Promise Land Bible Church
Top 100 Questions and Objections to Christianity
 
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Here are the top 100 Questions and Objections to Christianity.

Answers  to these Questions and Objections, can be found below.

1. "I'm as good as any Christian!"

2."Mother Nature sure blew it..."

3. "I'm doing fine. I don't need God."

4. "I am doing the best I can and I'm sincere."

5. "The First Commandment says, ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.' That proves He isn't the only God!"

6. "Jesus taught hatred by saying that a Christian should ‘hate' his father and mother."

7. "Isn't it blasphemous to call the Bible ‘God's Word' when it makes Him look so bad?"

8. "I believe I will go to heaven because I live by the Golden Rule."

9. "God is unfair in that Hitler and a dear old lady (who never accepted Jesus) will both go to hell."

10. "If abortion wasn't legal, we'd have all those poor girls slipping off to see back-alley butchers. At least this way they'll get counseling."

11. "God made me to be a homosexual, so He doesn't want me to change."

12. "Aren't there some circumstances when violating God's Law is justified?"

13. "What if someone says they've never lied, stolen, lusted, blasphemed-if they deny having any sin at all?"

14. "I have broken the Ten Commandments, but I do good things for people."

15. "You are trying to make me feel guilty by quoting the Ten Commandments."

16. "What should I say to someone who acknowledges his sins, but says, ‘I just hope God is forgiving'?"

17. "I've made my peace with ‘the Man upstairs.'"

18. "What if someone says, ‘I've broken every one of the Ten Commandments'?"

19. "I was once a born-again Christian. Now I believe it's all rubbish!"

20. "You shouldn't talk about sin because Jesus didn't condemn anyone. He was always loving and kind."

21. "Why does the Old Testament show a God of wrath and the New Testament a God of mercy?"

22. "Jesus didn't condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery, but condemned those who judged her. Therefore you shouldn't judge others."

23. "Could you be wrong in your claims about Judgment Day and hell?"

24. "Adam didn't die the day God said he would!"

25. "Do you think that Christians are better than non-Christians?"

26. "Christianity is boring."

27. "God made me like this. Sin is His fault!"

28. "I'll take my chances."

29. "I hope I'm going to heaven when I die."

30. "Will people who have never heard the gospel go to hell because they haven't heard about Jesus Christ?"

31. "How do I witness to someone I know?"

32. "How do I reach my neighbors with the gospel?"

33. "What should I say to someone who has lost a loved one through cancer?"

34. "Do you sin, as a Christian?"

35. "What should I say if someone asks, ‘Have you ever lusted?'"

36. "It's intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way to God!"

37 "If God gives me some ‘sign,' then I will believe."

38. "I made a commitment, but nothing happened."

39. "I will wait until I am old, then I will get right with God."

40. "Was it Herod or his wife, Herodias, who wanted to kill John the Baptist?"

41. "Didn't Jesus pray to the Father to prevent the crucifixion?"

42. "The Bible says ‘an eye for an eye,' encouraging us to take the law into our own hands by avenging wrongdoing."

43. "Did Simon Peter find out that Jesus was the Christ by a revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17), or by his brother Andrew (John 1:41)?"

44. "God couldn't forgive my sin."

45. "The Bible says ‘God repented.' Doesn't that show He is capable of sin?"

46. "Because Jesus died on the cross, we are all forgiven of every sin."

47. "I need to get my life cleaned up first."

48. "Why does God allow evil?"

49. "Jesus wasn't sinless-He became ‘angry' when He cleared the temple."

50. "I have been born again many times."

51. "Is it possible that Jesus simply fainted on the cross, and revived while He was in the tomb?"

52. "The fact that there are so many versions proves that the Bible has mistakes. Which one is right?"

53. "Didn't men write the Bible?"

54. "Christians can't use ‘circular reasoning' by trying to prove the Bible by quoting from the Bible!"

55. "I've tried to read the Bible, but I can't understand it."

56. "There are contradictions in the resurrection accounts. Did Christ appear first to the women or to His disciples?"

57. "The Bible calls God ‘the God of peace' who tells men to ‘beat their swords into plowshares' (Romans 15:33; Isaiah 2:4). It also calls Him ‘a man of war' who says to ‘beat your plowshares into swords' (Exodus 15:3; Joel 3:9, 10). Which is correct?"

