Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

GOD

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Why We Suffer

Monday, December 14, 2020
     I'm going to be up front with you; I am not a Christian.  I have no desire to be.  My fiancé, on the other hand, is.  I am trying to understand how he believes, so we will have a more harmonious union.  I asked him this question, and he did not know the answer.

My question is: if the Lord is so wonderful, why would He want to see His children suffer?  Why would He take away a life that has not yet even begun?  Why would He hurt the innocent when the evil continue to live?  I don't understand this.

If you could please explain this in simple terms – the preachers in my area get very upset when someone doubts the Lord’s amazing-ness.  Thus, I am turning to you, whoever you are, to give me a straight answer.  Thank you so much.

Sincerely,
Unbelievable

Dear Unbelievable,

Many people don’t believe in God because religious people are unwilling or incapable of giving logical answers to questions like this.  We are so sorry that you’ve never gotten the answers that the Bible offers because the Bible does give an answer to this question.
This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things; sin did.  All bad things are a result of sin.  When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise.  Who caused the pain?  We did.  It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world.  We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it.  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.  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.  The flip-side to this is that all children go to heaven, so after a child dies, God immediately comforts them on the other side.

God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13).  God planned before the foundation of the world to save us by sending His own Son to die (Eph. 1:3-4).  Even though He isn’t responsible for our choices, God sent the perfect cure. This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven.  Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise.  This world is not our home; Christians await a better world (Heb 11:16).

Every Now And Zen

Friday, December 11, 2020
     Is it okay for Christians to meditate?  If you pray to relieve stress but also want to just take a few minutes a day to picture a nice scenery or something to bring zen, is that okay?

Sincerely,
Mind Over Matter

Dear Mind Over Matter,

God wants us to dwell upon positive things (Php 4:8).  There is nothing wrong with meditating on the good and beautiful of this life.  Ps 77:12 talks about dwelling upon God’s creation and His handiwork as a positive thing.  Meditation isn’t a replacement for prayer – but it can be pleasant.

Banding Together

Thursday, December 03, 2020
     I've recently become aware of my backsliding, and I've decided to fix things in my life to make myself closer to God.  I have a band that is secular, and it's definitely my livelihood at twenty-two years old.  I don't sing about Satan or bash God or anything of that nature, but I have used swearing and talking about killing posers (in a playful manner; I play Thrash Metal, so it is an aggressive form of music).  However, I do have a lot of songs about the realities of nuclear war, sci-fi movies, etc.

I don't know what to do.  I want to get right with God, but I'd hate to see my band end over it (I know that sounds very selfish saying it or typing it out).

I've had a very bad history with religion.  I abandoned my faith as a teenager and did just about every kind of blasphemy and obscene and irreverent living you can think of.  When I was seventeen, I came close to dying from alcohol poisoning, and it made me realize that I needed Jesus back in my heart.  I struggled for YEARS... yes, YEARS, in agonizing fear of being unforgiven for all the horrible things I did out of rebellion... I worried about God hating me or not forgiving me.

Anyways, I've gotten carried away; I'm just concerned.  What's your opinion?

Sincerely,
Giving Myself A Thrashing

Dear Giving Myself A Thrashing,

Can you still play and cut out all swearing? Swearing is a sin (Eph 4:29).  Can you clean up the content of your music?  All that we say and dwell on should attempt to be pure and honorable (Php 4:8).  Is the environment that your band puts you in conducive to long-term faithfulness, or will it slowly tear you away from the Lord?  God tells us to watch the company we keep because it can corrupt us (1 Cor 15:33).  You said that you are backsliding – is the band environment part of the problem or part of the solution?

If you can faithfully ask yourself those questions, you will have your answer.

A Laughing Matter

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
What scripture shows that God laughs or has a sense of humor?  Thanks.

Sincerely,
Funny Bone

Dear Funny Bone,

God definitely has a sense of humor, but just as a child often struggles to see his parents’ funny bone because they are busy raising the child, we often miss God’s sense of humor because we are His children and the works of His hands (1 Jn 3:1).  One of the simplest proofs of God’s ability to find humor is that we are made in His image (Gen 1:27), and we are able to laugh.  Since man has a sense of humor, God must have one also.

Ps 59:8 talks about God laughing at those who think they can outwit Him, and Ps 2:4 says the same.  There are other things that point to God’s sense of humor.  When we look at the animals and created world, we see the invisible attributes of God (Rom 1:20).  God made the platypus – that animal is downright hilarious-looking!

Lastly, there are other anecdotes in the Bible that show God’s sense of humor: the way He destroys the false god, Dagon, in 1 Sam 5:1-5 or how the false exorcists were put to flight in Acts 19:13-16.

Mouthy

Monday, November 09, 2020
     Can you tell me all you know about blasphemy?  How do I know if I have done it, how do I make sure I don't, and can it really not be forgiven?  What if you did it without knowing or before you realized what it was… or before you got saved?  Please help!  I was told if you're worrying about it, you probably haven't.  Just wondering!  Thanks!

Sincerely,
Watching My Mouth

Dear Watching My Mouth,

Blasphemy can be forgiven, like all other sins, but it definitely is wrong.  The word ‘blasphemy’ means ‘to speak evil of’; any language that speaks poorly of God is blasphemy.  When we use God’s name as a cuss word or exclamatory term, we demote Him in our minds from the lofty position He deserves.  God tells us to revere Him (Heb 12:28).  All our speech needs to be both clean and reverent, so God’s name is spoken well of amongst His people (1 Tim 6:1).

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