MANY OF YOU HAVE ASKED FOR HEALTHY GUIDELINES TO CHRISTIAN PRAYER AND FASTING. REMEMBER THAT FASTING IS ONLY AN ACCESSORY TO PRAYER.
How to Begin Your Fast
How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these steps to fasting they will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.
STEP ONE: SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, guidance, resolution to problems, healing, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically. Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the holy spirit will stir our souls, awaken churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
STEP TWO: MAKE YOUR COMMITMENT
Pray about what kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast. (Matthew 6:16-18 9:14, 15) for Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast decide the following up front:
How long you will fast - one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)
The type of fast God wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often)
What physical or social activities you will restrict
How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you to sustain your fast.
When physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
STEP THREE: PREPARE YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept
God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6). Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).
STEP FOUR: PREPARE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medicines or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.
Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.
Do not rush into your fast.
Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.
Your time for fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have began to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:
Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should only be withdrawn only with your Physicians supervision.
Limit your activity.
Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety.
Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains, dizziness, or the “blahs.” Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.
The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast you are likely to experience a sense of well- being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.
STEP 5:PUT YOURSELF ON A SCHEDULE
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him the more meaningful your fast will be.
Begin your day in praise and worship.
Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.
Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country, and beyond.
Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.
Return to prayer and God’s Word.
Take a short prayer walk.
Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community’s and nation’s leaders, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family or special needs.
Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.
When possible begin and end each day on your knees with a spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. Longer periods of time with our Lord in prayer and study of his Word are often better done alone.
A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio Ruibal, a nutritionist, pastor, and a specialist in fasting and prayer - suggest a daily schedule and a list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your tastes and circumstances.
5:00 to 8:00 A.M.
Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.
10:30 A.M. - noon
Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery, and carrots in three equal parts.
2:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery, and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.
Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.
The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.
Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.
Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.
STEP SIX: END YOUR FAST GRADUALLY
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after you fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid foods to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, or even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end a fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:
Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
First day: Add a raw salad.
Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.
STEP SEVEN: EXPECT RESULTS:
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His Presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, physically and spiritually refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.
A single fast is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24 hour fast each week has been very rewarding for many Christians.
It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time. Or you may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. Maybe try a shorter fast and work your way up to longer periods. Take it to the Lord in prayer and see where He leads you.
HOW TO EXPERIENCE AND MAINTAIN YOUR PERSONAL REVIVAL:
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any un-confessed sin in your life.
2. Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you. Make restitution where God leads.
3. Examine your motives in every word and deed. Ask the Lord to search and cleanse your heart daily.
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to guard your walk against complacency and mediocrity.
5. Praise and give thanks to God continually in all ways on all days, regardless of your circumstances.
6. Refuse to obey your carnal (worldly) nature (Galatians 5:16,17).
7. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Develop utter dependence on Him with total submission and humility.
8. Study the attributes of God.
9. Hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
10. Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).
11. Appropriate the continual fullness and control of the Holy Spirit by faith on the basis of God’s command (Ephesians 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14,15).
12. Read, study, meditate on, and memorize God’s holy, inspired, inerrant Word daily (Colossians 3:16).
13. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
14. Fast and pray one 24-hour period each week. Prayerfully consider becoming one of the two million Christians who will fast for forty days before the end of the year 2012.
15. Seek to share Christ daily as a way of life.
16. Determine to live a holy, godly life of obedience and faith.
17. Start or join a home or church Bible study group that emphasizes revival and a holy life.
Never forget that all glory and honor go to The Lord Jesus Christ.. May He bless you!!!
The American Center for Law and Justice won a legal victory for a group of pro-life nurses in the Western part of the United States. The ACLJ did not specific the name or location of the hospital in question, likely due to legal and privacy issues, but it is good news for nurses who don’t want to participate in abortions.