58. "On the cross, Jesus cried, ‘My God, why have You forsaken Me?' This proves He was a fake. God forsook Him."

59. "When Jesus died on the cross, did the centurion say that Jesus was innocent, or that He was the Son of God?"

60. "God said He would blot out all remembrance of Amalek. The Bible itself disproves this statement by mentioning Amalek to this day."

61. "If God is perfect, why did He make an imperfect creation?"

62. "What if I don't feel that I have enough faith?"

63. "Did Jesus bear His own cross or not?"

64. "Doesn't the Big Bang theory disprove the Genesis account of creation?"

65. "Where did Cain get his wife?"

66. "Adam was a mythical figure who never really lived."

67. "How does the young-earth theory explain that we can see stars millions of light-years away? How would the light have reached us?"

68. "Where do all the races come from?"

69. "I don't believe that God is knowable."

70. "Who made God?"

71. "I will believe if God will appear to me."

72. "Man is the master of his own destiny!"

73. "When you're dead, you're dead."

74. "There is no absolute truth. You can't be sure of anything!"

75. "I am too big a sinner."

76. "Hell isn't a place. This life is hell."

77. "Religion has caused more wars than anything else in history."

78. "Why is there suffering? That proves there is no ‘loving' God."

79. "I prefer to remain open-minded."

80. "Why do I need a Savior?"

81. "Why are there so many different religions?"

82. "What gives you the right to judge me?"

83. "Religion is whatever you feel is right."

84. "I tried Christianity once."

85. "It must be possible for us to reach perfection, because the Bible tells us to be perfect."

86. "How can you know that you are saved?"

87. "The Bible was written so that it would only look like Jesus fulfilled prophecy."

88. "How should I witness to someone who belongs to a denomination, who I suspect isn't trusting the Savior?"

89. "Why are there so many denominations?"

90. "How should I witness to my coworkers?"

91. "All religions are different paths to the same place."

92. "Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus before His baptism, or not?"

93. "How can people be happy in heaven, knowing that their unsaved loved ones are suffering in hell?"

94. "I have things I need to do before I become a Christian."

95. "Should we ever swear an oath?"

96. "I knew some Christians once and they wronged me."

97. "How should I witness to a Jew?"

98. "The Bible says, ‘Judge not lest you be judged.' You therefore have no right to judge me when it comes to my sins!"

99. "How can I witness to family members?"

100. "I don't want to give up what I like doing."

 

 

 

1. "I'm as good as any Christian!"

 

A Christian, by himself, isn't good. Jesus said that God alone is good. The only "goodness," or righteousness, that the believer has comes from Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). The Bible tells us that, without Christ, man is corrupt and filthy; "there is none that does good, no, not one" (Psalm 14:3).

 

2."Mother Nature sure blew it..."

 

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and earthquakes kill tens of thousands of people each year. Multitudes endure crippling diseases, endless suffering, and unspeakable pain. Many non-Christians credit a heartless Mother Nature for giving us all this grief. They fail to consider that "Mother Nature" has a Senior Partner-Father God.

However, if God is responsible for all this heartache, that presents an interesting dilemma. If God is an "all-loving" Father figure, as we are told, we seem to have three choices: 1) God blew it when He made everything (He's creative but incompetent); 2) God is a tyrant, who gets His kicks from seeing kids die of leukemia; 3) something between God and man is radically wrong. These are our choices...and those who take time to consider the evidence will lean toward number three. Something between man and God is radically wrong, and the Bible tells us what it is.

There is a war going on. We are told that mankind is an enemy of God in his mind through wicked works (Colossians 1:21). That's not too hard to see. Man is continually committing violent acts such as murder and rape, lying, stealing, etc., as the daily news confirms. He uses God's name as a curse word, while Mother Nature gets the glory for His creation-unless there's a horrible disaster; then man calls that "an act of God."

An applicable acronym for WAR is We Are Right. Any country going to war does so because it has the conviction that it is in the right. However, a quick look at God's Law shows us who is right and who is wrong. We, not God, are the guilty party. If we want His blessing back on our nation and in our lives, we must make peace with Him, and that is possible only through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

3. "I'm doing fine. I don't need God."

 

Many people feel this way because of the modern gospel message. It says that Jesus will help their marriage, remove their drug problem, fill the emptiness in their heart, give them peace and joy, etc. In doing so, it restricts the gospel's field of influence. If the message of the cross is for people who have bad marriages, are lonely, and have problems, then those who are happy won't see their need for the Savior.

