<I thought I posted a replied to that but it didn't show up.>
<I can understand what you are saying now and I like it.>
<However I noticed that I never answered the question.>
<If I understand Atheist's Wager, and Pascal's Wager correctly, this means that no matter what is true then I should believe in some kind of god, and live a 'good life' and that this will insure that I win in the end.>
<However if a god does exist and this god judges based on faith in them, and not good works then I might still get the short end of the stick, as they say.>
<Therefore it is in everyone's best interests to find a religion where the god says that you must believe in him or her alone to get in, and also has a very high moral standard that they hold people to.>
<However if I die and find out I am wrong there are only 3 possibilities that I see.>
<The same thing happens to all of us when we die, then I am no better or worse off then anyone else.>
<There is judgement, based on good deeds, then I am about as well off as any human can be.>
<There is a judgement based on faith, and I backed the wrong god. I am going to Hell or whatever that religion calls it, at least I had it close, how was I going to pick 1 god out of many and have a better shot?>
<Or I get lucky and wrong guesses get reincarnated and I get to try again.>
<I am a Christian, as such I have one of the highest standers of 'good' of any religion, however there may be some with higher standards I don't know of any.>
<No Christian will clam to meet our standard of good, that is part of our belief.>
<To support my statement that Christianity has the highest standers of 'good' of any religion I will quote from the Holy Bible.>
<And if any of you can think of any moral rules that are not found somewhere in these verses then I ask you to bring them to my attendance, and I will find that same rule somewhere in the Holy Bible, if I can not then I will find one that is even harder to keep.>
1And God spake all these words, saying,
2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13Thou shalt not murder.
14Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15Thou shalt not steal.
16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Forbidden Sexual Practices
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God. 3 So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. 4 You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. 5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.
6 “You must never have sexual relations with a close relative, for I am the Lord.
7 “Do not violate your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her.
8 “Do not have sexual relations with any of your father’s wives, for this would violate your father.
9 “Do not have sexual relations with your sister or half sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born into your household or someone else’s.
10 “Do not have sexual relations with your granddaughter, whether she is your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, for this would violate yourself.
11 “Do not have sexual relations with your stepsister, the daughter of any of your father’s wives, for she is your sister.
12 “Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister, for she is your father’s close relative.
13 “Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s close relative.
14 “Do not violate your uncle, your father’s brother, by having sexual relations with his wife, for she is your aunt.
15 “Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, so you must not have sexual relations with her.
16 “Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, for this would violate your brother.
17 “Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. And do not take her granddaughter, whether her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, and have sexual relations with her. They are close relatives, and this would be a wicked act.
18 “While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals.
19 “Do not have sexual relations with a woman during her period of menstrual impurity.
20 “Do not defile yourself by having sexual intercourse with your neighbor’s wife.
21 “Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the Lord.
22 “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.
23 “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.
24 “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people I am driving out before you have defiled themselves in all these ways. 25 Because the entire land has become defiled, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out. 26 You must obey all my decrees and regulations. You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
27 “All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. 28 So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now. 29 Whoever commits any of these detestable sins will be cut off from the community of Israel. 30 So obey my instructions, and do not defile yourselves by committing any of these detestable practices that were committed by the people who lived in the land before you. I am the Lord your God.”
1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
3Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
4Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
5And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.
6It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.
7And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.
8Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
9And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
10And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
11Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
12And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
13Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
14Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
15Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.
16Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor; I am the LORD.
17Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
18Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.
19Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
20And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
21And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.
22And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.
23And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
24But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal.
25And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.
26Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
27Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
28Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
29Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a w***e; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.
30Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
32Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
33And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
34But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
35Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
36Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.
1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.
33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
34But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil.
38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 John 2
1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. 8 Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.
9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
12 I am writing to you who are God’s children
because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.
13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
because you have won your battle with the evil one.
14 I have written to you who are God’s children
because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
and you have won your battle with the evil one.
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
20 But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit,[e] and all of you know the truth. 21 So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ.[f] Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.[g] 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit,[h] and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
29 Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.
