August 2011 Questions / Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points.
1. “Please discuss what does mean that they in Jesus crucify flesh?”
Š I am going to answer this question by guessing that you are referring to this Scripture: “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).
Š What this means is that Christians (those in Christ – Galatians 3:26-29) stop living in a way to satisfy the flesh. Instead, we live to that which pertains to our spiritual being [well-being of our soul] (Romans 6:1-13, Romans 8:4-8, Galatians 5:16-17, Galatians 6:8, Ephesians 4:17-27, Colossians 3:1-17, Philippians 3:3, I Peter 2:11, and I Peter 4:1-5).
2. “Is a person’s baptism invalid if they join an apostate congregation after their conversion?”
Š First, let’s start with a simple principle that will help us in our study of this question. The principle is this, when one is converted to Christ and they sin soon afterward, that does not make their baptism invalid (Acts 8:12-24).
Š Now, consider the congregation in Corinth.
o This congregation begins in Acts 18:8.
o Apostasy sets in with this congregation as various sins work within this congregation:
§ Division (I Corinthians 1:10-11).
§ The wearing of the names of men rather than Christ [denominationalism] (I Corinthians 1:12-17).
§ They are carnal, envious, etc. (I Corinthians 3:1-4; cf. Romans 8:6).
§ They are allowing sin [fornication] to go on within the body (I Corinthians 5:1-13; cf. I Timothy 5:22) unchecked (II Thessalonians 3:6; 14-15).
§ They’re having civil legal matters dividing them (I Corinthians 6:1-8).
§ They have division over eating of meats (I Corinthians 8; 10).
§ The role of women is being abused (I Corinthians 11:3-15; 14:34-35).
§ The Lord’s Supper has been perverted (I Corinthians 11:18-34).
§ Spiritual gifts are being abused, worship services perverted, etc. (I Corinthians 12:1-14:40).
§ Some were denying the resurrection (I Corinthians 15:12).
o Considering all of that, repentance was possible for these folks without having to be baptized (II Corinthians 2:6-10). Case closed!
Š To be clear though, if you are part of a congregation wherein ANY error is being taught, believed, and/or practiced; you’re in error (Ephesians 5:11, I Timothy 6:3-5, I John 1:3-7, II John 9-11, Revelation 2:14, and Revelation 2:20) and your worship is in vain (Mark 7:7-9). You MUST repent of that, though you will not need “converted” again if you were once truly converted to Christ.
Š Having said all of that, wherein there are serious doubts you should act in a way to remove all doubts (II Peter 1:10).
3. “God wants everyone to be saved. This means Muslims and Buddhists. I have always felt in my heart of hearts that salvation does not depend on knowing Jesus. I believe one can be saved by knowing within what righteous is then by living it. Many will never hear the gospel and your message condemns them. My question is how do you who claims to speaks words of truth prove from the bible that man must follow something other than what is their hearts?”
Š You are correct in saying that God wants everyone to be saved (I Timothy 2:4). You are wrong in how you apply that truth.
Š You might start with some Scriptures that tell us not to trust in our hearts (Proverbs 28:26, Jeremiah 17:9, and Mark 7:21-23).
o Fools speak from the heart. That does not get them anywhere with God (Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1).
Š Secondly, you cannot be saved without knowing (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, and I John 2:23) and obeying Christ (Romans 2:5-8, Hebrews 5:8-9, and II Thessalonians 1:8-9).
Š Thus, we must follow the Scriptures rather than our hearts (Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 4:4, Luke 11:28, John 14:21-23, and John 15:10). *More on this in question #9.
4. “Did dinosaurs die in the flood?”
Š The word “dinosaur” does not appear in the Scriptures. The word didn’t even exist until the mid 19th century. Notice: “ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from modern Latin dinosaurus, from Greek deinos ‘terrible’ + sauros lizard” (Oxford American Dictionary).
Š That being said, there are creatures spoken of in the Bible that do not exist today (Job 40:15-24 and Job 41:1-34).
Š Animals become extinct for many reasons. Even today, without a flood, there are animals facing extinction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_species). Whether or not large creatures that we call dinosaurs died in the flood, we simply do not know.
5. “Can we sin by not doing something we’re supposed to do? Let me explain, what if I do not understand the Lord’s Supper. I don’t partake but I am a Christian. Have I sinned by not partaking?”
Š First, you can sin by not doing something you know you’re supposed to do (John 15:22 and James 4:17).
Š The rest of your question get’s a bit more involved. Let me explain:
o If you do not know how to properly do something, you should not act (Romans 14:23 and I Timothy 2:8).
o This does not mean that ignorance is an excuse. In fact, ignorance is wrong in many ways (Ephesians 5:10, Ephesians 5:17, I Peter 3:15, etc.).
o A true child of God would not allow himself or herself to miss the Lord’s Supper because of ignorance. A true child of God would find out all they need to know before it is time to partake (John 5:39, I Thessalonians 5:21, and II Timothy 2:15).
Š Now, concerning the Lord’s Supper, there may be a time wherein a Christian knows why to partake and understands everything, but they may abstain if their life is not right (I Corinthians 11:27-29).
o That being said, a true child of God does not allow sin to linger leaving them unprepared to meet the Lord (Matthew 24:42-46, Matthew 25:1-13, and I Thessalonians 5:1-6).
o A true child of God will confess (I John 1:9) and repent of that sin (Luke 13:3) ASAP (Psalms 119:59-60).
o Yet, if at that moment he or she is in sin, they need to abstain as the Scriptures already have stated.
6. “Is it wrong to lend a brother in need money and charge him interest?”
Š For one, we should never lend to our brethren with expectation of something in return (Luke 6:35).
Š When brethren have true needs, we [individual saints first; I Timothy 5:3-16] need to do all that we can to help them in their time of need, following the pattern we see in the Scriptures (Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:33-37, and Acts 11:27-30).
Š When the individual Christian cannot meet the need, then the local church should follow the pattern of helping (not lending) truly needy saints (I Corinthians 16:1-4 and II Corinthians 8-9).
7. “Who is Jesus talking about in Mark 9:11-13?”
Š John the Baptizer was likened unto Elijah (Matthew 11:11-14, Matthew 17:12-13, and Luke 1:13-17).
Š To clear up further questions… John was not literally Elijah (John 1:19-27).
Š The prophesy about the return of Elijah is in Malachi 4:5-6.
8. “Where does church get authority for voting on who will be elders?”
Š There is no authority for this. That means it’s wrong (Proverbs 30:5-6, Luke 6:46, I Corinthians 4:6, II Timothy 3:16-17, and II John 9).
Š Elders are appointed by evangelists, based on their qualifications to serve as elders (Titus 1:5-9; cf. I Timothy 3:1-7).
9. “I have heard obedience preservationists continually make the statement ‘remain faithful to the end’. Here is the question that must be asked at this point. Does ‘remain faithful’ mean ‘obey New Testament commandments’? If so would that mean you are lost any time you sin? Isn’t that ridiculous?”
Š Yes, we must obey all instructions (whether by command, example, or inescapable conclusion) that apply to us today (Matthew 12:46-50, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 6:46, Ephesians 5:10, Colossians 3:17, I John 2:3-6, and Revelation 22:14).
Š Some things written, even in the N.T., do not apply today. For example, men cannot perform miracles today (I Corinthians 13:8-13), thus some instructions like that do not apply (i.e. Mark 16:17-20).
Š Sin = transgression of the law (I John 3:4).
Š Any time you sin, you are lost being separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-3, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23, and Galatians 2:17).
Š This is not my fault or God’s fault; it is the sinner’s fault that they are lost (Isaiah 50:1).
© 2011 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager