Nothing Lies Beyond the Reach of Prayer

except that which lies outside the will of God.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Phillips Brooks was a clergyman and author who lived in the 1800’s. He said, “Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.” Was he correct? Is anything beyond the reach of prayer except those things that lie outside of God’s will for us? In other words, will God violate His will to answer our prayers?

We know from the Bible that nothing is too hard or too difficult for God.

Jeremiah 32:27 says: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (NIV)

And the Bible says in Matthew 19:6, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (NIV)

What Caused Me to Doubt My Salvation

Knowing what causes doubt can help us avoid lack of assurance.

In a recent article, I wrote about how I doubted my salvation and how later I came to assurance. It was agonizing to wonder if I was truly saved. Now that I no longer doubt my salvation, it is interesting to look back at what caused it. I hope that my experience can help you.

Here are some of the issues that I believe caused me to doubt my salvation:

1. Fatigue and exhaustion.

Either Vince Lombardi or General George Patton said, “Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All.”

How I Moved from Doubting My Salvation to Assurance

It’s a wonderful feeling to know you are eternally saved!

Assurance of eternal salvation is a wonderful thing! On the other hand, doubt and worry about your salvation can be deeply troubling. I know this from personal experience. Years ago, I struggled with the question, “Am I really saved?” Over time, I moved from doubting to assurance of salvation. In this article, I’d like to share with you how that happened. I hope it will help you and others.

Here are the key factors that helped me move from doubt to assurance:

1. Walking and talking with Jesus.

The first reason I found assurance is because I’ve walked and talked with Jesus in prayer. I’ve come to where I feel I truly know Him.

Perhaps others have had a different experience of assurance, but I think for me this has been profound.

Jesus said,

Please DO Call Yourself a Christian If…

Do you sometimes wonder if you really are saved?

In a recent blog, I wrote about “Please don’t call yourself a Christian if…” Now, in this article, I’d like to cover the opposite issue: “Please DO Call Yourself a Christian If…” The Bible says; “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.” (2 Corinthians 13:5a NLT) But how can we do that? How can we examine ourselves? For many years I wondered, “Am I a true believer. Or am I deluded? Will I find out the Lord doesn’t really love me some day?”

It was a heavy burden to carry and I needed assurance badly!

This is certainly an area that produces confusion and raises many questions:

  • Does being a Christian mean being perfect?
  • If we sin, do we lose our salvation?
  • Can we be forgiven when we sin?

Here are three ways to examine yourself:

Please DO call yourself a Christian if:

1. You don’t pretend to be perfect, but work hard to be as Christ-like as you can.

Please Don’t Call Yourself a Christian If…

Warning: Don’t read this unless you can handle a challenge.

Some of the worst “advertising” for Christ are the people who say they’re Christians but aren’t. The truth is, anyone can call themselves a Christian, whether they are or not. There is no restriction that can keep false believers at bay. In fact, Scripture said there would be false believers and even false prophets. (I wrote about one of Jesus’ most famous teachings on “Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing.”) So perhaps the only defense against this potential major turn-off is to ask: “Please don’t call yourself a Christian if…”

I’d like to examine three categories of false Christians. My hope is that if you fall into one of these three categories, that you please don’t call yourself a Christian. In my next blog, I’ll discuss the flip side of this equation: Please DO call yourself a Christian if…

The Bible says; “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.” (2 Corinthians 13:5a NLT) Here are three ways to examine yourself.

Please don’t call yourself a Christian if:

1. You live a non-Christian lifestyle.

Warning — Stay Out of The Shack!

Bad things happen in there.

Please stay out of The Shack. Both the novel and now the movie. The novel is theologically dangerous. The movie, opening Friday March 3, 2017, is an extension of the novel. Be careful.

 

Please understand, I love good stories and good movies. I wouldn’t be  advising you to stay out of The Shack unless there was significant cause for concern.

Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15 ESV)

1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Christians are told to be discerning. But it seems that many Christians lack discernment.

Others have analyzed and written about the many misleading aspects of The Shack. So, I don’t need to write more—you can read their great articles here:

What I’d like to do is answer some of the reasons I’ve heard for why it’s OK to read, watch and recommend The Shack:

1. For heaven’s sake, The Shack is just fiction.

Hi from Brazil – Seeing Jesus’ Impact Around the World!

