4 questions about the orthodox faith from an agnostic attending a protestant church!

I've been in a search for truth for 7 years, I left the Coptic orthodox
church, Christianity and belief in god when I was 16, then I tried reading
about religions, then I joined a protestant church, I've been there for a
couple of months, but recently I read a verse about Elisha when his
bones resurrected a dead guy, that made me look at the relics in another
light as I was opposed to the relics. But I have 4 questions:

1- How can you reason obeying bishops and priests when they are
sinners and I've had religious and political differences with many of
them, in Egypt even one bishop (Bishoy) said Catholics and protestants aren't
going to heaven! how can you be able to obey them? I've always thought the late pope Shenoudah III was wrong on preventing Coptics from going to Palestine and supporting Mubarak and interfering in politics, and many priests abuse the power they have in forgiveness of sins!

2- I can confess anything, but I have one "sexual" deviance that I can't
confess, I even try to suppress it psychologically, I still do it and I can't stop it, I don't have the will power or self-discipline needed... Can you tell me
the most evil, deviant thing somebody confessed? as I think this
deviance is so evil that I can't let anybody know even if it meant I
would go to hell, I would go to hell because of it anyway!

3- I know Jesus said eat my body but I think it's not logical to assume
he meant literally or physically, isn't that cannibalism? isn't that a
pagan practice of eating a portion of a body of a strong warrior to
assume his power! (Can someone explain the doctrine to me logically, don't just quote bible verses)

4- When my grandma died a priest came in the third day and he said some
prayers, asked for a pack of parsley and he used it to sprinkle water on
us! when I asked they said it was to exorcise the spirit of the dead
form the house! I think this is crazy!

By the way can you recommend a book that I can read to dissolve my problems as an agnostic atheist.. I want something to prove god exists without a place for doubt and then something to prove that this god is the god of Christianity.

(I'm sorry if my language was offending, but I'm sick of searching... I've been in this for 7 years... I'm studying Hinduism now, I'm lost)


  • I'm sorry for the bad formatting, I don't know why it was formatted that way!
  • edited July 2016
    Hi Bishoy,

    Nice to see your search is continuing. God bless you.

    I will focus this post on answering your first question as it is a subject that I highly appreciate. Obedience is key to everyone's spiritual life. References to obedience and its relations to self sacrifice can be seen all over the scriptures. We could start at the prayer of Getsamane where Christ's prayer to the Father is one of obediance. "Not my will but Your will". Although, one could argue their will is one and the same. So, Christ is setting for mankind an example of obedience to God.
    "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous." - Rom 5:19

    Obedience is so valuable, it is the greatest offering we can offer God:
    "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. " 1 Sam 15:22.
    This obedience has no limits. Our obedience, is the death of ourselves, "He became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross". When we crucify ourselves in obedience, it is at that point that our life begins. "It is no longer I who lives (death through obedience), but Christ who lives in me."

    So, point is, obedience to Christ is crucial to our spiritual lives. Though so far, this hasn't in particularly answered your question, it is important to note that obedience to anyone who has some type of authority over you is obedience to Christ himself:

    Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ. - Eph 6:5

    This obedience to our elders and masters unites us with the Lord, clothes us with humility and protects us from pride:

    Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
    “God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble - 1 peter 5:5

    So then comes the mystery of priesthood. A sacrament in the church. Why a sacrament? Because the priest is not just a person with authority. He is a priest clothed in the priesthood of Christ. Obedience to a priest is obedience to the priesthood of Christ. Now, anyone could doubt that because all we see is a mere man, a sinner. Yes, the priest is human, and the priest is a sinner. However, his priesthood is the priesthood of Christ and that is the mystery of the sacrament of priesthood. When you approach communion, all we see is a piece of bread. It seems meaningless and weird. But the reality is that it is the true body and the true blood of Christ. God is beyond our ways and beyond our thoughts. No it is not cannibalism as you know it. God is beyond this.
    Marriage is a sacrament a union of two souls becoming one united in God. This is a mystery. We see 2 people, a man and a woman. But they are one. They are united. A mystery that cannot be explained in words or science. It is a mystery of God. So is this priesthood. How is it that the priest is clothed with the priesthood of God. It's a mystery but know that your obedience is to Christ himself.

