Wednesday, 31-Aug-2016

Every day is a good day to praise God. What about formal worship?

The correct day of worship is always a hot topic among religious people. We have received numerous inquiries into this important area. But, we want to warn everyone of any 'Bible professionals' who want to prefer one day over another according to his or her Bible-based guidelines. One can easily interpret various passages in the Bible to make it look like you are falling short unless you tow the line and worship only on a particular day selected by the 'professional.' Romans 14:5-6 is the passage that neutralizes such strategies.

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Thoughts and words are the currency of the spirit

What makes mankind different from animals? It is our God-given ability to think rationally and communicate verbally. How, then, should we think and speak?

The Gospel

The Bible Gospel message is very simple: God loves you so much that He died for you on a cross, gaining victory over sin and hell on your behalf.

This good news is found throughout the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments. A concise summary appears in I Corinthians 15:3 and 4, the Apostle Paul speaking:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

Sometimes human teachers take away from the Gospel saying, for instance, that our sin is not the reason Jesus died. More often they add rules and regulations to it, furthering their own agendas. But the true Gospel is very simple, and believing it brings new life.

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Pending Questions

David asks: First I have to thank Aftb for guiding the people in God word and his way.Really want to appreciate from my bottom of Herat for their answers.Here are my questions which I need help... 1.Is the divorce and remarriage is correct ?if yes on what situations and what about if the people in that relationship ?should they must break the present relationship and seek the first one I mean go back to the first one.why did God allowed in past and still blessing prophets,fathers,pastors in past and present mankind? 2.if once the person baptized and God give the salvation does it mean his place is confirm in heaven even though if he lives according to world and sin activities ? 3.In some churches they say that filled with holy spirit means it's who can speak in tongues and Instant healing and some say only word of God is important that gives healing and everything through prayers. What we should believe? Does any time limit and procedure to praise,worship and pray to God. It's for my personal interest and I like the answers of AFTB.
Question about A General Question: Meaning of a passage
Motivation - Guidance: Not sure, confused; Guidance: Looking for a solution; Guidance: Support my position
Bible view - A religious guide - [question 240, Thursday, 01-Sep-2016]

Thanks, David, for your encouraging words. We are tickled that you like AFTB. There is a lot of study and first-hand experience built into our answers.

Also, you are to be congratulated on your questions. They represent five different areas of doctrine that are important to Christian people, and they are also quite controversial subjects with many differing opinions. You ask about:

  1. Divorce and remarriage
  2. Baptismal regeneration (salvation through water baptism)
  3. Eternal security (once saved, always saved, or not?)
  4. Pentecostalism and speaking in tongues
  5. Any-day or Sabbath-day worship

We will need time to work out answers. Please check back.

Remember that while self-consistent, Bible-based doctrine is very important to the Christian walk, relationship with Jesus is more important. Our relationship with Christ is built like every other relationship: communication. Be sure to communicate with God every day, through personal prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, and through Bible study. Also develop your relationship with God by developing relationships with His people. Attend church at least once a week and be active there.

For now, please see these answers to questions related to yours:

  1. Divorce [PRESS HERE]
  2. Baptism [PRESS HERE]
  3. Security [PRESS HERE]
  4. Pentecostalism [PRESS HERE]
  5. Sabbath [PRESS HERE]

Kumar asks: Hello Brother “Praise the Lord” I request very humble to read this and give guide me in a proper way This is kumar iam a beliver in christ from 2years .Iam in a very big problem that no one is telling the correct and perfect solution.I got married in hindu culture and it was arranged marriage.after marriage in 9 th month my father was attacked with heart stroke and by gods grace he was saved and he converted in christ after discharging from hospital but not my mother and other people in family. Later 8 to 9 months my mother had converted but still I and my wife were in Hindu even my younger brother too.Here the problem begins with my wife I had told everything of my past to my wife without hiding anything like drinking roaming with girls having affairs and I was opened before her.But after marriage I had left all those thing except drinking that to very rare.Even she had felt happy for telling everything but she had kept everything in mind and doubted me each and every time.Had small fights but settled and moved forward .From startimg of marriage she doesn’t like our house she goes very frequently and stay with home house.twice she had stayed more than 8months away from me in a short period of marriage3 years. Her intension was to take away from my parents she is very proud that she will cover and shows attitude.she works and come home little freshup spend some time with child again go for sleep.She don’t even know cooking,washing clothes or utensils and single work of house whole work is done by my mother showing love as a daguter even she is patient with damaged knees and tht needs to be replaced.we had a daughter 2yr old she even take away of my daughter from me. Here satan put me in big trouble with his wise at that time iam still un beliver only parents are converted In my working place I had a friend she is Roman Catholic I had shared every thing to her as a friend also her mother prayed when my dad is in hospital.when My dad asked me to come to church or sit in prayers in home but I neglected my dad word.But when my friend had asked me to church I could have gone and slowly I became closer to her and far to my wife because every timewife stays at her home house.one day our relationship got revealed and my wife made big nonsence and draged me and my family to police station and also she even when to that girl house and she had revealed before parents and kept spy people in that area and told to everyone in surroundings of girls house.also she had spread that to my family relatives. First thing I am in lot of troubles in office also in finance and wife behaviour.I thought of leaving my wife and marry my friend because we became much closer even physically .My friend only runs the family at home her dad wont take care.so I gave her a word that I will marry her and till my wife issue settles we will maintain relationship as husband and wife .she said ok because she knows evrything about in and out of my family but she asked me to convert and will do marriage in christian law and I said ok.slowly I began to going to church with her after that my wife returs back after staying away from 8 months but she followed hindu still but slowly I had left that hindu culture .my wife doesn’t like christians and people. I already given a word to my friend that I will marry and we are in one relationship but when my wife comes back we lived in a single room but no affection and love even I slept far from her but one day she had fighted and we had closed phisically she told me that she is taking precaution to stop not to have pregnant .Iam in totally confused now iam only meeting my wife for sex at the same time iam cheating my friend as I have given word and also in office and some people know that we are getting married as we are in husband and wife relationship. Finally my wife got conceived second time she havent told that to me and not even called me at the time of birth and we had a fight to remove that pregnency but she doesn’t she had left my home again giving complaints to their parents that we are torchering her to remove pregnancy.I became mad if my friend knows this she will be hurted very badly even that truth was revealed she had felt bad and hurted very badly and forgive me. At this crucial situation I had belived in christ and I got peace in my life and I am completely in christ and left every wordly things and culture also even god had changed my friend too as a complete beliver .we both daily sit for prayer in calls and attend prayer meetings also complete night service monthly once NOW what I have to do I should marry my friend or leave her?i cant go for second marriage without divorxce from my wife but she wont give divorce and she wont stay with me she behaves like scyco and she want a separate family by leaving my parents.now she is away from me for more than three years no communication by filing a false case on me and parents for dowry and harresment to change her into Christian.My wife wont give divorce and he and her parents hate Christian religion and my friend is waiting for me.Except this god has changed our lives from worldly things and culture.we not even see movies.what is correct way to move forward with wife or friend?Please give the perfect and exact answer .Kindly help me to get out of this big confusion I am added in link with answers from the book in FB.I feel my problem will be solved because explanations giving in FB are correct
Question about Right and Wrong in the Bible: Marriage and divorce
Motivation - Guidance: Making a decision; Guidance: Not sure, confused; Guidance: Looking for a solution; Trouble: Family crisis
Bible view - The Word of God - [question 239, Wednesday, 31-Aug-2016]

Hello Kumar -- First you must realize that there is no perfect and exact answer to your problem. All actions you take will cause pain to you, your wife, and your girlfriend. Your troubles are too deep to be cured without pain. Be ready for pain in the future. But all hope is not lost, for 'With God nothing shall be impossible.' (Luke 1:37)

There are four dimensions to your problem:

  • Your children
  • Your finances
  • Your sexual activity
  • Your religion

I am so happy your wife did not abort your second child. Why should an innocent baby suffer for the sins of its father and mother? Your first priority is to be sure your children are safe and secure. If they live with your wife, and she is taking care of them, that is good. If not, take actions to be sure they are safe and secure. If your wife is like 99 percent of mothers, she loves her children and cares for them immensely. This is what you want, and it is what God wants also.

From a Bible perspective, your first order of business is to make lots of money to support your wife and children. God holds you responsible for family finances (1 Timothy 5:8). Put all your effort into your job and do the best work you can do. Having lots of money makes solving other problems less painful. You are in complete control of your finances. Use your God-given talent to make lots of money. Once you have saved, say, $3000 US dollars, then you have lots of money.

