Is there anything wrong with marrying older than yourself?


Pastor Chris,

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


Dear Daniel,

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

Which church is for me?


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?



Dear Prince,

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.

Pastor Chris

Do not Call Anyone Rabbi, Father, or Teacher


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.


Dear Friend,

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

What should we do when a gay friend wants to join us at church?



A friend of mine who is gay asked if she and her friend can go to church with me and my husband this sunday, my husband is hesitant, what should we do?


~ Cathy








What are her motives? Is your friend genuinely interested in spiritual matters? Is she honestly interested in Christ? Or is she looking to make a scene? Is she seeking to try to justify her lifestyle? Is your church family spiritually mature enough to “love the sinner and hate the sin?”


Ask your pastor about this before proceeding in either direction. He needs to have time to prepare himself and the church leadership because this kind of thing is a spiritual battle (Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians 6:10-12) . The enemy has deceived these two young women and will use them to divide the church if possible. One pastor I heard about told a homosexual couple that they were welcome to attend but that he was not going to change the message of the Bible or permit them to teach or have a place of leadership in the church. I do not know if they decided to attend that church or not. Be upfront with the two young women and be upfront with your church leadership.


I remind you that Jesus was called a friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19). Several of His disciples were social misfits. Many of the church members at Corinth came out of immoral lifestyles.


I pray that your church will find a way to minister to these two young women and help them find the Savior who is the only one who can meet their deepest needs for forgiveness, genuine love, and authentic relationship. Jesus wants to heal their hurting souls.


Pastor Chris

How do we know that we are responding according to God’s word?

Dear Pastor,


I have a question. We live life with a purpose. When we are face with a difficult situation, how do we know that we are responding according to God’s word?

Thank You in advance.












Difficult decisions are just exactly that…difficult. To know if you are responding according to God’s word you will do well to take a concordance, find every biblical reference pertaining to the situation you are concerned about, and study those verses. Think about them. Dwell with them. Saturate your mind and heart with them. Read them in context. Ask the Holy Spirit to interpret them for you by illuminating your understanding (John 14:26; 16:13-15). I recommend speaking with others only after doing your own biblical research. Watch out for your emotions. They can cloud your judgment.


If you decide to seek advice from someone, choose a person who is biblically mature and known for wisdom; someone who has nothing to gain by your decision. After all of that, ask yourself what Jesus would do and obey His prompting.


For a more detailed answer to this important question see Decision Making by the Book: Decision Making by the Book: How to Choose Wisely in an Age of Options


~ Pastor Chris

Is it safe to confront a spiritual presence?

Pastor Chris,


I have always gotten the most powerful Devine sensations When I think about God. I also tend to get them when I hear stories of near death experiences both good and bad. It’s like a wierd tingling sensation that feels good but I am soon bursting forth with tears and emotions that are indescribable. It is most certainly a presence that is coming closer to me. At times lights will flicker or loud cracks will imitate from furniture. I then get fearful and worried I am opening myself up for evil presences and stop the thoughts immediately. If I pray is it safe to fully confront this presence? It feels like it is healing me but I only allow it to go on for a short amount of time because I am fearful. If you Have any idea wHat This could be I would be very greatful. I have never told anybody else aBout This. Today my mom told me a story about her friend who is battlinG cancer that triggered it. He was being treated for cancer and flatlined. He says the dEvil appeared in the corner oF the room with a well between Them and as it Ran towarDs him he was revived. Thinking about stories like this one and positive near death experiences physically do something to me. Is this Normal and what is happening to me during these times. Thanks for any advice in advance.


~ Anthony







As you have discovered, the spiritual world is real. In answer to your questions please note these things:


1. Jesus will not give you a spiritual experience that will contradict the Bible (Isaiah 40:8; Hebrews 4:12). Remember, Jesus is the

Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-2, 14). The Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Be sure to test any supernatural

experience by the Word of God.

2. Jesus’ miracles were signs that pointed to His deity (John 2:11; 4:54; 6:14). They met needs and led people to put their faith in


3. The enemy can work counterfeit miracles (Exodus 7:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13-14).

4. When a person becomes a child of God, that relationship is forever (John 1:12-13; 3:16; 5:24; 10:27-30). Therefore we do not need

to worry or fear (Matthew 6:25-34).


The enemy will try to use fear to intimidate God’s children, therefore making us ineffective in our witness and our service. He knows that when we are afraid we are not walking by faith. You are in a spiritual war. Be sure to put on the armor of God and use the weapons of God (Ephesians6:10-18).


