Click Question to see the answer.
First, He lets them because that is what they choose to do. Let me explain, if I give you a code that gets your computer to tell you that it loves you every time you power it up…does it love you? Of course not, it can’t think or feel and so it can’t love and that makes the statement of love meaningless. The same goes for people, if someone was forced every day to tell me that they love me, that love would have no meaning for me and in fact I wouldn’t even want them to say it because it would make me feel frustrated. God loves us for real and He wants the same in return, can you really blame Him for that? Because He wants real love He offers everyone a choice to love Him or not. From our perspective, if we were honest, we would prefer a choice as well. There is nothing worse than being forced to pretend to love someone, it only leads to resentment. For this reason He has no choice but to let people go to hell if that is what they want. Before you say, “what about those that died not knowing about Jesus”, God tells us in the Bible that He has always been known through the things He has made (Romans 1). Which means anyone genuinely seeking for the Creator of the universe would have found Him. Many would say, “If they just heard about Jesus they could have been saved”, time and time again though you will see in the Bible that seeing God work doesn’t guarantee anything. In the end we have all been given a chance to know God and accept that we need saving and that He is the only one who can save us. So if we’re going to hell than it is only because of our own unwillingness to accept the free gift of salvation that God offers us. Lastly, God is a Holy God, this means that He cannot abide being in the same place as sin. This is why Jesus came to die, to pay for all our sin and the wipe our slates clean so that we can exist in the presence of God. If we sinners entered into God’s presence without our sins covered we would die.
Well first I would say that sometimes people read in a monotone sounding voice, so you can’t always associate passion for the word with voice tone, not all of us can be a Mr Neufeld :). I will admit though, we don’t always come across as passionate about God as we should and at the same time some people are actually faking it. There are many in churches that are going to, sadly, be very surprised when Jesus comes back because they have even convinced themselves that they are right with God or that they are good enough for God. They know of God, but don’t know God.
There will always be times in our lives when we don’t “feel” it, which is why we shouldn’t rely on feelings when it comes to our relationship with God. At the same time, I would say that if you feel like it’s always “forced” then you should spend some time going over what God has done for you and try to get a better understanding of your need for the salvation he has offered. Doing this can help increase your love for God and you will notice things feeling less forced. Also make sure that you don’t base your love for God on other people’s passion or lack thereof. You must have your own relationship with God, don’t allow others to dictate your passion for God. “In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Doesn’t matter how old you are you can be an example to other Christians of what passion for Jesus is all about.
I think this is something most Christians deal with, in varying degrees, during their life. We live in a society where often it’s ok to believe anything except Christianity. Now I understand the feeling that in a Christian school I should feel support from my fellow students instead of feeling embarrassment around them. First you have to realize that you are attending a Christian school with an evangelistic goal and so many parents and students at our school are not Christians, so really you are getting a better feel for the world out there than at other Christian schools. I think this is a positive, not a negative, because at some point in our lives we will have to interact with the intolerance of the world towards us. This means you can be better prepared to deal with the world than those who go to schools where you must be a Christian to attend.
The blunt truth though is that it is our issue not an issue with the people around us. People cannot make you embarrassed, don’t get me wrong people do things that cause you to feel embarrassment, but it is you who decides, sometimes subconsciously, to be embarrassed. So in the end you have to decide what you are willing to be embarrassed about. Jesus, himself, says “whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory”. There will be times where you feel shame but remember of whom you are being ashamed of and ask Him for help. This needs to be intentional, like Paul says, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will not be ashamed”, how can he expect this? Only through an intentional grasping to the knowledge that the Gospel (Good News) is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes can we ever get out from under this. If you believe then you have the power of God on your side and you have no reason to ever be embarrassed or ashamed. This is not easy, I still struggle with this sometimes, but if you don’t work at believing you have nothing to be ashamed of and relying on the power of God to change you, you will never get away from embarrassment and shame.
This is something many people struggle with, including me, so you are not alone. For each of us there are often many different reasons why we don’t read our Bible regularly. It often is hardest for those of us who grew, or are growing, up in the church. I think this is because for us knowledge of the bible and God is so normal. We often don’t consider it special, exciting or even interesting. If this is where you are, firstly, you have to fight against it and secondly, you must learn to love it. Society has been working hard to convince us that love is a feeling that just happens and when the feeling goes you move on. The truth though is that the deepest of loves is something that is learned and worked for, because it is a love that you have an investment in which means it is valuable to you. Even those who come in to the kingdom like a house on fire cool off at some point if they don’t invest in their love for God. So on that note let me give you a couple of points to help you.
