Ask Your Preacher
Jesus says in Matt 23:9 not to call anyone “father”. A buddy tells me that since Catholics call their priests “father”, they’re disregarding this verse (not that I care about this because, for me, they can call their clergy any name they want). But I hate to be the one to ask this because this may seem idiotic, but does this also mean that we cannot call our dads “father”?
Honoring My Father
Dear Honoring My Father,
Calling a priest ‘father’ is wrong because it is referring to ‘father’ in a spiritual sense. That is what Christ is condemning in Matt 23:8-10. Christ is rebuking people who elevate themselves above others within the church. Catholic priests place themselves in a position of spiritual superiority and authority above others. That is wrong and exactly what Christ told His disciples never to do.
On the other hand, the term ‘father’ is perfectly fine when used to refer to a physical parent. The Bible itself uses the word ‘father’ almost 1,000 times, and the vast majority of those times refer to fleshly parents. Gen 2:24, Gen 9:22, Lev 20:9, Pr 17:25, Mk 10:29, Lk 11:11 are just a few examples. Our fathers are a blessing from God given to us for a time to guide and discipline us (Heb 12:9-10). They are worthy of honor and the title ‘father’ (Eph 6:2).
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.
If the devil influenced Osama Bin Laden to kill so many people, what happened to the people who were killed that had not yet given their lives to Christ?
Osama bin Laden’s death marks a major victory for us Americans, and it brings our minds back to that fateful day on September 11, 2001 when so many perished because of the desire of that man to follow the Quran to its ultimate end – death of all the infidels (non-Muslims).
So, since so many people died so unexpectedly through Osama’s acts of terrorism, what does happen to them? All death is unexpected, meaning that none of us know when we will die. Our lives are merely vapors that quickly vanish (Jas 4:14). Because of the uncertainty of life, David prayed that God would teach him to contemplate his own death and to measure his days (Ps 39:4). Whether we die quietly in our sleep at a ripe old age or suddenly in a car crash in our early twenties… the effect is the same – we must be ready to meet our God. We all must ask that all-important question: “What must I do to be saved?”… because we never know when we will go to the judgment (Heb 9:27).
How much longer? How much longer do you think until Jesus will come? I know we will never know, but if you could guess, what would you say? Is the world coming to an end? Thank you.
Dear Best Guess,
The world is definitely coming to an end, but when that end will come is known only to God. Peter tells us that the world will eventually be destroyed by intense heat, but God is waiting patiently because of His love for mankind and His desire that we all repent (2 Pet 3:9-10).
The Bible specifically says that the Second Coming of Christ will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:1-2). Jesus will return when people least expect Him. That is a promise from God, so guessing when it will happen isn’t productive. The apostle Paul warned all christians to live their lives soberly, so they would be prepared whenever that great day might come (1 Thess 5:4-8). Whether Christ returns in your lifetime or whether you die before you go and face the judgment, live your life, so at Christ’s appearing, you shall be saved (Heb 9:27-28). If you don’t know what the Bible says about salvation, we recommend you read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”.