Frequently Asked Questions

Will Jesus ever be back on Earth?

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:3). In this passage, Jesus assures His followers that even though He must go for a short time, He is going to prepare a place for them and He will be back for them. Then, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17,

Paul said, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." Revelation 1:7 further describes the return of the Lord by saying, "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him." The bodily, visible return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the Christian's "blessed hope."

The above-mentioned passages are all referring to the rapture—the physical removal of Christians before the beginning of the tribulation period. But, there will also be a time when Jesus will return to set up His kingdom on earth. He will rule and reign on earth for 1,000 years. Revelation 20 describes this awesome event in detail.

After the 1,000-year reign of Christ has ended, Satan will be defeated permanently, and God will create a new Heaven and a new Earth. Revelation 21:1-2 says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
 

What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

The baptism in Holy Spirit is God's gift of spiritual power. The gift of salvation brings eternal life. The gift of the Holy Spirit grants us the ability to reach the lost with the Gospel message.

Few Christians understand the importance of the Holy Spirit's work in the Body of Christ. Jesus repeatedly stated that the Holy Spirit would have a major role in a believer's life. The Bible says that God's Spirit will lead us to a deeper understanding of truth, and He will empower us to witness.

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26).

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." (John 16:7).

"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence...But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:5 and 8).

Several passages in the Word of God tell us that the gift of the Holy Ghost is something we should earnestly seek.

"But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel." And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy." (Acts 2:16-18).

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:38-39).

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." (Acts 5:28-32).

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?...Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:9-13).


Are the gifts of the Spirit for today?

I have not been able to find a place in Scripture that says that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today. Furthermore, we know that the Holy Spirit was sent to be a comforter and convictor of Christians after Christ's ascension--that includes us! We are the believers to whom the Holy Spirit was sent to minister. So, how could we logically think that any gift He has to offer would not be for us today?

First Corinthians 12:7-11 says, "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between Spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All of these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one as he determines."

From the above verses we learn several things about the gifts of the Spirit. They are intended to be used for the common good--to build up the Body of Christ.. Each person has different gifts.  The gifts are given to each person by the discretion of the Holy Spirit.  Because this book was written to believers after Christ, we can be confident that it was intended for us.

How do I become saved?

The Roman jailer who held Paul and Silas were thrown in jail at Philippi, the chief city of that part of Macedonia, for freeing a woman from a familiar spirit. The act caused the men who were using her as a fortuneteller to lose their income, so they accused the two men of doing unlawful things. In jail, Paul and Silas prayed, sang to the Lord, and witnessed to those around them. A great earthquake shook the jail apart, and the prisoners were freed.

Paul called for no one to leave, and the jailer, who would have been executed if he had lost any prisoners, was completely stunned at such an act.

Paul writes of the occurrence:
Then the jailer called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. And brought Paul and Silas out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.” (Acts 16:29-32).

The jailer was saved simply by believing in Jesus. What, then, is this sort of belief that saves the soul?

Paul the apostle tells us if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10: 9).

Simply believe God’s Word that Jesus is the Savior of your soul, and trust in Him alone to keep you saved for eternity.

When you do this, the Bible tells us through the Apostle Paul.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39).

Why would a God of love send someone to Hell?

A common misconception among people wavering in decision about whether or not to become a Christ-follower is that a God of mercy would not allow people to go to Hell. Let’s paradigm-shift for a moment. What if every person is already destined for Hell and God provides the way of escape? Would that not display mercy? It is God's desire that no person would suffer an eternity in Hell. The Bible says, "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Pet. 3:9).

It is true that each of us is born with a sinful nature and is destined to Hell. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 3:23-24). So, being GOD, He could not allow sin to go unpunished. But, being a merciful God, He sent His very own Son to be the final payment for the sins of those who believe. It only takes faith. He gave so much but required so little. In my opinion, that is the epitome of a God of love.

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Before Jesus came, where did one's soul go after death?

Before Christ's death on the cross at Calvary, the souls of the dead went to Hades, a supernatural place somewhere in the heart of the earth. Hades has two compartments, the abode of the lost called in the Bible "torment," and the other side, the place of the saints of God called Paradise, and also referred to as "Abraham's Bosom."

When Jesus gave up His Spirit to death, He went into the Paradise side of Hades and "took captivity captive." This means He took all the souls of the saints who had died to that point to be with God the Father in Heaven. The Paradise side of Hades is now empty. The torment side today holds all souls of people who rejected Christ's salvation, and who have died to this point in human history. People who are saved by believing in Christ today, and who die, now go directly to God, the Father, in Heaven.

