Q. First of all I love your sight, I just found it a few weeks ago and can’t wait to read it everyday. I am confused about the verses in 1 Thes. 4:13-17 I believe that when a born again Christian dies their spirit and soul goes to be with the Lord. My confusion is if the dead are already with the Lord, and we all get new bodies, why in verse 14 will God bring them with him and then rapture them back up?
Q. What is your understanding of ‘Baptism in/with the Holy Spirit’. We have members in our group – which by the way is a mix of denominations incl. RC – on this subject. All agree we need to be baptized to witness to others our faith in Christ and that this is by immersion. However some maintain that you receive the Spirit after the water baptism.
Some say you may never receive Him, some say (and they are the ones I agree with) that nowadays we receive the Spirit as guide, helper and rebuker of our conscience the minute we pray the sinners prayer and accept Christ. In the apostles days it happened suddenly as at pentecost, by laying on of hands by an apostle or at/after baptism so there seems to be no clear answer. For some this has become a sticking point in accepting brothers or sisters as true believers. Can you please give us some insight?
Q. I was channel-surfing last night, and began to watch ( a well known christian TV personality). All these years, he’s said that the earth is young, and that the evolutionists had it all wrong. Now, he says that earth is thirteen billion years old, and that there was another creation, of man. It is my belief that (he) has gone around the bend. What are your thoughts?
Q. We unfortunately live in an area where there are mostly liberal and emerging churches which we would have difficulty attending for doctrinal reasons. For many years we attended a steadfast Bible-believing church quite far away from us. We can no longer afford the gas to attend that particular church and have been “orphans” for awhile. We have not yet found another church to attend near us and are certainly uncomfortable with the situation. But we do want to at least resume tithing.
How do we determine appropriate places to give our tithe if we temporarily don’t have a church home or if we end up having to keep worshiping at home? We also have dear elderly parents who are in as difficult a financial condition as we and we are trying to help them with everything we have. Is it alright to use any of our actual tithe money for them for their necessities of life like groceries and utilities? Or is that the wrong use of tithe money? Is tithe money only to be used through an official church organization to keep order and efficiency, or can individual Christians decide, within reason, where their own tithes would best be used?
Q. Thank you for answering the many questions that you receive. Your insight and knowledge helps many in their understanding of the Bible and living the Christian life with a world view. One of the scripture texts which the Preterists use in arguing for the second coming in some form having taken place before the destruction of the Jerusalem in 70 AD is found in Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27.
Jesus is telling His disciples about His need to die and His future second coming bringing rewards to His followers and makes the statement “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death fefore they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.” Preterists take this as His second coming taking place in some way before some of these disciples died and His kingdom being establshed at that time.
Of course, none of the many other things which had to take place before Christ returns as stated in Revelation had and has not happened and so the Preterists are wrong in the view but what did Christ mean in this statement about some of these disciples not seeing death before He comes in His kingdom? Did he mean that upon His resurrection, His kingdom would be in his followers (believers) hearts?
Q. Thanks for the answers you provide. I have a simple question. What role do you see the Bible having during the millenium?
Q. I want to thank you for your articles and commentaries. They have been very encouraging and uplifting, as are those of many other expositors. I enjoy yours very much as they most often deal with prophecy and the end times. It is something I have had much interest in since I became a Christian in 1972. Please keep up the good work.
I would like to say that occasionally I find a doctrine that seems to not be in keeping with Scripture. And one of those being the concept that God is waiting to bring in that last slated believer to complete the right number before He takes the church off this earth.
God says He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Ptr 3:9). I do not find any scripture that bears witness to that doctrine of the last believer. Instead I find that God is waiting for the ‘fulness of transgressions’ to come in as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, and with the Amorites as He said He would to Abram.
The word Gentile in scripture most always applies to unbelievers, infidels, enemies of God. It was that way exclusively in the Old Testament as regards God’s commandments for Israel to destroy them when taking the land. And in the New Testament the majority of the time it applies thus as well. Strong’s Concordance defines Gentile as a non-Jew: (Greek Lexicon 1672) an inhabitant of Hellas; a Greek-speaking person. In the Greek (1481), and in the Hebrew (1471) it is defined as heathen, nation, people. There is no mention of it meaning strictly a believer in the Church.
Q. Please assist:All the sin that I have committed,still will commit,have already been forgiven by God in Christ Jesus..After salvation,if I sin,which will happen,do I have to ask forgiveness again,or do I have to acknowledge my sin before God,repent of it.?If I ask again to be forgiven,do I crucify Jesus all over again?Or does God look at our hearts intention when we repent and not at how grammatically correct we repent.
Q. In your recent article you made the following statement:
“There’s nothing arbitrary about God’s action here. He has already determined the number and will take the Church to its intended destination as soon as that number is reached. But as far as I can tell no one on Earth knows either the full number or the current number.”
I have always had difficulty with the free will vs. elect doctrine.
Many say God chose us before the worlds were formed so you’re either “destined for salvation ” or you’re not. Others say Christ died for the whole world so anyone can be saved. If our Lord already determined the number, what the heck is that based on? It does sound a little arbitrary. Makes me wonder if someone will miss out because they are at the back of the line!
Q. I’ve been reading your articles again and I do greatly enjoy your knowledge on the Bible and end times. I have one question on 1 Thes. 5:1-4. If this is speaking of Jesus return to earth then it is after the rapture, correct? so when it says, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” are we who have been caught up in the rapture already in heaven, thus “but you, brothers, are not in darkness.”
I will admit, I am a bit cautions about the idea of predicting a year or range of years for the return of Jesus in the clouds to rapture us home. Not that I don’t have an idea, or even agree with your speculations of about when this event will happen. But I am a believer too, and read the Bible much and often, so I look forward to that day.
My worry is about unbelievers who watch or read or listen to more specific predictions of times and then they don’t happen that way. Can Satan use that as a tool against that person to ever believe? That is my worry more than anything. Of course then, there will be those who DO hasten to the believe in Christ because they are warned that His return is now. But my personal belief is that the safest course of teaching is simply that, that His return is imminent and that all prophecy has been fullfilled that is required before the rapture of the church can take place.
Thank you for you widsom and knowledge of the Bible and it’s meanings. You have been a great help to me.