Ichthys Acronym Image

Home             Site Links

Believers in the World V:
Ministering, Mutually Encouraging, and Coping with Family, Politics, and Health

Word RTF

Question #1: 

Dr. Luginbill:

Thank you for the tremendous amount of information on your "ichthys" web site. I have enjoyed reading it.

Do you have your book "Theology: the Study of God" in hard copy book form? Also, do you have anything on the book of Revelation or Eschatology in hard copy book form?

Thank you for your time.


Response #1:  

Very good to make your acquaintance, and thanks very much for your kind words about this ministry.

As to your question, I don't personally produce these materials in printed form for a number of reasons (please see FAQ #1: Books: Are these studies available in printed format?).

However, I have no problem with readers printing them out for themselves or having this done at some service (such as FedEx/Kinko's or the like – I do personally use them when I need something printed off; they take email submissions and will also bind material in booklet form).

I understand it's much nicer to have a book in hand, but there are good reasons for why I "do it the way I do it". At the link above, there are some further links which discuss the issue in more depth as well.

I do sincerely hope that this won't prove too much of an obstacle for you in your spiritual growth. As with all things in life, some times we have to find "work-arounds".

Also, if you haven't seen it, thanks to Chris B. there are also now audio files available for most of the major studies (at the link).

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

Dr. Luginbill-

Thank you for your email.

What a wonderful service to have your resources available free online. I will continue to make copies and use the computer and share it with others!

I thank Jesus for your wonderful resources.


Response #2: 

And thank you for your enthusiasm for the teaching of the Word!

Do feel free to write any time.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3: 

Dear Bob,

It has been quite awhile, so I thought I would come to 'catch up' a little bit. While things could be going better, they have not been bad, either. While the fight for my mind continues as it has since we last spoke of it, I think I've 'gotten used' to it in a way, and more and more am simply leaving it to the Lord to figure out, I suppose? I admit to wavering slightly, every once in awhile, usually in a conversation or when I see conversations between people of faith and unbelievers, and it usually comes from simply not being able to answer their questions; though, I think this is more a failure on my part for not memorizing well enough, or just not being good at such things to begin with. Sometimes it seems the world is growing increasingly hostile towards us, and I've been noticing a growing trend in recent years.

As much as I claim to hate politics and the division it causes, the latter of which I still do, I got somewhat involved in it a little bit recently. Much of my attention to politics has been due to noting the increasing sentiment against people of faith, but unfortunately, me and my (now former) best friend got into a heated argument. We have since started talking again and have 'made up', but I am not sure things will be the same. He has grown up in a life of resentment towards faith, but he bases this resentment on the actions of people, and not of God, so all I can do is just sit here and be here for him whenever he needs me, even if he may hate me, I do not quite know. Either way, something big is happening in the world, and I don't know how to explain it – kind of like seeing the clouds of a storm on the horizon, I can kind of almost see the beginnings of something big happening coming up in the future?

On one hand, part of me takes an interest in politics so I can do good and help people, but on the other hand everything is in place for a reason. While there is nothing strictly forbidding us from involving ourselves in government/secular issues, am I right in trying to recall that we are highly encouraged not to do so?

Overall, in terms of my life here on Earth I have been feeling... adrift? It seems I have no real solid foundation for anything anymore, in terms of Earthly stuff, and sometimes it seems the only thing I can stand firmly on/take comfort in is the Lord. I know we are never promised that our lives here would be made easy, and sometimes the case may even be the opposite. I think much of this feeling is from simply trying, but not quite yet succeeding, in what God's plan for me is.

Response #3:  

Good to hear from you, my friend. It is true that the time of the end is approaching and that does seem to be reflected in greater hostility towards those who believe the truth. But I rejoice in your spiritual progress! It seems to me that you are not "adrift" at all but are sailing straight ahead without blinders on. In fact, nothing is secure in this life, nothing is solid, nothing is dependable, nothing can be counted on . . . except God (and whatever God chooses to make secure for us for as long as He chooses to do so) – and God is all we need in truth. So you are right to do just what James tells some of his overconfident brethren to do, men who were far too sanguine about their anticipated future success:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4:13-17 NKJV

Arrogant, selfish false-confidence is no way for a believer to proceed through this world and is in fact a symptom of grave spiritual immaturity. On the other hand, humble selflessness which recognizes that God is in charge of everything is a sign of spiritual maturity. And once we have progressed a bit in that mindset, we come to have joy in that point of view, that godly point of view: God is faithful and loves us more than we can know; therefore the fact that nothing is certain from the secular viewpoint is wonderful because the flip-side of that is that there is nothing which is not completely in God's control – in fact He has already written everything into His perfect plan before we were even born. So we can relax and trust Him – provided we are willing to relax and trust Him.

And we know that, for those who love God, He works everything together for good – [that is to say,] for those who have been called according to His plan.
Romans 8:28

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #4: 

Oh OK, so basically it is saying to treat everyone and all situations consistently and with an even-hand, and to avoid favoritism, essentially. I am not entirely sure if I do such a thing and will not automatically make the claim that I do, but I try to remain consistent and truthful/even-handed, but will spend a little bit of time reflecting on this; after all, I believe there is a reason the Lord made me to feel compelled to ask about this. Thank you for your reply and for your encouragement. I know it would be easy to simply ask "Why me?" or "Why are you doing this to me?" in a manner which would be casting blame, but I always try to remember that there is a reason for everything, all of this, even if I don't understand what it is. Nothing happens without the Lord's permission, and I trust Him to know that whatever He does, it is for the best, even if it is not immediately clear to me.

Response #4: 

As to spiritual perspective, it seems to me you have it exactly right. That is what the godly "fear of God" is really all about, namely, caring more about the Lord's opinion than anyone else', and then trusting Him no matter what happens, with total faith that He is in control and working it all out for your good, even when that may seem completely contrary to what your eyes and ears are telling you. True spiritual progress can only be made when we see things as you are seeing them, that is, from God's point of view. He not only knows exactly what He is doing and is doing everything for our benefit, being in complete control of everything, but has actually already decreed all events – including our deliverance from whatever trial or test He has entrusted to us. Our job is to take that truth we know by faith to the next level and actually live like we believe it when things start getting tough. Congratulations on getting to the next level! But keep in mind that the devil is an ace counter-attacker: just when we think we've arrived and gained the summit, he is quick with a trick to try and drive us back down the slope.

