Dear Dr Robert

CHURCH LEAVERS

 (January 26, 2023) Dr Robert McQuillan encourages a troubled young believer…

Dear Dr Robert

This may be nothing…  or something! Maybe it’s because I‘m feeling a little concerned. It’s just that some of our key people, including the minister, have suddenly left, or are leaving. I feel a little bit uneasy. Grant.

Hi Grant

I know how you’re feeling. Long time ago in the early days of my Christian journey, there were a lot of things I didn’t know about, didn’t understand, hadn’t worked out. Maybe if I share as follows, it’ll help you…

People, key people or others, do leave church at times, even a great church such as the one you attend. In a nutshell, this is life – it happens! I’ll give you some reasons –

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MINISTRY HICCUPS

(December 20, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan encourages a troubled pastoral couple …

Dear Dr Robert

I apologise that this is going to be a long letter.

My wife and I are ministers, like you and Maureen. We’ve always enjoyed this calling, despite challenges that are involved – many of which we can’t or won’t share with our church. I’m sure you too have found that some church members can be very unkind and unthoughtful when they learn their ministers have needs. I don’t mean financial ones, although to be honest sometimes we can be disappointed when we hear some members don’t contribute to our church, but donate heavily to ‘prosperity doctrine’ preachers.

No, I’m particularly thinking of other concerns – we’re not as young as we used to be and both seem to get attacked by sicknesses we never thought about before. In fact we used to pray for people going through similar sicknesses and God would gloriously answer our prayers. Now we find ourselves not wanting to mention our needs in case we’re accused of losing our faith!

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CARING AND CARRYING

(November 29, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan warns an ‘over-caring’ Christian…

Dear Dr Robert

I care for people and I follow that command of Jesus to care for, to love anyone who is mt neighbour. Some of those I’ve been interceding for, praying for, has me thinking a lot about them, even during the day and sometimes awakening to do so during the night. They have what I call heavy problems and… well, I can only describe what’s happened this way. I’ve been feeling heavy myself, deeply sensitive to their hurts and it’s as if I feeling their burdens on my heart. This making me feel down – yet some of them seem to be getting free of their problems. Am I making myself clear here. Maybe this all sounds too mixed up. Sorry. ‘Weary Will’ (not real name).

Dear ‘Weary Will’

Hold it right there! Yes, I understand you, how you’re feeling, that heaviness that you’ve encountered. To help you, I’ll go straight to the point! The problem is that you’re not just caring, you’re wrongly carrying!

Yes,  you’re doing right in caring – as all Christians should for anyone that we consider ‘Luke 10:25ff neighbours’ and in every way we can. But one thing we can’t do is this: we can’t carry them! This is a mistake that Satan has lured well-thinking Christians into and it has eat away at them, stealing their own happiness, even causing sickness.

I urge you to recall that you’re a servant of Jesus, not our Lord Himself! Only Jesus can care to the extreme of carrying sicknesses, heartbreak, hurts and  burdens that we humans experience.

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TRANSITION

(October 27, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a concerned friend…

Dear Dr Robert

You’ve helped me before and I want to share something with you that has me confused. I really love the church I’ve been attending for the last few months… the preaching is great, the teaching is soundly Bible-based, and the pastor really cares! Nothing is wacky! But  recently I’ve felt somewhat uneasy. Nothing wrong with the church, but I don’t feel to become a member, or to be involved in any ministerial way that would commit me. I started thinking what’s wrong? Then last week while enjoying the service, I heard that ‘inner voice’ whisper one word… ‘Transition.’ Transition? Would you please help me here. Harold

Hi again Harold

Yes, I believe I can. I’ve come to know you and suggest you take a step back and see the bigger picture. I believe what’s happening to you gels with what has happened to some certain others in their Christian experience, even myself. Let me paint the picture as I see it.

The word ‘transition’ means the ‘process of changing, or a change from one from or condition to another.’ Now you won’t find the word in scripture – unless you read the Message version of Hebrews 9, that chapter that talks about the Calvary death of Jesus and the new covenant. It actually combines verses 16 and 17 as one, and begins ‘Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one.’

Scripture tells of God transitioning chosen ones into new positions or locales… Abraham, Moses, Gideon (His being supernaturally called by God, such as in Judges7:9 is very interesting).

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WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

(September 23, 2022) Robert McQuillan responds to a friend despondent about caring for someone.

Dear Dr Robert

I’m having trouble with a friend. Well, I better explain it this way… he keeps on doing wrong things, believing wrong things and isn’t living his life as he should. And he’s a Christian! Over and over I’ve pointed out to him that he’s not thinking straight, he’s being blind to so much. He’ll say that he’s sorry and won’t do such things again. I’ve even prayed with him. But again and again he phones me or calls and tells that he’s either done some ‘old thing again’ or made some other mistake. I find myself praying each day for him but it’s heavy on me. What else can I do? Harold

Hi Harold

I know what you’re expressing above. I’ve found myself in the same situation at times – even recently – sharing commonsense, scriptures, giving warnings and, what I know from experience, is good advice. And just as you did, I’d pray with the troubled brother or sister-in-the-Lord. But although the person I’ve talked to would agree (even nod their head if present with me), either they would come back later to confess not having done as we’d discussed, or I’d hear it from another source.

