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Your Questions Answered V

Question 1

Will those with tattoos and tribal marks enter the kingdom of God?
Answer

Leviticus 19:28 says, Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. It is clear that God does not support the act of marking our bodies with tattoos as this was a law that was handed down to the Israelites. Tribal marks on the other hand are a fading part of our local traditions and custom and were used essentially for the purpose of identification and beautification. The Bible is silent on tribal marks anyway as there is no verse that directly addresses the issue. The Bible is however clear on what it takes to enter the kingdom of God and on this there is no ambiguity. The first step is to acknowledge the finished work of Christ on the cross (Romans 10:9-10, John 3:3-5, 16-18, Galatians 5:19-21).
Question 2

Is there anything wrong with using a Christian online dating site? Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
Answer

The issue here would not be to label using a Christian online dating site as a wrong practice simply because the Bible is silent on the matter considering the fact that technology had not advanced to that stage at the time. It is important to state here that Christianity is much more than being about human rules and regulations (Colossians 2:20-23). However, there is a scriptural standard for matters of this nature as God made man complete in that he has what it takes to look for a woman to be his wife (Proverbs 18:22). In other words, it is the responsibility of the man to look for a wife and the responsibility of a woman to position herself to be found by the man (Genesis 2:19). This can be done without using the services of an online dating site thus making resorting to this type of site for relationships, surplus to requirements. There is no specific reference to dinosaurs in the Scriptures but that does not invalidate the existence of dinosaurs, as if the Bible were to contain a reference to every issue then it would require multiple volumes.
Question 3

Is it a sin to take alcohol?


Answer

This issue is one of the controversial topics in Christendom as there seem to be

schools of thought in favour of and in opposition to the practice (John 2:1-11, 1 Timothy 5:23, Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 31:4-7, Proverbs 20:1). The bottom line anyway is that the major thrust of the Bible is against the act of drunkenness and not necessarily the act of taking alcohol itself (Galatians 5:21, Romans 13:13). In other words, alcohol in itself is not sin but it becomes so when its use is abused. There is a higher level though, which is what we preach and teach and that is the fact that since we are supposed to be led by the Spirit of God then we have the liberty to abstain from practices that are not beneficial first to others and then to us (Romans 14:13-18, 1 Corinthians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 10:23). If your taking alcohol has the potential to wreck anothers faith then you should desist from it as that will not be acting in love (Romans 14:20-21).
Question 4

Is it bad to lie when saving someones life?


Answer

This question seems to attempt to play with emotions and sentiments, but what if you save someones life and end up destroying your own in the process? You will stand before God to answer for this and then you will know that a lie is really a lie and nothing more. The Bible is clear on this matter, always speak the truth no matter what the situation or the consequences (Jeremiah 9:5, Ephesians 4:25).
Question 5

Is there any scriptural backing for plastic surgery? Is it wrong?


Answer

There is no verse of the Scriptures that directly addresses plastic surgery but the practice of medicine has grown considerably since Bible times. Plastic surgery, if it is for medical reasons with the intent to save life or to improve its quality, is not wrong. Reconstructive plastic surgery - for those with congenital defects - is more or less the same thing as going for an operation to take out a malfunctioning kidney or other organ. On the other hand, plastic surgery for the purpose of personal aggrandisement is however not advised as it seeks to tamper with nature. In all that we do in this life God weighs our motives (Proverbs 16:2).
Question 6

Using Genesis 11:1-9 as a reference, is God against unity?


Answer

God is not against unity as the Scriptures declare in Psalm 133:1, How good and

pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. It is what we use our unity to
achieve that matters though as even in the tower of Babel experience they had wrong motives, Then they said, Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that

reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Genesis 11:4, emphasis mine).
Question 7

From Exodus 20:13, is it wrong to commit suicide?


