Not only do Christians seem fake to the outside world, they can also seem fake to other Christians, too.
The reason for fakery in the lives of those who claim to follow Jesus often comes... Read More
The slavery tolerated by the Scriptures must be understood in its historical context and should not be equated with type of slavery seen in the pre-Civil War American south or in the sex-trade slavery... Read More
It’s true that bad choices can make us poor. But in a world damaged by everyone’s
sin, there are all kinds of reasons for poverty. To view it as a sign of specific sin in our lives... Read More
In recent years, a few New Testament scholars have suggested that after Jesus was crucified his body may not have been buried as described in the Gospels. They conjecture that his body was likely... Read More
The reasons women stay in abusive relationships are varied and complicated. If we are going help those who suffer in domestic abuse situations, we must first recognize that these women need someone... Read More
We have a variety of English translations for several reasons. The first is that whenever a document is translated from one language to another, it is impossible to do a word-for-word translation.... Read More
Friend, you are not the only one who feels bored at church. One Sunday, a young guy named Eutychus gathered with other Jesus-followers in a home, which was their custom at the time. Paul was there... Read More
Don’t stand by and watch your friend suffer abuse. Yes, this is classified as abuse, and we need to recognize it as such. Anything a person says in an attempt to belittle and control another person... Read More
One answer is fear
. Every church is comprised of ordinary human beings, but we often refuse to acknowledge our similarities to each other. We feel as though we ought to rise above our problems—especially... Read More
The reasons women stay in abusive relationships are varied and complicated. If we are going help those who suffer in domestic abuse situations, we must first recognize that these women need someone... Read More
The Bible affirms human sexuality as a good part of God’s original creation. The Genesis account tells us that God created human beings in His image as male and female—a complementary pair designed... Read More
Loving other people as oneself is a difficult goal. But Jesus clearly made it fundamental to Christian living. On one occasion, an expert in the Jewish law challenged Jesus with the question, “What... Read More
The Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments, was given to the people of Israel (Exodus 20:1-17), not Gentiles. It included both moral principles and ceremonial laws and regulations. It was intended... Read More
It’s unlikely God holds us much more accountable for the fantasies that appear in our dreams than He does for the predispositions to sin that we all share, including temptations or evil thoughts... Read More
Jesus made it clear that the measure of a person’s value has nothing to do with their material possessions. In fact, He declared that “mammon” (Syriac for wealth or riches) is one of the most... Read More
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Although land tortoises can live over 150 years and parrots sometimes live as long as people, most pets have short life spans Perhaps the Lord gave our pets short life spans to keep us from getting... Read More
passages emphasize the reality of our security as believers in Jesus Christ: John 10:27-30; 13:1; Romans 8:29-39; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; Jude 1:24.
But even genuine believers... Read More
Investment seldom seems like a good idea in the midst of a bad economic downturn. This doesn’t mean that investment is always wrong. There are times when a farmer will invest a lot of time and money... Read More
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A basic doctrinal truth held by all orthodox Christians—including Catholics and evangelicals—is that in Jesus Christ God became incarnate in human flesh (Matthew 1:16-25; John 1:14; John 20:26-29;... Read More
On the surface, it appears impossible for one person to rightfully die for another’s sins. If a judge arbitrarily chose an innocent man — say, a faithful husband and loving father — to... Read More
Jesus’ clear statement to the believing thief on the cross implies that He was in heaven between the time of His death and His bodily resurrection:
And an inscription also was written over... Read More
James 2:10 states: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble at one point, he is guilty of all” (nkjv).
Some people have mistakenly thought that this verse means that... Read More
In Romans 9:13, we read that God loved Jacob but hated Esau. Some people think this means that God actively chose Jacob to go to heaven and Esau to go to hell.
The word hated
didn’t... Read More
It’s undeniable that the incarnation involves mystery beyond human understanding. How could the eternal, infinite God, Creator of all things, become a finite being with human limitations and weaknesses?... Read More
Jesus linked repentance with salvation (Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:3; 17:3).
