Ask Your Preacher
Where was God during the Holocaust? Why do we teach our children to pray and tell them prayers will be answered when thousands of children prayed every day during this horrible time without an answer?
When God created the universe, He made everything good (Gen 1:31). The world didn’t have disease, thorns, suffering, and all the other problems we see today. Originally, Adam and Eve lived in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8). It is only after Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden because of their sin that all the problems we see today began. All suffering is caused by mankind and sin.
When God made the world, He made it to be good – it was sin that destroyed that perfect vision. All wickedness and evil brings pain to God and grieves Him and He will only endure it for so long. In Noah’s day, God saw all the violence that was in the world and it made Him deeply sad (Gen 6:5-6). God gives mankind the freedom to make our own choices, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pain Him to see the evil upon this earth. God tells us that the only reason He endures it is because He is longsuffering and desiring to give as many people as possible the chance to repent and turn to Him (2 Pet 3:9).
Should I vote for Mitt Romney (a Mormon) for president?
We won’t tell you who to vote for or who not to vote for… that just simply goes beyond the Scriptures and into the realm of opinion. Politics have always intermingled with religion because many political issues (such as abortion, homosexuality, etc.) have moral implications, but religion is not the same as politics. Jesus’ attitude toward the government was that we should pay our taxes (Lk 20:25), obey the laws (Rom 13:1), pray for the rulers, and hope for a quiet life (1 Tim 2:1-2). Politics are a big deal in this country (especially during such volatile political times), but Christianity transcends such earthly disputes and battles. Stand by God’s Word in all issues, and you will always be fine.
I'm hoping you might be able to help me in something that has been bothering me a lot, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to take care of this major concern: I feel that until I am prepared to show someone what God says they need to do to be saved, I'm not doing one of the most important things He asks of me. I've seen outlines for teaching someone the plan of salvation, but nothing I can put in my purse. Are there, say, ten verses that include most everything I might need in order show someone God's plan of salvation – something I might be able to memorize and possibly make into a small handout in case the opportunity arises? Seems like the subject of God comes up when least expected, and I want to be prepared to share my faith. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
Ready To Be Ready
Dear Ready To Be Ready,
What a great New Year’s resolution! Everyone should try and be ready to explain why they believe what they do and be prepared to share God’s plan of salvation with others (1 Pet 3:15). Many people have the exact same problem that you have – trying to have something simple enough to have on hand and take with them.
A while back, we taught a class on how to teach people about Christ entitled “7 Questions For Your Soul”, and as part of that class, we made up a set of notes that could be printed off on sticker paper and put into the inside cover of your Bible; the whole thing fits on two pages of a standard-sized Bible and could easily be made small enough to fit into your purse. If you’d like, below is a .pdf copy of those notes. Feel free to use, distribute, and adjust as you see fit to help you be the most effective evangelist you can be!
Jesus will return in the same way He left true or false?
Dear Looking Up,
True. When Jesus ascended into the clouds from the Mount of Olives, His apostles were left staring into the heavens with amazement (Acts 1:9). As they gazed into the sky, two angels appeared by the apostles and told them that Jesus would someday return in the same way that they had seen Him leave (Acts 1:10-11). Some day, Jesus will return and we shall see Him physically descend from the heavens to claim His own (1 Thess 4:16-18).
Do you think it's wrong for a christian to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden? I was ecstatic and thankful to God when I heard the news, but then someone showed me Prov 24:17.
There is a balance in the heart of a christian between rejoicing that evil has been vanquished and mourning over the death of a human being. There are plenty of examples of God’s people rejoicing in national victories. There is an entire song that was written when the Israelites celebrated the destruction and drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Ex 15:1-21). There is always joy when the wicked are defeated (Pr 11:10). It is appropriate to be happy when evil is destroyed because it means righteousness is prevailing (Pr 28:28).
However, this also must be tempered with the fact that a human that was made in the image of God (Gen 1:27) perished. God says that it pains Him when the wicked perish (Ezek 18:23); we should also have that pain. There is a bittersweet emotion within the hearts of God’s people when an evil person dies. We rejoice that righteousness has prevailed, but we sorrow that a soul stained with sin has gone to face its Maker.