Ask Your Preacher - Archives
What does the Bible say about hell? Is the word "hell" in the Bible? I heard someone claim that the Catholics made up hell to scare people into paying to stay out.
Cash In Hand
Dear Cash In Hand,
Hell is a real place that you really don’t want to go to. The word hell is used multiple times in the Bible – Matt 5:29-30, Matt 10:28, Matt 23:33, and Lk 12:5 are just a few.
The Bible says the wicked go to a place where the fire burns, but the worm never dies (Mk 9:47-49). At the Judgment, the wicked shall go to where there is ‘everlasting punishment’ (Matt 25:46). Eternal separation from God is a very real consequence of sin and is the last thing anyone wants to face. We recently preached a series of lessons on this very topic. You can listen or download them by clicking here.
Hey, I have a question: my girlfriend thinks she can just pray, and God will do everything for her, but I know there is a verse in the Bible that says you have to work and pray God will lead you. But where is that at?
Dear Not Lazy,
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.
I have a question. I just joined a new church, but my preacher sounds gay. But he’s married to a woman with kids. But he sounds gay. What do you think?
From The Pew
Dear From The Pew,
The Bible specifically says that it is wrong for a man to purposefully act in an effeminate way (1 Cor 6:9). Men should act like men, not women. Women are meant to be feminine, and men are meant to be masculine.
Having said that, it is also important to give people the benefit of the doubt and not be too quick to judge (Matt 7:1). As you said, he is married and is living an obviously heterosexual lifestyle. We don’t know exactly what you mean by “sounds gay”, but there are certain aspects of the voice that people have no control over whatsoever. If his vocal patterns are the only thing… you might just want to cut him some slack. After all, we are all works in progress.
Hey, it's me again. So there is this extremely weird guy on my bus, and he is an atheist. How do I lead him to Christ? God is not dead.
Trying To Teach
Dear Trying To Teach,
Ironically, the Bible doesn’t say much to those who believe that we are all a cosmic accident. The only verse in the Bible that specifically deals with atheism is Ps 53:1 which says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” From God’s perspective, there is so much abundant evidence of a Creator that an honest heart will admit it. Statistically, this is also true – even with the rampant spread of evolutionary teachings, only a miniscule percentage (1.6%) of the American population consider themselves atheists. Rom 1:20 states that God built the universe, so it might stand as ever-sufficient evidence of His existence.
Studying Creation evidence is an enjoyable and wonderful thing. We here at AYP have an entire section devoted to Bible Evidences, but ultimately, if someone has totally disregarded the existence of God… Psalm 53:1 says they will be a very hard nut to crack. If he is honestly willing to look at the evidence though, we have found some luck in referring atheists to the books Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel. Both books are well worth the read, and well worth sharing.
I wrote to you once before. I have a problem with blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I believe I am guilty of it, but I want to believe in Jesus. I am trying to understand if His blood covers this, or am I damned to hell? I don't want to believe He will forgive if He won't, and I don't want to stop believing in Him because I know I am supposed to. This started three years ago, and it stopped the first year I had it, and then it came back. Now it is worse than ever. It's like I am chattering in my head. I know it is stupid, but that it is what it is. It started because I was afraid that God wouldn’t forgive me for something else, and it grew into this. I don't know how to stop. I am asking God for help, but I am still doing it. Will God still let me come to heaven?
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 have not committed the unforgivable sin.