Luke 11:32


“At the judgement the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”  

Imagine if you will, a man standing in the street shouting, “Repent! Repent! Or in 40 days God’s judgement will come upon you.” Depending on where you live, this may happen on a daily basis. Our Lord Himself, asked the Pharisees and the scribes to repent, and they refused. In refusing to humble themselves to Christ, at the judgement they will be judged by Gentiles who repented at the word of God.

Do you hear it? He says “Repent.”

One greater than Jonah has spoken.

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23 Responses

  1. How can you be sure you are following the right religion?

  2. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Since Jesus is God and God keeps His promises, that is how I am sure.

    God bless you on your journey.

  3. I asked the same question about religion before I converted… my seeking led me to the Catholic faith, where faith and reason meet and do not contradict one another. Amen to that! I love being Catholic and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

    Regarding your post… Ah, the humility required for repentance and I fall short entirely too often… but the peace and grace received in forgiveness when I find the humility and obediently reconcile myself to His will. Repentance is a daily process of conversion of the heart. The temptation to sin is often greater than my desire to please God and I find myself, once again, seeking the humility to surrender.

    I am Jonah.

  4. By the way… I love the new blog layout!!!

  5. God’s will is that none should perish but that all would come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

    If I want to know, and be in, the will of God, perhaps I ought to practice (and teach) repentance more!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  6. timglass – you said,

    “Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Since Jesus is God and God keeps His promises, that is how I am sure.

    God bless you on your journey.”

    You are quoting your religion to support your religion. This is like quoting the Koran to support the Koran. I am sure every religion has a similar statement about how it is the “truth” above all other religions. How do you know the quote you state is the truth above the quotes of “truth” from other religions?

  7. Amber you said, ” my seeking led me to the Catholic faith”

    What I ask is how did your seeking lead you to the Catholic faith and my seeking not lead me to the same place? Are you just lucky? How do you know the Catholic faith is the “true” faith. There are many more that assert this same thing. How can one choose? Buddhism seems pretty good to me. So does Unitarianism.

  8. “You are quoting your religion to support your religion.”

    If I explain a math problem, I have to use numbers. If you ask me about my religion, I have to answer within my religion.

    Your first question to me,”How can you be sure….” and I stated to you the way I am sure.

    “..you are following the right religion?”

    I’ve not done a vast study of world religions. I’ve studied Judaism (to an extent) and how it’s related to Chrisitanity. I’ve looked into other sects of Christianity other than the two I’m most familiar with (those being Baptist, and Roman Catholic) and from my studies I’ve concluded that not only is Christianity the “true” religion ,but that the Roman Catholic Church is the fulness of that truth, established by Christ Himself. I’ve looked into the historical, philosophical, social and intellectual aspects. When I add all this together with a prayer of truly seeking God, this is where it has led me.

    Yes, all other religions will base itself on some sort of truth, this is why we must pray and ask for direction of the Holy Spirit. If you study Buddhism, or even Unitarianism, there comes a point where their belief systems breakdown, or no longer make sense (it has lost it’s Reason). This is why I find that Faith and Reason must work together in order to lead to the “truth”.

    I would encourage you to continue looking for God, whatever “religion” you are. I haven’t stopped, I want to continue to know Him better and better, and love Him more deeply, so I can serve Him more diligently.

    I hope that helps.

  9. “What I ask is how did your seeking lead you to the Catholic faith and my seeking not lead me to the same place? Are you just lucky? How do you know the Catholic faith is the “true” faith. There are many more that assert this same thing. How can one choose? Buddhism seems pretty good to me. So does Unitarianism.”

    Just lucky? No… Before I was able to be “led” to the truth, I first had to put down my “I-already-know-the-truth” pride and step outside the box. I came from Protestant Christianity and it is horribly divided which is something that the Bible warns us against. Since I believe that the Bible IS the inspired and inerrant Word of God (for reasons many have written books about), I looked to it, in addition to the history of Christianity. One cannot know truth within himself because truth is not relative. So, you cannot discredit the use of outside sources when seeking truth. Truth is truth even if no one believes it and error is error even if everyone believes it. There IS absolute truth and I believe we can know what that truth is.

