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Questions From Nigeria

Questions From Nigeria

Published in
The Christian Informer
July, 2000

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Last updated:
June 30, 2000.

1. "Shall the church go through the tribulation before the rapture or rapture before the great tribulation?"

First of all, we are persuaded that no prophecy is ever fully understood until it has come to pass. Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 some alive people will "be caught up together" with the dead "in Christ" or who "sleep in Jesus" (v.14). The passage does not address the resurrection of sinners. But what is here revealed is the time and order of only one class, the saved, both of those living and those physically dead when Christ returns. Some religious teachers have taken the word "caught" in this passage which means to "seize (in various applications) -- catch (away up), pluck, pull, take (by force)," or "rapture," and they have built a fantastic belief around it. They dream of a world out of which Godís righteous have been "plucked" which continues on being run by the lost. The Scriptures speak of a time of "tribulation" or "difficulty", but Godís people were never to be in a great literal battle. There is a blessing in the study of Revelation, but of greater importance is to be acceptable to God at all times. We must live each day as He would have us live. Then we can be ready to accept whatever the Lord has in store.

2. "What do you say about trinity?"

The word "trinity" does not appear in the text of the Scriptures, but it is a word coined to describe that there are three beings in the Godhead -- The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7,8; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9). We subscribe to the teaching of the word of God on this matter, and prefer to use the scriptural term "Godhead".

3. "Must Christians heed Sabbath Days?"

The teaching of the word of God is that at the death of Christ the law of Moses with its Ten Commandments, which binds Sabbath keeping, was fulfilled or completed (Matthew 5:17). In Colossians 2:14-17, the Scriptures tell us that Christ accomplished the "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Those who are in the spiritual body of Christ cannot be justified by keeping sabbath days or any part of the law of Moses. Anyone who would attempt that is "fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4).

4. "Is drinking wine sin before God or drunkenness?"

Drunkenness, being drunk with wine, is condemned several times in the New Testament (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:7; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21). In modern times being drunk or abusing drugs is acceptable behavior. Many use "being under the influence" as a reasonable defense for committing crimes. All down through the history of man countless sins have been committed while men were drunk. In the Old Testament warning after warning was issued against "strong drink." We know that God wants the Christian to be sober and live an upright life. It seems to us that, if one would do Godís will, he would avoid anything that would make him drunk (alcohol or drugs), so that he would have the influence on the people of the world which God wants him to have. Christians must be the light of the world (Philippians 2:15).