So stay alert, and keep moving forward to the glory of God the Father in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #5: 

Hello Bob,

You have been much in my thoughts and today in my quiet time I had such a strong feeling that you are in need of much encouragement.

Therefore I pray that our Lord will encourage your heart today and strengthen you as you so earnestly labour to present His truth to this world we live in.

God bless,

Response #5:  

Thanks so much for your prayers, my friend!

It's always encouraging to hear that readers of this ministry are striving for its success – and for me – in prayer.

It's been a challenging year (death of my mother, multiple health problems, job problems/pressures). But God has been 100% faithful through it all – as of course He always is.

Keeping you in my prayers daily as well, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6: 

Thank you. I'm a little sad because I don't feel much of God in my life. So being angry is sin? I'm a little nervous.

I admire you. You responded to everyone with long messages.

Response #6: 

God loves everyone. Jesus died for everyone. Everyone can have a wonderful relationship with Him. But it is not automatic. It requires responding to the Gift of Christ through faith in the first place. And then to grow close to the Lord requires responding to His truth day by day. That is the purpose of this ministry, namely, to help those who do want to have much more of God in their lives to do so. But for that to happen, truth has to be heard and believed. That is the only way to experience the closeness to God and the joy of salvation in Jesus Christ available to all who believe and to know the joy that, e.g., David manifests in his psalms. True joy in the Lord – like the peace of resting in faith – is not a feeling which can be worked up artificially. It has to be done the right way or not at all. Please see the links:

Spiritual Growth I

Spiritual Growth II

Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth II

You are certainly welcome here at Ichthys any time!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

"Son of man, behold, I am about to take from you the desire of your eyes with a blow; but you shall not mourn and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not come."
(Ezekiel 24:16)

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
(Revelation 21:4)

Does God just command people not to mourn and program them to be happy all the time?

Response #7:  

These are two very different passages. The first is a special circumstance with special instructions to Ezekiel who was to be a sign to the exiles in Babylon regarding the coming destruction of their country (a time so bitter and so disastrous that there would be no opportunity for normal mourning). The second is referring to eternity – where there will indeed be happiness beyond measure for us all, all of the time. In between in "normal" life, we do mourn, and we most definitely do have emotions that are not easily controlled. But getting in control to a reasonable degree is a big part of spiritual maturity; because otherwise our emotions have a tendency to "run us" when it really needs to be the other way around to a large degree (see the link: "Who controls our thoughts and emotions?").

We have a lot to be thankful for – having been forgiven our sins through Christ paying the price for them. And we have a lot to look forward to in joy: our present body will be replaced by a perfect one; our present "home", whatever it may be, with all its earthly problems and insecurities, will be replaced by an eternal abode in the glorious New Jerusalem; and our present debts will be replaced by the treasure trove we are adding to day by day as we strive to learn about Christ, walk with Him, and serve Him as our top priorities. In short, this present life with all its tears and fears is soon going to be replaced by an eternal life where we will never shed a tear again – if only we are determined to persevere in faith until the end.

He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:6 ESV

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

Hello Dr.,

Hope you are well Sir. I have 8 Peter’s for you this week, I re-edited 1-4, you can hear the difference immediately at the reading of 1st Peter v. 1 & 2 in #’s 2 & 3, also I’ve uploaded #’s 5, 6, 7, & 8. I planned to have a few more for you but I ran into a problem. I discovered on Saturday that the text editing I completed last Tuesday and Wednesday evening wasn’t very good at all, I did this work after being exposed to the natural gas at the University, and judging by my work I wasn’t in the best mental shape. I was nauseous, dizzy and headachy for over a day and half after the exposure, and apparently my brain wasn’t functioning well at all. Needless to say, this put me behind a bit.

As always, enjoyed Sundays postings this week, the political aspect is a big issue around here with the Church. The Dean of Liberty University is a personal friend of our President, and most of the evangelical church in these parts look at Mr. Trump as a blessing from God, America’s 2nd chance. Personally all I can see is another administration paving the way for the man of sin. This world has no idea what is coming upon it, and sadly, as you well know, that includes the majority of the Church.

I spent the day up on a scaffolding yesterday changing out windows by myself, gives a man a lot of time to think. As I’ve mentioned before, I have some lukewarm family members that give me a headache with every contact. Their attitude toward the truth of the Word of God is that of mocking and scoffing (literal laughter and disbelief) and statements that I ought to be on the corner wearing a sandwich board (which is meant as an insult, but I take as a compliment). I don’t mind agreeing to disagree, but when this kind of obnoxious behavior is present I do begin to lose my patience. I’ve been reading through your emails relating to this subject and in one you stated that with certain people “there comes a time...”. I love my family, but I don’t like them very much. It is my prayer that they would embrace the truth of God’s Word and quit playing Churchianity on Sunday. I’ve been told that because I don’t attend a Church that I don’t know what I’m talking about, so it seems that the “time” has come. I know that during the tribulation there will be strong divisions between family and friends, it’s just sad when you see it first hand even before the final seven years.

Pastor Omo reached out to us this past weekend asking if he could pray for us, of course I accepted, his consideration and time in prayer is much appreciated, as is yours Sir. I asked Him to pray for God to bless us with a child (if it is His Will) and that he or she would come to know Him at a young age. The timing for this (my age, the shape of the world) couldn’t seem worse to most people, but if the Lord trusts me with a child at this stage of the game, who would I be to argue? Then again He may not, whatever is His will, I just pray we will be accepting of it.

Keeping you in prayer, all the best!


Response #8: 

You are certainly facing some stiff opposition, my friend! No doubt it doesn't please "everyone" that you are doing such a good job as a Christian in every respect. It's nice to hear that you are surmounting all difficulties though. I have found with the Lord, that while we often are attacked in ways that are disturbing and seemingly impossible to cope with, He causes all such attacks to glance off without fatal effects, even when there are consequences and ramifications which have to be dealt with following the attack – and He also gives us the means to deal with these as well. His faithfulness is absolute, and without such opposition, we wouldn't have a chance to appreciate it as well as we surely can and surely should in the event.

