Ask Your Preacher
What is The Feast of Dedication that is mentioned in John 10:22?
I Like Parties!
Dear I Like Parties,
The Feast of Dedication was a national Jewish holiday – but not one instituted by God. Just like Americans have Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, etc., the Jews had several holidays that they regularly observed that had nothing to do with Old Testament law. Judas Maccabee, a famous Jewish warrior (his nickname was Judas the Hammer), instituted the Feast of Dedication in 164 BC in commemoration of the day when they cleansed the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes. The feast began on the 18th of December and lasted eight days.
Are 1 John 5:19, John 12:31, and John 16:11 all referring to Satan?
The Devil Is In The Details
Dear The Devil Is In The Details,
Yes, all three of those verses are referring to Satan. Satan is called the ‘father of lies’ (Jhn 8:44), the evil one (1 Jn 5:19), the devil (Matt 4:1), the prince of this world (Jhn 12:31), and the prince of the power of air (Eph 2:2). All of those names refer to the same wicked being.
I was told that there are two salvations: one in heaven and one on earth. Some chosen christians will go to heaven, and the others will stay on a paradise Earth after the millennium and when all evil has ended. Is this true?
Dear Making Reservations,
No, that isn’t true. What you are talking about is a popular teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it isn’t a biblical teaching. There was an earthly paradise; it was called the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8). Mankind was cast out of that paradise because of sin (Gen 3:22-24). We are told that the next paradise faithful people see will be a heavenly paradise. Jesus referred to Paradise as a place that God’s people will see once they die (Lk 23:43). Paul refers to Paradise as existing in heaven, not on Earth (2 Cor 12:2-4). Eventually, this world will be totally destroyed by intense heat (2 Pet 3:10-13), and this earthly age will pass away and be replaced by a spiritual one for all eternity (1 Cor 15:49-54). Jhn 14:2-4 says that we will dwell where God dwells (heaven) and that even now, Jesus is preparing a place for us. Matt 24:35 says that heaven and earth will pass away – unlike God’s Word. When the Judgment Day comes, the faithful will go to heaven. There will be no earthly paradise.
If I am a homosexual, why should I believe in God (I am going to hell anyway)?
Whether we believe in God or not, God still exists. Ignoring the fact doesn’t change that reality. Read “Is God Real?” for some of the evidence that God is. Whether someone chooses to follow or believe in God is irrelevant; we will all see Him at the Judgment Day (Heb 9:27)
Homosexuality is such a controversial issue because modern society teaches that people are born homosexual, but this simply isn’t true. You are not forced to have a sinful homosexual relationship. The argument of the homosexual community is that they are born desiring people of the same sex and that they have no choice. That simply cannot be true. God makes it clear that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (1 Cor 10:13). Even if you are born with a predisposition toward homosexuality – you aren’t forced to act upon it. We always have a choice. There is always a way of escape from sin. We often use 1 Cor 10:13 as a proof text that no one is born “gay”. Homosexuality is like all other sins; we sin when we act upon the lust. God does not tempt us to sin (Jas 1:13). It is our own lusts that entice us to do the wrong thing (Jas 1:14-16). One person has a tendency toward anger, another has a tendency toward alcoholism, and some may, in fact, have a tendency toward homosexuality – but that tendency does not force them to sin. We need to put away all filthiness of the flesh and be doers of God’s Word (Jas 1:21-22).
Did God create Himself?
Dear Big Bang,
Asking who created God is kind of like asking, “What color is round?” The question can’t be answered because ‘round’ isn’t a color. God isn’t a created being. The Bible tells us that God was “in the beginning” (Gen 1:1) and that He is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2). Everything that we see in the physical universe has a beginning and a point of creation. However, God isn’t a physical being. God is a spiritual being (Jhn 4:24), and the same rules don’t apply to Him as they do to us. Apparently, in the spiritual realm, God has always existed and never was created. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Rev 1:8).