Is it right for a Christian to date or marry a non-Christian?

 For a Christian, dating a non-Christian is unwise, and marrying one is not an option. Second Corinthians 6:14 (KJV) tells us not to be “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. The imagery is of two incompatible oxen sharing the same yoke. Instead of working together to pull the load, they would be working against each other. While this passage does not specifically mention marriage, it definitely has implications for marriage. The passage goes on to say that there is no harmony between Christ and Belial (Satan). There can be no spiritual harmony in a marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian. Paul goes on to remind believers that they are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who inhabits their hearts at salvation (2 Corinthians 6:15-17). Because of that, they are to be separate from the world—in the world, but not of the world—and nowhere is that more important than in life’s most intimate relationship—marriage.

The Bible also says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33). Having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can quickly turn into something that is a hindrance to your walk with Christ. We are called to evangelize the lost, not be intimate with them. There is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers, but that is as far as it should go. If you were dating an unbeliever, what would honestly be your priority, romance or winning a soul for Christ? If you were married to an unbeliever, how would the two of you cultivate a spiritual intimacy in your marriage? How could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe—the Lord Jesus Christ?

Source:Extracts from GotQuestions.org

What does the Bible say about sex before marriage?

There is no Hebrew or Greek word used in the Bible that precisely refers to sex before marriage. The Bible undeniably condemns adultery and sexual immorality, but is sex before marriage considered sexually immoral? According to 1 Corinthians 7:2, “yes” is the clear answer: “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” In this verse, Paul states that marriage is the “cure” for sexual immorality. First Corinthians 7:2 is essentially saying that, because people cannot control themselves and so many are having immoral sex outside of marriage, people should get married. Then they can fulfill their passions in a moral way.

Since 1 Corinthians 7:2 clearly includes sex before marriage in the definition of sexual immorality, all of the Bible verses that condemn sexual immorality as being sinful also condemn sex before marriage as sinful. Sex before marriage is included in the biblical definition of sexual immorality. There are numerous Scriptures that declare sex before marriage to be a sin (Acts 15:201 Corinthians 5:16:131810:82 Corinthians 12:21;Galatians 5:19Ephesians 5:3Colossians 3:51 Thessalonians 4:3Jude 7). The Bible promotes complete abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4).

Far too often we focus on the “recreation” aspect of sex without recognizing that there is another aspect—procreation. Sex within marriage is pleasurable, and God designed it that way. God wants men and women to enjoy sexual activity within the confines of marriage. Song of Solomon and several other Bible passages (such as Proverbs 5:19) clearly describe the pleasure of sex. However, the couple must understand that God’s intent for sex includes producing children. Thus, for a couple to engage in sex before marriage is doubly wrong—they are enjoying pleasures not intended for them, and they are taking a chance of creating a human life outside of the family structure God intended for every child.

While practicality does not determine right from wrong, if the Bible’s message on sex before marriage were obeyed, there would be far fewer sexually transmitted diseases, far fewer abortions, far fewer unwed mothers and unwanted pregnancies, and far fewer children growing up without both parents in their lives. Abstinence is God’s only policy when it comes to sex before marriage. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, gives sexual relations the proper value, and, most importantly, honors God.

Source:Extracts from GotQuestions.org

Why Go to Church?

A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

“I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 Sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.  Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

What does the Bible say about the prosperity gospel?

In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Word of Faith or prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:59-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Sources :Extracts from gotquestions.org

Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus Part III

Another 100 amazing prophecies fulfilled by Jesus

1. Isa. 50:6 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:30 (He was spat upon)
2. Isa. 52:7 Fulfilled in Luke 4:14-15 (To publish good tidings of peace)
3. Isa. 52:13 Fulfilled in Acts 1:8-11Eph. 1:19-22 (The Servant exalted)
4. Isa. 52:13 Fulfilled in Mt. 17:5Phil. 2:5-8 (Behold, My Servant)
5. Isa. 52:14 Fulfilled in Luke 18:31-34Mt. 26:67-68 (The Servant shockingly abused)
6. Isa. 52:15 Fulfilled in Rom. 15:18-21 (Nations startled by message of the Servant)
7. Isa. 52:15 Fulfilled in Rev. 1:5 (The sprinkling and shedding His blood to make intersession for all)
8. Isa. 53:1 Fulfilled in John 12:37-38 (His people would not believe Him)
9. Isa. 53:2 Fulfilled in Luke 2:7 (He would grow up in a poor family)
10. Isa. 53:2 Fulfilled in Phil. 2:7-8 (Appearance of an ordinary man)
11. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Luke 4:28-29 (Despised)
12. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:21-23 (Rejected)
13. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Luke 19:41-42 (Great sorrow and grief)
14. Isa. 53:3 Fulfilled in Mark 14:50-52 (Men hide from being associated with Him)
15. Isa. 53:4 Fulfilled in Luke 6:17-19 (He would have a healing ministry)
16. Isa. 53:4 Fulfilled in 1 Pet. 2:24 (He would bear the sins of the world)
17. Isa. 53:4 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:41-43 (Thought to be cursed by God)
18. Isa. 53:5 Fulfilled in Luke 23:33 (Bears penalty for mankind’s transgressions)
19. Isa. 53:5 Fulfilled in Col. 1:20 (His sacrifice would provide peace between man and God)
20. Isa. 53:5 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:26 (His back would be whipped)
21. Isa. 53:6 Fulfilled in Gal. 1:4 (He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind)
22. Isa. 53:6 Fulfilled in 1 Jn. 4:10 (God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind)
23. Isa. 53:7 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:27-31 (Oppressed and afflicted)
24. Isa. 53:7 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:12-14 (Silent before his accusers)
25. Isa. 53:7 Fulfilled in John 1:29 (Sacrificial lamb)
26. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:47-27:31 (Confined and persecuted)
27. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in Jn. 18:13-22 (He would be judged)
28. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:35 (Killed)
29. Isa. 53:8 Fulfilled in 1 John 2:2 (Dies for the sins of the world)
30. Isa. 53:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:57 (Buried in a rich man’s grave)
31. Isa. 53:9 Fulfilled in Mk. 15:3 (Innocent and had done no violence)
32. Isa. 53:9 Fulfilled in John 18:38 (No deceit in his mouth)
33. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in John 18:11 (God’s will that He die for mankind)
34. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in Mt. 20:28 (An offering for sin)
35. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in Mk. 16:16 (Resurrected and live forever)
36. Isa. 53:10 Fulfilled in John 17:1-5 (He would prosper)
37. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in John 12:27 (God fully satisfied debt of sin with His suffering)
38. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in Rom. 5:18-19 (God’s servant)
39. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in Rom. 5:8-9 (He would justify man before God)
40. Isa. 53:11 Fulfilled in Heb. 9:28 (The sin-bearer for all mankind)
41. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Mt. 28:18 (Exalted by God because of his sacrifice)
42. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Luke 23:46 (He would give up his life to save mankind)
43. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Luke 23:32 (Grouped with criminals)
44. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in 2 Cor. 5:21 (Sin-bearer for all mankind)
45. Isa. 53:12 Fulfilled in Luke 23:34 (Intercede to God in behalf of mankind)
46. Isa. 55:3 Fulfilled in Acts 13:34 (Resurrected by God)
47. Isa. 55:4 Fulfilled in John 18:37 (A witness)
48. Isa. 59:15-16 Fulfilled in John 6:40 (He would come to provide salvation)
49. Isa. 59:15-16 Fulfilled in Mt. 10:32 (Intercessor between man and God)
50. Isa. 59:20 Fulfilled in Luke 2:38 (He would come to Zion as their Redeemer)
51. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in Mt. 3:16-17 (The Spirit of God upon Him)
52. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in Luke 4:17-21 (The Messiah would preach the good news)
53. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in John 8:31-32 (Provide freedom from the bondage of sin and death)
54. Isa. 61:1-2 Fulfilled in John 5:24 (Proclaim a period of grace)
55. Jer.23:5-6 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-31 (Descendant of David)
56. Jer. 23:5-6 Fulfilled in John 13:13 (The Messiah would be God)
57. Jer. 23:5-6 Fulfilled in 1 Tim. 3:16 (The Messiah would be both God and Man)
58. Jer. 31:22 Fulfilled in Mt. 1:18-20 (Born of a virgin)
59. Jer. 31:31 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:28 (The Messiah would be the new covenant)
60. Jer. 33:14-15 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-31 (Descendant of David)
61. Eze.17:22-24 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-31 (Descendant of David)
62. Eze.34:23-24 Fulfilled in Mt. 1:1 (Descendant of David)
63. Dan. 7:13-14 Fulfilled in Acts 1:9-11 (He would ascend into heaven)
64. Dan. 7:13-14 Fulfilled in Eph. 1:20-22 (Highly exalted)
65. Dan. 7:13-14 Fulfilled in Luke 1:31-33 (His dominion would be everlasting)
66. Dan. 9:24 Fulfilled in Gal. 1:3-5 (To make an end to sins)
67. Dan. 9:24 Fulfilled in Luke 1:35 (He would be holy)
68. Dan. 9:25 Fulfilled in John 12:12-13 (Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem)
69. Dan. 9:26 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:35 (Killed)
70. Dan. 9:26 Fulfilled in Heb. 2:9 (Die for the sins of the world)
71. Dan. 9:26 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:50-51 (Killed before the destruction of the temple)
72. Dan. 10:5-6 Fulfilled in Rev. 1:13-16 (Messiah in a glorified state)
73. Hos. 13:14 Fulfilled in 1 Cor. 15:55-57 (He would defeat death)
74. Joel 2:32 Fulfilled in Rom. 10:12-13 (Offer salvation to all mankind)
75. Mic. 5:2 Fulfilled in Mt. 2:1-2 (Born in Bethlehem)
76. Mic. 5:2 Fulfilled in John 15:10 (God’s servant)
77. Mic. 5:2 Fulfilled in John 8:58 (From everlasting)
78. Hag. 2:6-9 Fulfilled in Luke 2:27-32 (He would visit the second Temple)
79. Hag. 2:23 Fulfilled in Luke 3:23-27 (Descendant of Zerubbabel)
80. Zech. 3:8 Fulfilled in John 17:4 (God’s servant)
81. Zech. 6:12-13 Fulfilled in Heb. 8:1 (Priest and King)
82. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 21:8-10 (Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem)
83. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in John 12:12-13 (Beheld as King)
84. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in John 5:30 (The Messiah would be just)
85. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Luke 19:10 (The Messiah would bring salvation)
86. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 11:29 (The Messiah would be humble)
87. Zech. 9:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 21:6-9 (Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey)
88. Zech. 10:4 Fulfilled in Eph. 2:20 (The cornerstone)
89. Zech. 11:4-6 Fulfilled in Mt. 23:1-4 (At His coming, Israel will have unfit leaders)
90. Zech. 11:4-6 Fulfilled in Luke 19:41-44 (Rejection causes God to remove His protection)
91. Zech. 11:4-6 Fulfilled in John 19:13-15 (Rejected in favor of another king)
92. Zech. 11:7 Fulfilled in Mt. 9:35-36 (Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant)
93. Zech. 11:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 23:33 (Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them)
94. Zech. 11:8 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:20 (Despised)
95. Zech. 11:9 Fulfilled in Mt. 13:10-11 (Stops ministering to those who rejected Him)
96. Zech. 11:10-11 Fulfilled in Luke 19:41-44 (Rejection causes God to remove protection)
97. Zech. 11:10-11 Fulfilled in John 14:7 (The Messiah would be God)
98. Zech. 11:12-13 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:14-15 (Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver)
99. Zech. 11:12-13 Fulfilled in Mt. 26:14-15 (Rejected)
100. Zech. 11:12-13 Fulfilled in Mt. 27:3-5 (Thirty pieces of silver thrown into the house of the Lord)

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the Cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour;
The service of the Seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.