Answer:    The Bible uses the term "fornication" which refers to the incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons, male or female; also, the criminal conversation of a married man with an unmarried woman; adultery; incest; a forsaking of the true God and worshiping of idols (Webster).

Fornication could also be defined as "the gratification of sexual appetites without respect to marriage or the necessity of God's approval." The Bible uses this term as a general description for immorality (Matt. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Acts 15:20,29; 21:15; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:18; 7:2; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Co. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Rev. 9:21).

Like adultery, fornication is also used in a spiritual sense to describe turning from God to serve false gods (Ezek. 16:29-34; Rev. 2:21; 14:8; 17:2,4; 18:3; 19:2). The Greek word translated fornication is "porneia", from which the English word "pornographic" is derived.

Sex which is approved by God is limited to the relationship of a husband and wife in the commitment of marriage. Sex outside or before marriage has many destructive results. It cast a shadow over the couple's relationship in that they have had shared themselves in the most intimate way with someone else. It is only truly special when both the husband and wife have given themselves wholly to the no other. Pre-marital sex, sex with other persons robs the couple of the intimacy that God designed them to have with each other. It weakens the bond they should have between each other.

Couples who wait for marriage to have sex have a much better chance of having a lasting and happy marriage. There can be a better commitment to someone to whom you know has only been intimate with you. Many people deeply regret they cheapened themselves and their marriage by sex before marriage. The gave up something truly precious for a moment's fleeing passion.

Of course there is the risk of disease. Sexually transmitted diseases are never a problem for those who only have relations with their chaste spouses.

Sex outside of marriage also has a detrimental effect on a person in that it cheapens it. A person who has had multiple partners loses the specialness of the sexual union.

Sex in its proper function as God intended it is of one giving oneself in love for the other, not simply self gratification. (Eph. 5) When properly experienced it is emotionally and physically gratifying to both partners and that is how God intended it to be.

    Answer:   Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to the world which would include its unbiblical views of sin. We are to care for the homosexual's soul as we would any sinner and seek to reach him with the truth that he might be forgiven and receive eternal life.

    It is not judging him to condemn his sin. John 3:18 says he is already condemned by God because he has not believed in Jesus Christ. If he believes he would know certainly that his actions are an abomination to God and would repent and turn from his sin. Hebrews 5:14, says the mature believer is to discern good and evil. "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

    To judge means to sentence a person. The policeman than that sees a person run a red light is not judging the person when he gives him a ticket, but rather recognizing the person broke the law. It is the judge in court who makes the judgment, convicts the person and pronounces sentence. Christ is the judge who determines right and wrong and He condemns all sin. Christians following His word flee from sin and its destructive influences and, yes, and even separate from those that commit such things. Ephesians 5:11 says "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." When God's people refuse to call sin a sin and condone it we aid Satan and truth is not upheld.

    For example: Even in good churches today you rarely hear a message condemning divorce....and the result is that our churches are full of people who went back on their comments, wrecked the lives of millions of children and it is socially accepted in most churches. I do not mean that we treat divorced people wrongly, but if God's word was preached and taught the result would be that people would understand the commitment that marriage is and many marriages would be saved. It has gone so far that it is even acceptable in some churches to have divorced pastors when God's word clearly condemns such. we should have a biblical view of things and not compromise and water down God's word. A preacher or believer who loves other people will love them enough to tell them the truth.....

    Answer: 1 Corinthians 11:5f specifically is a prohibition against women in the early church praying or teaching without wearing a veil.    In Oriental cultures (even today), women are veiled in public as a sign of chastity and submission to their husbands.  From the information available to us, we cannot be certain about the shorn hair and shaven heads.  But most likely, the women with short hair referred to the priestess prostitutes who walked about in public both unveiled and with short hair to advertise themselves to men.  Women with shaven heads probably referred to convicted adulteresses.       

    akatakalupto , is the Greek word translated uncovered and is composed of the prefix  " a " means (not) or (no), kata -('down") and kalupto ("cover"). It refers to something hanging down which is what a veil does.   It is not referring to a woman's hat or head covering, but specifically to a veil that hung down in front of a woman's face.    A woman who prayed or spoke without her veil showed disrespect for the Lord and her husband, if she were married and of generally being disrespectful of men if single.    Her wearing a veil displayed her respect for the Lord and His order.   In other words she was not usurping authority over the man if she wore a veil.     

    Although the Mennonites and some other take this to be a hat or head covering of some kind,  they are mistaken.    It was related to the practices of oriental culture.

    Answer:    The Bible teaches that faith without works is dead.(James 2:17) I believe that is almost a forgotten doctrine in many churches including a lot of Baptists churches. And you are correct in concluding that just making a "profession" of faith saves someone.

    2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In simple terms that means when a person is truly saved and truly repents of their sins there is a change in their lives. Too many "professing Christians" think that salvation is only a ticket to heaven they keep in their pocket to be used at their deaths. Many go about their daily lives with no thought of Christ. These people think nothing of sinning and get upset when a pastor preaches against sin. I think Jesus addresses the matter amply in Matthew 7:21-25 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

    I frequently hear people, even in my own church where the truth is taught, say that someone they know is saved because as a child they went forward in a service, make a profession of faith and was baptized. Yet since that time the person has never shown any love of the Lord, doesn't go to church, and lives a worldly life. It is wrong to say the person is saved. There is no fruit or any indication that the person is saved because their life is the same as it was before and no change has occurred. It is impossible for God to save and put His spirit in someone and they remain the same.

    Further, some are openly living in sin, but their is no chastening in their lives. Yet, God says, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Heb. 12:6).

    The bottom line is this:

    If a person is truly saved they are born again...and their lives will change toward living for the Lord.
    If a person is truly saved and they remain in sin and there is no chastening in their lives....they are not God's children.
    Just professing Christ does not save. It is a heartfelt live changing belief that saves and this faith will produce action in the person's live. I once heard someone say, If you don't live it you don't believe it. That is absolutely the truth.

    Christians can and do sin as 1 John 8,10 clearly says, but when they do the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin and they repent of it. If not they are miserable and chastened of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:28-29, and 1 John 5:16-17 teach there is a sin unto death. If a believer continues in rebellion in sin and refuses to repent there will come a time when God will take that persons life.

    Jesus also said in Luke 6:46 "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" The answer was obvious...He was not their Lord.

    I have a message at which further addresses the matter which can be found at

    You might like to read it

    Answer:    Let me answer your question from God's word....He is the authority.... You do not go to hell because you had time to bare fruit and did not....   nor do you go to heaven because you did bare fruit.   Salvation is not a matter of meriting heaven by doing good works, joining a church, etc.   It is a matter of whether a person truly believes and puts their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation and willingly with their heart accepts His offer of forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

    Romans 10:9-11, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

     Ephesians 2:8-9 plainly stated God's plan of salvation....

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10)

    Good works follows salvation and is a part of God's plan for the believer after He is saved.    Works are also an indication of whether a person has truly believed or not.   James 2:17 says that faith without works is dead....the opposite is true also...  In Verse 18 the passage continues saying  "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

    The biblical question is this:    Have you truly believed and put your trust for your salvation in Jesus Christ alone.    To find the correct answer let me ask you a question.

    On what basis do you think God will allow someone to enter heaven when they die?        From your e-mail is seems you believe it is based on whether you "bore fruit" when you had the opportunity.    If this is your understanding....biblically it is in error.   The passages above show that salvation is not based, as I said and the Bible clearly reveals, on a person's works.

    Once a person is saved, by God's grace and receives by faith God's free gift of salvation, that person experiences what Christians refer to as the New Birth....John 3:3.  "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

      It means a person is "born again" meaning saved and given a new nature.  That new nature is the very indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a spiritual nature that allows a person to live for the Lord.   Note the following scriptures:

    "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."    1 Corinthians 2:14

    "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

    2 Corinthians 5:17

     A lost person, one who has not believed, does not have that nature or ability to understand spiritual things and cannot please God.      Without receiving the new nature, which is the righteous nature God gives the believer, a person cannot please God as Hebrews 11:6 states.  

    I do not know your heart....   I think you do and that is the reason for your concern.    You could be saved if you have truly believed and in faith trusted Christ alone for you salvation.   However, you comment about bearing fruit, as I said,  seems to indicated you have not done that.

    If that is the case, here is the Good News!!    (the Word Gospel means "good news") can be simple faith, believe right now and ask the Lord to forgiven you sins and save you.....     He has promises in Romans 10:13  "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

    There was a day, 32 years ago last month that I came to realize that I was not going to heaven.    I believed and asked God to save me and that day, January 22, 1972 God forgave my sins and gave me eternal life.    He completely changed my life.   In a short time the "old me" was no attitudes changed and I received the assurance that I was going to heaven, because I was not trusting in my works...or anything else, but solely on God's grace and mercy to forgive me and give me eternal life.  