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mt. 12:40).

Because You will not leave my soul in Hades, or allow Your Holy One to see decay. (Acts 2:27).

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (Eph. 4:8-9).

 


What is meant by, "as you judge so you will be judged?"

Jesus in Matthew 7:1 is pointing out a warning to those who judge others Remember, you are going to be judged yourself.” He take the caution a step further by saying that you will be judged in the same way you judge others. Notice that He goes on to give an illustration of hypocrisy. Generally those who are making a big deal over the sins of others actually have even greater problems themselves—whether or not those problems can be seen by others.

Perhaps an insight to this comes to us from Jesus' parable in Matthew 18:21-35. Here we see that the king who forgives the debt of a servant expects the servant to do so to those in debt to him. When the king finds out the servant treated the servant’s debtor without the same compassion, the king calls the servant in and treats him the same way—by turning him over to the inquisitors and demanding repayment. Thus if we judge without mercy, then God will judge us without mercy. If we make hasty judgments on the outward man and neglect to see the inner man, will not God do so to us? This is a powerful and fearful idea.

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Can I just have fun while I am young and then get saved later?

"Later" is a risky gamble. Many things could happen throughout the day that would guarantee that you will have no "later." Your eternal destiny is far too important to risk. The words that John the Baptist spoke are still true, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." And you must be careful because the Bible warns, "A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed-without remedy. (Prov. 29:1).

Why do you think that being a Christian means that you don't get to have fun?

Sometimes it seems that Christians can get a little too legalistic, take some of the fun out of life and seeking/experiencing God. Granted a lot of "sin" starts out fun and ends up really bad. I am not talking about that. I am talking about ways that are acceptable to God for us to have fun.

Seriously examine your life and find the things that you would likely have to give up in order to follow Christ. I challenge you to take those issues to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to help you to have the proper perspective on sin and to give you the strength you need to turn from sin and turn towards Him.

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Why was Moses kept from the Promised Land?

Moses and Aaron were not allowed to go into the Promised Land because of their sins described in Numbers 20. The sins they committed were grievous in God’s sight. They lost faith in God and they did not follow His instructions to them instead, they thought that they had a better plan. So, because of their sins, they were kept from receiving the joy of entering the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy, Moses was reminded of his sin as he faced the end of his life.

This story presents a perfect picture of why mankind needs a Savior. If we had to earn entrance to Heaven on our own merits and because of our own righteous living, most of us would be turned from the Promised Land—Heaven—just like Moses was.

Because of the blood of Christ, however, we enter Heaven on the merit of Jesus. "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock. So thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.

 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice, and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them. (Num. 20:7-13).

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How often should Christians pray and read the Bible?

It is imperative for the growth of every believer to spend time praying and reading the Bible. God provided all of the tools necessary to live a Christian life and to learn about Him. It is the responsibility of the individual to utilize those tools. Going to church and listening to a sermon is a wonderful addition to a life filled with personal Bible study and prayer time, it should never be the only source for a believer’s spiritual growth.

Just as a person’s body will die without proper nourishment, so will a spiritual life wither without the nourishment that God provides through the Bible and through quiet times with Him. You can see examples of how Jesus lived this truth by making prayer a priority in His own life. See Mark 1:35; 6:46; and Luke 5:16; 6:12; 22:41,42.

There are many tools to help you begin a path through the Bible. Bible study aids are available in Christian bookstores or online. You may choose study aids that are either topical or based on particular books of the Bible. You can also purchase a One-Year Bible, which provides a plan for reading Scripture each day so that you complete the entire Bible in one year. Or, you can just start reading. But, don’t read the Bible from cover to cover, it is not in chronological order. You will want to begin in one of the Gospels or in the Book of Romans.

You can begin a prayer life in much the same way. A good idea is to open your Bible study time with prayer, asking God to reveal himself to you through the Scriptures you read that day. Then, when you are finished reading, pray about what you read, asking God to help you apply it to your own life. You can then spend some time, even just a few minutes, praying for other people in your life. Your prayer time will eventually grow as you become more intimate and personal with the Lord.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:12-14).

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts. 6:4).

Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Php 4:6).

Check out what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

What should a believer do in order to not be "conformed to this world"? How does the believer transform their mind so that they have the mind set of the Lord? The answer is found in a couple of ways, namely reading God's word (the Bible), meditating on what the Bible says and how you can apply it to your life, and through prayer. The more I read and meditate on different passages of Scripture, the more I will become like Christ and the less frustrated I will be with rude drivers!

