How do I win the battle in my mind?

Pastor Chris,

I am sending you this email because I am in trouble. There’s a huge battle happening in my mind. There are terrible thoughts which I can’t control . I have been unemployed for the past 8 years because of these terrible thoughts coming into my mind . If I can learn to control my mind I will be able to receive all the blessings the Lord has reserved for me . So PLEASE my Father, help me, PLEASE . Otherwise, I will miss going to heaven if I may die with this mind problem .

~ Mathais

ANSWER

Mathias,

I would like to give you some verses from the Bible.  These verses have helped me many times.

The secret to curing a troubled mind is to focus on Jesus Christ.  Ask Him to help you.  He will.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him (Jesus Christ) who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

~ Pastor Chris

Broken Marriage Vows

Pastor Chris,

I have broken my marriage vows. I have seduced a younger man who is single. I love my husband and our children but do not know if I want to stay married. I have contacted a lawyer. Do you have any advice for me?

– Jane Doe

ANSWER

Dear Jane,
You are on a dark, destructive path. The following points are given to you in no particular order.

• Count the cost (Luke 14:25-35). Whatever decision you make has an impact on many people, including your children. That impact will last a long, long time.
• Ask yourself: What would Jesus do?
• Read Psalm 51 multiple times. Let its words wash over you. King David wrote this after his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband was exposed.
• Read John 8:1-11. Pay special attention to verse 11. You can stop sinning if you choose to do so.
• Review 1 John 1:9.
• Think about what your actions are doing to the man who is not your husband (Proverbs 6:32; 7:21-27).
• You cannot continue in sin and be happy. Happiness is a by-product of a right relationship with Jesus. You can choose to be happy in Jesus. Read Matthew 5:3-12 putting the word “happy” in place of “blessed.” (The Greek word can be translated both ways.)
• Sin blinds, binds, and then grinds. That is what happened to Samson (Judges 13-16).
• Remember, this life is less than a millisecond when you compare it to eternity. Abundant life is found in Jesus alone, not other people (John 10:10).
• The devil is your enemy. He is a liar and a deceiver (John 8:44). You can be sure that the devil is lying to you and has deceived you. That is what the devil does. The devil offers cheap thrills. R.G. Lee said in his memorable sermon Payday Someday, “The devil will give you corn and then choke you with the cob. The devil’s pearls are paste pearls.”
• Put on spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).
• It is always best to return to the Lord (Joel 2:13; Zechariah 1:3).

May your heart be filled and renewed with the love of Christ!

Sincerely,
Pastor Chris

Was Jesus Death Real?

Hello Pastor,

I have heard people say “Jesus didn’t really die on the cross.” They say that Jesus never spoke of dying for people. I have also heard people say that Jesus is not God. I would be really nice if this was clarified.

Thank you!

~ Ben

ANSWER

Dear Ben,

Yes, Jesus death on a cross was real. Yes, Jesus spoke of dying for people. Yes, Jesus is God.

Here are some verses from the Bible that state these facts:

Jesus died on a cross: Matthew 27:32-50; Mark 15:21-37; 23:26-46; John19:16-37.

Jesus spoke of dying for people: Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9, 31; 10:34; John 12:23-33.

Jesus is God: Matthew 3:16-17; 17:1-5; 26:63-64; 27:43, 54; Mark 1:11; 9:2-7; Luke 2:26-35; 3:22; 9:28-36; 22:70; John 1:1-2, 14; 7:28; 8:58; 10:33; 14:6-7; 14:9-11; 16:28-30; 17:1-26; 20:24-29-31.

You can trust Jesus with your life for now and for all eternity! He speaks truth. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Pastor Chris

Release from Guilt

Pastor Chris,

I got born again some months back. Since then I’ve been so much into Christ. I study and I pray. How do I get back up after I made a mistake by making love? How do I release myself of the guilt? I need your advice please.

Stephanie

ANSWER

Dear Stephanie,

The fact that you are feeling guilt is a good thing. This is the conviction that comes from God’s Holy Spirit. God’s conviction is designed to draw us back to Him. We hurt ourselves and others when we fall. We also hurt God.

