Here they are, the questions we did not get to cover on Sunday. If you asked one of these, take no offense that it was not used in service. We had to limit the number, and if we do this in the future, we will be doing fewer than we did Sunday.
I am going to give the short answer, and if you want more, e-mail me!
Should Christians be organ donors?
I think being an organ donor is a great thing. I see no Biblical reason not to, if that is what you choose to do.
Is cremation wrong?
I have heard both sides of this one. One side says, “It’s a Pagan practice, Christians always buried their dead.” True. And Christians never let Pagan practices creep in (like Christmas trees and lights, Easter eggs, and Halloween). Apology for the sarcasm there.
The other side is, “It’s cheaper, and isn’t it the same kind of thing that happens to your body if you die in a fire, for example?” True.
Cop out answer: you have no control over what happens to your body when you die. I know, such a lame answer, right? “But Pastor Jeff, what if someone requests cremation ahead of time, should we honor the request when they die?” It’s not a salvation issue. Do your homework, have your own conviction.
Are psychics real? Are they evil?
I believe most are just fakers, and if there are “real” ones, they get their spiritual “insight” from Satanic sources, as God would not empower something He forbids! See Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, 2 Kings 21:6, Isaiah 8:19, for example.
Do you believe people have seen heaven and returned to earth?
I know of two who had for sure. One wasn’t allowed to talk about it (Paul) and one was told to write it all down (John). I have read the modern day accounts, and I confess to being a bit skeptical. Admittedly, some of the details I have read concerning the modern ones are pretty amazing.
What are similarities/differences between our church and the first century church?
We are striving for many of the same ingredients the first century church had! Obviously technology and culture have changed in the last couple thousand years, but the foundational principles we see in the book of Acts are still pillars in HBC - preaching the Word of God, worshiping God in spirit and in truth, praying passionately, and sharing the Gospel with boldness. Even all of the electronic gizmos we use are to work towards the goal of making disciples and carrying out the 4 pillars.
Should you still tithe 10% of your income if you are behind on your bills?
In cases like this, I recommend good Biblical financial counseling.
I believe tithing is a great principle, and am convicted myself it is the place to start with giving. That said, the Jewish Old Testament requirement is not seen shifted over to the church in the New Testament. Actually, an OT Jew would end up tithing about 23 1/3rd % of their income!
“Oh so since we are under grace, we are not required to give as much?” Name something the law required that grace doesn’t give more! Money is a heart issue, and giving must be done deliberately, out of your own supply, and cheerfully. Read 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 really carefully for a great teaching on NT giving.
Will God punish those who outwardly mock Him?
Yes. Unless they repent and are born again, the Bible says everyone who has failed to come to Christ for forgiveness of sins and eternal life will face the ultimate and eternal wrath of God, whether they mock Him outwardly or silently reject Him.
If this was edifying, let me know, and we will do it again sometime!
p.s. - Not afraid of hard questions, but terribly afraid of sharks.