Is it wrong to marry a lady who is a year older than me? She is my female best friend ever since I was a teenager. A pastor once said, “Marry your best friend.” She inspires me and motivates and we also are pursuing the same goals.
~ Daniel Okpu
Your pastor has given you some sound advice. From what you describe, God has blessed you with a wonderful lady. The age difference of one year is not an issue.
~ Pastor Chris
Recommended book about marriage: The First Years of Forever by Ed Wheat
The Bible makes reference to Gog. Is Gog Russia?
Gog is the leader of Russia. “The reference to ‘Gog and Magog,’ when read in connection with Ezek. 38:1-39:24, seems to indicate clearly that Russia will play a prominent part in that final rebellion against the God of heaven” (Louis Talbot An Exposition of the Book of Revelation, p. 237).
Prophecy scholar, Hal Lindsey, writes these words in Chapter Five of his classic book titled The Late Great Planet Earth: “Gog is the symbolic name of the nation’s leader and Magog is his land. He is also the prince of the ancient people who were called Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (p. 63).
“Ezek. 38-39, which deal with Gog, the prince, and Magog, his land, describe the actual invasion of Palestine by a great northern confederacy, ostensibly headed by Russia” (The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary 1988).
“Described as ‘the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal,’ Gog is also depicted as being ‘of the land of Magog’ (Ezek. 38:2-3), a ‘place out of the far north’ of Israel” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary 1986).
~ Pastor Chris
Dear Pastor Chris,
I am Cameroonian girl. I want to get closer to God but I keep falling back to my old self. I know the Bible says we should not be lukewarm Christians. I have a boyfriend who is not a Christian. I do not know what to do.
Jesus is our life (John 14:6). Jesus said that He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). The enemy of our soul comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). You will not find purpose and fulfillment in any person other than Jesus.
There are several things we can do to get closer to God:
- Read part of the Bible every day. There is no substitute for this. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. Think carefully about the passage you read. After thinking about the passage for a period of time, take a notebook and write down, 1) “What God said to me”; and, 2) “What I said to God”. Write this related to the verses you just read.
- Pray. Use the passage you just read as a guide for your prayer that day.
- Sing or play Christian music. This will fill your heart with joy!
- Seek a Christian woman who is mature in the Lord and ask her to guide you in your Christian walk. Ask her to teach you the scriptures.
- Form a small group of other Christian ladies your age and study the Bible together.
Be consistent. Christians need to spend time with other believers. Pray for each other. Share your hearts with each other.
- Be active in the worship services of your church.
- Serve God in a ministry through your church.
- Your boyfriend is dragging you down and hurting your walk with Christ. Let your boyfriend know that you can no longer be with him because your first loyalty is to Jesus.
Do these things with your whole heart and you will grow closer to Jesus.
~ Pastor Chris
Before I became a Christian, I had an ungodly life, full of lies and fornication. I am afraid to speak of my past. What can I do? Since coming to Jesus, I feel full of life and want to share my experience with others.
~ Mai Solange
It is a wonderful moment when someone comes to Christ! He or she finds forgiveness and eternal life, as well as a purpose for living. I am excited about your desire to tell others about Jesus. Take your Bible and read John 4:1-42. In this story you will find a woman with a similar story to your own. You will see how Jesus changed her life and how she told others about Him. It will encourage you.
~ Pastor Chris
Is it a bundle of contradiction to say “very Rev” or by using that expression does one mean “rev rev”?
~ Naa Oboshi, Ghana
All glory, honor, and praise should go to Jesus Christ and not to His servants (Psalm 30:4; 48:1, 10; Revelation 5:12-13).
Titles should be identifiers and not status symbols.
~ Pastor Chris
Hello Pastor Chris,
I am from Ethiopia. I am practically a loner. I have a non-Christian girlfriend and I have been totally awful to her. I have been lying to my girlfriend and also have cheated on her. We are still together and I have lied to my friends and family. I am a notorious liar. My mind has evil in it. I am kind of addicted to pornography and everything that is related to it. I do not respect my parents. I think about revenge on people. I manipulate people. I only pray to God when I am in serious trouble. Even now I am in trouble and I am considering church solely because I need relief from my troubles. I have an anxiety problem and many more mental illnesses I notice on myself. My sister once gave me 300 (Ethiopian $) to give to church and I took it for myself. I stole money from my parents. I’m stubborn and just an awful person. I have been thinking about going to church but I am scared the pastor there will speak of my wrong doings to the congregation because they record it live on a Christian channel. I know that should not stop me and I do not know what to do next about my relationship and friends. Please pastor I am an awful person and I absolutely have no one to talk to. I need your advice and prayer. Thank you pastor and pray for me. I am a wreck.
