Q&A

Q and A Logo.001Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”             1 Peter 3:15

To Ask a Question, You can…

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1. Why is it so hard to be a Christian in this World?

Jesus, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  People have a hard time with the Spirit in us, they are confronted just by the love and care that we give.

2. Is Racism a Sin?  (Jesus was probably a lot darker skin than most think)

Webster’s dictionary defines racism as, “the belief in the superiority or dominance of one race over another.”

The Bible teaches that there are many nationalities, but there is one genetic race known as mankind. When Eve was named by Adam, she was named so because “she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). The “all” is significant. It means that every man and woman can trace their ancestry back to Adam and Eve. As Paul told the Athenians, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26) 

Also, in “ There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:28

3. Did the events in the Bible really happen or are they just Stories?  Let me say this.  Everyone picks something to believe in.  I believe in the Bible and every year since it is was written, it has proved to be accurate.  Through archeology, history, study, etc.  The Bible continues to prove itself…

4. How do I know that I am Saved? 

The unmistakable message all through the New Testament is this: we are saved by believing on Jesus. So rivet your attention on Christ in the gospels — John, Matthew, Mark, Luke — and the whole Bible. Rivet your attention on Christ and say what you see. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). And say what you feel about this: “I receive him. I love him. He is my God. He is my Lord. He is my treasure.” Confess that. Let yourself hear yourself saying that. Say it to others. Say it to your wife. Say it to your kids. Say it to your friends. “Jesus is my Lord.” The Bible says no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). So if you say it and mean it, God is at work in your life, you have the Holy Spirit.

5. Is it wrong to see R rated movies?

8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8

14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:14-15

6. Why do I have to go to church?

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity[j]— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25

7. What is our denomination about?  Isn’t it better to be non-denomination?

Our denomination is the RCA.  They support, encourage, coach, and help us in many ways.  We are a part of something greater than ourselves.  It helps in good times and in bad.  Non-Denominational churches have no one over them…if the pastors or elders make really bad decisions, there is no one who can step in and help.

8. What version of the Bible should I read?

Impact uses New Living Translation as its main version.  It is extremely accurate, readable, understandable and is updated on male/female verses… 

Others on our team use NIV and RSV

9.  Why is Sex outside of marriage a Sin?

”Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The Greek word koite is translated as “the bed” in this passage. It can refer to the place where a person sleeps, such as in Luke 11:17, but it also refers to what takes place in bed between a husband and wife. In other words, this is the Greek word for sexual intercourse.

What the writer of Hebrews is stating is that in all cultures, the state of being married is held as an honorable state; therefore, when sex takes place in marriage it is not something dirty, unclean, or sinful. However, when sex takes place outside the bounds of marriage, it then becomes a sin — either fornication (a general word for sex between two unmarried partners) or adultery (a more specific word for sex between two people where at least one is married to someone else).

10. What does the Bible teach about same-sex marriages?

“So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Romans 1:24-28

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” Leviticus 18:22

“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” Leviticus 20:13

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,”  1 Corinthians 6:9

11. Should I spank my Child?

Depends on the child and it can’t lead to abuse

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.  Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

12. What does the Bible say about Dinosaurs?

Because of this wickedness, God warned a godly man named Noah that He was going to destroy the world with a Flood (Genesis 6:13). God therefore commanded him to build a great ship (the Ark) so that all the kinds of land animals (which must have included dinosaurs) and Noah’s family could survive on board while the Flood destroyed the entire Earth (Genesis 6:14–20).

13. Should I send my kids to Christian schools or Public schools…or maybe even Home School?

Depends on the reason and the child.  To protect and shelter your children from the world is not always a good reason.  Also it depends on your schools and where you live.   I think our children and their parents can have a huge impact on the world for the Gospel.  However your child might need to be in Christian school and maybe be home schooled…

14. Is it okay to Drink Alcohol?  

In the scriptures there are several occasions where wine is drank or recommended.  Paul says to Timothy,

 “Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.” 1 Timothy 5:23

HOWEVER the Bible also gives warnings about drinking alcohol…

 “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.   also…” Romans 14:21

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18

15. What is the difference between Priest, Pastor and Minister?

There is only one Priest, Jesus Christ our Savior.  When Jesus died for our sins there was no longer a need for a priesthood. Their existence was only necessary to offer sacrifice for sins and to intercede for the people. But the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus’ death and resurrection ELIMINATED this need.

“But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 12:2

He tells us why: Because Jesus’ death paid for our sins once and for all for all time. There is no longer a need for priests to offer up sacrifices.  Jesus is the final Priest.

Pastor, is from Latin. The familiar Anglo-Saxon word shepherd also translates this word. The root meaning of the word is one who tends, or feeds the flock.