      I have an article on my web site at  which explains God's plan of salvation.  It will guide you through the Scriptures and show you what God wants you to do and how He will save you.   You have to want God's forgiveness and want to be saved....

    After you read this and read the article would you write again and let me know your feelings.  I want to help in any way I can and would consider it a privilege to do so.    I have prayed for you and asked the Lord to lead you to salvation and also to the assurance of salvation. For a clear biblical presentation of the Gospel please click this line and read the article "God's Simple Plan of Salvation" . It will explain what is biblical salvation.

    The Bible has much more you need to know...but this is the first step.     May you find God's wonder love....

    > Answer:    Well, to answer that we have to be more specific.   What is it that this teacher want us "southerners" to accept and that "religion" keeps them from considering?  What does the teacher what us to be tolerant of?     Knowing the liberal thinking of most teachers, what the teaching is talking about is accepting false religion or sinful behavior as being acceptable.

           Yet, 1 Thessalonians 5:22  says to "Abstain from all appearance of evil."    That which is evil is revealed to us by God in His word the Bible.     God who created and made the universe and us,  and He says some things are sinful and that means they are harmful and destructive and we should avoid and reject them.  

      So should I ignore what God says and what is true.....and being open minded and tolerant accepting the destructive behavior or the lies of men as being worthwhile?    Here again is demonstrated the blind and corrupt wisdom of the unsaved world that rejects God...    In Isaiah 5:20-21 God addresses this corrupt way of thinking and says,   "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"     

          A just that....a lie.   It is something that is not true and to base one's live and philosophy on lies is to fail and miss the blessing and benefits of truth.    Proverbs 16:25  states, "there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."   Further, sin is sin and it is destructive and destroys the lives of those who practice it. Suppose a rattle snake took up residence in my home? Should I accept it and be tolerant of it....knowing that it could strike me, my wife or children and kill us with its venomous bite?

    As a southerner, born and raised....I know a little about snakes and I think only a fool would tolerant a poisonous snake in their home. I have a responsibility to myself, my family to protect them from I would not tolerant it for a moment and dispatch it immediately. Yet, sin is worse than any rattle snake as it not only will kill you it will damn a one's soul to eternal hell. Nope, this southerner thinks that a little "horse sense" is in order....I will not tolerant a snake...or tolerant sin. I will not call evil good....and thereby protect myself, my family, friends and those I come in contact with, and call sin what it is.... By the way, there are a lot of southerner, northerners, easterner, and westerner who love God and truth and will not compromise truth..

      The context of 1 Corinthians is Paul's instructions about women wearing veils.    There was a women's lib movement in the church at Corinth and it seems women were publicly speaking or "prophesying" (teaching and preaching) in their services and they were removing their veils when doing this.   This practice showed a disrespect for the men and leaders that were in the church.    The veil was worn in their society as a symbol of modesty and of submission to the man as the head of the home and women were to be in a help their husbands.   This is God's plan for the family and it extends into the churches as well. (Eph. 5:22-24).   God's plan is that men are to lead and be their providers,  and in oriental society in the Middle it is today among the Arabs...the veil was a symbol of subordination and respect.    Today wearing a veil is not an issue...but women taking the position of preachers, pastors and teachers (over men) is.

      The principle is simple.  Women are not to put themselves in any position which degrades or usurps the man's God given responsibility as the head of his family and the leader in his church.     It seems to some to be harsh, yet God does not degrade women.     It would be shameful for a man to act like a woman and the reverse it also true.    Society totally rebels at this idea and yet we have 4 out of 5 marriages failing.   We have a large population of self sex marriages and homosexual activity is rampant in our society and now accepted as normal.    Both boys and girls grow up confused as to their sexuality and position in life.    Sadly, there is no difference between these statistics in society and in our churches.  It is the same.     If we obeyed God...this would not be so and we know this because it was not many years ago our society reflected God's principles and our nation upheld strong family values.     Today...our society ridicules these things.  

    Answer:    The passage says:

               "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven"(1 Corinthians 11:3).
              "Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?" (1 Corinthians 11:13).

               The context of 1 Corinthians 11:3f is Paul's instructions about women speaking publicly in the worship services and women wearing veils.    There was a women's lib movement in the church at Corinth and it seems women were being allowed to publicly speak or "prophesy" (teaching and preaching) in their services. They were removing their veils in the services when doing this. This practice showed a disrespect for the men and leaders that were in the church.  The veil was worn in their society as a symbol of modesty and of submission to the man as the head of the home and women were to be in a help their husbands.  This is God's plan for the family and it extends into the churches as well. (Eph. 5:22-24).   God's plan is that men are to lead and be their providers,  and in oriental society in the Middle it is today among the Arabs...the veil was a symbol of subordination and respect.    Today wearing a veil is not an issue...but women taking the position of preachers, pastors and teachers (over men) is. These women were acting very brazen and disrespectful and putting themselves forward disregarding that God appointed station in their homes and church. Paul admonished them for their sinful behavior.

              Note what the Bible says, about the role of women.   1 Corinthians 14:34-36  says,  "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?"      

               So the issue is women usurping leadership in a local church over the men who have the responsibility for leadership.   In 1 Timothy 2:12 Paul instructed Timothy,  "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."  

              The principle is simple.  Women are not to put, or be allowed to put themselves in any position which degrades or usurps the man's God given responsibility as the head of his family and the leader in his church.  It seems to some to be harsh, yet God does not degrade women.  God has given men and women different roles in their families and society and both are equally responsible to their functions. It would be shameful for a man to act like a woman and the reverse it also true.  Society totally rebels at this idea and yet, it is clear that something is very wrong when we have 4 out of 5 marriages failing. The carnal mind sees this as degrading women, whereas God appointed it to establish order in our society. The carnal person sees a woman submitting to the leadership of a man as demeaning the woman. Women have not been liberated by women's lib movement, and the actual result has been brought them much pain and suffering. Think about how many divorced women you know with children and no husband. Think about the millions of children who grow up in broken homes and who lives are destroyed. Women in liberating themselves freed the men from their responsibilities in the family and most men feel no obligation towards their children or wife. A godly women will obey God and faithfully commit herself to God's will for her life. In doing so she honors God and is able to be a help meet to her husband and to raise her children to know her Lord and Savior. Thus she fulfills her role in the family and this teaches her children God's principles that will assure them a happy family and life. God has a great reward for faithful women!!

               Today, we have a large population of self sex marriages and homosexual activity is rampant in our society and now accepted as normal.  Both boys and girls grow up confused as to their sexuality and position in life.  Sadly, there is no difference between these statistics in society and in our churches.  It is the same.  Think about all the millions of children whose lives are being destroyed by the myth that women living in accordance to their God appointed role are being cheapen and are missing something. The fact is the happiest of women, whose lives are satisfying and truly meaningful, are the one's who take their responsibilities and support the man in his God appointed role.    If we obeyed God... many of societies ills would be solved and we know this because it was not many years ago our society reflected to a large degree, God's principles and our nation upheld strong family values.  Today...our society ridicules these things.

              Think about this the next time you see a woman preacher or evangelist on TV or name on the billboard of some church. And know this....God has no part in what the woman is doing, because the woman is in blatant defiance of God's clear instructions. God's very nature precludes that can bless error. Think about all the pain and suffering the "liberated" woman is affecting in the lives of other woman and children.

    Answer:    The Lord knows that we can be weak in the flesh and His grace is totally sufficient for us.    We did nothing but accept salvation by faith and we can do nothing to keep it.    When God saves us we are totally forgiven and all past, present and future sin.   So the fact and reality of our salvation is established by God.    Further we received "eternal life" at that moment.  Anything that is everlasting or eternal never stops.     Grace belongs to God and He gives it freely to us when we receive it.   That then establishes a unbreakable relationship with Him.     God tells us repeatedly that salvation is eternal and that it is He who keeps us saved.  

              1 Peter 1:3-5  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  

              It is a work of God's grace that keeps us saved.   He has the power to do that....certainly we do not.  My article on assurance goes into some detail about the assurance of salvation.   It is the work of adopt us as His children.    He did not save us because we deserved to be saved or that we earned or merited it.     Clearly, we also do not merit or are worthy to keep our salvation.....thus God's mercy and grace keeps us....not ourselves.  

              Nowhere in God's word does it say we are kept saved by our faith.    We are initially saved by faith, but the receiving and giving of salvation is the work of God alone.  

              If you read the whole chapter of Hebrews six you will see that it is not telling us we can lose our salvation, but that it is impossible for a saved person to be lost.     God uses this illustration to so us that if God allowed a believer to be lost, then for that person to be saved Christ would have to suffer and die for us again which is totally to lost salvation is also impossible.  

              Hebrew 6:18 sums the matter up saying , "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."     God cannot lie...when He says if we believe He will save us...then that is truth and all who come to the Lord for salvation have the sure hope of salvation.    The saved cannot be lost under no circumstances a Romans 8 plainly says.  

