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Why death?

Question Text:  Why did God plant death upon the human race and why wouldn’t he grant life for those worthy?

Answer Text:  The Bible is very clear that death was NOT a part of God’s original creation.  We read about creation of man in Gen.1:26-31.   V.31 ends with the comment. “very good’.   If death and decay was a part of the creation, such a comment would be out of place.

But  in the second chapter God tells man that if he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he would die (Gen.2:15-17).  And from the third chapter of Genesis we know that man disobeyed God and thus man brought death into the world.

Please read what St. Paul says about the coming of death in to the world from Rom 5:12.  “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned”. So it is very clear that death is the result of sin and if there was no sin,  there would not be death in the world.

Now,  the second part of your question is self explanatory.  Surely God would grant life to any one who is worthy!  In the Old Testament we know that Enoch did not die (Gen.5:24).   So is the case with Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).  The Bible clearly says that God has no partiality (Rom.2:11).   If some one today were to live like Enoch or Elijah,  surely they would not need to face death.  Have you found any one with out envy, jealousy, malice, pride, anger, selfishness etc.  which are sins which separate us from God?

In fact,  death means separation.  But God in grace  offers free salvation  through Christ our Lord by His death on the cross (Rom.3:23-26).  And to a believer in Christ physical death is just a sleep as Jesus promised that those who believe in Him shall never die (John 11:26 cf. 1Thes.4:15)!   Praise be to His Holy Name.  Amen.

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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Bible Questions

 

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Changing Name to Follow Christ

Question Text: There is a recent convert to Christ out of Islam and he feels that he needs to change his name and I am urging him not to. He lives in Yemen and I feel it would put his life in danger and I feel that he can be a testimony for the Lord with a Muslim name. Can you give me some advice to share with him, please. Thanks, Ralph

 
   

Answer Text:  It is true that God has changed the names of a few people in the Bible.  Notable ones are Abraham and Jacob in the Old Testament and Peter in the New Testament.  But if we were to look at the names of the New Testament, majority of them, yes indeed,  very few ever changed their own names,  I can give you dozens of examples of pure Greek and Roman names which have no religious significance at all.  For example the name Philip  means ‘lover of horse’.  Luke means light etc.  Please look through all the NT names and you will hardly find any one who changed their names.  God changed the names of a few only and the number of those whose names were changed could be easily counted on fingers while numerous names are found in the NT.  So God does not require a name change if some one was to follow Christ.  Look at it this way.  Some one with a Muslim name can go as a Muslim and be accepted as such in the society.  And it gives an opportunity for him to witness personally to all who will come into contact with him.  But if he changes his name and accepts a  so-called Christian name (remember that there are no christian names.  They were either Jewish, Greek or Roman names of people who followed Christ), he is likely to be isolated from society and some times he is in the danger of getting killed for openly challenging their age old tradition.    Our Lord taught us that a little leaven leavens the whole lump and we all know that leaven does not remain isolated in the lump to perform its function.  Again, we are the salt of the earth.  As long as salt remains isolated it can not savor food.  May your friend see this truth and may he continue to be known by his original name as name is not what makes a person a Christian but his faith and His inner character.  God bless.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Christian life

 

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Mercy of God and Hell!

Question Text:  Here is a question that has been asked to me and I haven`t had an answer, so maybe you can help me. The Bible says repeatedly that `his mercy endures forever`. Does this just apply to those who put their trust in him or everyone? If it is for everyone, then what about the people in hell?`

Answer Text:  Webster defines mercy as “that benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being. The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Num 14”.

Following is a part of a Bible Dictionary definition of the word mercy. “Mercy is an essential character of God and it is associated with forgiveness (Exo_34:7; Num_14:18; 1Ti_1:13, 1Ti_1:16); with His forbearance (Psa_145:8, “Yahweh is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great lovingkindness”; compare Roman Psa_2:4; Psa_11:1-7 :32); and with His covenant (1Ki_8:23; Neh_1:5), with His justice (Psa_101:1), with His faithfulness (Psa_89:24), with His truth (Psa_108:4); mercy and truth are united in Pro_3:3; Pro_14:22, etc. (in Psa_85:10 we have “Mercy and truth are met together”)”.

Many Bible scholars think it is best to translate the Hebrew word “chesed” as “covenant love” rather than “mercy” as it is usually done. The Bible is very clear that hell is not prepared for man (Mt.25:41). But those who reject God’s love and His forgiveness reach there as there is no other place for them to go. Till man’s last breath on this earth, the Lord is waiting for him to come to Him. God will accept the final “no” of man with tears as He is rejected by him. That is why through Ezekiel God would say, “”Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? “(Eze 33:11).

 God is helpless when some one rejects His love and forgiveness. That is why He would say, “why should my people die?” Read the last few verses of Eze.18.

People go to hell because God does NOT want to force any one to accept Him and His ways. Thus hell is the negative result of the mercy and love of God. Let us never be guilty of rejecting the love of an all loving God. It hurts Him more than it hurts the one who rejects Him. I hope this understanding of the mercy of God helps. God bless!

