By S.C. Shaw
I lead musical worship for my church. Right now I am mainly leading for our youth group. Last week we handed out some paper for them to write any questions they had concerning God and the Bible. After reading through these questions and giving answers to the best of my ability and I thought it would be good for all to see. These questions are the same ones I hear from all ages. So here we go.
How can Jesus know what we are all doing at the same time?
What an amazing God right?! God is the Creator of all good things. That means He even created time and space. Which also means He operates outside of that because He is not bound by His own creation. Of-course this is all a mystery because we don’t know exactly how that works because we are not only bound by the time and space God has given to us, but we are limited in our finite minds compared to the wisdom and power of God. And you know what? It’s ok to not understand everything about God. In fact, if we could understand God completely then God wouldn’t be God.
When will Jesus bring peace to earth?
There will never be peace on earth until He comes back, judges the world justly, destroys it and then creates the new heaven and new earth. When will that be? We don’t know. But what we do know is we all have the same calling in Christ. We are to grow in our faith and share it with others. This world has been corrupted by sin and cannot be reconciled until it is made anew. But we are given the choice to have peace in this world because of what Jesus did on the cross. By dying for sinners and being raised, He gives us a peace that the world cannot understand. We have the hope of eternity with Christ and the joy that the Holy Spirit brings to us because He is living inside us. That means we can have a certain peace on this earth right now.
How were the circumstances in Genesis so bad that He wiped out all people?
How are the circumstances now not worse with everything happening because there are drugs and drinking still here… will He wipe out everyone else again in a different way? God said He would never flood the earth again.
There were some very different things going on in Genesis. And some things that are going on now seem just as bad if not worse. But there was a corruption of mankind with fallen angels and women making babies. I know that sounds weird and it is. It was a perversion of what God had intended. God made man in His image and now that image is being corrupted. There are many differing theories on this and what exactly was going on or to what level was the world corrupted with this problem. But we know it was bad enough for God to wipe them out. That’s a big deal.
Plus remember, God would be just to wipe us all out all the time. The fact that He doesn’t is a major grace in our life. He gives us the opportunity to repent and follow Christ but it’s our choice.
The world today is lost and corrupted as well. But wrath is coming for all the evil in the world. We must trust that Gods timing is better than ours. The book of Revelation says that when Christ returns, He is coming to destroy the wicked and bring His children home (plus lots of other stuff).
So, there is judgment coming again but not in the form of a flood. He is going to destroy the whole world and make a new and perfect, never to be defiled again. A world for His children to live with Him for eternity.
If God loves us so much, how come He allows suffering and heartbreak?
God is so loving that when He created people, He gave us the ability to make choices. When our first representatives “Adam and Eve” sinned, they cursed the whole of humanity. No one would have made a better choice for they walked with God in an undefiled relationship like no one has ever done in all of creation. To think that their choices cursing us in unfair, remember the point is that no one would have done any better.
With that curse came a curse on all of creation. From then on God’s creation was thrown into chaos. But God is so good and loving that He didn’t destroy us like He could have justly done, He makes a way for us to know Him and ultimately be forgiven of this curse.
This life feels all-consuming and long to us, but to God it is like a flash of light. At least in the way that time works. God is working His plan through all of this evil. That’s how good and loving He is. He is able to take our sin and suffering and turn it into beauty for His children and glory for Himself. We don’t always get to see the good that comes from bad things, but we can trust that God is working good because He can only do good. He has a purpose and point to all He does and it’s all good, holy and perfect.
It is not that lack of love from God that we see bad things happen. It is the amount of evil people have chosen instead of turning to God for all things. It is always important for us to remember that God would have been just to kill us all. We deserve nothing from God but wrath. But He chose to offer forgiveness to those who would follow Him. Now His children have a future hope regardless of what is happening here and now. Our hope, peace, joy and life are in Christ and our eternity with Him.
How come God allows all of humanity to suffer because of a mistake that two people made?
Adam and Eve weren’t just “two people”. They were the first man and women. They had a relationship like no other people have ever had. They represented us as our first parents. Because they were the first of creation, and had such an intimate relationship with God, they now represent all of mankind. No one would have done better and therefore we are under the curse of their sin. Thank God for Jesus right?
Why would God even create the tree that caused Adam and Eve to sin knowing that they would be tempted?
God made man very unique from the rest of His creation. Not only are man and woman made in His image. But they are also free agents, meaning they are able to make choices. Some call this “free will” but that’s another topic. God giving man a choice means they need a choice. They have to choose good or evil. If a temptation was never introduced, then having “free will” will mean nothing. God wants His children to choose Him freely. Not mindless robots or people that are forced to love Him.
