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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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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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Why Christians Suffer Pre-mature or Cruel Deaths?

Question Text:

You know how they say that God will protect you and shower you with blessings once you trust in him. My question is that, there are so many people that are Christians that die horrible deaths, untimely deaths, etc.. So how come God’s protection is not there at these times?

There was a Muslim convert that I knew of that decided to, in spite of the controversies that his conversion had sparked, preach the gospel in Kashmir. He was shot during one of his sermons. If he was under the protection of godthen this should not have happened, and if you say that this was God’s will, then isn’t it possible for any of us, old or young, to die or suffer and any
point in time without any guarantee?

So even if I love God and trust him, it IS possible that I will lose lovedones and that I will suffer in the future, and that I may die a terrible and untimely death right? Isn’t that scary? And wouldn’t there be more fear in me knowing all these things?

Answer Text:

Thank you for your excellent questions.

Natasha,  The Bible clearly promises that God will indeed protect His children as the apple of His own eyes.  There are many promises which are crystal clear that angels of God watch over His children and protect them from all possible dangers.  But there are at least two exceptions to it.

On two different occasions I did experience the mighty hands of God in my personal life.  Both happened in road accidents.  First was when I  was driving in 1985, my Matador van was found to have a break failure when it was at 75 kms speed.  A car was getting a tyre change on the road side and opposite came a heavy laden lorry at full speed.  When I applied break, pedal went right in and my van would not stop.  With nine of us in the van, I was not willing for a collision either with the repairing car on the road side or with the lorry coming from the opposite direction. And I turned completely left and came right out of the road.  Who can believe what happened?   My van came to a perfect stand still while the back wheel was still on the tar road!!  Would you believe that a three month old child who was sleeping in the mother’s lap did not wake up nor any one knew that I had a break failure!!  My hair pulls up even today when I think of it.   Who can explain how my van came to a perfect stop when there was NOT EVEN  ONE DROP of break fluid in the cylinder?

Another time in 2004 my Maruti Omni toppled in the ghat roads on the way down from Kodai Kanal.  Driver broke his hand and I had to spend Rs.10k to get all the window glasses and other repairs for the van.  Would you believe,  I was sitting in the front seat  WITH OUT a seat belt  AND  YET  I DID NOT FALL DOWN!! The van was on the road with wheels on the side and I was still sitting straight in it!!  How will you explain my experiences if God did not protect me?

Ok,   now to your questions.   It is true that many Christians DO suffer premature deaths and suffer in accidents by illness.   Study the situation individually, we always have an explanation about it with out fail.   While the Bible is clear that God protects His people, the Bible also tells us that on certain occasions He permits them to go through untimely deaths and accidents.   Please read (1Co 11:30)  “That’s why many of you are sick and weak and why a lot of others have died”. This verse clearly tells us that some of God’s children have premature deaths and suffer illness or accidents BECAUSE there was some thing in them displeasing to the Lord.  They did NOT bother to live lives pleasing to the Lord and the Lord had to interfere in their lives so that they will NOT go to hell and suffer there.  Please read (1Co 11:32)  “But when the Lord judges and punishes us, he does it to keep us from being condemned with the rest of the world”.  Natasha,  you know that all Christians are NOT living perfect lives,  don’t you?  If a child of God commits sins God will punish him here and now and wont send hem to hell as the unbelievers because  their eternal punishment was born by Christ on the Cross.

Then there is another reason.  You mentioned about the Muslim convert being shot dead. It need NOT be that He was living an unacceptable life before God.   Did you know that all the 12 apostles of Christ died cruel deaths like their Master and Lord?   It is because the Bible says that only those who suffer with Him will reign with Him (2Tim.2:12).  The Bible says that if you are called to suffer for the sake of Christ, it is a higher calling and it is NOT for every body.   God chooses a few to suffer for Him in this world so that they can be with Him as rulers in the Eternal Kingdom.

Your fear it might happen to you is a possibility.   But would you be rather comfortable on this earth for fifty or a hundred years and be willing to suffer for all through eternity?

Natasha, the only heaven for unbelievers is here on earth and you know how long they can enjoy it here and remember the ONLY hell for the followers of Christ is this earth.   What will you choose if option is given to you?  Surely, choice is yours and you need to make up your mind.   But mind you, the call to suffering is NOT UNIVERSAL for all followers of Christ.   It is only for the selected few.  For example, if you are chosen to write the IAS exam,  would you be happy or sad?    And yet, preparing for IAS;   is it an easy task?  Would you think that the difficulties involved in the preparation period is any thing worth comparing to what comes after the result?   The Bible says,   (2Co 4:17)  “And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble’.  When the Lord calls some one for it,  He also will give grace along.  Read what Paul says in (Act 20:23,4  GNB)  “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit has warned me that prison and troubles wait for me. But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God”.  God bless!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Bible Questions, Christian life

 

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Christian cults!

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2010 in Bible Questions, Christian life

 

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Bindi (Hindu mark of respect) and Christian believer.

Queston text:  Is wearing Bindi(Mostly Indian women wear on middle of forehead) wrong in christianity? Give us bibilical answer please.