As the pro-life legal group informed LifeNews:
Imagine you are a nurse. Imagine you have undergone extensive education and training and have chosen to specialize in assisting laboring women to safely deliver their babies. Now imagine that you arrive at work one day only to be informed that if you are not willing to participate in procedures that end the lives of those babies, you will no longer be permitted to work in your chosen field of labor and delivery. One group of nurses at a large West Coast hospital didn’t have to imagine this scenario — they lived it.
When these nurses first contacted us, their hospital’s Labor & Delivery Unit had recently been placed under the direction of a staunchly pro-abortion doctor, and they were facing the choice of either agreeing to participate in abortions against their moral and religious objections or being permanently transferred out of Labor & Delivery. Never mind the fact that until that time the nurses and their non-objecting colleagues had always worked together and managed the schedule in a way that ensured all patients received proper care, without the objecting nurses having to assist with abortions. No, the hospital was insistent: its Labor & Delivery Unit—you know, the part of the hospital dedicated to serving mothers and their babies—was no place for nurses who believe in the sanctity of human life. If the hospital had its way, pregnant patients who value life would no longer have access to health care personnel who shared their views and values.
Because the nurses were given just a few short weeks to make their decision, we immediately contacted the hospital to inform its administration that its new policy of discrimination was in direct violation of both state and federal laws protecting these nurses’ rights of conscience. We made clear our intention to file a lawsuit if necessary, and, in light of the seriousness of the situation, we enlisted the help of several members of Congress. Rather than correct the problem, for the last several months the hospital has repeatedly tried to find a way to remove these nurses from Labor & Delivery yet avoid the consequences of its discrimination, most recently implementing a scheduling policy that effectively penalized the objecting nurses by requiring them to rotate to a different hospital unit, while rewarding non-objecting nurses by removing them from this rotation and allowing them to work solely in Labor & Delivery. The hospital’s blatant disregard for the nurses’ rights left us with no choice but to prepare to take formal legal action.
We are pleased to report, however, that we received word last week that the hospital has had a change of heart and has agreed to return to its previous scheduling policy. Those Labor & Delivery nurses who have refused to participate in the culture of death that pervades our society will be able to continue to do what they love—and were actually trained for—without being punished for their stand for life. Imagine that.
All I can say to this is Praise the Lord!!! :):)
When you fall out of love with someone, it isn’t genuine love. It is infatuation. Real love is lasting. When you fall in love and get married it takes a lot of work to make that marriage work. That’s why it’s so important to take your time when choosing the right man or woman for you. Marriage is forever and it can be a living hell if you choose the wrong guy, or get married on whim. That is why the divorce rate is so high today. People are not willing to do the work with required to hold a marriage together. They want instant happiness that perfect life the gorgeous husband the wife who can go to work be the perfect mom, and still meet all of her husband needs at night. The real world is simply not like that. Great marriages are based on good communication. You need to spend time getting to know the person, what they’re really like deep inside their soul. Because once you get married you become one with that person and the covenant you make with them before God is for life. It is also vitally important that you pick someone who is a very strong Christian. He will become the spiritual leader of your home and your marriage. Love is a very powerful emotion. It motivates much of our lives. We make many important decisions based on this emotion, and even get married because we feel that we are “in love.” This may be the reason about half of all first marriages end in divorce. The Bible teaches us that true love is not an emotion that can come or go, but a decision. We are not just to love those who love us; we should even love those who hate us, the same way that Christ loves the unlovable (Luke 6:35). “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It can be very easy to “fall in love” with someone, but there are some questions to ask before deciding if what we are feeling is true love. First, is this person a Christian, meaning has he given his life to Christ? Is he/she trusting Christ alone for salvation? Also, if you are considering giving your heart and emotions to one person, you should ask yourself if you are willing to put that person above all other people and to put your relationship second only to God. The Bible tells us that when two people get married, they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5).
