Will Our Pets Be In Heaven?


A couple I know recently lost their beloved family dog. Like many of us who have lost pets they grieved the loss. This reminded me of how keenly I felt the loss of our family cat a few years ago. Many of us become as fond of our pets as we are of people. It is difficult to lose anyone or anything that we care deeply about. Because this is true, it is only natural for us to wonder if our pets will be in heaven.

The traditional answer to the question is an absolute “No!” It is reasoned that animals are not like people because they do not have a soul. Therefore, death forever extinguishes our pet’s existence. Thus, the saying, “Rover is dead all over.”

What does the Bible have to say about this? Is it true that animals do not have souls? Does the Bible tell us if we’ll be reunited with our pets in eternity? 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Afterlife, Misconceptions

Did Peter’s Vision Declare All Foods Clean?

Peter's Vision

Paul’s first letter to Timothy teaches us that we are to reject no foods if they are received with thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:3-5). He goes so far as to say that anyone who forbids either food or marriage are liars (vv. 2-3)! Therefore, we can have assurance from this passage (along with Romans 14:20) that God removed the distinction between clean and unclean foods under the New Covenant. What about Acts 10? Did Peter’s vision declare all foods clean?

People often consider Acts 10 and Mark 7 to be passages which teach that all foods are clean for disciples of Jesus. It is understandable why people draw this conclusion. A casual reading of both passages could leave one with the impression that they teach the removal of the Old Testament dietary laws. People who conclude the kosher food laws do not apply under the New Covenant are correct, but sometimes for the wrong reason.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Misconceptions, Purity

Did Jesus Declare All Foods Clean?

All Foods Clean

The New Testament clearly reveals that the Old Testament dietary laws did not carry over into the New Covenant. However, some of the passages which people think eliminate the dietary laws, in fact, do not. One such verse is Mark 7:19 where many of our English Bibles say that Jesus “declared all foods clean.” 

since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:19 ESV)

This is a very direct statement, is it not? How could one say that this verse doesn’t teach that Jesus eliminated the Old Testament food laws? The problem is one of translation. As it turns out, translators are not in agreement on the proper way to translate Mark 7:19 into English. In addition, the context does not support the idea that the Old Testament food laws are under consideration in this passage.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Misconceptions, Purity

Are Christians Required To Tithe?


I’ve heard people ask, “Why do we tithe ten percent?” This question reveals that the person thinks tithing is a word synonymous with giving. The way many Christians conflate “tithing” and “giving” suggests that they don’t know what the word tithe means. 

Tithe is a word which means one tenth; ten percent. Tithing is the practice of giving ten percent of one’s income to the church. If I give nine percent (or less) of my income I am not tithing. If I give eleven percent (or more) of my income, that is not tithing either. To tithe is to give ten percent.

Some pastors and teachers tell us that giving ten percent is mandatory. On top of that, if we are willing and able we should give “offerings” that are above and beyond the tithe. Conventional Christian wisdom says this is the way it is and the way it has always been. Does the New Testament require Christians to tithe?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Misconceptions, Money

The Ten Commandments Are Not For Christians!

It is assumed by most people that Christians are obligated to obey the Ten Commandments. Is this true? The question shouldn’t really be about whether Christians must obey the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were part of the Mosaic covenant and therefore part of the law:

“And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.” (Deut. 4:13 ESV)

Therefore, the question should be, “Are Christians required to obey the law of Moses?” This is a question that has resulted in confusion for centuries. There was confusion about it in the earliest days of the church and there has been confusion ever since.

We can see in the New Testament that Christians continued to observe certain Old Covenant commands. Yet, the authors of the New Testament are silent about other Mosaic laws. This leaves us wondering how we are to know which laws from the old covenant Christians are required to obey. 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Covenants, Misconceptions