Receive vs. Fall Upon

Q. In Acts 8:14-17, we read that the Word of God had been received in Samaria and they had been baptized in the Lord’s name but the Holy Spirit had not come upon them until John and Peter came to them and laid hands on them. Since God’s Word cannot contradict itself, what does this mean in light of passages like Ephesians 1:13-14 where we are told we are sealed with the Holy Spirit the moment we believe? I have looked at the context of this passage with regard to Simon the magician and the rest of the Samaritians, but I still feel a bit confused. It’s such an extraordinary passage and puts light on seeking the Lord for the wrong reasons and having a wrong heart. Is this the reason for the delay in the Holy Spirit?

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Are People Leaving Christianity In Droves?

Q. I read an article, in which the following was written: “People are leaving Christianity in droves. About 106 million Christians are expected to switch affiliation from 2010 to 2050 while only about 40 million people are expected to enter Christianity. The religiously unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics) are expected to see the largest net gains from switching, adding more than 61 million followers”. What do you think of reports like this?

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Must We Believe In A Literal 2nd Coming?

Q. Re: 2 John 1:7. It is apparent if you read this literally it means any one who denies either the incarnation or the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a deceiver who has the spirit of the antichrist instead of the Holy Spirit. No confusion on that. My question is where does this leave those who deny a literal physical second coming.

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Still Undecided About The Rapture

Q. One day I believe the pretrib rapture argument is sound, the next day I don’t. So, let’s get down to the basics. What difference does it make what I believe about the timing of the rapture? I know it’s going to happen but scripture, as I read it, does not define for certain its timing. If I don’t believe in the pretrib rapture and it happens that way, does that disqualify me from being raptured with those who believe it? Does my doubt about the timing make me unworthy to escape that what is coming upon the whole world?

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Jade Helm Rumors

Q. The Internet is abuzz with Jade Helm rumors, US military exercises all over the SW and Ca. Some claim it is to round up American resistors, others to fight ISIS at our borders. Is there anything prophetic about this other than the wars and rumors of wars scenario? Frankly, the lies in the news just makes me sick but I don’t want to have a head in the ground mentality either.

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No Rapture In The Gospels?

Q. I pray for the pretrib rapture but prepare for the prewrath rapture. But recently, I just came across an understanding that I hadn’t seen before. The mystery of the harpazo hadn’t been given to the church until about 55 AD by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. Matthew 24 was a description of Jesus’s Second Coming written many years before Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. So Paul describing what was to happen in the twinkling of an eye as a mystery suggests this was never taught before, even by Jesus. I’m encouraged about the pretrib harpazo. What’s your take on this?

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Why Does God Want To Know Our Thoughts?

Q. I am told God knows our very thoughts, I fight with what I call secondary thoughts. Thoughts that are sinful and just pop into my head with out any reasoning. I am medicated from the mental health in the Veterans Admin, but some thoughts persist. My question is: Are unintentional sinful thoughts still sinful, and why does God want to know our very thoughts. I truly love the Lord and I will never give up, it’s just a question I have pondered for years now.

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The Thrones Of Rev. 20:4

Q. In one of my study groups we had a discussion erupt concerning Revelation 20:4. “Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
Our discussion was to “whom was seated on the thrones who were given authority to judge.” We had many answers and thoughts but were never able to reach a common agreement as to who was seated on the thrones and passing judgement. Your wisdom and input on this question will be much appreciated.

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Extreme Faith, Extreme Power

Q. The following quote is from your lesson of October 18, 2008:
“The only reason Paul performed greater miracles than we do is because he had bigger faith. The only reason he had bigger faith is because he fought bigger battles”
Really? If I had the same amount of faith as Paul I could perform the same miracles? Is this “level” of faith available to all believers? If so, how do I know when I “arrived” at this level? How do I “work” toward this achievement? I thought we are saved by grace not by works lest any man should boast.
Maybe the truth is I cannot perform the same miracles because I do not have the same gifts and it has nothing to do with the amount of my faith? Maybe you need to read I Corinthians 12, where Paul says not all Christians have all gifts, and different Christians have different gifts, yet ALL are valuable members of the body of Christ.

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Believers Missing The Rapture?

Q. Re: Matt 24:48-51: “But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming: and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”
I know some doubt there is such a scripture in the Bible. For they don’t believe it is possible for a person who is a professing believer to be left behind with unbelievers at the rapture. But this seems to be what this verse is saying. For here pictured is one who is a servant looking for his lord’s coming. But he is living carelessly, eating and drinking as in Noah’s day, enjoying the pleasures of life without regard to the soon-approaching rapture. He is also found mistreating his fellowman. What happens?
The Bible says of this servant that he is cut in sunder, or cut off. So, concerning this servant – the privilege that is rightfully his is denied him. For we read his portion is with the unbelievers. Instead of escaping the tribulation the indication is that he must go through it and prove his loyalty to Christ amidst the purifying and chastening fires of judgment.
Jack, what is your take on this piece?

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