Biblical Q & A

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Q – Are there any Bible verses that show Jesus is God?

A – That is a good question. Now and then I hear people say that Jesus never claimed to be God or that the Bible says that Jesus was the Son of God but not God Himself. The term Son of God is a title, just as Jesus is sometimes called the Son of Man. The fact is that Jesus is eternal (Revelation 1:8). It was Jesus Himself who created the world and everything in it (John 1:3). In John 1: 1, it clearly states that the Word is God and in John 1:14, the Bible tells us that Jesus is that very Word. In John 10:30 Jesus states clearly that He and the Father are one. We see in the following verses that the Jewish leaders tried to stone Him for claiming to be God. From a strictly biblical standpoint, the divinity of Christ is without question. Whether someone accepts it or not doesn’t change what the Bible teaches.

 

Q – Do Christians need to be baptized in water?

A -The subject of water baptism has been a controversial issue for centuries. Some churches teach that a person is not saved unless they have been baptized in water. Many teach that water baptism has nothing to do with salvation but it is to be done as a sign of obedience to Jesus. Both of these groups believe that water baptism is strictly for adult believers. Some churches baptize babies which is called infant baptism. None of these views on the subject present a correct understanding of Scripture. Some people say that Jesus was showing us an example to follow when He was baptized by John. This is not the case. Scripture tells us that John was calling Jews to repentance. Jesus had nothing to repent of and that is why John did not want to baptize Him. Jesus was vicariously baptized for us, just as He was also crucified for us. Water baptism was an Old Testament ceremonial washing. We live in the New Covenant and we worship God in Spirit and Truth, not by various ceremonies. John baptized in water but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. The fact that there is not one scriptural reference to Jesus telling people to be baptized in water is something to think about. (Acts 1:5, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:7, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 11:15, 1 Corinthians 1:17, John 3:30)

 

Q – Why do some Christians speak in tongues and others don’t?

A – Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift given to us by the Holy Spirit. Now all Christians have been baptized in the Holy Spirit but not all Christians will get the same spiritual gifts. Baptism in the Holy Spirit takes place at the time a person repents of their sins and asks Jesus into their life as Savior and Lord. Speaking in tongues is not evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. All Christians get spiritual gifts but they don’t all get the same gifts. God does not desire that everyone speak in tongues or have what some call a “prayer language”. We don’t need anyone to pray for us to receive the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12 – 14)

 

Q – Why do some people dress up for church? Does it really matter what I wear?

A – Some people think that by dressing up for church they are showing respect for God. I was raised in an era when we called it wearing our Sunday best for church. The truth is that back in the early church, the Christians never dressed up for church, as they all met in houses. It was only after Christianity was made legal under the rule of the Roman Emperor Constantine did Christians begin to start dressing up for church. This was done in order to impress the Emperor and his wife, in case they happened to visit your church. God is much more interested in what is going on inside our hearts and minds than what we wear.

 

Q – Is it okay to use musical instruments in church?

A – In Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, we are commanded by the Lord to receive teaching and admonish each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God.

The Psalms contain instructions that we worship the Lord with musical instruments. The introduction of Psalm 6 says, “For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to “sheminith.” A psalm of David. Some people try making an argument by saying that the Old Testament Law was canceled at the cross, so we can’t appeal to the Psalms as our justification for using musical instruments. The problem with this argument is in a misunderstanding of the Law of Moses. The Law is recorded in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). It was not the entire Old Testament that was canceled at the cross, it was only the Law. The Psalms have never been canceled.

The phrase, making melody, is the Greek word, psallo,which means playing on a stringed instrument while praising God in song. We can see that making melody to the Lord involves the use of musical instruments.

There is no Scriptural justification for not worshiping with musical instruments.

 

Q – Can a true believer lose their eternal salvation?

A – This is another hot topic among Christians. In one sense the Bible is a book of “ifs”. Our salvation is conditional. It is interesting to note that every book of the New Testament states clearly believers can lose their salvation. A person’s name can be blotted out of the Book of Life. Jesus tells us that only those who remain faithful to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13). I trust what the Bible teaches on this.

 

Q – Is the doctrine of predestination blasphemy?

A – The doctrine of predestination as taught by John Calvin would definitely be considered blasphemy. There is a biblical doctrine of predestination where God has predestined people to various things in life based on his foreknowledge of everything. However we know from Scripture that God has not decided in advance who will be saved or who will be lost. That would make God the author of sin. This doctrine was not even mentioned by any writers in the early church until the time of Augustine in the fourth century. All the biblical authors are silent on this doctrine. It is God’s desire that all people be saved (1 John 2:2)

 

Q – What does it mean that Jesus died for the sins of the world?

A – Probably one of the most famous verses in the Bible is John 3:16. It starts out by saying that “God so loved the world” but what does this actually mean? The word world here means exactly what it says. It means that Jesus died for every person that has ever lived or will ever live. Some people teach that Jesus died for only the “elect” or those that were predestined to salvation. Of course, since predestination is a false doctrine, it follows that anything connected to that will be false as well. Salvation is a free gift of God but as with all gifts, they have to be accepted by the recipient.

 

Q – What is God’s name?

A – Exodus 3:13-15 gives us the answer. God is the great I AM. The word LORD in Hebrew sounds like I AM. The popular word Jehovah is never found anywhere in the Bible. Since the “J” and “V” sounds are foreign to the Hebrew language, it is very unlikely that the name Jehovah would be found in the original Hebrew manuscripts. Jesus states in John 8:58 that “before Abraham existed I AM” showing another instance of Jesus Christ’s divinity. Philippians 2:9 tells us that “God gave Jesus the name that is above all names”.

 

Q – Do all scientists believe evolution to be true?

A – Contrary to what some may try and get people to believe, not all scientists believe in what is called Darwin’s theory of evolution. Thousands of scientists have rejected the idea of evolution. It is interesting to note that most branches of science were founded by those who believe in the biblical account of creation.

 

Q – What should the church’s position be on gay marriage?

A – In my humble opinion, the Church cannot sanction what is popularly called “gay marriage” or same-sex unions. The Bible is very clear on this as seen in Genesis 2:22-24. Jesus also stated this as well in Matthew 19:4-6. We are not to judge those outside the church but we are to judge those inside the church (1 Corinthians 5). While gay marriage may be recognized by the State, it cannot be condoned by Christians.

 

Q – Did Jesus speak about homosexuality?

A – Technically Jesus did not address the subject of homosexuality. He did speak about sexuality overall. Jesus reaffirmed that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. All sexual activity outside of marriage is considered sinful. The Bible teaches us that Christians are to live lives of sexual purity and this would mean abstaining from homosexuality.

 

Q – What does the Bible teach us on the issue of homosexuality?

A – We believe that our sexuality is a gift from God. We believe that heterosexuality is God’s creative intent for all persons. Common sense, the Bible and the Holy Spirit testify that homosexuality is contrary to God’s will (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus. 20:13, Romans 1:18-32). Scripture tells us that we are to flee sexual immorality (1Corinthians 6:18). The Bible clearly says that people can change their sexual orientation (1Corinthians 6:11). We need to proclaim restoration and power for godly living to all persons.

 

Q – Doesn’t the Bible contradict itself?

A – It may seem that it does at times but the fact is that it doesn’t. When the Bible is read in context, allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture, there have been no contradictions found. We must always remember to consider the whole tenor of Scripture and never base our beliefs and doctrines simply on one verse of Scripture alone.

 

Q – What about Heaven?

A – I don’t think the Bible tells us very much about Heaven. There is a good book entitled Exploring Heaven by Arthur O. Roberts. A link to it can be found in our recommended reading section. I don’t find a lot of Hollywood movies about heaven based on what the Bible actually teaches.

 

Q – Is there really a place of eternal punishment called Hell?

A – According to the Bible there is a place of eternal torment. In Matthew 25:46, Jesus tells us that some will go away to eternal punishment. On occasion people will ask why if God is a God of love, as the Bible says, why would He send anyone to hell? It all comes back to our having free will. We get to choose our eternal destiny. We choose to either accept or reject Christ. If we wind up in hell, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves.

 

Q – Should Christians drink alcohol?

A – New research shows that even a single alcoholic drink per day can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including breast cancer in women. Though people have long believed that a glass or two of wine can be good for your heart, the new study, conducted in conjunction with researchers in the U.S., Canada, and France, shows that the cancer risks far outweigh any heart-healthy benefits. Didn’t Jesus change the water into wine? Didn’t Paul tell Timothy to drink wine for his stomach ailment? People fail to realize that the word “wine” in the Bible does not always mean the fermenting process has occurred. Drinking alcohol and service to God are in conflict with each other. (Luke 1:13-16)

 

Q – What about joining secret societies?