The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” To confess is to agree with God that what you did was wrong and violated His best for you. When you sincerely confess your sin to God, His promise is that He will forgive that sin. When God forgives, He purifies us and the stain of our sin is washed away.

Once you have confessed your sin it is also important to forgive yourself. This is not to simply excuse yourself as if the sin doesn’t matter. Sin always matters. However, forgiving yourself means that you accept the fact that God has forgiven you and removed your sin from you as far as the “east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). What a joy-filled thought!

Forgiving yourself is also important because the enemy of your soul, the devil, wants to keep you in bondage to your failure. If you are consumed by your failure you will be of no use to God in service to Him. How much more wonderful it is to accept God’s forgiveness and move forward by living for His glory.

Remember what Jesus said to a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, “Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:10-11).

Let me recommend a book to you by Jay Carty. It is titled Counter Attack: Taking Back Ground Lost to Sin. You will find additional insights on practical Christian living in this book.

Sincerely,

Pastor Chris

Question about desire

In 2008 I fasted for 3 days and 3 nights reading the word of God using the Rhapsody of Realities. I took a one year plan reading from Genesis to Revelation. I stopped reading and following the plan the day my mother died. I was in the book of Isaiah during that time. My wish and my desire was to meet the man of God Pastor Chris so that he could impact me with the gift of healing and prosperity as well as the knowledge and wisdom to teach the word of God. I didnt manage this because I was still young and came from a poor family. I couldn’t have access to the internet facebook and so on. I wanted to be with him or to be part and passal of the people who spread the word of God through Rhapsody. Now I am 21 and this desire is still burning within me. I don’t know what that means. Pastor, I need you to please help me.

~ Tinashe

ANSWER

Dear Tinashe,
I sense that your desire is to walk with God and serve Him. I share that desire.

You started off on a good path by reading the Bible. You can never go wrong reading the Bible and meditating on it. God speaks through His Word (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). You will grow spiritually and get to know Jesus better by spending time with Him daily in prayer and Bible reading.

Let me suggest that you begin focusing on the life of Christ as found in New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Keep notes on what you are reading each day. Write the date, the passage reference, and your response to these statements:
1. God said to me:
2. I said to God:

God will meet you and you will grow. When God is ready He will use you for His glory to tell the Good News!

~ Pastor Chris

What do I do if diagnosed with an ailment?

Pastor,

Thank you for the great work you have been doing in both my life and the life of a million other people. My question is, if one is diagnosed of an ailment, say diabetes, cancer or HIV, and the physcian says that the person needs to stay on treatment, as a child of faith, how does the person go about it? Do you stick to the drugs and keep praying and exercising your faith on the sickness? Or do you refuse to acknowledge the sickness and stay off the drugs completely knowing by faith you are healed? Thanks!

~ Peter

ANSWER

Dear Peter,

Nothing is too hard for God (Genesis 18:14). He can heal anyone of anything at anytime. So, the question becomes, “Is this physical healing God’s will?” And then, if it is God’s will, “Is this the way He wants to bring healing?”

As to the first question, Jesus did not physically heal everyone in His day. He could have, but He did not. Even today, some people are healed and others are not. God is sovereign.

As to the second question, the Lord heals people in different ways. When Jesus healed blind eyes, sometimes He did it with spittle and mud (John 9:6-7). Othertimes He touched a person’s eyes (Matthew 9:29-30). And then Bartimaeus was healed of his blindness just by a word from Jesus (Mark 10:46-52).

Sometimes the Lord uses physicians to treat and cure disease and injuries with medical procedures and medication. Sometimes the Lord heals a person with no medical intervention.

The walk of faith is just exactly that, a walk of faith. A person has to go forward with what he believes God would have him to do.

I know a person who died of cancer. She was a mature Christian whose faith in Jesus was strong and secure. She told me that the Lord was going to heal her. He did not, as far as this world is concerned. However, as far as eternity is concerned, the Lord did heal her for He took her to be with Him which is the ultimate blessing and healing.

I know others who have been miraculously healed in this life, surprising the physicians, and bringing glory to God.

Pray. Seek the face of God. Act for His glory and not your own. Then do what you understand He wants you to do. After you have done that with a sincere heart, accept God’s decision to heal or not to heal you, and continue to live for Him (John 9:3).

