Have Questions, Find answers on Otakada.org - Top Questions About Life Decisions People are Really Asking with Biblical Answers

Have Questions, Find answers on Otakada.org – Top Questions About Life Decisions People are Really Asking with Biblical Answers

Have Questions, Find answers on Otakada.org - Top Questions About Life Decisions People are Really Asking with Biblical Answers
Have Questions, Find answers on Otakada.org – Top Questions About Life Decisions People are Really Asking with Biblical Answers

Questions About Life Decisions People are Really Asking: The TOP Most Frequently Asked Questions About Life Decisions

Have Questions, Find Answers on Otakada.orgAbout Life Decisions people are really asking – Daily, people turn to the Internet to find answers to their questions about spiritual matters. Topics related to spirituality are the second-most searched subjects online. Sadly, websites that present false teachings far outnumber those that proclaim the truth of God’s Word. We will provide answers as the Holy Spirit leads us from a biblical perspective. You will also need to pray to secure answers to any question you may have because one of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth – John 16:13. Today, we look at Questions About Life Decisions people are really asking and questions that relate to this with biblical answers.. Enjoy

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But before we answer questions about Life Decisions, hereunder is the most important question that has to do with your eternal destiny with answer for your necessary action:

Question: What does it mean to accept Jesus as your personal Savior?

Answer: Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? To properly understand this question, you must first understand the terms “Jesus Christ,” “personal,” and “Savior.”

Who is Jesus Christ? Many people will acknowledge Jesus Christ as a good man, a great teacher, or even a prophet of God. These things are definitely true of Jesus, but they do not fully define who He truly is. The Bible tells us that Jesus is God in the flesh, God in human form (see John 1:1, 14). God came to earth to teach us, heal us, correct us, forgive us—and die for us! Jesus Christ is God, the Creator, the sovereign Lord. Have you accepted this Jesus?

What is a Savior, and why do we need a Savior? The Bible tells us that we have all sinned; we have all committed evil acts (Romans 3:10-18). As a result of our sin, we deserve God’s anger and judgment. The only just punishment for sins committed against an infinite and eternal God is an infinite punishment (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15). That is why we need a Savior!

Jesus Christ came to earth and died in our place. Jesus’ death was an infinite payment for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8). Jesus paid the price so that we would not have to. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proved that His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins. That is why Jesus is the one and only Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)! Are you trusting in Jesus as your Savior?

Is Jesus your “personal” Savior? Many people view Christianity as attending church, performing rituals, and/or not committing certain sins. That is not Christianity. True Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior means placing your own personal faith and trust in Him. No one is saved by the faith of others. No one is forgiven by doing certain deeds. The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death as the payment for your sins and His resurrection as your guarantee of eternal life (John 3:16). Is Jesus personally your Savior?

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, say the following words to God. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. Only believing in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for you can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against You and deserve punishment. But I believe Jesus Christ took the punishment I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I receive Your offer of forgiveness and place my trust in You for salvation. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior! Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness— the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

Now, Top Questions About Life Decisions People are Really Asking:

Why should I not commit suicide?
What does the Bible say about a Christian going into debt?
Should Christians go to doctors?
Should a Christian exercise?
What does the Bible say about lawsuits/suing?
What does the Bible say about a Christian serving in the military?
What does the Bible say about how to find purpose in life?
Should a Christian go into business with an unbeliever?
What does the Bible say about a Christian staying single?
What does the Bible say about a Christian having plastic/cosmetic surgery? Should a Christian get insurance?
Should a Christian take anti-depressants or other mental health medicines? Should a Christian see a psychologist/psychiatrist?
What is the Christian view of retirement?
Was Jesus a vegetarian? Should a Christian be a vegetarian?
Should a Christian play video games?
Does God expect Christians to vote?
What does the Bible say about women working outside the home?
Why do people reject Jesus as their Savior?

Question: Why should I not commit suicide?

Answer: Our hearts go out to those who have thoughts of ending their own lives through suicide. If that is you right now, it may speak of many emotions, such as feelings of hopelessness and despair. You may feel like you are in the deepest pit, and you doubt there is any hope of things getting better. No one seems to care or understand where you are coming from. Life just is not worth living…or is it?

If you will take a few moments to consider letting God truly be God in your life right now, He will prove how big He really is, “for nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Perhaps scars from past hurts have resulted in an overwhelming sense of rejection or abandonment. That may lead to self-pity, anger, bitterness, vengeful thoughts, or unhealthy fears that have caused problems in some of your most important relationships.

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, no matter how bad things are in your life, there is a God of love who is waiting for you to let Him guide you through your tunnel of despair and out into His marvelous light. He is your sure hope. His name is Jesus.

This Jesus, the sinless Son of God, identifies with you in your time of rejection and humiliation. The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him in Isaiah 53:2-6, describing Him as a man who was “despised and rejected” by everyone. His life was full of sorrow and suffering. But the sorrows He bore were not His own; they were ours. He was pierced, wounded, and crushed, all because of our sin. Because of His suffering, our lives can be redeemed and made whole.

Friend, Jesus Christ endured all this so that you might have all your sins forgiven. Whatever weight of guilt you carry, know that He will forgive you if you humbly receive Him as your Savior. “…Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you…” (Psalm 50:15). Nothing you have ever done is too bad for Jesus to forgive. Some of His choicest servants committed gross sins like murder (Moses), murder and adultery (King David), and physical and emotional abuse (the apostle Paul). Yet they found forgiveness and a new abundant life in the Lord. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, God stands ready to repair what is “broken,” namely, the life you have now, the life you want to end by suicide. In Isaiah 61:1-3, the prophet wrote, “The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

Come to Jesus, and let Him restore your joy and usefulness as you trust Him to begin a new work in your life. He promises to restore the joy you have lost and give you a new spirit to sustain you. Your broken heart is precious to Him: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:12, 15-17).

