Ask Your Preacher
I am having such difficulty understanding many things. I am of Baptist faith and was raised in church; however, I have not been attending for a long time. I seem to be the only one with questions. I don't want to be like this, but every time I ask my questions, it seems I always get an answer of, “You just have to have faith and not question things. They are too big to understand.” That doesn't seem to help me at all. ‘Why did God make the devil?’ is one of my questions. I know that he was a fallen angel, but why did God make him knowing that he would be evil, and being He knows everything, it seems He would know the outcome of him turning against Him. If God wanted a perfect world without sin, He could have had it. He is God; He could have done whatever He wanted. He already knew that Adam and Eve would eat the apple, so how did they have a chance not to? He made them and already knew the outcome. I don't see how that is free will or choice when He already knew they were going to mess up.
So Many Contradictions
Dear So Many Contradictions,
The Bible does give answers, and many people have turned away from God because the denominational world has failed to give them those answers. There are some things that we don’t have answers for, but the questions you are asking are fundamental questions that the Bible clearly gives answers to.
All of your questions come down to the same issue – if God knew that people (and the devil) were going to do bad things, how come we are still to blame? God knows our days upon this earth, but He also gives us the freewill to shape various aspects of the world that we live in. Just because God has knowledge of how you and I will behave does not mean that He causes our behavior to happen in a certain way. Foreknowledge is not the same as causation. A doctor may know that a patient is going to die of cancer, but that doesn’t mean the doctor gave them cancer. God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13). God, having the wisdom to see that freewill also meant that people would have the freedom to choose bad things, doesn’t mean that He is to blame for our choices. Furthermore, God didn’t just sit idly with His foreknowledge. God planned before the foundation of the world to save us by sending His own Son to die (Eph. 1:3-4). Even though He isn’t responsible for our choices, God sent the perfect cure.
Catechisms are religious texts with teaching by questions. Is AskYourPreacher.com a catechism?
Dear Devout Definitions,
Saying that AskYourPreacher is a catechism is kind of like saying that since a wagon has four wheels that it is the same as a car. Though there are similarities between catechisms’ question/answer format to teach doctrine and AskYourPreacher, we aren’t at all the same.
AskYourPreacher doesn’t use fixed questions and answers – these are real questions that real people ask us on a daily basis. We would NEVER want someone to use AYP as their sole source of Bible knowledge. Use the Bible as your sole source of Bible knowledge! Catechisms are designed to be used as manuals for worship, doctrine, etc. Our goal is to help refer people back to the Bible and away from man’s traditions – basically the opposite of what catechisms do.
Who is God?
Dear Supernatural Questions,
God is the creator of all things, and all things were created for Him, and the world is held together by Him (Col 1:16-17). God is the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13). Because of God, we have dominion over this wonderful creation (Gen 1:26), and all mankind is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14). From the smallest atom to the highest heaven, all things are the works of His hands.
God is not only our Creator, He sent His Son to be our Savior (Jhn 3:16). Because of God, we have physical life, and because of God, we can have spiritual life through Jesus’ gift on the cross.
My girlfriend’s mother’s best friend claims she has a gift from God and can see the future. She does not like me and tells me and my girl’s family that I am going to hurt her and that I will lose her because of that... does this sound at all possible? And if so, where in the Bible does it say anything about when you are saved that God will grant you unnatural abilities? Because this is what she claims.
Not A Bad Boyfriend
Dear Not A Bad Boyfriend,
Eccl. 8:7-8 says that mankind doesn’t have the ability to tell the future – it is a mystery to us. There have been times that God gave prophets the ability to speak of the future, but the times of prophecies and visions are over.
Miraculous gifts were given to the first century church because they did not have the complete Bible as we do. Miracles were a confirmation that those preaching were sent by God (Mk 16:20); they were how God bore witness that these men were His servants (Heb 2:2-4). These miracles were necessary at that time, but now that the perfect Word of God has been completed, they are no longer needed (1 Cor 13:8-10). We have all the prophecies of God written down, all the divine knowledge is in God’s Word, and the Bible is translated into every major language on the planet.
Your girlfriend’s mother’s best friend is either consciously or subconsciously deceiving herself and others – she can’t see the future, and she has no supernatural gifts.
I think God gave me a dream of heaven. Would God give somebody a dream of heaven during trying times to prove how much He loves me?
Dear Burdened Dreamer,
The days of dreams and visions have passed. In the past, God spoke to various people through dreams, visions, and prophecy, but today He speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-2). Now that we have the complete and perfect Bible – there is no need for God to give people individual dreams or visions. It is through the Word of God that we learn how to live faithfully (Rom 10:17).
We are sure that your dreams mean something, but they don’t mean anything supernatural or prophetic. What you had was not a vision. Prophets have visions, and there are no more prophets since we have the perfect and complete Word of God (1 Cor 13:8-10). The human mind is a complex and wondrous thing (Ps 139:14). It is perfectly normal for our minds to make mental connections as we pray, study, sleep, etc. Those mental images aren’t visions; they are just your own thoughts as your mind meditates upon what you have said, read, or heard.