No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: forgiveness

Well…it took no time at all


I was reading through the news today about the tragedy in Aurora.  I saw a few comments on a story that talked about James Holmes and religion.  I guess it was only a matter of time before this was tied to Christianity.  So lets look at some of the comments and titles we are seeing online:

“My heart goes out to victims of Christian Terrorist James Holmes”

“James Holmes, Colorado shooter, described as ‘normal’ Christian”

“Meet James Holmes: A Presbyterian Christian”

“Shooter James Holmes – a WHITE and a Christian – mass murderer”

These are all on page one or two of a Google search that yields nearly 123 million hits.

These titles don’t include comments on these stories which range from passive aggressive to downright nasty regarding the forgiveness of James Holmes.  There are some Christians who, despite what the Bible says, argue the Holmes is going to hell no matter what.

All I can do is shake my head.  How do we get to a point in history that a heinous act is associated with Christ?

This goes back to the whole discussion of Christian or not Christian.  Someone who professes salvation, or possess salvation.  The argument being used here is so logically flawed it is ridiculous.  The logic being, James Holmes attended church, therefore he is a Christian.  It would be the equivalent of saying, Robert attended a football game, and therefore he is a professional football player.  Another analogy, Robert attended an atheist conference, and is therefore an atheist.

While attendance to events CAN BE an indicator to something you are interested in, it in no way makes you.  Bible scripture is clear that this is the case.  Matthew 7:23 demonstrates that there will be people who cry to the Lord claiming that they knew Him, and he will say depart from me, I never knew you.  These are people who clearly attended church, but it did not make them.

The other attack is focused on the forgiveness of God.  They are using this as some sort of argument against God.  Can you imagine?  The audacity of God to forgive someone who has sinned.  I for one am thankful that He does and that He will.  Lets say that at some point in the future that James Holmes is lead to Christ.  He is truly repentant of his sin, and has faith that Jesus died on the cross for his sin’s.  Would James be saved?  Would James go to heaven?  YES HE IS AND YES HE WOULD!  There are two points that speak to this:

Remember the thief repented and had faith just before he died on the cross with Jesus.  He joined Jesus in paradise on that day.

Remember that Paul (Saul) was VERY active in the persecution and murder of Christians before being converted.  We can, for example, place Saul as the martyrdom of Stephen in Acts. He went on to become the Apostle of the Gentiles.

Remember Nineveh, and how God spared them when they repented after Jonah preached to them.

The Ten Commandments do not give favor to any one sin.  So in God’s eyes a lie is as evil as murder.  What does this mean?  That, in God’ eyes, our sins against God are as evil as that of James Holmes. It means that WE ALL need salvation because of those sins, or stand condemned before God on judgment day.  On that day there will be no difference between some one who has spent their life helping children but did not possess salvation and James Holmes.  We ALL need that salvation.  That includes James Holmes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am as outraged at this as everyone else is.  However, I am thankful that I am forgiven.  Let’s not forget the parable of the lost sheep and remember that “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.”  James Holmes is a very lost sheep.

I’ll Ask for Forgiveness…. Later.


Tell me if you’ve ever heard something like this: “I know what I’m doing isn’t right… okay, well maybe it’s even wrong… maybe… but I REALLY want to do this… it feels right… Well, at least I think it’s what’s going to make me happiest now. Yeah, it’s probably not what God wants, but it’s okay, cuz I’ll just ask Him to forgive me for it… later…”

Maybe we’ve even heard ourselves saying something like that… If not aloud, perhaps we’ve tried to justify sinful actions in our minds this way… Friends, let me say as lovingly as I can… this is a VERY dangerous game to play…

Consider what God says in Deuteronomy 29:

Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God… make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster… The LORD will single him out… for disaster.

Granted, this passage is written to Israel and in relation to the covenant they had with God… But the principle is clear… God HATES it when we identify with Him in name only and then go ahead and do our own thing… Isn’t that exactly what we’re doing when (like above) we try to justify stupidity? How many people do you know that claim to be Christian, yet don’t live it out in their lives at all? If and when they are confronted with their sin they blow it off as “mistakes” or dismiss it as “personality flaws” or “shortcomings”… and they will ask for forgiveness… later?

