June 2014 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. “You teach you must also be baptized to be saved . So how did the dying thief next to jesus say remember me into your kingdom and jesus sid to him today you will be with me in paradise. How could he go to paradise without being baptized . Please answer Thanks.”
Š In regard to baptism, it is what the Scriptures teach that I teach (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, John 3:1-5, Acts 2:37-41, Acts 8:12-39, Acts 9:1-20, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 16:13-15, Acts 16:23-34, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:1-7, Galatians 3:24-29, Ephesians 4:4-6, Colossians 2:12, and I Peter 3:20-21).
Š In regard to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:38-43), there are many ways in which you have assumed things that are not so.
o How do you know he wasn’t baptized with John’s baptism and had fallen away? John had been teaching and baptizing people for some time (Matthew 3:1-8).
o The fact that the thief acknowledged his sins and confessed Christ shows he had been taught something. Moreover, he did what the Law of Moses (which was the law in place at the time the thief was on the cross – Colossians 2:14) required at that time (Proverbs 28:13).
o Baptism into Christ for the remission of sins wasn’t even possible at the time Jesus was on the cross. It is the blood of Christ that washes away sins after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven (Matthew 26:28 and Revelation 1:5). This ties to baptism (Acts 22:16 and Romans 6:1-6).
o The baptism of John, which occurred prior to Acts 2, was a baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4) that was no longer valid once you get into the book of Acts (Acts 19:1-7).
Š Be honest, how can you read the commands to be baptized and then try to twist Scriptures to get out of them? Are you the thief on the cross? Are you being crucified next to Jesus? Are you living under the Law of Moses? Just do what the Lord says or you’ll be damned (Mark 16:15-16; cf. John 12:48).
Š Additionally, you should understand that there is MUCH more to be done to have your sins forgiven (Matthew 13:1-23, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 11:28, Luke 14:24-33, Acts 3:19, Acts 26:20, Romans 6:17, Romans 10:10, I Corinthians 15:1-4, etc.) and stay faithful (John 8:31, Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7, Galatians 6:19-26, Ephesians 5:1-11, etc.) than just baptism. *The fact is, start in Matthew 1:1 and go through Revelation 22:21. Then, study the Old Testament (Romans 15:1-4 and I Corinthians 10:1-12) and rightly apply (II Timothy 2:15) what is still consistent with the Law of Christ (i.e. Leviticus 19:2; cf. I Peter 1:13-16) and therein you find hundreds and thousands of applications of things a person must do to be and continue to be saved. Thus, if you think discounting baptism and finding some list of one or two things you must do to be saved with get you there – WRONG! Baptism is the least of things you’d have to discount to make getting to Heaven a “simple” task.
2. “Why doesn’t the church you preach for have activities and programs to attract children or families with children?”
Š I work with the church of Christ, which belongs to Christ (Matthew 16:18 and Ephesians 5:25).
Š Jesus is the head of the church that I work with (Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:18).
Š Therefore, as being part of His body the church, we just do what He authorizes (Matthew 28:20, Colossians 3:17, I Thessalonians 4:1-2, and I John 2:3-6).
Š The only thing Jesus authorizes us to do is to preach and teach the Gospel to reach the lost (Romans 1:16, Romans 10:17, I Thessalonians 2:13, and James 1:21).
Š The biblically authorized “youth ministry” is found in the home (Ephesians 6:1-4).
Š Understand this, true Christians are not concerned about bringing people into our assemblies. We are concerned about getting people into Christ and ultimately to Heaven. This can only be accomplished through the proper teaching of the unadulterated word of God (Romans 16:25-26, Titus 1:1-3, and I Peter 1:18-25).
3. “I have a friend who doesn’t agree with the bible. He says that the bible says that wisdom is foolish. He argues that our god wants people to be stupid so they will follow the Bible. How do I answer that? The bible do say wisdom is foolishness.”
Š For one, God does NOT say that, “wisdom is foolishness”. He does say that the wisdom of this world [human wisdom] is foolish (I Corinthians 1:19-20 and I Corinthians 3:18-19).
Š You answer that by saying this man’s conclusion is false. It is the will of God that we be wise (Psalms 2:10, Psalms 94:8, Proverbs 4:5-7, Proverbs 6:6, Proverbs 8:33, Proverbs 16:16, Proverbs 19:20, Proverbs 23:19, Matthew 10:16, Ephesians 5:15-17, Colossians 1:9, and Colossians 4:5).
