Summary: God wants us to question Him and to ask why He does what He does.
a. This week we start an adventure
b. 8 Weeks on the really big questions people are asking today -
i. Questions about God and life and how the two are related
ii. Can I trust the Bible?
iii. Is there an afterlife? Do all roads lead to heaven?
iv. Does God exist? How can I know?
v. Why do bad things happen to good people?
vi. What happens when I die?
vii. The Bible says that God is a loving being. What kind of an individual would miraculously keep people alive for eternity so that he could fry them in a never ending lake of fire?
viii. What about Bible prophecy? Does it have anything to say that is more specific than Nostradamas’s prophecies, about what is going on today?
ix. Why am I here? If there is a God, does he have a plan for my life? How can I know what that plan is?
c. Before we get there, have to ask a more basic question. Is it okay to question God?
i. Feel kind of uncertain asking that question.
(2) Voice thundering through universe - “How dare you question me?”
d. Therein lies a paradox.
i. God is interested in faith.
(1) It is important that we question God because - and this is a real paradox
(a) You can’t have satisfaction without curiosity
(b) You can’t have answers without questions
(c) You can’t have faith without doubts
(d) You can’t have certainty without uncertainty
e. So we are going to be asking the tough questions and looking for answers.
ii. Sabbath School
iii. Church services
f. Don’t promise to have all of the answers, but I would like to share with you some of the answers I have found on my journey and I look forward to hearing your questions and answers as we seek the truth together.
2. God encourages us to think about the Big Questions and tough issues.
a. One thing that may surprise you about God is that he encourages us to ask questions.
b. ➤ Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
i. The word that is used is what would happen in a courtroom where evidence is presented and a judge or jury weighs that evidence and makes a decision.
ii. In this case, you are the judge/jury and God is the one presenting the evidence.
c. We have all seen those situations where the verdict in a trial is decided before the trial begins.
i. Whatever you think about the outcome of the OJ Simpson trial, the verdict was a foregone conclusion.
ii. One black juror - “No black juror in the world could go back to their neighborhood having voted to convict OJ Simpson.”
d. God invites us to use logic and reason and to carefully consider the claims of the Bible.
e. Hebrews 11:1 - What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet seen.
f. God never asks people to have blind faith.
g. Often in science today there is no opportunity to examine both sides of an important issue.
h. Whichever side you are on in the whole Creation/Evolution debate, it is important to consider both sides carefully and thoughtfully with an open mind.
i. May have seen the recent movie - Ben Stein (Ferris Bueler’s day off) - “Expelled” in which he documents the scientists who have been blackballed for even trying to examine both sides of the issue.
3. Bible never envisions blind faith based on opinion, but rather careful, open-minded examination of the issues.
4. Why? Because God, according to the Bible is interested in a relationship with us, and good relationships are only based on intelligent, informed choice.
5. God created us, according to the Bible, to think and ask good questions.
a. The greatest proof that God wants us to question and consider is in the human brain
i. If I was making people, I would never make them so that they could disagree with me.
ii. They would always do what I told them to do, when I wanted it to occur, and how I wanted it done.
iii. Their attitudes and actions would be a reflection of my will, my desires, my wishes.
iv. God, on the other hand, created us for freedom, thought and free will.
(1) “Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator-- individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation.”