    And though the priest and bishops may be sinners, they do not choose to be priests or bishops. They are selected, through prayers, and hopefully through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They are chosen with the hope that they will continue in their spiritual struggle continuing their life of obedience to Christ.
    Our spiritual life is a collective work to be obedient to Christ. The church is one body. We obey the priest, the priest obeys the bishop, the bishop obeys the synod (a council of more than 100 bishops), the synod is to be obedient to God.

    We often think ourselves great enough to think we are capable of discerning God's will and God's voice all by ourselves. But this goes against the spirit of obedience. I take comfort in the priesthood hierarchy. The priest I obey, are well selected. I get to choose which one is my father of confession who essentially I will surrender my will too. That step is not to be taken lightly. Different priests are fitting for different people. I take comfort that I know my priest is an obedient man to the bishop. I take comfort that bishops are mostly monks who lived in The desert focusing on their spiritual lives and making their sole life objective to speak to God and discern His voice. They often spend years 'perfecting' that discernment before they are finally elected to be bishops because of their spiritual strife. I take comfort that it doesn't stop there and that even though a bishop may be great, he can still stray, so a combination of all the bishops ( basically all the spiritual monks who have dedicated their lives to God and perfected their spiritual strife ) represent the synod who will and can correct any straying layman, priest, or bishop. This is far greater strength in discernment of the Spirit than I ever could be able to do on my own. I am clouded by my own desires. I am clouded by my sins and my judgement. Obedience needs me to surrender my will, my thoughts, my life into someone's hands that can help discern with me God's desires for me. There's none better than the sacrament of the priesthood of Christ.

    Don't bother judging a priests decisions. They can be wrong, yes. But make your efforts in choosing a father of confession that is pleasing to you, and you have an ease communicating with, and don't worry about the rest. Even if he is wrong, as long as it does not go against the commandments of God, obey. This is the most invaluable sacrifice and offering you can make to God. God will surely bless you accordingly.
  • For Question 2- St. Moses the black was a murderer, a thief, an adulterer. His story is inspiring to many. Their are many examples of great sinners turning to God in confession is being cleansed. There is St. Mary of Egypt. There are many.

    Sins of sexual nature are difficult to confess. But do not worry about the priests opinion. Their are many who fall in sins of sexual nature and confess it. There are some who I respect very much, who have had children out of wedlock (non married), came to church repenting and confessing and coming with their children to church. This can be extremely difficult especially feeling judged around you. But their love for God goes far beyond any sins they may have commited. That's strength.

    ---there is a story of a monk. One of his weaknesses was his sexual desires. He would fall in this regularly but he used to rise up and say "God I know I'm bad and I don't deserve to stand in the front of you, but if you help the righteous people, this is because they deserve your help, please accept me again and help me overcoming this sin". The young monk continued falling and rising and falling and rising and every time he fell he used to rise up and say exactly the same words. One day he fell and rose up and said the same words, the devil went really mad and appeared to him and told him "Don't you get ashamed of your sins to talk to God with your filthy mouth?" the monk said "Well you hit me with sin and I hit you with the love of God and lets see who is going to win", from that time the devil left him alone and did not fight him with the sin because he did not want him to get more crowns for his hope and faith in God.---
  • edited July 2016
    Q3- as I alluded a bit earlier, yes it is the true body and blood of Christ but no it is not cannibalism. God is beyond this. We do not take it for super powers, we partake of Him because it unites us with Him. In sin, we reject God and are seperated from Him. In Confession, we are essentially taking back our Baptism. In Communion, we are re-uniting ourselves with Him.

    Q4- I've never heard of any such practice. Sounds odd to me, not sure this is an official teaching of the church.

    There are prayers for the repose of one's soul.
  • Part 1


    I will try my best to respond to your questions. But before I begin, I must say your questions and your claims seem to be contradictory in nature. This is not meant to be an attack or criticism against you but that you are trying connect things that can't be connected. How can one be agnostic and atheist? By definition, they are contradictory. An agnostic believes one can never know if God exists. An atheist says God definitely does not exist. Why would an agnostic go to a Protestant church? If an agnostic truly believes God can't be known and the Protestant Church says God is revealed as Jesus Christ, how can one reconcile the two polar extremes? I think you are simply looking to be convinced of the Coptic Church but you're looking for answers from the outside. I pray God sends His Holy Spirit to help you. As you requested, I will refrain from using bible verses, although such an approach is ultimately inferior to the Bible. 

    Question 1

    I'm going to break them apart since you touch on many topics at once.

