Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

RELIGIONS

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Prove It

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Why is Christianity the right religion?

Sincerely,
Which Way?

Dear Which Way,

The best way to show Christianity is the right religion is to show the uniqueness of the Bible.  If the Bible is from God, then Christianity is right. The writers of the Bible admit that it is their hands that wrote it (Gal 6:11), but they also explain that God’s Spirit guided those hands (Eph 3:3-4). If that is true (and it is!), then the Bible would show signs that it was written by God and not man. Here are some simple reasons that the Bible is unique from every other book:

  1. It is 100% scientifically accurate. Isa 40:22 mentions the earth being round. Job 36:27-28 explains the water-vapor cycle. These and other verses mention scientific principles that were not understood until centuries later.
  2. It never contradicts itself. Over 40 different writers penned the pages of the Bible. They came from different walks of life and different eras, yet no one has ever found a contradiction from Genesis to Revelation.
  3. It has been perfectly preserved throughout history. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint are copies of the Bible written 1,000 years apart, and yet, there is no difference in the text.
  4. No book is as widely distributed as the Bible. Written in over 2,500 languages and sold by the billions, the Bible is the most published book on the planet. No other book comes even close.
  5. The Bible is accurate in prophecies. The prophecies of Tyre (Eze 26:3-21) and Babylon (Isa 13:19-22, Isa 14:23) give specific, detailed accounts of the fall of those cities. Those prophecies were written many years before the events took place, and yet they came to pass exactly as the Bible foretold.

These are only short answers to the question ‘Why is the Bible unique?’, but they are a good start when discussing the issue with someone. If you want a more detailed answer, I recommend Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell and Has God Spoken? by A.O. Schnabel as great reference material on this topic.

What About Them?

Thursday, December 05, 2019
     I am very confident in my faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, but I try to study other religions as well because I wonder how I am going to witness to them and tell them the truth if I know nothing about what they believe.  My question is: is it wrong to study other religions?  A few people have told me it is.

Sincerely,
Ready To Research

Dear Ready To Research,

There isn’t anything wrong with studying other religions, but it would be a problem if you spent more time studying a false religion than you did studying the Bible.  How we spend our time is indicative of our priorities.  God tells us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15) and that we should grow in our knowledge, so we can teach others Jesus’ message (Heb 5:12).  It is useful to know what false religions practice (even Paul had studied the pagan poets of his day – Acts 17:28), but it is not nearly as useful as knowing what the Bible says.  The best way to prepare yourself to “give an answer for the hope that is within you” (1 Pet 3:15) is to make sure to study your Bible diligently.  Once again, studying other religions isn’t wrong, but you need to make sure it is properly balanced with Bible study habits.

Faith +

Friday, November 08, 2019
     Is salvation by faith only or by both faith and works? Passages like Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, 3:27-28, 4:2-5, 5:1, 10: 9-10, 11:6, Gal 2:16, 3:11-12, Eph 2:8-9, Tit 3:5, 2 Tim 1:9, and Php 3:9 all say that faith is just needed.  Especially a standout here is Eph 2:8-9 because I see this verse used often by the Pentecostal/Evangelical Charismatic preachers to prove their idea that faith is all you need and nothing else, not even baptism.  I often see these guys preach this idea to young people because they believe they will be more likely proselytes, especially someone who has never even touched a Bible in their entire lives.

But according to passages like Ps 62:12, Matt 16:27, Rom 2: 6-7, Pr 24:12, Eccl 12:14, Jer 17:10, 32:19, Jhn 5:29, 2 Cor 5:10, Php 2:12, Jas 2:14-26, Heb 6:10, 1 Peter 1:17, Job 34:11, Gal 6:7, Col 3: 23-24, and Rev 22:12, works do matter!  So what are we saved by, and why are there some passages that talk about only faith and other passages talk about both faith and works?

Sincerely,
Mixed Messages

Dear Mixed Messages,

The Bible says that we are saved by faith (Eph 2:8), but it never says that we are saved by faith only.  The Scriptures mention a lot of things that are involved in our salvation.  We are saved by hope (Rom 8:24).  We are saved by baptism (1 Pet 3:21).  We are saved by the love of the truth (2 Thess 2:10).  All of these things are involved in your salvation.  In order to understand a topic, we must look at the sum of God’s Word on that subject (Ps. 119:160).