To bring this in a NT light, let’s look quickly at the end of Romans 5 and the beginning of Romans 6.

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?… Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God…

Also consider Hebrews 10

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Notice at the end it says the LORD will judge His people… Can you be saved and sin willfully, yes… but then consider the next sentence… It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. And, as a child of God, who loves Him, you will not want to persist in that sin… Robert and I have both written in recent posts about freedom in Christ, and how that freedom should not be used for evil.

It has been said that there is no such thing as a person who has accepted Jesus but has no change in their life… Does that mean that you will be perfect from the moment of salvation? Of course not! However, if there is little to no evidence of a change in your life, there is much to fear and that person should take head to 2 Corinthians 13:5 which says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

Does this mean that you have to “clean up” your life before you come to Christ? Absolutely not… Salvation comes through faith alone in Christ alone… Ephesians 4:8-9 affirms, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Since we are transformed into a new creation upon salvation then we ought to look and act differently than we did before… If we don’t we are massively immature as Christians or we are not Christians at all. Will there be ups and downs in the Christian life? SURE! Sometimes the downs might be huge… but we should be growing more and more as time progresses…

Philippians 2:13-14 says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Basically, what this means that we have to rely upon God for the changes that He wants to take place in our lives, but we are to work with Him in that process…

So, I guess what this post boils down to is an appeal for everyone claiming the name of Christ (i.e. calling themselves Christian) to be, well, christlike (though the power of the Holy Spirit). Let’s stop living for ourselves and start living for Him… no more lame excuses for stupidity (like above) that presume upon the grace of God…

Funny Thing About History… It Repeats


Have you ever wondered why Israel failed at their job to evangelize the world (Scripture calls it being a priest nation) and why they missed Jesus as their Messiah? And, are we falling into the same trappings in the US, now?!?!?! I think so…

I posed these questions to one of my classmates and this is what she said (I think she’s right):

I believe Israel looked inward partially because they were an “obstinate people”, as God declared through Isaiah (Isaiah 65:2), but also because they walked the fine line of not mingling with the Canaanites and other peoples they encountered during the Exodus and as they conquered the Holy Land, yet living life as the apple of God’s eye and slated to be a kingdom of priests. It can be hard to understand how to follow God without becoming legalistic. The same holds true today in the US today. One need not look far to find Christian groups that have separated so far from the rest of the world that they cannot possibly be a witness to those around them that don’t know Christ. Even just by spending almost exclusively time in our Christian circles, we can easily get caught up in a separate world.

Personally, I think that they focused in on the tangible aspect of the covenant – the land – without thinking about the purpose of the covenant (or rather they mistook the purpose of the covenant). I think they thought that they were so cool with God that He just loved blessing them for their own prosperity and enjoyment rather than the prosperity being a sign/proof to glorify God and make it possible for Israel to engage in the ministry of reconciliation.

I think we do the same here and now… We get so caught up in the tangible (the physical/material prosperity God has allowed this nation to have) and we get so comfortable in our own exclusive Christian circles that we become useless for the Kingdom (I say “we” on purpose, because I’m including me). I heard a quote somewhere that, “money (blessings) is (are) like manuer… it’s no good unless you spread it all around (like fertalizer)”… What God blessed Israel with and what He has blessed us with (corporately and individually) wasn’t just for our enjoyment and ease (why would there be so much about suffering in the NT if that were the case)… Instead it is for us to be a blessing to others in order to share God’s message of Love, forgiveness, righteousness, etc… You know, the ministry of reconciliation (spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5).

Like I said, I’ve been thining about ancient Israel’s failures for several years and somewhat paralelling that to the US. But, the stats Dr. Wheeler shared in my personal evangelism class were so shocking (i.e. some 90% + of Christians don’t actively share their faith AT ALL) that it shook me out of my stupor… I think now way more than ever that personal evangelism and world missions is not just an important aspect of the Christian life, but it is THE most important aspect of it… Greg Stier of Dare2Share ministries calls it “THE Cause.” I just hope we, as the Body of Christ, take our calling in Matthew 28 and 2 Corinthians 5 so much more seriously and that we get on board with God’s program so that we do not continue to flounder away in the same old rut that ancient Israel did.

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