    "How can you reason obeying bishops and priests when they are sinners 

    Your question relates to the sacrament of priesthood. Everyone is a sinner, except Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ in His divine wisdom gave authority to His disciples to bind and loose sin. He gave sinners divine authority over other sinners. If you think no sinful human being should have the authority over anyone else, then take it up with Jesus Christ because such claims against the priesthood directly challenge Jesus Christ's decision.

    and I've had religious and political differences with many of them."

    We all have differences with other people. It is human nature. I have religious and political differences with my wife, with my parents, with my direct family. It is ok to have differences in opinion and ideology (to a certain extent). What it seems you are asking about asks if differences in ideology justify obeying those people with authority over us because of their differing ideology. In reality, it is irrelevant if you have a difference in opinion. This doesn't in itself justify disobedience with those who are given authority over us by God. I think rather than looking for reasons to justify not listening to those who disagree with your own ideology, maybe you should ask why do these disagreements matter so much. I fear you may be conflating political differences with spirituality. In the end, your salvation matters infinitely more than political and religious ideologies.

    in Egypt even one bishop (Bishoy) said Catholics and protestants aren't going to heaven! how can you be able to obey them?

    This is a more complicated issue. First, make sure Metropolitan Bishoy actually said this. Get direct quotes from his own writings, not from third party testimony. I know many people that take HG's words out of context. I think the majority of Coptic Orthodox clergy are going to say that this statement is false. No one can know where Catholics and protestants are going except God. Only He knows the future. What they will say is that certain aspects of Catholicism and Protestantism contradict with the gospel, the Tradition of the Church, and the revelation or work of God seen in the lives of righteous saints and fathers. It is not a judgment on people. It is a judgment on the teaching. Such judgment is justified and required as St Paul tells us. 

    Now if some bishop did say something that rogue, then there are internal mechanisms that can be used to correct it. Thankfully, HH Pope Tawadros has made himself very available for the questions and concerns. You can try to ask him directly. You can ask other bishops who are usually more readily available if such a claim is true. Maybe the Holy Synod will deliberate the matter. But it would be foolish to think that I am justified to disobey based on my own opinion. You need fact finding. You need to trust the leaders God has given you. And you need to trust that God will correct rogue bishops in the way He wants to (which definitely does not include putting your eternal salvation at risk)

  • edited July 2016

    Part 2

    "I've always thought the late pope Shenoudah III was wrong on preventing Coptics from going to Palestine and supporting Mubarak and interfering in politics, and many priests abuse the power they have in forgiveness of sins!"

    Again are you talking about politics or are you talking about the sacrament of the priesthood to forgive sins? These are two different issues. 

    I want to point out that it was not wrong for Pope Shenouda to prevent Copts from going to Palestine. Popes have always been political figures since the beginning of the Church. One only needs to do some research in Church history to see that Pope Athanasius I was the catalyst that prevented a war between the Eastern part of the Roman Empire and the Western part of the Roman Empire after Emperor Constantine divided the empire for his two sons. One sees that about a dozen or so Coptic popes were instrumental in preventing and maintaining peace between the Nubians and Ethiopians, between the Ethiopians and Islamic rules of Egypt, between Muslims and the Crusaders and so on. There are so many historical events where patriarchs or bishops caused political strife or intervened politically. Why do we assume Pope Shenouda doesn't have that same right? 

    If your own biological father tells you you can't go to Egypt because of the political climate, are you going to say he is wrong for even suggesting this? No. Every father is concerned about the political climate of his children. You seem to believe that a father's inalienable right to direct his child's wellbeing in a politically volatile environment is grounds to challenge the sacrament of priesthood. The two are not even related.

    Question 2

    I can confess anything, but I have one "sexual" deviance that I can't confess, I even try to suppress it psychologically, I still do it and I can't stop it, I don't have the will power or self-discipline needed”

    This is the problem with sin. The nature of sin, as St Athanasius described, is predicated to find more deviance without limit. By ourselves, we have no power against sin, which is why you chose to suppress it psychologically. The truth is you will never have the power and self-discipline needed to overcome this one “sexual” deviance. The only way we can overcome sin is to use a power greater than sin and that is the power of the Cross and Christ’s offering on Good Friday for the life of the world. Once you have the faith in Christ’s salvation, then you will see that this “one sexual deviance” is nothing different than any other sin, regardless of your own power, self-discipline or understanding.

