Bible answers to Your Questions by our Minister
Questions in this section - tap on the question or scroll down: What is the will of God? + What happens when You pray? + What is the duty of the church? + What is the place of God in Your life? + Are you offended? + How to study the Bible? + How to present the gospel of Christ? + What to do with sin? + How to pray? + What to do when you lose a loved one? + What happens after death?
Everyone is interested in knowing the will of God
• More importantly, “What is God’s will for me?”
• As in, “Whom shall I marry?” or “What vocation should I be in?”
• Even, “What is God’s will for me today?”
1. We can know the Will of God
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
• God has not chosen to hide His will from mankind
• Throughout history, God has made known His will for mankind
• God revealed His will directly to man, through prophets and the Holy Spirit.
2. Today, His will is revealed in the Bible
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
• God has used the Holy Spirit to guide over 40 men to write the Bible over 1,600 years
• Men has tried to destroy it, but it remains the top bestseller
• Men has tried to discredit it, but its contents hold true to this day.
3. God’s Will is for All Men to be Saved
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men counts lackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
• God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us
• He has delayed His Son’s return that everyone may have opportunity
• If we do not get to heaven, we can only blame ourselves.
4. It is God’s Will that We do good
1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
• Some people mistakenly think that God’s will is to make us happy
Others think that God’s will is to make us healthy, wealthy or successful
In fact, God says better to suffer (be poor, unhealthy…) doing His will.
5. Our lives should be obedient to God’s Will
James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
• We should no longer be servants of sin to fulfill its lusts
• We must lay aside every weight and sin to run the race
• We must deny ourselves, carry the cross and follow Him daily.
6. To follow God’s Will, We must want to do it
Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
• The prosperous farmer of Luke 12 thinks only of his own will
• Are we willing to accept God’s will in our lives?
• Are we willing and ready to do God’s will each day?
7. Rewards of Knowing and Doing God’s Will
1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
• The person is no fool who gives up that which he cannot hold
• It is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgement
• Jesus is coming soon – are you ready (ie doing His will)?
James 1:22-24 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like
unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
• If you do not know the will of God, start reading the Bible today
• If you are familiar with the Bible, check to see if you are in the faith.
• For some, we need to say as in Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee
• For others, we say to you as in Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Whenever one of God’s children prays, even the gates of hell tremble! It may be a child in prayer, or an old woman. Every prayer carries with it the full power of the God who created the heavens and earth. Consider what happens when you pray:
1. You recognise the sovereignty of God over everything
Now you are beseeching the throne of grace. You are calling on the greatest power available to come to your assistance in this time of prayer. Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them... for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
2. You are willing to let God take charge of your situation
You are ready to submit to His goodwill whatever the decision God may make in response to your request. Not our will, but His will be done.
Luke 11:2 “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
3. You are assured that God hears your prayer
He is willing to come to your assistance.
Matthew 7:11” If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
4. God is able to help you
In fact, He is able to do more than you ask of Him. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.”
6. When you rise from your prayer, you will be blessed
Luke 18:14 “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
7. Good things happens when you pray
Make this year all it could be. Whatever the situation, whatever the problem, God is only as far away as a prayer.
“Oh what griefs we often forfeit,
Oh what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry,
Everything to God in prayer!”
The whole duty of the church is to speak the truth in love. The more I read the word of God, the more I am led to see that my task as a minister, the task of leaders as well as the task of each and every member of the church is to speak the truth of God’s word in love as commanded in Ephesians 4:15.
1. It is so important for the church to proclaim the truth as preserved and inspired by the Holy Spirit through the ages. We need to stay close to the Bible, telling it like it is without adding or subtracting from its divine revelations.
The core of this truth is the gospel of Christ. This must not only be told, but obeyed and lived in the lives of all who embrace it. In doing so, sin must be
denounced and all wrongdoing must be called out and dealt with.
2. Just as important, this truth must be spoken in love as our passage clearly instructs. Indeed, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:2, that it does not matter the extent to which we go in our effort to practice the word of God; if we do not do it out of love, for then there is no profit at all.
In the years of my ministry, I have seen people in the church - from members to ministers and missionaries who will ‘throw the book’ at one and all, without being kind, charitable or patient. As a result, the faith of many is shipwrecked and many churches divided.
It is vital that we handle the word of God with love. Just as true giving must be done cheerfully, proper preaching must be done lovingly. Every Christian must present the gospel in the way our Lord Jesus have done, with loving compassion, patient tender care so that no soul will miss heaven.
We all agree that what the world needs is the gospel of Christ. The way to proclaim the gospel is more than putting Bibles in hotel rooms or stuffing
gospel tracts in mail boxes. I believe that every person in this world needs the opportunity to hear the gospel proclaimed in love, so that they can make
a proper and heartfelt response to it.
An example of this is in Acts 17 where Paul shared the gospel to the Jews in Thessalonica and Berea. Since God has created us as free moral agents, we observe the various responses to the word of God. Given the opportunity to hear the gospel, they respond in accordance to their comprehension and
motives, and will have to answer for their decision in the final day.
In the same way, our leaders need to speak the truth in love as they lead the church and confront sin. They have to answer for each soul that has gone astray, and deal with sin in the lives of members. Patiently and lovingly, they must minister so that none misses heaven.
If I had my life to live over again, if there was anything I could change in my ministry, it would surely be in this area. As I look back over the years, I sense that on many occasions I could be more loving, kinder in speaking the truth and more patient in meting it out. Doing so would not only obey God’s command, but allow God’s will to be done instead of insisting it on my terms and my way.
Where do you put God in our lives? Who Does God Mean to Us?
• Pocket God - Genie in a Lamp?
• Wearable Jewelry - Lucky Charm?
• Far and Aloof - Out of touch with my needs.
Who does God mean to us? Is Your God is Too Small? Has God remained static?
• J. B. Phillips’ Book - Your God is too Small
• Meek and Mild
• Resident Policeman
• Grand Old Man in the Sky.
Do We Create God in Our Own Image?
• Like a Woodcutter – Isaiah 44:17.
We need to confront God as in...
• Bethel experience – Gen 28:11-19
• Isaiah 6 experience
• Damascus experience – Acts 9:3-19
• Job’s experience.
God is Far Above All We Can Think
• Like an ant before Eiffel Tower.
God is All Powerful; Ever Present
• He has always existed
• He created the world by His word
• The Bible is beyond comprehension.
So Awesome yet… God is a Personal God…
• He made us in His image – Gen 2:7
• He planned the church before the foundation of the world – Ephesians 1:4
• He has always desired to dwell amongst us – Exodus 25:8.
Get to Know God…
• Discipline yourself and family with a daily Devotion
• Keep the Word fresh by studying and discussing at Bible classes
• Learn to Walk and Talk with Him as a Personal God
• Give God priority in every area of your life – Romans 12:1, 2.
In James 3:2, the Bible tells us that "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."
Many things offend. And they hurt. Some cut deep. While they offend, we should not take offense.
It is so easy to justify by saying, "Lord, I give up my time for your work... and this is how your people are treating me?? I am so discouraged, I am thinking of quitting."
Alas, too many of us fall into this trap of the devil. This is the same voice as the one that asked Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. So many good Christian workers have given up participating in the church’s activities and offering service because of this - you know who they are. Even preachers who should know better do the same.
For me, to do the Lord’s work is blessing enough. I came into the ministry without the promise of the next month’s pay, without CPF for more than a decade... and I’d gladly do it again just to have the privilege of working in partnership with God.
All these years, the going has been hard (it is never be easy swimming against the tide) but I am blessed with wonderful people who uphold my hands. Often people will be sly, offensive or downright mean. It is not easy to be a doormat. If I took offense every time this happens, guess how long I could take it? Not very long, like most others. I would keep writing off people who offended me until I had no one to work with!
So in doing the Lord’s work, the key is found in Acts 5:41 in the example of the apostles that "They therefore departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name."
Just do the Lord’s work in partnership with God. Forget offenses like we should forget praises (in the spirit of "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"). Take it to the Lord in prayer, and go away doing better and treating this person better than before. When we do not take offense, giving the other brother in question the benefit of doubt and continue to serve the Lord and love the brotherhood:
a) We will keep serving the Lord no matter what
b) God will be working with us in partnership and will renew us
c) Others who intentionally or unintentionally try to offend us will still be working with us, and by our good conduct we may win them to serve the Lord more lovingly.
Let us continue serving the Lord without taking or giving offense and never give up on Him, the church or one another.
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine" - Titus 2:1
1. Study the Word of God firsthand
The best way to understand the Bible is from our own study of the word of God. This is why the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth".