    What one must do when examining the validity of a truth is determine if there are any actual problems. If you find Buddhism to be “pretty good”, then examine it and test it against logic and against itself. If you look to the root of what it teaches and you find contradiction, then it cannot be true, because truth cannot contradict itself. Same with Unitarianism… same with Christianity. However, to be fair, one must study deeper (as with the Christian faith) to know how something is meant to be understood before jumping to a conclusion that something is contradictory. On the surface, you can find contradiction everywhere…

    People have tried for CENTURIES to discredit and find contradictions in Scripture, but true scholars have never been able to crack it… every “apparent” contradiction has been adequately answered. The Christian faith being in the limelight as it is, would fall apart at the seams if any contradictions could be found and it would be so widely publicized and cause such disruption that I believe society as we know it would cease. BUT, never has anyone of any scholarship, secular or otherwise, been able to do such a thing and the Bible remains the most accurate historical book on the face of this earth. This, to me, is a huge testament of its inerrancy. I have found no other religious text that passes this test.

    I know the Catholic faith is true for many reasons… One: It does what it was meant to do in that it fulfills the Jewish faith and it does so more consistently than any other Christian denomination. If I weren’t Catholic, my only other option would be Jewish… but since I believe that Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and since Christ established Christianity as a fulfillment of Judaism through his death and resurrection, I am a Christian. But I’m not just any Christian. I am a Catholic Christian because it is the only Christianity that can historically trace itself to the time of Christ through Tradition, apostolic succession and papal authority… and that’s reason number two. Third, besides the downright logical reasons to be a Catholic above all else, I find the disciplines of the faith to be highly fulfilling and they bring me to peace I have yet to experience elsewhere.

  10. timglass – thank you for responding!

    I like talking about it.

    Anyway, I disagree. To understand math you really need to go outside of it. Kids first learn math by taking objects like oranges and putting them into baskets. They learn math not throught the language of math but through reality. If it didn’t make sense in reality no one would use math! It is only because math is proveable in reality that we use it.

    I think if one wants to find out which religion is the “true” religion they must go outside of it and look at all including non-religion.

    As for your statement that other religions break down and “loose reason” Who told you that? How did you come to that conclusion? How do you know you just did not study it hard enough? How do you know you were not tempted away from the truth by some other force? hmmm what could that be??? I am really interested in how you came to this conclusion!

    I don’t know. I really want to come to know the lord as you have but just wanting it to be true doesn’t do it for me. I see nothing inherent in any religion that makes it the right choice. I even sometimes wonder if God created religion to catch those that don’t seek hard enough. Maybe I will be rewarded for not having commited my sould to any one religion?

    What ye think?

  11. kermittheagnostic, I will respond to comments that seem sincere, so you’re welcome.

    “To understand math you really need to go outside of it. Kids first learn math by taking objects like oranges and putting them into baskets.”

    Yes, we learn through object lessons, but if they don’t know how to count, then using apples or oranges isn’t very helpful. So through the reality of history, these object lessons take on a greater significance to me as a Catholic Christian.

    “As for your statement that other religions break down and “loose reason” Who told you that? How did you come to that conclusion? How do you know you just did not study it hard enough? How do you know you were not tempted away from the truth by some other force? hmmm what could that be??? ”

    There are no easy answers to these questions, to be sure, as each personal journey is different. As I admitted yesterday, my depth of study of other religions is nominal at best. From my limited knowledge of those religions, there is no admitance of personal sin, therefore no need of a Savior.
    Iheard it explained like this once: Religion is man’s attempt to reach God. Christianity is God’s attempt to reach man.”

    I may not have studied the others [religions] hard enough. If through my prayers and practice, my study and worship, I am lead by God to study these things, I hope I would be obedient and do so.

    Since my prayers are directed to God, and I am promised the presense of the Holy Spirit, and He helps me pray, I have confidence in Him, through the faith He’s given me. If I were not seeking Him in spirit and truth I would be more likely to be led astray by the evil one or even by my own pride.

    “I don’t know. I really want to come to know the lord as you have but just wanting it to be true doesn’t do it for me.”

    I believe this is a wise approach. Let Him prove to you that He is. Seek Him in the Christian faith, what have you to loose? See what He has to say in His word and in His Church. Seek the truth, and never stop seeking it, and He will reveal it to you.

