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In the Name of God بسم الله

Acceptance by God

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Salam, 

Both- An individuals actions are the best method to gauge who they are, what their values, ethics, spirituality, aspirations etc are. 

What is the context of "accept", do you mean accept into heaven? Or accept you as an overall individual? 

At the end of the day God receives no value from us humans, we do not add to his knowledge, kingdom, powers etc (depending on what religion you follow). This question is the other way around, WE need to accept God, understand his exceptions, and represent that acceptance through our actions in this world. Then, GOD will accept us into heaven, or hell based on the actions we committed in this world. 

 

 

 

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On 9/7/2020 at 6:58 PM, Cherub786 said:

Depends what you mean by “accept”. I would say both.

On 9/7/2020 at 9:06 PM, YoungSkiekh313 said:

What is the context of "accept", do you mean accept into heaven? Or accept you as an overall individual? 

After I posted the question, I had the same thought.  What did I mean by 'accept'?  Yes it made the question quite ambiguous!

@YoungSkiekh313Thank you for clarifying the question :)

I think I had in mind accept as a person, now, on earth.  Accept into an intimate relationship with him.  If that happens then the second possibility - accept into heaven - is a given.  God wouldn't reject someone on the 'last day' who he had been walking with during this life.  And simerlaly if God didn't know us (had accepted us) before the 'Day of Judgment' on what grounds would he welcome us into his eternal presence?

So maybe I was asking: Are there conditions that we need to fulfil for God to accept us into a close relationship with him while we live here on earth?

I hope that clarifies my question - I'll go away and work on an answer.

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@Dave follower of The Way read the book of James in your Bible. Also read the parable of the good Samaritan.

"Accept us" is vague. I'm assuming you mean "require good deeds of us". Actions without belief are more blessed than "belief" without actions. 

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50 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

So maybe I was asking: Are there conditions that we need to fulfil for God to accept us into a close relationship with him while we live here on earth?

According to both Christianity and Islam, undoubtedly yes. 

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9 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

After I posted the question, I had the same thought.  What did I mean by 'accept'?  Yes it made the question quite ambiguous!

@YoungSkiekh313Thank you for clarifying the question :)

I think I had in mind accept as a person, now, on earth.  Accept into an intimate relationship with him.  If that happens then the second possibility - accept into heaven - is a given.  God wouldn't reject someone on the 'last day' who he had been walking with during this life.  And simerlaly if God didn't know us (had accepted us) before the 'Day of Judgment' on what grounds would he welcome us into his eternal presence?

So maybe I was asking: Are there conditions that we need to fulfil for God to accept us into a close relationship with him while we live here on earth?

I hope that clarifies my question - I'll go away and work on an answer.

Salam, 

Yes, there are guidelines that God has commanded us to following within his various holy books that clearly outlines how to live a life in this world that pleases him, and grows your spirituality with him. I use the word "accept" as to refer to gods mercy, because god has already accepted you the day you came into this world. 

For example, imagine a light bulb is your iman (faith), it shines brightly, and enables the world around you to light up. However, when dust (sins) accumulate on the lightbulb, it begins to shine less brightly, and if you don't clean it ( good deeds that remove sins), then the lightbulb will eventually become so dim that it's useless, and may self destruct due to fire. 

Anyways, the good deeds, actions, way of life, and spirituality is your ticket towards accepting gods mercy in this world, and the hereafter. Just be a good person, and you'll gain gods acceptance that's how I see it ! I believe sincerely, that if a person believes in one god, and lives a life that God himself has set forth in his holy books, there is no reason why God would not accept him as he's the most merciful. 

Best of luck , 

WS 

 

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On 9/10/2020 at 5:01 PM, notme said:

read the book of James in your Bible.

Thanks for this suggestion.  I love the book of James!  It shows the close interaction and strong link between what we do and what we believe.

1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

The writer calls on us to live a moral life recognising that it is God's word in us that makes the difference.

2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

The book sets an amzingly high standard 100% keeping the law.  So to be accepted by God we need something more than just what we do, though those deeds are really important.

2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

This statement really helps us to see that both faith and deeds are vital neather can exist without the other.