In Acts 2:38, the term repentance
includes the element of faith. Paul in Ephesus preached turning “to... Read More
It is important to be concerned about the accuracy of the Bible translation we’re using, but the fact that the wording varies in modern English translations is no reason to think they aren’t... Read More
The Bible doesn’t offer any details about relationships in heaven. Based on the words of Jesus and the New Testament writers, we can be confident that heaven will be a far better place than anything... Read More
Calvinism is the main branch of the historic Reformed movement. The Reformed movement had numerous leaders, including Ulrich Zwingli (1484–1531), Martin Bucer (1491–1551), and Heinrich Bullinger... Read More
Many people assume the separation of church and state established in the US Constitution resulted from 16th- and 17th-century “religious violence” and “religious wars” in Europe. The wars... Read More
We enjoy exploring the symbolism of the Old Testament feasts, but we don’t recommend that Christians observe them on a regular basis. The feasts of the Old Testament were intended to be an opportunity... Read More
There have been some powerful earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and other natural disasters recently, but they aren’t unique to our time. Because population density is much higher today than in... Read More
Christians who pray to Mary and saints in heaven to intercede for them sometimes say that praying to Mary and the saints is no different than asking living fellow believers to pray for them. They say that... Read More
The boundaries of the land God promised Abraham are given in Genesis 15:18-21:
On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from... Read More
Astrology at one time was looked upon with great seriousness by the educated classes. For many centuries people believed that the earth was the center of the universe, and this mistaken cosmology led to... Read More
While all Christians have the ability to prophesy in the sense of speaking forth the truth, there was a group of church leaders in the apostolic church who functioned uniquely as prophets. These... Read More
Earthly restitution isn’t always possible. King David could never undo the consequences of his sin with Bathsheba because his arranged murder of Uriah was irrevocable. On the other hand, when... Read More
Are people who remarry after a divorce on grounds less than sexual infidelity or abandonment living in adultery? The answer seems to be no. The words of Christ— “Anyone who marries the divorced... Read More
Many Scripture passages support the security of the believer (See the ATQ article, Should I believe in the Doctrine of Eternal Security?
), while a few passages can be interpreted... Read More
When Jesus became a member of the human family through His incarnation, He voluntarily “emptied” Himself of His glory as God. In Philippians 2:5-11 , Paul beautifully described Christ’s... Read More
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Do not lead us into temptation” (Matthew 6:13), He was not implying that God would ever encourage us to sin. Scripture makes this clear:
Let no... Read More
The Bible presents God as Father and uses masculine pronouns to refer to Him. But God isn’t limited by the sexual distinctions of His creatures. God is eternal Spirit, and should not be perceived... Read More
It is part of the human condition to struggle with a sense of God’s silence—or absence. The disciples and the prophets had moments of weakness and distrust that are recorded in Scripture for all of... Read More
No one who asks God for forgiveness can be confident that they won’t commit the same sin again. In fact, our natures are so contaminated by sin that we often do. When Peter asked Jesus whether we... Read More
The Apostle Paul set guidelines in 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 for tongues-speaking in Corinth. He makes it clear that no-one should speak in tongues in church unless an interpreter is present. Speaking... Read More
Jesus made it clear that no one will be married in heaven: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30 NIV).
Christians often mistakenly conclude that the primary basis of Judaism is the “law and the prophets.” Actually, Orthodox Judaism puts surprisingly little emphasis on Scriptural authority.
It’s true that some people are self-satisfied and insensitive about the sin in their lives. Such persons may misuse the doctrine of eternal security to justify a false sense of security. On the... Read More
Some Christians are up in arms about people who advocate seeking stillness in prayer, accusing them of pantheism, heresy, sorcery, and other things. It’s true that some kinds of misnamed “prayer”... Read More
Christianity isn’t founded in a philosophical perspective that evolved into a religion. Christian faith resulted from the revelation of God to the human race through Jesus Christ.
The... Read More
Scientific evidence is accumulating that dreams have vital physiological and psychological functions. Our dreams apparently play an important role in creativity and problem solving.
1 This... Read More
The Apocrypha were a subset of a larger group of popular religious writings that the Jews of the first century called “outside books.” They were written between 200 BC and 100 AD, and while not canonical,... Read More
At the time of Christ, Roman power had neared its peak. Roman troops controlled a vast area stretching from England to the Black Sea and from the Rhine River to the deserts of North Africa. Though it was... Read More
Israel is the name God gave Jacob on the night he wrestled with the angel (Genesis 32:28). As a group, his sons along with the 12 tribes that descended from them inherited the name. Although Israel... Read More
Being born again doesn’t keep us from having impure thoughts. First John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (KJV). And in Romans 7:15-25,... Read More
From the time of the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries), many have viewed religion with indifference or hostility, but there has never been such widespread hatred of religion as can be seen... Read More
We believe that death brings the redeemed immediately into the presence of God (2 Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:21-23).
The concept of purgatory conflicts with biblical teaching regarding the sufficiency... Read More
It’s important to understand that whenever the expressions “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” occur, they must be taken within the context of the passages in which they are found.... Read More
The Christian church came into existence during a time when the Gentile world did not recognize a day of rest or worship. Pagans observed holidays and times of religious celebration, but they had... Read More
God intended sexual intimacy to mold a man and a woman physically, emotionally, and spiritually into “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Seeking a “one-flesh relationship” outside of a long-term,... Read More
Does Matthew 5:27-28 give a wife who finds that her husband views pornography grounds to seek a divorce?
Only God understands the pain that many women feel when they discover that their husbands... Read More
There are thousands of people who are terrified that they may have committed the unpardonable sin. This is a shame, considering the fact that their very repentance (or desire to repent) is evidence that... Read More
Does the passage about the rich young ruler teach that Jesus expects His followers to give up all of their possessions to follow Him?
It’s true that Jesus told the rich young ruler to... Read More
Racists have used the account of Noah’s drunkenness and his son Ham’s disrespectful behavior to claim that the descendants of Ham are inferior to those of Japheth and Shem, and are destined... Read More
Misunderstanding the genealogies of the Old Testament could lead to the view taken by Archbishop Ussher that the world was created on 4004 BC.
The genealogies of Genesis are clearly not reliable... Read More
What was the “thorn” that Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 12:7?
We do not know exactly what the affliction was that Paul called his “thorn in the flesh.” It probably was a physical... Read More
The answer to this question is hinted at by the Greek word translated in the Bible as “baptize
“: baptizo. This Greek term means “to dip or immerse.” Judging from... Read More
An accurate response to this question has to reconcile the importance of truth with the simplicity of faith. According to Jesus Christ, faith doesn’t require intellectual sophistication. He didn’t... Read More
It’s been nearly 2,000 years since Jesus Christ personally offered forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Of the millions who have accepted His offer, many have found the peace and joy of knowing... Read More
One of the biggest mistakes we can make about our own security in Christ is to base the reality of our salvation on our feelings. Our emotions are affected by so many different things that it is misleading... Read More
When you doubt that your faith is strong enough for you to be a child of God, it’s a clear indication that you misunderstand the nature of faith. Faith in God doesn’t involve certainty, nor... Read More
It would be a serious mistake to imply that deficient faith accounts for all instances in which a person does not receive healing or deliverance.
It’s true that Scripture tells of people... Read More
Not many details about recognition and relationships in heaven are given in Scripture. There are, however, several inferences which show that we will recognize one another in heaven and that we will remember... Read More
While the Scriptures symbolically refer to heaven as being up and hell being down, all we know for sure is that heaven is a real place that is located in a different dimension of reality than the one in... Read More
Does Isaiah 65:17 imply that people in heaven will have no recollection of earthly events?
Isaiah 65:17 (ESV) states: “I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall... Read More
The biblical doctrine of hell is often badly misunderstood. Certainly, if God arbitrarily
punished His creatures for eternity,... Read More
There are no “normal people.” Everyone deserves judgment. We are fallen creatures under a spiritual curse in a fallen world (Romans 8:18-23). Apart from God’s grace, hell is our natural state of... Read More
People have always been saved by their faith in God rather than by merit earned through good works ( Hebrews 11:6 ).
The Bible is clear that Abraham, father of the Jewish people, was saved... Read More
According to Scripture, sacrifice was instituted and approved by God. But when worship of the true God was abandoned, blood sacrifice was transformed into a way to magically appease, manipulate, and avert... Read More
It is true that verses like John 6:44-45 , Acts 13:48 , and Ephesians 1:4-5 teach that we cannot come to God unless He first draws us to Himself. Such passages make it clear that those who choose Christ... Read More
From the earliest days of the church, Christians have anticipated a day in which Jesus will return for all those who believe in Him. This hope is rooted in many Scripture passages, all of which make it... Read More
The early church wasn’t dogmatic about the time sequence of endtime events. This fact should keep us from being so dogmatic in our interpretation of biblical endtime prophecy that we either become... Read More
There are many factors that give the Bible unparalleled moral and spiritual authority. The Old and New Testaments are deeply rooted in a historical and geographical record that is linked to laws, poetry,... Read More
The New Testament is the best documented literary work from ancient times. Over 5,000 manuscripts have survived. Fragments now available date back to the beginning of the second century. Even liberal scholars... Read More
Our Bible is the most reliable document to come out of ancient times. No serious scholar, Christian or non-Christian, doubts the fact that it has been passed on through the centuries in essentially the... Read More
Matthew 18:15-17 provides the “ground rules” for the resolution of conflicts between Christians. It applies to peer relationships, not sexual abuse or other offenses that fall in the category... Read More
By word and example, parents should teach kids from an early age to treat others with respect, to be kind and fair, to exercise self-control, and to suppress the impulse to seek revenge.
1... Read More
Why should anyone expect mention of Jesus in surviving Roman and Greek literature? Palestine was a relatively minor province on the periphery of Roman/Hellenistic civilization. Christianity would have... Read More
If we’ve lived and loved long enough, we all know the pain of a broken relationship. We also know the joy of reconciliation when that relationship is mended. Unfortunately, loving someone well and... Read More
Doesn’t the fact that Paul didn’t quote Jesus show that he wasn’t interested in Him as a real person but only as a means of promoting his new faith in a (metaphorically) “risen... Read More
People often have the impression that the Bible requires forgiveness to be unconditional.
