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TPC - CD 02(W045) - Hot Button Questions - Part 2

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“Hot Button Questions”

Part 2

3/20/19

Q: Is it appropriate for the lost to be given the opportunity to

give their life to Christ at the end of Wednesday night bible

study?

A: Yes. However, on Wednesday nights we come together for

the express purpose of teaching the Bible to God’s people. Jesus

told Peter 3 times, “Feed my sheep.”

Paul the Apostle instructed the church about their local gatherings,

saying, “What then is the right course, believers? When

you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation

(disclosure of special knowledge), a tongue, or an interpretation.

Let everything be constructive and edifying and done

for the good of all the church” (1 Cor. 14:26).

Paul’s focus here is clearly on the believers. The local church is

primarily called to be a place of encouragement, edification,

exhortation, and spiritual growth for the saints.

Having said that, I try always to remain open to the Spirit’s

promptings regarding inviting the lost to be saved!

______________

Q: Are the phrases "prosperity gospel" and "word faith message"

synonymous? Okay...

A: One dictionary definition of “prosperity gospel” is, “a belief

among some Christians that God rewards those who live faithful

lives with material wealth.”

And the “word faith” movement teaches the power or "force"

of faith. Proponents believe they can use words to manipulate

the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe

Scripture promises (health, wealth, etc.).

So yes, the prosperity gospel and word-faith message are in

the same camp.

Let me say first that I believe God wants to bless His children.

Verses like, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming

down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not

change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

Or, “Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in

their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust

should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we

need for our enjoyment” (1 Tim. 6:17).

And, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good

gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven

give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 7:11)

Clearly, God is a giving God. But here’s the catch: These verses

have little to do with material wealth.

One commentator writes, “The ‘good gifts’ James speaks of

may most fairly be understood as the best gifts, those of grace,

the spiritual blessings spoken of in Eph. 1:3,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who

has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly

places in Christ,”

When Jesus says that the Father gives “good gifts” to those

who ask Him, it says nothing about those gifts being material

riches, nor do James’ words about “good gifts” from the Father.

I think the whole idea that Christianity is the gateway to spiritual

wealth if you only exercise faith is contrary to New Testament

teaching.

For instance, one verse that is often quoted to substantiate this

position is found in Gal. 3:13-14, “Christ has redeemed us from

the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is

written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the

blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,

that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through

faith.”

Now, you will hear the teachers of the prosperity message say,

“Abraham was a wealthy man. And the Bible says that all the

blessings of Abraham are mine. That includes his wealth. So I

receive that! Wealth is mine in Jesus!”

But look closely at the last part of the verse. It says, “that the

blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,

that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through

faith.”

“That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

So this passage about the blessings of Abraham has nothing at

all to do with the material wealth given to Abraham. The verse

clearly specifies it is about being made righteous by faith, and

receiving the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.

Listen: One of the things you really have to be careful about is

the practice of applying the OT promises that were given to a

certain person or nation, in a certain context, for a certain time,

under a certain dispensation, that were never intended to apply

to us.

The NT makes it very clear that most Christians are never going

to be wealthy. This is why the writer of Hebrews instructs us:

“Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you

have. For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake

you.” 6 That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, “The

Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere

man can do to me” (Heb. 13:5-6).

Jesus Himself urged us, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth

where they can erode away or may be stolen. 20 Store them in

heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from

thieves. 21 If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there

too” (Matt. 6:19-21).

Jesus isn’t teaching irresponsibility here, or to be unwise in

preparing for a time when you can no longer work. But notice

how He turns our attention away from having a primary focus

on money onto the eternal riches that are rewarded to those

who seek Him first!

James wrote that you can’t measure faith by how much “stuff”

someone has. “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not

God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be

rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who

love him?” (James 2:5)

If they’re rich in faith how can they also be poor? Because faith

is not measured by the things you possess. It is measured by

the spiritual fruit you’re producing. Jesus said “You shall know

them by their fruits” not their money! (Matt 7:16)

Jesus warned us, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all

kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions”

(Lk. 12:15).

As I read my NT, I don’t see an emphasis on riches and material

things AT ALL. I find a continual encouragement to turn your

focus onto spiritual riches instead.

Col 3:1 “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep

seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right

hand of God.”

_____________

Q: How do people who are mentally disabled or have dementia

achieve salvation?

A: Okay, the question is about someone with a mental deficiency

being unable to grasp the gospel, thus to respond appropriately

with repentance to be saved.

The Bible does not make a direct statement regarding the afterlife

of those who have mental challenges that prevent them

from clearly understanding and believing in Jesus as Savior.