Pastor Chris

I don’t Feel Right about Marriage

Thank you pastor for this great opportunity. I am in a relationship with a man who brought me to church. He has made a huge impact in my life and has been of help financially. He says he wants to marry me. He is God fearing and a good person but he also wants to marry another woman in the same church I attend. He says that marrying her will secure his business in that country because we (he and I) are both foreigners. He said he would marry me and take me to our real country while he would be doing his business in the other country. Pastor sir, I love him but I don’t feel right about the whole arrangement. What should I do?

~ Blessing

ANSWER

Dear Blessing,

Thank you for your question. The Bible tells us in Genesis 2:18-23 that God made one woman, Eve, to be the wife of one man, Adam. God did not give Adam several wives. God did not give Eve several husbands. You are correct when you say that you do not “feel right about the whole arrangement.” That feeling is from God’s Holy Spirit. It is God Himself that is stirring your heart. You will bring much trouble on yourself if you give in to this proposal. You will also be going against God’s original and best plan for marriage.

Pastor Chris

Benefits of Being in Jesus

Is it possible to be in christ (be born again)and not enjoy the benefits of being in him?
~ Bornitah

ANSWER

Dear Bornitah,

Yes, it is possible to be born again and not enjoy the benefits of living in Christ; but, I do not know why anyone would want to live that way. It is possible that someone like that has not been taught how to grow spiritually or how to walk in the Spirit.

Paul speaks of people like this as “infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). Peter exhorts such people: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

There are many excellent books and study tools available to assist people in their spiritual growth. The main thing is to get alone with an open Bible, read part of it, and seek God’s face for understanding. It is also helpful to get a mentor. A suitable mentor is someone who has an obvious, humble walk with Jesus. A spiritual mentor should be well versed in the Bible.

By-the-way, the Navigator’s Topical Memory System is a tremendous growth tool. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life is a book every believer would do well to read as it is filled with Scripture and spiritual insight.

Sincerely,
Pastor Chris

Is Sin a Person?

Pastor, just like the HolySpirit is a person, is sin also a person? Thank you for the word of God you have impacted on me, am grateful sir
~ Segun

Answer

Dear Segun,

Thank you for your encouraging words.

Sin is not a person. Sin is the result of going our own way, thus disobeying God. Sin is the English translation of the Greek word hamartia, which means “a falling away from or missing the right path” (from The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (c) 1988).

Questioning the Resurrection of Jesus

Pastor Chris,

This time of year is called Easter. I understand that Christians celebrate Easter as a remembrance of Jesus rising from the dead after having been put to death by crucifixion. Is this real? Is this true? It seems impossible to me.

~ A Questioner

ANSWER

Dear Questioner,

You are not alone in your questions. Frank Morison was such a man. He was not a church going man. He was a skeptic, a well-educated British attorney, a man interested in logic and facts. Frank’s thinking had been shaped by intellectuals who denied the possibility of miracles. He was influenced by Oxford Professor Matthew Arnold, biologist Thomas Huxley, and the German critics of his day. By-the-way, Huxley was a disciple of Charles Darwin.

Morison decided to prove the resurrection of Jesus did not happen. His plan was to use archeology, the documents of history, and the Bible to make his case. So he applied his prodigious talents to the task.

After considerable research, Frank Morison ended up writing a book titled Who Moved the Stone? That book turned out to be a defense of the resurrection of Christ. In the preface of his book Morison wrote about the intellectual struggles he went through:

“This study is in some ways so unusual and provocative that the writer thinks it desirable to state here very briefly how the book came to take its present form.

In one sense it could have taken no other, for it is essentially a confession, the inner story of a man who originally set out to write one kind of book and found himself compelled by the sheer force of circumstances to write quite another.

It is not that the facts themselves altered, for they are recorded imperishably in the monuments and in the pages of human history. But the interpretation to be put upon the facts underwent a change. Somehow the perspective shifted—not suddenly, as in a flash of insight or inspiration, but slowly, almost imperceptibly, by the very stubbornness of the facts them-selves.

