Ask Your Preacher
Modern science once taught that the Earth was flat, and the church backed that teaching. What does the Bible actually say about that?
Throwing A Curveball
Dear Throwing A Curveball,
It was the Catholic church (not the Lord’s church) that supposedly backed the “flat earth” dogma. Without getting into too much history, let’s just say that even that isn’t completely accurate. The Catholic church argued with Galileo over whether or not the Earth was the center of the universe, but pretty much everyone agreed at that point that the Earth was round. The idea that religious people are ineptly backward when it comes science is a myth propagated by those who would have people believe that only atheists can be logical and scientific.
However, back to your question. The Bible refers to the “circle of the Earth” in Isa 40:22. The word used for ‘circle’ is the same Hebrew word for a sphere. Though the Bible is a book about spiritual things, when it touches on science it is always accurate.
When Jesus died on the cross, what happened to Him? Was He just dead, or did His spirit go heaven for some time and then return to His body once He was resurrected? Sorry if this is a stupid question.
Where’d He Go?
Dear Where’d He Go,
It isn’t a stupid at all – many people have the same question. Jesus went to Paradise when He died – He said so. Jesus told the thief on the cross that they were both going to Paradise after they died (Lk 23:43). Some say that Jesus went to hell when He died. That argument refers to the verse where it states Jesus would spend three days and three nights in “the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40). However, that verse is simply stating that Jesus’ body would be buried for three days. Jesus’ spirit was separated from His body at death (Jas 2:26). Jesus’ body went into the ground, and His spirit went into Paradise.
In Matthew 19:28, Jesus said to Peter that His disciples would certainly sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Then, in Matthew 20, the mother of John and James asked Jesus if her sons could sit on the two thrones next to Him. In Matthew 20:23, Jesus told her that those places were reserved for the persons His Father selected. I’m confused about this because Jesus said they would sit on the thrones. Could you please explain this? Thank you.
Jesus said in Matt 19:28 that the apostles would lead the church… a concept that is reiterated in Eph 2:20, but in Matt 20:21, James and John asked for a specific level of authority – to be the two most powerful men other than Christ. Jesus’ first answer to their question was that they had no idea what they were asking for (Matt 20:22). As we see later in the Scriptures, leadership in God’s kingdom is a lot different than leadership in a business or politics. It isn’t about power; it is about service (Matt 20:25-28). James and John were looking for power – but they didn’t know what they were talking about.
The second part is that Jesus said it was the Father’s decision, not His. That isn’t a contradiction of Matt 19:28; it is just a clause. Jesus said they would rule, but He clarified in Matt. 20 that the apostles would rule as the Father saw fit… Jesus wasn’t in charge of that particular decision.
Are a servant and a slave the same thing?
Dear Hired Hand,
The most common Greek word used for servant is ‘doulos’, and that is the exact same word that is used for ‘slave’. The word ‘doulos’ was used for both a hired servant and a purchased slave. It is left to the context to differentiate.
I was sinning without knowing it until a few weeks ago when it was preached about at church. Since then, I've turned away from that sin, but I feel like I miss it; I'm not being tempted, and don't feel I'm struggling to not commit it again, but I'm wondering if it's okay to miss a sin.
I Didn’t Mean To
Dear I Didn’t Mean To,
Anything that you do for a long period of time becomes a part of your life and routine, and it is totally normal to miss it when it is gone. It isn’t abnormal to miss a sin once you remove it from your life – it would only be wrong if you returned to that sin and began to do it again.
Though you don’t feel that you will return to this sin, be on your guard (Gen 4:7). Missing a sin can turn to longing, and soon you are right back to doing the wrong thing. All sin begins in the mind (Jas 1:14-15). Good for you for repenting of this sin and turning from it.