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Faith Related Q and A
» I have always had this question and have grown up WELS and taught in the educational system. Why did the first man and woman God make sin?
» I was a WELS Lutheran. (Now, I attend a Missouri Synod church.) One thing that I still feel I need a better understanding, and was part of the reason I felt called to leave the synod, is praying with family. Why does WELS feel it is incorrect for me to say a table prayer or the Lord's prayer with my Christian brothers and sisters? Thanks in advance for helping me understand your perspective.
» I’m a little confused as to where Jesus went when he died. In the Apostles' Creed it says he “descended into hell. The third day he rose again....” Where in the Bible do I find that Jesus descended into hell? On the cross Jesus said to the thief that day he would be with him in paradise, which seems like Jesus would be in heaven right away. Thanks so much for helping clear this up for me.
» God didn't think too much of man to make him out of a pile of dirt. Eve must not have had much of a brain; she didn't know snakes cannot talk.
» When a father dies suddenly, leaving behind a wife and three daughters, all with college education and a long history of participation within the church and being confirmed in the church, is it common for the pastor and then the rest of the church to completely abandon them? Is it because as women they don't have any power/vote in the church that they are basically useless?
» What is the WELS position on decision theology?
» How do I explain the dangers of smoking and God’s plan for us to a friend in a godly way? I’m a WELS Lutheran, and have a Christian (Methodist) friend who smokes. After seeing what a relative of mine who smoked went through (gangrene, multiple amputations, necrotizing fasciitis, and eventually death), I’ve tried to explain to her the dangers of smoking. She tried cutting back, and for a while was doing well, but eventually fell back into the habit. A year after my relative passed away, we got talking about the issue once, and by then, I could tell that she couldn’t help but give up on quitting, as she asked me something to the tune of, “If God knows when we’re all going to die, anyway, what’s the point in quitting?” I couldn’t even answer that, as inside, my heart broke for her. I saw someone who would rather just give in and suffer any possible effects, than tough it out. I’ll always be a friend to her, even if she’s a smoker until her dying day, but I’d just hate to see her possibly suffer the same horrible effects that my relative and millions of others have gone through.
» I'm currently learning more about the WELS. And I like everything they believe and teach so far. My everyday question is this: what's the purpose of 1000 year reign of Christ?
» Is it God’s will for some people to go to hell? If I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in God, and the only reason I have faith is because the Holy Spirit gave it to me, did God choose me over other sinners? God loves all people, and Jesus died for all sinners, so why do some go to hell? I know that sometimes God makes bad things happen for good reasons, but how do I know that it’s not his will for me (or anyone else) to go to hell? How does free will fit into all of this? Thank you.
» I've been disturbed about one of the 10 Commandments, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Luther's Small Catechism, #45, explains God does not require us to observe the Sabbath and other holy days of the OT. I thought it peculiar that this commandment would be the only one omitted. Matt.12:8 and Col. 2:16,17 are the stated supporting Scripture. Reading the complete context of these verses, I understand it to be in reference to the Pharisees' (man's) laws added on to God's commandments in both Matthew and Colossians. Weren't Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit present with the Father when Moses received the 10 Commandments? Furthermore, the construction of the days of the week were named by the Romans after their pagan gods and there isn't clarity as to which day/days God designates as the 6 days of work and which is the 7th day of rest (which is first, and which is last). Different people have different work days. Since it isn't stated which days, wouldn't it mean after one works 6 days (whichever days one labors), labor ceases and rest in body and mind is to solely focus on God?
If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” -- what would your answer be?
 
What God Demands
God demands perfection -- no more and no less -- because he is perfect and just. God created us to be perfect too. Since Adam and Eve, people are born imperfect and live far less than perfect. But since God is the same, the requirement of perfection remains the same. We may not like
that requirement, but God is God. He makes the rules.
 
What God Sees
As much as we'd like to deny or hide it, no one can claim to be perfect -- without sin. We'd like to believe that we are but, if we're honest, even our own hearts won't let us get away with that lie. Our Ways of Coping with that Truth Our hearts don't want to believe we're sinful, that there's something wrong with us, and we'll try anything to avoid admitting it. Trying to balance the bad things we do with good things, promising to do better next time, and comparing our lives with others may make us feel better for a time, but they don't solve the problem!

God Has Provided the Solution! 
God's remedy centers on a person. That person is God's own Son, Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God from all eternity, but that he became a human being. But Jesus was unlike any other human being. He never sinned in any way. Yet he was put to death. We're told why. "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) In the same way, Jesus' perfection, righteousness, was credited to us. "God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” The answer is because of Jesus! Jesus died for my sins. He was punished for them, not me. I have been declared not guilty through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!

This priceless gift which God has provided for all and that he gives through faith in Jesus Christ is the starting point for our life in him, with him, and for him. It is in this grace of God that we live and grow. Everything we do now, we strive to do out of thankfulness for what he has done. We can't earn his love or make him love us any more than he already does! As his Holy Spirit continues his work in us through Word and Sacraments, we experience more and more the blessings of God: freedom from guilt, power for godly living, answers to prayer, and guidance for life. This is life -- God's kind of life. This is peace with God through Jesus. And he gives it to you.
 
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