Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Gone, But Not Forgotten

Saturday, November 01, 2014
     After a Christian dies, can they contact their loved ones who are still living?  I need Scripture to look into.  I have a friend that thinks that she hears her husband say her name.  He has been gone four years, and I do not believe he is contacting her.

Sincerely,
Stop The Voices

Dear Stop The Voices,

God does not allow people to go back and contact others once they have passed away.  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 affect the course of events here (Lk 16:27-31).  We die, and then we wait to face the judgment (Heb 9:27).

Having said all of that, it is very common for those who have lost a spouse to imagine hearing them, seeing them in a crowd, and a thousand other things that make no logical sense but are consistent experiences with all that have lost loved ones.  Your friend’s dead husband isn’t speaking to her, but she is experiencing a very normal part of the mourning process.

Market Madness

Friday, October 31, 2014
According to Mark 11:17, Jesus was angered by the venders selling doves and other merchandise (assumingly for sacrifice) outside and in the Temple. But isn't it true that those who came afar would sell livestock that they would normally sacrifice and bring money to the temple to buy a sacrifice?  This being favorable over traveling with a live sacrifice that might not survive a journey?  It is easier to travel with money than live animals that could easily be bought at the temple.  Today, we have Christian stores attached to churches that sell trinkets, jewelry, license plates, decorations, etc.  Is this also wrong?

Sincerely,
Peddlers for the People?

Dear Peddlers for the People,

Jesus wasn't just angered that they were selling things but that they were doing it at the temple and in its courtyards... a place that was supposed to be focused on worshipping God and prayer (Lk 19:46).  On top of that, Jesus said that they were "robbers" because the people who were selling things were charging a premium to make money off of the foreign travelers who couldn't bring their own livestock ­– a bit like popcorn at the movie theater costs a whole lot more because they can get away with charging it.  Furthermore, Matt 21:12 mentions that there were moneychangers there.  The Jewish priesthood instituted a rule that you could only contribute Jewish money to the temple, so they could make more money off of people who had to convert their Roman currency to Jewish coins.  They made money off of the exchange rate.  It was all about making money.

Separate, but similar, churches that are making money off of various things like coffee stands in the foyers, book sales, jewelry, etc. are exploiting people for more money.  God says how the church should collect funds – through a voluntary offerings from christians on the first day of the week (1 Cor 16:1-2).

#1

Thursday, October 30, 2014
What is the first commandment of God?

Sincerely,
Beginning At The Beginning

Dear Beginning At The Beginning,

Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matt 22:37-38).  In the Ten Commandments, the first commandment is “you shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex 20:2).  The first commandment a child is given by God is “honor your father and mother” (Eph 6:2).  Each of these are first commands from God.

100 Years Of Opportunity

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
     Did all of the people in the time of Noah go to hell after they drowned?  The Bible says that everybody will get a chance.

Sincerely,
That’s A Lot Of Death

Dear That’s A Lot Of Death,

The Bible says that during the days of Noah, the whole world was violent and every heart was evil – save Noah and his family (Gen 6:5-6).  The Bible gives us every reason to believe that all the people that died in the flood went to torments.  After all, during the hundred years it took Noah to build the ark, he was also preaching… and no one listened (2 Pet 2:5).

Easily Agitated

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
     Where can I find Scripture about being even-tempered?  I find myself too passionate or emotional over politics and the effects of social media on our children.  I tend to want to get on my soapbox and preach.  Not good!!!  I need Scripture specifically concerning being even-tempered, please.

Sincerely,
Uneven Temper

Dear Uneven Temper,

The Bible says a lot about being even-tempered.  We are told to “be still and know that God is” (Ps 46:10).  We are also told that one of the keys to remaining even-tempered is to remember that we aren’t in control of everything, and we shouldn’t think so highly of ourselves as to put the weight of the world on our own shoulders (Rom 12:3).  Temperate behavior is so important that it is a qualification for elders (1 Tim 3:2), and it makes sense because if we want to make a difference, no matter how strongly we feel about something, keeping an even keel is going to make us more productive leaders than losing our cool.  God says that we should always be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (Jas 1:19).  Remember that no matter how bad things may seem, God is in control of the world, and we need to be sober-minded and set our hope on God’s grace (I Pet 1:13).  Remember, no matter how concerned you are about politics and the future generation, God tells us to be anxious for nothing but instead to pray about our concerns and leave them in God’s hands (Php 4:6).

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