So yes for God to accept us and welcome us into his loving family here now on earth during our life, we need to live a life that shows where our faith is and at the same time recieves from God his word planted in our hearts which will transform our faith and our deeds.

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On 9/11/2020 at 1:48 AM, YoungSkiekh313 said:

For example, imagine a light bulb is your iman (faith), it shines brightly, and enables the world around you to light up. However, when dust (sins) accumulate on the lightbulb, it begins to shine less brightly, and if you don't clean it ( good deeds that remove sins), then the lightbulb will eventually become so dim that it's useless, and may self destruct due to fire. 

Thanks - This is a great picture and really helps me to understand your point of view.

As I understand what you have said, and I may have missunderstood, we need to do things to keep our faith shining.  The 'good deeds' wash the sins away so our faith is obvious.  You go on to suggest that these 'good deeds' are our ticket so we will be accepted by God.

That phrase makes me feel that in your perspective, God accepts us because of what we do, cleaning away the sin with our good deeds - rather than who we are, a dirty inefficient light bulb.

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16 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

rather than who we are, a dirty inefficient light bulb.

Nope you chose to be that. Humans can chose to be higher than angels or lower then animals.  Ezekiel 18 makes it clear that a person must adhere to the law and do good to be accepted by God. 

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On 9/14/2020 at 6:09 PM, THREE1THREE said:

Nope you chose to be that. Humans can chose to be higher than angels or lower then animals.  Ezekiel 18 makes it clear that a person must adhere to the law and do good to be accepted by God. 

Okay that's helpful.  We have choice.  So is there anyone out there who would claim to be a brightly shining efficient light bulb who never has to wipe off the dirt?  i.e. adheres to the law 100% all the time.

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4 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

Okay that's helpful.  We have choice.  So is there anyone out there who would claim to be a brightly shining efficient light bulb who never has to wipe off the dirt?  i.e. adheres to the law 100% all the time.

No, but we can always change our ways and repent of our misdeeds, right up until the moment of death. 

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18 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

adheres to the law 100% all the time.

The Pharisees in the time of the prophets did even in the time of Christ(Except they liked to show off which makes them vain), and certainly my jurists adhere to the law perfectly. Your argument is not a justification otherwise technically and logically a person can sin as much as he wants as along as he has faith (that’s according to Pauline). 2. You are intentionally limiting God’s mercy, Jesus himself taught to hold on to the law, Mathew 5:19-20, Mathew 7:24-27, John 15:10 and I’ve already explains the parts we Jesus teaches how to surpass the Pharisees.  
 
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?”

 

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On 9/21/2020 at 9:52 PM, notme said:

No, but we can always change our ways and repent of our misdeeds, right up until the moment of death. 

And if we do that on what basis does God accept us?  Can we be sure he will?

It's a bit dangerous because we don't know when we are going to die.

I'd suggest too that living with and for God is so exciting and worthwhile why should anyone want to miss out on it in exchange for a broken life of temporary worldly 'pleasure'?

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When we read the gospel accounts, we understand from Jesus interaction with the Pharisees that their outward actions were keeping to the law but inwardly and in the spirit of the law they were not meeting God's standards.  I have never met anyone who when they honestly look at themselves claims to be without sin and to be keeping God's standards 100%.  I know when I look at my heart, my secret thoughts, my motives and priorities I see a person who doesn't match up to God's expectations.  The summary of the law is Love God completely with all your being and Love your neighbour as you love yourself.  (Matthew 22:37-40). 

Because God's standard is based on completely loving him your suggestion that it allows for a person to sin as much as they want doesn't work.  Why?  Because when we love God with all our being everything we do will be for him and for his glory and purposes. - this leaves no room for 'sin'.

Also, that's not what Paul taught Romans Chapter 6:1-2 - What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

I'm not sure how you see that I'm limiting God's mercy - could you explain that?

The verse from Luke that you quote is lifting Jesus' words and teaching to a very high level - His words are on a level with God's words.  Obeying Jesus is equivalent to obeying God.  He is claiming that his words and teaching are the foundation of a secure life which is acceptable to God and will face the storms of life and judgment.

