Ask Your Preacher
Sometimes I feel God’s presence very strongly, and other times I feel very weak. I even question my salvation at times. Do you believe the teaching of “once saved, always saved”?
Not Feeling It
Dear Not Feeling It,
“Once saved, always saved” isn’t true. Heb 3:12 says that we must be wary and protect our hearts because an evil, unbelieving heart can fall away. 2 Pet 3:17 says that we can lose our salvation if we get caught up in false teaching (1 Tim 4:1 also states this). If we return to a life of ungodliness, then we crucify Christ again (Heb 6:4-6).
However, it is also normal to sometimes feel spiritually strong and sometimes feel spiritually weak… what is God’s remedy for that? Rom 10:17 says that we can measure our faith by our willingness to follow God’s Word. Sometimes emotions can be deceiving. It is our adherence to God’s Word that saves us (Rom 1:16). If you are doing what God says you must do to be saved, then you can have confidence regardless of how you feel (see “Five Steps To Salvation” for further details). Serving God is often an issue of doing what is right without regard to our emotions… showing bravery when we are afraid, working when we are tired, praying when we feel we aren’t heard, and persevering when we are discouraged.
What happens to people (say in like the middle of Africa or in China) that die having never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ?
What God does with the African tribe that is isolated from society is between Him and them. We know that God doesn’t hold people accountable for things that they cannot do (2 Cor 8:11-12). We also know that He says all mankind is without excuse because the Creation speaks of His greatness (Rom 1:20). We also know that God has a certain expectation that we will seek Him out (Matt 7:7-10). All of these principles must be balanced out when considering the fate of isolated peoples.
Ultimately, the Lord is judge… a righteous one (2 Tim 4:8). The Lord doesn’t desire any of the wicked to perish (Ezek 18:23). He will fitly and properly judge all mankind.
If I sin does God still love me?
I Made A Mistake
Dear I Made A Mistake,
The Lord loves people but hates sin. God tells us it is appropriate to be happy when evil is destroyed because it means righteousness is prevailing (Pr 28:28), but God also says that it pains Him when the wicked perish (Ezek 18:23). God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins (Jhn 3:16), but He hates sin so much that if we don’t take advantage of the forgiveness that is in Christ, God will separate Himself from us (Lk 13:27). When we sin, God wants us to repent of that sin and come to Christ that we might be saved. Read “Five Steps To Salvation” for what it takes to become a Christian and have your sins removed.
I am worried about going to heaven; I pray often, but I have never felt the Holy Ghost. I am wondering, and sometimes I have sinful thoughts. What can I do to make it to heaven, be with my passed family members, and be with my Lord?
Dear Getting Home,
The Holy Spirit dwells in those that follow the Bible and put to death their previous sinful lifestyles (Rom 8:12-14). The Holy Spirit gave us the Bible, and when we follow it, we are led by the Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God, and the Spirit dwells in them (Rom 8:14-16).
Christians do have the Holy Spirit dwell in them (Rom 8:9) – but not literally. The Holy Spirit dwells in christians in the same metaphorical way that Christ dwells in christians (Rom 8:10). The Holy Spirit and Jesus do not physically dwell inside christians miraculously, therefore, you don’t “feel” the Holy Spirit in you. They dwell within christians in a figurative way because a christian’s life follows the path the Holy Spirit and Christ set for them.
If you do the five things the Bible says to become a Christian, the Holy Spirit will be in you as you walk the path that He has set for you. Read “Five Steps To Salvation” for more information on what those five things are.
Hello; I'm wondering if a person is born with mental deformities and can't understand the concept of the Lord, will they still reach heaven?
Heart For Others
Dear Heart For Others,
Those with mental handicaps would fall under the same rules as children. In order to obey the gospel, we must have the maturity to:
- Take responsibility for our sins (Acts 3:19).
- Hear and understand the Word of God (Rom 10:17).
- Be responsible for our own spiritual growth (1 Pet 2:1-2).
Children and those with certain mental handicaps do not have that ability, and God only holds us accountable for what we are able to do (2 Cor 8:11-12). Just like children, they will go to heaven.