We had a number of questions sent in by text messages and we want to make sure we answer them with a little more thought this week.
# 1 You know how we’re suppose to respect everyone’s religion? Well then how are we suppose to share the gospel to them so they are saved?
ANSWER: As we said, the respect of others religions is more a political thing than a Bible requirement. We are to respect people because they are made in the image of God and they are valuable to God (Jesus died for them how much more value could you have than that?) As far as sharing the gospel with them, pray for opportunities to share the gospel with them as Paul prayed in Colossians 4: 3 and share with them with gentleness and respect (See 1 Peter 3: 15)
# 2 One of my friends is Mormon and she says that a lot of stuff wasn’t put int he bible and that’s why they mad another Mormon bible. Is the stuff in that bible true to our religion?
ANSWER: The things that the Mormons added to the Bible are contradictory to the rest of the Bible. Why would God add things that contradict Himself? Here are a couple of examples.
- Jesus is the literal spirit-brother of Lucifer, a creation (Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15)
- The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35)
- the Mormon Church teaches that Adam’s sin was “a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us” (Gospel Principles, p. 33; Book of Mormon — 2 Nephi 2:25; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 114-115).
These are just a few of the “additions” that were necessary. They haven’t added to the Bible, they have changed it totally.
There is a good article in Charisma Magazine about ministering to Mormons. You can read it here
#3 If you believe in God but don’t have a relationship with him are you a saved christian?
ANSWER: the key to this question is in a few words. “No relationship with Jesus” To be a Christian, we must be “In Christ” Romans 8: 1 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. So if we do not have a relationship with Him then there is condemnation for us. John 15 challenges us that apart from Christ we can do nothing or produce nothing. Any branch that doesn’t produce is pruned away and burned.(John 15: 6). The only proof of Christianity (Which means being Christ like) is through God’s power flowing through us. This only happens through relationship.
#4 Is there any sin too severe that if committed you won’t go to heaven?
ANSWER: The only sin that is mentioned in the Bible that will not be forgiven is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. (Luke 12: 10)
# 5 I have friends who were hurt by their church and now are anti-church. They say they can worship God at home What do I say?
- Ephesians 5: 23 the Church is his body and we cannot have relationship with Christ if we are critical of his bride.
- The Bible commands us to forgive others when they have sinned against us so that our heavenly father may forgive us. (Matthew 18: 22 – 35)
- We each have spiritual gifts that help the body of Christ grow. How can we use those gifts if we refuse to be a part of the body? How can we grow if we separate ourselves from others who have gifts that I need in my life? (1 Corinthians 12: 7)
- We are called to not forsake meeting together. this is all the more important as we see the end times approaching (Hebrews 10: 25)
#6 Can someone lose their salvation?
ANSWER: No you cannot LOSE your salvation. We are secure in Christ and he is able to keep that which I have committed to him until the day of salvation. (Jude 24) There seems to be instances where people turn from their salvation as a willful act of disobedience.
- Hebrews 6: 5 – 6 those who have tasted and turned back from God…have nailed Christ to the cross and bring him up to public shame.
- 2 Peter 2: 20 – 22 It would have better for someone to have never known the way of salvation than to turn away and reject the holy life.
- Luke 11: 34 If the light within you has become darkness how great is that darkness.
It is important to know that this is a willful rejection and cannot happen be accident.
#7 How diligent should we be when witnessing to someone who seems uninterested? What about someone who is uneasy but a little curious?
ANSWER: We are always called to answer everyone’s questions with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3: 15) Just share what God has done in your life and allow God to produce the fruit from you scattering His seed out int heir hearts.
# 8 If you accept Jesus as your savior and confess that he is the Messiah, but don’t live a “Christian” Life or try to be a good person are you still going to heaven?
ANSWER: The word “Christian” is probably the answer here. If Christian is a lot of rules that seem to be added to church doctrine as we try to define sin, (Sin pretty clearly defined in Galatians 5: 19, 21) then you can go to heaven and still not live the rules. If you are trying to be a good person, good luck with that without a relationship with Jesus. It is impossible. We are called to live before others and produce fruit. This can only come out of a relationship with Jesus. The closer we come to Him the less that is acceptable in our lives because we don’t want to give Christ a bad name by our lifestyle.
#9 Salvation is a free gift, but we know that it’s more than a prayer. It’s a 180 degree turn around and a personal relationship. How can we better explain that?
