Ask Your Preacher
All my life, I was taught there would be a rapture of all the christians, leaving the unsaved to go through a terrible tribulation. I believed this up until recently. I have studied/searched myself in God's Word and have come to find that if I would have never been taught that (rapture), then I would find that the Bible doesn't actually speak of a rapture – but more of a glorious return of Jesus in which all eyes will see. Where I live, this rapture doctrine is taught in almost every church, including my new church (which is a church of Christ). It's also interesting to me that other churches of Christ do not teach this doctrine. I'm getting choked on this hard food (rapture doctrine) and becoming very irritated; please help...
Dear Eyes Open,
You are right; we look forward to a glorious return of Jesus in which all mankind will face the judgment of God at once. The rapture teaching is nowhere found in Scripture; it is a fabrication created by misinterpretation and taking things out of context. It is sad to hear that even the Lord's church has been infiltrated by this doctrine, but then again, the church has always been affected by the culture surrounding it. The rapture teaching is based on a doctrine called 'Premillenialism', and you might find our posts entitled "Premillenialism" and "Up In The Air" useful. You have every right to speak out against this teaching and to point out the logics flaws that teach there will be a rapture event.
God bless you, brethren. Mark 3:5 says that Jesus "looked at them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts". I would like for you to help me understand when it is okay for us to be angry at someone for something. When is anger not a sin?
Tempering My Anger
Dear Tempering My Anger,
Anger isn’t a sin, but it often leads us into sinful behavior. The Bible says, “Be angry and do not sin” (Eph 4:26). Anger is a natural emotion, but we often allow that emotion to control us, and we end up saying or doing things that are sinful. The example you gave from Mk 3:5 is a good example of the proper use of anger. Jesus was angry because the Pharisees had such hard hearts that they would have denied an injured man healing just to spite Jesus (Mk 3:1-2). Jesus was enraged by their attitudes. So what did Jesus do with that anger? He healed the man and taught people God’s truth (Mk 3:3-5). Jesus was angry, but He didn’t say or do anything He would later regret. We should rule over our spirits when we are angry (Pr 16:32) and be slow to speak when our hearts are hot (Jas 1:19).
Is it wrong to seek money from the government if you’re disabled and you’re a christian?
Dear Financial Aid,
Jesus addressed this issue by simply saying, “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and render unto God the things that are God’s” (Mk 12:17). When it comes to paying taxes, receiving tax aid, etc., the Bible says that there is nothing wrong with a christian paying their dues (or receiving them).
Was Mary, mother of Jesus, a physical descendant of David like her husband Joseph? If not, then who did she descend from?
Tracing The Tree
Dear Tracing The Tree,
Yes. Mary was a descendant of David. If you look at the two genealogies given for Jesus (one in Matt 1:1-17 and another in Lk 3:23-38) they aren't exactly the same. The reason for this is that one lineage for Jesus follows Joseph's family and the other one follows Mary's.
What is the "pure offering" referred to in this Old Testament prophecy? Malachi 1:11 “‘For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, My name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place, incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen,’ says the LORD of hosts."
Offering Up A Question
Dear Offering Up A Question,
The pure offering that the church will provide God with is in contrast to the polluted offerings that the Jewish nation was giving God. Mal 1:7-8 says that the Jews were offering blemished, lame, and sick animals to God – the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do (Ex 12:5). Israel worshipped God with the worst of what they had, instead of giving God the best of their lives and flocks.
In the church, the Lord’s people offer their lives as living sacrifices to God (Rom 12:1), and God’s people love Him with a whole heart. The church doesn’t just offer God their pure offerings at Jerusalem like the Jews did; the church gives God their offerings all across the globe (Jhn 4:20-23).