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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

I wonder if you are sitting on a sunny beach in Florida or maybe Southern California, perhaps skiing down slopes in Colorado or relaxing by a fireplace.  Many of you are hard at work providing for your family and have very little leisure time.  I think of my many readers in Russia, China and all over the world and how each of us is experiencing a different climate, terrain, and language.  And yet, even before the 'world wide web' came to be, God could reach out to each one of us individually, and personally make us His child.

My first blog was written On January 9, 2010 and now, two years later, I haven't even begun to share all there is to know about the God of the universe.  I can only expose you to a drop or two from the vast sea of Biblical knowledge.  With each 'revelation', comes a desire to know and learn more. The study of the Bible is a process that is never complete, but ever on-going.  I encourage you to get your feet wet.

I like to mention from time to time, that I have no personal agenda other than to point those who are interested to the person of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  We learn from the Bible, but also from our personal experience. For instance, I know that on the other side of every fear, there is freedom.  I have seen this in my life and know I have a faithful God who is continually working in my behalf.  I've come to know that He is always loving me, especially when I don't deserve it, and by His Holy Spirit, He's teaching me daily of His living presence. 

I feel it's important to know how we who believe learn, and why we understand what others may not. It is God Himself who reveals truth.  I go to church weekly, I like my church, but going to church doesn't make me a Christian.  I don't endorse or knock any Christian church. Each one has its own personality and you need to be where you are learning, growing in faith and Biblical knowledge and where you feel comfortable.  Do not tolerate however a church that strays from the truth of Scripture.  If something doesn't 'sound right', ask the pastor to show you in the Bible on what he has based his teaching.  Remember, you can grab a verse from here or there, take it out of context and distort the meaning.  This is why it's so important to learn to look at Scripture as a whole....the Bible interprets the Bible

I am drawn to the teaching of God's grace and sovereignty because this is the basis of our Christian faith.  This knowledge is our source of joy and where our peace comes from. 

I'm going to answer a few questions I've been asked......

1 - How can I know for sure that I'll go to heaven when I die? 

Because salvation isn't based on anything you do, but rather on what God has done for you.  In John 6:28 - 29, a group of religious Jews asked Jesus "What must we do to do the works God requires?"  Jesus answered, "The work of God is this:  to believe in the one he sent."  Jesus was of course speaking of Himself; He is the One that God sent to pay for our sins, and He was simply saying, "Believe in Me". 

2 - I do believe in Jesus as my Savior, but I'm far from perfect!  So, I worry that maybe I won't go to heaven.

Worry no more! There will be a 'judgement day' for all, but what you will be judged on is your belief in Jesus, not your works or behavior.  Galatians 2:20 says that you have been crucified (you died) with Christ and you no longer live (in God's eyes) but Christ lives in you.  God, our Heavenly Father looks at you and sees His perfect Son, not your sin, not your rebellion, not your inability to be perfect, He just sees Jesus!  Romans 8:1 tells us that that there is "no condemnation for those who are in are in Christ Jesus."

3 - My sister is a lesbian.  God can't possibly love her, right? 

Wrong!  When we read about some of the characters who we consider to be in 'Gods Hall of Fame' we'll find a bunch of imperfect human beings.

Noah - by faith followed God's instructions, built an ark, loaded up his family and two of every species of animal and rode out the storm.  Then he planted a vineyard and got drunk.  Genesis 9:2

Abraham - lied about his wife Sarah saying she was really his sister in order to protect himself, Genesis 20: 11 -13. And yet, it was through Abraham's offspring that all nations of the earth would be blessed, Genesis 22:18.

Moses - murdered an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave in the fields, Exodus 2:11.  And yet, God choose Moses to receive the Ten Commandments up there on the mountain.

Rahab - was a prostitute.  The Lord had a very special mission for this woman, see Joshua 2.  Rahab is also listed in the linage of Christ in Matthew 1:5.

David and Bathseba - They had quite a story, didn't they?  First adultery, then murder, read II Samuel 11.  David also was in the lineage of Christ.  Bathseba became the mother of Solomon who wrote all those wonderful Proverbs and has been purported to be the wisest of the wise.   

If God had waited to find a 'perfect' person, He'd still be waiting - because there are none! "There is no one righteous, not even one"  Romans 3:10.  Genesis 8:21 says we are 'evil from childhood'.  Get rid of the 'I'm better than you are' attitude and just love your sister - or brother, son or daughter - whoever God has given you. We may think it less than desirable to be 'gay', but God is sovereign and if He didn't want any gay people in the world, there wouldn't be any!  Jesus wondered 'who among you will throw the first stone?'. 

4 - One more question.....I'm often asked how I choose topics to write about.  I feel the topics choose me.  The Lord simply puts in my head and heart what He wants to come out in a blog.  I listen to Him, I follow Him, sometime into uncomfortable territory, but I trust whatever He's doing.  I picture it this way - there might be one person in the whole world that will read the blog and learn something the Lord wanted them to know.  Just one person!

Many are enjoying my book, 'Blogging God's Word: Seeing Ourselves Through God's Eyes' by Roberta Van Hise.  You can buy it on Amazon.com or Crossbooks.com, also an E Book. 

Lord, thank you that you are in the details of our life.  You have a plan and purpose for what you do.  If I were the only person in the whole world, you would have died just for me so I can live eternally in heaven with You.