Another thing to consider is whether or not the loved one is a good candidate for being a mate. Has he/she already put God first and foremost in his/her life? Is he/she able to give his/her time and energy to building the relationship into a marriage that will last a lifetime? There is no measuring stick to determine when we are truly in love with someone, but it is important to discern whether we are following our emotions or following God’s will for our lives. True love is a decision, not just an emotion. True biblical love is loving someone all of the time, not just when you feel “in love.” God bless you!!! :):):)
In the Old Testament, self-mutilation was a common practice among false religions. First Kings 18:24-29 describes a ritual in which those who worshiped the false god Baal slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom. Because of the traditions of pagans, God made a law against this sort of practice. Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD.”
In the New Testament, cutting oneself was associated with someone who was possessed by demons (Mark 5:2-5). It was characteristic of behavior caused by evil spirits. Today, self-mutilation is rarely used for ritualistic practices or actual demon possession, but instead usually by teen-agers and young adults who have misplaced anger and pain that they are attempting to work out in destructive ways. Instead of dealing with emotional pain, some people would rather bring themselves physical pain, which actually serves as a relief from stress. Unfortunately, though, this sense of relief is quite short-lived, and the desire to be self-destructive quickly returns.
The Bible doesn’t talk about self-mutilation in terms of depression or anxiety, but it is very important that whoever is making a practice of this seeks immediate psychological (and hopefully Christian) counseling. They may need to obtain medication to deal with a mental illness. This behavior also indicates, or can lead to, drug and/or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, identity disorders, and suicidal thoughts or even attempts. First Corinthians 6:19 tells us how important our bodies are to the Lord. We no longer belong to ourselves, but instead we belong to Christ, who purchased us at a high price. We should not abuse the greatest gift we have been given.
A person who is struggling with self-mutilation should seek immediate counsel from a pastor and/or Christian counselor. Self-mutilation is the result of an incorrect view of self and of our personal value to God. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a proper understanding of His love is the only true cure for self-mutilation. God bless you!!! :):)
God gave man and woman the joy and pleasure of sexual relations within the bounds of marriage, and the Bible is clear about the importance of maintaining sexual purity within the boundaries of that union between man and wife (Ephesians 5:31). Humans are well aware of the pleasing effect of this gift from God but have expanded it well beyond marriage and into virtually any circumstance. The secular world’s philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” pervades cultures, especially in the West, to the point where sexual purity is seen as archaic and unnecessary.
Yet look at what God says about sexual purity. “You should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 7). This passage outlines God’s reasons for calling for sexual purity in the lives of His children.
First, we are “sanctified” and for that reason, we are to avoid sexual immorality. The Greek word translated “sanctified” means literally “purified, made holy, consecrated [unto God].” As Christians, we are to live a purified life because we have been made holy by the exchange of our sin for the righteousness of Christ on the cross and have been made completely new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Our old natures, with all their impurities, sexual and otherwise, have died and now the life we live, we live by faith in the One who died for us (Galatians 2:20). To continue in sexual impurity (fornication) is to deny that and doing so is, in fact, a legitimate reason to question whether we have ever truly been born again. Sanctification, the process by which we become more and more Christlike, is an essential evidence of the reality of our salvation.
We also see in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 the necessity of controlling our bodies. When we give in to sexual immorality, we give evidence that the Holy Spirit is not indwelling us because we do not possess one of the fruits of the Spirit—self-control. All believers display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to a greater or lesser degree depending on the length of time they have walked with God. Uncontrolled “passionate lust” is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19), not of the Spirit. So controlling our lusts and living sexually pure lives is essential to anyone who professes to know Christ. In doing so, we honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
We know God’s rules and discipline reflect His love for us. Following what He says can only help us during our time on earth. By maintaining sexual purity before marriage, we avoid past emotional entanglements that may negatively affect present relationships and marriages. Further by keeping the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4), we can experience unreserved love for our mates, which is surpassed only by God’s enormous love for us. God bless you!! :):)
No i don’t think there is. I think over time we learn to control our emotions. What would humans be like if we never became emotional? Perhaps we would be like Mr. Spock on Star Trek, as his responses to all situations seem to be purely logical, never emotional. But God created us in His image and God’s emotions are revealed in the Scriptures; therefore, God created us emotional beings. We feel love, joy, happiness, guilt, anger, disappointment, and fear, and sometimes these can be “false” feelings if they are based upon false premises. For example, if we falsely believe that God is not in control of the circumstances of our lives, we may experience the emotions of fear or despair or anger based on that false belief. True or not, emotions are very powerful and real to the one feeling them.
