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Idol worship.

Que.  I’m from India,a Christian.From my childhood my parents prohibit me from going to Hindu temples and mosque. Now I am in college, my friends of other faith persuade me to go to temples and other religious centres.Is it wrong? My parents say that those places have evil spirits and possibly possess me. Who is correct – my parents or friends?
Ans.  Dear son, your parents are absolutely right and NEVER go with your friends to any temple or mosques ever to worship with them.  The Bible is very clear that those who do not trust in Christ are under the power of the evil spirits (Eph.2:2).  In fact, the whole world is under the power of the evil one (1John 5:19).  The Bible very clearly tells that those who sacrifice to idols are sacrificing to demons (1Cor.10:20).  So  NEVER go to temples or guru-dwaras or mosques ever to worship.
I need to give you a little more clarification about this.  Then only you will understand why this is very important.
Son, all religions say that man is a sinner.  We know this to be true in our personal life and in the life of all our friends.  There is selfishness, anger, envy, jealousy, pride etc etc in all our hearts.  These are the things which separate us from a holy God who is our one and only creator.  The Bible calls these attitudes of our hearts sin.  Sin is not merely adultery and murder or stealing.  Sin is the corrupt nature of our heart.

When any one calls on God without settling the sin problem, true holy God can NEVER listen.   When any one calls on god without a clean heart, only duplicate gods or gods of imagination will come to their aid. Demons come in the name of god and get their worship. Remember only house flies will come if there is some dirt in a place. Is it not?  You can never see a honey bee where there is dirt.

You can hear your friends who go to temples talk about miracles and answers to prayer.  True, Satan can perform miracles and that is how Satan is able to keep them in his fold. The Bible is very clear that when any one worships any idol, worship goes to demons (Acts 7:41,42).  But if you ask them whether their sins are forgiven, they will never be able to say it.  Truly, it is impossible for man to get forgiveness of sins by self effort (Mat.19:25,6).

So the Bible tells us that God made the way for man to be forgiven by sending His sinless Son as a man to this earth and Jesus took the punishment of our sins and if we repent and trust in Christ, we will be forgiven and our harts will be cleansed.  Then when we call on God, true and living God who is our only creator will listen to us and answer our prayers.

So what you need is to invite Christ into your heart now and become a child of God.  I will give you the link below which you can use to do that and you can know for sure that God has forgiven you and that you are a child of God.  May God bless you and make you a channel through whom many of your friends too will experience salvation and forgiveness of sins.    Here is the link for you.  www.4stepstogod.com/

If you have any more doubt or question please do not hesitate asking us.  I personally want to be with you and pray for you so that you can have a life full of blessings by God Almighty.  May His name be praised through your life.  Amen.

 

 

Is God partial?

God doesn’t show favoritism, says the Bible. Then why does God show visitation to some people who have never pursued him while to some, not? And why does He give great gifts to some of his elects and not to all?

You are right.  God does not show favoritism. Then you asked why He shows visitation to some people and not others.

The answer is very simple.  God visits some who never pursued Him and not others because some where some one is praying for those whom God is visiting.  Remember that only in answer to prayer God does any thing spiritual in the world today (Mat.7:7; James 4:2). 

Then you asked why He gives great gifts to some of His people and not to all.  Good question

God Himself gives answer to your question in 1Cor.12.  Read that chapter several times until you are able to understand what God says about different gifts to different people.  Take special note of v.24. 

Same is true about riches and poverty.   God is not showing favoritism but when you read the first chapter of the book of James you will come to know that riches and poverty are the trials of your faith. Read the whole chapter but see vv.9-11 specially. 

God is never partial.  If you don’t have some thing, you have some thing else which others don’t have (James 2:5). God bless!

 
 

Inter-caste marriage

I am a 23 year old guy. I was in a relationship with a girl in the same college. We started liking each other and even submitted to God before we took a decision to start our relationship. As time went by we decided to marry and also informed our parents who were interested to look into the matter. There was some problem related to caste even though both of us are from born again Christian families. As things grew serious the girls family summoned a prophet who prophesied about our relationship as not God’s will. We love each other very much and now are on the verge of separation due to this move taken by the girl’s family.  I personally am deeply hurt and don’t know what to do in this case. Can this be a true cause of not marrying?!!

Dear son, I am sorry to hear about your situation.  Tragically in India caste is playing a major role even among born again Christians.  Truly it is of the devil.  It is a pity that our people do not realize this.

You knew it very well all your life.  Specially, if you are from a so-called lower caste and the girl is from a higher caste, you knew things would not materialize that easily.  Knowing the Indian situation fully well, I think you did a foolish move to love a girl from another community.

And in India, love marriages are still looked at by the society as not normal.  When some one opts for such a marriage, one should realize that he/she is challenging a well established culture which has its roots going back to 5000 years.  The Indian society has not accepted love marriages as the pattern yet.  Marriages in India are done by two families coming together in agreement about the future of their children and not merely by two young people deciding their future.

So, in opting for a love marriage you were challenging two highly rooted cultural cores of the Indian society.  Naturally, you had to expect uneasy situations as you are now in.

But tragically, the girl’s family is withdrawing from the situation based on a so-called prophet and his predictions.  It is a pity that born again Christians do not study the word to know for sure that we do NOT have apostles and prophets today in the church.  Please read Eph 2:20 where it is clearly said that the church is  “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”.

When the Bible was not completed, God used the Apostles and prophets to communicate the mind of God.  When the Bible was completed, the gifts of Apostles and prophets are no more in the church today. Today in the church we have Evangelists and Pastor-teachers. We do not read about Evangelists in the early church till we come to the 21st chapter of Acts (v.8).  By that time the church had past its infancy. Compare Eph 4:11 to see the truth for yourself.  “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers”,

Tragically, today’s prophets preach the deceit of their own heart as in the days of Jeremiah (Jer.23:26).  So that is not a valid reason at all.  The reason is cultural which the girl’s parents are hiding giving it a spiritual appearance.  What a tragedy!  You should have foreseen all these when you entered into a relationship with a girl from another community.

We need young believers in India who can challenge this caste feelings in the church, not by love marriages, but by arranged marriages.  If two are compatible in all other respects, caste should not play a role in deciding marriages among born again Christians.  May we pray that such a time will emerge in the Indian church soon.  May the good Lord give you grace to get over the present predicament. God bless!

 
 

Inter-caste marriage

I am from India,where there are a lot of castes. People from one caste don’t marry people of other caste, but being Christians should we follow that? Even though our parents are Christians, they don’t allow inter-caste marriage. How should we deal with this kind of situation, where both the bride and groom are Christians but of a different caste?

The Bible clearly says that once a person accepts Christ that he/she is a new creation (2Cor.5:17) and that he/she is now a member of a new nation (1Pet.2:9).  While this is the real truth, generally that truth is not put in practice even by born again believers in India.

There are many reasons for the same.   Caste in India is basically based on social and economic status.  It is highly unimaginable for a high caste Hindu girl to be the wife of an untouchable!    One must remember there are a lot of cultural problems.  Each caste and sub-caste has its own cultural strands and sometimes it will not be tolerable by other groups.   Simple example is food habits.  One thing which is panacea for one group is poison for another group. I know of a newly married couple who has to cook two different kinds of meals at home!

Another situation in India is that marriages are arranged by parents and elders and it is not just an agreement between young couples but two families coming into a contract with each other. That makes the situation more complicated. Is it imaginable to have family and their relatives being engaged together in one place with a family which is socially and economically  incompatible?
As we all know, no marriage is without problems.  But why invite more problems knowingly by being in alignment with a family which is not compatible in any way.
On the other hand, if the families are educated and socially able to accept each other, inter-caste marriage is ideal which will bring glory to God.  God bless!
 

Why death?

Question Text:  Why did God plant death upon the human race and why wouldn’t he grant life for those worthy?

Answer Text:  The Bible is very clear that death was NOT a part of God’s original creation.  We read about creation of man in Gen.1:26-31.   V.31 ends with the comment. “very good’.   If death and decay was a part of the creation, such a comment would be out of place.

But  in the second chapter God tells man that if he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he would die (Gen.2:15-17).  And from the third chapter of Genesis we know that man disobeyed God and thus man brought death into the world.

Please read what St. Paul says about the coming of death in to the world from Rom 5:12.  “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned”. So it is very clear that death is the result of sin and if there was no sin,  there would not be death in the world.

Now,  the second part of your question is self explanatory.  Surely God would grant life to any one who is worthy!  In the Old Testament we know that Enoch did not die (Gen.5:24).   So is the case with Elijah (2 Kings 2:11).  The Bible clearly says that God has no partiality (Rom.2:11).   If some one today were to live like Enoch or Elijah,  surely they would not need to face death.  Have you found any one with out envy, jealousy, malice, pride, anger, selfishness etc.  which are sins which separate us from God?