 

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Is God Cruel In Punishment?

 Question Text : “Is God cruel? I was   shocked when Iread deuteronomy 28:15-68 full of curses”.

Answer Text :  Your  question of God being cruel is a against the Bible revelation which presents God as love (1Jn.4:8).   Sinners get punished because they work against the operating principles of God and God is helpless.  Now read on.

If  God is love how are we to understand God punishing people for their sins?  You must remember that God operates this universe using fixed laws which can NEVER be changed as long as this earth lasts (Psa.148:6).  There are physical laws like the law of gravity. Can you imagine jumping from a high flat with out getting hurt?  No one can break the law of gravity and can imagine that he would escape with out getting hurt.  Scientists have discovered several of the physical laws and we use them for our benefit. 

Now, God uses spiritual laws as well.  And God has given in writing all the spiritual laws by which we need to abide by (Psa.147:19). One of the unchanging laws of God is “what a man sows, so he reaps”.  And God has given us the freedom to choose life or death. Any one who breaks any of God’s written laws is bound to get hurt.  God can not be blamed for the hurt as He has clearly told us what is what in His Word.  He has given us the freedom to choose life or death. 

Read what the Bible says about it.  “Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant. If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life” (Gal 6:7-8 GNB).  That is why Ezekiel would ask, “why should Israel die” (Eze.18:31). 

In Dt.28 God is telling us clearly what will the result of obeying His laws or disobeying them.  We can choose what we want in life.  God is helpless if we choose to disobey Him.  We will surely get hurt now and later our sin and our disobedience will tak e us to a place from where God has withdrawn His presence and the Bible calls in hell.  This happens because God does NOT want to force any one to choose Him or to choose goodness only.  If that was the case, we would have been like robots.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2009 in Bible Questions

 

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Need for Indian Christian Theology

Question Text :   i  am really  confused about the question raised by our professor in our college  about  the indian christian theology………….  my question is that do we need an indian christian theology in  the indian context if yes  than why do we  need indian chrristian theology  if no than why we  dont need what hermeneutical principle would we apply to follow  to  do so……………..  would  be very happy  if u would please help me to  find out ?

Answer Text :  Though the gospel is the same,  the way it is appreciated and understood is different in different cultures. Jesus came to the world as a Jew and He lived and taught as a Jew. His food and clothing were Jewish. But when that message was to be preached around the world, the Jewish element has to be explained to the hearers so that the message will be understood properly. That is why there are so many commentaries written on the Bible. Otherwise there could be total misunderstanding of the message.

The classical example of this is found in the book ‘Peace Child’ written by Don Richardson. Richardson was a missionary among the cannibalistic Sawi tribe in Indonesia. He learnt their language with much difficulty and when the gospel was preached to the tribe, the people saw Judas as the hero and Jesus was to them a dupe to be laughed at, as deception was the highest virtue in their culture. Richardson was in great difficulty and he was determined to leave the mission field because the tribes were still fighting between them. But because the tribes did not want him to leave, they decided to make peace between them and the way it was done was by exchanging children to the enemies to be looked after. When he saw this he got the clue and he presented the Christ as God’s Son sent to reconcile us to Him. The result was the conversion of the tribes to Christ and the establishment of an indigenous church among them.

One reason why the Gospel did not make head way among Indians is that the early missionaries did not take note of the cultural offenses while they preached to Indians. For example, slaughtering a calf for food is a highly offensive thing here and the Bible translators could have avoided the mention of the calf being slaughtered for food. Instead in that place if they had simply said a grand meal was prepared with out specifically mentioning the slaughter of calf for food, many more Indians would have been willing to read the Bible.

The greatest Indian saint Sadhu Sunder Singh would put this idea in his own words when he said “we need to give the water of life in an Indian vessel”. The core message of the Bible has to taken out and presented it in a way which is understood and appreciated by the indigenous community. In Richardson’s language there will be “redemptive analogies” in each culture and until they are discovered and the gospel presented, it will become an offence to the hearers and they would never be able to appreciate what God has done to redeem this world.

Is there need for an Indian Christian theology? Yes, indeed. Every time the gospel is preached, preachers are using Indian languages, Indian illustrations, Indian cultural traits to make the gospel relevant to the hearers. The gospel makes its head into the community if it is presented in the way appealing to them.

 
 
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Posted by on August 6, 2009 in Bible Questions, Theology

 

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License To Sin?!

Question Text:   I was a Hindu, saved at the age of 14. I backslid many times and then I repented. I had a horrible childhood of abuse etc, never had a childhood or teen years as a normal kid even unto adulthood. When i was 22 i committed fornication once, also drank and smoked. I repented. I stopped then I committed fornication again although a bit unwillingly. I read Heb. Chap. 10. Am i saved?

