QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 19
Three girls in our congregation have been found pregnant. It does not seem like they have repented. my heart goes out to them, yet I think there has been too much of an emphasis on grace among the church members. Where is the balance? I'm afraid we condone their sin by not confronting it, and yet we are all sinners.
I certainly appreciate your sensitivity concerning those who have fallen into sin. Jesus is sensitive about it to. When fornication involves outside of the body of Christ, our reaction is quite different from when it is toward those professing the name of Christ. The Word of God does speak to this matter, and quite candidly.
First, immortality is not to be found among God's people. Solemnly the Scriptures affirm, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving" (Eph 5:3-4, NIV). The Spirit then tells us why such things are forbidden in the household of faith. "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient" (verses 5-6). No amount of explanation of excuse-making can erase the seriousness of immorality being found among the people of God. When it comes to the matter of grace, immorality requires the believer to stifle and ignore grace--otherwise it cannot be committed.
Whether it is young people or old people, it takes thought to commit immorality. It simply cannot be done inadvertently, or by accident. Satan tempts a person to WANT to commit such deeds. Additionally, the person must quench the Holy Spirit, resisting His influence, and deliberately blotting the Word of God from the mind. The young ladies you mentioned did not arm themselves against sin. They did not resist the devil, or seek grace to help in the time of need. It is essential that this be acknowledged.
There is, praise the Lord, forgiveness with the Lord, "that He may be feared" (Psa 130:4). That forgiveness, however, is not obtained by glossing over the sin. The Spirit again gives instruction on this matter, and it is quite stern. "But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat" (1 Cor 5:11, NIV). I realize that is too difficult for some to receive, but that is the mind of Christ and must be received any way.
The purpose of this reaction is to induce repentance in the offending party. In the case at Corinth, a man was living with his father's wife. The sin was so reprehensible, the church was admonished to expel the individual immediately. Here is what the Lord said to them. "When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord" (1 Cor 5:5-6). Notice, the purpose for the decisive action was the salvation of the individual. Incidentally, we are told that person did repent, and came back to the Lord. When the person repented, Paul admonished the Corinthians to forgive him and receive him back. "The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him" (2 Cor 2:6-8).
The reason for the severity of the judgment was not found in the offending party alone--although that certainly was involved. Additionally, however, sin has a way of spreading within the congregation. That is its nature. The corrupting influence, therefore, was to be removed. Here is how the Spirit said it. " . . . hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people" (1 Cor 5:5-9, NIV).
The person giving these instructions, Paul, was a strong advocate of grace. In fact, nearly everything in the Word of God about grace was written by him. Yet, under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he spoke as he did. Any contrary views are simply wrong, and are in sharp conflict with the King Himself. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery, He solemnly warned her to avoid such involvements. "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11, NIV). To a blind man He had healed, Jesus said, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you" (John 5:14, NIV).
As you can see, our Savior has spoken to this issue, and with a lot of clarity. There is recovery available for these girls, but they must take both their sin and their Savior seriously. Those who deal with them must do so gently, in hopes God will give them repentance (if He has not already done so (2 Tim 2:24-26).
You are on the right track, dear sister, and the Lord will reward you for it. Sin alienated our race from God, brought death into the world, and required the death of Christ. It is never innocent, and is never to be viewed casually.
Where in the new testament does God requires an individual to give ten percent of their income. I've seen it in the old testament, but understand that we are now in the period of grace and we do not necessarily follow the old testament. Please if you would, explain this.
The tithe is something taken for granted during all dispensations. Both Abraham and Jacob tithed hundreds of years before the Law (Gen 14:20; Gen 28:22). Under the Law, tithes were demanded because of the hardness of the people, and for the support of the Levitical priesthood (Lev 27:30; Mal 3:10). When confronting the hypocritical Pharisees, Jesus mentioned they tithed. He told them they should have done this, and not omitted the weightier matters of judgment, mercy, and faith (Matt 23:23). Paul declared the support of those laboring the Gospel was precisely the same as the priests under the law, who lived from the tithes of the people (1 Cor 9:13-14). Hebrews 7:8 affirms that tithes are now being received by the One Who lives on.
