Ask Your Preacher
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.
God is the Creator, and if He wanted to create people on Earth, He could have made people know who He was really easily without all the pain and suffering. Why didn't He just appear and let people see Him and talk to them or make it easy? Why does there have to be so many punishing rules? I just don't get it.
Can’t See It
Dear Can’t See It,
The answer to your question is that God did appear to mankind. God appeared to mankind through the signs and miracles given to the Israelites and the patriarchs, and lastly, He appeared to mankind through Jesus (Heb 1:1-3).
The fact is that when Jesus walked this Earth, most people didn’t believe in Him. He was perfect and without sin (Heb 4:15), He spoke like no man had ever spoken (Jhn 7:46), and He performed miracles like raising people from the dead and giving sight to the blind… and yet, the Jews still killed Him. The problem isn’t that God hasn’t made it easy enough; the problem is that most of us don’t like the implications of having a Creator who is in charge.
You see, those punishing rules aren’t punishments; they are instructions for living from our Designer. God created man in His image (Gen 1:26-27), and He gave us the Bible as an instruction manual for how to properly function. Not following the manufacturer’s instructions for a table saw can break the saw and cause injury to yourself and others. In like manner, when God made us, He gave us an instruction manual, so we wouldn’t harm ourselves, others, and cause Him sadness. The Bible is God’s power for salvation for us (Rom 1:16). The rules are for our salvation; the punishment comes as a natural consequence of living without those rules.
The fact that many people are going to hell each day keeps me awake at night, and I cannot stop thinking about it. Can I have some answers?
No one has thought more about those perishing in hell than God has. God thought about it so much He sent His own Son to try and save us from hell (Jhn 3:16). God doesn’t desire anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9).
Take comfort in the fact that God won’t make any mistakes on the Day of Judgment, and no one will accidentally end up in heaven or hell. He is compassionate, loving, and ready to show mercy (Ps. 86:5). If someone goes to hell, it is because the most faithful and loving Being in existence judged properly.
Jesus teaches us humility and not to be prideful. How can our co-workers respect us if we practice this? How can I not be labeled a “pushover” or the "whipping boy" if I practice this? I am asking from a supervisor’s point of view.
Having The Oversight
Dear Having The Oversight,
Humility is not the same as being a pushover, and pride is not equal to strength. Humility means that you aren’t arrogant or that you have any unrealistic view of your own importance. Jesus was humble, and yet He also drove out the moneychangers from the temple (Jhn 2:15) and railed against the evil of the Pharisees (Matt 23:13-15). The humble man improves himself and serves others with respect and dignity… just like Jesus did. Jesus led with humility, and therefore, when He put His foot down, people knew it was important.
How do you save someone from themselves?
You can’t. All you can ever do is provide people with answers, but it is up to them if they want to do anything about it. As the old adage goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Jesus even warns that we shouldn’t waste time trying to change people who don’t want to change. He compared helping that type of person to throwing valuable pearls into a pig pen… the pig won’t value the pearls; he’ll just destroy them (Matt 7:6).
If Jesus, the perfect master teacher, couldn’t save everyone, we need to accept that we can’t either. Anyone can change, but they have to want it for themselves.