Absent from the body, Present with the Lord

rtm3039

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Hello brother Ray;

I want to take a step back on this topic and encourage all of us.

What we have been reading in
thorndale's thread is mixed with Scripture and from our study can form an opinion of what one believes.

rtm3039, you're asking a lot of questions, discussing what we arrive at from our study of the Scriptures and thank you, brother, for your honesty of being "confused", "distraction", "what am I missing" and "am I getting it?" Yes to all! You are getting there by engaging in this topic and thank you for asking.

In 2019 after reading your many testimonies at Christian Forum Site I'm very blessed that you have this zeal for your relationship with Christ and to follow Him, be the priest of your family, serve our Lord in your ministry at church, prepare for your new job and become a disciple (disciplined student of Christ) of studying His Word.

In some of the posts in this topic I was reading encouragement from one of our members to read the Scriptures and re-read the Scriptures. Another good lead from our member is to write down what you read. For years I wrote and continue to write down Scriptures and take the time to cross reference article teachings of the Old and New Testaments. You don't have to write a novel, but just write notes and add your devotional thoughts.

Pray and allow God to speak to you what you are studying. Share with your Bible study teacher. Continue to ask questions.

You will minimize the "confusion", "distraction", "what am I missing" and "am I getting it?" because its a promise from the Lord, your academic discipline of the Bible will increase and you will begin sharing your knowledge with other Bible students.

As far as Romans 6, In verse 6:2, in Christ we died to our sins but when we study deeper in verses 6:1-8:39, Paul is teaching sanctification. Sin's power is broken. When Jesus rose from the dead, the Father viewed us as rising with Him positionally. But there's more. Our union with Christ in His life, death and resurrection provides the basis of our justification, sanctification and glorification.

In Romans 6:11, "count yourselves dead to sin" means that we should regard our old sinful nature as dead and unresponsive to sin. We no longer have to be forgiven for past sin. Going forward, every part of our bodies may still be vulnerable in sin, but in Christ, for every part we are empowerd to be a tool for service. For example, the tongue and mind of my body can be used to preach the Gospel. My hands and feet can be used for physical service.

Point is, God takes His believers through His process in Romans, not a slam dunk done. The same goes for His promise.

In Absent from the body, Present with the Lord we need to carefully follow the Biblical revelations in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9,
1 Thessalonians 4:16, Hebrews 12:22-24, many more teachings of the Scriptures in between to Revelation 21 - 22, the study of
Biblical revelations of physical death and bodily resurrection before we are with our Father in eternity.

God bless you, rtm3039 and your family.
bobinfaith,

Without question, having "met you" in this forum has been a blessing. Actually, having met all of you has been a blessing, but I truly appreciate the time you take to help me walk through my experiences.

Yesterday, I, my wife, and daughter-in-law had a discussion about faith and my transformation. My wife brought up the fact that, while my decision to accept God as my Savior took place this January, I had been searching for a long time. Who I am today is so different than who I was last last December.

Up until only a couple of weeks ago, I did not look forward to sleep, because I knew that sleep would only last a couple of hours and that I would be up within hours. Lately, I have had no issues getting a full night's sleep. I have noticed; however, that I am either not dreaming or am unable to recall what I dreamt about. I am not sure what that means, as I have always been able to recall my dreams. I know that in the beginning (no pun intended) of this journey, I did start to have dreams that I considered inappropriate and that would shock me awake. It was as if Satan was using the vulnerability of sleep to cause me turmoil. As I fall asleep now, I find comfort in having a conversation with God and going through what I have learned that day,

I now find myself seeing everything from a new perspective. The more I see, the more I see.

I am sitting here typing this, and, at the same time, I have a 5 y/o little girl sitting on my lap and making it almost impossible for me to type. The old me would have been annoyed by this, but the new me is thankful that God has allowed me to re-experience the joy of being a grandfather.