It would be best for your children if you went back together with your wife. Try to communicate with your wife as much as possible. Once you have lots of money, ask your wife to see a marriage counselor with you. If she agrees, that's good. If she does not agree, ask again. This, by far, is the best thing you can do for your situation. Do not insist on a Christian counselor. A Hindu counselor will do fine. The counselor must be a professional person, so you will have to pay for counseling services. Good counseling is worth everything you pay for it, and more.

I believe your problems began with your sexual sins. This is very common. The Bible says that sin is the cause of all problems, and your sexual sins, before you were married and now with your girlfriend, are at the center of all your troubles.

If your wife agrees to see a counselor, you must cut off all relationship with your girlfriend and concentrate on your wife. If, after you have lots of money and you have asked her six times, your wife still refuses to see a counselor, you must divorce your wife and, at the same time, limit your sexual activity with your girlfriend. Perhaps you should still kiss your girlfriend, but you must stop having sexual intercourse with her until you are married. Continued sinning will make matters worse.

Finally, it sounds like you have made a good start at Christianity. Pray, read the Bible, and attend church every week. Do not miss church services. It is very important that you get closely involved with other Christians. You cannot solve your problems alone. That is why going to church every week is so important.

We are praying for you -- Paul Richards

The Bible rejects the idea of people marrying outside their faiths. Here's more information.

Dianne asks:

I am a 20 year old catholic girl in relationship with a 25 year old muslim boy. We have been in a relationship for about 3 years now. He wants us to get married in the future but deep down I don't want to, not because I don't love him, but because I ask myself quietly

When we have children I want them to be raised as true catholics.

We have discussed this in the past, but I have never expressed this desire. He wants our children to learn about both religions but choose for themselves when they are old enough.

He doesn't want me to convert to his religion and he wont convert either. He said if he converts it will only be done to keep my family happy but he will practice Islam. He thinks if he converts maybe there is a high chance that my family will accept him. But truth is I don't think my family will ever ever accept this. Since interfaith / caste / race marriage is a big no no in our country.

I always pray for him to know Christ. But he has very little about Christianity whatsoever. I know more or less everything about Islam.

I love him a lot but I am not even sure myself if I will go against my family beliefs and marry him at the end. I want to breakup but always I never try to do it, thinking about how much he will get hurt. I have hurt him too many times as I have broke up with him in the past but gotten back together again. The only reason being I have never met any nicer guy than him. He is too good to be true. I cannot bear to see him hurt. He has never ever hurt me knowingly or unknowingly. He has given me a choice to stay with him or leave him openly but he said He will always love me no matter what. When he gets emotional he has begged me never to leave him alone. This makes me upset even more. The fact he gives me a choice. I cannot forgive myself if i hurt him.

I always wonder will I get forgiveness from God if I do breakup with him. Ok this might seem stupid. But my question is: what if I hurt a person so bad? Because I am the only reason he lives happily. But on the other side I broke off with person outside my caste, God will be happy.

Please help. I am confused. what should I do according to the Bible? I dont think I can forgive myself if i hurt him.

Question about A Personal Question: My marriage
Motivation - Trouble: Personal crisis
Bible view - The Word of God - [question 140, Monday, 01-Apr-2013]

world religions
There is no shortage of religions around the world. The question is: should members of different religions marry each other?

Dianne has asked a very good question. She is a clear thinker, and she has posed her question well. Dianne is sincere, and she is seeking proper guidance from the Bible:

  1. Should I, as a Catholic, marry my boyfriend who is a Muslim?
  2. How should we raise our children?
  3. Should he convert? Should I convert? Will our families endure it?
  4. How can I deal with the conflict within me? I love him dearly, he wants to be with me and is only happy because of me, but I see trouble ahead due to our religions
  5. Will God forgive me if I hurt him by breaking up?

We will address each component of Dianne's question. And we are quietly praying for Dianne and for her boyfriend.

Should I Marry Outside My Faith?

The Bible answer to this question is clearly and simply No! If you are Christian, marry a Christian. If you are Muslim, marry a Muslim. If you are atheist, marry an atheist. Simple, huh? You don't really need the Bible to tell you this. However, there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that back up this answer, but none is so straight forward as this one:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 [NASB]

This verse clearly states that people who believe one thing should not be 'bound together' with people who believe another thing. The important part is 'bound together' and marriage is the closest and tightest bond between two people.

Inter-racial couple
Inter-racial couples are not explicitly discouraged in the Bible, but inter-faith couples are strongly prohibited.

