Frequently Asked Questions

What is the church?

What is the organization of the local church?

What is the work of the church?

Why do we take communion and why every first day of the week?

Why do we not use instrumental music?

Why do we contribute to the work of the church only on the first day of the week?

How does one obtain salvation?

Why do we not call our preacher a pastor?

Are all "christian" denominations the church?

Is the church the kingdom?

Why are the Ten Commandments not applicable to us today?

What about Heaven and Hell?

What is the general answer that applies to all of these questions?


The church has two definitions

1. A spiritual church or kingdom

The church that Jesus built is a spiritual church or kingdom, which contains all the saved, past, present and future.      Matthew 16:18
Matthew 16:18

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

See NKJV text



This is the kingdom that Jesus will deliver to god.      1 Corinthians 15:24
1 Corinthians 15:24

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

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This spiritual church is referred to as the universal church or universal body of Christ. The universal body of Christ has no organizational framework, it can only function through the action of its individual members. Individual Christians may do many good works that may not be done by the local church.

2. The local church(s)

This is where living members of the universal church gather together to carry out the commands of Christ as found in the new testament. Nothing can be a scriptural work of the church unless it is authorized in the New Testament.

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Organization of the local church

Ephesians 4:11-12
Ephesians 4:11-12

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

--------------- ANALYSIS ---------------
Apostles and Prophets have been done away leaving evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church.

See NKJV text

       I Corinthians 12:28-29
I Corinthians 12:28-29

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, ...

--------------- ANALYSIS ---------------
Apostles and Prophets have been done away leaving teachers in the church.

See NKJV text

Christ is the head of the church

The church is the body of Christ and Christ is its only head.

Ephesians 5:23-24
Ephesians 5:23-24

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ ...

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         Ephesians 1:22-23
Ephesians 1:22-23

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

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         Ephesians 4:4
Ephesians 4:4

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

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Elders

Elders are to be appointed in every church

Acts 14:23
Acts 14:23

So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

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         Titus 1:5
Titus 1:5

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you

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The elders of the local congregation are the pastors (shepherds) of each local church

1 Peter 5:1-4
1 Peter 5:1-4

1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

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Qualifications for elders are listed in

1 Timothy 3:1-7
1 Timothy 3:1-7

3 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work ...

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         Titus 1:5-13
Titus 1:5-13

5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you ...

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Deacons

Deacons are to be appointed in every church

Philippians 1:1
Philippians 1:1

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

See NKJV text

Their qualifications are listed in

1 Timothy 3:8-13
1 Timothy 3:8-13

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money ...

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Preachers

Preachers have the responsibility to “preach the word”

2 Timothy 4:1-5
2 Timothy 4:1-5

4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! ...

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They are evangelists, ministers of the Word of God

2 Timothy 4:5
2 Timothy 4:5

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

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In the New Testament, preachers are never called by titles such as “Pastor,” “Reverend,” “Doctor,” or “Father”

Matthew 23:8-12
Matthew 23:8-12

8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’ ...

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Teachers

The term "teacher" refers to an instructor. A teacher's job is to give greater understanding of God's Word. Generally, a teacher is instructing a willing audience -- people seeking to know more about God and His Laws.

I Corinthians 12:28-29
I Corinthians 12:28-29

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, ...

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Members

Anyone who has obeyed the Gospel is a member of the Lord’s church

Galatians 3:27
Galatians 3:27

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

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They are to teach the lost

Acts 8:4
Acts 8:4

Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

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         2 Timothy 2:24-25
2 Timothy 2:24-25

24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, ...

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There is no organization higher than Jesus Christ

The church has no earthly headquarters. The headquarters of Christ’s church is in Heaven. There is no pope, council, conference, or group of people controlling all the congregations of the Lord’s body.

Each congregation of the Lord’s body is independent and self-ruling. The leadership of the Lord’s church is made up of qualified men.

If a church does not have this kind of organization, it cannot be the church that Jesus built.

