New article: “How can I overcome spiritual apathy?”
Spiritual apathy, coldness, or indifference can affect even the most sincere Christian at one time or another. Human emotions being as fickle as they are, feelings of apathy or disinterest can sometimes replace the fervor we once felt for the things of God. Overcoming such apathy is necessary for continuing our walk with God.
The one who realizes he is spiritually apathetic needs to, first of all, make sure he is a true believer in Jesus Christ (see 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16). If he knows that he is a true believer in Christ, he needs to then ask himself this question: “What caused me to lose my love and passion for the Lord?”
One cause of spiritual apathy is sin in the believer’s life. When David sinned, he felt separated from God (Psalm 51:11). As he confessed his sin to God, David prayed for God to “renew a steadfast spirit” within him (verse 10), and he had this request: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (verse 12). A believer who feels spiritually apathetic should confess any known sin and ask for God’s cleansing and renewal.
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-apathy.html
New article: “What is the Atbash code, and why is it used in the Bible?”
The Atbash code is a “secret” but very simple code sometimes used to keep the true wording hidden from those unfamiliar with Atbash (sometimes spelled “Athbash”). The code was originally developed for Hebrew, but it can easily be applied to other languages as well.
In Atbash, the first letter of an alphabet is replaced with the last letter; the second letter is replaced with the next-to-last letter; etc. So, in English, A is written as “Z”; B becomes “Y”; C is “X”; etc. In Atbash, “roses are red, violets are blue” is “ilhvh ziv ivw, erlovgh ziv yofv.”
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/Atbash-code.html
Happy Thanksgiving from GotQuestions.org!
Happy Thanksgiving from GotQuestions.org!
The original thanksgiving celebration was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in America in December, 1621. The first winter had killed 44 of the original 102 colonists. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn apiece, but then an unexpected trading vessel arrived, swapping them beaver pelts for corn, providing for their severe need. The next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive.
These Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom and opportunity in America, gave thanks to God for His provision for them in helping them find 20 acres of cleared land, for the fact that there were no hostile Indians in that area, for their newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Indians in Squanto. Along with the feasting and games involving the colonists and more than 80 friendly Indians (who added to the feast by bringing wild turkeys and venison), prayers, sermons, and songs of praise were important in the celebration. Three days were spent in feasting and prayer.
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/thanksgiving-Christian.html
Where does faith come from?
New article: “Where does faith come from?”
Faith is the avenue or the instrument God uses to bring salvation to His people. God gives faith because of His grace and mercy, because He loves us (Ephesians 4—5). Faith comes from God in the form of a gift (Ephesians 2:8).
A gift is not earned by some good deed or kind word, and it is not given because the giver expects a gift in return—under any of those conditions, a gift would not be a gift. The Bible emphasizes that faith is a gift because God deserves all of the glory for our salvation. If the receiver of faith could do anything whatsoever to deserve or earn the gift, that person would have every right to boast (Ephesians 2:9). But all such boasting is excluded (Romans 3:27). God wants Christians to understand they have done nothing to earn faith, it’s only because of what Christ did on the cross that God gives anyone faith (Ephesians 2:5, 16).
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/where-does-faith-come-from.html
High Church Low Church
New article: “What is meant by High Church and Low Church?”
Any study of denominationalism or church history is sure to lead, sooner or later, to the terms High Church and Low Church. Originally, these terms defined movements within the Anglican Church, but the meanings have broadened to apply to non-Anglican churches, as well.
The terms have to do with worship procedures, specifically, the use of ritual, liturgy, and accoutrements in worship. Leaders of a High Church congregation place a “high” emphasis on ceremony, vestments, and sacraments. Leaders of a Low Church congregation place a “low” emphasis on such things and follow a freer worship style.
Anglican, Episcopal, Catholic, Orthodox, most Methodist and Lutheran, and some Presbyterian churches are considered High Church. Their worship services are characterized by liturgical readings and rituals, their clergy wear special clothing, and they follow a calendar of annual religious observances.
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/high-church-low-church.html
A little lower than the angels
New article: “What does it mean that Jesus was a little lower than the angels?”
