Ask Your Preacher
I am doing a paper on the sixth commandment for school. I have heard there is a verse that says, “God hates sin, but not the sinner.” Is that verse in the Bible, and if so, where, and if not, is there a similar verse that says something similarly? This paper is due soon, and I need the verse to complete my essay. Please help. Thanks!
Making The Grade
Dear Making The Grade,
There is no one verse that says, "God hates sin, but not the sinner." However, there are multiple verses that teach that principle. Hab 1:13 says that God is too pure to look upon evil, and Heb 1:9 talks about Jesus loving justice and hating iniquity. As far as God loving sinners, Jhn 3:16 probably will do the trick.
What should a woman do when she doesn’t cuss, but her husband does? He will cuss me out, hurt my feelings, and blame everything that goes wrong on me. I have threatened to leave, and that worked for about a few days. I just don’t think he loves me as much as I do him, and I am just at the end of my rope.
1 Pet. 3:1-3 says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the Word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”
Sometimes, the best thing to do is also the hardest thing to do. You can’t control his behavior, but you can control yours, and your behavior can win him over. Don’t behave like he does. Continue to watch your language, show him unearned respect, and live with pure conduct. These things work on a man’s heart far more than fighting fire with fire. Your kindness will heap burning coals upon him and is your best hope at turning his heart (Rom 12:20-21).
Thousands of years ago, in many countries, continents, islands, etc., far away from Israel, how could inhabitants hear messages like Jhn 3:16? Were they just out of luck because they didn't live in the area to hear it and died and went to hell?
Dear Logistically Implausible,
The Bible doesn’t tell us much about the Gentiles (a ‘Gentile’ is anybody that isn’t Jewish) that lived before Jesus or before Jesus' message covered the globe as it has now, but what little we do know tells us that God didn’t forsake them. When God called Abraham out from amongst his people (Gen 12:1-2), everyone that wasn’t descended from Abraham became a ‘Gentile’. The Old Testament follows the descendants of Abraham and God’s covenant with them; that is why there isn’t much said about the other nations that lived on this planet. Here is what we know:
- God praised and blessed honest Gentiles. Melchizedek is called a ‘priest of God’ (Gen 14:18), and Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was the priest of Midian (Ex 3:1) and worshipped God. We don’t know exactly what arrangement God had with these men, but we know that they were pleasing to God and not a part of the Jewish nation. Another great example of a godly Gentile was Cornelius. God blessed and heard Cornelius’ prayers (Acts 10:1-4).
- Some Gentiles were blessed by God through conversion to Judaism. Rahab and Ruth were both Gentile women that turned to God by becoming Jews. Both of these women are mentioned in the lineage of Christ (Matt 1:5).
- We have a single statement in the book of Romans that hints at what kind of law the Gentiles were under. Rom 1:14-15 says that the Gentiles had a law of conscience written by God on their hearts. This doesn’t tell us much, but it does point out that God had a system for judging the Gentiles… it was just different than the system He used for judging the Jews.
All of this just gives a glimpse at the pre-Christian Gentile world, but it is enough to paint a picture that God had a plan to save those who lived far from Israel; we just don’t know exactly how it worked.
My son is dying a horrible, long lasting death of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). I have been a Christian my whole life and an active staff member in the church. My whole spiritual world has been rocked by watching my son suffer day after day with nothing in sight except a horrible death. My question is: I have been taught my whole life that God answers prayers. That is not true. God can heal. Yes, He can, but it is just a matter of whether or not He will. God doesn't like to watch His children suffer. Then why does He let us?
Dear Mad Mom,
We are so sorry for your son's suffering, and we cannot fathom the pain it has wrought for you as well. Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite (Gen 2:17). Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence. Sadly, this is true even for our children. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well.
God could have made us without the freedom to choose, but then we wouldn’t be “in His image”… we would be automatons. As a parent, you have seen how the freewill of our children can break our hearts sometimes, and it can be difficult to see your children hurt when they make choices that have painful consequences. From scraped knees to heartaches, parents watch their children get hurt when they leave the nest and strike out on their own. God has that same parental paradox (Heb 12:9-10) – the love to let us choose even when those choices have caused all sorts of problems for us. Your son is suffering because of the diseases mankind’s choices have brought upon us.
I would like to know when I will get married, and will it be with the guy I want to marry?
We are just men here at AYP and not prophets. We can’t tell you the specifics of your life and future. However, we can give you some principles for how to look for a spouse. Read “Set A Date” in our archives for some of the Bible teachings on finding a spouse.