A – Christians should not be involved with or join any organization that has secrets kept from others. As Christians, we don’t have any “secret handshakes” or make any blood oaths.

 

Q -The Bible says that no one can be perfect, so why try?

A – Actually the Bible says just the opposite. Jesus Himself commanded us to be perfect as stated in Matthew 5:48. Would Jesus tell us to do something that we are incapable of doing? I think not!

 

Q – What does it mean to be holy?

A – For one thing, I am certain that it doesn’t mean to be holier than thou or to simply attend a worship service on Sunday. Like the ungodly, many professing Christians show that they love the world by their conduct. True Christianity involves obedience to what Jesus taught in all things.

 

Q -The Bible says that all have sinned but does that include babies?

A – While it is true that every person has sinned in one way or another, we are not “born in sin”. That goes against what the Bible teaches. Ezekiel 18 answers this question with excellent clarity.

 

Q – Does having a free will negate God’s sovereignty?

A – This takes us back to the question of predestination. Our having a free will shows just how much God loves us. God is sovereign and that is not something that is debatable. However, God did not want to create a bunch of robots but men and women who love Him freely with all their hearts, minds and souls. And we must always remember that it was God Himself who gave us this free will.

 

Q – Can a Christian be demon possessed?

A – The answer to this is a definite no. Now we know that Christians can be oppressed in many ways but the Bible clearly states that a Christian cannot be possessed. 1 John 4: 4 says that we as Christians have overcome the world and this would include our overcoming any demonic forces.

 

Q – Can a person resist God’s grace?

A – Once again we see where our free will comes into play. In Acts 7:51, Stephen tells the Jewish leaders of his day that they are just like their ancestors when they continually resist the Holy Spirit.

 

Q – Is there more than one way to God?

A – The answer according to Jesus is no. John 14:6 clearly shows us this when He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

Q – What do most cults have in common?

A – Most non-Christian religions share some of the same beliefs about Christianity. They deny the doctrine of the trinity, the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His physical resurrection and His second coming.

 

Q – Why does God heal some people and not others?

A – This is not an easy question to answer. God’s sovereignty comes into play in any situation. We know that when Christ died on the Cross, he took our sins away but He didn’t take all our sickness and disease. The Bible does say in Isaiah 53:5 that “by His stripes we are healed”, but that has nothing to do with our being physically healed. Sometimes there is a purpose for our being sick that only God knows the answer why.

 

Q – Does God want everyone to be wealthy?

A – That would be nice but from what the Bible tells us the answer is no. He does want us to be rich in everything spiritual. It has nothing to do with our faith level either. I have known many Christians who have had the greatest faith I have ever seen and yet they were some of the poorest people as far as worldly wealth and goods are concerned.

 

Q – Is being slain in the Spirit biblical?

A – I have seen great moves of the Holy Spirit over the years but I have never seen a move of the Spirit where we see people falling backwards with people stationed behind them to catch them as they fall. This is more like a Las Vegas entertainment show where people have been mesmerized into following whatever the star of the show tells them to do. In the Bible we see that whenever there is a move of the Holy Spirit, people fall prostrate in adoration of God. Whenever the people are walking in disobedience, they fall backwards.

 

Q – Why was Christ’s righteousness not imputed to believers?

A – The myth that Jesus righteousness has been imputed to believers is just that … a myth. The fact that this doctrine is not found in the bible should cause people to think. Jesus always emphasized and recommended works as essential for our justification.

 

Q – Why do you reject the idea of a closed canon?

A – In the words of Elton Trueblood “The idea of a closed canon is a fundamental impiety.” God is still speaking today. Revelation has not ceased or at least that is what the Bible teaches us. Of course, no revelation from God will contradict what has already been revealed to us in Scripture.

 

Q – Why do you say that the Bible is not the Word of God?

A – It not what I say but it’s what the Bible says. Jesus Christ alone is the living Word of God as shown us in John 1: 1. We believe the Bible to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, so in a sense the Bible can be considered the words of God. We should however never refer to the Bible as the Word of God or God’s Word. This should always be used to refer to Jesus Himself.

 

Q – What is the real meaning of communion?

A – Communion is to be inward and spiritual. The Christian faith is not based on ceremonies but on Spirit and Truth. Most people do not realize that those famous six words “Do this in remembrance of me” are not found in many of the ancient biblical manuscripts and were left out of the Revised Standard Version (RSV).

