Ask Your Preacher
I give offerings every time I have money during worship, and I set aside funds for it beforehand. But there are some who become disappointed in me and crucify me for not putting in the amount they often believe to be sufficient. How can I deal with those of the brethren who bring this kind of condemnation?
Condemned For Finance
Dear Condemned For Finances,
When people question the amount of money you put into the offering, show them 2 Cor 9:7 which says that each should give as “he has purposed in his heart”. You must stand before God and answer to Him for what you gave and what you didn’t. You are responsible for what your heart purposes, and they are responsible for theirs. Show them 2 Cor 9:7 and then kindly walk away.
How can we be 100% certain the Bible is real, complete, and unchanged?
Best Evidence Please
Dear Best Evidence Please,
The best way to show it is to show the uniqueness of the Bible. The writers of the Bible admit that it is their hands that wrote it (Gal 6:11), but they also explain that God’s Spirit guided those hands (Eph 3:3-4). If that is true (and it is!), then the Bible would show signs that it was written by God and not man. Here are some simple reasons that the Bible is unique from every other book:
- It is 100% scientifically accurate. Isa 40:22 mentions the earth being round. Job 36:27-28 explains the water-vapor cycle. These and other verses mention scientific principles that were not understood until centuries later.
- It never contradicts itself. Over 40 different writers penned the pages of the Bible. They came from different walks of life and different eras, yet no one has ever found a contradiction from Genesis to Revelation.
- It has been perfectly preserved throughout history. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint are copies of the Bible written 1,000 years apart, and yet, there is no difference in the text.
- No book is as widely distributed as the Bible. Written in over 2,500 languages and sold by the billions, the Bible is the most published book on the planet. No other book comes even close.
- The Bible is accurate in prophecies. The prophecies of Tyre (Eze 26:3-21) and Babylon (Isa 13:19-22, Isa 14:23) give specific, detailed accounts of the fall of those cities. Those prophecies were written many years before the events took place, and yet they came to pass exactly as the Bible foretold.
These are only short answers to the question ‘Why is the Bible unique?’, but they are a good start when discussing the issue with someone. If you want a more detailed answer, I recommend I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Geisler and Turek, Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel as great reference material on this topic.
Is it okay to take anti-depressants?
Dear Feeling Low,
God condones taking medication for our health problems. Paul told Timothy to take some wine for his stomach (1 Tim 5:23). The sick were told to have the elders pray over them and anoint them with oil – oil was used as a medicine (Jas 5:14).
We know that medicine is perfectly appropriate when you are sick. Though some feel uncomfortable using anti-depressants (and you should never do anything that goes against your conscience – 1 Tim 1:5), the argument can be made that anti-depressant medication is just like using aspirin or any other medical technique to improve human health and body function. Good brethren disagree on this issue, and it is important to consider the issue carefully for yourself and make a prayerful decision.
Thank you so much for using God’s Word as a light to our paths; you have helped lots of people with the health of their souls!!! My question has to do with the ‘spirit of heaviness’ cited in Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.”
I have a friend that says depression is a demonic entity that attacks us; he then says the only way around it is praise to Jesus. Is there any truth to this doctrine?
Friend Of Eeyore
Dear Friend Of Eeyore,
Isaiah 61 is dealing with the blessings and victory that exist in Christ’s church, and it has nothing to do with demon possession. Though it is true that focusing on our blessings and showing praise can help us when our spirits are heavy, demon possession is an entirely separate issue.
Evil spirits are real, but they were cast out and their powers greatly reduced by Christ and the apostles. Demon possession ended not long after the days of Christ. Jesus made it clear that one of His jobs was to bind the devil and take His strength away by casting out his demons (Matt 12:28-29). When Jesus’ disciples had come back from their evangelism trips and related to Him that they had cast out many demons, Jesus told them that they were defeating Satan by getting rid of Satan’s demonic minions (Lk 10:17-18). When Jesus and His disciples cast out demons, they did it permanently (Lk 8:30-33) and bound Satan by their acts. We no longer have to deal with such overt attacks by the devil because he has been bound by Christ’s sacrifice (Rev. 20:2). Demon possession no longer exists; the devil must use subtler methods to deceive us now.
If a person was open to the idea of Jesus Christ... but didn't truly believe, and she was the most kindest person you have ever met, would she automatically go to hell even if she was a very kind and respectful person?
Fond Of My Friend
Dear Fond Of My Friend,
Nobody gets to heaven because they are such a good person (Rom 3:27-28). Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the perfection that gives you a right to enter heaven’s gates (Rom 3:23). No amount of good deeds cancel out your bad deeds. If I save a million lives, but murder one – I am still a murderer. Sin requires forgiveness, and forgiveness is a gift (Rom 6:23). We receive that gift through Jesus’ sacrifice (Jhn 3:16), and we can only be redeemed by Jesus’ blood when we place our faith in Him (Rom 3:24-25). We place our faith in Christ when we hear His Word (Rom 10:17) and obey it. There is no way to God except through Christ (Jhn 14:6). It is good if someone is kind, but kindness isn’t what saves you – Jesus is (Jhn 10:7-11).