Questions and Comments:
Comments and Questions from our readers:
I have had much Biblical background, my husband on the other hand has had none. He has ask how we are "not" pre-destined. I tell him that we "are" destined, to Die. if we do not give our lives to Christ. I try to tell him that God has given us free will to choose eternal life or death, but cannot seem to explain. I believe my problem is that I don't believe it myself. If God knows all, He already knows what I will choose. (before I was even born) Why create a people that have to make such a choice? Why not just give them what He wants them to have? Eternal Life with Him. Why create a man that He already knows will mock Him and forsake His Son? Why are we born without a choice, just to be given a "choice" of whether to live eternally or die eternally? If it were so simple we all would choose Eternal Life, even not knowing what Eternal Life may be. No one wants to die, especially for all Eternity.
I apologize for taking so long to respond to your email and for responding on the website. However, our email keeps bouncing back to us because of your spam filter. I have been thinking and praying about how to answer you on this. Iíll do my best to give you my understanding on this matter and I pray it will be of help to you.
The first thing I noticed about your comments and questions is that you make no mention of sin or the Saviour. These are the very two factors that best explain the answer to the dilemma in your mind. The fact that God sent his Son to be the Saviour of sinful men testifies to the fact that Godís goodness consists of far more than simple justice. God could have let all men perish and done nothing to save them and He would have still been a just God. Sin is MANíS doing Ė NOT Godís! Men are sinners BY CHOICE Ė not by birth! If we perish it will be only our own fault Ė not Godís. If there is any truth in the Bible about God that stands out more than any other it is the fact that God cares about man and has done far beyond what He was obligated to do in order to redeem them from their sin.
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:15
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet. 3:9
God created man, and He gave him a free will. God did not want robots or lifeless baby dolls to play with. God didnít have anyone to show off for, so it isnít like God was creating things to impress anyone. He created man for himself Ė not to satisfy selfishness, because He is not a selfish Being. God created man to bestow his love upon with the expectation that man would love God in return. Because God is a completely benevolent Being his greatest pleasure is bestowing his love upon the one He created in his own likeness.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Rev. 4:11
God is love and He created man as an object of his love. Love is not really complete unless it is reciprocated Ė thus the pattern in all of creation of male and female, which is a testimony to us of why God created man. Christ and the church further displays the love of God toward man. Love is a choice Ė not an emotion. Therefore, God created man with a free will. In order to truly love God he had to be able to choose to do so. If God pre-programmed man without the freedom to choose, there would be no satisfaction in the attention He received from man. He wanted fellowship with someone as near to what He is as He could make them. Therefore, He made man in his own image and likeness. He has angels, but they are not made in his image and likeness. They can praise and worship him, but they canít love God the way man can.
God put himself at risk, so to speak, when He created man in such a way. He gave to man what He hadnít given to any of the other created beings Ė his own likeness AND the freedom to choose or reject God.
Man sinned. Basically, sin is rejecting God, his counsel, and his law, and living instead for your own selfish interests. Did God know man would do this? If He did, then why did He create man in the first place? Those are the age-old questions of those who fail to seek after God with all their heart. In their selfish human reasoning they conclude that God isnít just if He knew man would sin, but created him anyway and then punishes him eternally for his sin. For many, this is a good excuse to live their life in sin and reject God. What a shame that they stumble at this trick of their own mind and perish forever after God has done so much to redeem them!
God is just. God is also totally benevolent. That means that He does what is best to bring about the highest good for the whole universe. God doesnít compromise his justice or his benevolence to suit the selfishness of a single sinner or a world full of them. Jesus said that one soul is of more value than the entire world and its riches. The value of the soul in the sight of God is far more than man seems to understand. What God has prepared for the redeemed in eternity is so far beyond the comprehension of mortal man that the Bible says,
"Öeye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. 2:9
The good in eternity that will be reaped because of Godís redemption will far outweigh the bad that will be reaped by those who rejected it. So God is GOOD, and God is JUST, and He has as his goal the highest good of the universe. Because sinful men reject God does not make God unjust. The problem is that man just canít see all things clearly from where he is now.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part Ö 1 Cor. 13:12
God does have foreknowledge. But the first thing you need to realize concerning Godís foreknowledge is that He is outside of time and space. Those are limitations that He created for US Ė NOT himself. God sees everything from eternity while we see from inside this box of time and space. He sees from beginning to end all at the same time, while we see only what is happening at the present moment. When you attempt to put the same limits on God that are on man you will never be able to reconcile his foreknowledge with manís free will. God isnít doing things one step at a time Ė so to speak. God created everything in six days and then He rested from his labors. The Scriptures speak of times when God did enter time and space to deal with man, but He is not bound by those limitations. (i.e. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"ÖJohn 1:14) We also need to realize that WE understand EVERYTHING in relation to time and space, so anything outside of that realm just doesnít compute in our earthly minds. God not only knows what is going to happen from beginning to end, but He also knows what awaits beyond the end of time in eternity. Because He knows that, and we donít, we are really charging God foolishly when we accuse him of being unjust because men die and go to hell.
