Ask Your Preacher
[This question is a follow-up to “Real… For Real”)
Thanks for answering my question about whether or not God exists! I have another question if it isn't too much trouble; well, truthfully, I have a lot of questions, but you said, "It is important that everyone asks this question at some point in their life."
Why is that? I contacted a few churches with similar questions, and one even told me that he had never doubted it and made me feel as if this wasn't normal. It isn't that I don't believe as much as I can't help but wonder. I was raised in church until around the age of seven or eight, and my parents quit going, and I continued to go by myself until I was around ten or eleven. I haven't faithfully gone to church since, but now at the age of twenty-one, I feel as if God is calling me. I can't help but have my doubts, well, my anxieties about it. I have started church again, but I guess my first step is figuring out my beliefs and learning as much as I can and just looking for help/answers. Thanks so much for your time. It's an amazing thing you're doing. God bless!
The reason it is important for people to ask themselves whether or not God is real is because it is important that we think about what we believe and get real answers from the Bible. If you don’t look for answers, then you are just being spoon-fed whatever the preacher, pastor, professor, etc. you are closest to says.
God expects us to think through these spiritual questions and study His Word for ourselves. Php 2:12 says that we must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. In Isa 1:18, God says, “Come now, let us reason together…”. Far too many churches provide only shallow teaching, and sadly, inaccurate shallow Bible teaching.
Expect more from any church or preacher you talk to than just a superficial answer. Don’t feel bad for asking questions, and don’t let them treat you condescendingly just because they haven’t got an answer. After all, 1 Pet 3:15 says that we ought to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. If they can’t give you a straight answer… you don’t want the hope they are selling.
I have confessed to God, asked Him to come into my life and change me according to His will. I have acknowledged my belief in Jesus' dying on the cross and also His blood cleansing/washing away my sins as well as Him being crucified on the cross and being resurrected on the third day. But why don't I feel different?
It is impossible to say why you (or anyone else) feel a certain way. Emotions are fickle and can be deceiving. Some people feel that they are saved when, in fact, they are lost (Matt 7:21-23), but whether our heart condemns us or not isn’t what saves us (1 Jn 3:19-21). 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 “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” 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. One of Satan’s greatest tools to destroy us is that we often don’t feel as we ought, and sin has a way of numbing us to the truth of God’s Word (Heb 3:13).
I have a question about the unforgivable sin. I didn't entirely understand what it meant last night, so I looked it up on the computer. I was reading it, and while I was reading it, my mind was thinking about things that could cause that to happen. One thing I thought was that if a person just thought, “I want to have committed this sin”, that might be enough to have done it. I was thinking how I would not want to think that, and my mind thought that thought anyways! I am saved and am fearful of God, and I am very scared about having thought that. I was afraid that thinking about it was like doing the sin, and if it’s unforgivable, I don't know what to do. I love God, and I want to have the Holy Spirit in me; I definitely do not want to reject Him! I know I need Him. This is the most scared I have ever been in my life, and I want to make sure that I didn't do anything by thinking that thought. I just need to be entirely reassured; I don’t want to lose my salvation.
The unforgivable sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit, and the fact that you are visiting this website is a pretty sure sign that you haven’t committed it. Jesus says that any sin will be forgiven except for someone blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-30). Jesus said this to the crowd that accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mk 3:23). That crowd could have been forgiven of any sin, but instead they rejected the miracles that testified that Jesus was from God. Contrast that crowd’s attitude with Nicodemus’ attitude. Nicodemus understood that the only way that someone could perform a miracle was if God was with him (Jhn 3:2). When that crowd rejected the evidence that the Holy Spirit provided (in this case, the miracles), they rejected any chance to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus’ teachings. When we reject the truth of God (the Bible), we reject the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to bring the truth of the gospel to mankind (see the post “What the Holy Spirit Does” for more details). Someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit sent us in the Bible. Any sin can be forgiven if we will turn to God’s Word and obey it (Rom 10:17, Heb 5:9), but there is absolutely no hope for someone if he or she will not accept the Holy Spirit’s Bible.
Therefore, since it seems that you are actively seeking the truth and trying to study and learn what God’s Word is – you can find comfort that you haven’t committed the unforgivable sin.
If God has a plan for everyone, when will He show me His for me?
Good To Go
Dear Good To Go,
God once told Israel that He had great plans for them, plans for a future and a hope (Jer 29:11), but He also said that they wouldn’t see those plans until they sought Him with all their hearts (Jer 29:13).
God molds our lives when we prepare ourselves to be used by Him. Paul once told the young preacher Timothy that he needed to be a vessel prepared to be used by God (2 Tim 2:21). When we live faithfully by God’s Word (Rom 10:17) and prepare our lives to be useful to Him, God guarantees that He has great things in store for us.
Should I continue to attend a church that I don't believe is teaching the right things even though my husband is a member there?
Dear Wondering Wife,
Though the Bible says to respect your husband (Eph 5:33), that respect is in subordination to the Lord. It is important to obey God before man (Acts 5:29). We must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12). Solomon made the mistake of honoring his wives before God, and he lost everything because of it (1 Kg 11:4). If the church you are currently attending is not faithful to God’s Word, you must choose a faithful church over your husband.