God gave them the garden of Eden full of wonderful food and a perfect relationship with their Creator. He simply asked them to not eat of one tree. But you know the rest. No matter the test for man, man would have failed. But this is good because we get to see God’s grace and mercy in our life. Plus we wouldn’t be able to see how good God is if we have never seen evil. I think that’s probably why the sinned. They really had no idea what they were doing but they knew they were disobeying. But God shows His grace and mercy right away. Sure, they cursed themselves and the rest of creation. But instead of just killing them as God had the right to do, He starts a covenant (promise) with them. He makes a way over and over again for God who is perfect able to dwell with man even though now we are corrupted with sin. Remember God can have no part of darkness and that’s all sin is. Sin causes death.
How do I know if God is talking to me?
Short simple answer, If God speaks to you, you’ll know. But this is why it’s so important to know Gods Word because if the voice you are hearing is contradicting the Bible, then you aren’t hearing from God. God will also speak to us through our time in His Word. God has spoken to all of us very clearly. He has given us His Word. Too many Christians complain about not hearing from God while their Bible remains closed. What God wants from us or our lives is no mystery.
Why do we fail?
We fail because we are weak. We are cursed from birth and have no hope. Too negative? It’s the truth but a more powerful truth is what Christ did for us on the cross. Us, this bunch of weak failures have the gift of eternal life and the Creator of all things as our King, Father and friend. You know that the Bible says about our weakness? When we are weak then we are strong because God uses us in and through our weakness, 2 Corinthians 12:10. That’s how powerful He is.
Why am I not born smart?
First you would have to define “smart”. Smart in school? Smart because other people think you’re smart? All that doesn’t matter because God made you the way He wanted you. He will use you in all your strengths and weaknesses. I was terrible at school, still am. My brain doesn’t work academically (I had to look up how to spell “academically” so I could use it in this sentence). I cheated to make it through high school. I don’t recommend that, just telling you of my despicable past. But I run a successful business for almost 15 years now that I started with no help or college degree. I have a wonderful life and I don’t consider myself smart. At least not by the worlds standards. God will use you and strengthen you in ways you never even knew you had. Just trust and follow Him. Grow in the wisdom of the Gospel. Everything the world thinks is smart is foolish.
What happens if God calls you to do something and you do not do it?
I’m pretty sure you’re talking about every day for every Christian who has ever lived. God calls us and we should listen. Are we perfect? No! But we are growing every day to be more like Christ and the more we become like Him the better we will heed (listen and obey) His call. And if God really wants you to do something, there’s nothing that will stop Him. See Jonah and the whale.
Why did God give us the gift of worship music?
Tugging at my heart strings here. I love music in general but music that glories God is my favorite. I believe God made music very special. It is powerful. I think God created music because He is musical. He is creative and loves beauty. We sing because He sings. We worship Him because He deserves our worship. God loves giving good gifts to His children. And even though some people pervert that gift, that means nothing to our gift of music.
What does God look like?
No one knows because no one has seen God the Father. God the Father is Spirit and does not have a body. But we have Jesus and Jesus is God. Jesus is the body of God. The bible tells us that Jesus will still have a body in heaven. In fact, Jesus will still bare His scares in His hands and feet in heaven. We don’t really know what Jesus looked like while on earth, but we know in heaven He will be glorious!
Why is it so hard to share the gospel?
I found it really hard to share the Gospel when I was still immature in my faith. Not that that is an excuse but it’s the truth. When we fill like we won’t have the answers that someone will ask then we would rather not talk at all. But no one has all the answers. What we do have is our testimony and we should at least know the basics of the Gospel as to fill in our testimony. God came, died and rose again for all who would believe. However, your life has changed because of that information, that is the Gospel you should share. But continue to grow in your faith and knowledge of the Bible because it will only do you well and serve others to be able to defend the truth and your faith.
Why does God love us so much even though we are sinners?
That’s great news right!? Ephesians 2 tells us that even when we were dead in our sin, God loved us. Before you knew and loved God, He already loved you. Now that you know Him and are hopefully striving to know Him more, He not only loves you but delights in you.
But if you’re asking how He could love us at all? It is because He created us. Even though we turned our backs, He still pursued us. Even when we fail, He still loved us. When we were helpless and hopeless, He gave us eternal hope. We don’t really know why, but we know He does.
Will God forgive my recent sins that I have done in the past days?