Jesus often spoke about fear (Matthew 28:10; Mark 4:40; Luke 8:50; John 14:27, etc.). He called people to follow Him and trust Him. We do not need to fear when Jesus is near (Matthew 14:25-33). Faith is the cure for fear (Matthew 14:31) and faith comes through hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).


When fear hits, the right thing to do is call out to Jesus. That is what Peter did when he started walking on the water, saw the wind, got afraid, and started sinking. In response the Bible says, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (Matthew 14:31, NIV). James tells us to submit to God first; then “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).


For additional study on the subject of fear I recommend these two books:

Let it Go!: Breaking Free From Fear and Anxiety (Tony Evans Speaks Out Booklet Series)

From Fear to Faith: Studies in the Book of Habakkuk


~ Pastor Chris

Am I unwanted because I grew up without friends?

Pastor Chris,

Am i mistake or unwanted because i grew up without friends and my life is always complicated that everywhere i go people don’t like me even at work my bosses don’t like me . What should i do? Am i cursed?

~ Andiswa






It is a wonderful thing to have a friend. The best friend anyone could ever have is Jesus. He is the one who “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). The Bible also says that Jesus is a friend to sinners (Matthew 11:19). Jesus will never let you down.


I do not think you are cursed. A far as human friendship is concerned we will often be let down and hurt. Everyone I know has been disappointed by others. People can be self-centered and fickle. Sometimes they intentionally hurt us. Other times they are so wrapped up in themselves that they do not realize the hurt they cause others. But it still hurts anyway, whatever the reason.


That being said, there are reliable people you can trust to be your true and genuine friend. You just have to find them. Remember, Jesus went out and searched for His disciples. Sometimes we have to go out and search for our friends.


How do you find a friend? Here are some ideas:

Be a friend to someone else. Treat someone the way you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

Learn to listen to others. Listen more than you talk.

Attend a Bible study group.

Find a lonely person and look for a way to serve him.

Call people by their name when you see them.

Put a smile on your face. Think positive, lovely thoughts (Philippians 4:8).

Go to a retirement center and visit the shut-ins.

Ask your pastor to give you the name of someone who needs a friend.

Write encouragement cards to others who are hurting.

Look around. Others are lonely, too.

A good book on the subject is The Friendship Factor: How to Get Closer to the People You Care for.


~ Pastor Chris

How can I feel good enough as a Christian?

Pastor Chris,


Hello, I know I am a christian, but I still struggle with not feeling good enough. How can I get past this? Also, I sruggle with changing. I know the things I need to do (read my bible daily, pray daily, even normal life things to better myself), but I just can’t seem to to it. Any advice? Thank you.

~ Ashley







The enemy of our souls wants you to continue to struggle with feelings of inferiority. Do not give him any ground. Psalm 8 is a real help with this problem. Remember, Jesus thought you were valuable enough to leave heaven and die on a cross so that He could be with you forever in a perfect place. Emotions can lie. Choose to believe what God says. When you set your mind on God’s truth your emotions will be positively affected. Check out Philippians 4:8.


By-the-way, no one is good enough. All fall short (Romans 3:10, 23). Only Christ is good enough. He is the only one who never sinned. Part of the marvelous wonder of Christianity is that the righteousness of Jesus is credited to those who believe in Him (Philippians 3:9). As a a child of God you stand before Him forgiven, clean, and free. We are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6, KJV).


As far as personal change is concerned, the Christian life is a marathon not a sprint. We want things instantly. Some things take time. You can grow a squash in a few months but it takes years to grow an oak tree. A baby takes years to develop into an adult. Be patient with God. He cares deeply about transforming you into the image of His Son and He will work in your life to bring you to maturity (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 1:6). You may also want to find a friend or two who desire to grow in Christ. Set a time and get together every week. Within your small group of growing Christians you can encourage and motivate each other to pursue Christ with your whole heart. Real change is usually accomplished with one or two accountability partners who are on the same journey.


The Navigators have terrific discipleship materials. For instance they have Growing In Christ: A Thirteen-Week Follow-Up Course for New and Growing Christians. They also have The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ (The Navigators Reference Library). Why not start these studies with your friends? Be consistent. It will make a difference.


~ Pastor Chris


What is Gods way of conquering debt?

Pastor Chris,

What is Gods way of conquering debt? Thank you.– Anonymous




Dear Friend,


The best resource I know of regarding conquering debt is from Bruce Ammons. Click below to view it on Amazon. It is chock full of helpful information and resources.

— Pastor Chris