Reason To Wonder -- Greg Turner

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Jennifer Graves, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    My husband's best friend and good friend of the family passed away last night. My husband talked to him at 4pm, and then got THE phone call about 11pm last night. He's had heart problems since before we met him 6 years ago. He was 63 years old with the love for fun and laughing of a 21 year old. About a year ago he got a pace maker. He quit smoking cigarettes was taking it easy, and he was taking all his medications like he was supposed. For the past week he was feeling bad. He couldn't make it from his bedroom to the front door without being out of breath. I guess everything finally caught up with him, and his heart gave out on him.

    I have not had faith of any kind since I was 18 years old. I have toyed with every religious idea I have ever come across. But none of them stuck. Now, here I am after losing a dear friend, and wondering where he is now. I want there to be a heaven so bad! He was a great guy and would have had a golden ticket into heaven. I have been lucky over the past several years. I have lost very few people that I care about this much. I just want him to be okay, and be at peace. His name is Greg Turner. A lot of people will feel the loss. he was a great guy.

    I can't go this many years as a non believer and then suddenly be a believer and pray when its convenient. He was a believer. Maybe if someone who believes could pray for him?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Most Christians will admit that they occasionally have doubts, but I am eternally grateful that I haven't allowed them to dominate. It would be a sad existence to believe that we are simply animals with a slightly larger brain than other animals and, while I certainly know atheists who have a system of ethics, there is no basis for ethics in atheism, and no meaning to the choices that we make. Ultimately, atheism leads to a devaluing of human life, and I believe this is evidenced in the degradation of our increasingly secular society here in the United States. Not all atheists are immoral people but those who hold to a strong standard of ethics are not truly living out the logical implications of their beliefs but this is in large part, I believe, because many atheists today were raised to accept Christian values as a norm. Given a few more generations of secularism, and I think we will see something entirely different.

    Still, amongst all of the religions that are out there, and the thousands of denominations and sects within many of them, including the Christian religion, what shall we believe? In the United States a hundred years ago, most people never moved far from where they grew up. If they were raised attending a particular church, the likelihood was that this is what they would identify with as their Christian identity. If they moved away from their home town, they would likely seek out a church of the same denomination.

    If only the Roman Catholics were going to heaven, would I then be condemned to hell because I was raised in a Covenant church and never came to realize that I was believing in some of the wrong things? The Catholics would say so; at least they used to, but I'm not sure what the current policies are.

    I can't answer that question with certainty, but I don't think so. However, we are told that the gate that leads to salvation is narrow and few will find it, while the gate that leads to destruction is wide and many will enter it. I don't think this means that members of only one of thousands of Christian denominations will be saved, and that all the others will be going to hell, but it does imply that we shouldn't seek the mainstream.

    I am not meaning to debate religions here, since my belief is in the Christian religion. Within that frame of reference, we are told that salvation is through Jesus Christ, so that would rule out those religions that do not accept this. They are, of course, welcome to their own beliefs, but I don't believe that these other beliefs will lead to salvation. In other words, I don't believe that sincerity is all that matters, since the Bible warns us about being deceived by false religions.

    Within the Christian religion, I suspect that God will make allowances for honest differences in understanding. If it turns out that God wants people to be immersed three times during baptism, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I rather doubt that He will condemn someone to hell because he was baptized in a church that immerses only once. We are asked to study to show ourselves approved, and there are other admonitions about believing in the right things, so I don't think that God will adopt an anything goes policy on all issues of faith, but neither do I believe that we will be damned for the details.

    Then, I won't be making these decisions so I'd like to get it right. Unlike some, I did not stick with the denomination that I grew up with. Rather, I did study the Bible and make choices according to what I consider to be a better understanding of what God wants me to believe. Still, I am sure that I didn't get everything right and I pray that God will forgive me for my misunderstandings.

    I do believe that there is value in good intentions. If my comprehension of God's Word was arrived upon according to a desire on my part to know the truth and to live according to what God desires, I am fairly certain that I won't be punished too severely if I get a few things wrong. However, if I make choices on the basis of human comfort, or conformity, that's another matter. For example, I do not believe that God approves of homosexuality, because the Bible tells us that it is an abomination unto the Lord, a prohibition that is carried over into the New Testament. Yet, there are entire denominations today who are stretching the Word of God to the point of shattering it in order to try to make the words say something else, and I believe that they will learn what we are told in Matthew 7:23 -- Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

    Unlike some, I don't believe that faith is intended to be easy, or that salvation is assured, but neither is it something that we can do for ourselves. The Apostle Paul writes to the Philippian (2:12) Christians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.

    So I don't know, with certainty, that I will be in heaven when I die, but I do know that salvation is available to me. There is a God. He sent His Son to die for our sins, so that we might have salvation. Rather than deciding for myself how close is close enough, and not going any further, I want to do whatever I can to please God, knowing that I will fail Him in many ways, and praying that it will be close enough. The very fact that salvation is made possible for me is reassuring to me, particularly now that I am getting older.

    If your friend was a believer, then the likelihood is great that he is in heaven, and no longer in need of our prayers. Nevertheless, he will have them.
     
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  3. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    I am deeply touched by what you have written. Greg Turner is another soul now in the bosom of God's Presence. I believe that to be so. While he was on earth, Greg lived among people expressing his faith in the love and saving grace and truth of God.

    It has never been too late for anyone in the world to come to faith in God. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. From the day of Creation until now, His love for you, in all its purity, has remained-- hasn't changed.

    You are right about believing that now and allowing God to do His purposes in your life-- to"Love the LORD with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your strength. Love your neighbor as you love yourself."
     
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  4. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Thank you, both of you! He really was a great guy. At at 60 years old he gave up his apartment and freedom to move in with his mom and take care of her. She's diabetic and ended up losing a toe, then later, the entire foot, and then everything from the knee down. His life revolved around his mother and doing whatever he had to do to help her out and make her happy. He would tell women, "I can get another girl, but I can get another mother." At close to 90, and in her electric wheelchair, she went in the back to make sure he was okay, and found him like that instead. He was the best!
     
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