Ask Your Preacher
I want to join a new church, but this church has church on Saturday and Bible study on Tuesday; I thought church must be on Sunday and Bible study on Wednesday, or does it matter?
Dear Calendar Keeper,
We can study the Bible whenever we want (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc.), but the church is commanded to come together on Sunday to worship. Acts 20:7 gives us the example that the church took the Lord’s Supper on Sunday, and 1 Cor 16:1-2 shows us that the church should take up a contribution on Sunday. The church must come together on Sunday to do these two things if nothing else. We have further evidence that the church used Sunday as a day of worship because John used the term “the Lord’s day” in Rev 1:10. Numerous early christian writers and historians refer to Sunday as the Lord’s day. Sunday is a day that God has set aside for christians to come together, remember Jesus’ sacrifice, contribute to the work, sing songs of praise, pray, and study God’s Word. Any church that doesn’t meet on Sundays isn’t taking the Bible seriously.
Are there really such things as ghosts?
The idea of ghosts cannot be found in the Bible. Ghosts are supposedly the souls or spirits of those who have died. These dead souls are presumed to be wandering the Earth interacting with the living from time to time. The Bible tells us what happens when we die, and there is no Halloween-ish spiriting involved. Jesus told the story of a wicked rich man and a faithful poor man named Lazarus in Lk 16:19-31. When these two men died, the rich man immediately woke up in torment, and Lazarus was escorted to Paradise (Lk 16:22-23). This is what happens when the righteous and the wicked die. There is no wandering or ghostly haunting. In fact, the rich man was specifically told that the dead aren’t sent back to the Earth to preach or effect the course of events here (Lk 16:27-31). We die, and then we wait to face the judgment (Heb 9:27).
What is the fundamental lesson Jesus was teaching with the parable of the talents?
The parable you are referring to can be found in Matt 25:14-30, and the point of the parable is explained by Jesus in Matt 25:29. Jesus says that whether we are people who are given responsibility for much in this life (the five-talent man) or little (the one-talent man), God will expect that we have done something with what we have been given. The five-talent man was praised because he did something with what He had been entrusted with (Matt 25:20-21)... it wasn’t how much he was given to work with, it is what He did with it. The one-talent man was rebuked because He did nothing (Matt 25:26-27). It was the man’s laziness that got him in trouble. God expects us to live for Him each day (Rom 12:1). If we have been given great talents, we are responsible for great deeds. If we have few skills, we are responsible for less… but we all must act. It is not enough to hear God’s Word; we must do it (Jas 1:22).
Is Jesus a Republican? When I got saved, I was told I had to change my party affiliation. If I did not, I was probably not saved. But truly, I asked God into my heart. I'm not really into politics; do I have to be a Republican to go to heaven?
Jesus is not a Republican, and you do not need to be a Republican to be saved. Politics have always intermingled with religion because many political issues (such as abortion, homosexuality, etc.) have moral implications, but religion is not the same as politics. Jesus’ attitude toward the government was that we should pay our taxes (Lk 20:25), obey the laws (Rom 13:1), pray for the rulers, and hope for a quiet life (1 Tim 2:1-2). Politics are a big deal in this country (especially during such volatile political times), but Christianity transcends such earthly disputes and battles. Stand by God’s Word in all issues, and you will always be fine.
Now, let’s talk for a second about how you are saved. Asking for God to come into your heart is a wonderful thing, and we commend your zeal, but that isn’t how you are saved. There are specific things the Bible tells us we must do in order to be saved, and until you do them, you have not obeyed God fully. Please read the post “Five Steps To Salvation” and make sure that you have become a christian.
What does the Bible say about being cremated?
Dear Getting Prepared,
Both cremation and burial are acceptable Biblical practices. The Bible makes it clear that your body is merely a tent that is discarded at death (2 Cor 5:1-4). Peter recognized that at death we leave this ‘tent’ of a body behind (2 Pet 1:14). Ultimately, your physical body will return to dust and dirt (Gen 3:19). It may sound morbid, but cremation simply speeds along the natural process of decay that will occur to all bodies eventually.
Furthermore, we have at least one account of cremation occurring in the Old Testament. Saul and his sons were cremated after they died in battle (1 Sam 31:12). The men that cremated Saul and his sons were later commended by David for their behavior (2 Sam 2:5). That same verse in 2 Samuel shows that David considered cremation a form of burial. David’s endorsement of cremation as a godly practice is worth noting.
The Bible does not seem to place much focus on how someone is buried. God’s emphasis is upon how we live (Gal 2:20), not what is done with our body after we die.