There is not a solitary word in all of Scripture that suggests tithing is now out of order, or that it is not proper. It is something that is assumed. Because the Lord loves a "cheerful giver," and not one that gives under compulsion (2 Cor 9:7), giving in Christ is motivated by love, not law. That is why there is no text that commands those in Christ to tithe. In my understanding, tithing is the base of our giving.
Equally true, there is no commandment to Christians that tells them to love God either. That command is found in the Law alone. That does not mean, of course, that we are not to love God. It does mean that loving God is something those in Christ do, without having to be told to do so.
If the whole human race got created by 2 people. How come we have 100% pure Mexicans? 100% Whites. Etc. Like Chinese of them weird eyes. All that can't happen from just 2 people. Doesn't seem like it anyway.
First, there is no question about the origin of the human race. It is something that has been revealed, not the result of scientific investigation or human opinion. The Word of God declares, "From one man (Adam) He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live" (Acts 17:26, NIV). Not only were nations "made" by God, their native habitat was also established, as well as the time of history they came into being. It should not be difficult to believe that the God Who made the universe could do this. God also said of Eve, "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living" (Gen 3:20). We have, then, Adam as the source of all humanity--that is, the first one. All others were made like him in their basic constitution, even though they differed in appearance. They all have bodies, souls, and spirits. They are all in the image of God with a capacity to think, purpose, decide, respond, etc. Eve is the "mother of all living" because everyone came from the children born to her. Our faith must rest in these declarations. It is not on the part of wisdom to compare what God said with what we think is possible.
Later in Scripture, the nations of the world are traced back to the three sons of Noah after the flood. "These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth" (Gen 9:19, NIV). Details of the ultimate formation of the nations are provided in Genesis 10:5-32.
As the difference in appearance of various people, this should not be strange to us. First of all, God Himself is the Author of human life, even though He uses the means of a father and mother. Every person with understanding confesses with David, "Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands" (Psa 119:73). All groups of people can also say, "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his" (Psa 100:3).
I have ten children. Some of them are quite different in appearance to the other children. I look considerably different from my sister. Yet, some of my children look very much alike, and I look a great deal like my brother.
This is not the result of a mere biological process. God Almighty is behind what men call "nature." He works with it like a carpenter would work with wood, or an iron smith would work with metal. A wood worker can take a single piece of wood and make several different things from it that do not look alike at all--a lamp, a window, and a chair. No one doubts all of those items came from the same piece of wood, and neither should we doubt that different looking people all came from Adam and Eve. God made them from Adam and Eve just like the carpenter made different articles from a common piece of wood.
One further word on this. You mentioned that Chinese people have "weird eyes." I am sure you did not mean anything insulting in that. There are approximately 5,900,000,000 people in the world. Of that number around 2,000,000,000 are in Asiatic countries, and have different appearing eyes. That is about one-third of the population of the world. That would make our eyes "weird,' from your point of view. Just a thought.
When people get saved, how come some people don't feel anything?? And their life isn't any different. etc. Besides the changes they make alone.
You have used several words that need to be defined. They are "get saved," "feel" and "life." First let me define these words as they are represented in the Word of God.
"SAVED" is not a church-type experience. It is something that God does. There are two sides to it--What we are saved FROM, and what we are saved TO. Saved means "delivered," or "freed from." We are "delivered FROM the power of darkness," or from Satan and his grip upon us. We are saved TO the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus, or into His care and ministry. That is affirmed in Colossians 1:13. We are also saved FROM the guilt and power of sin. By that, the Word of God means our sins are no longer held against us, and we know it. It also means we can say "NO" to temptation. But we are also saved TO access to God. By that, I mean we can come to the Lord in prayer knowing He will receive us and give us what we need.
"FEEL ANYTHING." First, there are two ways something can be felt. One is in our body, or physical. The other is in our souls, or the unseen and spiritual part of us. Salvation is not primarily "felt" in our body--like in a fleshly sensation of some sort. The feelings it brings are in the soul, or unseen part of us. That feeling includes peace, joy, hope, etc. (Romans 5:1; 14:17;15:13). This is the type of feeling I will speak of.
