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|Results from: Answered Bible Questions, Unanswered Bible Questions
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|1||Ever been a preacher as wise as Solomon?||Eccl 9:2||Aixen7z4||153519|
|It frustrated Solomon to see it, and many a modern preacher seems to not see it, that time and chance happen to all.
We have read (in Deuteronomy 28, for example) that good comes to those who do good, and evil comes to those who do evil. But Solomon says he looked and did not find that. The fact is, as Jesus says, that rain falls on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5). It causes us to look at those passages again. Maybe they were special promises to a special people at a special time, and we should not have generalized to all people of all time. David saw the prosperity of the wicked and Job wondered why the righteous suffer. They all learned to take the long view, to look at the end (Job 14:14; Psalm 73:17; Ecclesiastes 8:12).
Many a preacher encourages us to expect all that is good now, and they suggest that we need to adjust our lives in order to get it. But one comes on at times to pray that the Lord will help us to live each day in the light of eternity. It does seem that we can focus on a few verses and become shortsighted. But Solomon gives us the long and realistic view. Is this not a measure of the wisdom of Solomon?
|2||What's the proper response to injustice?||1 Pet 2:19||Aixen7z4||152998|
|The problem of injustice persists, and no doubt merits some attention.
Many Christians experience injustice and have had difficulty in responding to it. Peter seems to be saying (1 Peter 2:19) that we should take it patiently. Moreover, it is not only deserved punishment that must be taken patiently but also suffering that has not been earned. (See v. 20).
One may suffer patiently for having done good deeds. That may include situations where one is prosecuted, or otherwise persecuted, for preaching the Gospel. But what when one is innocent, having broken no laws? What when one is falsely accused or punished without due process of law?
It is probably true that some people in every society experience injustice. For some, it is systematic and continual. For some, it is occasional, and they may seek clarification by consulting legal experts. Sometimes legal experts offer their assistance in an attempt to right the wrong. How are the children of God to respond when they think they are victims of injustice?
There may well be different opinions, and this may depend in part on the extent to which one has suffered from injustice. Please share from the Scriptures rather than from personal experience.
Is it always appropriate to identify with our Lord Jesus Christ in his trial and to suffer, simply committing ourselves (as in 1 Peter 2:23) to our God who judges righteously? Does scripture ever require or allow for any alternative or additional responses?
|3||And can we accept this challenge?||Bible general Archive 2||Aixen7z4||151123|
|Some of us accepted that challenge, and we were humbled and sobered by it.
But it seems to me that the greater challenge still remains. The challenge is to help a brother.
I hope that one is allowed to ask that when one’s heart goes out to a brother. The brother may not accept that he needs help, but it is my considered opinion that a person does need help when he seems to have become fixated. I hope this is not judged to be ad hominem, or an attack, because it comes out of a desire to help, to help all of us.
Quite often a person becomes stuck, or overtaken with a fault, as in Galatians 6:1.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
It is my observation that our brother is stuck in a box and apparently unable to think outside of it. Well meaning attempts to get him out may result in his become more firmly stuck; like pulling someone down through a funnel, if you understand what I mean. So the question is: How do you help such a brother?
It is probably difficult for any of us to change our minds. There is something called perseverance that we may confuse with obstinacy. It would not be bothersome if someone had some idiosyncrasy, such as saying “Amen” to everything or “Praise the Lord” before everything. We get into habits. And I suppose that the need to capitalize all pronouns that refer to deity is a harmless habit. But when a fascination with capitalization leads one of us to propose that there is a holy spirit to go along with the Holy Spirit, then we may think that the brother needs help. If he does not admit it, he may think that he has a valid point that he needs to hold on to, or even teach. Then we may conclude that he needs help.
So the question, and the challenge, must be faced, I think. And this writer has this habit of saying, “I think”, “It seems to me”, and suchlike. It is a habit developed in training; “It is my impression” is better than “I am sure”, etc. But I suppose it should not matter if one’s supposition is based on scripture. And I suppose we should seek to help because of passages such as Galatians 6:1. Then there is Galatians 2 where Paul helped Peter, and Romans 15 where the weak are to help the strong, and Hebrews 12 where we are to make straight paths for our feet lest the lame be turned away, and James 5 where one of us, hypothetically, errs from the truth, and one converts him. and learns that he who converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
We are told that we are to restore such an one. The challenge is to find the way to do it.
|4||Can we not ask God to forgive another?||John||Aixen7z4||150946|
|We do have clear instruction from the Lord to pray for those who hurt us (Matthew 5:44). Please say what you think we should pray for in such cases.
