Questions?

I have a group of questions that I sometimes think about, but have been unable to get the perfect Biblical answer. I would like to share these questions, and hopefully will be able to gather a lot of information as each of you share your thoughts on these various topics.

1.  Is organ transplant moral? Are doctors using medical advances (learned from God) to save lives, or are they simply “playing God”?

On the one hand, I believe that God gave all of us the brains to figure things out. Could it have been His providence that caused the medical community to figure out how to remove an organ from a dead person and place it in a living person?

Or, did the medical community take things too far? In their search for answers, did they begin to “play God”? Our bodies are the divine creation of God. Is it moral to alter God’s creation?

2.  Is the IVF procedure moral?

Again, God gave men the ability to figure things out. This procedure was only able to come about because doctors figured out the internal process of how babies are made. They just simulate the process so a woman can get pregnant.

Again, are the doctors just playing God? The “miracle of childbirth” is now in the hands of the doctors. Is it moral for extra embryos to be created, just to be frozen at a later date?

3.  What is the difference between the gift of tongues and tongues being a manifestation of Holy Spirit baptism?

It is difficult to draw a distinction between these two events. One happens at the point when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The other is a special enablement from the Holy Spirit. Some say this is a “prayer language,” so it does not matter which instance you are talking about, you are still talking about a prayer language.

Other people draw a distinction between the two. They say that the first is a prayer language where the Holy Spirit prays through you. The other is a message from God, thus the need for an interpretation.

This brings up some very interesting questions:

  • If these are two different occurrences with two different purposes, where does the Bible specify that?
  • If “tongues” are simply a “prayer language,” and it is only intended to between you and God, why is there a need to interpret, and shouldn’t this gift be exercised in private, and not in a corporate setting?

4.  Can people who have gone on to Heaven look down and watch what we do daily?

I hear people all the time saying that their relative, who has gone on to be with the Lord, is looking down on them from Heaven. There is nothing in the Bible that supports or opposes this statement. However, there is to be no sorrow in Heaven. How could anyone look down from the perfection of Heaven, and see what is going on in this world, without feeling sorrow and pain?

5.  Can Christians live totally sin free?

I have heard it said that once Christ forgives us, and imputes His righteousness on us, then we are a new creation that does not have to sin. The ability to sin still exists because we live in a fallen world. However, it is possible to live without sinning.

I also hear about the life-long process of sanctification. They say that we have been forgiven of our past sins; however, we continue to grow in faith throughout our lives. During this time, we will sin, and need to seek forgiveness for that.

6.  Is God’s call for us to be saved limited in nature? Are some predestined for Heaven, and some for Hell?

Some have said that the grace of God is only available for a few select. It is those people who God calls out of their unrighteousness into His marvelous light.

Others say that salvation is available to everyone; that everyone has the opportunity to be saved. Unfortunately, some will not answer this call.

7.  Do we need to say “Amen” when our prayer is over?

Does God really need us to tell Him our prayer is over? It is like saying “Ok, I am done with you for now.”

The word “Amen” is really a term of agreement. It is sometimes used to mean “so be it”.

In Matthew 6, when Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, the word “Amen” only occurs in some translations. In Luke 11, this account is given again, and “Amen” does not appear, no matter what translation you use.

I don’t expect anyone to have all the answers. I do ask that people prayerfully consider each of these questions, and search the scriptures for insight. Maybe the Lord reveals a little information to you on just a couple of these questions. Please share with us anything the Lord lays on your heart.

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2 thoughts on “Questions?

  1. 1. I’m not an organ doner as I just don’t feel right having my body manipulated after I’m dead. I’m not sure I could make a case from scripture either way, and haven’t attempted to.

    2. No comment

    3. The gift of tongues as I see it in the NT is a gift, not for everyone, not for anyone who wants it, but is given to some as the Spirit wills and gives the individual the ability to speak a language they do not know – probably for a purpose (as at Pentecost). The manifestation after baptism as I see it in the NT is a one time occurrence after a person is filled with the Spirit. I don’t see this as a “gift”, but a reaction to the filling. I myself had a reaction/manifestation but it was not in an unknown tongue. I also see the examples of fillings in Acts to be unique to that time as God was showing that his salvation was for every people group, not just Jews. Origins can be unique. Things happened at the origin of creation that probably will never happen again.

