Note that these articles are not intended to resolve the theological questions that they raise. On the contrary, they are intended to present the theological question and leave it unanswered. Indeed, if the questions were easily answered, then they wouldn't be worth discussing. And the fact that they aren't answerable, doesn't make God less believable or appealing, on the contrary, it shows that, "His ways are not our ways," as the Bible says.
What is Heaven Like?A friend recently mentioned a book called Heaven to me, and explained that it describes Heaven as an eternal state of being able to do the things for God that we enjoy doing - teaching Sunday School, being a treasure for CEF, etc. would be the things that I would be doing I expect. However, it seems to me that this is view amounts to what I would describe as "sanctified selfishness." I get to do what I (emphasis on "I") want to do for God. Maybe that's God's way of rewarding us for a job well done on earth. Maybe its his way of letting us excercise our free will, but still have our will in alignment with His will. Maybe, but it still seems like "santified selfishness" to me.
It is difficult to imagine how we can be in God's presence, completely aligned or in agreement with, or in harmony with Him, and still have a free will of our own. But I don't believe that He changes us so that we are no longer creatures of free will. If that is the case, then He is far less glorified by our harmony with Him.
So how do we become completely aligned with Him and still have our own free will? Perhaps just being in His presence all the time is enough to cause us to always have our will in agreement with His.
Daniel's Prayer of Confession
Daniel was one of the most righteous guys in the Bible. We see it lived out in his life throughout the book of Daniel, and we see chapter 10 verse 19, God, through the angel call him "man greatly beloved." I suppose we could all be called this, but my impression is that in this case Daniel is called that out of respect for his devotion to God.
So Daniel seems to me to be one of the most holy men of the Bible, yet in chapter 9 we hear Daniel pray for fogiveness of all of Israel, and he does not exclude himself. He includes himself in all of the sins mentioned, by saying, "We... did so and so," and "our sins." He always includes himself in the sins.
If Daniel isn't sincere in his admission of sin, that is if he doesn't really think that he committed these sins, but he's just including himself as a means to appear humble or a means to manipulate God (as if that could happen) then he is sinning in his prayer. I don't think he is not sincere.