Burning Questions

Q1. Will there be a General Resurrection?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q1. Will there be a General Resurrection?
 

I have received many questions on the subject of the resurrection of the dead and matters related to it, such as, where will the dead remain until the resurrection?

The subject is a broad one and not always clearly understood without a concentrated study of the issues.

Let me begin by saying that the idea of a general resurrection, followed by a general judgement, often espoused by amillennialists, is a fallacy. Scripture clearly teaches that there will be a number of judgements, just as there will be a number of phases in the raising of the dead. On the matter of a general judgement this teaching is based mainly on two scriptures:

"Marvel not at this for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5 v 28-29).

Q2. Who Are The 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.

Q2. Who Are The 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation?
Will they be Jehovah's Witnesses?
 

The people mentioned in the question will most certainly be Jehovah's Witnesses in the truest sense of the words. But let me emphasise that they bear no relation whatsoever to the followers of the Watchtower Tract Society who meet in Kingdom Halls.

The J.W.s or Millennial Dawnists, as they are sometimes called, are a spurious and heretical cult who deny many of the foundational truths of scripture. By contrast, the 144,000 will be true men of God who will give faithful witness to Jehovah Himself. To understand who these people are and exactly what there function will be we need to consider three things.

Firstly, we must look at their chronological appearance; secondly, their genealogical background; and thirdly their eschatological role. All of this can be gleaned from the two short passages in which they are mentioned - Revelation 7 v. 1-8 and 14 v. 1-5.

Q3. Does the parable of the Ten Virgins support the idea of a Partial Rapture?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q3. Does the parable of the Ten Virgins support the idea of a Partial Rapture?
 

The partial rapture theory is not a widely held one but it is gaining some popularity; especially among some extreme charismatic groupings.

The parable of the virgins is just one of a number of scriptures used by proponents of this theory in support of their particular belief.

Partial Rapturists will seize hold of particular verses and use them as proof texts. Such verses centre on the idea of 'watchfulness' and 'readiness' - sentiments held, of course, by all believers of the imminent return of the Lord.

Q4. When the Jews rejected Christ, did this end God's purposes for them as a nation?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q4. When the Jews rejected Christ, did this end God's purposes for them as a nation?
 

No! No! No! and a thousand times No! God has not terminated His relationship with His ancient people Israel. This fact cannot be overstated, especially in these days when so-called "Replacement Theology" is gaining popularity; asserting that the church has taken the place of Israel in God's plan and purposes.

The question posed above, however, is not a new one, nor is it merely a reaction to the falsehood stated. The same question obviously existed in peoples minds in the New Testament days. The great apostle Paul, the theologian of the New Testament, poses this question rhetorically in his treatise on Israel in Romans 9-11. He says, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which He foreknew" (Romans 11 :1-2a).

Paul is most emphatic about God's relationship to His people Israel and is convinced that the sovereign and eternal purposes cannot in any way be altered by the whimsical attitudes, or even the downright rebellion, of the people themselves.

Q5. Will there be a return to the sacrificial system during the Millennium?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q5. Will there be a return to the sacrificial system during the Millennium?
 

THIS question is one that I have been asked frequently and is probably one of the oldest objections used by our amillennialist friends to try and discredit our position. It does, however, deserve consideration and some explanation. To the first part of the question we can very quickly answer, 'Yes'. There are plenty of scriptures which point to the return of sacrifices in the millennial period. It would be good to examine some of these now:

Isaiah 56 vv.6-8 says,'... their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted on mine altar...'

Jeremiah 33 vv.15-18, '.... neither shall the priests and the burnt offerings and to kindle meat offerings and to sacrifice continually'.

Ezekiel 20 v.40, 'For in mine holy mount, in the mountain of the height of Israel saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the Land, serve me, there will I accept them,and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations with all your holy things'.

Zechariah 14 vv.16-21, 'And it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year toworship the king, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of the tabernacles... Yea every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of Hosts; and all that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and see the therein; and in that day shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts'.

Q6. A preacher once spoke about the church being a parenthesis, what did he mean?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q6. A preacher once spoke about the Church being a parenthesis, what did he mean?
 

