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When is a person said to be chosen? Are only the saved ones chosen? Is it correct that God’s sovereign work of salvation begins among the chosen ones only? Is it possible that the chosen ones could die without being saved? Philippians 1:6 says “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Does it refer to the process of salvation or to those who are already saved?
It is interesting that usually when we read of the “elect” or “chosen ones” in the doctrine of the New Testament it is in the context of those who are already saved, and said to be “justified” (Rom. 8:33), “before him in love” (Eph. 1:4), “holy and beloved” (Col. 3:12), having personal “faith” (Tit. 1:1), sanctified by blood (1 Pet. 1:2). One exception to this would be 2 Tim. 2:10 which speaks of those who are elect, but have not yet obtained “the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory”. And yet the occasion of God’s decision to choose the elect is said to be “before the world’s foundation” (Eph. 1:4), and “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1 Pet. 1:2). This means that God chose us before we ever existed! It also shows that God’s sovereign work in the soul, culminating with salvation, begins among the elect; “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me” (John 6:37). I believe these passages shows us that generally those who are called “the elect” are those who by grace eventually come to Christ, believe the gospel, and are sealed with the Holy Spirit. But that begs the question, ‘Are any brought into eternal blessing without believing the gospel?’ We know that children who die go into the Father’s presence (Matt. 18:10). We know also that many saints in the Old Testament that lived and died long before Jesus Christ ever came into the world are in heaven now, eternally blessed. No doubt they were all chosen by God for blessing. The principle of Philippians 1:6 would show that it is God’s normal method to complete or perfect the work He begins. In the context of Philippians 1, it would be those who were already saved, and the completion of the work would be seen in their full conformance to the image of Christ, manifest in the day of display, “unto Jesus Christ’s day”. Nonetheless, the principle applies generally to all that God does. I believe salvation is preceded by the action of new birth. John 1:12-13 shows that those who received Christ “were born… of God”. No doubt those who are “born again” are the elect of God, the sheep who do respond when they hear the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:27). Can one of the elect die before the work of salvation is complete? Yes, for example, the death of an infant or unborn child. Can a quickened soul die before they believe the gospel? I don’t know that we can say absolutely, because scripture is silent on that question. However, I think we can see that God’s normal method is to complete a work once He begins.
I know that we must obey the authorities that God has set up to rule over us... but do we have to obey them if they are trying to make us do something that is against Scripture?
As a young person, I find it hard to transfer a conversation that is not pleasing to the Lord into something positive. For me personally, conversations like this happen with those that are older than I, and I’m unsure also how I should end that conversation. Is it my place to tell someone who should be respected that the topic brought up doesn’t honor the Lord? Do I just change the subject? … And if I go this route, is this not speaking out for the Lord? 1 Tim 5:1; Phil. 4:8.
Do it in a right spirit.
Is it bad to love our life? Because we have it better than so many people in the world, so shouldn’t we love how good we have it? John 12:25 says, “He who loves his life shall lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” So are we supposed to hate our life?
We should be thankful for what the Lord has provided, but not love it in the sense of clinging to it selfishly. We should be willing to lay our lives down in service to Christ. John 12.
The Lord Jesus says in John 2:19 “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,” Speaking of the temple of His body. Did the Lord Jesus somehow take part with God the Father in raising Himself? How can we understand this alongside the many verses that say that God raised Jesus? 1 Cor. 6:14 says, “and God hath both raised up the Lord …”
Is doctrinal evil worse than moral evil, and if so why don’t more Christians realize the seriousness of doctrinal evil?
If I have been praying for someone for a while now and there is nothing going on, what should I do?
When sickness or tiredness makes it impossible the whole family to make it to night meeting, is it better: A) To split up the family and one parent to take those who can go, or B) To stay home together as a family and maybe have a time of reading and prayer together instead?
When the Lord comes to take us home, will the people we know work/work for (who aren’t believers) know that we went to heaven?
How did God ‘speak’ to people in the Old Testament, and how does He speak to us today?
What are Biblically correct steps to take when there is emotional or physical abuse in a Christian marriage?
I know it’s always good to give the gospel, but there is this person I’ve given the gospel to and prayed for almost three years, and I’ve heard some brothers say that God has chosen us Christians ahead of time. Does this mean he may never get saved? What’s the point of hurting myself emotionally over and over?
Can we ever understand the entirety of God’s love? Ephesians 3:19; 1 Corinthians 2:16.
Why did Jesus need to pray to God when He was in constant fellowship with Him?