2. Corroborate every teaching with the Bible
I do not believe that anyone deliberately preaches what he knows to be false in order to deceive others when he may join his audience in hell. But be careful, we owe it to ourselves, like the Christians in Berea, whom Acts 17:11 tells us were "more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so".
3. Own your doctrine, don’t copy & paste another's
Since the Bible is our roadmap to heaven, we cannot take any chances by simply accepting another's doctrine, no matter how sincere or well-meaning he may be. I love Jesus' encounter with the unnamed Samaritian woman in John 4, especially at the point in John 4:42 when her friends "said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world".
Every generation of Christians has to re-examine the doctrines that we pass down to them and make it their own. Because if all we do is to blindly accept
the faith of our fathers, when the time of testing comes, we will not have a strong foundation.
4. Grow and be willing to change if necessary
For example, there are much discussion on marriage and divorce. I want to have the mind of Christ, to be a person after God's own heart, and to do what might honour and please Him. Life on earth is brief, but heaven is forever. I want to give up my rights so that I can give my honest answer to God in judgement, as every man must. In time, as I continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of God's word, so my interpretation may change.
The Bible tells us in Acts 18:24-26 of a preacher called "Apollos, knowing only the baptism of John... whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly".
I have devoted all my life to kingdom work. From the early age of 12, I was already involved in church activities. As the Lord enables, I look forward to serving His church with greater zeal, insight and effectiveness. I also know that there will be a day, perhaps sooner than later that I will no longer be
around. When that time comes, if the Lord delays His return, I pray that through my many years of nurturing, teaching and example, I will raise up
men and women who read the Bible for themselves, check every doctrine according to the word, so that they may embrace it, stand firm on it and exercise it with love, because 1 Corinthians 13:3 tells us that if we do "have not love, it profited nothing".
It is so important that when we present the gospel, we have a clear understanding of the Godhead.
God the Father
Starting at the beginning, the gospel of Christ was revealed in Genesis 3:15 when man committed the first sin. It is God's will that we obey God. When
mankind disobeys God, he will justly receive the punishment due. The gospel or good news is that God has designed a way out for our sins.
God the Son
God the Son
In Jesus Christ, we see the love of God the Father who sent His Son to die in our place so that we may be redeemed from our sin. Jesus lived a sinless
life, satisfying the demands of the law and willingly laid down His life to purchase us from the penalty of sin. The cross signifies His sacrifice and His resurrection assures us of the hope of His promise.
The Holy Spirit
The book of Acts begins with the coming of the Holy Spirit and ends with the words of the Holy Spirit (Acts 28:25). In between these chapters we see the good news preached to the Jews first, and then to the gentiles.
On the day of Pentecost after Christ's crucifixion, Peter is chosen by God to present the first gospel message. His hearers are convicted and three thousand are obedient to his plea to 'repent and be baptized'. As the gospel is preached, churches are established, elders appointed and lives transformed.
The gospel, in brief, is the good news. It is God's purpose to save fallen men that they may repent of their ways which will condemn them for all eternity. By God's grace through faith in Jesus we find full and complete remission of all sins. As we turn from our former ways to walk with Christ in the light, we conform to His image and maintain a living relationship with Him until we
return to be with Him forever.
So the proper proclamation and response to the gospel must include:
1. An understanding of the message (e.g. conversion of the Eunuch - Acts 8:26-39)
2. A change of heart (e.g. conversion of 3,000 - Acts 2:14-41)
3. A life of service to Christ and His church (e.g. conversion of Lydia - Acts 16:13-15).
God is the judge of all things, including a person's response to the gospel and his eternal salvation. As Christians, it is so important that we teach the
gospel in its totality, ensure that our hearers understand the message, and disciple them to mature faith.
This will definitely take more effort and work, yet we are assured that "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalms 126:6).
Hebrews 2:10 puts it this way, "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
However, if we fail to go the distance, Jesus warns us that we may be doing more harm than good. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than ourselves" (Matthew 23:15).
The Bible deals with sin from cover to cover. In fact you do not have to go further than the third chapter to get a vivid description of the first sin. Move another three chapters, and you will see how sin has spread to the entire world!
Now look in the mirror. What do you see? Be honest. Is there sin in your life? No one (except God) knows better than you. What are you going to do about it? Here are some suggestions:
1. Aware of Sin
What is Sin? The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:4 that "sin is the transgression of the law". Paul struggled with this in Romans 7:7-9 where he writes, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."
