Tonight we did something a little different at the Global Vision Bible Church. Our pastor spent the evening taking Bible-related questions from the congregation. I’ve done my best to copy the discourse as completely as possible, although there are still a few holes here and there.
Q: What are the seven stars/candlesticks in Revelation?
A: They are the 7 churches in Asia Minor. Likewise, the stars are the 7 angels to the churches.
Q: Can you worship God effectively at home?
A: No. The New Testament knows nothing of a churchless Christian. We have a command to assemble. The closer we get to the coming of Christ the more we should meet. Many of the individual books of the Bible were written to individual churches.
Q: We hear a lot about the last days and the second coming. Are these the same? When did the last days begin?
A: God is not bound by time like we are. We’ve actually been in the last days for quite some time. Indeed, the times we live in now are quite perilous, as prophesied by Scripture. Generationally, we are moving farther and farther from God. The second coming is part of the last days.
Q: Why is it important to get saved publicly when you have accepted Christ privately?
A: Where you get saved is irrelevant. God will meet you anywhere. But when you do get saved, you aren’t to keep it a secret but are to publicly identify with Christ’s death, burial & resurrection.
Q: How many times during Jesus’ ministry did He show acts of aggression?
A: It’s not that He showed aggression so much as he showed spiritual frustration. When he went into the temple with a whip and overturned the money changers’ tables is an example. It is possible that he did this more than once.
Q: Is there anything in the Bible about Jesus as a child?
A: There isn’t much because the intent of Scripture is to tell mainly of His adult ministry. We know about His birth. We know about the time as an adolescent that He stayed behind at the temple to question the religious leaders. We can only speculate about His youth. We do know He performed no miracles as a youth, because turning the water to wine was His first.
Q: Have you heard of the missing 24-hour theory?
A: God, through Joshua, made the sun stand still for a day while the Israelites were at war. This has apparently created a gap that can be observed in the stars. Also, in the time of Ahaz, God caused the sun angle to go back ten degrees (or 40 minutes of time).
Q: If a child dies before he/she is able to understand Christ, will he/she still go to heaven?
A: Absolutely. We call this the “age of accountability,” although such a term is not found in Scripture. This happens variously with the individual. Some are able to comprehend earlier than others. God’s grace is larger than we can possibly understand.
Q: What does the Bible say with respect to loyalty, especially loyalty to an employer?
A: The Bible tells us to submit to authority, such as servants obeying their masters. We will always have authority in our lives. Sometimes it is an authority we do not like or appreciate. Sometimes authority mistreats us. A real test is how we respond to authority when things don’t go our way. But authority and submission have their limits. We are supposed to submit to authority “in the Lord.” If there is a clash between authority & God, we are loyal to God first. Humility always disarms altercations.
Q: Why do some churches speak in tongues?
A: It is a product of people’s learning & understanding. Some believe speaking in tongues is a sign of spiritual maturity. The only example of this in the Bible is the church of Corinth. Paul had to write two letters to them because of their spiritual immaturity. We already have the complete revelation of God in Scripture (i.e., nothing else can be revealed to us by speaking in tongues). Speaking in tongues can never overtake the preaching of the word of God. You see, tongues is nothing more than an understanding of languages, speaking where all can understand in their own language. It is a spiritual gift.
Q: What will the New Jerusalem be like?
A: Most of the time when people preach on heaven they are really preaching about the New Jerusalem. In fact, the New Jerusalem has not been revealed yet.
Q: Are all sins really the same?
A: All sins are the same but the consequences are different. For example, cheating on your spouse and cheating on your taxes are equally sinful but have different consequences.
Q: What does the Bible have to say about speaking negative words in your home?
A: You have the power to speak life into your home. And you have the power to speak death into your home. Our words are powerful and must be harnessed. Our words can heal and they can hurt.