In truth, the forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ is for people with bad marriages and people with good marriages. It is for the happy and the sad. It is for people with problems and those without problems. It is for those who are miserable in their sins, as well as those who are enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Those who think they are doing fine need to be confronted with a holy Law that they have violated a multitude of times. Then they will see themselves through the eyes of the Judge of the Universe and will flee to the Savior.

 

4. "I am doing the best I can and I'm sincere."

 

Even if you could do far better than you are doing now, you still can't do well enough because you don't please God by being good (Galatians 2:21), but by trusting Jesus (John 1:12).

Also, sincerity is not the way to heaven. What if you are sincerely wrong? (Remember John 14:6?) If you are relying on your sincerity, then you are saying that because you are sincere, you are good enough on your own to be with God. To appeal to your sincerity is to appeal to pride, because you are appealing to something that is in you, and not to God, for your reason to go to heaven. You must have faith in Jesus.

 

5. "The First Commandment says, ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.' That proves He isn't the only God!"

 

That's true. Man has always made false gods. An old adage says, "God created man in His own image, and man has been returning the favor ever since." Hindus have millions of gods. Sometimes gods are made of wood or stone; other times man makes up a god in his mind. Whatever the case, making a god to suit yourself is called "idolatry," and it is a transgression of both the First and Second Commandments.

 

6. "Jesus taught hatred by saying that a Christian should ‘hate' his father and mother."

 

This is called "hyperbole"-a statement of extremes, contrasting love with hate for emphasis' sake. The Bible often does this (Proverbs 13:24; 29:24). Jesus tells us that the first and greatest Commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37, 38). As much as we treasure our spouse and family, and even our own life, there should be no one whom we love and value more than God, no one who takes precedence in our life. To place love for another (including ourself) above God is idolatry.

 

7. "Isn't it blasphemous to call the Bible ‘God's Word' when it makes Him look so bad?"

 

I am going to tell you some things about my father that will make him look bad. He regularly left my mother to fend for herself. I was once horrified to hear that he deliberately killed a helpless animal. Not only that, but he hit me (often).

Here's the information that's missing: The reason he left my mom during the day was to work to earn money to take care of her and their children. He killed the animal because it had been run over by a car and was suffering. He regularly chastened me because he loved me enough to teach me right from wrong (I was a brat).

Portions of the Bible that "make God look bad" merely reveal that we lack understanding. I never once questioned my dad's integrity, because I trusted him (see Mark 10:15).

 

8. "I believe I will go to heaven because I live by the Golden Rule."

 

Much of the world knows the Golden Rule simply as "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (see Luke 6:31). According to this verse, if we can live by this rule and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves, we fulfill the Law. Ask those who claim to do this if they have ever lied, stolen, hated, or looked with lust. If they have broken any of these Commandments, then they haven't loved those they have lied to, stolen from, etc. This will show them that they have violated the Golden Rule. They are under God's wrath (John 3:36), desperately needing the Savior's cleansing blood.

 

9. "God is unfair in that Hitler and a dear old lady (who never accepted Jesus) will both go to hell."

 

Sinners often accuse God of being unjust, because they assume that everyone will receive the same punishment in hell regardless of whether their sins are menial or heinous. God's judgment, however, will be according to righteousness (Acts 17:31). In Matthew 11:24, Jesus said, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you." And in Luke 10:14, we see that the more sinful cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida will receive a more harsh judgment than Tyre and Sidon. These verses show that there will be degrees of punishment. (See also Luke 12:47, 48; Hebrews 10:29.)

 

10. "If abortion wasn't legal, we'd have all those poor girls slipping off to see back-alley butchers. At least this way they'll get counseling."

 

You're right. Think of all those poor murderers who are consigned to slip around and kill in secret. We ought to legalize murder too! Then they can kill in a nice, clean, safe environment. They will be protected from getting splashed with blood that might contain diseases, and we can offer counseling so they won't have any post-murder trauma from the choices they have made.

 

11. "God made me to be a homosexual, so He doesn't want me to change."