              So the question is this.    Did you put your faith in Jesus Christ to save you at some point in time?   If you did you are the eternal child of God whether you feel like it or not.    And as I said before,  most times when people "feel" like they are not saved or have no faith is because they are not living and growing in the Lord as they should.    The peace of one's salvation is based on our obedience to Him.    If we are not living and being faithful to God's word and to His instructions to us....then we will not have peace inside.   I do not know your circumstances, but you seem very concerned about your salvation and relationship with the Lord. Could I ask why?     Is it that you believe God's word and you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?   Next question....are you truly being faithful and living for the Lord?    If you are not....then the Holy Spirit will bring conviction to your heart to drawn you back to a close faithful relationship with Him.   That shows like what you are experiencing and is good evidence of a child of God.    If that is the case...then why not ask God to forgive your past unfaithfulness and get about serving the Lord.    Peace follows obedience.



               Many people wonder about the Christians keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath Day is the last day of the week and Saturday. God first gave the Sabbath as a duty to man in the book of Exodus. It is true that the Sabbath originated at the completion of the creation (Gen. 2:1-3), but that was God's rest, not man's. There is no record in Genesis that God gave the Sabbath to man, and there is no record of men keeping the Sabbath before Israel was in the wilderness after God delivered them from Egypt and made them a nation.

               Nehemiah 9:13,14 plainly states that the Sabbath was first given to Israel. Seventh-day Adventists and some other teach that men kept the Sabbath from the days of Adam onward, but this is contrary to the Bible's own record. There is not mention of men keeping the Sabbath before God made Israel a nation.

               Exodus 31:12-18 says the Sabbath was a special sign between God and Israel. An important fact is that if mankind in general had been given the Sabbath following creation, it could not have been a special sign for Israel.

               The fact is that the Sabbath belongs to the nation Israel and not to any other people. Today believers are in the Church Age and we are the Body of Christ. We are not Israel nor are we a nation. It is also important to note that God says the Sabbath will be an eternal possession of Israel (Exodus 31:16). This sign will never be annulled or transferred to another people. This explains why the prophets foretell that Israel will keep the Sabbath even after the kingdom of Christ is established on earth (Isa. 66:23) after the Seven Year Tribulation and Christ's Second Coming. It also explains why Jesus Christ mentioned the Sabbath in His prophecies of the Tribulation In Matthew 24:20. Israelites in the land of Palestine still keep the Sabbath today.

               In their writings to the churches, the Apostles only mentioned the Sabbath three times. The early church met on Sunday, which is the first day of the week and that day the Lord Jesus was resurrected. Christians have met on Sunday since.

      (1) The Sabbath is a symbol of salvation rest in Christ (Hebrew 4).

      (2) The N.T. believer is not bound to keep the Sabbath (Col. 2:9-17).

      (3) The N.T. believer has liberty in the matter of holy days (Rom. 14). Those who teach that the Sabbath is binding upon the Christian, are going contrary to what the Apostles taught.           Why, then, did Jesus keep the Sabbath? He kept the Sabbath for the same reason He kept all the other Mosaic laws. He also observed the feasts. Jesus did these things because He was born a Jew, born under the law, that He might fulfill it and redeem His people from its penalty and bondage (Gal. 4:4; Rom. 9:5).

                 Hope this helps. When we read passages in the Bible we must be careful to understand the whole issue and all the Bible, both OT and NT says about the matter. We also must apply the teachings to who they were addressed to. God gave Israel their Law, which was in fact their Constitution and set of Law, both spiritual and civil But believers today are not a nation, we are the Body of Christ scatter all over the world. We assemble in churches and govern ourselves under the examples and teaching of the New Testament. Paul in his Epistles made it plain and clear that Christians are not under the OT Law.

                 The first day of the week. Christians worship the Lord on this day because of the following Bible facts:


        1. On the first day Jesus rose from the dead (Mark. 16:9).
        2. On the first day Jesus first appeared to his disciples (Mark. 16:9).
        3. On the first day Jesus met with the disciples at different places and repeatedly (Mark. 16:9-11; Mt. 28:8-10; Luke. 24:34; Mark. 16:12-13; John. 20:19-23).
        4. 4. On the first day Jesus blessed the disciples (John. 20:19).
        5. On the first day Jesus imparted to the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit (John. 20:22).
        6. On the first day Jesus commissioned the disciples to preach the gospel to all the world (John. 20:21; with Mark. 16:9-15).
        7. On the first day Jesus ascended to Heaven, was seated at the right hand of the Father and was made Head of all (John. 20:17; Eph. 1:20).
        8. On the first day many of the dead saints arose from the grave (Mt. 27:52-53).
        9. The first day became the day of joy and rejoicing to the disciples (John. 20:20; Luke. 24:41).
        10. On the first day the gospel of the risen Christ was first preached (Luke. 24:34).
        11. On the first day Jesus explained the Scriptures to the disciples (Luke. 24:27,45).
        12. On the first day the purchase of our redemption was completed (Rom. 4:25).
        13. On the first day the Holy Spirit descended (Acts. 2:1). Pentecost was on the 50th day after the Sabbath following the wave offering (Lev. 23:15,16). Thus Pentecost was always on a Sunday.
        14. The Christians met to worship on the first day (Acts. 20:6,7; 1 Co. 16:2). Sunday is "the Lord's Day" (Re. 1:10) (D.M. Canright, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced).

                  Since those days, the vast majority of Christians have always met to worship on the Lord's day. They do this in honor of the resurrection of their Savior. Christ was in the tomb during the Sabbath, and rose as the firstborn from the dead on the first day. The Sabbath signifies the last day of the old creation (Gen. 2:2). Sunday is the first day of the new creation.
        (David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity, CD Version 3.5)

      Answer:    Most IFB church constitution contain a Doctrinal Statement that the church is founded on. The constitution also contains the By Laws which spell out church polity, organization and practices.

                 One problem that over the years has come up is in the area of standards for members. This is what your church is addressing. Our church does not have these statements our constitution, but that does not mean we do not hold to and practice them.

                 Here is the problem. A person receives Christ as their Savior. They are immature and a babe in Christ and know very little about the Bible and Christian living. Often if you come down hard with standards you force on them, some will balk at them and be could hurt a spiritual immature young believers before you can teach them correctly. Others will conform but out of obedience to the church and pastor, but not because it is a conviction they hold to. The do it because the are told to, not because they want to. For example, they may dress up at church and dress like the world other times. What we want is people to live godly because the want to honor the Lord.

                 Our older membership, which includes the pastor and leaders in the church dress and live a godly, modest Christian lives before the congregation. They set the standards by example and in most cases it does not take long for newly saved people see the example and want to do like the others. A pastor should explain and preach about modesty, godly living, and not being conformed to the world, etc. The new convert listens and if they are truly saved and love the Lord...they want to obey the Lord and they conform.

                 If the constitution forces the issue....there may be occasions when it would not be appropriate to enforce these standards. Would it be proper to force people to title if they did not want to? Would you dismiss them if they didn't. That is the problem in making the mandatory. Those that have included in their constitution are well meaning for sure, but as the Bible says the letter of the law killeth. One question that would come up....when do you start enforcing these standards? People mature at different speeds. Do you make new Christians who do not understand the matter conform? God does not force us to live right....He instructs us on how to live and then expects us to willingly follow what He says. We should do the same in our congregations and teach godly principles....not enforce them on people.

                 I have seen many new converts who looked and acted really rough when they were saved, very soon completely change as they learned God's truth and willingly obeyed God.

                 If a church wanted to put at statement about these things in their constitution as a matter of setting the standards of godly living it would be surely appropriate. But it would cause problems if you forced people to obey them. We have spelled out standards for church leaders, but not for the general congregation. It seems to work really well.

      Answer:    The only thing I can do is tell you what God says about such a situation. The Bible gives us principles to live by that if followed will avoid a lot of problems and heartaches. A marriage to be blessed by God must be based on truth. The Bible clearly addresses your situation.

                 Note: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

                 Roman Catholicism is a pagan religion with worships idols, false deities (Mary), and has a false salvation, etc. It does not follow the Bible's teaching, but the traditions of its past councils and tradition. It is headed by a man who claims to be the "vicar" of Christ on earth?! It teaches a works salvation in which a person earns their way to heaven. It is not in truth Christian or biblical.

                 Those it in defend it and refuse to acknowledge the clear teachings of God's word that refutes their false teachings and practices. So they will not listen to God and accept His word, thus there is no common ground to even discuss the matter. One can say the Bible says....this and they simply distort it, twist it and ignore the truth. And all the while claiming they are the only true church which represents God. It is all a lie. God gave us His word to reveal truth to us. Works, ritual, church membership, baptism, mass, etc do not save. No man or church can remove sins. This is plainly and literally stated in "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

                 So God says in 1 Corinthians 6....what communion does darkness have with light, or truth with lies? God says to come out from among them and be separate, He says not to be unequally yoked or joined to them.

