Anonymous said: Just found you on Michael Hur’s site. Really great Samuel. Any advice for someone like me who’s new to Christianity (just this past year) but is reluctant to join churches in general? - Michael
I don’t think I know a Michael Hur.. lol, but that’s okay!
I have quite a bit of advice actually! Hopefully some of it will be beneficial.
First of all, I am so happy to hear that you have made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. I hope you will find true hope and joy in Christ, and that your identity would be found in Him, and not in what you do, where you go, or who you talk to.
Now for the church stuff! Let me start with this question: Why do people go to church? I’ll list a few reasons:
- It is morally upright
- It lets them look down on people who don’t go to church
- It makes them feel less guilty about their lives
- They feel bad if they don’t go
- They feel like they have to go
- They enjoy the ominous piano
- If they don’t go, God will send them to Hell
- If they do go, God will send them to Heaven
- They want to impress all the other Christians with how “spiritual” they are.
- They go to visit Jesus, because that’s the only place where you can spend time with him.
Having given some of the reasons for why people go to church, I want you to know that all of those reasons are wrong. Here are some of the real reasons for why you should go to church:
- Having a community of believers to support you, care for you, encourage you, and hold you accountable is necessary for your spiritual life.
- God created you to have connections with other people
- Your relationship with God will suffer if you do not have the community of other Christians.
- You will grow and learn from the teaching, as well as from what other Christians are going through.
- You are wanted, valued, and are a necessary part of God’s family.
These 5 reasons are expectations you should have for any church you go to. If you see people caring and loving each other, if you are seeing people being challenged, people are appreciated and valued, and the pastors are teaching Biblically and they are leading the church toward maturity, then that is a good church. Now here are some things not to expect:
- You will like everyone you meet
- The church will be perfect
- You will never be hurt
- You won’t have to try to make friends with people
- Going there will fulfil all of your spiritual needs
Why Your Church Doesn’t Feel Like Family
IMPORTANT: Treat everything with a critical mind. If someone tells you something about the Bible, make sure you look it up for yourself and make sure that what they are saying is the truth. Do not assume that everyone is Biblical, think for yourself. This is extremely important!
I think that’s all the advice I had to give! I would really love it if you kept in touch with me, perhaps off of anonymous! I would love to answer any questions you have about Christianity (or anything else), help you in any struggles you are having, and also just to see how you are doing! Please get back to me soon!
God bless and much love,
“Stop trying to appease all the peoples. It’s not going to happen.
Our gospel is naturally offensive; deal with it.”
15For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. - 2 Corinthians 2:15-17
It is not that the Gospel is naturally offensive, it is a Gospel of love and reconciliation. but not everyone wants that. For they have to confess of their sin and submit to Christ.
19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” - John 3:19-21
He lets you live.
I think it’s my turn to rant about it.
What is it with all these people thinking that God is going to send them a significant other?! Like what if He doesn’t? What if He’s like “go find one yourself” and everyone is too lazy to even look cause they’re sure God is just going to drop them some spouse right in their lap?
I blame really awful dating books. I mean like really, let’s go through this:
Step 1: Be a really good Christian
Step 2: Expect a girlfriend/boyfriend
Step 3: God UPS ships you one
I MEAN REALLY DOES ANYONE EVEN HAVE THIS STORY. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. YOU NEED TO TALK AND MEET PEOPLE AND BE LIKE OH DANG I LIKE THAT ONE AND THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
And maybe you’re not ready for a relationship. Maybe you still need to grow, but growing and maturing in Christ does not equal spouse. Thinking that way would equal idolatry.
36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
40 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”
“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.
41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, cancelling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
If I am at the height of success, or in the depths of misery,
In my prime of health, or suffering with sickness,
Having many dear friends, or losing them all,
Abounding in riches, or barely eating in poverty,
And in all of the places between these extremes,
I will serve the Lord my God, and turn no other way.
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” - Joshua 24:15
We all have a monster deep down inside. The darker we become, the more that monster begins to come out. And then before we ever saw it coming, we are what we never wanted to be.
what advice would you give someone struggling in a relationship thats now long distance because of college?
Well, I would say that there are ups and downs to long distance relationships, but before I get into that, I should first lay out what dating is actually for. For the sake of smooth grammar, I am going to assume that you are a man, so if you are a woman, please still apply what I say to you.
Dating only ends in either marriage or breaking up. So you should probably aim for marriage instead of breaking your heart or someone else’s.
Having said that, you shouldn’t be looking for a girlfriend, you should be looking for a wife. You should find someone with the qualities of a Biblical, Godly woman and then date them to find out if they would make a good wife or not. If you don’t know what a Biblical, Godly husband/wife looks like, message me again and I will provide you with material that will help you understand which qualities you need to develop, and which qualities you will need to find in your spouse.
Now that we have gotten the general statement of a dating relationship out of the way, we can now discuss long distance relationships.
Here are some pros and cons when it comes to long distance relationships:
- Getting to know the person at an increased rate because of communication without much fun dates.
- Learning to sort through fights and problems without the ability to “Hug it out.”
- Discovering how much you are willing to be with the person over time.
- Being able to observe character traits that the person develops while you are away.
- Stress of distance.
- Trust issues may develop
- Person may find someone else
- Jealousy may be quickly aroused
- Lack of “fun” events
- Communication barriers, as personal conversations must be done on skype or on the phone
So these are just a few that I can name from the top of my head. It really depends on who you are, who the other person is, and if the relationship is worth it or not. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you’re stuck in the relationship and you have no choice but to marry the person. Get to know the person, understand why you are struggling so much, and for goodness’ sakes, talk about it with your long-distance partner.
Communication is the most important key in marriage, or in any sort of relationship for that matter. So this is a great time and experience to learn how to communicate with your girlfriend, and also to learn how to communicate with your friends, family, and God-willing, your wife.
Perhaps you’re not even in the season for looking for a spouse. You should take time to reflect and pray, and look into what is required of you as a spouse, before you look for one. I can provide you with material, if you find yourself lacking knowledge in this area.
I hope I was of help! Always remember that there is more to life than finding a spouse, and you have your whole life to figure that out. Focus on Christ, and grow with Him as you continue to sort these things out, or strive to fight the struggles of your long-distance relationship. Remember that you don’t need to decide who you will marry today or tomorrow. Just take your time, get to know the person, see what you need, and maybe one day you will find out that this person would be beneficial as a wife, or just simply not for you. Always pray, and be teachable and open minded.
God bless and much love!