Ask Your Preacher
Is it wrong for christians to celebrate Christmas even though it was not Christ’s birthday?
Dear Feeling Festive,
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. There are many holidays that people celebrate that have no Bible meaning to them – Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, etc. It isn’t wrong to celebrate holidays that aren’t found in the Bible. It is just wrong to try and turn them into something they are not.
In reference to Heb. 1:14, how do angels minister to christians today?
Dear Angelic Asking,
God says angels are regularly involved in influencing and protecting human lives.
- They report to God on behalf of christians who are abused, persecuted, and mistreated (Matt 18:10).
- They watch and rejoice when the lost repent (Lk 15:10).
- They are watching and see when we sin (1 Cor 11:10).
- They carry the souls of the faithful to Paradise (Lk 16:22).
- They protect and fight over the spiritual direction of nations (Dan 10:13).
The end result is that we don’t know much about angels, but we do know that they influence the lives of all of mankind. Their very name explains their role. ‘Angel’ means ‘messenger’. Angels are the messengers of God, daily fulfilling tasks on His behalf. Wherever God’s will needs to be fulfilled, angels will not be far. In the case of Jesus – He had been given specific authority to call upon angels to protect Him at any time (Matt 26:53). The Bible never states that all christians have been given that kind of authority. However, when a righteous person prays, God listens (Jas 5:16)… and if God listens, He may very well send His angels to do His bidding on our behalf.
Are we living in the end times?
Dear How Close,
Many verses that people use to discuss the end of time are used out of context. It might surprise you to know that most of the book of Revelation has nothing to do with the end of the world (even John, the writer of the book, said that the book of Revelation was full of things shortly to come to pass – Rev 1:1). So 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. Most stuff you read is merely conjecture. 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 of the end of the world 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.
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!
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 – a point which you made in your question. Live faithfully, and whether you live or die, you will be ready to meet your Lord (1 Thess 5:10).
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.
Why did God choose the third day to raise Jesus up? Is there a reason for the third day?
There are several reasons that the Scriptures give us for why Jesus was raised on the third day, and there may be more reasons that God didn’t tell us. The secret things belong to God (Deu 29:29)… some questions won’t get answered until we see Him in heaven. Here is what we know:
- Jesus was raised on the third day because that is when He prophesied He would be raised (Lk 24:7). Jesus fulfilled every prophecy He made, right down to the details of how long He would stay in the grave.
- Jesus’ burial is compared to Jonah’s time in the belly of the great fish (Matt 12:40). The Old Testament was full of parallels to Christ because the Old Testament was a tutor to lead people to Christ (Gal 3:24-25). Jonah’s three days and nights in the big fish were another example of an allusion to Christ.
- Jesus’ three days in the tomb left no doubt that He was truly dead. Jesus was in the tomb so that all could witness that He did indeed fully die and was buried (Acts 10:37-40).
As we said, there are probably more reasons that the Father had in mind when He chose to leave Jesus’ body in the grave for three days, but those are the reasons He has deemed appropriate for us to know from the Scriptures.