Ask Your Preacher
(This post is a response to “Real… For Real Pt. 2”.)
First of all, I want to say you are amazing, and what you're doing is AMAZING! I cannot thank God enough that I have found you!!! You said that “we must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling." What exactly does that mean? Does that mean it's normal that I’m scared?
We are so glad that our answers are helping you! Yes, Php. 2:12 does mean that it is healthy to have a certain level of fear when thinking about spiritual things. After all, your soul’s eternal fate is the most important issue in your whole life. Whether you go to heaven or hell is a big deal!
Proverbs 1:7 says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. We were made by God and for God; until we understand that, nothing in life makes sense. Having a healthy respect for God is an essential ingredient to a healthy life.
[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.
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.
How do I defeat a demon in battle… as in real combat?
This Means War
Dear This Means War,
The way that Christians combat the devil and his demons is by godly living and sharing God’s Word with others. Demons are spiritual creatures that live in the spiritual realm (Lk 11:24), and you can’t fight them in hand-to-hand combat. However, we are told that if we put on the armor of God, we can fight the spiritual battles that the church needs to fight (Eph 6:11-12). The armor of God is described as righteousness, truth, preparation of the gospel, faith, salvation, the Bible, and prayer (Eph 6:13-18). We fight the devil when we live godly lives that make an impact in the world around us.
I'm going to be up front with you; I am not a Christian. I have no desire to be. My fiancé, on the other hand, is. I am trying to understand how he believes, so we will have a more harmonious union. I asked him this question, and he did not know the answer.
My question is: if the Lord is so wonderful, why would He want to see His children suffer? Why would He take away a life that has not yet even begun? Why would He hurt the innocent when the evil continue to live? I don't understand this.
If you could please explain this in simple terms – the preachers in my area get very upset when someone doubts the Lord’s amazing-ness. Thus, I am turning to you, whoever you are, to give me a straight answer. Thank you so much.
Many people don’t believe in God because religious people are unwilling or incapable of giving logical answers to questions like this. We are so sorry that you’ve never gotten the answers that the Bible offers because the Bible does give an answer to this question.
This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things; sin did. All bad things are a result of sin. When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise. Who caused the pain? We did. It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world. We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it. Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite. Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence. Sadly, this is true even for our children. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well. The flip-side to this is that all children go to heaven, so after a child dies, God immediately comforts them on the other side.
God gives mankind the freedom to make decisions, but He also has the wisdom to know how those choices will affect the future (Job 12:13). God planned before the foundation of the world to save us by sending His own Son to die (Eph. 1:3-4). Even though He isn’t responsible for our choices, God sent the perfect cure. This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven. Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise. This world is not our home; Christians await a better world (Heb 11:16).