Ask Your Preacher
Since there was slavery in the Bible, was slavery a sinful practice back when it was around? And would it still be considered sinful?
The Bible does not ever directly condemn slavery, but it does condemn treating slaves like property. In the Old Testament, God allowed a bankrupt Jew to sell himself as a slave to pay off his debts, however he was not to be abused or mistreated by his owner (Lev 25:39-40). God reiterates this idea in the New Testament. Slaves are to serve their masters loyally and faithfully (1 Tim 6:1, Tit 2:9). Masters are to treat their slaves as fellow humans, without threatening or hurting them (Eph 6:9). Masters are to be just and fair to their slaves (Col 4:1). God never says it is wrong to have slaves, but He very clearly denounces the brutality that we often associate with slavery. If a slave master lived as God commanded, he would treat his slaves as hired hands… and many Christians did just that in the first century.
However, God does make it clear that being a slave is a less than desirable situation. Slavery is a reality that exists within various parts of the world, so it must be dealt with from a Biblical perspective, but freedom is always a better option (1 Cor 7:21).
Did all the teachings of Jesus from before the cross end after the cross?
Crossing Into New Territory
Dear Crossing Into New Territory,
No, the vast majority of Jesus’ teachings apply as much today as they did when He walked this Earth. It is sometimes taught that because Jesus was a Jew and spoke to Jews that His words only apply to them. However, Jesus came teaching that His kingdom, the church, was near (Matt 4:17), and His teachings reflected a preparation for that kingdom. Jesus was teaching people how to live then and how to be ready for the Christian era.
It is true that Jesus did live under and teach adherence to the Old Law. He commanded people to follow Moses’ commands (like telling the cleansed lepers to go and make an offering to the priests – Matt 8:4), and He answered questions about the Old Testament Law (such as when the Jews asked Him about marriage – Matt 19:3, Matt 19:7). Jesus was an Israelite and followed those laws without ever committing a sin (Heb 4:15).
Jesus came preaching His kingdom, and when His kingdom was established on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41), Jesus’ teachings became the foundation of the church (Jhn 14:26). The Old Law was done away with, but Jesus’ teachings were not.
When Jesus died on the cross, and He was dead for three days, is there any place in Scripture that says He went to hell and took my judgment? If so, where can I find it?
The reason that I am asking is that I have a seventeen-year-old grandson, and I was telling him that Jesus took our judgment and was in hell for three days; I've been learning that at church!
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). It is a common misconception that Jesus went to hell when He died. That idea comes from 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.
We have no men in our small congregation qualified to be elders. Yet, one of the men appears to have taken on that role to the point of reprimanding other men and women for choosing to not attend every Bible class offered. It's causing problems because some are feeling pressured into coming to the classes rather than being there because they want to be (I am one of them). I don't like attending any class because I feel like I have to. But to avoid causing this man (who has a lot of influence on other members) to think I'm getting weak, I'm now going to all of the classes and church-related events with a really bad attitude. I've had to stop being in charge of the bulletin each week – which I loved doing and grew so much from the experience – for lack of time. What should I do?
Got A Beef
Dear Got A Beef,
If this man is not an elder, he only has as much authority as the congregation of believers allows him to have. In other words, if you listen to him, he has power, but if you don’t, he doesn’t. As you said, your purpose in attending all the classes is out of fear of what this man and others think. 1 Cor 4:3-4 says that we need to learn to not care so much what others think of us – it is the Lord who judges, not man.
It was Jesus’ enemies who feared what others thought of them (Lk 20:19), but our Lord spoke without fear of others’ judgment (Matt 22:16). Php 2:12 tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling – that is the fear of God, not man. You need to decide what is the right thing to do, and then let people’s opinions fall where they may.
I am doing a paper on the sixth commandment for school. I have heard there is a verse that says, “God hates sin, but not the sinner.” Is that verse in the Bible, and if so, where, and if not, is there a similar verse that says something similarly? This paper is due soon, and I need the verse to complete my essay. Please help. Thanks!
Making The Grade
Dear Making The Grade,
There is no one verse that says, "God hates sin, but not the sinner." However, there are multiple verses that teach that principle. Hab 1:13 says that God is too pure to look upon evil, and Heb 1:9 talks about Jesus loving justice and hating iniquity. As far as God loving sinners, Jhn 3:16 probably will do the trick.