Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Words To Live By

Friday, November 25, 2011
How do you know if God is telling you to do something or if it is just a thought?  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Trying Not To Overthink It

Dear Trying Not To Overthink It,

God speaks to us through His Word.  If we want to know God’s desire for our life, we must use the Bible to get our instructions.  Faith comes from the Word (Rom 10:17), and the Bible contains all the information we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).  If we want to understand what God wants for us, we can find the truth in the sum of His Word (Ps 119:160).  Prophecies and visions are no longer given to people directly (1 Cor 13:8).  Instead, God speaks to us through the teachings of His Son (Heb 1:1).  It is normal for our emotions and desires to send us conflicting messages; that is exactly why God tells us to not trust ourselves or any “voice” that some churches tell us to listen for (Pr 3:5).  Trust God’s Word, and it will be a lamp to your feet (Ps 119:105).

The human mind is a complex and wondrous thing (Ps 139:14).  It is perfectly normal for our mind to make mental connections as we pray, study, sleep, etc.  Those mental images aren’t visions; they are just your own thoughts as your mind meditates upon what you have said, read, or heard.

Not A Dan Brown Novel

Thursday, November 24, 2011
     Do angels and demons appear to people today?

Sincerely,
Keeping My Eyes Peeled

Dear Keeping My Eyes Peeled,

There is absolutely no way of knowing whether or not angels and demons appear to people today, but we do know that they don’t make themselves evident by demon possession or angels coming with new messages from God.  Gal 1:8 says that angels have no new message to provide us with, and therefore, there is no need to visit people in the unmasked fashion they once did.  In the days of the Old Testament, God spoke to mankind in various forms, including through angels, but now we only need to listen to His Son (Heb 1:1-2).

Homonym, Not Synonym

Monday, November 21, 2011
     Explain please why in Malachi chapter 4 it refers to the ‘Sun’ of righteousness and not the ‘Son’ of righteousness as the New Testament claims.  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Wordy

Dear Wordy,

Mal 4:2 is using poetic and figurative language to describe what life will be like for christians.  “The sun of righteousness will arise with healing in its wings” isn’t meant to be read literally.  The sun doesn’t have anything to do with morality, and the sun also doesn’t have wings.  The language is metaphorical and should be treated just like we use metaphorical language today.  Malachi 4:2 is saying that when Christ comes, His people will be blessed with warmth to the soul like the sun provides warmth to the body; they will be blessed with liberty like wings are to a bird, and they will have the healing that forgiveness brings the soul.

Different Details

Sunday, November 20, 2011
     Hello, AYP.  I thought after they walked on water, Jesus and Peter climbed into the boat in Matt 14:32.  Why does Mark 6:51 say that only Jesus climbed into the boat?  Help me please before I consider this a contradiction.

Sincerely,
Wanting The Dots To Connect

Dear Wanting The Dots To Connect,

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all are narratives of Christ’s life, but they each tell things from different perspectives.  As you may have noticed, Matthew doesn’t include all the same stories as Luke, and John tells things differently than Mark… the books are designed to give different angles to Jesus’ life here on Earth.  In fact, John said it would be impossible to tell of everything that Jesus said and did on this planet – so they only told us the details that were important for their particular purposes (Jhn 21:25).
This brings us to your question about Jesus walking on water.  Matthew covers the entire story of Jesus walking to His disciples upon the water, but Mark simply sums up that particular occurrence by saying, “He went up to them in the boat” (Mk 6:51).  Mark isn’t contradicting the story of Peter that Matthew tells; he just omitted that section of the story.  In the end, they tell the same story… Matthew was just more detailed.

Jewish Gentiles?

Sunday, November 20, 2011
     The other day, I asked myself, “Was a Gentile in Moses’ day able to become one of God’s people?”  I was (for some reason) told the opposite.

Sincerely,
A Change In Mind

Dear A Change In Mind,

People were able to convert to Judaism if they wanted to.  Ex 12:48 specifically says that if a man wanted to participate in the holy offerings of the Jewish nation and eat the Passover, he could be circumcised.  When he did that, he would become “as one born in the land”.  God did allow for people to convert to Judaism.  Probably the most famous convert to Judaism was Ruth.  Ruth was originally from the nation of Moab (Ruth 1:4), but eventually, she converted and chose to serve Jehovah (Ruth 1:16).

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