In fact,  death means separation.  But God in grace  offers free salvation  through Christ our Lord by His death on the cross (Rom.3:23-26).  And to a believer in Christ physical death is just a sleep as Jesus promised that those who believe in Him shall never die (John 11:26 cf. 1Thes.4:15)!   Praise be to His Holy Name.  Amen.

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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Bible Questions

 

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Meaning of Mt.22:14.

Question Text:   What does the Bible mean when it says, “Many are called but few are chosen”?

Answer Text:  This verse is found in Mat.22:14, at the end of the parable of the marriage feast told by our Lord. The good news of salvation is for the whole humanity. But tragically all do not have a chance to hear about this. Many are given a chance to hear this invitation. From among the many who hear the invitation, only few would ever respond to the call of God. Those who respond come under the category of the chosen ones.

The question of divine election is a mysterious doctrine. In the Old Testament God wanted ‘one’ nation through whom He would give His revelation to humanity. He wanted to bless the world through them (Gen.12:3). He chose them at random. Moses talking about the election of Israel in Dt. 7 tells them that God loved them because He loved them (v.8). No other reason is given for the election of Israel to their special privilege.

Coming to the New Testament, the Bible does NOT say that God chooses any one at random today. All are given the opportunity to respond to the gospel but only few will in fact respond to the call of God. So in the New Testament era, God chooses all who choose Him. In His foreknowledge God knows who all would choose Him (1Pet.1:2) and makes it possible for them to hear His invitation. All who hear the invitation may never accept His call. But few among them wiill respond and such are the ones who become chosen of the Lord for His glory.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Bible Questions

 

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Striving In Prayer?

Question text:  Why did God wrestle with Jacob in Genesis 32? What was the point?

Answer text:  You have a very good question.  Many well meaning Christians do not understand the logic of prayer.  They say, rightly so, that God is loving and almighty and He knows all our needs even before we ask Him.  No loving parent who knows the need of children would ever wait for children to ask. But Jesus, after telling that our father knows  before we ask goes on to say, “Therefore pray in this way “(Mt.6:9).   Please note the last phrase of the verse in Mt. 7:11.  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” (Matthew 7:11).  And James says, “you have not… because you ask not” (Js.4:2).

The Bible contains what is known as progressive revelation.  For example, if the Book of Revelation was not there, we would not have known who that serpent was who came to the garden of Eden to deceive Eve.  But Rev.12:9 makes it clear that it was the Devil who was that old servant.   Now, the OT can be understood  only in the light of the NT.  While OT is the shadow of things to come, NT makes things explicit.   In OT we read about men praying.  The NT makes it clear that with out prayer God would not do any thing spiritual in the world today (Mt.7:7; Js.4:2). The NT also goes on to say  that the will of God is achieved only through striving in prayer (Rom.15:30-32).  Striving in prayer is essential  not because God is unwilling to fulfill His promises but because Satan is against us enjoying God’s best for us.

One of the greatest truths of the Bible is that God does NOT fight the devil!   How can the infinite God fight against his own finite creature who rebelled against Him?  After all, when God became man in Christ our Lord,  He asked us to love our enemies.  How could He Himself fight against His own enemy?  Satan knows it and He prevents man from enjoying God’s best for them.  But we can resist the devil and remove Satanic hindrance for us to enter into the perfect will  of God.

This is the truth that is exemplified in the life of Jacob.  At Bethel God promised  Jacob that He would bless him (Gen.28).  Jacob, after 20 years of his sojourn,  became more miserable and helpless.  But then at Peniel (ch.32) Jaocb wrestles with the Lord and enters into the blessing that was promised at Bethel.  His name was changed now.  So wrestling in prayer is not trying to move an unwilling God but rather it is resisting against the devil to remove his hindrance  to obtain the promises of God.

Again this truth is exemplified in the life of Daniel.  In ch.9 Daniel learns that the captivity was to come to an end at the end of 70 years.  Living at the end of 70 years Daniel turns his face to God in fasting and in prayer asking God to fulfill His promises for His people.  In the tenth chapter of Daniel we see that Daniel had to fast and pray for 21 days (or wrestle in prayer) to remove Satanic hindrance before he could get answer from the Lord  (Dan.10:2,3  cf.vv.12,13).

Let us learn this truth clearly that all promises of God remain promises unless they are claimed in prayer.  There are areas where Satanic hindrance is heavy and we need to strive in prayer before we can enter into the promises of God.  May the Lord help us to learn this truth and may He give us grace to strive in prayer against Satan and his viles. If interested please read my small book on prayer from www.mathewpaul.org/category/book-on-prayer . God bless

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Prayer

 

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