The Missing Factor in “Don’t Date Them If..” Checklists

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

holding-handsThere’s been a number of Christian social media posts lately about the importance of only dating a good man or woman. And we see lists of points and criteria for what the particular blogger feels are good qualities, and what are bad qualities that we should avoid at all costs.

While to a degree this can be a good thing, and as Christians we should look for good qualities in the person we may one day marry, the reality is if we were honest with ourselves, we all fall short in at least one or more of the points on these lists. Why? Because we all have a sinful nature in our flesh that we must daily put asunder, and choose to walk after the Spirit. There is nothing good in our flesh. None of us are perfect. Jesus even said, “No one is good but God alone.”

So what’s my point here? Well I am certainly not suggesting that you just pick any old Jane or Joe to marry. But that our criteria should be based more on finding someone who loves God and who is actively PURSUING godliness. But at the same time avoiding the false presumption that you can actually find the perfect perfected person. Let me say this clearly…THEY DO NOT EXIST. But those who love God, and really do desire to become more like Jesus; do exist.

I can also promise you this… that no matter who you marry YOU WILL BOTH STILL HAVE ISSUES. Why? Because those who choose to pursue God are not perfected at the point they begin the pursuit, no they are perfected in the process. God is always at work in us, and He uses the weaknesses of our spouse to test and mature our love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The Bible describes it as “Iron sharpening iron.” In fact God uses all our relationships to do this, but the marriage relationship is far more intense due to the commitment level, time spent together, and having become one in fleshly union. This false concept of finding “the right person” has caused more problems in marriages than we realize. I have counseled many couples who after only 2-3 years of marriage begin to doubt that they married the right person. Why? Because they are now beginning to see their spouses weaknesses clearer than ever before.

Just look at who God considered godly in the Bible; David. God called him a man after His own heart, yet David had baggage, lots of it, he blew it BIG TIME many times. But because he was PURSUING God, and was sorry for the things he did, God never stopped calling him a man after His own heart. Look at Gideon; God called him “a mighty man of valour” yet he was found hiding in a wine press, he doubted and questioned God numerous times.

The woman Rahab was a prostitute, Jacob was a deceitful man, Jonah was rebellious, Peter acted cowardly and denied Christ not once, but three times and later as an Apostle acted the hypocrite between the Jews and Gentiles… I mean the list goes on; yet these all continued to PURSUE God in spite of all their issues. Their pursuit of God is what made them godly even amidst their failings..

So all things considered; I don’t think the criteria for your Christian spouse need be met by checking off every point of a lengthy and fully unattainable blog list. We all have issues and baggage. So if your goal is to cross off every issue from your perfect mate list, you will eventually be left with no one. In fact if you were honest with yourself, you don’t even make your own list.

It essentially all comes down to this: Do they love God, are they pursuing Him, and does their life show a desire to become more like Him every day? And are you willing, in spite of their weaknesses, to love them and extend to them the same mercy and grace that Christ extended to you? This was how I chose my wife of 14 years now. And even to this day we are daily faced with one another’s weaknesses, yet it is the basis for which we made our choice that keeps us walking out our love for one another.

Proverbs 18:22
“He who finds a wife, finds what is good, and receives favour from the LORD.”

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner.

Does God Send People to Hell?

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

hellThis question seems to be floating around a lot in social media debates as of late.

So…the biblical answer? Yes… BUT not willingly. The Bible tells us that, “God is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL would come to the saving knowledge of the truth” 1 Timothy 2:4

So to be clear… IT IS NOT God’s will for anyone to enter Hell. So why will anyone go there, if it is not His will? Because God gave us all OUR OWN FREE WILL. The same free will that got us booted out of the garden of Eden in all its goodness in the first place. But no one in their right mind would CHOOSE to go to Hell would they? No. But that is the only destination that matches their description of freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from anything to do with God.

So Hell then… is God, after extending incredible mercy and grace through Jesus Christ during their lives on Earth, eventually giving those who reject the Gospel what THEY really want… complete separation from Him. Right now no one really knows what that feels like, because He is with us, and His presence is all around us in this present world, whether we believe in Him or not. And even though many God-haters are rigorously trying to get His people to stop talking about Him, that will not make Him go away, and we all will continue to experience times of goodness because of Him, whether He’s credited for it or not.

Matthew 5:45b
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

In the book of Genesis of the Bible, as God was creating the sun for light, land for living, air to breathe, and plants for food, it says, “And He saw that what He had made was good.” Why? Because He made it! And He is good! So don’t be fooled, if you reject God, you actually reject all that is good. And your unpredictable and short life on Earth will be your only taste of goodness at all. And unlike many who seem to think it so; Hell WILL NOT be some big party, now that God “the Kill Joy Rule Maker” is out of the way.

No… Hell WILL BE absolutely godless (void of good). Aside from the silly saying; there truly IS no such thing as experiencing “Hell on Earth”.  And although sinful men, with free wills are currently capable of doing terrible things; the full extent and torment of Hell, will be the complete and utter absence of anything good. And that’s because only God IS good, and He won’t be there. It’s simple really…no God… no good.

And lastly, another way to look at this is: God is the righteous perfect judge who must judge rightly. And you have been sentenced to death, because of your sinful crimes, whether you are willing to admit your wrong or not. However; the judge also being compassionate in nature offers up His own Son Jesus Christ for your release and full pardon. But you, for your own reasons say, “No.” And not unlike  any court case, if you refuse the deal, you pay the punishment. So from the reality of this perspective, it is your own choice that actually sends you to Hell, not God.

Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on Heaven and Earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live forever, even after they die.” Jesus

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner