My Answer: Bickering at church far from Christian

Q: Aren't Christians supposed to love each other? We joined a church after moving to a new city, and all the people seem to do is bicker (often about the smallest things). I'm a newcomer to the Christian faith, but I'm getting discouraged. — Mrs. C.P.

A: You're right; Christians certainly are supposed to love others, especially their fellow believers. Jesus' words couldn't be clearer: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

When we don't love, however, it's because we haven't allowed Christ to take control of our lives and fill us with His Spirit. I often think in this connection of the Christians in the ancient city of Corinth. Most of them came out of a pagan background, and it was hard for them to understand what it meant to follow Jesus in their daily lives. Paul, in fact, had to rebuke them because they weren't getting along.

But Paul didn't give up on them — and neither did Christ. Instead of condemning them or turning his back on them, Paul urged them to look at Christ and seek to be more like Him — and in time, they did. Perhaps God has placed you in this church to be an example to others of Christ's love and mercy.

Pray for those in your church who can't seem to get along — and pray especially for your pastor. Pray not only that they'll stop bickering, but that they'll commit their lives more fully to Jesus and allow His love to fill their hearts. Almost nothing pleases Satan more than for Christians to squabble among themselves, because it makes unbelievers laugh at the Gospel and assume Christians must be phonies. But it doesn't need to be that way — and it won't be, when God's people humble themselves and seek to do His will.


Q: I know you believe in the devil, but what proof do you have of his existence? Have you ever seen him? I think the devil is just a myth people dreamed up because they needed someone to blame for their own failings. — B. McK.

A: No, I've never seen the devil — and I hope I never do, because the Bible clearly teaches that he is the essence of absolutely everything that is evil, including death itself. Jesus called him "a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him" (John 8:44).

But I certainly have seen his work — and so have you (even if you didn't recognize it as such). When someone commits a crime or hurts someone, Satan rejoices. When someone yields to temptation and ends up destroying their life, Satan rejoices. When wars break out or families can't get along, Satan rejoices.

Remember: The devil's goal isn't just to do bad things occasionally. His goal is to block God's plans in every way he possibly can, and one way he does this is by trying to stop everything good that God wants to do. Don't be deceived; the devil hates us, and all his promises are lies. One of Satan's cleverest schemes is to deceive us into thinking he doesn't exist. But he does, and the evidence is all around us.

Yes, Satan is real, and he is our enemy. But listen: he also is a defeated foe! By His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ conquered sin and death and Hell and Satan, and someday His victory will be complete. On whose side are you? Don't be on the losing side, but by faith commit your life to Jesus Christ and become part of His eternal family — beginning today.

(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

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