I'm into politics. Is that bad? Should I stop?
In the Lord's supper, should there be only one cup and one plate passed around, on the basis of only one cup being spoken of in the gospels. Also, is the unity of the body seen in the cup and in the broken bread, or is it only seen in the unbroken loaf.
How can we reconcile predestination with free will?
Why does the person praying say amen if it is meant for agreement?
Will anybody be sent alive into hell before the Great White Throne judgment.
Two that we know of for sure are the Beast and the False Prophet (Rev. 19). Likely the King of the North will also be sent directly to the Lake of Fire, called Tophet (Isa. 30:33). It is possible also that the “goats” in Matthew 25 will be sent to hell, although we cannot be sure.
Is there a time when we should stop praying someone? What is the difference between 1 Sam. 12:23 and Jeremiah 7:16?
In Christianity we have the instruction in 1 Tim. 2:1-2 to pray for all men. Jeremiah received a definite word from the Lord to cease praying for Israel, because they had turned away from Jehovah and served the Queen of Heaven (an idol). Israel had crossed the line, and therefore Jeremiah was no longer to pray for them. But only the Lord knows when that line has been crossed. 1 John 5 speaks of “a sin unto death”, which, if a soul commits, we are not required to pray for the person.
What is the significance of the Lord's blood being shed after He died?
In John 19:33-34 we find that the soldier pierced the side of Christ after He had died. The shed blood of Christ contained all the value of His sufferings and of His life laid down in sacrifice. The blood was also the evidence that He had died; “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11).
Are people going to hell going to experience different levels of punishment, according to their deeds on earth?
In Hebrews 10:28-29 we find that those who experience the blessedness of Christianity and then reject it will be punished more severely than others. In Luke 12:47-48 we have the difference between “things worthy of few stripes” and “many stripes”. In Rev. 20:12 we find that, at the Great White Throne, the dead are “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works”. Then they are cast into the lake of fire. These scriptures clearly show that there are various levels of punishment in hell. The blessed truth for the Christian, is that the “stripes” we deserved were meted out on Christ (Isa. 53:5), who suffered the punishment we deserved!
Does 'unequally yoked' refer to more than just a believer and an unbeliever? Can it also mean a new believer with someone who has been studying the word for a long time?
The verse refers specifically to yokes between believers and unbelievers, but we can apply it to other yokes as well. Two people may be Christians, but their lives are heading in two different directions. This could make a partnership very difficult.
Is the conscience the best guide for the believer?
The conscience was given to fallen man so he could discern good and evil. However, conscience needs to be calibrated by the Word of God. This is especially true because of the corrupt cultures that men find themselves in. When people are raised in a corrupt culture, their consciences do not function properly (Isa. 8:19-20; Rom. 1:21). We find in Titus 1:15 that our conscience can become defiled, and thereby become less effective. Notwithstanding, conscience will always function to a certain extent, even if distorted; “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Rom. 2:15).
What qualities should I see in a young man who is interested in me before I become interested in him?
1 Cor. 7:1
Many Christians wear the cross on a necklace or a ring as a symbol. Is it right for a Christian to do this?
Are the sinners in Mark 2:15-17 different from 'wicked people' put away from the fellowship of the assembly?
If we are not suffering in our Christian lives, are we living as we should according to Christ (2 Tim. 3:12)?
What is the meaning of Matt. 7:6… Not throwing our pearls to swine? What are pearls? Who are the swine? What is an example of this forbidden behavior? Does this conflict with the exhortations to preach the gospel to the lost?
Please explain the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:30-31) as it relates to sins not being forgiven? How does this co-exist with the thought of the blood of Christ forever dealing with all sin?
If someone rejects the gospel now, will they have a second chance after the rapture? How do we know?
What is the meaning of 'taking away the words of the prophecy of this book' in Rev. 22:19? Is it possible for a believer to commit this sin and lose their salvation?
What should our position toward the Jews be in lieu of Matt. 27:25; 'His blood be on us and on our children'?
Since Israel is guilty of crucifying their Messiah, what practical effect did the Lord’s statement in Luke 23:34 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do' have upon the Jews?
Which do you think is more accurate? The Baptism of the Spirit of God was a corporate act on the day of Pentecost that… (1) was later extended to take in the Gentiles (Acts 10), or (2) would never be repeated. Gentiles were added to the Church later as any other Christians down through the centuries.
2 Peter 1:21 says that 'holy men of God' were moved to write the scriptures. What about a case like Balaam where he uttered the words of God yet he was far from holy?
