This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

November 2021 - Header Graphics for Today in the Word Daily devotional Our God Reigns: A Study of Micah - A purple hue view of space, with the sun coming up on the earth .

Questions and Answers | Our God Reigns

When angels came down and had relationships with human women, why did their children grow to be giants?

This question is based on a common misinterpretation of Genesis 6:1–4. The text says, “[T]he sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful; and they married any of them they chose” (Gen. 6:2). These unions produced the “Nephilim,” a supposed race of evil giants that corrupted the earth (Gen. 6:4).

While some may disagree, I believe it is more accurate to understand these verses as referring to the intermarriage of godly and ungodly humanity. First, we need to consider the passage in context. Genesis 4:17–24 describes the genealogy of the ungodly line of Cain, followed by the godly line of Seth in 4:25–5:32. In this context, the “sons of God” refer to Seth’s godly line and the “daughters of humans” to Cain’s ungodly line. These two groups intermarried and produced children called the Nephilim. Although some think these were a race of giants (because of the translation in the KJV), that probably isn’t true.

The Nephilim were powerful and influential men (Gen 6:4), but not necessarily good. The word “Nephilim” literally means “fallen ones.” The intermarriage of the godly with the ungodly produced corrupt children who were powerful and influential. They corrupted the whole world, leading to the judgment of the Flood.

Biblical support for the angels’ view is weak. Although “sons of God” can refer to angels, the phrase more often refers to humanity (Deut. 14:1; 32:5; Ps. 73:15; Isa. 43:6; Hos. 1:10; 11:1; Luke 3:38; 1 John 3:2, 10). Also, when the New Testament (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6) speaks of angels leaving their proper place, it refers to their fall with Satan, not to cohabitation with women. Finally, the Lord Jesus taught that angels are not capable of marriage or sexual reproduction (Matt. 22:30).

Can you please tell me the order of events that are going to take place in the end times?

Followers of Jesus have a variety of views on this. I want to say first that as long as we believe in the bodily return of the Lord Jesus, we should not be divisive over these differences. Nevertheless, I will share the order we teach at Moody Bible Institute.

As believers, the next event we can anticipate is the rapture of the church. At that time, we will meet the Lord in the air. Those who have died in Christ will be resurrected first and then those who are still alive (see 1 Thess. 4:13–18). Sometime after that, the Tribulation will follow, a seven-year period of God’s judgment on the earth and the purging of Israel (Dan. 9:27; Jer. 30:7). This culminates with the campaign of Armageddon (Zech. 14:2; Rev. 16:14–16) followed by the second coming of the Lord Jesus (Rev. 19:11–21). After this, Satan will be bound for 1,000 years, while Jesus will reign from Jerusalem for the millennium (Rev. 20:1–4). Then, there will be one more failed rebellion against God (Rev. 20:7–10), followed by the Great White Throne Judgment of all the living and the dead (Rev. 20:11–15). Finally, God will create a New Creation or a new heaven and a new earth with a new Jerusalem that will give God’s people a place to live for all eternity (Rev. 21:1–22:6). Regardless of what order you think is correct, we do know this: No one knows the day or hour of the Lord’s return (Matt. 24:36). This gives us reason to live for Him and look for Him daily.

If God has the authority to make some for glory and others for destruction (Rom. 9:22), how can John 3:16 say He desires to save the whole world?

A mistaken premise can lead to confusing conclusions. Let’s rethink this question. First, Romans 9:2–23 teaches that God has “mercy on whom he wants to have mercy” (v. 18, the predestination of believers). However, when speaking of “objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction” (v. 22) the text never says who prepared them. The verb “prepared” may mean that the vessels were prepared for destruction by someone else. Or it may mean that the vessels of wrath prepared themselves for destruction. Either way, God is not the One who prepared them.

Second, John 3:16 says God loved the world not that He desires to save the whole world. In 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God is patient, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” It is God’s desire that we repent and receive mercy but not His decree. He longs for us to be saved but He has not predestined all for universal salvation.

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is a professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line with Michael Rydelnik. He is the author of 50 Most Important Bible Questions inspired by both his radio show and his columns for Today in the Word. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

Find Questions and Answers by Month