                 I can only tell you what God says, because only God's word is truth. You have indicated that you are very uncomfortable with their teachings. You say you have accepted Christ as your Savior. Believers have the Holy Spirit who indwells us and leads and guides us. A true Christian cannot be comfortable or happy in a false religion. God, the Holy Spirit brings conviction to our hearts as to what is true and false.

                 Applying the principles of God's word or not.. is your choice. That is a decision you and you alone will have to make between you and the Lord. "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)

                 Please believe me when I say I know if you decide to follow God's word it will not be easy, but what would be the consequences if you ignored what God has said? I pray that the Lord will guide you and strengthen you in making your decision.

      Answer:    You have given a good description of your situation and I carefully have read it. One thing you did not mention, though was witnessing and sharing your faith with others. You seem to be doing all the right things to feed yourself spiritually, but do not seem to be using it to serve others. You cannot grow spiritually or please the Lord without serving other people. Jesus was a servant and we too are to serve Him, by serving others.

                 Many people come to church, read the Bible, pray which are all necessary things, but they are not exercising their faith in the Lord. I believe many people in churches are experiencing the same thing as you. They basically have the idea they come to church only to be fed. What helps us grow and "feel" good about our relationship with Christ is not only learning, but applying what we learn. See if you can find some ministry in your church to give you the opportunity to use what you learn to serve others. That is what being a minister of the Gospel is all about. You must put into practice your faith and learning.

                 Go out witnessing if your church has a program to do this and if not go out any way. Ask you pastor for help in this. I am sure you could help him too.

                 I hope I understood your situation correctly and that this advice will point you in the right direction. Note what Romans 12:1-2 says. God calls those who are active and already serving Him. To be a minister of Jesus Christ involves a total commitment to Him and a willingness to get out and share Christ with others.

      Answer:    The fact you are asking the question shows that gambling is questionable and not accepted Christian behavior. Clearly, believers should not gamble. No clear Scripture that says don't do it, but really no scripture is necessary. A person who is spiritually discerning will immediately see the sin in gambling. Ephesians 5:18 says we are to live filled with the Spirit of God, meaning being led by Him. Romans 1:17 says the believer is to live by faith. Gambling is an appeal to blind change and not to God.

                 Gambling, is an appeal to chance and believers are not to live by chance, but by living in faith trusting the Lord. The provision for God's children is His their living in the assurance of His promises. Gambling is trying to take from others without earning it. God's principle is that we earn what we receive. "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28)

                 Gambling has destroyed many people's lives, both those that become addictive, those who lose and also many who win. Gambling is associated with crime and criminals. The majority of people who gamble lose! Those who profit from gambling take money and give nothing for it. Therefore they waste what God has entrusted to them. Gambling lures people by promising to win is in truth a con game that suckers people into giving away their money.

                 The lottery is gambling and a Christian who gambles presents a poor testimony to the world. They are not trusting in Christ, but placing their faith in chance. A Christian's faith is to be placed in the word of God and His promises....and our faith is not blind, but based on God's is a sure and absolute promises which are based on the character of God.

                 Gambling is living in worldliness...and participating in worldly activities the same as the spiritually blind unsaved. (Rom. 12:2) God has many ways to bless and provide for His children and gambling is not one of them. Our lives are to glorify Jesus Christ...and a gambler's life does the opposite.

      Answer:    I would encourage the lady to go to church because that is what God...not men wants her to do. Most people at church would understand an elderly person not being able to get around very well and certainly not be critical of the weight problem. You might like to share my experience with her. The following is from my article "What's so important about attending church?" An elderly lady in my church had a great impact on my life and she never knew it.

                   "One Sunday morning it was especially difficult to get my enthusiasm up enough to go to church. It was a beautiful day and I was tempted to take a Sunday off and go fishing. I lived on a lake and I walked outside and looked across the water. I could see the ripples and hear the slashes of bream hungrily feeding. I began to reason with myself. Had I not been working hard lately and been faithful to the Lord? I had not missed any services at my church and what would be the harm in staying home this one Sunday? Didn't I deserve a day of relaxation and rest? It would be only one Sunday and I rarely, if ever, missed any service. I almost let me stay home that day. (Ha-Ha) Somehow I fought off the temptation and managed to attend church that morning, and I am so happy I did.

                   Just before the service started that morning, I watched as a dear elderly woman named, Mrs. Davis, was being helped by her son and another man in the door and down the aisle to her seat. Her legs were swollen and afflicted with arthritis. I could see the pain in her face as she struggled along and I heard the sigh of relief as she settled down in the pew. That morning we had a testimony time. She raised her hand, and the pastor recognized her. God used her words coupled with what I had seen earlier that morning to touch my heart. She simply said, "I just want everyone to know how good it is to be able to be in God's house today. I thank Him for letting me come." I said, "Amen to that." That day I made the decision (with God's help) that I would from that day on be faithful to church.

                   As I reflect on it now, I know the commitment I made that morning has kept me faithful over these many years. It is clear to me that before that day I had never made the decision to be faithful. When I was first saved, I wanted to go to church because it felt good to go and that's why I went. As it became a little inconvenient to attend, or other things came up I wanted to do, God began to test me. When I did not "feel" like going to services, it was hard to make myself go. However, that day I watched Mrs. Davis, struggle in pain to be in the Lord's house, I learned an important lesson. She loved the Lord, and despite the pain and physical suffering, she wanted to show God she loved him. Thank God, for her testimony that day. Her pain bore fruit in the life of a young man that God wanted to call to preach. I too, love the Lord for saving me, and I want to please and bring glory to Him. I learned that day, that one-way I could show others now much I loved the Lord was to be faithful to His house. That happened over twenty years ago, and with God's help, since then I have been able to always be in church."

                 Maybe she should understand her presence in church could be a real testimony to someone else. I never really thought to mention this to Mrs. Davis. She died not long afterwards. She came to church to worship and praise the Lord. She came to be a blessing to others and she was to me. That is a pretty good reason to forget about what someone might say or think and obey the Lord. Of course to be faithful to the Lord instructs us about attending church.

                 "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:22-25)

      Answer:    Often people experience what you are and God addressed it in His word. First he explains what is happening.

        "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren." (James 1:14-16)

                 Clearly, your temptation is coming from your old nature (flesh) that is the source of your temptation and desire to sin. God also explains what He does when the temptation comes....

        "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:12-14)

                 So the source of your temptation is from your flesh, the sinful nature of man, but God promises every time an in every sin to give you the means to escape and reject sin. In both verses is says.....don't do do not have to, you can overcome this if you will let me.

                 I would guess from many years of experience that the temptation is coming from and acquaintance or someone at work. When the flirting began, and I am guessing that is what did not immediately and forcibly stop it. That was your first mistake and is why are having a hard time with this. As a child of God, wife and mother....adultery should be the farthest thing from you mind. Many times I have seen professing Christians who were not truly being faithful in their lives to the Lord get caught up in such a situation. This too is a key. When we are faithfully loving the Lord temptation to sin has little influence on us. Being committed to the Lord, means you are consciously putting Him first and wanting to live a godly life. In that situation also sin has no place to grow.

                 If flirting has occurred and you have not stopped should plainly and emphatically tell the other person you are not interested and to leave you alone and that his advances are inappropriate and disrespectful. If you consider the reality of the situation the one who is tempting you selfishly wants something and does not respect you as a married woman with children. So he does not have your best interests at heart. This is one reason adultery causes heartache....and whatever pleasure one thinks they will get is short lived and brings sorrow.

                 Loving the Lord, your husband and your children means putting them first. God tell us that a woman to be truly fulfilled and happy is to submit to her own husband. (Eph 5:22) If you break God's principles and will destroy your marriage and children. Mainly, even if you get away with will very adversely effect you. You will lose respect for yourself and the guilt will cause you heartache the rest of your life. That's why our loving Savior, who wants the best for us, says not to err, but to flee from even the appearance of evil, to flee from idolatry which is putting sin above God.

                 If you truly love your Savior, husband and children you will not give in to temptation. You will pray and ask God to help you. That's means tell the man you are not interested and send him packing. You probably do not want to offend him, but think about this....this man is tempting you to destroy your faith, and family. He is no friend and should be rebuked.

                 You seem to have a wonderful husband and throwing it away for some supposed moment pleasure worth it?

                 I hope this helps. I pray you will turn to the Lord...and away from sinning. The fact you wrote asking about this indicates to are truly wanting to do right and honor the Lord. I think that is what you will do too and get over this moment of temptation.

      Answer:    Thanks for writing. The context of the statement in Matthew 24:24 is referring to the coming seven year Tribulation. It is referring to the coming Antichrists and false prophets that will arise during these seven years which would include the ultimate Antichrist who will deceive the world and become a world leader. The events Jesus mentions are answering a question His disciples asked which was ....when will you return and what will be the sign the end of the age. That clearly makes the context the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation which will end the Tribulation age.

