QUESTION: "Is suicide really the unforgivable sin? I tried to kill myself just a little over a year ago."
North Sydney, N.S., Canada
ANSWER: No, suicide is not an unforgivable sin. An unforgivable or "unpardonable" sin is any sin (or attitude of sin) which we adamantly refuse to repent of. For more information on this subject, read our free booklet What Do You Mean - The Unpardonable Sin?
Q: "Concerning makeup: Is it wrong for a woman to wear it?"
A: The Bible does not give a definite "yea or nay" regarding the use of makeup. Some cite the negative example of Jezebel painting her face to support a "no makeup" stand. But Jezebel was condemned for her wrong motivation and her evil actions rather than the use of makeup per se.
On the positive side, one of Job's beautiful daughters was named Keren-happuch. Translated from the Hebrew this means "horn of eye-paint" or "horn of cosmetics." The Jerusalem Bible translates her name "Mascara."
Christ's and Paul's examples were to respect the outward physical customs of the day. Christ blended in with crowds because there was nothing striking or outlandishly different about His appearance.
I Peter 3:3, 4 tells Christian women not to rely on elaborate hairdos, jewelry, or clothing for adornment, but rather on a beautiful heart or personality. But it is certainly right to look attractive. Ezekiel 16 speaks • of God symbolically adorning His "bride," Israel, with jewelry and silk.
Whether or not one wears makeup is a matter of personal preference. Some women prefer not to wear it at all. God wants us to "dress and keep" our bodies and make the most of what He has given us. And makeup worn in moderation and good taste can be beneficial to a woman's appearance.
Q: "I have the booklet, Pagan Holidays - or God's Holy Days - Which? On pages 16 and 17 the month Abib is mentioned: Does Abib mean our month of September? I am puzzled."
North Windham, Connecticut
A: Abib (also called Nisan) is the first month of the Hebrew Calendar, corresponding to our Marchi April. For more information, read our free reprint "God's Sacred Calendar."
Q: "I get the feeling from all I've read that to become a Christian is about the most difficult thing in the world, so difficult that I have great qualms as to whether I could ever qualify or 'make it' myself!"
Hillcrest Heights, Maryland
A: Christ said that His yoke is easy and his burden light (Matt. 11:29-30). All you have to do to become a Christian is to believe, repent of sin and be baptized (Acts 2:38; Mark 1:15). Repentance is the gift of God; it is not something you can work up for yourself (Rom. 2:4; II Tim. 2:25). If you truly want to change your life and live Christ's way, according to the law of love (James 2:8), then you have already been granted that gift. You should be baptized as soon as possible (Acts 8:36). (Read our free booklet entitled All About Water Baptism.)
A person doesn't have to "qualify" or be perfect to be baptized — he just has to want to live God's way.
A Christian is one who grows toward perfection (Matt. 5:48). The apostle Paul, years after he was baptized, said the following: "It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.... In my mind I want to be God's willing servant but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.... Oh, what a terrible predicament I'm in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature?" Paul then went on to say, "Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free" (Rom. 7:21-25, The Living Bible).
God loves you and wants you to be in His Kingdom. The very fact that you are reading this magazine is pretty good evidence you are being called now, and if God is calling you, then you can "make it" into His Kingdom. Romans 8:30-32 reads: "Those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?"