Psalm 8:5 is a prophecy about Jesus Christ. As the psalmist reflects on the glory of the Lord, his mind turns to the greatness of God’s creation. He also begins to think about man and asks this question in Psalm 8:4: “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (ESV). Then verse 5 reads, “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor” (ESV). (In the Hebrew text, “heavenly beings” is Elohim, a common name for God; the Septuagint has the word angelos, which means “angel.”) Psalm 8:6 continues, “You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (ESV). The psalmist understood from Genesis 1:26–28 that God gave mankind the authority to rule over the created world. The title “son of man” could refer to Adam as the head of the human race. Being created with a human body and given this authority, Adam was made “a little lower” than the angels, yet he was crowned with glory and honor because he was made in the image of God.
In Hebrews 2:6–8 the writer quotes Psalm 8:5 and then comments on the totality of creation’s subjection to the “son of man”: “In putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control” (ESV). Then the author of Hebrews identifies the “son of man” as Jesus Christ: “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (verse 9, ESV).
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/little-lower-angels.html
What does the Bible say about suicide?
This week’s Question of the Week: “What is the Christian view of suicide? What does the Bible say about suicide?”
The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). Five of these men were noted for their wickedness (the exception is Saul’s armor-bearer—nothing is said of his character). Some consider Samson’s death an instance of suicide, because he knew his actions would lead to his death (Judges 16:26–31), but Samson’s goal was to kill Philistines, not himself.
The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the psalmist, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15).
God is the giver of life. He gives, and He takes away (Job 1:21). Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life.
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/suicide-Bible-Christian.html
Man of Lawlessness
New article: “Who is the man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12?”
The man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 is the Antichrist who will come on the world scene at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. This Day, sometimes called the “end times,” starts after the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11). It is good to note that the Day of the Lord is not a twenty-four-hour period of time; rather, it is an extended period of time that includes the seven-year tribulation, the return of Christ to put down all rebellion against Him, the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth, the final defeat of Satan, and the Great White Throne Judgment.
The Antichrist is given the title “man of lawlessness” because he will oppose in every way the biblical God and His law. He will be completely lawless. Daniel 7 speaks of this man as a “boastful” king who will “try to change the set times and the laws” (verses 11 and 25). He will come offering a false peace to the world and will with his charismatic personality, incredible promises, and breathtaking miracles unite all nations politically, economically, and religiously under his leadership. At the same time, he will make a covenant with Israel for three and one-half years (cf. Daniel 9:27, where “seven” indicates seven years). In the middle of the seven and one-half years, the man of lawlessness will break his covenant with Israel, stop their sacrifices (Daniel 9:27), and enter the temple to set himself up as “god” and demand worship (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This is the “abomination that causes desolation” that Jesus spoke of in Mark 13:14.
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/man-of-lawlessness.html
Is Satan the master of hell?
New article: “Is Satan the master of hell?”
There is a common misconception that Satan is in charge of hell and that he and his demons live there and use their pitchforks to torment souls for eternity. This concept has no basis in Scripture whatsoever. In fact, Satan will be one of the tormented in the lake of fire, not the tormentor (Revelation 20:10).
Where does the idea that Satan is the master of hell come from, if not from the Bible? Much of the false thinking may come from Dante Alighiere’s epic poem The Divine Comedy. Many other works of art, and literary pieces such as Dan Brown’s novel Inferno, follow Dante’s lead and picture Satan as the one in charge of hell.
Dante’s poem describes the brutal descent of sinners into the underworld. Dante journeys through different levels of hell and purgatory and eventually arrives in paradise. The poem itself was an amalgamation of myths, Catholic ideas (like purgatory), and Islamic traditions about Muhammad’s “night of ascension” (lailat al-miraj). Dante’s medieval view of hell is influenced more by the Qur’an than the Bible.
Read more - http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-master-hell.html
New article: “What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?”
The Mosaic Law was given specifically to the nation of Israel (Exodus 19; Leviticus 26:46; Romans 9:4). It was made up of three parts: the Ten Commandments, the ordinances, and the worship system, which included the priesthood, the tabernacle, the offerings, and the festivals (Exodus 20—40; Leviticus 1—7; 23). The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to accomplish the following: