Summary: Why People Have Questions
A. INTRODUCTION: WHY PEOPLE HAVE QUESTIONS
1. Demands a response: How is a question different from other English sentences?
a. Confusion. Why does the enemy ask questions? “Has God indeed said you shall not eat?” (Gen. 3:1).
b. Conviction. Why does Jesus ask a question? “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?” (John 8:10). Conviction = light.
2. Two kinds of questions.
a. Skeptics. Those who will not believe, i.e., doubt and denial.
b. Seekers. Those who want the truth or an honest answer.
3. Negative skeptic. Those who already reject what you tell them. The negative skeptic likes:
a. To argue.
b. Wants to win.
c. Long simmering pain.
d. Wounded encounter with Christianity.
4. Relationship. The negative skeptic will not believe your answers. They need the example of love and understanding.
5. Authority. The negative skeptic needs to accept the authority of truth, and the authority of God, i.e., “all truth is God’s truth.”
6. Answers with proof. The seeker needs truthful answers with proof (explanations).
B. APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS IN SCRIPTURE
1. Perfect or sinner. Does the Bible teach perfection? “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). “These things I write to you, that you sin not” (1 John 2:1). “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar” (1 John 1:10). Paul said, “The evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Rom. 7:19).
a. Expectation and acceptance. God expects us to be perfect, because God is absolutely holy. But God accepts us and forgives us because God is grace and love.
b. Christian life is a challenge with trials.
c. No growth without decisions and dedication.
a. First, AKOUO, heard a sound, but couldn’t distinguish the words (Hebrew).
b. Second, LALEO, didn’t understand the meaning of words.
3. How many pairs of animals did Noah take into the ark? Two. “You shall bring two” (Gen. 6:19). Seven. “You shall take with you seven” (Gen. 7:2).
a. Two unclean for reproduction.
b. Seven clean for eating. Not seven pairs, but three pairs, plus one.
c. For sacrifice after the flood (Gen. 8:20).
d. Complete obedience. “Noah did according unto all the Lord commanded” (Gen. 6:22).
4. Jesus descended from which son of David? Solomon (Matt. 1:6) or Nathan (Luke 3:31). He descended from both. His father Joseph came from Solomon. His mother came from Nathan.
5. Was John the Baptist the actual Elijah? “Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the dreadful day” (Mal. 4:5). No. “Art thou Elijah? And he said, ‘I am not’” (John 1:21). Yes. Jesus said, “Elijah is coming first . . . the disciples understood that He spoke of John the Baptist” (Matt. 17:11, 13).
a. John was not the actual Elijah, but ministered in the spirit of Elijah.
b. Elijah will physically return in the Tribulation (Rev. 11:3-12).
6. Jesus cursed a fig tree.
a. When did it die? “Immediately the fig tree withered” (Matt. 21:19).
b. It withered overnight, “In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots” (Mark 11:20, KJV).
c. It died instantly but leaves take time to wither.
7. Where was Jesus?
a. On the cross. “The sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Mark 15:33).
b. Before Pilate. “And it was . . . about the sixth hour and he said unto the Jews, ‘Behold your King’” (John 19:14).
c. Mark counts Jewish time.
d. In relationship to Pilate who was a Roman, it’s Roman time.
8. Did Jesus ascend to Paradise the same day of the crucifixion?
a. Yes. “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
b. No. Jesus told Mary, “I have not yet ascended to the Father” (John 26:17).
c. His Spirit ascended to Paradise immediately at death.
d. His physical body ascended 40 days later.
9. Who killed King Saul?
a. “Saul took his own sword and fell upon it . . . thus Saul died” (1 Sam. 31:4-6).
b. An Amalekite killed Saul (2 Sam 1:1-16).
c. Some say Saul wounded himself, but an Amalekite finished the job.
d. I say the Amalekite lied for a reward.
C. WHY ASK QUESTIONS?
1. Some ask “questions to shatter your faith.” There will be growing attacks on Christianity on the web, i.e., skeptic’s platform.
2. Some ask to establish a relationship. “Do you understand what you are reading? (Acts 8:30).
3. Some ask naturally, inquisitive.
4. Some ask to teach or learn. “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).