Will you accept the Lord as your Savior and Shepherd? He will guide your thoughts and steps—one day at a time—through His Word, the Bible. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6). In Christ, you will still have struggles, but you will now have hope. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you in your hour of decision.
If you desire to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, speak these words in your heart to God: “God, I need you in my life. Please forgive me for all that I have done. I place my faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He is my Savior. Please cleanse me, heal me, and restore my joy in life. Thank You for Your love for me and for Jesus’ death on my behalf.”
Have you made a decision to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior

because of what you have read here?


Question: What does the Bible say about a Christian going into debt?

Answer: Paul’s charge to us in Romans 13:8 to owe nothing but love is a powerful reminder of God’s distaste for all forms of debt that are not being paid in a timely manner (see also Psalm 37:21). At the same time, the Bible does not explicitly command against all forms of debt. The Bible warns against debt, and extols the virtue of not going into debt, but does not forbid debt. The Bible has harsh words of condemnation for lenders who abuse those who are bound to them in debt, but it does not condemn the debtor.

Some people question the charging of any interest on loans, but several times in the Bible we see that a fair interest rate is expected to be received on borrowed money (Proverbs 28:8; Matthew 25:27). In ancient Israel the Law did prohibit charging interest on one category of loans—those made to the poor (Leviticus 25:35-38). This law had many social, financial, and spiritual implications, but two are especially worth mentioning. First, the law genuinely helped the poor by not making their situation worse. It was bad enough to have fallen into poverty, and it could be humiliating to have to seek assistance. But if, in addition to repaying the loan, a poor person had to make crushing interest payments, the obligation would be more hurtful than helpful.

Second, the law taught an important spiritual lesson. For a lender to forego interest on a loan to a poor person would be an act of mercy. He would be losing the use of that money while it was loaned out. Yet that would be a tangible way of expressing gratitude to God for His mercy in not charging His people “interest” for the grace He has extended to them. Just as God had mercifully brought the Israelites out of Egypt when they were nothing but penniless slaves and had given them a land of their own (Leviticus 25:38), so He expected them to express similar kindness to their own poor citizens.

Christians are in a parallel situation. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has paid our sin debt to God. Now, as we have opportunity, we can help others in need, particularly fellow believers, with loans that do not escalate their troubles. Jesus even gave a parable along these lines about two creditors and their attitude toward forgiveness (Matthew 18:23-35).

The Bible neither expressly forbids nor condones the borrowing of money. The wisdom of the Bible teaches us that it is usually not a good idea to go into debt. Debt essentially makes us a slave to the one who provides the loan. At the same time, in some situations going into debt is a “necessary evil.” As long as money is being handled wisely and the debt payments are manageable, a Christian can take on the burden of financial debt if it is absolutely necessary.

Question: Should Christians go to doctors?

Answer: There are some Christians who believe that seeking medical attention is demonstrating a lack of faith in God. In the Word-Faith movement, consulting a doctor is often considered a lack of faith that will actually prevent God from healing you. In groups such as Christian Science, seeking the help of physicians is sometimes viewed as a barrier to using the spiritual energy God has given us to heal ourselves. The logic of these viewpoints is sorely lacking. If your car is damaged, do you take it to a mechanic or wait for God to perform a miracle and heal your car? If the plumbing in your house bursts, do you wait for God to plug the leak, or do you call a plumber? God is just as capable of repairing a car or fixing the plumbing as He is of healing our bodies. The fact that God can and does perform miracles of healing does not mean we should always expect a miracle instead of seeking the help of individuals who possess the knowledge and skill to assist us.

Physicians are referred to about a dozen times in the Bible. The only verse that could be taken out of context to teach that one should not go to physicians would be 2 Chronicles 16:12, “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.” The issue was not that Asa consulted physicians, but that “he did not seek help from the LORD.” Even when visiting a doctor, our ultimate faith is to be in God, not the doctor.

There are many verses that speak of using “medical treatments” such as applying bandages (Isaiah 1:6), oil (James 5:14), oil and wine (Luke 10:34), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12), wine (1 Timothy 5:23), and salves, particularly the “balm of Gilead” (Jeremiah 8:22). Also, Luke, the author of Acts and the Gospel of Luke, is referred to by Paul as “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14).

Mark 5:25-30 relates the story of a woman who had trouble with continual bleeding, a problem that physicians could not heal even though she had been to many of them and had spent all of her money. Coming to Jesus, she thought that if she but touched the hem of His garment, she would be healed; she did touch His hem, and she was healed. Jesus, in answering the Pharisees as to why He spent time with sinners, said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12). From these verses one might sift out the following principles:

1. Physicians are not God and should not be viewed as such. They can sometimes help, but there will be other times when all they will accomplish is the removal of money.
2. Seeking physicians and using “earthly” remedies are not condemned in Scripture. In fact, medical treatments are viewed favorably.

3. God’s intervention in any physical difficulty should be sought (James 4:2; 5:13). He does not promise that He will answer the way we will always want (Isaiah 55:8-9), but we have the assurance that all He does will be done in love and thus in our best interest (Psalm 145:8-9).

