Ask Your Preacher
People always talk about zombies; can that really happen? A zombie apocalypse?
To The Bunker!
Dear To The Bunker,
Much to the chagrin of the video game-practicing, bunker-stockpiling, apocalyptic-prepared crowd… there is no such thing as zombies. Heb 9:27 says that we all die once and then go to face the Judgment. When you are dead, you are dead – no coming back for a midnight brain snack.
And for those of our readers that are thinking about how a zombie isn’t the person; it is just re-animated flesh that has no soul, therefore, technically, a zombie apocalypse could happen… *sigh* and *facepalm*.
I was wondering if practicing magic tricks is a sin?
Modern magic bears little similarity to the magicians that the Bible condemns. We must remember that the magic and occult practices that the Bible strictly condemned were performed as a form of worship and a way to gain supernatural power. For example, look at Simon the magician found in Acts 8. Simon practiced magic and used that magic as a way to get people to believe he was a god (Acts 8:9-11). Sorcery was a form of idolatry, and their magic tricks were part of the ritualistic worship of false gods – that is why you found people burning their books of magic when they became Christians (Acts 19:19).
Today, magic is openly considered an illusion. Everyone knows that magicians use smoke and mirrors to trick the eye, and most modern magicians even refer to themselves as ‘illusionists’. They aren’t performing tricks as part of idol worship or to get people to worship them – it is merely entertainment. In short, modern magic isn’t sorcery; it is just harmless fun, so don’t feel guilty about learning to pull that rabbit out of a hat.
What does the Bible say about cremation?
Hot Around The Collar
Dear Hot Around The Collar,
Both cremation and burial are acceptable Biblical practices. The Bible makes it clear that your body is merely a tent that is discarded at death (2 Cor 5:1-4). Peter recognized that at death we leave this ‘tent’ of a body behind (2 Pet 1:14). Ultimately, your physical body will return to dust and dirt (Gen 3:19). It may sound morbid, but cremation simply speeds along the natural process of decay that will occur to all bodies eventually.
Furthermore, we have at least one account of cremation occurring in the Old Testament. Saul and his sons were cremated after they died in battle (1 Sam 31:12). The men that cremated Saul and his sons were later commended by David for their behavior (2 Sam 2:5). That same verse in 2 Samuel shows that David considered cremation a form of burial. David’s endorsement of cremation as a godly practice is worth noting.
The Bible does not seem to place much focus on how someone is buried. God’s emphasis is upon how we live (Gal 2:20), not what is done with our body after we die.
Why is it important that we have to say the Greek word for this or the Hebrew word for that is translated to mean this?
Dear Speak English,
It isn’t necessary to know the Greek or Hebrew words found in the Bible. Reading in the original language adds color, but you don’t have to know Greek/Hebrew to learn God’s will. However, you do need to be willing to dig in, compare verses, look up definitions, etc. Understanding the Bible is about being a student of God’s Word, and all students have to do their homework.
Even the hardest passages can always be understood by comparing them to the sum of God’s teachings (Ps 119:160). If you run into a difficult-to-understand passage (even Peter said that some Scripture is hard to understand – 2 Pet 3:16), it takes work to dig in and compare the other verses, but you can find the truth on the subject.
Anyone can understand the Bible in their own language, but that doesn’t mean everyone will just understand the Bible because doing so takes work. God tells us that we must hunger and thirst after righteousness if we want to be filled (Matt 5:6). He also says that it takes a love for the truth to be saved (2 Thess 2:10). That hunger and love will lead people to the truth.
Is it possible to communicate with spirits?
Dear Séance Bound,
Nope, no talking to the dead. The Bible tells us what happens when people die, and there is no room for coming back to talk to people. Jesus told the story of a wicked, rich man and a faithful, poor man named Lazarus in Lk 16:19-31. When these two men died, the rich man immediately woke up in torment, and Lazarus was escorted to Paradise (Lk 16:22-23). This is what happens when the righteous and the wicked die. There is no wandering or ghostly haunting. In fact, the rich man was specifically told that the dead aren’t sent back to the earth to preach or affect the course of events here (Lk 16:27-31). We die, and then we wait to face the judgment (Heb 9:27).