SHEDNIGHT // SHEDHAPPENS... for Real Men... champion sons of the KING OF KINGS!

SHED NIGHT // SHED HAPPENS is for MEN to support one another. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”. Proverbs 27:17


My challenge this week is to answer this question, "If it wasn't for heaven and hell would I still follow the way of life Jesus clearly sets out for us?"

Maybe you can help me answer this question with your own thoughts?

You see, I first heard this question being asked by Shane Willard on his Ten Commandment CD and it brought to mind a time when I worked with a bloke who proclaimed to be an atheist but that Jesus Christ (the man) was his mentor. He loved Jesus's way of life and lived it in a unique and special way. The New Testament for him was the "Owner's Manual" to a happy and successful existence on earth.

For me I really never gave this a thought till now. If it wasn't for the fear of hell or the pleasure of heaven would I live a life that was pleasing to God. Maybe this is the same for you, however, I certainly would like to hope that I would love this life in the same way and continually strive to improve the way I behave and act, especially with the people close to me.

Fortunately, my belief gives me hope in a wonderful reward when I keep my focus on the eternal. Building the Kingdom one step at a time and sharing my passion for life is something I really enjoy while I am breathing. However, maybe I need to take a leaf out of Ol'mate's book,  the self proclaimed atheist, and get the owner's manual out more often!

Leave you with this and look forward to your thoughts. Cheers, JA

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Comment by Darryl Redden on March 15, 2012 at 10:39

Hi JA. Just a couple of comments. You say "we all want the full deal etc", but not everybody does. Many people choose to be apart from God by either personal choice or ignorance. Many people that I come across today still do not fully know or understand the gospel message, although there are no excuses for not knowing of God's existence. (Psalm 19) God is a god of love and also of justice.  When people choose not to receive Jesus into their life as their savior and to be absent from God, then when they die they get to continue with their request. Why would God be unjust and make people go to heaven when it is clearly not what they want. You are right about light and dark. John 1:5 "the light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it". Jesus clearly stated, "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me." Therefore, no Jesus, no God and no heaven. John 3:3 Jesus replied ," I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God." Note though that the Kingdom of God does not mean heaven, although heaven is part of the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, Darren, according to the Bible, (and not me) that applies to you as an atheist. There does not seem to be a third place on offer so it is either heaven or hell.

JA I feel that from all of your comments you are not a kindergarten christian and I thank you for continuing to challenge all of us. Darren and Bob, I also appreciate your comments and input into the discussion. Well done champions. Darryl

Comment by John 'JA' Ahern on March 15, 2012 at 8:48

Hey Bob... I am with you in thinking that our sins are forgiven now, not when we die. Dying for me is just the last transaction of the full deal when I signed up to be a Christian.

We all want the full deal and not the separation from God both here on earth and in heaven. The only challenge is that the full deal is granted to us by grace when we die and separation from God on earth is a choice.

And as you put it, the choice is to live under the love and grace of God to drive out all fear. 

I think this is an interesting topic because many people, including myself, shy away from the strong message of the cross and we want to believe in a loving God that has no room for justice. Yet if God is the ultimate light, then there has to be justice. Light and dark just do not co-exist.

For me, as I mature from being a kindergarten Christian and progress slowly into Prep school there is room to grow my thinking on the powerful message of the cross, the importance of love and grace and how to share this message with others.

Love your input Bob, Darryl and Darren... maybe there is more to share?

Cheers, JA 

Comment by Darryl Redden on March 14, 2012 at 10:45

Bob, you are on a roll now mate. Our sins are forgiven by Jesus when we ask for forgiveness with repentance. At death it is too late. Luke 16 gives a pretty good account of hell. God does not send us to hell, we get to choose that for ourselves. As for me I am going to heaven, because I am a born again christian. Darryl

Comment by Bob Maczkowiack on March 14, 2012 at 8:42

Regarding Darren's comment on 'when we die, our sins are forgiven' and 'Isn't this the point of Jesus dying on the cross?'

Well - yes .. to the part about the point of Jesus dying

But my sins are forgiven NOW - not when I die. (Sorry if I'm making a point of what may be just a turn of phrase).

I know that my sins are always forgiven - now and always. Knowing that to be the case, I don't live under fear of hell - I live under the love of God. Love drives out fear.



Comment by John 'JA' Ahern on March 14, 2012 at 5:38
Hey Bob (and others) look forward to your input. Cheers JA
Comment by John 'JA' Ahern on March 14, 2012 at 5:37
I think I was brought up on the fire and brimstone hell as well. Like you I believe a hellish existence would be the separation from the love of God.

Both here on earth and in eternity.

Thank you for the thinking. JA
Comment by John 'JA' Ahern on March 14, 2012 at 4:28
G'day Darren - I am trying to come to grips with it all as well.

So I am enjoying the dialog. The power is in the cross and studying this area of jesus's sacrifice for us is both a challenging task and a ultimate demonstration of God's love, grace, mercy, and here is the tough part, justice.

For me, human pride gets in the way of me understanding that I am considered not whole or a sinner in other terms. And then there is humbly commitment and faith that are both hard to swallow when pride has first place.

Please keep trying to understand and sharing your thoughts. Wisdom comes slowly, especially for me. :-) blessing JA
Comment by Darren Taylor on March 13, 2012 at 22:08

G'day Bob.

These are the points I consider. Whether I am right or wrong, I don't know.

Not sure where you came to the assertion that  'when we die, our sins are forgiven'.

Isn't this the point of Jesus dying on the cross?

He was perfect so he died for our sins.


I'm not trying to argue. Just trying to get an understanding :)


Comment by Bob Maczkowiack on March 13, 2012 at 21:16

Interesting assortment of thoughts there Darren

For someone who is possibly an atheist, you do quite well to imply that there are sins and that we are accountable for them to ... who ...?

Not sure where you came to the assertion that  'when we die, our sins are forgiven'. 

I agree with the disproportionate consequences of sin. Unfortunately it isn't you or I who makes the rules.

Please keep enjoying Jesus' words! Confidence that he might just be onto something makes the Hell concept irrelevant as far as you and I are concerned



Comment by Darren Taylor on March 13, 2012 at 20:57

My 2nd point....Why would we live in ertinity of a bad place after living 80 years of sin?

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