Tara, we don't share many opportunities to chat because you live so far away. We devote ourselves to things that intercept our lives enough that we forget to declare our feelings to one another. So, we (Johnny and I) want to declare that we love you very much and during the decades we have known you, we always wished you and your entire family lived across the street! Even my daughter says, “If only I could have known Tara better.”
At your stage in life you remain busy. On the other hand, man remains busy and accomplishes wonders, too, for as long as his five senses can sense. But when it comes to spiritual connection with God, man falls short (free will), hence the reason Jesus arrived to ensure that connection.
Tara, you know that your spirit is what people love about you, and family members and friends who are believers wish to share their everlasting life with yours. But some people choose not to budge until their five senses are convinced that God exists, period. But bodily senses cannot see God, feel him, hear him, smell or taste him, even less when man demonstrates a gargantuan sin (free will), displayed on a stage for the entire world to see and hear.
Yet our spirits do see, hear, feel, smell and taste God’s wonders like our children, our spouses, our parents, our pets, the air we breathe, food from the earth, our homes, our vehicles, even our cell phones, and all he asks is that we appreciate (free will) his gifts provided for us, same as a father of a household, by believing in him (free will).
From the moment we are born, we are each dignified, granted “free will” by our creator to make decisions without constraint. However, it is not cost free, but a tool God uses to judge us. If we choose not to listen to Jesus’ words, we have that right (free will). Jesus says, “I come not to judge but to save.” God judges, not Jesus.
Save us from what? Answer: Our own sins. Jesus was and still is a conduit, speaking God’s will to us, teaching us how not to sin so that we save ourselves (free will) by ending our violence, greed, and ages of wars, if only we would allow Jesus’ foot in the door (free will).
But didn’t Jesus suffer crucifixion in exchange for our sins, past, present, and future? No. Jesus is the foundation for Christianity and yet in the Bible, neither Jesus nor God or any man inspired by God explicitly states that Jesus suffered crucifixion in exchange for our sins, past, present, and future. Scholars can play on words, but when sifted, the answer is the same.
Ambiguity in the Bible, which many ministers and scholars do not care to admit yet argue, is the reason for thousands of opinions, exegeses which can and have discouraged church attendance and memberships (free will). The New Testament Bible, historians of the first century, ancient Egyptian manuscripts, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Nag Hammadi and countless other sources are clear that we have been deceived by highly intelligent silver-tongued men and that deceit began (free will) within one hundred years after Jesus’ torture. Actually, Jesus came to teach us how not to sin (his free will to teach and our free will to accept). In this respect, he is our Savior.
Once understood, we believe we are then accountable for every sin we commit (free will) after we accept Jesus as our Savior. Like God, Jesus forgives us for our sins. After that divine moment we may be forgiven by those whom we transgress, but we will still be judged by God when our soul faces him. After Jesus saved the prostitute from being stoned to death, he said to her, "Now go and sin no more."
How else could God judge us other than by our sins and our acts of kindness and goodwill? How else does a judge and jury decide punishment for a murderer? Because he was caught, he may regret his murder while in body on earth, but his nervous soul does not escape God’s judgement in heaven. There is no “get out of sin free card” offered by our Savior.
After a parent realizes the wrong his child committed, does the parent say, “Not to worry, my boy, you go ahead and commit this sin again.” No. The perturbed parent says while pointing, “You little ____, don’t ever do that again!”
This is the reason we have so many heavy sinners, not paying the consequences for their actions, they think. However, their everyday lives in darkness (free will) suffer greater turmoil than those in the light of God (free will) because if we walk in the light of God, he hears our prayers and by Divine Providence can end our sufferings usually caused by man. Herewith is but one example in billions that have occurred in the world, ―the wife cannot conceive for six years. She accepts Jesus as her Savior then conceives within three months. If living in darkness, we attribute that to coincidence, but for those living in the light of God, that marvel is understood as Divine Providence, in which every human can partake, simply by believing, (which means living according to) the words of Jesus Christ (free will).
Those in darkness feel that confessing to a man in a church will cleanse them of their sins, over and over (free will). They feel that attending church (free will) will cleanse them of their sins. So wrong. God is not in a building, he is always with us, in our hearts, the temple of God. Until heavy sinners die, we, still in body, suffer their aftermath as well our own sins (free will). Think Hitler. Think Dahmer. God judged them too.
Before accepting Jesus as my Savior at my age of 36, this prayer taught by Jesus Christ that I said out loud a thousand times over the years were merely words back then but mean so much more now:
“Our Father (God) who art in heaven,
hallowed (holy) be thy name,
thy kingdom come (working together we will create heaven here on earth),
thy will be done (he aspires that we live without sin, and to love and respect one another),
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread (supply us with food, which he has done for millions of years)
and forgive us our trespasses (forgive our sins when our soul stands before you)
as we forgive those who trespass against us (for peace in our hearts, we must forgive others),
and lead us not into temptation (control our five senses that can steer us into sin)
but deliver us from evil (this does not mean to harm that mad man in N. Korea, just stuff some love into his heart),
for thine is the kingdom (God’s heaven will be our eternal home),
the power (God is awesome!),
the glory (give him praise for all he has awarded us, same as we give praise to our human father who raised us),
forever (billions of years into infinity)
and ever (a few more billion years),
Amen (so be it).”
Now, he listens to our prayers = our free will.