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Seeing, Yet Blind

Date: 10/08/2006 
Did you know that you don’t technically see with your eyes or hear with your ears? Your eyes and ears simply transmit light in vibrating molecules of air to your nerves, which then send electrical impulses to the brain where sight and sound are created.
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Hello, friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Did you know that you don’t technically see with your eyes or hear with your ears? Your eyes and ears simply transmit light in vibrating molecules of air to your nerves, which then send electrical impulses to the brain where sight and sound are created. All of these might help to explain some of the strangest documented phenomena in medical history. The cases of those who, though blind or blindfolded, were nevertheless, able to see. For example, in 1945, a man named Kuda Bux pedaled his bicycle without mishap through busy New York City traffic. What was amazing about this feat is that Mr. Bux was completely blindfolded and yet he managed to see where he was going anyway. He’d covered his eyes with soft gauze, blindfold himself, wrapped his entire head in strips of cloth, and yet still be able to see.

In 1893, doctors in New York described how blind Mollie Fancher could read regular printed books using only her fingertips. In Italy, a neurologist wrote about a blind girl who could see with her left ear lobe and the tip of her nose. Doctors have documented cases of those who could see with their fingertips, cheeks, even their abdomens. In 1960, 14-year old Margaret Foos of Everson, Virginia underwent elaborate tests conducted by experts. Securely blindfolded, Margaret read randomly selected passages of print, identified colors and objects, and even played a game of checkers. In Russia, medical researchers reported the case of Rosa Kuleshova who rigidly controlled experiments, was able to read newsprints and sheet music with her fingertips and her elbow. How can they do this?

Well, some researchers believe that folks like Kuleshova were abnormally sensitive to the amount of heat absorbed by different colors. Sightless reading is possible partly because black print absorbs more heat and is warmer than surrounding white paper. But what about those who could see objects without touching them? Perhaps, it’s something like a primitive form of human sonar where their skin cells are somehow able to take in light the way their eyes normally would and then transmit those signals to the brain. However these people are able to accomplish these amazing feats, there remained a deep mystery that no one has yet been able to explain.

Do you know the Bible also speaks about those who, though able to see perfectly, are blind to spiritual truth because they prefer to remain in darkness? Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to Bible Answers Live brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: I have always believed that this is probably the best possible use of a miraculous medium of radio. To open up the airwaves and invite people to call and ask, “What does the Bible say? What does the Bible mean when it says this? What is truth?” And that’s what this program’s all about. If you have any Bible-related question, we’re going to talk about the big things of life and what the Word of God says. If you have a question, it’s a free phone call. This is an international, interactive Bible study and you have just found your way here. We hope that you will stay tuned in. If you have a question, call now. We have lines open—several lines open now. The number is 800-GOD-SAYS— that’s toll-free— 800-463-7297, and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Evening, Pastor Jëan.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Before we get into our questions for this evening, let’s start with a word of prayer. Dear Father, once more, we thank You for Your Word. We ask that You be with us tonight as we open up the Bible to answer the questions that are called in. Be with those who are listening. We ask, Father, that the truths of Scripture would answer their questions.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank You for this time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: You opened up the program talking about being able to see without the eye. Just remarkable cases of people who are able to see without… being blindfolded or using their hands, or something along these lines. A scientist can’t quite fully explain this and I guess we won’t know ‘til heaven exactly how that happens.

Pastor Doug: Well, there’s a… there are couple of spiritual explanations. There’s examples in the Bible where… you probably remember the story where Ahijah, the prophet, knew who someone is when they came in the door even though he was blind because God had revealed it to him. In the same way, scientifically, they know but they’re able to detect it even though there’s this membrane over their eyes, so to speak. And some have wondered if, you know, people just maybe have something and some skin cells and nerves, and some people’s fingers are so sensitive that we don’t understand it. It’s a mystery.

But what we also see that’s a mystery is that there are people who are surrounded with obvious evidence of God and they deny the evidence of His existence. They’re deliberately blind to the Lord trying to intervene in their lives and talk to them about what the real purpose of life is. Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 13 when He said, “Therefore, I speak to them in parables because seeing, they do not see and hearing, they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them is a prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled.” Jesus is quoting the prophecy of Isaiah here which says, “Hearing you will hear and not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive” for the hearts of these people have grown dull. John 3:19, Jesus said, “This is the condemnation that light is coming to the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.”

And some people, because of the sin in their lives, they close their eyes to the light and that’s probably one of the most dangerous things a person can do because that’s when they’re on the borders of committing the unpardonable sin—when they’re rejecting the light; they’re closing their eyes, they’re plugging their ears and we have a book that deals with this very important subject. Some maybe have wondered, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin? And what if I refuse to follow God now but choose to follow Him later? Will that still be an option?” And if you’d like to know more about this, we have a free offer.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The free offer for tonight is a book written by Joe Crews entitled, “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears,” and it deals with this important subject. If you would like this free offer, just call the resource number; the number is 1-800-835-6747. That’s 1-800-835-6747.

Pastor Doug: I think this might even be the first time we have ever offered this book. It’s a new edition. A matter of fact, I think you ought to hold it up to the microphone so people can see it—those who have that special gift of seeing through the airwaves [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing] You know, I was thinking about—as you’re talking about the amazing fact—if we don’t use the truth that God has revealed to us, we go blind spiritually like those animals that live in the blackness of a cave that even though they’ve got eyes, eventually, they lose the ability…

Pastor Doug: Lose the ability.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …to see.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I heard a story one time about a pastor who was driving across this Scottish countryside and he noticed that every Sunday, he would see these mules in the field but then they disappear the rest of the week. And he stopped, overwhelmed with curiosity after years and asked the proprietor there. He said, “Why do I see these donkeys and mules out here in the fields only on Sunday?” And he said, “Well, they work in the mines all week long and if we don’t bring them up into the light, they go blind.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so, it’s through exposure to the light we keep our sight.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. Okay. Well, we’re going to take a few Internet questions. By the way, if you would like to send us a question on the Internet, all you need to do is go to the Amazing Facts website, just www.amazingfacts.org, and then click on “Contact Us” and then you will see a little dropdown box that you can click on, and select the option “Bible Questions.” Then type in your Bible question where it says “Your Comments.” Give us your name, your email, and send that to us. We appreciate the questions…

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …that come in via the Internet.