Minister, means on who serves.  They minister in a place of authority to serve and teach people have to serve, others.

By the way the word Pope comes from the word Father.  Matthew 23:9, “And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father.”

16. Is it okay to swear?

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29

17. How can Christianity be the only religion that is right?

The first thing I would like to do is to make a distinction between Christianity and Religion. To me a “religion” is a set of dogmatic beliefs and practises that are designed to help a person achieve a spiritual goal.  Christianity is about a relationship with God that is achieved by God himself and based on trust (also known as faith).

If Jesus were to be shown to have not risen from the dead then Christianity is useless..  “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.”  1 Corinthians 15:17

So I encourage you to investigate the claims of Jesus, look at the historical evidence for the resurrection. Any book by Josh McDowell would be helpful here or The Christ Files by John Dickson. Read the biography of Jesus written by Luke (in the BIble). Ask yourself who is Jesus and can I trust him? You will see that to believe in Jesus is less of a leap in the dark and more of a welcome relief.

18. Are you sure we were created?

Yes…how many finger prints are the same on earth?  Can a person function with only parts of the their brain?  “Retina communicates to brain at 10 million bits per second”  Scientists say the earth has over 20,000 different kinds of fish.

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” Psalms 8:3-4

19. How old is the world?

4.543 billion years old.  Why do they date that far out?  Why does that dating change all the time.   Last year it was 3.6 billion years old.  Why?  Because for evolution or big bang or whatever theory to happen it had to take a long time.  Here’s a question, if a tornado went through a junk yard and produced a 747 airplane…I would believe in evolution and big bangs.

Why have all these theories, don’t want to surrender their livers to God?

20 .What’s up with the Book of Revelation?  Should it be taken literal? Why is it so crazy?             The very nature of Revelation then, as John affirms, is not to be literal, but figurative, and hence must be so interpreted (in harmony with other plain statements found elsewhere in the Bible, and also in light of other similar expressions found in the Old Testament which are explained for us).

21. Is it okay to smoke pot?

One reader, citing 1 Corinthians 6:10, 1 Peter 1:13 and 4:7 about “drunkards” and being “sober,” shared that pot should, 

“Drugs used to get high on with on a regular basis is a gateway to all sorts of wrong doings. And those who minds are not sober are easy tools for Satan”   

 “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

22. If Christ is so important, why do so many people use His name as a cuss word?

“Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.” Romans 1:29-30

23. How far is too far sexually when you are dating?

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

24. Does God root for one sports team over another?  

He loves the Giants, Warriors and 49ers.  Enough said!

25. What must I do to go to Heaven?

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 9-10

26. Can you explain the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:9-11

27. Can Adultery be forgiven?  Should I tell my spouse?  Yes and Yes. 

“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.” Matthew 12:31

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:15

28. What does the Bible say about dancing?

Dancing was used as an act of celebration. For example, when the Israelites safely crossed the Red Sea, the women danced with Joy!  In several places in the Bible dancing was a sign on Joy.   Today we dance at weddings and birthday parties and on special nights out. 

However, Much of dancing that has come about today involves a sexual theme. There is a great deal of dancing on the Music channels on TV and huge majority of them are about sex.  Dancing in movies is often something that leads to sex.

So we have to be careful…  Here is a good verse for dancing,

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

29. Why don’t we Baptize Infants?

In the New Testament, only believers who had placed their faith in Christ were baptized – as a public testimony of their faith and identification with Him (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4). Water baptism by immersion is a step of obedience after faith in Christ and that is how Christ was Baptized. 

However, I must add, we are part of a denomination that is Reformed Theology therefore most churches that we are with Baptize infants. (Colossians 2:11-12) And these leaders and pastors are very smart…I just think the best revelation of scripture I can put forth is child dedication

30. Is the the Temple (Location/Dwelling place) of the Holy Spirit the Church or the Christian?

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”  I Cor 3:16

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” I Corinthians 6:19

Various Questions from Previous Q&A Sundays:

Why don’t we baptize infants?

In the Bible, only believers who had placed their faith in Christ were baptized – as a public testimony of their faith and identification with Him (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4). Water baptism by immersion is a step of obedience after faith in Christ.

Is Praying in a heavenly tongue a real thing?

The mention of the language of angels is only found in I Corinthians 13:1 where Paul states that speaking in any language is without benefit if it is not accompanied by love.

First, we must understand that the word “tongue” simply refers to a language. Paul then argues that speaking in tongues is without benefit if it doesn’t have a purpose, such as to teach another.

Second, Paul is stating you should pray in a known tongue. (I Corinthians 14:13-15). This is the opposite of what was being advocated by charismatics.

Besides, prayer in worship should also benefit the listener. Paul is telling the Corinthians to speak so that those listening will understand and gain knowledge from hearing you (I Corinthians 14:16-19)

Finally, Paul points out that speaking in tongues was given to reach the unbelievers (I Corinthians 14:22).

Why didn’t the Jews believe Jesus? 

It is a curious thing, is it not, that the Son of God came to live among men (John 1:14), and yet he is rejected by the very people who had been expecting his arrival for thousands of years. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:10-11). Jesus Christ was born among the Israelites, a people chosen by God to know His Laws and to whom God foretold the coming of His Son. Yet these same Israelites rejected the Messiah while he was in the world. How can this be?

Is it okay to have Sex outside of, or before, Marriage?

9 “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality” 1 Corinthians 6:9

Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.                 2 Corinthians 12:21

Can a person be saved without baptism? 

Yes is the answer.  Look at the Thief on the cross and everyone in the Old Testament.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — Ephesians 2:8

However, Baptism is a part of our Salvation process and we all need to be baptized. 

Why were the stars and moon created?

The sun exists to bring light during the day and the moon and stars exist to bring light at night. “It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night” (Jeremiah 31:35, see also Psalms 136:7-9).

Just as the sun marks out our days, the moon was placed in our sky to mark out the seasons. “You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set.” (Psalms 104:19).

One reason for the existence of the stars and the moon is to cause us to wonder at the power of God.

“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalms 8:3-4)

What is God’s name?   

God –A common designation for God is “Elohim.” “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). Or, “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arm” (Deuteronomy 33:27). Or, the living God as used in Joshua 3:10.

I AM or Yahweh or LORD

“‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “” (Exodus 3:13-14).

The Most High, The Judge, Lord of Sabbath, Creator, Maker, The Rock, Redeemer, Savior

“You will be filled with joy,as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims

to Jerusalem, the mountain of the Lord—to the Rock of Israel.” Isaiah 30:29

How old is the world? 

Using the records given in the Scriptures, scholars have estimated that the world is roughly 8,000 – 10,000 years old.

Now that is not the estimate we are told the scientific community accepts. Currently, popular scientists think the world is 4.5 billion years old, though that age constantly changes. When I was in high school, it was only 3.5 billion years old, a change of a billion years — when I was in 6th grade it was 2.5 Billion.  Boy does time fly.  I haven’t lived nearly that long! The reason the measurements giving the largest answers are popularly cited is simply because the theory of evolution needs large periods of time to even be remotely credible.

One of the aspects of becoming a Christian is repentance of sins.

Repentance is a change in attitude toward sin as well as a change in behavior. A person who truly repents tries to undo the harm he has caused others in the past, but that isn’t always possible. But even when it isn’t possible, he still makes a radical change in his life. “10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” (II Corinthians 7:10)

Why is Sex outside of marriage a Sin??

Romans 1:24-28

So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

Leviticus 18:22

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.

Leviticus 20:13

“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

1 Corinthians 6:9

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,

1 Timothy 1:10

The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching

Hebrews 13:4

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Leviticus 17:11

…for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord.[a] It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.

What Does the Bible say about Soldiers?

* Early in the gospels the ordinary people draw Jesus’ attention to a centurion who had done a great deal of good for the community of Israel.

    * A little later Jesus says of the same man: “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith”.

    * When Jesus died on the cross the first to recognize that He was the righteous Son of God was another centurion.

    * In the book of Acts the first non-Jewish convert to Christ was a centurion and his family. We learn that he was a man full of piety and generosity.

    * Later in the book of Acts it is a senior Roman soldier who rescues St. Paul from an angry mob.

Later still, during a shipwreck, another centurion saves from death the Roman prisoners on the boat because he wants St. Paul (one of the prisoners) to survive.

What is blasphemy against the Spirit?

The case of “blasphemy against the Spirit” in the New Testament is mentioned in Mark 3:22-30 and in Matthew 12:22-32. The term blasphemy may be generally defined as “defiant irreverence.”

This blasphemy has to do with someone accusing Jesus Christ of being demon-possessed instead of Spirit-filled. There are other ways to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, but this was “THE” unpardonable

blasphemy.

  Spirit is our Guarantee. Ephesians 1:14

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.           Romans 8:38

He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:8

How could Jesus be the son of David?

In the days when the Bible was written, the term “son” or “daughter” was used more loosely than we use it in today’s English. Back then, any descendant of a person was called a son or daughter, even if there were several generations between them. For example, several of the kings of Judah were called the sons of David, even though David was not their immediate father (see I Kings 15:3, 11; 22:50).

Hence, in Matthew 1:1 we read, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Jesus was the son of both David and Abraham even though Jesus lived 900 years after David and David lived 600 years after Abraham.