You’ve Got Questions — Answers From God's Word
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-Walking with God
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Is Hell Real? AND What is it Like?
Is heaven real? Is God real? Jesus?
Is the Bible really God's word to us through the Holy Spirit's inspiration in writing and understanding?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then the answer to the main question you've posed is yes as well.
You see, nobody has come back from either place and given us a run down. However, Jesus came here from His place in heaven and gave us testimony to their existence.
Basically, satan, hell and what hell is like are the exact opposites of what God, Heaven and what Heaven is like.
Heaven is where God is and hell is where He is not. Heaven is light because God is light, therefore, hell is darkness. God wipes away every tear and is not there in hell to do them same. Heaven is community and unified worship which leaves hell as a place of solitude.
I'll be writing a more detailed conversation in a future blog. In the meantime, grab a Bible and head over to the concordance (index) and look up the scriptures that talk about Heaven and hell.
Thanks for the question.
How can I know God is real?
Here's the thing. God is approachable and He wants a relationship with you. God's fingerprints are all around you. The wonder of creation, a new born child, the solar system in perfect balance and your body. The fact that you want to know about Him is an indication that God is calling to you so that you will find Him.
You'll need to look for Him sincerely and with the expectancy of finding Him.
Get alone in a quiet room and talk to God. Ask Him to reveal himself to you. Let Him know you want to know Him and follow Him. Don't worry about your words as much as your sincerity to know.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Once you believe in God you will need to work on believing what He says in scripture.
What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what?
Let's take a look at scripture. John 3:16 is very well known.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:16-18
Read the scripture slowly and unpack it as you go.
1. If you believe in Jesus you won't perish but you will have eternal life.
2. Without Jesus you are already condemned to perish.
3. Jesus saves you from that.
We have a post named 3:16, check it out.
Why should I believe that God created everything in 7 days?
Well......because God said so.
Look, if you believe in God then you need to believe God. Ask Him. Ask Him if He has given us scripture. Which is where He tells us of His creation.
All scripture is given by inspiration of
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16,17.
All through the gospels, Jesus quotes the scripture, teaches the scripture and lives by the scripture. If Jesus recognizes the scripture then so should we.
The book of Genesis describes the creation as happening in 7 days.
So, God said so.
How Should I Pray?
Do you pray? Have you ever prayed? Do you know how to pray?
What about prayer? Who should we pray to, what should we pray, where should we pray, when should we pray and why should we pray? Oh yeah, and how should we pray?
For the next few weeks we will take a good look at what God has instructed us in the Bible on prayer.
The disciples saw Jesus pray often. Throughout the gospels we read that Jesus stepped away from the crowds, to be alone and pray. At one point, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Let’s take a look at what His response was in the gospel of Matthew in chapter six. Often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer it can be prayed as a prayer or used as a pattern of prayer.
Pray then like this:
In other words, here’s how to pray.
“Our Father in heaven,
Our. He’s not Your Father or My Father alone.
Father. The one we all date back to, the creator of all.
In Heaven. There is an actual place that God resides.
hallowed be your name.
Meaning revered and honored, even His very name.
Your kingdom come,
God definitely has a kingdom and we long for it
your will be done,
God rules in His kingdom and what He directs, happens.
on earth as it is in heaven.
We desire to be included in His kingdom and under His direction.
Give us this day our daily bread,
We trust in God to give us what we need for existence each day.
and forgive us our debts,
We realize we have a list of sins which need to be forgiven.
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgive us in the same way we forgive others
And lead us not into temptation,
Keep us from being tempted
but deliver us from evil.
And save us from things which are evil.
Take this next week to read through this and prayer this prayer from your heart. Use it as a way to reach out to God. Ask Him to give you new insight into this prayer as a pattern of prayer and then pray using your own words.
Let's take a deeper look.
We looked at the answer Jesus gave to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray. Within His answer we were given a prayer and a method of praying.
I asked you, Do you pray? Have you ever prayed? Do you know how to pray? Who should we pray to, what should we pray, where should we pray, when should we pray and why should we pray? Oh yeah, and how should we pray?
This week I want to offer additional scripture that helps to answer these questions. As you continue to walk with God, you will continue to find find scripture that will help you understand and perfect your prayer.
What should our posture be?
