Ask Your Preacher
There's a gal at work who is praying for Satan's salvation. I told her that this is a lost cause; however, I could not provide biblical reference to his eternal fallen nature. Will you please provide me with a biblical reference to study and pray over to help her in this area? Thanks and God Bless!
Rootin’ For The Good Guys
Dear Rootin’ For The Good Guys,
The Bible makes it clear that the devil’s fate is already sealed. Matt 25:41 says that the eternal fires of hell are prepared for the devil and his angels… which humans join them is still up for grabs (Matt 7:13-14). Rev 20:10 says the same thing. Satan has already chosen his path, and he either has no opportunity or no desire to change course.
When family members have passed, can they hear us or see us from heaven? Do they remember us?
Dear Still Here,
Within Hades, there are two areas where people wait for the final judgment. All of the faithful who die wait in the good part of Hades called ‘Paradise’ (2 Cor 12:4, Lk 23:43). All of the wicked who die wait in a part of Hades known only as ‘torments’ (Lk 16:23). We cannot say with entire certainty whether people can look down on the affairs of Earth while in Hades, but the story of the rich man and Lazarus implies that they can’t. When the rich man died, he was in the ‘torments’ of Hades. He then began to inquire about his brothers in a way that leads us to believe he couldn’t see what was going on in their lives (Lk 16:27-31). However, the rich man remembered remembered his brothers, even though he couldn’t see what they were doing.
I understand the reasons and the potential good that can come from suffering, but why does God allow some to suffer more than others? Though none are completely innocent, there are many in the world who seem to suffer unfairly and undeservedly.
Dear Why Them,
Some people suffer greatly, and others face relatively few problems. There are several reasons that someone might have a greater portion of trials.
- We reap what we sow (Gal 6:7-8). The choices we make have consequences in this life – and in the next. What you do affects you and those around you that you come in contact with. When you behave godly, certain things happen; when you behave sinfully, other things happen. That is a universal principle of life. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant or a child is neglected and malnourished because of ungodly parents – they will suffer the consequences of the choices their parents make. Some children face health issues that were totally avoidable if the parents had simply lived moral lives. Satan is sowing disaster wherever he can and we are all affected by our own choices and the choices of others around us.
- Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
- Sometimes people suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus’ disciples asked Him why a certain man had been born blind, and Jesus answered, “So that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (Jhn 9:1-3) This man’s ailment provided an opportunity for God to show His glory. There are times that we suffer, so God can teach us and teach others through our pain (Eccl 7:2-3).
This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven. Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise. This world is not our home; christians await a better world (Heb 11:16).
Is it okay to be mad at God when He doesn’t answer a prayer? My whole family was praying I wouldn’t lose my job; then I did. How could God let that happen when the Bible tells us to ask in Jesus’ name, and we will receive?
Dear Let Down,
It isn’t okay to be mad at God, but it is okay to be upset. We would caution you in saying that God has turned a deaf ear to you. God does answer prayers, but He also tells us that what we ask for won’t be granted if it isn’t within His will (Jas 4:15). God knows what you are going through – and there is a reason. When Joseph was thrown into prison, he ended up being the king’s right-hand man (Gen 39:20). When Moses was exiled to the desert for forty years, he ended up being the savior of all Israel (Acts 7:29-30). Even Jesus proves that suffering can lead to victory; His death on the cross led to the forgiveness of sins (Heb 12:2).
Life here on this planet is full of heartaches, and we here at AYP cannot imagine how hard this last year has been for you. The last several years have been very difficult for many, many people. Just don’t forget that adversity can lead to victory. No battle is won without bloodshed, and no bridge is built without sweat. God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28).
First, I want to say God bless all of you for taking the time to serve and feed us the truth about God’s Word. All this information has been good for my soul. I'm in a church where truly I'm not being fed; I'm more connected to the people. My heart cries out for the people to desire, hunger, thirst, and truly be on fire for God. To make this short, it's like my spirit is hungry for more. It’s like people are just going through the motions.
I Love The People
Dear I Love The People,
Your question brings up a fundamental issue – why do we go to church? Is it for the people? Or is there more to a “good” church than just finding people you like to spend time with?
The Bible says that we have a responsibility to assemble with other christians (Heb 10:24-25), but it also says that we need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12). Christianity isn’t a team sport – we are each responsible for our own relationship with God, and we are each responsible for holding to the truth of God’s Word for ourselves. Faith is built upon the truth of the Bible (Rom 10:17), and if you are at a congregation that doesn’t feed you the truth, it doesn’t matter how chummy you all are with each other. Good people are a blessing, but truth always trumps friendships.