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Incomplete Understanding

Friday, April 06, 2018
In a previous post titled "Big Dreams", you said "there are no more prophets since we have the perfect and complete Word of God (1 Cor 13:8-10)".  How do we know that 1 Cor 13:8-10 is talking about the Bible?  What are some other things people think perfect/complete is?

Sincerely,
Incomplete Understanding

Dear Incomplete Understanding,

The perfect that is described in 1 Cor 13:8-13 is typically thought to be one of two things.  It is either perfect knowledge of God’s Will (also known as the completed Bible) or the Second Coming of Christ.  So, let’s look at the details we are given about ‘the perfect’ and see which one fits better.

  1. ‘The perfect’ is something that would replace partial knowledge (1 Cor 13:9).
  2. ‘The perfect’ would remove the necessity for prophecy and new knowledge (1 Cor 13:8).
  3. When ‘the perfect’ comes, christians will still be expected to have faith, hope, and love (1 Cor 13:13).

 

The third item on that list is proof that ‘the perfect’ isn’t the Second Coming of Christ.  When Christ returns, we will no longer need hope or faith.  Faith is trusting in something you can’t see (Heb 11:1); when Jesus comes, we won’t need to have faith in Him – everyone will see Him and every knee will bow (Rom 14:11).  Hope is also something that ceases to exist when Jesus returns.  Hope is always in something you haven’t attained yet (Rom 8:25).  For example, if a child is told by his parents that they will take him to Disneyland, the child has faith in the parents’ promise and hopes to see Disneyland… until the day that he walks into the Magic Kingdom.  Hope and faith only exist because Christ hasn’t returned yet.  ‘The perfect’ has to be something that happened after prophecy and miracles ended, but before Jesus’ return.  The most logical explanation is that Paul is discussing the perfect and complete knowledge that can be found in the completed Bible.  Today, with a finished Bible, the church still needs faith, hope, and love, but we no longer have a need for prophecy, and we no longer have only partial knowledge of God’s Will (Jude 1:3).

 

Cherubic Chores

Thursday, April 05, 2018
In reference to Heb. 1:14, how do angels minister to christians today?

Sincerely,
Angelic Asking

Dear Angelic Asking,

God says angels are regularly involved in influencing and protecting human lives.

  1. They report to God on behalf of christians who are abused, persecuted, and mistreated (Matt 18:10).
  2. They watch and rejoice when the lost repent (Lk 15:10).
  3. They are watching and see when we sin (1 Cor 11:10).
  4. They carry the souls of the faithful to Paradise (Lk 16:22).
  5. 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.

 

Missing A Step

Wednesday, April 04, 2018
What does the Bible (and where) say about two people living together prior to marriage?

Sincerely,
Spare Key

Dear Spare Key,

Moving in together would be a sin as well as a temptation toward further sin. No matter how pure our intentions might be, two people of the opposite sex living together looks bad. Even if you weren’t actually sleeping together, nobody would believe you. God tells us to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess 5:22). The word ‘form’ in that verse literally means “shape or appearance”. Christians need to not only avoid sin – but avoid looking like they are sinning. A boyfriend and girlfriend living together (no matter how chaste) looks like a sinful relationship. The Bible also tells us to do the things which are ‘honorable in the sight of all men’ (Rom 12:17, 2 Cor 8:21). Consider what living together before marriage does to the honor of your girlfriend/boyfriend. God wants you to do what is in their best interest and uphold their reputation and honor.

Secondarily, the temptation to sleep together will certainly grow with living together. There is nothing abnormal about a man and a woman being strongly attracted to each other. God recognizes that young people naturally are inclined to burn with passion for the opposite sex (1 Cor 7:9). The key is to make sure you don’t put yourselves in a position that could compromise your integrity. We are to ‘flee fornication’ (1 Cor 6:18) and be wise as serpents in regard to righteousness (Matt 10:16). Don’t set yourselves up to sin.

The idea of living together before marriage is a modern one – not a Biblical one. Biblically speaking, if you aren’t ready to get married, you aren’t ready to live together. The deepest act of love you could show to your girlfriend/boyfriend would be to wait until you are ready for marriage.

 

End Of The Road

Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Are we living in the end times?

Sincerely,
How Close?

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).

A World With End

Monday, April 02, 2018
Is the end of the world near?  Is illuminati part of the antichrist?  And who do you think the antichrist will be?

Sincerely,
Seeing Codes

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.

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