During Sunday services last month, Pastor Dan asked the people of Grace to text in questions during all three services. There was a great response! Barry Poudrier, with Pastor Dan’s input, is answering those that weren’t answered in service! Watch for a series of these posts in the coming days for more answers.
Barry has gone to Grace for over four years, and is an avid apologist. He has a background in training, development and technology. He also has a passion for music and plays acoustic guitar on Grace’s Worship Team.
For this post, Barry answers some really tough questions. Read on.
1. If God can heal all who pray so hard and believe, why did he take my Dad anyway?
I can relate to your question personally – some years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. I prayed as hard as I could for him to be healed. He passed away weeks later and it threw me into a dark time of doubt and pain. Anything you might be feeling at this point is totally understandable. Since then, I’ve come to see some comforting truths about when God answers “no” to our prayers.
First, the bible says God understands our suffering. The book of Isaiah says Jesus was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Isaiah 53:3-5 The bible also says that God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.2 Corinthians 1:3-5 The word compassion is based on the latin word “compati” which means to suffer together. Though the bible never says we will be immune from suffering and loss, it does say we have a God who suffers when we do.
If you are suffering from losing someone you love, you don’t have to suffer alone. Grace Church has GriefShare, where you can be supported by those who know and understand what you’re going through. If you need more specific help or want details, email Grace we’ll get you connected.
2. What happens to people who have never been exposed to Jesus when they die?
Throughout history, people of all cultures have identified that there is some form an all-powerful and divine being who made the world, the heavens, and all that is in them. Across the globe, many tribes and peoples have believed in the “great spirit” (e.g. American Indians, African tribesmen and various nomads) and have honored God in various ways. There have been (and are now) people who have never heard the Gospel and have no idea who Jesus is. The bible talks about this in Romans 2:14-16. In short, the bible says we are judged by the light we are given – if we have heard the Gospel, we are judged by our response to it. However, if we have never heard the gospel, then we still have our conscience to be our guide and we are judged by how we respond to it. This shows the just nature of God.
3. What part of the Bible should I read if I don’t understand the crucifixion and resurrection?
Many people don’t understand the necessity of Jesus dying on the cross and His resurrection. The critical thing to understand up front is the bible says we don’t possess the ability to make ourselves right with God – we are broken and cannot make ourselves whole – God must do it. God has a way to make people right, and it has nothing to do with the what we do. God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe. Everyone is the same in that we all have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness. But we can be made right with God by his grace through Jesus. This is a free gift. God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people’s sins through their faith in him.
If you want to dig deeper into this, and I hope you do, check out these links. Romans 3:21-26, Hebrews 2:1-18, Isaiah 53:5-6, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Galatians 3:13, John 10:11, Hebrews 7:27, Hebrews 9:26, 1 Peter 2:24, Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28. If you still have questions, email us and we will continue the conversation.