What does sin do? Make no mistake about it, sin erects a wall between you and God. It cuts off all blessings and sustenance from above. Isaiah 59:2
declares, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
What is the result of Sin? Romans 6:23 tells us in no uncertain terms, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
2. Beware of Sin
Do not go through life like an ostrich with your head buried in the sand. All mankind has sinned. We commit sin every day - by doing bad things as well
as by not doing good things (James 4:17). The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
3. Careful of Sin
Search your heart like the Psalmist of old in Psalms 139:23, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." Is there a secret sin? Perhaps an evil thought?
Every sin goes through various stages. James 1:14-15 describes this process in this way: "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."
4. Declare Your Sin by confession
Not only do we have the tendency to hide our sins, like David, often we commit sins which we do not deem to be wrong. As David was a man after
God's own heart, he constantly examined himself as he did in Psalms 19:13,14 "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."
5. Enter into God's presence
To seek complete cleansing of our sins, like the prodigal son of Luke 15, we must leave the pigsty and return to our Father's house where we belong. In Psalms 51:11, David prayed, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me."
The only way to deal with sin is to rid of it completely.
It is not good enough to get rid of the virus of sin. We need to fill the vacuum left by the devil with God's presence. Jesus tells in Luke chapter 11 of a man who was cleansed of an evil spirit, but did nothing. So verse 26 tells us, "Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
6. Fight the good fight
When we have decided to deal with the sin in our life, let us get back into the Christian race by making it our goal not to sin. Mark 14:38, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak."
7. Grow in good works
Cleansing of sin and bearing fruits of repentance go hand in hand. It is not enough merely to confess our sins; we need to follow through with godly sorrow and not the sorrow of the world (i.e. to feel sorry only because we were caught in wrongdoing). Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 7:10, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."
Conclusion: Harden not Your hearts
Brethren, do not harden your hearts when dealing with sin. 1 Timothy 4:2 talks about Christians who have had their conscience seared with a hot iron because of sin. Do it today. Do not go to bed with the devil (Ephesians 4:26, 27).
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" - Romans 8:26.
We learn in Luke 11:1, "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples".
The disciples observed that Jesus set the example in prayerfulness, felt their inadequacy and approached the Master for assistance in this important area.
Age of Grace
While the Bible has much information on the subject of prayer, it is important for us to understand we now live in the age of grace.
In the Old Testament we read how certain ones cried to God to utterly destroy their enemies and have their petitions granted with haste. At the onset of His ministry in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus clearly says that our idea of a good outcome may not always be what is the best in every situation.
He put it in these words: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" Matthew 5:11-13
1. Seek the Giver, not the gifts. Prayer is primarily talking with God but we have often reduced it to asking God for stuff. Jesus said in John 15:4, "Abide
in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."
2. Let God surprise you with His abundance. Too often we are afraid to ask God for His extravagant blessings that He is longing to shower upon us. God
challenges us in Malachi 3:10 to "prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a
blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
3. Do not limit God with your request. Lay your needs before the Throne of grace and let God take over. Ephesians 3:20 reminds us, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."
4. Realise that every prayer is a partnership with God. It may require a personal rededication, an act of penitence or a first step on your part to realising the answer to your prayer. David understood this when he said in Psalms 51:17, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise".
5. Let God be God. His will be done. He will not grant your request if it goes against His sovereign will. Philippians 2:13 tells us "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure".
A More Excellent Way
While it is always good to pray and bring our requests to God, let us do it properly, in the way that God wants us to, not merely focusing on the results but the journey and how it can help develop us and strengthen our relationships.
1. Instead of "God, help the flood victims in Pakistan", pray "May Your people be moved to reach out to the flood victims in Pakistan and that the victims
may see Your goodness through Your servants".
2. Instead of "God, give me a speedy recovery", say "I thank You for being with me in my illness and ask You to continue to sustain me to recovery."
3. Instead of asking God for my parent's salvation, say "help me to focus on keeping in touch with my parents and sharing them the gospel of Christ".
4. Instead of praying that "God will help me in all my trials", say "Give me strength that I may overcome and understand Your will and submit to Your good pleasure in my current trials".
5. Instead of asking God to "Give me complete recovery", say "Give me strength to grow stronger each day as I walked with You".