1) Start small – Many people try and jump in and a run a marathon, having never run that far before, this always ends in discouragement, failure and often pain. Just like these over ambitious runners, we shouldn’t try and read through the bible in a year if we struggle to read regularly. This will just lead to frustration, guilt, shame and some form of bitterness towards God “for making you read.” Depending on where you are at sometimes starting even as small as one “section” per day would be a good starting point. Then like a runner, start reading a little more, like a chapter a day.
2) Let go of guilt – For many of us when we miss a day, two or more, we feel guilty, like we have let God down or something. Then for many of us this leads us to miss even more days because we feel bad, but it shouldn’t be that way. Yes, God wants us to read and learn more about Him, but more importantly He wants us to want to and he knows that we are not perfect, so why are we feeling guilty for being what we are. This does not mean we should accept failure, instead understanding that we will make mistakes means we can allow ourselves to let go of guilt and focus on getting back into it.
3) Begin with prayer – The Psalmist says, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your law (word)” and so we should also ask for God’s help to understand and enjoy His Word. In some ways this is more for us than for God, because we know that the Holy Spirit is always working in us and leading us, this open us to be receptive to what He has to say to us. Just like we are more likely to listen when we ask a question, than when someone just starts talking about something.
4) Make a plan – Find or make a bible reading plan. There are plenty of options out there from 1 year plans to 5 year plans, to smaller options like 90 day in John. Find one that works for you and stick to it. If you miss a day don’t feel guilty, just pick it back up the next day where you left off.
5) Pick your spot – Choose a time and place that works best for you. Try a few different places to see which allows you to focus best and then stick with it. For time, make a specific spot in your schedule, because I can tell you from experience if you don’t have a specific time other things will use up the time you want to have for it.
6) Add variety – For many they read the bible from start to finish, but for many of us plowing through books like Leviticus day after day can be pretty rough, so change it up sometimes. For some reading an Old Testament book and a New Testament book alternating helps. There is one plan I found that separates the Bible into 6 categories and alternates them each day. Find what works for you, but at the same time don’t avoid the “dull” books, God has something for us everywhere in the bible.
7) Share – Try and share something you learned, found interesting with someone you know (or don’t). Tell a friend, parent, sibling, or even write a journal/blog. Sharing what you learn helps you remember what you learned and often talking about it brings new insights that you might have missed the first time.
I hope these suggestions help you turn your time with the Bible from a chore to something you enjoy; I know that writing this has helped me see my time with the Bible in a different light. An interesting plan to try has been organized by a church in Australia, here is the link: http://southvalleychurch.com.au/5-year-bible-reading-plan/
Well to start I would say that I understand your challenge; I myself struggle to bring up God in my conversations. It is so much easier to talk about sports, the weather or what they did since I saw them last. Here are some ideas that are beneficial to help you get motivated, confident and knowledgeable.
1) Start with Prayer – You will find that your conversations have a better chance to be fruitful if you spend time praying. Pray not only for courage to speak up, but also for the person or people you wish to talk with. Ask God to bless your conversations.
2) Deepen your own faith – This is especially useful with your Christian friends because the more time you spend learning about God the more likely you will have something to talk about, whether it’s about a passage that really spoke to you, something you wonder about (have questions about) or something that you heard in a sermon that was interesting.
3) Start with a question – This can work for both groups, though the questions might change. Ask an open ended question and let the other person start the conversation ;). Questions that can work are: Do you believe in God? Why do you believe in God? Have you ever experienced God? What’ your favourite Bible story? If you could ask God a question what would that be? These are just a few examples but as with anything a well-placed question can start the ball rolling and help you find out where they are.
4) Focus on their feelings – Don’t just ask the question, listen to the answer and more importantly how they feel about the answer. If you’re not sure than that is a perfect next question, ask how they feel. Learn the art of debate, where it is not important to win the conversation because the journey and the sharing of ideas is the most important part and most likely to lead to more conversations.
5) Take advantage of materials – There are many ministries out there with materials on how to talk particularly to Non-Christians. There are also Bible commentaries, sermons and devotionals to help you understand more about God and the Bible.
6) Don’t overwhelm – Sometimes in our nervousness we talk too much. Make sure that you are saying or asking something and then making time for them to respond. Don’t ask a question and then keep talking giving your answer to the question.
7) Be Confident – I know this is easier said than done, but trust that God has your back. God created us for community, which means He wants you to talk about Him with other people. Don’t waste the gift of community by only talking about earthly things, ask God to help you bless those around you with Godly conversation.
