Ask Your Preacher
I wonder why our gospel preacher, along with several others, think they need to go overseas to preach the gospel. I feel there is a great need here in the United States for preaching also, but he doesn’t do that; he only holds gospel meetings from time to time. I know it is good to let others hear the gospel all over the world, but why not go out into areas in the U.S.?! It seems like a lot of wasted money, and everyone knows the people in the poor nations are always looking for money. Why do so many preachers think they have to do this?
Stick To The States
Dear Stick To The States,
The key to answering your question is in your own words – you said, “I feel there is a great need here…”. God has told us to bring the gospel to all of the world (Matt 28:19), and it is a matter of wisdom and personal preference as to where, when, and how to do that.
Some feel it is more practical to focus on those of their own country because there is a real need right here. Others feel that since we are the wealthiest nation in the world and have the means to preach in foreign lands, we should focus on that. Both are right. There are needs in both America and abroad. There are preachers needed here and elsewhere.
Yes, some people in poor nations only want money and are deceptively listening to the gospel in hopes of a handout… but the same could be said about people here in America, too! Wherever the gospel has been preached, there have been sincere and insincere hearts. Even one of the apostles, Judas, used religion as a disguise for greed (Jhn 12:6).
The best thing we can do is all work to preach wherever we feel we can make a difference and not judge those who put their zeal towards other evangelism fields – we both serve the same Master (Rom 14:4). The problem isn’t that we aren’t preaching enough in the right parts of the world… the problem is that we aren’t preaching enough.
I have concerns with so many different opinions that people in the church have because, sometimes, those opinions aren't spoken very humbly. How do I deal with or respond to these situations in a respectful and godly way? This is especially true with a couple of younger mothers who are VERY passionate about how they want things handled. Thanks for your help!
No More Free Advice
Dear No More Free Advice,
It is important to remember that how others behave isn’t your concern; it is how you behave that counts. An extreme example of this is that you can’t control how your enemies behave, but you can still love them (Lk 6:27). In the church, where we aren’t enemies, people are bound to disagree, but we can find peace if we show love in all circumstances.
Paul told Timothy to treat older women with the same respect as you would your mother and treat younger women with the level of equality you would a sister (1 Tim 5:1-2). We don’t have to agree with everything that others say, but if we make sure that our words are always gracious, we can find peace… even in our disagreements (Col 4:6).
I recently saw on a Facebook post by a good friend in our congregation where she mentioned she doesn't feel the Bible is really "an instruction manual for life"; she didn't want to underestimate the importance of the Bible, but this is how she felt. I was quite concerned when I saw this post, but really, I guess I just want to see if I can get a clearer explanation as to what that may mean. Thank you for your time.
We can’t say what your friend meant by her statement, but we can tell you that the Bible definitely is an instruction manual for life. Here are some things for your friend to consider:
- Peter said that the Bible gives us everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).
- The apostle Paul said that the Bible is God’s power for our salvation (Rom 1:16).
- Jesus said that if we want to enter into life, we should keep the commandments (Matt 19:17).
The Bible is designed by God to be our roadmap to salvation and life.
I need to know where in the bible does it say, "all Christians may not go to heaven"? Please help me because I don't really understand it.
Preparing For The Future
Dear Preparing For The Future,
The Bible never says, “all Christians may not go to heaven”, that isn’t a quote from God’s Word. The Bible talks about the principle that we must be faithful until death (Rev 2:10), and that a Christian that drifts away from God has lost their hope (Heb 2:1, Heb 10:26-27). If we turn our back on God, then we no longer have our assurance of heaven.
However, the opposite is also true. If we turn to the Lord and place our faith in Him, we can have confidence in our salvation (2 Tim 4:7-8) and peace of mind knowing that no one can snatch us from Christ (Jhn 10:28-29).
Hi; I was reading about what some of the earliest Christians believed, and apparently, in one of their earliest rule books called the Didache, it says that they had to publicly confess all their sins in church to everyone else. Is this something we still have to do today? I always thought we could just confess to God if it was something private, and I don't want to have to go in front of my church and tell them everything I've ever done.
Dear Privacy Please,
We must follow the Bible, and the Didache isn’t the Bible. The Didache is part of what is often referred to as ‘second-generation Christian writings’. Even though it is a historically significant document, it isn’t part of the Bible, it isn’t inspired by God, and we don’t use it to decide what is right and wrong. The Bible never says that we have to confess our sins in front of the congregation. It does tell us to confess our sins to God (1 Jn 1:9), but it doesn’t require that we do it publicly or that we do it in every circumstance. Here are a few circumstances when the Bible says confessing your sins to others should be done:
- If you have sinned against them, you must admit it and ask for forgiveness (Lk 17:3-4).
- If you believe the knowledge of your previous sin will help them (1 Tim 1:15-16).
- If you are struggling with a sin and need help (Jas 5:16, Eccl 4:9).
- If it would be deceptive to not reveal the sin (1 Jhn 1:8).
But don’t fret about baring all before everyone else; the Didache isn’t the guidebook – the Bible is.