THE word parenthesis is not specifically a theological term; strictly speaking it refers to a bracketed phrase or word in a sentence. It is more loosely used in chronological terms to describe a period between two points of time. It is used in this connection by those holding to a pre-millennial futurist interpretation of prophecy.

The preacher who used the word to describe the church was undoubtedly endeavouring to show the church's position in the chronological prophetic timescale, particularly in relation to God's plan and purpose for the Jewish nation.

The parenthetical idea of the church is best understood and most closely associated with the prophecy of seventy weeks in Daniel. To understand its meaning we must look at the prophecy in closer detail.

Q7. Does 2 Thessalonians 2v3 nullify the idea of Christ's imminent return?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury.
Q7. Does 2 Thessalonians 2v3 nullify the idea of Christ's imminent return?
 

This particular chapter of Paul's second epistle to the Thessalonians has been the subject of much controversy among those who delve into prophetic truths. More than most it is a that requires skilful rightly dividing of the word of truth, for failure to do so can lead to much confusion and error.

The difficulties of the passage are compounded further by the fact that various translations differ in the rendering of verse two. As Mrs E.Potter, our questioner, rightly points out, the A.V. and NKJV translate it 'Day of Christ' whereas most other versions translate 'Day of the Lord'. This is because the A.V. is based on the Textus Receptus (Received Text) of Erasmus and Beza whereas most other translations use the Nestle Greek translation.

I don't propose to go into the arguments of textual criticism or of Bible versions, although I would recommend Gail Riplinger's excellent book "Which Bible is God's Word?', published by Hearthstone Books, to any interested reader. The difference in the translations does, however, result in a fundamental difference of understanding and complicates to some extent our understanding of what Paul is saying. Although I do not believe it nullifies the principle of imminency.

Q8. Did Solomon pen Psalm 72, if so, then why does v.20 seem to accredit it to David?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev. Colin Le Noury.
Q8. Did Solomon pen Psalm 72, if so, then why does v.20 seem to accredit it to David?
 

The question of the authorship of Psalm 72, raised for us by Mr. John Wood of Nuneaton, is an interesting one.

Who wrote this psalm? Well it depends on which Bible you use. Actually most versions accredit to Solomon, however, the A.V. clearly introduces it as a prayer of David. There is a sense in which both answers are correct. The best of evangelical scholarship would seem to agree that the pen was probably Solomon's, but that the content was most certainly David's.

Let me explain. Psalm 72 must be read against the background of 2 Samuel 7, David's great messianic prophecy for kingdom rule. Indeed the psalm is based on that particular passage. Therefore the essential content came from David, although Solomon is believed to have used this as his inspiration for the psalm. Spurgeon in his 'Treasury of David' is quite adamant that Solomon was the author, as is W.Graham Scroggie in his four volume expositions of the Psalms.

Q9. What will happen to children at the Rapture?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev. Colin Le Noury.
Q9. What will happen to children at the Rapture?
 

I have received many questions on the whole subject of children and the rapture of the church. I must confess that in some ways it is one of the most difficult subjects to deal with, both because of the sensitivity of it, and because of the lack of direct scriptural evidence.

The fact of the rapture is clear and unmistakable. Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4 vv 16-17 and in 1 Corinthians 15 vv 51-52 plainly and positively declares such an event. The fact that Christian believers are the subjects of the rapture is also undeniable. But beyond these basic truths we move into areas of some speculation since scripture becomes silent at this point.

The questions I receive deal not only with the matter of whether children will be included in the rapture, but also, will all children be included or only those of believing parents?

I am persuaded that the question of children and the rapture is also related to the wider issue of whether or not children in general are under grace. And if so, then what becomes the age of responsibility and accountability?

Q10. Is the rapture of millions of souls too fanciful to be credible?

 

Burning Questions answered by Rev Colin Le Noury
Q10. Is the rapture of millions of souls too fanciful to be credible?
 

The question highlights an objection often raised by unbelievers and theologians alike. The idea that at one given moment in history literally millions of souls disappear from the face of the earth in a fleeting moment of time is, for some, too hard to conceive.

Our analysis of the subject must begin as always with scripture. Let us see what the word of God says. Two passages of scripture are especially poignant and unmistakably clear. Paul, the apostle, writing to the Thessalonian church says:

'For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them that are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds; to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.' (1 Thess. 4 vv 15-17.)

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