Ask Your Preacher
Would you please give me an overview of John chapter 11? I know that it is telling us that death does not have the final say for those of us who are children of God, but I need a better understanding.
Dear Explanation Please,
John chapter 11 is about the resurrection of Lazarus. Lazarus lived in Bethany and had two sisters, Mary and Martha (Jhn 11:1). Lazarus became sick, and they sent word for Jesus (Jhn 11:3); Jesus purposefully delayed in coming to care for Lazarus (Jhn 11:6), so this event could glorify God (Jhn 11:4).
Eventually, Jesus traveled to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead (Jhn 11:11). The key verse to the whole chapter is Jhn 11:25 where Jesus refers to Himself as “the resurrection and the life”. Lazarus’ resurrection became a turning point in Jesus’ ministry. Many believed in Jesus because of the miraculous resurrection (Jhn 11:45), and conversely, the Pharisees began to seriously plot Jesus’ murder because of the popularity He gained from Lazarus’ resurrection (Jhn 11:47, Jhn 11:53). Lazarus’ resurrection was a real event that pointed to the real power of Jesus to save.
Did all the teachings of Jesus from before the cross end after the cross?
Crossing Into New Territory
Dear Crossing Into New Territory,
No, the vast majority of Jesus’ teachings apply as much today as they did when He walked this Earth. It is sometimes taught that because Jesus was a Jew and spoke to Jews that His words only apply to them. However, Jesus came teaching that His kingdom, the church, was near (Matt 4:17), and His teachings reflected a preparation for that kingdom. Jesus was teaching people how to live then and how to be ready for the Christian era.
It is true that Jesus did live under and teach adherence to the Old Law. He commanded people to follow Moses’ commands (like telling the cleansed lepers to go and make an offering to the priests – Matt 8:4), and He answered questions about the Old Testament Law (such as when the Jews asked Him about marriage – Matt 19:3, Matt 19:7). Jesus was an Israelite and followed those laws without ever committing a sin (Heb 4:15).
Jesus came preaching His kingdom, and when His kingdom was established on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41), Jesus’ teachings became the foundation of the church (Jhn 14:26). The Old Law was done away with, but Jesus’ teachings were not.
When Jesus died on the cross, and He was dead for three days, is there any place in Scripture that says He went to hell and took my judgment? If so, where can I find it?
The reason that I am asking is that I have a seventeen-year-old grandson, and I was telling him that Jesus took our judgment and was in hell for three days; I've been learning that at church!
Jesus went to Paradise when He died – He said so. Jesus told the thief on the cross that they were both going to Paradise after they died (Lk 23:43). It is a common misconception that Jesus went to hell when He died. That idea comes from the verse where it states Jesus would spend three days and three nights in “the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40). However, that verse is simply stating that Jesus’ body would be buried for three days. Jesus’ spirit was separated from His body at death (Jas 2:26). Jesus’ body went into the ground, and His spirit went into Paradise.
What is the seal of God? Is it the seventh day Sabbath as the Seventh Day Adventists say?
Counting To Seven
Dear Counting To Seven,
The seal from God is the Holy Spirit – Eph 1:13 specifically says that. We are sealed and guarded by the Holy Spirit when we do what the Holy Spirit tells us to do. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the words He had written in the Bible (read “What The Holy Spirit Does?” for more details).
The Sabbath was a holy day for the Jews, not for Christians. The Old Testament has a myriad of laws that are no longer binding in the New Testament: animal sacrifice, clean and unclean foods, and various festivals… just to name a few. 2 Cor 3 is an entire chapter devoted to explaining how the Old Law has been surpassed by the New Law. 2 Cor 3:3 especially clarifies the issue when it states that our law is “not in tables of stone”, a direct reference to the Ten Commandments that were written on stone tablets.
Gal 3:24-25 makes it clear that the Old Law was a tutor to bring mankind to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we are no longer under that tutor. The Sabbath is a part of that Old Law. In the New Testament, christians meet on the first day of the week to worship, take the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), and take up a collection (1 Cor 16:1-2). In short: different covenants, different days.
The Old Testament law given by Moses was a covenant with the Jews (Deut 5:1-5). The New Testament law given in Christ is for all of mankind (Acts 2:38-39).
Who changed the law? God did.
When did it change? When the church began.
In the end times, the Bible says Babylon will be destroyed in an hour. Is America Babylon?
The idea that the Babylon of Rev 18:10 is referring to a current or future nation comes from a wrong understanding of what the book of Revelation is about. The book of Revelation is primarily dealing with events that have already happened. That is what the apostle John said in Rev. 1:1 and Rev. 1:3. Revelation deals with suffering that the church faced in its early history and the perseverance and victory of the church through those trials. If you would like a better understanding of the book of Revelation, we recommend you listen to our sermon series on the topic. It can be found here.