                 Matthew 24:24 specifically is saying that those saints saved in the Tribulation will see great signs and wonders preformed by the Antichrist which would,if possible, make them think the Antichrist is truly Christ (Messiah). It is not saying that believers cannot be deceived. It is saying in the Tribulation these wonders (false miracles) the Antichrist does are so convincing they might even convince the saints of God. The phrase "if it were possible" has to be understood in the situation of the Tribulation. The Antichrist is murdering tens of thousands of people who believe and are saved in the Tribulation. They are well aware of the Antichrist, however in spite of the threat to their lives they accept Jesus as their Savior. But the point of the statement is the signs and wonders are so convincing that they might even deceive the saints of God.

                 However, we must interpret God's word in the analogy of the faith and that means considering other passages in the Bible that address the subject of deception. Several passage address Christians being deceived.

                 Paul states, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14) Believer are challenged to live in faith and not be unstable which would open them up to deception.

                 John said, "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7)

                 John also said that "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." (2 John 1:7-8)

                 Clearly Paul and John is saying Christians should guard themselves against being deceived.

                 Some believers in the churches in Thessalonica were in danger of being deceived about the Rapture and Paul addressed that saying "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

                 Paul speaking to believers warns them saying "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. "(Ephesians 5:6) If they could not be deceived why did Paul warn them saying the could be deceived.

                 Ephesians 6:10-18 addressing our warfare with Satan and his demons. The whole of the discourse is saying we have to be prepared to withstand his fiery darts which will include Satan's main strategy which is lying and deceiving believers.

                 For example today. Many unlearned pastors who are not sound in their knowledge of God's word are being deceived into accepting the false teaching of called the Pre-Wrath Rapture. This false idea says Christians will go through part of the seven year Tribulation. That is absolutely a false doctrine, yet I have had them write me and criticize me because I spoke against it. In fact two pastors I personally know who have a good testimony otherwise and who clearly love the Lord...have believed that lie. They sincerely believe they are right. I have recently wrote an article which refutes that as heresy in order to help them. I am waiting for their response.

                 Over my many years pastoring I have counseled and taught many people who had been by deceived false teaches who once they were shown the truth believed it.

                 Christians may be sometimes led far astray; they may be in doubt about some doctrines of the Bible; they may be perplexed by the cunning craftiness of those who do not love the truth or are unlearned and teaching unbiblical things; but they cannot be wholly deceived, and seduced from the Saviour. In the Tribulation those who accept and believe the Antichrist will not be in this believers cannot lose their salvation because they will not ultimately accept the Antichrist. Your teachers was I am sure well intended but this is too board an interpretation to conclude from this passage that believes cannot be deceived in many ways. Look around us....many are deceived.

      Answer:    Note what God says in Romans 12:

                 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:19-21)

                 It is God's business to punish sin and wrong doing. The Christian who takes it upon themselves to try and avenge themselves against those that hurt us or abuse us will lose their testimony for Christ before that person and also those around them.

                 If we try to repay evil for evil we will always lose. The person to whom we return evil will still feel resentment toward us and probably in a greater way than before. So it will only worsen the situation.

                 God says, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

                 It is easy to take abuse? Clearly the answer is "No." However, something greater is at stake and that is our testimony and the other person's salvation. Is rendering evil for evil sin. Yes it is. We should prayerfully try to find a way to be reconciled to person who treated us badly or abused us. Even it they do not respond and continue their actions against us...our response should be to show them love. As Romans 12:20 says, that will heap coals of fire on their head. It means it will frustrate them when they see their actions to hurt you only bring about your showing love to them instead.

      Answer:    It is interesting that your question came on the same day I was contacted by Veremedia who wanted to place advertisements on my web site. They offered a lot of money to use my site which is getting around 84,000 page previews a month. I went on a number of web sites that they put ads on and found the ads were from "ministries" that are doctrinally unsound. I was tempted to take their money, but in keeping to a sound biblical testimony I refused their offer. No matter how good the money was (and I could certainly use it) I had to refuse. I could not allow myself even indirectly to be associated with unbelievers. My web site presents God's truth and honors Him...that is all that matters.

                 You mentioned some of you duties would involve Benny Hinn and others like him. To be blunt, that man is not a Christian and is a false teacher and runs a religious con in order to steal money from those he deceives. He as a false teacher is not serving the Lord, but honoring Satan. Hagee is not as corrupt as Hinn is but he too is doctrinally in some areas unsound and he promotes Hinn and the TBN which sends out a steady stream of false teachings. They are all running a religious business to make money and use lies and false doctrine to do so. They all have become multi millionaires scramming undiscerning people.

                 God says to believers, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14) The question you must answer is, should I as a born again believer promote false teaching and false teachers? If I do who is it that I am actually honoring?

                 By the way, obeying God is always the best we can do. Not matter how great things look if they do not honor the Lord they will always bring grief in the long run. The devil seems to pay well on the surface, but they are short lived and God's rewards are eternal. One can do no better than to obey God and live by His principles and honor Him.

      Answer:    As a Christian you should not be dating girls that are not biblical Christians. God says, 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

                 You can be friends, but dating is more than being a friend. Dating is establishing a close relationship. God says : "what communion has light with darkness."

                 Do you mean that you wish to witness to her parents? If that is your question then go to and learn what Mormons believe. You should also be able to clearly explain the Gospel. If you are wanting to witness to the girl that is where you should concentrate your efforts. It is a sad fact that it will be difficult to convince her parents of accepting Jesus Christ. Mormonism is as much a heritage and culture as it is a false religion. Most Mormons are not interested in the Gospel. They believe they are Christians and worship Jesus Christ. That is what their church tells them. However, their god and Jesus are not our God and Creator. They worship a false god. When you are witnessing to them they believe you are just wanting to get them to join your church. They believe everyone will go to heaven except murders and the grossest of sinners.

                 But some Mormons are open to the Gospel and a few are being saved out of Mormonism.

                 It would be a good idea to talk with your pastor and ask him for help. It takes a lot of time for Mormons to come to the truth. The ones I have seem come to the Lord normally came after at least six months to several years of witnessing to them. Read them the Gospel from Bible. Just refuting Mormonism and show it is wrong is only part of the task. You also must help them see they are sinners and need God's forgiveness.

      Answer:    God forgives all our sins when a person believes and puts their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation. He knows our frailties and has made provisions for us to overcome them. A good verse that answers your question is 1 John 1:8-10 which addressed to believers. It says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10)

                 When a person believes in Jesus Christ and by faith trusts in Him for their salvation, at that moment all their sins, past, present and future are forgiven. Clearly, Jesus paid for our sins 2000 years ago when He suffered, died, and was resurrected for the sins of man. 1 John 2:2 says, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2) "Propitiation" means full payment.

                 However, as 1 John 1:8 and 10 clearly states we will still sin. When we do, God tells us to confess our sins to Him and through that process He works in our lives to help us overcome our sins. We are already forgiven, as a child of God, but the forgiveness here in this verse means forgiveness in the practical sense that He helps in cleansing us from doing the sin continually. Confession means we admit our failure and turn to Him for help and strength to stop our sins. God works when we in faith turn to Him and seek His help. We realize that we in the flesh will fail, but in letting the Holy Spirit guide us we can be over comers. Through this we grow stronger in the Lord and as we mature we learn more and more to be dependent on Him and we sin less and less.

                 Your concern over broken commitments shows a heart of wanting to live for the Lord and honor Him. Pray, confess your sin and seeking His help. "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8) Continue making that commitment that you will allow the Lord to guide your life (Eph. 5:18). Rest too, in the confidence that the Lord will not fail you and guide to living the godly life you desire to live.

      Answer:    Vows were often made in the Old Testament dispensation, but they are not mentioned in the New Testament after God instituted the New Testament assembly (churches). Christians are not told to make vows, but rather to live godly lives in the will of the Lord. (see Romans 12:1-2) So God is not interested or does He instruct us to make vows. A vows in a sense is a bargain in the Old Testament that people made to the Lord. The Old Testament believers did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who today guides Christians daily in our lives. We are not told to bargain with the Lord. He is there for the believer at all times and His love always seeks the best for us. We simply follow His word and He blesses us in all circumstances.

                 Further God knows that we will at times fail and sin. 1 John 1:9-10 is God's instruction to us if we sin. We confess it, knowing that all sin, and He helps us to overcome the sin. That is God's process....confession admits failure and admitting our sin to the Lord shows our sincerity in wanting to overcome that failure. We then are open and receptive to His help.

