Summary: In this series it is my goal that you not question your faith, but be able to ask the questions about your faith that you have always wondered, but never knew the answer
Sermon Series: “Questioning the Faith”
Introduction: “Opening the Dreaded Box”
Text: 1 Peter 3:15
INTRODUCTION: We are going to begin a very special series of sermons this evening called, “Questioning the Faith”
In this series it is my goal that you not question your faith, but be able to ask the questions about your faith that you have always wondered, but never knew the answer
The way I hope to achieve this is to have you all write out your best questions concerning your faith and give them to me. In turn I will take the week, study them and then preach on the subjects I am asked about
Remember, if everyone asks questions it may take a week or two to answer yours, so please remember to attend all evening services so that you don’t miss anything
Let’s begin our introduction to this series…
***Some people don’t ever want their faith to be called into question.
Illustration: “My friend in UNF” I have a friend who is going to UNF to be a Priest in the Episcopal Church. He shares with me all of the questions that come up about his faith. He told me that in his ‘religion and the courts’ class he has to share discussions with people who consider themselves neo-pagans, atheists, agnostics, and one who considers himself a Christian homosexual.
He said that the experience is very hard, but it has taught him to rely more and more on his faith in Christ.
The more he is attacked as one of the small handful of conservative Christians in the class, the more he is forced to trust in Christ for the answers.
He said that one sweet girl actually dropped the class because she had come from a very sheltered home and church life, and she just couldn’t handle the constant barrage of anti-Christian sentiment.
I told you this story to illustrate a point: My friend, who has since finished school, now has a deeper rooted faith, having gone through these classes, than if he had not.
He will be more ready to make a defense for his faith because he has been inside the mind of those who oppose his beliefs, and he understands them.
We need to know that questions that people are asking to be prepared to give our defense.
Illustration: “Wrong Tools” It makes no sense to bring woodworking tools to a metal shop; the same is true about learning how to answer questions that people never ask.
Many of us know a lot about the Bible, doctrine and fundamental Christianity, but these are not topics that non-believer’s ask
Tonight we are going to discuss a few of the questions I have been asked on more than one occasion, along with the answers that make the most sense.
Important note: You will almost never ‘argue’ someone into belief. These answers are not meant to debate the skeptic, but reassure the believer. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not arguing its contents
One of the most popular questions I hear from people is:
1. Where did God come from? What was He doing before the creation of the universe?
Other ways to ask the same question:
i. If God made everything, who made God?
ii. Did God have a beginning?
iii. I understand eternity forward, but not eternity past. How can God be infinite?
A. A good theological answer:
a. This question assumes that everything, including God,is subject to the same time and space as man.
a. They believe that there is nothing that is not bound by time and space.
b. This theory has been questioned by the scientific community and virtually dismissed since Einstein’s theory of relativity.
c. Einstein showed that time can be altered, slowed down or speeded up when objects begin to travel at extremely high speeds.
d. So this means that the concept that all things operate within the context of fixed time and space, and nothing exists outside of time and space, is not necessarily correct.
b. While we may not totally understand it, these scientific findings do make it easier to understand the God exists outside of time and space; at least outside of our knowledge of time and space.
B. What the Bible says:
Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night.”
Colossians 1:17 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
C. How do I explain this to someone?
Illustration: “My Ring” I like to use my wedding ring. It is a complete gold circle. It is without beginning and without ending. My ring is a continuous circle. If something so simple has no beginning and no ending, how mush easier should it be to understand that God, who is so complex, has no beginning or ending.