Every thing done under the new covenant is a matter of authority. There is no scripture to authorize an organization above the local church which is precisely the point. If there was to be an organization like that it would be defined in the scriptures. Since it is not, there is no authority for it to exist.

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The Work of the Church

The Work Of The Church Is:

Preaching the Gospel

We are to preach the gospel. We are to know nothing but Christ and him crucified. The Lord did not commission us to preach our philosophies, our theories, or the wild speculations of men. We are not to preach on any theme except the gospel of Christ. The church is a divine institution. It is to be always engaged in the spiritual business that God has appointed.

Mark 16:15-16
Mark 16:15-16

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

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         Matthew 28:18-20
Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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The members did what the Lord asked them to do. They preached the Word.

Acts 8:1,4
Acts 8:1,4

1 At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles
...
4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

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Benevolence

Local churches helped their own members who were in need. There was a great famine throughout the land of Judea. The members of the church at Antioch took a collection and sent the money to the church in Judea.

Acts 11:27-30
Acts 11:27-30

27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

See NKJV text

When there are little children homeless, afraid, hungry and destitute with no one to care, the universal church, acting through its individual members does what it can to make life better for them. When the elderly are homeless and need the necessities of life, it is also the responsibility of the individual members of the universal church to take care of them. If they are members of the universal church then the local church has some responsibility to take care of them.

Acts 6:1-4
Acts 6:1-4

1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

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         1 Timothy 5:3-16
1 Timothy 5:3-16

3 Honor widows who are really widows.
4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.
5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.
6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.
7 And these things command, that they may be blameless.
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,
10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,
12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.
13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
15 For some have already turned aside after Satan.
16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

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Edifying the members

To edify means to build up, to strengthen, to encourage. It is to help the members of the church grow spiritually. What are some of the things that edify? God's Word, fellowship, engaging in worship, helping one another, good works, love, etc.

Acts 9:31
Acts 9:31

Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

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                          Romans 14:19
Romans 14:19

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

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             1 Corinthians 8:1
1 Corinthians 8:1

Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

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I Corinthians 14:7-12
I Corinthians 14:7-12

7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?
8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.
11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.
12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

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    1 Corinthians 14:26
1 Corinthians 14:26

How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification

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   2 Corinthians 12:19
2 Corinthians 12:19

Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.

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Ephesians 4:12
Ephesians 4:12

for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

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               1 Thessalonians 5:11
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

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The Work Of The Church Is Not:

To engage in fund-raising projects to do its work

There is no scriptural authorization for the church to sell products, services, rumage sales, or engage in any other income that is not a free will offering by individual members. It may not have weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, or funerals by renting the building for profit. The church is not autorized to seek financing to support its work. A free will offering from its members, each first day of the week, is the only authorized source of income for the church.

I Corinthians 16:1-3
I Corinthians 16:1-3
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

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         2 Corinthians 9:7
2 Corinthians 9:7

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

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To try to run the government

Members of the church have no business becoming involved with politics to try to to enforce the law or run the country. Jesus stated his position toward government when he said in

Matthew 22:21
Matthew 22:18 - 21

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

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To furnish entertainment for its members

There is no scripture that authorizes money to be taken from a church treasury to do this

To improve social conditions or have colleges or universities

There is no scripture that authorizes money to be taken from a church treasury to do this

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Why do we take communion and why every first day of the week?

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus blessed the bread and fruit of the vine and gave it to his disciples saying to them "do this in remembrance of me". This certainly implies that it was a command he wanted us to obey

I Corinthians 11:23-29
I Corinthians 11:23-29

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

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This is the only thing Jesus asked us to do in his memory.

When he instituted the communion (or Lord's Supper as we sometimes call it) Jesus said, "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup...."

I Corinthians 11:26
I Corinthians 11:26

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

See NKJV text

The word 'often' is generally used in the religious world allowing congregations to take the communion as often as they want to do so. This leads these congregations to do it on a monthly basis or some other cycle. By using 'often' in this way leaves us open to doing it in any number of cycles; once a month, once a year or maybe even once every five years if they would want to do so.