Answer

You shall not murder so the Bible commands in Exodus 20:13 and in the light of
the question, suicide is self murder. On this basis, we can easily say that it is wrong for anyone to commit suicide and that doing so incurs the wrath of God.
Question 8

My friend was taken to a church and incisions were made on his body and he was given a black soap with which to wash, it eventually cured him of his running stomach. Is it scriptural?
Answer

One of the teachings we need to embrace fully is that as believers we are supposed to be led by the Spirit of God in all that we do (Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:25). We really cannot put God in a box and limit Him but if the Holy Spirit did not give that instruction to whoever the person met then the practice is not scriptural (John 5:30). The fact that it worked does not give enough guarantee that it was of God as there are false signs and miracles on display in these times. If the Holy Spirit does not specifically instruct you to take certain actions then that is acting in the flesh. It is also important to state here that physical mutilation is not scriptural; cutting of the body in any form is synonymous with idol worship and not Christianity.
Question 9

Please explain the Corinthian women being asked to be silent in churches.


Answer

It is instructive to note that there is no gender inequality in the Christian faith as God works in all and through all, There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28, emphasis mine). Everyone irrespective of gender has the potential to be used by God for the work of ministry (1 Corinthians 14:26, 1 Corinthians 11:5, Ephesians 4:11-13, Joel 2:28-

32, Acts 2:17-18). The instruction was to preserve order in the church and is a subtle reference to the fact that the man is the head of the woman (Genesis 3:17, 1 Corinthians 11:3). Translating that to what obtains in todays world, even if there are women being used by God in ministry, it does not exempt them from being in submission to a man who will more often than not be their husband.
Question 10

In Judges 19 and 20, why was the loss of the Israelites so great?
Answer

The story opens with the Levite and his concubine as main actors and ends with the battle between the Israelites and the Benjamites. If the Israelites did not enquire of God before going into battle it would have been easy to conclude that God was not with them but they did every day for three days. One can only conclude that the fact that God has given one the permission to embark on a journey of life does not mean that there will be no challenges but if one remains true to Him and does not lose hope, one will always come out on top. This is exactly what happened to the Israelites in their battle against their brothers.
Question 11

Please explain Matthew 27:46. Is it scriptural to say that God turned his back on Jesus because He could not behold sin?
Answer

The statement in Matthew 27:46 was a fulfilment of prophecy as uttered by David in Psalm 22:1. It is instructive to note that Jesus did not enjoy the prospect of dying on the cross but He did it as an act of love to save a world already doomed to destruction (Matthew 26:36-42). It is important to note here that Jesus dying on the cross was Gods will right from the start and was meant for our salvation (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:4). How scriptural is it to then conclude that God turned His own back (whether literally or figuratively) on what was His own will? It is important to state also that Jesus was without sin and was only an offering for our sins (Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:24, Romans 8:3).
Question 12

What is the meaning of the abomination that causes desolation in Daniel 9:27?
Answer

This is a reference to the person of the Antichrist and this particular event will not take place until the church has been taken away from the earth first, after which the

Antichrist will be revealed (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8). This taking away of the church from the earth will happen when Jesus appears for all those who have waited patiently for Him and is very much different from His second coming to the earth. This seven-year period that will see the Antichrist on display is what we usually refer to as the great tribulation (Revelation 7:14, Matthew 24:15-31, Mark 13:14-27, Daniel 11:31, 12:11).
Question 13

In the light of Isaiah 53:4-5, why is there still so much sickness among believers?
Answer

The promises of God to us are many and various but for the most part it is our responsibility to appropriate these promises and make them reality in our lives (2 Corinthians 1:20, Romans 8:11). It is not that God has not made provision for us to enjoy divine health but sometimes it has to do with how well we are able to translate these promises into practical results. 1 Peter 2:24 says, He himself bore our

sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his

wounds you have been healed (emphasis mine). This is a reference to Isaiah
53:4-5 and it is in the past tense so according to the word of God, sickness has no business in the body of a believer. That is not to say that we should not take care of our physical bodies, because even with the Spirit of God living in us, if we do not take proper care of our bodies we will experience the pain that results.
Question 14

