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Do animals go to Heaven when they die?

When a human dies his death does not mean that he ceases to exist.  The physical body dies but the immaterial part will exist forever, either in Heaven or in Hell.  But what happens when an animal dies?  Is that the end of its existence or does some part of it live on?

The most common belief is that humans continue to exist after death because they have souls and animals don’t.  There are two things wrong with this belief. Read the rest of this entry

Between death and resurrection

Adam’s sin brought death to the whole human race.  There are a few exceptions to this.  Enoch and Elijah never experienced death and all believers who are alive when the rapture takes place will never die, but for most who have ever lived life ends with death.

Everyone who has died or who will die in the future will be resurrected.

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voiceand come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.  (John 5:28-29)

But what will it be like between death and resurrection?  Most Christians believe the dead will continue to exist in a state of consciousness but some believe they are be in a state of soul sleep and not aware of anything that is going on. Read the rest of this entry

The synagogue and the Areopagus

God chose Paul to carry the gospel to the gentiles.  Wherever Paul went he preached to the gentiles but he also preached to his own people, the Jews.  Acts contains two detailed accounts of his preaching the gospel, once to the Jews and once to the gentiles.

During his first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas came to Antioch in Pisidia and attended the synagogue on the Sabbath.  They were invited to speak to the congregation and Paul gave this message. Read the rest of this entry

Crossing the Kidron

John’s gospel records what Jesus taught his disciples at the Last Supper.  After he finished he and his disciples left and went to the garden where he would be arrested.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
John 18:1

There was a brook called the Kidron between the room where the Last Supper was held and the place where Jesus was betrayed.  Of course they had to cross it.  At first this seems like an unimportant detail, but there is an incident in the Old Testament which shows the significance of going across this brook. Read the rest of this entry

The Great War

For a long time after World War I the war was referred to by many as the Great War, meaning that it involved more nations and people than had any other war up to that time.  When an even greater war began in 1939 people stopped using this term and began calling it World War I and calling the new war World War II.  But there is another war going on right now which really does deserve to be called the Great War and most of the world is completely unaware of it.  Here is how it began.

You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Ezekiel 28:15-16

This is addressed to the king of Tyre, but it obviously doesn’t refer to the human ruler but to Satan, who was the real ruler. Read the rest of this entry

Cities of refuge

God told Moses to designate six cities in the promised land as cities of refuge where someone who killed another accidentally could flee to avoid punishment.

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge.”
Numbers 35:9-13

When someone asked for refuge there would be an inquiry to find out if he was entitled to it.

But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm, then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules. And the congregation shall rescue the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he had fled, and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil.

But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the boundaries of his city of refuge to which he fled, and the avenger of blood finds him outside the boundaries of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood.
Numbers 35:22-27

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Delays for the glory of God

If you heard that someone you cared about was sick and was about to die wouldn’t you immediately go to see him if you could?  And wouldn’t that be even more true if you were able to prevent him from dying?  Jesus didn’t react this way when he heard that one of his friends was near death.

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
John 11:1-6

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9/11

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airliners. Two of the planes were deliberately flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center, causing them to collapse. One was crashed into the Pentagon. The passengers on the fourth plane managed to overpower the hijackers and prevent them from carrying out their intended mission but the plane crashed, killing everyone on board. The total death toll from these events was almost 3,000.

People asked a lot of questions as a result of the attack. Many wanted to know who was responsible and what needed to be done to protect against future attacks. But the question in the minds of a lot of people was “Why did God allow these people to die?”

Read the rest of this entry

Rachel’s death

Jacob had two wives, Rachel and Leah.  In addition he had children by Bilhah and Zilpah, the servants of his wives.  All four of these women could be considered his wives.  The Bible records the death of only one  of these women, Rachel.

Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.”

And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day.
Genesis 35:16-20

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The guards

Peter and the other apostles were imprisoned by order of the high priest and were freed from prison by an angel.

But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
Acts 5:17-21

Peter was imprisoned again when King Herod began persecuting the church.

About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
Acts 12:1-3

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Born that way?

Some people are sexually attracted to members of their own sex.  There are different opinions about why this is true.  Some people believe this condition the result of their experiences but others believe it is has a genetic cause.  It is possible that different people are homosexuals for different reasons but the Bible gives us reason to believe that at least some people are gay because they were born that way. Read the rest of this entry

Lazarus and the rich man – parable or actual event?

In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus and describes how they lived in this life and what their circumstances were after they died. Read the rest of this entry

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