To avoid doing it this way there are two scriptures to consider for defining what the word 'often' really means. First Jesus told the apostles that when he left he would send a helper to teach and remind them all things he had said to them

John 14:26
John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you

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He also said that the Spirit of truth would come to guide them into all truth

John 16:13
John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

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This helper or Spirit of truth would then guide Luke to write "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread..."

Acts 20:7
Acts 20:7

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight

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Without a doubt, this defines that the communion should be observed on a the first day of every week.

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Why do we not use instrumental music?

There is no authority for the use of instrumental music in the entire New Testament.  There was music used in the Old Testament, but the New Testament and the teaching of Christ has replaced the old Testament.  We are told to sing in many New Testament passages but never a mention of instrumental music.

The issue is not a question of finding the use of instrumental music in the Bible.  That is easy.  It is not a question of finding its use in worship.  That is easy also.  But the task of those who use it is to find where the New Testament authorized its use in the church.   That is not so easy -- it cannot be done.

If we go back to the Old Testament and King David to justify instrumental music, we of necessity must also bring with it animal sacrifice and burning of incense.

I can find where circumcision was commanded and practiced in the Bible.  I can find where the burning of incense was commanded and practiced in the Bible.  I can find where animal sacrifice was commanded and practiced in the Bible.  So, if somebody wants to put it on the basis of merely finding where music was mentioned and used, that would be easy to do.  But to prove that the use of mechanical music has been authorized and sanctioned in the New Testament church, the church of Christ, as part of the system of worship revealed in the gospel -- that is the issue. 1

The following passages are the embodiment of the whole new testament on the subject of singing 2

At the institution of the Lord's Supper Matthew states that when Jesus and the disciples "had sung" an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives

Matthew 26:30
Matthew 26:30

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

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Paul declared that David foretold in one of the prophetic psalms that Gentiles would acknowledge God "and sing" to his name

Romans 15:8-9
Romans 15:8-9

8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers,
9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name”

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The apostle taught that in the church one should "sing with the spirit," but that he could be understood by others, to "sing with the understanding also"

I Corinthians 14:15
I Corinthians 14:15

What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding

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The Ephesian church was told that in speaking to themselves in the psalms and hymns and spiritual songs they should "make melody in the heart to the Lord"

Ephesians 5:19
Ephesians 5:19

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

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The Colossian church was instructed to teach one another in the psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, "singing with grace in your hears to the Lord"

Colossians 3:16
Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord

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Again, Paul declared that David foretold in another prophetic psalm that Christ would sanctify the Gentiles and "in the midst of the church" they would "sing praise"

Hebrews 2:12
Hebrews 2:12

I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You

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The apostle states that the "sacrifice of praise to God" is "the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name"

Hebrews 13:15
Hebrews 13:15

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name

See NKJV text

The apostle James admonishes those who feel disposed to give expression to spiritual joy to "sing psalms" -- he said to sing the psalms; and if playing a "psalm" was ever a part of the spiritual exercise of Christians, here would be the place where the mention of it should have been expected.

James 5:13
James 5:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms

See NKJV text

1An excerpt from a book by Foy Wallace, BULWARKS OF THE FAITH Vol II, page 231
2An excerpt from a book by Foy Wallace, BULWARKS OF THE FAITH Vol II, page 289

  See the entire book text online

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Why do we contribute to the work of the church only on the first day of the week?

The early christians took up a collection on the first day of the week. Therefore, we follow their example and do the same.

Note also, this is an individual responsibility and is only for the local congregation.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2
1 Corinthians 16:1-2
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

See NKJV text

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How Does One Obtain Salvation?

