Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Seeing The Heart

Thursday, February 20, 2020
     What were king David’s good attributes, and what were his bad ones?

Sincerely,
Pros And Cons

Dear Pros And Cons,

That is the kind of question that is hard to answer because David, like all people, was a complicated man with a long list of strengths and weaknesses.  Since it would take a novel to describe the intricacies of David’s character, we will focus on what God says was David’s greatest strength and what He said was David’s greatest weakness.

David’s greatest strength was that He was a man after God’s own heart.  God specifically chose to make David king because of David’s attitude and faithfulness (1 Sam 13:14).  David didn’t always make good decisions, but he looked at the world through the eyes of a man that wanted to do what God said.  When David took on Goliath, he had courage because he saw Goliath’s immorality instead of Goliath’s size (1 Sam 17:45-47).  David sought to follow God’s laws and let God’s Will be his guide.

David’s greatest weakness was his sin with Bathsheba.  In 2 Sam 11, David yielded to temptation and slept with another man’s wife and then attempt to cover it up by having her husband killed.  David allowed his power as king to cloud his judgment, and he fell into a tangled web of his own creation.
However, in the end, David received forgiveness because when Nathan confronted him with his sin, David’s heart shone through.  Instead of denying the sin or killing the messenger, David uttered the humble words, “I have sinned against Jehovah.” (2 Sam 12:13)

Something To Do

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
     I see things; I think God is contacting me; He wants me to do something, but I don't know what.  Please, please answer this and tell me what to do!

Sincerely,
Motivated

Dear Motivated,

What you need to do is go to church.  The days of dreams and visions have passed.  In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today, He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2).  Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible there is no need for God to give people individual dreams or visions (1 Cor 13:9-10).  It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17).

We are sure that the things you are seeing mean something, but they don’t mean anything supernatural or prophetic.  Our guess is that you have a great deal of internal struggle in your life, and this is affecting your vision, your mind, and everything else.  The fact that you are writing into this site tells us that you are trying to put the pieces together and get help.  One of the things that we do here at AskYourPreacher is try to connect people with a desire for answers (such as yourself) with congregations near them that can help them find long-term relief.  If you would like us to do that, just e-mail us back at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org, and we will happily help in whatever way we can.

Child At Heart

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Hello; I'm wondering if a person is born with mental deformities and can't understand the concept of the Lord, will they still reach heaven?

Sincerely,
Heart For Others

Dear Heart For Others,

Those with mental handicaps would fall under the same rules as children.  In order to obey the gospel, we must have the maturity to:

  1. Take responsibility for our sins (Acts 3:19).
  2. Hear and understand the Word of God (Rom 10:17).
  3. Be responsible for our own spiritual growth (1 Pet 2:1-2).

Children and those with certain mental handicaps do not have that ability, and God only holds us accountable for what we are able to do (2 Cor 8:11-12).  Just like children, they will go to heaven.

Whose Servant Pt. 2

Monday, February 17, 2020

(This question is a follow up to “Whose Servant?”)

     Help me understand how Philippians 1:1 deals with elders having scriptural oversight over deacons?  How does this passage say that "deacons serve elders"?

Sincerely,
Context Please

Dear Context Please,

In hindsight, Php 1:1 does seem like a rather obscure reference without a little clarification.  Our point was that the only time that deacons are ever mentioned is with elders.  There are multiple references of elders without deacons, but zero Bible examples of deacons without elders.  Paul told Titus of the urgency to appoint elders in every church (Tit 1:5).  Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in the congregations that they had started (Acts 14:23).  As Paul said, the elders have the responsibility to feed the church (Acts 20:28), and that is the pattern we see over and over again.  Congregations need elders because elders lead those congregations.  On the other hand, we are never told that congregations have that same need for deacons, nor do we see any congregations that had deacons without elders.  Php 1:1 was a reference (albeit all too vaguely) to that fact.

The word ‘deacon’ just means ‘servant’ and is used throughout the Scriptures.  Matt 22:13 uses the same Greek word to describe a king’s servants.  Rom 15:8 refers to Jesus as a deacon of God to the Jews.  Deacons are always mentioned alongside those that they serve.  Since the deacons we are talking about are never mentioned without elders, the implication is that the deacons serve the elders, and if you don’t have elders, you wouldn’t have deacons… the exact pattern we see throughout the New Testament churches.

The Bible gives no example of a congregation having deacons without elders.  Where the Bible is silent, we must be to (1 Cor 4:6).  Hope that provides the clarification we should have given in our first answer.

H2O x 2

Friday, February 14, 2020
     Sixteen years ago, when I was nine years old, I made a profession of faith and was baptized, but I don't think I fully understood what it means to truly follow Christ until years later when I was in college.  As a child, I thought you just had to mentally believe and not follow Christ.  Is there any biblical reason why I could not be baptized a second time now that I fully understand what it means to be a Christian?

Sincerely,
Older And Wiser

Dear Older And Wiser,

The word ‘baptism’ simply means ‘immersion’ – it is the reason for your immersion that makes baptism a soul-saving act.  When we understand that baptism saves us from our sins (1 Pet. 3:21) and are baptized by the authority of Christ (Acts 2:38) and believe in His Name (Mk. 16:16), then that baptism saves us.  Many people are baptized without understanding these things… in which case, they just get wet.  You will have to evaluate for yourself whether or not you understood what you were doing when you were baptized.  If you did, there is no need for re-baptism.  If you believe you didn’t know what you were doing, then you should be rebaptized.

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