Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

RELIGIONS

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Lent

Friday, April 13, 2012
     Is it true that somewhere in the Bible it says all Christians who believe in God should lent and give something up for thirty days?  If it is true, please tell me where.

Sincerely,
Ready To Sacrifice

Dear Ready To Sacrifice,

The Bible never says that Christians must keep Lent.  Lent is a religious holiday kept by some denominations (such as Catholic and Greek Orthodox), but it doesn’t have Bible authority behind it.  Lent is a holiday where people commit to deny themselves of something for forty days, and they loosely tie it to Jesus’ fasting for forty days in the wilderness (Mk 1:13).  The Bible never commands Lent, and there is no need to keep it.

Never Too Old To Change

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
      Any advice on dating a Baptist preacher?  He’s a widower, and I’m a divorcee.

Sincerely,
Divorcee

Dear Divorcee,

Though all things are possible through Christ, someone who has dedicated their life to a religious denomination that follows tradition over truth would have a difficult road to conversion, and it is well worth talking about the differences up front.  We recommend you read our post, “Baptist Bewilderment”, and have a discussion with him about the various Baptist teachings that don’t match Scripture before you press forward with your relationship.  You never know; maybe, just maybe, he has never considered these problems before.  With an honest heart, anyone can come to Christ.

Israeli Issues

Friday, April 06, 2012
Where in the Bible does God say to protect Israel?

Sincerely,
Hebrew Helper

Dear Hebrew Helper,

Christians aren’t told to protect Israel – they may be America’s national ally, but biblically, Christians have no closer ties to Israelis than they do to the rest of mankind.  Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deut 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 decided to keep their traditions instead of accepting God’s Son (Mk 7:9).

God's Elect

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
     I'm confused.  The people of Israel were once God's "chosen people".  Jewish people see Jesus as a prophet, not as the Son of God.  The way to the Father is through the Son (Jesus), so does that mean that Jews will not get to heaven?  What have they done to no longer be "chosen"?

Sincerely,
Not Picky

Dear Not Picky,

All those who reject Christ are lost (Jhn 14:6)… including Jews.  Paul used to visit the synagogues to preach Jesus to them (Acts 18:4).  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 (Deut 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 decided to keep their traditions instead of accepting God’s Son (Mk 7:9).

Too Much Religion

Thursday, March 01, 2012
     Why is it that all the churches out there tend to believe that baptism is not needed for salvation?  I mean, all these mega-churches are preaching that if you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, you are saved.  Where is the biblical backing for this?

Sincerely,
Mega-Annoyed

Dear Mega-Annoyed,

Baptism is the clearest teaching in the entire New Testament.  The first converts were baptized for salvation (Acts 2:38-41).  Jesus taught that you need to be baptized to be saved (Mk 16:16), and Peter specifically said, “Baptism saves you” (1 Pet 3:21).  There are dozens of other verses that teach the exact same thing.  So why is there so much confusion in the religious world?  Where did all these churches miss the boat?  There are several reasons why there are so many different religions out there:

  1. Paul condemned the Jews because they worshipped God without knowledge (Rom 10:2).  Many people follow whatever seems best to them, and when our feelings design our religious beliefs, confusion ensues.
  2. Rom 1:18-23 says that when people suppress the truth about God, they exchange the truth for a myriad of false beliefs.
  3. God warned that there would come a day when false teachers infiltrated Christ’s church and would start teaching things contrary to Scriptures (2 Tim 4:2-4).  Paul told the first century Christians to watch out for the “falling away” (2 Thess 2:3).  Division and false teaching in the name of Christ is a very common thing.  Wherever there is an opportunity for selfish gain, false teachers crop up and attempt to lead people astray.

There are tens of thousands of different religions in America that refer to themselves as “Christian” and even more religions when you add Islam, Buddhism, etc…. yet, God says there is only one true faith (Eph 4:4-6).

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