(in other words, become a christian)

HEAR the Gospel

Romans 10:17
Romans 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

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BELIEVE in Christ and God

John 8:24
John 8:24

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins

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REPENT of sins

Acts 17:30 - 31
Acts 17:30 - 31

30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

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              Acts 26:20
Acts 26:20
but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance

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CONFESS faith in Christ

Matthew 10:32
Matthew 10:32

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven

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              Romans 10:10
Romans 10:10

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation

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BE BAPTIZED for the remission of sins

Mark 16:16
Mark 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned

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              Acts 2:38
Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

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Live faithfully the rest of your life on this earth

Galatians 2:20
Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me

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Is a newly saved Christian then added to the church?

Yes, that person is added to the spiritual church that Jesus built
The Lord adds to the church those who are being saved

Acts 2:47
Acts 2:47

praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved

See NKJV text

But not to a local congregation where you may have been baptized

Once a person is saved and added to the spiritual church that Jesus built,
that person will then join a local congregation

Consider the example of Paul
Paul was a member of the spiritual church that Jesus built
and he wanted to join the disciples at Jerusalem

Acts 9:26
Acts 9:26

And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple

See NKJV text


See a video about Salvation

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Why do we not call our preacher a pastor?

Jesus gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. The function of a pastor is not here specifically identified, but is distinguished from that of the evangelist (or preacher).

Ephesians 4:11
Ephesians 4:11

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers

--------------- ANALYSIS ---------------
Apostles and Prophets have been done away leaving evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church.

See NKJV text

For more information:

An article from Truth Magazine March 24, 1977       Truth Magazine March 24, 1977

An article from Truth Magazine June 2, 1977       Truth Magazine June 2, 1977

An article from Truth Magazine February 4, 1982       Truth Magazine February 4, 1982

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Are all "christian" denominations the church?

Jesus said He would build His church.      Matthew 16:18
Matthew 16:18

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

See NKJV text

The church He built is not an earthly church.  It is a spiritual church or Kingdom
Identity of the church and kingdom as one and the same is revealed in Matthew 16:18,19 where the Lord declares, "I will build My church" and said to Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." In one breath He calls it "My church" and in the next "the kingdom of heaven."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION SEE FAQ "IS THE CHURCH THE KINGDOM?"

which includes all the saved people since the beginning of creation, both living and dead.

The Lord adds to this church those who were being saved.      Acts 2:47
Acts 2:47

praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

See NKJV text

Those who have been baptized, and have been added by the Lord to the spiritual church, will gather together as the early christians did, and worship according to the pattern defined in the New Testament. The New Testament identifies the gathering of these groups by several different NAMES, anyone of which would be scriptural to identify them. Therefore, only those who follow the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, using one of the scriptural names for their group, will remain part of the spiritual church.

If a religious practice is not defined in the New Testament, it is a vain commandment of men.

Matthew 15:9
Matthew 15:9

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

See NKJV text

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Is the church the kingdom?

Over the years there have been arguments made that the church is not the kingdom of Christ based on the misinterpretation of some scriptures. These arguments are based on scriptures which define the kindgom to be other than the church. However, every time the word "kingdom" occurs in the Bible it does not refer to the kingdom of Christ on earth or the church. It was pointed out by H. Leo Boles in the Boles-Boll Debate (page 57) that "as applied to God's power or dominion" ... the "kingdom of God" may have five applications:

1.  God's eternal kingdom -- heaven

    Acts 14:22;
Acts 14:22;

strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

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     II Timothy 4:18
II Timothy 4:18

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

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     II Pet. 1:11
II Pet. 1:11

for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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2.  God's kingdom of Christ -- the church

       >  The kingdom referred to in these scriptures

        Daniel 2:44
Daniel 2:44

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

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   Daniel 7:13-14
Daniel 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

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   Colossians 1:13
Colossians 1:13

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love

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   Hebrews 12:28
Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear

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   Matthew 16:19
Matthew 16:19

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosednin heaven

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       >  is the same as the church of the New Testament referred to in these scriptures

        Matthew 16:18
Matthew 16:18

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it

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   Ephesians 1:22-23
Ephesians 1:22-23

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all

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   Ephesians 5:23-25
Ephesians 5:23-25

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her

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   Colossians 1:18, 24
Colossians 1:18, 24

18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church

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   I Timothy 3:15
I Timothy 3:15

but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

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3.  God's ethical or moral kingdom. Moral government in the world argues a moral governor

      Psalms 103:19;
Psalms 103:19;

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all

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   Daniel 4:25, 32, 34-36;
Daniel 4:25, 32, 34-36;

25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses

34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?”
36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.

