By: Pastor Olson
Answers From The Bible prints weekly in the Sunday Detroit Lakes Tribune newspaper. If you have any questions, write Pastor Olson at First Baptist Church, 300 Central Street East, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. I find that many people in religious cults view Scripture differently on just about every Biblical truth. Why is this?
A. First of all, people involved in religious cults are influenced by “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (I Timothy 4:1). Satan has blinded them to the truths of the Word of God. Therefore, the true meaning of the Scriptures is foreign to them. Secondly, because of this blindness they bring their preconceived notions and theology to the Bible in an attempt to make it say something it is not. Consequently, the tragic result is that “their message will spread like cancer” and many people will also become deceived whom listen to them and their teaching (II Timothy 2:17).
Q. Is Jesus the only way to heaven?
A. Yes! In spite of the objections by many who feel there are many ways, Jesus is the only way. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The apostle Peter declared: “Nor is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In spite of what sinful people and our pluralistic society believe that there are many ways, there is still only one way. Without saving faith in Jesus Christ, no one will enter heaven. He said it and that does away with a lot of false teaching that there are many ways.
Q. Are the days of the Genesis creation 24 hours long?
A. Yes! The Hebrew word for day is “Yom.” It can mean a long period of time in Scripture. Yet, the first and literal meaning of the word is a natural day unless the context brings out another meaning. But, when the Old Testament associates “Yom”, or day, with a definite numeral, a solar day of 24 hours is always meant.
An example of this is in Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” Insisting on six solar days of creation is simply to believe what God actually says in His Word. Nothing has changed since creation.
Q. What does Jesus or the Bible say about separating children from their parents?
A. There is nothing in the Bible or with Jesus about separating children from their parents. But, what the Bible does teach is that children are important to the Lord. They were brought to Him, and the disciples tried to prevent it. “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me…” (Matt. 19:14).
These children were privileged to have Jesus take them in His arms. However, the important concern we should have is for the 60 million babies that have been aborted since 1973. The Bible speaks strongly about the unborn child (Psalm 139:13-16).
Q. There are approximately 2.1 billion Christians in the world. Does this mean that 5.2 billion are going to hell?
A. It is important to first define “Christian.” A Christian is not simply someone who claims to be one, goes to church, or has been baptized. A Christian is a person Jesus calls inwardly “born again” (John 3:3, 7).
Therefore, the Lord only knows how many people are truly “born again.” Yet, He does say that there is a “broad way-a wide gate” that leads to hell and a “narrow-gate-a difficult way” that leads to heaven (Matt. 7:13-14). He stresses that “many” go in by the wide gate and “few” by the narrow. This tells us that the majority will not enter heaven but only the “few.” He knows the number. But it all has to do with what people personally do with Jesus (Rom. 10:9-13).
Q. II Timothy 1:10 says that Christ “has abolished death.” Why do people still die?
A. We must keep in mind that there are three kinds of death: physical death, spiritual death, and the second death.
Physical death is the separation of the body from the spirit and soul. Spiritual death is separation from God. The second death is spiritual death prolonged into eternity in the “lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).
The Lord Jesus has abolished spiritual death and the second death for all who will come to Him and be saved. This does not come through church affiliation of any kind but through repentance and saving faith in Him. This places them under the shelter of His shed blood. For these, Christ has even robbed physical death of its terror because in death they are “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
There will be those, also, who will never experience physical death if they are alive on this earth when Christ comes back. They will go to heaven without dying (1 Thess. 4:17).