We are told that in order to be saved, we must believe in Jesus (Jhn 3:16), repent of our sins (Acts 2:38), be baptized (Mk 16:16), and continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ through the Bible (2 Pet 3:18).  Faith is hearing what God says (Rom 10:17)… and then acting upon it.  James says that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:17).  It is impossible to be a faithful person and live an unrepentant life.  Faith is more than belief; even the demons believe in God (Jas 2:19).  Faith is belief combined with action.  We must be hearers and doers of God’s Word (Jas 1:22).

On The Fence

Monday, October 21, 2019
     I just wanted to say that I’m not an atheist, and I don’t want to challenge religious views or anything.  I am curious about Christianity and have a puzzling question.  Since I currently don’t believe in any sort of religion and am unsure whether or not there is a god, if I died right now, would I automatically go to hell just because I haven’t accepted the Lord as my savior?  I have morals and am generally a good person, so how could God send me to hell to burn forever? Is He really that cruel?  Thank you in advance to whoever reads this; I appreciate your time.
Sincerely,
Agnostic

Dear Agnostic,

Jesus is a very exclusive Savior.  He very boldly claims, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no comes to the Father, but by Me.” (Jhn 14:6).  If you don’t have a life of faith built upon following Christ, you won’t be saved.  We aren't saved by being good people (everybody thinks they are a good person); we are saved by being in Christ (Jhn 10:9).  That may sound harsh, but let’s talk about the evidence that God provides to make it possible for a deist to turn into a christian.

First of all, all faith is built upon some sort of evidence.  That evidence may be historical data (like when you trust traffic lights to work properly because they have statistically done so in the past), it may be personal experience (i.e. when you trust a friend because they have shown good judgment and loyalty in the past), or circumstantial evidence (like when a jury convicts a murderer based upon the evidence presented to them – even when there weren’t eyewitnesses at the scene of the crime).

Your belief that there is some sort of Supreme Being is probably based upon some sort of basic evidence from the world that you see around you.  Rom 1:20 says that God has provided evidence of His existence in the creation around us.  From galaxies to atoms, this world shows the signs of design.  A design requires a Designer.  God’s handiwork is seen in the finely-tuned craftsmanship of the human eye, just like Nikon’s handiwork is shown in the craftsmanship of their cameras.  You’ve done well to acknowledge His existence in a general way… but we would beg you to keep digging deeper.

After looking at the general evidence of God’s existence, it is time to look at the specific evidence of the Bible’s supernatural origins.  The Bible is a unique book; it is a book that no human could ever write.  We would encourage you to read “Who Wrote The Bible?” for a comprehensive list of reasons why the Bible is a book that only God could have written.  Once we begin to see the evidence for the Bible’s divine origins, we have no choice but to ask ourselves, “Will I follow God’s Word?”.

God expects us to follow Jesus, and we stand condemned if we don’t, because He has given us plenty of evidence that Jesus is the one and only true Son of God.  We would encourage you to follow the evidence – it will lead you straight to Jesus the Christ.

Hocus Pocus

Monday, October 07, 2019
    If you practiced witchcraft just for fun, and you’re a teenager, are you automatically going to hell, and if so, can you change it?

Sincerely,
Bewitched

Dear Bewitched,

As long as we are living, there is time to change our lives.  Astrology, mysticism, séances, horoscopes, palm reading, witchcraft, etc. are all sinful.  God condemned that behavior in the Old Testament (Isa 47:13-14).  King Saul was put to death by God for seeking a woman that practiced divining (1 Chr 10:13).  Any Jew that was found visiting a ‘medium’ or ‘spiritist’ would be cut off from His people (Lev 20:6).  When someone became a Christian, they confessed sorcery as evil, and many of them burned their books of the magical arts (Acts 19:18-20).  If we want wisdom, we should seek it from God (Jas 1:5).

You mentioned that you did it just for fun and that you didn’t realize the implications.  Many sins are that way, but that doesn’t excuse the sin.  If you are driving down the highway and fail to note the speed limit… ignorance won’t stop the police officer from giving you a ticket.  When mankind makes choices in ignorance, those choices still affect us (1 Pet 1:14).  The way to receive forgiveness is to turn to the Lord, and He will give you forgiveness.  Read “Five Steps To Salvation” for exactly what it takes to be forgiven.

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