When a Baby Dies, Does He/She Go to Heaven?

When a baby dies, does he/she go to heaven?

The Bible talks occasionally about the afterlife of adults, but what about the afterlife of children? While we don’t have as much information there are some basic things that we can understand about children who die and it is about that which I want to direct our attention tonight.

First, babies who die are in a state of sinlessness and thereby have no barrier of fellowship with the Father. Isaiah says that it is sin that separates man from God (Isaiah 59:2). So in order to be separated one must sin. Babies have no capability to sin. They are, therefore innocent and thereby in fellowship with God. Jesus spoke regarding children, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). This statement from Jesus forever proclaims the innocence of little children. Children are thereby safe. They have not yet waded out into the dangerous currents of sin and have no need to be saved.

It is also apparent that children are not in a state of sin because sin requires one to freely choose a sinful thing. John wrote regarding sin, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Babies have no capacity to transgress the law; therefore they have no capacity sin.

Again this leaves babies in a state of salvation–of fellowship with God. What will happen to them if they die? Well, we know that their future state is guaranteed to be with God one day in heaven, but do the souls of babies, like the souls of men, end up in the place Jesus called paradise? Or do they simply go straight to heaven to be with the Father? I am afraid that the Bible simply does not answer this question directly. However, we do have a hint at the answer in a statement that David made shortly after the death of the child he sired with Bathsheba. He said regarding that child, ” While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:22,23). David certainly had confidence that one day he would be with the child again and he took comfort in that thought. Losing a child to death is a terrible experience and I would not want it for anyone. However, for those who have lost children, you may take comfort in the fact that if you are faithful to God that you will one day see that child again. I do not know if this will be in the place of paradise that Jesus described or if it will be in heaven itself.

Posted in Kevin Cauley | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on When a Baby Dies, Does He/She Go to Heaven?

Should Men Go Topless?

Is it OK for a man to be in public with his shirt off for any reason? If yes, what is the difference between a man doing it and a woman doing it?

This question is a question regarding modesty. Modesty deals with the question of the presentation of the physical body in public situations. The Bible speaks about this subject and so we should give heed to understanding what the Bible has to say about the subject and then conform our lives to that standard. There are basically two principles involved within the discussion of modesty which we must consider. The first is the principle of giving glory to God. The Bible teaches that one should glorify God in the body. In 1 Corinthians 6:20 we read, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God�s.” The principle is to bring glory to God through the use of one’s body and not to bring glory to self. There is a way to dress so as to glorify one’s self instead of giving glory to God. Christians, both male and female, should not dress in such a fashion. This aspect of modest dress can and does involve the culture in which one is living. It could be a sin for me to dress in a three-piece suit and oxford shoes in a culture where everyone wears robes and sandals. It would be a sin for a Christian woman to not veil her face in public in some areas of the world today because that is what the culture dictates and God does not want us bringing glory to ourselves in the presence of cultures who need the gospel more than anything.

Second, there is also the principle of sexual attraction. In consideration of this principle, there are no cultural considerations. Neither men nor women should dress in such a provocative way so as to entice the opposite sex into immoral sexual thoughts or behavior. We are children of our God and God tempts no man with evil and neither should we (James 1:13).

So let me answer the question in a qualified way. If a man can be in public with his shirt off without bringing attention to self and if a man can be in public with one’s shirt off without causing sexual attraction then a man can be in public with his shirt off. The question now becomes, can a man be in public with his shirt off and meet these qualifications? I just don’t see how that could be possible.

Now let’s ask the question, “What is the difference between a man going bare chested in public versus a woman going bare chested in public?” Is there a difference? First, let me state that there is a difference in the chemical make up of the male gender of the species and the female gender of the species. God made us different. Males have a different physical build than females. Males have different sexual organs than females. Males have a different hormonal content than females have and thereby a different chemical balance. Males have different emotional makeup than do females. Males and females ARE different. Now the question we need to ask is this, “Do any of these differences affect the ability of either of the genders to dress modestly?” And the answer is “Yes!” While both the chemicals testosterone and estrogen are in both genders, there is a different distribution in the gender. In the male gender there is more testosterone than there is estrogen. In the female gender there is more estrogen than testosterone. One of the purposes of testosterone is to sexually motivate the genders. Since there is more of it in the male gender, males are more sexually motivated. Additionally, according to medical professionals, there is also a direct relationship between the visual cortex in the brain of the male and the production of testosterone. While testosterone causes one to be sexually stimulated, visual sexual stimulus increases the production of testosterone especially in the male gender where a higher amount is already present. This increases sexual stimulation and desire. Removing the visual stimulus will thus decrease the amount of testosterone produced and decrease the sexual desire. This is why we find specific issues of modesty addressed to women in the New Testament such as in 1 Timothy 2.

Now, in case you haven’t noticed, there is a difference between the bare chest of a male and the bare chest of a female. Female breasts contain mammary glands whereas males do not. The Bible recognizes that the female breast can be a sexual stimulant. In Proverbs 5:19 we read instructions from a father to his son regarding the sexual relationship he should have with his wife. The Father instructs, “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” The Bible here indicates that female breasts are at least in part for the sexual satisfaction of the male. And we also know that men do receive visual sexual stimulation from looking at the female breast. It is incumbent upon the Christian woman, therefore, to ensure that her breasts are properly covered so that this will not produce a stumbling block for Christian men.

