Posts Tagged ‘The Bible’

heavenMost Christians have spent some time wondering what happens to us after we die. Recently, we looked at the account of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus. He spent four days in the afterlife, yet the Bible tells us nothing about what he saw. Of course, Lazarus’ family and friends must have learned something about his journey to heaven and back. And many of us today are familiar with the testimonies of people who have had near-death experiences. But each of these accounts are unique, and can only give us a glimpse into heaven.

In fact, the Bible reveals very few concrete details about heaven, the afterlife and what happens when we die. God must have a good reason for keeping us wondering about the mysteries of heaven. Perhaps our finite minds could never comprehend the realities of eternity. For now, we can only imagine.

Yet the Bible does reveal several truths about the afterlife. This study will take a comprehensive look at what the Bible says about death, eternal life and heaven.

What Does the Bible Say About Death, Eternal Life and Heaven?

Believers can face death without fear.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(NLT)

Also:
Romans 8:38-39
Revelation 2:11

Believers enter the Lord’s presence at death.

In essence, the moment we die, our spirit and soul go to be with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:8
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. (NLT)

Philippians 1:22-23
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. (NLT)

Believers will dwell with God forever.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)

Also:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven.

John 14:1-3
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (NIV)

Heaven will be far better than earth for believers.

Philippians 1:21
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (NIV)

Revelation 14:13
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!” (NLT)

The death of a believer is precious to God.

Psalm 116:15
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (NIV)

Believers belong to the Lord in heaven.

Romans 14:8
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (NIV)

Believers are citizens of heaven.

Philippians 3:20-21
But 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 under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)

After their physical death, believers gain eternal life.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (NIV)

Also:
John 10:27-30
John 3:14-16
1 John 5:11-12

Believers receive an eternal inheritance in heaven.

1 Peter 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (NIV)

Believers receive a crown in heaven.

2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV)

Eventually, God will put an end to death.

Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)

Why are believers said to be “asleep” or “fallen asleep” after death?

Examples:
John 11:11-14
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
1 Corinthians 15:20

The Bible uses the term “asleep” or “sleeping” when referring to the physical body of the believer at death. It is important to note that the term is used solely for believers. The dead body appears to be asleep when it is separated at death from the spirit and soul of the believer. The spirit and soul, which are eternal, are united with Christ at the moment of the believer’s death (2 Corinthians 5:8). The body of the believer, which is mortal flesh, perishes, or “sleeps” until the day it is transformed and reunited to the believer at the final resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:43; Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:51)

1 Corinthians 15:50-53
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (NIV)

 

bibleHow did we get the Bible? It’s in the Bible, 2 Peter 1:20, 21, NIV. “You must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The Bible is not the ideas of men; it is the word of God. God told those whom He chose what to say and write.

God is the source of all the information in the Bible. It’s in the Bible, 2 Timothy 3:16, NIV. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

The Bible introduces us to Jesus Christ. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 1:1, 2, NIV. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

For what purpose were the Scriptures written? It’s in the Bible, Romans 15:4, NIV. “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

What are the Scriptures able to do for the person who believes them? It’s in the Bible, 2 Timothy 3:15, TLB. “You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God’s salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus.”

What are the conditions to God’s promise that we will be able to understand divine things? It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 2:1-6, NIV. “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

We are to accept the entire Bible—not just the parts that appeal to us. It’s in the Bible, Jeremiah 26:2, TLB. “Give them the entire message; don’t leave out one word of all I have for them to hear.”

The Holy Spirit will help you understand the Bible. It’s in the Bible, John 16:13, 14, NIV. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me [Jesus] by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.”

The Bible is like a light, showing us the way to live. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 119:105, NIV. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” It’s in the Bible, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9, NIV).

The Bible gives us wisdom. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 119:99, NIV. “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.”

The Bible gives us God’s commands, which are unchanging. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:18, NIV. “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

How should we study God’s Word? It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 28:9, 10, NKJV. “Whom will he [God] teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” It’s in the Bible, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11, NIV).

On whom did Jesus pronounce a blessing? It’s in the Bible, Luke 11:28, NIV. “Blessed . . . are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

bible1. “When praises go up blessings come down”

The phrase, which is the title of a few popular worship songs, may sound like a line from the Book of Proverbs, but it’s not in the Bible. Some have suggested that its Scriptural link can be found in Psalm 67, a song that calls on God’s people to praise Him and for Him to bless His people.

2. “God helps those who help themselves”

God doesn’t help those who help themselves. He helps those who turn to him.

While this phrase sounds like it definitely comes from Scripture, it actually isn’t recorded anywhere in the Bible. The phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is credited to the Greek storyteller Aesop (and Benjamin Franklin). It’s been suggested the phrase is a favorite among pickpockets and shoplifters.

3. “God will never give you more than you can bear”

This common phrase appears to be a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Is the verse about victory over temptation, or a pass on utterly difficult situations?

4. “Touch and agree”

While the King James Version of Matthew 18:19 partially states “That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing…,” the phrase has come to mean, to some Christians, that they are to literally touch, make physical contact, when petitioning God to show their agreement on a matter.

5. “This too shall pass”

Is this something God said to Moses as he led the Hebrew people out of Egypt? Nope. It’s a proverb — and not a proverb from the Bible. Instead, the phrase is said to have its roots in Sufism but also has been linked, wrongly, to King Solomon.

6. “Love the sinner, hate the sin”

A general attitude professed by Christians, but not actually a passage of Scripture. The phrase, attributed to Saint Augustine (“with love for mankind and hatred of sins”), was also adopted by Mohandas Gandhi in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth as “hate the sin and not the sinner.”

7. “A fool and his money are soon parted”

The author of the Book of Proverbs is not responsible for this saying, which actually has its roots in an old British proverb.

8. “To thine own self be true”

You can search the Bible all day for this one, but you won’t find it. Instead, try “Hamlet,” the Shakespearean tragedy. “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man,” says Polonius to his son, Laertes.

9. “Charity begins at home”

While not included in the Bible, the popular saying was expressed by 14th century British theologian John Wycliffe (in German): “Charite schuld bigyne at hem-self.”

10. “A penny saved is a penny earned”

This phrase seems like it may come from the Book of Proverbs, but “a penny saved is a penny earned” is not in the Bible at all. It’s believe the saying goes as far back as the 17th century, although some wrongly claim that Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase. Franklin did write “a penny saved is twopence dear” … as well as “fish and visitors smell (stink) in three days.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen trying to find a good local church, it’s good to remember that, just like the people in them, no church is perfect. However, there are many important issues that should be considered when choosing a church. Some people live close to only a few churches, and their choices will be limited, but for others there are many more options. Be sure to pray about the churches you’re considering, to be sure you’re following the Lord’s leading as you search. Begin your search in the phone book, or online, to see all of your options. Be especially sure to read a church’s doctrinal statement or statement of belief to find out about their stance on important issues. If from this initial research a church seems to be good and solid, visit the church (including small groups or Sunday schools classes) several weeks while prayerfully considering whether to join as a member. Listed below are some important things you should consider in your search to find a church.

1. What is being preached and taught? The Bible is clear that we should only listen to those who preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:6-9). If any other message is being given in its place, then it is not a Christ-following church and you should move on to another one (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15, Colossians 1:18). The church should be speaking God’s truth as given to us through His inspired Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The truth of the gospel is that we are sinners (Romans 3:23), that we need a savior, and that Jesus is the only way of salvation (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9). The gospel, as well as all the other teachings of the Bible, should be taught accurately and consistently. Besides the message of salvation, churches vary when it comes to their views on the Trinity, the authority of the Bible, eternal security, free will, God’s sovereignty, election of the saints, eschatology (beliefs about the end times), and other theological issues. These are all important issues that we should seek to understand, and, as much as we are able, we should choose a church based on the beliefs we have about these and other church doctrines.

If you don’t know where you stand on these issues, you should try to find a church that emphasizes and teaches that the Bible is God’s inspired word and that believes in God’s sovereignty. God’s sovereignty is seen in the fact that God is lovingly and powerfully in control of all of history, and working in all our lives to ensure His plan is carried out in every detail and in His perfect ways (though often not understood by us). Avoid a church where you’re told that God only wants happiness, good health, success, and wealth for you; the Bible says that, as Christians, we should expect persecution and suffering for the cause of Christ (Matthew 5). God uses our pain to encourage others and to grow us. While God desires us to be happy, He is more concerned with our holiness than our temporal happiness.

2. Is the church a place of fellowship and community? The early church of Acts 2:42-47 “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread [Holy Communion] together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Fellowship should indeed include the observance of God’s ordinances for the church—communion (the Lord’s Supper) and believers’ baptism (Acts 2:38).

Also, the church you choose should be welcoming to all. We should welcome sinners yet speak the truth to them about their sin. The people of the church should be committed to encouraging one another to grow in Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Sometimes it’s hard to find a church where people don’t just show up on Sunday, but instead truly invest in each others’ lives. Part of this investment is seen in how active and important Sunday school classes, community groups, small groups, youth groups, and other support groups are within the church. If you are a parent, it is especially important that your children find an enjoyable and meaningful group to join during the formative years of their lives. Many kids don’t have Christian friends at their schools and desperately need this peer influence in their lives (Ephesians 6:4). While married couples are usually abundant in churches, it can be more difficult for people in other life stages to connect in some churches. If you are single, divorced, widowed, or have been abused, look for churches that include others who are in the same stage or experience as you.

3. Is the church focused on reaching out to others, outside the church, with the message of the gospel and practical service? Christ commanded us to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth, to all unreached peoples (Matthew 28:19-20). The church should be leading its members in this, preparing them to share the gospel with their neighbors and supporting or even leading local or international missions trips. We should be caring for the poor, the widowed, and everyone whom we can help (James 1:22-27, 1 Peter 4:10). Some churches don’t have the resources to reach out to the community with formal groups, but the individuals in the church should be volunteering in the community and serving their neighbors, on their own or with friends. Be sure to also look for a place to serve within your church.

4. Does the style of music fit with your taste or preferences? The older hymns are often rich with truth and important doctrines that can bolster our faith, and there are also many newer songs and choruses that are uplifting and encouraging. The purpose of music in a church should be to lead the people closer to the Lord in worship and adoration. Many of us are used to one style of music as opposed to another, just out of habit or childhood experiences. While music style should be taken into consideration, it should not be the deciding factor in finding a good church.

The Bible has much to say about the stars. Most basic to our understanding of the stars is that God created them. They show His power and majesty. The heavens are God’s “handiwork” (Psalm 8:3; 19:1). He has all the stars numbered and named (Psalm 147:4).

The Bible also teaches that God arranged the stars into recognizable groups that we call constellations. The Bible mentions three of these: Orion, the Bear (Ursa Major), and “the crooked serpent” (most likely Draco) in Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:31-32; and Amos 5:8. The same passages also reference the star group Pleiades (the Seven Stars). God is the One Who “fastens the bands” of these constellations; He is the One who brings them forth, “each in its season.” In Job 38:32, God also points to the “Mazzaroth,” usually translated “constellations.” This is thought by many to be a reference to the twelve constellations of the zodiac.

The constellations have been tracked and studied for millennia. The Egyptians and Greeks knew of the zodiac and used it to measure the beginning of spring centuries before Christ. Much has been written of the meaning of the zodiacal constellations, including theories that they comprise an ancient display of God’s redemptive plan. For example, the constellation Leo can be seen as a celestial depiction of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), and Virgo could be a reminder of the virgin who bore Christ. However, the Bible does not indicate any “hidden meaning” for these or other constellations.

The Bible says that stars, along with the sun and moon, were given for “signs” and “seasons” (Genesis 1:14); that is, they were meant to mark time for us. They are also “signs” in the sense of navigational “indicators,” and all through history men have used the stars to chart their courses around the globe.

God used the stars as an illustration of His promise to give Abraham an innumerable seed (Genesis 15:5). Thus, every time Abraham looked up at the night sky, he had a reminder of God’s faithfulness and goodness. The final judgment of the earth will be accompanied by astronomical events relating to the stars (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 3:15; Matthew 24:29).

Astrology is the “interpretation” of an assumed influence the stars (and planets) exert on human destiny. This is a false belief. The royal astrologers of the Babylonian court were put to shame by God’s prophet Daniel (Daniel 1:20) and were powerless to interpret the king’s dream (Daniel 2:27). God specifies astrologers as among those who will be burned as stubble in God’s judgment (Isaiah 47:13-14). Astrology as a form of divination is expressly forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). God forbade the children of Israel to worship or serve the “host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19). Several times in their history, however, Israel fell into that very sin (2 Kings 17:16 is one example). Their worship of the stars brought God’s judgment each time.

The stars should awaken wonder at God’s power, wisdom, and infinitude. We should use the stars to keep track of time and place and to remind us of God’s faithful, covenant-keeping nature. All the while, we acknowledge the Creator of the heavens. Our wisdom comes from God, not the stars (James 1:5). The Word of God, the Bible, is our guide through life (Psalm 119:105).

Article comes from gotquestions.org      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/astrology-Bible.html#ixzz2q9W0r2CR