Ask Your Preacher
We all know even Christians are not perfect and have struggles. We also know that sanctification should be occurring, and a Christian has conduct requirements. My question is: when does sin become a serious problem in a Christian’s life? When does a Christian become a lukewarm Christian? And after receiving Christ in their lives, can Christians backslide or sin enough to lose their salvation? I know I hate sin and strive my hardest to do the will of God, but there are times I just have a thorn in my flesh or do what I don't want to do.
We are warned to not “drift” away from the Lord (Heb 2:1) or “backslide” (Pr 1:32) into old sinful ways. Once we are baptized, we are told to grow in the Lord and mature in our faith (1 Pet 2:2). Baptism is the beginning of a new life, but God calls us to be faithful until death (Rev 2:10). A Christian can know that they are not lukewarm by properly examining their motives and lifestyle (1 Cor 11:28-30). God constantly forgives faithful and honest people for their sins (1 Jn 1:9), but if we neglect our salvation (Heb 2:3) or stop growing, we have no hope left (Heb 10:26-27). The struggles you face are completely common… the important thing is to continue to struggle and fight for the faith.
Why is it beneficial to not have sex before your wedding?
Dear Why Knot,
It is always beneficial to do what God says and to avoid sin because sin leads to spiritual death and immense problems in this life (Rom 6:23). Sex before marriage is a sin. From the very beginning, God designed marriage as the realm for sexual relations (Gen 2:24). 1 Cor 7:1-2 states that any relations outside of marriage are fornication. God tells us to flee all fornication (1 Cor 6:18). Even though sexual immorality is rampant in our culture and accepted by our society, that doesn’t make it right. Christians are called to honor God and honor marriage by leaving the marriage bed pure and undefiled (Heb 13:4).
If you believe in God and commit suicide, would you go to hell?
Dear Damage Calculator,
Suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. 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.
What should I do to get over lost love?
It is always difficult when a romantic relationship ends, but God promises that if you serve Him, all things will work together for good in your life (Rom 8:28). God tells us to not rush love and romantic relationships (Songs 8:4). If you work on becoming the kind of person you ought to be, the Lord will bless you. Make a decision to become a person prepared to serve God in whatever capacity He sees fit (2 Tim 2:21). When you allow Christ to live in you, life turns out right (Gal 2:20).
Is not having enough money a "good" reason to postpone marriage? I (we) are poor college students but are emotionally and spiritually ready for marriage… just not financially. Bad reasoning?
Ready, But No Money
Dear Ready, But No Money,
There is no clear answer on something like this because each circumstance is different, but there are two Bible principles you want to keep in mind when deciding when to marry.
The first principle is that God tells us to plan ahead in all that we do. In Lk 14:28-32, Jesus explains that a man who doesn’t plan before building a tower or a king who doesn’t plan before going to war is a fool. As you know, marriage is a huge commitment, and there are a lot of important things to be prepared for when considering marriage. Finances are only one part of the picture, but they are something to factor in. So, thinking about the financial aspects of marriage makes you wise.
The second principle is found in 1 Cor 7:9. That verse explains that it is possible for a couple to wait too long before marriage, and it can lead to all sorts of problems… not the least of which is sinful pre-marital conduct. A couple that burns for one another isn’t weak; 1 Cor 7:9 explains that it is a natural and normal aspect of how God made men and women, but it is also something to consider when postponing marriage for too long. Some couples, in the desire to wait for the “perfect time” to get married – simply wait too long. Better to be poor and married than financially stable with regrets and unhappiness.
As we said, the answer isn’t simple. Finances should be considered, but waiting for riches isn’t right either. You have to use wisdom to balance these two principles and decide as a couple whether or not the time is right.