I must say I am surprised to hear that we are not authorized to pray that God would forgive them. It is true that we do not have the position of our Lord Jesus Christ; he is God. But was Jesus not acting in his humanity when he made his petition? After all, he did not grant the forgiveness in this situation, but asked the Father to do it.
Did not Stephen do the same thing (Acts 7:60) when he prayed, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge”? And wasn’t Paul expressing the same desire, (in 2 Timothy 4:16) that God would forgive those who would not stand with him during his trial?
It seems quite admirable that this person wants to encourage a resolution of the matter at hand, and since the original questioner is having difficulty, it seems appropriate that they be encouraged to pray. But again, what should they pray for? They could have prayed for vengeance. That is preferable to taking it themselves (Romans 12:19) since God has said that is his job (Deuteronomy 32, etc.). Paul prayed for a just recompense for Alexander (2 Timothy 4) and certainly there is a lot in the Psalms of asking God to punish the enemies. It seems the more humane and loving thing to do, to pray that the person would find forgiveness.
We are asked to forgive those who trespass against us (Matthew 6) but there is also the requirement that the person repent and ask for that forgiveness (Luke 17). One may say, then, that there is no such thing as forgiveness in the absence of repentance. And who can grant repentance. It is only God, as far as I know (Acts 11:18). I would assume that the one who asks God to forgive someone else is implying a request that God grant that person repentance, without which not even God can forgive that person (Luke 13).
It may be said that it in some sense it is not our forgiveness that a person needs, but God’s. A person may trespass against us, and we should forgive them if they repent, but all sin is really against God (Psalm 51) and it is God’s forgiveness that the person really needs. If we really care about the person, and I assume that this person cares about their father, they would desire that God find a way to forgive him of his sins.
We do not know what the offense is in this case, but the questioner is having difficulty to forgive the offender. Is it because he has not repented? Is it because the person feels they have been hurt too deeply? Is it because they fear it might happen again? It seems impossible to even suggest a solution when there is such a dearth of information. But it does seem appropriate to ask the person to pray. Not only Jesus, but also Stephen and Paul prayed that God would forgive another, and I am inclined to believe that we can as well.
|5||Is "Your God" the same as "My God"?||Bible general Archive 2||Aixen7z4||149870|
|I suppose you are correct, that there are no rules to this. But would you take some time to look, see if there is a progression, perhaps? Does anyone in Scripture change his expression from "God" to "your God", to "my God", for example? You might want to compare a king such as David, who said, "O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust" (Psalm 7) to one such as Pharaoh, who said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice ...? I know not the LORD ..." (Exodus 5). There is something about God being my God, that umagumadog wanted to share with us, in addition to the fact he is good, and it might be profitable for us to explore it. As always, it is desirable to support personal opinions and experience with scripture.
|6||"My God". "My God". Why?||Bible general Archive 2||Aixen7z4||149858|
|I do not know if that person meant to ask a question, but the statement leads me to ask one.
Why do we refer to God as our God?
The query had hardly formed in my mind when I realized that that person is not the only one. Jacob decided (Genesis 28) that the Lord would be his God. Moses referred to him as his God. David, Paul, and the prophets did. Jesus cried, “My God! My God!” And Thomas cried, “My Lord and my God!”
One is not surprised if Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2) would refer to the Lord as Daniel’s God, because he had another god. Paul says (Philippians 3) that some people have their belly as their God. The Psalmist says, “Blessed is the nation (Psalm 32) or the people (Psalm 144) whose God is the Lord”. Other nations had other gods. Ruth had another god until she decided (Ruth 1) that Naomi’s God would be her God.