Answer Text:  You said you were saved at the age of 14, though a Hindu. Praise God for the grace given to you. Then you talked about your backslidings and coming back again and again. You talked about your reluctant sins in your life and wonder whether you are saved. Truly you need to wonder about it. The Bible teaches that a child of God can NOT continue in sin (1Jn.3:9). The very fact that you are reluctant shows that the Spirit of God is within you. That you are concerned about your salvation is an indication that you are indeed a saved person! People of the world not only commit these sins but they enjoy doing it and want to have more and more of it. The Bible teaches that God can not tolerate sin where ever it is found. There is NO forgiveness for willful sins either in the OT or in the NT (Num.15:30,31; Heb.10:26). Sin in the life of a believer is punished here and now while we are in the body (1Cor.5:5). To a sinning child of God there is NO condemnation; but there WILL BE chastisement (1Cor.11:32). The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is a gift from God (Eph.2:8). All that we can DO to get this salvation is to receive it by faith. Since you can not DO any thing to get it, you can NOT do any thing to lose it either. The Bible teaches that once you are saved you are always saved. But that does NOT give you license to live in sin. Sin will be punished where ever it is found. I am going to give you one or two links from where you can go to many other related links and learn all about being saved and the need for a holy life. May the Lord give you grace to live a life pleasing to Him so that you may not be ashamed at His coming (1Jn.2:28). May His name be glorified. Amen. Please study the following links thoroughly and live a life acceptable to Him.  http://www.gotquestions.org/once-saved-always-saved.htmlhttp://www.gotquestions.org/license-sin.html .  Praise His Holy Name.  Amen

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2009 in Christian life

 

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Destined To Hell?!

Question Text: I am a fairly new Christian and struggle with predestination. Can I ask for Jesus to be lord of my life, read his word, desire to know truth, God, and apply what I learn to my life? I trust God’s word is truth, even though I don’t` understand all of it. Will I stand before him to hear him say, “I did not choose you ` and be gone to hell’ . I do not want to go to hell. I deserve it but I want to be with God. I have been praying for people in my life that are family and crossed my path for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to lead them to repentance and saving faith. Should I not do this because God chose those he knew would be His and he loses none of them? I am so disturbed over this. Please help!

Answer Text: I was so moved as I read your question. Your sincere desire to be in heaven and be in presence of the Lord for ever after you leave this world WILL NEVER EVER be denied by the Lord by any means as the Bible NEVER teaches that God has chosen certain people to go to hell. God loved the whole world (Jn.3:16). Christ died for sins of the whole world (1Jn.2:2). That surely includes you and me with out a question. Praise be to His Holy Name!

But the doctrine of divine election is a subject which is CLEARLY taught in the Bible. You can not read the Bible and miss that subject. If any one denies divine election, that person is guilty of denying a clear teaching of the Word of God.

While positive election is clearly taught in the Bible, the Bible NEVER teaches that God has elected some people TO GO TO HELL. In fact hell is NOT prepared for man. HELL IS PREPARED FOR SATAN AND HIS ANGELS (Mt. 25:41). The Bible clearly teaches that God is NOT willing that any should perish (1Tim.2:4; 2Pet.3:9). So if some one goes to hell, it is happening against God`s perfect will. That is why when Jesus, our Lord, taught His disciples to pray, He asked them to pray, `thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven` (Mt.6:10).

Then you are absolutely right about the role of grace even for accepting Christ as savior. Jesus clearly says `unless the Father draws, no one can come to me` (Jn.6:44). From these verses it is clear that when we pray for the salvation of our loved ones and friends, God gives them the grace to accept Christ even as we pray. Because we are clearly taught in the Bible that if we pray in the will of God, God will surely listen to us (1Jn.5:14).

So from now on please make your prayers for the conversion of your friends more intense and more specific and soon you will find the Lord touching them. There is one prayer to which God will never say “no” for an answer. It is when we pray for the salvation of others. Surely there will be struggle as Satan will not easily give up on certain people. But if we strive in prayer as we are taught in Rom.15:30-32, surely answer is bound to come.

When we read the biography of George Mueller of Bristol, we will come to know that he prayed for the conversion of a friend of his for 53 long years! But Mueller, who was a mighty man of prayer, could not see his friend’s conversion when Mueller was still alive. But the biographer of Mueller reports that the friend for whom Mueller was praying for 53 years accepted the Lord at the funeral service of Mueller! So be fervent in prayers for your friends and be sure that answer is bound to come sooner or later.

The question of the sovereignty of God and the freedom of man can not be easily solved by us. It is like the doctrine of Trinity. How could you explain that God is One yet there are three persons who have all the qualities of Godhead? The Bible calls it the mystery of God (Rev.10:6). What we have to do is to take the Bible verses at its face value and believe them and teach them as it is found there. If we emphasis one against the other we get in to all sorts of wrong teachings which are common among many Christians. May God bless you as you try to seek after Him whole heartedly. To His name be all glory. Amen.

 
 

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