"LIFE IS NOT ANY DIFFERENT." In God's Word, life also has two sides. First, it has to do with our unseen part--we become alive to God (Romans 6:11). By that, I mean we become sensitive to the Lord--we think about Him, want to please Him, and know He sees us. The other side of "life" has to do with expression--how we think, speak, and act.
It simply is not possible for a person to be saved and NOT feel something in their soul. They will sense they are forgiven. They will know their sins are gone. They will see God differently. They see themselves and the world differently. The Bible even looks different to them. Those are all feelings. They may not feel something in their bodies, but they WILL know something has happened to them. If this were not the case, they could not give thanks or be joyful.
I am afraid there are many people who say they have been "saved" who really have not been. Perhaps they have gone through some sort of religious ritual, but have really not believed in Christ or received Him.
It is not our job to go about judging people in this regard, but I will tell you that where there has been no change, there has been no conversion. I know what you mean when you say some people make changes alone, or without God. It really does not take Jesus to STOP doing certain things. It DOES take Him, however to START doing certain things. The real test of the Christian is not so much what they do NOT do, as what they DO practice. You can be an atheist, a Buddhist, or a Moslem, and be good morally.
There are things, however, you cannot DO without being born again. To name a few of them. -1- Loving the truth (2 Thess 2:10). That means we want more of God's truth, and cannot do without it. -2- Seeking after the things of God (Col 3:1-3). That means we live to receive what God gives us through Christ Jesus. -3- Not loving the world (1 John 2:15-17). A person who is born again develops a distaste for the things of this world--things we cannot take into heaven. By that, I mean, they will not allow such things to be the main things in their lives, whether it is money, pleasure, or fame.
There will be differences in the degree a person changes. Some people are especially zealous in these matters. Other people, because they are trying to please men and God at the same time, are not so zealous about it. I am sure this is the condition you are speaking of. People who do not throw themselves into living for Christ will eventually leave Him altogether.
There is, then, a difference in the response of people because there is a difference in their degree of commitment to the Lord. We must be careful, however, to let God's standards be the basis of our assessment, and not merely what we think people would do.
PLEASE EXPLAIN WITH THE SCRIPTURE, WHAT DEFINES AS THE WRATH TO COME? (YOU KNOW LIKE EVENTS AND THINGS) I KNOW AS A CHILD OF GOD (BORN AGAIN, BAPTIZED) THAT WE WILL NOT SUFFER THE WRATH TO COME.
The "wrath to come" is the final destruction of the wicked. This is the wrath from which Jesus has delivered ALL believers, whether in the first century, or the final one. John the Baptist spoke of this wrath (Matt 3:7). It is again mentioned in First Thessalones, where our deliverance from it is mentioned. "For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come" (1:9-10). All of these are common to every believer in every age. (1) Turning from idols, (2) Serving the true and living God, (3) Waiting for His Son from heaven, and (4) deliverance from the wrath to come.
I realize some teach we have been excluded from unusual difficulties that either have or will occur upon the earth. The Lord does know how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and is fully able to deliver us from suffering. All believers, however. have not experienced such deliverances. Aside from millions of historic records of believers who have been martyred for their faith, Hebrews 11:35-38 speaks of a categpory of people who did N OT accept deliverance. "Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth."
After giving this awesome account, the Spirit adds, "And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise" (Verse 39). What is more, their experience was not God's "wrath," but that of men.
The phrase "wrath to come" is a unique one, found only one place in scripture. It refers to the same thing mentioned in Hebrews 10:22-27. "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries."
WILL PEOPLE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED AFTER CHRIST HAS COME AND GOD'S WRATH IS HAPPENING?
There will no opportunity to be saved after Jesus leaves heaven. We are told He will remain in heaven "until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21). Note, the "restoration" is not of Israel, or a certain government or economy, but "all things." The idea is that everything promised will be fulfilled before Jesus returns. Until that time, He is seated at the Father's right hand, reigning over all until He has brought the sons of God safely home.
The Scripture states it this way, "For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet" (1 Cor 15:25). That reign began when He sat down on the right hand of God. As it is written, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" (Heb 1;13).
