Ask Your Preacher
Does God always hear our prayers?
Who is praying and how they pray matters. God says that a righteous man’s prayers do a great deal of good (Jas 5:16). That would by default mean that an unrighteous man’s prayers wouldn’t do much, if any, good at all. God told Israel that their ungodly lifestyles meant that He wouldn’t hear their prayers at all! (Isa 1:15) There are other things that will stop your prayers from being heard:
- Treating your spouse badly (1 Pet 3:7)
- Praying for “show” (Lk 20:47)
- Praying selfishly (Jas 4:3)
- Praying without gratitude (Col 4:2)
There is no doubt that the Bible teaches that we should examine ourselves before approaching God in prayer. A wrong attitude or lifestyle can seriously jeopardize our prayers effectiveness. The flip is also true though! Proper attitudes and behavior are rewarded:
- Asking for wisdom (Jas 1:5)
- Consistency (1 Thess 5:17)
- Godly living (Jas 5:16)
- Asking without doubt (Jas 1:6)
When we are constantly praying, trusting in God’s strength to answer, humbly seeking his wisdom, and living lives that befit God’s servants, we can expect powerful results! Prayer is perhaps one of the greatest tools in a Christian’s arsenal (perhaps also one of the least utilized). The Bible is how God speaks to us; prayer is how we speak to Him. Just like a child asking their parent for a privilege – how we approach God makes all the difference.
Was John the Baptist sent by man or god?
Who Is That Guy?
Dear Who Is That Guy,
John the Baptist was sent by God (Jhn 1:6). The angel Gabriel foretold John’s birth and life (Lk 1:13-17). John was sent by God to prepare Israel for Jesus.
Interestingly, Jesus asked the Pharisees a similar question in Mk 11:29-30. They were afraid to answer the question because of the implications of the answer.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ How is homosexuality against these laws?
Love For All
Dear Love For All,
If you love God, you will do what He says, and God says that homosexuality is wrong (Jude 1:7). Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jhn 14:15). We can measure our love for God by our willingness to keep His commandments. Someone that says they love God, but disregards His Word – doesn’t truly love Him.
Should we worship only with our voices like we are commanded to, or is the use of instruments also acceptable?
Not To Harp On The Issue
Dear Not To Harp On The Issue,
God has given us instruments to use for worshipping Him – our hearts (Eph 5:19). In the New Testament, God tells us to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to Him. He wants the only melody He hears to come from our hearts. Instrumental music wasn’t introduced into the church until over three hundred years after Christ. In fact, ‘a cappella’ singing (singing without instruments) literally means ‘as the church’. There are no examples of the church using instruments to worship God in the New Testament. If we start using them, we are adding something to God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19). All we are ever told to do is “sing and make melody in our hearts”… pluck your heartstrings as you sing to God, and you will make God happy.
The problem with instrumental music in worship is that it isn’t a part of the Bible pattern, and the moment we start doing things outside the Bible, we have gone beyond what God intended (1 Cor 4:6). Instrumental music may sound appealing to us, but it is just one more manmade additive that adds to the division and confusion found in the religious world.
Does Bigfoot exist?
On The Look Out
Dear On The Look Out,
We have absolutely no idea. More and more of God's wonderful creatures are discovered every year. It may just be that someone will find Bigfoot someday... or that animal may just be a myth.