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1 hour ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

And if we do that on what basis does God accept us?  Can we be sure he will?

 

It's a bit dangerous because we don't know when we are going to die.

 

I'd suggest too that living with and for God is so exciting and worthwhile why should anyone want to miss out on it in exchange for a broken life of temporary worldly 'pleasure'?

 

We Muslims believe deeply in a God who is "most gracious, most merciful" and we can be confident that we will be judged with grace and mercy. Hell exists for a reason, but not for those who are generally good and make a mistake which they would have repented but then unexpectedly died. Our Creator knows our souls better than even we do - actions absolutely do matter, but that's because actions are driven by intentions, which are the root. 

Perhaps the only time a person has a reason to fear their repentance not being accepted is when they have doubts about their own sincerity. 

We shouldn't take Paradise for granted - we need to live our best lives - but worrying over it is unnecessary stress. Do your best and trust God. 

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On 9/24/2020 at 5:23 PM, notme said:

We Muslims believe deeply in a God who is "most gracious, most merciful" and we can be confident that we will be judged with grace and mercy.

I wonder if the Muslim understanding of 'grace' is different from the one presented in the Bible?

From reading your post I get the impression that God accepts us on the last day with our soiled dirty lives, becaue we had good intentions.  So in his eternal presence there will be people with sin and flaws.

God is a consuming fire  - his purity cannot coexist with sin and shame.  So God accepting us on the last day is not a "come on in, it doesn't matter" kind of acceptence.  It has to be a transformational acceptence, where the sin, same and dirt in our lives are completly removed and rightiousness and purity are put in their place.

The amazing thing about grace is that we don't deserve God's work of transformation, however good our intentions are, but to those who throw themselves on God's mercy recognizing their weeknesses and shame God transforms them with the Righteiousness won by Jesus the Messiah.  That transformation of grace is not something to be waited for but a state before God we can live in today, a foretase of being eternally in God's presence.

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43 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

From reading your post I get the impression that God accepts us on the last day with our soiled dirty lives, becaue we had good intentions.  So in his eternal presence there will be people with sin and flaws.

There is the purification in the afterlife. Christians call it purgatory. Muslims call it barzakh. It is a place where we will be (perhaps painfully) purified of our sins. Christians believe in a god whose mercy is limited and dependent on intercession. Muslims - at least Shia Muslims - appreciate the value of intercession, but also believe in a God who has no needs and can cleanse our souls of the marks of sin after our deaths and before the Day of Judgement. If we can't endure our purification, or if the sins are too severe, we might end in eternal torment, but we believe in a Creator who is perfect in both Justice and Mercy. 

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16 minutes ago, notme said:

Christians believe in a god whose mercy is limited and dependent on intercession.

Could you explain this sentence?  Whoes intercession?

BTW I don't believe in Purgatory - I don't find it in the Bible.  It is what we do in this life which makes the difference.  There is no second chance.

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16 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

Could you explain this sentence?  Whoes intercession?

BTW I don't believe in Purgatory - I don't find it in the Bible.  It is what we do in this life which makes the difference.  There is no second chance.

The intercession of Jesus, peace be upon him, is required for Christians to attain Paradise. 

I realize not all Christian denominations believe in purgatory, but thinking of it as as second chance is a misunderstanding of the concept. Barzakh is a place of purification, not a place where a person can undo or make up for anything he or she has done. You can't repent after you have died, but it would not be merciful to condemn a person to eternal torture for something they would have repented, if they had time. Definitely repentance is preferable for us - purification is undoubtedly tortuous, we have to face and own everything we have done - but humans are fallible and God is merciful. 

And yet it would be unjust to just let sinners into Paradise unrepented, impure, even if they have the benefit of intercession. The love and prayers of the pure makes our own purification less painful, but we all must endure it, just for a time. 

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On 10/6/2020 at 5:20 PM, notme said:

The intercession of Jesus, peace be upon him, is required for Christians to attain Paradise. 

Okay .....

Yes Jesus The Messiah intercedes for those who are part of his kingdom  See

Hebrews 7:24&25 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

1 Timothy 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

I am not able to save myself.  however hard I try.  Maybe Islam teaches that I can save myself, do enough good deeds, convince a perfectly righteous God that I'm okay.  As if okay is good enough.

