1-Is it true that we make our own choices?
2-Are we really responsible for our own fate?
3-What is predestination and freewill?
4-Is there such a thing as redemption?
" A C C E P T E D "
(A n d r e c e i v e d b y G o d )
b y B o b G r a y S m i t h
The definition of "accept" is-"to receive a thing offered with a consenting mind, to receive with favor, and approval.
In the Bible the word "accept" is- "to lift. (Strong Dictionary. page 80- word-Nacah- pronounced-Naw-saw.) Another word for "accept," is-Ratsah, pronounced, Raw-tsaw, and the definition is- to be pleased with.
One thing that the Bible impresses on me is, that the word accept makes very clear in the Bible, is that God does not accept any person according to their rank or status in life. From the smallest to the greatest all are equal as far as God is concerned. Each person has his or her "work" to perform, and the Bible is very clear on the subject. From the "widows mite" to the greatest Prophet, all will receive a just reward for a job well done, or be recompensed for work not accomplished. To whom much is given, much is required.
In the Bible, that is, the King James version, which is very popular with "fundamental" Christians, the word "accepteth" appears only four times. The first time is in Job 34:19. The subject of chapter 34 is knowing what is good and a comment on "workers of iniquity. Then it has a statement about the "work of a man" that is rendered unto him, and is caused of God for every man to find according to his ways.
Then in Ecclesiastes 9:7, the Bible says, ...God now accepteth thy works." In Hosea 8:13, it is clearly stated that the "work" of offering sacrificed flesh was not accepted by God. The last place in the Bible that uses this word is in Galatians 2:6! Here again it says that God "accepteth" no one according to his or her status or rank in life. In other words, accept ends with the same premise as it started with, and what is in between is what is of primary importance.
For the most part in my observations, Christians seem to think that all work concerning the "body of Christ" and the Church has by necessity to be on the so-called Spiritual level, that is, work performed for, and by, the body of believers in the church organization. I personally, after much research and investigation into the Bible, do not believe that the one's who are supposed to have written the Bible was that narrow minded! The Bible more than indicates in certain places that "TEMPLES" AND PUBLIC WORSHIP IS NOT what is pleasing to God. (See Isaiah 1, and Hosea 8)
Let us suppose and imagine that there is a man somewhere that is a Physician. I feel that a Physician is a good example as that is what Jesus used in Matthew 9! This Physician, this "Doctor," has taken his life's "work" of being a "General Practitioner," a Doctor who went to medical school and studied hard in order to be the best he can be in helping others in his field of medicine. Let us suppose that this Doctor, let's say his name is Albert, is not particular interesting in "Church." Let's just say for examples sake that he doesn't even attend a Church! Most Christians I know, would "judge" and "sentence" Albert to Everlasting Hellfire for all Eternity!
According to all that the Bible contains, and according to all that the Bible, after all it's content has been examined and "weighed in the balance" so to speak, and a judgment has been determined in order to evaluate each concept and notion as to it's worth- that is not the way of God in determining the "ACCEPTING" OF A MANS WORKS."
It is very narrow minded indeed to think that anyone outside of a Church cult, or a religion practicing group of "believers" of whatever they believe, be it Christian or otherwise, to judge that person, and if he or she doesn't "measure-up" or conform to your narrow way of thinking- assign him or her to Hell!
Try to have an understanding, and you should, for if you don't you fall into that category of John 3:19. (Remember, the Bible says what is down is up, and what is up is down, and believing "on Jesus" as a "saviour," is not to say that verse 18 is stating that when it states what it states concerning "light." The subject in verse 19 is the "light" that Jesus brought into the world, and states that those that do not come to the light do not because their deeds are evil. In contrast, those that "doeth truth" are the ones that come to the light! Jesus was the "light-bearer." He brought to the world light, illumination!)
If you desire wisdom, the Bible says you can have wisdom. Wisdom comes from knowledge and knowledge teaches one to know truth from error. Sometimes it is not easy, but one rule I have learned to follow is this! God's truth, and God's truth- is God's ways! and God's ways are never evil!
" I F I T I S T O O G O O D T O B E T R U E -
I T M O S T L I K E L Y I S N ' T T R U E !
I believe this is the case when it comes to a "vain worship of Jesus as Lord and saviour, and that Jesus as a sin bearer\Lamb\scape-goat is just that!- too good to be true !
Sacrifice is not "ACCEPTABLE" to God.
(References- Isaiah 1,; Hosea 6:6,; Acts 7:41-43,; and many others!)
The works of men's hands are not acceptable unto God, unless the works you render pleases him!
WICKED MEN, WITH WICKED HANDS, WITH WICKED HEARTS,
PUT JESUS ON THE CROSS, AND CRUCIFIED HIM!
Wicked works can not create good works! Kind begets kind! Evil begets evil! Right-doing, not wrong-doing brings about righteousness! Putting a man to death is evil, not good! Besides- it is not the way of God!
Let's get back to Dr. Albert! God "caused" this man to choose his life's work as a Doctor. Dr. Albert is a "good" doctor! He excels in the field of medicine. He is tops in his practice as a medical doctor! Is that enough? Does he have to believe your way in order to go to Heaven with you? Does he have to believe Paul's way? Does he have to be a Catholic, a Baptist, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Shia moslem, or a JEW? How about if Dr. Albert is an Atheist? Can an Atheist produce "good works?" Can a Christian be an evil person?
"E V E N S O F A I T H,
I F I T H A T H N O T W O R K S,
I S D E A D, B E I N G A L O N E."
How important to God is your belief? If you believe in A HEAVEN for "believers" and A HELL for unbelievers, does that make you any better off than a Buddhist that believes he or she must live many lifetimes in order to become a perfect being? Does what you believe or what you disbelieve constitute only a very small ingredient of the overall "faith" of any religion, and unless that religious practice produces "good works-" it is not "accepted of God?"
What if Dr. Albert is a good doctor, as far as a Physician is concerned, but he is as evil as they come as far as being evil is concerned! What is his standing with God? Did he succeed in the medical profession, but fail in his right-doing? What does it take in order to please and be "ACCEPTED" of GOD?
I believe The Book Of Revelations Of Jesus To John, has the best bible answer! REVELATIONS 22:12
You see, Dr. Albert, as well as you and I, not only have to do whatever we do in order to earn our living, that is support ourselves, but we must do it in a manner of integrity, or God...
...............A C C E P T E T H I T (us) N O T !
12 "Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring my wages and rewards with me, to repay and render to each one just what his OWN ACTIONS and his OWN WORK merit."
Rev.22:12 The Amplified New Testament
As you should be able to see, or at least have a glimpse of, when all the information that the Bible offers is examined, it is much more clear what the plan and purpose of why we are here, and what we are to accomplish while here, and the overall plain of God is, and even the result of being "accepted" by God will rest upon what God does, and what each of us does. Life is full of choices, and we had best make the right ones for our own sake.