<I noticed that nobody seems to have a reply to any of that after a lot of time has passed, so I will just share some more thoughts on this that came to me the other day.>
I once made a statement that I know people disagreed with, actually I’m fairly sure that I’ve made a lot of statements that people disagree with, please feel free to let me know some of your favorers and least favorers and I will do my best to explain to you why I said what I did.
However at the moment I am thinking of a time when I told everyone who was listening that I thought that if I was wrong then I would turn out better then anyone else.
Well now I’m going to explain that a little more, and I’m going to start with a story.
There once was a group of friends who went on a trip.
Art is an Atheist who believes that the human body is just an electrochemically driven machine, and that when you die your body just stops working.
Jack believes that there isn’t a god, but there is an afterlife, and when we die we all become ‘one with the universe’
Sam believes that there is some kind of god, but has no real clue what that god is like, but so long as he is a ‘good person’ Sam is sure that he will go to ‘the good place’
Jenifer also believes in a god, but not the god of Christianity. She believes that being a ‘good person’ isn’t good enough, you also have to worship the one true god, and Jesus isn’t him.
Chris is a Christian who believes that following Jesus Christ and the 10 Commandments will get a person into Heaven
Now as these 5 friends are on this trip they get into a car accident and they all die.
If Art the atheist is right then all of their bodies just stop working, and it doesn’t matter what any of them believed. However if Art faces any kind of afterlife then he will be proven at least half wrong.
Jack also doesn’t believe there is a god, if he is right then all their energies just become one with the universe and it still doesn’t matter what any of them believed. On the other hand if there is more to the afterlife then that and people are sorted with some people going to a ‘good place’ and others going to a ‘bad place’ then both Art and Jack will be proven wrong and will possibly be going to ‘the bad place’.
Sam believes that being a ‘good person’ is enough to go to the ‘good place’ and because none of these people killed anyone, raped anyone, robbed a bank or went to jail for any reason they should all go to the ‘good place’ even Art and Jack, even though god is a little sad that Art and Jack didn’t believe in him until after they died.
Jenifer and Chris believe that there is a god, but not the same one. Each of them believe that only by believing in their one true god will someone get to go to ‘the good place’, as a result, it one of them is right then that person will go to ‘the good place’, and as bad as this sounds, their 4 friends will all go to ‘the bad place’. That’s right, if Jenifer is right, then Chris is going to ‘the bad place’, but if Chris is right then Jenifer is going to ‘the bad place’ and that place is called Hell, and the road to it is paved with good intentions.
There is a problem though, what does it mean to be a ‘good person’?
Sam believes that being a ‘good person’ is enough to get him into ‘the good place’, Jenifer and Chris try to be ‘good people’, not so that they earn their way into ‘the good place’ but in order to please their god. Not unlike when your friend asks for a back rub, or for you to grab them a drink, you give them a back rub or get them a drink, not because you want them to get you a drink next time, but because it will make your friend happy.
Jenifer and Chris have rules in their religion that says what you must do to be a ‘good person’ and by following these rules they have not killed anyone, raped anyone, robbed a bank or went to jail for any reason, however they have done a lot more to make sure that they have ‘good person’ statues.
A ‘good person’ is someone who doesn’t sin, or at least sins as little as possible.
The word ‘sin’ literally means ‘to miss the mark’, to a Christian, this means that they follow Jesus Christ and the 10 Commandments.
Sam, Jenifer, and Chris all believe that they are ‘good people’ and that as a result of this they will be rewarded in the afterlife.
But what happens if there IS a god who sorts people into ‘good people’ and ‘bad people’ and you don’t measure up? What if Sam is right, but the god that he faces doesn’t think that he has been ‘good enough’?
Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
Lets take a quick look at the 10 Commandments real quick to see just how many you have followed and if they say that you are a ‘good person’ we will start at number 10 and work are way slowly towards number 1.
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”
This is stated again ‘And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
<What does it mean to covet something? Have I ever coveted anything?>
[kuhv-it] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
1. to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another's property.
2. to wish for, especially eagerly: He won the prize they all coveted.
