Ask The Pastor

Questions and answers from the Pastors.

What Does 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Mean When It Says To “Pray Without Ceasing?”

November 1st, 2018 by

One must take into consideration the timing of these particular writings to the Thessalonians. First Thessalonians is understood by many to be the earliest of the Pauline Epistles. One unique aspect of Paul’s relationship with the Thessalonians was how successful his ministry was in establishing this “infant” church in the time frame of three Sabbaths, Keep reading…

Why Do Some People Say They Have “Fallen In Love With Jesus?”

October 1st, 2018 by

Why do some people say they have “fallen in love with Jesus?” To me, falling in love refers to romantic love. We don’t have that kind of love for Jesus, do we? “Love is love” is an expression that has become popular in our culture. Most of us realize, however, that this isn’t really true. Keep reading…

Will We Know Each Other In Heaven?

July 7th, 2018 by

God created each of us with an individual identity and, as individuals, we are not only valuable to God, but he knows us intimately. In Psalm 139, as just one example, David marveled at the intimacy of God’s knowledge of him as an individual. Scripture also teaches that God created us to live in community Keep reading…

What Is Apostasy?

June 7th, 2018 by

Apostasy is to turn away from, or forsake Christ. In Matthew 24:10-12, Jesus warned that many who initially followed him would ultimately fall away from their faith. The Apostle Paul gave a similar warning, saying that there would be a “falling away” or “rebellion” (Gk. apostasia) from among God’s people before the end of the Keep reading…

Why Does God Seem Different In The Old Testament As Compared To The New Testament?

May 7th, 2018 by

Since the early church, many believers have perceived a difference between the god of the Old Testament (OT) and the god of the New Testament (NT). In the OT, YHWH often comes across as a force to be reckoned with, passing rigorous laws and exacting the most severe punishments. In the NT, Jesus seems more Keep reading…

What Is The Hope Of A Believer?

April 7th, 2018 by

According to 1 Cor. 13:13, hope is a companion with love and faith. It reads, “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” It is not surprising that hope should often be mentioned as a companion of faith. The heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 are also Keep reading…

Please Explain The Words Of Jesus On The Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” What Does This Mean? Did God Actually Forsake Jesus On The Cross?

March 7th, 2018 by

These words of Jesus on the cross are perhaps the most heart wrenching words our Lord spoke in the hours of his execution. We know that throughout his life and ministry Jesus was in constant fellowship and communion with His Father. Yet here our Lord seems to be saying that God the Father has turned Keep reading…

Why Are There Two Different Creation Accounts In Genesis?

February 7th, 2018 by

There are many different perspectives regarding how we should understand the relationship between Genesis 1 and 2. Often the discussion centers around questions about apparent contradictions between them, the historical accuracy of the text, or whether they were written by a single author or two or more authors. These questions, in turn, are part of Keep reading…

How Can I Know God’s Will?

January 7th, 2018 by

When I was child listening to Christians talk about God’s will, I got the impression that it was a set map for our lives which must be discovered and followed or negative consequences would follow. The way to know God’s will was to see the signs. A verse during devotions or a coincidence that could Keep reading…

Why Do We Refer To Christmas Time As The Advent Season?

December 1st, 2016 by

In the first centuries of the Christian tradition, the church developed a calendar of special holy days and seasons to be observed throughout the year. This is called the “Liturgical Calendar.” Advent is the first season of the Christian year. The name comes from the Latin word, adventus, which means “coming.” It is the season Keep reading…

Why Did Some People’s Names Change In The Bible?

November 1st, 2016 by

In the ancient world, names were ideally regarded as reflecting the identity of a person. The Bible is full of such examples. When Hannah’s prayer to YHWH for a child was heard, she named her son Samuel (“God Hears”). A name change therefore indicates a change in the identity of a person. The Bible also Keep reading…

What Does It Mean To Dress Modestly?

October 1st, 2016 by

First of all, on the back page of our weekly bulletin there is a statement pertaining to this subject. It reads, “Troy Christian Chapel does not have a dress code per se, but we do encourage our worshipers to dress with modesty and good taste. Christian worship is sacred time in sacred space, and it Keep reading…

If The Only Way To Heaven Is Through Jesus, How Were The People Before Him Saved?

September 1st, 2016 by

On the night of his betrayal and arrest, Jesus made a bold statement about himself: “I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). With these words, Jesus taught his disciples the truth that lies at the heart of the Christian faith. Jesus, Keep reading…

What Are The Essentials Of Christianity?

August 1st, 2016 by

Christianity is first and foremost about the salvation that Christ has provided for us through his death on the cross and his resurrection. Many people, however, emphasize the work of Christ as a way of getting to heaven, or having eternal life. While we do receive these things as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, getting Keep reading…

When Should My Child Be Baptized?