1 But the Bible doesn’t say that. It tells us that we should “Forgive as the Lord forgave... Read More
Christians have always believed that though serious questions could be raised about the Gospels, the things recorded in them were true. From the beginning of the church, when the original witnesses of... Read More
Unconditional forgiveness is canceling a debt to all those who intentionally offend us, whether or not they own up to what they have done. Offering forgiveness without repentance, however, does not follow... Read More
Although the concept of “the age of accountability” had its beginnings early in the history of the Christian church, the Scriptures do not use this terminology. Neither does the Bible contain... Read More
Many people believe that to forgive someone they must first be willing to forget. By this they mean that they must be able to dismiss from their memory the painful events that caused a break in... Read More
In John 14:6 Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus’ words make it clear that He alone has brought God’s gift... Read More
Depending on our motives, praying for God’s wrath can be a legitimate cry for justice. That is the cry of the heart you see reflected in such psalms as Psalm 94:1-2:
O LORD, the God... Read More
While baptism is an important act of obedience, it isn’t necessary for salvation. The only requirement for salvation is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ ( John 1:12-13; 3:16-18; 6:28-29 ; Ephesians... Read More
Jesus issued a solemn warning to a group of Jewish leaders who accused Him of performing miracles by the power of Satan.
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven... Read More
Even though the Scriptures tell us little about Satan’s origin, they tell us that he is a fallen angel of considerable power. One of the most familiar passages is Ephesians 6:12 :
For... Read More
The slavery tolerated by the Scriptures must be understood in its historical context. Old Testament laws regulating slavery are troublesome by modern standards, but in their historical context they provided... Read More
Emotionally healthy people are comfortable spending time alone. They don’t need constant companionship. Bottom line, they enjoy their own company. Granted, some need more time alone than others, but... Read More
Recent opposition to The Passion of the Christ
, a movie based on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ suffering and death, has given rise to criticism of the New Testament as anti-Semitic. Given the... Read More
There is an element of sinfulness that enters into every human thought and desire, a sinfulness that is rooted in the fall. (See the ATQ article How Can Christians Believe... Read More
Agnostics, atheists, and adherents of other religions often disparage the “contradictory” doctrines of the Christian faith as reason to reject it. They imply that a true religion or worldview... Read More
No one wants to be a doormat. But if we haven’t put healthy limits in place, we can easily end up feeling used up and stepped on.
Biblical service is not mindless, robot-like obedience to... Read More
The Mosaic law was not given to the Gentiles (Romans 2:1-16) but to the people of Israel (Exodus 20:1-17). It was intended to reveal the goodness and wisdom of God, bring awareness of sin and guilt, and... Read More
Jesus’ entire adult life was characterized by a deep concern for the spiritual condition of the nonbeliever. He saw them as desperately lost, and His heart was broken because of that. His compassionate... Read More
Seeking to follow Christ will often lead to being wrongfully criticized and hated. Jesus said to His followers, “I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:19).... Read More
After Jesus had declared that He would build His church on the truth of Peter’s noble confession, He went on to say, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on... Read More
All families struggle at times to be happy, but blended families
1 often have bigger obstacles to face than others. For instance, the quality of the relationship between the stepparent and... Read More
Divisions in the church go back to the first century. In his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul lamented that strife and divisions had resulted in some saying, “I am of Paul,”... Read More
Domestic abuse is a one-sided relationship where a spouse regularly seeks to control and punish his or her partner. The most common sort of spousal abuse is that of the husband toward the wife. The abuse... Read More
Some people deny that the Scriptures make a distinction between the local, organized church and the universal, spiritual church, claiming that every time the church is mentioned in the New Testament the... Read More
Scripture neither advocates nor condemns interracial marriage. It’s true that Old Testament law disapproved the marriage of Israelites to outsiders, but it did so strictly for religious and cultural... Read More
Selfishness, hypocrisy, and other “people problems” in church can be discouraging. But selfishness and hypocrisy shouldn’t drive us away from church involvement. Rather, it should make... Read More
While the Scriptures take the marriage covenant very seriously, they permit divorce and remarriage in some situations. To learn exactly what these circumstances are, we’ll begin with the Old Testament... Read More
Some believe that being submissive means to simply obey and to deny personal feelings, desires, expectations, and dreams. They think a wife is not submissive if she shares her opinions with her husband.Read More
Some people don’t think it is very important. Since leadership requires flexibility, some think that a person with high ideals and deep moral convictions will be less pragmatic or realistic... Read More
All couples have dreams for the way they want their family to be. But some set themselves up for failure by holding on to unrealistic hopes. Here are a few of them:
We’ll have... Read More
Bible students differ in their interpretation of 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 3:12 . In Greek, the expression translated in the Authorized Version “husband of one wife” actually... Read More
The fact that you and your spouse do not share the same faith in Christ can create a number of problems in your marriage. At one time, the differences in what you believed might have seemed like a minor... Read More
Although there are numerous groups in every major religious tradition, there are relatively few major religious traditions. Probably the oldest religious tradition is that of Animism, found mostly among... Read More
In 2 Corinthians 6:14 the apostle Paul wrote:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light... Read More
Even if Jesus was a messenger from God, why shouldn’t I believe He was merely one of many divine messengers, like Rama, Krishna, or Buddha?