 

Homosexuals argue that they did not make a conscious decision to be that way, so it must be natural. They are born that way-just as all of us are born with a sin nature and sinful desires (Ephesians 2:1-3). Tell them that it is natural for them, and for all of us, to be tempted to do things that God says are wrong. In the same way, pedophiles, adulterers, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc., don't make a conscious decision to "choose" that self-destructive lifestyle; they simply give in to their sinful desires. However, although sin is natural for unbelievers, that doesn't mean God wants them to remain that way. God can set them free from their sinful nature (Romans 7:23-8:2), give them new desires (Ephesians 4:22-24), and help them withstand temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

12. "Aren't there some circumstances when violating God's Law is justified?"

 

A man's wife is dying. She needs medicine that is available at only one store, and it's currently closed. They're too far from any hospital, and the man doesn't have enough money to buy the medicine even if the store were open. So he breaks in that night, steals the medicine (and doesn't touch anything else), and saves his wife's life. Is this morally incorrect? Is this a sin?

The Bible says, "Men do not despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; but if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house" (Proverbs 6:30, 31).

If a man steals to save the life of his wife, he "steals." He is therefore guilty of breaking both man's law and God's Law. However, any reasonable judge would take into account the motive for his transgression and be merciful. Obviously, God will do the same on Judgment Day with those who have found themselves in such a predicament. God will do what is right. However, if you dig a little into the motive of the person who is asking whether breaking the law is ever justifiable, you will likely find that neither he nor a loved one is in a life-or-death predicament; he is merely creating imaginary scenarios to try to justify his love of sin.

 

13. "What if someone says they've never lied, stolen, lusted, blasphemed-if they deny having any sin at all?"

 

Ask the person if he has kept the First of the Ten Commandments. Has he always loved God above all else-with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)? If he says that he has, gently say, "The Bible says that ‘there is none that seeks after God' (Romans 3:11). Nobody (except Jesus Christ) has kept the First of the Ten Commandments. One of you is lying-either you or God-and the Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2).

 

14. "I have broken the Ten Commandments, but I do good things for people."

 

Many people do similar things. They may steal from their employer or cheat on their taxes, then give to a charity or spend Thanksgiving helping at a soup kitchen. They think they are balancing the scales: they have done bad, and now they are doing good. However, the Bible reveals that the motive of guilty sinners is one of guilt (see Hebrews 9:14). They are attempting to bribe the Judge of the Universe. The Judge in this case will not be corrupted. He must punish all sinners. Good works cannot earn mercy; it comes purely by the grace of God. He will dismiss our iniquity only on the grounds of our faith in Jesus.

 

15. "You are trying to make me feel guilty by quoting the Ten Commandments."

 

Ask the person which one of the Ten Commandments makes him feel guilty. Simply state, "The Bible says, ‘You shall not steal.' If you feel guilty when you hear that, why do you think that is? Could it be because you are guilty?" God gave us our conscience so we would know when we break His Law; the guilt we feel when we do something wrong tells us that we need to repent.

 

16. "What should I say to someone who acknowledges his sins, but says, ‘I just hope God is forgiving'?"

 

This person could be referred to as "awakened, but not alarmed." Explain that God is forgiving-but only to those who repent of their sins. Ask him, "If you died right now, where would you go?" If he says, "Hell," ask if that concerns him. If it does concern him, ask, "What are you going to do?" Then tell him that God commands him to repent and trust the Savior. If it doesn't concern him, speak of the value of his life, the threat of eternal damnation, and the biblical description of hell. Caution him that he doesn't have the promise of tomorrow, and plead with him to come to his senses.

 

17. "I've made my peace with ‘the Man upstairs.'"

 

When people refer to God as "the Man upstairs," they reveal that they have no concept of (nor living relationship with) Him. They will use such words because they feel uncomfortable saying His name. Often they will have a measure of reverence for God, but not enough to obey Him. Ask if the person thinks he will go to heaven when he dies. He'll almost certainly say he will, and a little probing will reveal that he's trusting in his own goodness to save him. However, the only way sinners can have peace with the God they have offended is through the shed blood of the Savior.

Therefore, it's important to take the person through the Ten Commandments to strip him of his self-righteousness and his false sense of assurance of salvation. As you do so, you may feel bad that you are making him uncomfortable, but if you care about his eternal salvation, you must ask yourself, "Which is worse: a few moments of conviction under the sound of God's Law, or eternity in the Lake of Fire?" Unless there is a knowledge of sin (which comes by the Law-Romans 7:7), there will be no repentance.

 

18. "What if someone says, ‘I've broken every one of the Ten Commandments'?"

