Dear Pastor Charles:
I was reading my Bible the other day and came across a passage that is confusing to me. The passage is John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” I am assuming that Jesus is referring to Judas here. This sounds to me like Judas was condemned by God before he was even born. What Scripture is Jesus referring to here and was Judas chosen by God to be doomed? Thanks for your help. Curious…
Thank you for your question. Jesus is referring to Judas in this passage. The Scripture He is citing is from Psalms 41:9, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” King David wrote this Scripture Continue reading Does God ‘preordain’ people for destruction?
Dear Pastor Charles:
I have a basic question that is preventing me from fully trusting God. I realize that this is only a short column but maybe you can shed some light for me. My problem is this: If God is all knowing, all loving and all powerful, then why does He allow the evils of suffering, injustice and tragedy to happen to His creation? Thank you for any help that you might give.
Dear Sincerely Bewildered:
I sincerely thank you for your question for it is a very good one. In fact, you have touched upon one of the basic questions of theology, called theodicy, the problem of justifying God. The premise is this: Because God is all powerful and because He is altogether good, how can one explain the presence of evil in the world? If God were all powerful, He COULD do something about evil. If He were altogether good, He WOULD do Continue reading If God is truly good, why does He allow evil in the world?
Dear Pastor Charles:
I was reading my Bible in the Book of Jude and a word seemed to stick in my mind that has caused me to doubt some of the things my particular denomination stands for. The word is ‘contend’ and is found in Jude 1:3, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” My question is this: If we are to “contend for the faith” how can a denomination align itself with other religions who deny that Jesus is the Christ? Thanks for your opinion. Wondering.
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Dear Pastor Charles: I was reading my Bible the other day and came across a verse I do not understand. It is found in Matthew 16:28, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Does this mean that some of the disciples did not die? Thank you for your response. Perplexed.
Dear Pastor Charles: I am having a difficult problem at work that I hope you can help me with. I am a Christian and I try to take my faith with me wherever I go. I try very hard to give my employer my best effort each day and it has not gone unnoticed as I receive great evaluations and good bonuses for my efforts. My problem lies with some of my fellow workers who constantly hassle me and try to make me look bad to my bosses. I don’t know why they do this to me because I have certainly done nothing to them that warrants this treatment. Perhaps it is because I don’t go out for drinks after work, I don’t know. I just know that it really bothers me to be treated badly when I am trying to do my best. What should I do? Tormented…
You should thank God that you are being persecuted for His name’s sake because it means that you belong to God. Jesus said in John 15:18-21, Continue reading Faith in the Workplace-
John 3:17, “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.”
Psalms 11:3, “…if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Dear Pastor Charles: In Mathew 21:28-31, Jesus asks the religious leaders of His day which of the sons in His story did the will of his father. First of all, when Jesus spoke in parables, there was always a comparison to real life. What does this parable tell us we should be doing for our Heavenly Father? Secondly, although He never says it directly, He seems to be saying that the son who said “yes”, but failed to do the work, was actually the one who did the will of his father. Is this what Jesus really means, and if so, why? Curious…
Dear Pastor Charles: I hope you will address an issue for me that has been on my mind for some time. Isn’t it true that a minister’s primary responsibility is to visit the members of his church? Our minister seems to think that the only reason he is paid is to preach on Sunday. What do you think? Disgruntled.