Ep.: What scriptures support a religious exemption from vaccines?
Mankind is blessed to have knowledge that helps us make vaccines. Daniel 12:4 (RSV), teaches that in “the time of the end. . . knowledge shall increase.” Medical advances due to the increase of knowledge have lessened our suffering.
This is a great blessing from God – not a sin. Without the COVID-19 vaccine, many more people will die. For example, when the Black Death spread through parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia from 1346 to 1353, it caused the death of 75 million to 200 million people. There was no vaccine. It killed at least 30% and up to 60% of the European population.
You may not like the idea of the vaccine or may not want it because of principle. Please consider this: As Christians, our lives are supposed to be about service and sacrifice, reflecting. Jesus’ own thoughts, words and deeds. Isn’t the highest principle here that of serving others with love? Didn’t Jesus do that, even for his enemies?
Ep.: What does the Lord’s prayer mean?
When Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, he gave them this simple prayer as an example in the book of Luke. It says:
“Our Father in heaven…” (Luke 11:2, NKJ)
First, we must remember that God is our loving Father in heaven, the Creator of the universe.
“…hallowed be your name.” (Luke 11:2, NKJ)
To “hallow” means to honor as holy. Since God’s name is holy, we should have reverence, love, respect and awe for Him. We honor God when we tell others about His glorious plan that will bless all who will live according to his laws in His future kingdom.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 11:2, NKJ)
Right now, God’s will is not being done on earth. But Jesus said to pray for the kingdom, when God WILL be obeyed on earth as He now is in heaven. Many verses in the Bible describe this kingdom: the time when God will wipe away everyone’s tears, and crying will pass away.
“Give us each day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3, NIV)
When we pray that our Heavenly Father will provide for us our daily bread, we don’t mean we just want food for our bodies. We also want food for our hearts and minds. We can receive this special, spiritual food from the Word of God – the Bible. In the book of John (6:35), Jesus said he was the “bread of life,” meaning that his words and example are the spiritual food we are looking for.
“…and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Luke 11:4, NLT)
Just as we want God’s forgiveness when we do something wrong, we must also be forgiving when others commit wrongs against us and not hold a grudge.
While some Bible translations state the next line (11:4) as “lead us not into temptation,” we know “abandon us not in temptation” is a more accurate translation since James (1:13) says God tempts no one. In 1 Corinthians, (10:13) Paul says God will not permit faithful Christians to have trials beyond their ability and that He will direct the issue.
Not all early copies of the Bible add the line “deliver us from evil” or “deliver us from the Evil One,” meaning Satan. (see Luke 11:4)
So, what does the Lord’s Prayer mean? In summary, it means we should always reverence the one true God who is in heaven, and respect His holy name. In God’s kingdom, all who live according to His godly rules will be blessed. We look to Jesus’ words and examples in the Bible to serve as our spiritual food. Just as we want God to forgive our sins, we should forgive others for theirs. Lastly, when we have temptations to do wrong, we should pray hard and look for the correct way out that God might be showing us.
Ep.: Why hasn’t God destroyed our world like He did during Noah’s time?
By mentioning the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah some may think God should bring destruction on this world. We do live in a sinful world. And the scriptures describe a time of trouble such as the world has never seen (See Daniel 12:1). However, there is much more to God’s plan than destruction.
The purpose of the coming trouble will be to rid the world of the governments and institutions of man. They will be replaced by the kingdom of God, established on this earth. (See also Daniel 2:44).
God has allowed sin for a very important reason. In God’s kingdom all humanity will be brought back from the grave (Acts 24:15). Man’s previous experience with sin will be an invaluable aid in helping each individual understand the real difference between sin and righteousness.
According to Revelation 20:4 the kingdom will last for 1,000 years. Satan will be bound and not allowed to influence anyone. The world will then be taught righteous principles and knowledge of God will fill the earth (Isaiah 11:9). It will be a kingdom of peace and blessings.
When the 1,000 years expire Satan will be let loose for a final testing of mankind. Those who prove faithful to God and to righteousness will be granted eternal life here on earth. Those who follow Satan’s lead will be destroyed in what the Bible terms “second death” (Revelation 21:8). It will be a death from which there will be no resurrection.
God has patiently waited for each generation to experience the effects of sin. In His due time everything will change and this sinful race will gradually become righteous, full of love for God and one another.
That is the goal of God’s plan and it will happen because God has promised it. To learn more about God’s plan and why He is allowing evil listen to, “Is it God’s Fault We Have Evil in This World?”
Ep.1206: Is a Near-Death Experience a Glimpse of Heaven?
Uncovering what a near death experience is and what it is not
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Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:3-4
Near-death experiences (NDEs) are common. They have been reported from cultures and religions worldwide for hundreds of years. In this near-death scenario, there is usually a dark tunnel with a warm and calming light at the end. Often there are deceased relatives waiting in that light to receive the person going through the experience. Sometimes the person feels and sees themselves leave their body. At Christian Questions, we have always held that the Bible teaches that death is the absence of life. Could these NDEs be shedding a different light and proof on this subject? Are these experiences showing us a gateway to the supernatural, or could they in any way be physiological? One way or another, NDEs prove something. This question is, what?
Millions have reported having an NDE
The drama of an NDE is hard to match. There are so many millions of people who have reported them, and their reports frequently indicate a vivid sense of reality. People not only remember having the experience, they remember its details and sensations in extraordinary detail. Because these experiences are common throughout the world and across all religious borders, we need to pay attention to their message. As we acknowledge the commonality of such events, it is also important to recognize that all NDEs are not pleasant or peaceful. Some people are unfortunately terrorized and traumatized by what they report.
What do NDEs tell us?
Curiously, when you compare the details of these experiences, they seem to gather into categories based upon cultural or religious beliefs. One example of this is the reports that during an NDE, people see their lives panoramically flash before their eyes. While this description of a life review is extremely common in western cultures and Judeo-Christian faiths, it is entirely different in some eastern culture and religious circles.
The Hindu NDE accounts may consist of having someone read the record of the dying person’s life (called the “akashic record”). In Hinduism, a traditional belief is that the reading of a person’s akashic record occurs immediately after death. This concept is widely believed by Hindus all over India. The common western culture panoramic life review does not appear in accounts from India. So, why is this significant?
Check out our November 29, 2021 podcast, “Is a Near Death Experience a Glimpse of Heaven?” We address this core question regarding what an NDE is on several levels. First, we establish a scriptural basis for viewing such experiences. As this story unfolds, it really looks like we are dealing with massive contradictions. The Bible is specific about what death is, and the commonality of near-death experiences seems to indicate a fundamental difference between the two. When we open the door of medical and scientific evidence all of this changes. Join us as we combine biblical perspective with science, medicine and practical application and come up with a fascinating and harmonious conclusion! We also recommend Episode 1201: Can the Dead Communicate With Us?