Ask Your Preacher
Where in the Bible does it say that the kingdom is the church? From my reading, the kingdom is still in the future when Christ comes back.
Looking For Citizenship
Dear Looking For Citizenship,
Jesus and John the Baptist said the kingdom was near (Matt 3:1-2, Matt 4:17). Jesus taught His disciples that the kingdom would come within their lifetime (Matt 16:28). Jesus also taught that His kingdom wouldn’t be a physical kingdom, but a spiritual one (Lk 17:20-21, Jhn 18:36). Jesus used the terms ‘church’ and ‘kingdom’ interchangeably (Matt 16:18-19). The Bible teaches that you enter them both through baptism (Jhn 3:3, Acts 2:41). The Bible teaches that God is calling people into the church (1 Cor 1:2), and He is calling people into the kingdom (1 Thess 2:12). Lastly, Paul says that the christians who are in the church are also in the kingdom (Col 1:13). The church is synonymous with the kingdom.
What is with Mormons?
Scratching My Head
Dear Scratching My Head,
Those well-dressed, bike-helmet wearing young men traveling in pairs through your community are known as Mormons, and they are part of the Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). The LDS church was formed in the early 1800s by a man named Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph Smith professed to have been visited by the angel, Moroni. Supposedly, Moroni directed Mr. Smith to a set of golden plates which he then dug up and translated from their ancient language into English. This “translation” is known as the Book of Mormon and is one of four books that the LDS church uses for guidance.
Okay, now that we’ve explained who they are, let’s see what the Bible says about Mormonism. God tells us that even if an angel preaches a different message than the Bible, he is accursed (Gal 1:8). That means that even if Moroni were real, Joseph Smith shouldn’t have listened to him. Secondly, the Bible tells us everything we need to know about life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). We are also told to never add or subtract from the Word of God (Rev 22:18-19). Either the Book of Mormon says more than the Bible – in which case, we shouldn’t listen to it, or it says exactly the same thing as the Bible – in which case, we don’t need it! Ultimately, the LDS church is a false religion that is leading people astray and destroying their souls.
(This question is a follow-up to “Providing For Your Own”)
If a christian adopts a child, and many years later the biological parents of the child come to believe (based upon 1 Tim. 5:8) that they have a responsibility to be raising the child – what should the christian do?
Does God no longer hold them to be responsible for parenting the child?
Do I have the right to keep the child and keep them from doing what they believe is their responsibility to the child and to God? This is a serious matter. Please advise.
Dear Family Ties,
Once someone makes a vow, they are bound by it even if they later regret making it. When a child is adopted, the adoptive family has promised to take that child and make them part of their family – that is exactly why those parents are required to fulfill all biblical responsibilities of parenting. In like manner, when someone terminates their parental rights, they also become bound by their word, even if they later regret their decision.
People often make promises and decisions that they later regret and cannot change. When Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of stew, he later regretted the decision but couldn’t change it (Heb 12:16-17). Esau gave it up, and that was that. He had to live with the consequences.
The nation of Israel did the same thing when they made a truce with the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites tricked Israel into making a pact with them even though God had warned Israel that this would cause them trouble. Israel murmured about the vow, but they were bound by it (Josh 9:18-20). We are bound by our word even if later we realize we should have done differently.
An adoptive family has total rights to keep the child, and the birthparents have zero rights to take them back. Both have made a vow and are bound by them.
If you have further questions on this issue, feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please remember to include an e-mail address.
Harold Camping and the Family Radio Network predicted that today the world would end. If you are reading this - he was wrong :-). Like so many false teachers that use the Bible for their own financial gain and fame, time proved him wrong. God says the Judgment Day will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2), and no man can predict it.
So enjoy a wonderful May 21st, and we’ll see you tomorrow with more Bible answers to your Bible questions.
Do you think it's wrong for a christian to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden? I was ecstatic and thankful to God when I heard the news, but then someone showed me Prov 24:17.
There is a balance in the heart of a christian between rejoicing that evil has been vanquished and mourning over the death of a human being. There are plenty of examples of God’s people rejoicing in national victories. There is an entire song that was written when the Israelites celebrated the destruction and drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Ex 15:1-21). There is always joy when the wicked are defeated (Pr 11:10). It is appropriate to be happy when evil is destroyed because it means righteousness is prevailing (Pr 28:28).
However, this also must be tempered with the fact that a human that was made in the image of God (Gen 1:27) perished. God says that it pains Him when the wicked perish (Ezek 18:23); we should also have that pain. There is a bittersweet emotion within the hearts of God’s people when an evil person dies. We rejoice that righteousness has prevailed, but we sorrow that a soul stained with sin has gone to face its Maker.