 

Do not take this statement to mean that the person has seen the gravity of his sinful state before God. He may say something like, "I'm a really bad person!" It is often used as a way of shrugging off conviction. Pharaoh admitted that he had sinned, but his repentance was superficial. Say to the person, "Well, let's take the time to go through the Ten Commandments one by one and see if you have." As the person is confronted with the righteous standard of God's Moral Law, pray that the Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin.

 

19. "I was once a born-again Christian. Now I believe it's all rubbish!"

 

When a person maintains that he was once a Christian, but came to his senses, he is saying that he once knew the Lord (see John 17:3). Ask him, "Did you know the Lord?" If he answers yes, gently say, "So you admit that He is real and that you are in rebellion to His will." If he says, "I thought I did!" this gives you license to gently say, "If you don't know so, then you probably didn't." If he didn't know the Lord, he was therefore never a Christian (1 John 5:11-13, 20). Explain to him that the Bible speaks of false conversion, in which a "stony ground" hearer receives the Word with joy and gladness. Then, in a time of tribulation, temptation, and persecution, falls away. If he is open to reason, take him through the Ten Commandments, into the message of the cross, and the necessity of repentance and faith in the Savior.

 

20. "You shouldn't talk about sin because Jesus didn't condemn anyone. He was always loving and kind."

 

Jesus is loving, and that's why He had harsh words of warning for sinners. In Matthew 23, Jesus called the religious leaders "hypocrites" seven times. He told them that they were "blind fools," children of hell, full of hypocrisy and sin. He climaxed His sermon by saying, "You serpents, you generation of vipers, how shall you escape the damnation of hell?" He then warned that He would say to the wicked, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

 

21. "Why does the Old Testament show a God of wrath and the New Testament a God of mercy?"

 

The God of the New Testament is the same as the God of the Old Testament. The Bible says that He never changes. He is just as merciful in the Old Testament as He is in the New Testament. Read Nehemiah 9 for a summary of how God mercifully forgave Israel, again and again, after they repeatedly sinned and turned their backs on Him. The psalms often speak of God's mercy poured out on sinners.

He is also just as wrath-filled in the New Testament as He is in the Old. The Book of Acts records that He killed a husband and wife simply because they told one lie. Jesus warned that He was to be feared because He has the power to cast the body and soul into hell. The apostle Paul said that he persuaded men to come to the Savior because he knew the "terror of the Lord." Read the dreadful judgments of the New Testament's Book of Revelation. That will put the "fear of God" in you, which incidentally is "the beginning of wisdom."

Perhaps the most fearful display of God's wrath is seen in the cross of Jesus Christ. His fury so came upon the Messiah that it seems God enshrouded the face of Jesus in darkness so that creation couldn't gaze upon His unspeakable agony. Whether we like it or not, our God is a consuming fire of holiness (Hebrews 12:29). He isn't going to change, so we had better-before the Day of Judgment. If we repent, God, in His mercy, will forgive us and grant us eternal life in heaven with Him.

 

22. "Jesus didn't condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery, but condemned those who judged her. Therefore you shouldn't judge others."

 

The Christian is not "judging others" but simply telling the world of God's judgment-that God (not the Christian) has judged all the world as being guilty before Him (Romans 3:19, 23). Jesus was able to offer that woman forgiveness for her sin, because He was on His way to die on the cross for her. She acknowledged Him as "Lord," but still He told her, "Go, and sin no more." If she didn't repent, she would perish.

 

23. "Could you be wrong in your claims about Judgment Day and hell?"

 

The existence of hell and the surety of the judgment are not the claims of fallible man. The Bible is the source of the claim, and it is utterly infallible. When someone becomes a Christian, he is admitting that he was in the wrong, and that God is justified in His declarations that we have sinned against Him. However, let's surmise for a moment that there is no Judgment Day and no hell. That would mean that the Bible is a huge hoax, in which more than forty authors collaborated (over a period of 1,500 years) to produce a document revealing God's character as "just." They portrayed Him as a righteous judge, who warned that He would eventually punish murderers, rapists, liars, thieves, adulterers, etc. Each of those writers (who professed to be godly) therefore bore false witness, transgressing the very Commandments they claimed were true. It would mean that Jesus Christ was a liar, and that all the claims He made about the reality of judgment were therefore false. It would also mean that He gave His life in vain, as did multitudes of martyrs who have given their lives for the cause of Christ. In addition, if there is no ultimate justice, then the Creator of all things is unjust-He sees murder and rape and couldn't care less, making Him worse than a corrupt human judge who refuses to bring criminals to justice.

