I Hear You Knockin’, But You Can’t Come In

I have many thoughts running through my head right now and for the life of me, I can’t write about them and have it make any sense.  Blame it on the fact that I gave up nicotine lozenges yesterday and I’m totally losing my mind.  Today we discussed if smoking could be considered a sin and I’m sitting there tapping my foot thinking, No. It’s not a sin. It’s an addiction.  It’s a stupid addiction that hurts nobody but the person who is puffing away.  Okay, I take that back.  It might hurt others that are in enclosed spaces with them.  Upon further reflection, it might make the spouse who has quit smoking feel like stabbing the spouse who continues to smoke and well, that’s murder and it says not to do that in the Ten Commandments and I’m thinking that maybe thought and deed are a slippery slope, at least when looked at Biblically, so what do I know?

Phew! Okay, here’s something I remember from Bible Study on Sunday that totally perturbed me.

Me: How do you get into Heaven?

Answer:  You accept Jesus Christ as your savior.

This makes me want to stomp my feet for some reason.  It seems so simple and also seems like people could just kick puppies their whole life and then while they take their dying breath, go “I accept you as my Lord and savior, see ya in a few, JC.”

Am I right?

For 41 years, I have lived under the assumption that being a good person counted for something.  Nope.  I could be as sinless as Jesus himself, but if I don’t accept him as my savior than I am Hell bound. “Good works” don’t get you into Heaven.  This is the first time I have heard this term, but apparently I’m not the first person to bring up the, but I’m a really nice person who does good things argument.  I am so confused.  Then we talked about what Heaven might look like.  Would we be with our family?  What about our spouses?  What if we’ve been married twice?  Who do we end up with?

We also talked about sin.  Basically, we’re all sinners and it’s not our responsibility to judge others.  That’s between them and God.  But have you noticed how judgmental we all are?  And yes, I’m including myself in that statement.  Today they were talking about the pastor at the church I’m going to this month.  I’ve only heard him speak one time and my notes from that day say, “He’s not the best orator.  It sounds like he has marbles in his mouth.”

Found out today that he’s deaf.  Open mouth, insert foot, pen, whatever fits.

Hey, if you’re the praying kind, Do you think that maybe you could pray that I make it through this nicotine withdrawal without hurting myself or anyone else?  Thanks!


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18 Responses to I Hear You Knockin’, But You Can’t Come In

  1. Lety says:

    I am the praying Kind, and actually tonight I am going to meet with my Pastor and a few other and definitely will pray for you and hope you don’t mind I will tell my group to pray for you with me…..

  2. Betsy Cross says:

    Jesus Christ died for everyone, no strings attached, so that we could live forever with our families and friends, doing whatever it is we love to do, without the fears of death, pain, or loss of any kind. Ask Him if He likes what people say about all of it. I think He’d laugh AND be a bit ticked off!
    To “accept” Him is nothing more than choosing to make covenants to follow Him and His ways. But, He loves and accepts all regardless.
    Again, I say trust your gut. If it sound fishy, it is.

  3. ... says:

    Catholics believe good works count- just sayin-

  4. Rebecca Trotter says:

    You’re asking the right questions – too many people have been trained or trained themselves not to. To those who insist that the answer to getting saved is “accept Jesus”, I just offer the following verse: “It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” 1 Timothy 4:9-10. I believe that the bible teaches universal salvation, although hell is a reality – only not permanent or always needed. (The site tentmaker.org has great scholarly resources on this, if you want some proof. Or to start a fight with the pastor.)
    As for salvation, look up the term theosis. It’s the teaching of the ancient church and is still the theology of the Eastern Orthodox church. I wrote a bit about it here:
    Good luck kicking your nicotine habit! I’ll say a prayer! 🙂

  5. Hi Pamela. What denomination are you studying right now?

  6. Despite being something along the lines of a hippie Taoist neo-pagan, I will TOTALLY send you prayers for getting through nicotine withdrawal – not only violence-free but also proud of yourself!

    I think what really puzzles me is that the entirety of getting into Heaven hinges on belief, as you say. If Jesus died for us, well, then did he die for EVERYBODY, or just the people who believe(d) in him? Because if he just died for the people who believe(d), that seems like a pretty selective savior. And if he died for everybody, why does it matter what you believe? In a way, this makes me realize the fundamental discomfort I have with theistic religions, and Christianity in particular: basically, I have a hard time with a God who cares so much about whether or not you believe in Him. It seems to me that a power that mighty should know humans are confused, credulous beings, and basing their entire fate upon whether or not they believe in Him seems to me – well, extremely vainglorious, and I’m not big on accepting that a deity big enough to consider fireflies and earthworms in His plan is vain. Basing their fate on how they behave? Sure. But on their willingness to believe in Jesus, out of all the possible options? I just can’t wrap my head around that.

    And it reminds me of a story I heard about a group of Indians, who were talking to a missionary. The missionary was explaining that now that he’d come with Jesus’s word, they could be saved, but if they didn’t put their faith in God, they’d go to Hell. The Indians asked him if they would’ve gone to Hell before he showed up, since nobody had ever told them about Jesus. No, said the missionary, of course not!

    Well, why did you tell us about him then? they said.

    • You’re so smart, Jericha! And thank you for wishing me a nonviolent withdrawal from the lozenges. I’m feeling much better today, but my brain isn’t functioning that well.

  7. I relate to this on both levels–beating the nasty old cigarette addiction, and questioning the tenets of not just Christianity, but religions as a whole. My conclusion is this: any path to God–or whatever you want to call him/her–is the right path. As to the first: the craving will pass, whether you satisfy it or not, and regarding the second: live morally, act kindly, and examine your actions and that’s about as Godly as it gets. Great post. Wonderful tone. I feel as if you spoke directly to me! 🙂

    • Thank you! I don’t know if you realize this, but I’m in your tribe “The Write Spot” on Triberr. I only have my other blog linked. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

      • Oh Pamela! I DO realize. You are too remarkable not to stand out! 🙂 I think your multitudes of followers agree–and I am so pleased to be acquinted with you and your work–and also to be triberr’ed up. Sign me–Girl who Posts Alot

  8. Lori says:

    I totally applaud you for jumping in neck deep into this church thing. I’ve realized how much I’ve taken for granted the years I’ve spent seeking, searching and learning. It seemed an easier route when you have years of being brought up in the church. Do I understand everything? No. But do I believe that God is for me? Yes. I think what made a difference for me was that as I was searching as a young adult what this Jesus stuff really meant HE made himself known to me. He changed my heart, my attitude, my life, my marriage, my kids. He changed things no human could. It’s a heart matter….sometimes your head just can’t understand. It’s because of Him that I am able to be a better person. Not my own doing. It’s because of Him that I will spend eternity in Heaven…not because of anything I’ve done. I will definitely be praying for you more. And I encourage you to pray as well. There is a plan and a calling on your life. For sure!

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