Pastor Doug: One more thing while you’re doing that. Some of our friends out there have sent us some incredible amazing facts. We, of course, need to research this but if you hear an amazing fact, and you say, “Boy! I’d like to share this with Pastor Jëan and Pastor Doug,” use that same access. Send us your amazing facts. We’re always looking for good ones.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, just go to the Amazing Facts website and click on “Contact Us.” And we would appreciate any amazing facts. You know, we were talking, Pastor Doug, before the program, and you’ve been doing this for a number of years and it takes a lot of work to find these amazing facts and see, one of these days, we’re going to run out of amazing facts [laughing].

Pastor Doug: [Laughing] That will be like reaching the end of the Internet. And no one feels we’re going to get there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That would mean that Jesus is coming and we run out all of these amazing facts.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, the first question sent in via the Internet, “In Revelation, it talks about the 144,000 and it describes 12,000 from each of the tribes except for the tribe of Dan and then it says that in the place of Dan, Manasseh is mentioned. Why is this?”

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s a good question. I think there’s a couple of reasons. One is that the word “Dan” means “judge” or “judgment.” And at the time that the… of the 144,000, judgment is past for the church. Also, I did a study and I’m opening this up right now. Here it is. When you look at the list of names of the 144,000 given in Revelation, it’s unique—and that’s Revelation chapter 7 for our friends—it’s unique from any other list in the Bible. It has Judah who’s not the firstborn, then Reuben who normally would be the firstborn, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin.

It mentions Joseph and one of his sons, Manasseh, but it doesn’t mention Ephraim. Well, I became curious one day and I lined up those names with their meanings and it says something. For instance, Judah means, “I will praise the Lord.” Reuben means, “He has looked in me.” Here’s what it says when you line up the names of the 144,000 in the order they’re given. “I will praise the Lord for He has looked on me and granted good fortune. I am happy because wrestling, God is making me to forget. God hears me and is joined to me. He has purchased me a dwelling and will add to me the son of His right hand.” I think it’s really the story of salvation. It’s the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And so, there’s a beautiful story encapsulated in the very names of the 144,000, which is another reason Dan is left out.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, thank you. Our next question that we have…

Pastor Doug: Pardon me, Pastor Jëan.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure.

Pastor Doug: It would be a crime to answer that question and not tell people, we have a booklet on the…

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: …144,000. If people would like a free copy of that sermon book on the 144,000, call the resource number and we’ll send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is…

Pastor Doug: And the study is in there that I just gave.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. It’s “Who is the 144,000?”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Written by Pastor Doug. The resource number for that again is 1-800-835-6747. Just ask for “Who is the 144,000?” The next question that we have has to do with the Godhead. “I’ve heard it explained this way. Consider water— you have ice, steam, and snow— they are different forms but they’re all H2O. Could that be an explanation of the Godhead?”

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ve heard that used before and it is true that God is One thing— one Essence combined on three separate Persons. There are some Christians—and I don’t remember the theological term for this—but they believe that the One God manifests Himself three different ways and they use this illustration. So it’s not accurate. They say, “Well, God is like water. Sometime He’s like ice, sometimes steam, sometimes liquid” or… yeah, liquid. So, that’s not the best illustration. I’ve heard it before described as like an egg where an egg is one thing but there are three distinct, separate parts of the egg. You got the shell, you got the white, you got the yolk. Or even light. One light beam is really… can be broken down through a prism into three bandwidths of light.

And so, you know, I’ve heard a variety of illustrations. I think we need to be careful because the Bible does tell us, God is past finding out. But we know that God the Father, Son… are three separate individuals. At the baptism of Jesus, God the Son, Jesus, is in the water, God the Father speaks from heaven—and unless Jesus is a ventriloquist—they’re two separate Beings. And then, God the Spirit is coming down like a dove. So you have the three Persons of the Godhead that are one in their purpose of saving man but they’re three distinct individuals.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Definitely…

Pastor Doug: Again, we’ve got a booklet on the Trinity. A lot of questions on that subject.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s an important question. Seems like especially of late, we have quite a few folks ask about that. So, for more information on that, you can call the resource line again, 1-800-835… we’re giving you all kinds of great resources. 1-800-835-6747 and the book is on the Trinity.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Is that what it’s called, the Trinity?

Pastor Doug: It’s called, “The Trinity,” yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s just called…

Pastor Doug: Is it biblical? I think that’s a subtitle.

Pastor Jëan Ross: “The Trinity: Is it Biblical?” And we’ll be happy to send that out to you. Again, friends, if you have a Bible-related question that you like to call in, we do have some phone lines that are still open. The number to call is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 1-800-463-7297, and we’ll go to our first caller. Jose is listening in Monroe, Washington, listening on the Internet. Welcome to the program!

Jose: Yeah. How are you, all of you, guys?

Pastor Doug: Good, Jose! Thanks for calling. Your question?

Jose: Yeah. My question is, are dreams related to the end of the world? Are they real or is it something that we just dream?

Pastor Doug: Now, are you talking about personal dreams that you might have had?

