Ask Your Preacher
The question I have: I believe six years ago, the Lord placed in my heart the desire to become a nurse, and ever since I received that, I've been pursuing this, taking classes and asking questions. This quarter, I'm taking a biology class, but for some reason, I'm starting to wonder if this is what God wants me to do. The reason why I'm asking myself and asking God this is because this quarter, I find myself struggling to sit down and study and do the homework. I want to do well in this class; I want to understand what I'm studying; I want to be that nurse for God that knows what she is doing.
What I want to know is why it is a struggle for me now. Is it because I'm out of God’s will? (I hope not.) Or is it something I'm not seeing?
Nursing A Career
Dear Nursing A Career,
God doesn't miraculously imbue us with what profession we should take and the power to sail through classes. The fact that you are having to work hard for your degree isn't a sign from God one way or the other. Hard work is a blessing, and hard workers are pleasing to God. Ecclesiastes says that we have the freedom to pursue whatever things we want in this life – as long as we remember that God will judge us in the end for the life we lived (Eccl 11:9). Being a nurse is a noble and kind profession, and there is nothing wrong with pursuing it, but don't think that God directly spoke to you that you need to be a nurse. God doesn't work that way. God speaks to us through His Son's Word, the Bible (Heb 1:1-2). We are faithful when we listen to that Word and obey it (Rom 10:17). Nursing school is a difficult challenge for even the most agile minds – you aren't struggling because you've done something wrong.
I saw a vision when I gave my life to Jesus that I was preaching to millions of souls on a stage and crusades. I praise the Lord who used me to bring at least sixty souls. When will my whole vision come to pass?
The days of dreams and visions have passed. In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2). Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible – there is no need for God to give people individual dreams or visions. It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17).
We are sure that your dreams mean something, but they don’t mean anything supernatural or prophetic. What you had was not a vision. Prophets have visions, and there are no more prophets since we have the perfect and complete Word of God (1 Cor 13:8-10). The human mind is a complex and wondrous thing (Ps 139:14). It is perfectly normal for our minds to make mental connections as we pray, study, sleep, etc. Those mental images aren’t visions; they are just your own thoughts as your mind meditates upon what you have said, read, or heard.
We recommend you read “I Dreamed A Dream” for more information.
Where in the Bible does it say it is wrong to use tobacco?
Dear Fired Up,
Anything that purposefully poisons our bodies is wrong to use. There was a time where the facts were not clearly known about the effects of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars on human health. Those days are long since gone. The data is exceptionally clear that smoking is always harmful to the human body and that smoking has no positive health benefits. God tells us to treat our bodies as a temple (1 Cor 6:19). Our bodies are a gift from God, and life is something to be cherished. When we purposefully abuse our bodies with unhealthy lifestyles, we rebel against God and show ungratefulness for the life He has given us. Present your body as a living and holy sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1). Who knows what work He has prepared for you in the days and years that would be lost if you died from the effects of smoking?
What happens to a believer that commits suicide? Will he be saved still? What does the Bible say about the eternal security of a believer?
Looking For A Guarantee
Dear Looking For A Guarantee,
Suicide can send you to hell, and the teaching of eternal security isn’t biblically accurate. Let’s deal with them one at a time.
Suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.
The teaching of eternal security says that it is impossible for someone to lose their salvation once they become a christian… this is false. The Bible clearly states that people “drift away” (Heb 2:1), “are rejected” (1 Cor 9:27), and “fall away” (Heb 6:4-6). Christians can fall away from God in this life; that is why we are commanded to be faithful unto death (Rev 2:10).
If I have lost my joy, how do I get it back?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.