Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Big Dreams

Friday, February 23, 2018
I saw a vision when I gave my life to Jesus that I was preaching to millions of souls on a stage and crusades.  I praise the Lord who used me to bring at least sixty souls.  When will my whole vision come to pass?

Sincerely,
Visionary

Dear Visionary,

The days of dreams and visions have passed.  In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2).  Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible – there is no need for God to give people individual dreams or visions.  It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17).

We are sure that your dreams mean something, but they don’t mean anything supernatural or prophetic.  What you had was not a vision.  Prophets have visions, and there are no more prophets since we have the perfect and complete Word of God (1 Cor 13:8-10).  The human mind is a complex and wondrous thing (Ps 139:14).  It is perfectly normal for our minds to make mental connections as we pray, study, sleep, etc.  Those mental images aren’t visions; they are just your own thoughts as your mind meditates upon what you have said, read, or heard.

We recommend you read “I Dreamed A Dream” for more information.

 

Got A Smoke?

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Where in the Bible does it say it is wrong to use tobacco?

Sincerely,
Fired Up

Dear Fired Up,

Anything that purposefully poisons our bodies is wrong to use.  There was a time where the facts were not clearly known about the effects of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars on human health.  Those days are long since gone.  The data is exceptionally clear that smoking is always harmful to the human body and that smoking has no positive health benefits.  God tells us to treat our bodies as a temple (1 Cor 6:19).  Our bodies are a gift from God, and life is something to be cherished.  When we purposefully abuse our bodies with unhealthy lifestyles, we rebel against God and show ungratefulness for the life He has given us.  Present your body as a living and holy sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1).  Who knows what work He has prepared for you in the days and years that would be lost if you died from the effects of smoking?

Think Again

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Baptism needs to be rethought.  If that is a condition, then Moses, David, Samson, and a host of others needed to be baptized.  The thief on the cross needed to be baptized.  If we use Scripture to prove Scripture, then you can't account for any child, including David's child out of sin, to enter heaven.  You must correct yourself now and share this with all who lean on you for correct information.  Just as communion is a physical act that helps us spiritually, so baptism is a physical act because we are physical beings hoping to become more spiritual – and we do with maturity.  Some can't even be baptized.  Do not lay this burden on people. God bless and do so soon.

Sincerely,
Very Dry

Dear Very Dry,

We would never want to lay a burden on someone that isn’t found in the Bible, but we also want to make sure that we don’t take away a command that God has given us.  We should never add or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19).  Having said that, baptism is definitely a command and requirement for salvation (Mk. 16:16).  There are dozens of verses that reinforce this teaching (1 Pet 3:21, Acts 2:38-41, Matt 28:19-20, Acts 8:12, Acts 22:16, Rom 6:3, 1 Cor 12:13, Gal 3:27… just to name a few).  The verses requiring baptism for salvation are many and clear – so now let’s deal with your concerns.

  1. Moses, David, and Samson didn’t need to be baptized because they lived under the Old Testament law.  They didn’t need to be baptized, just like christians don’t need to be circumcised and don’t need to make animal sacrifices.  They lived under a different contract (‘testament’ means ‘contract’).  Under the Old Testament, baptism wasn’t a requirement.  Under the New Testament, it is.
  2. The thief on the cross didn’t need to be baptized because he didn’t live under the New Testament law either.  Jesus’ church didn’t come into existence until the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-6 and Acts 2:38-41).  For more detailed information on the thief on the cross, read “The Thief On The Cross”.
  3. Children aren’t saved by baptism because they aren’t old enough to be held accountable for their sins; every child goes to heaven.  Read “Baby Bath” for specifics on the spiritual purity of children.
  4. Communion is a physical act that has spiritual consequences, just like baptism is a physical act that has spiritual consequences.  The apostle Paul specifically said that if someone doesn’t take the Lord’s Supper properly, they will be guilty before God (1 Cor 11:23-27).  We live in a physical world, and the choices we make here have eternal ramifications.  Baptism is exactly like communion – if we don’t do it right, we will be guilty before God.

Hopefully, these verses give you some comfort that we are preaching and teaching exactly what the Bible says.  It is our goal here at AYP that no one will ever miss out on heaven because we failed to properly preach the whole counsel of God – and that includes the requirement of baptism.

