FAQ

Salvation AFTER Death

Why can't a person believe and give their life to Christ after death?

I have been trying to put into words how to answer your question about Salvation AFTER death in a way that makes sense.

What you were talking about, by a person trusting Christ after salvation, is a form of what is known as Universalism. Universalism teaches ALL people will come saving faith…no matter what they believe or how they have lived (it is considered a heresy).  Seriously, why would Jesus hold the Gospel and its proclamation in such importance if NONE OF IT MATTERED.

First, there is a vast difference between life and death (right?)…The difference between a death bed conversion and an after death conversion is that the person on their death bed is STILL ALIVE. Sin brings death; Jesus in John 8:23-24 is talking to the religious leaders and tells them plainly, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." Jesus wasn’t confused on what happens after death.

If someone dies in their sins they are DEAD in their sins, separated from the life of God.

In Jewish thought, which would have been prevalent for Jesus, everything was thought of in terms of life. A house wasn’t a home unless someone was living in it…if no one lived there it was just sticks and mortar. This is why EVERYTHING has to deal with life. Romans 6:22 "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." No Jew, especially Jesus, would argue about people changing their minds after death.

From a Calvinistic perspective if someone is not redeemed in this life it is not going to happen…period; but I am trying to give you a broader perspective just in case you don’t hold to a reformed point of view (which I am guessing you don’t if you think people can change their mind after death).

One of the most amazing things about God is that NOT ALL PEOPLE go to heaven. He doesn’t force those who disbelieve to live in His presence forever. Most people want to live without God in their lives, so why not simply get your wish for all eternity? Is it that living without God for eternity is not pleasant enough so they would want a change from hell they currently participate in? That would seem to indicate that God then tortures people after death into believing…something I am sure He does not do.

This is why God gives us THIS life and THIS time... 2 Cor 6:1-2 As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says,
"In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you."


I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

Many people have gone off the rails because they want things done differently than God does them. We think we are smarter, kinder, more loving, more gracious…but we are not. We must trust that God knows what He is doing better than any of us.

I guess I should end with the most important verse on this: Hebrews 9:27-28 "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."

Hope that helps,
Aaron

What's Up with Your Name?

Please explain the meaning of the "element" symbol. Thank you.

The symbol came out of the name. One definition for Element is "the surroundings necessary for life." We believe that everything comes down to Jesus. Redemption, hope, life...all Jesus. We believe that out of our relationship with Christ God has called us as a people glorify Him above all else. We believe we do that by living how He calls us to live...part of that is by living in community. By being a place that lifts up Christ and fosters gospel community Element will be a place that is "the surrounding necessary for life." Hence, the name...

The symbol, well...We have a couple graphic artists who attend and they all worked together to come up with the logo. I could feed you drivel about how the X in the center of the element's represent the cross how it was first shown in the Chi-Rho (the first cross used by Christianity) but really, the logo is just a logo. If one day we change it, its no big deal...because the logo is not Jesus.

Esther: "Missing" sections? Explanation.

In the Catholic Bible, the Old Testament contains extra books called the Apocrypha (some have called them "LOST BOOKS"). A lady from Element is in a Bible study with some Catholic ladies, she sent in a question and asked why our scriptures do not include the additions to Esther that the Catholic scriptures do. So, here is my not so short answer for all of you.The verses in question are Esther 10:4-16:24...This is a whole can of worms so bear with me.


I'll give you a short answer and then a long one - the short one is this: The  Additions to Esther is most likely the work of an Egyptian Jew, writing around 170 BC, who sought to give the book a more religious tone, and to suggest that the Jews were saved from destruction because of their piety. The additions completely change the tone of the book from what was originally intended from the Hebrew Manuscripts...and the additions were NEVER in the Hebrew scriptures.

Now for the long answer:

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Communion Policy

I'd like to know the church policy on taking communion at the service. Can anyone take communion? Any restrictions etc?

[blockquote]I'll answer and then give some explanation...

The only restriction to communion is that someone must be a believer to take communion (if someone doesn't believe it would be pointless to them anyway, right?)

We do communion after the message because it is an act of worship and should be a response to what God has done in us first. Scripture tells us that we are to take communion whenever we gather AND in remembrance of Christ. (1 Cor 11).

Scripture talks about taking communion in an "unworthy manner." An "unworthy manner" would be in a way that doesn't honor Jesus. Some in the early church, when they gathered, would eat and get drunk at communion (or the Agape - or love feast). It was originally a meal shared with an entire church body...people became selfish and made it about getting their own needs met rather than meeting others needs and lifting up Christ (hence an "unworthy manner).

We do communion weekly because it is when we gather...and, as I said, should be in worship and remembrance of all Jesus has done. It resets our hearts and minds to remember that true life is one lived with Christ, and that our lives are a gift graciously given to us by our great God. We lay our burdens down at His feet in remembrance of what He has done for us. [/blockquote]

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