Jose: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, sometimes God speaks to us through dreams. Of course, there are prophetic dreams in the Bible that we know are true. But God may speak through individually through a dream. Joel chapter 2 says, “In the last days that people will dream dreams.”

Jose: Yup.

Pastor Doug: But whether or not God is speaking to you, I can’t be the judge of that. I personally don’t have the gift of interpretation like Daniel and Joseph had. So, you know, you just have to say, “Lord, if this is a dream from You, help me to recognize that.”

Jose: Yup.

Pastor Doug: And…

Jose: Because some… a while ago, you know, I have my dream regardless on the… actually, it was a dream that at the same time, it was reality.

Pastor Doug: It’s very graphic and real, huh?

Jose: Seeing it, like seeing it real.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Jose: And it was regardless with the mark of the devil.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I think that it is important also that when we talk about dreams, without a doubt, God can communicate to us through these vehicles. But let’s make sure that we measure whatever we receive in a dream or vision with the Word—that’s the standard or the test…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …for dreams and visions. God will never tell us or communicate something to us through a dream that would contradict what is clearly said in His word.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and… so, if, Jose, if you had a dream that corresponds with the Bible and God is speaking to you personally, then He’ll probably also help you understand what that means. You know, by the way, we have a lesson that talks about, “Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers?” And it deals with dreams in that lesson, and we’ll send you a free copy of that if you like one.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It also talks about, “How can we determine whether someone is actually speaking for God or not?” The study guide is, “Does God Inspire Astrologers and Psychics?” To receive the study guide, just call the resource number. It’s 1-800-835-6747; 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, “Does God Inspire Astrologers and Psychics?” Alright, we’ll go to the next caller…

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Jose.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you, Jose, for calling. Our next caller is Carmel and she’s calling from Brooklyn, New York, listening on WMCA. Welcome to the program!

Carmel: Hello?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello!

Carmel: Yes. I like to know, who is the author of Ecclesiastes?

Pastor Doug: Well, we believe that Ecclesiastes, sometimes called the Preacher, is written by Solomon. And in the first line of Ecclesiastes 1:1, it says, “The words of the preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.” Well, the Bible tells us that Solomon, of course, was the son of David and he was also the king. When you look at the experience described in Ecclesiastes, it talks about someone who wandered from the Lord and came back again, which is what happened with Solomon, but there’s incredible wisdom there. Somebody who is evaluating everything in the world and he concludes at the end, “Here is the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.”

So, most scholars believe Solomon is the author of Proverbs—most of the proverbs—Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. The style is very similar.

Carmel: But how can they explain Ecclesiastes 1:12? How can they explain that? Because it said…

Pastor Doug: “I, the preacher, was king over Israel and Jerusalem?”

Carmel: How can he say that that Solomon died while he was king when he died?

Pastor Doug: I don’t understand your question because it’s saying, “I, the preacher,” in other words, the one who wrote this book “was king over Israel and Jerusalem.” That’s what Solomon was. He was king over Israel and Jerusalem.

Carmel: Well, when did he word that?

Pastor Doug: Oh, are you saying because he said, “I was?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: “I was.” Yes. Past tense.

Carmel: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, I don’t believe that he’s saying that he was no longer king. I think he’s saying that… this was written near the end of his reign because the Bible says when he was old, he wandered, following his wives from the Lord—began to get involved in idolatry. But just before his death, he came back.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I think, also, if you read the next verse where he says, “I, the preacher, was king of Israel and Jerusalem,” then it says, “And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom.” So he’s telling a story and he says, “I was the king of Israel,” not that he isn’t now, “but when I was the king, I set my heart to seek out and search for wisdom.” And then he goes on to talk about how that during his whole life, he saw things go from good in his own life and then it went bad, then he came back to God and came to the final result that God is all-knowing and we need to trust in Him.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have faith in Him and obey His commands.

Pastor Doug: I think, yeah, he’s also just saying, “In spite of the fact that I was king, I was trying to search out what the purpose of life is.” But he’s not saying that “I’m no longer king.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: Or that’s past.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well, thank you for your call. Our next caller is Joseph and he is calling from New York, New York, listening on WMCA. Joseph, welcome to the program!

Joseph: Good evening, Sir.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening! Your question.

Joseph: I want to ask, Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen to Him on the cross. He knew what He was going to endure. Why did He have…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Joseph, could you bring your phone just a little closer to us so we can hear?

Joseph: I’m sorry.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks.

Joseph: I’m sorry. Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen to Him on the cross. He knew what He had to endure. Why did He ask, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

Pastor Doug: Good question. When Jesus was on the cross, since Christ never lost faith or never sinned, why would He seem to despair and call out, “My God, My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Well, there’s several reasons. First of all, it was the cry of a heart that was breaking under the burden of sin. But even more than that, that cry of Jesus was an exact quote from a psalm—it’s Psalm 22:1 and it says there, “(A Psalm of David). My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Why are Thou so far from helping Me and the words of my roaring?”

Jesus was doing several things. The high priest, during the Passover, would often read from one of the… what they call Messianic Psalms. One of the psalms that talked about the coming Messiah, they would quote from during the Passover. Jesus, the High Priest, is quoting from one of the Messianic Psalms. Not only that, in this Psalm, He specifically talks about His sufferings. He says, “They’ll pierce My hands and My feet.” And so, He’s inviting people to look at this very psalm that is identifying Him. And you could look, for instance, on Psalm 22:16. It says, “For dogs have compassed Me, the assembly of the wicked has enclosed Me; they pierced My hands and feet. I may tell all My bones…” the word “tell” there means “count all My bones. They looked and stared upon Me.”

It’s describing Jesus on the cross. And so, the Jews who knew the Psalms, when He quoted from the Psalm, they thought “[Gasp] Look! This is the fulfillment of that prophecy right in front of us.” So He was inviting people to recognize, “I am the fulfillment of the Messiah.”

