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A Question For Non-Believers

wondering

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There may be some reason why someone has left the faith....
It would be interesting to know why...
the reason doesn't have to be personal...maybe we've all known someone that,
for some reason or another is no longer a believer.
What could that reason be?

One question I'd have and would really like to understand is this:

If you do not believe in the existence of God...then how would you explain everything
you see around you?

What created the universe? How did it come about?

Dawkins, for instance, is great at being a well-known atheist, but he has no answer.

Ideas from believers are welcomed too.
 

WIP

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I was a strong believer until I left the RCC at the age of 19. I no longer believed and in fact spoke out against the Bible and ridiculed God. I remember getting a writing assignment from a college English teacher and I chose to discuss what I saw as contradictions and untruths in the Bible. I had never read the Bible until I was preparing for that assignment. I actually got an A on my work even though the professor disagreed with my points of view.

Looking back now, I still struggle with the question of why I stopped believing. A think a major part of it was that I was never taught about having a relationship with Jesus. Another part was the contradictions and inconsistencies I saw within the Catholic church and with fellow church members.
 

ezrider

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One question I'd have and would really like to understand is this:

If you do not believe in the existence of God...then how would you explain everything
you see around you?

What created the universe? How did it come about?

I am single and find it difficult meeting people, so I have finally decided to try one of the online dating sites. When browsing through, reading and looking at profiles, I find a lot women that have identified themselves as Spiritual but not Religious. I identify myself as a Christian who is spiritual but not religious. So for me, I would ask of you, why do so many feel this way? Why do they identify as spiritual, but not religious?

Now when you asked your opening question, "why someone has left the faith?" What is it you mean exactly? You see, from where I sit when you ask about leaving the faith, I hear you asking why have you given up on church doctrine and church theology. From our past dialogs I suspect that these things are important to you, but they are not for me. I still have faith, I still believe, just not in all the church doctrines.

Church doctrines, like the creation of the universe. Foundations of faith are built upon your creation doctrines. It is used in order to establish credibility of the Bible, just look at the world around you, why how can you explain all that? Well I look out into the world around me and I do not see an earth that is only 6,000 years old. So how is one supposed to have faith that it is?

Yes, look out at the world around you and see its nature. You know, I take my dog to go play at the dog park, every time I'm there I see some male dog trying to hump another make dog. I have seen animals abandon the runt of the litter to die. I have seen birds abandon their chicks after falling from the nest.

I look out at the world around me an I see much hatred and cruelty claimed in the name of love. One group of people defending their doctrines while standing in accusation of others for following a different doctrine, trying to save each other from hell or condemn each other to hell.

So when you propose to prove the existence of God based upon your creation doctrines while denying certain things in nature that are evident before us, then I might ask of you the same thing God did of Job.

Who is this that darkeneth counsel
by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man;
for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
declare, if thou hast understanding.
 

Randy

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According to testimony given in John 6 many of Jesus's disciples left Him because they stated His teaching was to hard to accept. They did not believe and Jesus stated, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

To some Jesus being the only way to the Father is to hard for them to accept.
 

JLB

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There may be some reason why someone has left the faith....
It would be interesting to know why...

There may be various reasons why a person would leave the faith. Scripture tells us one of those reasons.

False doctrine. Believing and giving heed to doctrines of demons, who deceive those who are in the faith.


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1



However, it would be good to clarify, some of the language or terms being used.


To quit believing because we are weak in the faith is different that turning away from Christ to embrace another religion.


It’s also different than embracing a sinful life style because you believe you can never become lost once you are saved.


Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17



There is also the idea of a new believer who is born again, but winds up in a Church or denomination that promotes false doctrine in which various things are required to be saved such as Sabbath Keeping, Keeping the law of Moses, not eating meat or certain foods, abstaining from marriage....


This is what I believe 1 Timothy 4:1 is referring to.


