Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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That's Just Grape

Thursday, December 24, 2015
I personally believe that consuming any amount of alcohol is sinful.  Yet, so many people argue with me on this subject.  I continue to hear that Jesus drank wine and that it was fermented.  I believe that Jesus was perfect, and I honestly do not believe that the Son of God would sit down at a table with his disciples and do this.  I believe that the wine the Bible speaks of is simply grape juice. Please explain this to me.  Am I right for frowning upon alcohol, or is it simply okay to drink...as long as it is not abused?

 

Sincerely,
Fomenting Over Fermenting

Dear Fomenting Over Fermenting,

The Greek word for ‘wine’ is ‘oinos’.  ‘Oinos’ simply means ‘grape juice’… sometimes fermented, sometimes not.  So whenever you see the word ‘wine’ in your Bible, it may be talking about fermented or non-alcoholic grape juice.  New wine is grape juice that hasn’t had the time to fully ferment; old wine is alcoholic and fully fermented.  This explains why in Lk 5:39 Jesus states that people would choose the old wine over the new wine.

We also have to understand that the wine that was drunk in Jesus’ day was made using the natural yeasts found on the outside skin of the grape.  When grapes are crushed, the grape juice mixes with this wild yeast and ferments the juice.  These natural yeasts will only ferment wine to about 13% alcohol content, not the 17% or higher of many wines found today.  Furthermore, most wine was diluted anywhere from one part wine with one part water to as much as one part wine with four parts water.  In fact, Roman soldiers were known to only drink a type of wine called ‘posca’ which was an especially diluted mixture of water, bitter herbs, and older wine.

We say all this to tell you that wine in Jesus’ day is not the same as today.  Just because Jesus turned water into wine doesn’t mean it was fermented wine.  The word ‘wine’ is too generic for one to automatically assume that it was highly alcoholic.  God never specifically condemns drinking wine, but He does condemn ‘strong drink’ (Pr 20:1), drinking parties (1 Pet 4:3), and drunkenness (Rom 13:13).  Almost all alcohol that is consumed today would fall into the category of ‘strong drink’ because our alcoholic beverages are artificially fermented to increase their alcoholic content, and they are rarely diluted with water.  We would all do well to heed the words of Pr 23:31-32 and avoid alcohol as much as is possible.

Cast Down Like Lightning

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
A congregation was told that Satan is in heaven.  I have always been taught that he is on earth, seeking whom he can devour.  Have I been taught wrongly for the last thirty years?

 

Sincerely,
Watching The Skies

Dear Watching The Skies,

Satan is definitely not in heaven any longer.  He once was, but Jesus cast Satan down.  Jesus once told His disciples (after they came back from a successful preaching journey) that He saw Satan being cast down like lightning from heaven (Lk 10:17-18).  Satan was permanently cast down to the earth because Jesus’ blood overcame Satan’s arguments against God’s people (Rev 12:9-11).  Satan was defeated by the blood of the Lamb… never to dwell in heaven again.

Day 257 - Revelation 19

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

Day 256 - Revelation 18

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

Trouble With Troubles

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
My question is what happens when the answer you were expecting doesn't come to pass?  I know the heavenly Father is beyond time, but my circumstances and I are not, and time has run out.  I am in danger of losing my job, I won’t be able to attend school this semester...again, and I don't have any money to pay my rent.  I know there are people in far worse situations, but if God would put me in a position to help others, I would.  Why was life designed this way?  Why do we have to go through misery?  If a person makes up his/her mind to serve God and be on the side of righteousness, why should we have to continue to go through the heartache and evil of this world?  Everything has finally come to a head, and, like I said, I am in a state of despair.  I don't know how much longer I can endure this life.  I want to thank you for taking the time to set up a website like this for people who seek answers.  Thank you in advance, sir.

 

Sincerely,
Suffering Servant

Dear Suffering Servant,

If becoming a christian instantly removed all of life’s problems, everyone would obey the gospel for that reason alone.  Solomon said it best, “All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongs his life in his evil-doing.”

(Eccl 7:15).  This life doesn’t always favor the godly.  Sometimes, the bad guy does finish first, yet Solomon also said that “it shall be well with them that fear God” (Eccl 8:12) and “it shall not be well with the wicked” (Eccl 8:13).

Many times people suffer for being christians; the apostle Paul said it was mandatory that christians go through trials (Acts 14:22).  In fact, Paul said that we should rejoice in tribulation because trials bring the best out of God’s people, making us stronger; trials strengthen our hope and trust in God (Rom 5:3-5).  Like the sun softens butter and hardens clay, trials soften humble hearts and harden selfish souls.  Christianity is about relinquishing control of our lives and trusting in the Lord (Pr 3:5).  Our hearts go out to you as you suffer through various trials of no small degree – suffering is never pleasant.  Yet, you can know that the Lord will care for His people (Ps 37:25), and there is much to learn from the trials this life brings (Heb 12:11).

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