Joseph: You mean, He wasn’t… He didn’t say that out of suffering for Himself?

Pastor Doug: Well, He definitely was suffering. But I don’t believe Jesus lost faith because the last thing He says on the cross is, “Father, into Your hands, I commit My spirit.” Sometimes, people ask a question to make you think. God said to Adam, “Where are you?” God knew where Adam was, Joseph. He just wanted Adam to think about it. When Jesus says, “Why have You forsaken Me?” He wants us to think about why was He forsaken of the Father? Isaiah 53 tells us He was forsaken and afflicted for our sins. And so, Jesus is trying to get us to think about why was He forsaken? Well, it’s because not His sin but because my sin.

Joseph: May I comment on something you said previously, Pastor?

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Joseph: And so far as eternity was concerned, Saint Patrick showed it as a shame mark. That’s a good example.

Pastor Doug: Yeah… one thing, free leaves. First lesson…

Joseph: One other thing that you have said, Pastor, you were talking about a fellow in a bicycle in New York City that could ride it without getting hit, in New York City, they have professional bike riders, messengers, and they’re always going to hit by cars.

Pastor Doug: I know, and they can see.

Joseph: Yeah. What I… yeah. They’re eyes are opened up. What I would like to say is I would like to examine His blindfold.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I know it’s… you wonder if there was something dubious about that but supposedly, it was carefully evaluated and his eyes were thoroughly covered.

Joseph: Sounds like a magician’s blindfold to me.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It could be. But, you know, there’s some other cases. Anyway, hey, I appreciate your…

Joseph: Thank you… thank you for your answers…

Pastor Doug: Okay, Joseph. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just a reminder, friends, if you’d like to call in with a Bible question, this will be a good time. We’re going to be going to a break in about five minutes or so. So call 1-800-GOD-SAYS; 1-800-463-7297. Let’s see if we can get another call before the break, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Matthew is calling from Bakersfield, California, listening on KFHL. Welcome to the program, Matthew!

Matthew: Yeah. Hello.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi!

Matthew: My name is Matthew.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Could you come just a little closer to your phone?

Matthew: My name is Matthew.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, that’s great. Thanks.

Matthew: And I have a question about prophets and the last days when the verse says, “Young men will prophesy.”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Matthew: And I want to know how is about that and about to be in Christ and how… well, the same question, really. How is Christ… when Christ comes out, there’s going to be antichrist. Is there?

Pastor Doug: There’s going to be antichrist, you say?

Matthew: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Yes, the Bible teaches that there will be many antichrists—already have been—but Satan is probably going to impersonate Christ just before the Second Coming.

Matthew: Well, what pushed… I got, I mean, I know some works in my life and I’m kind of confused about what is this… is this satanic powers?

Pastor Doug: About what now?

Matthew: About… because I feel God’s moving in my life but I’m not sure, will I be deceived by Satan or is it God’s will and it’s the way God will save you?

Pastor Doug: Well, the main criteria for understanding God’s will for your life is to measure what you’re experiencing and what you may be studying by the Word of God. And if the Bible is supporting the experience and the leading, then you’re safe. But you know, Matthew, I’d like your… it sounds to me like you’re searching and we have an Amazing Facts Bible study course that’s free. And it’s beautiful study guides that are illustrative, filled with amazing facts. They’re also very interesting to read. And you know, if you’d like, we’ll have you signed up for the entire Bible study course and take you through that and it’ll guide you regarding this last day events and His will for your life. Just call the resource number and they’ll… tell them you like to sign up for the Amazing Facts study course.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Matthew, let me give you that number and I’d really encourage you to do this. Anyone else listening that wants to learn more, think about these Amazing Facts study guides. Just a great way to learn the Bible. To sign up, it’s free. Just call the resource number, it’s 1-800-835-6747; that’s 1-800-835-6747, or you can go to the Amazing Facts website. You can click on…

Pastor Doug: Request it there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yup. You can request it right there. Click on the Bible study guide and you can sign up. Do we have time for one more?

Pastor Doug: what’s the engineer tells us? Two minutes we got.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Two minutes, yes.

Pastor Doug: We can stick a crack at it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Josh, calling on cellphone from Santa Barbara, California. Welcome to the program, Josh!

Josh: Hello. Am I on the air?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re on the air.

Josh: Oh, great. Thanks. Hey, my question was this, if there’s no reference to premarital sex in the gospels, why is it considered a sin and why do people kind of shun people for participating in that act?

Pastor Doug: Okay. The question is, if the Bible doesn’t specifically say anything about premarital sex, why is it a sin? I just have to respectfully disagree and say the Bible does talk about it. Adultery is often thought about as when somebody who is married violates the marriage vows. The word that is used for premarital sex is “fornication” and that is “any sex outside of marriage or adultery.” Fornication would also include that. In the Old Testament, it also talks about if a young couple start fooling around before they’re married, they could be guilty of stoning or at the very minimum, the young man has to pay a dowry for the wife but it was definitely identified as a sin. And so, we’re told to be pure both in our heart and in our actions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, in the church of Corinth, Paul specifically addressed this issue in 1 Corinthians 5:1, and the word used there is “fornication.”

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And there was happening in the church and folks are saying, “Well, that’s okay. We’re Christians,” you know, “we love God. It doesn’t matter anymore.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Some people say, “Well, as long as you’re not married, you know, you can play the field with.” That’s not true. It’s… sex is something that God created. It’s beautiful and it is sacred and reserved for the married relationship and all of the unwed parents out here—single parents—that they have families because there was sex out of marriage. Kids growing up without moms and dads, that’s the fruit of that. And so, obviously, it’s one of the beams of our culture.