The book as it was originally planned was left high and dry… The writer discovered one day that not only could he no longer write the book as he had once conceived it, but that he would not if he could.” – Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone? (London, Faber and Faber Ltd., 1944).

If you find yourself like Frank Morison, skeptical of the miracles of the Bible, not sure what to believe, then I urge you to consider the facts of Easter. First is the fact of Jesus’ death. This is important because there are some people who say that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross. Some say that He simply passed out and went into a coma. Then, when He was placed in the tomb, that cool, dark place revived Him. What is the evidence showing that Jesus literally died?

For one thing, the executioner and his death squad said so. Look at Matt. 27:54, “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely He was the Son of God!’” Notice the word “was.” It is past tense; a completed fact. These men had seen death many times. When they said that a man was dead, it was so.

Then we know from the Gospel of John that the Roman executioners broke the legs of the other two men that were crucified that day to speed up their deaths. “But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:33-34). There was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and blood from the heart itself. Some believe that if Jesus wasn’t killed by the crucifixion, then He was killed by the spear when it went through the rib cage into His heart.

Also, the body of Jesus was carefully entombed. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Matt. 27:59-60 tells us that, “Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Jewish burial customs were such that the body would be washed and straightened. It would then be wrapped in strips of cloth (called swaddlings) and spices of a gummy consistency would be placed in the folds. The arms would be crossed on chest like a mummy. The spices served as a preservative and as glue to hold the strips of linen together. A square piece of cloth was wrapped around the head and tied under the chin to keep the lower jaw from sagging. If His friends had found one sign of life they would not have buried Him.

Second, the body of Jesus was buried. Tombs in those days were carved out of limestone on the side of a hill. The circular stone that was rolled in front of the tomb to keep out grave robbers and wild animals weighed 1 ton or more. The grave was also sealed. Matt. 27:62-66, “The next day…the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise again.” So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.’ ‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”

The tomb was sealed by stretching a cord across the stone. Both ends of the cord were anchored with clay that was imprinted by the signet ring of Rome. The Jews wanted Jesus’ body to stay buried. A Roman guard unit was 4 to 16 fighting men motivated and highly trained. If one of them fell asleep the others would set his clothes on fire. So, friend or enemy could not come and take Jesus’ body out of that grave.

And then, the tomb was empty. Arnold Toynbee said, “You find the body of that Jew and Christianity crumbles.”

Several explanations for the empty tomb have been offered:

  • Jesus passed out and revived. The problem with this is the evidence of certain death through execution. Besides, how could a man who had gone through scourging and crucifixion move a stone that weighed at least a ton?
  • Kidnappers took the body. There are two problems with this. For one thing, Jesus’ enemies didn’t want this to happen. Later, the silence of the critic was as eloquent as the testimony of the disciples. Also, Jesus’ friends could not have taken the body. How would they have gotten past the guards? Later, why did they die for a lie?

The story that Jesus’ disciples came and stole His body was told, however. Look at Matt. 28:11-15, “…some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”

  • Gas theory. Proponents of the gas theory say that the body disintegrated through normal processes and evaporated into gases. An unknown person wisely commented, “Decay would have begun in three days’ time but would certainly not have reached the stage of complete chemical dissolution. To assume that the body of Jesus evaporated into gases within three days after death is to project a miracle as great as the resurrection itself.”
  • Resurrection. The Bible records several occasions when Jesus met with His followers after He had been raised from the dead.

• Women – Matt. 28:8-10
• Peter – 1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:34
• Two on the road to Emmaeus – Luke 24:13-35
• Apostles assembled – Luke 24:36-43
• Thomas – John 20:24-29
• 500 followers – 1 Cor. 15:6
• James – 1 Cor. 15:7
• Paul – 1 Cor. 15:7
• Disciples on the sea shore – John 21:1-14
• Ascension – Acts 1:7-9

Let’s consider one of those resurrection appearances for a moment. One of Jesus’ closest followers was Thomas. He was one of the 12 disciples. Thomas was skeptical of the resurrection. The Gospel of John 20:25-29 records Thomas’ story. Speaking to the other disciples he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The resurrection of Christ really happened. May you find the peace that comes following Jesus as millions have done through the centuries.

~ Pastor Chris