Why was it necessary for Jesus to be glorified before the Holy Spirit could be sent?
Explain the difference between the names Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus.
In the subject of forgiveness, are we as husband/wives supposed to forgive anything our spouse does to us, let’s say for example, adultery, how many times is too many?
It is important to understand that there is a difference between “anything our spouse does to us” and adultery. Adultery is the only justifiable cause for divorce, according to the word of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). Why is that? Adultery breaks the bond that was formed in the sight of God when a man left his father and mother to cleave unto his wife, and they became one flesh. A wronged husbanded or wife in that case is free to remarry. However, that isn’t the only option. A wronged spouse may chose to mend the breach and continue as married. When there is repentance and reconciliation, this is a far better outcome. However, forgiveness is another question. We are always to forgive from the heart. Often wounds received from someone we love hurt more then those from mere acquaintances. But forgiveness is the foundation of our relationship with God, and therefore it is always the Christians responsibility to forgive from the heart, without any limit on the number of times (Matt. 18:22). However, it is often wise to withhold the expression of forgiveness until there is repentance (Luke 17:3), as otherwise we might cheapen the hurt and therefore embolden the other to repeat the sin.
In Gideon’s talk, he referenced 'But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses' (Matt. 6:15). From other verses we know we have eternal security, so what does that last part mean?
It is important to understand the difference between eternal or judicial forgiveness and what is called governmental forgiveness. Before the cross, generally when God’s forgiveness was spoken about is was in this aspect. Before the cross, eternal forgiveness could not be known. Old Testament saints never had the settled conscious knowledge of sins forgiven in the eternal sense (Eph. 1:7). This is why, in the gospels, the Lord emphasized “power on earth” such as in Matt. 9:2-6; because governmental forgiveness has to do with this life only, not for eternity. Governmental forgiveness is an aspect of forgiveness that pertains to the government of God. The principle of God’s government is summarized nicely in Gal. 6:7; “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (see also 1 Peter 3:12). Evil actions have consequences, and so do good actions. Governmental consequences do not extend into eternity; they are for this life only. Each one of us has accrued the governmental judgment of God over a lifetime of offenses committed against Him. But God is very gracious and patient, and has passed over those sins in a governmental sense, so we can live day to day free from governmental judgment. This exemption from many of the governmental consequences of our sin is called governmental forgiveness. For the believer, God has chosen to make governmental forgiveness dependent on: (1) a contrite spirit about our own failures, and (2) a forgiving spirit towards those who have offended us. The Lord Jesus taught this truth in His sermon on the mount; “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15; see also Luke 6:37). In Matt. 7:1-2 we learn that if we harbor a judgmental attitude, it will result in God judging us governmentally. In Mark 11:25 we learn that, without forgiveness for others in our hearts, even our prayers will be hindered. The Lord expanded on this subject in the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35. In certain cases, a person may never be forgiven this side of heaven, such as when someone refuses to forgive their brother. If we harbor an unforgiving spirit, God will deliver us up to bitterness, anxiety, and resentment; these are destructive forces pictured by “the tormenters”. Generally, God is pleased to grant governmental forgiveness when we have a spirit of forgiveness toward others. A good example of this is Job. The Lord “turned the captivity of Job” when he prayed for his friends.
Someone asked me, 'What if I'm not predestined?' I didn't know how to respond. I don't understand predestination and how it works with free choice.
A couple of issues with the question. Predestination has to do with the final destination (conformed to the image of His Son), and election with the choice of individuals. Free choice is a misnomer because man’s will is not truly free. Adam lost free will when he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Now man’s will is disposed to sin. God’s solution is to give man a new nature. This new birth or quickening is not by the will of man (John 1), but by the will and word of God. Nevertheless, man is a responsible moral agent – not a robot. We make real choices that have real consequences. Does man choose God, or does God choose man? We do chose to believe, but after we become a Christian we learn the truth of election, that God chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph 1). Election is a truth for believers; a family secret. A good scripture to turn them to would be John 6:37. Don’t worry about whether you were predestinated, just come to the Son, He has promised not to cast you out. But once you come, you find that you only came because you were elect: the Father’s gift to the Son.
Here is a question for consideration, What is mindfulness and what is it connected with? Is it wrong for a Christian to practice mindfulness? if it is wrong what can we do to protect our kids in public school, where it is becoming increasingly more prevalent, from it?
Mindfulness is.
More of a request but can we talk about roles in the church and how to fulfill those?
A cthe Son.
1 Corinthians 14:26-37 speaks of letting men speak by 2 or 3, which I recently heard is why only 2 or 3 get up in the open meeting. Why does this not apply in a Breaking of Bread, or perhaps a reading meeting? Verse 27 refers just to speaking in an unknown tongue, verse 29 to prophets, but verse 26 leads off with a list of things brethren might have in a variety of meetings.
A cthe Son.
How to go back to God after drifting apart? Sometimes it feels so hard to follow Him after we mess up.
A cthe Son.
I know I’m saved, and I know that Christ died for me, and I know that He is always near me, but I cannot feel His presence. How do I fix that?
A cthe Son.
The expressions “just leave it with the Lord” or “take your burdens and leave them at the foot of the cross” are often used. I understand this expression being applied to past sin. How does this apply / is this possible when you are dealing with a trial that is/seems to be lifelong? Are we supposed to just be able to pray about something once and let it go?
A cthe Son.
There are times that as a gathered believer, I read God’s word and feel convicted to do something that I feel will bring glory to the Lord. However, as one under submission to the assembly’s authority, I find that at times, when my convictions are disagreed with, my personal exercises are overruled. This leaves me in a position of doing something that goes against my conviction, which for me (in a way) is sinning, because whatever isn’t of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Is this how the assembly is meant to work? How do I navigate this?
Distinguish personal exercise from preference. Distinguish sin from submission to a higher authority.
What does it say in the Bible about cremation (being cremated)?
Burial vs. Cremation. Genesis 23 is the first instance in scripture where the details are given of the interment of the body of one who had died in faith. Notice that Abraham buries Sarah, and he doesn’t cremate her body. We have no scripture to say that cremation is morally wrong, yet it is interesting that in scripture, those of faith always buried their dead (e.g. Gen. 49:31). Burial, more than cremation, tends to have the resurrection of the body in view. It is also a sign of respect for the body (2 Sam. 21:12-14). Cremation was a Pagan practice, although for many years it has become popular in Christianized lands. Now, of course God can raise the dead regardless of the state of their body, whether buried or burned. Nothing is beyond the reach of His power. We also cannot make a rule about things the scripture doesn’t tell us. The important thing is that we treat the body with dignity, because God does, and will one day change it to be like Christ’s glorious body!
What is modesty? Is it just about the clothing?
“Modesty” is the quality of being reserved, of not showing off what one has. It is coupled with not attracting attention to ourselves. We might first think of modesty in relation to sexual attraction. Sexual beauty is God’s gift to a woman, and God intends that beauty to be reserved for her husband, as her gift to him, and not for anyone else. Displaying this beauty in public is one form of immodesty. As soon as the human nature came into a fallen condition (Gen. 3), Adam and Eve knew that they were naked. They were ashamed to be so even with no other people around, and made an effort to cover themselves, albeit insufficiently. God then made them coats of skin, to sufficiently cover their nakedness. The first clothing was made by God Himself, not to keep people warm, but to cover nakedness. Nakedness is a form of immodesty, because it offers to the public eye that which God has intended only for within a marriage. It is no surprise, at least in Western culture that fashion trends have steadily moved toward less of the body covered and more sheer or tight-fitting clothes that reveal the feminine form. It can be a real challenge for the Christian woman to dress in a way that covers nakedness (i.e. modesty) and also suits her femininity. Although it is a different subject, we gather from scripture that our clothing should reflect a distinction between the genders (for the principle, see Deut. 22:5). Immodest clothing often suits femininity but does so because it exploits the feminine form. Nevertheless, with the Lord’s help, a Christian woman can meet this challenge, and find clothing that is modest, feminine, and appropriate in public. There are other aspects of modesty, in addition to covering nakedness, such as wearing expensive or exotic clothing or jewelry. Perhaps this is more in line with what is meant by v.9, which goes on to list what were then the symbols of wealth; “plaited hair and gold, or pearls, or costly clothing”. In the day Paul was writing there was a very small middle class, and a huge lower class. It would be common to have a wealthy Philemon in the same assembly as a poor Onesimus. How important it would be for the wealthy women not to flaunt their wealth before others. In many cultures today the same things are worn by women to display wealth or status. In other cultures, there are different things that serve the same purpose. These things are not what God desires the Christian woman to be adorned with.
How can we be confident in the doctrine that we believe? Other Christians interpret passages about things like head coverings differently than we in the meeting do, and they are able to have peace before the Lord about that. What gives us authority to say we are right and others are not?
The church is the pillar and ground of the truth.