I had a great time answering question on Thursday night at Cru. Thanks for asking such great questions. I wish I could have gotten to more, so I am answering some of them here.
What should we as Christians believe about evolution?
God created everything. I think that you can be a Christian and believe in evolution. I think it is more important what you think about who Jesus was and giving your life to Him than what you think about evolution. I believe that the Genesis account was a literal 7 days most of the time but I would not stake my life on it. I would stake my life on the fact that Jesus was God and that He lived, was crucified from my sins and raised again.
It seems like my struggle with pride is never ending. How can I become a person of humility?
Confess your pride as sin each moment you become aware of it and ask God to fill you with the power of His Spirit. The Spirit is not prideful, as you learn to give control over to Him then He will empower you to be more humble. The Spirit will help you have the same attitude that Christ had in Philippians 2. Last I would say try new things that you are not good at and fail, it will humble you.
How much of depression can you control? Is it just medical or can you help how much you trust God?
I am not sure how much depression you can control. It is not just medical even Dr’s will say that mental emotional and physical. I would add the spiritual dimension. We all need to trust God at all times so of course during times of depression we need to trust God and ask him for help, healing, guidance, answers. Sometimes God does heal us through medical professionals. Even when Jesus healed people, at times He did this though miracles, and at times through the medicine of that time. There is no shame at all in taking medicine for depression. As a habit, I make sure that I am trusting God rather than the medicine to heal, but I take the medicine and see it as God’s way of healing me.
What about people around the world that never hear about Jesus their whole life?
I think Scott did a good job answering this 2 weeks ago so here is my short answer. Is God able to save them through supernatural means? Yes, and we have thousands of documented examples of people hearing about Jesus in dreams. He can and does reach those people. Second what are you and what are we willing to do about the fact that people have not heard. God gave this mission to you and me. If we care about them hearing the gospel we should do something about it.
When I want to read the Bible on my own, I don’t really know where to start. Should you go in order or just pick a book?
I would start on books that focus on Jesus Christ. His, life, death, and resurrection are central to the whole Bible so understanding who He is, is of ultimate importance. I would start with the book of John and in the New Testament.
How do you heal after going way to far physically with a guy?
Healing is hard and it takes time but it can be done. I would say 3 things need to be present for healing. First Grace, you need to know and experience that God loves you and forgives you. Second Truth, You need to be honest with God and a few safe friends. Third is Time. It takes time to heal so don’t set a timetable for when you need to be over this or anything else that you have to heal from. Experience this grace and truth not just from God but from a few close friends that can help you consistently apply grace and truth to your life.
Why do we pray “let God’s will be done.” if God’s will IS ultimately always done?
The crazy cool and wild truth is that we as small sinful human beings can talk to God and he listens and responds to us. Part of our job is to pray and act in ways that brings heaven to earth (Matthew 6:9-13). We pray like this because this is how Jesus prays with his Father. I think this question really is what is God’s will? And how much does he let us be a part of it. A good passage to study for you question is Genesis 18.
Do you think the continual expanse of church denominations is helping or hurting the Church body?
It depends. Yes I think it is good that there are many different expressions of who God is from different denominations and cultures. Sometimes a new denomination is formed over petty issues. I think that we need to know the difference between what issues are worth splitting a body of believers over and which issues are not worth it.
What are your thoughts on Rob Bell’s book love wins?
I haven’t read it. Read it but be a filter not a sponge. Filter it through the Bible. Read what others have said about his book.
Do people who commit suicide go to heaven or hell?
They go to heaven or hell based on whether they received the free gift of life that Jesus gave to us to us or not, just like all of us.
Are suffering/bad things happening to me a form of punishment for my sin or life choices?
God disciplines those who He loves. (Hebrews 12:6) He punished Jesus His Son for your sins (propitiation). There is no punishment left for you because Jesus received it all for you. Yet there are consequences here on earth for the decisions we make. It is hard to know whether suffering is a result of earthly consequences or God’s discipline, but we can know that He disciplines those whom He loves and so if it is from God then we know we are a son and He loves us.
If you commit a habitual sin does that mean you aren’t saved?
No. Sometimes sin takes a long time to get over. Just because you have been sinning in a particular area even though you are trying to grow in that area does not mean that you are not saved. I go back and ask myself questions like these when I find myself wondering if I am saved. Did I ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins, and did I give my life to him? Jesus said he would come into our lives if we believed and received Him. He said he would NEVER leave us. Would Jesus lie to us? Obviously not. We all want to see growth in our lives and that is the mark of a believer. So I also ask myself how have I seen God grow me. What has he done in my life? As I remember what God has done in other areas of my life, I am encouraged and realize that I am saved.
Can we as Christians date non believers?
The Bible is clear that we should not be yoked together with unbelievers in 2 Corinthians 6:14. It is hard to spend your life with someone if you do not share a relationship w/ Christ which is central to everything we do and believe as Christians. Therefore it is also not good to date someone because you date to see if you want to marry someone. Also dating a non believer could hinder their coming to Christ rather than help if there end up being hard things in the relationship.