And friends, we’re about to take a break. That’s all this is. We have lines that are still open. Call 800-GOD-SAYS and in our next half, we’d like to hear from your questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible-related question, you can call us from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time on Sundays and receive clear, honest answers directly from Scripture. Call 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. Now, please join us as we look to God’s Word for more Bible Answers Live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: That would be me. Thank you, friends, for staying tuned. If you just joined us, this is Bible Answers Live. We are a live, international, interactive Bible study and you’re invited to call in with any Bible-related question. And we have lines open now so you have a good chance of getting your question on the air. Maybe you’ve had one for a while—you’ve wondered about something in the Bible—we’ll do our best to search the Word of God together. We’ve got the Bible and many translations here at our fingertips and… with our laptops. And call the toll-free number, 800-GOD-SAYS. If you got a pencil, write down 463-7297, that’s the translation of the number and we’ll try and take your questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, before we take the phone lines, let me just remind our listeners of the free offer for tonight.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s a little booklet entitled, “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears.” And to receive that offer, just call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747 and ask for “Hidden Eyes and Closed Ears” that deals with the sin that cannot be forgiven—the unpardonable sin. A lot of questions about that and this little booklet will answer that question for people.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, our first caller again in the second half is Tanya, listening on the Internet, calling from Henderson, Nevada. Welcome to the program!

Tanya: Hi, Doug Batchelor. I wanted to talk to you about the second… I had been baptized about a year and a half ago and I have had all kinds of things negative happening to me. And my pastor told me that I would experience these things after being baptized. And I wanted to find out, why is it that there isn’t more protection from God when you’re coming closer to Him than allowing the devil to, you know, take over and do all these things that are negative—I’m having problems with my job, my family—all kinds of things are going on and I knew, you know, in my mind, I don’t know where I’ve read it, I don’t know if I read a Scripture that made me sing first. I know my pastor had said it. But I want to know, why am I not prospering more in my life…

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Tanya: …rather than having all of these negative issues happen?

Pastor Doug: Well, I can’t of course look into your… all of your experience in a few minutes we have. But there’s some principles I can share with you, Tanya. First of all, Jesus, when He was baptized, was filled with the Spirit but immediately after His baptism, He was in hand-to-hand combat—so to speak—with the devil in temptation.

Tanya: Right.

Pastor Doug: When the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, there was a brief honeymoon with the Lord, so to speak—they were free from Egypt. But then, they met a variety of challenges that tried their faith and prepared them for the Promised Land. When you leave the devil’s team and you join God’s army, you become a special enemy of the devil. And so, he’s going to target you. But that doesn’t mean that things are always harder for the Christian. In reality, when you get peace in your heart and you’re on your way to heaven, things are easier in many respects. It’s a whole lot easier than having no purpose and knowing you’re lost. The anguish of mind…

Tanya: And through it all, I have this peace where some people probably think, “What is wrong with her? Why isn’t she broken down?” I have a peace and the joy through it all…

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Tanya: You know, and I know that is a blessing.

Pastor Doug: But I don’t want you to think… a matter of fact, even just right now, I want you to be aware these things come in waves and then they go. I mean, even the temptations of Christ. After the third temptation, it says, “Then the devil left Him for a season.” And there was some respite. In the same way, you should just pray and say, “Lord, I need a break. Can you alleviate some of these?” And I find He does that for me and my problems come in waves and I’m just saying, “Oh, man! This is unbearable! Lord, I got all I can handle.”

Tanya: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: God promised us, He’ll not allow you to be tempted—1 Corinthians chapter 10—above what you’re able to bear. And so, God is wanting you to be a witness through your trials, Tanya. But it’s not always going to be this way, but there are struggles even for those who accept the Lord. And, you know, there’s a booklet that we often send to people who have similar experience and it’s called, “When Days are Dark.” You know, what do you do when you go through these trials? Why does God allow some of these things? And Tanya, if you’ll call, we’ll send you a free copy of that, “When Days are Dark” by Pastor Joel Damaso.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you that number again. That’s 1-800-835-6747 and the book again is, “When Days are Dark.” Just a great inspiration and encouragement. The Bible says in 2 Timothy, anyone who wants to live godly will suffer persecution but that’s balanced by what we read also in Scripture that says even when we walk through the fire, God is with us.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. And the Christian life is an abundant life. I mean, I am quite literally having much more fun now as a Christian than I did in the world with all the, you know, the drugs and debauchery. So, don’t be thinking that, “Oh, the Christian… well, I’m a Christian now so I’ve got to suffer.” Christians have it much better, generally speaking.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely! Alright. Our next caller is Teddy and he’s calling from Rinehart Park, California, listening on KNDL. Teddy, welcome to the program!

Teddy: Hello!

Pastor Doug: Hey, Teddy, if you’ve got a radio on, go ahead and turn it down and so you don’t get confused by the delay. And your question, please.

Teddy: Yeah. What is the criteria of life?

Pastor Doug: The criteria of life. You mean, what is the priority of life?

Teddy: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, the priority of life, Jesus said, is to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and in the book of Micah, he says, “He has shown thee, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Christ also summed it up in the two great commandments of “love the Lord with all of your heart,” Teddy, “and love your neighbor as yourself.” Those are the great… those are the priorities and the ultimate criteria for living. Seek first God’s kingdom, love the Lord with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself, and walk humbly with your God. Now, if you can live by those principles, you’ll be doing better than most people in the world. Okay?

Teddy: Yes. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright. I appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Althea listening on WMCA from Stanford, Connecticut. Welcome to the program!

Althea: Hi!

Pastor Doug: Hi!