As I might have already mentioned, I resigned by former position because someone took advantage of a situation that made it practically impossible for me to continue functioning as the manager of my office. I am unsure of who this person was, but I have been told by others (those they are still loyal to me) that this was just a way of "getting even" with me for some of the hard decisions my former roll required me to take. I have given this betrayal a great deal of thought and I find it impossible to "hate" this person. The truth is that he (yes, I have a really good idea who this person is) saved me. Had I not been placed in this predicament, I am sure that my decision to accept God into my life would not have happened. It would have eventually happened (I have been searching for a while), but not now and, maybe, not in time. One additional bright light here is how my former deputy chief has conducted himself. He did not agree with how my situation was handled, but it was beyond his control. Not only did he travel across the state, to allow me to clear my office on a Saturday, but he wrote me a reference letter that was impressive to say the least. In fact, he even let me know that he was interviewed as part of the background for my new position and that he believed I would eventually get the job.

I guess I took this very hard, because I just did not see it coming. It was really kind of silly. This past Christmas, I decided to take two weeks off and take the family to Memphis for the holidays (my wife's entire family lives in Memphis). Since I was leaving the area, for the first time in almost five years, I held a meeting to see who was going to stay in the area, as I needed to make sure our office was manned during the holiday time. During the meeting, some of the guys joked that, as I was not going to be in the area, they were going to stay and just not work. We all knew this was a joke. While in Memphis, I took my work computer to make sure that our weekly management reports got done (did not have anyone to delegate this task to). I sent the guys an e-mail to wish them a happy Christmas. In the e-mail, and as part of the comments that were made during out meeting, I joked that I had installed surveillance cameras to make sure they were in fact working during the holidays. Of the six people I made this comment to, five responded and knew it was a joke. One person did not and sent the e-mail to our headquarters. This resulted in an internal investigation and, since it appeared I had lost the confidence of some of the members of my leadership, I decided to resign. No one was actually interviewed, to include myself, but, I decided it was the right thing to do. The really sad thing is that everyone knew why this was done, but we live in politically sensitive times. In fact, since my resignation, my Bureau chief decided to retire and three of the members of my old office have also resigned.

Anyway, this response is long enough. The bottom line is that I am now all into this and am just trying to get as much understanding as possible. I ask a great deal of questions, as I am inquisitive by nature. I hope that my questions do not make it appear as if I am having issues with my faith. I am not, I am just inquisitive by nature.

I am looking forward to taking part in the small group bible study team. I meet with them, for the first time, tonight at 7pm. I continue to ask God to guide me in His direction and am now finding some interest in volunteering with the church's prison ministry. In a law enforcement career that has gone on since October 1980, I have put my share of people in jail, but I have never lost my perspective that these are people that just made the wrong decision. I am wondering it me telling them this, along with my own re-awakening, might help them make the right decision. I guess we will see.

The next step for me is to regain my confidence. I have to admit that all of this has had an impact in my confidence level. In other words, I took a serious hit to my "mojo" and am not sure how to overcome this. Staying positive is not coming easy, but I hope this is just part of the cleansing process.

Anyway, thanks you for your comments and sorry about being long-winded.

God bless you, my brother.

rtm3039
 

rtm3039

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"PS. Did as recommended and read all of Romans 6. Still a little confused :( "

That's ok. Give God time to work with you.

"Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)) comes pretty close to what your fellow bible school student claimed. What am I missing?"

First, it's a misquotation. When you reword a scripture you no longer have the word of God. Second, the speaker never has a rod in his hand. Third, the speaker doesn't know what a rod is. As the word is used elsewhere in Proverbs, it is the rod of correction, not the rod that is used to beat enemies or wild animals.

BTW I feel compassion for family deficiencies. I always felt like I grew up in a bus station: lots of familiar faces coming and going, but nobody wanted to get chummy.
Thanks Saul Mine,

When it comes to family, I have always believed I was an unwitting participant in a really bad reality show. We migrated to the US from Cuba. It was my parents, sister, and me. As such, we never actually had an extended family to interact with.

My mom appears to have always suffered from various emotional issues and was just not a happy woman. She practiced Santeria and spent most of her life consumed by hate. She was not an abusive mother, just a difficult one. I ended up dropping out of school, at 14, because I was expected to get a job and help the family financially. Later on, when I decided to join the military, she did not speak to me for over three years.