On politics, I too am a little bit astounded at the enthusiastic embracing of dubious positions and personalities. I think it has something to do with a natural inclination to want to throw in one's lot with the side that is opposite to the side one feels is evil in every way. Of course that sort of thinking led many to become Nazis vs. the Communists or Communists vs. the Nazis in a previous generation. Just because one side is evil doesn't mean the other side isn't also evil. Blindly following the lesser of two evils (to the extent that such could be correctly discerned or matter if it could be) is not exactly the stuff of spiritual maturity.

On family and friends, yes, I don't think I've ever met a Christian who was serious about the truth who didn't have the same issue of lukewarm or hostile kith and kin and also of worrying about the salvation of some or all of them. That is a sign of the times and our lot as part of the small "red hot" remnant here in Laodicea. But when you're holding the hill virtually alone against the enemy hoard with all your buddies running for the boondocks, well, at least you can be sure that not only are you doing your job but you can also see clearly enough how important it is for you to stand in the gap when so few are willing to do so. I know the Lord appreciates it, and I also know that we won't regret a single good decision along these lines when we stand before Him on that great day of days.

I hope you are feeling better, and I am definitely "on the case" in praying for you guys too.

Thanks for the new files, my friend – and thanks for your prayers!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9: 

Hi Dr.,

Thank you for the encouraging words and prayer. Yes, the Lord does give all we need to withstand the trials of life and deal with the consequences as well. Not only has He saved me spiritually, He has literally saved my physical life more than once! That tells me I may be of use, so I must do my best to be open to His leading and maintain faithful fellowship with Him. Men like yourself and Pastor Omo do your work almost in obscurity by worldly Church standards, but you are helping many like myself reach our potential through your excellent teaching of His Word.

Since I was born again, I believed He was coming soon, and He is! It's going to be a hard road to travel until then, but I'm keeping my eye on the prize, and I know you will too. I may never see you here, but I will definitely see you there!

Thanks again for all you do, God willing, I should have a few Peter's for you next week, after that I'll start on the Coming Tribulation, looking forward to it!


Response #9:  

Thanks for all your good words, my friend. Yes, life is hard, but that is true of everyone everywhere at every time. Trouble is only a matter of type and degree. Even unbelievers who have seemingly everything are not satisfied until they have ________ . And everyone, it seems, will always have some blank to fill in. Believers have to be careful about that too. There are legitimate desires in life, but we always have to remember that the Giver is much more important than any gift He might choose to give us . . . and that nothing in this world is forever, whatever we think we have secured. True godliness – seeing things from the Lord's point of view and living for Him – is the ultimate gain in this life and brings with it true spiritual contentment (1Tim.6:6), not to mention eternal reward. When we are "doing this right", we can have the peace of resting in our faith and the joy of the salvation to come at all times, even the worst of times. And you are right: our maturity and ability to do so is going to be tested very soon. All the more reason to take advantage of the opportunities the Lord is giving us to trust Him here and now. That's the stuff the three crowns and a good report from the Lord are made of.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whose return we eagerly await.

Bob L.

Question #10: 

Hello Professor,

Thank you for your message, I really appreciate it. I was planning to email you soon and wanted to find out how you were doing and how you were feeling with the medicine you're currently taking. Please let me know. I pray for your health daily and I hope you're able to experience some relief or will experience it soon.

Thanks for your prayers on my health issues too [details omitted]. It makes me smile when I recall what I read a long time ago on your website:

Sometimes disease is just a natural part of life. Sometimes it is a consequence of past events of which we may or may not have had any moral control - like the reformed alcoholic who had become a believer and said when asked about his health problems, "God gave me a new heart, but He didn't give me a new liver".

I will be taking each day as it comes. As for the health - I'm praying for the Lord's grace, any improvement will be a great, undeserved gift.

In the grace of our Lord,

Response #10:  

Thanks for the detailed report, my friend. Few people with complicated cases these days can really be helped these days without an advocate and facilitator so I'm glad you're getting that help.

Thanks for asking after me and mine too (and for your prayers). One thing I can tell you from living to the ripe old age of sixty something (and spending much time at the docs with my mom who made it to 96): things don't get better on this score, but that is not reason to despair. God always seems to give us / help us get to "work-arounds" so that we may keep doing what we need to do to serve Him even as we keep our heads above water in this world. That's my testimony: He's 100% faithful so that all our angst and worry is merely wasted energy. But as my brother told me today on the phone, it doesn't mean we don't occasionally get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Keeping you in my prayers too as you know, my friend.

Let me know when more develops.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11: 

Dear Bob,

First off: I was really happy to hear that you have our friend's address and can support him in his faith! Also, that he has found a place for his family. WOW, gifts from God. If an emergency arises, and I can be of any help, please let me know.

My Situation: [details omitted]

Response #11:  

Good to hear from you. I'll be sending our friend some mail once the day has come, and we'll see how that goes. I'm sure we'll know a lot more in a month or two.

There are worse things than being a university professor! But believe me when I say that I understand your concerns. I know from corresponding with many other believers like yourself who are actually on fire for the truth that concern for the lukewarm we know and care about – about whose salvation we are even sometimes in doubt (though it sounds like that's not any issue here) – is a daily pressure. And how much more is that not the case when we are speaking about those we love the most? Family are often the last ones to be responsive to our point of view, moreover. Our Lord had to deal with that one as well (e.g., Jn.7:5; cf. Jn.4:44). One thing I am trying to stress on this point as we getting closer and closer to "T-Day" is that the pressures of the Tribulation are going to melt away lukewarmness very quickly and force all of our brothers and sisters who have so far largely been sitting it out to choose up sides one way or the other. If we have consistently been good examples for the right direction, that can only be helpful to them once they finally have to start taking all this seriously. So the best thing you can do is to keep leading by example. You never know when or how those observing are going to "get it" and start to respond.

As to this specific case, it strikes me that you are doing everything just right. It's a personal opinion since of course I don't understand all of the intricacies of the relationship, but in general terms those who "know us" are also the most likely to react negatively to anything that sounds like nagging. Being "right" on the substance is usually the last point of importance – and in fact can often make things worse by grating even more: bad enough to be nagged when you know you are in the right, but when it is pointed out that you are wrong too and you know it . . .

