Ask Your Preacher
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one.”
How then can anyone justify the hate of gays, gay marriage, Muslims, Jews, etc. Are we not all God's children? Should we not treat all of these people as our equals, respect their beliefs, and engage them with love? Similarly, how can Christians be against gay marriage "because the Bible condemns it"… yet the Bible does not condemn slavery (Exodus 21:2-6), however we know that it is wrong.
Full Of Love
Dear Full Of Love,
The Bible does teach to love, and there is no justification for hating homosexuals, Muslims, Jews, etc. However, the Bible also says that love rejoices in the truth (1 Cor 13:6). Biblical love doesn’t find happiness when people are lost and living lives of sin. The Bible teaches that those who don’t accept Jesus as the Son of God are lost (Jhn 14:6), and it teaches that homosexuality is sinful (Rom 1:26-27), and it teaches that the only moral definition of marriage is between one man and one woman (1 Cor 7:2).
People have always used the Bible to justify hate and wickedness, but that doesn’t make it right. In like manner, people who simply say, “Love and forget about the rules” are wrong, too.
As far as slavery, the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, but it does condemn abuse, and it does say that it is better to be free than enslaved (1 Cor 7:21). God also deals with how people can live in a world where slavery does exist… hence, verses like Col 3:22. Slavery was, and is, a reality in many parts of the world, a reality that doesn’t go away once people become Christians. How a slave should behave toward their master is a down-to-earth, practical, moral question for many, many people. The fact that we Americans don’t have to deal with such dilemmas anymore is a blessing, but the Bible wasn’t just written for Americans.
Recently, I've been doing what I feel is the right thing to do and come clean about an issue. Granted, my honesty has cost me my job, ended my relationship with my girlfriend, and caused me to move back home with my parents. I'm at peace with the situation because I feel like coming clean was the right thing to do, and I have faith, knowing that God will be glorified through this, and I know God will take care of me. I've reached a point where I've concluded that I've turned my entire life over to God for His will and purposes with no concern for my wants. With this being said, how do I know if I’m being led by God in an action or not? I find myself frequently overthinking and have a hard time determining if what I’m doing is God’s will for me or not. I’m willing to continue correspondence if needed, so feel free to ask me a question back for clarity. Thank you, and God bless.
Cleaning Up My Act
Dear Cleaning Up My Act,
It sounds like your heart is in the right place, and we commend you for making so many sacrifices to have a pure conscience. Turning to God and turning away from sin can sometimes cost us a lot – there is a reason Jesus referred to serving Him as “taking up your cross” (Matt 16:24). Good for you for taking the path less traveled.
So how can you know day to day what decisions are best? Paul told Timothy that he was approved by God when he rightly handled the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15). Many people wholeheartedly believe that they are pleasing to God but will be condemned on the Day of Judgment (Matt 7:22-23). Feelings can be deceptive, but God’s Word is unchanging, unbiased, and able to rightly divide our lives and character (Heb 4:12). If you want to know whether or not you are pleasing God, compare your life to the Scriptures. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17).”
Secondly, when you are faced with decisions that aren’t right or wrong (i.e. where to move, what job to take, large financial decisions, etc.), God tells us to pray for wisdom (Jas 1:5). Before we make any major decision, we should pray that the Lord’s will be done before our own (Jas 4:15). This way, you can have confidence that while you are trying to make wise decisions, the Lord will bless you in even the non-biblical issues.
After you get saved, what happens to you if you still commit the same sins? Will I still be allowed into heaven? And how can I know that I am truly saved? A friend told me that when I got saved, it could have been just “a dose of feel-good”.
Dear Feeling Bad,
You can know you are saved if you do the five things that the Bible tells you that you must do to be saved. Read our post “Five Steps To Salvation” for exactly what it takes to be saved. Furthermore, if you don’t know what it takes to be saved, it is likely that you haven’t found a faithful church yet. Heb 10:24-25 teaches that we must assemble with a faithful church to please God; we would be happy to help you find one in your area; just e-mail us at email@example.com.
Once you are saved, God says that all future sins are dealt with by asking for forgiveness (1 Jn 1:9) and repentance (Acts 3:19). ‘Repentance’ means to ‘change your mind’… literally to make a change in how you think and act. God doesn’t expect us to live perfect lives, but He does expect us to try and turn from sin.
Is it okay to have fond memories of something you did that was less than god-like?
The Bible tells us that if we love God, we will hate evil (Ps 97:10). Part of molding our hearts to become the kind of people God wants us to be is to learn to love good and hate wickedness (Amos 5:15). Even if that sin might have been enjoyable in the past, the lusts of the world shouldn’t find room in our hearts anymore (Rom 13:14).
My wife and I are having a debate. I think it's a debate on the definition of sin. My wife asserts that because Jesus was a sinless human, He was therefore an appropriate sacrifice for mankind, and the only thing that allowed Him to not sin was that He was God. I, on the other hand, state that anything God does is, by default, not sin (or anti-sin). Therefore, anything He does is not sin. It sounds the same, but my wife says He had the option to sin but chose not to while I say whatever He did would be anti-sin no matter what He chose to do. Any thoughts?
Right By Default?
Dear Right By Default,
Your wife is right; Jesus had the option to sin, but He chose not to. Heb 4:15 says that Jesus was tempted in all ways like we are, yet without sin. If Jesus was incapable of sinning, He couldn’t be tempted to do it. You can’t be tempted to turn into a fish because that would be impossible, but you can be tempted to eat too much, be lazy, lose your temper, etc.
Jesus was actually tempted to sin, but He simply chose not to. A great example of this is when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Mat 4:1-11. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin (which tells you that the devil believed it was possible), but Jesus answered each temptation with Scripture and firm conviction.