Althea: Hi. I have a question. There is a little section in Numbers—I believe it’s the fifth chapter…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Althea: …where God gives Moses a law concerning jealousy and I think he says that you have to… if the man had any questions, he is to bring his wife to the priest and offer a flour or some kind of offering…

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Althea: Why… why was that even necessary? And since it was… since God wanted it to be necessary, why didn’t it apply also to women feeling concerned about their husband?

Pastor Doug: Well, good question. The Scripture in the reference here by Althea is Numbers 5:14. It says, “And the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he be jealous of his wife.” “Jealousy” isn’t the best word there. The original is more like a word of “suspicion.” If the man begins to suspect that his wife is having an affair or has had an affair, then they went through this process with the holy water and a curse would be on her if she had been cheating behind her husband’s back…

Althea: Right.

Pastor Doug: …because, you know, let’s face it! There are people who are unfaithful to their spouses and they manage to keep it hidden for years. And some have gone to the graves thinking no one will ever know. But the principle, I think, apply to either way. In the time of Moses, not only was it a sin for a woman to be caught in the act of adultery. If a man committed adultery on his wife, he was to be stoned as well. So, I’m to assume based on that—and I think this… I’m assuming this is what your understanding is, Pastor Ross. They always state the laws in the context of the man because they’re a patriarchal society but it also applied to the woman. A woman who comments and say, “I think my husband is having an affair,” and there was probably some other versions of this that she could bring before the priest.

Althea: Oh!

Pastor Doug: It was not permitted for husbands to cheat on their wives.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. You know, I think there’s an added aspect of this. I was reminded of the text in 2 Corinthians 11:2 where Paul says, “I am jealous of you with godly jealousy for I have espoused you to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” and he’s talking to the church. And after when Israel left their allegiance to God and went and worshipped idols with the nations around them, God speaks of Israel as committing adultery and God was jealous over Israel with a godly jealousy. So this same, same idea is translated about Christ and the church.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And I need to be faithful to Him.

Pastor Doug: Good point! I hope that helps a little bit, Althea. Thanks for your…

Althea: Yes, it does. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: God bless you and thanks for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Frank is our next caller calling from Malden, MA—Massachusetts.

Pastor Doug: Massachusetts.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I thought that would be it. On WMCA. Welcome to the program!

Pastor Doug: Pastor Jëan is a foreigner. He’s still learning the…

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’m learning the codes here…

Pastor Doug: …postal states.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. [Laughing] Welcome to the program, Frank. Your question.

Frank: Hi! Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Yes Sir!

Frank: Okay. Question is, once you are born again, you know, I want to know if you walk away, do you lose salvation or do you ever lose your salvation if you walk away? Now, walking away meaning, if I know someone now like a born again for 10 years but they don’t go to church, they don’t read their Bible and they’re telling me that they’re saved—automatic, it doesn’t matter, they’re going to heaven. And I don’t think so. I’m not sure. And the question is if you backslide… they backslide and…

Pastor Doug: Oh, I understand that’s a good question. It’s a very important question and there’s a lot of misunderstandings on this. The Christian life is a race and it’s not so much a good beginning that we need as a good ending. Some people have got a bad start but God wants us to have a good ending. Jesus said, “He that endures unto the end shall be saved.” He doesn’t say, “He that one point along the race decided to follow Me then stop running is going to be saved.” So, if a person accepts the Lord and they’re born again, they’re walking with the Lord, if they turn away… see God will never turn away from us. He will never let go of us.

Frank: Right.

Pastor Doug: But Jesus didn’t mean that we can’t choose to turn away from Him. He doesn’t force us to love Him. You can’t force love. Love is something that must be chosen and if a person chooses to not love the Lord anymore, and Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” So, if a person says, “Well, I love the Lord. I just don’t… I don’t obey Him anymore.” Well, they’re liars! 1 John says, “If any man says he loves Him, he should also obey Him.” So, if someone says they know Him, they’ll keep His commandments.

But there’s a lot of people who have claimed being born again as though… as a ritual they went through at church one day where they said, “I accepted the Lord. I went to church. But now, I’m a backslidden Christian. I’m not a practicing Christian.” Well, there’s no such thing! You’re either with Jesus or against Him. And so, those who say, “Well, you know, I’m saved because of something—a prayer I prayed when I was 10 years old even though I’m completely living for the devil right now.” Well, you don’t love the Lord if you’re living for the devil. And Jesus isn’t forcing people that don’t love Him to come to heaven.

So, it is a confusing… a lot of people are confused by this false sense of assurance. I believe God does give Christians assurance that He does want us to know when we have eternal life but there are criteria He gives us. And those criteria are that He’s the center of our lives—that He has our hearts—and if He has our hearts, then it will be evident in our speech, in our life.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, in Galatians 6:7 and 8, it says, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall reap corruption but he that soweth to the spirit shall reap eternal life.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah. If we’re walking after the flesh, death is the end, the Bible says.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Deceiving ourselves, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Right. Good question, Frank. Hope that helps a little.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Norman, calling from New Rochelle, New York, listening on WMCA. Welcome to the program!

Norman: Just let me get you off speaker phone. Can you hear me?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, we can hear you, Norman.

Pastor Doug: Loud and clear!

Norman: Okay. The reference I’m making here is the marital in biblical times, I refer to your description which I’d agree that one has to have been married or otherwise it’s fornication. Alright. Now, what about the fact because polygamy was permitted as well which doesn’t negate what you said. But am I correct that polygamy was permitted for men?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. In the Old Testament, polygamy was a practice that was common that God winked at. It does not mean that God endorsed it.

Norman: What? Winked? What do you mean He winked?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’m quoting from… “Winked” means that He did not confronted when it was so prevalent. He even made laws to protect multiple wives but there was also slavery back then. There’s a lot of…

Norman: Wait a minute! You’re going… I appreciate that. I don’t mean to be rude here. Let’s not talk about slavery. What’s your sure source that God winked, which mean He didn’t endorse nor condemn polygamy?

