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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (21)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Recently, I saw some Q&A’s that were brief and interesting.

1.      Q:  Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?

A:  Noah.  He was floating his stock while everyone else was liquidating.

 

2.      Q:  Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?

A:  Pharaoh’s daughter.  She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

 

3.      Q:  How did Adam and Eve fell when they were expelled from the Garden?

A:  They were really put out.

 

4.      Q:  What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?

A:  Your mother ate us out of house and home.

 

B.      I wish I could be that brief and witty on Q&A Night.  I know you do.

 

C.     Tonight, we will be answering your questions.  Let’s look at three questions.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1 – CREMATION

 

A.    Stated:  Is there any biblical reason that a Christian should not be cremated (as opposed to being buried)?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      There is not one passage in the New Testament that gives specific instructions about the disposal of a dead body.

2.      We do see loved ones showing deep respect for the body of one who died.

a.      Abraham

1)      “…and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her” (Gen. 23:2).

2)      Abraham secured a burial place for Sarah, the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 23:3-20, esp. v. 19).

 

And after this Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field before Mamre; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.

 

b.      Jesus

1)      Joseph of Arimathaea took care of the body of Jesus (Luke 23:52-53).

 

This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.  And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

 

2)      The women who followed Jesus to the tomb went back home and prepared spices and ointments so they could anoint Jesus’ body after the Sabbath (Luke 23:56; Mark 16:1-2).

3.      There are so many things that could be questioned and considered when it comes to the funeral arrangements of a person.

a.      Should the body be buried the same day as the death?

b.      Should the body be embalmed?

c.       Should the body be buried?  Put in a mausoleum?  Cast into the sea?  Or , be cremated?

d.      Can a Christian donate his body to medical science?

e.       Should the service be held in a church building?  At the funeral home?  Or, should they be at the graveside?

f.        Should the body be seen?  Or, should the casket be closed?

g.      Why type of music should be sung at a funeral?

h.      Should family members, both male and female, be given opportunity to speak?

4.      The Scriptures are silent about the details of a funeral service.

a.      There should be respect for the dead.

b.      The family should try to honor the wishes of the deceased.

c.       The choices of the family should be honored by others.

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  PURPOSE OF THE OLD LAW

 

A.    Stated:  What was the purpose of the Old Law, if the New Law was superior?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Restated:

a.      Why was there an Old Law at all if the New Law, far superior to the Old, was going to be given?

b.      Why didn’t God just give the New Law and not bother with the Old Law?”

2.      Isaiah 55:8-9

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your way, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

3.      Let’s make three “human” suggestions.

a.      God wanted man to understand just how bad sin and its effects truly are.  The Old law put a magnifying glass on sin and showed all of its horrors (Rom. 7:13b).

 

…that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

 

b.      God wanted man to DESIRE a Savior.

1)      Man has a tendency to deny what he truly needs. (Ex. Medication, surgery, etc.).

2)      When a need is pressing for a long period of time, man finally relents.

3)      Had God quickly given a Savior, man may have resisted the Savior.

4)      When Jesus finally came, man was earnestly looking for him.

a)      Galatians 4:4

 

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons.

 

b)      The apostle Paul expresses his need for a Savior (Rom. 7:22-25a)

 

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am!  Who shall be able to deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

c.       God wanted to prepare man adequately for the better things to come.

1)      Have you ever seen someone who has always “had it all”?

a)      There is no understanding of the “good things.”

b)      There is no appreciation of the “good things.”

2)      God had wonderful things in store for humanity.  However, He needed to prepare them for these things (Heb. 10:1).

 

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things…

 

III.             QUESTION #3:  GODHEAD/TRINITY

 

A.    Are God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit the same person?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      There are some groups that teach the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one single being.

a.      They also refer to themselves as “oneness.”  We often hear of the Oneness Pentecostals.

b.      The Jews and the Muslims believe there is only one being in the Godhead.

2.      In Scriptures, we clearly read about three “somethings” doing various things (Ex., the baptism of Jesus, Matt. 3:16-17).

 

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

a.      Those who believe in one being tell us that these are three manifestations or displays of the same being.

b.      Those who believe in the doctrine of the trinity believe that these are three distinct beings.

3.      Three separate beings

a.      If they are the same being, what is the need for Him to manifest Himself in three separate forms?

b.      If this is the same being manifesting Himself in three ways, the interpretation of the Scripture is very unusual.

1)      God lights upon Himself (Matt. 3:16).

2)      God speaks to Himself (Matt. 3:17).

3)      God prays to Himself (John 17:1).

4)      God is a mediator between Himself and man (I Tim. 2:5).

c.       Jesus made a clear distinction between Himself and the Father.

1)      John 5:17

 

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

 

a)      My Father worketh…and I work.

b)      Two clearly are in mind.

2)      The Jews understood the distinction (John 5:18).

 

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had not only broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

 

 

4.      The main counter argument:

a.      If there are three separate beings in the Godhead, then there is not one God, but three.  This goes against Bible teaching (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29).

b.      Answer:

1)      There is only one divine essence (God) that is composed of three separate beings.

2)      We have one national government composed of three branches:  legislative, executive, and judicial.

3)      A chord in music is three distinct note, but when combined are only one note as well.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    We have looked at three interesting and controversial and difficult topics.

1.      Cremation

2.      The purpose of the Old Law, esp. in view of a better, new Law

3.      The doctrine of the trinity

 

B.      Some questions challenge our minds until we receive a satisfactory answer.

 

C.     Some questions still plague our minds after having received an answer.

 

D.    Continue to study the Word of God and keep your questions coming.