Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

GOD

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Pardon Me?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
     If someone said something bad about the Holy Ghost and did not know about the Holy Ghost and then later came to Jesus and found out about the Holy Ghost, would they be held accountable for an unpardonable sin?

Sincerely,
Wondering About The Ignorant

Dear Wondering About The Ignorant,

Saying something bad about the Holy Spirit isn’t the “sin against the Holy Spirit”.  Jesus says that any sin will be forgiven except for someone blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-30).  Jesus said this to the crowd that accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mk 3:23).  That crowd could have been forgiven of any sin, but instead they rejected the miracles that testified that Jesus was from God.  Contrast that crowd’s attitude with Nicodemus’ attitude.  Nicodemus understood that the only way that someone could perform a miracle was if God was with him (Jhn 3:2).  When that crowd rejected the evidence that the Holy Spirit provided (in this case, the miracles), they rejected any chance to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus’ teachings.  When we reject the truth of God (the Bible), we reject the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to bring the truth of the gospel to mankind (see the post “What the Holy Spirit Does” for more details).  Someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit sent us in the Bible.  Any sin can be forgiven if we will turn to God’s Word and obey it (Rom 10:17, Heb 5:9), but there is absolutely no hope for someone if he or she will not accept the Holy Spirit’s Bible.

Therefore, since it seems that you are actively seeking the truth and trying to study and learn what God’s Word is – you have not committed the unforgivable sin.

Too Patient For Others

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
     I have struggled with this my entire life, including my entire Christian life.  NO one will even try and provide an answer – only quote Scripture that doesn't provide an answer.

I have been taught God is all-knowing, all-powerful, can do anything, etc.  That being said and believed... why do such evil things happen to little kids (molestation, rape, murder)?  It might make sense if they were adults... but little kids?

How can you be all-knowing, all-powerful, watch what is happening to little children, and not help?

Everyone says, “FREE WILL; God doesn't mess with free will.”  Then why pray?  IF He will not intervene to prevent an evil done to a child, why would He intervene and help you with patience or sickness or anything else?

I just don't get it.  I'm a parent.  I could not watch an evil done to my child and do nothing.  PERIOD.

Please explain… if you can.

Sincerely,
Angry Mother

Dear Angry Mother,

All suffering is caused by mankind and sin.  When God made the world, He made it to be good – it was sin that destroyed that perfect vision.  All wickedness and evil brings pain to God and grieves Him, and He will only endure it for so long.  In Noah’s day, God saw all the violence that was in the world, and it made Him deeply sad (Gen 6:5-6).  God gives mankind the freedom to make our own choices, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pain Him to see the evil upon this earth.  God tells us that the only reason He endures it is because He is longsuffering and desires to give as many people as possible the chance to repent and turn to Him (2 Pet 3:9).  God's longsuffering is what is hard for us to comprehend because if we were in His shoes, we wouldn't be as patient with wickedness as God is.  But then again, we also wouldn't send our own son to die for wicked people – so it is a trade off.

God's patience is greater than ours, which feels like a blessing when we think of our own need for forgiveness... but it feels like a curse when we look at others’ behavior going unchecked.  It is a dark and ugly world, and God’s love is the shining light in that darkness (Jhn 3:19) – His love is deeper than ours, and His patience is profounder than ours.  Just remember this: all the blameless (including children) will be comforted in His arms in heaven (Rev 21:3-4).  This darkness will not last forever, and it will seem like a mere wisp of time when we get to eternity (Jas 4:14).

The Discomfort Zone

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
     I read so much about prayer, how to pray so that God hears you, how not to pray, what is right, what is wrong... I am so confused.  I am a christian and believe in God with all my heart.  Being European, I have a hard time getting into American churches and do not feel comfortable.  I’d rather read my Bible at home and pray in the solitude of my home.  I have been praying for so many years and cannot seem to get an answer.  It seems that my heart and soul doubt my own faith, and I am scared.  I prayed to God to lead the way, help me how to pray, and wish nothing more than to be happy again after many betrayals.  How can I pray right?  Is it not enough that my heart speaks to God, and He knows my pain?  I am in that storm, and I am sad almost every day.  I am blessed with two wonderful children and two grandchildren, but still I feel that I do not belong on this earth and slowly am losing my will to love.  Where is a chapter in the Bible that gives me hope?

