incredible !!!