The Bible has much to say about the emotions we experience. Our emotions, like our minds and bodies, are influenced greatly by the fall of man into sin. As such, they are tainted by our sin natures. For the Christian, however, the Spirit of God who resides within us is capable of controlling our emotions and not allowing them to control us (Romans 8:9-11). From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as produces in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The emotions we experience are then His emotions, produced in us so that we exhibit the benefits of His presence in our hearts—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Out-of-control emotions are the product of a heart which is not saturated with Scripture. The way to control our emotions is to control our minds, renewing them by the daily input of scriptural principles, the knowledge of God, and meditation on His attributes. Then the Holy Spirit, along with the Word of God, will bring about appropriate emotions based on truth. When we immerse ourselves in the only means of our sanctification—the Bible—we arm ourselves with the only effective weapon against out-of-control emotions. Then we can control our emotions instead of them controlling us. In themselves, emotions are not unbiblical, but they are indications of what is in our hearts (Luke 6:45). God bless you!!! :):)
Anybody can say they love Jesus, or that they’re a Christian. But how do you know, when you’re falling in love with someone, whether they are the real deal? The Bible doesn’t mention the kind of dating relationships we see today; in fact, the only romantic relationships portrayed are either marriage relationships or adulterous relationships. What this means is that a Christian boyfriend should be, first and foremost, a man you plan to marry or at least someone who would make a good Christian husband. A Christian woman should be looking for someone who is serious about God and serious about his relationship with her. A Christian boyfriend isn’t dating just for fun; he has marriage in mind.
The Bible is full of verses that describe what a Christian man should be like, verses that are helpful and trustworthy for a woman who is evaluating a potential husband. The following are some guidelines based on those verses. A Christian boyfriend should be:
Humble and teachable: The Bible tells us that a righteous man, or a wise man, will take instruction gladly, even when it hurts him (Psalm 141:5; Proverbs 9:9, 12:15). A righteous man evidences a willingness to be corrected by Scripture and a tendency to love and listen to those who can teach him from the Scripture.
Honest: Do his actions agree with his words? The Bible says that a righteous man is characterized by honesty in his personal and business dealings (Ephesians 4:28). In addition, when he makes a promise, a Christian man keeps his promise, even when it hurts (Psalm 15:2-5). In short, his character should be one of integrity.
Selfless: The Bible speaks specifically to husbands when it tells them to love their wives as they love their own bodies, just like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25-28). A Christian boyfriend should begin to exhibit this kind of care and love for his girlfriend long before marriage. Love is easy in the romantic beginning stages, but a Christian boyfriend should be the kind of man whose behavior and intentions will be loving in all kinds of circumstances (1 John 3:18).
Able and willing to provide: The Bible says that a man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Provision doesn’t necessarily mean “bringing in a lot of money.” The issue is whether he takes responsibility for the welfare of his wife and children. It is important for women to grasp the seriousness of this verse. A man that doesn’t want to provide is very hard for a woman to respect, and if a wife struggles to respect her husband, marital troubles will go beyond the material. A woman’s respect for her husband and a man’s love for his wife are interdependent and life-giving to a marriage (Ephesians 5:25-32).
Willing to proactively protect: Both physically and emotionally, women tend to be weaker and more easily hurt than men. They need to be understood and protected and cared for in a proactive way. A good Christian boyfriend is a man who will look out for and care for his girlfriend and carry this passion for protecting her on into marriage (1 Peter 3:7).
Also, here are some negative things to watch out for: materialism (1 John 2:15-16; 1 Timothy 6:10), lying (Proverbs 12:22,19:22), sexual unfaithfulness (Ecclesiastes 7:26; Proverbs 7) and poor treatment of family members, especially his mother (Proverbs 15:20, 19:26, 20:20, 23:22). Usually a man’s treatment of his mother is a good indication of how he will treat his wife. Also, watch out for irrationally, controlling or jealous tendencies, as these often lead to violence (Proverbs 6:34; 27:4).