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   Psalms 22:28; 93:2
Psalms 22:28; 93:2

22:28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,And He rules over the nations

93:2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting

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4.  God's kingdom of fleshly Israel

      II Samuel 5:12
II Samuel 5:12

So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel

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   I Kings 9:3-7; 11:11
I Kings 9:3-7

3 And the Lord said to him: “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
4 Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments,
5 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
6 But if you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,
7 then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

I Kings 11:11

Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.

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5.  God's physical kingdom. His natural laws govern all animal and vegetable life

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Why are the Ten Commandments not applicable to us today?

The prophets in the Old Testament spoke of the New Covenant Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah
32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

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Jesus himself said that there was a New Covanent Luke 22:20.
Luke 22:20

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

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Jesus gave his life on the cross and with his death the New Covenant began. The New Covenant does not include laws that were required under the Old Covenant, nor did it have "formal" laws like the Old Covenant. Rather, it consisted of the teaching of Jesus while He was here and the Apostles (guided by the helper, comforter or Holy Spirit who Jesus sent after he left) once the New Covenant was set in place.

The ten Commandments are recorded in two books in the Old Testament:   

Deuteronomy 5:6-21
Deuteronomy 5:6-21

6 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.
8 ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.
13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
17 ‘You shall not murder.
18 ‘You shall not commit adultery.
19 ‘You shall not steal.
20 ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
21 ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

See NKJV text

       Exodus 20:3-17
Exodus 20:3-17

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

See NKJV text

For this study only the Deuteronomy reference is detailed

The ten commandments are shown below followed by the New Testament scriptures that replace each commandment. To see the New Testaments scriptures that renew each commanment, click on the underlined scriptures

1) You shall have no other gods before Me

Deuteronomy 5:6-7
Deuteronomy 5:6-7

6 I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7 You shall have no other gods before Me.

See NKJV text

Matthew 4:10, Acts 17:16, Romans 1:25, I Corinthians 8:4-6, Philippians 3:19, Colossians 2:18, Revelation 19:10, 22:9

2) You shall not make for yourself a carved image ...

Deuteronomy 5:8-10
Deuteronomy 5:8-10

8 You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

See NKJV text

Acts 15:29, Romans 1:22-23, I Corinthians 6:9-10, 10:14, Ephesians 5:5, I John 5:21, Revelation 21:8, 22:15

3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain ...

Deuteronomy 5:11
Deuteronomy 5:11

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain

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Matthew 5:33-37, 22:16-22, James 5:12, 1 Timothy 6:1

4) Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy ...

Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Deuteronomy 5:12-15

12 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.
13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

See NKJV text

Not repeated in the New Testament:

Colossians 2:16-17

5) Honor your father and your mother ...

Deuteronomy 5:16
Deuteronomy 5:16

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you

See NKJV text

Matthew 15:4-9, Romans 1:30, Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20

6) You shall not murder

Deuteronomy 5:17
Deuteronomy 5:17

You shall not murder

See NKJV text

Matthew 15:19, 19:8, Mark 7:21-23, Romans 1:29, 13:9, I Timothy 1:9-10, James 2:11, I John 3:15

7) You shall not commit adultery

Deuteronomy 5:18
Deuteronomy 5:18

You shall not commit adultery

See NKJV text

Matthew 19:18, Mark 7:21-23, 10:11-12, Acts 15:20, Romans 2:22, 7:2-3, 13:9, I Corinthians 6:9-10, 7:5, Hebrews 13:4