Then there is departing from Christ by renouncing Him as a false messiah because one is being persecuted and threatened with death.



It would be good to clarify what one means when discussing this topic.





JLB
 
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JLB

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There may be various reasons why a person would leave the faith. Scripture tells us one of those reasons.

False doctrine. Believing and giving heed to doctrines of demons, who deceive those who are in the faith.


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1



However, it would be good to clarify, some of the language or terms being used.


To quit believing because we are weak in the faith is different that turning away from Christ to embrace another religion.


It’s also different than embracing a sinful life style because you believe you can never become lost once you are saved.


There is also the idea of a new believer who is born again, but winds up in a Church or denomination that promotes false doctrine in which various things are required to be saved such as Sabbath Keeping, Keeping the law of Moses, not eating meat or certain foods, abstaining from marriage....


This is what I believe 1 Timothy 4:1 is referring to.


Then there is departing from Christ by renouncing Him as a false messiah because one is being persecuted and threatened with death.



It would be good to clarify what one means when discussing this topic.





JLB

Then of course there is the idea of betraying Jesus, like Judas did, in that he became a guide for those who arrested Him.

Judas did this for money.


There will be those who do the same thing to other Christians in the last days. They will betray other Christians during a time of great persecution, so they can save themselves, and even receive money to betray other Christians.


Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Matthew 24:9-10


If a person does this, they have become just like Judas Iscariot, because Jesus says, ... And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’



again, when confronting Saul of Tarsus —



Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Acts 9:4-5




JLB
 

Randy

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Ref John 17
Jesus prayed for His disciples. Those He stated, They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours

Not just them but also:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.

He asked the Father to protect them by the power of His name and to protect them from the evil one.

Just as He prayed for Peters faith not to fail.

The prayers of the Son are still valid in this day and age. God reserved for Himself 7000 in the most sinful of environments. He can keep people safe.

Jesus also stated,
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

It is not possible for those who belong to Jesus to be deceived away from Him or the Father, No one can pull them away. They are protected from the evil one and no longer belong to this world.

Those that believe for a short while and walk away later have not known Jesus or the Father.
 

JLB

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Jesus also stated,
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Notice that the promise of receiving eternal life is to those who hear His voice and follows Him.


If we are following Jesus (obeying Him) but begin to wander away from Him, we can indeed become lost.


By taking all the teachings of Christ as a whole doctrine, we will know and understand the truth is this matter.


Here is just one —


Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17




JLB
 

Randy

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Notice that the promise of receiving eternal life is to those who hear His voice and follows Him.


If we are following Jesus (obeying Him) but begin to wander away from Him, we can indeed become lost.


By taking all the teachings of Christ as a whole doctrine, we will know and understand the truth is this matter.


Here is just one —


Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17




JLB
Is someone who has been made a new creation such a person who believes with certainty in Him?
 

Randy

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I agree only those who do the Fathers will can enter through Christ but Jesus didn't even entertain that those who continue to sin once knew Him.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

My point isn't OSAS but rather those who who walk away from the faith to go atheist or to start proclaiming another faith NEVER belonged to Jesus.

I learned this question from above.
"How can one have the Spirit of Christ in them and not know Jesus lives?"
 

for_his_glory

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We all came to Christ with that of a carnal mind as we had no Spiritual knowledge in the beginning. All we had was a mustard seed of faith, but only believing that Jesus is the Son of God, but not truly knowing who He was/is as our personal Lord and Savior. When that mustard seed is left undeveloped and not watered Satan will soon come and pluck it up.

1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron

Many churches do not teach of the Spiritual rebirth or the indwelling empowerment of the Holy Spirit, John 3:5-7; Acts2, as they only play church and as soon as trauma comes into one's life they blame God for their problems instead of boldly coming to the cross and laying their burdens down. This was me in my beginning over forty years ago as I soon fell away from the church as I did not water my mustard seed at first as I allowed it to whither among my turmoil, but yet a part of me, which now I know was the Holy Spirit, would not allow my faith to completely die as Christ kept calling me to Him, even though I did not want to hear Him until I hit rock bottom and all I had left was to look up and surrender all to Him. Unfortunately not everyone will look up when they reach rock bottom as they allow their hearts to be hardened.
 

