February 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.
Š The same reason that the Father called Jesus, “God” (Hebrews 1:6-13). All three persons are one (I John 5:7).
o The Father is God (Galatians 1:3-4, Ephesians 4:6, and II Thessalonians 1:2).
o Jesus is God (Matthew 1:23, John 1:1-5, John 8:56-58; [cf. Exodus 3:14], and Romans 9:1-5).
o The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:1-4).
Š Even Thomas recognized the deity of Christ in the same context that your question comes from (John 20:28).
Š If you do not believe that Jesus is deity, you cannot be saved (John 8:23-24).
2. “There are false doctrines of churches, gay pastors, women pastors, sinful pastors who want to keep their services in churches. They may not follow Commandments of God on Bible. They know; no matters. If they find their mistaken, no matters again; they continue to keep their services. They still not follow Commandments of God on Bible. They are good to work hard with assembly, who attend to services many times. Will they get forgiven for still breaking Commandments of God when they pray? Can God listen to forgive them? They have not followed again. Will they go to heaven to get life?”
Š If they do not STOP all of their sins, they will not get to Heaven (II Chronicles 7:14, Psalms 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, Ezekiel 14:6, Ezekiel 18:30, Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30-31, and Acts 26:18-20).
Š In fact, unless the repent of their sins God is not even hearing their prayers (Proverbs 15:29, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 59:1-3, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12).
Š These who know they’re doing wrong are sinners, but they also display an attitude of rebellion. Consider the following Scriptures on rebellious people: I Samuel 15:23, Proverbs 17:11, Isaiah 63:10, and Lamentations 3:42.
Š People who are rebellious are stiff-necked (Deuteronomy 31:27). People who are stiff-necked resist God (Acts 7:51). They don’t want to change and therefore God allows them to believe the lies they tell and be lost through those lies (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).
3. “What was the Transfiguration of Jesus?”
Š Matthew 17:1-9 and Luke 9:28-36; cf. II Peter 1:16-18.
4. “How do you know that the death penalty is not murder?”
Š Follow this Scriptural conclusion…
o It is/was a sin to kill a human (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17, Romans 13:9, etc.).
o Yet, the same God commanded the taking of life for certain crimes committed (Exodus 21:12, Exodus 22:18-20, Leviticus 20:10-16, Deuteronomy 13:5, etc.).
o Therefore, one must conclude that the death penalty is not the same as killing someone.
o God sees a difference in killing [as in taking the life of an innocent person] and the death penalty (Proverbs 6:16-19 and Revelation 2:20-23).
Š God has put government in place to take vengeance on evildoers (Romans 13:1-5).
5. “My employer has started using the word ‘obey’ when it comes to policies. I am uncomfortable with this. Is it wrong for me to ‘obey’ my employer?”
Š No, it is right to obey your employer. That principle is seen through the New Testament (Ephesians 6:5-8, Colossians 3:22-24, I Timothy 6:1-2, Titus 2:9-10, etc.).
Š The exception to that rule will always be that we cannot obey man to the disobedience of God (Acts 5:29 and Galatians 1:10).
6. “I was wondering how does a preacher like you come up with what to preach? When looking at your recent materials page I see a wide range of lessons. There does not seem to be any specific pattern you follow to come up with what you are preaching. Do you just pick verses or something?”
Š First and foremost, a preacher/teacher must preach what is NEEDED (Jude 3).
Š A teacher must understand what can and cannot be taught to a certain person or group of people (I Corinthians 3:1-3).
Š Once the things needed are taught and it is time to grow in knowledge, there must be the goal of teaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27).
Š One cannot just keep recycling first principles and think that teaching is occurring (Hebrews 5:8-6:4).
Š You must also, as a teacher, make sure you are preventing error (I Timothy 1:3-7) and making full proof of your work through proper teaching (II Timothy 4:1-5). That does not mean though that teaching is just about exposing false doctrine (Acts 20:32 and Ephesians 4:15).
Š On top of that, you have to be training others to teach (II Timothy 2:1-2).
Š You have to set in order things that are lacking and prepare men to be elders (Titus 1:5-9).
Š Those are the things that must be in the mind of a teacher as he works to prepare everyone he teaches to meet the Lord (Colossians 1:28-29).
Š There is a pattern to what I teach here in El Paso. Old Testament on Sunday’s, New Testament Tuesday nights, and topical subjects for growth and challenges in the article and Sunday sermon. I even change up lessons based on specific needs or potential areas to grow in.
7. “This is something that bothers me a lot, no Elders .These folks that have seperated themselves from"mainstream" churches and definded congregations as, "insitutional" or "non-institutional" are the predominate thorn in my side. Because of the move they've made, it appears they find themselves without qualified Elders in many if not most cases. My thinking plain and simple is: THE DESCRIPTION: Titus describes a congregation without Elders as...."lacking" and disorderly "set in order". THE COMMAND: "appoint Elders in EVERY city"...period. Particularly in this day and age, there is no reason a Christian could not find a congregation WITH an Eldership. Today we have cars and you can't throw a rock without hitting a C of C in many places. Because of their decision to seperate themselves as they have, it has created an inconvience. I can see worshipping without Elders at an airport on layover, waiting on a plane or in a jungle clearing in a foreign land. Is there anything you can say to help me understand HOW a congregation has the authority to set-up/network AS a congregation without Elders?”
Š There is a lot to discuss in what you have written. Let me start with the eldership question… There are qualifications in place for a man to be an elder (I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9). One cannot rush to appoint elders and ignore any of those qualifications. The real problem of today is that there are very few men who are really qualified to be elders.
Š It does not take elders for the Lord’s church to exist. The church exists in that the saved are added to her when they are converted (Acts 2:47).
Š I live in a city of nearly a million people (here in El Paso). There are 10 or so buildings that say "church of Christ" on a sign indicating that those folks believe the church of Christ is assembling inside those buildings. Some of those people claim to have elders, but those men that I have talked with are not even nearly capable or qualified to be elders. It is a shame. I am currently working with men here to help them to become elders. That is all I know to do as an evangelist. Being part of a congregation just because they SAY they have elders is not right if error is being taught/practiced (Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 26:4-5, Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 19:27, Jeremiah 15:17, Mark 4:24, Romans 16:17-18, Galatians 5:7-9, Ephesians 4:14, Ephesians 5:11, I Timothy 5:22, I Timothy 6:3-5, II John 9-11, Revelation 2:14, and Revelation 2:20).
Š On some other notes, "mainstream", "institutional", "non-institutional", etc. are all factions. Such is wrong (I Corinthians 11:19). Those things are not the problem preventing elderships though, they are the cause of not having elders. Real elders would have prevented these things in many areas of the world from occurring (Acts 20:28-31 and Titus 1:9-14).
Š Worship is not the only thing affected without elders. Without Scriptural oversight [shepherds] (I Peter 5:1-4), the sheep lose direction (Mark 6:34). Without an eldership a congregation is not structured. In many cases the preacher is given more authority than the Lord has ever permitted.
Š On another note… Being in an airport or another foreign land is no excuse for not assembling with faithful brethren. One should always assemble with Christians to worship (Acts 20:7). We should never be found in a place wherein we cannot do so (Hebrews 10:23-25).
8. “How can I point out to someone that they should not defend someone or something that is wrong?”
Š Psalms 119:104, Psalms 119:128, Proverbs 17:15, Proverbs 24:23-24, Isaiah 5:20, and Romans 12:9.
© 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