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Trying to regain my faith! :)

I would like to start out that I try to believe in God and I go to my Methodist Church a few times a month, but some things are bothering me. I have a few questions that are in dire need of an answer. First, do you believe that everything living goes to heaven or hell? I think most Christians only believe that only humans go to heaven or hell. That is extremely self-centered. This should apply to every living thing, yes even bacteria and plants. So, if an animal kills another, would they go to hell even though it is natural? This goes with every thing else like going to church or whatnot. That is absurd. Why do you only believe that this applies to humans? Just because we are more advanced? Second, why would there be a hell when God created us? I will give two examples, depending one if you believe in free will or not. One, if he creates us then he created our brain, and that’s what we use to think and it will only do certain things. So, if I kill someone because it’s “programmed” and I’m punished, is that right? Example, if I were born you I would be reading this right now, and if you were born me, you would be typing this. If you believe in free will, it’s like if a parent leads a child to a loaded gun and he killed someone, is he/she responsible? This is the same type of situation. Third, I would like to know why you believe. I believe but then when I sit down and think about it for a minute, none of it makes sense. There is not ONE speck of evidence that he exists, I mean take the tsunami disaster for instance. I mean, if anything this disaster proves it. People give time and money and what does he do? He caused it in the first place, don’t tell me he didn’t (if you believe). Think about it, he would control everything (if you believe). Maybe it’s just because I don’t like to be lead into something when I can’t even tell if it even exists! One other thing that I don’t quite understand is why did he create us? So he could sit there and watch us go through all the pains of life? If God doesn’t want me to do this, why doesn’t he tell me himself rather than some child molester who I have no reason to believe? Lastly, why would he want us to go to church? Think about this, he created you just to praise him and please him? This makes no sense. Maybe I believe in God, but not in church. Feel free to comment, please don’t flame me because I didn’t mean for you to. The thing is that these problems (and MANY more) have really been bugging me lately. I WANT to believe but I just can’t pull myself to, and please don’t say anything along the lines of God works in mysterious ways because that makes me believe less.

Thank you,
-age 16

P.S. Sorry if this is the wrong forum.
HI Helmut,
I am sorry to hear that you have this crisis of faith, but all things have a purpose. May this make you stronger. I will try to answer your questions as well as I am able. Firstly, our first purpose is fellowship with God. He will tolerate and forgive some rather extreme things if you acknowledge him as God and spend time with him. King David raped Bathsheeba, then murdered her husband in an attempt to hide her pregnancy. But upon his repentance God forgave him, although not without serious penalty.

The Lord God says that if you seek him diligently with all your heart he will not hide his face from you. He will reveal himself. This is why he made our legs articulate at the knee. [Diligence is "painstaking attention to detail."]

The sentence for sin is death. He is very, very patient, and mercy is greater than judgement, but there comes a time when a nation that will not humble itself and seek him, must face a reckoning of sinful accounts. God is Holy, and sin is abomination, and even though love covers over much sin, consistent and wilful rejection of him will bring judgement. The tsunami is judgement for ignoring him and for other sin. It is a warning to the rest of the world of things to come, a demonstration of his power and our powerlessness.

Hell was prepared for the angels who left their heavenly abode to pursue sin. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked: "It is not the will of God that any man should perish." Perish refers to the second death in the lake of fire, which is eternal separation from God. Everyone in hell is there contrary to the will of God.

There is no evidence in the bible that creatures go to heaven or hell. Nor do I know of any scripture that ascribes to non human creatures an eternal soul.

God created us for fellowship, and to reveal his glory, holiness and excellence, his generosity and his love. God is love, but sin must be purged. The thing that angers him the most is people he made with great care in the womb ignoring him and refusing to seek him. If you seek him and walk with him, much else will be overlooked. Indeed he wants to be praised, worshipped, glorified and prayed to, but primarily he wants us to know him, he wants to reveal himself to each of us so that we can get to know him. He commends the church of Ephesus for their patience and works in his name, but he says that they have forgotten their first love, and if they do not return to him in that way of fellowship, he will remove their candlestick from its place.

Why does he want us to go to church? God makes many things as a single unit with many parts, or members.
The one man Adam sinned, but all of his descendants became guilty of sin. The one man Christ [who is God] brought redemption for all mankind, and we are called the body of Christ, albeit one of a great many members. We are all one in Christ. The law of Moses has hundreds of commandments, but if I break even one of them I have broken the whole law.I am guilty of sin against all commandments. The law is one thing of many parts. So also is the Body of Christ, we who believe, and we are commanded to worship as one, corporately. We are to gather and worship in his name, as we are all one in Christ who believe on his name.

There is no such thing as a natural disaster. There are only judgements of God for ignoring him, or for adding to that sins which grieve him. Men don't make war of their own accord either. Armies are raised up by God to punish other nations.

The day is coming when all of the elements will melt in the heat, or to say it in the modern vernacular, the earth will be slagged at the molecular level to purify it. God's urban renewal program.

All weather, All natural disasters, All wars, All hardships are his way of telling us to turn to him. Or a punishment for failing to do so. We can condense a lot of talk into the following: He says to us, "I am God, you are not. I make the rules, you don't. Come to me for all things including life, and it will be well. Reject me at your peril."

God says that we must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. So faith is of two components: we must believe that He is, and that as we seek him daily in fine detail, he will reward us. And so he will.

The preparation of the hearts of men, and the reply of the tongue is of the Lord, so here is an experiment for you. Repent of at least one major sin in your life and seek God over it and many other things, then see how people treat you. Are they nicer to you, do they respect you more, are things going better in your life? The results should be nearly immediate and blatantly obvious. God will not hide from the sincerely diligent who genuinely want to know the truth of his existence and power.

I hope this helps.
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