8) You shall not steal

Deuteronomy 5:19
Deuteronomy 5:19

You shall not steal

See NKJV text

Matthew 15:19, 19:18, Mark 7:21-23, Luke 3:13-14, Romans 13:9, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 4:28, James 5:4

9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

Deuteronomy 5:20
Deuteronomy 5:20

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

See NKJV text

Matthew 15:19, 19:18, Luke 3:14, Romans 1:29-30, 13:9, Ephesians 4:31, I Timothy 1:9-10, II Timothy 3:3, James 4:11

10) You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife ...

Deuteronomy 5:21
Deuteronomy 5:21

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s

See NKJV text

Mark 7:21-23, Luke 12:15, Acts 20:33, Romans 1:29, 13:9, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:3, Philippians 3:19, Colossians 3:5, Hebrews 13:5

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Heaven and Hell

The Bible doesn’t tell us everything we would like to know about death and what it’s like beyond the grave.   But it tells us enough about it that we want to prepare for it.

The account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31
Luke 16:19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,
21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

See NKJV text

gives ample information about life after death.  Though many do not believe it and attempt to make it meaningless, Jesus told it to be true, and since He does not lie we better believe it!     Titus 1:2
Titus 1:2

in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

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At death, the soul separates from the body and goes to hades (sheol).  Hades is not the same as hell. It is the temporary waiting place of all the dead, whether good or bad.   It is the unseen world of departed spirits, the spirit world.  Both the rich man and Lazarus are there now, as are all those who have died.

Luke 16:27-31
Luke 16:27-31

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

See NKJV text

There are two compartments in hades: tartarus and paradise.   The rich man is in torment — tartarus, and Lazarus is in Abraham’s bosom — paradise

Luke 16:23-25
Luke 16:23-25

23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

See NKJV text

Tartarus is the place where the wicked are held.  The word hell in 2 Peter 2:4
2 Peter 2:4

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

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is the Greek word tartarus.  It means, an abyss, dungeon, prison house.   It is not the word that designates the final punishment of the wicked.   That word is gehenna and means hell.

Matthew 10:28
Matthew 10:28

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

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Paradise is the place where the righteous are held.  It was to this place that Jesus went after His death.

Luke 23:43
Luke 23:43

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

See NKJV text

     John 20:17
John 20:17

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

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Hades, then, is the place where all men go when they die to await the final judgment.

John 5:28-29
John 5:28-29

28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

See NKJV text

     2 Corinthians 5:10
2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

See NKJV text

The destiny of those who go there is fixed!  There is no other chance!  It is not possible for Lazarus or the rich man to cross over to the other side.

Luke 16:26
Luke 16:26

And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

See NKJV text

If you awake in tartarus, your final end is the eternal fire of hell.   No one in tartarus is happy.   There is pain, torment, and anguish.   The only way to escape it is to prepare now to go to paradise.

Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins Acts 2:38.
Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

See NKJV text

Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ 2 Peter 3:18.
2 Peter 3:18

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

See NKJV text

  There’s no other way but the Lord’s way.  Do you believe it?  If so, then you must obey.

Word summary:

    Hades and Sheol have the same meaning
    Hades is a Greek word used in the New Testament, Sheol is a Hebrew word used in the Old Testament
        Paradise is also described as Abraham’s bosom
       Tartarus is also described as torment
    Hell is also described as gehenna

heaven_hell.gif
This chart was obtained free from the website      www.biblecharts.org

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What is the general answer that applies to all of these questions?

Jesus said to the apostles when He went away, He would send a Comforter, or Helper, which is the Holy Spirit of truth, to bring to their rememberance all that he had taught them and all things yet to come.

     John 14:16
John 14:16

16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever

See NKJV text

              John 14:26
John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

See NKJV text

              John 16:13
John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

See NKJV text

Therefore, we follow the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles as closely as we can from what is revealed in the New Testament.

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