Ask Your Preacher
What is soul mortalism or soul sleep?
Dear Soul Searching,
Soul mortalism is the belief that human souls are not naturally immortal and that during the time between one’s physical death and the Judgment Day resurrection, the human soul is left in an uncomprehending state or “sleep”. This does not at all match the Bible’s teachings.
The Bible teaches that human souls, both good and bad, wait in Hades for the Judgment. Hades (also known as Sheol) is the place of the dead, both the good dead and the bad dead. The word ‘Hades’ literally means ‘the unseen place’. Within Hades, there are two areas where people wait for the final judgment. All of the faithful who die wait in the good part of Hades called ‘Paradise’ (2 Cor 12:4, Lk 23:43). All of the wicked who die wait in a part of Hades known only as ‘torments’ (Lk 16:23). The story of the rich man and Lazarus found in Lk 16:19-31 shows us that both groups are fully comprehending and aware in Hades.
So everyone has heard the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? People have always told me that the answer to that question depends on your religion. So based on my christian belief, which came first? The chicken or the egg?
Dear Feeling Scrambled,
Genesis chapter one answers your question. God made all the birds of the air, including the chickens, on day five (Gen 1:20-23). When God created the creatures of the earth, they were fully-formed and ready for Adam to name them (Gen 2:19). These adult animals were then able to begin reproducing. So – the chicken came first… and then the egg.
Scriptures like 1 Kings 8:46, Ecc 7:20, Isa 64:6-7, Psalm 14:3, Prov 20:9, Rom 3:23, 1 Jn 1:8, Rom 5:12, Isa 41:26, and Rom 3:10-12 all say that there is no one righteous, just, or without sin. But what about Noah (Gen 7:1), Job (Job 1:1), Zacharias & Elizabeth (Lk 1:5-6), Abel (Matt 23:35), Joseph (Matt 1:19), and Cornelius (Acts 10:22)? The Bible seems to say that these people were just and righteous. And also verses like 2 Sam 22: 21-27, Ecc 9:1, Jas 5:16, Ps 24:3-4, Lk 6:45, Matt 13:47-48, and Jhn 5:29 seem to say that there were, and maybe are today, good people on this planet. So what are the passages that I mentioned first talking about?
Dear Justified Confusion,
The first set of verses you mentioned are addressing the fact that all of us have fallen short (Rom 3:23), and no man has a right to boast before God that he has earned his salvation (Rom 3:27). No one is righteous without God’s help. Abraham sinned, but God counted him as righteous because of Abraham’s faith (Gen 15:6). Nobody is righteous based upon his or her own merits. However, God, through Christ’s blood, reconciles the faithful to Him, so we can be righteous through faith (Col 1:20).
I have heard many interpretations and predictions on what it is thought the mark of the beast will be. One of those thoughts is a microchip placed in your hand. Would it be wrong to implant my dogs with microchips? This seems to be the most effective way of keeping up with them and preventing them from getting lost, but is it wrong?
Devoted Dog Breeder
Dear Devoted Dog Breeder,
The verse you are referring to is Rev 14:9. However, take comfort – it isn’t referring to your pups. The book of Revelation is dealing with the struggle between christians and the idolatrous nation of Rome; therefore, it can’t be referring to modern microchipping, no matter what the televangelists and pop-culture preachers say.
It is important to remember that the book of Revelation is a book written with symbolic and figurative language (Rev 1:1). It is a vision the apostle John received on the island of Patmos that uses apocalyptic dream-like visions to teach on a real-life subject that was “soon to come to pass” and “at hand” (Rev 1:1 and Rev 1:3). Considering John wrote the book somewhere between 65 A.D. and 100 A.D. – we are about two thousand years too late for the vision to specifically apply to us. Today, you need to obey the Gospel in order to be in God’s light (1 Jn 1:5-6). We recommend that you read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”, so that you can feel confident about what will save your soul. There is more to it than simply asking Jesus into your life, but it has nothing to do with unmarked hands or microchipping.
Where in the Bible does it say that the kingdom is the church? From my reading, the kingdom is still in the future when Christ comes back.
Looking For Citizenship
Dear Looking For Citizenship,
Jesus and John the Baptist said the kingdom was near (Matt 3:1-2, Matt 4:17). Jesus taught His disciples that the kingdom would come within their lifetime (Matt 16:28). Jesus also taught that His kingdom wouldn’t be a physical kingdom, but a spiritual one (Lk 17:20-21, Jhn 18:36). Jesus used the terms ‘church’ and ‘kingdom’ interchangeably (Matt 16:18-19). The Bible teaches that you enter them both through baptism (Jhn 3:3, Acts 2:41). The Bible teaches that God is calling people into the church (1 Cor 1:2), and He is calling people into the kingdom (1 Thess 2:12). Lastly, Paul says that the christians who are in the church are also in the kingdom (Col 1:13). The church is synonymous with the kingdom.