Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Stop Thinking That!

Friday, October 09, 2020
     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.

Sincerely,
Terrified

Dear Terrified,

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.

Can't He Read?!

Thursday, October 08, 2020
     I have always wondered that if all these things are going to happen in the Bible and in the end Satan will be defeated, can't Satan read?  These Scriptures have been translated into every language known to man.  Can't he read?  If he knows he will lose, then why even try unless it is written that it will happen, in which case, he has no free will.  In the Gospel of Judas, Judas writes that he was asked by the Lord to betray Him in order for God’s will to be carried out.  Somebody had to do it, right?  Or else how could all other things come to pass?  Either way, I try to live my life by one of Christ’s sayings, and that's to "love one another as I have loved you".  It works for me… and is reading the Bible enough?  What do the Scriptures say to you?

Sincerely,
Mystified

Dear Mystified,

You could just as easily ask the question, “Since all non-Christians will go to hell in the end, why don’t they convert? Can’t they read?”.  Anytime someone has a dishonest or hardened heart, they do things that are against logic.  This is why people murder, steal, hate, etc.  Hard hearts make for bad decisions.  The Bible describes that state as having a “seared conscience” that is incapable of seeing the truth that is right in front of them (1 Tim 4:2).  From what we can read, nobody has a harder heart than Satan.
Now let’s address the other details you mentioned.  The Gospel of Judas isn’t a Bible book; it is a fraud.  God didn’t write that book, and it has been left out of the Bible for a reason.  The Gospel of Judas is what is called an apocryphal book, and it was never accepted as authentic by the early Christians.  Read “Books Of The Apocrypha” for further details.
Now for your last question – reading the Bible isn’t enough; you have to live by it, too.  The apostle Paul said the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16).  When we read the words and then live by the words, then we will be saved (Jas 1:22).  You might want to read “Five Steps To Salvation” for further details on getting started in that life.

Ready For Anything

Wednesday, October 07, 2020
     If God has a plan for everyone, when will He show me His for me?

Sincerely,
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.

A Turning Point

Tuesday, October 06, 2020
     I’m a high school kid.  My group of friends is not a good one.  I nearly overdosed on pain medication.  I collapsed in the corner of the room, and I nearly died.  I had a very clear vision of hell, and it was not fire.  I just felt the worst pain I have ever felt.  In this vision, I was in that same corner of the room watching myself take that medication over and over.  All I could think of was God as I was motionless on the floor.  They say I died for three minutes at the hospital, and I was brought back to life when I repented to God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  You may not believe me, but I went to hell and need help in changing my life situation to make it more appealing to God’s eyes.

Sincerely,
Never Again

Dear Never Again,

Whether you actually went to hell or not… you had a turning point in your life, and you are ready to make sure that you don’t ever go there – good for you.
There are a few things that you need to do to make sure you are ready to meet God and are prepared to go to heaven.  First of all, you need to take the steps to become a Christian.  Believing in Christ and repenting are two things that you must do to be saved, but they aren’t the only two things.  We recommend that you read our post “Five Steps To Salvation” and make a plan to do those things.
The last thing on that list that you must do is be baptized.  We would love to get you in touch with a congregation that can baptize you and that you can grow with over the years.  Not all churches are focused on the Lord, and we would be happy to help you find a congregation near you.  E-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org if we can help!

Real... For Real

Monday, October 05, 2020
How did you know without a doubt that God is real?

Sincerely,
Asking

Dear Asking,

Your question is one of the fundamental questions of life: “Does God Exist?”  It is important that everyone asks this question at some point in their life; it is a basic question that is worthy of an honest answer.

We will try to give you some key evidence that there is a Creator, but we will also point you in the direction of some resources that may help you in your quest for answers.  So here we go:

  1. Look at a watch and ask yourself the question, “Is this designed?”  Of course, a watch is designed – just like a house, a car, a camera, and other modern technological marvels.  You know they are designed because they are complex, they have purpose, and they are organized in a meaningful way.  Now look at your eye, your hand, even a single follicle of hair.  Are they designed?  They are infinitely more complex than a watch.  They have very distinct purposes, and they are all organized in a meaningful way.  You were designed by God; you have a Designer.  If you believe in watchmakers, you can believe in God.
  2. The most basic laws of science tell us that nothing ever comes from nothing (1st Law of Thermodynamics).  Einstein made it clear that nothing can be destroyed; energy can turn into matter and matter into energy, but everything that is here has always been here.  That begs the question, “Where did it all come from?”  Scientists all agree that everything we see had to come from somewhere, but the only logical answer to that question is ‘God’.  God, a supernatural deity not bound by the laws of physics, created all that we see and enjoy in this universe.
  3. God’s Word is also proof that God is.  The Bible is a book that only God could write.  It has prophecies that are fulfilled hundreds of years after they are spoken.  It has remained unchanged by tradition or persecution for thousands of years.  It makes statements about how our world works hundreds of years before scientists realized the concepts for themselves.  The Bible is a book composed by over forty different writers over thousands of years, and yet it has no contradictions within it.  The Bible could not have been written by anyone but Deity.

These are just three reasons to believe in God; there are many more that space prevents us from mentioning.  We also recommend you go back and read through the posts in our EVIDENCES category.  You will see that you aren’t the only one who has questions about God, and you will also see that there are answers to every question.  We also recommend reading Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel. Both books are well worth the read.

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