So, should Christians go to doctors? God created us as intelligent beings and gave us the ability to create medicines and learn how to repair our bodies. There is nothing wrong with applying this knowledge and ability towards physical healing. Doctors can be viewed as God’s gift to us, a means through which God brings healing and recovery. At the same time, our ultimate faith and trust is to be in God, not in doctors or medicine. As with all difficult decisions, we should seek God who promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5).

Question: Should a Christian exercise?

Answer: As with many things in life, there are extremes in the area of exercise. Some people focus entirely on spirituality, to the neglect of their physical bodies. Others focus so much attention on the form and shape of their physical bodies that they neglect spiritual growth and maturity. Neither of these indicates a biblical balance. First Timothy 4:8 informs us, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Notice that the verse does not negate the need for exercise. Rather, it says that exercise is valuable, but it prioritizes exercise correctly by saying that godliness is of greater value.

The apostle Paul also mentions physical training in illustrating spiritual truth in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. He equates the Christian life to a race we run to “get the prize.” But the prize we seek is an eternal crown that will not tarnish or fade. In 2 Timothy 2:5, Paul says, “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” Paul uses an athletic analogy again in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” While the focus of these Scriptures is not physical exercise, the fact that Paul uses athletic terminology to teach us spiritual truths indicates that Paul viewed physical exercise, and even competition, in a positive light. We are both physical and spiritual beings. While the spiritual aspect of our being is, biblically speaking, more important, we are to neglect neither the spiritual or physical aspects of our health.

So, clearly, there is nothing wrong with a Christian exercising. In fact, the Bible is clear that we are to take good care of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). At the same time, the Bible warns against vanity (1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:3-4). Our goal in exercise should not be to improve the quality of our bodies so that other people will notice and admire us. Rather, the goal of exercising should be to improve our physical health so we will possess more physical energy that we can devote to spiritual goals.

Question: What does the Bible say about lawsuits/suing?

Answer: The apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian believers to not go to court against one another (1 Corinthians 6:1-8). For Christians not to forgive each other and reconcile their own differences is to demonstrate spiritual defeat. Why would someone want to become a Christian if Christians have just as many problems and are just as incapable of solving them? However, there are some instances when a lawsuit might be the proper course of action. If the biblical pattern for reconciliation has been followed (Matthew 18:15-17) and the offending party is still in the wrong, in some instances a lawsuit might be justified. This should only be done after much prayer for wisdom (James 1:5) and consultation with spiritual leadership.

The whole context of 1 Corinthians 6:1-6 deals with disputes in the church, but Paul does reference the court system when he speaks of judgments concerning things pertaining to this life. Paul means that the court system exists for matters of this life that are outside the church. Church problems should not be taken to the court system, but should be judged within the church.

Acts chapters 21-22 talk about Paul being arrested and wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit. The Romans arrested him and “the commander brought Paul inside and ordered him lashed with whips to make him confess his crime. He wanted to find out why the crowd had become so furious. As they tied Paul down to lash him, Paul said to the officer standing there, Ts it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried?’” Paul used the Roman law and his citizenship to protect himself. There is nothing wrong with using the court system as long as it is done with a right motive and a pure heart.

Paul further declares, “Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7). The thing Paul is concerned with here is the testimony of the believer. It would be far better for us to be taken advantage of, or even abused, than it would be for us to push a person even further away from Christ by taking him/her to court. Which is more important—a legal battle or the battle for a person’s eternal soul?

In summary, should Christians take each other to court over church matters? Absolutely not! Should Christians take each other to court over civil matters? If it can in any way be avoided, no. Should Christians take non-Christians to court over civil matters? Again, if it can be avoided, no. However, in some instances, such as the protection of our own rights (as in the example of the apostle Paul), it may be appropriate to pursue a legal solution.

Question: What does the Bible say about a Christian serving in the military?

Answer: The Bible contains plenty of information about serving in the military. While many of the Bible’s references to the military are only analogies, several verses directly relate to this question. The Bible does not specifically state whether or not someone should serve in the military. At the same time, Christians can rest assured that being a soldier is highly respected throughout the Scriptures and know that such service is consistent with a biblical worldview.

The first example of military service is found in the Old Testament (Genesis 14), when Abraham’s nephew Lot was kidnapped by Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and his allies. Abraham rallied to Lot’s aid by gathering 318 trained men of his household and defeating the Elamites. Here we see armed forces engaged in a noble task—rescuing and protecting the innocent.

Late in its history, the nation of Israel developed a standing army. The sense that God was the Divine Warrior and would protect His people regardless of their military strength may have been a reason why Israel was slow to develop an army. The development of a regular standing army in Israel came only after a strong, centralized political system had been developed by Saul, David, and Solomon. Saul was the first to form a permanent army (1 Samuel 13:2; 24:2; 26:2).

What Saul began, David continued. He increased the army, brought in hired troops from other regions who were loyal to him alone (2 Samuel 15:19-22) and turned over the direct leadership of his armies to a commander-in-chief, Joab. Under David, Israel also became more aggressive in its offensive military policies, absorbing neighboring states like Ammon (2 Samuel 11:1; 1 Chronicles 20:1-3). David established a system of rotating troops with twelve groups of 24,000 men serving one month of the year (1 Chronicles 27). Although Solomon’s reign was peaceful, he further expanded the army, adding chariots and horsemen (1 Kings 10:26). The standing army continued (though divided along with the kingdom after the death of Solomon) until 586 B C, when Israel (Judah) ceased to exist as a political entity.