Finally, a Christian boyfriend is one with whom a woman is evenly matched. First, in the spiritual sense – a couple’s relationship with God should be the primary factor in any relationship, and they should be matched in that regard. Believers are commanded to marry other believers (2 Corinthians 6:14), so there is no reason to be dating an unbeliever. But a couple should also be evenly matched in the more practical aspects, having compatible temperaments, similar energy levels, and shared life-goals and interests. These things add tremendously to happiness in a relationship.
In addition to all this, if a man has a good sense of humor and a steady, cheerful disposition, this is wonderfully encouraging for his wife. Nobody can be “up” all the time, but a man who is characterized by the peace and joy of the Spirit is a real catch. Life is hard, and marriage is hard too. There will be times of sadness and there will be conflict. Because of this, a cheerful, encouraging spouse is a real blessing (Proverbs 16:24; 17:22; 15:30). God bless you!!! :):)
This may sound like a dumb question but whats the difference between courtship and dating as christians?
thanks and God bless you :)
Dating and courtship are two methods of beginning relationships with the opposite sex. While there are non-Christians who date with the intention of having a series of intimate physical relationships, for the Christian this is not acceptable and should never be the reason for dating. Many Christians see dating as little more than friendship and maintain the friendship aspect of their dating until both people are ready to commit to each another as potential marriage partners. First and foremost, dating is a time when a Christian finds out if his or her potential marriage partner is also a believer in Christ. The Bible warns us that believers and unbelievers should not marry each other, because those living in the light (of Christ) and those living in the darkness cannot live in harmony (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). As stated before, during this time there should be little or no physical contact, as this is something that should wait until marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
Courtship takes the position that the two people have no physical contact at all (no touching, no hand-holding, no kissing) until marriage. Many in a courtship relationship will not spend any time together unless family members, preferably parents, are present at all times. In addition, courting couples state up front that their intentions are to see if the other person is a suitable potential marriage partner. Courtship advocates claim that courtship allows for the two people to truly get to know each other in a more platonic setting without the pressures of physical intimacy or emotions clouding their view.
There are problems inherent with both styles. For daters, spending time alone with a member of the opposite sex whom we find attractive can present temptations that can be very hard to resist. The Christian dating couple must have boundaries in place and be committed to not crossing them. If they find this hard to do, they must take steps to ensure that Christ will always be honored during their time together and that sin is never given a chance to take hold of their relationship. Just as with the courting couple, the parents of the dating couple should be involved in the relationship, getting to know their child’s companion and being a source of wise and discerning advice and guidance for both of them.
Of course, the courtship style presents its own set of difficulties. While many courtship advocates see it as the only choice for finding a mate, others find it oppressive and overly controlling. In addition, it can be hard to find the “real” person behind the public face presented in front of the entire family. No one is the same in a group setting as he or she is one-on-one. If a couple is never alone together, they never have that one-on-one opportunity to relate and get to know one another in emotional and spiritual intimacy. In addition, some courtship situations have led to borderline “arranged marriages” by the parents and have resulted in resentment in one or both of the young people.
It is important to remember that neither dating nor courtship is mandated in Scripture. In the end, the Christian character and spiritual maturity of the couple is far more important than the exact nature of how and when they spend time together. Scripturally speaking, the result of the process—godly Christian men and women marrying and raising families to the glory of God—is far more important than the method they use to achieve that result. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV).
Finally, care must be taken to avoid the pitfall of believing one’s personal preference—dating or courting—is the “only way” and looking down upon those who make the opposite choice. As in all things, the unity of the body of Christ should be of utmost importance in our minds, regardless of personal choices others make pertaining to issues on which the Bible is silent. God bless you! :):)
The sort of dating relationships that are seen today aren’t mentioned in the Bible. Marriage and betrothal are the only types of romantic relationships seen in Scripture. What this means is that a Christian girlfriend should be, first and foremost, a potential marriage partner. A Christian man should be seeking a woman to spend his life with, not just someone to have fun with. If a man is not ready to get married, he should not be pursuing a Christian girlfriend.