<I can’t tell you if you have ever eagerly wished wrongfully for the property or rights of another person or not. However I have heard of people trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’ and if you have ever wanted something just because it was bigger, better or newer then the one somebody else has, then you are guilty of breaking this commandment, and therefore you have a mark towards you being a ‘bad person’ not a ‘good person’.>
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
<Have you ever told a lie, a falsehood, or even a half truth?>
“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.” (Leviticus 19:11) [English Standard Version]
“Do not steal. Do not deceive or cheat one another.” (Leviticus 19:11) [New Living Translation]
<This verse says that I should not deceive or deal falsely with anyone, this means that even so called ‘half truths’ that make people believe something that isn’t true are wrong, even if everything you said was true.>
8. “You shall not steal.”
<This one seems easy enough. There are clear rules that tell us what is mine and what is not mine. If I paid for something, or if someone gave me something then it is mine, otherwise it is not mine. If I want something I should pay for it or ask the person who owns it if I can borrow it, and then if I borrow it, then I should return it to them as soon as I am done with it.>
7. “You shall not commit adultery.”
<You may be saying to yourself, I can do that. I can make sure that I don’t have sexual relations with anyone until I am married, and then only with my wife.>
Jesus said “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
<This means that you can look at someone and say to yourself, ‘that person looks nice, I would like to get to know them better’, but if you say to yourself ‘that is one fine piece of meat, I’d tap that.’ Then you are committing adultery in the eyes of God.>
6. “You shall not murder.”
<Again, this one looks easy enough. Take no willful action that leads to the death of another human being, with the possible exception to save the life and well being of yourself or another.>
<Now I’m not going to get into it right here, if someone breaks into your house with the intent of raping, killing or at very least tying up your family and you kill them, is it murder. For now lets say that God sees that as justified as you defending your home.>
“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9-11)
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot [Some manuscripts how can he] love whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)
<Wait a second here! That means that if I hate someone then I am not a ‘good person’?!?>
<So does that mean that Christians are to be completely free of all emotions? No. We are told to hate the sin, but to love the sinner “For all have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are to love others, and in that love we are to lovingly correct them when they do wrong, but we are not to beat them over the head with it, as if I was somehow better then you. For I know that I have also fallen short of the glory of God.>
5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)
“My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.” (Proverbs 6:20)
<We are to follow the instructions and commandments that our mother and father give us, so long as it matches what the Holy Bible says. If we think that what our parents say is somehow not the same as what the Holy Bible says then we can talk to them about it and they can explain it to us, but in all things we are to show them respect, even if it means not doing what they say, in favor of the Lord’s work.>
<God also promises us that if we do this then he will reward us with a longer life. Now there is some debate as to if this promise of long life is to all people or just the Jews, but I believe that it extends to all who want to follow the will of the Lord God.>
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
<This one really blew my mind away the other day. I heard two stories that had to do with this verse. But before I tell these stories you need to understand that the Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday night and lasts until sundown on Saturday.>
<The Jews are told that they should prepare all the meals that they will eat on Friday before the sun goes down, then they will not have to cook them on the Sabbath.>
<Now you are ready to hear the first of these two stories.>
<A man was walking when he heard a woman call for help, he ran to help her, but found that she had only forgotten to turn the lights on in her house before bed the night before. He turned her lights on and then pointed out that the verse also talks about ‘the stranger who is within your gates’. I have no reason to think that God would look down on you for flipping a light switch, given that it would be just a hair harder to turn the door knob to let the man in then it would to flip a switch!>
<Now for my second story. There once was a Seventh Day Adventist. Now many Christians go to church and worship The Lord God on Sunday, but being a Seventh Day Adventist this man worshiped The Lord God on Saturday. In keeping with this he went to work and told his boss (possibly when he got the job) that he would not work on Saturday, due to his religious beliefs. The boss said that was fine and the boss would not ask the man to come in one Saturdays.>
