Ask Your Preacher
Are Jews Jesus' chosen people? And why?
Yay For Yarmulke
Dear Yay For Yarmulke,
The Jews are not Jesus’ chosen people; the church is. Jesus says that christians are His royal priesthood and chosen race (1 Pet 2:9). Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deu 7:6). The Jewish nation was warned that if they rejected God’s Son, they would be rejecting God, and God would make a new nation out of those who believed in Christ (Jesus explained this to the Jews in the parable of the vineyard – Lk 20:9-19). The vast majority of Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, and therefore, they never became a part of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ chosen people are those that love Him and keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15). The Jewish people rejected God because they would rather have their traditions than God’s Son (Mk 7:9).
Is the end of the world near? Is illuminati part of the antichrist? And who do you think the antichrist will be?
Dear Seeing Codes,
If the end of the world is near, we won't know about it until it happens. God promises that the end of the world will come "like a thief in the night" (1 Thess 5:2). As for the Illuminati – read our article "Naughty, Naughty Illuminati" for further details on that particular organization.
The last part of your question deals with the antichrist. The antichrist is not any single individual, and contrary to popular religious fiction, the antichrist has nothing to do with the end of the world. The apostle John defined an 'antichrist' as 'every spirit that does not confess Jesus as God'. An antichrist is anyone that is opposed to Christ and His teachings. The world is full of antichrists. 1 Jn 2:18 says that many antichrists exist. There are many false teachers and false religious figures that teach against Jesus – all of these are antichrists.
I am a member of a Baptist church, but I was thinking about changing. What is the difference between Church of God and church of Christ?
Dear Just Browsing,
The Church of God and the churches of Christ are vastly different. The Church of God is a name used by numerous, mostly unrelated Christian denominational bodies, most of which descend from either Pentecostal/Holiness or Adventist traditions. Most groups that use the title Church of God believe in speaking in tongues, modern prophecy, and visions. All of these things are false teachings. See “Speaking In Tongues”, “The Lost Art Of Prophecy”, “I Dreamed A Dream” for further details on what the Bible says about these behaviors.
Churches of Christ are all individual congregations (we have no centralized leadership other than the Bible) that simply try to follow the Bible pattern for everything they do. This is not the case with every church of Christ, but it certainly is for us in Monroe, WA.
Everything a church does (worship, membership, how they teach to be saved, how they spend their money, even their name) needs to have Bible verses backing them up (1 Tim 3:15). A church needs to be able to explain the reasons for why they do what they do (1 Pet 3:15). Our congregation here in Monroe goes by the name ‘Monroe Valley church of Christ’ because ‘church of Christ’ is a Biblical name for a congregation (Rom 16:16). We worship by singing (Col 3:16), studying the Bible (1 Tim 4:13), praying (2 Thess 3:1), taking communion (only on Sundays – Acts 20:7), and taking up a collection (also only on Sundays – 1 Cor 16:1-2). We teach that you must hear God’s Word (Rom 10:17), believe God’s Word (Jhn 3:16), repent of your sins (Mk 6:12), confess Jesus as your Savior (Lk 12:8), and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet 3:21). We do all these things because they are practices found in the Bible. Our philosophy is simple: if the Bible speaks, we speak; if the Bible is silent, we are silent.
Hopefully that helps to clarify the differences for you. A faithful church of Christ is simply trying to do just what the Bible says… no more, no less.
Why does the christian worship God on Sunday? In the Ten Commandments it says Saturday is the Sabbath day?
Trying To Believe
Dear Trying To Believe,
The ‘Ten Commandments’ were Old Testament laws, and you need to live by nine of them. The entire Old Testament law, including the ‘Ten Commandments’ was done away with in Christianity (Gal 3:23-25). The New Testament law supersedes the Old Testament one, and the law written on stone tablets (the Mosaic law which includes the Ten Commandments (Deu 4:13) has passed away (2 Cor 3:3-11).
Having said that, the New Testament reiterates nine out of the ten commands. Christians do obey nine of the ‘Ten Commandments’ because Christ thought nine of them were worth keeping in the New Testament.
- Thou shalt not have any other god before me (Ex 20:3, 1 Cor 10:14)
- Thou shalt not make graven images or bow down to them (Ex 20:4-5, 1 Jhn 5:21)
- Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain (Ex 20:7, Heb 12:28)
- Honor thy father and mother (Ex 20:12, Eph 6:1-2)
- Thou shalt not kill (Ex 20:13, 1 Pet 4:15)
- Thou shalt not commit adultery (Ex 20:14, Heb 13:4)
- Thou shalt not steal (Ex 20:15, Eph 4:28)
- Thou shalt not bear false witness (Ex 20:16, Rev 21:8)
- Thou shalt not covet (Ex 20:17, Eph 5:3)
The only one of the ‘Ten Commandments’ left out is the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex 20:8). Christians aren’t bound to keep the Sabbath holy; Jews were. In the New Testament, we are told to meet on Sunday to take the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7).
I feel a fascination with Islam. Not one that would make me convert (I don't think), but rather, I enjoy studying it. If I am christian, which I am, then should I study my own religion rather than another one? Is it bad to learn about another religion?
There isn't anything wrong with studying other religions, but it would be a problem if you spent more time studying a false religion than you did studying the Bible. How we spend our time is indicative of our priorities. God tells us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15) and that we should grow in our knowledge, so we can teach others Jesus' message (Heb 5:12). It is useful to know what false religions practice (even Paul had studied the pagan poets of his day – Acts 17:28), but not nearly as useful as knowing what the Bible says. The best way to prepare yourself to "give an answer for the hope that is within you" (1 Pet 3:15) is to make sure to study your Bible diligently. Once again, studying Islam isn't wrong, but you need to make sure it is properly balanced with other study habits.