Questions and Answers

A collection of brief answers to many random questions that have come to us through the website over the years.

Is there hope for someone who commits spiritual adultery?


Question:
  I was reading in Deuteronomy 29:20 where God says if anyone goes and follows after other gods that God will NEVER be willing to forgive them.  Yet again and again I see in scripture where God will and does forgive Israel for serving other Gods like Hosea, Jeremiah, judges, etc so I’m not understanding this passage. Unless he means if they persist in doing so but if they stopped and repented he’d forgive them, but NEVER doesn’t exactly sound like a conditional statement based on their repentance.

I ask because I know someone who is a Christian and has committed spiritual adultery, and I know God is unchanging so why does he say never willing to forgive?  Is there hope for this person? And is this verse still applicable today for Christians?

 

Answer:  Understanding how some of the Old Testament passages apply to our lives today is not always easy, and “spiritual adultery” is also a serious scenario. However it’s important to remember to whom the author was writing, and when it was written.  You may have heard the teaching that we are no longer under the Law (as those who lived in OT times), but we’re living in the age of Grace.  This is a deep subject, so we encourage you to do some research on your own if you are interested to learn more.

For now, we would suggest you and/or your friend read the book of 1 John:  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John+1&version=NIV

You can also listen to Dr Dave’s Talks on this book:  http://www.growingchristians.org/rfgc/1-2-3john/index.html

The purpose of 1 John is Assurance of Salvation.  1 John 5:13 says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that may know that you have eternal life.”

A key verse for your question would be 1 John 1:9:  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Should churches still use “letters of commendation”?


Question:
 My question is in regards to the Lord’s Supper.  What does the Bible say about a believer who is a visiting an assembly and desires to take the Lord’s Supper, but doesn’t have a letter commendation, or who normally fellowships with another church that doesn’t  give letters?

 

Answer:  The bottom line on this subject is that the “unknown” visitor who wants to participate in the Lord’s Supper should be a true believer in “good standing” at his or her home fellowship.   There is always the possibility that an unknown visitor is involved in moral sin and is avoiding discipline in his home church, or that the unknown visitor may be promoting false teaching, etc.  In the early church letters were used.  Today, letters can still be used, but a phone call to known fellow believers in the other church could also be used—especially if there seems to be some unanswered questions.  Remember, these “regulations” concern “unknown” visitors.  This is not about “well known” fellow believers who happen to be visiting from another good church.

In any case, the local elders or church leaders should determine the policy for their home church as they interpret the appropriate Scriptures.

Should believers aggressively pursue medical care to extend their life?


Question:
  For a Christian, to die is “gain” as Paul wrote in Philippians. No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has in store for us. With this in mind, to what extent should Christians seek medical care to extend life, rather than just to ease suffering?  A Christian should be looking forward to the next life. With this in mind, perhaps we should not be so aggressive in our attempts to linger here longer than necessary. What are your thoughts on this?

 

Answer:  You are biblically sound when you conclude, “we should not be so aggressive in our attempts to linger here longer than necessary.”  And the “necessary” has to do with finishing the work that God has called us to do (2 Timothy 4:6-8).  “Finishing the race” is obviously different for each believer, but includes personal testimony, family responsibilities, and Christian service.

Why should we believe in a young earth?


Question:
  In regards to Young Earth apologetics and geology… I’d like your opinion on how a Young-Earth-Creationist would answer the critique of a YEC (Snelling) explanation about how large chalk beds were formed.

Here’s the link: http://www.answersincreation.org/nochalk.htm   It’s a fairly short article with simple enough terms and well-reasoned explanations. Where might they have gone wrong?

 

Answer:  Both “old earthers” and “young earthers”  have some good arguments.  Briefly, here’s why we (Dr Dave and Growing Christians Ministries) take the young earth position:

1.  We start with an inspired, inerrant Bible, the Word of God.

2.  A normal reading of Scripture, which was given to all mankind (not just scientists in the 21st century), results in a young earth creationist (YEC) view.

3.  In addition, not just a YEC interpretation, but that God created this universe FULLY FUNCTIONAL in a literal creation week.

4.  So just as the trees in the Garden of Eden had rings and were rooted in “already made” top soil, so God created a fully functional universe (“events” that can be observed in starlight and all).  Some people say that God would be deceiving us if He created a fully functional creation.  Yes, He would have been deceptive –  if He had not told us in His Word!  But He did tell us–in plain Hebrew.  There are lots of ways to clearly convey geologic ages in Hebrew if that’s what God wanted us to believe  – and if that’s what God wanted Moses to believe and the people who listened to Moses to believe in Exodus 20:11.

5.  If you give up the position of YEC, you logically have to go the way of the BioLogos Foundation.  The geologic column becomes the evidence for the old earth.  Thus it is no longer evidence for the global Flood of Genesis,and you logically must go with a local flood.  Furthermore, the fossils in the geologic column now must become evidence for death before Adam – and now you have some  extremely serious theological problems.  Thus, as the BioLogos folks have done, you begin to question the historicity of the Genesis account–even the existence of a real Adam and Eve.  It’s a domino effect.

