Ask Your Preacher
Could you please help me understand what Paul is saying or what he means in Romans 14:23?
I Doubt I Understand
Dear I Doubt I Understand,
Romans 14 deals with issues of conscience. Your conscience is that part of you that makes you feel good when you do what you believe is right, and it makes you feel bad when you do what you believe is wrong. Sometimes, what you believe is right is actually wrong, or what you believe is wrong is actually right.
The Bible clearly teaches that we should attempt to learn and increase in knowledge, so we can better discern between good and evil (Heb 5:14). However, as we grow, we won’t always have the right answers. Perfect people have perfect knowledge, and the rest of us just have to make do with growing and trying to get better!
So what should you do when there is always the possibility that you might be wrong? The Bible answer is to obey your conscience. If you aren’t sure, obey your conscience. That is what Rom 14:23 is talking about. If you believe something is wrong (even if you might later find out it is fine), don’t do it because it will offend your conscience. If you think something is okay (even though tomorrow you might learn it is a sin), be at peace with your decision. God gives us a conscience as a compass while we are still learning and growing.
Where is the story about the master giving three servants money when he went away on business? One made a lot, one made a little, and the third saved what he was given. I can't remember the chapter.
The parable you are thinking of is the parable of talents, and it can be found in Matt 25:14-30. The parable tells the story of a man who entrusted three servants with five talents, two talents, and one talent respectively. A talent was a large sum of money in Jesus’ day. The point of the story is found in what happens to the man with one talent. That man buried the talent he was entrusted with, and the master was furious because the man failed to do anything with what he had been given. Matt 25:26-27 shows that God expects us to not be lazy and wasteful with our talents and gifts. We should use our lives in the service of our Master.
My question concerns the very end of the Book of John when Jesus appeared before the disciples after rising from the dead. The disciples were fishing, and Jesus was on the shore. He told them to cast the net on the side of the boat, and they caught the fish. “Come to shore and eat,” He said, and Jesus told Peter to come with Him, and told Peter how he would die. Jesus told Peter than John will remain behind. Jesus said, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." My question: is John still alive today? Jesus literally said that John would remain until He comes again. Then it says in the Word that this disciple would not die. It didn't say that this disciple will not die by crucifixion or some other cause. It didn't say that this disciple would die of old age. The Word literally says, “This disciple would not die.” Is it possible that John is still alive and waiting for Christ to come again? Can you give me your take on this Scripture? Thanks.
Older Than Methuselah?
Dear Older Than Methuselah,
To understand what Jesus meant in Jhn 21:22, we need the next verse. Jesus simply told Peter, “If I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” There was confusion over this in the brotherhood because the word went out that John would live until the return of Christ, but Jesus was simply making the point to Peter that he didn’t need to worry about what would happen to others but to worry about himself. Jesus didn’t say he would live until the return; He simply said, “If”.
How many times did Paul visit Thessalonica?
Dear Visitor Bureau,
Paul visited Thessalonica a minimum of three times. The first time Paul visited them was on his second journey after he and Barnabas split ways (Acts 17:1). Then Paul passed through Macedonia, the region where Thessalonica was, again on his third journey (Acts 20:1). And lastly, he passed through Macedonia on his return from that third journey (Acts 20:3).
Who was Cleopas?
Cleopas is only mentioned one time in the whole Bible. Cleopas was one of two disciples that were walking on the road to Emmaus when Jesus appeared to them after the resurrection (Lk 24:13-15). The two men didn’t recognize Jesus, and Cleopas asked Him why He didn’t know about Jesus (Lk 24:18).