8) End the conversation good note – Every conversation that ends on a positive note is an open door for more conversation on the subject. Trust God to work on yours and their heart in the meantime.
I hope this helps. I know looking into this has helped me to consider how I spend my conversation time. May the Lord bless your conversations with great Godly conversation like you never imagined.
The simplest answer is that Christians follow Jesus and Non-Christians don’t. Here are a couple other people’s takes on this question:
1. When a non-Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with his sin. When a Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with God, against himself.
2. The difference between Christians and non-Christians is not that non-Christian sin whereas Christians don’t. The difference is found in what side we take in the battle. Christians take God’s side against sin, whereas non-Christians take sin’s side against God. A Christian will sin, but turn to God again and his word and say “help me fight my sin.” A non-Christian, even if he recognizes his sin, effectively responds, “I want my sin more than God.”
A slightly more important question would be what is the difference between a believer and a Christian? Here is a list of differences that might shock you.
You believe that there is one God. Good!
Even the demons believe that–and shudder. James 2:19
1. A believer believes in Jesus. A Christian follow his commands.
2. A believer goes to church on holidays. A Christian knows that a church community is essential to their faith.
3. A believer reads their Bible when things get tough. A Christian reads their Bible regularly.
4. A believer prays when things get tough. A Christian gives thanks no matter the circumstance.
5. A believer twists the Bible to fit his or her lifestyle. A Christian works to make his or her lifestyle resemble the teachings of the Bible.
6. A believer conforms under the pressure or culture. A Christian holds fast against temptation.
7. A believer knows about Jesus. A Christian knows Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior.
&nbs;p I will address the first statement because I feel it is important to do so, as there is sometimes a confusion of the point of church. There are groups (denominations) that all but teach that church attendance is required to get to heaven, this is wrong. Our salvation is through Jesus alone and nothing we do can earn anything in regards to our making it to heaven. NOW having said that the Bible is very clear that church is meant to be a part of our life, we NEED the community. Solo Christians almost always tend to end up believing one or many types of heresy, because they don't have the support of a Christian community, particularly older, wiser men/women. God tells us in Hebrews 10, "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Here you can see God telling us we need to meet together for encouragement, so if you haven't found encouragement in the church you were attending you have two choices. First, be an encourager, work to start a community of encouragement so that those that you encourage feel the desire share the wonder of encouragement to you and others. Secondly, if you don't feel you are up to that challenge, look for a church that offers you a community of encouragement. God put the idea of church in place so that we would have people around us that can build us up, correct us when we need it and to give us opportunity to pour out God's love on each other. Now we are imperfect and so we aren't always perfect at this, but look for a church where you feel people are seeking to build each other up.
&nbs;p Now let me address the question. I want to again clarify your salvation is founded on one thing and one thing only. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." A true and honest belief in the free gift that God has offered is the only way to salvation, nothing you can do can pay even part of the payment required for you to go to heaven. Any suggestion that there is anything you need to do to help Jesus pay for your sins is a lie. NOW, again having said that, if you TRULY believe that God the Father sent His only Son to come to this earth to suffer temptation, hate, betrayal, loss, pain and probably the most cruel death man has ever devised, JUST TO SAVE YOU, there will be some sort of evidence in your life. Think of it this way; a man jumps in front of a bus to push you to safety, dying in the process, what would your respond to this sacrifice be? Would you walk away and never think of that man again? Or would you be thankful to that man for the rest of your life? For me, and I would think most people, it would be the later and through that your life would be changed in ways you cannot imagine without going through that experience yourself. In the same way your life should be change by the knowledge of what God has done for you. Through John, God goes so far as to say if you are not striving (working) to walk with God, in His light, you’re claim of belief is a lie.
What I have said is not easy to hear, I know because it isn’t easy for me to hear, but as with everything in God’s Word it is meant to be beneficial. We are not perfect and we will fail, but we can remember that God already knows this. “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” Start with one thing, something you can do now, like reading your Bible, praying, going to church, etc and then work to do more. These things are called spiritual disciplines for a reason. The word discipline means to train in self-control or obedience, the ways of God are not something our sin nature, nor Satan, want for us. So we must see God and community to help us to desire God’s ways more and more. So, the real answer is if you truly believe in Jesus you are going to heaven, but you should also be responding in thankfulness and love to a God who gave up everything to suffer and die so that He might have relationship with you. He loves you always, no matter what, but if you want Him to trust you start by doing something small that He has asked you to do. I hope that this answer is a blessing for you, that it would inspire you to greater, more mature relationship with God. Know that this is written in Love by a person who hopes to see you in Heaven one day. God Bless.