Sincerely,
Dwindling Away

Dear Dwindling Away,

Sometimes the things we are most uncomfortable doing are the very things that are missing in our lives.  Nobody likes to get shots, but that needle is delivering needed medicine to the body.  You are comfortable praying, you are comfortable reading your Bible, but you say that you are uncomfortable going to church services.  You are losing your will to love… and God says that assembling with the saints is what provokes our love (Heb 10:24-25).  You feel alone, and it is the church that God uses to surround us and make us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves (Eph 4:16).  You feel like you don’t belong, and God says the church is what makes us part of a family (Eph 2:19).  God has already answered your prayer by showing you in His Word what will make you whole – join a faithful church.  Let us help you find a congregation in your area that will help you become the christian the Lord intends for you to be.  E-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org, and we will be happy to help you meet with other people who love the Lord just like you do.

The Effects Of Sin

Monday, June 24, 2019
     I am a fifty-two-year-old christian mother.  My thirty-four-year-old son is dying of ALS.  I am furious with God right now… not only that my son is dying, but how horribly devastating this disease is.  He is married with three children.  Please, without the usual christian rhetoric that we all preach, please explain to me WHY God who loves us lets horrible things happen – not only to my son, but others.  Are we just rats in a cage to Him for His amusement?  Is He loving, or is that just a myth?  Are He, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit one?  I think no.  I think Jesus represents love, and I think God represents power, control, wrath, and arrogance.  Please help me to understand.

Sincerely,
Angry Mother

Dear Angry Mother,

Life here on this planet is full of heartaches, and we here at AYP cannot imagine how devastated you are right now.  This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things, sin did.  All bad things are a result of sin.  When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise.  Who caused the pain?  We did.  It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world.  We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it.  Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden.  One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite.  Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence.  Sadly, this is true even for our children. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well.

Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen.  Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault.  Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids.  It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6).  As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles.  Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).

Regardless of the reasons, your son’s illness is devastating to you – and rightfully so.  You have every right to be hurt, but don’t let that hurt cause you to turn your back on God who wants to save us all from this sinful world.  After all, God gave His Son’s life for us – He knows how painful this is for you and knows exactly how to give you comfort through this dark hour.

Empty Arms

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
     What does God think about infertility?  I have a disease that has caused me to not be able to conceive a child on our own.  Is that in God’s plan for us, or is it the devil?  I do believe that He has a plan for everyone and He tests your faith, but if we've been trying for eight years, does that mean that I've failed?  What does God say about infertility treatment?  Is it a sin?

Sincerely,
Heart-Broken Wife

Dear Heart-Broken Wife,

Infertility is another consequence of Adam and Eve's sin.  When God created the universe, He made everything good (Gen 1:31).  The world didn’t have disease, thorns, suffering, and all the other problems we see today.  Originally, Adam and Eve lived in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8).  It is only after Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden because of their sin that all the problems we see today began.

God can cause all things to work together for good for you and your husband (Rom 8:28), but He didn't cause the diseases that affect our lives.  The fact that you haven't conceived doesn't mean you have "failed" any sort of test; just like other people dealing with sicknesses aren't failures because of their illnesses, you aren't a failure because you can't conceive.  Some of the most faithful people dealt with the same infertility issues that you do.  Hannah and Sarah were both faithful women that wept many tears over the fact they couldn't have children.  The burden and pain you are carrying isn't an indicator that you are unfaithful – it just is what it is.

As far as infertility treatments, that is a big issue because modern technology allows us to do things that are both good and bad – some treatments are fine; others aren't.  Read our post "Apples Of Our Eyes" for what to consider before undergoing treatments.

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