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.
Can Satan read our minds? Does Satan read our thoughts? Is he capable of knowing what we are thinking? Thank You!
What Am I Thinking Right Now?
Dear What Am I Thinking Right Now,
Satan cannot read your mind, but he can attack your mind. The devil is exceptionally cunning and wiley (Eph 6:11). He uses his trickery to deceive us, but he doesn’t know your inner thoughts. On certain occasions, the devil has placed thoughts within minds (Jhn 13:2), but he cannot see into our hearts. If the devil could read minds and hearts, he never would have wasted time tempting Jesus (Matt 4:1).
God is the only one to be noted to have the ability to see into our hearts (Acts 1:24) and read our minds (Lk 11:17). Aside from God, the only one who knows your mind is you (1 Cor 2:11). The devil may be very clever… but he doesn’t know the depths of your soul.
We recently had a man from the congregation preach for us, and as he talked, he told the unfortunate story of how his son's life was not in accordance with God's will and how he wished so much that he could even share a meal with him, but because of his sinful state, he could not be around him. Is this the kind of separation the Bible teaches we are to have from those outside Christ? How can we be a light to those not in Christ if we can't speak a word to them?
Dear Seems Harsh,
It sounds like this man’s son became a Christian and then fell away. When that happens, the church is told to show tough love and separate themselves from the wayward brother or sister. We are commanded to “withdraw from” and “have no company with” an ungodly Christian (2 Thess 3:6, 1 Cor 5:1-13). We are to do this for the sinner’s own good, hoping it will bring shame on them, and they will repent (2 Thess 3:14). This is really a loving thing to do even though it is a hurtful and sorrowful act for all people involved. The church is given strict orders to withdraw and not associate with a wayward brother or sister (1 Cor 5:13).
However, the immediate family doesn’t have the same “black and white” guidelines. In fact, we see that in some scenarios, the family is commanded to do the opposite – as in the case of an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor 7:13). Sometimes the family has a greater influence by still associating with the wayward Christian… in other cases, the family finds the best way to help the sinning loved one is to separate themselves. When dealing with immediate family, there are wisdom and judgment calls involved.
It is important to note that when a Christian turns back to a life of sin, the church is supposed to separate themselves from them… but that command only applies to wayward Christians. The apostle Paul specifically tells us that we should try to draw near and affect the lives of sinners that haven’t ever obeyed the gospel (1 Cor 5:9-10). Christians should seek to be lights in the world and examples to those who have never known Christ.
How do we tell if we are ready to be killed for our faith in God and automatically know that we will go to heaven?
Martyr In Training
Dear Martyr In Training,
Though some Christians are placed in a position where they are killed for their faith, God doesn't command all Christians to die for Him – instead, He tells us to be living sacrifices (Rom 12:1). We need to live our lives in a way that is faithful until death... not faithfully seeking death (Rev 2:10). We are even told to pray for a quiet life of godliness if at all possible (1 Tim 2:2). If we must forfeit our lives for Christ, so be it. But we don't go seeking violence.
Am I awesome?
An awesome God made you in His image and that is some awe-inspiring news. Here is some more:
God says that Christians are His people, an elect race, and a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9). Christians have a hope of heaven as their anchor (Heb 6:19). You don’t get much more awesome than being on your way to heaven and a chosen child of God!