    In addition, this is the beauty of our God and the sacrament of repentance. Our God is a the only God who can forgive sin, and even forget the sin you committed. All other religions expect a person to renounce immorality and desires by their own human power until they are worthy enough to be free. You can only be a good Muslim if submit (root word of Islam) to the Muslim god. If you don’t submit first, you will be eternally condemned. It does not consider that humans cannot overcome sin and evil by themselves first. Christ came to our level first. He loved us first. He saved us first. He gave us Himself so that we can become more powerful than sin and evil. 

    Can you tell me the most evil, deviant thing somebody confessed?

    As I said above, that is the nature of evil and sin. Whatever you consider the most evil, deviant thing that somebody will do or confess, there will always be someone else who confessed something more deviant. In the end, Christ tells us it doesn’t matter at all. He said something small like calling a person “racah” or “fool” is worse than what Sodom and Gomorrah did. What is important is not what one calls the most evil, rather than whatever it is you consider the most evil, must be confessed.

    “as I think this deviance is so evil that I can't let anybody know even if it meant I would go to hell, I would go to hell because of it anyway!”

    Inadvertently, you just did what you accused Metropolitan Bishoy of doing: Judging/condemning a person to hell without having the power to know the future or judge the hidden secrets of a person. You assume that you have done something so evil, you can’t be forgiven. This says more about how you view God’s mercy than how you view that particular deviant, evil sin. 

  • edited July 2016
    Part 3

    Question 3

    I know Jesus said eat my body but I think it's not logical to assume he meant literally or physically, isn't that cannibalism? isn't that a pagan practice of eating a portion of a body of a strong warrior to assume his power! (Can someone explain the doctrine to me logically, don't just quote bible verses)”

    No it is not cannibalism. Suppose science was able to find a cure for cancer by extracting a certain protein from a dead person and processing it into medication. Suppose you took this medicine by swallowing a pill and it cured you from cancer. Did you canniballisticly eat that dying person or did you eat/swallow real medicine? That person’s dead flesh was real food which you ate by eating medicine. This is not cannibalism.

    If you follow the whole dialogue between Jesus and the Jews, you will see that Jesus wants to stress that there is bread which comes down from heaven and it gives life to the world. The Jews, having enjoyed and filled up with the bread and fish Jesus gave them (when He fed the multitudes with 5 loaves and 2 fish), were now hungry again and expected Jesus to do it again. Jesus wanted to stress to the Jews that they are missing the big picture. They are missing the message of the Prophets. (I only bring up bible verses because you brought up the Bible verse. I will get to logic in a second.)

    Jesus wanted to prove that He is the bread of life and He can give life (which only God can do) and that was the Father’s will from the beginning, not feeding earthly stomachs. Instead of recognizing this, the Jews began to grumble because Jesus said He came down from heaven. (They actually omitted the notion that Jesus said He was bread.). And when the Jews said this, he put the whole sacrament at point blank range:

    “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you”. 

    In other words, there is no other way to have life without the specific salvific acts of the Eucharist where we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood. 

    Now you may think this proves cannibalism, but follow the dialogue more. “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink…This is the bread that came down from heaven.” Jesus stated His flesh IS real food and His flesh IS the real bread that came down from heaven. In other words, you eat His flesh by eating that bread which came down from heaven. He did not say “when I’m physically dead, whoever eats my physical flesh will live”. He said whoever eats my flesh which is bread and real food will have life.

    Any sort of cannibalism does not give you life. It may extend your dying flesh for a little while, but it will never stop you from physically dying. Eating regular bread may extend your life for a little while, but it will never stop you from physically dying. Eating the bread of life that is life-giving in itself will extend your physical life for eternity (which is logically equivalent to not dying). 

    Question 4

    When my grandma died a priest came in the third day and he said some prayers, asked for a pack of parsley and he used it to sprinkle water on us! when I asked they said it was to exorcise the spirit of the dead form the house! I think this is crazy!

    There is no question here. This is your opinion. If you would like to discuss your opinion and what happened after your grandmother’s death, we can. 

    I can’t recommend any one particular book. I think your search requires experiential answers rather than didactic or rhetorical answers. You have to experience, taste and see God first and then you will see that He is good. In the mean time, if some didactic and logical information helps you, you can keep asking and we will do our best to help you. And we will pray for you. 