As Eastern philosophy and religious ideas become... Read More
No. Unbelief is not necessarily the result of conscious rejection of truth. While some people may not accept Christ because they are not ready to submit to His authority, others reject Him because... Read More
Divorce is never easy. It is a painful, heart-breaking experience for everyone involved. Families are torn apart, leaving confused, angry, and hurting children. No one “wins” in divorce.Read More
A biblical conception of human depravity doesn’t imply that human nature is as evil as it can possibly be. Although we are often bad, we could be much worse. People often do good and generous things.Read More
Much has been written in recent decades about husbands abusing their wives, as it should. In more cases than we care to admit, husbands from a variety of backgrounds are physically and emotionally battering... Read More
More than a few Christian wives endure years of terrible mistreatment at the hands of an abusive husband because they genuinely want to follow God’s calling to “submit to their husbands in everything”... Read More
Prior to the 20th century, the main source of information about gnostic writings were the church fathers (Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others), who referred to gnostic beliefs in the process of refuting them.... Read More
Every marriage experiences some degree of conflict. Most marriages experience strong differences of opinion. Arguments are not uncommon. Spouses are occasionally grumpy and unkind to each other. Spouses... Read More
The Bible doesn’t offer any specific guidelines stipulating the age differences appropriate for marriage, but some things are implied. It is hard to imagine the lovers in the Song of Solomon... Read More
Sometimes Christians prefer to worship on the Sabbath (Saturday) for personal reasons, or they have a desire to reach out to Jewish people. Although we respect the motivations of these brothers and... Read More
Far from being a European religion, Christianity’s origins were in the Mideast, a place far from Europe but just next door to Egypt and North Africa. Jesus and His followers weren’t... Read More
The relationship between parent and child is important, but it’s not as fundamental as the relationship between a husband and a wife (Genesis 2:24). Too often, though, parents feel a pull to put... Read More
Scripture says that if a parent loves his child, he will correct him when he is out of line. A loving parent will guide and teach their children. The Bible adds that if you neglect to train and teach your... Read More
If we believe that God created a perfect world and He is sovereign, where did evil come from? There are some people who believe that His sovereign control includes the creation of evil, and they base their... Read More
It’s important to understand that no family is 100 percent happy all the time. We all have our particular struggles and problems, which cause stress and anxiety for ourselves and our family members.... Read More
Life often confronts us with tragic situations that make us wonder about God’s willingness or ability to help us. Why would a good God allow such things to happen? Doesn’t He care?
God permitted evil to enter His universe as the price of freedom. Although He could have created the universe without the potential for suffering or sin, such a universe would not have allowed free creatures... Read More
The Bible makes it clear that God commands that we worship Him:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all... Read More
Who hasn’t awakened from troubling dreams in the dark silence of the early morning with what seems a supernatural perspective on the stream of time and one’s place in it. Reality is... Read More
Something that can be demonstrated by the scientific method is a scientific fact. But it doesn’t follow that just because something can’t be demonstrated scientifically it is less “real” or important... Read More
The universe presents overwhelming evidence for God’s existence (Psalm 19:1). But no one can be forced to believe in God. In fact, God’s infinite nature makes it impossible to apprehend Him... Read More
Many stepparents confess that they don’t have deep feelings for their stepchildren. Some assume that the love they feel for their new spouse will automatically create loving feelings for their spouse’s... Read More
Thinking that logic alone can lead someone to faith is like thinking logic can convince someone that something is beautiful. Imagine driving through Navajo country in the southwest United States with a... Read More
Is it inconsistent, as Richard Dawkins claims, for believers in God to look for scientific explanations of natural things, if they don’t think it is necessary to seek scientific proof of God’s... Read More
God may have designed the universe so that the motive for faith must be as much moral, relational and spiritual as it is logical. Consider what the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews writes:
Like everything else in our lives, our emotions have been discolored by sin. Most emotions reflect a blend of both self-centeredness and goodness. If we are waiting for a moment of selfless purity to express... Read More
The negative consequences of using drugs “recreationally” far outweigh their short-term pleasures.
First are the physical effects. Marijuana, for instance, may have dangerous long-term... Read More
Every living creature instinctively fears death. Like everyone, Christians are human, and like everyone, they fear dying. In crisis situations, fear of death is important to survival. An animal species... Read More
Everyone experiences stress. It is a normal part of life, the result of living in a fallen world under the effect of sin’s curse.
