Help For Those Who Want To Know More About Jesus Christ
MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS 1
Explain: “How can you tell whether God is talking to you”?
We speak to God in prayer, and God speaks to us in the Bible which is called the word of God (Hebrews 4:12). Whatever the Bible tells us to do, God is telling us to do. It is like a sword that pricks our heart with conviction of sin, for the word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Often are hearts are “warmed” when we read the kind promises of God to sinners who trust Christ for salvation. This is the “comfort of the Scriptures” (the Bible) spoken of by Paul (Romans 15:4). So the Holy Spirit uses the Bible not only to convict us but also to comfort us.
Explain: “How can I be led by the Holy Spirit?”
The Holy Spirit guides us through the Scriptures (the Bible). Men were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the Bible (2Peter 1:21) and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us to understand what He caused to be written. The Holy Spirit uses the Bible to guide us into all truth (John 16:13).
Explain: "Why is it so hard to forget someone who has wronged us when we don't want to remember them anymore"?
Our memories are able to retain far more than we realise. Something quite small can "trigger" memories of people we met many years ago. So we cannot simply erase from our minds painful occasions in the past, however much we wish to do so.
But memories involving those who have wronged us can be less hurtful if we remember how much we ourselves have wronged God and others. The greatest antidote to bitter feelings towards others is to realise how sinful we are ourselves.
Each of us needs forgiveness for the evil thoughts of our minds, and for the unkind things we have spoken and done. The sinfulness of our hearts is clearly demonstrated by the fact that we find it so hard to forgive those who hurt us. Jesus showed how pure He was when He prayed "Father forgive them for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34).
Explain: "What is the difference between a Christian and a born-again Christian?"
A person who is not a born-again Christian is not really a Christian at all. He is a Christian in name only. To be born-again is to have new life. That new life enables us to repent and believe on Christ for salvation. Many say they are born-again but continue to live in a way that does not please God. They deceive themselves, but they cannot deceive God.
Jesus said we MUST be born again (John 3:3), and only God's Spirit can bring this about (John 3:8 and John 1:12-13). There is a noticeable difference in our lives when we are born-again. We have become "new" (2Corinthians 5:17). If you do not already have it, may God give you this new life in Christ our Saviour.
Explain: "I often feel low and lonely. How can I pray in a way that pulls me out of this state of mind"?
When we are reconciled to God, by putting our trust in Christ and His death for our salvation, we have a new relationship with God. We become one of His children and He becomes our loving and caring heavenly Father (John 1:12). He knows what we need (Matthew 6:32), and we can trust Him to supply those needs (Matthew 7:11). Faith will lift us out of our depression. The reason you feel like you do is because your faith is small. Pray with faith, and pray for more faith. Use the means that God has provided for the increase of your faith. Those means are regular fellowship within His church, beginning with believers baptism and church membership, and also the regular reading of the Bible.
Explain: "Why are some prayers apparently unanswered?. Is it because we are not praying in the right way?"
We can pray in the wrong way, and this can be a reason why our prayers are not answered. We should prayer in the realisation that we have no right to expect anything from God, because we have sinned against Him (Isaiah 59:1-2). When our prayers are answered, it is because our sins are forgiven in Christ and are no longer a barrier to answered prayer. It is not because we deserve it!
We should also pray that the Lord will grant our requests for the sake and the glory of His Son. This is what it means to pray in Christ's name (John 16:24). So we should not pray in a selfish or greedy way (James 4:3).
You should also bear in mind that "no" can be an answer to prayer. Sometimes God, in His wisdom, does not give us what we want because He has something better for us. And at other times, God denies us what we ask of Him because He wants to teach us patience under our trial or affliction. God will give you the patience if you ask Him.
Miscellaneous Questions 2