Vi the Bible Guy (Answers 10-12)
This is part of an ongoing republication of Vilas Deane’s Vi the Bible Guy series from the original Southview website. Three questions and three answers will get put up each Wednesday morning, so be sure to check back!
Q10: What is the anointing of the sick with oil?
James 5:13-17 discusses this topic: prayer and the anointing of the sick with oil.
“one of you” – this is a local church directive.
“sick” – severely! Without strength, beyond power to recover.
“He should call” – Not exactly what the TV healers do!
“the elders of the church” – at least two.
“to pray over him” – a command.
“and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord” – a command
(oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit – It is God who will work.)
> “…prayer…faith…well…raise him up…sinned…forgiven”
“…confess… pray…healed” – the means and the outcome.
“the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” This is a prayer of worship and devotion recognizing the plan of God, the wisdom of God, His will and His Word. Personal sin may have caused the illness (Jn 5:14), so confession is important. God may use medical skills to reach His goal. We should allow Him to do that. Elijah is given as an example of a prayer of faith from about 900 years earlier. James seems to be teaching the importance of confession and prayer in healing during the Age of Grace.
Q11: When Christians die, they are ushered into the presence of the Lord. But, when the unsaved die, do they know immediately that they have made the wrong choice?
You are absolutely correct that upon death the saved person finds himself immediately in the presence of God. This truth is found in 2 Cor 5:8 (“… away from the body and at home with the Lord.”) and in Phil 1:23 (“… I desire to depart and be with Christ…”). Further, I believe that the answer to your question about the unsaved is “Yes, they will immediately know where they are and that their doom is sealed.” This truth can be found in reading about “The Rich Man and Lazarus” in Luke 16:19-31. Take time to read again this passage. Some translations refer to the place that the rich man goes as “hell.” This is actually the Greek word “Hades” which is the abode of the wicked prior to the final judgment and eternity in hell. Verse 24 tells us that in Hades, the horrible torment of hell has already begun. The rich man there talks about “this fire.” We see that though both men died, they were both conscious of their surroundings after death. In Hades, the rich man had both recognition and remembrance. In Hades and hell there is torment, fire, weeping, wailing, misery, anguish, and agony. In Heaven we find bliss and comfort. It is clear that the decision as to where one will spend eternity should be made during ones life, for it is irreversible after death. The difference in eternal destiny is determined by ones decision to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. (John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”)
Q12: Do pets go to heaven in the Rapture?
See the answer to Q3 about pets and heaven. My answer to this question is: The Bible does not say, and I do not know!