So God does something to make me acceptable.  Jesus takes me and my sin and shame and transforms me and clothes me in his own righteousness.  The intercession of Jesus the Messiah means that when God looks on me he sees the righteousness of Jesus the Messiah.  This is not a limitation it is the method he uses to make it possible for me a sinner to live eternally in the purity of God.

If this is a limitation on God's mercy, it is equally a limitation to say that he has to use purgatory.  But in fact it is not a limitation it is a wide open door his grace is extended to all who enter.  Jesus the Messiah said Come to me, I will not turn anyone away.

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58 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

it is equally a limitation to say that he has to use purgatory

Nah, man, it is the balance of justice. Hardly any of us deserve eternal punishment, and also hardly any of us deserve Paradise, so we are punished for a time. 

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On 10/9/2020 at 6:45 PM, notme said:

Nah, man, it is the balance of justice. Hardly any of us deserve eternal punishment, and also hardly any of us deserve Paradise, so we are punished for a time. 

Hey this is a dangerous comment!  Who are you to say a person does or does not deserve eternal punishment or Paradise?  It sounds like you are putting yourself in God's place as judge over humans.  What criteria are you using to make that call?

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2 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

Hey this is a dangerous comment!  Who are you to say a person does or does not deserve eternal punishment or Paradise?  It sounds like you are putting yourself in God's place as judge over humans.  What criteria are you using to make that call?

That's absurd. I'm not judging any individual person. I'm explaining why we have purification in the afterlife. 

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3 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

Who are you to say a person does or does not deserve eternal punishment or Paradise? 

This reminded me of a Sunni hadith (even though I’m Shi’a). (If a shia sibling can let me know of a similar shia Hadith that will be good)

Quote

“Allah Almighty Almighty says: “Enter my servant into Paradise with my mercy.” He says: no by my works. He says: “Enter my servant into Paradise with my mercy.” He says: no by my works. Allah Almighty Almighty says: “Enter my servant into Paradise with my mercy.” He says: no by my works. And Allah Almighty says to the angels: “My servant is judged by my favour and his works.” And the favour of his sight [is placed on one scale] and weighed [against] his worship of five hundred years. The favour of the eye remains on it [outweighs his works]. Allah Almighty says: “Put my servant in the fire.” He said: My Lord with your mercy enter me into Paradise. [Al-Hakim and Al-Bayhaqi]

But the concept of eternal punishment is quite controversial and people have had difficulty explaining why God would punish people eternally in the strict sense of the word. 
 


 

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I believe the answer to your question lies in the first verse of every chapter of the Quran except 1 - In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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The word “رحمن” (the Compassionate) is derived from “رحمت” (Mercy). Renowned Arab grammarians believe that it is a hyperbole. To Islamic scholars, the word means “the giver of universal mercy to all the creatures, apart from their service record”. “رحمن” also implies that Allah is inclined to assist all creatures and remove detriment from them. Examples of Allah’s blessings are presented in the holy Qur’an.(11)

Arab grammarians that believe that the word “رحيم” (the Merciful) is an adjectival simile, hence it implies continuity; that is the Mercy of Allah is permanent. This kind of Mercy is specific to the believers, as their virtues and appreciation of Allah’s blessings makes them worthy. We read in Islamic works that Mercy of the first kind involves Allah’s granting sustenance to all the creatures and humans either believer or disbeliever. The second kind of Mercy involves Allah’s granting spiritual blessings to human beings and also His forgiving the believers in this world and in the Hereafter.

http://en.al-shia.org/content/commentary-“bismillah-ar-rahman-ar-rahim”

 

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On 9/25/2020 at 1:08 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

The summary of the law is Love God completely with all your being and Love your neighbour as you love yourself.  (Matthew 22:37-40). 

Cherry picking as usual, deep down know the truth but are simply arrogant. 

 

On 9/25/2020 at 1:08 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Obeying Jesus is equivalent to obeying God.

That’s because he is God’s messenger and thank you for distinguishing Jesus from God. 

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