Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Keeping The Lights On

Thursday, November 05, 2015
I have a question about how the Lord's money is spent; why do we spend it on the upkeep of a church building?  I don't really see any example of that in the Scriptures...

 

Sincerely,
Maintenance Crew

Dear Maintenance Crew,

The Bible never specifically addresses a congregation having a building, but it does command them to assemble together (Heb 10:25).  Whenever God commands us to do something, anything necessary to fulfill that command is also authorized.  For example, if you ask a child to go and get a glass of water, they are automatically authorized to go into the kitchen where the water and glasses are kept, even though the kitchen is never specifically mentioned in the command.

The church is commanded to assemble at least every first day of the week (1 Cor 16:1, Acts 20:7).  Every congregation must individually decide where that will be.  They may choose to meet in a house, a park, a rented hall… or they may choose to purchase and upkeep a building.  All of these are viable options that a congregation may decide to use.  The key is that they are required to assemble somewhere – it isn’t optional.  They must have somewhere to meet, and, therefore, must make a decision.  Whatever finances are needed for the upkeep, rental, or purchase of a meeting place for the congregation may come from the church’s treasury.

Day 222 - James 5

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

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

Take A Number

Wednesday, November 04, 2015
How do the seven deadly sins correlate to the Bible or Ten Commandments?

 

Sincerely,
Number Cruncher

Dear Number Cruncher,

The “Seven Deadly Sins” is a phrase created by the Catholic church.  The “Seven Deadly Sins” are sometimes referred to as “cardinal sins” because the Catholic church has deemed them as greater sins than others. These seven “cardinal” sins are lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.  The Catholic church teaches that these seven sins can only be forgiven through the act of confessing to a priest.

Of course, the Bible does say that those seven sins are - in fact - sins, but the Bible never elevates these sins as being worse than others.  In truth, all sins are equal and cause spiritual death (Rom 6:23).  In the eyes of man, one sin may be considered more heinous than another, but in the eyes of God, all sin is equally horrid.  The terms “seven deadly sins” and “cardinal sins” are not biblical; they are manmade.

Day 221 - James 4

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

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

Three Cheers For Miracles!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

So, you don't think God gives us visions or prophecies today? Do you believe God still performs miracles in our everyday lives (this question is in reference to “I Dreamed A Dream” answer)? If not, why would we read, 'ask and you shall receive', 'knock and the door will be opened' … isn't that asking for a miracle??

I once was failing Latin, and if you had a failing grade, you could not stay on the cheerleading squad. The morning of report cards, I stopped at a large window across from the cafeteria and looked to the sky and prayed for God to forgive me of my sins and to somehow convince Mrs. Martin to give me a passing grade. She called my name to come up to sit by her desk to look at my test scores before she would write my grade on my report card.  She looked at me very sternly and showed me my four scores, which only averaged out to 69.  I had to score a 75 to make a low C.  She then said, “I don't know why I'm doing this”, and she drew out very slowly a ‘C’ on my report card.

I almost broke down but was so happy and KNEW in my heart that God had granted me a miracle. I'll go to my grave believing I had a miracle that morning.

Sincerely, Graded On A Curve

Dear Graded On A Curve,

It is important to define the term 'miracle'.  Today, the word 'miracle' describes both the act of raising a man from the dead and the act of a child being born... yet there is a vast difference between those two events.  'Miracle' - in the Biblical sense - is a 'supernatural event that breaks the laws of nature'.  Examples of this are raising the dead, walking on water, instantaneous healing of leprosy, etc.

The event you described is not a miracle in that sense.  You described a providential act of God’s care.  God took care of the situation while acting within the frameworks of natural law.  God used circumstances and unseen influence to alter the course of events and answered your prayer.  There is no doubt that God still does this every day.  The whole purpose of “a righteous man's prayer avails much" (Jas 5:16) is that God hears prayers and acts upon them.  The key is that He does so without miracles.

Miracles had one very specific purpose - to give evidence that the apostles, prophets, and Jesus were from God.  Paul called miracles "the signs of an apostle" (2 Cor 12:12).  Heb 2:4 states that God bore witness to the apostles and prophets through "signs and wonders".  Even the enemies of Christ agreed that miracles were a sign of divine approval (Acts 4:16).

Prayers certainly make a difference, and God certainly intervenes for us... just not with supernatural miracles.  However, not to worry, God can just as easily care for your needs providentially as He could with miracles.

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