Ask Your Preacher
If a believer in Christ takes their life after suffering from depression, will they go to heaven?
Dear Just Asking,
Whether someone suffers from depression or not, suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.
I am a teenager, and I’m getting into wearing makeup… is it bad to wear makeup? I know it is, but where in the Bible does it say this? That’s what I want to know. Thanxx!
The Naked Eye
Dear The Naked Eye,
There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup – if it is worn properly. Makeup usage is a matter of wisdom, and first and foremost, you should consult your parents and abide by their wishes (Eph 6:1-3). They will have perspective and wisdom that can only be acquired through experience.
Wearing makeup is an issue of modesty. When women overly adorn themselves with lavish clothing and accessories, they give the wrong impression (1 Pet 3:3-5). All of us have seen women that dress in a provocative and lustful way… you do not want to send that kind of message! All makeup, jewelry, clothing, etc. should be worn in a way that shows self-control and appears respectable (1 Tim 2:9-10).
I’ve made some mistakes in the past that I’m ashamed of. Society reminds me everyday of my actions, and makes it hard for me to forgive myself, especially when I know they haven’t forgiven me. I feel ashamed and worthless. What can I do to erase my past?
Can’t Get Past the Past
Dear Can’t Get Past the Past,
You can't erase your past, but you can change your future… but that isn't the real issue. The real problem is that you don’t feel forgiven. The two issues are very different. There are times when our head and our heart aren’t on the same page. Guilt can drive someone crazy if they don’t learn to keep things in proper perspective. God says that your heart can be wrong. It is very similar to the problem that the apostle Paul faced. Paul had murdered Christians and felt that he was the worst of the worst, but he learned that Jesus would forgive him (1 Tim 1:15-16).
The apostle John said it best, “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him, for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.” (1 Jhn 3:19-20) Your act of faith is going to be letting go of your fears and trusting that living by God’s Word is what matters (Rom 10:17)… not what society thinks of you.
God bless you, brethren. First off, I would like to thank you for allowing yourselves to be used by the Lord. Your insights and biblical knowledge are encouraging, helpful, and refreshing. My question today is the following:
How should we, biblically, spend our time each day? I know in one verse, we are told to "pray without ceasing". What I understand from that is we should be praying all the time. What else does the Bible say we should do throughout the day?
Dear Day Planner,
There is no way we can cover all the things that we should do in our lives in one short AYP answer… after all, the answer to that question is an entire lifetime full of sermons. However, here are some generic things that we are told to constantly do.
- Show gratitude to God. We are told to always pray with gratitude (Php 4:6), and since we are told to pray all the time, that means we should always seek to count our blessings and be thankful for the life we have. Rejoicing is a characteristic of a godly life (1 Thess 5:16).
- We are told to forgive others (Matt 6:12) and to never render evil for evil (1 Thess 5:15). We should seek to do good and overcome evil with goodness (Rom 12:21). By forgiving our debtors and leaving vengeance to God, we live as God intends.
- We are to be the lights of the world (Matt 5:14). God expects Christians to be enduring examples to mankind. We are told to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in us (1 Pet 3:15). God wants us to change the world around us and bring the message of Christ to a dying world.
- Col 3:17 says that whatever we do, in word or deed, should be done for the glory of God. Live your life avoiding sin and embracing godliness.
As we said, these are simply generic goals, and there are more to be sure, but these four are enough to keep most of us busy!
Why do I get mad often?
Dear Short Fuse,
Uncontrolled rage, like so many sins, stems from within our hearts (Mk 7:21-23). God warns that anger has a way of creeping up on us, and we must rule over it (Gen 4:6-7). Eph 4:26 says that we should make sure that our anger doesn’t control our actions; it is okay to be angry, but it isn’t okay to sin (Eph 4:26). One of the easiest ways to cool your temper is to be quick to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19-20). Anger can be controlled by slowing down and listening before jumping to conclusions.