Ask Your Preacher

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Is God Real?

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Is God real?

Sincerely,
Searching

Dear Searching,

Your question is one of the fundamental questions of life: “Does God Exist?”  It is important that everyone asks this question at some point in their life; it is a basic question that is worthy of an honest answer.

We will try to give you some key evidence that there is a Creator, but we will also point you in the direction of some resources that may help you in your quest for answers.  So here we go:

  1. Look at a watch and ask yourself the question, “Is this designed?”  Of course, a watch is designed – just like a house, a car, a camera, and other modern technological marvels.  You know they are designed because they are complex, they have purpose, and they are organized in a meaningful way.  Now look at your eye, your hand, even a single follicle of hair.  Are they designed?  They are infinitely more complex than a watch.  They have very distinct purposes, and they are all organized in a meaningful way.  You were designed by God; you have a Designer.  If you believe in watchmakers, you can believe in God.
  2. The most basic laws of science tell us that nothing ever comes from nothing (1st Law of Thermodynamics).  Einstein made it clear that nothing can be destroyed; energy can turn into matter and matter into energy, but everything that is here has always been here.  That begs the question, “Where did it all come from?”  Scientists all agree that everything we see had to come from somewhere, but the only logical answer to that question is ‘God’.  God, a supernatural deity not bound by the laws of physics, created all that we see and enjoy in this universe.
  3. God’s Word is also proof that God is.  The Bible is a book that only God could write.  It has prophecies that are fulfilled hundreds of years after they are spoken.  It has remained unchanged by tradition or persecution for thousands of years.  It makes statements about how our world works hundreds of years before scientists realized the concepts for themselves.  The Bible is a book composed by over forty different writers over thousands of years, and yet it has no contradictions within it.  The Bible could not have been written by anyone but Deity.

These are just three reasons to believe in God; there are many more that space prevents us from mentioning.  We also recommend you go back and read through the posts in our EVIDENCES category.  You will see that you aren’t the only one who has questions about God, and you will also see that there are answers to every question.  We also recommend reading Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel. Both books are well worth the read.

Worth The Wait

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Why should I wait for sex?

Sincerely,
Just Askin’

Dear Just Askin’,

There are two ways to answer your question.  One way to answer your question would be to list the thousands of statistics that describe how much healthier of a lifestyle monogamy is.  We could explain the risks of promiscuity and the increased failure rate of relationships that pursue intimacy before marriage.  There are studies far and wide that prove the healthiest, happiest, and most well-adjusted relationships are monogamous relationships that wait until marriage… but that isn’t the way we are going to answer your question because as compelling as secular studies are, they aren’t nearly as compelling as the Bible.

The other way to answer your question is to tell you that God says sex outside of marriage is a sin and that we should flee all fornication (1 Cor 6:18).  God designed that level of intimacy for marriage only (Eph 5:31).  Our Creator knows what is best for us, and His Bible says sex outside of marriage is a sin.  That is why you should wait.

Not All Progress Is Good

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Could someone please explain to me their viewpoint on the progressive nature of the church?  Is it okay to diminish standards (i.e. dress codes, song selections, fellowship gatherings that have nothing to do with Jesus, etc.) in the church to bring people to the church?  Shouldn't Jesus be enough?

Sincerely,
Old-Fashioned

Dear Old-Fashioned,

The culture of the day has always affected the church, for good or ill.  The church can adapt to the culture as long as those adaptations don’t compromise the pattern of the Scriptures.  There are only certain things the church can do as worship (read “Order of Operations” for details), and there are only certain things the church can participate in (read “Down With Denominationalism” for details).  Within that general pattern laid out for the church, we have the freedom to decide the details.  For example, the church is commanded to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Col 3:16), but we have the freedom to decide which specific songs are sung.  The church has general authority to sing, and the specifics are up to us.  Whenever God gives the church a general command, we have the freedom to use wisdom with the details.  However, when God gives a specific command, we don’t have the right to deviate from that pattern.  We aren’t allowed to add or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19).

All of this leads us to our final point; some cultural changes in the church are perfectly fine, but other cultural changes are a deviation from the Lord’s pattern.  There is nothing wrong with a church attempting to meet the needs of the society it is in (1 Cor 9:20-22), but it is wrong for a church to be swept away by the tides of society and go beyond what God has written (1 Cor 4:6).

An Altered State

Monday, January 27, 2014
Is getting plastic surgery wrong? My friend wants to get breast implants; is it wrong biblically to have things like that done to our bodies?

Sincerely,
Afraid Of Knives

Dear Afraid Of Knives,

It isn’t inherently wrong for a christian to change their appearance for beauty’s sake, but we do need to be careful. See the post “The 411 On The Bling Bling” for more details on the subject of wearing jewelry. Plastic surgery is a more extreme version of makeup or jewelry. It is precisely its extreme nature that should make christians wary of using it. Makeup and jewelry are intended to enhance someone’s natural appearance, while surgery is intended to permanently alter it.

Vanity is a sin. We are not supposed to glory in appearances (2 Cor 5:12). The most vivid Biblical example of the folly of vanity is Absalom who died because of his love of his beautiful hair (2 Sam 14:25-26, 2 Sam 18:9-14). Furthermore, we are supposed to be content with what God provides us with (Php 4:11), and that includes the body He has given us. Plastic surgery (if done for purely cosmetic reasons and not medical ones) smacks of being discontent with what God has designed. The more superficial our world becomes, the more christians need to remember what is truly important… not the outward flesh, but the inward man (2 Cor 4:16).

A Chance To Repent

Sunday, January 26, 2014
One of our "brothers" has been pushing this issue.  After discussing the sin of suicide, he brought up the denial of the Holy Spirit (as in Matthew’s account of Jesus ridding demons) as the only thing that cannot be forgiven.  Maybe you can bring up some good points that I may have overlooked about this passage.

Sincerely,
Doctrinally Debating

Dear Doctrinally Debating,

John says that there is a sin that leads to death – that sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:29).  Any sin can be repented of and forgiven (1 Jn 1:9)… except for the sin against the Holy Spirit.  Now, let’s explain what that sin is, and then we will connect it to the suicide issue.

When Jesus says that any sin will be forgiven except for someone blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-30), He said it to the crowd that accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mk 3:23).  That crowd could have been forgiven of any sin, but instead they rejected the miracles that testified that Jesus was from God.  Contrast that crowd’s attitude with Nicodemus’ attitude.  Nicodemus understood that the only way that someone could perform a miracle was if God was with him (Jhn 3:2).  When that crowd rejected the evidence that the Holy Spirit provided (in this case, the miracles), they rejected any chance to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus’ teachings.  When we reject the truth of God (the Bible), we reject the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to bring the truth of the gospel to mankind (see the post “What the Holy Spirit Does” for more details).  Someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit sent us in the Bible.  Any sin can be forgiven if we will turn to God’s Word and obey it (Rom 10:17, Heb 5:9), but there is absolutely no hope for someone if he or she will not accept the Holy Spirit’s Bible.

Which brings us to the suicide issue – suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8).  It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance.  The Holy Spirit teaches against murder, and when someone commits suicide they are rejecting God’s teachings on the subject of life – without opportunity to repent. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.

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