The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
"How far should we go in telling others about our religion?"
You must continually keep in mind that no one can force his religion on someone else. And no good thing is accomplished by trying to do so. A Christian is known by his good works (Matt. 5:14-16) — not by his "good arguments" or "constant preaching." Our righteous! confident, happy lives — the way we live and the customs we keep — will influence others far more than our words. Remember, a light is easily seen, but makes no sound. God has commanded only His ministers to sound the trumpet in teaching people His ways (Isa. 58:1). But laymen, as well as ministers, should concentrate on producing good deeds that will influence others. However, if someone wants to know the truth and first asks us in sincerity, then we should answer to the very best of our ability (I Pet. 3:15). But to try to tell the truth to people who are not ready to receive it is worse than useless. It may offend them so we can have no good influence on them at all. We, ourselves, must obey God, but leave the lives of others in His hands. He will call all men to a true understanding in His own time and in His own way. Read John 6:44, 65 and I Tim. 2:4; then II Tim, 2:21-26, and you will better understand how to help others and to be patient until God opens the mind of others to understand what you know.
Who are the 24 elders mentioned several times in the book of Revelation?
Some (each that the elders, mentioned in Revelation 4: 4, are taken from among saved mortals. This assumption is primarily based on a mistranslation of Revelation 5:8-10. The last half of this verse, according to the original inspired Greek which John wrote, should read: "... for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed them (not us) to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made them (not us) unto our God kings and priests: and they (not we) shall reign on the earth." How clear! The 24 elders rule with God in Heaven. The resurrected saints rule on earth! The 24 elders are nor saved humans at all, because no man has ascended to the heaven of God's throne except Jesus Christ (John 3:13). All saved human beings-those who are Christ's true servants — will be given immortality at Christ's coming-when He returns to the earth to rule and reign (I Cor. 15:23). These 24 elders, then, are spirits, a part of the created heavenly host of beings. They have been given positions of responsibility as advisers in the Government of God through which He rules the universe.