My dad was a night club singer and pretty much focused all his efforts on himself. He was not a bad dad, as he did provide. Unfortunately, he went to work at 3pm and did not come home until 3am. Not a great deal of interaction.

My sister, well, she is special. Her life of crime started at an early age, By the age of 14, she had been arrested for grand-theft (car), possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), destruction of private and public property, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest with violence. She eventually ran away and moved to California. Through the years, we have become closer, but I have actually only seen her once, since 1990. She, like our mom, is involved in Santeria. She is gay and was "married" to her partner for almost 15 years. They have two kids, which were the biological children of her partner (Blanca). Two years ago, Blanca was not feeling well and ended up in the hospital. At the age of 39, she apparently had some type of a heart infection and died. Now my sister is raising both kids alone and trying the best she can to make it through the process. She had had a very difficult like. She has been homeless, unemployed way too many times, faced her own demons, and is now just trying her best. Her two kids know she is gay, but are as stable as one could home for.

At 14, I dropped out of school and started working at a warehouse. When I turned 16, I started attending night school and got my GED. Shortly after this, I enlisted in the US Army. Initially, it was just going to be one three year tour and I wanted to eventually become a police officer in Miami, By the time I had a week in the Army, I knew I had found what I wanted and my three year tour ended up a 25 year career. I got the best of two worlds; I got to be both a soldier and a police officer (US Army Criminal Investigations Command). I entered the service as a private with a GED and left as a senior officer with a master's degree.

My first marriage was a flop, but it did result in two great kids. After our divorce, the ex (Chris) got pregnant with a daughter. Her daughter's biological father wanted nothing to do with her, so the ex and I agreed to let her daughter (Mackinsie) grow up thinking I was her dad, Every summer, when I got the kids, she was was part of the package, She grew up as my daughter. In fact, I walked her down the isle when she married. She found out the truth at 15, when my biological daughter got mad and told her. By then; however, Mac and I had grown so close that it did not matter.

My second marriage ended up a flop too. My ex (Shannon) had a son. Unfortunately, while visiting his paternal grandmother, he (Zachary ) was left unattended, fell into the pool, and drowned. We tried to deal with the loss, but it was too much for Shannon. She ended up having an affair with a family friend and we ended the marriage after five years. Well, when I say "we" ended the marriage, she actually just decided to leave me and marry the other guy.

My third marriage has been a gift. Irene and I have now been married for over 20 years. She accepted my kids as her own, as well as the rest of my biological family. I got to help raise her two kids, which are the same age as my own biological children. If has been a great relationship and I know how fortunate I am to have found her. It appears that God allowed me to re-enter a marriage with two young kids and I got to enjoy what that was all about.

In 2003, I decided to retire from the military. We moved back to Miami and bought a large house. We then decided to relocate my parents from their small apartment to the house. At the time, all our kids were grown and we had the room. Unfortunately, by then, my mom's Alzheimer had become both evident to me and severe. Her last five years were difficult for all of us, especially my dad. I did get to watch just how much my dad had changed. If it is possible to "earn your wings" he did. He spent every woken moment taking care of mom. After she passed, he continued on, but never got over it. Two years ago, on the 26th of December, he decided it was time. He had congestive hear failure and was constantly in the hospital. On that day, as I was preparing to take him back to the hospital, he just told me he had had enough. A couple of weeks later, he passed.

Anyway, I suspect that my life story is familiar to many people and I know that many have had greater tribulations. The amazing thing is that, despite me claiming to be an agnostic throughout all of this, God did not turn away and has watching out for me.

Now, I have been given a new life. Our youngest son (my wife's bio son) has relocated his family to our home. Jeremy is still working in another state (6 weeks at a time), but will do this for six more weeks, return home, and start back to school to earn his certification as an EMT and Paramedic. He was a fire fighter in the Air Force and will again seek to enter that career field. We now have a house full of insanity. The daughter-in-law and two of our five grand-kids. One of my many regrets is that I spent too much time working on my career and not enough enjoying being a father and grand-father. In the blink of an eye, my career took a drastic shift. but look at what God did - he gave me a second change and I am taking every opportunity to enjoy this.