Here's the good news, though, if there is no hell: You won't know a thing after you die. It will be the end. No heaven, no hell. Just nothing. You won't even realize that it's good news.

Here's the bad news if the Bible is right and there is eternal justice: You will find yourself standing before the judgment throne of a holy God. Think of it. A holy and perfect Creator has seen your thought-life and every secret sin you have ever committed. You have a multitude of sins, and God must by nature carry out justice. Ask Him to remind you of the sins of your youth. Ask Him to bring to remembrance your secret sexual sins, the lies, the gossip, and other idle words. You may have forgotten your past sins, but God hasn't. Hell will be your just dessert (exactly what you deserve), and you will have no one to blame but yourself. This is the claim of the Bible. If you don't believe it, it is still true. It will still happen.

Yet, there is good news-incredibly good news. We deserve judgment, but God offers us mercy through the cross. He paid our fine so that we could leave the courtroom. He destroyed the power of the grave for all who obey Him. Simply obey the gospel, and live. By doing that you will find out for yourself that the gospel is indeed the "gospel truth." Jesus said that if you obey Him, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (see John 8:31, 32). Get on your knees today, confess and forsake (turn from) your sins. Tell God you are truly sorry, then trust the Savior as you would trust yourself to a parachute. Then you will find yourself in a terrible dilemma. You will know for certain that hell is a reality. When you get up the courage to warn people you care about, they will smile passively and say, "Could you be wrong in your claims about Judgment Day and the existence of hell?"

 

24. "Adam didn't die the day God said he would!"

 

He certainly did-he died spiritually. The moment he sinned, he became "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). Ezekiel 18:4 says, "The soul that sins, it shall die." Ian Thomas explained it this way: "We are born dead in trespasses and sins, alienated, cut off, detached from the life of God. The day that man believed the devil's lie (which is sin), he forfeited the life that distinguished him from the animal kingdom-the life of God. When sin came in, the life went out."

It is because we are born spiritually dead that Jesus came to give us spiritual life (John 5:40; 10:10; 14:6; etc.). This is why Jesus told us that we must be born again (John 3:3). When we repent of our sins and place our trust in the Savior, the Bible tells us that we "pass from death to life" (John 5:24; Romans 6:13; 1 John 3:14).

 

25. "Do you think that Christians are better than non-Christians?"

 

The Christian is no better than a non-Christian, but he is infinitely better off. It is like two men on a plane, one of whom is wearing a parachute while the other is not. Neither is better than the other, but the man with the parachute is certainly better off than the man who is not wearing a parachute. The difference will be seen when they jump from the plane at 20,000 feet. Jesus warned that if we "jump" into death without Him, we would perish.

Even harsher than the law of gravity is the Law of an infinitely holy and just Creator. Scripture states that sinners are God's enemy (Romans 5:10) and that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).

 

26. "Christianity is boring."

 

Then you haven't experienced it. No one who is a Christian will ever say that it is boring; it is an adventure. There are millions of people who have a lot of fun being Christian. What do you think we do all day, sit around fireplaces and read Bibles? We ski, swim, play sports, read, and spend time with friends like anybody else. We just do it with a lot less sin, and therefore a lot less problems. Maybe it's only your problems that keep you from getting bored.

 

27. "God made me like this. Sin is His fault!"

 

If this won't work in a civil court, it certainly won't work on Judgment Day. Even with an expert defense lawyer, it would take a pretty inept judge to fall for the old "God made me do it" defense. We are responsible moral agents. The "buck" stopped at Adam. He tried to blame both God and Eve for his sin; Eve blamed the serpent. It is human nature to try, but it doesn't work with God.

 

28. "I'll take my chances."

 

With what, eternity? Eternity is a long time to be wrong. Why would you want to take a gamble on something as important as your eternal destiny? It takes only a moment to trust Christ for your salvation. There will be an eternity of pain and regret if you don't.

You don't take chances with guns, do you? You don't take chances and run red lights, do you? Why would you take a chance on something that is far more important than these? Don't take a chance on something eternal. It isn't worth it.

