Dear Dr Robert

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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LAYING PROBLEMS AT JESUS’ FEET

(February 22, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan encourages a wise believer…

Dear Dr Robert

Thanks for all your counsel recently. You’ve certainly helped me… although, I have to tell you, even with prayer and binding my troubles, some problems continued and I just couldn’t get my head clear. But I just have to tell you what’s happened! The other night, I felt led to not just give everything over to Jesus, but in my mind was somehow led to lay my problems at His feet! I now feel so clearheaded and spirit free! Yours, ‘Terry.’

Dear ‘Terry’

You certainly did the right thing… as your feeling of freedom now proves. Sometimes we have to a further step… in our mind, beyond accepting good prayer and counsel. What you’ve done is that! And you’ve learned something more about following Jesus and handing things over to Him.

What you’ve done reminds me of three things…

1) Similar ‘steps’ in the gospels
Search these records and you’ll find a number of people with troubles or longings coming before Jesus, either dropping at His feet, kneeling before Him, or clasping His feet. For example…

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YES, STILL PRAY FOR HEALING

(January 21, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this believer who asks for prayer for a healing…

Dear Dr Robert

I know from your writings over the years that you strongly believe in healing. Would you please pray for me…? I don’t have Covid or anything like that but I’m having trouble with what I’ll call my ‘gut.’ Can we still believe for healing by God these days… these troubled days of so many people being hospitalised? Yours, ‘Clarke.’

Dear Clarke

Firstly, my apologies! It’s been a couple of weeks since you contacted me and I’m only getting back now (in writing that is! But I have prayed for you!).

If you’re following our Onliner you’ll know that this month we’ve once again pointed out that even though we may be Christians washed in the blood of our Saviour, Jesus, we still live in this fallen world. And, unfortunately, that means we may be subject to sicknesses. To be truthful, that one reason I’m only getting back now… I’ve had to rest back a bit myself!

But, to cheer you on, Clarke, the good news is that, yes, we can still pray for healing (and for other things!) and expect answers from our great, caring God!

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HONOURING JESUS

(December 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this concerned believer

Dear Dr Robert

You mentioned in your article this month that ‘people, especially Christians, are looking for reality, for truth, not loud music, meaningless worship and hyperfaith! Churches that are attracting followers are those proclaiming the gospel that Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord and through him a relationship with God is now possible!’ I’m one of those Christians, looking for down-to-earth reality and am really concerned that although I regularly hear consoling messages about the blessings that God gives but never about what it costs Jesus and our responsibilities. Am I missing something or somehow confused? Kelvin.

Dear Kelvin

This reminds of ‘hammered preaching’ (that you referred to before when you expressed other concerns, and that the Acts 20:27 ‘whole counselling of God’ was not being taught).

You mentioned quite a few scriptures that are repeated regularly, highlighting what God must do for us in terms of ‘Giving to get’ such as the often-quoted Malachi 3:8 coming across as ‘You give your offerings, and you’ll get blessed. If you don’t you won’t.’ And that our responsibilities such as our being willing to give not only to our local church but to needy neighbours (whoever that pans out to be) and other worthy causes and wanting to honour Jesus are never mentioned.

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CHRISTMASTIME MYTHS

(November 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this query about Christmas

Dear Dr Robert
It’s me, Mitch… again. As mentioned before, I appreciate the help you’ve given me. Here’s something else – A couple of people have been pointing out things to me about Christmastime next month… that it’s unbiblical to celebrate as no one knows the date of Jesus’ birth… that Christians believe more in Santa Claus than they do about Jesus. What can I say to them? Mitch.

Dear Mitch

Yes it’s true that no one really knows the exact date of Christ’s birth, when Mary gave birth to the babe who would grow up able to understand all our feelings, problems, temptation and such… and become our Saviour. And, yes, the Bible encourages us to celebrate Easter, our salvation through Jesus and communion rather that Christmas.

So let’s cut to the chase here… we who know Jesus as Saviour should be grateful, but how can we really celebrate his incarnation, like the shepherd and magi did? Well, a very long time ago it was decided by ‘church powers’ to name December 25 as Christ’s ‘birthday’ and the day to be universally celebrated. The reality is that the date doesn’t really matterJesus willingly came for our benefit, to become our Saviour and we should rejoice over this (and not merely celebrating ‘Santa Claus fun time’ with our children)!

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