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How do we know what we know, and what is faith all about

If Jesus will literally return, you are denying your own fai

Postby Alpha and Om » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:32 pm

If you believe Jesus must literally come in the clouds for you to believe he has come again, you are placing an extra miraculous condition that must be met, a denial of your own "Faith".

Believing that Jesus must come in the clouds, literally riding a horse out of them in order to believe he has returned is no different then demanding he turn water into wine again to prove it to you when he gets here.

If you require proof, you do not have Faith. It amounts to "I'll believe it when I see it"
Alpha and Om

Re: If Jesus will literally return, you are denying your own

Postby jimwalton » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:44 pm

First of all, it's not that we require proof, it's that we are told we'll all be able to see Him return. He says we won't need faith because He will be physically seeable and evidentially obvious.

Second, and perhaps more important, you misunderstand the biblical concept of faith. In the Bible, faith is always based in evidence. God appears to Moses in a burning bush before He expects him to believe. He gave signs to take back to Pharaoh and the Israelite people, so they could see the signs before they were expected to believe. So also through the whole OT. In the NT, Jesus started off with turning water into wine, healing some people, casting out demons, and then he taught them about faith. And they couldn't possibly understand the resurrection until there was some evidence to go on.

When you read the Bible, people came to Jesus to be healed because they had heard about other people who had been healed. They had seen other people whom Jesus had healed. People had heard him teach. Their faith was based on evidence. Jesus kept giving them new information, and they gained new knowledge from it. Based on that knowledge, they acted with more faith. People came to him to make requests. See how it works? The resurrection works the same way. Jesus could have just ascended to heaven, the disciples figured out that he had prophesied it, and went around telling people "in faith" that He rose. But that's not what happened. He walked around and let them touch him, talk to him, eat with him, and THEN he said, "Believe that I have risen from the dead." Evidence is the basis of faith.

- In Matthew 8.4 Jesus encourages the man he just healed to go show the evidence that it was true.
- John 14.11 (and also 17.8): Jesus encouraged people to verify the evidences
- Heb. 11.1: Faith is based on evidences
- Romans 1.20 (the passage you mentioned). There are evidences, and we shouldn't be afraid to investigate them.

So we are not placing an extra, miraculous condition that must be met. Rather, this event (Christ's return) falls into the same conception of faith that is consistently portrayed throughout the Bible. Faith is not belief despite a lack of evidence, a belief in things for which there is no evidence, or a denial of reality. Instead, it is making an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make it reasonable to make that assumption.

In addition, I think you've made an error in assuming that Jesus "literally riding a horse out of [the clouds] in order to believe he has returned" is a misunderstanding. He doesn't ride out of the clouds so that we believe he has returned. He rides out of the clouds because he is literally returning. What someone may or may not believe at the time will have no effect on reality, just as it doesn't now. Our beliefs don't dictate reality; instead, reality and evidence dictates our beliefs.

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