  • Harold, I’ll keep this reply as short as I can… because the truth is that you’ve done all you can.
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PRAYING TO AND TRUSTING GOD BRINGS BLESSINGS

(August 29, 2022) Robert McQuillan encourages caring for others, Christain or not…

Dear Dr Robert

This isn’t a question but a thanks to God! I’ve learned that my article – Lost at Sea has blessed readers, including a pastor friend who had a similar experience and has emailed the following: ‘I really related to and enjoyed reading your article realising you had a good outcome like I did back in the early 90’s. God certainly has watched over our lives and we still get to experience His goodness every day.’

So, I thought I’d let you know… and also add the following that I didn’t know about at the time— On the same night (A hundred kms down the coast) sadly another man was not as fortunate as I was and didn’t return to his family but got lost and caught in the severe storm that came through at 1am. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-27/missing-search-fisherman-ian-gray-suspended-wa-police/101275878. You only realise the true danger when actually faced with it. I am so blessed to be alive. This unfortunate man’s family needs our prayers. Andrew.

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HOLY SPIRIT ‘EIRENE’ COMFORT

(July 24, 2022) Robert McQuillan encourages a young believer…

Dear Dr Robert

I’ve heard you talk about the joy of ‘falling into the arms of the Holy Spirit and knowing His peace, comfort and security.’ I’m a relatively new Christian… please tell me more. Billy (sorry, not my real name).

Dear ‘Billy’

Discovering more about our Holy Spirit is always precious, even eye-opening. Let me firstly say that He, who is the third person of the Godhead, is our friend (John 14:16Mge).

Friend… the Greek word here is paraklētos – comforter, consoler, advocate, intercessor – which tells us a lot about this great friend! We all need comforting at times! John also referred to this special friend in John 14:26, 15:26 and 16:7.

Jesus, who would be returning to heaven after His resurrection from the dead and then leaving His disciples (Acts 1:9-10), promised a new friend as He wouldn’t be around physically anymore; someone who would assist them in building His church. See also John 14:16-17, and Jesus’ words of John 15:26 and Luke 24:49. That new friend is the blessed Holy Spirit.

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PROPHETIC WORDS

(June 17, 2022) Robert McQuillan encourages a Pentecost enquirer…

Dear Dr Robert

Thanks for sharing last month about Pentecost Sunday. Please tell me about what’s called either ‘a word of prophecy’ or ‘a prophetic word.’ Jonno.

Dear Jonno

Either term is acceptable. In brief, prophesying means boldly speaking an encouraging, timely word from God to bless people –
a) One on one, not just face-to-face but via phone/email/Skype.
b) To your church on Sundays (as was generally expected years ago!), or at other church meetings even business ones.

As one of the Holy Spirit’s nine supernatural manifestation gifts (1 Corinthians 12) it can operate anywhere, anytime. Like the accompanying gifts word of wisdom and word of knowledge, it’s spoken in faith (itself one of those nine ‘operational gifts’).

This means that you must know the Holy Spirit personally eg through an intimate relationship of prayer, reading God’s word, trust and experience, whereby you just know that know that you know it is the Holy Spirit taking over and using you to bless, encourage, challenge some individual, or your church in general.

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PENTECOST SUNDAY… SHAVUOT

(May 29, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a young man enquiring about Pentecost Sunday…

Dear Dr Robert

You’ve helped me before when I asked questions about the Holy Spirit and Pentecostal matters. I’ve heard that not all Pentecostal churches celebrate next Sunday as it was done years ago. What do you consider the most thing to remember about what is regarded as Pentecostal Sunday? Jonno.

Dear Jonno

Wish we were having a Bible study hour or so ! However as I share some truths, I’ll particularly direct your attention to something very important that even some Pentecostal churches omit to share.

But first, let me point out the two usually highlighted consequences of that first Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 Christians gathered in the upper room… as we read in Acts 2 –

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HOLY – EMPHASIS HOLY – COMMUNION

(April 08, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a friend troubled by certain ‘pushed’ teaching…

Dear Dr Robert

I always delight to take communion. But many times our ministers talk so much about receiving ‘other blessings’ beyond being forgiven of our sins, rather than solely remembering and honouring God and the Lord Jesus Christ for His tremendous sacrifice of paying the debt on our behalf. It seems to me that they just keep pushing other blessings, not what communion is all about. As it’s almost Easter, please comment on this. Kelvin.

Dear Kelvin

Yes, you’re right… Easter is a special time to Christians when we should remember and honour our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But then we should always do this. You’re right too about communion… it’s a momentous time when He should be honoured for all He has done, especially securing forgiveness of our sins, and not other blessings alone being constantly pushed (or ‘constantly hammered’ to use a current catchcry).

Communion… Holy Communion, The Eucharist, Last Supper, Lord’s Supper, The Sacrament. Holy Sacrament or whatever name your church may use for this special service is indeed a very precious time.

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