                 Also, a Christian is one who has savingly believed in Jesus Christ and been born again. He is a new creator in Christ and an eternal child of God. Thus once saved a believer is never again in danger of hell or condemnation. We sin yes, but when a person is saved ALL their past present and future sins are forgiven. A Christians is given eternal life and shall never die. What happened 2000 years ago was that Christ paid for our sins (1 John 2:2). So first, you have no reason to make a vow and second if you did and broke it, God is forgiving. For further reading on this go to

                 We are to prayerfully commit our lives to God's will and live according to His will. We all are at different levels of maturity and commitment to the Lord. A baby is not expected to act like a mature adult. Also, somewhere in your life you have been misled about what the Bible teaches about vows. You were taught wrong and it has brought confusion to your life. That is how the devil tempts and works against us. False teaching is a lie and the devil is the father of all lies. So Becky, believe God, read the New Testament epistles and learn how God directs us to live our lives.

                 A good passage is Ephesians 6:10-18 which tells us about putting on the whole armor of God. Read 2 Timothy 2. "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:8-11)

                 "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus."(1 Thessalonians 4:1-2)

                 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

                 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)

      Answer:    Your attitude towards this situation is to be admired. Often church members respond to problems in a condemning and scolding way which hinders them from helping a failing brother or sister. I do pray that you and your fellow sisters in the Lord will be able to help your pastor's family as you prayerfully let the Holy Spirit guide your efforts.

                 First let me mention that the minimum standards for a pastor are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Three verses address the situation of a pastor's wife and daughters dressing inappropriately.

                 "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) . . . Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:4-5, 7)

                The pastor's relationship with his family should be one in which he is respected and followed as the leader and spiritual head of his household. I am mentioning this because it could be that your pastor may not be in agreement with how his wife and daughters are dressing, but has little influence in helping them to see the problem. If this is the case your efforts to help him see and correct the problem may not be possible without his family having a change of mind which is biblical repentance. If the pastor's family does not respect him and follow him regrettably he is not qualified to lead a church. Many good and godly men have had their ministry and service for the Lord hindered or ended by the inappropriate and actions of their wives and family.

                 It should also be noted that 1 Timothy 3:5 the results of a pastor not leading his family properly. A pastor who does not have the respect of his family will lose the respect of his church also.

                 Hopefully, this matter is simply an oversight that has slowly grown and been overlooked. It is a serious matter however, when a pastor's family hinders his ministry and the work of the Lord in their church. You and your friends are right in trying to help your pastor whom you love. The pastor may not be aware of the problem which is causing people to leave. You are also following Jesus' instructions and the principles concerning handling problems as Matthew 18:15-20 explain.

                 The following is taken from a message I preached that addresses the requirement for modestly in godly Christian women.

      (1 Timothy 2:9)

                GENERAL APPEARANCE. "In like manner" directs the focus of this discourse towards the conduct of Christian women. Paul turns our attention to what "lifting up holy hands" means in reference to women in the church. Verse 8 addresses the whole of all believers in living for the Lord, and this brought up the need to address the conduct of Christian women

                 In verse 8, the phrase "I will" carries apostolic authority meaning that this instruction was coming from God. Paul is not saying "I wish" in the sense that it was of little importance, but I will which said, "I command." Paul is commanding men and women to worship the Lord with "holy hands." This passage gives sharp rebuke to the "Sunday" Christian who lives an impure life during the week. It is clearly is addressing the every day life of a believer. . . both men and women.

                The word "adorn" means "to arrange or put in order." He is giving standards for dress in services, meetings and public life. "Modest" means being well ordered, or well arranged and decent. It does not mean to appear plain, but decent. The word "apparel," refers not only a woman's clothing but also her demeanor or attitude. It refers to inward as well as outward adorning. The outside and the inside should reflect a correct attitude in the heart and her hearts attitude that is made visible in her clothing and outside adornment. Her clothing should reflect a heart focused on a love and honoring of God. A godly woman then would not by her conduct nor her dress bring into question her devotion and faith in the Lord.

                 God says that a woman should dress modestly with "shamefacedness and sobriety." Shamefacedness refers to humility that both men and woman should show. It means she should not be outspoken and bold. She should show respect, reverence and regard for others.

                 The word "sobriety" means she should conduct herself with soundness of mind and be in control of her emotions. Women are more emotional than men in many ways and quick to be offended or to speak out. Sobriety coupled with shamefacedness means she should reign in her passions and desires and exercise self control.


                The Christian women in Ephesus were under the same pressure of women today in being expected to dress in the fashion of the day. However, form the following accounts we can get a good idea concerning the appearance of women culturally in New Testament times:

                 JUVENAL: A Roman poet of 1st Century writes about the conduct of women in his day: "There is nothing that a woman will not permit her self to do, nothing that she deems shameful, and when she encircles her neck with green emeralds and fastens huge pearls to her elongated ears, so important is the business of beautification; so numerous are the tiers and stories piled one on another on her head! In the meantime she pays no attention to her husband."

                 PHILO, who was a Jewish-Greek philosopher in his work titled "The Sacrifices of Cain and Abel" described a prostitute bedecked with a multitude of gold chains and bracelets, her hair dressed in elaborate braids, her eyes marked with pencil lines, her eye brows smothered in paint, and her expensive clothes embroider lavishly with flowers.

                 PLINY the ELDER a Roman historian of first Century He described Lollia Paulina, the one time wife of the Roman Emperor Caligula, who owned a dress worth by today's standards at least a million dollars. It was covered with pearls and emeralds, and she carried receipts to prove its value.

                 Interestingly in Greece, the mystery religions had stringent rules for women which shows that modestly in women was recognized as showing devotion. One inscription said, "A consecrated woman shall not have gold ornaments, nor rouge, nor face whitening, nor a head-band, nor braided hair, nor shoes, except those made of felt or of skins of sacrificed animals"

                 God's instruction becomes clear: God is telling women not to wear gaudy clothing, and the styles of pagan women, worn to call attention to themselves, or to dress up to lure men. To do so was to blaspheme the intent of public worship service and further it was ungodly for women to outwardly dress like worldly women. Godly women showed their godly hearts by their outward modest dress.

                 Poverty was wide spread in the Early Church. Yet some wealthily church members used the service as an place to show off their wealth by wearing expensive clothes to the services and causing a stir when they entered. Also they would wear expensive and elaborate hair styles. This is totally out of place in a service held to honor and glorify Jesus Christ. The Bible is not prohibiting women from wearing braided hair, or gold or pearls and fine clothes. Proverbs 31:22 stated this godly woman owned such. However, the Bible is clearly forbidding wearing them immodestly and for the wrong motives, or wearing clothes that entice or cause lustfully thinking. Modesty means being modest or not being in access like putting on too much jewelry. It does not reflect godliness for a woman in public or in the church put on a fashion show or a place to show off a her sexuality.

                 We come to church to worship the Lord, Sunday morning, night and at Bible Study. Our appearance in public or in church can honor God or dishonor Him by dishonoring ourselves. A godly woman will not bring attention to herself, but dress and live to show her faith in the Lord. Her testimony of her love of the Lord has the first place in her life and she will not do things that will destroy her testimony or send the wrong message about her relationship with the Lord.

      Proper Biblical Motives:

                 Married Women: She should attract attention to her godly character, not to herself by her actions or clothing. Her clothes show her concern for her husband and her devotion, respect and love for him alone. Wearing immodest clothes or revealing clothes in public is dishonoring to herself and shows little respect for her husband. Her devotion should be to her Lord and to her husband. Single Women: It isn't proper or modest to attract men by wearing seductive clothes or bringing attention to herself. Again, her attractiveness should be in her godly character and testimony for the Lord, rather than outward sexual appeal. It does not mean to dress drab or not to wear one's best. But one's nice modest clothing should not distract from one's godly character, but should reflect it.

                 Women should ask themselves: "Does my clothing indicate an inward desire to worship God?" "Does it honor God?" "Does it stand out or is it inappropriate for the occasion?" "Does it reflect godliness or worldliness?" "Does is show I love and respect my husband and am not interested in other men."

                Peter also addresses this matter in 1 Peter 3:1-7: "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." (1 Peter 3:1-7)

                 Verses 1 and 2 uses the word "conversation." The word is not referring to talking between people, but to the "manner of one's life" or a persons' behavior. (anastrofh an-as-trophe ) Verse 2 added the adjective "chaste." which means pure from carnality, of being modest, pure from every fault, and being immaculate. The verse is instructing women to be in subjection to their own husbands, that they might by their godly manner of life and behavior win them to Christ. None who do not live what they preach has any influence or credibility with someone they are trying to win to the Lord. Actions speak louder than words. If a Christian lives like the world does and is not faithful to the Lord they by their behavior are telling people they are a hypocrite. They are claiming to be something that clearly they are not. Their live style then does not present God's truth and the true live changing affect of the Gospel. The bottom line is that a woman who is by her actions and outward appearance immodest has no testimony for Christ and cannot win her lost husband to something she does not appear to have.

