September 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. “Although, I'm now becoming as one of the matured preachers, but I need a second opinion rather than mine alone. I lived in the province of Lanao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines which is one of the Muslim area where there were often time of troubles between the Government troopers and the "Moro Islamic Liberation Front" (M.I.L.F.). Almost all of the people here are having Fire Arms (GUNS) as a self defense of the unexpected attacks of the rebels. My Question Is: IS IT RIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO BE ARMED WITH GUNS FOR SELF DEFENSE?”
Š I know that the wording of this question has the word “opinion” in it. That word can be taken multiple ways. Just to be clear, any man’s opinion is really worthless (I Corinthians 4:6, Matthew 4:4, Proverbs 14:12, etc.). With that clear…
Š Threats of violence should always be taken seriously and we should avoid harm to ourselves when possible, by escaping these situations (Matthew 10:23, John 11:53-54, Acts 8:1-4, Acts 9:24-25, Acts 13:50-51, Acts 14:5-7, and Acts 17:5-10).
Š If it is possible (this implies there are times when it is not), we need to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18).
Š When we cannot live peaceably, the word of God does give us the right of self-defense (Exodus 22:2-3, Luke 11:21, and Luke 22:36).
Š Concerning gun laws, we are bound to obey civil laws (Romans 13:1-7 and I Peter 2:13-16) that do not conflict with God’s laws (Acts 5:29). Thus, be careful to walk the line of self-defense in knowing your local laws and balancing those with protecting your family.
2. “Does Colossians 1:15 mean that Jesus was Adam? Colossians 1:15 is talking about Jesus if you look at Colossians 1:12-15 together. Please give more than an opinion. Thank you.”
Š No! The “firstborn of every creature” is talking about the resurrection prior to one being in Heaven, which occurred first with Jesus (Acts 26:23, I Corinthians 15:20-23, and Revelation 1:5). A few verses later you find this clarified (Colossians 1:18).
Š On top of that, Adam was not born he was created mature (Genesis 1:26-28).
3. “There are sins that make God sad. He may weep over our sins, but it is only out of love for each and every one of us. His love is unconditional 1 Jn 4:16, meaning He does not require us to be a certain way or do certain things to earn His love. He loves us despite the things we may do. How can you teach against people who love each other and want to be married just because they are homosexual?”
Š God does sorrow when we sin (Hebrews 3:10).
Š Love, unconditionally as defined by you, is not true (John 14:21 and John 15:9-10).
Š God does require obedience of us (Luke 6:46, John 14:15, Colossians 3:5-6, Hebrews 5:8-9, II Thessalonians 1:7-9, etc.).
Š That being said, we cannot “earn” His love either (Ephesians 2:8-9 and II Timothy 1:8-9), but we must keep His love (Jude 21).
Š What I teach about homosexuality is that they are lost. That is what the Scriptures teach (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 23:17, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Corinthians 6:18, Ephesians 5:3, and Jude 7; cf. Genesis 19:1-5).
4. “Sunday mornings we are studying 1 Corinthians. The teacher refers to the gifts as spiritual gifts that all of us have although not miraculous. Is it correct to refer to them as such?”
Š No, that is incorrect. I Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14 are chapters dealing with miraculous gifts given by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:11).
Š In the age of miracles, those converted to Christ had the Apostles lay hands on them and give them the Holy Spirit. This can clearly be seen in Acts 8:12-24 and Acts 19:1-7.
5. “Who is the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12:1?”
Š The word “wherefore” ties backwards to those of faith in Hebrews 11.
Š The point is, considering all those who came before us, we need to press on without allowing anything to weigh us down (Romans 13:11-14, Philippians 3:13-17, and II Timothy 2:1-4).
6. “As you know, Halloween will soon be here. That is one holiday that I have struggled with for several years now. We have several members here who participate in it. Do you believe that it is scripturally wrong for a Christian to hand out candy to Trick or Treaters?”
Š I am cautious when it comes to Halloween, Christmas, etc. All have pagan religious ties and history. However, I also understand that some people do things merely out of family tradition on days such as those. Some celebrate days for different reasons than others may or may not. This CAN be acceptable (Romans 14:5-6).
Š Though we MAY celebrate some days, we cannot do so to the disruption of the conscience of our brethren (Romans 14:7-14).
Š Certainly, we can have no day as a “religious day” (Galatians 4:9-11).
Š For sure, some of the history of “Halloween” is dark and involves paganism. From all of this aspect, we must steer clear (II Chronicles 33:6, Acts 19:18-20, Galatians 5:19-20, and Philippians 4:8) without making a law of our conscience bound upon others (Romans 14:1-3).
Š Remember, it is not wrong to be part of cultural events if said events are not of a so-called “religious” nature (I Corinthians 9:19-23 and I Corinthians 10:23-32).
7. “Do you believe that we should list sins to others? When we try to compile a list of sins, we find ourselves buried under the guilt of our own failures because we discover that we have sinned far more than we realized. The Scriptures really do not give us specific things to call sin, do they?”
Š Sin is transgression of the law (I John 3:4) or anything unrighteous (I John 5:17).
Š Therefore, any time you go beyond that which is authorized, you sin (Leviticus 10:1-2, Matthew 28:18-20, I Corinthians 4:6, Colossians 3:17, Revelation 22:18-19).
Š Furthermore, a list of every sin that a person can commit is not possible to assemble. For some, one thing may be a sin that is not a sin for another (i.e. Romans 14:23).
Š That being said, it is not WRONG to give a list of certain sins. The inspired word of God does so in many places (Romans 1:18-32, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Revelation 21:8, etc.).
Š As far as guilt is concerned, we should feel guilt for our sins (Job 42:6, Ezekiel 36:31, and James 4:6-10).
Š Additionally, we should be much more thoughtful than to all of sudden realize we’ve sinned more than we thought (II Corinthians 13:5).
8. “Why are there so many Christian denominations?”
Š There are no such things as “Christian” denominations. A Christian is a follower of Christ (Acts 11:26; cf. John 8:31).
Š Those in denominations are followers of men or women teaching the doctrines of men. Such is sinful and means you’re not a follower of Christ (Matthew 15:7-9, Galatians 1:6-12, and Colossians 2:18-23; cf. Matthew 12:46-50).
Š There is only one church [body – Ephesians 1:22-23] that exists by the authority of the Lord (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 4:4-6, and Colossians 3:15). Those who are truly saved are added to the church of Christ (Acts 2:47).
Š The bearing of someone else’s name is sinful (I Corinthians 1:10-13) and those who did not begin their faith wearing the name of Christ cannot be saved (Acts 4:10-12).
© 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