Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

Displaying 3696 - 3700 of 3720

Page 1 2 3 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744


Before And After

Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Why do some religions go by the laws of the Old Testament and others the New?  I can't understand why there is so much confusion.  Could you please tell me what verses they use to back up both views?

Sincerely,
Of Two Minds

Dear Of Two Minds,

The confusion happens because people don’t understand the purpose of the Old Testament.  Since God wrote the Old Law, why would He all of a sudden discard it?  The key to why the Old Testament laws are no longer applicable is to realize that the Old Law was supposed to lead the Jews to Christ (Gal 3:24).  The Old Testament prophesied of Jesus, and it prepared people for Jesus’ coming.  When Jesus came, He didn’t discard the Old Testament – He fulfilled it (Matt 5:17).  Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are the fulfillment of everything of which the prophets of old spoke (1 Pet 1:10-12, Acts 3:20-21).  Moses said that there would come a day when a Messiah would come… and that when He came, the Jews were to follow Christ instead (Acts 3:22-24).  Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament by being the Messiah and paying the price for mankind’s sins.  The Old Testament was a tutor to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24), but now that Christ is here, He has fulfilled the law, and we are no longer bound by its laws (Gal 3:25).  The Old Testament still provides many wonderful examples and lessons of morality (1 Cor 10:11), but its specific laws no longer apply.

 

Ring In The New

Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Why do most christians wear wedding rings?  I heard that ancient pagan Romans were probably responsible for beginning the use of engagement and wedding rings.  Originally, the ring was placed on the third finger of the left hand because of a superstitious belief that a vein from this finger runs directly to the heart.  Although this superstitious idea is no longer believed by most people, wedding rings are still placed on the third finger of the left hand by the majority of wearers.  There is nothing in the Bible saying we should do this.  Why have christians held on to this pagan practice?

Sincerely,
Ringed Out

Dear Ringed Out,

Many people wear jewelry that depicts ancient idolatrous behavior (almost all Native American artwork falls into this category) or practice traditions that have ancient pagan roots… the important thing is how those traditions and jewelry are perceived today.  As Paul said, “We know that an idol is nothing” (1 Cor 8:4).  The wedding ring and the tradition of wearing it on the third finger of the left hand have no intrinsic evil to them; it is only if those traditions are perceived as acts of idol worship that they become sinful.  If people believed you were wearing your wedding ring for pagan Roman purposes (or if it offended your conscience), you would have to stop (1 Cor 8:7-9).  However, most wedding ceremonies today state that the ring is a symbol of unending love – not a symbol of pagan worship.  The wedding ring’s beginnings may or may not be idolatrous… nobody knows definitively where the tradition comes from.  Regardless of its past, in today’s society, wedding rings almost universally represent a pure commitment to matrimony.

 

Before Christ

Monday, February 28, 2011
If the only way you can be saved is through Jesus' blood, then how were people saved previous to Jesus?  I understand the Jews had animal sacrifices which rolled their sins forward.  But what about the non-Jews?

Sincerely,
Who’s Paying For This?

Dear Who’s Paying For This,

The Bible doesn’t tell us much about the Gentiles that lived before Jesus, but what little we do know tells us that God didn’t forsake them.  When God called Abraham out from amongst his people (Gen 12:1-2), everyone that wasn’t descended from Abraham became a ‘Gentile’.  The Old Testament follows the descendants of Abraham and God’s covenant with them; that is why there isn’t much said about the other nations that lived on this planet.  Here is what we know:

  1. God praised and blessed honest Gentiles.  Melchizedek is called a ‘priest of God’ (Gen 14:18), and Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was the priest of Midian (Ex 3:1) and worshipped God.  We don’t know exactly what arrangement God had with these men, but we know that they were pleasing to God and not a part of the Jewish nation.  Another great example of a godly Gentile was Cornelius.  God blessed and heard Cornelius’ prayers (Acts 10:1-4).
  2. Some Gentiles were blessed by God through conversion to Judaism.  Rahab and Ruth were both Gentile women that turned to God by becoming Jews.  Both of these women are mentioned in the lineage of Christ (Matt 1:5).
  3. We have a single statement in the book of Romans that hints at what kind of law the Gentiles were under.  Rom 1:14-15 says that the Gentiles had a law of conscience written by God on their hearts.  This doesn’t tell us much, but it does point out that God had a system for judging the Gentiles… it was just different than the system He used for judging the Jews.

All of this just gives a glimpse at the pre-Christian Gentile world, but it is enough to paint a picture that God had a plan; we just don’t know exactly how it worked.

 

Real As It Gets

Monday, February 28, 2011
Does the Bible say hell is for real?

Sincerely,
Afraid Of Fire

Dear Afraid Of Fire,

Mk 9:47-49 says that hell is a place where “the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched”.  Jesus also told the story of a rich man that died and went to torments (Lk 16:22-23).  In torments, the rich man was in constant burning anguish without relief (Lk 16:24).  Abraham told the rich man that he would remain in anguish and that there was a great gulf eternally fixed between those in Paradise and those in torment (Lk 16:25-26).  Though some good brethren believe that hell is not an eternal location and that the wicked are destroyed at death, we don’t believe that this holds up to biblical scrutiny.  Hell is a real place, and you really don’t want to go there.  Examine yourself and ask, “If I died today, would I be ready to meet God?”  If you aren’t sure, read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”

 

End Of The Road

Saturday, February 12, 2011
Are we living in the end times?

Sincerely,
How Close?

Dear How Close,

Many verses that people use to discuss the end of time are used out of context.  It might surprise you to know that most of the book of Revelation has nothing to do with the end of the world (even John, the writer of the book, said that the book of Revelation was full of things shortly to come to pass – Rev 1:1).  So be careful in taking too much stock in what you read on the internet (which is ironic, since this is a website!) or hear through other people.  What matters is what the verses say, not what people think or assume.  Most stuff you read is merely conjecture.  2 Thess 2:1-2 specifically warns us about getting too caught up in worrying about when the end will come.

The clearest passages we have on the topic of the end of the world are 1 Thess 5:1-10, 2 Pet 3:3-12, and 1 Cor 15:50-58.  All three of these passages clearly outline what needs to be known about the end of the world.

First, it will come like a thief, and no one will be ready for it (1 Thess 5:2, 2 Pet 3:10).  If the day will only come when no one is expecting it, it only makes sense to not worry about trying to pinpoint that day since God says it is impossible!

Second, we should live every day like it will be our last (1 Cor 15:58, 2 Pet 3:11-12, 1 Thess 5:8-9).  If you are always living a holy and faithful life, it won’t matter when Christ returns – a point which you made in your question.  Live faithfully, and whether you live or die, you will be ready to meet your Lord (1 Thess 5:10).

Displaying 3696 - 3700 of 3720

Page 1 2 3 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744