I don't follow the logic in the email wherein "the call of the Holy Spirit will lead one into a world where politics is a real part". To diagnose as best I can, when it says, "I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to be loving and welcoming to ALL students, there are times when I need to stand against the school's policies", I think we find the nub of the problem. Jesus, of course, didn't advocate for policies to help lepers. He healed lepers He actually met who had the faith to ask. A believer who is actually following Jesus Christ will of course seek to treat person X fairly. However, advocating for policies at a school or in a political entity which will force everyone else to treat X, Y and Z in a certain way and proclaim that to be "fairness" is not only not biblical and not likely to produce true fairness (not to mention actually producing many side-effects which are unfair to A, B, C, D, E and F), but critically it also is not the individual Christian humbly examining himself and trying to do the right thing himself, but being more concerned with what other people are doing and putting himself in the position of being their judge – without of course possessing all of the facts. That is very attractive stuff, especially nowadays. I have noted that the new generation coming up, the "Millennials", tend to be self-righteous to a tee, and seem to consider "the struggle for social justice" as their religion, whether or not they pretend that it has anything to do with biblical Christianity. I am sure this is all part of the evil one laying the ground work for what is coming.

Best case scenario is that he is merely making the argument, and, clearly hyper-intelligent man that he is, will come to see the lack of logic here at some point not too far down the road. In general, genuine Christians get het up about such things when they are lazy about learning the truth and growing spiritually. In other words, as with high ritual and as with emotional excess, social action is one of the substitutes which seems attractive when there is a vacuum in the heart caused by an absence of love for the truth. If there is an internal struggle going on, however, one or the other will win out in the end, and the true heart, the true character will emerge.

One thing we can of course do is to keep this before the Lord in our prayers – which I promise to continue to do.

Thanks for all your good words, my friend! Please feel free to write back any time.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12: 

Hello Professor,

I agree and I appreciate that. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for asking, I've been praying for our friend's health also and she is doing well. When I saw her the last time she looked much better, she is definitely making progress with the recovery after the chemotherapy. As of yet there have been no reasons for concerns and doctors haven't found any metastases. We speak from time to time and it seems she is almost fully back to normal now. If I'm honest with you, Professor, the greater concern with her is whether she is definitely in the truth or not. She reads what I write (she proofreads my texts), she is open, but whether she has put her faith in Christ or not, I just don't know. I observe with sadness how many want to follow the middle road which really leads nowhere and don't give themselves over to the Lord. I have no doubt my father is saved - he believed in Christ, he knows he is saved through Christ. I can see how miraculously the Spirit works in Him, how the truth opened his eyes. With our friend and many others I don't see that. I'm not in a position to judge someone else's heart, but I have my doubts here. I have seen very little commitment to the truth from most of my acquaintances with whom I have spoken about faith. Like our other friend and my response written to his question; it is also very sad for me to observe someone who has got all that needed to bring others to Christ and help them grow in truth (he's a highly intelligent individual, he's got time as well) ask questions which make me doubt if he is even saved. He is another person who has been following the comfortable path of compromise probably all his life and I thought I should be firm and to the point in my response to him. He might be doing some theological reading and doing a bit of this or that (mostly resources written by people who want to do a bit of intellectualising rather than who really strive for the truth), but without commitment to the truth he might be just soothing his conscience and making sure he feels good spiritually without even being a true believer. I thought it is quite amazing to know someone for nearly a decade and for them to be so in the middle ground, so lukewarm and easy that I don't even know whether he is in Christ or not. It's incredible. Of course, I didn't write to him telling him to do anything - I wanted to make sure my message isn't legalistic or imposing in any way, but I wanted to be honest out of my concern for him and I wanted to speak about the truth in an honest way. If he believes in some false doctrine and doesn't believe that Christ paid for his sin - because he sees the issue of sin as too uncomfortable and too disturbing his easy-going comfort to give it real thought - then he is not saved and if a car hits him today and he dies, he is in the lake of fire for eternity. That is a horrible prospect that people just consciously choose to be oblivious to. I apologise for this long digression, professor, you asked about our friend and now I just began to write what is in my heart. My father has really been an encouragement and he has really refreshed me also - he is very committed and studies every day. I also recognise that our other friend has made good progress. We spoke recently and I can see how he is now at a different level to where he was last year and I hope he can be delivered out of his current professional circumstances so that he can commit more time to the Lord. As for the rest, Professor, I haven't got many good reports. I'm all the more encouraged by the messages from our friend and just now I got the first email from our other friend too. To be able to correspond with those few committed believers through your ministry is a real blessing.

I will be praying for these issues also, Professor. I know these things can be a real challenge. I have recognised that in the last couple of years, because in the past I never thought of experiencing such difficulties myself. You have my wholehearted prayer. For years now I have been offering my supplications for you first and I always find it is so much easier to pray for those truly committed to the Lord. You have not only brought me to Christ, but have been giving me unwavering support to get me where I am despite all my shortcomings. It is God's grace and your help. I really hope that none of the health issues you're experiencing affect your life and ministry.

I also clearly recognised some time ago what you often told me with regard to the spiritual rhythm - it's about finding the right "cruising speed". For example an exercise routine that is sustainable and pleasant enough for us to adhere to it will get us much further than some heroic efforts which are impossible to maintain. And what I remember from my academic study is that research shows that even later in life many of these problems can actually be solved or largely nullified with a good rhythm of exercise and diet. And this is not for us to worry about looks or chase after some earthly pride, it's just that having a teacher like you, Professor, is a true blessing, the most wonderful blessing I received and I am among many of those who really want you to be around as long as possible. You are feeding many sheep.

Your line about bamboo made me laugh - if only Christians grew like bamboo! If only they grew like weeds too - a grain of soil, a droplet of water, a blink of the eye and behold - a bush. Instead, one writes, encourages, exhorts, points direction - and in the end hardly any plants grow and every sheep goes her own way.

But in all this I will be praying for you daily, as I have been doing. Please let me know how things go when you've seen the cardiologist.

In the grace of our Lord,

Response #12: 

I will most certainly be keeping your health concerns in my prayers daily. It's difficult to concentrate on any sort of spiritual production when dealing with nagging health concerns. That's just a fact. Not to say we can't overcome them, but it's harder to run with a pack full of rocks than without anything on one's back.

