Ask Your Preacher
I wonder why our gospel preacher, along with several others, think they need to go overseas to preach the gospel. I feel there is a great need here in the United States for preaching also, but he doesn’t do that; he only holds gospel meetings from time to time. I know it is good to let others hear the gospel all over the world, but why not go out into areas in the U.S.?! It seems like a lot of wasted money, and everyone knows the people in the poor nations are always looking for money. Why do so many preachers think they have to do this?
Stick To The States
Dear Stick To The States,
The key to answering your question is in your own words – you said, “I feel there is a great need here…”. God has told us to bring the gospel to all of the world (Matt 28:19), and it is a matter of wisdom and personal preference as to where, when, and how to do that.
Some feel it is more practical to focus on those of their own country because there is a real need right here. Others feel that since we are the wealthiest nation in the world and have the means to preach in foreign lands, we should focus on that. Both are right. There are needs in both America and abroad. There are preachers needed here and elsewhere.
Yes, some people in poor nations only want money and are deceptively listening to the gospel in hopes of a handout… but the same could be said about people here in America, too! Wherever the gospel has been preached, there have been sincere and insincere hearts. Even one of the apostles, Judas, used religion as a disguise for greed (Jhn 12:6).
The best thing we can do is all work to preach wherever we feel we can make a difference and not judge those who put their zeal towards other evangelism fields – we both serve the same Master (Rom 14:4). The problem isn’t that we aren’t preaching enough in the right parts of the world… the problem is that we aren’t preaching enough.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one.”
How then can anyone justify the hate of gays, gay marriage, Muslims, Jews, etc. Are we not all God's children? Should we not treat all of these people as our equals, respect their beliefs, and engage them with love? Similarly, how can Christians be against gay marriage "because the Bible condemns it"… yet the Bible does not condemn slavery (Exodus 21:2-6), however we know that it is wrong.
Full Of Love
Dear Full Of Love,
The Bible does teach to love, and there is no justification for hating homosexuals, Muslims, Jews, etc. However, the Bible also says that love rejoices in the truth (1 Cor 13:6). Biblical love doesn’t find happiness when people are lost and living lives of sin. The Bible teaches that those who don’t accept Jesus as the Son of God are lost (Jhn 14:6), and it teaches that homosexuality is sinful (Rom 1:26-27), and it teaches that the only moral definition of marriage is between one man and one woman (1 Cor 7:2).
People have always used the Bible to justify hate and wickedness, but that doesn’t make it right. In like manner, people who simply say, “Love and forget about the rules” are wrong, too.
As far as slavery, the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, but it does condemn abuse, and it does say that it is better to be free than enslaved (1 Cor 7:21). God also deals with how people can live in a world where slavery does exist… hence, verses like Col 3:22. Slavery was, and is, a reality in many parts of the world, a reality that doesn’t go away once people become Christians. How a slave should behave toward their master is a down-to-earth, practical, moral question for many, many people. The fact that we Americans don’t have to deal with such dilemmas anymore is a blessing, but the Bible wasn’t just written for Americans.
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.
Why do we have people with different colors of skin?
Dear Color Blind,
We all came from Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20). Eventually, mankind was scattered across the whole earth after the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:9). Different races were created as these scattered groups became more isolated. This is very similar to how you see parents and children looking alike – they share noticeable physical traits because they are closely related. The groups that were scattered from the Tower of Babel were isolated by their language differences, and therefore only married amongst their specific language group. This isolated intermarrying created distinct physical characteristics that differentiated one group from another (i.e. skin color, eye shape, face shape, hair color). The different races of the world are nothing more than large family groups created after the Tower of Babel.