Me ~ Many people, Christians included, run away from talking about sin. They think that their sin doesn't stink or that they aren't sinners and they have all kinds of arguments to support/prove it. They and post modern Christians don't like the idea of God being angry with them. But, as I understand God's Word, Christians will face God's wrath, His wrath against sinful humanity. What's your view on this?
John ~ The first problem is that post modern Christians judge themselves against other people rather than against God's standards. Man's standards fluctuate with culture and time. While God's standards never change or alter. So, in Scripture God makes it clear that He has a specific way of dealing with sinful humanity. Romans 1: 18- 32 delineates that. It talks about God's wrath revealed against those who suppress truth. What truth is that? The existence and nature of the divine God.
Me ~ I understand and accept that. However, many people, including Christians, think that their truth is all that matters. God's truth is personal... he works with every individual on their own truth. What do you think?
John ~ That's a human invention. The idea that everyone has their own truth is absurd. If everyone had their own truth, we would not need laws, we could then all be the law unto ourselves. There is not an infinite number of truths. We instinctively know that there is not an infinite number of truths by creating laws that society has to follow. The instinct to do that is God - planted, called our conscience; unless we burn away our conscience by constantly ignoring it. This tells us that there is a standard of right and wrong outside of ourselves. So, what man has done to avoid dealing with his conscience is to suppress the truth of God's existence and nature which Scripture says was known since the creation of the world ...clearly seen and understood; therefore, everyone is without excuse.
Me ~ What is the biggest problem in terms of our salvation? What can we expect in terms of God's wrath?
John ~ The biggest problem is due to man thinking he knows more than God. The Bible, God's word, spells out exactly what He will allow to happen to a society which suppresses His reality and nature. Number one, God gives them over to the sinful desires of their sexual impurity, the degrading of their bodies with one another. This starts out as heterosexual infidelity and society's acceptance of fornication. Number two, once this happens, God gives them over to shameful lusts, described as homosexual relations. Just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge in truth, He gives them over to a depraved mind so that they desire to do what they should not do ~Romans 1 verse 31. This is the kind of people they become: envious, murderous, filled with strife, deceit and malice. They will enjoy gossip and slandering others, they will hate God, they will become insolent and arrogant and boastful. They will invent ways of doing evil. Children will be encouraged to disobey their parents. These people will have no sense of fidelity, love or mercy. In Romans 1 verse 32, although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death they not only continue to do these things, but actually approve of those who do them.
Me ~ Don't you think that people avoid wrath because it seems to them too harsh and not about love? Also, Christians will tell you that they have been saved and avoid wrath simply by being baptized. They say that the New Testament is only about love and forgiveness and there is no wrath coming.
John ~ To say that is to ignore God's Word. The wages of sin is death. Yes, baptism is an affirmation of one's spiritual rebirth. Like the communion supper, it is a physical representation of something spiritual. However, water has no saving power, neither does wine or bread. It is the faith declaration involved when performing these acts that is the important aspect regarding salvation. Baptism and communion should be done when a person is/becomes aware of this, infant baptism is pointless. Being saved is different from being baptized. Yes, you can christen your child and dedicate them to God but that is far from being a disciple of Jesus. Being saved is making a conscious repentance before God for your sin and asking for His Mercy and accepting His Son as your Lord and Savior.
Me ~ That's real love, and its eternal!