Oh wow, Chip. That took a lot of time and thought to write. It's very appreciated. It's truly showing the love we are commanded to show, to take the time to try to help someone, isn't it?
You made it easy to understand and related your own experiences. You did an awesome job.
Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions. There are enough to fill a book. Was wondering if I should ask one at a time, or put them all out there. Will start with a few and if that doesn't work, maybe try one at a time?
The first is a 2 part question. When your prayers weren't answered, what were you praying for, and why do you think some prayers are answered and others aren't?
When there was a war in heaven and the bad angels were cast out, what do you think happened to them? I think the Bible says they were cast down to earth doesn't it? If so, what are those bad angels now doing here on earth?
It's really interesting that you started out with the issue of the judgement day stage.
On this stage, you saw your sins beginning at 5 when you hit a boy. If God loves us more than we love our own children, why would He do that? How can a God of love judge a 5 yr. old little boy? Or even show the past behavior?
Even in the Bible, self defense is allowed and if it weren't, a 5 yr. old doesn't yet have a conscience. That's taught. So if they do wrong at that age, isn't the parent accountable?
Even when you were 16. God supposedly loves us more than we love our own children. You were going through a hard stage in life. Some have it harder than others, but for every teen, it's rough.
In my opinion, yours was a lot harder than many. If I can understand that, it makes no sense that God wouldn't. Especially since He supposedly loves us more than we love our own children.
I know God will settle the score in the end, and can see how people believe he punishes us now, because Hebrews 12:6 says, "because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son."
BUT, James 1:13 says, “"When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone."”
It almost looks like they were "rules" if you will, for different time periods. Could that be? If you have scriptures that seem to conflict with one another, how do you go about resolving it to know which one to follow? In my mind those two just don't go together but I know there's an explanation.
I want to believe it's because one was Old Testament, and the other New Testament after Jesus died for us. Is there an example of God punishing people in the New Testament?
It's so easy to feel the love of God when we look around and see the beauty, the wonders we've been given. When we feel He's in our lives. I want to know and pray to that God, not a vengeful God looking down waiting for a wrong move to punish us. But, many people believe it, and I can see, based on their reasoning, why they believe it.
On the other hand, why is it that some very good people who live Godly lives and try their hardest, live lives of hardship, while some very greedy and evil people who have no remorse, live very happily and seem to have very little go wrong (in their opinion) in their lives? Why aren't they punished?
It just doesn't make sense to me that God is punishing people before "judgement day". We have his Word, and a conscience. When we do wrong, our conscience often offers more punishment than anything, and if it doesn't, natural consequences can come in to play. If you hit yourself over the head long enough, you'll get a headache. Ya know? It's not God punishing; it's from doing a stupid thing.
It has to be real disheartening to people to think that when bad things happen, we're being punished. Gosh, some days a person would want to off themselves just to be relieved of the frustrations if we felt it would continue. But it doesn't make sense to me how Romans 3:10 fits in. "There is no one righteous, not even one;"
Or Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
I sure do agree with you on the way the world is today and was glad to see you post it. Sometimes it makes a person feel like they're just looking for evil to notice all of it. Makes a person feel a lot better knowing others notice.
This is getting really long. Believe it or not, there are a few more. LOL. It should have been more organized so it would be easier to understand. Hope you can sort of see what I'm getting at. Probably should have only done a couple.
I appreciate the time you took to write your excellent post, the time it will take you to read and try to understand this, and the time it will take for the answers....if they're even able to be answered. Regardless, thank you for trying.
Have quite a bit to get done right now, but will check back later. Probably won't be an answer then, with this list of questions, but I'll keep checking. Have a great evening, Chip!