August 2, 2013
“The Top 20 Questions People Ask About God, Jesus, Bible, & Christianity Today”
Part 2 of 4, (#6 – 10)
Speaker: Bob Butcher
We take up at number six in Iowa today. Number one through five were discussed in Denver last weekend and can be found if you look at the Chapel Service before this one in the list here on the website.
6. What about those who have never heard?
Everyone who’s ever lived sees nature, …the sun, moon and stars and knows there’s God and is held accountable for that…
Psalms 19:1-2 says: How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announces it to the following day; and each night repeats it to the next.
God also gives an internal revelation.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: God has set eternity in the hearts of men.
Romans 2:15 says:
Mankind’s conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them.
God has given each of us a moral compass—whether we grow up in Africa, America, New Guinea, or absolutely anywhere else.
If we were to record every statement that we make about what’s right and wrong in our lifetime and if the African tribesmen were to do the same, even we don’t live up to our own standard, let alone God’s standard.
Everyone who’s ever lived has this knowledge of God through creation, and through nature. Everyone had, and has today, and will have in the future the knowledge of this moral code written on their hearts that no one can meet… Over and over, God says, “For those who seek me, they will find me if they seek me with all their heart.”
We see this God who knows every person on this earth, and desires to be in relationship with them, made a way for them to be in relationship with Him. If somebody seriously seeks God it’s 100% guaranteed that God’s gonna find a way to get that message to that person, so that they can find God.
People need to hear, and God uses us to accomplish His plan. So it’s a privilege to go and to share, which is basically the greatest news ever!
There are some great books: Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, is a phenomenal book that answers a lot of these questions. He’s also got a book called The Case for Faith. Lee’s a sharp guy. He worked for the Chicago Tribune and tried to disprove Christianity, and ultimately ended up coming to faith. So have a number of others people who tried this approach, including one extremely intelligent racer I am great friends with!
Also, please check out this website:
7. Why Does God Condemn A World He Created?
God created this world to honor us and because He wanted fellowship with us. The minute sin entered the world; His perfect creation was no longer perfect.
He wants all His children to be saved so we all may enter Heaven. Therefore He made a plan …through Jesus sacrifice to pay for our sin at the cross.
God then loves us enough to give us free will, so we may choose to love Him for all His infinite glory …or we can choose not to.
God doesn’t want to condemn the world He created, but just as there is a plan for justice when a criminal is caught, there is a process for God as well.
He gives us the opportunity to make a choice on our own. True justice always demands and keeps perfect righteousness, so we get to choose our own eternity.
God did not make us robots! He loves us far too much for that.
8. If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?
The answer is nearly the same. God is not only sovereign, but also so righteous and just plain full of love that He allows what we call “Free Will.”
In essence, God allows evil because He desires relationship with us.
Back in the Garden of Eden, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Evil entered the world the second they disobeyed and it allowed sin to enter the world.
God is perfect and good and He would rather we love Him with all our heart, than to program all His people as mindless believers like robots like I mentioned before.
Romans 9: 22-24: What if God, wanting to show His wrath with evil and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the people (or vessels) of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the people (or vessels) of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not only from the Jews, but also of the Gentiles?
So yes, God allows evil, but He also restrains it.
Because God is good, He does not allow there to be excess evil.
Only that which can be redeemed and which can lead to good is allowed.
Often this is more than we think we can bear.
But we need to know God’s character.
He is a God of justice and of love.
Evil will not go unpunished.
Nor will God’s people who suffer at the hands of others go without help
Read more about this subject at:
9. Why Would God Give Man Free Will?
God gave us free will, because He loved us enough to let us choose what path we wanted to take both on earth and eternity.
He gave us this choice out of pure love for His children.
Free will is what sets us apart from the animals of the world.
We have the free will to choose at every time we need to make a decision.
The decisions we make is ours.
Free will exemplifies God’s infinite love for His children. Sometimes we make good decisions, sometimes we make bad decisions.
God wants us to learn from our mistakes of others or ourselves and to grow from it.
Look at Genesis 50: 20 as Joseph deals with his brother’s depravity & jealousness. He understands God’s plan & sovereignty when he says to them: “You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened.”
10. If Christianity is true, then why are there so many hypocrites?
A hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does another…there are people that call themselves believers, or there are people who go to church, and only God knows their heart.
We can’t judge who may or may not be believers. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, not ours! And, of course, there’s people who go to church that obviously are believers.
If a person’s a believer, does that mean they’re gonna be perfect?
Are they hypocritical if a believer sins?
Believers are forgiven, right? By God, through faith…not by works…and still sin. I still sin…
I hate to bust your bubble, but Kathy & I still mess up. But at least we usually know it and deal with it immediately as possible. We hate when we mess up, and sometimes we still do not recognize that we have until the Holy Spirit convicts us of our failure. Once you get use to the Holy Spirit whispering to your conscience that you blew it, it gets easier to fix quicker.
Let’s take a brief side track here for a moment on that thought:
(If we become perceptive within to God in His communication we will gain understanding. In the natural we listen to hear, God’s first language however is not English, French, Spanish or Chinese. It is the language of the spirit world. God has the ability to communicate more data in a millisecond than the greatest supercomputer can in a lifetime and he can do it in many ways.
“God is Spirit” John 4:24 and often He communicates in a spiritual way. Many times we do not perceive him because we are trying to receive it in our own human senses using natural ways. God does speak in natural ways, but when he doesn’t we may not recognize it and therefore miss it.)
With people, often times, there may not be a true belief behind what they say.
It may only be an outward show. Maybe point blank pride!
So, if you think that of certain people, then you’re in agreement with Jesus, who saved his harshest criticism for the “religious” people of the day who were just for outward show and their hearts weren’t changed:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence….on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness….You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Matthew 23
I think the beauty, what Kathy and I’ve experienced in our lives, and for all people who come to faith, is that you see God changing you from the inside out. And so, we don’t try to put on this outward show of self-righteousness, but it’s more of the heart cry, “God change us from the inside out.” It’s a true heart change…
Just because someone claims to be a Christian and is hypocritical, doesn’t disqualify the whole faith system.
I think to be fair, you probably need to base your judgment on the object of faith …That object being Christ, Him crucified and the forgiveness of sins. The object should NEVER be the people who claim to be Christians. That will always disappoint you on this side of eternity.
Thanks for being here in Chapel today. Next time, at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA on August 17th, we will take on the next five, #11 – 15.
In between, I remind you to do yourself and your knowledge of God Himself a BIG favor and begin listening to the messages from my friend Bruce Stefanik with the links on our website or simply go to our church website itself and click on the series “The Word on the Street” at: