Ask Your Preacher
What separates heaven and hell?
Dear Separation Anxiety,
The only detail we have on that subject is when Abraham says, “there is a great chasm fixed” between Paradise and torments in Lk 16:26. We have know idea of what that great chasm looks like or how vast it is – nor even what it is made out of because it is in the spiritual realm, not the physical one.
Hi. I was wondering if it is a sin to have an interracial relationship?
Dear Color Blind,
There is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial marriage. First of all, we are all descendants of Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20), and, therefore, race is a moot point. Secondly, in Christ, such things as race have no significance (Gal 3:27-28). The only concern you should have when falling in love and marrying is whether or not they are “in the Lord”, i.e. a christian (1 Cor 7:39).
God bless! My question is this: how do I know I've been saved since I accepted Jesus?
Dear Open Heart,
The Bible outlines five things you must do to become a christian. The question, “What must I do to be saved?” is the most important question any human can ever ask. Plenty of groups will pick and choose what they want to focus on. Many groups say that all you must do is “believe in your heart” and you will be saved – unfortunately, this is cherry-picking out one requirement and leaving the rest behind. We must always remember that the sum of God’s Word provides the truth (Ps 119:160). Belief is obviously an important element to salvation, but it is not the only condition. The Bible outlines five separate requirements for salvation, and all of them are necessary.
- Hear the Word. Faith comes through hearing, and hearing comes through the Word of God (Rom 10:17). Until someone hears God’s Word, they are incapable of obeying it.
- Believe the Word. It is impossible for someone to become a christian unless they believe that Jesus is the Savior and Son of God (Jhn 20:31, Acts 16:31, Jhn 3:16).
- Repent of your sins. ‘Repent’ means to ‘change your mind’. That change of mind always involves a change of action as well. Repentance is when we change our mind about what is important and submit ourselves to Jesus and His Word. Repentance is a necessity of salvation (Mk 6:12, Lk 13:5, Lk 15:7).
- Confess Jesus to others. If we have sworn our allegiance to Jesus, we must be prepared to publicly confess Him as our Lord. If we won’t confess Jesus before men, He won’t confess us before God (Matt 10:32-33, Lk 12:8-9).
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus for salvation. Many groups baptize people, but very few baptize people for the right reasons. Baptism isn’t merely an “outward showing of an inward faith” or “for membership”. Baptism is what saves us (1 Pet 3:21). Baptism is the point where someone goes from being lost to saved because they are buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom 6:4-5). Baptism is the final requirement to become a christian (Acts 2:37-38, Mk 16:16, Acts 2:41). There is not a single example of someone becoming a christian without baptism. Baptism is just as necessary as the other four requirements.
After that, there remains nothing else but to find a faithful congregation to assemble with (Heb 10:24) that teaches God’s Word and God’s Word only (see “Finding a Church” for more details) and to continue to grow in knowledge and practice of God’s Word (1 Pet 2:2). If you would like help finding a faithful church in your area – simply e-mail us at email@example.com and we would be happy to help you locate one.
Does God get sad if you don't pray some nights and just go to sleep because you’re tired?
That is a tricky question because the Bible never tells us exactly when we must pray. For example, the Bible never says, “You must pray at bedtime.” We have examples of people praying at all sorts of different times. The principle is that we should have a habit of praying (1 Thess 5:17). Dan 6:10 talks about Daniel having the custom of praying to God three times a day. It isn’t about one prayer missed or made; it is about building a lifestyle of prayer.
God is all good and created only good in the beginning, including man. Then evil entered into the picture, and there was sin. God did not stop this from happening. I don't understand.
In the end, when we are all judged and those who are allowed to become a part of the promised Paradise on Earth are left, can the same scenario as before occur? Can evil once again enter the picture and put Paradise in jeopardy as it did before?
Learning From History
Dear Learning From History,
Paradise isn’t going to be here on Earth, and we are told that it is a place where sorrow and death will never occur (Rev 21:4). Therefore, we have a guarantee that God will protect heaven from what happened here on Earth. 1 Pet 3:10-12 tells us that eventually God will destroy the earth by fire. After that, He will establish a spiritual universe (heaven) where those who love Him will exist forever. Here is a list of verses that teach on that subject:
1) 1 Cor. 15:42-50
vs. 47 says our bodies will not consist of earthly components
vs 50 says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom
2) Lk 20:34-38
a) vs 36 says we will have bodies like angels
3) Jhn 14:2-4
a) vs 2 says we will dwell where God dwells (heaven)
b) vs 3 says Jesus is preparing a place for us now
4) 2 Pet 3:10-13
a) vs 10 says that when God uses fire to destroy the earth, He will both destroy the works of the earth and the earth itself.
5) Heb 1:10-12
a) vs 11 says the earth and heavens will perish like an old garment
b) vs 12 says that the earth and heavens will be changed like one would change and put on new clothes
c) the new heaven and earth will not be a redo of this earth, but an entirely new garment.
6) Matt 24:35
a) Heaven and earth are temporary, unlike God’s Word
7) Heb 11:13
a) faithful people are considered strangers and wanderers on this earth
8) Php 3:20
a) our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth
9) Jhn 18:36
a) Jesus refers to His kingdom as not being “of this world”