ANSWER: There is a constant debate between being saved by grace (Ephesians 2: 8, 9) and works that come after salvation (James 2: 14). What is the proof that we have a personal relationship with Jesus? Am I putting my standard on others to prove that they are in relationship? Jesus set the standard in John 8 with the woman caught in adultery. John 8: 11 “I don’t condemn you now go and sin no more” In John 5 Jesus healed a lame man. When he found him he challenged him in Vs 14 “Now you are well; so stop sinning or something even worse may happen to you.” What does this mean? Is it possible to really stop sinning? Why would Jesus set such a standard if it was impossible? We will never be perfect in this world, but we are called to an incredibly high standard according to Jesus words. Salvation is more than saying a prayer, it is a call to take up our crosses and follow Jesus which means to allow Jesus to kill any area in our lives He determines necessary. This is what a personal relationship entails
#10 Can you explain to me the difference in denominations? Is the Assemblies of God the same as other denominations.
ANSWER: The first denomination started with Luther in the reformation in the 1500’s. The idea was not to start a denomination but to reform the church. Luther tried to change the course of the church and set it more in line with the Bible. Many denominations have started out of reformations. The reason for new denominations is many people don’t reform easily and it is easier to start over. Other reasons for denominations are…
- Not being able to accept people that are not like us. (EXAMPLE: Salvation Army started from those with life addictions coming to Jesus)
- Church denominations also started over issues of baptism and communion and their meaning and timing. (EXAMPLE: should we baptize children or wait until they are adults. Who should be allowed to celebrate communion)
- Persecution (EXAMPLE: the pilgrims)
- Doctrinal Differences (Calvinists who believe that God does everything without any help from man and Armenianism which believes God only works through other people. The right belief is somewhere in the middle)
- The baptism of the Holy Spirit. (This is what the Assemblies of God believes while others believe the gifts of the spirit stopped with the death of the Disciples)
- We also have different denominations starting because of social issues like the ordination of homosexuals.
the key point that needs to unite us is a church that teaches that the only way to God is through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
# 11 How do i glorify God when my job won’t allow me to share my faith?
ANSWER: We can pray that God opens doors for us to share our faith (Colossians 4:3) We can also glorify God by how we serve our leaders at work. WE are called to work as if we are working for the Lord and not for earthly bosses. (See Ephesians 6: 6, 7) We are also called to glorify God with everything we do. ( 1 Peter 4: 11)
# 12 What does the Bible say about speaking in tongues? Why do some denominations believe in it and others don’t?
ANSWER: I don’t know why some don’t believe in it. It is in the Bible and there for all of us to see so you will have to ask others why they choose to ignore some of these verses. What are tongues? There are four types of tongues mentioned in the Bible. Knowing these will help us understand what tongues are.
- tongues where we speak in other languages that people understand. This happened on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2: 4)
- Tongues are also used in public places where the tongue is to be interpreted so others can understand what is being said. (1 Corinthians 14: 13) These are the public demonstrations of tongues that the bible refers to when it asks does everyone speak in tongues of course not (1 Corinthians 12: 30)
- Tongues for all of us are the prayer language tongues which are also divided into two parts. The first one is to build up our inner man through prayer (1 Corinthians 14: 4 and Jude 20)
- Praying in intercession in tongues is the last one defined int he Bible. (See Romans 8: 26)
# 13 Why is there suffering and inequality in the world. Some teachers believe it is there fault if you are poor.
ANSWER: I can’t write a book on this subject (Like I really could in the first place) but there are some points that are important for us to understand. We will never truly understand suffering because God doesn’t reveal the answer to us. Job went through problems as a personal attack from satan. God chose not to tell Job why he was going through this problem, he just decided to tell Job to trust Him in the midst of the trial. Suffering never disproves God, actually Christianity gives the perfect answer for why things are the way they are. Wee have sinned and turned our backs on God and the result is we have suffering in the world. certain people or nations do not suffer more than others because they are worse than others. All of us have turned our backs on God and all deserve judgment. There are no good people in the world. This is a harsh reality, but the amazing part that should wow us all is the fact that God would have anything to do with any of us. We are called to share the light of hope that comes through a relationship with Jesus. This is our message in this fallen world. Not an answer of why, but an answer for a better tomorrow. Christians know why there is suffering in the world, and we also know the hope to be delivered from it.
# 14 Why do we celebrate the sabbath on Sunday when it is clearly a Saturday.
ANSWER: Not all churches do celebrate on Sunday but why do we? We haven’t changed the term Sabbath at all. We celebrate on the first day of the week or what the bible calls the Lord’s Day ( 1 Corinthians 16: 2 and Revelation 1: 10 Acts 20: 7) As far as the sabbath and honoring it, the church met every day (Acts 2: 46). For us, everyday is a sabbath that we are to rest from our worry and celebrate Jesus (Hebrews 4) So Saturday is the sabbath according to the 10 commandments, but now we are to remember The God of the sabbath not the day. As far as the church, we haven’t moved the sabbath, but are worshiping on the Lord’s day.
More coming soon