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What happens to us between death and resurrection? Our minister spoke about this tonight; he used Luke 16:19-31. He said this was a true story and not a parable. Do we know we are saved before Judgment Day? I thought we were in a state of sleep, but he said this is wrong. Please help me to understand if you can; thank you.
Dear Light Sleeper,
The story of Lazarus and the rich man found in Luke 16 isn't a parable; Jesus tells it as a true story (Lk 16:1). The Day of Judgment will only happen once, and then all of mankind will be divided between heaven and hell (Rev 20:12-15). However, until that time, all the dead will wait in Hades. Hades (also known as Sheol) is the place of the dead, both the good dead and the bad dead. The word ‘Hades’ literally means ‘the unseen place’. Within Hades, there are two areas where people wait for the final judgment. All of the faithful who die wait in the good part of Hades called ‘Paradise’ (2 Cor 12:4, Lk 23:43). All of the wicked who die wait in a part of Hades known only as ‘torments’ (Lk 16:23).
So everyone has heard the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? People have always told me that the answer to that question depends on your religion. So based on my christian belief, which came first? The chicken or the egg?
Dear Feeling Scrambled,
Genesis chapter one answers your question. God made all the birds of the air, including the chickens, on day five (Gen 1:20-23). When God created the creatures of the earth, they were fully-formed and ready for Adam to name them (Gen 2:19). These adult animals were then able to begin reproducing. So – the chicken came first… and then the egg.
Will God forgive everyone?
Dear Head Count,
God will forgive anyone, but not everyone. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross, so anyone in the world could be saved from sin (Jhn 3:16), but we must be in Christ to be saved (2 Tim 2:10). If we wish to be saved, we must turn to Christ and follow His commandments (Jhn 14:15). It is a narrow road to salvation, and few are willing to take that road (Matt 7:13-14). The road is open to all, but most won’t follow Christ. If you would like to follow Christ, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would be happy to help you study God’s Word and become a christian or get you in touch with a local congregation that could study with you individually.
Scriptures like 1 Kings 8:46, Ecc 7:20, Isa 64:6-7, Psalm 14:3, Prov 20:9, Rom 3:23, 1 Jn 1:8, Rom 5:12, Isa 41:26, and Rom 3:10-12 all say that there is no one righteous, just, or without sin. But what about Noah (Gen 7:1), Job (Job 1:1), Zacharias & Elizabeth (Lk 1:5-6), Abel (Matt 23:35), Joseph (Matt 1:19), and Cornelius (Acts 10:22)? The Bible seems to say that these people were just and righteous. And also verses like 2 Sam 22: 21-27, Ecc 9:1, Jas 5:16, Ps 24:3-4, Lk 6:45, Matt 13:47-48, and Jhn 5:29 seem to say that there were, and maybe are today, good people on this planet. So what are the passages that I mentioned first talking about?
Dear Justified Confusion,
The first set of verses you mentioned are addressing the fact that all of us have fallen short (Rom 3:23), and no man has a right to boast before God that he has earned his salvation (Rom 3:27). No one is righteous without God’s help. Abraham sinned, but God counted him as righteous because of Abraham’s faith (Gen 15:6). Nobody is righteous based upon his or her own merits. However, God, through Christ’s blood, reconciles the faithful to Him, so we can be righteous through faith (Col 1:20).
My ex-wife and I were both members of the church when she decided to divorce me. Am I now free to re-marry?
Alone and Lonely
Dear Alone And Lonely,
Your question deals with the issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. This issue is a big issue, and each individual must study the Scriptures concerning this before making a personal decision about it. Whenever people send us questions dealing with marriage, divorce, and remarriage, we always point them toward our sermon series on the topic. That series should answer most questions about the subject. If there are still questions after listening to those five lessons – feel free to write back, but please make sure to include your e-mail, so we can contact you directly. Here is a link to that series of sermons: “Marriage, Divorce, And Remarriage”. We are so very sorry for your pain and the sorrow you are going through. We appreciate your desire to do find and do what is right, regardless of the consequences.