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To Sohail: a response

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]
in response to reader comment: Abijah

Submitted by Abijah (United States), Oct 1, 2006 at 20:18

Sohail, in correctly interpreting the Holy Scriptures, like any discipline there are cardinal rules. The first cardinal rule is SAYS = MEANS. God says what he means and means what he says. Rightly dividing the Word of God requires that you must take the Holy Scriptures literally unless they clearly indicate otherwise, such as a parable, a vision, a simile etc. Another cardinal rule to correctly understanding the Bible is context. Look at the whole paragraph that went before and the paragraph(s) that follow the verse under consideration.

Then look at the complete chapter that precedes and the complete chapter that follows the embedded verse. If context is ignored, then the Bible is badly used and can be twisted to support anything. This is what cults do, they selectively pick those verses that support their predetermined paradigm or construct and pass over those that contradict it. Ignoring context is the error you have made as well.

Lets examine your examples of "false prophesy." Jesus Christ says,"I tell you the truth; all this will come upon this generation."(Matt. 23:36) You retort, "Jesus in the above verse says that the end of the world shall happen in the disciple's lifetime but it didn't." The context here clearly shows that Jesus is talking about the end of the age when he will return. The whole of Matthew chapter 23 is condemnation of the hypocritical Pharisees and teachers of the law. Jesus is saying that all the guilt of all the blood shed from righteous Able to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom they murdered between the temple and the alter (i.e. all the prophets and godly men murdered from the begining until now) will fall on them when he returns to judge the world. Jesus is saying further that all the subterfuge and craft used to replace the Torah of God with the law of the Pharisees and scribes will condemn them. And all their self-righteous hypocrisy will send this generation to hell at his Jesus' second coming. So you have badly misinterpreted this verse by ignoring context. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of God coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28) You say that here "Jesus tells his followers that he wil return and establish the kingdom of God within their lifetme, but he didn't."

But context again is key to understanding. In Matthew chapter 16, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They repied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simo Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." In one of the other Gospels Jesus says, "At last you believe." In Matthew, Jesus relied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter (petros, a small stone), and on this rock (petra, monolith or bedrock) I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not overcome it." I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven...."

Jesus then starts talking about the requirements of discipleship and completes chapter 16 by saying:"I tell you the truth, some will not tast death before they see the Son o Man coming in his kingdom." I believe the Koine Greek of the New Testament would render this verb "coming" as imperfect which could be translated begining to come in(to) his kingdom. In other words, once the Apostles were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus could use their confession of faith in him to begin building his church and thereby he would begin to come into his kingdom i.e. rule in the hearts and lives of men. His Apostles would not die before they saw men and women confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord and thereby come into the kingdom. The Kingdom or rule of Christ in his people the Church will continue to grow through the proclamation of the Gospel until the Church is taken out of the world by the Rapture. All of the remaining passages that you identify as prophesy that is false because it hasn't happened is prophesy yet to be fullfilled; it is future and context clearly shows that it is speaking about the end times before the return of Christ Jesus to Judge the nations and deliver Israel.

Sohail, only a Christian can ever rightly understand Holy Scripture because the Holy Spirit reveals the meaning intended. Even scholars and PHDs and Seminary Professors cannot rightly divide or understand the Words of God, the Bible, unless they have submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Unless a person repents sincerely of their sin and wickedness and lays firm hold of the Gospel of forgiveness in the sufferings, death, and resurrection of God the Son, the Bible is a sealed book to them. Now I challege you, my unsaved friend, to sincerely ask Jesus Christ to prove his existance to you. Challege him to do so. Have no doubt; he will show himself to you in a way that you, by his Grace, will fall down before him and say," My Lord and my God." Then for you Life and joy really begins and never ends. That's my prayer for you.

Submitting....

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