I really appreciated your discussion of the "dealing with the lukewarm we love and care about" problem. When I first turned around and started to follow the Lord again, it was as you know through the ministrations of a fellow Marine officer who shared some of Col. Thieme's books with me. When I finally "caught fire", I had the odd idea that all it would take would be for others to have access to the same material and the same thing would happen. Trouble is, it rarely happened . . . and that is still the case. So we should be grateful for all who do catch fire for the Lord, and also for those who are saved even if only just barely "hanging in". "T-Day" will come soon enough and all of the lukewarm will have to make a choice. At that point, while we will be grieved over many who go the wrong way, we will have our hands full, I imagine, helping the others who finally come to realize that all of this really is important. Meanwhile, leading by example and helping wherever and whenever we can is the only thing for it.

It is appalling, moreover, to recognize in the case of unbelievers that their opportunity for salvation is hanging by a thread since it is confined to this short and sometimes unpredictably so life. But God knows the hearts of all, and I am firmly convinced that no one is going to end up in the lake of fire for lack of information or lack of opportunity to be saved. The hardness of heart of those who really want no part of God is much more resilient that we can appreciate in looking at the exterior which is adapted for public consumption. But if it is a case of someone who really is merely dithering between "two opinions" (2Ki.18:21), soon enough we will see the issue forced when the middle ground falls away.

Your friend in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13: 

Dear Bob,

I was just thinking of you a couple of nights ago, and said to myself that I had to write to you and see how you are doing.

Things here are not good. The country here is going down the path of Venezuela, and the moral corruption of our leaders breaks any previous records. I'm still fighting in court the architect who is extorting more money from me, so its just another of Satan’s wiles to destroy God’s people. We are living in dangerous times my friend. It is just too obvious to be ignored or blamed on chance or bad luck. The enemy knows how to break you, but the Lord always has the final say!

Please keep me in your prayers, as I keep you in mine.

May Jesus come soon!! I cant wait…there is nothing of interest to me in this plane…I want to be with Him asap!!!

Response #13:  

Thanks for the update – though I'm sorry to hear of your recurring legal issues with your home and country et al. Life does seem to be getting more and more "interesting" for us all as we get closer and closer to the end. I will keep your present situation in mind when I pray for you daily, my friend.

Your focus on our hope as the place of your peace and joy is precisely the right one! Thanks for this. It's an encouraging reminder of how we should all be looking at the tough times – present and soon to come.

Thanks much for your prayers too!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14: 

Hi Bob

Just wanted to send you an update. We are finally moved in. Its been such a relief to have some space and be able to take care of my family with less stress. It sure is nice to be able to take a shower and not have to wait for the water to heat and have enough water to actually take a full shower along with all the time it saves between all of us. Its been nice to have a bigger refrigerator and not to have to go outside to dig through coolers. I'm so glad to have a washer and dryer. I'm sure enjoying having more time during the day and not just spending it to work at surviving the day. I thank God every moment.

Our boy seemed to do very well before but has shown some concerns after being in the new home that he doesn't want to go back. I think he is really enjoying the space he can roam. He loves to garden and we have been blessed with a sweet little garden out back. He insisted on planting carrots. So we did and they have already come up. A whole week early. We have a ton of raspberry bushes. It happens to be my favorite fruit. I'm so so happy!

It seems strange to me but since we have moved into a home and now have a house a lot of people here seem shocked. They also don't seem happy for us. Some are even more bitter then before. They don't say were happy for you...they just question where is it? What does it look like? Are you renting or buying? I guess its okay to ask these questions but I feel its for no good its just so they can judge us or gossip. I don't volunteer anything, in fact I never even tell anyone we have a home unless they ask. I figure no one cared before so why would they now.

[details omitted]

Of course they didn't have to buy our dinner and we didn't expect them to but it wouldn't have looked good in the eyes of the Mormon peers who were also at the dinner if they hadn't of. They were angry because they were in a sense put in a position to do good when they didn't want to. I will never forget that day. I'm so glad we went. It confirmed to me where their hearts are and because of that its why they never offered to help us. It saddens me to know that these people are in such a dark place, they are truly unhappy. You have to be to act like that. Sometimes I think my gosh this life is hard then I think of those that are in those dark places and then I just thank God for all he has shown me.

I was bit by the neighbors dog Robin) last week. My hand had 4 big teeth marks in it. Its okay but it sure hurt and bleed and throbbed for a day. She later called to apologize. Since then we have become good friends. She seems this far to be a good Christian lady.

I hope to get settled in a little more so I can spend more time on your web site. I find myself unloading boxes thinking I'd rather be on Dr Bob's web site. I try to get on everyday but I have such an addiction I have found myself having troubles getting off and getting nothing else
done. I still haven't found anything that I have disagreed on. I truly appreciate all you do.

Well I best go. I sure hope all is well for you and your family!

Response #14: 

Thanks much for the update. I'm very happy to hear that you and your family did get the house and are settling in nicely. This is a real answer to prayer, and I am proud of all of you in particular for your faith in waiting for the Lord to act in His own time and way. Would that we would all be so patient in every such test!

I'm sorry about your hand, though! I do hope it is healing up with no problems.

In my experience, family and "old friends" who were problematic in the past tend to stay that way. After all, only the love of Jesus Christ ever changes anyone for real, and for those who didn't have it before, we can't expect them to change until they get it. Still, I have been praying that your material and spiritual blessings would lead others in your circle to faith – and it can be a process sometimes.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers day by day.

Bob L.

Question #15: 

Thanks Bob,

You're so right, it's a real answer to prayer. I'm so happy. He does always follow through and I knew in my heart he would but I just didn't know when. We didn't even know what the place looked like until after we committed to it. Its more then we could have expected. It has the most beautiful views. Almost 360 degrees. The sunsets are gorgeous. Birds everywhere and the deer are all having there babies. So cute!!!

We are mostly thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and pleased that we for now have a home. It could all change again but for now my flesh is enjoying the relief. Now I just need to have faith we can afford to stay in it. I guess this is my next test. I know he lead us here so I know he has to have a plan for us to be here.

Thanks for being there for us during that time. Your web site and emails were and still are a blessing.

