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Showing posts from October, 2014

Catechism #43

Q. What is hell? A. Hell is the place of torment where the unregenerate will reside after death.   The concept of hell is becoming more and more intolerable, which has led many to ditch the idea. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t like the thought of hell, and I wish people didn’t go there. With that said, we don’t form our theology around what we wish, hope, or feel. Our doctrine must come from the Word of God, and in this case, the very words of Jesus. While some words are debated (like “the pit” and “the grave”), we do know that Jesus spoke about hell at least ten times in the gospels. Some have tried to reduce the idea of hell down to a reference to the town garbage dump, but that idea has been discredited. The reality is Jesus taught that there is a literal hell. Speakers like Rob Bell have argued against the existence of hell ( Love Wins), writing that Jesus is too loving to allow people to go there. Francis Chan rebutted that we need to “stop apologizing

Catechism #42

Q. What is heaven? A. Heaven is where God lives, where the dead in Christ are, and where all believers will go after death.   Heaven is (technically) the place where God lives. In Jesus’ model prayer He began, “Our Father in heaven…(Matthew 6:9).” God’s presence is everywhere (Psalm 139:7), and Paul reminds us that our bodies are the dwelling place of God (1 Corinthians 3:16); but God’s throne is in heaven. In addition to God, Jesus, and the angels, heaven is also the home of all believers who have died in Christ. Before Jesus left earth He promised that He would prepare a place so that He could be with His followers forever (John 14), and Paul spoke of an event known as the rapture where Jesus would come gather all believers to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16). We need to be careful when we try to describe heaven because most of the often-cited descriptions aren’t actually about heaven. The streets of gold, the glassy sea, even the references to no tears being shed are

Catechism #41

Q. What are tithes and offerings? A. Tithes and offerings are how the body of Christ gives back to the Lord; the tithe refers to ten percent of all income, and offerings are anything over ten percent . Does God really need my money? That’s a perfectly logical question. After all, He is the creator of everything, and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). Why would God want our measly money when He is the King of the Universe? Deuteronomy 15 and 16, as well as Malachi 3, give us the command to tithe, but that is not limited to just the Old Testament. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given to you.” Romans 12:13 says, “Distribute to the needs of the saints.” Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not forget to do good, and to share.” Those verses are just a sampling of the command to give. The tithe was used to support the Levites (the original priests), build the Temple, take care of the widows, and eventually to pay the pastors. The tithe today does those t

You Don't Get a Second Chance to Raise the Same Child

A member of the popular website Reddit has posted an open letter to the baby she is scheduled to abort this Friday. The member, whose subscriber name is scaredthrowingaway, feels she is too young to have this baby, but looks forward to the day she can raise children. Here is her post: Little Thing: I can feel you in there. I’ve got twice the appetite and half the energy. It breaks my heart that I don’t feel the enchantment that I’m supposed to feel. I am both sorry and not sorry. I am sorry that this is goodbye. I’m sad that I’ll never get to meet you. You could have your father’s eyes and my nose and we could make our own traditions, be a family. But, Little Thing, we will meet again. I promise that the next time I see that little blue plus, the next time you are in the same reality as me, I will be ready for you. Little Thing, I want you to be happy. More than I want good things for myself, I want the best things for the future. That’s why I can’t be your mother

Columbus Day

I’ll be honest: I’m not really sure what to make of Columbus Day. I know I’m not alone. Most Americans know little about holidays if they are not accompanied by a paid day off. Are we supposed to hail Columbus as a hero? He got lost, “discovered” a new land that was already occupied, claimed it for his country, then began to sell the natives as slaves in Spain. He thought he was in India, so he incorrectly labeled the Native Americans as Indians. That mishap still confuses people today. My grandfather is part Indian. No, no, not the kind from India. The real kind.   Still, I’m glad that Columbus’ discovery was made, for it opened the door for the Puritans and Separatists to come here peacefully in search of religious freedom. This is separate from the merchants who came here for prosperity and killed the Indians. No, no, not the kind from India. Columbus forced the natives to convert to Catholicism, which was the very reason the Puritans and Separatists wanted to leave