Posts

Showing posts from February, 2010

Are all sins equally sinful?

I heard a minister teach that the Ten Commandments are numbered according to their importance, so that to break the first is more serious than breaking the second, and so on. Is this correct? Aren’t all sins equally sinful?

It is not true that all sins are equally sinful. This becomes apparent when we remember what Jesus said about blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come (Matt 12:31-32) The very fact that there is a sin that God will not forgive shows that not all sins are equally sinful. Blasphemy against the Son of Man (against Jesus), God will forgive—when there is due repentance. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit…no.

Perhaps this is what the apostle John has in mind when he says,

If anyone sees his brother committing a …

Is it always God's will to heal?

I recently have had some health issues. I heard a teaching the other day that encouraged me to find a scripture on healing, “claim” it, and if I had enough faith...God had to heal me...is this correct?

In a word, “No.” And I should add that this “name it and claim it” business is a very pernicious doctrine, and it’s based on some very questionable assumptions.

In the first place, these false teachers take passages of Scripture that speak about faith and prayer and they absolutize them. For example, they take Jesus’ words in Mark 11:23-24, in which he says,

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours…

These teachers take a passage like this and say, “See if you’re sick, and you pray in faith for healing—and praying in faith means tha…

Who is "the beast"?

Do you think the figure called “the beast” in the 13th chapter of Revelation is alive today?

Actually, no, I don’t. And I know that by saying so I disagree with a large number of very popular Bible teachers. The beast, as I hope to show, was a first century figure. The book of Revelation itself demands that we look for a figure in the first century, because there are numerous “time-texts” that indicate the prophecies of the book were to be fulfilled soon after they were first given.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to he servants the things that must soon take place (1:1)

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near (1:3)

And there are several other passages that indicate same thing—that the prophecies of the book were to be fulfilled soon after they were given. I don’t think we can do justice to the integrity of the book if we say that the prophecies have n…

What about the polygamy of the Patriarchs?

Question: In the Old Testament, we read that many men had multiple wives and even concubines. Why was this allowed then, but is sin now? And why was having concubines not adultery (since they were not actually wives)?

Answer: The Lord Protector of the English Commonwealth, the Puritan statesman, Oliver Cromwell, insisted that when a portrait was made of him, his face be painted “warts and all.” Likewise, when the Bible narrates the history of the patriarchs, it mentions both their virtues and their vices. Scripture does not shy away from recording the shortcomings of God’s people. The Bible is refreshingly honest in this respect. The failings of even the choicest of God’s saints are recorded for all to see: Eli’s failure as a father (1 Sam. 3:13; cf. 2:12-17, 27-34); David’s sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11); Peter’s denial of Christ (Matt. 26:69-75); etc.

One of the prominent shortcomings of some of the patriarchs was the sin (yes, sin) of polygamy. Some people have mistakenly assumed tha…

Why the change from Saturday to Sunday?

If the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, why do we keep the first day?

This is a very good question. We wish to be faithful and obedient to God, and if God has said in the Ten Commandments that we are to keep the seventh day holy, why do Christians generally keep the first day (Sunday) rather than the seventh day (Saturday)?

A good place to start is with what Paul wrote to the Colossians. Paul said that the people who were trying to force the Gentiles to keep the yearly festivals, and the monthly festivals, and the weekly festivals (the Sabbath) were wrong. He said, “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink [i.e., the Levitical kosher laws], or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.” And then he explains why, “These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col. 2:16-17). The elements of the Jewish Sabbath (like the other ritual laws of the OT) are no longer binding, except in so far as Jesus has brought them fo…