<Then one day a new boss came and said, ‘I’m going to give everyone a rotating shift, so everyone is going to end up working every day of the week, with each person getting a few different days off every week.’ This man spoke with his boss asking for Saturdays off, for religious reasons. However the boss said ‘Nope, sorry. I’m not going to give anybody special treatment.’ The man told him ‘I am flat out not coming into work on a Saturday.’ And for a while the man was not asked to work on any Saturdays, but when the time came he was told to come in on Saturday, and he did not show up. When he came in the next time he was to work his boss told him that he was fired. He had been a good worker there for 15 years, and there was no reason to fire him except that he missed this one day of work.>
<The man took the case to court, but as it happened it took 5 years before it went before a judge. When the time came the company that fired the man asked him about what the Holy Bible says about working on the Sabbath, and then they showed proof that the man had gone to the store to buy gas and food on Saturdays consistently for the last 5 years.>
<The man lost this case, and the company did not have to hire him back or pay him any kind of compensation.>
<I should point out that the Jews of Jesus’ day had made all kinds of crazy sounding rules limiting what was work and what was not work on the Sabbath, like you coundn’t that a bath or a shower, but you could wash your hands or your feet, or other small parts of your body, so long as by the time the day was done you had not washed your whole body.>
“At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. 2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 3But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 7But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. 9And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 10And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all.” (Matthew 12:1-15)
<This means that I am not to work, make any meals, or buy anything on the Sabbath, however, if I see someone in need then I can and should help them.>
<There are many other verses that I could quote you to support this, but the point is that if your cat or dog gets out, you can go looking for it, if you see someone needing help then you can help them, but don’t buy food or cook or go to work on Saturday, if you do, then you are not being a ‘good person’ in the eyes of The Lord God.>
<Now many of you could be thinking that up until that last one you were doing very well, and that you are a ‘good person’, but because you are not a Christian you don’t need to follow the one about the Sabbath, maybe you have a god that tells you to worship on a different day, or you don’t have a god at all and so you don’t need to worship at all, or maybe you think that you will be just fine if you only go to church on Christmas and Easter.>
<Well it is up to you to believe whatever you think is true, anyone with even half a brain can clearly see that I can’t force you to do, say or believe anything that you don’t want to. Even if I could I wouldn’t. You are choosing to read what I have written, and it will be your choice how much if any of it to believe, but let me just say that the Holy Bible is VERY clear on the part about when the Sabbath is and how we are to act on that day.>
<For those of you who think that all I need to do to go to ‘the good place’ it should now be clear that following the 10 Commandments is a lot harder then you thought it would be, and that even if Christianity is wrong, if I die and find myself being judged on these last 7 commandments and how many times I have broken each of them, then a Christian is more likely going to get into ‘the good place’ then someone who thinks that all they have to do is not rape, kill, or steal from anyone.>
<Now these next 3 commandments all have to do with The Lord God, and how we are to treat him.>
3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
<Have you ever hit your fingers or thumb with a hammer or stubbed your toe, or dropped anything heavy on your foot?>
<I know that I have.>
<Did you call out and yell? Yeah, I’ve done that as well.>
<But what I didn’t do was use the name of The Lord God as a swear word. I also do my best to keep my swear words down to a minimum.>
<I remember once my wife marveling how few I used, she said that she had heard me only swear once or twice in 3 years.>
“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)
<Alright, so I’m not perfect, but if each of us gets a black mark for every time we covet something someone else owns, another for every time we lie, one for every time we steal, one for every time we think lustfully at a woman, or have sex with someone that we aren’t married to, another for every time we kill someone or even have hateful thoughts about them, another black mark for every time we disobey our parents, and another black mark for every time we work on the Sabbath, and one for every swear word we use. Then how many black marks would you have gained in the last 7 days?>
<Maybe you should count those black marks in the next week and then come back and tell me if you still think of yourself as a ‘good person’, and no, I DO NOT want to know how you earned those black marks. That is between you and whatever god or power judges you when you die, be it the God of Christianity, or somebody or something else.>
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands.”