6.   Whether or not chalk beds were part of the fully functional creation or the result of the unique global Flood conditions is hard to say.  However, there is no doubt that the fossilized whale that was found in diatomaceous earth deposits in Lompoc, California in 1976 (which Snelling also wrote about) required a rapid buildup of the precipitating diatoms in order to be fossilized — and that is certainly not an old earth scenario!

http://static-www.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/The-Whale-Fossil-in-Diatomite-Lompoc-California.pdf

How did “pre-cross” salvation work?

Question:  I have some questions on pre-cross salvation. I understand that it’s always been by grace through faith; and that it’s merely the content of faith that has changed over time. However, I would like to know if Old Testament believers were born again, and if they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit like we are. Also church age believers are members of Christ body – he is their head – they are new creations and as such they are no longer in Adam. How did all of these positional truths affect Old Testament believers? Where do they stand in relation to church age saints?

How could they be saved by Christ – be in him in terms of new creature-hood, but at the same time not be members of the church, which didn’t start till Pentecost? I’ve been trying to work all of this out for some time now and I still don’t understand it.

 

Answer:  Remember that God is not bound by time.  He sees “everything in the present,” as it were.  This is a major concept in helping to understand “pre-Cross” salvation.  2 Timothy 2:9 says that He “saved us,…according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

Old Testament believers were born again.  Remember, the Lord said to “pre-Cross” Nicodemus in John 3 that he had to be born again.  But O.T. believers did not have the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit to empower the new life, as do N.T. believers.

Hebrews 12:23 indicates that there is still a recognized distinction between O.T. believers (“just men made perfect”) and the Church, which is the Bride of Christ.  I believe that this distinction will be recognized forever.

Listen also to the first part of Lecture 9A of Hermeneutics: http://www.growingchristians.org/cfgc/herm/herm9a.html

When did God stop leading with the cloud and pillar of fire?


Question:
 I was reading your devotional, “Cloud Control,” and I have one question.  Does the Bible tell us when God stopped leading the Israelites with the Cloud and Pillar of fire?

 

Answer:  The Bible does not tell us specifically when the pillar of cloud and fire stopped leading the children of Israel, but two Scriptures come to mind which may bear on this question.

1.  In Numbers 33 tells us about all the places where the Lord led His people, step by step, obviously by the cloud and fire – but it ends on the Plains of Moab (Numbers 33:49).

2.  In Joshua 5:11 we learn that the manna stopped after they crossed the Jordan River and were in the Promised Land.  Maybe the miraculous guidance by cloud and fire stopped as well once they had arrived.

Did Kings Solomon and Hezekiah have any other children?

Question:  We have been doing a study of 2 Chronicles and the kings of Judah, and I have a couple questions.

 1) Did Solomon have any other sons than Rehoboam?  It seems remarkable that with 700 wives and 300 concubines that he had no other children recorded.

 2) Did Hezekiah have any other children prior to his extension of life?   We know that his wicked son Manasseh was born during that 15 year extension, but would he have died childless had his life not been extended?  Would this have affected the Messianic line?

 

Answer:  Solomon must have had other sons, but only Rehoboam is mentioned.  Two daughters are mentioned in 1 Kings 4:11 and 15.  If Hezekiah had remained childless, the Messianic line would have reverted back to another son of Ahaz.

 

Is “Mystery Babylon” the USA?


Question:
  Regarding “mystery Babylon”…  Doesn’t it appear that mystery Babylon, in some ways, is most similar to modern day America? America has turned away from God in so many ways.  As it says something along the lines of how the merchants of the world will weep, because nobody buys their cargoes any more, I cannot think of anywhere that consumes more than the U.S. does.  Therefore, it would make sense if mystery Babylon was the U.S.  I was wondering why you did not seem to believe that?

 

Answer:  Zechariah 5:11, in its prophetic context, persuades Dr. Dave that the Babylon of the end times is located where Babylon has always been.

This following DFGC may be helpful: http://www.growingchristians.org/devotions/airborne-books-and-baskets/

Should Christians pray for their country?


Question:  
What does the Bible says about praying for your country.  Should Christians pray for their country?  If so, what does the Bible teach we should pray for our country?

 

Answer:  Yes, Christians should pray for their country and their leaders.  Read 1 Timothy 2: 1-2.  Additionally, Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:11-17 would certainly imply that we should pray for the governments under which we live.

Should I pray to the Father through the Son?


Question:
 In the New Testament I find that all prayers & praise by the Apostles are in such a way ‘I thank/Praise/Bless my God through Jesus Christ’ — which means Prayer or Praise is to father GOD through Yeshua.  So is that the way we should follow?  Is there anything wrong if we pray or praise only Yeshua alone ?

 

Answer:  Praying to the Father through the Son is the norm of the NT.  However, in Acts 7:59-60, Stephen prayed directly to Yeshua (Jesus).  Stephen was a man who was “full of God’s grace and power” (Acts 7:8)), so praying directly to Yeshua cannot be  wrong!