There is hope for you! You need to completely turn your life over to Jesus Christ. Give yourself to Jesus without reservation, without hesitation. Jesus is the Savior for the world regardless of what anyone has done, regardless of where they live, and regardless of their ethnicity. Jesus welcomes all people. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever (even you and even me!) believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NAS). Then meet with the pastor of your church so that he can guide you as you grow in Christ. Get a Bible and start reading the Gospel of John. This is your opportunity for a new life!
~ Pastor Chris
Thank you for taking time to answer our questions. My name is Prince from Southern Africa. I am a member of a certain Christian church. It is a good Christian church that preaches the true word of God, but somehow there are times we are not taught the word properly, actually many times. There is another church where I have seen that the word of God is taught much more definite and accurately. I have always followed the teachings of that other church. I have gotten to the point where I am inspired more in that other church than in my church. I have been thinking of moving to the other church. Now my question is how to know the right church for me. Do I stay or do I move?
I am thankful that you take your church membership seriously. The church is the body of Christ and a vibrant congregation is a powerful witness to a dark world in need of the light of the Good News.
It is obvious to me that you already have your heart with the other church. There is nothing wrong with that. Just make sure that your motive is to glorify Jesus Christ by maturing in the faith so that you may serve Him effectively and well.
A good book that I recommend for you is I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference by Thom S. Rainer. You will find many helpful insights in this book.
I have a question. We live life with a purpose. When we are faced with a difficult situation, how do we know that we are responding according to God’s word?
Thank You in advance.
You are already on the right track. The spirit you show in this question tells me that you are genuinely seeking the Lord. The Bible says that God “…rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). God will bless you with insight into the situations of life so that you will know how to respond in ways that please Him.
First, maintain the spiritual discipline of reading, meditating, and studying the Bible. Take no shortcuts here. The more of God’s Word you have in your heart the more insight God will give you into the situations of life. His Word “…is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). The word “active” (Gk. energes) means powerful, effective. God will never contradict His Word. He will never ask you to do something that is against His Word.
Second, ask God for insight and wisdom as to how to handle the situations of life. This was Solomon’s request of the Lord when he became king of Israel. He prayed, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people…” (2 Chronicles 1:10). God answered Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire…wisdom and knowledge will be given you” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12).
Third, commit to submit. Decide ahead of time to submit to God’s will and to carry out His directions. Sometimes God’s will makes no logical sense to the human mind. The battle of Jericho is a case in point (Joshua 6). God’s people were told to march around the walls of Jericho seven times while the priests were blowing trumpets. After this the priests were to sound a long blast on the trumpets and the people were to give a loud shout. They were told that the walls would then collapse – and they did! This strategy makes no sense to the analytical human mind. However, God wanted His people to respond to their situation in that way at that time.
Fourth, listen for the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit (1 Kings 19:12, KJV). He will nudge your heart and will never go against the Word of God. Be careful not to confuse the prompting of the Holy Spirit with the fleshly desires of your heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). Your heart can and will lie to you unless it is fully given over to God.
Finally, seek out human counselors that are Spirit-led, biblically based, and have nothing to gain from you for their insight or advice. Proverbs 11:14 tells us that “many advisors make victory sure.”
~ Pastor Chris
How do you interpret Matthew 23:7-10? Jesus said we must not call anyone Teacher or Pastor as He is our Teacher and God is our Leader.
When interpreting the Bible we must always read a verse or verses in context. In other words, we need to understand the entire flow of the passage. When you do that in regard to your question, you will see that Jesus is speaking strong language against pretense and arrogance in spiritual matters. Specifically, Jesus spoke about the Pharisees and the teachers of the law (Matthew 23:1). Jesus said, “Everything they do is done for men to see” (v.5).
Jesus’ followers are not to behave like that.
The critical thing here is not titles but ego. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were out for themselves. Jesus said, “…do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (v.3).
I have known authentic, godly men, who were seminary professors. We called them teachers, because they helped us understand the Bible and the ways of Christ. They sought no title. They desired nothing but to exalt Christ.
Jesus opposed pompous, self-righteous men who used titles as status symbols.
By-the-way, the word translated “teacher” in v.10 (Gk. kathegetes) means in the first place “a guide, one who shows the way; a leader, a conductor” and secondly means “a teacher” (The Complete Biblical Library, Matthew, p. 495). Technically Jesus did not speak against using the word “teacher.”
God opposes pride in all its forms.
~ Pastor Chris
Pastor Chris is now accepting questions again! Please let us know if you have a question!