But now I wonder why the possessive in all those other cases. I checked and found that the KJV refers to “our God” some 195 times. It has “your God” 172 times, and “my God” some 137 times. Even God himself says, “It shall come to pass … that … I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, ‘You are my people;’ and they shall say, ‘You are my God’” (Hosea 2).
There are times when people refer to God without the possessive. Then he is the Lord, the Lord God. When do they choose to say “My Lord” or “My God”? Who can tell?
|7||How many?||Heb 8:13||Aixen7z4||135526|
|I wonder how we would answer the question now.
How many commandments are in force?
|8||Why did God give ten commandments?||Heb 8:13||Aixen7z4||135397|
|A short, sweet, poignant statement was made by one Radioman2, #77737, on 03-09-03, that everyone in the church should read and ponder. It says that the Law of Moses consisted of hundreds of commandments, not just ten.
Do we know why there is so much focus on ten of the commandments?
Everyone who uses the term Ten Commandments or who lifts up a plaque with that Decalogue on it, should think about it. That includes me. I have one on the wall in my office. The question is, Why ten? And I am not interested in knowing the spiritual significance of the number. I would like to know why those ten are special, above the other hundreds that are recorded. I do not know if it is true that there are 613. I did not take the time to count them. But I am certain there are more than ten.
When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22) he quoted two. What is interesting to me is that the second one he quoted is not one of the ten.
The command to love our neighbor is not one of the Ten Commandments. And yet someone reading here is upset because they think this writer is minimizing or seeking to eliminate that commandment. It is because we have giving so much prominence to the ten.
I do not know what the Ten Commandments are supposed to represent. They are certainly not all that the Jews were supposed to keep. The command to love the neighbor is not in Exodus 20 and it is not in Deuteronomy 6. If someone points out that it is in one or both of those places I will come back red-faced and apologize for missing it. As far as I know that commandment is recorded in Leviticus 19. It is not a part of the Ten Commandments, and yet Jesus said it is one of the greatest. Leviticus also contains many other commandments that I did not take the time to count.
And yet I hear Jesus saying that those two commandments encapsulate all of the Law. Paul seems to go a step further when he says (Romans 13) that there is only one commandment. But I do not think he is going a step further. The two go together. If we love God, then we keep his commandment. And his commandment is that we love one another. Something within us protests that we can love God and not love our brother, but God says no. If you have done it to your brother you have done it to God. I suspect that it goes both ways, that hating your brother is hating God, but we should not digress to go into that here.
Some of us make such a fuss about keeping the Sabbath and what meats to eat, and yet we do not take time or care to love. We talk about the Ten Commandments and miss the one.
Think about your own feelings now. Can you answer the question with love in your heart. Then tell us why there has been such a focus on ten of the commandments, and not the six hundred, and not the two, or the one.
I see that the Bible itself mentions the Ten Commandments only three times. The first time was when God gave them. The other two times it refers to the time that he gave them. I say that God might have said just three things. 1. I love you (And I have shown it in so many ways). 2. I want you to love me (And show it by trusting me and obeying me). 3. I want you to love one another (Do nice things for one another). But we have gotten focused on the letter and lost sight of his heart.
It seems to me that God put forth Ten Commandments only as a representative sample, to keep our attention. But there is much more, and it goes much deeper.
But what do you say?
|9||The Old Covenant lingers?||Heb 8:13||Aixen7z4||135301|
|This different opinion on Hebrews 8:13 is reminiscent of the difficulty many have with 1 Corinthians 13:8. The thing was going to end. But when?
In the first place, who said it would end? Was it the person who wrote to the Hebrews? Or was it Jeremiah? (If you say it was God then ask whom did he use to reveal it).
What was supposed to end? Was it the sacrifice of lambs only? Or was it the entire Old Covenant?
When was it to end? Was it supposed to go on for another seventy years after the cross? Or was it to end abruptly at the cross?
The writer to the Hebrews was referring to the fact that God had spoken. He was saying that’s the way it is whenever God speaks of old and new.
“ When God speaks of a new covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and ready to be put aside” (NLT).
“When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether” (AMP).
