Ask Your Preacher
I'm hoping you might be able to help me in something that has been bothering me a lot, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to take care of this major concern: I feel that until I am prepared to show someone what God says they need to do to be saved, I'm not doing one of the most important things He asks of me. I've seen outlines for teaching someone the plan of salvation, but nothing I can put in my purse. Are there, say, ten verses that include most everything I might need in order show someone God's plan of salvation – something I might be able to memorize and possibly make into a small handout in case the opportunity arises? Seems like the subject of God comes up when least expected, and I want to be prepared to share my faith. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
Ready To Be Ready
Dear Ready To Be Ready,
What a great New Year’s resolution! Everyone should try and be ready to explain why they believe what they do and be prepared to share God’s plan of salvation with others (1 Pet 3:15). Many people have the exact same problem that you have – trying to have something simple enough to have on hand and take with them.
A while back, we taught a class on how to teach people about Christ entitled “7 Questions For Your Soul”, and as part of that class, we made up a set of notes that could be printed off on sticker paper and put into the inside cover of your Bible; the whole thing fits on two pages of a standard-sized Bible and could easily be made small enough to fit into your purse. If you’d like, below is a .pdf copy of those notes. Feel free to use, distribute, and adjust as you see fit to help you be the most effective evangelist you can be!
When God returns for the seven-year trial on Earth from Revelation, and they say that in order to eat, you have to get the devil’s signature… if you do that to feed your kids, do you go to hell for getting the signature, or do you still go to heaven?
For The Children
Dear For The Children,
The tribulation taught by many denominations is based off of a misinterpretation of Matthew chapter twenty-four. Matt 24 is dealing with the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish temple that would happen in 70 AD. If we carefully pay attention to the context, Jesus is talking about the Jewish temple’s destruction, not a worldwide trial thousands of years in the future (Matt 24:1-2). Jesus specifically said that the tribulation would occur within that generation’s lifetime (Matt 24:34).
There will be a day when all the faithful are caught up to meet Christ in the heavens. The day He returns (Acts 1:11), all mankind will be judged at the same time (Jhn 5:28-29). In that great day (Jude 1:6), the whole world will be burned up with fire (2 Pet 3:10-12). There will be no post-tribulation, pre-tribulation, semi-tribulation, etc.; there will only be the great Day of Judgment (2 Pet 3:7, 1 Jn 4:17). If you would like a more in-depth look at the book of Revelation, we have a series of classes on the book that can be found at sermons.mvchurchofchrist.org.
Jesus will return in the same way He left true or false?
Dear Looking Up,
True. When Jesus ascended into the clouds from the Mount of Olives, His apostles were left staring into the heavens with amazement (Acts 1:9). As they gazed into the sky, two angels appeared by the apostles and told them that Jesus would someday return in the same way that they had seen Him leave (Acts 1:10-11). Some day, Jesus will return and we shall see Him physically descend from the heavens to claim His own (1 Thess 4:16-18).
Harold Camping and the Family Radio Network predicted that today the world would end. If you are reading this - he was wrong :-). Like so many false teachers that use the Bible for their own financial gain and fame, time proved him wrong. God says the Judgment Day will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2), and no man can predict it.
So enjoy a wonderful May 21st, and we’ll see you tomorrow with more Bible answers to your Bible questions.
Do you think it's wrong for a christian to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden? I was ecstatic and thankful to God when I heard the news, but then someone showed me Prov 24:17.
There is a balance in the heart of a christian between rejoicing that evil has been vanquished and mourning over the death of a human being. There are plenty of examples of God’s people rejoicing in national victories. There is an entire song that was written when the Israelites celebrated the destruction and drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Ex 15:1-21). There is always joy when the wicked are defeated (Pr 11:10). It is appropriate to be happy when evil is destroyed because it means righteousness is prevailing (Pr 28:28).
However, this also must be tempered with the fact that a human that was made in the image of God (Gen 1:27) perished. God says that it pains Him when the wicked perish (Ezek 18:23); we should also have that pain. There is a bittersweet emotion within the hearts of God’s people when an evil person dies. We rejoice that righteousness has prevailed, but we sorrow that a soul stained with sin has gone to face its Maker.