You might be able to work together at the same location, and you might be able to laugh together at parties, but getting married is completely different. Marriage is a sacred contract between two people with the probable result of producing children. When it comes to marriage, the Bible says emphatically stay withing your faith!

In these modern times there are plenty of people who disregard or discount what the Bible says. To such liberated people the Bible is a collection of ancient sayings that may or may not apply today. If this is your view of the Bible, you are free, of course, to modify it to fit your liking. To Dianne, however, the Bible is what God says, and it cannot be modified. At AFTB, we agree with Dianne.

Christian Catholicism and Islam are miles apart. They are build on separate foundations and they teach different things. Catholicism comes out of Judaism (Jesus was a Jew). New Testament Christianity is built firmly on the foundation of Old Testament Judaism while Islam is built on a foundation established in the Qur'an by the Prophet Mohammed 600 years after Jesus lived. Both Islam and Judaism are Abrahamic religions, but they have been completely separate since the time of Abraham, as told in the book of Genesis:

Therefore she said to Abraham, 'Drive out this maid (Hagar) and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.
- Genesis 21:10 [NASB]

Abraham's sons, Ishmael by Hagar and Isaac by Sarah, are the fathers of Islam and Judaism, respectively. The Bible says to cast out Ishmael and hold on to Isaac. If Dianne is to be true to her Catholic roots, she must cast out Islam. Likewise, if Dianne's boyfriend is to be true to his Islamic roots, he must cast out Catholicism. Today's news is laced with differences between Christianity (as an outgrowth of Judaism) and Islam. If Dianne marries her boyfriend, her marriage will be laced with differences also.

Precepts in the Bible generally prefer pureness over mixture. Even so, the Bible makes no strong statements about inter-racial marriage. If a black wants to marry a white, or an Asian wants to marry a Slav, the Bible does not set up roadblocks. God does not take a person's color into account (see Race and Racism in the Bible on this web site). But God does take a person's belief into account. What a person believes goes far deeper than simple skin color. What a person believes shapes his or her life. It is very important to God, and it should be very important to everyone.

How should we raise our children?

God instituted marriage for personal fulfillment (Genesis 2:24) and to produce children (Genesis 1:28). Dianne is wise for discussing children with her boyfriend. But Dianne is not wise to hide her true feelings about this important subject. Confrontation between two people who love each other is always hard, uncomfortable, and gut-wrenching, but sometimes it is necessary. The intensely personal subjects of religion and children must be addressed before marriage can be considered. Please, Dianne, talk continually with your boyfriend about religion and children. Do not cover your feelings, and do not let him cover his feelings.

Children suffer when husband and wife disagree
When the husband and wife disagree, the children suffer. (Ephesians 6:4, 2 Timothy 3:15)

If you cannot agree together on religion and children now, when you are madly in love with each other, then you will never be able to agree on religion and children after you are married. Disagreement on religion and children will absolutely wreck your married life. That is virtually guaranteed.

There is an article on this web site which says that inter-faith marriage is ok. This article contradicts the Bible, and we do not agree with it, but it does summarize the many difficulties encountered in inter-faith marriage, as follows:

  1. Communication, the key to successful marriage, is difficult
  2. Planning together is very important, but difficult
  3. Both husband and wife must be extremely flexible
  4. Life is unsettled, everything changes often
  5. Expect difficulties with both families
  6. Husband and wife must learn about both religions
  7. Husband and wife must participate in both religions
  8. Expect to feel insecure
  9. Religious conflict takes joy out of marriage

The idea of letting a young child choose his or her religion is completely wrong, according to the Bible. Just the opposite, the Bible tells parents to guide their children along godly pathways. Left alone, a child wanders; the parents must train the child:

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
- Proverbs 22:6 [NASB]

If the parents themselves are not sure of the 'way to go' in the verse above, how can they teach their children? It is a strong contradiction, and a very strong reason not to marry outside your faith.

If you believe the Bible, look at its most important passage and see what it says about the 'way to go.'

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
- Deuteronomy 6:4 [NASB]

The 'way to go' is to love God and obey His commandments. Bible-believing parents are to teach this way to their children.

Should he convert? Should I convert?

Catholicism is a religion and Islam is a religion. So are Judaism and Protestantism. According to Wikipedia, religion is 'an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.' We agree fully with Wikipedia's definition.

But, true Christianity is not a religion. Instead, when a man or woman is a true Christian, he or she has a personal, one-on-one relationship with the God of the Bible. God is a friend and soul-mate of a true Christian (see What is the Meaning of Life? on this web site) and they communicate and interact on a continual basis.

