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I've always been told that there is a rapture and that Revelation is about the future... but the more I am trying to read, learn, and understand the Bible, the more I'm confused about the end! I've heard from some of my friends in Christ that Revelation is about the past Roman Empire!! Please help. I am so confused.
Dear Book Befuddled,
Your friends are right. The book of Revelation is about the past, and the "Rapture" isn't something you will find in the Bible. If you want to understand the book of Revelation, we have a class series on the topic that can be found here. The Rapture is an idea that comes from taking parts of the Bible out of context. That class series should help you put it back in context.
Did Jesus say in the Bible, “I am a lord”?
Dear Quote Finder,
In Jhn 13:13, Jesus told His disciples that He was a lord, and in Jhn 8:58, Jesus stated that He existed before Abraham. In Matt 16:16-17, Peter confessed Jesus as Christ and called Him the Son of God; Jesus praised Peter for making this good confession. Jesus rarely overtly stated His deity, but He never denied it either.
I was wondering; why does "John the Baptist" have the title of "the Baptist" because if I understand it right, the denomination of Baptists didn't come to be until around the Reformation. And another question: is that where Baptists got the name for their denomination? Thank you! And God bless you!
Troubled by a Title
Dear Troubled by a Title,
The word ‘baptist’ means ‘immerser’ because it comes from the same root word as ‘baptism’, which means ‘to immerse’. John the Baptist went everywhere preaching that people should repent and prepare for the kingdom of heaven (Matt 3:1-2). Those who obeyed John’s preaching were baptized by him (Matt 3:5-6). That is where John got his name.
The Baptist denomination got its name because they have the unique teaching that baptism is necessary to become a member of their church, but it isn’t necessary for salvation. This isn’t a Bible teaching because the Bible teaches that baptism is a requirement for salvation (1 Pet 3:21). Ironically, the thing the Baptist church is most known for is something that is biblically wrong.
Was John the Baptist sent by man or god?
Who Is That Guy?
Dear Who Is That Guy,
John the Baptist was sent by God (Jhn 1:6). The angel Gabriel foretold John’s birth and life (Lk 1:13-17). John was sent by God to prepare Israel for Jesus.
Interestingly, Jesus asked the Pharisees a similar question in Mk 11:29-30. They were afraid to answer the question because of the implications of the answer.
[This question is in response to “Necessary Inference”]
Your recent discussion on necessary inference talked about Acts 15. Did these apostles convene to figure out the answer, or were they inspired and knew the answer? Many have used this example to approve of conventions to reach conclusions. The argument against has been that the answer in Acts 15 was from God, not men, and thus, this type of meeting wouldn't be approved today. Please explain.
Bored Of Meetings
Dear Bored Of Meetings,
The Bible tells us that the meeting in Acts 15 was a discussion, not a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit. Acts 15:6 says that the apostles and the elders of the church in Jerusalem were gathered together to “consider” this matter. People asked questions (Acts 15:7) and gave testimony (Acts 15:12). The final judgment wasn’t even made by an apostle; it was made by James, one of the elders (Acts 15:13). This James wasn’t an apostle because the apostle James had died in Acts 12:2.
Overall, what we see described in Acts 15 is a normal circumstance where faithful people considered the situation and the Scriptures, so they could make a faithful decision.