JLB

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Is someone who has been made a new creation such a person who believes with certainty in Him?

That would be speculating?

Please provide a scripture.
 

wondering

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There may be various reasons why a person would leave the faith. Scripture tells us one of those reasons.

False doctrine. Believing and giving heed to doctrines of demons, who deceive those who are in the faith.


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1



However, it would be good to clarify, some of the language or terms being used.


To quit believing because we are weak in the faith is different that turning away from Christ to embrace another religion.


It’s also different than embracing a sinful life style because you believe you can never become lost once you are saved.


Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17



There is also the idea of a new believer who is born again, but winds up in a Church or denomination that promotes false doctrine in which various things are required to be saved such as Sabbath Keeping, Keeping the law of Moses, not eating meat or certain foods, abstaining from marriage....


This is what I believe 1 Timothy 4:1 is referring to.


Then there is departing from Christ by renouncing Him as a false messiah because one is being persecuted and threatened with death.



It would be good to clarify what one means when discussing this topic.





JLB
By falling away from the faith, I mean what Paul spoke of --- falling away from what he and the Apostles taught.
I agree that there are different types of falling away....I believe they are all valid for this discussion...


2 Corinthians 11:3
3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.


Paul was worried that a different Jesus was being taught and this was being accepted by the Corinthians.


Hebrews 3:12-15
12Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? ...


Paul worried that we might harden our hearts and no longer feel the pull of the Holy Spirit and the love for God.
This is also a falling away.

Matthew 24:11-12
11“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
12“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.


False prophets encourage lawlessness by declaring that one could never forfeit their salvation.
This is not true and was not believed by the Early Church Fathers (theologians). It's important to know that we are to hold fast to our faith, as Paul exhorted.
 
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wondering

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I agree only those who do the Fathers will can enter through Christ but Jesus didn't even entertain that those who continue to sin once knew Him.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

My point isn't OSAS but rather those who who walk away from the faith to go atheist or to start proclaiming another faith NEVER belonged to Jesus.

I learned this question from above.
"How can one have the Spirit of Christ in them and not know Jesus lives?"
Hi Randy,,,
The above is the point I wanted to discuss with you on that other thread.

In Matthew 7.23 Jesus mentions nothing about someone walking away from the faith.
He simply states that He never knew those that practice lawlessness or the evildoers.
Jesus is stating that the lawless will not get into heaven....this is an idea that is not accepted by those that believe that salvation is eternal NO MATTER WHAT.

So, I do understand what YOU are stating....but it's really the same as OSAS if you state that those that walk away were never saved....you're saying that eternal salvation is assured or the person was never saved to begin with.

This is not what Jesus taught. He taught that we can walk away from the faith...and so did the N.T. writers.

I'll give you three passages that show what Jesus taught.

Luke 15:24
24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.


The above teaching shows that the son was saved...then lost...and has come to life AGAIN (showing he was previously a saved person).

*****************
Luke 8:13
13“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.


Jesus said they hear the word and receive it with joy.
They believe for a while,,,but then fall away.

Isn't a believer a saved person?

***************
Matthew 18:12

12“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?


Jesus teaches that one of the very sheep that hear His voice can go astray.

I don't believe anything can snatch us out of His hand if we have a mature relationship with God...
but some can just walk away from God. This is what Jesus teaches above.
 

JLB

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By falling away from the faith, I mean what Paul spoke of --- falling away from what he and the Apostles taught.
I agree that there are different types of falling away....I believe they are all valid for this discussion...


2 Corinthians 11:3
3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.


Paul was worried that a different Jesus was being taught and this was being accepted by the Corinthians.