    God bless you.

  12. Nice to hear from you again Tim!

    You were saying that in order to learn the truth of Math you need to use the language of Math. So this justifies you using the language of Christianity to learn about the truth of Christianity. I disagreed with this saying that you need to go outside of Math to learn the truth of Math. It needs to make sense in the real world or Math is useless. I would argue that the same is true with any religion. The truth of any religion needs to be proven outside of religion otherwise it is useless. For example if I tell you Muslim is the true religion and you ask me how I know and I say because the Koran told me. Does this make sense? That is exactly what you are saying when you say that Christianity is the true religion and quote the Bible as the source of this. How am I to choose between the 2?

    Anyway, you seem to be saying just let it come to you. Open your heart and God will reveal himself. Pray, study, learn and the truth will be revealed.

    Then perhaps I have already found the lord. I have and am doing all of these things and the only obvious thing to me, so far, is that no religion is the right religion. None comes out looking any better than the other. They all say they are the ‘truth.’ They all have good and bad in them.

    If I were to die today and meet the lord and he says, “Why did you not worship me? Why did you not heed the teachings of the Bible?” I will say that I studied, I prayed, I heard many teachings and I could not commit to any one religion because I feared it was the wrong religion. Each one spoke to me in a different way but there was no way to verify that any one religion was true.

    Will I be condemned to Hell?

    I fear that if I do commit to Christianity I will find that I failed the lord’s test. I do not think our test on earth is as easy as religious people think. The more I seek the more it seems God is telling me it is wrong to commit to any religion. Stay agnostic and my seat besides the lord will be preserved. For is there no more difficult a trip than to be agnostic? To be around so much religion is tempting. Everyone wants my soul! I must stay strong!

    So, Tim, how is it that you are so sure that Christianity is the path God wants for you? How can you be sure you have not fallen for a trap?

    hmmmm….

  13. Kermit,
    “no religion is the right religion. None comes out looking any better than the other. They all say they are the ‘truth.’ They all have good and bad in them.”

    All I can say that I haven’t already said is, that Christianity is a teaching of love of God and others, personal and societial morality and responsibility. Most others seem to lack that.

    “Will I be condemned to Hell?”

    The truth of Christianity is that faith in Jesus Christ will save us from the fires of hell. We acknowledge God’s grace extended to us at the Cross of His only begotten Son, shedding His blood atoning for our sin. Then committing our lives to His Kingship in our lives, repenting when we fail. So if we don’t accept and do these things we will be condemned.

    “Tim, how is it that you are so sure that Christianity is the path God wants for you?How can you be sure you have not fallen for a trap?”

    I know because I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior and I know that He has been faithful to me in my 30+ year journey of faith. Faith is not just “pie in the sky theology” it’s human intellect and will that cooperate with divine grace. So it helps in understanding the philosophical questions as well as the religious questions.
    I can be sure because I follow Him, who knows all things. And through History He has revealed Himself to Moses, Abraham, David and the prophets…until finally He revaled Himself As Jesus Christ, God made flesh.

    That’s what I know. That’s what I believe. May God lead you to the truth as well, my friend.

  14. Hi again! You said:

    “All I can say that I haven’t already said is, that Christianity is a teaching of love of God and others, personal and societal morality and responsibility. Most others seem to lack that.”

    Most of the others definitely do have that! They all teach loving God and have moral codes. Christianity is not the only religion that teaches these things!

    I asked if I would go to Hell and then you quote the Bible’s rules for not going to Hell. The point of my whole inquiry is to find out how you have come to believe that the Bible is truth in the first place. If you cannot tell me this then I have no reason to accept the Bibles rules or teachings at all. I seek to discover how it is that you have found this truth. Only then will I be able to begin to accept the teachings of it. To say that you just believe and therefore it is doesn’t make sense to me. How does this make sense to you??

    You say you know because you have a personal relationship with your lord and savior and that you know that he has been faithful to you for 30+ years. What is the nature of this relationship? Does he talk to you directly? Appear to you? Perform miracles? How do you know it is the lord that is speaking to you? How do you know that this not the devil? The devil is VERY cunning you know. I would think the devil, if it exists, would hide and mask itself in god-like ways.