                 Verse 2 defines the manner of one's life as being pure and chaste and adds "coupled with fear." This phrase means women are to revere their husbands. Ephesians 5:21 states that both men and women are to be "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

                 Specifically it means that we love and obey the Lord, because of revere for Him and His instructions for us. God knows what is best for us so we live godly lives as He tells us too. We submit to each other knowing that this is what is best and correct....and because God says this is right.

                 In 1 Peter 3:3 states this same instruction that Paul gave to Timothy for the church at Ephesus. Let the manner of one's life not be the outward adorning and showing off one's person, but as Verse 4 says "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." Clearly the Lord is referring to the new nature given to Christians when they believe.

                 Wives ( and all believers) are to live guided by the Holy Spirit which will produce in us a meek and quiet spirit. The next phrase says that this is of great valve to the Lord. It refers to the great price that the Lord Jesus paid for our redemption. The manner of our lives should correspond and be influenced by the great cost that Jesus paid to save us. It mocks the Lord's sacrifice for sin when a professing believer lives a life that condones sinful behavior and attitudes.

                 Peter uses the example of women in Old Testament times who trusted in the Lord and adorned themselves to honor their husbands in whom they were in subjection.

                 Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him "lord." This is the same word that is used in reference to God ( kuriov kurios koo'-ree-os). The phrase "afraid with any amazement" in 1 Peter 3:3 means, " fluttering alarm." In other words, no wife need fear a man in doing what is right, and should not be thrown into fluttering alarm by any sudden outbreak of temper on the part of your unbelieving husbands. They should not respond in kind.

                 Verse 7, addresses husbands as well, that Christian husbands should dwell with their wives in knowledge. That means with understanding. Men should be appreciating the due relation of the sexes in the design of God, and act with tenderness and forbearance accordingly meaning wisely: with wise consideration.

                 "Giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel" It means that both husband and wife are vessels made by God and each God given a specific makeup and responsibility. Man is weak, but the woman, God says, is the weaker. Therefore the man is to honor the woman because God gives honor to the man giving him the responsibility of leadership and provision for his family.

      Answer:    Psalm 139:7-16 deals with the beginning of life before and after conception. The truth is that life begins when the egg and the sperm are made. The new human life begins at conception. This certainly condemns abortion and any method that destroys the fertilized egg.

                 There is several methods birth control that violate God's word. One is of course birth control pills and methods that destroys the egg. Another destroys the egg that is fertilized. Any method that kills or destroys the egg or the sperm would violate God's word. Any method that is unnatural would also be wrong as it would interfere with the natural processes that God has put in place.

                 However, there are two methods that are natural and use abstinence doing the days when a woman is fertile and cannot get pregnant. This is called the Rhythm Method and the other is the Standard Days Method. If you do an Internet search on each method you can get the medical information on each one and how effective they are. They both work if carefully followed. To be effective one must understand the medical details of the woman's menstrual cycle. They are based on abstinence and would be biblical.

      Answer:    The problem is that there are many men in pulpits who are not called by God. They use a church as a platform to perform on to be seen of men. Others are unlearned and know little or nothing about God's word. You cannot teach people what you do not know. They find it easy to get "amens" and seem to be strong biblical men by harping on dress and such. In some IFB circles is very popular in some to "take a stand" against pants suits, long hair, etc. However, the truth is not biblical to place churches under man made laws (referred to as standards).

                 A church lead by such a man will be weak and its people will not grow and mature in the Lord. This kind of pastor will not feed his flock spiritual food, but rather impose his philosophies and prejudices on God's people falsely in God's name. The people will, if saved, remain babies. Never in God's word are there restrictions placed by God on being saved other than believing in Jesus Christ. Afterwards, the believer is not under laws and no church has the right to make laws to put God's children under bondage. "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." (1 Corinthians 9:19) If God's words is correctly presented, Christians will in the course of growing in Christ, want to honor the Lord by all they do in worship, in their dress, and everything in their lives. You do not have to impose so called standards on people who love the Lord and want to honor Him and present a good witness to others. If we love and want to obey and serve the Lord our freedom in Christ compels us to do what is right and live godly lives. When a mature Christian comes to church to worship the Lord and serve Him he will dress right and come with an attitude of thankfulness, respect and honor to the Lord. However, we should never let our freedom mislead, dishonor and be a stumbling block to others. In many cases members of such churches feel great pride in their standards which in fact is sinful. True pastors preach God's word and its principles to God's children and those who receive the truth will by conviction dress right. The love the Lord and want to honor Him. No pastor or church has the right to take a ways a Christians freedom to willingly and with conviction honor the Lord and replace this with human man made rules and standards.

                 The mature Christian will not use his liberty to be a stumbling block to the weak and unsaved.

                "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak." (1 Corinthians 8:9)

                 Speaking of the law Paul said, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)

                Peter was inspired of God to write, "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." (1 Peter 2:15-16)

                "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." (Romans 14:13)

                 The bottom line is this: Should a Christian come to church dressed appropriately and in such a way that Christ is honored? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! It is disrespectful to the Lord and not proper worship to come causally or inappropriately dressed. It is showing God respect for a Christian to "come as you are"? Yet, no church that shuns people who do not come dressed appropriately is honoring the Lord. Believers should present a good testimony and example to them, but God's people cannot impose righteousness on the unsaved or to those who are saved are babies in the Lord.

                 "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." (1 John 2:10)

      Answer:    I am not sure what your teacher is referring to but clearly the verse is teaching personal revenge is taken out of our hands. Aggressive or offensive war by nations is also condemned, but not necessarily defensive war or defense against robbery and murder. Pacifism may be mere cowardice.

                 In lighter cases of a personal confrontation we should rather remit the wrong done to us for peace' sake than stand upon a rigor of justice. The believer should rather overcome evil with good, than let our ourselves be overcome by the evil of others. We should if possible rather suffer a blow on the other cheek, than with our own hands revenge the blow which is given thus on our cheek. No minor injury deserves a private revenge. Minor injuries are not of that nature that we should contend for a public revenge of them. These instructions belong to those principally who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. We should also remember Jesus was talking to the Jews who always thought that every outrage should be resented; and thus the spirit of hatred and strife was fostered.

                This is the principle the Lord gave us, however the key is that a slap on the cheek is a minor thing mostly which is humiliating. This principle does not mean we should passively let someone inflict serious injury or death without defending our ourselves, love one's or some third party.

      Answer:    It is certainly a good policy to not to "rock the boat" as you stated, but there is nothing wrong in respectfully talking with an employer about a problem you are having. The result rests in the character of the employer. A good employer will be interested in his employees welfare and will welcome suggestions in a "open door" policy. Of course the opposite is also true. Some people when anyone questions the status quo they feel threatened and are offended. It is always a judgment call as to whether it will be beneficial or not. You have to be a good judge of character to known the difference.

                 As far as a scripture:

                 "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:16-19) Note the "if" which is subjective....sometimes people will not let you live peaceable. But the rule is to try as best as you can.

        Ephesians 6:5-8 is God's instructions to servants (employees)

        Ephesians 6:9-10 is for masters (employers)

                 I have a suggestion. If you think the employer was offended, you might go to them again and ask them how they felt about what you told them. You can explain that you were not comfortable in coming them, but it was something you felt should be addressed and that was why you came to them. Explain you are not demanding any action, but merely wanting them to consider the matter. You might say you wondered if they were aware of the matter.

                 There are times when you have to make suggestions. As long as you are respectful and not demanding you are doing what is right. I hope your employer understands you had good intentions and accept your honestly.

      Answer:    Following are passages that show a Christian can and will sin, but he is told to confess it and God work to help him over continuing the sin. This passage is written to Christians.

                 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:5-10)

                 "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." (1 John 5:16-17)

      Answer:    Believe me I understand what you are experiencing and I have had the same experience. I get numbers of e-mails such as yours and decided to write an article to help people with this dilemma. The article is at . "Saved or Not?" Dealing with Doubts and the Assurance of Salvation. The key to overcoming doubts and the attacks that Satan and his forces inflict on new believers is in knowing and believing God's word. The article will explain that. By the way, most Christians from time to time experience doubts, you are not alone.

                Also I think it helps a new Christian to study what the Bible says about being a Christian. I have an article at that is a New Converts Class. It would help get your grounded in the faith and could be a great help in understanding what the new life in Christ.

                 (Follow up to the this person) Just a word of encouragement. Unbelievers or the lost do not struggle with the things you are. Only those under the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit question their faith and whether they are living for the Lord. I know that sounds a little too simple, but the unbeliever is not truly concerned about being ashamed or witnessing for the Lord. That comes from the work of the Holy Spirit and is actually a good thing if you consider that the Lord is seeking to strengthen your faith. I do not doubt the word of God or of God Himself. I totally believe in Him and I am completely trusting in His grace and mercy. Yet, I know I am not all the Lord wants me to be and thus He is working to bring me to a more mature faith in Him. That is called the doctrine of sanctification. I am being sanctified means being made more and more like Him. Truth is I have a million miles to go, but I am headed in the right direction....... I am also know this side of heaven and the resurrection I will never be what I truly wish I was. But again, with God's help I am moving in that direction though I often fail.