In the New Testament, Jesus marveled when a Roman centurion (an officer in charge of one hundred soldiers) approached Him. The centurion’s response to Jesus indicated his clear understanding of authority, as well as his faith in Jesus (Matthew 8:5-13). Jesus did not denounce his career. Many centurions mentioned in the New Testament are praised as Christians, God-fearers, and men of good character (Matthew 8:5; 27:54; Mark 15:39-45; Luke 7:2; 23:47; Acts 10:1; 21:32; 28:16).

The places and the titles may have changed, but our armed forces should be just as valued as the centurions of the Bible. The position of soldier was highly respected. For example, Paul describes Epaphroditus, a fellow Christian, as a “fellow soldier” (Philippians 2:25). The Bible also uses military terms to describe being strong in the Lord by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), including the tools of the soldier—helmet, shield, and sword.

Yes, the Bible does address serving in the military, directly and indirectly. The Christian men and women who serve their country with character, dignity, and honor can rest assured that the civic duty they perform is condoned and respected by our sovereign God. Those who honorably serve in the military deserve our respect and gratitude.

Question: What does the Bible say about how to find purpose in life?

Answer: The Bible is very clear as to what our purpose in life should be. Men in both the Old and New Testaments sought for and discovered life’s purpose. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, discovered the futility of life when it is lived only for this world. He gives these concluding remarks in the book of Ecclesiastes: “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Solomon says that life is all about honoring God with our thoughts and lives and thus keeping His commandments, for one day we will stand before Him in judgment. Part of our purpose in life is to fear God and obey Him.
Another part of our purpose is to see life on this earth in perspective. Unlike those whose focus is on this life, King David looked for his satisfaction in the time to come. He said, “And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness” (Psalm 17:15). To David, full satisfaction would come on the day when he awoke (in the next life) both beholding God’s face (fellowship with Him) and being like Him (1 John 3:2).

In Psalm 73, Asaph talks about how he was tempted to envy the wicked who seemed to have no cares and built their fortunes upon the backs of those they took advantage of, but then he considered their ultimate end. In contrast to what they sought after, he states in verse 25 what mattered to him: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” To Asaph, a relationship with God mattered above all else in life. Without that relationship, life has no real purpose.

The apostle Paul talked about all he had achieved religiously before being confronted by the risen Christ, and he concluded that all of it was like a pile of manure compared to the excellence of knowing Christ Jesus. In Philippians 3:9- 10, Paul says that he wants nothing more than to know Christ and “be found in Him,” to have His righteousness and to live by faith in Him, even if it meant suffering and dying. Paul’s purpose was knowing Christ, having a righteousness obtained through faith in Him, and living in fellowship with Him, even when that brought on suffering (2 Timothy 3:12). Ultimately, he looked for the time when he would be a part of the “resurrection from the dead.”

Our purpose in life, as God originally created man, is 1) glorify God and enjoy fellowship with Him, 2) have good relationships with others, 3) work, and 4) have dominion over the earth. But with man’s fall into sin, fellowship with God is broken, relationships with others are strained, work seems to always be frustrating, and man struggles to maintain any semblance of dominion over nature. Only by restoring fellowship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, can purpose in life be rediscovered.

The purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We glorify God by fearing and obeying Him, keeping our eyes on our future home in heaven, and knowing Him intimately. We enjoy God by following His purpose for our lives, which enables us to experience true and lasting joy—the abundant life that He desires for us.

Question: Should a Christian go into business with an unbeliever?

Answer: The question of whether a Christian should go into business with an unbeliever is a common one. The most often-quoted Scripture is “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Many times, this verse is taken to be a prohibition against Christians marrying non-Christians. Marriage would definitely apply here, but there is nothing in the context to limit it to marriage. All types of “unequal yokes” are forbidden—marriages, intimate friendships, and, in many instances, business partnerships.

The command implies that a great difference exists between a believer and an unbeliever. Generally speaking, the motivations, goals, and methods of a Christian are incompatible with those of an unbeliever. Faith changes the character of a person. A Christian’s highest ambition in life is to glorify the Lord Jesus and please Him in all things; an unbeliever is, at best, indifferent to such goals. If a Christian’s methods and goals in business are identical to the methods and goals of an unbeliever, the Christian very likely needs to reevaluate and reconsider his/her priorities.

Second Corinthians 6:14 goes on to ask, “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” People are said to be “in fellowship” when they share something. Business partners are united in such a way that they must share things—what belongs to one also belongs to the other. This is precisely what is meant by “fellowship.” With these principles in mind, it is best to avoid uniting with unbelievers in business. If a Christian is truly seeking to honor the Lord through the business, conflict with the unbelieving business partner is unavoidable. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3 KJV).

Question: What does the Bible say about a Christian staying single? Answer: The question of a Christian staying single and what the Bible says about believers never marrying is often misunderstood. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8: “I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.” Notice that he says some have the gift of singleness and some the gift of marriage. Although it seems that nearly everyone marries, it is not necessarily God’s will for everyone. Paul, for example, did not have to worry about the extra problems and stresses that come with marriage and/or family. He devoted his entire life to spreading the Word of God. He would not have been such a useful messenger if he had been married.

On the other hand, some people do better as a team, serving God as a couple and a family. Both kinds of people are equally important. It is not a sin to remain single, even for your entire life. The most important thing in life is not finding a mate and having children, but serving God. We should educate ourselves on the Word of God by reading our Bibles and praying. If we ask God to reveal Himself to us, He will respond (Matthew 7:7), and if we ask Him to use us to fulfill His good works, He will do that as well. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Singleness should not be viewed as a curse or an indication that there is “something wrong” with the single man or woman. While most people marry, and while the Bible seems to indicate that it is God’s will for most people to marry, a single Christian is in no sense a “second class” Christian. As 1 Corinthians 7 indicates, singleness is, if anything, a higher calling. As with everything else in life, we should ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) concerning marriage. Following God’s plan, whether that be marriage or singleness, will result in the productivity and joy that God desires for us.