AND WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST, CAN IT BE TAKEN LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY
The proper words are not "literal" and "figurative," but "fleshly or spiritual." The "mark of the beast": is very literal, but it is also spiritual. It speaks of being willing to be aligned with the one and ones who oppose Christ. Just as Jesus works through the church, his body, Satan works through an institution. In history it has taken the form of political government and false religion.
The mark of the beast is said to be received one of two places--the forehead or the hand. The "forehead" denotes thinking like the devil--accepting his view of things--like Eve did. The "hand" speaks of doing things his way, even though the person may not actually agree with everything the devil promotes. Satan will settle for either allegiance.
You must remember that the book of Revelation is a vision. In it pictures of truth are used, as opposed to a doctrinal presentation. Thus the reigning Christ is pictured as a Lamb, the devil as a dragon, the people of God as an oppressed woman, the false church as a harlot, and institutions inspired by Satan as beasts. The "mark of the beast" is to be seen as a picture of being willing to serve the devil's enterprise, even when it opposes Jesus.
In matthew 3:11,12, does fire refer to hell, or the holy spirit or something else?
The "fire" of Matthew 3:11-12 refers to the destruction of the wicked. This vivid description portrays the world as God's threshing floor. In it, there are people denoted as "chaff," or waste material, and those aptly termed "wheat." In "thoroughly," or completely, purging His floor, the Lord will elimninate the need for the world as we know it. The wicked will be burned up with "unquenchable fire."
Such can only be said of hell, and never of a blessing. The Holy Spirit does not consume, but makes alive, strengthens, and fills. Such language (burned up with unquenchable fire) is never used of His work within the believer.
Are there any instances in the N.T were a non ordainded person or an apostle baptized someone. If not there is not an instance then who can baptize another person and why?
There are not a lot of examples in Scripture that precisely state who did the actual baptizing. John he Baptist baptized people (Mark 1:5). Although Jesus is said to have baptized more people than John, it is also said He did not personally do the baptizing (John 4:1-2). Philip was not an Apostle, but a deacon. He baptized the treasurer of the Queen of Candace (John 8:38). Paul baptized a few people, but did not make a common practice of personally baptizing the people converted under his preaching (1 Cor 1:14-17).
In the Word of God, WHO did the baptizing is not the point, but the person or persons being baptized. I understand that any believer can baptize another person.
Is it wrong to pray to the Holy spirit like we do the Father and Jesus? If so why and what scripture. This question of course includes the problem of inviting the holy spirit to come and baptize oneself
Jesus Himself taught us to pray. He said our prayers were to be addressed to the Father: "Our Father, who are in heaven . . . " (Matt 6:9). Praying to Jesus, strictly speaking, is not the ordinary way of praying. Jesus said, "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you" (John 16:23). That does not mean it is a sin to pray to Jesus. Stephen did say as he was being stoned to death, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). That is the only such reference in Scripture, which confirms it was not a normal situation. The Word of God teaches us we have access to the Father through Christ and by the Spirit (Eph 2:18). What is more, the Spirit moves us to cry "Abba Father" (Gal 4;6), a term referring to heartfelt prayer.
As to praying to the Holy Spirit, or asking the Holy Spirit to do something for or in us, we have no such example in Scripture. The Holy Spirit operates under the direction of the Father and the Son, both of Whom are said to send Him to us (John 15:2616:7; Gal 4;6). He is never pictured as being the object of our prayers.
We are said to pray "by the Spirit" (Eph 2:18), and in the Spirit (Eph 6:18; Jude 20), but NEVER to the Spirit. That is an idea originated by men, not God. The notion of inviting the Spirit into our persons or presence may sound good and holy, but no such language is found in the Word of God. Those expressions are of human origin.
What does I John 5:16 mean "sin that leads to death" that is this sin?
This is a sin that results in death, as a judgment from God. Examples of those sinning such a sin are Ananas and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10), Judas (Acts 1:25), some Corinthians who took the Lord's Supper in disrespect of Jesus (1 Cor 11:30), Achan (Joshua 7:1-24), and Herod (Acts 12:22-23). In each case, the judgment of death was imposed on them by God because of a particular sin. There are also numerous other examples of those dying because of sin.
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