Ask Your Preacher Archive
One question I've wondered about for some time is why were God's people the children of Israel? What about all the other people on the earth? Thanks for the clarifications.
Dear People Everywhere,
God once did try to work with all the people of the earth at once – and He ended up having to flood the whole planet because things got so bad (Gen. 6:5-8). After Noah’s flood, God made the promise never to flood the earth again because He had a different plan in mind. Instead of leaving every man to do what was right in his own eyes until things got completely and totally depraved (as was the case before the flood), He used one man to bring hope to all men.
After the Great Flood, God called Abraham to be His servant and the father of a great nation (Gen 12:1-2). God made a promise to Abraham that through Abraham’s seed, all mankind would be blessed (Gen 22:18). Jesus is the seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16). After the Great Flood, God put into motion His plan to offer salvation to all mankind through Jesus Christ. That road began with Abraham, and when the proper time came… Jesus was born (Gal 4:4). Israel was God’s chosen people for one reason – they were the nation that Jesus would be born out of, and the Father was preparing them for the day they would be used to bring the Savior to all of mankind.
I go to a church called "church of Christ" which has the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. I never take bread or drink anything because I don't understand the Lord’s Supper. Is it wrong that I never eat or drink anything for the Lord’s Supper? Can you explain to me what and why there's a "Lord’s Supper"?
What’s All This?
Dear What’s All This,
Christ told us that whenever we take the Lord’s Supper, we should do it in remembrance of Him (Lk 22:19). In the book of Acts, we see how often the church observed the Lord’s Supper. In Acts 20:7, we see that Christians ‘broke the bread’ in remembrance of Christ on Sundays. That is when they did it, so that is when we do it.
Paul says that we are to take the Lord’s Supper when the church is gathered together (1 Cor 11:20). Taking the Lord’s Supper is an act of worship done by every congregation of the Lord each Sunday. When we take a look at all the teaching on the Lord’s Supper, we get the truth (Ps 119:160). Christ commands that we do it in remembrance of Him (1 Cor 11:23-28), the church gives us the example of doing it on the first day of the week, and Paul teaches that we should do it when we are assembled as a church.
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.
I know this might seem like a really basic question but... why do you go to church on Sundays? Isn't Saturday the seventh day?
Dear Weekend Warrior,
Christians go to church on the first day of the week because that is when the early church assembled. Saturday is the Sabbath day… but christians don’t have to worry about keeping the Sabbath. The word ‘sabbath’ means ‘rest’. The Sabbath day was a day that the nation of Israel was told to rest, stop working, and make holy to the Lord (Ex 31:15). This rule was so strict that a man was once stoned for collecting firewood on Saturday (Num 15:32-36). However, this was a Jewish command, not a Christian one. The Sabbath was part of the Old Testament law – a law that christians are no longer under (Gal 3:23-25). We are specifically told not to let anyone bind the Sabbath on us (Col 2:16). Christians worship Christ on the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2). If you’d like more information on the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, we have a video tutorial on the subject here.
In Rom 3:21-23 and Gal 2:16, Gal 2:22 (and several other Scriptures), it mentions "the faith of Jesus Christ". The KJV (and a few others) have been changed in modern transliterations to "faith in Jesus."
This change appears to put justification in our hands (therefore making the sacrifice of Jesus of little value). Can this be right?
Your insight would be greatly appreciated.
Faith Is A Gift
Dear Faith Is A Gift,
The Bible talks about “the faith of Jesus Christ”, AND the Bible talks about “faith in Jesus Christ”. Both are necessary. The faith of Jesus Christ is the gospel message that we can be saved through Jesus’ sacrifice. It is a system of belief that we are to live our lives by and that explains our need for forgiveness. Jude 1:3 describes “the faith” as a gift from God delivered to us. Acts 6:7, Acts 16:5, and 1 Cor 16:13 describe “the faith” as something that is unmoving, unchanging, and that God has designed for us to be obedient to. The faith of Jesus Christ is a gift of good news to all mankind that we might be saved (Rom 1:16-17). The faith is the message of the Bible, and it never changes.
However, the Bible also talks about our faith in Jesus Christ. This faith is individual to each of us and should be growing (2 Thess 1:3). Our individual faith is our personal level of trust and dedication to the Lord, and it requires obedience to the faith (Rom 10:17). The Bible teaches that our salvation is a gift from God (after all, we are incapable of paying for our own sins) that requires us to draw near to God to receive that gift through obedient faith (Jas 2:17-20).