Now in regard to the chest of a male, there can be sexual stimulation derived from that as well from the female, but it is not as strong and does not produce the kind of chemical response within the body of the female as it does in the male. Moreover the consistency of the response in the female is considerably different. Men respond consistently to bare breasted females. However, women respond inconsistently to bare breasted men. But since there is a chance that a bare male breast would sexually stimulate a female, then the male should ensure that he cover his breast appropriately as well. There is also an additional problem for which males should be concerned, and that is the problem of homosexuality. This is when the male confuses his sexual desires and directs them toward other males. It is a sin and God condemns it (Romans 1:26-32). This is something Christian men should give no occasion for others to stumble at as well.

So there is a difference between a bare breasted male and a bare breasted female. However, so far as the Christian is concerned, if it provides occasion for anyone to stumble, the Christian male should not go bare breasted.

Now I would like to conclude with a few more words on modesty. Dressing modestly primarily reflects one’s attitude toward one’s self. “Will I dress in such a way so as to bring glory to God, or will I dress in a way that will be pleasant to me?” This is the ultimate question that we must ask in regard to our dress. I would hope that each of us as Christians would be willing to sacrifice our own personal desires and comfort in our personal dress in order to bring glory to God. There is always someone, however, who asks, “How will I know that I am dressed modestly?” I would like to suggest two avenues of thought for you. First, if you are a female, ask one of the older Christian ladies in the congregation. The Bible says that the elder are supposed to teach the younger and part of that instruction is how to be chaste (Titus 2:5). Second, there is the principle of no doubt. If you are unsure about your clothing, then don’t wear it. Wear something that you KNOW would be suitable. Don’t give yourself or anyone else reason to doubt that you are dressing in a modest manner and things will go well for you.

Posted in Kevin Cauley | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Should Men Go Topless?

Was Jesus God?

I would like to know if Jesus was God the Father or if he was only the (lower case) son of god.

The question restated is as follows: Is Jesus really Deity, or was he a created being like angels, man, and all creation? Jesus was and is Deity. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the godhead bodily according to Colossians 2:9. The relationship he sustained to the Father was so close that He could say when Phillip asked Him to show the Father, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works� sake” (John 14:9-11).

Jesus’ person, however, is not the Father, but that of the Son. He was born both of the Holy Spirit and the seed of woman, Mary. We read in Luke 1:35 the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” We refer to this infusion of deity into the seed of woman as the incarnation.

That Jesus is deity is seen throughout the New Testament. We read in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” These verse plainly declare the Deity of Jesus. Some say that this text does not indicate that. However, how could Jesus be both a created being and also be the one who made all things and that without whom nothing that was made could have been made? If Jesus were a created being then this passage states that He would have had to make Himself. Such would not be possible.

In John 8:58, 59, Jesus was discussing His authority to be speaking the things that He spoke with the Pharisees. He states that His authority was given by God and that Abraham rejoiced to see His day and was glad. The Pharisees asked Him how He could be older than Abraham. Jesus reply was as follows: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” This statement was a claim to be God–Jehovah/Yahweh–the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The very name “Jehovah/Yahweh” means in Hebrew, “I am.” This is what God declared to Moses upon Mount Horeb when Moses asked God’s name, “I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14). The Pharisees recognized this and sought to stone Him for blasphemy. “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” If Jesus had been anything less than Deity, they would have been justified in doing so, but He WAS Deity and they were not justified in stoning God.

We read in Acts 20:28 that it was “God” that purchased the church with “His own” blood. Jesus’ blood was the blood that was shed on the cross (1 Peter 1:19). The inescapable conclusion is that Jesus is God–Deity.

It was also the understanding of the New Testament writers that Jesus, in His person, held the attributes of God, Lord, and Savior. In 2 Peter 1:1 we read in the King James version, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Notice this phrase, “of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” The possessive pronoun “our” is misplaced in this version. The American Standard Version (1901) reads, “of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ;” this however is still not satisfactory for the translators add the definite article “the” right before “savior” (this is why it is in italics). The correct reading should be, “of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” This indicates that Jesus is both God and Savior. In the Greek language (the language in which the New Testament was written) any time you have a definite article used before two nouns joined by the conjunction “kai,” those two nouns refer to the same thing or person. This is what we have here. The inescapable conclusion is that Jesus is both God and Savior. This construction is readily acknowledged when we talk about “the Lord and Savior” (such as in 2 Peter 1:11, 2:20, 3:2, and 3:18) but why not acknowledged when the writers say “God and Savior?” We also have this construction in other parts of the New Testament. In 2 Thessalonians 1:12 we have the same construction. We read there in the KJV and ASV, “our God and the Lord Jesus Christ,” but the definite article “the” is not before “Jesus Christ” in the Greek, but before “God” which should render the passage, “our God and Lord Jesus Christ” indicating that Jesus is God. Notice Titus 2:13, “the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Both KJV and ASV render the translation correct in this passage. The great God is the Savior Jesus Christ.

To answer your question: Is Jesus the same as God the Father? No. Is He God/Deity? Yes. Is He only a son of god? No. Is He the Son of God? Yes.

Posted in Kevin Cauley | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Was Jesus God?