Your so right, I was just thinking that the other day about how the love of Jesus Christ only changes people and that the reason so many are in and act of dark is because they are missing him. I'm so glad you reassured me of my thoughts. It helps to know that because all my life I've been told to just accept and that we aren't all perfect and that I need to forgive and go back to accepting evil. It seems like I knew it wasn't right but as soon as I would withdraw from these people I would get a guilt trip put on me and I would go back. I have now grown in strength to not feel as I have to associate with them and now I have a sense of peace as I don't need to feel guilt just because I'm a caring person but that also I need to stand strong for truth and righteousness. I can still be kind to these people but I don't have to associate with them...or if I get put into a situation where its impossible I have the strength to hold my own and not let them get to me.

Well I best get going!

Forever friends,

Response #15:  

Good stuff!

I'm thrilled with what the Lord has done / is doing for you and your family.

Most of my life has been a "how are the bills going to be met next month" situation, and much of that has been the result of unforeseen and unavoidable disaster out of the blue. But I can tell you that the Lord has always been faithful and absolutely so! Things are (finally) beginning to look up a little bit here in that regard, but that sort of experience does help you realize just how dependent we are on Him. It's not "us" who makes it happen; it is always "Him" – and we can certainly trust Him.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16: 

Hi Dr.,

Yes, we are ok here, thanks for asking. It's been busy, but quiet at the same time. Quiet is good! An old Baptist preacher in a church I once attended used to tell us that "God won't give us more than three good days in a row if we're walking with Him, because if He did we wouldn't learn how to trust Him." Similar to what you teach, just a bit more simplified.

I hope all is well with you, I'm keeping you in prayer daily Sir. If you have anything specific you need prayer for please let me know.

All the best!


Response #16: 


It's a good point – but a lot of tests that come the way of the spiritually mature are a lot more intense and a lot more long lasting. Abraham waited a long time for Isaac as I recall – a lot longer than three days.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers,

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17: 

Are you doing okay with your Mom's passing?

I will be praying for you.

Response #17:  

I'm doing pretty well now, thanks for asking! It is true that many people don't seem to realize that while there is an initial period of grief – after which everyone else moves on – those bereaved are not necessarily forgetting about it long after everyone else has. I put the note on the website because so many people had been praying for mom and asking after her health over the years (and there are some readers who only check in once in a blue moon).

It was a blessing she was taken when she was taken as her quality of life had completely evaporated in the final few months. She's much happier now!

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18: 

Hi Bob,

Certainly missed the "getting back to you within a week" goal, but here we go:

(Sexuality In) Marriage

1) Why does God not gift more people with the gift of celibacy in order that they may dedicate themselves more fully to the Church?

When I think of analogous questions, such as "Why does God not gift more people with the gift of pastor-teacher...", 1 Corinthians 12 makes good sense: the "division of labor" within the Church so to speak. I'm having a harder time understanding the reasoning surrounding the above.

Some of the ideas I came up with:

To help continue the human race through procreation (leading to another question: Why did God make us beings that require two people to sexually reproduce?)

Because marriage as an institution serves some purpose in the Plan of God (Teaching us about God? Teaching us about the Church? Teaching us about the extent to which we need each other to succeed in this life?)

2) What are the restrictions on sexual relationships in polygamy? (I ask because there are still societies today that practice polygamy).

3) What exactly is "sex", biblically speaking? Other than the obvious act, there remain a number of acts which remain controversial in identification.

Here is how I would parse things:

"Not-Sex": kissing, hugging, and holding hands

As with other forms of obscenity, "I'll know it when I see it" seems to be the most logical path forward.


4) I have clashed with my parents on political involvement several times since I've been home from college. For example, they take the position that it is a good and right thing for Christians to vote. According to my understanding of your writing, politics is something that Christians can avoid wholesale without a care in the world since we are deluding ourselves if we think that God's Will won't be done without us.

However, as I was thinking about this (for the purpose of making it more understandable to my family), it occurred to me that voting (rather than political involvement in the form of lobbying, protesting, etc.) might not be unlike other things that Christians ought to do (prayer, evangelism) even though we know that we are but the vessels.

Evangelism in particular provides a close analogy to the position I am thinking of. Most so-called "evangelism" of today's Church is not worthy of the name. However, we still having a responsibility to evangelize individually even though God has it all under control, while getting caught up in "evangelistic groups" is a very bad idea.

Could we view voting in a similar light – fine and even laudable if engaged in for the purpose of working out God's Will in the world (making just laws, e.g.), but terribly damaging if it comes to be controlled by/done for an institutional system?

The Tribulation and the Millennium

5) Do you think it is a good idea for people to have children/get pregnant in the ten years between now and the start of tribulation? On the one hand, young children and/or a pregnant wife would certainly complicate that time. On the other hand, children are a blessing, and all things are possible with God.

6) Let's say a Christian man marries a Christian woman in 2020. In 2024, out of no fault of the man, the woman decides to turn her back on her faith. During the tribulation, the man convinces the woman not to take the mark, they successfully flee from Babylon to Israel at the correct time, and both live to the second coming. What would be the relationship between the resurrected man and his unbelieving wife?

7) Millennial believers who die go to the third heaven to await God's judgement/reward after the millennium, correct?

Logic and Theology

8) In one of the recent email postings, you state

Let me start by saying that there is a vast difference between logic and theology. Not that theology is illogical (it most certainly is not), but it is true that making logical arguments based upon assumptions which are not directly stated in the Bible is one of the quickest ways to run afoul of the truth. I.e., "A" means "X" and "B" means "Y" so we may conclude "Z" – doesn't work when neither X nor Y nor Z are actually in the Bible. This is akin to counting angels dancing on pinheads, and it is the basis of much wrong-headed medieval Roman Catholic "theology". This procedure is also usually unnecessary since if the question is truly an important one, there is almost always a specific scripture (usually, many scriptures) which teach about that question positively and directly – or at least parts of it. Good theology, that is to say, is much more "data dependent", than being hypothetical and based upon logical extrapolations from assumptions which may or may not be entirely true.

This is similar to comments you have made to me several times, most perspicuously with respect to my framing of prayer in terms of symbolic logic (∀ A, B ∈ {humans with free will} ∃ some C : A's prayer is fully efficacious and B's free will is preserved) and my habit of laying things out in propositions to see where my reasoning is going wrong.