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Is it possible for the believer to be continually praying? No! It is difficult if not impossible to pray while you are sleeping. I think what the Apostle Paul is trying to communicate is that Christians are to have an attitude / a mind set of prayer. When a soldier goes into battle, they are to be constantly on the look out for danger. The same is true for believers with respect to prayer. We should go through our day with a praying mind set. I often thank the Lord for the sunshine, that I can walk without pain, that I have a job, for my wife & children, for those I encounter in my daily routine.

How often should a Christian pray and read their Bible? As much as much as you can!

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Events at Death

So, what happens when you die? If you are a child of God, your spirit is immediately ushered into the bosom of Jesus by His holy angels. Your spirit remains in Heaven, in the presence of God, until the time of the Rapture. When Jesus comes for His Church, He brings your spirit with Him, resurrects and glorifies your body, making it eternal in nature. (1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4). You reign with Christ for a thousand years and then live eternally with Him on the new earth. (Revelation 20-22).

If you are not a child of God, then your spirit goes to Hades at your death. This is a place of torments where your spirit is held until the resurrection of the unrighteous which takes place at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus. At that resurrection you are taken before the Great White Throne of God where you are judged by your works and then condemned to the "second death," which is the "lake of fire" or Hell. (Revelation 20:11-15).
Preparing for Eternity

One thing is certain: "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that 'Jesus is Lord!'" (Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11). Your eternal destiny will be determined by when you make this confession.

If it is made before you die, then you will spend eternity with God. If not, then you will make the confession at the Great White Throne judgment before you are cast into Hell. To spend eternity with God, your confession of Jesus as Lord must be made now.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." (Romans 10:9).

There may be as many opinions on who gets to go to heaven as there are people. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

 Everyone becomes an angel and goes to heaven when they die.
 Whoever obeys the Ten Commandments will go to heaven.
 Whoever goes to church will go to heaven.
 Whoever does more good things than bad things will go to heaven.
 Whoever believes in God will go to heaven.
 Whoever has not killed anyone or done anything really bad will go
to heaven.
 Everyone in a Christian household will go to heaven.


These opinions may seem OK, but they are all wrong.

The answer is simple. The people who get to go to heaven are the ones who “get right with God” by beginning a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

As we said before, the one way to get right with God is based completely on the Bible, not our opinion. This can be verified by reading the Bible yourself.

Now, if we are going to follow what the Bible says about getting right with God, we have to answer three important questions.


Question 1: Why do I need Jesus?

Most people begin with a wrong view of their condition in relationship to God. If they believe in a life after this life, they think their own way of getting to heaven is “good enough” to make it through those “pearly gates.”

Unfortunately, these beliefs measure these people against other people. None of these beliefs really explain those people’s condition when related to God. The Bible tells us that every person is totally separated from God by a thing called “sin.” (This is shown in the book of Romans, chapter 3, verse 23. Sin is simply disobeying God. Since God is sinless, He can not stand sin, or people with sin (every one of us). We have to be perfect. The problem is that we can not be perfect, it is impossible.

Think of it this way. If three of us throw darts at a dart board and one gets two inches away from the bull’s eye, another four inches away, and another misses the board completely, which one of us hit the bull’s eye? No one, of course! This is how it is with us compared to God. The bull’s eye is what God demands (perfection, no sin—ever). Some will come closer to obeying God than others, but no one ever hits the bull’s eye of perfection.

Thus, everyone is totally lost and they are (literally) enemies of God, even if they get close to the bull’s eye. Just one sin totally separates us from God. What makes this worse is that we know that if we sin we have to die. See Romans 6:23 (chapter 6, verse 23). We will also be separated from God and eternally in Hell. Needless to say, we have a problem.

This is where Jesus comes in. God knew that there was no possible way that we could ever have any association with Him because of our sin. Knowing that we could not erase even one sin on our own, He loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus into the world. See John 3:16,17 (chapter 3, verses 16 and 17). Since Jesus never sinned, He did not have to die. Still, He chose to die on the cross for the sins of all people. He became the “perfect sacrifice” for all our sins, and God accepted His death for our sins as payment in full! Therefore, Jesus became the “bridge” between us and God. It is only through what He did that we can have any association with God. See John 14:6. All we have to do is accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord and then live for Him. That brings us to our next question.


Question 2: How Do I Accept Jesus?

The Bible reveals four steps:

Believe in Jesus and put your faith in Him. See Ephesians 2:8-10 (chapter 2, verses 8 through 10).

Christianity is not a blind faith, but rather a faith based on facts. That is, unlike other faiths, it can be verified and proven to be true.

Repent of your sins. (See Acts 17:30,31.)