The point would be moot by now if we could decide that the Old Covenant has certainly finally gone by now, two thousand years after the cross. But alas! There is no consensus as to that. There are those who still keep the Sabbath, abstain from meats, pay the tithe, etc. Please note that someone is asking, based on the same verse, whether there are ten commandments now in force, or nine. There are Messianic Jewish churches now, and it is not a secret what they do there. But I visited a Protestant church not long ago and saw an entire observation of the Feast of Tabernacles.
When will that Old Covenant die?
As always, it is unfortunate when the original questioner disappears without responding to the answers that have been given. I wonder what rut and disciplerami understand by now? Is it possible they still think the New Covenant has not even started as yet?
|10||Do you believe this?||1 Tim 1:15||Aixen7z4||133272|
|Let's say we are saying that God has done everything he could do and said everything that needs to be said. Now all that awaits is final judgment. Now the unchannging message until the end of time is the Gospel, Repentance and Faith. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Can you believe that? Or do you believe? Or would you believe?|
|11||Can you believe this?||1 Tim 1:15||Aixen7z4||133064|
|There is a document that can be trusted and deserves complete acceptance; it is the word of God. We work hard and struggle to live a godly life, because we place our confidence in the living God. He is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. See 1 Timothy 4:9,10. We persevere in presenting the word of God as that which is to be heard and believed and obeyed, though the majority of people find it hard to do that.
It tells us that God made the world, and people to populate it and tend. He gave them everything they needed and asked that they trust him and obey him. But they failed to do so. More and more they rebelled, until God was sorry he had ever made them. He chose one set of people and showered them with great blessings so others could see the virtue of submission to him. But the chosen people also turned away. He sent prophets to beg them to return to him, but they refused to listen. They persecuted them and killed them. Finally, God sent his Son. But they rejected him as well, and killed him. Ironically, that very death was accepted as payment for their sins, and God continued to offer them his friendship. The chosen people continued to reject that offer, so he brought in other people. He forgave their sins and formed them into his church. Now again, he sends prophets to them, but again they are rejected. He sends his Son again, and he stands at the door and knocks. As always, only a few, as individuals, respond to him while others look over their shoulders to see who else is moving. His prophets call the people to obedience, but they say, “That is your interpretation”. They flock to those who tell them what they want to hear, and crucify those who would tell the truth, while thy bow before their triune god of Intellectualism, Emotionalism and Prosperity. God says, “I am going to judge you”. But they say, “He can’t. He's already judged Jesus for our sins”. God’s servants turn to those outside. They tell them of God’s love, and his offer of forgiveness. But the people say, “A loving God will never send anyone to hell”. In spite of all this, God continues to love his creation and to call them to himself. He saves all who come to him, and promises them eternal bliss in heaven.
Can you believe this?
|12||But why the focus on the name?||Phil 2:9||Aixen7z4||132671|
|Agreed. Completely. Amen.
Now, do you have a thought about the focus on the name?
|13||Just the name?||Phil 2:9||Aixen7z4||132663|
|He felt that the Bible was trying to make the way of salvation too easy. First it says all we have to do is receive Jesus. But then it seems to say we don’t even have to do that much. If we only believe on his name; that is enough.
He was wrestling with John 1:12.
How would you help him? How would you explain it?
Some passages of Scripture indicate we can be saved by believing the message of the Gospel. For example, in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul speaks of the gospel that he preached, which they had received, by which they were saved. In 1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.
Other passages say we are saved by believing on the person of Christ. For example, in Acts 16:31 they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved”. In John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life”.
Still other passages require faith in his name. For example, in Matthew 12:21 as noted, “In his name shall the Gentiles trust”. In 1 John 5:12 it is those who believe on the name of the Son of God who have eternal life. We have already referred to John 1:12.
Who can explain this focus on the name?
|14||All of that?||Phil 2:9||Aixen7z4||132646|
|Hello, GB. Thanks for that scripture. Is there also scriptural support for the other characteristics you attach to the name?|
|15||What's in a name?||Phil 2:9||Aixen7z4||132607|
|What's in a name?
Someone has said that a rose by any name would smell as sweet. But the name is important, once it is attached to it, because it identifies the flower. It saves us time each time we would go to it, so that we do not need to look at the others, except perhaps as a backdrop and a comparison, as we go to it.
What's in the name Jesus?