In the book of John, chapter 11, we read of the tragic and sudden death of Jesus’ good friend, Lazarus of Bethany. Throughout the account, the author
observed that Martha was the stronger of the two sisters. She met Jesus ahead of the funeral crowd and expressed deep faith in Jesus and the resurrection (John 11:22-27).
In her brief meeting with our Lord, “Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). Mary, on the other hand was constantly accompanied by friends during the funeral so that she would not be overwhelmed with grief in her bereavement. Like Martha, her first words to Jesus were to chide Him for taking so long to come to them. Mary said, perhaps in anger or frustration, “if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died” (John 11:32). Unlike Martha, Mary was so overcome with grief that Jesus was unable to explain God’s plan to her like He did to Martha, but simply wept along with her.
In this touching incident in the life of Jesus, we see how God cares for each one of us in our pain and empathizes deeply with our hurt and loss.
We also find hope that those who have left us are safe in the arms of Jesus. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
Most of all, we are reminded that in all things, God is in charge and sovereign. Even when we cannot find any reason for the loss of a loved one, especially
one who is taken away so suddenly and quickly, if we understand God’s will, purpose and good pleasure for us in such times, like Job of the Old Testament we can remain steadfast, faithful and secure.
It is as though a large carpet has hovered over our heads and brought darkness and despair to our lives. Looking up, all we can see are a jumble of colour threads, all messy and confused, like our minds are.
Yet if we are looking at it from God’s perspective, not the reverse side of the carpet - it is beautiful, well ordered and carefully designed.
I know that it is difficult to see God’s glory when a loved one is taken away from us so swiftly. But like Martha, we need to be reminded that our Christian walk is not about us, our wants and our future. It has always been about God, His good pleasure and purpose for us.
In Philippians 2:13, Paul tells us that “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” For the Christian, nothing is more
important for us than to understand this and allow our lives to be submitted to God’s good pleasure.
Make no mistake about this: God’s purpose will be done. There is no force in the world that can circumvent it. It will be done with or without our participation. As for me and my house, I want to be used by God for His good pleasure.
God is the potter, and we are the clay. In order for us to be God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), we must be willing to deny ourselves, carry the cross and follow Him. But when we harden our hearts, God cannot use us because hard clay is brittle and cannot be conformed to His image. In driving home this point, Paul asks in Romans 9:21, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
God will be God.
Isaiah 55:9 puts it this way, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Let God be God. Whether we sense Him at work or not, the world is turning in the way it should and God is still in charge.
There is no clear reason now for the loss of a loved one, a baby born with defects or the millions of hungry children in this world. Much of it is the result of sin, man’s selfishness and our fallen world. One of these days, when our lives are over, like Paul we can say, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In the meantime, hold on and trust God. Like Job, the end will be better!
What Happens after Death?
The unseen future after this life is often a mystery to many. For some, it spells hopelessness, fear and despair. But for the child of God, we are encouraged “that we sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1Thess. 4:13).
Why is it that the Christian can be so secured in death, and full of hope? The answer is Christ. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even sothem also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thess.4:14).
Where do the dead go? The chart above depicts two worlds – the period before Judgment Day; the second, after the Judgment. The top section of each is used to describe the place where the presence of God is and the bottom for the abode with Satan. The middle column of the first circle represents the life of an individual in this world.
Let us now proceed with the answer to the question, where do the dead go in each aspect of life.
We are brought into this world through physical birth (Gen.3:16). This brings us into the age of infancy. Should a person die during this period of innocence, he goes to God (2 Sam.12:22). However, a person soon grows up and becomes accountable for his actions (James 4:17). This brings him into the
world of sin (Rom.3:23). Should he die at this time, he dies in an unsaved condition.
When Jesus came, His purpose was to give us life more abundantly in His church (John 10:10). As a result, we do not need to remain in this unsaved condition, but through the new birth (John 3:5 cf Acts 2:38) we are added to the church (Acts 2:38, 42). If a person dies within the boundaries of the church, he goes to be with God. However, it is possible for a Christian to backslide (Gal.5:4) into the world of sin. If he does so, the abode of Satan awaits him in death.
On the return of Jesus, all who have been dead in Paradise (Luke 23:43), Tartarus (Luke 15:19-31) or are still alive (1 Thess.4:15-17) will be gathered for the Judgment day (Rev.22:12). At this time, the good will be gathered into Heaven (Rev.22:5) to be with their God forever; and the bad will be cast into Gehena (Rev.20:10) where they will suffer eternally.