    4. I typically hear that from non-Christians who think that all “good” people automatically go to heaven and become some type of guardian angel. I don’t agree with that. I’ve also not read anything in the Bible about dead saints watching people on Earth. Guess I’d answer “no”.

    5. No. I think that case could be made from the end of 1 John 1 and beginning of 2. Think a case could also be made with the imagery from Hebrews (I think 10 but can’t remember off top of my head) about the finality of Jesus’ sacrifice over against the yearly OT sacrificial system. I don’t see why that would be stressed instead of saying something like “OT sacrificial system is no longer needed because people stop sinning when they become Christians”. No the point is that we’ll continue to sin but it is all covered by the perfect and final sacrifice.

    6. We are commanded to make a general external call to all men to repent and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Unfortunately no person is going to have a positive response to that external call unless God does a work in them (often called an internal call) first. This is the call from Romans 8 and it is not equal to all humans. Most adult Christians that I’ve talked to all agree that there was a time in their life where something changed in them and it was not of themselves at all. A work happened in them which drew them to God or spiritual things and once they heard the truth of Christ they couldn’t resist it. When I ask these same people, even if they don’t believe in “pre-destination” or “election”, if that calling or work that happened in them could be resisted they always say “no”. Now that is not why I believe the way that I do, but it is something I’d expect to hear people say because that is what I see in scripture. I’ll leave it at that 🙂

    7. Not that I’m aware of. Is it wrong to use the term? No.

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    1. Thank you for your response, Justin. This is exactly the purpose of the blog. I want to read comments from all points of view. In the book of Acts, we find a place called Mars Hill. Luke tells that this is where the Athenians would spend their time talking about ideas. I would love for people to use this blog to express their ideas, even if they differ from someone else’s.

      I think we generally agree on most of these topics. But, like I said, I have not found the perfect Biblical answer for these things.

      I do want to offer a different insight on something you said in #3. You said, ” The manifestation after baptism as I see it in the NT is a one time occurrence after a person is filled with the Spirit. I don’t see this as a “gift”, but a reaction to the filling.” Whether the Gift of Tongues in 1 Cor. 12 and tongues manifested after Holy Spirit baptism are the same thing is not my point, here. I believe both times are a gift. Obviously, in 1 Cor., Paul calls it a gift. However, pertaining to the baptism, Luke calls it “the gift of the Spirit” (Acts 2:38; 10:45), and “the gift of God” (Acts 8:20; 11:17; 15:8).

      Second, I believe that tongues are to be used as a “prayer language” for every Christian baptized in the Holy Spirit. As evidence, I offer my personal experience. I pray in tongues on a regular basis. I also want to provide an interpretation of the Greek. Now, I don’t read Greek, so I rely on those who do. I read a position paper written for the Assemblies of God about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The author writes, “Paul’s command to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) does not refer to the initial fullness of the Spirit; it is an injunction to keep on being filled with the Spirit. In a footnote for this quote, the author further states, “The verb is in the Greek present tense, which conveys the meaning of a continuing or ongoing action.”

      I would also like to offer this quote from the same position paper: Speaking in Tongues. Speaking in tongues is the initial, empirical indication that the infilling has taken place but it also benefits the speaker spiritually, for Paul says that “anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God” and that “he who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” (1 Corinthians 14:2,4). This is the devotional aspect of tongues, which is associated with praising God and giving Him thanks (verses 16,17). This aspect is sometimes called a prayer language. It is an element in praying in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20). Because it is a means by which believers edify themselves
      spiritually, tongues may be called a means of grace. It is not an experience that occurs only at the time of being baptized in the Spirit; it ought to be a continual, repeated experience. This is implied in Paul’s statement to the Corinthians: “I wish all of you to continue speaking in tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:5, a strict translation reflecting the Greek verb tense).

      You can read the entire position paper at http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_Baptism_In_the_Holy_Spirit.pdf.

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