  • Read The Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement


    Orthodoxy by Paul Evdokimov.

    I think roots in my favourite of the two but they are extraordinarily profound works :)
  • edited July 2016
    Jesus promised everyone who seeks will find. As David the prophet says wait on the Lord be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Jesus came to the disciples during the last watch walking on water towards the boat. We have the promise if we want to follow Jesus He will give us faith. Do we want to follow Jesus or another teacher ? I don't know if I should encourage learning of other religions and Jesus at the same time but it may be okay. Be encouraged if you still seek the truth one day you will find it. You will never know any other religion is true either so why devote to it. Will you follow a God who tells you to obey Him without revealing Himself ? As the Israelites were following the idols of the nations God told them ask the idol to speak .You should not follow a God who tells you to do evil to know Him but if He is really good He will reveal himself to you as you do good things for Him. So I say test the other gods of other religions. And test our God. Whichever speaks to you follow Him. You don't have to call yourself a Christian or any other religion but learn other religions

    But in Christianity we are able to experience God in supernatural ways as the saints did even modern ones like tamav irini and mother Kereya but we have to first love God to be worthy of that because God does not force Himself. If we keep following God only because we have proof not because we love Him we may keep losing our faith and getting it again we will come to the point where we have to choose to believe without seeing

    God gave Thomas proof but said blessed are those who believe without seeing but he showed Thomas because Thomas followed the Lord and wanted to do His will. Why delay why not have a relationship with the Lord now and let him come to you as He did to Thomas?

    Maybe some have to learn other religions first before getting faith in Jesus but once they have Jesus they should know it is a plot from the evil one to distract their living relationship with God as Paul said these foods have not profited those who have been occupied by them. But every blasphemy against the Son is forgiven because you are blaspheming because you do not believe yet. I do not mean wishing to blaspheme without cause but even that can be forgiven if one has a contrite heart.

    Now I am changing the topic to address others if I can. In regard to other sins of the flesh every contrite heart is acceptable to God even at the last minute but it may be hard to really be sorry for your sins.
    Perhaps to get that contrite heart after premeditated sins it is safer to be extreme as St Mary of Egypt and St Moses the black you don't have to go to the desert to do serious repentance. Marriage may be a more helpful path for some.

    Paul says we have a cloud of witnesses waiting for us to do works based on faith like them. We can experience God in a real way as we get closer to Him and get our trust and be able to answer anyone

    Faith is a gift. No one can come to Christ unless the Father permits it. The same scriptures however obvious to believers seems foolishness to non believers. I doubted in Christ before the scriptures did not help me get my faith back. But because I begged God and maybe through another's prayers. As I read the scripture again in my heart I started believing. I wonder as in the parable of the talents those who refuse to read anything non Christian even from Christian sources for fear of losing their faith will actually lose their faith. Are we not commanded to grow in our faith ? Paul says grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ
    Maybe that is why we do not have works and have addictions because our faith is not growing because James says we can't have faith without works. Maybe we have our faith buried in us so we don't have any faith though we think we do. But we can be assured it is still in us but we have to raise it
    But we have to be careful of wolves in sheeps clothing and antichrists who are powered by the prince of the air. Do you ever feel sometimes you are inhaling evil thoughts from Satan. This seems relatable to the words prince of the air. It is written do not tempt the Lord. Therefore we are not to throw ourselves into arguments when we are not strong in the Lord but the Lord will give us a spirit that can not be resisted. The church fathers and Paul seems to teach when he says do not quench the Spirit the Holy Spirit does not exist in someone far from God until they restore their relationship with God by drawing near to Him.
    Our job is not to try to know the answer to every argument but to be able to satisfy ourself and anyone else. Therefore it seems to me we should be drawing near to God to get the Holy Spirit and read apologetics by Christians whom God gave the talent to defend the faith
  • Hi Mike
    Do you have the Kenonia app on your phone? If not get it please.
    It talks about this very subject of faith and works. This is what it says:
    James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself.if it does not have works is dead.
    The commentary on this is: Faith with no works is like a dead body with no spirit, for the spirit is the work which proofs the living faith. For faith that lacks work is theoretorical faith, dead in itself and leads you to death.
    To add to this Christ's love in His commandmen's that we love God with all our minds, hearts and souls. In this we do the internal works required for faith. Also, that we love our neighbor as ourselves. In this we do the external works required of faith.
    You have made a very good confession of faith that you search for the workings of the spirit in you in Christ.
    God bless you Mike.
  • edited July 2016
    Thanks dear Joshuaa. I downloaded the kenonia app but unfortunately it is all Arabic which I can not read yet.

