Ask Your Preacher
Could you elaborate on 1 Timothy 2:8. What is meant by holy hands?
Hand-ling The Verse
Dear Hand-ling The Verse,
It was not uncommon for those praying to raise their hands toward heaven as they prayed. In 1 Tim 2:8, Paul is exhorting that we should have clean hands when we pray to God. Our hands represent our lives and our actions. If our lives are full of wrathful and doubting behavior, our prayers will be hindered. The greatest example of this is in 1 Pet 3:7 where God warns husbands that their prayers will be hindered if they mistreat their wives. Our hands need to be holy when we approach God; our lives need to be holy if we approach the Lord in prayer.
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).