1 Everyone—both Christians and unbelievers—faces problems... Read More
When walking on the edge of a great chasm, perhaps hiking in the Grand Canyon, a healthy fear keeps us from getting too close to the edge or distracted by the scenery.
True, fear isn’t the... Read More
Because this is a fallen world, we do nothing from entirely pure motives. (See article on Depravity.) As the prophet Isaiah said:
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our... Read More
You shouldn’t feel guilty that you are grieving. We might be saddened or distressed when we break a valuable heirloom or lose a valuable antique in a fire. But grief at the death of a pet dog is—and... Read More
As you look back, you are filled with guilt and remorse over the sin you committed, either as an unbeliever or a backslidden or immature Christian. It’s important to remember that your sin and backsliding... Read More
Hopelessness is a dreadful feeling. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Many people go through times when they know something is terribly wrong, but they... Read More
I’m sad about your struggle with cutting. This is a painful topic and one that you may have avoided up to this point. It takes a lot of courage to talk about it and you’ve taken an important step in... Read More
The fact that the Bible doesn’t specifically mention masturbation implies that we should approach this topic with sensitivity and caution. Most teenagers and single adults face an enormous struggle... Read More
The line between art and pornography is notoriously hard to define. In the Victorian era the sight of a woman’s knee was considered erotic, and one didn’t refer to the legs of a table in mixed... Read More
There are many today who would suggest that viewing pornography is a harmless recreational activity. Many men, including many Christian men, openly and secretly try to justify looking at the smorgasbord... Read More
Pornography is a serious problem that is only getting worse. We live in a world of technology that some are taking full advantage of to make pornography more readily available than ever before. And as... Read More
Pornography and sexually explicit “educational” videos don’t promote the development of love and intimacy — they undermine it. A married couple may benefit from better knowledge... Read More
We live in a sexually charged culture where some would have us believe that it is acceptable and appropriate for a husband and wife to view pornographic videos. Most in this camp contend that couples watching... Read More
Each of us is vulnerable to the temptation of sexual fantasy. When our faith is weak and we feel that real fulfillment and joy are out of our reach, it’s difficult to resist the powerful illusion... Read More
In ancient times, pornography was “writing about prostitutes.” (See the ATQ article Is Sexual Sin and Temptation a Bigger Problem Today Than It Was in the Early Church?
) Today pornography... Read More
An ancient writer asked the same question:
Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.... Read More
Trust is a universal struggle. All of us wrestle to some extent with trusting others because of painful experiences with betrayal. When the source of that betrayal is someone close to us, it can be especially... Read More
You took the difficult and vital step of confronting your abuser, but far from bringing some resolution, his reaction made it clear that he still is remorseless and unrepentant. It isn’t surprising... Read More
In spite of his triumph over the prophets of Baal, Elijah fell into deep despair (1 Kings 19:4).
After confidently proclaiming his faithfulness to Jesus (Matthew 26:33-35), Peter denied Him... Read More
To a person passing through the spiritual changes that the Bible describes as moving from death to life (John 5:24; Romans 6:13; Ephesians 5:14 ), awareness of the ugliness of one’s sin can be overwhelming.... Read More
Why am I having such a hard time being happy when, as a follower of Christ, I’ve got so much to be thankful for?
Yes, it’s true that we have so much to be thankful for. After all, God... Read More
When the cares of life overwhelm us, it might seem easier to wish for death than to face the struggle. If you are hurting and trying to find a way out, please read on, for there is hope for you!
One of Richard Dawkins’ recurring themes is that religious faith is the primary cause of violence around the world. Mr. Dawkins is right when he says that religious faith is often manipulated for terribly... Read More
Matthew 27:25 says, “Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ ” Does this verse imply that all Jews are perpetually and universally responsible... Read More
Few issues are as intellectually complex and emotionally charged as the subject of creation. There are a number of reasons this issue arouses such strong emotions.
Both sides in the debate... Read More
One of the thrilling promises given to us by Paul is that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything... Read More
Because the earth tends to be an object of worship for those given to neo-pagan beliefs and other modern forms of pantheism, it’s logical for them to be concerned about abuse of the earth. Many of these... Read More
Consider similar questions: Why should we care about our bodies since they are all going to die anyway? Or why care for our homes or business establishments since they will all eventually be demolished?... Read More
When a belief system becomes dominant in an individual’s life, it virtually becomes a religion. When it does, we often add the suffix “ism” to the chief word defining it. Many people are so given... Read More
Here we must be careful to realize that any nation has a right to defend its legal borders and citizenry. At the same time, we must be careful not to confuse the modern secular state of Israel with the... Read More
Who are the descendants of Abraham through whom “all of the peoples of the earth will be blessed”?
