Ask Your Preacher
Hello, preacher. I am a sixteen-year-old young lady who is living in fear, and I want it to stop. I’m scared that God will come at this very moment, and I had an anxiety attack over that. I’m scared of death, and I’m trying to accept it because it is a part of life, but it just scares me so much. I’m also scared that if I die, God won’t accept me in His kingdom, and I don’t want to go to hell. I feel like I’m living in fear, waiting for the worse to happen, when I want to live in faith and wait for good to happen. Please help me get over this fear.
We fear that which we don’t feel prepared for. Someday, Jesus will return, and we need to all be ready for that day. Anyone that tells you they know when Jesus will return is lying because the Bible says He will return like a thief in the night when we least expect it (1 Thess 5:2-3). However, Jesus will return, and whether it happens two days from now or two hundred years from now, we must all be prepared to meet our Maker. There are two things that you can do to make sure you are ready for the Judgment Day. The first is to make sure you have properly obeyed the Bible and become a christian. Read “Five Steps To Salvation” for exactly what the Bible says God expects us to do to get forgiveness from our sins. After you have made sure to obey the Bible’s call for salvation, God expects us to live a life of faith where we learn and grow closer to Him (1 Pet 2:1-2). One of the most important parts of that growth process is to become involved with a faithful church that can help you learn and encourage you as you grow (Heb 10:24-25). Not all churches are faithful, and there is a lot of false teaching in the religious world (1 Jn 4:1, Matt 24:11). We would be happy to help you find a faithful congregation near you; just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do christians celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, and the Bible does not mention that day? Why do we have to follow the Catholic church? It was a day they used to celebrate the sun.
Dear Un-Sunny Disposition,
Many people believe Christmas to be a spiritual holiday, but the Bible never commands us to celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th (the truth is, no one knows when Jesus was born, but it was most likely in the spring or summer because the shepherds were out – Lk 2:15). Christians are commanded to remember Jesus’ death every first day of the week (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 11:24-25)… we are never commanded to remember His birth on an annual basis. Christmas is not a biblical holiday. There is nothing wrong with celebrating it as a family holiday, but it is wrong to teach that there is a biblical foundation to it.
Christmas can be traced back to the Roman pagan holiday of Winter Solstice (also known as ‘Saturnalia’ because it was in worship of the god, Saturn). As Catholicism tried to integrate itself into a pagan Roman world, Christmas was instituted by Pope Julius I on December 25th as a way to assimilate the pagans into a Catholic worldview. In short, Christmas has never been a truly biblical holiday; it is a manmade tradition with no bearings upon your salvation.
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 on 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.
Hello! I have a question: are heaven and Earth literally going to be destroyed? Or is it the old (current) world system that will be destroyed, but not Earth itself? I'm just curious about this. Also, I'm curious if what Revelation 21:1 says by a "New heaven and a new earth" means that the Earth will be cleansed by fire and regenerated just like in the days of Noah (only the world was destroyed by a flood in Noah's day). I just hope that the end of the world will be like Noah's day; it will be cleansed by fire and regenerated like the world was destroyed by the Flood, but Earth itself wasn't destroyed.
Dear Looking Ahead,
1 Pet 3:10-12 tells us that eventually God will destroy the earth by fire. After that, He will establish a spiritual universe (heaven) where those who love Him will exist forever. Here is a list of verses that teach on that subject:
- 1 Cor. 15:42-50
- vs. 47 says our bodies will not consist of earthly components
- vs 50 says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom
- Lk 20:34-38
- vs 36 says we will have bodies like angels
- Jhn 14:2-4
- vs 2 says we will dwell where God dwells (heaven)
- vs 3 says Jesus is preparing a place for us now
- 2 Pet 3:10-13
- vs 10 says that when God uses fire to destroy the earth, He will both destroy the works of the earth and the earth itself.
- Heb 1:10-12
- vs 11 says the earth and heavens will perish like an old garment
- vs 12 says that the earth and heavens will be changed like one would change and put on new clothes
- the new heaven and earth will not be a redo of this earth, but an entirely new garment.
- Matt 24:35
- Heaven and earth are temporary, unlike God’s Word
- Heb 11:13
- faithful people are considered strangers and wanderers on this earth
- Php 3:20
- our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth
- Jhn 18:36
- Jesus refers to His kingdom as not being “of this world”
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.