    “That’s what I know. That’s what I believe. May God lead you to the truth as well, my friend.”

    To say this is what you know is a miss-use of the word knowledge. Yes, it is what you believe but it most certainly is not knowledge. Knowledge requires much more than faith. Should I say I know that Buddha is God? (If I were a Buddhist) I could say, I believe Buddha is God but not that I know. Perhaps to you it seems like knowledge because you believe it so strongly but it is not knowledge it is faith. For knowledge requires proof.

    It just that it seems like you are saying just jump in and you will see what I mean. You need to believe first then all the questions will be answered. Like God is deliberately keeping the truth from me because I have not taken that step of faith and believed in him first. Is this what you think I need to do? First accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior? Then all truth will be revealed?

  15. Look Kermit,
    I cannot persuade you believe anything that you don’t want to believe. My faith and relationship with God are experiential, from providing personal needs to conversion and growth to healing to discipleship.
    Yes, you need to experience God. Read the Bible, go to Church, pray and open yourself to God.
    I’m sorry I can’t do a better job of explaining it to you.
    If you seek it, you will find it. If you search for God, He will draw near to you.
    Believe it or not, try it and see. What have you got to lose?

  16. The question must be asked, “Who was Jesus?” He claimed to be the Son of God, God himself incarnate. Most agnostics/atheists claim that he was a “good man” or a “good teacher” and that’s it.

    Was he a liar? If so, why would he die such a death for the sake of a lie? Why, when he was being tortured, did he not stop the madness by admitting to the lie? And how was he able to dupe millions of people for the last 2000 years?

    Was he a lunatic? If he truly believed he was the Son of God and it wasn’t true, that would make him a complete madman. Why would anyone claim a madman to be a “good man or teacher”? In fact, that would make him a horrible teacher and definitely not someone who would have gained the attention and following of millions of people over a period of centuries! We can likely come up with thousands of others who have made similar claims but they have remained relatively ignored throughout history… passed of as lunatics!

    Was he Lord? His claim does not permit us to say he was just a good teacher. He claimed to be God incarnate. Either he was or he wasn’t. If he was, then we should all be seeking the truth that He taught and that means that he established ONE church, ONE faith, ONE true religion. What religion is he ultimately the founder of? If he wasn’t who He said he was, we can pass him off as a liar, who died a horrifying death for a lie (which probably also puts him in the lunatic category) or a madman, which makes calling him a “good teacher” absolutely absurd. Both of these hardly seem like logical answers considering the impact he has made on the entire world.

    So, kermit, who do you say Jesus is?

  17. Yes, I understand Tim. Your religion is a personal thing. I respect that. You have reasons for believing what you believe that are not too sound logically but do make sense to you on a personal and emotional level. The fact that you cannot explain it to me reinforces the notion I have that there really is nothing to your belief other than the good feelings you have gotten from reading the Bible, going to church, knowing other religious people or helping others, etc. And you may have been taught Christianity at an early age. I am not saying what you believe is not true. Just that it makes sense why you believe it even if it is not probable that it is true. You are exactly like any person who believes in their religion. Other than the specific teachings within your religion, there really is nothing you can say that makes Christianity different than Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or a Cargo Cult (Google John Frum sometime for some fascinating reading). You have made your choice and reinforced it with your life experiences. That is OK for you. For me I need more.

    That fact is that I HAVE read the Bible, gone to Church, prayed and opened myself to God and the teachings of the Bible. God has not shown himself. Love has shown itself, friendship and a wonderful world have shown itself but not God. I call these things what they are. If I feel love I say I feel love, if I have a wonderfully strange thing happen I say a wonderfully strange thing happened to me. I am a very happy, successful person with a great family and I do not feel a God’s hand in all that. I feel my hand and others that have helped me. And I call that life. There is so much we have yet to learn about the amazing thing we call life that I cannot wait! I wish I could live forever to see were we humans will end up! Science is beginning to explain much but has only just begun. While religion can serve as a great comfort to many going through hard times or can motivate greatness in otherwise not so great people this is not a testament to its truth. Only a testament to our own inability to not see greatness in the world as it is. The world is a wonderful place even if there is no God and no heaven or hell. We have EVERY reason to love one another, be happy and successful in the world as it is. Making stuff up about an elaborate heaven or hell or judgment day, etc. seems so primitive and childish. It is no wonder so many Christians themselves disregard much of the Bible’s teachings or they interpret them so as to make sense where there is none. It is time for humanity to grow up and blow away this cloud that only works to control us. We need to be good because WE think it is good not because someone told us and we are afraid of Hell! I do what is right and good because I (WE) understand the value in it. Isn’t that better than doing it because I am afraid I will go to Hell if I don’t?

