Some of my believing friends say the Kingdom of God hasn’t come yet, but I say when you repent and accept Jesus Christ you’ve entered the Kingdom. I know we’re not yet in the presence of the Lord, but I believe that because I’m striving to live according to the instructions of His Word from day to day, then I’m living the Kingdom life right now. Please comment on the above.
I have a question bout Balaam in the book of Numbers. He was obviously a legitimate prophet in the sense that he spoke with God. But I am wondering why it is God gave him that gift, why He gave him permission to go then got mad (though I do understand that there is God’s perfect will and permissive will). And lastly if God was in a relationship with Balaam shouldn’t it have been to further His plan in which case wouldn’t it make sense that God would have been already trying to get Balaam to join Moses or aid in that effort in some way? I was just curious about these things and I know none of them are explicitly answered in scripture, but wondered if maybe there were any traditions associated with them. Thanks for your help.
First of all, thank you for your wonderful website.
I have a question about Matthew 5:39, where it says “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also”. By this, shouldn’t we all be pacifists? Doesn’t this mean we should dismantle our armed forces, take no action to prevent Iran becoming nuclear, and just roll over and let it nuke us? Doesn’t this mean that fighting against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in WWII, we were doing the wrong thing, and the right thing would have been to let them conquer us? That Israel resisting Hamas’ attempts to obliterate it is wrong? That we should take no forceful action to defend ourselves or anything else, ever?
Luke 7: 36-50 tells of a Pharisee who invited Jesus to dinner. A woman known as a sinner came and washed his feet with her tears and hair. Jesus saw how sincere and humble she was before Him. This was before the cross but Jesus said that all of her sins were forgiven and that she was now saved. Wasn’t she still under the law until the cross?
I am been doing a lot of thinking in regards to Grace, the Mosaic Law, the feasts and other things the Messianic movement thinks should apply to the Christians and wanted your opinion on my thoughts.
The central passages I am looking at are found in Acts 15. Paul has returned from his trip to the Gentiles and an issue had arisen specifically in regards to circumcision. Peter, Paul, James and those apostles still alive and in Jerusalem held a council and from that came four requirements for Gentile believers: They were to not engage in sexual immorality, not eat meat given to idols or from an animal that was strangled nor were they to eat or drink blood. Nothing was said about Gentile believers being required to observe any of the Jewish festivals, which fall under the Mosaic covenant nor any of the other Mosaic laws. Further; the act of circumcision was not required of Gentile believers as this was part of the Abrahamic covenant.
My thoughts are this: Peter was given authority by Jesus to bind or loose on earth and in heaven. God did not change but gave Peter the authority to make changes, not to the covenant it self but to how it would be implemented. Notice the changes in Acts 15 apply only to the Gentile believers, not the Jewish believers. I believe Gentile believers were given an exemption from the feasts and ceremonial laws by Peter.
Where does this leave Jewish believers in Christ then? They are covered by Christ of course and some of the feasts and ritual celebrations have to change a bit but I believe God still requires them to be held to them. This is a higher standard situation: God chose the Hebrew people for himself and he has always held them to a higher level of behavior before all men. Like the Gentile believers they are no longer bound to the Mosaic law, but a life truly lived in Christ will cause us to voluntarily obey them as more of a side effect rather than requirement. That is where my thinking is going anyway. Could you comment on it please?
I worry about my friend. She believes that God forgives her sin but does not accept His forgiveness because she tells herself she is unworthy. I know in regards to our salvation, when we believe we are sinners and realize we need a savior, we also need to accept Jesus as our Savior or we would remain in our sins. Is the same true of forgiveness? How can I help her?
Re: 2 Corinthians 13:1-10. I hope all is well and could you please explain what Paul meant by “I will not spare them– since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me.”…. and…. “that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.”
What exactly was Paul able to do in his authority? And do we also have this authority in Christ as Paul did? And how severe could he be with this authority? I realize that in part it has to do with the people sinning, but it appears that Paul has reached the boiling point of “no more grace for you, now it’s the power of God time”. This passage for some odd reason reminds me of Clark Kent turning into Superman!