4. “I have some questions about preachers. 1) Should we pay them? 2) Should they have to work 40 hours if we pay them? Can we ask them to use a time clock? 3) How much authority do they have in the church? 4) Who do preachers answer to? 5) Should I be asking you these questions since you are a preacher? 6) How much does the speaking skills of a preacher should come into discussion when considering a man to preach? 7) Every preacher I have ever met is lazy. Every preacher I have ever met is greedy. They never use their wages to help people or even give right. So my final question is shouldn’t the facts that preachers tend to be lazy and greedy cause the church to make preachers more accountable about their time and money?”
Š Your # 1… The word “paid” is vulgar in my mind. Preachers are not hirelings (cf. John 10:12-13). When words like “paid” are the focus you are sure to make money a motivator. When a man teaching is motivated by money he is sure to teach error (II Peter 2:1-3). A preacher should be and must be supported financially (I Corinthians 9:1-14 and Philippians 4:11-17). When Paul did not take support from the church in Corinth (II Corinthians 11:8), he said he wronged them (II Corinthians 12:13).
Š Your # 2… If a preacher is faithful to the Lord you would never be able to measure the real hours he puts in (Acts 6:4, Acts 20:18-20, I Thessalonians 3:1-10, I Timothy 4:12-13, II Timothy 4:2, etc.). Fact, the work never ends! There are no days off!
Š Your # 3… All authority in the church belongs to Christ and Him alone (see question # 2 of this series of q & a’s). The only authority a preacher has different than others is to set in order things lacking (Titus 1:5) and to teach the truth with all authority (Titus 2:15).
Š Your # 4… Like all Christians, preachers answer to the Lord (Romans 14:12). There is a difference in one way (James 3:1). Like all other Christians, we should all submit to one another (I Peter 5:5). However, since your questions seem to imply a preacher is an employee of the church, understand that this is not Scriptural in any way!
Š Your # 5… Really? The Scriptures are the standard (Luke 4:4). Therefore, test the answers here with the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-11).
Š Your # 6… The ability of a speaker, so far as being eloquent, ought not be much of a consideration (I Corinthians 2:1-5). The power is in the word (Psalms 19:7). Having said that, there are some men that can cause the word of God to be confusing. Thus, you’d have to be sure a man can clearly declare the truth (Nehemiah 8:8 and I Timothy 1:3-7; cf. Matthew 15:14) and that he has the working knowledge to do so (II Timothy 4:1-5).
Š Your # 7… Doesn’t sound like you’ve ever met a preacher or that you have wrongly judged them (John 7:24). Faithful preachers have given themselves wholly to their work in every manner (I Timothy 4:15-16 and Titus 2:7-8). Faithful preachers are not or never could be greedy in any way. The life of a preacher is about self-sacrifices (II Corinthians 12:15, Philippians 2:17-23, and I Thessalonians 2:8).
Š Your# 7 continued… To the final part of your questions… If a preacher has lived his life so that someone thinks they need more accountability from men there is one of two problems.
o Often, someone just doesn’t like him and they are looking to lay charges against him (Matthew 5:11, Acts 6:11-13, Romans 3:8, Galatians 4:16, etc.). Us faithful preachers do not fear this for our conduct speaks volumes (cf. I Peter 2:12 and I Peter 3:16).
o Sometimes, a man decides to “become a preacher” for all the wrong reasons. If he is lazy, unstudied, etc. that will be evident over time (Matthew 7:20). He should be exposed as a hireling (Romans 16:17).
o How would you even know what a preacher does with his money (Matthew 6:1-4)?
Š I have known preachers who recycle sermons, download them offline all of the time, are glory seekers, etc. They are busy in all the wrong things for the wrong reason. Thus, sometimes these concerns are real. In all things, preachers or not, be aware that many Christians are false (Matthew 7:15-20, Acts 20:28-31, etc.). Just be sure your judgment is right and that you talk to these people to save their souls and help them rather than seek ammunition to destroy them (James 5:19-20). If they (preacher or not) are not living aright, take the proper actions for the right reasons (II Thessalonians 3:6).
5. “What sect of the Jews did not believe in a resurrection?”
Š The Sadducees rejected bodily resurrections of the dead (Matthew 22:23-34, Mark 12:18-27, Luke 20:27-40, and Acts 23:7-8).
© 2014 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