Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, December 10, 2012

Believers' Q&A

Why does God allow suffering?
Probably the most difficult aspect of suffering is that we rarely have a reasonable explanation for it. The Bible makes it clear that the world we live in is a fallen world, a world in rebellion against God and there­fore prone to calamities. There are floods and earthquakes, plagues such as AIDS, and man-made dis­asters such as war, drug abuse and op­pression. Clearly, no one is exempt from some form of hardship. Remember, we are being tested; God always has hidden pur­poses behind allowing people to suf­fer.

How can a just God tell us to forgive bad people?
First, because we know that at some stage we have all violated God's perfect stan­dard of goodness. None of us deserv­es forgiveness from God, yet He took the initiative to forgive human­kind when Jesus paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross. This is the crux of the Christian message. When we accept the for­giveness of God, God calls us to pass on that forgiveness to others.
The second reason is that we can fight hatred by forgiving. If we did not forgive, we would give in to bitterness, which is like a root that would eventually grow to harm us even further. Forgiveness helps us to cope with events that we can do nothing about. Sometimes the demand for revenge is like try­ing to move a fallen tree instead of stepping round it. By forgiving those who wrong us, we allow our­selves to move ahead in our lives.

Why doesn't God answer my prayers?
Why should He? Is God under obligation to us? We often act as though He is, and when things go wrong we expect Him to jump to our rescue. But when Jesus taught us to take our needs to God, he also taught us to pray, "Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Our duty is to surrender to God's will.

What happens after we die?
The Bible teaches that there are two possible destinies for you and me, depending on the way we respond to Jesus Christ in this life. Jesus described these two destinies as the narrow road to eternal life and the broad road to eternal destruc­tion. Those who love and obey Him in this world will not only get to enjoy eternity with Him, but will actually become like Him, sharing His wisdom, joy and complete fulfillment. Those who reject Jesus, however, will be separated from Him for all eternity. Scripture calls this separation everlasting death, an agony souls will suffer without end.
Over the years, this Biblical view of life after death - heaven or hell - has become a sort of medieval myth to many, including some who claim to be Christians. Yet Jesus clearly refers to heaven and hell as eternal destinations for humankind. He intended to drive home the ter­rible urgency of the choice we have to make - whether or not to fol­low Him - during our short lives on earth.

How can a loving God send people to hell?
It is true that God is love, but that is not all He is. He is also holy - in other words, perfect. Because God is perfect, in His eyes not one of us could really be called good. Each of us has made a selfish choice at least once in our lives. Maybe we lied, cheated on our income tax, failed to help someone in distress, paid less than a fair wage to a work­er. Can we expect a just and per­fect God to ignore wickedness, however small? God offers forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. Only those who accept this salvation can shed their own wickedness and meet God's perfect standard.

Is God and His Church still relevant in the 21st century?
For over 100 years, modern thinkers have been saying that humankind has outgrown the need to worship God. They assume that technolo­gy, science and philosophy can give our lives meaning. But so far no discovery, invention or formula has been found that transforms the lives of people who are broken-hearted, sick or dying. Underneath the sink­ing sand of tears, grief and loss there is a solid rock. That rock is our faith in Christ; a faith that has helped millions through 2 000 years of turbulent history. It will contin­ue to do so until the end of time, for one simple reason: because God became one of us, yet without sin. Jesus was God in human form. In Christ, God shared our limitations – He understands…

He lived among the poor. He joined funeral processions and weddings. He held children in His arms. He wept for those He loved. He was betrayed by His friends and was brutally tortured to death. His life was, and is, the greatest story ever told, God's perfect plan for the restoration of His Creation. And it all began when a young maiden gave birth to a baby in Bethlehem.