 
               
Answer text:  

Indian culture is very much influenced by the Indian religion. In fact, it is very difficult to separate Indian culture from its religion. Most of the cultural practices are based on some religious concepts. Bindi is no exception. It was originally given by the poojaries as a mark of approval after idols were worshipped. Though Bindi today has become just a beauty spot, originally it has had its religious implications. Now to answer your question whether it is right for a Christian believer to use it, you need to see it in this light. We are commanded in the Bible that no relics of idolatry is to be brought home lest we be cursed(Dt.7:25,26). Read what the Psalmist would say about other gods in Psa.16:4. God hates idolatry and worship of other gods because it destroys the worshipper and takes the worshipper away from God for time and for eternity. So no trace of idolatry is to be found any where near the child of God. God bless!

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2010 in Christian life, Uncategorized

 

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Mercy of God and Hell!

Question Text:  Here is a question that has been asked to me and I haven`t had an answer, so maybe you can help me. The Bible says repeatedly that `his mercy endures forever`. Does this just apply to those who put their trust in him or everyone? If it is for everyone, then what about the people in hell?`

Answer Text:  Webster defines mercy as “that benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being. The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Num 14”.

Following is a part of a Bible Dictionary definition of the word mercy. “Mercy is an essential character of God and it is associated with forgiveness (Exo_34:7; Num_14:18; 1Ti_1:13, 1Ti_1:16); with His forbearance (Psa_145:8, “Yahweh is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great lovingkindness”; compare Roman Psa_2:4; Psa_11:1-7 :32); and with His covenant (1Ki_8:23; Neh_1:5), with His justice (Psa_101:1), with His faithfulness (Psa_89:24), with His truth (Psa_108:4); mercy and truth are united in Pro_3:3; Pro_14:22, etc. (in Psa_85:10 we have “Mercy and truth are met together”)”.

Many Bible scholars think it is best to translate the Hebrew word “chesed” as “covenant love” rather than “mercy” as it is usually done. The Bible is very clear that hell is not prepared for man (Mt.25:41). But those who reject God’s love and His forgiveness reach there as there is no other place for them to go. Till man’s last breath on this earth, the Lord is waiting for him to come to Him. God will accept the final “no” of man with tears as He is rejected by him. That is why through Ezekiel God would say, “”Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? “(Eze 33:11).

 God is helpless when some one rejects His love and forgiveness. That is why He would say, “why should my people die?” Read the last few verses of Eze.18.

People go to hell because God does NOT want to force any one to accept Him and His ways. Thus hell is the negative result of the mercy and love of God. Let us never be guilty of rejecting the love of an all loving God. It hurts Him more than it hurts the one who rejects Him. I hope this understanding of the mercy of God helps. God bless!

 

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Casting Out Demons!

 

Question Text:  How is it possible that people from different religions drive out demons in the name of other gods? Exorcism is performed by many people today of various religions and beliefs.  Jesus said that Satan could not be against Satan.

 Answer Text:  You have given a very good and a very practical question. As you said, there are people in various religions who are able to ‘cast out devils’ form possessed people. It really looks contradictory to what Jesus said in Mt.12:26. So how shall we understand this situation? Have you ever witnessed some one other than a follower of Christ casting out demons from possessed people? If there is ever a chance, you must go and witness it for yourself. They never ever cast out using some one’s name or authority. They do it own their own power or in the power of the one in whom they work with, often torturing the possessed person. No demon ever goes out if some one tells them to get out from the possessed person in the name any man or any gods.

For example, no one can tell the demon, “I command you in the name of Hitler to get out of that person” or even to say, “I command you in the name of any god/s to come out”. They actually use force for casting out demons. And all that they can do is to keep the demons in the possessed persons under suppression. Demons are still in the possessed persons but they won’t exhibit their presence fearing the ones who suppressed them or “cast them out”.

This I know from my experience. I had a person brought to me who was possessed and was suffering for long years. The person suffering was the mother of three kids and the youngest was an infant. When she got possessed, she would fall flat irrespective of the place where she is. Being a tea leaves plucker in an estate, while engaged in the work she would fall flat and exhibit signs like that of an epileptic patient. She had fallen like this while cooking and at other times. But since her case was one of black magic and the demons could not even be suppressed by several Hindu poojaries and others. Finally, she was brought to me as a preacher of the gospel.

The demons were fooling me at first. Whenever I was with them, she would be normal and when ever I came out of their house demons would come back with more force and give more trouble. This went of for more than a week and I did not know what to do, that being my first ever exposure to a demon possessed person. Then I went and consulted a senior brother who told me a tremendous secret. This is the secret which helps all other exorcists to do their job. When a person is possessed, if we catch hold of that person, we are in fact catching hold of the demons who have possessed that person. Till we keep our hold on that person, demons are in our hands. If we torture the possessed person, the demons get tortured. If we have the mental stamina to face demons in this way, any strong person can suppress demons. And mostly exorcists use the power of their god/s to suppress demons in a possessed person.

When I learnt this secret, I fasted and prayed the whole of the following day I went and brought that person under possession and caught hold of the demons and that was the end of it. They started shivering like leaves in wind and promised never to come back to that person again as I commanded them in the name of Christ.

I hope you got the answer to your question. Others do not cast out using any name. They suppress demons by force, often by torturing them. Sometimes demons leave the person fearing torture but mostly they remain suppressed. You can read my interesting conversation with the demons from http://mathewpaul.org/tag/evil-spirits/ . Only at the name of Christ every knee shall bow. To His name be all glory. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2009 in Evil Spirits

 

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