Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

GOD

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Pardon Me?

Thursday, October 27, 2011
     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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
     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).

Coming Full Circle

Sunday, October 23, 2011
Jesus will return in the same way He left true or false?

Sincerely,
Looking Up

Dear Looking Up,

True.  When Jesus ascended into the clouds from the Mount of Olives, His apostles were left staring into the heavens with amazement (Acts 1:9).  As they gazed into the sky, two angels appeared by the apostles and told them that Jesus would someday return in the same way that they had seen Him leave (Acts 1:10-11).  Some day, Jesus will return and we shall see Him physically descend from the heavens to claim His own (1 Thess 4:16-18).

The Inward Man

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Dear Readers,

Several days ago, we received a question that broke our hearts.  The individual asked for anonymity and to not reveal the details of their situation.  We wish to honor this person’s request, but we also believe their plight is faced by many of today’s youth.  This individual is so disheartened by their physical appearance and the bullying and ridicule they have received because they aren’t “pretty/handsome” that they are considering ending their own life.  With today’s culture of air-brushed models, plastic surgery, and Botox… is it any wonder that body image issues are so common and vicious in today’s youth?  With this issue in mind, we are posting our response to this suffering soul in the hope that others who are silently struggling may have a Bible answer to comfort their hearts through the awkward years.

Sincerely,
The AYP Team

Dear Hurting One,

Let us begin by saying that each heart has its own sorrow, and we will not pretend to know exactly how you feel – only you and the Lord know the depths of your pain (Pr 14:10).  Our hearts go out to you as you deal with the greatness of your bitterness and pain.  If we may, we would like to offer you a few verses to consider...

The apostle Paul had a physical infirmity that made him grotesque and despised by many (Gal 4:13-14).  Paul prayed and prayed for God to remove this illness (he called it his "thorn in the flesh" - 2 Cor 8:7), and God's answer was 'no' (2 Cor 12:8).  God told Paul that His grace was sufficient and that Paul would learn to be a better man because of his weakness (2 Cor 12:9).  In fact, Paul said that the things that God had for him to do in this life were so great that the thorn in the flesh kept him from becoming arrogant (2 Cor 12:7).

Have you ever considered that your physical appearance is a blessing disguised as a curse – that is what Paul found.  Because Paul wasn't “beautiful”, his character had a chance to shine brighter, and his message of salvation had opportunity to reach those who wanted the truth... not just those looking to listen to the next pretty face.  Even Jesus is described as being someone of unremarkable appearance (Isa 53:2).  Those who heard Jesus loved Him (Jhn 7:46), but His looks never converted a single soul.  We say all this to tell you that physical beauty isn't as important as you think – and it isn't important to God.  God treasures the inner character and beauty of a godly soul (1 Pet 3:3-4).  It is the hidden man that God desires to shine forth.

Nothing we have said removes your suffering, but it may give meaning to it.  All of us age, and our bodies decay, but it is our inward man that matters (2 Cor 4:16).  Every life is precious, including yours.  You are capable of great things if you are willing to have faith that your life is more than your looks.  If you end your life because of your physical appearance, the devil will have won and defeated another soul with his deceptive lies.  Be different and let your inward man shine forth.

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