Summary: Questions are good if we seek answers to them; sometimes objections or excuses pose as questions. Not all questions are asked sincerely. Today I will address three questions, questions usually asked sincerely.
Short Answers to Common Questions 3
1. Teachers have some funny stories. Here are a few from Reader’s Digest.
After a coworker had finished his English lecture and his class had filed out, a tenth grader stayed behind to confront him.
“I don’t appreciate being singled out,” he told his teacher.
The teacher was confused. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know what the ‘oxy’ part means, but I know what a ‘moron’ is, and you looked straight at me when you said it.”
—Jannie Smith, Ashville, Alabama
I recently asked a student where his homework was. He replied, “It’s still in my pencil.”
—Larry Timmons, Surprise, Arizona
My sixth-grade class would not leave me alone for a second. It was a constant stream of “Ms. Osborn?” “Ms. Osborn?” “Ms. Osborn?” Fed up, I said firmly, “Do you think we could go for just five minutes without anyone saying ‘Ms. Osborn’?!”
The classroom got quiet. Then, from the back, a soft voice said, “Um … Cyndi?”
—Cyndi Osborn, New York, New York
2. Well, today I don’t mind being asked questions!
Main Idea: Questions are good if we seek answers to them; sometimes objections or excuses pose as questions. Not all questions are asked sincerely. Today I will address three questions, questions usually asked sincerely.
I. I have never done much with reading the Bible. Where do you recommend I START?
Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
I am assuming this question is asked honestly, but someone who is motivated and really wants to dig into God’s Word. So I will answer honestly.
• Some of God’s Word is fascinating, other portions seem boring. The deeper you study, the more fascinating some of the boring parts become.
• You are not going to understand it all or put it all together; the ability to do this improves as you become more fluent. Being fluent is the goal.
• But we are talking about reading.
A. Start with the book that assumes the least background: the Gospel of JOHN.
B. Then read or listen through the rest of the NEW Testament.
1. The OT was written to Israel but also for all believers
2. The NT was written to all believers and for all believers
3. The most crucial truths are found in the NT, after Jesus came
C. You can then read or listen to the OLD Testament.
D. You do not need to be in a HURRY.
II. Why go to church if I FEEL closer to
God in the woods?
“In general, being in nature — such as a forest, in the desert, at the beach, or near the ocean — is a serotonin booster.” Dr. Joel Robertson, Natural Prozac.
Most churches have taken either an approach toward church that draws the excitement-craving type (charge me up) or those who want to be soothed and relaxed (make me feel at peace). I believe the Biblical approach includes many elements and leads to balance and expanding our perspective toward God/others.
A. The short answer: you go to a church meetings because you are a disciple of Jesus Christ who is BUILDING his church (Matthew 16:18),
B. We go to church to be BUILT UP spiritually — encouraged, trained, etc. (Ephesians 4:12).
C. We are all to look to ENCOURAGE one another (Hebrews 10:24-25).
D. We worship God — but as a spiritual HOUSEHOLD and BODY, not anonymously.
I Timothy 3:14-15, “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”
E. Church meetings are part of ongoing DISCIPLESHIP (2 Timothy 2:2).
F. Church is a spiritual family where we SERVE one another (Galatians 5:13).
III. Are angels and demons for REAL?
A. YES: They are created spirit beings and were never human.
Paul Wallace shares this item from MBI’s Today in the Word:
John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave.
A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. (Source: Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 18)