Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

SELF

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On The Brink

Friday, September 27, 2019
     I am going through a mental breakdown: I am talking to myself, I am hearing voices, and now I am seeing things in the sky (like little orbs floating telling me to do stuff)!  What should I do?

Sincerely,
Scared

Dear Scared,

Take a deep breath and seek help - a faithful church and a good physician are a good place to start.  God tells us that two are better than one (Eccl 4:9) and that we need to seek help when things get difficult (Pr 15:22).  When burdens and trials increase in our lives, we need to turn to God and His people.  We are so sorry for the immense turmoil you are going through.  Others have faced this same level of strain that begins to play tricks on your mind.  The key is to lean upon a faithful church that can help you through this.  Please e-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org, so we can help you find a faithful congregation to provide you with relief and the hope in God that will anchor you through the trials of life (Heb 6:19).

Forgive Myself

Thursday, September 12, 2019
     How do I let go of guilty feelings that haunt me all the time for any and all wrong I've done throughout my life, regardless of how wrong the act.  I've repented and asked forgiveness and honestly feel remorse.  I know Jesus forgives and forgets, but how do I forget?  It keeps me from feeling like I bettered myself by doing right, and I am not worthy of God's blessings.  I feel He should bless others who are more worthy.

Please guide me in the right direction to accept my forgiveness from our Savior.

Sincerely,
Guilty

Dear Guilty,

What you are asking is one of the most difficult things in life ­– forgiving yourself.  Like all things, God is better at forgiveness than we are.  Many people hold on to the guilt and shame of sin far too keenly.  God tells us that there are several things to remember:

  1. Even if your heart condemns you, God keeps His promises.  On the Judgment Day, we will be judged by God’s standards, not whether or not we feel worthy (1 Jn 3:20).
  2. We can reassure our own hearts that we have been forgiven when we study and live by the truth of the Bible (1 Jn 3:18-20).  The more we immerse ourselves in God’s teachings, the quicker we begin to realize that forgiveness isn’t about being worthy… but about having faith in the mercy of God.
  3. Another way to look at your problem is to remember that saying, “I can’t believe God will forgive me” is the same as saying, “I don’t believe that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough”.  That may sound harsh, but our forgiveness is based upon Jesus’ blood (Col 2:14).  It is an act of faith in Jesus to accept our own forgiveness.

All in all, self-forgiveness takes time… just like all areas of growth.

Words To Live By

Thursday, September 05, 2019
How do you know if God is telling you to do something or if it is just a thought?  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Trying Not To Overthink It

Dear Trying Not To Overthink It,

God speaks to us through His Word.  If we want to know God’s desire for our life, we must use the Bible to get our instructions.  Faith comes from the Word (Rom 10:17), and the Bible contains all the information we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).  If we want to understand what God wants for us, we can find the truth in the sum of His Word (Ps 119:160).  Prophecies and visions are no longer given to people directly (1 Cor 13:8).  Instead, God speaks to us through the teachings of His Son (Heb 1:1).  It is normal for our emotions and desires to send us conflicting messages; that is exactly why God tells us to not trust ourselves or any “voice” that some churches tell us to listen for (Pr 3:5).  Trust God’s Word, and it will be a lamp to your feet (Ps 119:105).

The human mind is a complex and wondrous thing (Ps 139:14).  It is perfectly normal for our mind 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.

Guard Your Heart

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Did God make mistakes when he made homosexuals?  Why did Jesus not rebuke homosexuals?

Sincerely,
Looking For Answers

Dear Looking For Answers,

We’ll answer your second question first.  Jesus did rebuke homosexuality, but He didn’t do it specifically.  Jesus answered the question of homosexuality when He taught on marriage.  Jesus said that marriage was intended between a man and a woman (Matt 19:4-5).  Any sexual activity outside of God’s plan for marriage is fornication.  Homosexual behavior, pre-marital sex, adultery, etc. are all sinful and Jesus condemned them all when He taught the right way for men and women to behave.

Now let’s address the issue of people being made homosexual.  God doesn’t force anyone to act upon same-sex attractions, just like God doesn’t force an alcoholic to the bottle or a wrathful husband to strike his wife.  How we act is a choice, not a genetic equation.  There is a lot of debate over why some people have same-sex attractions, but at the end of the day, those temptations need to be mastered.  When Cain was angry, God told Cain to rule over sin or it would devour him (Gen 4:7).  Same-sex attractions are a temptation that stems from within a person, just like anger, unhealthy opposite-sex attractions, and a thousand other temptations (Jas 1:13-14).  The key is that there is always a way of escape from those unhealthy desires (1 Cor 10:13).  God didn’t make a mistake when creating us; it is when we turn from the path He has designed for us and follow our own desires (which are often unhealthy) that we sin (Jer 10:23).

Believe It Or Not

Wednesday, April 03, 2019
     If I am a homosexual, why should I believe in God (I am going to hell anyway)?

Sincerely,
Cursed

Dear Cursed,

Whether we believe in God or not, God still exists.  Ignoring the fact doesn’t change that reality.  Read “Is God Real?” for some of the evidence that God is.  Whether someone chooses to follow or believe in God is irrelevant; we will all see Him at the Judgment Day (Heb 9:27)

Homosexuality is such a controversial issue because modern society teaches that people are born homosexual, but this simply isn’t true.  You are not forced to have a sinful homosexual relationship.  The argument of the homosexual community is that they are born desiring people of the same sex and that they have no choice.  That simply cannot be true.  God makes it clear that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (1 Cor 10:13).  Even if you are born with a predisposition toward homosexuality – you aren’t forced to act upon it.  We always have a choice. There is always a way of escape from sin.  We often use 1 Cor 10:13 as a proof text that no one is born “gay”.  â€¨Homosexuality is like all other sins; we sin when we act upon the lust.  God does not tempt us to sin (Jas 1:13).  It is our own lusts that entice us to do the wrong thing (Jas 1:14-16).  One person has a tendency toward anger, another has a tendency toward alcoholism, and some may, in fact, have a tendency toward homosexuality – but that tendency does not force them to sin.  We need to put away all filthiness of the flesh and be doers of God’s Word (Jas 1:21-22).

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