Questions and Answers
What does the Bible say about euthanasia?
There has been a great deal of controversy about the subject of euthanasia, or "mercy killing." Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia defines euthanasia as "easy or painless death brought on to end a lingering, hopeless, painful disease." Few, it seems, look to the Bible to see what God says. When we do, we find that from the beginning God intended that each human live out a productive and fulfilling life in preparation for eternal life with Him in His Kingdom.
We also find that the giving and taking of life is a prerogative
that belongs only to God. With God is the fountain of life, says Psalm 36:9.
God has authorized man's governments to end the lives of those who have committed murder and the like (Genesis 9:6, Romans 13:1-4). But there is no support in Scripture for ending the life of an innocent person because of sickness, old age or disease.
The Bible shows that the weak are to be cared for and treated with patience, not murdered (I Thessalonians 5:14). On the other hand, the idea that extraordinary measures must be taken to keep a terminally ill person alive as long as possible is not biblical either. There is no sense in prolonging a person's dying.
Many righteous people in the Bible knew when they were dying,
got their affairs in order, gathered their families to say good-bye and simply
died. It is
not wrong to ask God in His mercy to allow a suffering person to peacefully die.
When Jesus Christ told the man to "let the dead bury their own dead" (Luke 9:60). did He mean it is wrong to attend funerals?
The context of Jesus' statement shows that He offered this man a chance to take part in His ministry- to become a teacher of the way that leads to eternal life. He told the man to "go and preach the kingdom of God."
When the man said he had to first go and bury his father, Jesus told him to let the "dead" (those not aware of spiritual matters) bury their dead.
Was Jesus telling this man not to attend his father's funeral?
No. A funeral usually takes only a short time, and Jesus continually showed that
Christians are to feel compassion and show proper
respect for others. Luke 7:11-15 tells of what happened when Jesus Himself once met a funeral procession.
Why, then, did Jesus answer the man this way? Jesus realized the man was only making excuses. The man's father was probably elderly and did not have much time left to live. This man, hiding behind his father's condition, tried to put off the responsibility that Jesus offered him. His priorities were not based on faith and serving God first.
Had the young man wanted to, he could have found a way, without showing any disrespect, to have his father cared for and still serve God. That is why Jesus told him to let the spiritually dead (those who were not being called-Ephesians 2: I) continue to live their lives as seemed best to them.
This account shows that we should not let undue concern over physical matters distract us from serving God when He calls us to do His Work. Many are distracted, though, as the parable of the sower (Mark 4: 14-20) shows.
Who wrote the books of the Bible?
The Scriptures were inspired by God, II Timothy 3:16 tells us. God moved various servants at different times to record details of history and prophecy and instructions for successful living, and He preserved those writings through the centuries for our learning today. Following is a list of the Old Testament books in the order preserved by the Jews:
The first five books, Genesis through Deuteronomy, were written
by Moses during the 40 years of wandering, with the details of Moses' death
added later, possibly by Ezra. Joshua is the logical author of
the book of Joshua.
Judges was written by the prophet Samuel, according to Jewish
tradition. Samuel also wrote I Samuel 1-24. The remainder of I Samuel and all of
II Samuel were written by Nathan
and Gad (I Chronicles 29:29).
I and II Kings were probably written by Jeremiah, who compiled older records from prophets contemporary with the events. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah., Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were all prophets of God who wrote the books bearing their names.
The Psalms had various authors. David wrote about half of them;
other authors include Asaph or his descendants, the sons of Korah, and Moses.
Proverbs 1 through 29 belong mostly to
Solomon. Chapters 30 and 31, respectively, are ascribed to Agur and Lemuel.
The author of the book of Job is not definite, though it was
most likely Job himself or Moses. The Song of Solomon was written by Solomon.
Jewish tradition attributes the book of Ruth to
Samuel. Lamentations was undoubtedly written by Jeremiah. Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon. Esther was probably written by Mordecai. Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah wrote the books that bear their
names. I and II Chronicles were written by Ezra.
Here is a list of the New Testament books:
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, I and II Peter, I, II and III John and Jude were written by the men whose names they bear. Acts was written by Luke. Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Hebrews were all written by Paul. John wrote the book of Revelation.
Ecclesiastes 7 :2-4 says: "Sorrow is better than laughter ... The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." What's wrong with laughter? Does God want us to be sad?
There is no scripture that says it's wrong to be happy. One of
the fruits of a Christian life is joy, brimful and running over (Galatians
5:22). Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 does not say laughter is wrong. It merely
means that sorrow is better than this kind of laughter. The context shows us what kind of laughter is wrong.
"It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to
hear the song of fools. For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the
laughter of the fool. This also is vanity."
That kind of foolish laughter is wrong.
Jesus came to give us abundant life, joyful happiness, filled with the right kind of laughter (John 10: I 0). That is life filled to the brim - but in the right balance. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). Yet this same Jesus also said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).