I hope that everyone will flock to it and taste of it and talk about it.
|16||Is there a way to get back?||1 Tim 2:9||Aixen7z4||132478|
I think we need a balance, a suitable combination of knowledge and practice. You have also mentioned spirituality, and I will give some thought to that, what it means. But I’ll say this about the other two.
In school, we divided our time between lecture and lab, between study and practice, and that was good. I think you will agree. Would it not be good if we could do the same in church? It might force us to focus on the knowledge we intend to put to use. It might make us more proficient in doing the will of God.
I am suggesting that we need to know the word of God well. I do not think that we can go too far with that. I said we should saturate our minds with the word of God. Maybe I should have said “supersaturate” instead. Maybe I should have said “overflow” as that might give us enough and to spare, so we could share with others.
Is saying we can go too far I did not mean that we can get too much of the word of God. On the other hand I say that studying every doctrine of man is unnecessary. If we concentrate of the truth (John 17:17) then we will be prepared to recognize and deal with error.
If we know the word of God, we need not know whether Calvin or Arminius agrees with us. This is not to say we have no need of teachers. It is to say we have no need of favorites. We should be careful if we find our studies leading us to say, “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas”, much less to say, “I am of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Whitfield, Toplady, Edwards, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, Schafer, and/or John MacArthur”.
Listen. I know that denominations exist and people have favorite Bible teachers. Have no illusion that my writing here will put an end to that. Paul did not put an end to it by writing what he did in 1 Corinthians 1 and 3. But I would appeal to us to come together around the scriptures. I think that discussions of traditions will only serve to strain the chains that bind us.
The other fact, so apparent here, is that these discussions lead us away from the practical applications of the word of God. How did we get to this, when the question was about the way we dress? I think it was good that we talked about helping those who may not dress the way they think the Lord wants, and how the church might help them. It may be that we’re needing more of that.
But now we are getting to rules of thumb and principles by which traditions get their doctrines, and we seem to have come off the field. I fear it will only come to a competition as to who has the best rules of thumb. Better to get back to the original topic, I think, and to see how we can encourage people to behave the way they realize God wants them to, and how we can encourage the church to help them.
I hope this explains why I would decline an offer to learn more about one of the traditions.
Does anyone want to offer some ideas as to how one can encourage churches to support those who are trying to practice the word of God and having difficulty doing so? I just got a call from a sister who is having problems. She is so distraught because of the response she’s gotten from her pastor! She is inviting me to invade their meeting on Sunday or Wednesday to talk to him. Does anyone have scriptures pertaining to that?
That is the type of need I see, and it seems to be in line with the thread the way it started. If this request is out of line, I hope you will still find it in your heart to be kind in your responses.
|17||Springs? Source of life?||Prov 4:23||Aixen7z4||131211|
|"Keep thy heart with all diligence", KJV says; "for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
It would be interesting to hear some comments on that.
|18||Are we always conscious of the conflict?||Gal 5:17||Aixen7z4||130069|
|No one, so far. It was suggested that there was conflict in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-42) and in that moment on the cross (Matthew 27:46).
How much conflict between flesh and spirit do you experience? And how do you resolve it?
|Did you mean "Easy to say", or "Easy to do"?|
|20||What is it about these two natures?||Gal 5:17||Aixen7z4||129989|
|Scripture indicates that Jesus had two natures. He was the Son of God (Mark 1:1; John 10:36; etc.)and also the Son of man (Mark 2:10; John 8:28; etc.). Yet this duality caused no conflict for him except, perhaps, in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-42) and in that moment on the cross (Matthew 27:46). While he lived on earth in a human body, he knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and he did no sin (Hebrews 4:15).
We also have two natures (Ephesians 4:22,24). There is the old man and there is the new man. It may even be said that we have the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) in addition to our human nature (Genesis 6:3;John 3:6) and for us this duality is a source of great conflict (Galatians 5:17).
Why is it there was no conflict for Jesus, but so much conflict for us? Consider the importance of the fact that our conflict often results in sin.
Please note: The information you provide here will be of great benefit to believers who try to help other believers experiencing conflict. Please settle in your own mind whether you want to help that cause before you answer.
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