As a man looks for a girlfriend, the most important quality she must possess (as his potential future wife and a person who will have a great deal of influence in his life) is salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, and a life lived in obedience to Him. In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul tells us not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. If a woman does not have faith in Jesus Christ, a Christian man would be foolish to consider her as a girlfriend and/or as a wife.
That said, just because a woman is a Christian, she is not necessarily a perfect match for any Christian man. It is important to factor in other aspects of being “equally yoked.” For example, similar spiritual goals, doctrinal beliefs and outlook on life are all extremely important considerations. In addition, it is wise to think through more practical things like energy level, common interests, and expectations about family and lifestyle. Many men marry women based on emotional or physical attraction alone, and that can lead to disaster.
The Bible provides some guidelines about the kind of character a man should look for in a Christian girlfriend. A Christian woman will exhibit a spirit of submission to the Lord. The Apostle Paul tells wives they are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24). If she is not able to submit to the Lord, she will likely not see the value of submitting to her husband when that time comes. It is important to remember that the character of submission is a spiritual quality, not a personality trait. A sweet personality does not necessarily correspond to a submissive spirit, and neither does an energetic or strong-willed personality necessarily correspond to a willful spirit. A woman will be submissive to the degree she is influenced by God’s Spirit, and she will be influenced by His Spirit to the degree that she loves Him and spends time in His Word.
A Christian woman should benefit and bless her husband. She is to be his helper, according to the earliest biblical precedent set for Adam and Eve. She should be a fit helper for his mission and call. If he is called to be a pastor or a missionary, for example, he should look for a Christian girlfriend who feels the same call. If he feels a strong desire for a large family, he should find a woman who feels the same way. But most of all, according to the call put on all of us to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), a man should choose a woman who will help, and not hinder him in this regard. She should exhibit a commitment to prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16), encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11), serving others (Hebrews 6:10) and the wisdom that comes from knowing God’s Word (Colossians 3:16). This is the kind of woman that will be truly helpful to a Christian man. God bless you! :):)
Premarital sex involves any kind of sexual contact prior to entering into a legal marriage relationship. There are a number of reasons why Scripture and traditional Christianity oppose this. God designed sex to be enjoyed within a committed marital relationship. To remove it from that context is to pervert its use and severely limit its enjoyment. Sexual contact involves a level of intimacy not experienced in any other human relationship. When God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage, He established the “one flesh” relationship. Genesis 2:24 tells us that a man will leave his family, join to his wife, and become “one flesh” with her.
This idea is carried through in the New Testament as well; we see it in Jesus’ words in both Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7. Paul elaborates on that idea in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, in his discussion of God’s lordship over our bodies as well as our souls. He says that when a man has sex with a prostitute, they have become “one body” (verse 16). It’s clear that the sexual relationship, no matter the context, is special. There is a level of vulnerability one experiences in a sexual relationship which should only occur within a committed, trusting, marital union.
There are, in general, two contexts for premarital sex. There is the “we love each other and are committed to each other, but just don’t want to wait to be married” sexual relationship, and there’s “casual sex.” The former is often rationalized with the idea that the couple will surely marry, so there’s no sin in engaging in marital relations now. However, this shows impatience and disrespect to oneself, as well as the other person. It removes the special nature of the relationship from its proper framework, which will erode the idea that there’s a framework at all. If we accept this behavior, it’s not long before we’ll regard any extra-marital sex as acceptable. To tell our prospective mate that they’re worth waiting for strengthens the relationship and increases the commitment level.
Casual sex is rampant in many societies. There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. An analogy is instructive here. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all. The sexual relationship is so strong and so intimate that we cannot enter into it casually, no matter how easy it might seem.
