Ask Your Preacher
Once you lose your salvation, can you get it back? I always heard of "back sliding" or something. Once it's gone, is it forever gone, or can you be forgiven and regain your salvation? If everyone sins, then doesn't that mean that sinning alone won't cause you to lose your salvation? If that's the truth, what will?
Dear Sliding Forward,
It takes more than just sin to lose your salvation – it takes a lifestyle of intentional sin… and yes, those that fall away can come back to God. Let us give you an example. In 1 Cor 5:1, the apostle Paul rebuked the church at Corinth because there was a member in that congregation that was committing fornication with his father’s wife – definitely a sin. The man knew it was wrong, accepted that it was wrong, and still continued to live that lifestyle. Paul said the church needed to rebuke him and withdraw from him (1 Cor 5:13). That is what losing your salvation looks like… choosing intentionally to live a life away from God’s will and not attempting to correct your faults. If we are trying to correct our lives and change, God will forgive us even if we fail over and over again (Lk 17:3-4)… but when we stop trying, we’ve broken the faith.
Now let’s deal with a Christian that falls away from God and then wants to come back. We’ll use that same man in 1 Cor 5:1 as our example. Paul later wrote a second letter to the Corinthian church, and in it, that wayward man had repented of his sin, and Paul told the Corinthians to forgive him and reaffirm their love for him (2 Cor 2:6-8). So, the moral of the story is that even those who fall away can return to God once more.
I am a newly-ordained minister. I want to have a church, but I’m not sure how to build my congregation. I live the Lord our God with all my heart, and I really have a desire to help people come to know Christ. How do I build up my church and encourage others to come?
The only advice we can give is to hold very carefully to the Bible pattern, and the congregation will be blessed. It shouldn’t be your church, and you shouldn’t try and build your congregation – the only church that matters is Christ’s church. The churches that are pleasing to God are the ones that belong to Him. The religious world is full of people that try and make churches grow by doing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with New Testament Christianity. If the congregation strives to use book, chapter, and verse for everything it does – it will be a success no matter how many members it has. You may find the article “Down With Denominationalism” useful, and we also have an article entitled “Finding A Church” that might interest you because it gives the perspective of what the Bible tells people to look for in a congregation.
I'm wondering why names associated with the people in the New Testament don't seem like names that would be used in that part of the world (i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke, Mary, Ruth, etc.). Can you shed some light on that for me? Thank you in advance.
The reason for this is because our English translations Anglicize the names found in the original Greek New Testament. For example, Peter would be pronounced ‘pet-rone’, and Andrew would be pronounced ‘an-dray-an’. Our English translations simply take the Greek names and make them easier to pronounce in our English language.
[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.
Is it a sin against God to drive a car without a driver’s license? I have my learner’s license, but I still drive my car on my own. I am a born-again Christian, and I have given my life to Christ, but I want to know if I am sinning against God.
Behind The Wheel
Dear Behind The Wheel,
God tells us that as Christians, we must obey the laws of the land in which we live. Rom 12:1-2 says that God is the one that puts all governments in place, and we are to be in subjection to those governments. The only exception to that rule would be if the government creates laws that would be immoral to follow (like forced abortions or banning Bibles). In that case, we obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). In your circumstance, if you only have a learner’s license, you should only drive when and how the learner’s license allows.