I understand the basic idea – that God is "theological"and "supra-logical" rather than simply "logical" – but I confess that I am still a bit uncertain why logic is a bad way to understand the Bible. After all, the Bible is written with a flow of logical ideas just like any other text: it uses conditional statements, has assumptions, deductions, and conclusions, and is sometimes systematic in its treatment of complicated issues (cf. Romans). Now, it is of course not simply logical – there is that ever-important spiritual aspect to consider – and logic is not always sufficient on its own (as when contradictions are encountered, cf. the liar's paradox), but all this seems to me different from minimizing logic in and of itself.

We are Christians first and philosophers second. I understand this. However, I don't understand your wariness to frame things in terms of logic. Could you explain your reasoning in more detail?

Yours in Christ,

Response #18: 

Good to hear from you, my friend. As to your questions:

1a) We have absolutely no way of knowing how many have been given the gift of celibacy. Even if we knew all who were and weren't believers, the absence or presence of marriage is not a guarantee of the presence or absence of the gift. Having the gift just means having the ability to remain celibate and not suffer spiritual shipwreck because of pressures one cannot possibly bear. I would imagine that many with the gift don't believe they can bear it and don't know they have it.

1b) God says in Genesis 2:18: "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him" (NKJV). Sexuality may not be logically an absolute necessity for this but it certainly is a factor – and for mankind to face the critical issue of choice diachronically and individually (as opposed to how the angels apparently faced it, synchronically and collectively), phased creation was essential.

2) Marriage is a civil institution. Whatever restrictions the society / legal system imposes in this regard would be the determinative thing. In our country, polygamy is illegal – because our legal system says so.

3) I don't find the word "sex" in the Bible. So I'm reluctant to comment biblically on a category which isn't described in these terms biblically. Of course the Bible has plenty to say about the topic, but the definition is taken for granted to be obvious.

4) People often talk about voting as if it were a responsibility. In some countries it is required to vote, but we don't have any such abomination in this country (yet). In my personal view, serving one's country (if called upon) is a responsibility; voting is a privilege. I don't find voting sinful. I also don't see how a case can be made that a Christian should feel at all guilty for not voting or why one should feel virtuous for doing so. But beyond all argument voting pulls a person closer to politics rather than farther away, and that has all manner of negative temptations and possibilities connected to it. Considering voting a good thing from a Christian point of view presupposes, in my opinion, that we know (better than God) who ought to be running things and who ought not to be – but what if both choices are a case of "ought not to be"? As I say, I wouldn't find fault with anyone for voting. The less importance the activity has for a Christian the better. I would find fault with anyone trying to sing its praises from a biblical point of view (cf. 1Sam.8:7), or for trying to pressure other Christians into to something they would rather not do for all sorts of good reasons; that is the opposite of the law of love.

5) As to children, given the times, that has to be a personal application. On the one hand, we know what we know; on the other hand, life is life (cf. Matt.24:38-39), and we don't have any idea how the Lord is going to work things out for us personally in the future (although we should trust completely in His perfect faithfulness to us no matter what happens).

6) The resurrection makes everything new. So as when the Sadducees asked "to which [of the brothers] would the woman be a wife", I have to answer the same: "in the resurrection they are neither married nor given in marriage".

7) We don't know if there will be a case where a millennial believer dies. If it does happen, God is certainly capable of restoring him/her to physical life immediately (as in the case of murder, e.g.); there is nothing in scripture about the third heaven during this time – though the Father will still maintain His presence there until the New Jerusalem descends.

8) To me, this is akin to people using numbers to explain things and feeling that if they present a quantified set of proofs they cannot be dis-proven. However, as others have noticed, "figures may not lie but liars do figure". I seen many times in my own life in secular matters how quantification has resulted in the wrong conclusion and 180 degrees so. I also see in pretty much every scholarly commentary I've ever bumped into complicated reasoning resulting in the wrong answer entirely. If the Bible says something, it is true. If we can't figure out what the Bible is saying, we should work harder to find that out. I don't reject reasoning – not at all; there is on the other side of this spectrum the canard that the Spirit is "teaching me" so "I am right even though I make no sense". Clearly, our analysis should "make sense". But the Bible is not a fertile field for formal logic. It is written in language, not logic (which is its own language) or in premises that lend themselves to it.

There may be places where logic may be applied and not mess things up, I suppose. But mostly what I have seen is that any attempt to formalize things doctrinally in this way has had a great tendency at least to lead away from more important proofs: i.e., what the Bible actually states in some other passage not being considered. Because of the complexity of what we are dealing with in scripture, there are very few times where we can actually break things down to a finite set of possibilities that exclude all other possibilities which can then be discussed in logical terms (i.e., even if we state them that way, we are wrong to do so because of the many "other factors" we don't put in our equation for simplicity's sake). Nothing is finite in the Bible – because of the spiritual dimension. So, not to put too fine a point on it, but while I've never seen any benefit, I've seen lots of problems.

Finally, for anyone who is wanting to be a Bible teacher, the objective is to make things clear to those who are listening. With the exception of a few university professors (not including myself here), putting things into formal logic terms is going to go over the head of everyone – so how is that helpful? It may make the congregation "feel smart", but if the point is wrong though elegantly made, the teacher will have no accountability for mistakes. That is a little like saying "trust me, it's in the Greek" without ever explaining the why and the how in a way that at least keeps the teacher honest. But in the analogy, since the Bible is in Greek, we do have to explain a little bit about that from time to time. Same doesn't go for formal logic. I'm not saying you should dump it. I am saying I have reservations about drawing anything serious from it. It could make a good illustration on a point that is otherwise clear. But to my mind – again, unless your church is composed of professors – it's likely to be more confusing than helpful.

Hope you finished up strong and are now enjoying a good and well-deserved rest!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19: 

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the quick response.

1a) I agree with everything you say. I was more curious about why God would choose not to enable more people to live a celibate life without spiritual shipwreck. Because God's Plan is perfect, there must be good reasons for him not giving more people the gift. I was having problems coming up with good reasons, which is why I decided to ask you if you could think of any. (I also understand that sometimes we must take things on faith without being able to figure them out in this life, and that this may be one such instance).

1b) I don't understand how phased creation (as in the seven days?) relates to God choosing to make us man and woman. Could you explain?

2) I understand that polygamy is governed by civil law. I was asking if ___ would be considered porneia. (see below)

3) I should have worded this better – I'm used to avoiding Greek transliterations when talking about the Bible since most of the people I correspond with don't know Greek. What I was asking, more or less, is which acts between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman would be considered porneia. (And if it is impossible to say, how one might go about drawing personal applications on these matters).