So, is there hope? When a Christian engages in premarital sex, or when one who has lost his/her virginity comes to Christ, the Holy Spirit will convict of the sin, and there will be grief over it. However, it’s important – even vital – to remember that there is no sin beyond the reach of the blood of Jesus. If we confess, He will not only forgive, but will cleanse us from “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Furthermore, in addition to the forgiveness (which is in itself glorious), God restores. Joel 2:25 tells us that God is able to restore the years that the locust has eaten, and that’s what premarital sex is—a locust that consumes our sense of self, our self-esteem, and our perception of forgiveness. It consumes, but God restores us to “secondary virginity.” Scripture also tells us that when we come to Christ, we are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), so one who engaged in premarital sex prior to conversion is recreated by God into a new person; the old is gone, the new has come.
Finally, we know that, as Christians, we’re being renewed by the Holy Spirit each day we walk with Jesus. Colossians 3:10 tells us that our new self is being renewed day by day after the image of its Creator. There is no sin without hope. The power of the gospel is available to all who trust in Jesus for forgiveness. God bless you! :):)
Before this question is answered, the term “Christian” must be defined. A “Christian” is not a person who has said a prayer, or walked down an aisle, or been raised in a Christian family. While each of these things can be a part of the Christian experience, they are not what “makes” a Christian. A Christian is a person who has, by faith, received and fully trusted in Jesus Christ as the only Savior (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9).
So, with this definition in mind, can a Christian lose salvation? Perhaps the best way to answer this crucially important question is to examine what the Bible says occurs at salvation, and to study what losing salvation would therefore entail. Here are a few examples:
A Christian is a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse speaks of a person becoming an entirely new creature as a result of being “in Christ.” For a Christian to lose salvation, the new creation would have to be canceled and reversed.
A Christian is redeemed. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). The word “redeemed” refers to a purchase being made, a price being paid. For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase that He paid for with the precious blood of Christ.
A Christian is justified. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). To “justify” means to “declare righteous.” All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and “un-declare” what He had previously declared.
A Christian is promised eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Eternal life is a promise of eternity (forever) in heaven with God. God promises, “Believe and you will have eternal life.” For a Christian to lose salvation, eternal life would have to be taken away. If a Christian is promised to live forever, how then can God break this promise by taking away eternal life?
A Christian is guaranteed glorification. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). As we learned in Romans 5:1, justification is declared at the moment of faith. According to Romans 8:30, glorification is guaranteed for all those whom God justifies. Glorification refers to a Christian receiving a perfect resurrection body in heaven. If a Christian can lose salvation, then Romans 8:30 is in error, because God could not guarantee glorification for all those whom He predestines, calls, and justifies.
Many more illustrations of what occurs at salvation could be shared. Even these few make it abundantly clear that a Christian cannot lose salvation. Most, if not all, of what the Bible says happens to us when we receive Jesus Christ as Savior would be invalidated if salvation could be lost. Salvation cannot be reversed. A Christian cannot be un-newly created. Redemption cannot be undone. Eternal life cannot be lost and still be considered eternal. If a Christian can lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and change His mind—two things that Scripture tells us God never does.
The most frequent objections to the belief that a Christian cannot lose salvation are 1) What about those who are Christians and continually live an immoral lifestyle? 2) What about those who are Christians but later reject the faith and deny Christ? The problem with these two objections is the phrase “who are Christians.” The Bible declares that a true Christian will not live a continually immoral lifestyle (1 John 3:6). The Bible declares that anyone who departs the faith is demonstrating that he never truly was a Christian (1 John 2:19). Therefore, neither objection is valid. Christians do not continually live immoral lifestyles, nor do they reject the faith and deny Christ. Such actions are proof that they were never redeemed.
No, a Christian cannot lose salvation. Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing can remove a Christian from God’s hand (John 10:28-29). God is both willing and able to guarantee and maintain the salvation He has given us. Jude 24-25, “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” God bless you! :):)
Connect With Me:
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• premarital sex
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• witch craft