God is not the least taxed by keeping every sub-nuclear particle in its place. Everything in the middle of the molecule moving, and the electrons—he's got them all in orbit, just like he has the planets in orbit. So the macro-world and micro-world are all managed by God.
I think the answer is that you should be a church member. But that's not even a clear word—what does "member" mean? The local church—not just the global church, but the local church—is a body. There's global membership in the body universal, and there's local membership in the body where I'm a finger or an eye or an ear or a foot.
Yes, I think it matters. But being wrong about doesn't mean that it's in the category of damnable sin and maybe not even in the category of sin at all. My bottom line answer is to follow in general the pattern of the Bible,
With every sin there are multiple levels of why it's offensive to God and to be avoided. The simplest is clearly to say the Bible says it is. And we should start there; and if we can go deeper, that's good. The question "Why would the Bible say that?" is multi-layered.
Not ultimately, but I don't ever counsel towards cremation. The biblical pattern is that burning your children is pagan and burying your loved ones is a sign that you believe in the resurrection.
I do, and I think there is a steady state, normal way to go about it. Occasionally you see a manifestation of demonic power that is so in your face and so possessive and controlling of a person's life that an extraordinary intervention and exorcism is called for.
You are in Christ Jesus and he fulfilled the law perfectly. He covered all your sins. Now, shall we sin that grace may abound? Paul says, "Dead men don't sin." If you've died to sin, how can you still live in it?
A person that doesn't believe he is a sinner can't be saved. If there is nothing to forgive, Jesus didn't do anything for me. If he didn't do anything for me, I'm not believing him for salvation.
My caution concerns making theology God instead of God God. Loving doing theology rather than loving God. Reformed people tend to be thoughtful. That is, they come to the Bible and they want to use their minds to make sense of it.
I want to say that there may be a time when you're calling God's judgment on somebody. But here's where I'm probably going to end up: Jesus said, "Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Bless those who abuse you."
Frankly, I'm not sure how to answer the question. But I think in telling you why I'm not sure you'll be able to get a grasp on it. In one sense, as soon as we sin we should be punished eternally. We shouldn't get another breath.
It's sin not to like the true doctrine of election. It's sin not to like what God likes. I want to say it like that because many people have conceptions of doctrines—all kinds of doctrines—that are inaccurate.
Well, some people do. The assumption is, "Why don't we see it" — I guess — "regularly, as often as we'd like, or as often as they did?" And that's true, I think. I think that's true globally.
When you become a Christian the depravity and the disinclination to do what is right, and to delight in what is holy and pure and good, and to be satisfied in God is not conquered perfectly.
I think the reason there is such a thing as parents is so that children will learn what it means to have God as a parent. And the reason there should be reverence and awe for a mom or a dad is so that a child will learn what reverence and awe for God is like.
Your view on divorce and remarriage is narrower than many other Christians even in your church. How does this affect your ministry to them?
It's a delicate thing when you're not dealing with the clear, black-and-white issues of elder and non-elder. What kind of Sunday school classes they teach, what ages of boys they teach — those are ambiguities
There is no indication in the Bible that there's a purgatory or that there's a chance that God would let you be saved.
The feeling it has made me feel is, "I wish the church would do this better. Why should people have to go to the internet, for goodness sakes, to find a spouse!?"
The answer is that the degree of suffering, indignity, reproach, degradation, and fall that Jesus endured is not simply determined temporally. And it's not simply determined by the exquisiteness of the pain of a nail cutting through a nerve in your wrist.
I think that, to the degree that pastors begin to supplement their preaching with this entertaining spice to help people stay with them and be moved and get helped, it's going to backfire.
God's wrath remains on them. He is separate from them, in that they are not allowed to enjoy any of his grace and beauty.
How can you manage the flock if you can't manage your household? Good management doesn't mean perfect outcome.
Not that I know of! I have lots of questions about how the symbolism of Revelation works, but in my understanding there aren't specificities like that in the book of Revelation.
I believe I do love Jesus, but most of the time I'd rather spend time being entertained than spend time in God's word. How do I break this hold that entertainment has on my heart?