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Why should we sharpen our abilities and character now when we’ll have eternity to do so?

Question from a reader:

Why should we sharpen our gifts, skills, abilities and character now while on Earth, partially in preparation for Heaven (where those gifts will be used for Christ), when we'll have eternity to do so?

HeavenAnswer from Randy Alcorn:

Part of the issue is why should we be working on something now? Because this life is a limited opportunity to make choices to follow Christ in a world that is opposed to Him. The idea of why not wait until eternity, since we’ll have all eternity to learn things, is answered because God says not ...

Where in the Bible, specifically, does it claim to be the sole and final rule of faith?

You’re right that my belief in the ultimate authority of Scripture is based not on specific statement, but on the cumulative power of countless passages. (The same is true of the doctrine of the trinity and other major truths.) Among those passages are these:

Where Redemption and Justice Meet

Randy Alcorn and John PerkinsFrom Randy:

John Perkins is a sharecropper’s son who grew up poverty-stricken in Mississippi. Fleeing to California at age 17 after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal, he vowed never to return. But after coming to Christ in 1960, he did return to Mendenhall, Mississippi, to share the gospel of Christ.

John’s leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings, and imprisonment. He’s the author of many good books, but his book Let Justice Roll Down, first released 30 years ago, tells about the shaping events of his life ...

Where Was The Church?

churchI’ll begin with some important prefacing remarks. I am absolutely committed to the centrality of local churches in God’s kingdom agenda. Organizations such as EPM are secondary and supplemental to the work of local churches. I was a local church pastor for fourteen years and my heart will always be with the church. As a friend of mine puts it, “The church is God’s Plan A, and there is no Plan B.”

 

Where’s the line between discernment and lack of faith in miracles?

This is a dilemma, and I think we should ask God to give us faith to believe Him, and skeptical only of some people’s claims, but not of God’s power or the fact that He sometimes miraculously intervenes. We need discernment, but not skepticism and certainly not cynicism.

Which authors have most impacted your life and work?

The big three are C. S. Lewis, A. W. Tozer and Francis Schaeffer. Others include J. I. Packer, C. H. Spurgeon, John Piper, Eugene Peterson and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Who are the Nephilim of Genesis 6?

The “Nephilim” are referred to in Genesis 6:4. These were two different groups on the earth before the flood. “Nephalim” is a precarious word simply because it is seldom used. Therefore it is not possible to translate the word with absolute certainty. It appears to be related to the Hebrew word “naphal” which is clearly translated as “fall.” As such, the word may carry with it a semantic nuance of “violent death”–as someone falling upon another with evil intent since such is within the global range of naphal. Though the word has an “uncertain etymology,” Gesenius, a great ...

Who is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7? The one who holds it back, is this not God?

There are different views of the restrainer of 2 Thess. 2, and a case can be made for two at least. I haven’t given it sufficient study to come to a firm conclusion, and I expect if I did I would still be uncertain. However:

1) The standard pretrib understanding of 2 Thess. 2 is presented here: http://www.bereanwatchmen.com/kept-from-the-hour/chapter-five-who-is-the-restrainer.html

2) The following are excerpts from a different understanding, at http://www.bibletruth.cc/the_restrainer.htm

But before we identify this restrainer, let us first determine that which the restrainer is holding back. Ernest Best ...

Who will be in heaven?

While there may be others we don't know of who God has created or will create in the future, we know the following will be in heaven: God himself (Deut. 26:15; Matt. 6:9); all God's people—covered by Christ's blood—from earth who have died (Rev. 4-5; Luke 16:22, 25; Heb. 12:23); righteous angels (Luke 2:15; Matt. 28:2; Heb. 12:22).

For more information on this subject, see Randy Alcorn's book Heaven.

Why Are There Different Doctrines in Different Churches?

churchQuestion from a reader:

I am a newer believer and sometimes get frustrated over all of the different doctrines in various churches. Can you help me sort these out?

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