July 1st, 2016 by

Probably one of the most used explanations would be, first of all, when they come to an accountable age—when they can understand their need for baptism. Baptism is one of the two ordinances of our church by-laws, the Eucharist being the other. To believe that either is not important would be misrepresenting Scripture. A child Keep reading…

How Do I Influence My Husband/Wife For Christ?

June 1st, 2016 by

Throughout my fifty years of ministry I have been asked this question by the believing spouse in a marriage. Other times I wish they had asked for counsel. First of all, to avoid these situations, as pastors we advise believers not to marry unbelievers. In 2 Cor. 6:14, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to, “Do Keep reading…

Does The Bible Say We Have To Pray To Be Saved (As In The Sinner’s Prayer) Or Just Believe?

May 1st, 2016 by

The sinner’s prayer can indeed and often has been sincerely used to express the faith and repentance of the covert. However, the sinner’s prayer is not some mystical spiritual formula which secures salvation upon utterance. Our Lord knows the heart of all, and no mind is hidden from him (Heb 4:13). The Lord is not Keep reading…

Should We Expect Miracles Today?

April 1st, 2016 by

Before I answer this question let me share a real experience our family witnessed. In 1977, my father-in-law, Wilfred Downey was 86 years old and in the hospital with heart failure. As we were visiting him that evening, and we were about to leave, the doctor and nurse told us to say our good-byes to Keep reading…

How Can I Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?

March 1st, 2016 by

The Bible tell us that faith in Jesus Christ is enough to receive the gift of his forgiveness and the gift of his Holy Spirit. So the first thing to understand is that all believers are in possession of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, it does not follow that all believers manifest its presence in their Keep reading…

Who Are The 144,000 Saved In The Book Of Revelation?

February 12th, 2016 by

Who are the 144,000 in the Book of Revelation? Are there a predetermined number of people who will be saved? Most of the confusion behind this question comes from the Jehovah Witnesses. They teach that the 144,000 are an elect group of believers who will be chosen by God to go to heaven and rule Keep reading…

Did Paul Have A Choice About Being A Christian?

January 5th, 2016 by

Did Paul have a choice about being a Christian? Questions about free will are nowhere explicitly dealt with in the Scriptures. The views that theologians have about them must therefore be held tentatively since they have to be dealt with by way of implication. In order to address this one, I am going to back Keep reading…

What Does The Name Immanuel Mean?

December 5th, 2015 by

What does the name Immanuel mean? One of the names we often associate with Jesus at Christmas time is the name “Immanuel.” We associate it with Christmas because it is the name Matthew emphasizes in his narrative of Jesus’ birth. He tells us that the birth of Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of a prophecy Keep reading…

What Is Intercessory Prayer?

November 5th, 2015 by

What is Intercessory Prayer? Intercessory prayer is prayer for others. An intercessor is one who takes the place of another or pleads another’s case. In intercessory prayer we act as a mediator, standing between God and those we pray for, and appealing to God to intervene on their behalf. Intercession is to be part of Keep reading…

Can A Christian Be Saved Without Going To Church?

October 5th, 2015 by

Can a Christian be saved without going to church? This is somewhat of a loaded question. First of all, going to church doesn’t save anyone. The Bible encourages in many ways the importance of coming together, whether it be in a church, synagogue, in one another’s homes, down by the riverside or anyplace where two Keep reading…

How Can I Overcome Sin?

September 5th, 2015 by

How can I overcome sin in my Christian life? The Apostle Paul explains in Romans chapter 6 that those who have trusted in Christ have been set free from the power of sin (v. 7, 22). There are two ways in which we should understand this bold statement. First, by offering himself as the sacrifice Keep reading…

What Does It Mean To Worship The Lord In Spirit And In Truth?

August 5th, 2015 by

What does it mean to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth? The phrase “in the Spirit and in truth” is taken from John 4:24. It is part of the larger story of Jesus’ famous talk with the woman at the well, and our understanding of it needs to be situated in that context. Keep reading…

Must A Christian Be Obedient To Government?

June 5th, 2015 by

Must a Christian be obedient to the government under which he lives?  This is an important question, particularly in these times, when the government under which we live is becoming increasingly critical of foundational Christian values and commitments. It is entirely possible that the day will soon come when what we believe and practice as Keep reading…

Did Jesus Have To Experience Temptation?

May 5th, 2015 by

Did Jesus have to experience temptation to know what we go through? Doesn’t he just know? God is omniscient, which literally means that he is “all-knowing.” However, when the Bible uses the verb “to know,” it often is not referring to our knowledge about things, but to our experience of them. Thus, to say that God Keep reading…

Does God Control Our Hearts?

April 5th, 2015 by

Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Does God control all of our hearts so he really decides whether we believe in him or obey him? The events preceding the exodus were an intense contest between Yahweh and the gods of Egypt. Not only were the mighty acts of Yahweh convincing signs to the Hebrews that they were Keep reading…