The astounding influence of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ impact around the world is amazing. I’m here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil doing ministry and a little vacation time with Carolyn. It’s been a wonderful trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, then Montevideo, Uruguay and now here. Soon I leave for Uberlandia, Brazil and then I’ll finish in Sao Paulo, which might be about the time you read this.

Here’s a video I recorded a couple of days ago on our sightseeing tour around the city.


At the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro.

In this video, I referenced two books about Jesus’ impact around the world throughout history. The first is What if Jesus Had Never Been Born by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. I read it years ago, but have never forgotten it because I was profoundly impressed. I wrote a summary in an article with the same title.

The second book is How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt. This is the one I’m currently reading. I’m again astounded at the impact of Jesus.

Jesus’ impact around the world is just astounding!

The following short essay does a good job summarizing Jesus’ impact around the world throughout history:

One Solitary Life.

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpentry shop until he was thirty, and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.

When the tide that popular opinion turned against him, his friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies. He was tried and convicted. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never went to college. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompanies greatness. Yet all the armies that ever marched, and all the governments that ever sat, and all the King’s that ever reigned, had not affected life upon this earth as powerfully as that One Solitary Life.

To find out how to know God personally today through Jesus Christ, please click HERE!

Additional resources about related subjects on this site:

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Why a Loving God Sends People to Hell

2nd in my series: “The Top 10 Objections to Christianity Answered.”

The Bible is clear that God sends people to hell. Or perhaps it is better stated that they send themselves there. That bothers many. How could a loving God do or allow that? It confuses people. I’ve had to contemplate this issue carefully.

The USA Supreme Court represents the highest level of justice in the land.

This is the second article I’m writing in a countdown of “The Top 10 Objections to Christianity Answered.”

I’ll give my answers to why God sends people to hell in two categories:

1. God is just.

2. God is love.

1. God is just (fair).

7 Amazing Ways God Reveals Himself to Us

The 1st in my series: The Top 10 Objections to Christianity Answered.

God reveals Himself to us, He just doesn’t do a very good job of it. That’s what many seem to think. In fact, I’ve sometimes thought that myself. I’ve wondered things like: Why doesn’t God make it more clear that He exists and His plan for humanity? Why be mysterious? Why not make things obvious? Why make people take a step of faith to believe?

So today I’d like to address those questions.

This is the first article I’ll be writing in a countdown of “The Top 10 Objections to Christianity Answered.”

I’ll give my answer in two categories:

1. Why God reveals Himself to us more subtly than we might like.
2. How God reveals Himself sufficiently for those who are willing to receive and love Him.

1. Why God reveals Himself to us more subtly than we might like.

3 Biblical Reasons Racism is Sinful and Silly

The Bible speaks clearly against racial discrimination.

Racism was only a small, subtle problem where I was raised. I grew up in the all-white, middle-class town of Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Everyone was Caucasian: everyone in our schools, our neighborhood, our stores and our church. Finally in high school, about five African-Americans were “bussed” in from nearby Whitehall, apparently to add variety to the racial scene.

Thus, there was not much racial tension—there was no one to be tense with! But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t hear some racial slurs and learn some subtle racism. I’m ashamed of that now.

After high school, I attended Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago. There the racial situation was quite different. I was given a Practical Christian Work assignment in a high-rise tenement building on the south side of Chicago. We went to the home of a dear elderly African-American woman who invited in the children nearby for our little Bible class.

I began to realize that racism is sinful and silly.

Still, I didn’t have opportunity for a lot of interracial interaction. But after becoming a full-time missionary in 1998, I’ve been blessed to work in 60 countries on every inhabited continent of the world. I’ve met and ministered with believers from many nations and races.

Often the Christian passion, zeal and sacrifice of all the other ethnicities have impressed me deeply. They usually have less money, education, opportunity and freedom. Yet their commitment to Christ is immense. When I travel I often think of the words of Jesus, “So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:16 ESV)

I’ve come to realize that for a Christian, any racism is wrong.

Here are 3 biblical reasons racism is sinful and silly:

1. God’s love does not discriminate racially.