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Your Questions Answered

Q. What did Jesus mean when He said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand?”
A. It was with that statement that Christ began His earthly ministry. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). After that occasion, “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matt. 9:35). The message, therefore, of “the kingdom of heaven” offered by Jesus Christ is the core of “the gospel of the kingdom.”

The kingdom of heaven is defined by Christ in the disciple’s prayer. They were instructed to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). The Gospel of the kingdom offered heaven on earth for all who would repent and believe the Good News of Christ’s offer of the kingdom. Alas, the Jews did not receive that offer and so the offer of the kingdom was lifted. Therefore, it was necessary for Christ to pronounce desolation upon the House of Israel (Matt. 23:38). The Jews ultimately crucified their King. This was a tragedy, but out of it came the Gospel of the grace of God and the amazing offer of Gentile salvation.

Q. Is there a different way of salvation for Jews as distinct from Gentiles?
A. Not in this present age. All, Jew and Gentile, are offered the Gospel of the grace of God. Any person of any race can join the family of God by believing in the finished work of the cross and being saved by grace.

However, when the Tribulation comes, “the gospel of the kingdom” will be preached and the kingdom will be offered anew to believing Jews and Gentiles. Salvation will always be by faith, but the results of salvation after the Church Age will be different from now. Believers, Jews and Gentile proselyte believers, will inherit a redeemed earth. By contrast, the Body of Christ will rule the universe in eternity. Christians will inherit “all things” (I Cor. 3:21).

Q. I have two friends who attend different churches, but both say “We are the true church!” Which one is right?
A. Neither of your friends is right. There is but one true Church, which in neither an organization, an ecclesiastical structure nor a building. The true Church is the Body of Christ and it is not to be confused or finally identified with any form of religious structure in this world. All local churches should attempt to be a reflection of the Body of Christ, but none can claim that they are the true Church or that they perfectly reflect the Body of Christ.

Q. Is the Bible our authority? If so, how can human beings claim final authority in matters of doctrine or control of people?
A. They cannot. To claim to speak with an authority comparable to Scripture is cultic. It is “extra Biblical revelation” which is a presumptuous pretense. There is no human authority on earth that can speak with finality in matters of faith or practice. This is reserved for God alone and what He’s given us in His Word. Religious hierarchies are forbidden in Scripture and the believer is enjoined to flee from such bondage (Gal. 5:1).

Q. Will we know our friends in heaven?
A. Certainly. The Apostle Paul, speaking about this day and that day said, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Cor. 13:12). The Bible teaches that in heaven we will have perfect knowledge. We think that there will be many a reunion in heaven in which friends shall see friends once again.

Q. When will Christ come again?
A. The answer to that question is nicely stated in the poem in this issue of Destiny Newsletter. The answer is that we don’t know. We should be ready every day to meet Christ because He could come for His own before this day is done. He promises the Church, “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. 3:11). This means “all of a sudden, without warning.” Each of us is constrained to be ready.

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