Ask Your Preacher
Does God need us? If He has everything already, why does He need us?
Dear Feeling Frivolous,
God doesn’t need us, but He wants us. God loves us without regard to our necessity. Like parents with their children, God loves us even though we are technically more of a burden than a help. Children are messy, expensive, and time-consuming… yet, good parents love them unconditionally. God is our Father (Heb 12:9). We love because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). It isn’t that God needs us; it is His unselfish desire for us to have life and spend eternity with Him.
If the devil influenced Osama Bin Laden to kill so many people, what happened to the people who were killed that had not yet given their lives to Christ?
Osama bin Laden’s death marks a major victory for us Americans, and it brings our minds back to that fateful day on September 11, 2001 when so many perished because of the desire of that man to follow the Quran to its ultimate end – death of all the infidels (non-Muslims).
So, since so many people died so unexpectedly through Osama’s acts of terrorism, what does happen to them? All death is unexpected, meaning that none of us know when we will die. Our lives are merely vapors that quickly vanish (Jas 4:14). Because of the uncertainty of life, David prayed that God would teach him to contemplate his own death and to measure his days (Ps 39:4). Whether we die quietly in our sleep at a ripe old age or suddenly in a car crash in our early twenties… the effect is the same – we must be ready to meet our God. We all must ask that all-important question: “What must I do to be saved?”… because we never know when we will go to the judgment (Heb 9:27).
Is artificial contraception a sin?
Not Ready For Children
Dear Not Ready For Children,
There are two ways that using birth control would be a sin.
- It is a sin if it is a type of birth control that is ‘retroactive’, meaning that it forces your body to reject an already fertilized egg. God says that life begins in the womb after conception. God said that Samson was a life even while in the womb (Judg 13:7); the same is said of David (Ps 139:13). John the Baptist was even described as a ‘baby leaping within the womb’ (Lk 1:41). As the old saying goes, “If it isn’t a baby, you aren’t pregnant.” Mary was ‘with child’, not ‘with embryo’ (Matt 1:18). Carefully discuss with your doctor any birth control that you might use and make sure that it does not function by aborting a fertilized egg in the early stages of development. The only birth control acceptable to a christian is one that prevents fertilization.
- The other reason you couldn’t use birth control is if your conscience bothers you. If you can’t do it in faith, then it is a sin (Rom 14:23). Many christians believe that they are thwarting God’s will by using birth control. Others are concerned that the birth control may accidently cause a miscarriage. If you or your spouse fall under this category of ‘conscientious objector’, then you must refrain from using birth control.
Having considered these factors, make a thoughtful, informed, and prayerful decision.
All the major faiths of the world preach that only through following their teachings and believing in their god will one reach heaven. This means everyone else goes to hell. To a christian, all the muslims are hell-bound. To a muslim, all the christians are infidels and will never reach God. I find it hard to believe that a loving God would set up half the world for failure. Each faith is strict about the requirements to spend eternity with God. How do we come to terms with this concept that ours is the only way?
Dear Too Exclusive,
One of the key components to any religion is that we accept that particular religion’s god as he is. It isn’t fair to simultaneously try and find which god is real (Allah, Buddha, Jehovah, etc.) and also have a pre-conceived notion about how we want God to behave. If the Muslim’s are right, then Allah exists, and it doesn’t matter whether Allah is loving or not – Allah is what Allah is. If the Buddhists are correct, it doesn’t matter whether we like reincarnation or not – reincarnation exists. The same is true with Jehovah, the God of the Bible. God is who God is, without regard to our opinion of how we feel He ought to be. We may feel that He has “set up” a large portion of society for failure, but if the God of the Bible is real (and we feel confident He is!), we must take Him at His Word that all have evidence of His existence and are without excuse if they don’t follow Him (Rom 1:20).
The key to finding which god is the true God is to look at the evidence – primarily the key documents for each religion. When you compare the Koran, the Dharma, the Veda, and other books of faith to the Bible… there is no comparison. The Bible is accurate scientifically, prophetically, historically, and contextually consistent; it never contradicts itself and contains truths that only God would know and yet can be proven true by practice. We highly recommend you read our article “Who Wrote The Bible?” for further explanation of the proof that the Bible is from God. When analyzing religion in the search for truth, follow the evidence, and it will always lead you to the Bible.
Is there a certain age to get baptized with the Holy Spirit?
You do not need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. In fact, the book of Acts gives a clear example of a group of people who were christians but hadn’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:12-16). The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a miraculous event that endowed people with the ability to perform miracles. Holy Spirit baptism happened to the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), and it happened to Cornelius and his household when the first Gentiles were preached to (Acts 10:44-45). Holy Spirit baptism doesn’t save you; water baptism is what saves you (1 Pet 3:21, Mk 16:16). In fact, when Cornelius and his household were filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said that they still needed to be baptized in water (Acts 10:46-48)! Holy Spirit baptism was a temporary, miraculous gift used to spread the Gospel in the first century before we had the completed Bible, but now that we have a perfect Bible, there is no longer any need for miracles (1 Cor 13:8-10). If you want to have your sins forgiven, you need to be baptized in water. Read “What Must I Do To Be Saved” for further details.