Why was David called a man after God’s own heart?

There are many different ways that God addresses the members of His Church. Beginning with the twelve that Jesus called, in the New Testament all of those that were a part of God’s Church were termed disciples. The meaning of disciple is a “follower or pupil of a teacher, leader or philosopher.”

Another term Jesus used was brethren, both as a part of a physical family, and as a member of His Church. Using this term, the Church is referred to as a family relationship. We read this in Hebrews 2:10-12: “For it was fitting for Him,” (Jesus), “for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.’”

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Does God Love Everyone? Does the Bible Teach Unconditional Love? (Part 3)

In the previous two Q&As, we discussed God’s love towards all men. Subsequently, further questions arose which deserve answers.

For instance, since Christ died for the world and for us when we were still sinners, why do we read that He gave His blood for many for the remission of sins, but not for all?

Christ shed His blood for many [not all] for the remission of sins because He KNEW that some would not accept His Sacrifice, rebel against Him, commit the unpardonable sin, and end up in the lake of fire. So insofar as those people are concerned, His blood does not cover them, as they reject it. That is why the Bible says that He died for MANY for the remission of sins, not for all, because some would not repent and therefore would not receive remission of sins.

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Does God Love Everyone? Does the Bible Teach Unconditional Love? (Part 2)

How does God’s love manifest itself in the concept of the “Second Resurrection”?

Revelation 20:5, 11-12 describes the SECOND Resurrection: “But the REST OF THE DEAD [who were not in the FIRST Resurrection which granted eternal life] did not live again UNTIL the thousand years [the Millennium] were finished… Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it… And I saw the dead, small and great, STANDING before God… And the dead were JUDGED…”

The “Second” Resurrection or the Great White Throne Judgment describes a resurrection to physical life of those who had not been called before. Ezekiel 37 pictures the resurrection of the entire house of Israel to PHYSICAL life . We see in Ezekiel 37:14 that the Holy Spirit is offered to the resurrected Israelites–obviously after they have repented of their sins. The people of the house of Israel will know God and begin to live a life pleasing to God. If they overcome and endure, they will receive immortality (compare Romans 11:32; Romans 11:26).

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Does God Love Everyone? Does the Bible Teach Unconditional Love? (Part 1)

A reader sent us the following message:

“[Someone] told me that God loves everyone, no matter what, but I can’t believe that. Now, if God loves everyone, why did He kill everyone in the Flood except for Noah and his family? If God loves everyone, why did He destroy all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from heaven? If God loves everyone, why does He send people to the Lake of Fire (Eternal Death)? If God loves everyone, then all people would have to be written in the book of life, including Satanists [and] witches. That God loves everyone seems to me to be a widespread myth in Christianity. Romans 9:13 says God hated Esau. And Psalm 5:5 says God hates all workers of iniquity.”

These are important questions. In this new series, we will discuss those and other questions regarding God’s love, and answer whether God loves every human being and whether the Bible speaks of God’s “unconditional” love.

We want to begin with God’s statement that He loved Jacob and hated Esau. We read Paul’s words in Romans 9:9-13:

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Is it possible to have a High Priest in the State of Israel, today?

With the destruction of the Temple of God in 70 A.D., organized Jewish worship was dramatically altered. Jerusalem had served as the focal point of Jewish life. Along with the obliteration of the Temple and the City of Jerusalem, Jews, themselves, were driven into other regions and nations. Eventually, rabbinical leadership emerged among many religious Jews, and that influence continues even now—both in the State of Israel and among scattered Jewish populations.

A rabbi is a teacher of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, and rabbis also teach Jewish tradition.

Rabbis are not priests unless they come from the Tribe of Levi and only from descendants of Aaron—according to God’s instructions to Moses:

‘Behold, I Myself have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; they are a gift to you, given by the LORD, to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death’” (Numbers 18:6-7).

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Are you concentrating too much on minor and less important areas in your life?

Some can indeed be engaging in the process of “majoring in the minors.” Before we address the practical application of some areas, we need to stress that in God’s eyes, a sin is a sin, whether we consider it as “major” or “minor.”

In our Q&A, “Are there sins which are more serious than others? Are all of God’s Laws equal in importance?”, we state the following:

“We need to understand that Christ died for our sins, and sin is defined as the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4, Authorized Version). In that sense, all of God’s spiritual commandments are of equal importance, as Christ died for each and every one of our sins… The wages for each and every sin is the second death (Romans 6:23). At the same time, each sin, which is truly repented of, will be forgiven (1 John 1:7, 9)…

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How do I make my calling and election sure?

The book of 2 Peter is addressed to Christians who are called out of the world and who understand the promise made to them to become glorified members of God’s Family (compare 2 Peter 1:1-4). Even though this letter was written to the early members of the Church of God, it also directly applies to Christians throughout the ages. Peter writes to encourage the readers to develop their conversion by producing spiritual fruits. He then makes a summary statement, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11). This raises a question that all Christians need to answer for themselves, “How can I make my calling and election sure?”

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What does it mean to buy the Truth and not sell it?

The question refers to Proverbs 23:23 which reads: “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”

Before we review and answer the question, it is important to clarify our teaching and understanding about faith and works.

Over the years, the true Church of God has been falsely accused of teaching that works are necessary for salvation; not, that it is a free gift from God.   This is a case of either misunderstanding or deliberately avoiding that which we have made clear over many decades.  Let us make this again abundantly clear NOW!

The Word of God dogmatically states that salvation cannot be earned through works.    We read in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” 

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Could you please explain the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”?

Where did this phrase come from as it cannot be found in the Bible in those words? The catholic.com website gives this answer: “It’s from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to ‘With love for mankind and hatred of sins.’ The phrase has become more famous as ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’ or ‘hate the sin and not the sinner’ (the latter form appearing in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography).”

There are those who see themselves as Christians but can’t accept the phrase, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.”   One such newspaper writer wrote: “There is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus.  To look at my gay Christian brother and say ‘God loves the sinner’ is to set myself against Jesus and bring condemnation again to those he’s already redeemed.  So I’m done.  I’m done with ‘Love the sinner but hate the sin.’ I’m done with speaking as if I’m different, better than you.  We are children of the Creator, redeemed by Jesus.  We are brothers and sisters.   And today, that’s enough.”

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What is your position on the continuing debate about gender dysphoria or transgenderism?

In our Update #756, dated October 7, 2016, the Q&A was entitled, “What Does the Bible Say About the Transgender Debate?” In over 6 years since that Q&A was first published, there has been, inevitably, more “progress” on this distressing situation.

We have recently published a 3-part series, entitled “Discrimination is a big issue today. How do you view this?” https://www.eternalgod.org/discrimination-is-a-big-issue-today-how-do-you-view-this-part-1/https://www.eternalgod.org/discrimination-is-a-big-issue-today-how-do-you-view-this-part-2/ ; and https://www.eternalgod.org/discrimination-is-a-big-issue-today-how-do-you-view-this-part-3/ .

We will now review this situation on transgenderism,  as it is a constituent part of the overall racial discrimination discussion and package.

The Daily Mail published on 23rd January 2023 an article by psychologist Dr Max Blumberg, entitled, “13 reasons why people DON’T want to get married anymore – and why staying single makes you happier.” In this long article, he stated that “2021 was the first year that more children were born out of wedlock than in it: that marriage rates have also been steadily declining since the 1970s and claimed that marriage has little value anymore and often comes with costs.” It is against this relentless backdrop of negativity about that which God ordained (marriage between a man and a woman only) that other forms of relationship seem to blossom.

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