Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Watching The Clock

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Will the world end in 2012; everyone is talking about it, and it scares me.  I think it will end in 2012, but I don't know what date (like everyone is saying on December 21).  The Bible states He will come like a thief in the night; the sad part is that 90 percent of the world is not ready for it.  People are out drinking, partying, having sex with other people, and other sinful things. The Bible gave us signs of the end, and we had almost all of the signs.  What do you think?  I am just waiting for the rapture.

Sincerely,
Two Years To Go

Dear Two Years To Go,

Feel free to do your shopping for the holidays in 2012; the world isn’t likely to be destroyed on Dec. 21, 2012.  For those of our readers unfamiliar with the 2012 doomsday schtick… we will take a moment to explain this New Age teaching.  The idea that the world is going to be destroyed or transformed on December 21st (some say 23rd), 2012 is based off of the Mayan Long Count calendar.  The Mayan Long Count calendar is a non-repeating calendar that was used in Mesoamerica during the height of the Mayan civilization, and because it is a non-repeating calendar (unlike the Roman calendar which repeats every 365 days), it eventually runs out of days.  The last day on the Mayan Long Count calendar is December 21st, 2012.  Therefore, some folks are expecting a cataclysmic change to the world order on that day.

Now that we’ve explained what it is, let’s explain what it isn’t.  It isn’t right.  We here at AYP are pretty sure that if God was going to hide the date of the end of the world in a conspiracy-theory fashion, He probably wouldn’t hide it in the calendar of a blood-drinking, child-sacrificing, snake-worshipping heathen culture.  But, hey, maybe that’s just us…

You are right; God promises that He will return like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2).  As you mentioned, the world is full of many unprepared people living sinful lives.  We would all be a lot better off if we stopped trying to guess the day everything will end and started trying to be prepared for when it does.  We also noticed that you used the term “rapture” – we recommend you read the article “Caught Up”; it should help clear up some of the misconceptions about that term.

From Nothing To Eternity Pt. 2

Monday, September 20, 2010

(This post is a follow-up to “From Nothing To Eternity”)

I just received your answer.  However, it has only spawned more questions.

You say that the Bible says the earth is round, and the Bible has written of this.  But what about all the verses of the Bible that suggest that the earth is flat?  “Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea” (Job 11:9)… just to name one (other than all the verses that talk about the ends of the earth).  And how Matthew talks about how the devil took Jesus to the top of a mountain to view all the kingdoms of the earth?  You can't do this within a sphere.

About the contradictions, I know of one that I've personally noticed while reading the Bible during my confirmation.  (Exodus 33:11) “And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.” Compare that to Exodus 33:20: “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live”.  This is only nine verses later!

About the Bible being widely distributed, that's not a big deal to some. The Iliad was written more than 500 years prior to the Bible, and it's unchanged.

I was raised in a religious family, and I have a lot of problems with Christianity.  I have never been able to get straight answers on most topics.  I even read Lee Strobel’s book... I thought it was garbage and biased.  I don't know if I'll ever believe again but would really like answers because if I'm wrong, well, I need to know if I am.

Sincerely,
Thoughtful Again

Dear Thoughtful Again,

We’ll handle your questions one at a time.

  1. None of the verses you mentioned state that the earth is flat.  Job 11:9 simply compares the expanse and width of the earth to the depths of God’s wisdom (Job 11:7)… a figurative comparison, not a literal one.  Furthermore, all the verses that discuss “the ends of the earth” are exactly the same as when we use that terminology today.  People will often say things like, “I would go to the ends of the earth to find my true love”… that doesn’t imply the earth is flat – it is simply a common turn of phrase that is used in multiple languages.  Lastly, when the devil showed Jesus the kingdoms of the earth from the top of a mountain, you failed to read the rest of the passage.  Lk 4:5 says that the devil showed him all the kingdoms of earth in a moment of time – this was obviously a miraculous occurrence, not a topographical issue.
  2. Ex. 33:11 is another case of taking a phrase out of context.  Moses spoke to God “face to face” only in the sense that he talked to God “as a man talks to his friend”.  You have to remember to take context into account with everything that you read.  It is a very common problem for people to “cherry pick” verses out of their context and miss what a verse is really saying.
  3. The Iliad is not nearly as widely distributed as the Bible.  The less than seven hundred ancient manuscripts that exist of The Iliad are only in agreement 67% of the time.  On the other hand, there are over 17,000 ancient manuscripts of the Bible… they are in 99% agreement.  A pretty huge difference in quality.
  4. As far as your belief that Strobel’s book is biased… how do you account for the fact that he was an atheist before he began writing it?  Also, he isn’t the only author to write on this subject.  We would be happy to recommend dozens of books on this topic if you are interested.

We are so thankful that you are willing to honestly examine the evidence.  You may have never received straight answers in the past, but as you can see… we are happy to offer them here.  This is the most important subject you will ever look into.

Bling With Bite

Saturday, September 18, 2010
My wife bought a gift for me as a symbol of love only; it is a piece of jewelry called an Italian horn.  We both love the Lord with all our heart; we aren’t superstitious in any way.  I looked up what this piece of jewelry depicted, which is a moon goddess.  This is in no way an idol to me; I serve the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob only!  Jesus Christ is my Lord, my Rock, and my Salvation.  My question is: am I in sin by wearing the Italian horn around my neck?

Sincerely,
Italian Accessorized

Dear Italian Accessorized,

Many people wear jewelry that depicts ancient idolatrous behavior (almost all Native American artwork falls into this category).  As Paul said, "we know that an idol is nothing" (1 Cor 8:4).  The jewelry has no intrinsic evil to it; it is only if it is perceived as an item of worship that it becomes sinful.  If people believed you were wearing the jewelry for religious purposes (or if it offended your conscience), you would have to stop (1 Cor 8:7-9).

1,000!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Readers,

AskYourPreacher has now posted one thousand questions!  Thank you to all our readers for your confidence in us and for your dedication to the Bible.  When the Monroe Valley church of Christ started this website, we believed there was a need, but we weren’t sure… well, we are now!  We couldn’t ask for a more loyal group of readers.  Thank you for all your referrals (many people write in saying that they heard of our site through others) and kind words.  Nothing is more thrilling than helping people get in touch with faithful congregations, leading people to the saving waters of baptism, and seeing God’s Word prick hearts.  In a world of religious confusion, God’s Word has never changed.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
The Ecstatic AYP Team

Ultimate Victor

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Why hasn't God conquered Satan?  He has the power, doesn't He?  Why does He allow the battle to continue between them here on Earth?

Sincerely,
Battle Weary

Dear Battle Weary,

God has conquered Satan.  When He died on the cross, Jesus vanquished the devil (Rev 12:9-11).  The devil has been cast down to the earth where he can tempt us (1 Pet 5:8), but he no longer has any heavenly power... no one can snatch God's children out of God’s hand (Jhn 10:28-29).  There is a battle still continuing here on Earth, but the ultimate victory has already been decided.  All those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb will be victorious (1 Jhn 5:5).  The only reason that God is waiting to totally destroy Satan is because He is patient; God is patient and desires that everyone have an opportunity to get to heaven (2 Pet 3:9).

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