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091 Man’s Questions and God’s Answers (#2)

‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path!’    Psalm 119:105.

Key Verse:

“The word of the Lord endureth forever”

(1 Peter 1:25)

In this lesson we will continue what we began in the last lesson – answering questions which we are regularly asked. Before we begin,

there is one thing that we need to make clear.

In answering questions, we dare not rely on our own knowledge or the knowledge of others. We rely on

God’s Word alone.

We do not have the answers to questions, but God has the answers and has given them to us in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible says: “For

the word of God

is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12) Now then, let us consider the following questions.

1) We studied in one lesson:

“That which is evil cannot come from God.”

I disagree with that, because I believe that God first created what is evil before He made what is good.

Allow us to answer this question with a question found in the Bible. “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” (James 3:11). Just as a spring or a well does not give forth both fresh water and salt water, neither is God the source of both good and evil. The Holy Scriptures say: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all!” (1 John 1:5) “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for

God cannot be tempted by evil,

neither tempteth he any man; but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed … Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begot he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures” (James 1:13,14,16-18)

God’s prophet, Habakkuk, wrote: “Art thou not from everlasting. O Lord? . . . Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. (Hab. 1:12,13) Therefore if

God cannot tolerate what is evil,

we should not believe that He can create what is evil. God created the angel named Lucifer, but Lucifer became the devil by choosing to rebel against God. God created Adam, but Adam became a sinner

by choosing to disobey God.

The Word of God teaches us that the devil and the unrighteous heart of man are the source of evil, and that God and His Word are the source of good.

2) The next question is: If God is holy and full of mercy, then why does He stand by and watch the quarrels and wars and murders and wickedness of the world? Can’t He do something to help people who are in trouble?

Indeed,

God is the Lord of Mercy,

and what He should do to help people in trouble, He has already done! He sent the righteous Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to reconcile people to Himself and then to each other. However, before people can be truly reconciled among themselves, they must first believe in the Savior whom God sent and submit to Him. When our relationship with God is right, then our relationship with people can be right. Only then will there be true peace. Everything depends on our response to God. We must take the remedy God has provided. Also, remember that

God is going to judge this world for its wickedness.

The Word of God says that the Lord Jesus Christ will return at the end of the age to judge everyone who refuses the truth and takes pleasure in wicked deeds. After the Lord Jesus has put down all of God’s enemies, He will renew the whole creation. And then what is written in the Scriptures will be fulfilled, which says: And there shall be no more curse … and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 22:3; 21:4)

3) The third question is this: Something troubles me. I’ve always believed that if I sin, that sin will affect me, but it will not affect my children because they did not commit it. But you say that the sin that our ancestor Adam committed in the Garden of Eden spread to all of his descendants, and that God must punish them.

How can this be?

The proverb says: “An epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!” and “The leaping impala doesn’t produce burrowing offspring like rats.”

This is true, isn’t it?

We all agree that if you have a child, and you raise him in your own house, he will take on his character, good and bad, from you his parent–your way of speaking, your way of living, your way of thinking, and your way of doing things. All of us belong to the family of Adam and Eve. We have descended from those who disobeyed God’s commandments.

Are we not like our ancestors?

Who among us can say that we have never departed even once from the way of God’s commandments? We are all guilty! We were born with a nature which disobeys God’s commandments. From where did we inherit this disobedient nature?

From Adam.

Like an awful disease, Adam’s sin has spread to us all. Whether we like it or not, that is the way it is. That is precisely what the Word of God declares, when it says: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,

and death by sin,

and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Romans 5:12) However, all hope is not lost, because the Word of God also says: “Therefore, as by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Romans 5:18)

4) The next question is: Why is the Bible divided into two sections, an Old Testament and a New Testament?

In brief, what you need to understand is this: Everything that the prophets wrote in the Old Testament, that is, in the First Covenant,

they wrote before the Messiah was born.

But everything that is found in the New Testament, the New Covenant, they wrote after the birth of the Messiah. Thus, the message of God’s prophets who wrote the First Covenant was:

“God is going to send the Messiah!”