Abraham’s physical descendants include both Jewish and Arab peoples. Through... Read More
“Palestinian” is the term that identifies non-Jewish people, both Christian and Muslim, who have lived in the Holy Land for generations. During the last 150 years, many of these people found... Read More
It is one thing to believe that God has plans for Israel, and that He may be bringing her back to her homeland. It is quite another to imply that God approves or is directly responsible for everything... Read More
The Bible predicts a unique future role for the Jews that will eventually bring blessing to all the nations of the earth. It tells us that Israel will be “a holy people to the Lord your God;... Read More
As we view Israel/Palestine today, we must be as concerned for the physical and spiritual well-being of her ethnic Jewish people as for the well-being of her ethnic Arabs (both Muslim and Christian). We... Read More
There has been a long history of people misunderstanding and misapplying biblical prophecy. The Jews preceded the church in misapplying prophecy. Convinced that a God-anointed King (Messiah) would lead... Read More
The arguments used by unbelieving scholars to discredit the Christian Gospels and downplay their significance have changed through the decades as they were shaped by contemporary thinking. Because they... Read More
Tattoos are remarkably popular right now. In the past in the West, they were viewed as desirable only within limited social groups like soldiers, sailors, gang members, and bikers. Acceptance was generally... Read More
There is an old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt.” The Gospels are so familiar in Western culture, and were so deeply influential in its shaping, that Westerners often fail to think about them... Read More
The human race didn’t create itself, nor can it find fulfillment in itself. Human life is meaningful only in relationship to God (Deuteronomy 8:3; John 4:13-14; 6:32-35, 49-50). Originally, Adam and... Read More
If the wine Jesus created at the wedding of Cana was alcoholic, does this mean that He approved the consumption of alcohol?
The Greek word oinos, translated as “wine” in the New... Read More
Although Christians have never universally condemned cremation, burial has long been their accepted practice — as it has been for Jews. The Jews neither burned nor embalmed the bodies of their dead.... Read More
Is it okay to “put out the fleece” to know God’s will, like Gideon did in Judges 6:36-40?
Gideon is listed as one of the heroes of the faith ( Hebrews 11:32 ), and he... Read More
When Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged,” was He implying that we should regard everyone’s viewpoint equally?
Based on Jesus’ own actions, we can... Read More
Destructive behavior includes elements of both sin and “disease.” Some people are especially susceptible to particular kinds of destructive behavior. For example, men who abuse women are often reared... Read More
When asked this question, most people think of traditional faith systems like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shinto.
The answer is more complicated.Read More
Is dressing modestly just an outdated cultural standard from the 50s? Turn on the television, go to the movies, or flip through the pages of just about any magazine and it appears that our society has... Read More
Sexuality and individuality are sacred gifts. Although nudity is necessary under certain special circumstances, as when a person is examined by a physician1 or taking a shower in a locker room, indiscriminate... Read More
Jesus brought a deeper spiritual principle to bear upon the attitude of people towards revenge and retribution. In Matthew 5:38-42, He made three radical statements. First, He said that a person should... Read More
Sex is not only a hot topic in our culture, it’s also on the minds of most couples in love. It’s a natural, God-given desire — a gift intended to give us pleasure and express our intimacy.Read More
It’s important to understand that the Bible neither advocates birth control nor condemns it. The Bible was written long before modern methods such as a vasectomy or tubal ligation were developed.... Read More
It isn’t the “Christian ethic” that “denies the sexual experiences and fulfillment to single people that married people enjoy.” It is reality. The Bible and the Christian ethic are based on physiological... Read More
Because it was the Creator’s intention that human beings have the freedom to make their own decisions, everyone has to come to terms with the basic issues of life. One of these issues is that outside... Read More
It is easy to read the biblical prohibitions against having sexual relations outside of marriage and conclude that God is against sex and any form of sexual pleasure ( Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 5:1-6;6:23-29;... Read More
Of course, sex is necessary for the propagation of the race. But while we are to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28), sex is not merely limited to the procreation of the human... Read More
Jesus condemned the Pharisees’ self-righteous hypocrisy because it blinded them from seeing their need for repentance and a Savior.
Many Pharisees prided themselves in their strict avoidance... Read More
The Bible stresses both the importance of confessing ( James 5:16 ) and forsaking sin ( Ezekiel 18:31 ; Matthew 5:29 ; Luke 14:27 ; Romans 13:12 ; Ephesians 4:22 ). But just because Christians should confess... Read More
For a believer, unconscious sins are a serious concern, but they shouldn’t be a cause for fear of abandonment or judgment by God. Because we are all sinners by nature, born into a fallen world,... Read More
The early Christians used images such as a fish, a lamb, and a dove as symbols to decorate their places of meeting and to mark their places of burial.
