Ask Your Preacher
Hello, I am the friend in “A Chosen Lifestyle“, and I am writing this as an update/question. First, I want to say thank you for the advice, and this site is wonderful! I have made lots of progress thanks to God's grace, and I am trying hard to repent; however, I am still struggling to some extent. Although I am reading my Bible almost every day and asking God for His grace to give me a new mindset and a healthy christian life, I’m still having to deal with this terrible thing. I know I’m beating this slowly but surely, but it’s very hard and troubling. I was just wondering if you had any advice on beating the devil and his temptations. Thank you so much! God bless!!
Turning The Tide
Dear Turning The Tide,
Words cannot express how happy we are for you and how proud we are that you are fighting this addiction! Thank you so much for giving us an update. Aside from the verses that we already mentioned in “A Chosen Lifestyle Pt. 2”, here are some other verses to consider.
When a sin becomes so entrenched in your life that you are enslaved to it (Jhn 8:34), you are dealing with an addiction. Addictions are formed by habits, and habits are formed by repeatedly making the same choices. James describes this process in Jas 1:13-15. All sins begin with a mental decision. If you want to remove an addiction, isolate the choices that are putting you in the position to commit that sin. If you change the environment and circumstances that lead you to a sin, you change the future playing field.
We are also told that a powerful tool in defeating sin is confessing our sins to one another (Jas 5:16). Sin likes to be kept secret (Jhn 3:20), and bringing it to light by making it public goes a long way in defeating habitual sin. A very popular way of getting this sort of accountability is by using accountability software that forwards your browsing history to a friend or trusted individual. Companies like x3watch and CovenantEyes make accountability software, and many struggling pornography addicts have found it to make a huge difference. If you want to defeat sin, you must expose it. Confess your sin to others, and you will begin to see change.
Assemble with a faithful church (Heb 10:24-25). If you read our posts regularly, you have probably already seen that many churches aren’t biblically sound. Read “Down With Denominationalism” for some insight into the religious confusion of America. If you aren’t already a part of a congregation that follows the Bible pattern, we would be happy to help you find one. There is no greater help to our spiritual growth than to be stimulated and encouraged by people of like-precious faith. There is strength in numbers (Eccl 4:12).
And last, but not least - don’t give up. A righteous man falls, but he keeps getting back up (Pr 24:16). A failure doesn’t become permanent until you let it. Keep trying. Congratulations on your current successes, and we pray for many more victories on your behalf.
Can a demon enter the spirit of a saved christian?
Demons no longer have the power to possess people, but even when they did, they couldn’t possess just any soul. Jesus bound the demons and prevented them from ever again possessing people (read “Exhorting The Exorcist” for details). Furthermore, Jesus taught that a demon needed an “empty home” to possess. If someone filled their lives with good behavior and godly faith, there was no room for a demon to take over. This is what Jesus taught in Matt 12:43-45. Demons never had the power to take over the life of a faithful individual.
Why don't Jews acknowledge the fact that Jesus is the Messiah?
What Are They Waiting For?
Dear What Are They Waiting For,
The Jews of the first-century and the Jewish community of today don’t want to accept the New Testament because Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah they were (and are) expecting. Jesus came to set up a spiritual kingdom (Jhn 18:36), and instead of creating a powerful, physical Israel… He died a gruesome death. The Jews were anticipating a physical restoration of their nation (Acts 1:6), but Jesus created a spiritual kingdom that dwells within the hearts of faithful men and women (Lk 17:21). When the Jews tried to make Jesus an earthly king, He refused (Jhn 6:15). Jesus’ death is a stumbling block and offense to any Jew expecting a powerful and mighty Messiah (1 Cor 1:23). Jesus just wasn’t the kind of king they wanted.
Is it wrong for Christian parents to lie to their children about Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, etc.?
The Truth Hurts
Dear The Truth Hurts,
It is always wrong to lie; the question is whether telling your kids about Santa Claus is lying or not. Many christians have many different views on this. Some christians tell their children that Santa is imaginary because they feel that is honest. Other christians allow their children to believe in Santa and simply don’t dissuade them from the notion until they ask point-blank. No matter what, christians must in good conscience do what they believe is honest. Lying is always wrong (Rev 21:8). The debate isn’t over whether or not lying is a sin; the debate is over whether or not allowing your children to believe in something imaginary counts as being deceptive. Each must do what they believe is faithful and right… it would not be good to be too dogmatic on this point.
I have a question regarding the church family. I attend a church where there seems to be a lot of animosity between families and friends, especially women. I know this is not how the church is supposed to act; they are supposed to be loving and accept one another no matter what. I stay totally out of any drama that comes between other people, but I continue to find myself not being invited to other christian's events (birthday parties, showers, general get-togethers), and I feel it is because I am a part of a particular "family" or friends with particular people. It feels so hurtful, especially when I have made an effort to talk and invite these other families and friends to my own events. It hurts to see that I am affected when I have nothing to do with any of it, and I don't understand why they act so unloving towards each other. I want my christian family to act how Christ would have us to. It makes me feel unwelcome and disliked. What can I do? Why can't we all just get along?
The church has always struggled with disagreements between individuals… particularly grudges between women. When Paul wrote to the Philippian church, he was so proud of them and considered them to be faithful, wonderful, and dear to his heart (Php 1:7-8). In the entire Philippian letter, Paul only had one problem to address – a dispute between two women (Php 4:2). Euodia and Syntyche were both faithful women that served the Lord with whole hearts (Php 4:3), but they had some disagreement with each other. We say all this just to tell you that what you are experiencing has always been a battle for the Lord’s people. Good people find themselves in disagreements, and it affects the church – even Paul and Barnabas battled it out at one time (Acts 15:37-40).
So what do we do when others don’t act the way they ought and when we feel hurt and maligned? The first thing is to make sure you are always part of the solution and not the problem. Don’t allow yourself to become bitter because of how others behave (Heb 12:15). Continue to make an effort with others and don’t grow weary in doing good (2 Thess 3:13). Change only happens when we rise above each others’ faults and strive to receive each other with love (Rom 15:7). The other practical thing to do is to avoid gossip, slander, and murmuring against others. Whenever there is animosity between people, it is very easy for those around to get caught up in choosing sides, passing judgment, and spreading tales. Pr 26:20 says that a contention can’t continue to spread if people keep their tongues quiet. You can’t change everyone else, but you can give them the benefit of the doubt (just like Paul did with those two women in Philippi), and you can try and be a vehicle for pure, forgiving love in the Lord’s church, so the future of your congregation is more unified, not less. All you can work on is yourself and leave others to do the same. Though the road be bumpy, when everyone works on themselves, the church is always blessed.