Jesus said He was the only way to God. He forgave sins, walked on water, calmed a storm with a command, raised people from the dead, and rose from the dead Himself. No one else in all of history has done that. If He can do all that, don't you think you should listen to Him?

 

29. "I hope I'm going to heaven when I die."

 

Of all the things that you should be sure of, it's your eternal destiny. To say "I hope I'm going to heaven" is like standing at the open door of a plane 25,000 feet in the air and, when asked "If you have your parachute on, answering with "I hope so." You want to know so-and you can, simply by obeying the gospel. If you repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ, He will give you eternal life and you can know that your eternity is secure. In 1 John 5:12, 13, the Bible also makes clear that those who refuse to trust in the Son of God can likewise know that they do not have eternal life-they will remain dead in their sins.

 

30. "Will people who have never heard the gospel go to hell because they haven't heard about Jesus Christ?"

 

No one will go to hell because they haven't heard of Jesus Christ. The heathen will go to hell for murder, rape, adultery, lust, theft, lying, etc. Sin is not failing to hear the gospel. Rather, "sin is the transgression of the Law" (1 John 3:4). In John 16:8, 9, Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, "He will convict the world of guilt in regard to...sin, because men do not believe in me." The verse can be understood this way: If a man jumps out of a plane without a parachute, he will perish because he transgressed the law of gravity. Had he put on a parachute, he would have been saved. In one sense, he perished because he didn't put on the parachute. But the primary reason he died was because he broke the law of gravity.

If a sinner refuses to trust in Jesus Christ when he passes through the door of death, he will perish. This isn't because he refused to trust the Savior, but because he transgressed the Law of God. Had he "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14), he would have been saved; but because he refused to repent, he will suffer the full consequences of his sin. If we really care about the lost, we will become missionaries and take the good news of God's forgiveness in Christ to them.

 

31. "How do I witness to someone I know?"

 

For most of us, it is far easier to witness to a stranger than to someone we know and respect. An effective way to soften the message without compromise is to speak in the "first person" or in testimonial form. Say something like, "I didn't realize that the Bible warns that for every idle word I have spoken, I will have to give an account on Judgment Day. I thought that as long as I believed in God and tried to live a good life, I would go to heaven when I died. I was so wrong. Jesus said that if I as much as looked with lust, I had committed adultery in my heart, and that there was nothing I could do to wash away my sins. I knew that if God judged me by the Ten Commandments on Judgment Day, I would end up guilty, and go to hell.

"It was when I acknowledged my sins that I began to understand why Jesus died. It was to take the punishment for my sins, and the sins of the world." Then, depending on the person's openness, you may ask, "How do you think you will do on Judgment Day, if God judges you by the Ten Commandments?"

 

32. "How do I reach my neighbors with the gospel?"

 

Neighbors are like family. We don't want to offend them unnecessarily, because we have to live with them. We need to be rich in good works toward all men, but especially our neighbors. The Bible reveals that this is a legitimate means of evangelism. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). It is God's will that "with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men" (1 Peter 2:15). Sinners may disagree with what you believe, but seeing your good works makes them think, "I don't believe what he believes, but he sure does. He certainly is sincere in his faith."

A friendly wave, a gift for no reason, fresh-baked goods, etc., can pave the way for evangelism. Offer to mow your neighbors' lawn or help do some painting. Volunteer to pick up their mail and newspapers while they are on vacation. Compliment them on their landscaping and ask for gardening tips. Invite them over for a barbecue or dessert. Pray for an opportunity to share the gospel, and be prepared for it when it comes.

 

33. "What should I say to someone who has lost a loved one through cancer?"

 

Be very careful not to give the impression that God was punishing the person for his sins. Instead, speak about the fact that all around us we can see the evidence of a "fallen creation." Explain how in the beginning there was no disease, pain, suffering, or death. But when sin entered the world, it brought suffering with it. Then gently turn the conversation away from the person who died to the person who is still living. Ask if he has been thinking about God, and if he has kept the Ten Commandments. Then take the opportunity to go through the spiritual nature of God's Law. Someone who has lost a loved one often begins to ask soul-searching questions about God, death, and eternity. Many people are so hardhearted that it takes a tragedy to make them receptive to God.

 

34. "Do you sin, as a Christian?"

