Ask Your Preacher
My boyfriend calls me ‘Satan’ sometimes when he is angry with me. He also calls his mom ‘Lucifer’ because she has a mental condition and sometimes curses for no reason. So he said she is Lucifer for acting that way. I'm called Satan because I may say something that does not appeal to him, but I'm not cursing or name-calling. We are both christians so… I'm confused that he feels it is acceptable in the eyes of God that it is okay to freely use the word Satan towards my character. In the Bible, where can I find it that we should refrain from name-calling?
Thank you for your time.
Dear Disgruntled Girlfriend,
We feel pretty comfortable in saying that your boyfriend needs an attitude check – that is not the way to talk to people. God tells us to make sure our speech is “seasoned with grace” (Col 4:6). We are told to avoid all corrupt speech and to only say things that will edify the hearers (Eph 4:29). The apostle Peter commanded us to “refrain our tongues from evil” and “speak without guile” (1 Pet 3:10). Name-calling (especially referring to someone as the most evil being in existence!) is totally inappropriate. There is only one reference in the Bible to calling someone Satan, and that is Mk 8:33 when Jesus rebuked Peter by saying, “Get behind Me, Satan”. This was because Peter was commanding Jesus to not sacrifice Himself on the cross – a direct contradiction to God’s will (Mk 8:31-32). If the Son of God only used the term in the most extreme circumstance… we should be vary wary of ever using that sort of strong language.
Is lying for your own safety still a sin?
On The Defense
Dear On The Defense,
God hates lying (Pr 6:16-17), but you don’t have to tell everyone everything about your life. Even Jesus ignored His brothers’ request to know His comings and goings on occasion (Jhn 7:8-10). Jesus never lied (Tit 1:2, Heb 4:15), but He did deflect their question because what He did (or didn’t do) wasn’t any of their business. In a life-or-death situation, you have every right to deflect someone from the truth in order to preserve life.
It is worth noting that good christians are of mixed opinions on this issue. Some believe it would be perfectly appropriate to deceive or deflect because you would be protecting human life – preserving human life is of great importance (the Egyptian midwives of Ex 1:15-22 are often cited as an example of this) Other christians believe that it would be better to die and go face God. Both sides have good arguments, and in such extreme circumstances, each person would need to choose what they believed was the most faithful and godly option.
What happens to the souls of people that have never heard the actual gospel of Jesus, and are they really ignorant of salvation, and, therefore, excused from hell?
Concerned For Others
Dear Concerned For Others,
God is the only one who can judge where someone’s eternal destination will be. The Scriptures give us an insight into how the Great Judge will decide our verdict. Here are some Scriptures to consider:
- Just because someone is ignorant, doesn’t mean they aren’t at fault. God tells us that anyone who seeks the truth will find it (Matt 7:7-8). The Bible is the most widely available book on the planet – just because someone hasn’t read it, doesn’t mean they didn’t have opportunity.
- People go to hell because of their sins (Rom 6:23), not because of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross is a cure for mankind’s self-inflicted spiritual death sentence. It is the same as a disease outbreak – the disease kills people, not the lack of a cure. If Jesus had never come, and none of us had ever heard of Jesus, we would all have been lost.
- God tells us that everyone has been given enough information to seek Him. Rom 1:20 says that the very beauty of the created universe speaks of God’s existence and leaves mankind without excuse. God has provided an “all call” message anyone can hear through the wonder of His creation.
- God doesn’t desire anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). God won’t make any mistakes on the Day of Judgment, and no one will accidentally end up in heaven or hell.
As we said, God is the final judge. We will all face Him when we die (Heb 9:27). The best thing we can do is make sure we are prepared for that day.
A man in the community who does pressure washing told me on three different occasions that he would pressure wash a deck for me. He never did honor what he said. Was this wrong of him?
Dear Pressured Out,
Yes, it was wrong of him, but what you do about it is a separate issue. God says that we should let our “yes be yes” and our “no be no” (Matt 5:37). If we say we are going to do something, we should do it. That is one reason why it is so important that we are careful with what we say (Jas 3:2).
Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that the Scriptures say something else entirely when someone has defrauded or lied to you. God tells us to never take our own vengeance (Rom 12:19). Jesus says that when someone defrauds us, we should turn the other cheek (Matt 5:38-41). It is unfortunate that this man never came through with his promise. At least it gives you an opportunity to be the bigger person.
Why does life stink? I try to believe in God, but life is full of misery. If God is all-knowing, why did He even create us to be so miserable? I would have preferred to be like a robot and have all in common with everyone instead of such ups and down. Sorry, but I am really feeling that God is just a superstition.
This life can be miserable because of sin, not because of God. God does not desire anyone to suffer. God made the world perfect, 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.
People suffer for various reasons:
- Sometimes we suffer for our own sins (Gal 6:7-8)
- Sometimes we suffer because of others’ choices (Like David’s sufferings at the hands of Saul – 1 Sam 20:1)
- Sometimes we suffer in order to glorify God through our suffering and recovery (Like the blind man – Jhn 9:2-3)
No matter what, God tells us that we can rejoice in tribulations (Rom 5:3) because eventually, if we suffer faithfully, our tribulations produce indestructible hope… a hope that cannot be taken away from us. God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28). God isn’t a superstition; He is a very real and faithful Lord. We recommend reading the post “Does God Exist?” for some of the evidence that proves God’s existence.