Archive for the ‘RELATIONSHIPS’ Category

Waiting For The Wedding

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

     What is considered a sin if you are not married?

Sincerely,
Not Married

Dear Not Married,

There is a difference between romantic acts and sexual acts… and sexual acts are for marriage only.  There is a line between a gentle kiss of affection and a lustful kiss of sexual appetite.  Until marriage, it is important to avoid lustful situations altogether.  Paul told Timothy to “flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim 2:22), and 1 Thess 4:5 warns against the “passions of lust”.  The godly thing to do is to not defile the beauty of the marriage bed (Heb 13:4) by jumping into lustful activities before “‘til death do us part”.  There is much disagreement over where to draw the line when still dating, but the principle is that lust should be restrained so that godly affection might grow.

Not Enough Evangelism

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

     I wonder why our gospel preacher, along with several others, think they need to go overseas to preach the gospel.  I feel there is a great need here in the United States for preaching also, but he doesn’t do that; he only holds gospel meetings from time to time.  I know it is good to let others hear the gospel all over the world, but why not go out into areas in the U.S.?!  It seems like a lot of wasted money, and everyone knows the people in the poor nations are always looking for money.  Why do so many preachers think they have to do this?

Sincerely,
Stick To The States

Dear Stick To The States,

The key to answering your question is in your own words – you said, “I feel there is a great need here…”.  God has told us to bring the gospel to all of the world (Matt 28:19), and it is a matter of wisdom and personal preference as to where, when, and how to do that.

Some feel it is more practical to focus on those of their own country because there is a real need right here.  Others feel that since we are the wealthiest nation in the world and have the means to preach in foreign lands, we should focus on that.  Both are right.  There are needs in both America and abroad.  There are preachers needed here and elsewhere.

Yes, some people in poor nations only want money and are deceptively listening to the gospel in hopes of a handout… but the same could be said about people here in America, too!  Wherever the gospel has been preached, there have been sincere and insincere hearts.  Even one of the apostles, Judas, used religion as a disguise for greed (Jhn 12:6).

The best thing we can do is all work to preach wherever we feel we can make a difference and not judge those who put their zeal towards other evangelism fields – we both serve the same Master (Rom 14:4).  The problem isn’t that we aren’t preaching enough in the right parts of the world… the problem is that we aren’t preaching enough.

Degrees Of Separation

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

     We recently had a man from the congregation preach for us, and as he talked, he told the unfortunate story of how his son’s life was not in accordance with God’s will and how he wished so much that he could even share a meal with him, but because of his sinful state, he could not be around him.  Is this the kind of separation the Bible teaches we are to have from those outside Christ?  How can we be a light to those not in Christ if we can’t speak a word to them?

Sincerely,
Seems Harsh

Dear Seems Harsh,

It sounds like this man’s son became a Christian and then fell away.  When that happens, the church is told to show tough love and separate themselves from the wayward brother or sister.  We are commanded to “withdraw from” and “have no company with” an ungodly Christian (2 Thess 3:6, 1 Cor 5:1-13).  We are to do this for the sinner’s own good, hoping it will bring shame on them, and they will repent (2 Thess 3:14). This is really a loving thing to do even though it is a hurtful and sorrowful act for all people involved. The church is given strict orders to withdraw and not associate with a wayward brother or sister (1 Cor 5:13).

However, the immediate family doesn’t have the same “black and white” guidelines.  In fact, we see that in some scenarios, the family is commanded to do the opposite – as in the case of an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor 7:13).  Sometimes the family has a greater influence by still associating with the wayward Christian… in other cases, the family finds the best way to help the sinning loved one is to separate themselves.  When  dealing with immediate family, there are wisdom and judgment calls involved.

It is important to note that when a Christian turns back to a life of sin, the church is supposed to separate themselves from them… but that command only applies to wayward Christians.  The apostle Paul specifically tells us that we should try to draw near and affect the lives of sinners that haven’t ever obeyed the gospel (1 Cor 5:9-10).  Christians should seek to be lights in the world and examples to those who have never known Christ.

Awesome Sauce

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Am I awesome?

Sincerely,
Insecure

Dear Insecure,

If you are a Christian, you are definitely awesome!  God says that Christians are His people, an elect race, and a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9).  Christians have a hope of heaven as their anchor (Heb 6:19).  You don’t get much more awesome than being on your way to heaven and a chosen child of God!

Reason For The Pain

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

     There are some things that I can’t comprehend.  I’m having to watch my mom slowly die of cancer.  Why would a loving God put my family through this?  If God is so great and powerful, why won’t He heal her?  She is the only parent my siblings and I have ever had.  Please help me to make sense of it all.

Sincerely,
Child In Distress

Dear Child In Distress,

Life here on this planet is full of heartaches, and we here at AYP cannot imagine how devastated you are right now.  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.

Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen.  Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault.  Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids.  It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6).  As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles.  Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).

Regardless of the reasons, your mother’s illness is devastating to you – and rightfully so.  You have every right to be hurt, but don’t let that hurt cause you to turn your back on God who wants to save us all from this sinful world.  After all, God gave His Son’s life for us – He knows how painful this is for you and knows exactly how to give you comfort through this dark hour.

Queen, Not Peasant

Monday, March 16th, 2015

     Just because it says that husband is the ruler of me, does that mean he can boss me around and make all my decisions for me?  Does it mean I can’t make any decisions on my own or speak what’s on my mind?  Does it mean I’m not allowed to do anything on my own because my husband is in charge?

My husband says he’s in charge of everything, but I don’t think that’s what the Bible means when it says he’s my master in this marriage.

Sincerely,
Mad Mrs.

Dear Mad Mrs.,

It sounds like your husband isn’t doing a good job of following his marital responsibilities to love his wife – so the way you win him over is by following your marital responsibilities.

A wife is to respect her husband (Eph 5:24).  She shows him respect even if he doesn’t deserve that respect.  She chooses to let him lead the household regardless of whether he is good at it.  As long as his decisions do not force her to disobey God (Acts 5:29), she follows him.  She treats him as a man and honors him as head of the household even when he acts petty and small.  Her respect is unconditional.  It isn’t about not speaking your mind or having your own thoughts; it is about an attitude that shows him honor, which feeds his soul.

In like manner, husbands have the command to “love your wife” (Eph 5:28).  A husband is to love his wife as his own body regardless of whether she is being respectful and kind.  A husband’s love is not dependent upon a wife’s respect.  Biblical love (best described in 1 Cor 13:4-8) is a choice, not a feeling.  A loving husband chooses to do that which is in the best interest of his wife.  He seeks to love his wife as Christ does the church (Eph 5:25).  A husband’s love is sacrificial; it is a gift he chooses to give unconditionally.

Each spouse has their own job.  You cannot force the other spouse to behave one way or another, but you can win them over by your behavior (1 Pet 3:1).  Right now, from the sounds of it, your husband is treating you in a deeply unloving way; that is wrong.  However, what you can do is treat him with respect, and the Lord will bless your efforts.