    And if you think about it isn’t that what the founding fathers did when they founded America? They said we need a country free from religion. Religion does not govern people well! We need to make a government that does right because “We The People” think it is right not because of some old rules written down in an old book. It was only this separation of church and state that allowed such a wonderful government as the United States of America to form and, one could argue, that the whole industrial revolution is owed to this!

    Sorry, I had to throw that last paragraph in there. I think it is funny how so many religious people find America so great when it was founded such an anti-religious ideal. Ironic. And it is funny to watch how people try to say it was founded on God. Well, that may be true but which God? Who’s God? Certainly no one specific religion was used to found America. Which leads me into my original question of how does one choose? No one religion seems to hold the corner on truth. Your personal experiences are wonderful and may tell you Jesus is Lord. To me they just tell me you have had great personal experiences, which are truly great no doubt.

    Thanks for listening. I do enjoy your feedback! I realize my thoughts are not always correct so I constantly seek to perfect them through others.

  18. Hi Amber!

    Jesus is a character that is written about in the Bible. Was he an actual man that lived? Probably. I would compare him to Martin Luther King or Gandhi. Unfortunately what is written about somebody and what actually happened are often 2 different things especially when the writings are over 2000 years old and translated many times. The fact is that any story about Jesus could easily have been fabricated after the fact and entered into the Bible as fact.

    Your notion that a madman cannot be a good teacher is a false one. There are plenty of mad men in the world who will teach you quite competently about the purple dragon on the moon that is the creator of all.
    There are plenty of excellent Buddhist Monks that will teach you Buddhism quite eloquently. You believe they are liars. Are they mad? If you are arguing that there is no way Jesus could have been both wrong and a good teacher then you should also be a Buddhist, a Muslim and Jewish. There are just as many competent teachers of those religions as there are in Christianity.

    According to the Bible Jesus claimed to be God incarnate. You are right. Either he was or he wasn’t. If he wasn’t then he was in error. He may have indeed thought he was. This may make him a lunatic as well as a good teacher of his ideas. The fact that some of his ideas were ones that most agree with is not a contradiction of the definition of lunatic. Just because someone wrongly believes they are God it does not follow that everything they will say will be wrong or that they will have an inability to teach it.

    Are you actually trying to argue that because he was such a competent teacher he therefore was right?

    You said:
    “And how was he able to dupe millions of people for the last 2000 years?”

    This “duping” did not happen over night. Indeed the cult of Jesus Christ took off slowly and gradually grew and changed, the stories undergoing constant revision, translation and interpretation over time. It is also only one of many religions that exist on this planet. These other religions are followed by even more millions than Christianity.

  19. Amber, one more thing…

    You said:
    “We can likely come up with thousands of others who have made similar claims but they have remained relatively ignored throughout history”

    Um, the others only seem ignored because you live in a predominantly Christian society. Go to China, India, Palestine, Israel or any other part of the world and you will see that it is Jesus who is relatively ignored.

    But I would still hold that even if Jesus were the predominant figure you say he is that is would still not follow that the truth of what a person says is dependant on the following they have. For example, Hitler certainly had an imense following in his day. And indeed there are those that still believe in his teachings / philosophy. Does it follow that he was right? To many, at that time, he was.

  20. Kermie,
    I wouldn’t steal your post, either.
    “You shall not steal.” Ex. 20:15
    Surely you can come up with an original thought. 🙂

  21. What!?!?!

    Please explain!

  22. “Your” post; How to choose a religion.
    You stole it and put it on your blog. If you want to keep your comments, that’s one thing. But to steal my whole post is quite another. If you would remove it I’d be most grateful.

  23. Sorry Tim. It was indeed my attempt to save the comments. I also was afraid my comments would not get posted.

    Amber – where’d you go1?!?!

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