Pastor Doug: Acts 17:30.

Norman: Would you quote that please?

Pastor Doug: “At the times of this ignorance, God winked at but now He commands man everywhere to repent.”

Norman: About what? He didn’t… but that’s not a reference to polygamy.

Pastor Doug: That’s a reference to Jesus said, “If you did not see, you would have no sin. But now that you say you see, your sin remains,” and that’s John chapter 9, I believe.

Norman: Yeah. There’s no reference to polygamy. I challenge you respectfully to back up what you said that God winks at polygamy. I’m sorry, that’s a rabbinic… monogamy is rabbinical edict.

Pastor Doug: So am I to understand, Norman, that you think that the Bible endorses polygamy?

Norman: Yes. It’s right there! Sure.

Pastor Doug: Then why did God make one wife for Adam and not two?

Norman: Ah! Why did God… well, those were the only two people at that time [laughing].

Pastor Doug: He could have taken two ribs. Adam had others to spare.

Norman: We’re getting in deep, Sir. But let me ask… okay, maybe we have to call it a draw here if I may say so. But let me ask you, there was a description on the radio that I believe was an advertisement and it says, “Shamanism is bad.” I’d like to know what proof there is, Christianity has value, Judaism has value, and certain religions have value. But why is Indigenous Shamanism in cultures, why do you have to replace shamans in those cultures. I hear… I don’t know enough about them but I don’t believe I hear anything bad.

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ll do my best to give you a brief answer on that. Of course, I don’t know what ad you’re talking about. We’re not responsible for that ad. When they say “shamanism,” they’re usually talking about the local medicine man, witch doctor, whatever. You know, there’s a whole array of different terms that are applied and I’ve lived in Africa, India—worked and lived among the Navajo Indians in New Mexico—but many Christians feel like, not all, but a lot of the local spiritualistic leaders believe in paganism and their teachings were diametrically opposed to the Bible. An example would be one group that I worked with, when the child had a stomachache, they made the child—the shaman—made the child walk on hot coals to get the devils out of his stomach, burned his feet, infected his feet, and stomachache was no longer the problem. That was blisters all over his feet.

So some of these pagan shamans really bring a lot of suffering on the people. It’s not just the, you know, nature… in-tune-with-the-god-of-nature kind of thing. Some of it is just diabolical. Anyway, hope that helps a little bit, Norman, and we’ll just have to respectfully disagree on the polygamy issue.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Carmen, listening from Brooklyn New York on WMCA. Welcome to the program, Carmen!

Carmen: Hi! Good evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good eve…

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Carmen: How are you, guys?

Pastor Doug: Good. Appreciate your call.

Carmen: Thank you. My question is, why can’t we go to the movies?

Pastor Doug: Well, if you say, “Why can’t we go to the movies?” of course, a lot of Christians do go to movies. You probably heard me say on this program before that I think that it’s better that Christians don’t go to the typical secular theater and the reasons are—let me give you multiple reasons. First of all, I do believe occasionally, very rarely, Hollywood will put out a movie or production that might be appropriate for Christians to watch. I guess there is something that came out this year in a video that was dealing with missionaries who gave their lives down in South America. It’s supposed to be an inspirational true story. That’s very rare.

Most of the theaters, and technically, Carmen, you know, you can get orange juice which might be good for you. You can get orange juice at most bars but you don’t want to get your orange juice at a bar because, first of all, it’s not a good witness when you walk into the bar. The bar charges too much. It’s not a good environment. In the same way, occasionally, there’s a good movie but I’d never go to the theater. You’re going to pay a whole lot more. People see you going in to the theater. If you’re a Christian, they don’t know if you’re there to see “Terminator” or to see the Missionary movie. And it’s not the best environment. It’s a very worldly environment typically.

So, if occasionally, there is something good that’s been produced by the film industry, I’d wait until it came out on DVD. You rent it once for $3, watch it with the family, take it back, and…

Carmen: It’s cheaper.

Pastor Doug: …it’s cheaper, it’s a better witness, and better environment.

Carmen: Right.

Pastor Doug: So that’s the reason I… one of the reasons I share that with Christians. I don’t think theaters are good way to spend your time and money.

Carmen: Okay. Would you say the same thing about Broadway shows, too?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Yeah, well, you know, I grew up… my mother was a film critic and I went to a lot of Broadway shows on Broadway and my mother even wrote shows for Broadway.

Carmen: Right.

Pastor Doug: And it can be very thrilling, very entertaining, but looking back now, I never saw anything Christian—that it was all very worldly and you know, usually, it’s got a lot of the typical sentiments of oh, love and adultery and best in, you know, the great kaleidoscope of a worldliness. There’s very rarely a Broadway musical or Broadway hit that is based on Christian values. You know what I’m saying, Carmen?

Carmen: Yeah, yeah.

Pastor Doug: So, sure they can… you’ll hear some of the most splendid music and some of the greatest talent in the world will be in these performances but that doesn’t make it good by God’s standards.

Carmen: No, it doesn’t.

Pastor Doug: So, hope that helps a little. Appreciate your asking, Carmen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you for calling, Carmen. Betsy is calling from San Diego, California, listening on KPRZ. Welcome to the program, Betsy! Betsy, you there?

Betsy: Oh, hello! Sorry, I was going in and out a little bit on my cellphone. I just wanted about the remnant. I’ve heard the word “remnant” used for various groups of people and is it always the Israelites or are there other groups that the word “remnant” refers to in the Bible?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Yeah, and you’ll find the word “remnant” also mentioned in the New Testament in Revelation chapter 12, “The dragon is wrath with the woman,” this is chapter 12 verse 17, “and he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.” In the time of Christ, the people that were living in Israel were the remnant. The Jews and Jesus, they were the remnant that had come back from Babylon. Most of them have been either absorbed in Babylon, many have died in Assyria, but some of them came back to the Promised Land. They were called the remnant.

