Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

SELF

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I've Got The Joy, Joy, Joy

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
If I have lost my joy, how do I get it back?

Sincerely,
Joyless

Dear Joyless,

Suffering and sorrow are some of the most poignant experiences of human existence, and all the great men and women of the Bible faced them.  David said that his bed swam with tears many nights (Ps 6:6-7).  He also said that his sorrow was continually before him (Ps 38:17).  Isa 53:3 calls Jesus the “Man of Sorrows”.  Suffering is a constant reminder that this world is not our home and that our spirits will someday rise upward to meet our God (Eccl 3:19-21).  All of God’s faithful are strangers and pilgrims on this planet (Heb 11:13).

We cannot imagine what you are going through; you alone know your heart’s grief (Pr 14:10).  There is hope.  Trials can make us stronger if we reach out to the Lord (Rom 5:3-5).  If there is anything we can do, or if we can put you in contact with a faithful congregation that could buoy you up and prepare you for heaven, please e-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org.

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.

Pushing Forward, Looking Back

Tuesday, December 05, 2017
My English is not so good, but I'll try to explain my question to you.  Two and a half years ago, my dad died.  He was everything to me.  I tried to move on with my life and make wise decisions, but it didn't work so well.  I have the wrong friends, and I got the wrong man.  Every day, I pray to God to help me.  I can't do it on my own.  I want to get a better life with hope, love, and happiness.  I think that God is punishing me for my mistakes in the past.  What can I do, so He will forgive my mistakes?  I am a better person now and have respect for all kinds of people.  I don't know what to do anymore.  Please help me.  Lots of love (name omitted) from Holland.

Sincerely,
Grieving Daughter

Dear Grieving Daughter,

We are so sorry to hear of your loss and the pain it has brought you.  The loss of a beloved parent is a great grief.  Your honesty is refreshing, and it also makes it a lot easier to answer your question.  No matter how much God loves us, He still allows us to suffer the consequences of our choices.  As you mentioned, you’ve made some bad decisions in the past, and you have surrounded yourself with unhealthy relationships.  God tells us that we “reap what we sow” (Gal 6:7).  That means that when we make bad choices, we pay the price for those choices – even if we are remorseful.  We appreciate your desire to rebuild your life and start fresh.  Part of a new start is to remove the bad influences from your life – bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33).  Since you are in Holland, we can’t recommend any specific congregations near you, but we can say you should try and find a faithful congregation to attend (read “Finding A Church” for help with that), and if you aren’t yet, you should become a christian (read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” for details on how to be saved).  We also recommend that you start reading and studying your Bible.  We have a lot of sermons online that you can listen to if you find it helpful.  You can find those sermons at mvchurchofchrist.org/sermons.  You are doing the right thing by trying to make changes in your life.  The more faithful changes you make, the better your life will become.  It does take time though.  You are in our prayers as you seek a new direction for your life.

You Are STILL Here

Monday, November 20, 2017

(This question is a follow-up to “You Are Here”)

Thank you for your prompt response.  You were very clear and left no room for misinterpretation.  I am, however, concerned with the phrase "get used to it".  You are saying, if I understand you correctly, that not only do I exist without my consent, I am also subject to "authority" without my consent as well as confronted by only a singular resolution to this tyrannical situation.

If I am correct in this interpretation, then this 'being' I exist as would be little more than a prisoner, born unfree, to remain unfree, and to become free only in death.  Everyone else who has ever existed and will ever exist would also be 'prisoners'.

If you could answer another question, I would be very appreciative.  What objective reason exists for me to procreate if all I would be doing is choosing to doom my child to the same imprisonment that I myself suffer?

Sincerely,
Wish I Wasn’t Here

Dear Wish I Wasn’t Here,

You are a prisoner as much as a child is a prisoner of the parents that raise him/her.  There are always two ways to look at things.  You view life as “I don’t want to be here, and God is forcing me to exist and serve Him”.  We view life as “What a blessing that we can move and breathe and exist; God is so awesome for giving us life”.  You are only a prisoner in this life if you choose to view it that way.  To answer your question – if you are a prisoner and trapped in this life… you probably ought not to procreate.  However, we believe that it is a blessing to be made in the image of God (Gen 1:26) and that life is inherently good.  When Adam and Eve sinned, they introduced sin and death into this life, but God designed this world perfectly and gives us hope for a better future in Jesus (1 Cor 15:22).  We here at AYP don’t believe that God being our Master is a bad thing – we enjoy the blessings of having a loving Father to care for us.  Just like you would have rules for your hypothetical children, God has rules for us… rules that are meant to protect and bless us (Heb 12:9-10).

Struggle For Life

Friday, November 17, 2017
What if someone who is struggling with a sin and continues to fall but tries so hard… dies?

Sincerely,
I Try So Hard

Dear I Try So Hard,

When we die, we will be brought before the judgment seat of God (Heb 9:27).  Those who go to heaven will do so because they were faithful (Eph 2:8).  Being faithful doesn’t mean you have to be perfect – everyone has sinned (Rom 3:23).  However, a faithful life tries to remove sin and conquer it (Jas 4:8).  We couldn’t tell you what God would say to someone who struggled but continued to fail at defeating a sin because that isn’t our place to judge.  What we can tell you is that sometimes we fail to remove sin because we don’t really work hard enough to remove it.  Other times, sincerely faithful people struggle with the same sins their entire life.  The only safe thing to do is to keep trying and do whatever you can at whatever cost to exercise self-control and bring your life into subjection to God (1 Cor 9:25-27).

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