Ask Your Preacher
Is speaking in tongues necessary? Is speaking in tongues the confirmation that we have received the Holy Spirit?
Tripping Over My Words
Dear Tripping Over My Words,
There was a proper way to use tongues back in the first century, but speaking in tongues today has no resemblance to that practice. God endowed certain christians with the ability to perform miracles through the apostles (Acts 8:18). One of those abilities was speaking in tongues – the ability to miraculous speak in other REAL languages (Acts 2:4-11). Paul re-emphasizes this point in 1 Cor 14:10. That is exactly why Paul instructed the Corinthians to have an interpreter.
The modern practice of speaking in tongues involves people speaking in what they call “hidden” or “spiritual” languages that make no sense to anyone, anywhere. There is no example of this type of speaking in tongues anywhere in the New Testament.
Miraculous gifts were given to the first century church because they did not have the complete Bible as we do. Miracles were a confirmation that those preaching were sent by God (Mk 16:20); they were how God bore witness that these men were His servants (Heb 2:2-4). These miracles were necessary at that time, but now that the perfect Word of God has been completed, they are no longer needed (1 Cor 13:8-10). We have all the prophecies of God written down, all the divine knowledge is in God’s Word, and the Bible is translated into every language on the planet. Speaking in tongues no longer happens and it isn't a necessary part of salvation. Read "The Five Steps To Salvation" for specifics on how to be saved and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
What’s your view on abortion? And what stance should the church take?
Looking For Answers
Dear Looking For Answers,
Abortion is a sin, and churches that support abortion are wrong. Children are already alive in the womb. John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb (Lk 1:41). God specifically said that John was a child dedicated to Him from before birth (Lk. 1:15). Ps 139:13-16 makes a clear statement about life within the womb of a mother. Unborn children are credited as living, feeling humans, and therefore, deserve just as much protection as any other human life. The abortion movement is a movement that seeks to deny rights to a silent and innocent segment of human society. Abortion is murder (1 Pet. 4:15). Any preacher or religious leader that promotes abortion is promoting murder.
Are Jesus and God the same person?
There are three members of the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). Each of the three is fully God and have all the powers of Deity. Read "The Father, The Son, & The Holy Spirit" for details on their relationship one to the other. Jesus is definitely one of the Godhead. Jhn 1:1 and Php 2:5-9 make it clear that Jesus is Deity.
I was wondering if it is possible to ever lose your salvation? And what verses back up your answer?
Looking For A Guarantee
Dear Looking For A Guarantee,
Yes, you can lose your salvation – but not by accident. There are two extremes when it comes to discussing salvation.
One extreme is the Calvinistic view that your salvation is never in jeopardy, regardless of what you do. This view is called ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ – the belief that if you are saved, you will always persevere without ever needing to worry about your salvation. This view is simply not biblical. Consider several verses from the book of Hebrews. Heb 6:4-6 talks about ‘enlightened partakers of the Holy Spirit’ (certainly this refers to saved christians) who then ‘fall away’ and ‘crucify afresh the Son of God’. There can be no doubt that this is talking about people losing their salvation. Heb. 10:26-27 talks about knowledgeable christians rejecting the gospel and the terrifying expectation of judgment to come upon them. Paul said he feared that his preaching had been in vain to the Galatian brethren because they were turning away from the pure word of God (Gal 4:11, Gal 1:6). Yes, we most certainly must watch how we live and act so as to not miss the prize of heaven (1 Cor 9:25-27).
The other extreme is to have zero confidence in your salvation. This is the attitude of “unless I am living perfectly, I am going to be lost.” This view is also wrong. Christ died to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15), and it is His blood that pays the price for your entrance into heaven (1 Pet 1:18-19). Your salvation is not dependent upon perfect living but FAITHFUL living (Eph. 2:8): hearing God’s word (Rom 10:17) and then living by that Word (Jas 2:14-18) to the best of your ability. Perfection is not a requirement of salvation in Christ – commitment is. A committed christian, though he often may fall short of who he wants to be, can be confident in his eternal reward.
Does God know the future? If so, how can bad things that happen be justified?
Dear Trouble Ahead,
God knows our days upon this earth, but He also gives us the freewill to shape various aspects of the world that we live in. Just because God has knowledge of how you and I will behave does not mean that He causes our behavior to happen in a certain way. Foreknowledge is not the same as causation. A doctor may know that a patient is going to die of cancer, but that doesn’t mean the doctor caused the patient to die of that ailment. God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13).