We were born under the wrath of God. Dead in our sins. We are actually enemies of God. And yet He still saved us. Why? Because those He loves He loved since before the foundations of the world. So, before you could do anything to make Him angry or before you could do anything to make Him happy, He loved you. But as we see in Ephesians 2, there was no hope in our natural state. And yet God still chose to save us by His grace. We have done nothing to be loved by God and therefore we can do nothing to be turned away from Him. If you are in Christ, then nothing can take that away. Jesus on the cross died for every sin past present and future of those who would love and follow Him.
But if we truly are following Him then we do still ask forgiveness because we feel the pain of our sin. Remember, Christ already paid for it. He took the wrath we deserve for each sin. So how do we respond? Hopefully with a life dedicated to Him. Yes, we are still sinning sinners. We won’t be perfect in this life. But Christ is making us more like Him each day. Even the days we can’t see it. Even the days we don’t even like ourselves because of what we’ve done. God is much more patient and loving than us.
Will things be better in the future?
First, I would want to know what you think “better” is? The world is going to get worse; we see that in the Bible. We know that God uses our suffering in this life for our own good. As we draw nearer to Christ then we experience more peace and joy and His love. In that way everything is always better. If you are going through hard times in your family, work, whatever then yes, things will get better in the same sense if you find your peace with Him. I know we can feel like our whole world is falling apart when our home life is chaos. But remember, our real family is with God. We just need to draw nearer to Chirst.
Does the Lord know what’s happening to my self-esteem?
God knows what’s happening at all times everywhere. In fact, He is in control of it all. But I would first want to know what you believe to be low self-esteem and why? To be honest I think we all have a big pride issue. Even our self-loathing in an example of pride. Think about what is happening when you’re feeling bad about yourself. We are self-absorbed in those moments. All we are thinking about is us. It feels like we are struggling with our self-esteem, but we are really just thinking of ourselves only. If we are truly feeling like we are struggling in ourselves then we need to strengthen our identity in Christ. That is who we were made for. When Jesus looks at His children He delights in them. So the God of the universe knows you and loves you. When we aren’t living for Him, that is when we begin to suffer through all these issues. But it’s never too late to make some changes.
Eternity with God seems like too much. It’s scary. I question what life is going to be like in Heaven…. I can’t wrap my mind around the process of having no time stamp in Heaven.
Eternity does seem scary because we only know time. But God operates outside of time. Eternity is never ending but we can’t even really comprehend what that looks like. Our souls were created for eternity, so the only other option is actually scary and terrible. What this really comes down to is you haven’t seen God for who He is yet. The more you grow in your faith and relationship in Him the more you see His beauty and love. Then it turns from a scary unfathomable eternity to, I can’t wait to see my Savior face to face and praise Him for forever!
How do I talk with someone about God who doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong therefore isn’t interested in God?
This is a common problem in our culture today. Just because someone feels safe doesn’t mean they are. I would first break apart their false idea that they haven’t done anything wrong. I’d ask, “so you’re perfect?” Most logical people will answer “Of-course not.” Then you could simply ask them if they have ever lied before, lusted, hated someone, etc. Then point them to the Bible which is reliable in its writings (which is another whole conversation) but showing them that God of the Bible demands perfection, and we fail to meet that perfection. That means we are under His terrifying wrath. But, that’s ok because He made a way for us to be perfect in His eyes. Not that we are perfect but those who believe in Jesus and put their trust and faith in Him have eternal life and are safe from the coming wrath on all sin.
Do some sins weigh more than others?
Some sins are obviously worse than others. Every sin is the same as it demands punishment from God. But there are three ways the bible talks about this, sins, trespasses and abominations. Each worse in their degree of sin. Of-course there are sin’s that are worse than others.
Did God create himself?
“Nothing” is unable to create. God is the only uncreated being. That is what makes Him God. He would cease to be God if He was created.
Is it true that God won’t give us more than we can handle?
God will always give you more than you can handle. We are weak and can’t handle anything. We see all throughout the Bible of people crying out to God and how what they’re going through is more than they can handle. Read the Psalms. This idea comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13. But the context is talking about temptation. God won’t allow us to be tempted to the point of breaking. He will always provide a way out as to not fall into sin. But as far as being able to endure suffering a trial, we have Christ to fall to for our strength and peace. It isn’t our mightiness that gets us through stuff, it’s Christ’s work in us. When Paul says “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” doesn’t mean you have the power to kick the brick wall down and conquer all. Paul is writing that from prison, and he is saying “No matter the abundance, lacking, joy or sorrow and suffering, because I have Christ, I can endure it all. My hope is not in this world but in the life with Christ.”
Does scripture say anything about self-harm?