Question: What does the Bible say about a Christian having plastic/cosmetic surgery?

Answer: The Bible does not specifically address a Christian having plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that plastic surgery is, in and of itself, wrong. However, there are several things that one needs to consider before deciding whether or not to undergo these procedures. Altering one’s body is unnatural, and there are always risks of potential side effects, both physical and psychological. No one should allow himself to be put “under the knife” without first thoroughly researching all alternatives, risks, and side effects involved with the surgery. A person also needs to fully identify his or her motivation for desiring the surgery. For many with physical deformities— whether genetic or acquired—it is natural to want to fit into society and feel “normal.” There are also cases of slight abnormalities that would cause someone to feel very uncomfortable with himself, such as a very large or misshapen nose. But many, if not most, plastic surgeries are attempts to meet emotional voids in physical ways, to attract attention, or to seek approval from others.

The most commonly performed cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation/lifts, liposuction (the removal of body fat), facelifts, eyelid lifts, buttock and other body lifts, leg vein treatments, botox/fat injections, and nose and face reshaping. Approximately two million people subject themselves to these kinds of procedures each year, shelling out money and sacrificing time and comfort. When vanity motivates a person to undergo surgery, he/she has become his/her own idol. The Bible warns us not to be vain or conceited (Philippians 2:3-4) and not to draw attention to ourselves by the way we look (1 Timothy 2:9). Another concern would be the cost. This is a major consideration because most people have families, and the expense of plastic surgery should never come before the needs of the family. The Bible also tells us that we need to use wisely the money that God has entrusted to us (Proverbs 11:24-25; Luke 16:10-12).

The most important thing to do before making the decision to undergo plastic surgery would be to consult God about the issue. The Bible tells us that God cares about every worry and concern that we have, so we should take our problems to Him (1 Peter 5:7). Through the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we have the ability to make decisions that will please and honor Him. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). Even the most skilled surgeon cannot hold back the hands of time, and all cosmetic surgeries will eventually have the same result—aging. Those lifted body parts will sag again, and those cosmetically altered facial features will eventually wrinkle. It is far better to work on beautifying the person underneath, “that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).

Question: Should a Christian get insurance?

Answer: Christians often struggle with the question of whether to get insurance and if doing so demonstrates a lack of faith. This is a healthy struggle, and believers need to examine the Scriptures and come up with an answer they can defend biblically.

First, let us agree that insurance is not specifically mentioned in the Bible. If something is not specifically mentioned in the Word of God, then we must draw from the principles and teaching of the whole testimony of Scripture. After gleaning all applicable scriptural principles, different believers may come to different personal convictions. Romans chapter 14 says that such situations call for respect of others’ convictions. In that same chapter, believers have a responsibility to make up our own minds (Romans 14:5). The wording of the text indicates that we are required to do a thorough study of the Word of God and then to form godly personal convictions. The final verse of that same chapter states that whatever we decide must be an act of faith.

Here are some of the biblical principles to guide us. We are to obey the authorities over us. Thus, when we are required by law to have insurance, such as auto liability, we must comply. We are to take care of our families. Thus, we should plan ahead for the future benefit of our families. This could also include preparing for the undesired and unforeseeable early demise of a parent. Life insurance can be seen as a lack of faith, love of money, prudent planning, or possibly wise stewardship of funds. Each person’s conditions and convictions may differ in these areas. God certainly advocates planning ahead. The story of Joseph and his wise planning not only saved the nation of Egypt but also the people of Israel and the lineage of Christ (Genesis 41).

The bottom line is we must study the Word of God and call out to Him, asking what He would have us do in this and all areas of life. Hebrews 11:6 states that without faith it is impossible to please Him. This is the real question: “Will this please my Father in heaven?” Another verse to consider is James 4:17, which makes it clear that if we have a chance to do good, we must do it, or else we sin. Another verse that addresses this issue is 1 Timothy 5:8, which states that if we want to minister to others, we should start with our own families. Insurance can be a good and proper tool to assist us to achieve these goals.

Question: Should a Christian take anti-depressants or other mental health medicines?

Answer: Panic attacks, anxiety disorders, phobias, and depression affect millions of people. Panic attacks can be particularly debilitating as they can strike a person with no warning. For most sufferers, what they experience is rooted in fear: fear of rejection, fear of acceptance, fear of responsibility, fear of the unknown. Something will trigger fear which drives the person to feel like he or she is losing control. Panic attacks are often both physically and psychologically intense.

Although medical experts believe that many times the above-mentioned ailments originate within a person’s psyche, there are times when a chemical imbalance is the cause. If this is the case, medication is often prescribed to help

counter the imbalance, which in turn treats the symptoms of the psychological ailment. Is this a sin? No. God has allowed man to grow in his knowledge of medicine, which God often uses in the healing process. Does God need man­ made medicine in order to heal? Of course not! But God has chosen to allow the practice of medicine to progress, and there is no biblical reason not to avail ourselves of it.

