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The Right Type Of Jealousy

Thursday, July 14, 2011
    If God is love, and God is a jealous God, but love can never be jealous, then what is God???

Sincerely,
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).

Flood For Thought

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
     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.

Sincerely,
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.

Wounding The Truth

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
     What is a stigmata?  Is it satanic or something?

Sincerely,
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).

Help For Hanukkah

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
     Should all nations support Israel as God's chosen people, so each nation will not be condemned by God?

Sincerely,
Sending Support

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.

Second Time's A Charm

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
     I was baptized when I was eighteen, and I remember why I was doing it, but it was also out of fear that if I died without being baptized that I would die and go to hell.  However, when I answered ‘yes’ to "Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and came down and died for the remission of your sins?", I remember being hesitant.  I'm twenty-two now, and looking back, I can't remember if I truly believed that, and I'm worried that I won't go to heaven if I died.  I believe it firmly now, but do you think I should be re-baptized just to make sure?

Sincerely,
Double Take

Dear Double Take,

The word ‘baptism’ simply means ‘immersion’ – it is the reason for your immersion that makes baptism a soul-saving act.  When we understand that baptism saves us from our sins (1 Pet. 3:21) and are baptized by the authority of Christ (Acts 2:38) and believe in His Name (Mk. 16:16), then that baptism saves us.  Many people are baptized without understanding these things… in which case, they just get wet.  You will have to evaluate for yourself whether or not you understood what you were doing when you were baptized (Php 2:12).  If you did, there is no need for re-baptism.  If not or if you aren’t sure, re-baptism is a logical and conscientious decision.

If the only reason you are seeking to be re-baptized is that you think you did it out of fear the first time – there is nothing wrong with fear motivating our initial obedience to God.  Almost all people start that way, and God says it is appropriate (Pr 1:7).  However, if you still feel that nagging doubt, you wouldn’t be the first person to decide that the faithful thing to do is to remove all questions and go back to the water.

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