Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

SALVATION

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Wet Ink

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Once saved always saved… is that true?  Is every person’s name already written in the Book of Life, and if we don't receive Jesus as our Savior, is that when our name is blotted out?

Sincerely,
Wanting A Guarantee

Dear Wanting A Guarantee,

It is the exact opposite of that.  We don’t lose our salvation if we don’t receive Jesus; we gain salvation when we do believe in Jesus.  It may seem like a trivial difference, but it has huge implications.  People go to hell because of their sins (Rom 6:23), not because of Jesus.  Jesus’ death on the cross is a cure for mankind’s self-inflicted spiritual death sentence.  It is the same as a disease outbreak – the disease kills people, not the lack of a cure.  If Jesus had never come, and none of us had ever heard of Jesus, we would all have been lost.

As far as the issue of “once saved, always saved”… it is possible to lose your salvation if you turn your back on Christ.  Read “Salvage And Recovery” for specifics on that issue.

Distance Learning

Friday, January 12, 2018
I don't want to sound blasphemous, but if God is a just god, why would people that haven't had a chance to be baptized or haven’t had a chance to hear the Word of God be condemned to hell?  I’m not talking about ignorant people; I’m talking about people in third-world countries who the missionaries don’t get to that just grew up in a different culture.  I refuse to believe that if those people are good people, they would be sent to hell.

Sincerely,
It Isn’t Fair

Dear It Isn’t Fair,

We would caution you about saying you “refuse to believe” something before studying the Bible’s teachings on the topic.  One of the main reasons that people are lost is because they are unwilling to accept the Bible’s teachings over their own preconceived notions.  With that in mind, let’s look at a few teachings on this topic.

  1. Just because someone is ignorant, doesn’t mean they aren’t at fault.  God tells us that anyone who seeks the truth will find it (Matt 7:7-8).  The Bible is the most widely available book on the planet – just because someone hasn’t read it, doesn’t mean they didn’t have opportunity.
  2. People go to hell because of their sins (Rom 6:23), not because of Jesus.  Jesus’ death on the cross is a cure for mankind’s self-inflicted spiritual death sentence.  It is the same as a disease outbreak – the disease kills people, not the lack of a cure.  If Jesus had never come, and none of us had ever heard of Jesus, we would all have been lost.
  3. God tells us that everyone has been given enough information to seek Him.  Rom 1:20 says that the very beauty of the created universe speaks of God’s existence and leaves mankind without excuse.  God has provided an “all call” message anyone can hear through the wonder of His creation.
  4. God doesn’t desire anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9).  God won’t make any mistakes on the Day of Judgment, and no one will accidentally end up in heaven or hell.  He is compassionate, loving, and ready to show mercy (Ps. 86:5).  If someone goes to hell, it is because the most faithful and loving Being in existence believed that is where they should be.

God is the final judge.  We will all face Him when we die (Heb 9:27).  The best thing we can do is make sure we are prepared for that day.

How Can I Know?

Friday, December 15, 2017
How can I be a true christian?  There are so many different ways that people say how to be a christian; I would like to know: how do I know that I am living the right way?

Sincerely,
Looking For A Guarantee

Dear Looking For A Guarantee,

There is only one way to be confident in your salvation – follow what the Bible says.  There is only one hope for our salvation (Eph 4:4-6), and it is found in God’s Word (Rom 1:16).  The key to faithful living is to hear and do what the Bible says (Rom 10:17).  There will always be lots of different opinions from people, but those opinions are only valid if they agree with what your Bible says.  All preaching and teaching should sound like your Bible reads.  If someone tells you something, ask them for the Bible verses to prove it.  God tells us to test all teachers against His Word (1 Jn 4:1) because many religious teachers are false teachers.  Just because someone is zealous and sincere, doesn’t mean they are right (Rom 10:1-2).  Paul praised the idolatrous people of Athens for their religious fervor (Acts 17:22), but then explained that the idols they were so passionate about wouldn’t save them (Acts 17:23-25).  Here is a link to a post on what it takes to become a christian (“What Must I Do To Be Saved”), and here is another link to a post on why there is so much religious confusion (“Down With Denominationalism”)… read those articles and compare what we say to the Scriptures we cite, and then let the Bible be the final judge.

A Gateway To Trouble

Thursday, December 14, 2017
I love God, and I stand strong for my religion, but I have recently gotten into pot.  Does this mean I am going to hell?

Sincerely,
Dabbling In Drugs

Dear Dabbling In Drugs,

God is the judge of the living and the dead (1 Pet 4:5)… we cannot make the judgment on whether you will go to heaven or hell, but we can say that you are doing things opposite of what the Bible teaches.  Consuming marijuana for “recreational” purposes is wrong.  God created every green herb on day three (Gen 1:11-13), but He didn’t create them to be used inappropriately.  God condemns drunkenness and insobriety (Rom 13:13, 1 Cor 6:10).  If any drug, including marijuana, is used to create a state of drunkenness – then, yes, it is a sin.

God created everything in this world for our good, and He created us for good works (Eph 2:10).  Abusing the plants and herbs that God has blessed this world with harms us and is a sin.  When we don’t treat our bodies with respect, we harm ourselves as well as displeasing God (1 Cor 6:19-20).  Glorify God in your body and stay free of the damaging effects of drugs.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Monday, December 04, 2017
I was talking to an atheist the other day, and a question that we both share is the defining question of him being an atheist.  And it is: God sent Jesus to Earth to die for our sins; well, since the universe is so big, and there is most likely some other place in the universe with life, then did God send another savior to there?  Or are we the only planet out of the nearly infinite universe with life?  I'm currently going through a point in my faith where I'm questioning a lot, and I just wanted to know why are we here.

Sincerely,
Intelligent Lifeform

Dear Intelligent Lifeform,

The Scriptures don’t say anything directly about aliens (which is really what we are talking about when we discuss other sentient beings in this universe), but they do say several things that make sentient life on other planets highly unlikely.

  1. God made mankind in His image (Gen 1:26). That is where we get our free will, reason, emotion, conscience, etc. The whole point of alien life is that there is a species of life among the stars that is equal to mankind. God says that man has no equal.
  2. In the creation story found in Genesis chapter one, Earth seems to be the central focus of the story. The stars, heavenly bodies, etc. are given only a brisk overview. The implication is that Earth is the center of all organic life; it is the central purpose of the creation. It would be odd for God to leave out the part where He made other life-sustaining planets with other sentient beings.
  3. Jesus came to die for mankind (1 Cor 15:3) and the people of this world (Jhn 3:16). If there were aliens that had intelligence, souls, and freewill like humanity, wouldn’t God care equally for their souls? If aliens do exist… it seems that they have been left out of the blessing of forgiveness in Christ.

None of these reasons explicitly deny the existence of alien life; they just make the chances very, very improbable. Perhaps someday we will find some plants, fungus, or bacteria on another planet, but I doubt we will ever find E.T.  Which also answers the second part of your question.  We are here because God made us in His image and has given us the free will to choose our own destiny.  His desire is that we, the only sentient creatures created, will choose eternity with Him in heaven (2 Pet 3:9).  If you would like further information on how to choose God, we recommend reading “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”.

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