Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

WITH MANKIND

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Distance Learning

Friday, January 12, 2018
I don't want to sound blasphemous, but if God is a just god, why would people that haven't had a chance to be baptized or haven’t had a chance to hear the Word of God be condemned to hell?  I’m not talking about ignorant people; I’m talking about people in third-world countries who the missionaries don’t get to that just grew up in a different culture.  I refuse to believe that if those people are good people, they would be sent to hell.

Sincerely,
It Isn’t Fair

Dear It Isn’t Fair,

We would caution you about saying you “refuse to believe” something before studying the Bible’s teachings on the topic.  One of the main reasons that people are lost is because they are unwilling to accept the Bible’s teachings over their own preconceived notions.  With that in mind, let’s look at a few teachings on this topic.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.  He is compassionate, loving, and ready to show mercy (Ps. 86:5).  If someone goes to hell, it is because the most faithful and loving Being in existence believed that is where they should be.

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.

For Safety Of Hearth And Home

Thursday, January 04, 2018
Is using deadly force ever justifiable in defense of self or family?  If there were ever a situation where there was complete societal breakdown (no government or police), food and water became scarce, and armed looters and gangs searching for food became a real threat to your family, would you be morally responsible to defend your family by any means necessary?  Would God expect you to turn the other cheek or fight for survival?

Sincerely,
Getting Prepared

Dear Getting Prepared,

When the Bible commands us to not kill, the word used for ‘kill’ is the word that we would use for ‘murder.  Some of the most faithful men in the Bible were soldiers and had to kill people in the defense of their country.  David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14), and yet David killed many people as a soldier.  Jesus marveled at the faith of a centurion soldier (Matt 8:8-10).  The first Gentile convert was Cornelius, a well-known Roman soldier (Acts 10:22).  When a group of soldiers asked John the Baptist what they needed to do to live a faithful life, he told them to be honest and faithful… but he never told them to stop serving in the military (Lk 3:14).  These are all examples of the difference between murder and self-defense (or war-time killing).

In the Old Testament, God made specific rules that allowed an individual to kill if they were defending their home or family (Ex 22:2).  In Lk 22:35-39, Jesus tells His disciples that persecution will begin after He leaves and that they ought to “buy a sword” – this is certainly an endorsement of self-defense.  All of these point to the fact that God distinguishes between defensive force and vigilante murder.

Polishing The Resume

Tuesday, January 02, 2018
If my job requires me to take care of a person who is a heavy drinker and curses a lot (and has people around her that do the same things), and I’m a christian, am I wrong to continue to work for her?  Should I seek other employment that does not have those things around me on a daily basis?

Sincerely,
In Dicey Company

Dear In Dicey Company,

Every circumstance is different, but there are two Bible principles that can help you prayerfully decide to stay or seek other employment.

  1. God says that bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor 15:33).  The people we spend time around do influence us, and if we are constantly choosing to fill our lives with people that have low moral standards, it will hinder our spiritual growth.
  2. As long as we are in this world, we will always be surrounded by a certain level of iniquity and sinful behavior.  The apostle Paul said that it is impossible to get away from all worldly people (1 Cor 5:9-10).  Jesus went so far as to remind faithful people that unbelievers are spiritually sick and need the example and truth that faithful people have to offer (Lk 5:31-32).  We are supposed to let our light shine in this dark and weary world (Matt 5:16).

As you can see, it all comes down to balancing these two principles.  Make sure that you are exerting an influence on your employer… not the other way around.  If the situation is really too bad to deal with and it is pulling you away from God – make plans to change jobs.  However, if you feel like there is good left to be done and you aren’t being corrupted – stay and let your light shine.

Home Alone

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Hi.  I have this issue of feeling alone.  I'm twenty-six and male, and never have I once had a relationship with a woman.  I'm extremely lonely to the point where I would throw myself in a bad experience just to validate my existence.  I pray every night to God for help.  I usually get so lonely I end up committing sins like porn, masturbation, etc.  It's not because I want to; it’s because I do it out of habit from being alone for so long.  The longer I wait, the more I think my soul mate doesn't exist.  Every time I think I have a chance with someone, I always find out they’re in a relationship, etc.  I love God, and even with my flaws, God is with me.  It's just that I feel deep loneliness and a longing for companionship.

Sincerely,
Alone

Dear Alone,

You have eloquently articulated what is the root of your problem – loneliness.  Now it is time to take charge of your life and remove that loneliness.  When we desperately want a spouse, we can sometimes become myopic and forget that dating isn’t the only way to fill our lives with friendship.  The problem is loneliness; the solution is to get involved in peoples’ lives.  God tells us to replace bad habits with good ones (Lk 11:24-26).  By your own admission, you have the habit of being alone.  Get involved in the lives of others – go to church (we can help you find a faithful one in your area), socialize with people your age, hang out in public places like Starbucks instead of lingering alone at home, volunteer at local non-profit organizations like the food bank or the animal shelter.  In short, get out and get active.  You have no control over whether or not you are in a romantic relationship, but you have a great deal of control over how active your life is.

All My Children Pt. 3

Monday, October 16, 2017

(This question is a follow-up to “All My Children Pt. 2”)

Thanks for the explanation about Bible versions.  I still have another follow-up regarding the sons of God topic.  There are some people who believe that these sons of God are fallen angels, not men.  Then comes Matthew 22:30, stating angels don't marry, but some argue that Matthew was referring only to angels in heaven, like it says in the verse, not fallen angels, so this does not apply to fallen angels.  Two questions: How would you counter this argument about sons of God being angels, and what does Matthew 22:30 really say about angels whether in heaven or fallen?

Sincerely,
Text Perplexed

Dear Text Perplexed,

The viewpoint that the “sons of God” in Gen 6:2 are fallen angels is best argued by reminding them that if you are going to say that there are people on this planet that are genetically part angelic being… you’d better be able to back it up!  The responsibility is theirs to prove they are right – not ours to disprove it.  Gen 6:2 is only one verse that can be taken either way (as we mentioned in the previous post “All My Children”).  If angels really did intermarry with humans, there would have to be other, clearer verses that specifically state that humans are related to angels.  The fact is there are verses that talk about angels and people… Heb 2:9-18 clearly states that humans and angels aren’t made the same, and they aren’t related to one another.

Which also answers your second question – Matt 22:30 simply says that angels don’t marry – simple as that.

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