The job thing is nothing more than a miracle. I have applied for over 120 jobs and have done so many interviews. Of all the jobs I had applied for, the job I am scheduled to start soon was the one I really wanted. My initial interview was a flop (at least I thought so). In fact, when I left the first interview, I just wanted to hit myself with a bat. I even text the wife that there was no way I would make it to the second round. As soon as I had accepted my perceived fate, I got an e-mail from HR telling me that I had made it to the second (and final round). At the end of the second interview, I had done better but felt I did not do enough to recover from the horror of my first interview. I k now that one can ask God for favors, but he only delivers on those things he promises. Getting a new job is not one of those promises. Regardless, I prayed and asked for the favor. Shortly after that, I got a call from the HR director and was given a conditioned job offer. I am still unsure how God pulled that off, but he did and I have been thanking him every minute I can.

I have re-found my faith, looks like I will be re-joining the work force in a couple of weeks, and I now clearly see every blessing God has given me. And, with the help of people like you, I am making progress and that I am thankful for.

Ok, so much for my life. Sorry it is so long and no one should feel the need to read this. I just wanted to put it out there mostly as an opportunity for me to express how I got here from there.

Thank you for your fellowship and the very clear guidance you are so willing to provide.

rtm3039
 
Jan 21, 2019
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You are jumbling two contexts: before Jesus and after Jesus.

Sin, singular, is the absence of spirit. Adam had a spirit but it died and so he was unable to bequeath a spirit to his offspring. That is why everybody is born in sin, not because Mommy and Daddy did the big nasty. That is why a savior had to die in our place and make it possible to create a new spirit for us.

Sins, plural, are mistakes, such as throwing a dart and missing the bullseye. Christians are baptised into Christ's death, and dead bodies don't commit sins, so sins are not an issue for Christians. There is no more forgiveness. Either you believe in Jesus and are saved or you don't believe and are lost.

Christians are not forgiven for sins, we are dead to sins. Romans 6, the full chapter.
IMHO.........
Sin, singular, is the absence of spirit. ( If absence from the Spirit means a loss of fellowship with God, I can accept that? ) Adam had a spirit but it died and so he was unable to bequeath a spirit to his offspring. ( Mans, God given Spirit, can not die! Sin only causes a loss of fellowship with God until the fellowship is restored by an acknowledgement of a sin and repentance in whatever form is required based on the age of the law or the age of the free gift of grace, faith plus nothing! ) That is why everybody is born in sin, ( My understanding is man is not born with an actual sin, just a sin nature that guarantees that sin will surly follow ) not because Mommy and Daddy did the big nasty. That is why a savior had to die in our place ( This finished work on the cross paid the only possible price for the forgiveness of all sin, past, present and future! The required shedding of blood by an unblemished & perfect sacrifice, Jesus the Christ! ) and make it possible to create a new spirit for us. ( I don't believe that a new Spirit is required, only a restoration of the Spirit fellowship with God that will reestablish that communication link with the Father, God )

Sins, plural, are mistakes, such as throwing a dart and missing the bullseye. Christians are baptised into Christ's death, ( Essentially, this baptism as written in Romans 6:3-4, is a symbolic act of faith that the believer, by faith, accepts and publicly professes their belief in the Gospel and willingness to share the " Good News )! Baptism does not forgive sin, only by faith in the Gospel, faith plus nothing, can forgive sin! and dead bodies ( Only symbolic, not actual death of the body, only death to sin! ) don't commit sins, so sins are not an issue for Christians. ( Living Christians are always aware of sin by conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, as taught by Saint Paul, that all men will fall short of the mark (sin)! There is no more forgiveness. ( This is true since Jesus paid the price for the forgiveness of all sin, past, present and future once and for all with the finished work on the cross! What is required is that sinners, once convicted of a failing, confess/acknowledge that they have sinned and make a diligent effort to repent!) Either you believe in Jesus ( I would say you must believe Jesus, not just believe in Jesus,) and are saved or you don't believe Jesus and are lost.
 
