Category Archives: Church History

Questions that Challenge Conventional Christian Doctrine

jokerIf individual souls are saved by making a confession of faith in Jesus Christ at what point in time did that transpire?

Some reformers teach that people who were born on “old testament” times are saved by the same faith in Christ as those born in “new testament” times. If that is true, and clearly those born between the time of Adam and Christ had varying degrees of understanding of the Messiah and His purpose. Most, if not all believing that He was to be the King in the line of David who would rule and reign in righteousness and peace according to Zechariah 14 and all nations would stream to Jerusalem to worship Him. Question, WHO exactly were they (OT believers) placing their trust in for salvation?

The reason the time is important is that most Christian Churches teach that salvation is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you invite Jesus into your heart then you will be saved. My question is…

At what point in time did God flip the switch and require people to “invite Jesus into their hearts” to be saved?

Does anyone else see a slight problem with that? Think world wide. Think Israelites scattered to the 4 corners of the earth by the time of Christ. Think how many people in the time of Christ and say the next 30 years after his ascension had even the opportunity to “know” Jesus…most I submit had never even heard of this God man who was crucified.

So here’s the scenario: Let’s assume there were some righteous, god fearing Israelites (aka Jews) living in the nether parts during the 1st century AD. They are cruising along, acting justly, living humbly, loving mercy etc. They worship the one true and living God YHWH. They are caring for the poor, using accurate weights and measures, giving their tithes and offerings, etc. In other words loving YHWH with all their heart soul mind and strength and also depending on YHWH for their righteousness and salvation.

They think they are accepted by God because this is what the Word of God has taught them all along. But unbeknownst to them a messiah, the heir to David’s throne, has come, died, was resurrected and ascended to the right hand of God the Father. He was crucified and many people who knew him say He is YHWH in the flesh (the Son of God that Daniel prophesied about and Isaiah spoke about). And, by the way, now that he has come you have to believe and understand that this young man (who was crucified, raised from the dead and ascended in to heaven) born of Mary, is fully God and fully man.

You thought you were good with God, and you die and discover that low and behold you had no idea about this Jesus and you are now relegated to an eternity in hell. What kind of a cosmic pulling out the rug from under you, joke would that be?

 

The Sabbath or Sunday

Why do we (mainline protestant Christians) gather together onĀ  Sunday for worship? We who say that we live by Sola Scriptura, how do we understand the Sabbath commandment? There are as many different views on the Sabbath as their are flavors of jelly beans in a jar and yet most followers of Christ cannot reason from the scriptures as to why, if they observe the Sabbath at all, why they think they should do so on Sunday, the first day of the week. Does it matter you ask? Isn’t it a bit legalistic to worry about? My only concern is what does YHWH have to say about it? Would you agree, that’s all that counts?

The following are a list of resources, that address both sides of the argument – Some who argue for a continuation of the 7th day Sabbath and others who argue for “The Lord’s day”, and so on. Just ask yourself as you follow each person’s reasoning, “What does God say?”

An Examination of the Sabbath – this paper examines every scripture in the Bible that has anything to do with the Sabbath and the Lord’s day as well as many resources from men like Jonathan Edwards, Samuele Bacchiocchi and others.

The Sabbath Under Cross Fire – In this video, Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, who spent several years pursuing his doctorate degree at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, searches out the answer to the Sabbath or Sunday. He examines the scriptures, the church history as well as Roman Catholic History on the matter. Here is a PDF document of a paper he wrote with much of the same information: From Sabbath to Sunday

Perpetuity and Change of the Sabbath by Jonathan Edwards – In depth examination of the topic. Bear in mind as you read Edwards or anyone else for that matter, that frequently authors use the term Sabbath but are actually referring to a Sunday/first day of the week observance.