Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Earning A Gift

Monday, September 27, 2010
If you were Muslim, cured cancer, saved millions of lives, and ended world hunger, would you still go to hell simply for not being christian?

Sincerely,
Just Curious

Dear Just Curious,

If you are a Muslim, you will go to hell.  If you are anything other than a christian, you will go to hell.  Nobody gets to heaven because they are such a good person (Rom 3:27-28).  Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the perfection that gives you a right to enter heaven’s gates (Rom 3:23).  No amount of good deeds cancel out your bad deeds.  If I save a million lives, but murder one – I am still a murderer.  Sin requires forgiveness, and forgiveness is a gift (Rom 6:23).  We receive that gift through Jesus’ sacrifice (Jhn 3:16), and we can only be redeemed by Jesus’ blood when we place our faith in Him (Rom 3:24-25).  We place our faith in Christ when we hear His Word (Rom 10:17) and obey it.  There is no way to God except through Christ (Jhn 14:6).  We here at AYP are unashamed to call Jesus our Lord (Rom 10:16-17) and proclaim Him as the only way to heaven (Jhn 10:7-11).

If We Never Meet Again

Sunday, September 26, 2010
I am a born-again believer, and I have a good friend who is also.  My friend recently lost her dad due to a sudden heart attack.  She is grieving.  Her relationship with her dad was not all that she wanted it to be, and after she was saved (which has been well over ten years ago), she had shared with her dad what Christ had done in her life.  What is more painful is that her dad did grow up in a Christian home, but he never accepted Christ.  My friend is frustrated with the sentiment that christians can find comfort in knowing their loved ones went to heaven.  She asked me where her comfort is when she knows her dad was not a christian, and he did not go to heaven.  All anyone says to her is that you don't know what went on in the last moments of his life, but she is certain there was probably no last moment conversion for her father.  While she has the comfort of her faith for herself, how is a believer to find peace or acceptance in the reality that a close loved one went to hell?

Sincerely,
Friend Of The Mourning

Dear Friend Of The Mourning,

The sorrow we feel when we lose a loved one is, at times, almost unbearable.  That pain can be amplified when we do not have hope of someday seeing that person in heaven.

God says that He finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek 33:11).  That tells you that God will not send anyone to hell by accident, from spite, or out of malicious intent.  Anyone who ends up in hell really, truly belongs there.  When your friend’s father faces God on the Day of Judgment, God will make the right decision concerning his fate.  There is some comfort in knowing that God will not make any mistakes.

God has a deeper, more complete understanding of eternity than you or I do.  He is completely loving (1 Jn 4:8).  If your friend’s father goes to hell, it will be because the most loving and wise God of all creation knew that was where her father chose to be.  Ultimately, there are some sorrows and tears that pain us so deeply that we will never get complete comfort this side of heaven… but your friend can know that when she gets there – all tears will be wiped away (Rev 21:4).

Hopeless Hope

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Have you ever heard of "hopeless hope"?  If so, what is it and where can it be found in the Bible?

Sincerely,
Uplifted

Dear Uplifted,

We believe the verse you are thinking of is Romans 4:18.  When Abraham was promised a child, he was a hundred years old, and his wife, Sarah, had never bore a child (Rom 4:19).  Yet, in spite of these facts, Abraham believed God.  Abraham’s faith in God was in direct contradiction to all logic.  Abraham had zero reason to hope for a son... but Abraham hoped anyway.  That is what the Scriptures mean when they say that Abraham “hoped against hope”.  Trusting in God when all normal logic says that you will fail – that is hopeless hope.  Hope that exists in spite of the evidence is the purest form of faith.  When we do what God says when there is seemingly no benefit for obedience, we truly place our trust in the Lord.  Our faith comes alive when we do what God says (Jas 2:21-24).

Finding The Way

Friday, September 24, 2010
I want to live by God.  I’m only twenty years old, and I want know how.  I have heard people say no scary movies, no cussing, and the Ten Commandments have to be followed.  I’m Pentecostal; there are so many things that have to be done, like reading the Bible (which I don’t understand completely… too many big words I don’t understand) and I want to get into this, but I don’t’ know how to go about it.  I have done many bad or horrible things in my life, very bad things, and I cuss like a steam engine.  Will God forgive me?  I’ve never been baptized or saved.  I’m ready to change; can God forgive me and give me a chance? And I heard I have to give ten percent of my money to the church (and all my money goes to my kids and bills, literally)… something about the Bible speaking of pay your tithes.  Can you help me get started with God; I would so appreciate it.  Thank you.

Sincerely,
A Fresh Start

Dear A Fresh Start,

The easiest way for us to help you is to put you in contact with a congregation near you.  The reason you are confused is because so many churches teach things that aren't in the Bible.  God isn't confusing (1 Cor 14:33); manmade religions are confusing (Jas 3:16).  The Pentecostal church is full of things that you won't find in the Bible – that is probably why you have had so many difficulties understanding what it takes to be saved.

We would be happy to get you in touch with a preacher or congregation in your area that can teach you what it takes to become a christian (and don't worry... we are interested in your soul, not your money).  If you would like our help, simply e-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org with the part of the country you live in, and we will try and find a faithful group in your area.

Just Not Feeling It

Thursday, September 23, 2010
I'm sixteen, and I have a question I cannot seem to answer.  I feel far from God and His Son, yet, I pray daily throughout the day, I repent of my sins, and I have a Bible study every night.  I constantly try to be the holiest I can be, do right unto others, unto Christ, and unto myself.  So why do I feel as if I'm a bad christian (as if He doesn’t hear me, or if I'm not doing enough to fulfill my reason for being on Earth)?  I'm very happy; I'm homeschooled, yet I feel worthless of my goal on Earth.  Thank you for this website; I'm so glad it's available to me.  God bless and thank you.

Sincerely,
Seeking A Future

Dear Seeking A Future,

It is impossible to say why you (or anyone else) feel a certain way.  Emotions are fickle and can be deceiving.  Some people feel that they are saved when, in fact, they are lost (Matt 7:21-23), but whether our heart condemns us or not isn’t what saves us (1 Jn 3:19-21).  It is our adherence to God’s Word that saves us (Rom 1:16).  If you are doing what God says you must do to be saved, then you can have confidence regardless of how you feel (see “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” for further details).  Serving God is often an issue of doing what is right without regard to our emotions… showing bravery when we are afraid, working when we are tired, praying when we feel we aren’t heard, and persevering when we are discouraged.

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