7) Interesting. Would you posit that a slain millennial believer would be resuscitated in the manner of Moses and Elijah rather than resurrected, at least until the post-Millennium judgement/reward?

8) I see. It still seems to me that this is a matter of emphasis. I agree that there is much misuse and abuse of logic to make theological points, and that it is all too easy to use it to "prove" things rather than really grapple with them (as with numbers). However, some of us basically think in terms of propositional logic; it is simply the easiest and most efficient way for me to understand things.

I would label logic more a presentation method than something to build theology with. I would agree that, on the whole, you don't need logic to get the main sense out of a passage, but I would argue that laying things out in terms of logic can be valuable as a teaching/comprehension aid assuming your target audience is conversant with the terminology and approach (and you are using the Bible to draw conclusions, not logic per se). In other words, just how some people learn best through analogy, others through imagery, and others through charts/diagrams/etc., so too some people learn best through logic.

I will certainly consider your point of view more thoroughly, but I'm not sure if I agree that using logic necessarily leads one away from using the full weight of Biblical evidence. The fact that many theologians in the past have made this mistake (Aquinas comes to mind) does not mean that this is a cause and effect relationship – but it does mean that logic ought to be used with care. (Which is maybe what you are getting at?).

In Him,

Response #19:  

Always a pleasure, my friend. As to the followups:

1a) My point was/is that we can't speak of "more people" because we don't know the number in the first place. I suppose the maximum number who could be so endowed would be 100%. Now I'm pretty sure it's not 100% – but we can't say how much less because there is no way for us to tell who has it and who doesn't. All we can say for certain (if we have the facts) is who is exercising it and who isn't (or maintaining celibacy in spite of not having it). There is nothing in Paul's brief statement about this gift to make me think that Paul, for example, wasn't every bit as tempted sexually as most everyone else. But he did not succumb and he did not get married (which would/should have helped). We do know that God knows and that God has given the gift for the right reasons to just the right Christians – and that this is just one of an infinite number of factors which go into making up the one, perfect plan of God. Understand, the plan which is playing out is the perfect plan, perfect in every single way. Change one tiny thing and it is no longer the same plan. God is not reacting to events; all that is consists of one perfect and immutable whole which for all that unalterable perfection has taken every free will decision perfectly into account. Our God is truly amazing!

1b) What would the alternative be? For people to "show up" on earth at various points along the time line from beginning to end would require some method of phasing. Immediate creation of every human being would have been problematic for a number of reasons (taking away free will from seeing that miracle every day; adults with no history / background or children with no parents, etc.). Without God doing things exactly the way He did it, mankind could not have been mankind. History would have had to be constructed in a completely different way. This would be no minor change to the plan but a completely different plan. As it is, marriage (and sexual activity which is part of it) is the way God has perfect chosen for the family, the core unit of human society and bulwark against much evil in this world, to come into being.

2) That's a different question (see below).

3) The Greek word porneia covers a lot of ground. It is a general term and in the NT is used in a particularly general sense most of the time. "Illicit behavior", in other words, is often not spelled out in the Bible – no doubt for the very good reason that it isn't necessary on the one hand and that it would provide a confusing narrative on the other. When we start spelling things out, it can lead people to think ("well I'm OK because my particular version of porneia or my twist on it wasn't explicitly mentioned"); in other words, we are getting back to a version of the Law as interpreted by the Pharisees. But our Lord cuts through all such nonsense with His pronouncement that even thinking about a woman in an illicit way is adultery. If what we think can be illicit, then how much more anything that we might actually do? In other words, if it even has the appearance of illicit behavior, then it is best avoided (cf. "Stay away from anything that [even] looks [like] evil."; 1Thes.5:22). Clearly, some things are worse than others and go farther than others, but the generality of the way scripture (in the NT) approaches the issue is not to say "you may do ABC but not XYZ" but "you'd just better leave the whole thing alone".

7) It's possible. We'll have to wait and see on that.

8) It's OK to disagree with me, after all. If you find logic helpful, I certainly can't object to that. It's just that personally I've never seen it to be helpful in any actual interpretation of scripture. That is possibly because logic over-simplifies things (it has to) and imagines that a proposition is absolute (which it almost always cannot be) and that all relevant considerations are present in the construct (doubly impossible).

Happy summer, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20: 

Dear Dr Robert,

Hope you are fine, couldn't send a question to you for some time. Here I have one. Is Love an act only or act and emotion both? I feel it's both. Would appreciate your answer.

Blessings from India

Response #20:  

It's good to hear from you my friend – I have been keeping you in my prayers daily.

Love is a virtue, that is, a guiding principle which, when followed, directs our actions in a godly way. The same is true for hope and faith. These are all attitudes of our will – good ones as opposed to sinful ones, and once we have decided to think in love, hope, and faith, our actions which emanate from these virtues will be equally godly. Love derives its strength from the cross which lies behind us; love "has our back", so to speak, supporting us in what we wish to do for Christ and guiding us to live as He lived. Hope looks forward to the eternal realities we know to be true, and puts all that is in this world we see into its place as something unimportant by comparison: hope motivates us to keep marching forward in Christ. Faith is the godly way of dealing with the present, trusting God that whatever our eyes see and ears hear or our emotions tell us, God's truth is true and He is faithful to us no matter what. Together these three virtues encapsulate the correct Christian walk – when we are thinking and saying and doing all that we should. There is much more to say about all of these, but the main point to leave you with is that each of these virtues are lived up to by decisions we make . . . or are fallen short of the same way. We decide whether or not to trust the Lord; we decide whether or not to rest in the hope of what is to come; we decide whether or not to respond to the love Christ had/has for us and love Him back and love our neighbors – fellow believers first and foremost – as ourselves.

See the links:

Faith, hope and love

Faith, hope and love II

Please do feel free to write me back about any of the above,

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21: 

Hi Bob,

Thanks, as you always have been ever ready to share the truth, I wanted this info for an article I am writing hence find your description helpful.

Could I write there "Love" is an emotion and action both? I don't want to comment this unless I am certain.



Response #21:  

Love is not an action per se. It conditions, directs and motivates our actions. That is why in the Bible it is often said that things are or should be done "in love".

Thanks for your good words in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.


Ichthys Home