A Question I Was Asked:



Can You Give me a 'Quick Hit' Answer to About Nine Questions?








Can you give me a 'quick hit' answer to about nine questions?

1. Do you believe we humans have a soul or spirit that lives on after ones dies?
2. Do you believe Jesus pre-existed before His birth in Bethlehem?
3. Do you believe in Eternal Torment in "hell"?
4. Do you believe Jesus died on a Friday?
5. Do you believe the "Holy Spirit" is a person? If so, what is the "Holy Spirit's name?
6. Do you believe the English word "church" is the correct translation of the Greek word "Ekklesia?
7. Do you believe Jesus\' "last supper" was the "passover" supper?
8. Do you believe Jesus is God?
9. What is your belief regarding the "second death"?



UK Apologetics Reply:

Look, this is not the way I normally answer questions and greater depth is needed on all of these. However, on our website, you will find far more extensive responses to every one of these questions with just a little research. So, on this one occasion, I will indeed give a few 'quick hit' answers. In every single case I only support the truly biblical answers because I am a Christian. If I am wrong somewhere (I am only human), I will change my teaching as and when I come to realise any such error.

1. Do you believe we humans have a soul or spirit that lives on after one dies?
Yes, because that is the only way I can interpret the relevant Bible passages. After all, neither hades, nor hell, nor Heaven would have any point nor meaning if death is truly the end. Therefore I believe we each have a soul, or spirit essence, which continues after bodily organs cease to function at our physical demise.

2. Do you believe Jesus pre-existed before His birth in Bethlehem?
Yes, because the Bible is clear that He has always existed as the Word, or Second Person of the Godhead. Again, I am not going into details here but this is well-established from Scripture, a point which nobody who really knows their Bible would question.

3. Do you believe in Eternal Torment in "hell"?
I believe the "eternal torment" concept is largely due to some poor translations in the old KJV, but there is indeed torment in being permanently separate from God for eternity. Yet I think a loving God would have no pleasure in allowing souls to suffer for all of eternity. I see hell as separation from God and there is suffering in that, but not torture. Yet I believe that it is the few - not the majority - who will be going there. But I don't support annihilationism (which teaches that hell, or eternal death, is simply one being destroyed for eternity).

4. Do you believe Jesus died on a Friday?
On the whole, with the information which we have (and we would always like more), yes, I believe that our Lord died on the cross on a Friday. Only some seventh-day people refuse to accept this because they want a sabbath resurrection with a literal three days and three nights period when Jesus was in the grave so they want a Wednesday crucifixion. Yet the Jews always counted days inclusively so Friday afternoon to Sunday morning would indeed be three days. I must say that some very clever Bible experts have looked at this question in the past and they have all arrived at a Friday crucifixion, also (most significantly) the early church seemed to support a Friday crucifixion. Do we need to say more?

5. Do you believe the "Holy Spirit" is a person? If so, what is the "Holy Spirit's name?
The Holy Trinity is a Bible teaching because - within Scripture - God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all plainly shown to be God at some point or other in Scripture. Is the word 'person' ideal? No, but we are dealing here with One God in three personages (not an easy concept), and if one drops 'person' it is alarming how easily error can enter in. The Holy Spirit is sufficient Name for the present because we should not go beyond what is revealed.

6. Do you believe the English word "church" is the correct translation of the Greek word "Ekklesia?
It is probably as close as we can get and I have no problem with it. 'Ekklesia' is word No G1577 in the Strong's concordance system. It means a calling out, a group, a congregation, or assembly, especially for religious purposes. 'Church' is fine in my opinion.

7. Do you believe that Jesus' "last supper" was the "passover" supper?
No, Jesus inaugurated something rather different but rather importantly different, He introduced Christian communion. It was based on the passover but Jesus Himself made the differences obvious in the way in which He conducted things. Later on, in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul the Apostle reminds us of the main elements to be observed.

8. Do you believe that Jesus is God?
Yes, of course, that is exactly what Scripture teaches. Any disagreeing with this have an issue with Scripture, not with me. Here is a good place to go for more in-depth information on this (and several other of these points).

9. What is your belief regarding the "second death"?
It is another description of hell, really. It is eternal separation from God. The first death is one we all have to go through but the 'second death' is reserved for those few who will not inherit the kingdom of God. I believe that most of these people will rebelliously refuse it.

In Revelation 20 we read of John's vision of heaven. He states this:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6).

Here the Christian's entry into heaven at death is called 'the first resurrection,' it is symbolically called "a thousand years" (symbolic of course, "a thousand years" is never literal in the Bible). These souls are saved and so "the second death has no power over them." These believing souls eventually go into the resurrection of the dead at Christ's return. The "rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended," refers to those who do not enter heaven at death but they will stand on the Day of Judgment. Some of these will eventually be lost but even here God is able to extend His mercy wherever He wills. It seems that in heaven right now the souls of deceased believers already have some roles of judgement (the 24 elders, for instance). The concept of a "millenium" on earth is forced into Revelation 20 by some, but this is plainly about heaven - not earth.

Fuller explanations of all the above can be found in many places in our UK Apologetics website. The Central Doctrines of the Christian Faith is a good place to start.

Robin A. Brace. May 11th, 2015.

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