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Is there ever a point where I can’t be forgiven and return to God? Hebrews 10:26 bothers me.
Julie Y

Dr. Van Impe concurs with Lewis Sperry Chafer’s explanation of Hebrews 10:26-29 which some have used, along with verses in Hebrews 6, to wrongly teach the possibility of a born-again believer turning from Christ and consequently losing his salvation. Dr. Chafer writes in his Systematic Theology:

The peculiar character of the hortatory passages in the Hebrews Epistle is evident in this context. The writer is concerned about conditions then obtaining–little appreciated today. This plight was well described by James when he said to Paul as Paul returned to Jerusalem from years of Gentile ministry: “Thou seest, brother, how many thousands (literally, myriads–cf.Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11) of Jews, there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law” (Acts 21:20). The writer to the Hebrews is addressing Jews who are interested in Christ and have, in a sense, believed; but not to the extent of receiving the death of Christ as the fulfillment and termination of Jewish sacrifices. The confusion of law and grace is always distressing, but no such situation as this has ever existed before or since. These circumstances account for these exhortations which were addressed to Jews who, whatever their religious experience might have been, were yet unsaved. There are seven “if’s” in this epistle which condition this type of Jews. The writer, of course, being a Jew, employs, as a recognition of Jewish unity, the pronoun we. These conditional passages are: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (2:3); “Whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (3~6); “We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (3:14); “This will we do, if God permit.  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,…if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance” (6:3-4, 6); “If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (10:26); “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (10:38); “Much more shall we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (12:25).

This particular passage (Hebrews 10:26-29) is parenthetical. It is not a continuation of the theme set forth in the preceding verse. Those enjoined in verse 25 are believers, while those addressed in this text are hesitating Jews who demur concerning a right relation to Christ. Sinning willfully means that form of sin which is recognized in the Old Testament as not being a sin of ignorance.  Willful sin calls for divine forgiveness based on sacrificial blood. This warning reminds the Jew of the new situation in which the Mosaic sacrifices no longer avail, and it is therefore a choice between Christ’s sacrifice or judgment. To sin now, after Christ has died, is more serious. Sin is no longer an insult to the character and government of God alone, but it becomes also a direct rejection of Christ. In so far as Christ has died for men, they are classified, or set apart, as those for whom He died, which is sanctification according to its true meaning. No New Testament Scripture describes more clearly the sinfulness of sin in this age than this; but it is not a warning to Christians, nor does it imply their insecurity.

It will be recalled that there is a peculiar blindness upon Israel respecting the gospel. Of this blindness Christ said: “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (John 9:39), and this blindness was predicted by Isaiah: “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10). The Apostle refers to this again in II Corinthians 3:14-16. It is not strange, therefore, that there should be difficulty and hesitation on the part of unregenerate Jews.

 

 

Did our soul exist in heaven before it entered our bodies? And if so, will we remember that time of existence upon our return and will we then remember our time on earth?
Bruce S.

Genesis 2:7 states: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” If there is a “heavenly nursery” where souls would wait for their earthly bodies to be born, then this verse would be wrong. The phrase “man became” denotes a definite beginning where Adam’s soul and body came to life simultaneously.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, is the only baby born into this world who existed before His birth: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” – John 1:1. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” – John 17:5. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” – Colossians 1:17.

I enjoy your show very much and have gained a lot from your words. There is one thing that puzzles me. In all of the information I have had from the past, it has been explained to me that we are adopted into the family of Abraham when we accept Christ as our savior. Would not that make us all Israelite’s? I never hear you mention this and wonder if it is a mistaken belief.
Suzy C.

In Genesis 12: 1 – 3 we read: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” In this passage God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation (Israel), and all other nations would be blessed from Israel. Galatians 3:14 tells us: “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

Galatians 3:6-8 states, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”

And Galatians 3:29 states: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

As believers we become spiritual descendants of Abraham, not physical Israelite’s.

What is the meaning of the dispute over Moses’ body between Satan and Michael in Jude 1:9?
E. Gwinn

The Bible does not say why Michael and Satan were arguing over the body of Moses.

It is possible that Satan wanted to use the body of Moses to get the Israelites to fall into idolatry. Seven hundred years after it was made by Moses at the commandment of God, (Numbers 21:8-9) the Israelites were worshipping the bronze serpent and offering incense to it (II Kings 18:4). It is not too much of a stretch to believe that they would soon worship the body of Moses if it were enshrined somewhere.

I have a street ministry where I proclaim the Gospel to those who stop to listen. When someone does accept the Lord and wants to be baptized, would God allow me to perform the baptism even if I am not an ordained pastor of a church?
Dan B.