God wants us to laugh and enjoy life, but at the same time to take life seriously. It takes both laughter and sorrow - that is, the right kind of sorrow - to make the whole person.
There is a wrong kind of sorrow just as there is a wrong kind of
laughter. The wrong kind of sorrow is what prevails in the world today. This
world's sorrow leads to frustration and anxiety,
and often results in suicide. II Corinthians 7: I 0 says the sorrow of the world produces death. But "godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation."
This godly sorrow is better than laughter and mirth because it brings the right results. "Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better" (Ecclesiastes 7:3). Godly sorrow leads to a change of heart!
The sorrow of the world brings discouragement and a feeling of hopelessness. Godly sorrow strengthens your will, your determination to overcome the problems that beset you. Godly sorrow feels compassion for the suffering that this world experiences for breaking God's laws, and longs for God's Kingdom to be established on earth as soon as possible.
Question: “Jesus mentioned only six of the commandments in Matthew 19:16-19. Does this mean we don't have to keep the other commandments?”
Answer: Christ said to “keep the commandments” Then the rich man asked “Which?” All Jesus needed to do was mention several to show which set of commandments he was referring to so there would be no confusion as the supreme rule of conduct-so the person would know Jesus was speaking of the Ten Commandments and not the commands of the nation’s religious leaders. Also he only mentioned these specific ones due to the fact that, “these commandments were more known, and were in common use;” (Gill’s Commentary). And he did not even quote them in order, quoting the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and fifth.
Now His hearer knew the law, “All these things have I kept from my youth up:” (v.20).
Notice the commandments Christ did mention. These laws explain man’s responsibility to others.
Now the ruler said, “what lack I yet?” (v.20)
Now notice the commandments Christ did not refer to directly:
“You shall have no other gods before Me…You shall not make for yourself any carved image. . . .You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain... Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. . . . You shall not covet” (Exodus 20: 3-4, 7 -8, 17).
Since Jesus did not list these commands, does this mean it is all right to worship other gods, curse, break the Sabbath and covet? Of course not! David said all of God’s commandments are sure and stand forever (Psalm 111:7-8). The Apostle Paul said, “covetousness, which is idolatry:…For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience” (Col 3:5-6).
Jesus inspired James to write that we must keep every point of the law-not just one or two commandments, or even half of them. Anyone who offends in one point is guilty of all (James 2:10).
We must not show partiality in the law of God, as God said through Malachi, “...ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.” (2:9). Jesus would not even think of teaching this to others!
To break any of the Ten Commandments is to be guilty of sin (1 John 3:4).
In the end there were the 4 commandments the rich man did not keep-this is what he lacked! Verses 21-22 states “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” Money was his god, God was not first in his life- He loved his possession more than God this is “covetousness, which is idolatry:” (Col 3:5). He most likely kept his business open on the Sabbath so his profits were maintained. In the end he was “tak[ing] the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Everything he did was all in vain, it meant nothing because of his refusal to love God with all his heart.
The first and greatest commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,” (Deut 6:5). This is what he lacked! and Jesus Taught to keep this commandment for eternal life, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
“He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
“And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” (Luke 10:25-28).
The first 4 commandments is summed up in this great commandment in the law, and the last 6 are for relating to your fellow man, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom 13:9-10). So really one can see all ten commandments in Matthew 19:16-19.
QUESTION: “You said that Jesus was a homeowner. But Jesus Himself said: ‘Foxes have holes (homes), and birds of the air have nests (homes); but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head’ (Luke 9:58). It is hard to imagine a homeowner who ‘hath not where to lay his head.’ Did Jesus mean something other than what He said?"
ANSWER: By way of a brief background to this question, remember that Luke, the author of Acts and his own Gospel, wrote (as a historian naturally would) in chronological order (see Luke 1: 1, 3).
Checking the context of the passage in question, we read in Luke 9:51-56: “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he [Jesus] should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him [make arrangements for a place to stay]. And they [the residents of the village] did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.” The Samaritans in this particular village did not allow Jesus to stay there because He was on His way to Jerusalem. The location of the Temple was a bone of contention between the Jewish people and the Samaritans (see John 4:20). The Samaritans maintained a rival “holy site” on Mount Gerizim.
Now read Luke 9:57-58, remembering the preceding verses: “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” So how do we understand these verses in context? Jesus had wanted to lodge in a Samaritan village on His way to Jerusalem. The citizenry wouldn’t allow it. Therefore, Jesus - in the light of their denying Him overnight accommodations - told the young man that He had no place to stay at the moment. In other words, at that particular time (“as they went in the way” [verse 57]) from one Samaritan village to the next [see verse 56]) He was having difficulty in finding a place to stay overnight on His journey to Jerusalem. It was exemplary of His, at times, difficult ministry. Jesus did NOT say in Luke 9:57-58 that He did not have a home.
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