What does “repent” mean? Well, imagine that you were going to the store when you realized that you forgot your money. What would you do? You would probably be disappointed that you wasted so much time, but you would still turn around and go home to get your money. Repentance is like that. A repentant person simply says, “God, I behaved badly in my past, and I want to turn around and live the way that You want me to live from now on.” You can talk to God like you would talk to a respected friend and repent of any sin that has been a part of your life.

Confess Jesus as Lord to someone. (See Matthew 10:32,33 and Romans 10:9,10.)

In the Bible, God always places emphasis on what we say—probably because whatever is in your heart determines what you say (Matthew 12:34). Therefore God wants us to verbally commit to Jesus (as Lord of our life) to someone.

Be baptized. (See Acts 2:38,39.)

Being baptized means being immersed in water. Typically, a person would stand in water, be lowered into the water (by another Christian), and then be brought back up out of the water. The significance of this act can be seen in Romans 6:1-7 and an example of it in Acts 8:26-39.


Question 3: How Do I Stay Right With God Through Jesus?

Many times people think that God is going to forgive their past sins, but after becoming a Christian, they can never sin again or God will reject them. This is not the case at all, so let’s get an understanding of how we are to live after accepting Christ as our Savior and Lord.

1 John 1:5-2:6 (chapter 1, verse 5 through chapter 2, verse 6) gives the best answer. This passage describes people who are right with God, and explains to them that they will still struggle with and fall into sin at times. At these times, it says that the blood of Jesus cleanses them from all sin. However, it first qualifies how believers must live to apply this promise to themselves. It uses the terms “walking in the light” and “walking in the darkness.”

The big issues here are foundation, motivation, and consistency. If our foundation is the Bible, and if our motivation is being like Christ, and if we consistently seek to live like Christ, then we know that Jesus covers our sins, and we are still right with God. (See 1 John 2:5,6 and 1 John 5:13.) However, if we say that we know God, and yet do not consistently seek to live like Christ by obeying Him (that is, we continue to “walk in darkness”) God says that we are liars and the truth is not in us. (See 1 John 2:3,4 and 1 John 1:6.) Thus, if you make a decision to accept Christ, you must understand that it means a lifetime commitment toward seeking to be like Jesus in the way that you live. This is what “staying right with God” is all about—becoming more like Jesus! We certainly hope that you will choose Jesus!

 


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Questions About the Millennium

1) Who will populate the earth during the Millennium?

Those who live to the end of the Tribulation and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be allowed to enter the Millennium in the flesh. ( Matthew 25:3-46)  All surviving unbelievers will be consigned to death. (Luke 17:26-37).

This will be a very small number of people because most of those who place their faith in Jesus during the Tribulation will be martyred for their faith. (Revelation 7:9-14).

The believers who go into the Millennium in the flesh will begin to propagate, and the population of the world will grow exponentially. The reason the growth will be so rapid is because life spans will be expanded and death will be curtailed.

Isaiah says that people will live as long as a tree. (Isaiah 65:22) And there will no longer be infants who live only a few days. (Isaiah 65:20). Those who die at 100 years of age will be considered young, and only those who refuse to accept the Lord will die at that age. (Isaiah 65:20). The implication of Isaiah's prophecy is that during the Millennium the life span of those in the flesh will be returned to what it was before the Noahic flood, when people lived over 900 years. If so, then by the end of the Millennium, the population of the earth could easily exceed the current seven billion.

2) Will the Millennium take place on this earth or on a new one?

The Millennial reign of Jesus will take place on this earth, but the earth will be greatly changed in nature.

The first earth, the earth of Adam and Eve, was perfect. There were no poisonous animals or plants. There were no meat-eating animals. There were no natural cataclysms like earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes. Man and nature lived together in perfect harmony.

But when Man sinned, God placed a curse on the earth, and the nature of the earth was radically changed. Death entered the world. Nature turned against Mankind. This new earth, earth number two, existed until the time of Noah.

When the worldwide flood occurred, this second earth was "destroyed." (2 Peter 3:6) In the sense that it was radically changed again. The earth's vapor canopy collapsed, its land mass separated into continents, the earth tilted on its axis, and the pressure of the water forced the formation of new mountain ranges. We have been living on earth number three ever since.

When Jesus returns to reign, the earth will be radically changed once more. The change agents will be earthquakes and supernatural phenomena in the skies. (Revelation 6:12-14). Every island will be moved. (Revelation 16:18-20). Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain lowered. (Isaiah 40:4). The topography of Israel will be radically changed, with Jerusalem becoming the highest place on earth. (Isaiah 2:2).


 

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