Noah and his family, they were not Jews but they were a remnant that survived from all the people that lived before the Flood. The word “remnant” means “the remainder; what’s left.” Well, God has a Christian remnant in the Last Days. A lot of Christians have gone into apostasy with the world and false doctrines and when Jesus comes back, He’s coming for His remnant. They may be… some may be of Jewish heritage and Christians, such as myself—I’m both a Jew and a Christian. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Jewish or you’re Christian. God has a remnant among His people when He comes back. And sure just means “remainder.”

Betsy: Ok, okay. Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Good question. Appreciate that. And you know, she would also—if you’re still listening, Betsy—we’ve got a lesson that talks about the Bride of Christ that deals with the remnant. “The Bride of Christ.” Anyone who has questions on who are the remnant in the Last Days, we’ll send you a free copy just for asking because we’re nice.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you the num…

Pastor Doug: I think we’re nice [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: …ber to call. That’s right [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me… yes, let me give you the resource number for that.

Pastor Doug: What’s your question, Pastor Jëan? [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, I’ll be honest with you. I was looking at the screen. I wasn’t quite listening to that last call with you [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Give the number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you the number. It’s 1-800-835-6747. You kind of caught me off guard there, Pastor Doug. [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: I saw that faraway look in you. I thought I confused you. I was trying to look at who is next. We have Jerly Lim… Lee, rather, calling from Sonoma County, California on KNDL. Welcome to the program!

Jerly: Hi, thank you! Yeah, I was wondering, why the Bible doesn’t say… doesn’t explain… doesn’t say anything about annulment?

Pastor Doug: An annulment. Well, you’re not going to find an annulment. An annulment is really a divorce that transpires quickly or soon after marriage and the church… it’s not in the Bible. The church, largely, the Catholic Church sort of developed a doctrine that allowed for annulment and that could be in the event that you marry somebody and shortly after the marriage… it used to be the annulment was only allowed if the marriage had not been consummated by sex. They would allow for an annulment. Sometimes people would get married and after they got married, then, their spouse revealed, “Well, by the way, I’m not capable of having children or capable of intimacy.” And they thought, “Well, that was grounds for just basically disqualifying the marriage.”

Well, then they kept expanding the definition so now, they say, “Well, you know, I’ve got married. We haven’t had any kids yet but we just can’t get along,” and they’ll now annul marriages. You know, when their finances haven’t gotten entwined or when there are no children yet. So, the definition kept getting broader and broader. But biblically, you don’t find annulment in the Bible. It’s…

Jerly: Yeah. It’s interesting because we’ve asked we have no choice because my roommate lost his since they have tried to get back because she had taken like annulment so he can get his SSA back. So now, we’re looking for a place so we can live separately for not sinning. So, does…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well… yeah, I know. It’s a very complicated situation that happens and it’s a tragedy especially when people go into marriage with such a high expectations and then so quickly, they’re dashed. Hope that helps a little. We’re going to try and take maybe one more call before we ran out of time.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is John, calling from Cypress Inn, Tennessee, listening on WDNX. John, welcome to the program!

John: Oh, thank you. I respect Pastor Doug greatly but I have a question. I was listening to him the other evening and he was talking about that the sinners went at the Judgment. There’s no continuum burning power of hell and I just… I have a different opinion that, you know…

Pastor Doug: Well, no. Are you getting… are you calling to share an opinion or do you have a specific question?

John: Well, I was wanting you to explain why you believe it and because, you know, I have a different look on it.

Pastor Doug: Alright. I will give you some quick answers, and if time permits, John, I’ll listen to what you got to say in response, okay?

John: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Very quickly, I do believe the Bible is clear that there is a hell, there is a Lake of Fire, and people will be punished in that Lake of Fire according to their sins. But along with many others—scholars and theologians—I don’t believe that it burns through ceaseless ages. The Bible talks about the wicked, Malachi chapter 4, it says they will be burned up—all the proud and all that do wickedly will be as stubble in that day. Jesus said, “Do not fear him who can destroy the body but cannot hurt the soul. Fear, rather, Him that can destroy soul and body—destroy soul and body—in hell.” That’s Matthew chapter 10.

Jesus said you get two choices—eternal life or perish. Believe in Him—eternal life; don’t believe in Him—perish. And just all through the Bible, it talks about those who are in the Lake of Fire. It says, “This is the second death.” And then God says, “There is no more pain, no more sorrow, I make all things new as we enter eternity. No more pain.” So, I know there’s some verses that creates some confusion for people on this subject but… you know, I really didn’t mean to do this to you, John. You could hear the music chasing us off the air. But… and I invite you to call back, God willing, next Sunday if you want to continue this question, John. I don’t want to just be able to give my side without your opportunity to respond.

We’ve got a study guide we’d invite you to read, John. We’ll send it to you free. And it’s called, “Is the Devil In Charge of Hell?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just call the resource number. It’s 1-800-835-6747 and again, the study guide, “Is the Devil In Charge of Hell?” that deals with the subject of hell—will it burn forever? What’s the purpose?

Pastor Doug: A lot more Scriptures than we can give in the three minutes we budget for our program. Friends, we do all these by faith. This is listener supported. If you’ve been edified, we’d love to hear from you. Send us your amazing facts. All you’ve got to do is go to amazingfacts.com, amazingfacts.org, you’ll find us there. Remember, we do this because we want people to know Jesus. He is the Truth that will set you free!

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