Ask Your Preacher
With no religious upbringing, I was baptized in 2008 according to Matthew 28:19 at a conservative evangelical church. I moved and attended an apostolic church. I was told I had to be re-baptized in Jesus' name because I was not saved. And then the whole tongues thing. I made the decision to leave because I could not embrace their doctrine of Oneness, Jesus' name only, speaking in tongues… forget all the holiness issues. How do you suppose the Lord looks upon me for leaving? Should I have stayed to be a light of truth? Thank you.
Fleet Of Foot
Dear Fleet Of Foot,
You can only do so much to help others, but in the end, it is more important that you seek the truth and be part of a faithful congregation than it is that you stay and try and be the lone voice for a church that isn’t interested in changing. Your own salvation comes first (Php 2:12). Furthermore, it isn’t like the congregation showed an interest in studying or changing. In such cases, God tells us not to “cast your pearls before swine” (Matt 7:6).
As far as the doctrinal issues, you may find the articles “Just Gibberish” and “Gifts That Stop Giving” useful for future reference, but you are right to not embrace the doctrines you mentioned. Christianity is meant to be simple. If we take what the Bible says and follow its pattern, we will have the truth. All the religious division is wrong and completely unnecessary. Read “Down With Denominationalism” for an in-depth look at how denominationalism has strayed from the Bible. All we have to do is follow the Bible like an instruction manual, and we will be fine. We congratulate you on your stand for the truth, and we would be happy to help you get in touch with a congregation that has your same love for truth. We know of many simple, honest, Bible-patterned congregations; e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of service.
Why was the blind man not healed completely the first time Christ touched him in Mark 8:22-26?
Throughout the Bible, miracles were performed that involved some very unique circumstances, circumstances that leave us with unanswered questions. Elisha stretching out multiple times upon the body of a dead child in order to bring him back to life (2 Kgs 4:34) and Jacob setting different striped rods before the flock to bring forth different colored sheep (Gen 30:37-39) are just two other examples. God never tells us why there are such unique circumstances surrounding some miracles; some secrets belong to God (Deut 29:29).
Rev 21:4 says that there will be no tears, no sorrow, and no crying in heaven. How can this verse be true if a place like ever-burning hell exists? Also in Rev 21:8, it says the lake of fire is the "second death". Does that not imply that the people die?
In Matt 10:28, it says "destroy", not torment; I am confused because I have been taught on ever-burning hell my whole life, but I cannot ignore the Word of God.
There will be no pain in heaven because God will heal us. Heaven is a place where we show up with tears, and God wipes them away (Rev 21:4). There will be a great deal of pain that we bring with us to the feet of our Maker, but He is the Great Physician (Mk 2:17). We here at AYP have no idea how God will heal every wound and sorrow in heaven, but we also don’t know how skilled doctors repair hearts and arteries. If a surgeon on this earth can repair a body and make it whole, certainly God is capable of repairing our hearts and souls.
As far as hell being a place of eternal torment, the Bible says that it is. Mk 9:47-49 says that hell is a place where “the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched”. Jesus also told the story of a rich man that died and went to torments (Lk 16:22-23). In torments, the rich man was in constant, burning anguish without relief (Lk 16:24). Abraham told the rich man that he would remain in anguish and that there was a great gulf eternally fixed between those in Paradise and those in torment (Lk 16:25-26). Though some good brethren believe that hell is not an eternal location and that the wicked are destroyed at death, we don’t believe that this holds up to biblical scrutiny. Hell is a place of death and destruction – spiritual death and spiritual destruction. Hell is a place where people are forever destroyed and spiritually dead without hope of renewing their relationship with God.
I am a bit new to Christianity. I feel really out of place in church and appreciate all the answers so far. I have read the Bible but don't fully understand it; I'm workin’ on it. I had an experience with God where He showed me that He was real, and I started reading directly after that. This question revolves around will. After my first experiences with God, I felt a dramatic change in my life. I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and I wanted to follow the rules to a tee. I wanted to do God's will and have His will done through me. I would've done just about anything, and I could strongly sense God controlling and leading my life. He was presenting opportunities and challenges and speaking to me on a very normal basis. This feeling slowly dwindled, and I don't know how to get it back. Furthermore, to be quite honest, I don't really WANT to get it back. At the present, I don't want to get close to God by doing His will, studying, or even praying sometimes. I would rather do my own will. I know it's wrong. I know our relationship with God is the only thing on this world that really matters, but for some reason, I just don't really feel like doing it.
But I would like to feel like doing it because I know I should. That was the single greatest feeling I've ever experienced, but for some reason (I don't really know why), I just don't seem to want it anymore.
Not In The Mood
Dear Not In The Mood,
Our closeness to God isn’t defined by how close we feel to Him or by any personal revelation we think we receive… the Scriptures are our compass, not our emotions. When the Bible was perfectly completed, all prophecy and individual revelations were done away with (1 Cor 13:9-10). Paul told Timothy that he was approved by God when he rightly handled the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). Col 1:5 says that we have hope through the Word of God, and Eph 1:13 says we are sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel of salvation.
Many people wholeheartedly believe that they are pleasing to God but will be condemned on the Day of Judgment (Matt 7:22-23). Feelings can be deceptive, but God’s Word is unchanging, unbiased, and able to rightly divide our lives and character (Heb 4:12). If you want to know whether or not you are pleasing God, compare your life to the Scriptures. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17).”
It is very common for people to have an initial burst of enthusiasm when they first learn about Christ. Matt 13:20-21 tells about the person that has an unrooted love of God – that is true for lots of folks. The key for you is that you need to be different. You need to put out the effort even when you don’t feel like it. We are defined by what we do when it is hard, not when it is easy.
Part of your problem may be that you aren’t amongst a group of people that are feeding you the Word of God. Many churches teach emotionalism but not Scripture, and that leaves you feeling defeated the first time things get difficult. If you would like help finding a congregation near you that faithfully stands by God’s Word, feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com, and we will help you locate one.
Is the church of Christ a denominational church?
Doing My Research
Dear Doing My Research,
The church of Christ is definitely not a denominational church. Each congregation is led and guided autonomously by the Scriptures. Whatever the Scriptures say, that is what we do (Col 3:17). Denominationalism is wrong – read our article “Down With Denominationalism” for details on how the Lord’s church is being attacked by the religious confusion of the denominational world.