However, there is a fine line between using medicine for healing purposes and continual reliance upon medicine for daily living. We need to recognize God as the Great Physician, and know that He alone holds the power to truly heal (John 4:14). We need to look to God first and foremost for our healing. Medicine used to treat a case of panic attack should only be used to the extent that it allows the sufferer to deal with the root cause of fear. It should be used to give back control to the sufferer. However, many sufferers take medicine in order to avoid dealing with the true cause of their ailment; this would be denying responsibility, denying God’s healing, and possibly denying others the freedom of forgiveness or closure to some past event that could be contributing to the ailment. This, then, does become sin, as it is based on selfishness.

By taking medicine on a limited basis in order to treat the symptoms, then relying upon the Word of God and wise counsel to enact transformation in one’s heart and mind, gradually the need for the medicine will diminish. The believer’s position in Christ is affirmed, and God brings healing into those troubled areas of the heart and mind which are causing the ailment. God’s Word has much to say about fear and its place in a believer’s life. Reading through the following Scriptures and meditating on them is the universal cure. The following verses give confidence, and illuminate the truth behind what being a child of God entails: Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 6:34; John 8:32; Romans 8:28-39; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-8; Hebrews 13:5-6; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 5:7; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 1:9; 4:18-19.

God can heal supernaturally and miraculously. We should pray to that end. God also heals through medicine and doctors. We should pray to that end as well. Regardless of which direction God takes, our ultimate trust must be in Him alone (Matthew 9:22).

Question: Should a Christian see a psychologist/psychiatrist?

Answer: Many Christians struggle with the decision to see a psychologist or psychiatrist as the key to overcoming mental illness. Christian psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors are numerous, and Christians are seeking their advice regularly, most often for depression and anxiety. Part of the difficulty is that there are wide varieties of psychological disorders, some of which are emotional and some of which are physical, but all of which have a spiritual component.

A sinful lifestyle can be one cause of depression or anxiety. In the case of a true believer in Christ, the person needs to realize that God is waiting for him to confess his sins, repent of them, and return to Him. Doing so will result in the spiritual, mental, and emotional healing a person seeks. Demonic influence is another potential cause of mental illness (2 Corinthians 4:4). A Christian can be influenced and/or oppressed by demons to the point of mental illness. It is important to remember, though, that Christians cannot be possessed by demons or influenced beyond a bearable amount of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is because believers already possess the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9-11), and the Holy Spirit will not share His “residence” with demons.

Another thing people often do not take into account is that God has allowed mankind to invent and develop many different kinds of medicines for healing. If a person has a true mental illness caused by hormonal or chemical imbalances in the brain, medication may be necessary. It is no different from going to a doctor to get medicine for an injury or physical illness. Similarly, God has blessed some Christian counselors and psychologists with supernatural insight, the ability to accurately evaluate a person and get to the true root of the problem. To ignore such giftedness seems unwise.

Whether or not to seek help from a Christian psychologist is a personal decision. It is a matter of the conscience because the Bible does not specifically address the issue. Here are some things to consider: Does my behavior affect others, especially my family? Is my illness causing me to be disobedient to God and refusing to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me? Is my witness for Christ suffering because of this disability? If a person knows he/she is sick, but refuses to get help for selfish reasons, that is sinful. If it is strongly against a person’s belief system to seek psychiatric care, and he/she has spent time in prayer and meditation, he/she should discuss any alternatives with his/her doctor and pastor/minister.

It is not sinful to see a psychiatrist. Doing so does not show lack of faith in God, although we should always go to God first for healing and direction. He wants to be in charge of every part of our lives, and we should feel free to take our problems to Him in prayer for every situation and every circumstance. God often uses Christian psychologists and therapists to bring healing to His children. Seeing a trained Christian counselor or psychiatrist, however, is definitely preferable to a secular therapist who will give advice from a worldly viewpoint instead of a biblical one. Let David’s words encourage us: “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God…” (Psalm 40:2-3, NLT).

Question: What is the Christian view of retirement?

Answer: As Christians approach retirement age, they often wonder what a Christian should do during the retirement years. Do Christians retire from Christian service when they retire from the workplace? How should a Christian view retirement?

1. Although there is no biblical principle that a person should retire from his work when he reaches a certain age, there is the example of the L evites and their work in the tabernacle. In Numbers 4, the Levite males are numbered for service in the tabernacle from ages 25-50 years old, and after age 50, they were to retire from regular service. They could continue to “assist their brothers” but could not continue to work (Numbers 8:24-26).

2. Even though we may retire from our vocations (even “full-time” Christian ministry), we should never retire from serving the Lord, although the way we serve Him may change. There is the example of two very old people in Luke 2:25-38 (Simeon and Anna) who continued to serve the Lord faithfully. Anna was an elderly widow who ministered in the temple daily with fasting and prayer. Titus 2 states that the older men and women are to teach, by example, younger men and women how to live.

3. One’s older years are not to be spent solely in the pursuit of pleasure. Paul says that the widow who lives for pleasure is dead while she yet lives (1 Timothy 5:6). Contrary to biblical instruction, many people equate retirement with “pursuit of pleasure” if at all possible. This is not to say that retirees cannot enjoy golf, social functions, or pleasurable pursuits. But these should not be the primary focus of one’s life at any age.

4. Second Corinthians 12:14 states that the parent ought to save up for the children. But by far the greatest thing to “save up” is one’s spiritual heritage, which can be passed on to children, grandchildren, and great­ grandchildren. Generations of descendants have been impacted by the faithful prayers of an elderly family “patriarch” or “matriarch.” Prayer is perhaps the most fruitful ministry outlet for those who have retired.