But a close look at related passages of Scripture appears to indicate

that those unable to believe in Jesus due to age or ability

will be covered by the grace of God.

One example can be found in 2 Samuel 12:23 where David's

newborn son is sick and then dies. When asked about the event

and his response, David answered, "Can I bring him back

again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." David

was confident he would one day see his son again in heaven.

I believe we can place our trust in the God of whom Abraham

said, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen

18:25) The answer is, “Yes!”

_____________

Q: Please explain the importance of supporting Israel when

Jews, generally speaking, do not believe Jesus is the Messiah.

To me, it seems like there is this newfound interest in supporting

Israel. I honestly don’t understand the emphasis that is being

put on supporting Israel from a christian perspective. Being

a veteran and militarily speaking, I get it, but not as a christian.

I'm confused.

A: First, Christians should support the nation of Israel because

Israel, the nation, is exceedingly special to God. We read in

Deuteronomy 7:6-8 these words:

"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD

your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of

the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD

did not set his affection on you and choose you because you

were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the

fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you

and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought

you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of

slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt."

Secondly, God's eternal purpose is to bless the world through

Israel. He has already done so in measure, for "salvation (thru

Christ) is from the Jews" (John 4:22), but the fullness of future

blessing is indicated in the glorious promise of Isaiah 27:6: "In

days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom

and fill all the world with fruit."

Third, we owe a huge debt to Israel. All that we have worth

having has come to us through the Jews. Our Bible is a Jewish

Book, and our Savior is a Jewish Savior.

Fourth, Christians should support the nation of Israel because

of the Abrahamic Covenant. We read of God’s promise in Genesis

12:2-3, "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless

you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I

will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will

curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through

you" (Genesis 27:29; Numbers 24:9).

Now, it’s true that Israel, today, rejects Christ as a whole. The

nation is a secular, unbelieving nation. But some are being

saved, and the day will come when they will experience a great

turning to Christ.

The Bible says that during the Great Tribulation, the Jews will

lose half of Jerusalem during the battle of Armageddon. And

just when Israel is on the brink of total defeat, Jesus is going

to come and place His feet on the Mount of Olives.

All the Jews of Israel believe that that is what their Messiah is

going to do! When He comes, they are going to run out there to

meet their Messiah and they’re going to bow to worship Him

and they’re going to notice that He has nail prints in His hands

and His feet.

Zechariah 13 says, “And one will say unto Him, where did you

get these wounds in Your hands? And he will reply, these are

they in which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” And

they’re going to believe!

______________

Q: Why is Satan (apparently) in the presence of God when they

discuss testing Job and later Peter in Luke 22? Where would

this take place? Surely not in heaven at the throne of God

where God resides and from where Satan was exiled?

A: Okay, In Job 1, Satan stood before God to give an account of

himself. But we notice that God initiated the meeting, led the

proceedings, and remained in absolute control. The result was

that Satan's power was limited and God was glorified.

Here are some things to remember:

1) Satan does not have open access to God's presence. He is

summoned by God.

2) The visits are temporary. His time before God's throne is

limited.

3) In no way is the purity of heaven tainted by the brief, Godordained

presence of a sinful being, who is restrained by

God's power.

4) Satan's access is only granted prior to the final judgment.

After the judgment, God creates a new heaven and new

earth, wipes away all tears from our eyes, reveals the New

Jerusalem, and promises the complete absence of sin.

________________

Q: A family member has walked away from Christianity due to

two sticking points about God that have derailed their belief.

They say they’ve never received an adequate answer. First,

they say:

1.) I have a serious issue with our every action being already

predetermined, yet asking for forgiveness and salvation. This

takes me down a rabbit hole of "whhyyyyyy?"

A: This question assumes that human beings have no free will,

no ability to choose. So the question rests on a false premise. It

confuses God’s foreknowledge (I know you’re going to sin)

with God’s irresistible will (your every move is controlled by

me).

First, guilt could not exist without the ability to choose. The

Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of

God” (Ro. 3:23). And again, “in fact, all the world stands

hushed and guilty before Almighty God” (Ro. 3:19).

How could God attribute guilt where choice is non-existent? He

can’t!

James assures that “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is

tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he

tempt anyone;” (1:13) So God is NOWHERE in our sinful decisions.

Now, if God can’t tempt us, then how can our sins be caused by

His irresistible will? They can’t. As Joshua said, “Choose you

this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).

The good news is, we have a choice whether or not to serve

God. You have a choice whether or not to turn to Christ! Have

you done so?