Kneel? Lie face down on the floor? Eyes Closed? Hands clasped together? Well, in John 11:41 and 17:1 Jesus looked up to heaven, Psalm 28:2 and 1 Timothy 2:8 hands are lifted while praying, in Ephesians 3:14 kneeling is indicated and in Genesis 24:52 the one praying bows down.
Consider these verses:
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 51:17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Isaiah 59:2 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Notice these scriptures do not qualify themselves with instructions on how to position your body but rather indicate how we should position our heart. If I were to lie face down on the floor with my hands lifted heavenward and my eyes closed but did not believe that God would listen or that He was Lord, does it make sense that He would hear? What should our posture be? A heart that is faithful, delighted, and humbly seeking God. There’s nothing wrong with any of the positional postures as long as they are an outward expression of your heart.
To Whom should I address the Prayer?
Well, as we saw last week, when Jesus taught the disciples to pray He instructed them to pray to the Father. Throughout scripture when Jesus prayed He prayed to the Father. So, it would follow that we should address God the Father.
But What About Jesus?
Again, let’s look at scripture.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You did not choose me(Jesus), but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
In that day you will no longer ask me (Jesus) anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
In that day you will ask in my name (Jesus). I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
It’s Jesus that allows us to come to the Father and it’s because we stand in Jesus’ name that the Father listens. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven IF we admit we are sinful and need to be forgiven and IF we believe that Jesus is Lord and is alive today because He rose from the dead. You know, the Easter story.
And What About Praying to Anyone Else?
We’ve offered scripture to support praying to the Father and praying to the Father in Jesus name but there is no scripture which indicates we should pray to anyone else or to the Father in anyone else’s name.
Pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus But What Part Does the Holy Spirit Play in Prayer?
Consider the following verses.
Romans 8:26 …the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So here’s some closing questions to ponder about your prayer process.
1. Are you addressing your prayer to God the Father?
2. Do you believe in your heart that He exists and wants to hear you?
3. Is your heart humbled and are you asking for forgiveness for your iniquities from God, as well as, from others?
4. Have you forgiven others of their sin against you?
5. Are you praying in Jesus’ name? Do you confess Jesus is Lord?
So how are you doing? Don’t be intimidated by the scripture. Read it over and pray about it. Prayer is communion with God, a relationship, He wants you to understand and He wants you to be with Him.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
How Do I Make Sense of the Bible?
How do I find what I’m looking for? Where do I start?
Well, the first step is to pick it up! Open it, and begin looking it over from beginning to end.
I’m holding my Bible in my hand and I’ll walk through it with you.
As I open the cover, I come to:
The table of contents which lists all the books of the Bible, in the order that they appear and the pages that they start on. There is also a page which lists each book in alphabetical order.
The Preface followed by a section titled, “Features”. These two sections are very important for you to read and study. These will tell you exactly how your Bible has been laid out.
The Old Testament. Thirty Nine books that describe God’s work leading up to the birth of Christ.
The New Testament. Twenty Seven books that describe God’s work through Jesus.
When you begin reading the Bible you’ll notice that each book has a unique position. This order exists in all Bibles. As you turn to and open a book it is divided into numbered chapters and then numbered verses within that chapter. These numbers were not part of the original manuscripts but have been placed there to make our reading organized. They allow us to let each other know precisely what we want to study by directing them to chapter and verse. As you read you will notice numerical superscripts which indicate footnotes located at the bottom of the page, and you will also notice alphabetical superscripts which will indicate side notes located in the center column of the text. These serve to give you further information, as well as, to refer you to other scriptures related to a keyword or subject.
Table of Weights and Measures. Excellent reference to understand sizes and proportions referred to in the scripture.
Concordance. A reference which will allow you to locate specific words and texts within the Bible so that you can see how they are used throughout the text. If you want to see what the Bible says about faith, look it up in the concordance and it will tell you which scripture verses include the word faith.
Maps. Use these to track where the Bible stories took place.
The best way to know your Bible is to read it. So, go to the Lord and ask Him to give you direction, insight and understanding, then pick it up, open it and read. Remember, the Bible was divinely inspired through the Holy Spirit, so your understanding will need divine interpretation.
Jeremiah 15:16-Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
Jeremiah 33:3-Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Psalm 119:105-Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path