Archive for the ‘RELATIONSHIPS’ Category

Biblical Self-Worth

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

     Being in church, we (or at least I) have always been told I don’t deserve anything and that only God’s grace keeps me up every day.  I have been reminded of this several times and try to utilize it to make me humble.  I’ll try to be brief and as candid as possible but… how am I to pray if I am so undeserving?

Yes, I know Jesus reached out to sinners more than anyone else, but what do we sinners pray about?  Am I deserving enough to everyday pray for others’ help?  Is it vanity that makes me pray to better myself everyday?  Let’s say I have the blackest soul alive; what do I actually deserve to do?  What am I allowed to pray for?  Would working out and wearing makeup hurt God as vanity?  Would determination to do my very best at work and school (fully aware that I’m doing it to get a good job financially) hurt God as greed?  Would never cursing out loud once in my life and acting the caring person when I have had inner monologues of foul language and can’t seem to ever help judging every single person I meet and know every day hurt God as hypocrisy?

Basically, if I know I don’t deserve the life I live and shouldn’t deserve it, how can I live it?

Sincerely,
Unworthy

Dear Unworthy,

It is true that we have all sinned and don’t deserve to go to heaven (Rom 3:23), but what you are talking about is more than just being undeserving; you are saying that everyone is totally depraved, and even when we do good things, it is all just a sham.  The idea that we are all deeply and totally depraved and don’t have a single shred of goodness in us is not from the Bible; it is a teaching called ‘Calvinism’.  Calvinism teaches that you are born sinful and always are sinful and that nothing you can do is ever good enough – this is not true.  After all, God made us in His image… that is a good thing!  Sin is something that you do, not something that you are.  Sin does separate us from God, and Christ’s blood is a gift that gives us a chance to be reunited with the Father.  We could never earn what Christ has given us, but that doesn’t mean that in your heart of hearts, you are a bad person.  Christ specifically came to save those people that wished to be good but still made bad choices.  Paul dealt with this inner struggle that faithful people have as they fight the battle against the flesh in Rom 7:22-25.  People aren’t born inherently bad at the core – we choose to want evil or to want good.  Calvinism is wrong, and we recommend you read the article “Calvin And Sobs” for a complete breakdown of this false teaching that has befuddled quite a lot of good people.

Follow The Lamp

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

      How does God talk to us?  I have been a christian for several years now; I pray to Him everyday; I read my Bible and go to church, but I do not hear God.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

Sincerely,
Feeling Deaf

Dear Feeling Deaf,

God speaks to us through His Word.  If we want to know God’s desire for our life, we must use the Bible to get our instructions.  Faith comes from the Word (Rom 10:17), and the Bible contains all the information we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).  If we want to understand what God wants for us, we can find the truth in the sum of His Word (Ps 119:160).  Prophecies and visions are no longer given to people directly (1 Cor 13:8).  Instead, God speaks to us through the teachings of His Son (Heb 1:1).  It is normal for our emotions and desires to send us conflicting messages; that is exactly why God tells us to not trust ourselves or any “voice” that some churches tell us to listen for (Pr 3:5).  Trust God’s Word, and it will be a lamp to your feet (Ps 119:105).

Open-Book Test

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

     I want to know: how do you test your faith?

Sincerely,
Feeling Testy

Dear Feeling Testy,

2 Cor 13:5 says that we should test to see whether we are in the faith.  Paul is referring to the fact that we should examine ourselves to see whether we are living faithfully.  Paul also taught this concept in 1 Cor 11:28-31.  We test ourselves by comparing our lives to the Bible.  Within the Bible are the words that create a faithful life (Rom 10:17, Rom 1:16-17).

The Things We Hand Down

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

     My dad has accepted Christ and was baptized (I’m almost positive he has).  I know he was baptized a long time ago, but he doesn’t show any christian-like behaviors.  If he didn’t say it, I wouldn’t be so sure.  He swears when he’s mad (which is often).  Also, once when my mom bought him this christian book for dads, he got all mad and said that he didn’t need her to tell him what to do.  He does pray at those big family affairs, but we don’t eat together anymore, so he doesn’t pray unless it’s an event.  So my main question is: would a person go to heaven if they accepted Christ long ago but didn’t ever talk to Him or think of Him or even go to church?  (We rarely go to church, but I go to a Christian school.) Thanks.

Sincerely,
Questioning Kid

Dear Questioning Kid,

God is the final judge of where a person’s soul ends up (Heb 12:23), but there are a lot of reasons to be concerned with your father’s spiritual state.  God tells us that it is possible for someone to fall away from the faith after being baptized (Heb 6:4-6).  We are warned to not “drift” away from the Lord (Heb 2:1) or “backslide” (Pr 1:32) into old sinful ways.  Once we are baptized, we are told to grow in the Lord and mature in our faith (1 Pet 2:2).  Baptism is the beginning of a new life, but God calls us to be faithful until death (Rev 2:10).

It is obvious that you care deeply for your dad and are worried about his soul.  The best thing you can do for him is to make sure your soul is safe and that you are living the right life, but in the end, he is responsible for his own choices.

Trick Play

Friday, July 18th, 2014

     I’m confused.  You say when God kills innocent children that it is a blessing to them.  I want my children to go to heaven.  One way to guarantee that would be to kill them.  I guess I could repent of that sin, quit having children, and live a life worthy of heaven from that point on and see them again one day?  I don’t get it.

Sincerely,
Morbid Mom

Dear Morbid Mom,

You are referring to a comment we made in the article “Flood For Thought”, and in the context, we specifically said that there is a difference between God ending a life and murder.  Your “plan” (we know it was hypothetical) to kill your children and later repent wouldn’t work because of one verse – Galatians 6:7.  Gal 6:7 says that God cannot be mocked; there are no loopholes with our Creator.  God isn’t like the IRS; we can’t just tweak the numbers and skirt justice.  If you purposefully killed your children in order to fast track them to heaven in the hopes of eventually meeting up with them… God wouldn’t be tricked by your plan.

Flood For Thought

Monday, July 14th, 2014

     I don’t get it.  So much of the Bible makes no sense to me.  For example, the Flood… the Bible said God flooded the world but saved Noah and Noah’s family only.  The Bible says the reason this was done was because God saw too much wickedness in the world.  But I just can’t imagine every child or baby living then in the world being wicked, but the Bible says God killed them all.  But in another verse, I remember hearing it said children and babies are not accountable until, like, a certain age… maybe puberty?  So all those kids and babies that were drowned in the flood were innocent, yet killed anyway.  It makes no sense at all to me.

Sincerely,
Too Tragic For Thought

Dear Too Tragic For Thought,

The Flood was a blessing to Noah and his family because they were saved from the sinful influences of that ever-violent generation (1 Pet 3:20)… but it was also a blessing to those innocent children.  You are right; all children are born sinless, and they aren’t accountable for sin until they are old enough to be responsible for their own behavior.  All children go to heaven.  Read “What About The Children?” for further details on the fate of the young.

It is important to realize that when God ends a life, it is not the same as when another human snuffs a life out.  God knows that when a child dies, it isn’t the end of their life but the beginning of a new one.  When God ends a life, He also has a new life to offer them.  All the innocent children that died in the Flood had no chance to grow up faithfully and turn to God because the generation was so wicked that there was no hope for their future.  God redeemed those children from such a horrific fate, and He started the world anew with righteous Noah and his family.