Apr 13, 2019
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Yuma, AZ USA
IMHO.........
Sin, singular, is the absence of spirit. ( If absence from the Spirit means a loss of fellowship with God, I can accept that? ) Adam had a spirit but it died and so he was unable to bequeath a spirit to his offspring. ( Mans, God given Spirit, can not die! Sin only causes a loss of fellowship with God until the fellowship is restored by an acknowledgement of a sin and repentance in whatever form is required based on the age of the law or the age of the free gift of grace, faith plus nothing! ) That is why everybody is born in sin, ( My understanding is man is not born with an actual sin, just a sin nature that guarantees that sin will surly follow ) not because Mommy and Daddy did the big nasty. That is why a savior had to die in our place ( This finished work on the cross paid the only possible price for the forgiveness of all sin, past, present and future! The required shedding of blood by an unblemished & perfect sacrifice, Jesus the Christ! ) and make it possible to create a new spirit for us. ( I don't believe that a new Spirit is required, only a restoration of the Spirit fellowship with God that will reestablish that communication link with the Father, God )

Sins, plural, are mistakes, such as throwing a dart and missing the bullseye. Christians are baptised into Christ's death, ( Essentially, this baptism as written in Romans 6:3-4, is a symbolic act of faith that the believer, by faith, accepts and publicly professes their belief in the Gospel and willingness to share the " Good News )! Baptism does not forgive sin, only by faith in the Gospel, faith plus nothing, can forgive sin! and dead bodies ( Only symbolic, not actual death of the body, only death to sin! ) don't commit sins, so sins are not an issue for Christians. ( Living Christians are always aware of sin by conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, as taught by Saint Paul, that all men will fall short of the mark (sin)! There is no more forgiveness. ( This is true since Jesus paid the price for the forgiveness of all sin, past, present and future once and for all with the finished work on the cross! What is required is that sinners, once convicted of a failing, confess/acknowledge that they have sinned and make a diligent effort to repent!) Either you believe in Jesus ( I would say you must believe Jesus, not just believe in Jesus,) and are saved or you don't believe Jesus and are lost.
You're such a sweetheart!
 
Apr 13, 2012
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For those that believe in the Lord Jesus, they will be with Him and eternity. For those that will not, their bodies are in the graves but their souls either will be with the Lord or without Him for all eternity.
 
Apr 13, 2019
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For those that believe in the Lord Jesus, they will be with Him and eternity. For those that will not, their bodies are in the graves but their souls either will be with the Lord or without Him for all eternity.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Soul is breath life. The soul dies when a person takes his last breath. All life is spirit, but not all spirit is eternal life spirit. So the spirit returns to God who gave it and the body returns to dust from which it was made.
 
Jan 21, 2019
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You're such a sweetheart!
Your reply, "You're such a sweetheart!" I take as being sarcastic and if that is the case, I apologize for anything I wrote that offended you?

The last thing I want to do is appear puffed up or a hypocrite! I only wrote "IMHO" not as a didactic offering, but only my opinion of how I interpret the Scriptures? If you feel my opinions are wrong or misleading, I welcome your input and any examples of an inaccurate or misleading interpretation of the scriptures?

Your reply " You're such a sweetheart! " did convict me that maybe I did give a supercilious impression and again, I ask you to forgive me if I gave that impression because that would be the last thing that I would intend! I remain a work in progress and continue to strive toward righteousness!

Blessing, John
 
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Apr 13, 2019
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Your reply, "You're such a sweetheart!" I take as being sarcastic and if that is the case, I apologize for anything I wrote that offended you?

The last thing I want to do is appear puffed up or a hypocrite! I only wrote "IMHO" not as a didactic offering, but only my opinion of how I interpret the Scriptures? If you feel my opinions are wrong or misleading, I welcome your input and any examples of an inaccurate or misleading interpretation of the scriptures?

Your reply " You're such a sweetheart! " did convict me that maybe I did give a supercilious impression and again, I ask you to forgive me if I gave that impression because that would be the last thing that I would intend! I remain a work in progress and continue to strive toward righteousness!

Blessing, John
I said something that seemed terribly obvious to me, and you responded with something that seemed terribly obvious to you, and our two impressions were very different. I decline to argue. I can only wait until God gives one or both of us better understanding to resolve this disagreement.