However, the message of the New Covenant is: “God has sent the Messiah, just as He promised through His prophets!” Therefore, we should thank God that the Bible has two sections—a First Covenant and a New Covenant. In those two sections, we can see that what God promised so long ago, He has accomplished! God sent a Savior, Jesus Christ, just as He promised our ancestors in the Pentateuch, the Psalms and the other Holy Scriptures. As the rivers flow into the sea, so the Scriptures of the prophets find their fulfilment in Christ.

5) Here’s another question: It is said that man cannot know whether he will go to heaven or to hell. God alone knows. But you say that you know that if you die today, you will go to heaven. On what do you base such a claim?

Allow us to respond to that question with another question.

Can God go back on His word?

Is God faithful to keep His word? God’s Word says: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43) “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that

ye may know

that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13) Since God Himself has said that you can know that you have eternal life, who are we to say that no one can know where he is going to spend eternity? Yes dear friend,

you can know

where you will go after death! The question is: Do you truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice? Or are you trusting in your own “good works”? Only those trusting in Christ can honestly say, “I know that I have eternal life!”

6) This one is: Jesus announced that the Comforter would come after Him. Of whom did Jesus speak?

As we have read in the Gospel, before the Lord Jesus returned to heaven He promised His disciples, saying: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you

another Comforter,

that he may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you … the Comforter,

who is the Holy Spirit,

whom the Father will send in my name,

he shall teach you all things,

and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you … and when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement: of sin, because they believe not on me … (He) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard from me. For John truly baptised with water; but ye shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (John 14:16,17,26; 16:8,9; Acts 1:4,5).

From what the Lord Jesus said, we learn that the Comforter was not a man, but a Spirit

God’s Holy Spirit

—whom no one can see. Jesus told His disciples that after He returned to heaven, God would send the Holy Spirit down to live in their hearts. A few lessons ago, we read how that is exactly what happened on the day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven.

In brief, the Comforter is the Spirit of God who comes to live in the hearts of all who believe the Gospel.

If you sincerely believe,

the Holy Spirit will cleanse and renew your heart, mark you as God’s own child, and give you a share in God’s holy presence forever. That is what the Scripture declares, saying: “In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13,14)

For those of us who believe, the Holy Spirit is

our helper, our guide, our strength, our teacher, and so much more.

He does so many things for us—we cannot begin to mention them all. One way He helps us is in our prayers. There is a big difference between reciting a prayer and in truly praying to God! The Holy Spirit helps us to pray true prayers to God. As it is written: “Like-wise, the spirit also helpeth our infirmity; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but

the Spirit himself

maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26) All who truly believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ have this heavenly Guest, the Holy Spirit living inside them. The Scripture says: “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9)

7) The final question is: I understand that I will go to Heaven if I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior. Does this mean I can live just as I please and do evil things and still go to Heaven when I die? What does the Bible teach?

The Scripture answers this question clearly in the book of Romans when it says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

God forbid.

How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in sin?” (Romans 6:1,2) The message of the death of Jesus the Messiah on the cross and His resurrection from the grave is God’s righteous plan to deliver sinners not only from

sin’s penalty

but also from

sin’s power!

If you accept that Good News in your heart with a sincere faith, the Word of God teaches that, in the instant you believe, God will do two works in you:

First:

God will forgive all your sins

in the name of Christ, just as He has promised.

Second:

God will renew your heart

by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then you will begin to love righteousness and hate evil, because God will have placed in you His holy nature. Thus, the Scripture promises: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creation;

old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify us unto himself a people of his own, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14) When someone truly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will no longer be able to live as he pleases and continue to practice evil, because God has placed in him His Holy Spirit—and “the fruit of the Spirit  is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22,23)

God willing, in the next lesson, we will look further into this question of

how a follower of Christ should live.

God bless you. We conclude with this verse from the Psalms of the prophet David: 

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proved; He is a shield to all those who trust in him!” (Psa. 18:30)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have