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The “age of accountability” is a doctrine that is common among many today, particularly in the evangelical movement. This is especially a concern of parents who have had children die in their youth, long before they might ever have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and believed it. Traditional Christianity solved this problem by inventing the concept of infant baptism, whereby a child was made “safe in the church” until he should reach an age when he could decide for himself whether or not he would be a good church member on his own volition or not. Yet the modern evangelical movement has realized the unbiblical nature of this idea, and has rightfully insisted that no one can be saved by an act done upon them in infancy through no will or decision of their own. Yet this leaves for them the problem of what happens to children, then, who have died without reaching an age at which they were capable of understanding the gospel and making a decision for themselves. Since many in evangelical churches have had children who died just this way, these people are upset and seek answers regarding this question. To answer these concerns, the doctrine of the “age of accountability” has been formulated. The idea of the “age of accountability” is that a child who dies before he was old enough to be accountable is automatically saved rather than automatically lost since he was too young to be accountable. Read the rest of this entry »

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I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, I have a question regarding something you said. It was such a blockbuster bit of information to me that I wrote it down, but I want to be sure that I have it correct.

I wrote, “The PASSOVER – folks outside the land could not partake of this feast which only could be carried out in the land. As a result, THE SINS OF THOSE OUTSIDE THE LAND WERE NOT FORGIVEN.”

Is this what you said?

Thanks.

There were two parts to this. One was the Day of Atonement. This was made yearly on the tenth day of the seventh month. It was the day all Israel was to fast, because on that day the priest was making atonement for them to cleanse them from all their sins. This was the “year by year” cleansing of sins that Silas speaks of in Hebrews 10:1. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

HE WHO OVERCOMES……. Rev. 2:26, 3:5, 3:12 and 3:21. These verses are probably not referring to salvation?

Your comments please.

The verses you list are the last four of a set of seven such verses speaking of the overcomers in Revelation 2-3. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Nathan, last Sunday our preacher taught on the following verses:
23. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
(John 2:23-25 KJV)

The preacher’s point was that because these people believed they were saved. He said you don’t have to go down front, say a sinner’s prayer, asking Jesus into your heart, or the like to be saved. (He sure was taking away some of the methods that are used by churches to get members.) He pointed to verses that say if you believe you will be saved, thus these people in John 2:23 were saved according to him because they believed. Nothing else was needed.

At men’s prayer on Tuesday the subject of the sermon came up. I said I did not think that these people were necessarily saved. I tried to make a point that these people live a different time than us. The conversation moves on and one is not able to build a case for what he said.

Later after thinking about it, I should have asked what do we have to believe in to be saved. Believe in Christ’s death and resurrection? The people of verse 23 believed in what? That Jesus was the promised one?

So the question is, Did these people and others, who live to see and hear Christ, have eonian life because they believed? Could you explore the topic a little more? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following questions:

We look forward to the next great dispensation as “the kingdom of God.” If the kingdom should come tomorrow, everyone now living would be in the kingdom (at least briefly). Also many would begin to be resurrected into the kingdom to live during the kingdom.

My questions are: Do we have any idea the criteria for a. eliminating those not fit for the kingdom?

b. being resurrected into the kingdom?

c. being judged on Judgment Day? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I need help, please, understanding the gospel of salvation in the Acts period.

Were different gospels of salvation preached during the Acts period?

It’s my understanding that the 2 gospels (of the circumcision, of the uncircumcision) in Galatians 2 were actually gospels offered TO the two different groups, not 2 different gospels as Mid-Acts teaches.

It is also my understanding that the gospel of the kingdom is not a gospel of salvation at all, but just an announcement that the long-awaited kingdom is near.

Is everyone in the Acts period saved by grace through faith?

Clearly I am confused, and I appreciate your help.

I will be happy to help you out with your questions regarding the gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Colossians 2:13 – I need a more detailed explanation of this verse. I understand from Eph. 2:1 and 5 that it should read “being dead TO sins.” Why is it not the same in Col. 2:13? The whole context of Colossians, written to believers, seems to support the reading of being dead TO sins, not dead in sins. The Greek word suzoopoieo occurs only in Eph. 2:5 and Col. 2:13. Why would Paul say in Eph. 2:15, “We also being dead TO the offenses, makes us alive together in Christ Jesus,” and then tell the Colossians believers, “And you, being dead IN your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses”? It seems to me that all believers, having been made alive together in Christ Jesus, would necessarily be dead TO sins and not dead IN sins. The Companion Bible notes on verse 13 says “being, i.e. at that time.” But I don’t see anything in the Greek to indicate their past condition. Please enlighten me on this verse.

I start off by quoting Mr. Sellers’ Resultant Version of this verse, along with the notes, and my commentary on the verse. Read the rest of this entry »

sod02I received the following question:

I am confused regarding the salvation of Israel during the Old Testament.  I appreciate your helping me clear up my misunderstandings.

Deut 6
24. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

This verse seems to say that keeping the law will bring righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »

words01I received the following question:

2 Thessalonians 1
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

In this passage we are told to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Would you please explain what this gospel entails?

Thank You,

The word “gospel” in Greek is the word euangelion, The prefix “eu” means “good,” but good in the sense of being right. “Angelion” means a message, and is related to the Greek angel or “messenger.” So a gospel is a right or true message. One example I like to give as a “gospel” is if you were sleeping at night, and suddenly you were woken up by a shout, “Fire! Get out!” This would be far from good news, yet if it was true, it would be the right news, and the news you needed to hear. Read the rest of this entry »

lighteye02I received the following question:

Regarding your Knowing God in the Word series on John 3, would the “light” that every man receives (John 1:9) be the basic awareness that there is a God (leaving men without excuse – Romans 1:20), in contrast to a more specific enablement to believe (due to a generation from above) that Jesus is the Christ, the representation of God in human form?
 
And as for us in this dispensation, is it the witness of the completed “quick and powerful” Word of God, the Bible, that is solely used by the Holy Spirit to enable us to believe without seeing evidential miracles/signs?
 
Looking to the future, certainly the work of the Spirit in John16:8 will be in a category of its own!!  

Yes, you have correctly stated what I think the “light” that every man receives is. Not all get the specific awareness of Jesus Christ as God, but all do get the knowledge that there is above themselves a Being Who is supreme.

I would agree that it is the Word of God, the Bible, that allows us with the Holy Spirit’s help to believe without seeing any proof in the form of signs or miracles. Without the Word of God, there is no true faith. Of course, that Word could be spoken by another and you could believe the Word spoken, if it was spoken truly.

Yes, the work of the Spirit in John 16:8 will be a work very different from any work He performs today. What a time that will be!