You CAN trust God. He does all things well! He IS trusthworthy! He is just and holy and has YOUR best interests in mind. When you simply trust him completely and give your heart to him, your understanding will be opened. Jesus said: "Except a man be born again he cannot SEE the kingdom of God." Ė John 3:3 He also said: If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrineÖ John 7:17. You must trust in Godís character before you can begin to understand his workings and his plan.
All of creation cries out that God is a good, benevolent, loving God. All of the Word of God testifies to the same. How thankful we should be for that! If He were a malevolent being we canít imagine what the universe would be like! Only sin can cause a person who is made in the image of this great God find fault with Him.
I hope this will be of help to you and your husband in being able to have faith in God. We appreciate you writing and if we can be of any more help please let us know.
Okay, I agree that the commands of God are righteous and holy and need to be obeyed. I am truly born again and still have trouble walking in true obedience. Please explain how this is really accomplished in reality. Please give practical examples. It seem like I always fall short of the required obedience. HELP!!
First of all, we are able to obey by the grace of God. That doesnít make any real practical sense unless you get a clear understanding of what grace really is. Very simply, grace is the divine influence upon the heart. That is the dictionary definition. So many songs have been written, and so many sermons have been preached, calling grace "unmerited favor," and that has left the majority of people totally in the dark about what the true grace of God is, and how it works.
One example of how grace works is this: if you are aware of Godís presence, you will be influenced by Him. For example, if you really realize that Jesus is watching, you will be able to turn from some temptation and obey Him. That is the grace of God at work. If you are not aware of his presence you will go ahead and yield and disobey. In this case you "fail of the grace of God," as spoken about in Hebrews 12:15. Most people think of grace as being something that they have nothing to do with and it is just arbitrarily bestowed upon them by God at his will. That is not correct. We are to be partakers of his grace.
We are saved by grace Ė through faith. (Eph. 2:8) If you have faith in God, you will not only be conscious of his presence in your life at all times, but you will be seeking Godís will and influence in your life. You will want to know what God thinks, and what He would have you to do. Therefore, faith is the means by which we can be partakers of the grace of God. Without faith it is impossible to please him. Without faith, grace will not be alive and working in your life. "The just shall live by FAITH." That is the only way they can be partakers of Godís grace, and grace is the only way they can obey God and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Practical examples? Well, I can see this at work in my own life from the time I was saved. Before I was saved I didnít tithe, I used bad language, and I had bad habits that I was addicted to. As soon as I was saved I knew that those things were not pleasing to God. I wanted to please God, so I started tithing, and have done so ever since. I stopped using bad language and never have done it again. I quit those bad habits and never returned to them. I was able to do this because of Godís presence in my life. I began to walk with God and to be aware of his presence all the time. I wanted to know what God desired for me to do and I began seeking his face and his will in everything. It has been almost 30 years, so I think I can safely say that I have the victory in those areas. Now if I can have victory in those areas, why canít I have victory in any other area? If I can do ALL things through Christ, which strengtheneth me, then there should not be some sin that I just canít shake. There should be no commandment that I canít keep.
Really, to think that there is some commandment we just cannot keep, or some sin we just cannot resist, is contrary to the Word of God. We have this promise:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:13
Now that is Godís word on the matter. Very simply, if we canít obey it is simply because we donít believe God (lack of faith). A person who really and truly cannot obey God, even though they desire to, and strive to, needs to examine his soul closely. He hasnít yet attained to the true salvation that the Bible speaks of. Saved people are overcomers Ė by faith:
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5
The common teaching on Romans 7, that presents a normal Christian as one who desires to do right, but isnít able, is WRONG! It is a total contradiction to the rest of the Bible, and especially the New Testament. All anyone has to do to see the fallacy of that awful teaching is simply read the following chapter Ė Romans 8. Romans 7 describes someone who is under conviction, but still ruled and led by carnal desires, so they cannot do right and obey God. The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7) This is a description of an unregenerate person.
