Question & Answer

Q&A - Questions We Didn't Get To: Are You There, God?

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What is the point in continuing searching for God if every time I read or pray, he is NOT there? Every time I ask others, they say “You gotta get in the word...” but I’ve already been there, and keep trying, but GOD APPEARS TO BE NOWHERE, so what is the point in searching for God, if he’s not there? How come he seemingly appears for others but not me?

With all sincerity, I would like to ask the person who submitted this question what exactly s/he is looking for from God. Dealing with the very last question first – I don't know anyone (sane) who says God “appears to them” in a visible sense. He has never appeared to me that way, either.

His presence in this age is His Holy Spirit, who resides within you and changes you. Someday, we will be in His actual presence, we will be face to face with our Lord, but until then, He has ordained faith as the way of walking with Him.

I would also tell this person to ask those “others” who say they experience God's presence to please explain what they mean by that. Hear them out – maybe they experience God in a way that you never understood before – but can have opportunity to yourself. 

Q&A - Questions We Didn't Get to On Q&A Day: How Can I be Sure?

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(From a nine year old) How do I make sure I have accepted Christ?

I would want this precious 9 year old to be able to sit down with his/her parent(s) and look at this together: 10 evidences of new life from the Bible:

1) I love and long for God’s Word.

1 Peter 2:2 - Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation…

2) I have a new awareness of good and evil.

Hebrews 5:13-14 - for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

3) I live in repentance.

Matthew 3:8 - Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

4) I have a desire to be like Jesus.

Romans 8:29 - For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

5) I am growing more spiritually mature.

Philippians 1:6 - And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

6) I am growing in prayer.

Genesis 4:26 - At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.

7) My non-Christian friends notice something different about me.

1 Peter 4:3-5 - The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

8) I love sharing Christ with others.

2 Corinthians 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

9) I love other Christians.

1 John 3:14 - We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

10) I love giving money to the work of the Lord.

Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Biblically, these are objective tests we can use to examine ourselves and see if/how the Holy Spirit is at work in us!

You are loved!

Pastor Jeff

Q&A - Questions We Didn't Get To: What did God mean by "one of us"...?

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In Gen 1:26, God says man is made "in our image" but after the fall God says the man has "become like ONE of us in knowing good and evil" What does He mean?

Wow, this is going to be hard to keep short. I'll try. Soooooo much to talk about here. 

The plurality in 1:26 refers to the Godhead. God is 1, but exists as 3 Persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. We are 1, but 3 as well, you could say, as we are body, mind, and spirit. There is more to you than what you see when you look in the mirror. It's a hard analogy, as is anything trying to compare to the Almighty God.

The statement after the Fall, in my understanding, is just pointing to the Godhead, so to rephrase it, “man knows the difference between good and evil as does God.”

BUT, I heard one preacher put it this way: God knows evil like sunbeam on sewage – untouched, unfouled. Man knows evil like someone drowning in sewage.

That's all the further I take 3:22 – I don't read anything more into it, personally.