In Matthew 28:18 – 20 Jesus said: “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Since this Great Commission is given to all Christians, then it follows that the authority to baptize is also given to all Christians.

Based on this passage, it would seem that any true believer has authority from God to baptize, even as he has the authority from God to evangelize and teach all that Christ commanded.

A message for Dr. Van Impe or staff. I’ve read Exodus several times but I have to say that the last time that I read it, chapter 4 is throwing me. I don’t remember these verses. Specifically 4:24. It’s like there are three verses that are out of sequence in this chapter or maybe one is missing. I’ve looked at several versions of the bible and still don’t understand why God, out of nowhere, was going to kill Moses. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? To get an understanding of what I’m speaking about it would probably be best to either read Exodus 4:21-28 or maybe even the whole chapter. I’ve asked several people who know the bible well and have not received a clear answer. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Hope you’re feeling better and praying for you and Rexella. Keep up the great work for God.
Sincerely, Jeff M.
Oklahoma.

Moses had apparently put off circumcising his son, which was a violation of God’s command given in Genesis 17:10 – 13: “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”

In essence, God was going to kill Moses because Moses was supposed to teach the Israelites God’s Law, but he himself was not obeying God’s Law

Dear Rexella and Jack,
I watch your show always and look forward to it!
I wanted to ask you about The Lord's forgiveness. Does He forgive a child molester who repeatedly violated an innocent child? I am having a difficult time with God forgiving that horrible sin. Can you help me understand this? I love you both and thank you so much for your ministry. I learn something every time I watch it.
Sincerely,
Deb M.

We must remember that all sins call for the death penalty – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” – Romans 6:23. It does not matter whether it is a “white lie” or the heinous act of child molestation. I John 1:9 states: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Hebrews 8:12 states: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” And Psalms 103:8 – 12 states: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” It is important to clarify that these verses on forgiveness refer only to believers. No matter what sin has been committed, if a believer confesses it to God and seeks His forgiveness, it will be given.

We can never talk enough about forgiveness or be too thankful for it. We need also to be reminded constantly what it cost the Saviour—His death on the Cross—to make forgiveness possible. Actually, we need forgiveness more than we need breathe. Forgiveness makes the difference between a lost and a saved eternity.

To be forgiven by God is to experience one of His greatest favors. Forgiveness triggers a wonderful liberation from a defeated past and the beginning of a new start in life. Forgiveness will greatly enhance the ecstasies of heaven. If feelings of guilt were to be carried through a long eternity, it would greatly dampen the joys of the redeemed. But no! Forgiveness crosses out the past, buries it forever in God’s forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 10:17).

From Scripture we know that forgiveness is not a way, it is the way. It is the only way for the Lord or for us to deal with a sinful past. The old sage was right: “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on”. No tears can erase history or change the writing. Only forgiveness can deal effectively with this record.

Forgiveness is treating the wrongdoer is if he had never committed the wrong. It is the eradication of the red ink from the record. This is the way God’s forgiveness operates toward us; and it is the way He wants ours to work toward others.

My name is Melissa and I am 14 years old and live in South Africa. I watch your programs on YouTube and wondered if you could answer a very important question for me. I am always hearing conflicting stories at school.

Who is Cain’s wife in the Bible and were there other people beside Adam and Eve as I do not understand how the world’s population came to be with just two people.
Melissa A.

The question that you have posed is not a new one.  It has been asked by many people for a great number of years.  There does appear to be a contradiction, although upon closer observation one can readily see the answer.

We must read carefully what Genesis 4:16, 17 actually says.  The Bible says that Cain knew his wife.  It does not at any point show that Cain became acquainted with his wife in the land of Nod.  It does show by using the Biblical word “knew” as found in Genesis 4:1, Judges 11:39, I Samuel 1:19 and Matthew 1:25 that Cain was acquainted with his wife prior to moving to the land of Nod.  The term “knew” has the connotation of procreation of the race and not merely an “acquaintance with.”

Who was Cain’s wife? It is obvious that she was one of the many sons and daughters that Adam and Eve were blessed with in Adam’s long life of 930 years.  This was a necessity at the time and should not be misconstrued as to endorse incestuous marriage or relationships.

 

My Dad is 93, years old the last few weeks he's been talking about a second death. He read it somewhere in the Bible. I never heard of it and my husband hasn’t either.

Please answer if you can, Bible locations and explain.

Thank you,

Dorene T.

The second death is mentioned several times in the book of Revelation and it refers to the lake of fire.  It is called the second death because it follows physical death.

Revelation 2:11 states: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”  So the “overcomer” does not have to fear the second death.  Who is an “overcomer”? – “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” – I John 5:4 – 5.  So Christians do not have to fear the second death.

Revelation 20:6 states: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” These are people who died for their faith in the Tribulation and are resurrected to enter into the Millennium.

Revelation 20:11 – 15 also mention the second death: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:7 & 8 states: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

The second death refers to the Lake of Fire where those who are separated from God by their sin will be for all eternity.  No “overcomer” will have a part in the second death.

Dear Dr. Van Impe,

I was reading in the bible and doing a topical study on Lucifer, and I’ve ran across several passages that seems to indicate that Lucifer still has access to heaven until the time of the tribulation hour. However, I want to make sure I get this right before I present it in a sermon I’m preparing about eschatology. I know that you have a knowledge of the bible that is unparalleled in modern world and I really respect your ministry, being a fellow brother devout in Christ. I was wondering what your knowledge is on the subject matter and if you could assist me in this study so I can get everything correct.

In Christ’s service and Love,
Stephen T.

Currently Lucifer does have restricted access to Heaven. In Job 1:6 we read: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” The “sons of God” or angels were summoned by God to appear before Him, and Satan was among them. Satan was bringing accusations against Job, stating that he only worshiped God because God blessed him with wealth, and when Job refused to curse God after his wealth was taken, Satan again appeared before God and stated that is was only because Job had his health that he worshiped God. Satan continues to accuse the brethren up to this day, and until the mid-point of the Tribulation where we read in Revelation 12:10: “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” At that point his access to heaven will be ended, and after the Tribulation he will be bound in the abyss for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3) and then cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).

Dear Pastor Van Impe,
Some friends and I were wondering, does the world get better for a short time before the Rapture, or will it continue to get worse?
C. Marshall

Matthew 24:37 states: But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Noah’s era was also one of corruption: “Every imagination of the thoughts of [mankind’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). The result: “The earth also was corrupt before God” (Genesis 6:11). It takes no stretch of a person’s imagination to see a world of men filled with vile imaginations.

While we remain on planet earth, you and I must heed the apostle’s words, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). This bombardment of continual wickedness, implanting so much filth and false values in our collective minds, is presently reaping an abundant har¬vest morally, spiritually, and socially. Just as the degenerated values of society in Noah’s day filled the world with violence, so sin, crime, and fear stalk humanity today.

I’m confident this situation will continue to deteriorate because the sign will break forth in all its debauchery during the Tribulation Hour. We are already observing the preview of coming events. Life will not be worth living during the Tribulation, because Satan will be cast out of the heavens and will be enthroned upon the earth. Because he knows that he has only a short time to perform his heinous acts, and because of his impending imprisonment for one thousand years (Revelation 20:3), he will unleash all of his brutality and uncleanness upon earth’s millions. That is why Revelation 12:12 states, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Remember that Noah’s day was also one of violence (Genesis 6:11). Any person who watches television news today surely realizes that we are going through a period of unprecedented violence and terrorism throughout the world. But we’ve seen nothing yet. Violence will rear its ugly head in monstrous proportions as terrorists prepare for germ and biological warfare to hold major cities captive. Soon millions will die. When it does occur, could it be the beginning of the Tribulation Hour? But fear not, Jesus said in Luke 21:9, “When ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come” and then adds in verse 31, “When ye do see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom [return to earth] of God is nigh at hand [near].”

I'm ready for the Rapture, but will my innocent, spoiled pets be coming with me? I do not want them left behind to starve to death.

Diane P.

Romans 8:21-23 states: Because the creature, (that’s talking about animals and humans) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation, (animal and human) groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Not only they, but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves, groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption to wit the redemption of our bodies.

Currently the whole creation, animals included, groan and travail in pain waiting for the redemption – the salvation of their bodies and that’s when he says in Revelation 4 verse 1, “Come up hither!” Now we believe that’s the Rapture,

Dr. E. D. Buckner who wrote the book The Immortality of Animals in 1903 – He also identified many well-known theologians who believed and recognized the immortality of animals. He taught the following:

St. Paul gives us to understand that this suffering of animals shall not be hopeless, but that they shall be delivered together with man from the bondage of corruption.

Dr. William L. Pettingill said: “Animals generally, are now suffering in the bondage of corruption, but in that day their deliverance will come.”

He’s talking about the coming of the Lord because he uses in context here, I Corinthians 15:51-54, “Behold I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep [all be dead] but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we the living shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal, the living, must put on immortality.

Since these scholars say that these animals are going to be delivered from the bondage of corruption and he says that all that are in corruption are coming forth, that means that they believe that animals are coming out at the rapture, and so they’re using as his proof text, the text I’ve used so often just for the believers – the dead in Christ first and then the living. But these men are taking in the animals as well. This means that you don’t have to worry if the rapture occurs, because your animal’s going up with you.