I wonder if you are considering bad thoughts to be disobedience? Many people are making the mistake of confusing sin with temptation. They think a bad thought is evidence that they are wicked. Consider the fact that temptation starts in the mind. If you are going to sin you are going to have to think about it first. Sin is a conscious decision to do what is contrary to God and his law. That is far beyond a bad thought. There is a Tempter, and he will come to you in your mind first. What you do with that thought is what determines if it is sinful or not. Just a bad thought is not sin, it is temptation. But when you start devising a plan to carry it out, you have passed over the mark. You can resist temptation by dismissing that bad thought. You can do that by thinking on the things God said to think about:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil. 4:8
You will find that when you are thinking on these things the bad thoughts are gone, and so is the temptation.
Finally, let me say that since we are mortal and finite, and God is eternal and infinite, obeying God will make us humble and not haughty. We owe God so much more than we can ever repay, so even though we obey we still feel unworthy and inadequate in Godís sight. The closer we get to God, the smaller we get in our own eyes, and the more we realize that without Him we can do NOTHING. The life that we now live, we live by the faith of the Son of God. (Gal 2:20) We are not proud of ourselves because of our obedience to God, but realize that it is only by the grace of God working in us that we are able to do anything right.
I hope this will be of help to you. If you have other questions please feel free to write. May God help you to find victory in this area.
How do I get victory over sins that seem to spring up from inside me. Like lust, envy, pride, and anger?
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
the promises given in Revelation 1, 2, 3, and 21 are to those
that "overcome." There are so many Scriptures, and I assume that
you already know them, so I won't labor here to prove that the
Bible teaches that saved people are overcomers.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matt. 16:24-25
When a person is truly saved, self has been crucified and the new life that you now live is CHRIST living IN you.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20
Because this is the way it is you are able to live according to the great commandments as Jesus laid them out:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt. 22:37-40
You cannot have Christ AND self on the throne of your heart at
the same time. If you love God supremely you will love others
more than yourself. When that is a reality in your life these
sins will quit "popping up," because the supreme purpose of your
life will not be your own selfish designs, but the glory of God
and the good of others. THAT is when you will find victory in
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:... John 14:23-24
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John 2:3
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1 John 2:4-5
I've done my best to give you
a straight answer and identify the problem for you. You need to
understand that I don't know you or your circumstances and so I
have addressed all this with very little knowledge of what is
going on in your life. I have not said that you are lost, but I
see that as one of the possibilities from the facts you have
given me. If you are not lost then you need to do some deep soul
searching and study of God's Word to settle in your mind what is
really sin and what is really just temptation.
When the Bible talks about separation, who are we to separate
from? I know that we're not supposed to fellowship with those
mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6 and others but what about the
people who go to church and act right but believe strange
things? Like the 'sin nature'? Should I separate from them
because one area of their Christian belief is not according to
Could you tell me the beliefs of the Nazarene? i as a Baptist have always been taught that they were a cult. is this true? or has that been over exaggerated? is Nazarene something that a true Christian should not be involved in?
You asked about the beliefs of the Nazarenes. I assume you are speaking of the denomination called Church of the Nazarene.
The main thing that sets them apart from other churches is that they believe in "sinless perfection." In other words, they believe that a person can become completely sinless and live without sin in this life. They believe this is accomplished by a "second work of grace," which is something that happens to a person AFTER they have been saved. They believe when that happens the sinful nature is eradicated and done away with and therefore they can live without sin.
We have been, and are still, constantly accused of believing this false doctrine, but we do not believe that way at all.
Why the insistence upon The AV as the only
acceptable Scripture? This denies the great work that William
Tyndale labored for in bringing forth the English language
Bible. Also, are you actually using the original 1611 version?
What if I only spoke Spanish? Would you deny The Great Bible, or
The Geneva Bible, or Miles Coverdales version? I take no umbrage
with your position, just curious, as the AV used some 60% of its
material from Jeromes Latin Vulgate.
