I have been helping to financially support several family members for the past few years with cash gifts towards their food, clothing, medicine, auto repairs, household goods, vacation money and other expenses. During this time I have not tithed my 10% but have made small donations when attending church. I have been considering my financial support to family members as my tithe, keeping in mind that instead of my tithe going to a church organization for their distribution, I am giving it directly to those in need. Is this Biblically correct or is this not considered proper tithing?
Looking at different articles on the internet, they say that we have to see ourselves as hell deserving before we can get saved. What is your view on this? I’m not denying that sin leads to death or anything, just wondering whether something like this would be an obstacle for salvation?
I have a question from a friend of mine. He asked me if He is Saved if he sometimes feels no remorse what so ever for sinning even when he knows its wrong. He says the only thing he gets is a “maybe I shouldn’t do this” feeling and that it often goes away. Please help me answer him!!
Concerning “Who Does the Father Draw?“…I totally agree with you except for the part that God doesn’t call everyone. I believe He does, either through hearing the Word or through observation of creation (Romans 1:18-20; Psalm 19:1-4; Job 12:7-12). Also John 12:32 says “When I am lifted up I will draw all men unto Myself”. I truly believe that every lost person has been drawn by the Holy Spirit at some point in their lives, probably several times, but continued to reject that calling. Therefore, at the Great White Throne judgment no lost person will be able to accuse God that He isn’t fair because He never called them. Actually, I think we are in agreement that people send themselves to eternal judgment and that they did indeed have a choice.
In your article titled Cognitive Dissonance, it sounded like there is a point when God can have enough of us, so to speak, and stop answering our prayers. Is this correct? If God ever chooses to stop answering our prayers we are in deep trouble.
Like you, I agree the Holy Spirit is the Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2. It fits the data, that at the rapture, the Holy Spirit will no longer restrain Satan, and all hell will break loose, literally. But your article got me thinking, and in particular about the book of Job. In the first chapter we see that Satan presents himself before the Lord, and as you know, the Lord asks him to consider Job, His servant. Satan is “allowed” to do a lot of things to influence Job’s relationship with God. Satan could have done much more, but God restrained him from doing all that he might do. Applying this to the Restrainer, I wonder if an argument could be made that God Himself is the Restrainer. He certainly was able to directly control what Satan was allowed to do, and that could still be true today. It even fits with your Genesis reference where “there would come a time when His Spirit would step aside and allow a time of judgment to proceed.” Couldn’t we see that also being fulfilled after the church is removed? Yes, He could still be doing the actual restraining through His Holy Spirit, both then and now, but it puts the control in God’s hands.
I have believed on Jesus the Christ for many, many years. Through out my years of faith, I’ve sat under teaching of our position in Christ and the favor of the Father as He delights in those who believe, and I’ve sat under teaching that the Father does not look favorably upon our personal sins (not Sin) – like spiritual pride, fear of man, independence, etc. That the Father does not wink at my sins. I’ve also read that the closer a Believer draws to the Father, the clearer that Believer sees the sins in their life.
I lean toward living under repentance of sins (probably from all the hell-fire-and-brimstone preaching from my youth), but I also am pulled towards realizing just how much the Father loves and adores me as His child. How should a Believer hold these two practices (living within our victorious position in Christ vs. living in repentance of sins) in tension?
Of all the gospel accounts, Luke goes into the most detail about the life of Jesus’ earthly dad, Joseph. In Luke, it talks about how he and Mary had to go back to Jerusalem to find the 12 year old Jesus who ended up being left behind. Of course, we know they found him in the temple; talking to the teachers. After that, nothing is said. What do the Bible scholars say happened to Joseph?
What is your take on Rahab the harlot of the book of Joshua being a different person than the Rahab of Matthew that married Salmon? According to R.K.Phillips, they are two distinctly different individuals. He backs his statement up using the Hebrew, and the Greek Septuagint, and the Greek of The New Testament. I have always heard they were one in the same. But there is a large gap of time that has never been accounted for. Please give me your take on this subject.