The Christian never retires from Christ’s service; he only changes the address of his workplace. In summary, as one reaches “retirement age” (whatever that is) the vocation may change but one’s life work of serving the Lord does not change. Often it is these “senior saints” who, after a lifetime of walking with God, are able to convey the truths of God’s Word by relating how God has worked in their lives. The psalmist’s prayer should be our prayer as we age: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18).

Question: Was Jesus a vegetarian? Should a Christian be a vegetarian?

Answer: Jesus was not a vegetarian. The Bible records Jesus eating fish (Luke 24:42-43) and lamb (Luke 22:8-15). Jesus miraculously fed the crowds fish and bread, a strange thing for Him to do if He was a vegetarian (Matthew 14:17-21). In a vision to the apostle Peter, Jesus declared all foods to be clean, including animals (Acts 10:10-15). After the flood in Noah’s time, God gave humanity permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:2-3). God has never rescinded this permission.

With that said, there is nothing wrong with a Christian being a vegetarian. The Bible does not command us to eat meat. There is nothing wrong with abstaining from eating meat. What the Bible does say is that we should not force our convictions about this issue on other people or judge them by what they eat or do not eat. Romans 14:2-3 tells us, “One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.”

Again, God gave humanity permission to eat meat after the flood (Genesis 9:3). In the Old Testament law, the nation of Israel was commanded not to eat certain foods (Leviticus 11:1-47), but there was never a command against eating meat. Jesus declared all foods, including all kinds of meat, to be clean (Mark 7:19). As with anything, each Christian should pray for guidance as to what God would have him/her eat. Whatever we decide to eat is acceptable to God as long as we thank Him for providing it (1 Thessalonians 5:18). “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Question: Should a Christian play video games?

Answer: Completed nearly 2000 years ago, God’s Word does not explicitly teach whether or not a Christian should play video games. But the Bible’s principles still apply today regarding the best use of our time. When God shows us that a specific activity is controlling our lives, we should break away from it for a time. This “fast” could be from food, movies, TV, music, video games, anything that distracts our attention from knowing and loving God and serving His people. While some of these things may not be bad in and of themselves, they become idols if they distract us from our first love (Colossians 3:5;

Revelation 2:4). Below are some principles to consider, whether the question is regarding video games, TV, movies, or any other earthly pursuit.

1. Will video games edify or merely entertain me? To edify means to build up. Will playing video games build up your love for God, knowledge of Him, and ministry to others? “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24; Romans 14:19). When God gives us relaxation time, we should find uplifting activities to enjoy. Do we choose permissible over praiseworthy activities? When we have a choice between good, better, and best, we should choose the best (Galatians 5:13-17).

2. Will playing video games obey self-will or God’s will? God’s will for His children can be summed up in His greatest commandment: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27). Our will has been polluted by sin. Because we have been saved from our selfish desires, we should surrender our will (Philippians 3:7-9). God’s will transforms our will (Psalm 143:10). Progressively, His desires for us become our deepest desires as well.

Many people believe the will of God is boring and humiliating. They picture a monk in a lonely monastery or a resentful church janitor. On the contrary, people who follow God’s will for their lives are the most joyful, adventurous people ever. Reading biographies of history’s heroes such Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, and George Mueller will verify that. Certainly, these saints faced difficulty from the world, their own flesh, and the devil. They may not have had much of this world’s possessions, but God accomplished great works through them. At first, His will seems impossible and too holy to be any fun, but God will give us the power to perform it and the desires to delight in it. “I delight to do Your will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8a; see Hebrews 13:21).

3. Does the video game glorify God? Some video games glorify violence, lewdness, and dumb decisions (e.g., “I’m out of the race, so I’ll just wreck my car”). As Christians, our activities should bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and help us to grow in the knowledge and grace of Christ.

4. Will playing video games result in good works? “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10; see also Titus 2:11-14 and 1 Peter 2:15). Laziness and selfishness violate God’s purpose for us—to do good works to others (1 Corinthians 15:58; see also Galatians 6:9-10).
5. Will playing video games exhibit self-control? Many people have said that video games can become an addiction or an obsession. There is no room in the Christian life for such things. Paul compares the Christian life to an athlete disciplining his body so he may win the prize. Christians have a greater motivation to live a set-apart life of self-control—eternal reward in heaven (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

6. Will playing video games redeem the time? You will give account for how you use your limited minutes. Spending hours at a time playing a video game can hardly be called a good use of time. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). “Live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2; see also Colossians 4:5, James 4:14, and 1 Peter 1:14-22).

7. Does it pass the test of Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). When you play video games, is your mind focused on godly or secular things?

8. Will playing video games fit in with my life purpose? Paul wrote that in the final days people would be “.. .lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). Western culture fits that description. We love to play. Non-Christians become addicted to entertainment such as movies, sports, and music because they do not have a purpose higher than to enjoy life before death. These amusements cannot truly satisfy (Ecclesiastes 2:1). When Christians become addicted to the same things as non-Christians, can we truly say that we are exhibiting the new life “in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15)? Or do we prove to others that we are really no different than they are and that Christ has not made a significant difference in our lives?

Paul considered knowing, loving, and obeying God to be his highest priority. “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ….I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:7-10). Will playing video games be showing my love for God or my love for the things of the world? (1 John 2:15-17).
9. Will playing video games give me an eternal focus? Christians have hope of eternal rewards in heaven if they are faithful on earth (see Matthew 6:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-16). If we focus on living for eternity rather than the passing pleasures of earth, we will have surrendered resources, time, and hearts for ministry (Colossians 3:1-2, 23-24). If our possessions or activities cause us to lose our eternal rewards, of what worth are they (Luke 12:33-37)? Christians often try to serve both God and their own desires. But Jesus clearly stated, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God gives us joy through times of work and rest (Ecclesiastes 5:19; Matthew 11:28-29; Colossians 3:23-24). We must find that balance between labor and recreation. When we do set aside time for relaxation as Jesus did (Mark 6:31), we should choose an edifying activity.