    you are right my mistake we can have theoretical faith without works but growing in our theoretical faith may help us to do good works and be free of addiction.
    If we don't use our theoretical faith to get power it is not complete. As it was said of Abraham his faith was made perfect. That is it was evident. If it is not evident it is considered not existing

    I just saw this. I have church father commentary for every bible verse through olive tree app. I have all volumes of Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture in app ebook format

    Leo the Great: While faith provides the basis for works, the strength of faith comes out only in works. Sermons 10.3.

  • You can change it to english my friend.
    Is theoretorical faith of the heart ? Sorry no. That is why I was speaking Jesus's commandments about love. Love is perfected by our works internally and externally in Christ Jesus and faith by those works in hope of our resurrection in our Lord Jesus' resurrection in which we suffer from this world in doing good for His sake.
  • If you open it it will have hexagons down the left hand side. Click on the Arabic and at the bottom there are some icons. Click the little world one and it changes from arabic to english.
    God bless you my brother.
  • I have English now thanks :)
    I believe faith is compared to what kind of ground we are. If we have the living faith we are the good ground that produces a crop 30,60 and 100 fold. There is no moment of salvation where we can say I am saved no matter what I do. The others represented by the Rocky ground the thorny ground and the ground by the wayside had true faith also but they would or could not persevere to the end.
  • I get your point now you can have true theoretical faith without good works because your heart is not converted to good works
  • Pope Shenouda had said that what combines Christians is faith. So from there the question is; is that enough? No, but it is a starting point.
    You are right about the ground and it can also be seen as different levels.
    If we ask for God's mercy and have faith as our starting point then we are living with Him and require works to progress with Him.

    Faith is in His resurrection for our salvation through our sacrements and teachings. Our sacrements and teachings are workings of the Holy Spirit in us. If you are doing those sacrements, then you are doing works because the Holy Spirit is working in you. Is it enough? You are living with God in the bible and it also becomes your life outside of the bible for in the bible you have righteous workings of understanding God and yourself and how to work for your salvation.

      At baptism our names are written in the book of life. If we separate ourselves from God by the sin of this world, then our names can be removed from the book of life. What do we do to keep our names there? Look for the remission of sin. This is works and it closes the separation between us and God.
      But as you have pointed out: The ground which we have is our faith, but it is a foundation of which our works are done with life in Christ.
  • edited July 2016

    Now I am changing the topic to address others if I can. In regard to other sins of the flesh every contrite heart is acceptable to God even at the last minute but it may be hard to really be sorry for your sins.
    Perhaps to get that contrite heart after premeditated sins it is safer to be extreme as St Mary of Egypt and St Moses the black you don't have to go to the desert to do serious repentance. Marriage may be a more helpful path for some.

    I would like to correct this. Some people may earn assurance of their salvation as those in the first hour to find God in His fullness but God is allowed to do what He wants with His own things. He gave those of the eleventh hour the same reward by which our church teaches the kingdom just as the others. The church however teaches the reward is different as one star differs with another star in glory. But anyone can be a saint now. The contrite heart which is accepted is having found or believing in Jesus when you die. Even if you never had all the fruits of the Spirit you did not blaspheme the Holy Spirit because you had a concern for your eternal fate and you feel bad about your sins even though you did not change fully but tried to. Like the tax collector who kept repeating the sin but he always wanted to change. Some do not want to change and that is the worst bit about their state but they can want to change later and God accepts. God is not deceived He knows when we are sorry for our sins.
    Paul said it is God who works in us to will and to do for His good pleasure.
    Sin shall not have dominion over us for we are not under law but under grace. The first fruits of the Holy Spirit is peace and love.
    Peace because blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. You may have to weep or if you can't God knows you feel bad and can comfort you.
    Though it is not complete even in those fruits it means the spirit is working in us
    However no one knows when he will die so we should not delay repentance
    If you intend to live all your life away from God and repent near the end of your life you are in danger of dying unready
  • edited July 2016
    I regret the above post because it encourages making humans decide who is saved and who is not and discourages striving
    When one asked are few saved Jesus said strive to enter through the narrow gate for many will seek to enter and will not be able
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