Yes giving heed to false doctrines, that are not from Christ.


Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1




JLB
 

JLB

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Hebrews 3:12-15
12Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? ...


Paul worried that we might harden our hearts and no longer feel the pull of the Holy Spirit and the love for God.
This is also a falling away

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, Hebrews 3:12-14


Believing to the end; ie permanent believing maintaining ones faith to the end, is how remain partakers of Christ, verses believing for a while then turning away from Christ while under persecution, and becoming lost forever.


Hebrews 3:12-15 is specifically referring to Hebrew Christians being under persecution from unbelieving Jews, to depart from Christ, no longer believing He is the Messiah, and return to Judaism.


  • This context runs chapter 3 to Chapter 10, being highlighted in 6 again.


For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Hebrews 6:4-6



But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39



JLB
 

wondering

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Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, Hebrews 3:12-14


Believing to the end; ie permanent believing maintaining ones faith to the end, is how remain partakers of Christ, verses believing for a while then turning away from Christ while under persecution, and becoming lost forever.


Hebrews 3:12-15 is specifically referring to Hebrew Christians being under persecution from unbelieving Jews, to depart from Christ, no longer believing He is the Messiah, and return to Judaism.


  • This context runs chapter 3 to Chapter 10, being highlighted in 6 again.


For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Hebrews 6:4-6



But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39



JLB
Thanks for explaining that Hebrews 6:4-6 was for Jews that began to doubt that the new faith might be wrong and were returning to the Jewish origins and forsaking Christ.

Many take this verse to teach that if we fall away, we can never return to God.
This, of course, is incorrect because God desires that none should perish (1 Timothy 2:4) and will always be happy to take us back. (the Prodigal Son was welcomed back).

Also, you mention about falling away as being conditional by the word IF.
"IF they fall away" - On different occasions Paul used the word IF.
IF we fall away...means that we CAN fall away.

Those who did not go back to their Jewish roots were those that would not draw back...Paul encourages them.
 

Randy

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Hi Randy,,,
The above is the point I wanted to discuss with you on that other thread.

In Matthew 7.23 Jesus mentions nothing about someone walking away from the faith.
He simply states that He never knew those that practice lawlessness or the evildoers.
Jesus is stating that the lawless will not get into heaven....this is an idea that is not accepted by those that believe that salvation is eternal NO MATTER WHAT.

So, I do understand what YOU are stating....but it's really the same as OSAS if you state that those that walk away were never saved....you're saying that eternal salvation is assured or the person was never saved to begin with.

This is not what Jesus taught. He taught that we can walk away from the faith...and so did the N.T. writers.

I'll give you three passages that show what Jesus taught.

Luke 15:24
24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.


The above teaching shows that the son was saved...then lost...and has come to life AGAIN (showing he was previously a saved person).

*****************
Luke 8:13
13“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.


Jesus said they hear the word and receive it with joy.
They believe for a while,,,but then fall away.

Isn't a believer a saved person?

***************
Matthew 18:12

12“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?


Jesus teaches that one of the very sheep that hear His voice can go astray.

I don't believe anything can snatch us out of His hand if we have a mature relationship with God...
but some can just walk away from God. This is what Jesus teaches above.
Its not possible to unknow the witness of the Spirit. Therefore, have ever you want to state it, those that fall away never had the witness/relationship. To me they never belonged. So if Jesus asked the Father to protect them from the evil one, those that believe in Him with certainty, who is it strong enough to snatch them away from His hand as in no longer "believing" in Him?

Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,

we will also live with him;

12if we endure,

we will also reign with him.

If we disown him,

he will also disown us;


13if we are faithless,

he remains faithful,

for he cannot disown himself.
 

Randy

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To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples
 

Randy

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How do you read this about the elect? I read NOT possible to be deceived away from Jesus.
The powerful delusion that is allowed to enter the world through the beast.

For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
 
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