You’d need to define self-harm because everything we do outside of glorifying God is self-harm and it’s a sin. But I can assume you’re talking about cutting and things like that. Cutting isn’t anything new. In fact, you can see in the Old Testament where people would cut themselves to worship their false Gods. They would also do all kinds of wicked acts in the name of their false dead gods and idols. The Bible also tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that we are not our own but a temple of the Holy Spirit and have been bought with a price. We belong to the God who created us. So, when we harm ourselves, we are not in line with Gods plan for us and our lives.
Why does God allow humans to go to hell for eternity?
God has created our spirit to live forever. He has also made us free agents meaning we are able to make choices. If we live our life wanting nothing to do with the One true God, then He is not going to force you to be with Him. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but they lack understanding of what heaven is. Heaven is a place where those who chose to follow and love Christ with their entire life are now able to worship and praise Him for all eternity. That’s what makes it heaven, being face to face with our Savior forever. That sounds like hell to everyone else. But since our spirit lives forever, there has to be a place for them to go. And unfortunately living a life with an unrepentant heart leads you to eternal judgment. Which is what we all deserve. But God gave away out of that through Jesus work on the cross. But you must accept the gift and live for Him.
Why does God let some people starve and some be wealthy? What does God allow car crashes and hurricanes? Why does God allow pain and suffering?
Ever since the fall (Genesis 3 where Adam and Eve cursed us with sin), the world has been broken. Not Gods fault but ours. God has been working His plan since the fall to bring His children back to Him and the evil of the world is storing up wrath for itself. God will punish all evil and finally do away with it forever. But it is in His timing not ours. We can have hope because no matter what evil’s we face here we know we have such a powerful God that loves His children and is able to turn all the bad of the world and make it something good for us. That evil will be dealt with, but you are safe in your Fathers hands. The evilest thing ever done in all of history was Jesus dying on the cross. The only actual good person (God) coming and being killed for those who killed Him. In this He made the only way to be with God forever in eternity. This isn’t to dimmish all the suffering and sadness that comes from this broken world. But our hope isn’t found on this earth. It is found in Christ and the life to come.
Why does God not make Himself known to everyone if the whole point of putting us on this earth is to worship Him?
First, God has made Himself known plainly in His creation. The Bible says creation declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) and the fool says in his heart “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). God revealed Himself in mighty ways throughout the Bible and people still denied following Him. See, it’s not that people don’t have enough evidence, it’s that they are much happier and comfortable to deny Him and live the way they want.
Second, God wants people to worship Him because they trust in Him for who He is and what He’s doing. Before Adam and Eve sinned and cursed us all, God was able to walk with man. But now God is unable to reveal Himself in that way because He is too glorious. We would actually die if we saw Him. He has given us His Word and He says that is everything we need to know to know Him and for saving faith. We don’t agree with that usually because we don’t read it enough. We haven’t experienced the power of it and so we deny it. The way God reveals Himself to His children that seek Him is so powerful they ask for nothing more.
This is also the importance of Christians sharing their testimonies. The way God changes hearts should be enough evidence by itself. No one changes the way they change when they meet the real and living God.
Why are we supposed to put God over everything else when we cannot even see or feel Him?
The follower of Christ does see and feel Him every day. That’s not to deny your faith but as we grow in our faith, we see Him acting in our lives all the time and feel closer each day. We put Him first because He puts Himself first. He does that because there is nothing greater than Him. To put anything before Him would be ridiculous. But we do it all the time. But it is hard because we can’t physically see Him or touch Him. But we turn back to Him and continue to fight for more of Him because we know there is nothing better. We are simply distracted by the physical world.
Do all LGBTQ people accepted by God and go to heaven?
We are all born into sin. Sexual sin is one of those sins. God created us for His purpose and glory. We were made by Him, for Him and through Him. We are to our own. Living in anyway outside of His design is sin. It doesn’t matter what the sin is, it is sin and needs to be denied so we can live for Christ. The sin doesn’t matter as much as if we are living in it, or accepting it in our life. The important thing is are we denying ourselves and living for Christ? In heaven we will see homosexuals, murderers, adulterers, fornicaters, addicts, and every other kinds of sinners. But those in heaven have denied their desires to be able to live for Christ. No one living in any unrepentant sin will make it to heaven. If we chose our sin over Christ then the wages of our sin is death.
With that being said, too many Christians treat homosexuality as some kind of special or bad sin. When, in actuality, their pride and arrogant ignorance is just as bad if not a worse sin. We are called to love people and share the Gospel. You are not going to change anyone. Christ will take care of matters of the heart, you just share the good new of what Christ has done for sinners and let Him do the rest.
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!
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