 

Q – Should Christians in the ministry use titles?

A – I personally believe that Christians should not use titles. Jesus seems to agree with this as well. (Matthew 23:1-12)

 

Q – Are Quakers similar to the Amish?

A – Amish are a part of a sect of Christians called Mennonites. At one time Quakers did ride around using horses and buggies but that was back when everyone used them. Quakers have always been modern and progressive.

 

Q – Did Jesus have any brothers or sisters?

A – According to the bible, He had four brothers as well as sisters. These are flesh and blood siblings. The Bible teaches us that Mary remained a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus. After that, she and Joseph had other children. (Matthew 1:25, Matthew 12:46, Matthew 13:55)

 

Q – Can a person change their sexual orientation?

A – That is an easy one to answer from a strictly biblical perspective. The answer is a big yes. The Bible says in Matthew 19:26 “that with God all things are possible”. 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 states that people can and have changed their sexual orientation.

 

Q – Is the 1611 King James Version (KJV) the best translation available?

A –The KJV as it is popularly known was a decent translation when it first was published in 1611. It has gone through many revisions over the years. The more modern translations such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), New Living Translation (NLT) or New International Version (NIV) are more accurate translations as they are based on more ancient and reliable biblical manuscripts. Most bible translations are under copyright and that still includes the King James Version which is still under copyright in England to the Crown.

 

Q – Are women allowed to be leaders in the Church?

A – Some churches are still patriarchal in that they only allow men in church leadership roles. However, you do not find this in the Bible. Galatians 3:28 says that we are all one in Christ.  The record of the early church proves that women were functioning as pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, evangelists and apostles during the first centuries after Pentecost. Scripture makes clear that gender does not limit service in Christ’s new covenant community.

 

Q – Are Christians called to be pacifists?

A – I prefer the term peacemaker over pacifist. Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” in His famous Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew Chapters 5 – 7.  Jesus showed us how we are to live our lives and Jesus lived a life of non-resistant love. That is why Christians are not to fight using earthly weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4). Sometimes it is very difficult to “turn the other cheek” but that is what we are commanded by Christ to do. Jesus actually takes this a step further in that we are to “feed our enemies”.

 

Q – Are Mormons Christians?

A –The LDS church has recently exerted great effort to portray itself as a Christian denomination, yet early Mormon prophets and leaders made very clear statements explaining that their church was not a Christian denomination. Mormons don’t believe in the same God as Christians. Mormons don’t believe in the same Jesus as Christians. Mormons don’t believe in the same Bible as Christians. Mormons don’t believe in the same Gospel as Christians. So the question remains, how can they be Christians? They can’t.

 

Q – What about these so-called TV evangelists and faith healers?

A -These prosperity gospel teachers closely resemble some of the destructive sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were totally against these teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them. The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns us about in 1Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” As for divine miracles, God still heals people today just as He did in biblical times. However most of the faith healers are con artists simply after people’s money. There is no physical healing of sickness and disease in Christ’s atonement.

 

Q – Should Christians tithe?

A – The answer to that is an easy one and the answer is no. Tithing as it is generally taught today is not biblical. Christians are no longer under the Old Testament Law.  My key reason for not teaching people to tithe is that Jesus life and example are a much greater motivation for giving than tithing. It should be profoundly clear why basing our giving on Jesus Christ’s teaching and sacrifice for us is the ultimate motivation for generous giving. The New Testament nowhere even mentions that Christians are to submit to a legalistic tithe system.

 

Q – What is Taize worship?

A – Taizé worship is an unbiblical attempt to connect with God. The prayers of Taizé are purposefully repetitive and Jesus specifically forbids repetitive prayer (Matthew 6:7). Taize relies on idolatrous images, repetitive chants, and mystical experience to manufacture a sense of unity and peace.

 

Q – Should Christians be involved in politics?

A – The Bible tells us that we are ambassadors in this world. As “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20), our allegiance is to Christ alone. Our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). These scriptures and others give us good reasons not to engage in politics. We are to influence the world through prayer, not through the political process.

 

Q – When did the restoration of the true Christian faith as found in the Bible begin?

A – In 1652 England, God raised up a Christian named George Fox as an apostle and prophet of the true Christian faith. By 1656, the restoration movement for biblical Christianity was being established in what is now called America. In 2018, Quakers can be found throughout the world.

 

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