We do not use the original 1611 KJV - nobody does, that I know of. What we call the King James Bible is actually the 4th revision which was in 1769. The 1611 was so different in the spelling and the way the letters were written that it is actually very hard for us to read.
It is not a subject that I spend a lot of time dealing with, but maybe I should. I made up my mind a long time ago about the Word of God. The King James Version is very obviously the one version that God has blessed far beyond any other version. It was the ONLY English Bible used by the masses of the people for hundreds of years. The modern versions began about the same time as the Age of Reason, which I don't consider a coincidence. The Age of Reason was a major attack on faith in God and the modern versions are an attack on his Word. The first thing recorded in the Bible that the Devil attacked was the Word of God. Al he needs to do is to plant a doubt about what God has said and his work is accomplished.
The KJV is based on the Textus Receptus and not on the Latin Vulgate. Those are two distinctly different lines of Scripture. You mentioned Spanish or people who speak a different language. God promised to preserve his Word forever (Psalm 12:6-7). That is a promise not only to the English-speaking people, but to everyone. The best Spanish Bible (or any other language) will be the one that is based on the Textus Receptus, rather than the Latin Vulgate.
The forerunners of the English Bible were important people who prepared the way, but to me it is obvious which Bible God has put his blessing on. The modern versions leave out entire verses and portions of verses. They change words and change the meaning of passages. They make room for a lot of the false doctrines being taught in our day. Above all, they create confusion, and that is their purpose, I think.
It matters very much which Bible we use because we MUST have a final authority. If we have no Bible that we can look to in order to settle questions and differences of opinions, then we are totally adrift. If there is no "thus saith the Lord" then it is every man for himself and everyone will "do what is right in his own eyes." That is about what we are seeing in our day, and you can see what a mess it is.
I'm not sure if you have considered this subject before. If you haven't and you are really interested in finding out what all this is about I can send you some more material and information. Why use any other Bible than the King James? Anyone who speaks English can understand everything it says. It is the only one that has produced real revivals. It is the one that showed the great Christians of the past the way of salvation. It is still good enough for us today.
If God calls someone to be a missionary, or a preacher afterwards does he change his mind? or is there a calling at all? This has nothing to do with what you believe, I would just like to know. Thanks
Thanks for writing and submitting your
question. The call of God is a life time, 'til death do us
part calling. God is never taken off guard or by surprise,
by a person actions. He never makes a mistake on character
judgment. God is all knowing and you can be assured of this.
- Pastor Owen
What toys should my children play with? We have gotten rid of all the dragons,fairies,ogres and trolls. People think we are crazy. Do these toys really have a negative effect on my children as Christians? Please help.
It is important what children play with.
It affects the way they think and perceive things. If they
are continually looking at and playing with things that
represent evil they will be less sensitive to evil in
general. Children who do not look at these things all the
time will be shocked when they see them. Constant exposure
to evil and things that are identified with evil dulls our
senses toward it. Therefore, we will be much more vulnerable
to the devil and the temptations of the world that lead us
away from God and can wreck our lives. In Sodom Lot was
vexed daily "in seeing and hearing" the things that were
going on there. Lot's life was a mess, too.
Why was it okay in the Old Testiment for men to have many wives and in the New Testiment they were not? Wouldn't God speak to the men directly, or through a prophet, and tell them it was wrong? (If it was wrong?)
God has never approved of a man having more than one wife. It is a major mistake to assume something is acceptable to God just because it was done by someone in the Bible that He used. The Word of God is true, and it is the final authority, no matter what men do or don't do. Just because God used someone as a judge or a deliverer doesn't even mean that person was saved. So to determine the morality of something based upon someone's actions is a very bad way to discern good and evil. The Scripture plainly forbids multiple wives, specifically to the king, because he was probably the most likely one to do that. If the king's heart would be drawn away by many wives you can be sure that the peasant's heart would be, too.
Besides, the whole creation of God and the plan of redemption; Christ and the church; all would be turned upside down if men were supposed to have more than one wife. I haven't even mentioned the strife and trouble that would certainly be present in a home with one man and a number of wives and their children. All the homes mentioned in the Bible where a man had more than one wife were plagued with discord and trouble. Much more could be said, but that's it in a nutshell. If you want to have a happy home and be right with God - one wife is all you get.