Ask Your Preacher
Right to bear arms – we are trying to find Scripture that would determine if you have the right to protect yourself… such as a home invasion. We have found ‘turn your cheek and let him have your coat’. Any help would be appreciated.
My favorite verse on the subject of self-defense is Lk 22:36. Jesus told His disciples that hard times were coming, times of great persecution. He said that things were going to be different from the days when they preached from city to city and didn't even bring any money with them to buy food because they would be provided for (Mk 6:7-8). However, after Christ's crucifixion, the preaching would get harder, and the risk to their lives would increase – so what was Jesus' answer to this increased risk to their lives? In Lk 22:36, He tells them to bring money and buy a sword. There is only one reason you would ever need a sword – personal protection. It was the first-century version of Jesus authorizing a concealed weapon permit!
If God is love, and God is a jealous God, but love can never be jealous, then what is God???
Doing The Math
Dear Doing The Math,
When the Bible talks about God being a jealous God (Ex 34:14), it is saying that God is jealous in the sense that He does not accept us worshipping false gods. This is very similar to the type of jealousy a wife might show for her husband. A loving wife is jealous for her husband – she won't accept him having affections for any other woman.
However, when the Bible says that "love is not jealous" (1 Cor 13:4), it is dealing with envy and coveting. A loving person doesn't get upset when good things happen to others; they rejoice with them (Rom 12:15). In this sense, God is not jealous. God never gets upset when good things happen to His children. In fact, He is the source of all blessings (Jas 1:17).
I don’t get it. So much of the Bible makes no sense to me. For example, the Flood… the Bible said God flooded the world but saved Noah and Noah's family only. The Bible says the reason this was done was because God saw too much wickedness in the world. But I just can’t imagine every child or baby living then in the world being wicked, but the Bible says God killed them all. But in another verse, I remember hearing it said children and babies are not accountable until, like, a certain age… maybe puberty? So all those kids and babies that were drowned in the flood were innocent, yet killed anyway. It makes no sense at all to me.
Too Tragic For Thought
Dear Too Tragic For Thought,
The Flood was a blessing to Noah and his family because they were saved from the sinful influences of that ever-violent generation (1 Pet 3:20)… but it was also a blessing to those innocent children. You are right; all children are born sinless, and they aren’t accountable for sin until they are old enough to be responsible for their own behavior. All children go to heaven. Read “What About The Children?” for further details on the fate of the young.
It is important to realize that when God ends a life, it is not the same as when another human snuffs a life out. God knows that when a child dies, it isn’t the end of their life but the beginning of a new one. When God ends a life, He also has a new life to offer them. All the innocent children that died in the Flood had no chance to grow up faithfully and turn to God because the generation was so wicked that there was no hope for their future. God redeemed those children from such a horrific fate, and He started the world anew with righteous Noah and his family.
What is a stigmata? Is it satanic or something?
Stymied Over Stigmata
Dear Stymied Over Stigmata,
Stigmata are supposedly miraculous bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet. The term is often heard in association with the Roman Catholic church which considers it a potential sign of sainthood because it is supposedly a miraculous sign from God that the person is a saint. The Catholic church gets this from taking Paul’s statement in Gal 6:17 completely out of context.
People throughout the centuries have attempted to recreate Christ’s wounds on themselves or associate unexplainable physical abnormalities (bruising, bleeding, etc.) with Christianity. This is totally false. God never calls for us to recreate the crucifixion in our own lives. We are called to be servants of the Christ who already paid that price for us (Gal 2:20).
Should all nations support Israel as God's chosen people, so each nation will not be condemned by God?
Dear Sending Support,
The Jews are not Jesus’ chosen people; the church is. Jesus says that christians are His royal priesthood and chosen race (1 Pet 2:9). Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deut 7:6). The Jewish nation was warned that if they rejected God’s Son, they would be rejecting God, and God would make a new nation out of those who believed in Christ (Jesus explained this to the Jews in the parable of the vineyard – Lk 20:9-19). The vast majority of Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, and therefore, they never became a part of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ chosen people are those that love Him and keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15). The Jewish people rejected God because they would rather have their traditions than God’s Son (Mk 7:9).
There is a great deal of confusion over this issue today because some churches teach that Israel is still God’s chosen nation – this is false. This false teaching that the Jews are God’s people and that God hasn’t yet set up His kingdom is called ‘premillenialism’. Read our article entitled “Premillenialism” for details on why that teaching is wrong. God already has a chosen nation – the church.