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I heard a sermon on this passage which I completely disagreed with. If I understood correctly, it seemed the pastor said that believers who do not bear fruit, or refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to work through them to bear fruits of love would be taken away and “purged or cleansed” in the fire to help them grow…something to that effect. As I understand it, believers can suffer loss but I’ve never read or been taught they will have to go through some type of purgatory. This teaching sounds like more “overcomers” theory.
I have always thought that there was more to the story about the shepherds visiting the birth of Jesus than what Luke says. For example, I’ve been told that these were shepherds of the flock of sheep that were used in the temple sacrifices and therefore they were making sure that the lambs being born were without blemish. This is the reason they were sent to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was born without sin. Also, the plot of land they were using was the same plot that Boaz redeemed for Naomi in the book of Ruth. Is there any evidence of this or is it all a cute story like the little drummer boy?
Thanks for an awesome site. Question: In the last paragraph of your article on “Psalm 83” you state that any unconfessed sin will hamper our fellowship with God. How do I know what this unconfessed sin might be? When in prayer, I confess all my sins that I’m aware of and ask God to forgive me for all these sins and also all other sins that I’m not aware of. Am I still out of fellowship with Him because I did not confess those sins that I’m unaware of by name?
What is going on in John 20 when Jesus breathed on the disciples and told them to receive the Holy Spirit? Prior to this event, Jesus told them He could not send the Holy Spirit to them until after He returned to His Father. Then after this event He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. So what happened in John 20, how do we explain this?