Ask Your Preacher
Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart when Aaron went to tell him to let His people go? Doesn't that go against free will??
Chisel In Hand
Dear Chisel In Hand,
It is true that Ex 7:3 says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but Ex 8:15 says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Both are true. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by sending Moses to take Pharaoh’s slaves away, and Pharaoh chose to allow the plagues to anger and harden his heart instead of soften it. God sent the events that affected Pharaoh’s heart, and Pharaoh chose how he would react to them.
It is the same as the statement, “I made him angry” versus “He got angry with me.” It is true that our words and actions can cause a reaction from others, but at the same time, when someone gets angry, that is still their choice. Pharaoh was the kind of person that when confronted with the signs and wonders from God, he hardened his heart and became angry. God sent the signs and wonders; Pharaoh chose to react like he did.
What would you tell a high school-age school student about Ouija boards and why it is wrong to use one? The student is not a christian. I am one of his teachers.
Teaching The Truth
Dear Teaching The Truth,
The Bible says that we should always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us (1 Pet 3:15). If this student asks you what you think of Ouija boards, all you have to do is say that you don’t use them because your faith is in the Bible, not superstition. The Bible has evidence that proves it is trustworthy; the Ouija board doesn’t. Our goal is always to direct people to the Bible. It isn’t about proving the Ouija board is wrong (although it is!); it is about showing people that the Bible is right. If someone learns to embrace God’s Word, they will naturally begin to repel that which is wrong. After all, there is only room for one master (Matt 6:24).
I have trouble explaining my relationship with God. And if someone asks me to tell them what Jesus means to me, I want to know how to explain it.
It is a wonderful thing that you want to be able to explain what you believe and why you believe it. Peter said that every christian should be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within them (1 Pet 3:15). We are going to point you to some previous posts that should be of use to you in getting a grasp on why Christianity is the hope of all humanity.
- Here is an article that gives evidence for God’s existence – “Does God Exist?”
- Here is an article with evidences that the Bible is God’s Word – “Who Wrote The Bible?”
- Here is an article which deals with what it takes to become a christian – “Five Steps To Salvation”
- Here is an article that explains Jesus’ church and all the religious confusion in the world – “Down With Denominationalism”
Those should be enough to give you some verses and answers for many of the basic questions a christian needs to respond to. Once again, you deserve a pat on the back for wanting to be ready to give an answer for your beliefs.
I've been a christian my entire life, but I'm having some trouble finding some answers to questions I have. One of my biggest questions is: if God created everything and knows everything, why would He create sin, knowing that's a choice that mankind will choose? And why can't He just make sin go away? I know that not everyone can go to heaven because it's a perfect place, and sin cannot be there, but why wouldn't God just completely get rid of sin, so all these people He's created and loves can be with Him in heaven?
Hope For All
Dear Hope For All,
God didn’t create sin; the devil did. The Bible says that Satan is the father of lies (Jhn 8:44). Sin only exists when we turn our back on God. Sin is a lot like darkness. Darkness isn’t really a thing – it is the absence of light. God is the father of lights and every good thing (Jas 1:17). When we stop following the Lord, we no longer walk in the light. Sin is the absence of godly living.
God can do whatever He wants, but God has chosen to give us the freedom to choose sin or choose life (Deut 30:19). God doesn’t desire any of the wicked to perish (Ezek 18:23). His desire is for all mankind to choose Him, but God also honors our freewill by giving each of us an entire lifetime to choose for ourselves whether we want to spend eternity with Him or away from Him. If God simply removed sin, He would also be removing our freewill. God respects the freedom He gave us.
A lady told me her preacher had a stroke.
- Was this illness from God?
- If the preacher was a true christian, why did God not answer the preacher’s prayers for 100% recovery?
- Did God have apostles that were handicapped?
- This lady was questioning the preacher’s christianity. How can I answer her using the Bible?
Far From A Physician
Dear Far From A Physician,
We can’t tell you whether or not this preacher is a faithful man, but we can tell you that his stroke doesn’t mean he isn’t a christian. The best passage to show this lady is 2 Cor 12:7-9. The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh”, some sort of illness that vexed him deeply. Paul, being the faithful apostle that he was, prayed to God three times that the sickness would be removed. God said, “No.” Paul accepted the illness as part of his life and went on to preach very successfully in spite of it.
Good people suffer, too, and God blesses the faithful even through trials (Rom 8:28).