December 2013 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. “Can apostasy be forgiven? Seems like if you fall you are gone completely from God.”
Yes, apostasy [falling away] is forgivable if one confesses (I John 1:9) and repents (Luke 15:1-32, Luke 19:1-10, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20, and Revelation 2:1-5).
While it is possible to repent, one should understand that if he or she errs you are completely separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-3, Acts 8:13-24, Ephesians 5:5-6, I Peter 3:10-12, and I John 3:6-10).
2. “There are people who called themselves church of Christ and they believe in mormon book and the made some of them an apostles. Should I read their book?”
If I understand correctly, I am going to guess that you are talking about the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Book of Mormon claims (on the cover) to be “Another Testament Of Jesus Christ”. Notice the title page of the Book of Mormon: “Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God… And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ” (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/ttlpg). The first book in their bible says this: “And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge” (I Nephi 1:3; http://scriptures.lds.org/en/1_ne/1). The Bible explicitly condemns that (Galatians 1:6-12 and I Timothy 1:3-4; cf. Proverbs 30:5-6 and Revelation 22:18-19).
By their own words, that book does not contain the word of God, but the fallible words of men! Those truly inspired would never make such a claim. The truly inspired said they did not speak their own words (II Samuel 23:2, I Corinthians 2:1-5, and I Thessalonians 2:13). God’s word is infallible (Psalms 33:4, Psalms 119:89, Proverbs 22:21, Matthew 5:17-18, Matthew 26:54, and John 10:34-36) and is not interpreted by man (II Peter 1:20-21). The true word of God was ONCE DELIVERED (Jude 3), not continually revealed.
There is no second church of Christ or one of latter day saints. Jesus built one church that He is the head of (Matthew 16:13-18, Ephesians 1:22-23, and Ephesians 4:4).
There are no Apostles today. To be an Apostle one had to witness the Lord after His resurrection (Acts 1:15-26). No one today can or will see Jesus as He was last seen by Paul (I Corinthians 15:1-8).
3. “Moses saw God and his hair turned white. How many other people did that happen to?”
For one, Moses did not see God (Exodus 33:17-20, John 1:18, and I John 4:12).
Moses saw the glory of the Lord (Exodus 33:19-23), as did others (Leviticus 9:23), but nothing is said of his hair turning white (Exodus 34:34-35).
4. “Dear Brother. I need help with a problem. I am a married man and a dedicated Christian. I do not want to fail God or my loving wife. In no way do I want to perish in damnable hell fire. My problem is with lust. There is a woman in the congregation whom I lust after. She is beautiful. She is not trying to get me to lust. I just do. How can I stay in the congregation but stop lusting after her?”
This is a problem (Matthew 5:28-30).
There is a solution (Romans 13:13-14, Galatians 5:16, Titus 2:12, and I Peter 2:11).
What I am going to say hereafter is assuming that you are really perplexed and that your desire is truly to our Lord and your wife. Lusting after this woman may be a symptom of another problem.
Arriving at the solution is more complicated than just reading the Scriptures cited above. You are going to have to figure out WHAT is causing your problem of lust.
Are your desires being filled in the marriage bed (I Corinthians 7:1-5 and Hebrews 13:4)?
Are you no longer attracted to your wife and are allowing the “beauty” of this other woman to stand in that place of attraction (cf. Proverbs 6:25).
Is your wife a Christian? I ask that because, if she is, there is a solution that may not work otherwise. If your wife is a Christian you should be able to talk with her, confess this fault, and mutually find the solution (Galatians 6:1-2).
If your wife is not a Christian, that could be part of what is driving an aspect of this problem. Christian women are naturally more beautiful that women of the world (Proverbs 31:10-31 and I Peter 3:1-5).
Therefore, you are going to have to figure out the WHY here. If your wife is a Christian you’re going to have to involve her (James 5:16). If not, find a brother in the congregation there to talk to about this spiritual and physical problem.
Ultimately, leaving the congregation is not going to solve the problem. It will potentially arise wherever you are. Find and fix [meaning true repentance; Luke 13:3 and Acts 26:20] the problem before it gets you into ETERNAL trouble (James 1:13-16).
5. “While studying with a couple I asked if she liked singing and if so, they might join several others of us who meet at one of our elderly ladies home and spend an hour singing because she loves to sing. I was shocked when the woman responded with, ‘Oh no! I do NOT like singing, not even a little bit!’. What do you say to that?”
You asked a person if they wanted to go sing because an elderly woman likes to sing. Why do you have a problem with someone not liking to sing in regard to the question you asked them? You said “because SHE loves to sing”, you did not say anything about praises to God, etc.
To what your implying… God does not require us to “like” or “love” singing. He requires us to sing and make melody in our hearts to Him (Ephesians 5:19) with an understanding of what we’re singing (I Corinthians 14:15).
What we do for God is to His pleasure, not needing us to be entertained by such (Revelation 4:11).
6. “Studying from your site it looks like you think the church can only come together for worship and not for fellowship meals and such. That’s not from the Bible I read.”
The church can assemble for worship (Acts 20:7). However, that is not the only reason the church can or should assemble.
The church can assemble to practice discipline (Matthew 18:15-17).
The church may assemble to sing and pray (I Corinthians 14:15-16 and Colossians 3:16).
The church may assemble for the hearing of reports concerning other faithful saints (Acts 14:26-28).
The church may assemble to discuss the Scriptures and even how to help erring brethren, in other areas, come to the truth (Acts 15:1-35).
What you do not find is the church assembling together for common meals or entertainment. That is not a work of the church (Romans 14:17). What you do find is that individual Christians should, under their own oversight, plan and host the gathering of other Christians for such activities (Romans 12:13 and I Peter 4:9).
Fellowship and food are not tied together. In fact, I Corinthians 10:27-28 shows a Christian can assemble at a feast of unbelievers wherein meats offered to idols may even be served. The only time eating and drinking is in a context of spiritual fellowship is when partaking of the Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 10:16) [the word communion (Strong’s # 2842) means fellowship if you do a word study on it].
The one time we do read of the church having a common meal as the church, in abusing the Lord’s Supper, they were instructed to cease doing so and to eat in their own homes rather than the assembly (I Corinthians 11:22-34).
Plainly stated… We need authority for all that we say and do (Matthew 28:20 and Colossians 3:17). NO WHERE, in the New Testament, does the Lord say that the church should assemble for or organize as assembly for eating food socially.
7. “Is 1 John 3:16 teaching that we ought to be willing to "literally" die for the brethren?”
Yes, (John 15:12-14, Romans 16:1-4, and Philippians 2:25-30).
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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