With this in mind, it is possible for anyone to convert from one religion to another. To do this, one gives up his or her belief system and takes on another. While difficult, this is not impossible. However, converting from a religion to true Christianity involves an act of God, not an act of man. It involves being born again, as taught by Jesus in John chapter 3. Although many religious people claim they know how being born again happens, Jesus says it is a mystery of God, similar to wind:

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
- John 3:8 [NASB]

Being born again is conversion to true Christianity, and it is something you cannot do; God must do it (see Will You Go to Heaven? on this web site). So Dianne's question about converting to or from Islam is not a valid question, according to the Bible. Any conversion done by a person is not reliable. It can change at any moment. There is a high risk that such a conversion will vanish in the future. Dianne and her family should not place any hope in such a conversion. In other words, don't consider conversion, yours or his, as a solution to this problem.

How can I deal with the conflict within me?

Dianne, you are torn between two opposing forces. On one hand you want to break up with your boyfriend because you see possible danger ahead. On the other hand you want to stay with your boyfriend because there is a strong attraction to him and you make each other feel good. This is a big problem. And it is a perfectly valid and 'normal' problem. Throughout life you will face problems like this. I have faced many problems in my life, including the horrendous problem of losing my dear wife to a cancerous disease. The problems do not get easier as time goes on. They get more difficult. Jesus Himself says that you will have problems (tribulation) in John 16:33

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
- John 16:33(b) [KJV]

Make a decision
Deal with conflict by gathering information and making a decision. There is no easy way.

You resolve these problems by doing what you are doing. You are seeking a solution by asking other people and asking God. Ask people you trust about your problem. Ask people who are older than you, since they have more experience. Not only that, ask God by praying, and listen to God by reading the Bible. We have told you what the Bible says about your problem. Now it is time for you to act on it. It is not easy. It is very difficult, sometimes, to solve life's problems. But you will be better for it. Solving problems builds your character.

You say 'I want to breakup but always I never try to do it, thinking about how much he will get hurt.' But you are hurting as well. You are very sure that your boyfriend will be hurt by the breakup, but you do not know this as an absolute fact. Also, from experience, I know that emotional hurts always heal with time. My wife died 10 years ago and I was in agony at that time. Now, 10 years later, I am not in agony any more, although I am still sad about losing her. There is no way to escape being hurt all the time. You are being unrealistic if you think that life is always pleasant. Remember what Jesus says in John 16:33 above. You must MAKE A DECISION and then stick with that decision. Making your decision is the hard part. Once you make it, things get easier as you carry out your decision. Please make your decision soon.

In summary, the way to deal with your inner conflict is to gather information and MAKE A DECISION. Then, act on your decision.

You want to make a good decision. This is why you read the Bible and talk to wise, trusted people to gather information. Then you think about your decision carefully before you make it. The Bible law of sowing and reaping is always in effect:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
- Galatians 6:1 [KJV]

You can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences of those actions. If you make a bad decision, the results will be bad. If you make a good decision, the results will be good.

Will God forgive me?

God forgives sin, Dianne, and breaking up with your boyfriend is not sin. There is no command that says 'Thou shalt not make your boyfriend sad.' So your choice of question is not a good one. We must seek God's forgiveness when we break His law, as outlined in the Ten Commandments and expanded throughout Scripture. Sin is breaking God's law, and although hurting someone's feelings is usually undesirable, it is not sin. Sometimes it is necessary.

In fact, you will have to seek God's forgiveness if you do not break up with your boyfriend. If you marry him, you will be breaking God's law about marrying outside your faith (2 Corinthians 6:14).

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Does the Bible say anything about housework and who is supposed to do it? Surprisingly, yes.

Does the God of the universe care about who does the housework?

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Did God create Adam out of dust, and Eve out of Adam's rib? This seems very far-fetched!

Questions about creation are super-important. They form a dividing line between people who believe the Bible has value, and those who believe it is worthless. We hope you believe the Bible has value.

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What the Bible says -- concisely.

The Bible makes it clear that once an embryo reaches the biblical stage of unformed substance, adoption, not abortion, is the proper way to avoid a grievous sin and minimize the effects of unwanted pregnancy. The precise time of unformed substance is not specified in the Bible, but it is surely early in the pregnancy. Further, the Bible is full of encouragement for loving parenting of young children. Remember: God is for you. He loves you beyond measure.

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