June 2013 Questions / Answers

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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. “What was Jesus talking about when he said no man putting his hand to the plow who looks back is fit for the kingdom?”

Š     The context shows He is teaching that one cannot follow Him without the full commitment to be a full follower (Luke 9:57-62).

Š     The Lord has always demanded full commitment of His followers (Joshua 24:15-22, Matthew 19:16-22, Luke 14:25-33, Hebrews 10:38, and II Peter 2:20-22). 

 

2. “We have three elders in the congregation I am a member at.  Recently a member of the congregation got very ill.  Not one of the elders knew about it and they never visited the member.  Shouldn’t that disqualify them from being elders?”

Š     The carnal needs of brethren are not the focus of the work of spiritual leaders (Acts 6:1-4).

Š     The work of elders [men that meet the qualifications to be elders; I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9] is to feed, protect, and oversee the local flock spiritually (Acts 20:28 and I Peter 5:1-4).

Š     The only time elders were involved with the physically sick was when they miraculously came to heal them (James 5:14; cf. Acts 28:8 and I Corinthians 12:28).  In that time they were CALLED upon to do so, not already there.  *Remember that miracles have ceased and man cannot heal one another in such a way today (I Corinthians 13:8-13).

Š     That is not to say that elders should not care that someone in the congregation is sick.  It is just not the FOCUS of their work.  All Christians, elders and preachers included, should care and desire to help as they can those who are sick (I Corinthians 12:25).

 

3. “If a minister is making enough money to buy a brand new Cadillac Escalade for more than 60,000 dollars isn’t he making too much money?”

Š     Here is the real question.  Is a preacher worthy of wages?  Answer – YES (I Corinthians 9:1-14).

Š     Can a preacher make more money than he “needs”?  Answer – YES (Philippians 4:11-16).

Š     Now, if the brethren declare that a preacher is making too much money because he buys something expensive, will they also relinquish their wages when they make enough money to do the same?  Why is there a different view of how a preacher is paid to do his work and how a secular worker is paid to do their work? 

Š     In whatever work a man does, including preaching, he is worthy of receiving wages (Luke 10:7).

Š     Another issue, in this question, is the judging according to appearance (John 7:24).

o  Though there is nothing wrong with the preacher having enough funds to purchase something expensive, how do you know someone else didn’t buy it for him or pay some part of the cost?  I have had good friends give me unsolicited gifts that carry a hefty price tag (an iPad, help with buying a vehicle, etc.).

o  How do you know the expensive “new” vehicle wasn’t accomplished through trading, a great deal, hail damages, or whatever?  What if the price was significantly lower than you think (again, not that it has to be cheaper to be right)?

o  This month I spent $75.94 at Lowes on supplies for the building the church assembles in.  I also spent $69.80 on a Bible and concordance for a new brother in Christ.  Likely, the person who complains about the Caddy would not say anything about such expenses.

Š     Is the preacher worldly?  Is he content regardless of what he has or does not have?  That is what matters (I Timothy 6:6-10).

Š     For those who set “wage limits” on preachers – beware (Matthew 7:2).

 

4. “We have no located preacher.  Do you agree?”

Š     The idea that a congregation cannot have a local preacher living and working with them in that community is a false doctrine (Acts 14:26-28, Acts 20:25-31, Acts 21:8 [cf. Acts 8:40], I Timothy 1:3-7, and Titus 1:4-5).

 

5. “What if someone is taught false teaching but has an honest heart?  Can that person be saved if they believe and follow that false teachings?”

Š     Unfortunately, the answer to this question is, NO (Isaiah 3:12, Isaiah 9:16, and Matthew 15:1-14).

Š     Good intentions do not excuse sinful actions:

o  Uzzah had good intentions (II Samuel 6:6-7).

o  David had good intentions in wanting to build the temple (II Samuel 7:1-7).

o  Saul persecuted Christians (Acts 22:4 and Galatians 1:13), with good intentions (Acts 26:9-12) and a clear conscience (Acts 23:1), but was sinning (I Timothy 1:15).

Š     You obey what you are taught (Romans 6:17).

Š     To be born into Christ you have to be taught the uncorrupted word of God (I Peter 1:22-25).

Š     It is the truth that sets free (John 8:32), not false doctrine (Galatians 1:6, Galatians 3:1, and Galatians 5:7-9).

 

6. “Simple question. Are we justified before or after baptism?”

Š     There is nothing simple with the question.  First, who is “we”?  Not all people need to be saved (James 4:17).

Š     The simplest answer is, for those have sinned, you are not justified until after you have obeyed the Gospel, which includes baptism (Galatians 3:24-29).

Š     Salvation, for those who have sinned, cannot occur without being immersed into Christ (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-6, and I Peter 3:20-21).

Š     We are justified by, but not limited to, the following…

o  Christ (Acts 13:33-39).

o  Works (James 2:24).

o  Grace (Romans 3:24).

o  Faith (Romans 5:1).

o  The blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).

o  Being washed, which implies baptism (I Corinthians 6:9-11; cf. Acts 22:16).

o  The righteousness of Christ (Romans 5:18).

o  Being a doer of the law (Romans 2:13; cf. James 1:21-27).

 

7. “I was wondering about eating in the church, fellowship halls, etc. I am trying to find scriptures. I found 1 cor. 22 & 34. Is there any more scriptures on this matter, and how would I go about explaining it to a liberal. Of course to me it is right there in black and white?”

Š     First, we have to distinguish that the church is the people, not the building (I Corinthians 12:27 and Hebrews 3:6).

Š     From there, we have to understand that this issue comes down to Bible authority.  We must do everything with authority from God (Isaiah 8:20, Jeremiah 7:30-31, Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 6:46, Colossians 3:17, I Thessalonians 5:21, and II John 9), not on what we think is right or wrong (Proverbs 3:5-7, Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 21:2, and I Corinthians 4:6). 

Š     Therefore, we should not be looking for what is wrong with the church meeting for social meals, but whether or not such is right (Ephesians 5:10).

o  Where does God say the church is supposed to assemble together for a social meal?  - NOWHERE!  Social meals are an individual work of Christians to be fulfilled in their own homes (Romans 12:13, I Corinthians 11:34, and I Peter 4:9).

o  Without authority to practice social meals as the local church, such should not be done (Romans 14:23).

Š     With “liberals”, social meals are a symptom of the problem of following human traditions and have no regard for Scriptural authority.  Until this problem is resolved, you are not going to have these folks change (Matthew 15:1-14).

Š     You also have to teach “liberals” that there is a difference between the works the local church is to do collectively and those works that individual Christians are to do on their own.

o  The local church comes together for spiritual edification (Ephesians 4:16 and Hebrews 10:23-25).  The individual saint may do this too (Romans 14:19).

o  The local church collectively aids needy saints (I Corinthians 16:1-4 and II Corinthians 8:1-9:14).  The individual saint may do this too (Acts 11:27-30).

o  The local church collectively works in the spreading of the Gospel (I Thessalonians 1:7-9).  The individual saint may do this too (Mark 16:15-16).

o  Yet, not all things the individual Christian does can be done by the church collectively (I Corinthians 7:1-5, Ephesians 6:1-4, I Timothy 5:3-16, etc.).    

 

 

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© 2013 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