The question is not “Can I play video games?” but “Would video games be the best choice?” Will this edify me, show love to my neighbor, and glorify God? We are to pursue praiseworthy activities, not simply permissible ones. However He leads you, passionately follow Him above all else. Prepare for eternity. Every sacrifice will seem insignificant when we meet Jesus.

Question: Does God expect Christians to vote?

Answer: It is our contention that it is the duty and responsibility of every Christian to vote and to vote for leaders who promote Christian principles. God is most certainly in control, but that does not mean we should do nothing to further His will. We are commanded to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4). In terms of politics and leadership, there is evidence in Scripture that God has been displeased with our choices of leadership at times (Hosea 8:4). The evidence of sin’s grip on this world is everywhere. Much of the suffering on earth is because of godless leadership (Proverbs 28:12). Scripture gives Christians instructions to obey legitimate authority unless it contradicts the Lord’s commands (Acts 5:27-29; Romans 13:1-7). As born-again believers, we ought to strive to choose leaders who will be themselves led by our Creator (1 Samuel 12:13-25). Candidates or proposals that violate the Bible’s commands for life, family, marriage, or faith should never be supported (Proverbs 14:34). Christians should vote as led through prayer and study of both God’s Word and the realities of the choices on the ballot.

Christians in many countries in this world are oppressed and persecuted. They suffer under governments they are powerless to change and governments that hate their faith and silence their voices. These believers preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at risk of their own lives. In the U.S.A., Christians have been blessed with the right to speak about and choose their leaders without fearing for themselves or their families. In the U.S.A., in recent elections, about 2 of every 5 of self-professed Christians took that right for granted and did not vote. About 1 in 5 self-professed, eligible Christians are not even registered to vote.

In our day and age, there are many who want to drive the name and message of Christ completely out of the public arena. Voting is an opportunity to promote, protect, and preserve godly government. Passing up that opportunity means letting those who would denigrate the name of Christ have their way in our lives. The leaders we elect—or do nothing to remove—have great influence on our freedoms. They can choose to protect our right to worship and spread the gospel, or they can restrict those rights. They can lead our nation toward righteousness or toward moral disaster. As Christians, we should stand up and follow our command to fulfill our civic duties (Matthew 22:21).

Question: What does the Bible say about women working outside the home?

Answer: Whether or not a woman should work outside the home is a struggle for many couples and families. The Bible does have instructions regarding the role of women. In Titus 2:3-4, Paul gives these instructions as to how a young married woman is to be trained by older women: “…train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God.” In this passage, the Bible is clear that when children are in the picture, that is where the young woman’s responsibility lies. The older women are to teach the younger women and to live lives that glorify God. Keeping these responsibilities in mind, an older woman’s time can be spent at the Lord’s leading and her discretion.

Proverbs 31 speaks of “a wife of noble character.” Starting at verse 11, the writer praises this woman as one who does everything in her power to care for her family. She works hard to keep her house and her family in order. Verses 16,

18, 24, and 25 show that she is so industrious that she also moonlights with a cottage industry that provides additional income for her family. This woman’s motivation is important in that her business activities were the means to an end, not an end in themselves. She was providing for her family, not furthering her career, or working to keep up with the neighbors. Her employment was secondary to her true calling—the stewardship of her husband, children, and home.

The Bible nowhere forbids a woman from working outside the home.

However, the Bible does teach what a woman’s priorities are to be. If working outside the home causes a woman to neglect her children and husband, then it is wrong for that woman to work outside the home. If a Christian woman can work outside the home and still provide a loving, caring environment for her children and husband, then it is perfectly acceptable for her to work outside the home. With those principles in mind, there is freedom in Christ. Women who work outside the home should not be condemned, and neither should women who focus on the stewardship of the home be treated with condescension.

Question: Why do people reject Jesus as their Savior?

Answer: The decision to accept or reject Jesus as Savior is the ultimate life decision. Why do many people choose to reject Jesus as Savior? There are perhaps as many different reasons for rejecting Christ as there are people who reject Him, but the following four reasons can serve as general categories:

1. Some people do not think they need a savior. These people consider themselves to be “basically good” and do not realize that they, like all people, are sinners who cannot come to God on their own terms. But Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Those who reject Christ will not be able to stand before God and successfully plead their own case on their own merits.

2. The fear of social rejection or persecution deters some people from receiving Christ as Savior. The unbelievers in John 12:42-43 would not confess Christ because they were more concerned with their status among their peers than doing God’s will. These were the Pharisees whose love of position and the esteem of others blinded them, “for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”

3. For some people, the things that the present world has to offer are more appealing than eternal things. We read the story of such a man in Matthew 19:16-23. This man was not willing to lose his earthly possessions in order to gain an eternal relationship with Jesus (see also 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

4. Many people are simply resisting the Holy Spirit’s attempts to draw them to faith in Christ. Stephen, a leader in the early church, told those who were about to murder him, “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 7:51). The apostle Paul made a similar statement to a group of gospel rejecters in Acts 28:23-27.

Whatever the reasons why people reject Jesus Christ, their rejection has disastrous eternal consequences. “There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” than the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12), and those who reject Him, for whatever reason, face an eternity in the “outer darkness” of hell where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

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