 

Suspect Ceremony

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Is a marriage performed by a woman (clergy, not a judge) valid in God's eyes?

Sincerely,
A Don’t In The “Do”?

Dear A Don’t In The “Do”,

If a couple was married by a woman religious figure, it is probably safe to assume that they weren’t yet christians when they got married.  1 Cor 7:17 and 1 Cor 17:20 say that when someone becomes a christian, they should remain as they are called.  This means that when you become a christian, your pre-christian marriage (along with other commitments) remain valid.  So, if one were to be married by a false religious leader, the marriage would still be valid because the vows still count.

Which brings up a second point.  Marriage is a vow between two people.  Whether it is witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, a ship’s captain, or a minister – it is still a vow.  Who performs the ceremony is a secondary issue from a Bible standpoint (Matt 5:37, Matt 23:16-23).

Sunday Scheduling

Monday, February 19, 2018
The Corinthian church had a lot of problems that Paul had to correct.  One of their deviations from the truth was the way they were taking the Lord's Supper (or communion).  1 Corinthians 11 tells us they weren't treating it as the holy memorial that it is.  In verses 21 and 33 of that chapter, they were rebuked for not waiting for each other or, in other words, for taking it at different times.  It seems like a tradition in the church to have communion more than once on the first day of the week.  Is this a scriptural practice we have authority for, or is this a problem we should change?  I hope my question was clear.

Sincerely,
Multiple Problems?

Dear Multiple Problems,

This is an issue that many good brethren wrestle with.  Does a congregation have the right to offer the Lord’s Supper twice on Sunday?  Is it biblical for a local church to offer communion in the morning and then offer it again at a Sunday evening service?  We believe so, but we also believe that there is room for disagreement on this issue, and if a brother or sister doesn’t feel comfortable with a second serving of the communion, they should abstain.  We must all seek to serve God with a clear conscience (1 Tim 1:19), and if you can’t do something in faith, you shouldn’t do it (Rom 14:23).  Having said that, here are our thoughts on the subject of offering the Lord’s Supper twice on Sunday.

The Bible never tells us the amount of times that a congregation must offer the Lord’s Supper; it only tells us that it must be taken by the saints sometime on Sunday (Acts 20:7).  This leaves us a twenty-four hour period in which a christian can gather with the church and fulfill this command.  The specific times we choose to meet are an expediency… simply a matter of preference.

1 Cor 11:33 says that a congregation must “wait for one another”.  1 Cor 11:21-22 clarifies that the problem in Corinth was that they were eating the Lord’s Supper as a common meal and not waiting to do it solemnly together.  The problem in Corinth was that they were eating communion for the purpose of filling their bellies instead of remembering the Lord’s death (1 Cor 11:34).  The goal of waiting for one another was to provide a scheduled time to fulfill this command together.  It didn’t mean that every christian needed to be present (otherwise, a congregation couldn’t partake of the Lord’s Supper unless every member was accounted for), and it didn’t mean that they couldn’t schedule multiple times to wait for one another.  It simply meant that they had to treat the Lord’s Supper as a holy and spiritual meal of remembrance.  The church is responsible for doing things in a decent and orderly way (1 Cor 14:40).  Offering the Lord’s Supper in the morning and evening fulfills that command for order and decency.  The congregation is providing specific orderly times for members to fulfill their command to gather with the church and take the Lord’s Supper.

The church is commanded to provide opportunity for christians to take the Lord’s Supper with the church, but the individual is responsible for taking it.  If a congregation offers the Lord’s Supper in both the morning and evening, it is doing its job – providing opportunity.  It is the same as the command to take up a collection.  Most congregations provide opportunity for individuals to give financially at both the morning and evening services – which matches exactly with the command in 1 Cor 16:1-2.  No one bats an eye when a congregation offers the collection basket twice.  In fact, we would probably be shocked if a congregation refused to take someone’s contribution because they missed morning services.  Yet, this is exactly the same as offering the Lord’s Supper twice.   It is a matter of expediency.  When a congregation offers the collection and the Lord’s Supper at both services, it is simply trying to provide opportunity for all (even those who were unable to attend in the morning) to fulfill God’s commands to give and take the Lord’s Supper on Sunday.

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