Ask Your Preacher
Will the world end in 2012; everyone is talking about it, and it scares me. I think it will end in 2012, but I don't know what date (like everyone is saying on December 21). The Bible states He will come like a thief in the night; the sad part is that 90 percent of the world is not ready for it. People are out drinking, partying, having sex with other people, and other sinful things. The Bible gave us signs of the end, and we had almost all of the signs. What do you think? I am just waiting for the rapture.
Two Years To Go
Dear Two Years To Go,
Feel free to do your shopping for the holidays in 2012; the world isn’t likely to be destroyed on Dec. 21, 2012. For those of our readers unfamiliar with the 2012 doomsday schtick… we will take a moment to explain this New Age teaching. The idea that the world is going to be destroyed or transformed on December 21st (some say 23rd), 2012 is based off of the Mayan Long Count calendar. The Mayan Long Count calendar is a non-repeating calendar that was used in Mesoamerica during the height of the Mayan civilization, and because it is a non-repeating calendar (unlike the Roman calendar which repeats every 365 days), it eventually runs out of days. The last day on the Mayan Long Count calendar is December 21st, 2012. Therefore, some folks are expecting a cataclysmic change to the world order on that day.
Now that we’ve explained what it is, let’s explain what it isn’t. It isn’t right. We here at AYP are pretty sure that if God was going to hide the date of the end of the world in a conspiracy-theory fashion, He probably wouldn’t hide it in the calendar of a blood-drinking, child-sacrificing, snake-worshipping heathen culture. But, hey, maybe that’s just us…
You are right; God promises that He will return like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2). As you mentioned, the world is full of many unprepared people living sinful lives. We would all be a lot better off if we stopped trying to guess the day everything will end and started trying to be prepared for when it does. We also noticed that you used the term “rapture” – we recommend you read the article “Caught Up”; it should help clear up some of the misconceptions about that term.
AskYourPreacher has now posted one thousand questions! Thank you to all our readers for your confidence in us and for your dedication to the Bible. When the Monroe Valley church of Christ started this website, we believed there was a need, but we weren’t sure… well, we are now! We couldn’t ask for a more loyal group of readers. Thank you for all your referrals (many people write in saying that they heard of our site through others) and kind words. Nothing is more thrilling than helping people get in touch with faithful congregations, leading people to the saving waters of baptism, and seeing God’s Word prick hearts. In a world of religious confusion, God’s Word has never changed. Thank you for your support.
The Ecstatic AYP Team
Why hasn't God conquered Satan? He has the power, doesn't He? Why does He allow the battle to continue between them here on Earth?
Dear Battle Weary,
God has conquered Satan. When He died on the cross, Jesus vanquished the devil (Rev 12:9-11). The devil has been cast down to the earth where he can tempt us (1 Pet 5:8), but he no longer has any heavenly power... no one can snatch God's children out of God’s hand (Jhn 10:28-29). There is a battle still continuing here on Earth, but the ultimate victory has already been decided. All those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb will be victorious (1 Jhn 5:5). The only reason that God is waiting to totally destroy Satan is because He is patient; God is patient and desires that everyone have an opportunity to get to heaven (2 Pet 3:9).
Someone has been burning churches in Texas. Most fires so far have been set in east Texas and one in North Central Texas. Most appear to be Baptist and churches that are expensive to construct. What’s your take on the type of personality, and what do you think caused the anger involved to do such a hateful act against God? I want a well thought-out reply; don't simply say it’s the work of the devil.
Smokey the Bear
Dear Smokey the Bear,
People commit crimes of hatred for all sorts of different reasons. Jesus said that those who are living in darkness will hate the truth (Jhn 3:19). Furthermore, Paul warns that some people will be deceived by the lies of the world and seductions of sin; their consciences will become seared to the point of no return (1 Tim 4:1-2). People sin for a zillion different reasons – but, ultimately, all sinful lifestyles come from believing the lies of the world (Rom 1:25).
I have a question about Christmas: we all know that most people tell their kids about "Santa". I wanted to know what you thought about parents telling kids about this. Is it wrong? I guess it is a lie, and telling a lie is wrong... I always thought that on Christmas, you should be thinking about what Jesus did for us and not be thinking about how much money we spent on each other. I think it is not about gifts that we give each other but the gift that Jesus has already given to us. I think that if we do give gifts, it should be from the heart and not because "Santa says you were a good boy or girl." I guess I am confused on the subject. I don't have kids, but if I ever do, I’m not sure what the right thing would be to do, and I’m sure that others out there are confused also. That is another reason I am asking this question. Thanks for your time and God bless!
You Better Not Cry
Dear You Better Not Cry,
It is always wrong to lie; the question is whether telling your kids about Santa Claus is lying or not. Many christians have many different views on this. Some christians tell their children that Santa is imaginary because they feel that is honest. Other christians allow their children to believe in Santa and simply don’t dissuade them from the notion until they ask point-blank. No matter what, christians must in good conscience do what they believe is honest. Lying is always wrong (Rev 21:8). The debate isn’t over whether or not lying is a sin; the debate is over whether or not allowing your children to believe in something imaginary counts as being deceptive. Each must do what they believe is faithful and right… it would not be good to be too dogmatic on this point.
Now let’s deal with the issue of Christmas. Many people believe Christmas to be a spiritual holiday, but the Bible never commands us to celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th (the truth is that no one knows when Jesus was born, but it was most likely in the spring or summer because the shepherds were out – Lk 2:15). Christians are commanded to remember Jesus’ death every first day of the week (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 11:24-25). Christmas is not a Biblical holiday. There is nothing wrong with celebrating it as a family holiday, but it is wrong to teach that there is a Biblical foundation to it.