The dead should bury the dead. Please explain this statement.
Answer

This was a statement Jesus made as recorded in Matthew 8:22 and Luke 9:60. In these accounts, a man wanted to follow Jesus but first wanted to go back to bury his father, Jesus told him to allow the dead bury the dead, and instructed him to go and proclaim the kingdom of God as seen in the book of Luke. The essence of this statement is that once someone is dead there is little or nothing that can be done for them and it is only the living people who still have an opportunity to hear the good news and acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour (Hebrews 9:27).
Question 15

By obeying the 10 commandments alone can you make it to heaven?


Answer

Under the new covenant, you have what it takes to obey the 10 commandments

and more inside of you and that is the person of the Holy Spirit. To answer the question, obeying the 10 commandments alone is not sufficient for you to make it to heaven as even the Israelites to whom they were given had other laws they were expected to obey apart from the commandments. What is sufficient is accepting the finished work of Christ on the cross and living according to the ways of holiness (Romans 10:9-13, Hebrews 12:14).
Question 16

What is the meaning of inward and outward sin? I heard inward sins are those sins we are born with.
Answer

As much as possible the focus should not be to worry unduly about terms and definitions. Anyway, the only way out is to disagree with the definition of inward sins as mentioned above. Indeed it is true that we are all born into the nature of sin that is why the Scriptures declare that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) but there is redemption for the one who believes (Romans 3:24, 2 Corinthians 5:17). Looking all through the Scriptures, inward sins may just be sins we commit in our hearts that no one knows about except God of course while outward sins may be those sins that we commit and which are visible to everyone. However, the closest verse in Scriptures is 1 Corinthians 6:18, Flee

from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body
Question 17

Please explain Matthew 16:28


Answer

According to Matthew 16:28, I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom . This was a reference to the second coming of the Lord Jesus to the earth. Another look at this account explains it further and that is found in Mark 9:1, And he said to them, I tell you the

truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power. Taking Jesus words literally, then it means the kingdom of God
came with power and some of those who heard His words were alive to witness it (Acts 1:3-8). These verses reflect the truth of the kingdom of God in time, which is that there are dimensions to this kingdom and one is the church and another is the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth.

Question 18

Will babies be judged for the sins of their mothers?


Answer

The direct answer to this question is obviously in the negative. We are in a dispensation of life that makes every man accountable for his own deeds. Even in time past, it was written that everyone will die for his own sin (Ezekiel 18:1-20). In the same vein, babies will definitely not be judged for the sins of their mothers as it is the responsibility of each man to bear the brunt of his own sin.
Question 19

Is the Old Testament still relevant?


Answer

The Old Testament is still very relevant as it contains great insight into the personality of God the Father more than any other section of the Bible. It even speaks about God the Son himself and contains many prophecies about Him most of which have come to pass (Luke 24:44). It really goes without saying that we are under the New Covenant, primarily because of the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for us, but that does not give us the license to take the Old Testament out of our bibles. Even though we may not be duty bound to follow all the laws as a guide for daily living it is still important that we regard the books of the Old Testament as an integral part of the Bible (Matthew 5:17).
Question 20

Please briefly explain the concept of the Trinity?


Answer

There are three persons in the Godhead and they are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and they are all one and the same (1 John 5:7). The trinity is not three different and independent persons but one person manifesting in three different and independent though related ways. In essence, they are the same in substance but different in form. It is akin to someone being different things to different people at different times say Mr X being father, husband and brother.
Authors note: This is a transcript of a question and answer forum at the Parish Youth Chapel, Church of the Pentecost (Anglican Communion), 21 Road, Festac Town, Lagos at both 7am and 10am services on Sunday, 21st October 2012, over which I presided in my capacity as Coordinator, Parish Youth. All scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise stated.