Ask Your Preacher
In the Old Testament, it talks about unintentional sin. Is there also unintentional (accidental) sin in the New Testament, like Paul before his conversion? Thank you.
Sinful By Mistake
Dear Sinful By Mistake,
Unintentional sins are committed every single day. Paul said that all of his sins had been committed out of ignorance and in a clear conscience (1 Tim 1:13, Acts 23:1). Paul also pointed out that he still needed mercy for his unintentional sins. Ignorance is an explanation for our sins, but it doesn’t excuse our guilt. God is patient with us, but eventually, we are responsible for seeking to remove our ignorance by finding the truth of God’s Word (Acts 17:30). It is understandable when people sin because they don’t know any better, and that understanding engenders God’s compassion (as it should ours), and that is exactly why God’s love sent His Son, so we might have a way of escape from our unintentional rebellion (Jhn 3:16).
Was Jesus actually God in the flesh? Is the trinity a true, factual idea? Or was Jesus created by God, and is He indeed His Son, like I am my dad's son? Thanks for your time.
Dear Family Facts,
Jesus is God. Jhn 1:1-3 and Jhn 1:14 say that Jesus is God. Col 1:15-17 says that all things were created by Jesus… which means Jesus wasn’t created. We often say that there is only one God… but technically, that is not the complete story. There are three Gods in the Godhead, and They all work together in perfect unity. Jesus is God (Matt 28:9), the Father is God (2 Thess 1:2), and the Holy Spirit is God (Gen 1:2). The word ‘God’ just means ‘deity’. Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all deity. They function with complete unity (Jhn 10:30), but They are separate Beings. Jesus emptied Himself and became a human (Php 2:4-8). Jesus is God’s son because He was miraculously born (Matt 1:18), because the Father raised Him from the dead (Acts 13:33), and because Jesus obeyed Him as a Son (Jhn 8:28). It is that unique honor and connection that creates the Father-and-Son relationship between these two members of the Godhead.
All my life, I was taught there would be a rapture of all the christians, leaving the unsaved to go through a terrible tribulation. I believed this up until recently. I have studied/searched myself in God's Word and have come to find that if I would have never been taught that (rapture), then I would find that the Bible doesn't actually speak of a rapture – but more of a glorious return of Jesus in which all eyes will see. Where I live, this rapture doctrine is taught in almost every church, including my new church (which is a church of Christ). It's also interesting to me that other churches of Christ do not teach this doctrine. I'm getting choked on this hard food (rapture doctrine) and becoming very irritated; please help...
Dear Eyes Open,
You are right; we look forward to a glorious return of Jesus in which all mankind will face the judgment of God at once. The rapture teaching is nowhere found in Scripture; it is a fabrication created by misinterpretation and taking things out of context. It is sad to hear that even the Lord's church has been infiltrated by this doctrine, but then again, the church has always been affected by the culture surrounding it. The rapture teaching is based off of a doctrine called 'Premillenialism', and you might find our posts entitled "Premillenialism" and "Up In The Air" useful. You have every right to speak out against this teaching and to point out the logics flaws that teach there will be a rapture event.
It seems like the Bible sends mixed messages. In His Word, He will not come back until certain things happen, and then Christ comes to rule the world. But then it says God could come any day now, and no one knows when. But if the Antichrist is not here and if all these events have not happened, then He will not come because He says He will come after tribulations. But we haven't even had the Rapture yet!
Putting Things In Order
Dear Putting Things In Order,
The Bible doesn't send mixed messages, but sadly, many people have confused passages in the Bible, and that confusion has sent mixed messages to people. The entire issue of the "rapture", tribulation events, the Antichrist, etc. stems from a teaching called Premillenialism, and it has really missed the boat. None of those events will actually occur. We have written several articles on those topics. Feel free to read "Caught Up", "Don't Mark Me Off", and "Premillenialism" for specifics about what is wrong with those doctrines.
The one teaching God has really given on the subject of the end of time is 1 Thess 5:2. God says the end will come like a thief in the night. We can't predict when it will happen, and there will be no rapture events to give us a heads up.
I was saved as a youth, grew apart, and recently started to re-develop my relationship with Christ. I recently saw an article about Judgment Day, and it quoted various verses and did the math to come to the conclusion that the Judgment Day is May 21, 2011. From my point of view, the math and verses quoted make sense. This leads me to my question.
What is your opinion of this article, and how valid do you think it is?
I've added the link to the article below.
Dear Planning Ahead,
Many verses that people use to discuss the end of time are used out of context. Be careful in taking too much stock in what you read on the internet (which is ironic, since this is a website!) or hear through other people. What matters is what the verses say, not what people think or assume (for example, the article you referenced assumes that the flood happen in the year 4990 BC… an assumption that they never prove, but their entire calculation is based off of). Most of the articles you find, including this one, that try and pin a date to the end of the world are just a slick ruse that twist Scripture. 2 Thess 2:1-2 specifically warns us about getting too caught up in worrying about when the end will come.
The clearest passages we have on the topic are 1 Thess 5:1-10, 2 Pet 3:3-12, and 1 Cor 15:50-58. All three of these passages clearly outline what needs to be known about the end of the world. It is always a good idea to look at the clearest passages first before looking elsewhere.
First, it will come like a thief, and no one will be ready for it (1 Thess 5:2, 2 Pet 3:10). If the day will only come when no one is expecting it, it only makes sense to not worry about trying to pinpoint that day since God says it is impossible! The apostles didn’t know when the Lord would come back; if they couldn’t know, we certainly can’t!
Second, we should live every day like it will be our last (1 Cor 15:58, 2 Pet 3:11-12, 1 Thess 5:8-9). If you are always living a holy and faithful life, it won’t matter when Christ returns. Live faithfully, and whether you live or die, you will be ready to meet your Lord (1 Thess 5:10).