The second commandment in Exodus 20:4-6... Read More
God’s Word assures Christian believers of the forgiveness of any sin through Christ’s sacrificial death on their behalf.
Christians no longer face damnation — the eternal... Read More
Most Christians agree that it is sometimes right for Christians to serve in the military. This consensus is based on the fact that the New Testament declares the legitimacy of government, the necessity... Read More
Although most Christians agree that war is sometimes necessary in self defense (See the ATQ article When Is a War Just?
), and nominal “Christians” have often wrongfully... Read More
What does Buddhism teach, and how does it differ from Christianity?
Legend tells us that Buddha was a powerful young prince who gave up his earthly position and possessions in order to seek... Read More
Some simple criteria are listed below for examining a group’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions.
CRITERION ONE: Rejection of the doctrine that has been passed down from the beginning... Read More
The word Allah
is the Arabic word for God, the word used both by Arabic-speaking Christians before the birth of Mohammed, and by Arabic-speaking Christians today. To a devout Muslim, Allah is... Read More
Islam was founded during an epoch when the weakened remnant of the Roman Empire had been “Christianized.” However the official Christian church was largely under the control of a corrupt and... Read More
The foundation of Jewish orthodoxy is the lawthe Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Old Testament) and the Talmud (the official rabbinical interpretation of the Pentateuch). These are the sacred Jewish... Read More
Some people have the impression that Jewish hostility for Christianity began only after Jews experienced persecution by Christians. Actually, Jewish hostility toward Jesus Christ and His church began long... Read More
The Bible doesn’t offer us much information about Mary, but her role in God’s redemptive plan was unique.
Luke 1:26-56 records Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel and... Read More
The question of whether or not Mary gave birth to other children besides Jesus is one that has been debated throughout the history of the church. Passages in which the other children of Mary are... Read More
The New Age movement is a broad, social, spiritual, and intellectual movement based on the religious philosophy of the Far East. The people of the Far East have long been pantheistic in their understanding... Read More
Many people today think religion is “pre-scientific,” bound to the past, and practiced only by the superstitious and ignorant. In their view, we’d be better off without it. John Lennon... Read More
Just because all of the world’s religions express important elements of spiritual truth doesn’t mean that they all represent enough truth to lead to God.
The history of religion... Read More
The Scriptures condemn all sorcery as opposed to a proper sense of dependence upon God. In Galatians 5:20, witchcraft is listed as being one of the acts of the sinful nature. The book of Revelation contains... Read More
The question is important. No one can deny that Harry Potter has taken the world by storm. Children are reading again. British author J. K. Rowling has captured the imagination of millions with gripping,... Read More
The Encyclopedia Britannica
defines witchcraft as:
The human exercise of alleged supernatural powers for antisocial, evil purposes (so-called black magic). A female held to have such... Read More
Demon possession isn’t just a relic of more primitive times. It still exists today.
People unfamiliar with the Scriptures often have the misconception that the New Testament considers... Read More
Some Christians believe that people can be “demonized” by ancestral sin. They believe that in such cases the demonized individual needs to be freed of inherited demonic influence by a “power encounter”... Read More
The word demonization
is a term recently coined by evangelicals who believe that Christians can be inhabited
by demons. These evangelicals believe that Christians can be inhabited by... Read More
It’s easy to expect either too little or too much of dreams.
An excellent book by a scientist who has researched the physiology of dreams (The Dreaming Brain
by J. Allan Hobson)... Read More
Many modern Neopagans and other practitioners of what they call the “Old Religion” insist that they aren’t involved in black magic.
1 While they call themselves witches and... Read More
God is the Creator and Master of the natural world. Satan is only the master of illusion. He deals in hallucination and deceit. Any limited powers over nature he may possess are entirely circumscribed... Read More
When, as the story goes, Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree and saw an apple fall, he already believed that God was ultimately
responsible both for the apple’s existence and its fall... Read More
The New Testament doesn’t give a detailed description of what has been called “the intermediate state” of those who die as Christians. The focus of the apostle Paul is on the wonder and... Read More
A body buried in a wooden casket would normally be entirely decomposed after a few hundred years, depending upon the conditions of the soil. Similarly, a seaman buried at sea would leave no traces. (Not... Read More
To gain canonical recognition, a book was expected to pass two basic tests. First, it had to have a history of “continuous and widespread approval amongst Christians” (J. W. Wenham, Read More
Early in church history a powerful movement called Gnosticism denied that the Old Testament was authoritative or even relevant to Christians. (See the ATQ article, What... Read More
The 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament are the only writings Christians consider fully inspired. The books that are in our present Old Testament were universally accepted... Read More
What did Jesus mean when He said not to resist an evildoer, and to instead turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39)?
In Matthew 5:38-41 , Jesus made three radical statements. First, He said that... Read More
This question refers to several passages, including John 14:12:
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,... Read More