                 The best action is to get busy, do the things you know God wants you too. Like witnessing to others. You will not be a great witness in a day or two, but over time as you try and you step out in God's strength you will slowly move in that direction. That is the key. We grow with baby steps and in time we mature and walk.

      Answer:    Thanks for sharing this with me and I will try to help. Years ago I have a friend who told of being a Christian as a teenager in high school and how hard it was for him. However, he made his mind up that he really loved the Lord and made the commitment to live for Christ no matter what how hard it got. He said he was often teased and made fun of. He did not have a lot of friends at school. One class mate in particular was always picking on him for not taking part in the sinful things that they were doing. But he realized Christ died for Him and suffered for his sins, so he tried to honor the Lord by bearing the abuse of being different. One night at 11:00 PM there was a knock at his door and his father answered. His father said that Bruce was at the door and wanted to talk with him. My friend said that was the guy who most ridiculed him for not being one of the crowd. He said he went to the door and it was clear Bruce was upset. There have been an accident and one their classmates had been killed. It was caused by their drinking and wild actions that night. Bruce said for the first time in his life he saw what sin did and he was sorry for how he was living. What is interesting is that Bruce came to my friend, because he knew he was a Christian and wanted to ask for God's forgiveness and trust Christ as his Savior. He said my friend was the only one he knew he could go to and get help. My friend led him to the Lord and Bruce's life was changed and he continued to serve the Lord from then on. He too, a big foot ball player with a reputation of being wild, now also lived a life that honored the Lord.

                 I could quote you scriptures, but you already know them. You know what is right and what you should be doing. You said you can't thank the Lord enough for what he does, but clearly that is not really true, because you said you abandoned attending church and worshiping Him, from learning more about Him, and if you are living like everyone else in the word you do not have a testimony for the Lord, or honor Him.

                 Have you thought that God has given you the privilege to be a testimony for him in a sinful world that is around you? Have you thought about the souls of your class mates and those who know you? Have you considered you could be a testimony for Christ and you could maybe win others to the Lord and save them from spending eternity in hell?

                 Yes, it will be hard....but so it was the persecution the Lord experienced and suffering for our sins. It is easy to be one of the crowd, but no one ever honored the Lord or was used by Him who was one of the crowd. Why not trust the Lord and make a genuine commitment to serve and live for the Lord. I wonder how many people's lives could be effected it you did? One of the saddest verses in the Bible, "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." (Ezekiel 22:30)

                 I hope this help point you in the right direction.

      Answer:    Thank you for writing. It is normal to have doubts and all Christians do from time to time. We still have the old nature (carnal) which is the source of our conflict. Paul explains his struggles in Romans 7. In verse 21 he stated “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” (Romans 7:21) The key is in verses 24-25.

                 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)

                The victory comes in us believing God in spite of the doubts that arise. We know that God’s word is true, that if we have believed and in repentance of our sins, accepted Him as our Savior, we are absolutely forgiven and saved. We also know that He knows our situation and is forever with us guiding us through the trial. (Read James 1:1-8) Note verse 5.

                John 5:37-47, 7:34, was not addressing Christians, Jesus was addressing hard hearted Jews who were rejected Him as their Messiah. It does not apply to believers today or to your situation. Jesse, the struggles you are having show God’s presence in your life and that the Holy Spirit is working. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in you that causes you to desire to serve the Lord and be close to Him. If is God’s Spirit that causes The unsaved certainly do not care.

                 Your course is to believe God and when the doubts and wrong thoughts come dismiss them as not of God, and tell yourself you as Paul did “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2 Timothy 1:12)

                If you sin, do as 1 John 1:9 says. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) That means we admit our failures, as you are clearly doing, and in time, God will deliver you as you mature in Christ. You said you are newly returned to the Lord which means you are growing, but not mature. As you fight each battle, with God’s help, you will grow and in time be able to deal with these things.

                 I have several articles about assurance of salvation that can be found at . The first three articles present what the Bible teaches about this. Our assurance only comes by faith and that means believing and accepting God’s word. Though faith we can overcome the devil and also our old nature that has a bent to sin. I have been saved since January 1972, and occasionally, without warning, my thought go back to the years when I was in sin. I simply tell myself that I have been brought with a price by Jesus Christ and all me sins are forgiven and never will be brought against me. That begins peace and assurance. I prayed for you this morning that the Lord would be close to you and guide you through these difficulties.

      Answer:    Yes, the verse addresses sexual fornication, but there is also a principle that the prohibition is based on. That is that we should do nothing to harm our bodies because it is the "temple of God." The word "fornication" is often and more frequently also used in a symbolical rather than in its ordinary sense. It frequently means a forsaking of God in idolatry. Idolatry is as Rom. 1:22-25, presents as “idolatry,” the sin of the mind against God (Eph. 2:3), and immorality, sins of the flesh, are associated, and are traced to lack of the acknowledgment of God and of gratitude to Him. An “idolater” is a slave to the depraved idea the things he makes as his idols represent, Gal. 4:8, 9; and thereby, to divers lusts, Titus 3:3.

                 Note 1 Cor. 6:18 "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18) Other sins are referred to here as without the body, that is, the body should not such a blemish or mark of infamy laid upon it by any other sin as by this: in drunkenness the liquor, in gluttony the meat, in other sins something without a man's self is that which is abused, but the body itself is which is abused is filthy sin. Is smoking "glorifying God in your body, and in your spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:20)? The refer is not limited to only sexual fornication, but sinful permissiveness in other things as well. The article is correct and I hope you can see that.

      Answer:    In our human wisdom we may think there could be times when it would be okay to lie... However, Jesus said speaking to the unbelieving Jews, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. " (John 8:44) To lie is to actually follow Satan's example. A believer lives by faith and trusts the Lord in all things. As we said, human reasoning would say in some circumstances we should lie, but a lie is an untruth and sin and dishonors our Savior. The believer should always tell the truth, no matter what is the situation, and trust the outcome to the Lord. Martyrs throughout history have even lost their lives because they refused to lie and deny that they were Christians. God has solutions to our situations we would never think of. In any case a born again believer is a child of God and therefore as God is truth, we should always be truthful to honor Him and to uphold our testimony.

      Answer:    The Bible does not specifically address a Christian using self defense in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament Israel was directed by God to defend themselves against their enemies. Being passive, such as the Quakers and other groups is foolish and has gotten a lot of their people killed or injured. They refuse to serve in combat but enjoy the freedom others have earned for them.

                In Genesis 20:13 when God said "Thou shalt not kill" He was referring to killing by murder. Israel in their wars with their enemies killed a lot of people at God's direction which clearly shows this commandment is not addressing killing in defense or wars.

                 We have the responsibility to protect ourselves and our family and also others. I am a veteran (7 years service & Vietnam) and fully and I am resolved to act responsibility, but to act, even with deadly force, to protect myself and others. I am an NRA instructor, Hunter Education Instructor, and a Utah concealed firearms instructor.

                 I do not see any conflict with God's instructions if I act responsibly. Part of my responsibly involves being trained to act properly. If a confrontation occurs and determine the situation lends itself to resolving the situation with other than deadly force I think that would be the proper response. I do not have to respond with force if it is possible not to. However, in some situations a person is not afforded that response and has to act quickly and decisively to end an altercation. That is where training comes in.

      Answer:    Certainly it is possible to overcome your obscesion. It is a matter of trusting the Lord in faith and believing in His presence and direction in your life. It will not be an instant cure, but as you accept God's presence in your life your confidence and faith will grow. Note the following passage:
                 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7)

                 The verse first states tell us to rejoice in the Lord. That is a good response when these negative thoughts come. Rejoice in knowing your sins are forgiven and you have eternal life. Next, God says to let your moderation be know to all men. In other words, you make a determined effort to mildly accept the thought and put it aside because you know you are in the Lord's hands. When the verse says to all men it means this should mark the character of our life. The phrase "be careful for nothing" means not to be anxious about things. Being a child of God you must know He wants the best for you and seeks to be at your side all the time. You should accept that truth and life by it and now worry about things that are not real. Next the passage references prayer in everything you do, that is prayer thanking God for all His benefits to you.

                 When you have these bad thoughts accept they are not part of God's will and you should each time ask the Lord to give you "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." You simply refuse to accept these bad thoughts as being real....because are not real. It is a matter of faith and trust in the Lord.

                If you believe Him you know these negative thoughts have no basis. Fill you mind with God's word by regularly reading the Scriptures and ask as you read and believe what God says and act according. You many not immediately overcome these thoughts, but if you do as the Lord time, maybe a short time your will overcome this and find peace in your life. I prayed today for you that you will get the victory over this and be used of the Lord to win others to Christ.

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