Ask Your Preacher
I heard a gospel song saying Lazarus’ shout is as the shout of Jesus' returning. How do they know this; the Bible doesn't say this. The Bible says he shouted and praised God.
Sincerely, Tone Deaf
Dear Tone Deaf,
The story of Lazarus’ raising from the dead doesn’t record Lazarus shouting at all. The one who shouted was Jesus when He called Lazarus out from the tomb (Jhn 11:43). I’m not specifically aware of what song you are talking about, but I imagine it is making reference to the power of Jesus’ shout. Jesus’ shout brought Lazarus from the grave (Jhn 11:43-44), and it will be Jesus’ shout that brings forth all the dead at His second coming (1 Thess 4:16).
5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year
I have a question about being saved. I have heard so many things about the requirements to be saved, and I am really confused. I think I have the basics, but I want to be 100% sure. I know that some websites say that if you believe in Jesus, you will be saved. I know that it does say that in the Bible, so it is true. Some people believe that this is all you have to do. Others say that if you believe and try your best to repent and change your ways, you will be saved. It seems like it depends on whom you ask. This is what I “think” from all the research that I have done. I could be wrong, of course, but I think that if you do the following steps, you will be saved. Believe everything that Jesus said, believe that Jesus was “God in human form”, believe that Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven, know that we can’t save ourselves and that Jesus died for us, believe Jesus never sinned, believe Jesus became sin for us, believe that we don't deserve and cannot save ourselves, ask for forgiveness, and then try to live by the ten commandments as best as you can until the day you die, if you slip up ask for forgiveness, and you need to be baptized. Do you think that I am on the right path?
Sincerely, Baby Steps
Dear Baby Steps,
The Bible outlines five things you must do to become a christian. The question, “What must I do to be saved?” is the most important question any human can ever ask. Plenty of groups will pick and choose what they want to focus on. Many groups say that all you must do is “believe in your heart” and you will be saved – unfortunately, this is cherry-picking out one requirement and leaving the rest behind. We must always remember that the sum of God’s Word provides the truth (Ps 119:160). Belief is obviously an important element to salvation, but it is not the only condition. The Bible outlines five separate requirements for salvation, and all of them are necessary.
- Hear the Word. Faith comes through hearing, and hearing comes through the Word of God (Rom 10:17). Until someone hears God’s Word, they are incapable of obeying it.
- Believe the Word. It is impossible for someone to become a christian unless they believe that Jesus is the Savior and Son of God (Jhn 20:31, Acts 16:31, Jhn 3:16).
- Repent of your sins. ‘Repent’ means to ‘change your mind’. That change of mind always involves a change of action as well. Repentance is when we change our mind about what is important and submit ourselves to Jesus and His Word. Repentance is a necessity of salvation (Mk 6:12, Lk 13:5, Lk 15:7).
- Confess Jesus to others. If we have sworn our allegiance to Jesus, we must be prepared to publicly confess Him as our Lord. If we won’t confess Jesus before men, He won’t confess us before God (Matt 10:32-33, Lk 12:8-9).
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus for salvation. Many groups baptize people, but very few baptize people for the right reasons. Baptism isn’t merely an “outward showing of an inward faith” or “for membership”. Baptism is what saves us (1 Pet 3:21). Baptism is the point where someone goes from being lost to saved because they are buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom 6:4-5). Baptism is the final requirement to become a christian (Acts 2:37-38, Mk 16:16, Acts 2:41). There is not a single example of someone becoming a christian without baptism. Baptism is just as necessary as the other four requirements.
After that, there remains nothing else but to find a faithful congregation to assemble with (Heb 10:24) that teaches God’s Word and God’s Word only (see “Finding a Church” for more details) and to continue to grow in knowledge and practice of God’s Word (1 Pet 2:2).
My grandchildren have told me several times that one of their friends uses some by-words that sound pretty bad. They also said that the parents use these words, so the friend thinks the words are okay. The words used also included a racial slur. Since these people are christians, and I am sure this is not appropriate language, what, if anything, can these young people say to their friend about the language without upsetting the parents?
Sincerely, Watch Your Mouth
Dear Watch Your Mouth,
By-words or euphemism are used today as “soft” swearing. Instead of actually using a four-letter word or the Lord’s name in vain, people will alter those words (often by only changing a letter or two) to expressions more socially acceptable. The problem is that the meaning still remains the same. It is very similar to when television stations bleep-out bad language – everyone still knows what was intended.
Christians are supposed to avoid all unwholesome speech and crass language (Eph 4:29). Our language should always edify and build up other people. This is exactly why euphemisms and by-words are bad for christians to use. The euphemisms have the same intent as the ‘swear’ words. We should always talk in such a way that we impart grace and goodness to those who listen (Col 4:6). Secondarily, euphemisms give enemies of the gospel an opportunity to condemn christians. When we use by-words, our enemies can argue that christians are only using a language loop-hole; the intent behind our words is the same. Paul tells us to carefully watch our language, so that we never give enemies of Christ the opportunity to condemn us (Tit 2:8).
As for what your grandchildren can say to their friend… not much can be said. They can always request that their friend not use words like that around them and then explain why. You can remind your grandchildren that a true friend won’t use words to purposefully offend. Even if the friend will stop out of respect for your grandchildren, it is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, euphemisms are so common amongst God’s people that it will take a lot of teaching and time to rid christians of the habit.
5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year