<If you think that a man (or woman) made object has more power then a human being, no matter what it is made of, then you are just being a fool.>
<Even as I type this I am sitting near a computer, it was made by many men and women who thought long and hard about what it should look like and how it should be made, but it is not a god, it can not do anything unless I turn it on, even then it only does what I tell it to, and even then, sometimes not very well.>
<If there is a god of some kind watching us, then every other ‘god’ is a false god, and I do not want to be worshiping a false god, who was made up like some kind of fairy tail story for little children. Yes, I do know that there are many people who are going to read this and many more who will not, who believe that by being a Christian I am worshiping a fairy tail. However I would like to thing that I have shown here that even if that is true that I have it better off in the afterlife then anyone else.>
<In fact, lets look back at our 5 friends: Art, Jack, Sam, Jenifer, and Chris. If there is a god, and this god only lets people who worship him or her, it or they, into ‘the good place’ then only Jenifer and Chris have a chance of getting in, and even then, only one of them will get in. However if Sam is right them being a ‘good person’ will be enough to get you into the ‘good place’, however because Chris’ standard of what it means to be a ‘good person’ is so high, he is a shoe in to get into this ‘good place’ because Chris will earn much fewer black marks.>
<We said that Jenifer also believes in a god, but not the one of Christianity. Can any of you name a religion that has a higher standard of what it means to be ‘a good person’ then the one that Christianity has?>
<…and we still have one more commandment to go.>
1. “You shall have no other gods before me.”
<What does it mean to worship someone or something?>
[wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, -shiped, -ship•ing or ( especially British ) -shipped, -ship•ping.
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5. ( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her ).
<Whatever you put first in your life, that is your god, that is what you worship. If you praise someone or something then you are worshiping it. If worship means that something is the object of adoring reverence or regard, then anything with a website is being worshipped. Do we put a celebrity, a book, a movie or a television show above the one who created the universe?>
<If so then we are breaking the first commandment. This is not to say that we can’t read books or watch television, or movies, we just can’t put them in a place where they are more imported to us then the creator of all things.>
<In the long run, if I come to believe that the god of Christianity isn’t true and real, but some other god IS real, then I will still follow this first commandment, but with my worshiping the god that I believe is more powerful then all others, not some fake god that somebody created to make themselves feel good.>
<Now that we have looked at the 10 Commandments, and what they mean, let me ask you a few things. What do YOU think that it means to be a ‘good person’ and is that a definition that you use because it makes you feel good or because you think it is right? By your definition of a ‘good person’ how many black marks do you think you have earned in the last week?>
<I will tell you this much. My definition of what makes a person a ‘good person’ does NOT make me feel comfortable, it does not seem easy to me at all. I chose this definition not because it makes me feel good, but because I believe it to be right, just and fair (by fair I mean that we are all held to the same standard), as for how many black marks I have given myself over the last week? I haven’t counted, but I’ll put it at over a thousand. That is about 1 black mark per 6.7 minutes that I am awake.>
<Do I still think that I should get into Heaven? NO! I SHOULD NOT. However, that is the beauty of Christianity. Jesus Christ earned zero black marks for himself in the 33 years that he was on this planet in human form and then he died on a cross to buy all of us ‘get out of jail free cards’.>
<I do not deserve to go to Heaven, but when the time comes that The Lord God Almighty is judging me, and Satan, the Devil is listing all the black marks that I have earned for myself, Jesus Christ is going to ask me “What is that in your pocket?” and I’ll pull out the get out of jail free card that he put there.>
<Actually The Lord God Almighty will look in The Lamb’s Book of Life” and see that Jesus Christ wrote my name in it, saying that I have a ‘Get out of Jail Free Card’ but that’s not the important part. What matters is that I have a free pass, at least it was free for me, I didn’t have to earn it or work for it. Jesus Christ paid for me to have it. Any good deeds that I do during my life, is only because my best friend Jesus Christ asked my to get him a drink as long as I’m up, so I’m getting him a drink.>
<Yes I do realize that none of this proves that Christianity is correct, only that it is logical to believe in Christianity based on what you want your reward to be in the after life. After all, even if I'm wrong, I'll still end up being a 'good person' and get into the 'good place' that way!>