 

If a Christian sins, it is against his will. One who is regenerate falls rather than dives into sin; he resists rather than embraces it. Any dead fish can float downstream. It takes a live one to swim against the flow. Christians still experience temptations and can sometimes fall into sin, but they are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). They have God's Holy Spirit within them to help them say no to temptation, and to convict their conscience of wrongdoing when they do sin.

 

35. "What should I say if someone asks, ‘Have you ever lusted?'"

 

An individual may challenge you on this issue while you're going through the Ten Commandments with him. Take care when answering. There is such a thing as being too candid. A U.S. president became synonymous with the word "lust" because he lacked discretion in answering this question. Soften your answer with, "I have broken all of the Ten Commandments in spirit, if not in letter." That will not only defuse the issue, but will give you an opportunity to explain that we all have a sin nature and need God's forgiveness.

 

36. "It's intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way to God!"

 

Jesus is the One who said that He is the only way to the Father. For Christians to say that there are other ways to find peace with God is to bear false testimony. In one sweeping statement, Jesus discards all other religions as a means of finding forgiveness of sins. In John 14:6 He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me." This agrees with other Scriptures: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12), and, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).

 

37 "If God gives me some ‘sign,' then I will believe."

 

The unsaved often want a "sign" from God. This is in spite of the testimony of creation, their conscience, the Bible, and the Christian. The cross is the only thing that can truly convince sinners of the reality of who Jesus is. Once they understand that the holes in His hands and His feet are there because of their own sin, they will fall at His feet and cry, "My Lord and my God!"

 

38. "I made a commitment, but nothing happened."

 

Some people don't get past "square one" because they trust in their feelings rather than in God. His promises are true, despite our feelings. If I make a promise to my wife, that promise is true whether she is feeling happy or sad. If she doubts my word, then she brings a slur to my integrity.

Anyone who genuinely repents and trusts in Christ will be saved. The Bible makes this promise: "He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). There's the promise, and there's the condition. Any person who loves and obeys Jesus will begin a supernatural relationship with Him and the Father. He said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). That doesn't mean you will hear voices or see visions. God will instead make you a new person from within. He will send His Spirit to live within you. You will have a new heart with new desires. You will suddenly become conscious of God and His creation. The Bible will open up to you and become a living Word, and you will have an inner witness that you are saved, that your name is written in heaven, and that death has lost its sting (1 John 5:10-12).

 

39. "I will wait until I am old, then I will get right with God."

 

You may not get the chance. God may just lose patience with you and end your life. Perhaps you don't think He would do such a thing. Then read Genesis 38:7 to see how God killed a man because He didn't like something he did. Jesus told of a man who boasted that he had so many goods that he would have to build bigger barns. God called the man a fool and took his life that night.

Those who say they will repent in their own time lack the fear of God. Their understanding of His nature is erroneous. If they caught a glimpse of His holiness, His righteousness, and His consuming justice, they would not trifle with His mercy.

Such arrogance needs to be confronted with the thunders of Mount Sinai. He is not wise who thinks he can outwit his Creator, enjoy a lifetime of sin, and repent at the last minute. Deathbed repentance is very rare. God killed a husband and wife because they told one lie (Acts 5:1-10). He lost patience with them. Most people think that God's patience is eternal. It evidently is not. The Bible says that it is through the fear of the Lord that men depart from sin (Proverbs 16:6). If they don't fear God, they will be complacent about their eternal salvation (Matthew 10:28).

 

40. "Was it Herod or his wife, Herodias, who wanted to kill John the Baptist?"

 

Both Matthew 14:1-11 and Mark 6:14-29 state that Herod had John imprisoned because of his wife, Herodias. Although Herod would have liked John dead, he did not want to kill him; Herod was afraid of John because he was righteous and holy and had influence over the people. But, swayed by the enticing dancing of Herodias's daughter, Herod foolishly promised her anything. It was only when the girl (prompted by her mother) asked for John's death that Herod felt compelled to oblige. Therefore it was the underlying influence of Herodias that is the important factor in John's beheading.

 

41. "Didn't Jesus pray to the Father to prevent the crucifixion?"

 

Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42 are parallel passages that take place in the Garden of Gethsemane just before Jesus' arrest. In all these passages Jesus never asks for the crucifixion to be prevented, but does express His fears of the difficulties, pain, and suffering that He will encounter over the next few hours. He will be enduring His trials, beatings, whippings, loneliness, alienation from people and from God on the cross, the ordeal of crucifixion itself, and the upcoming triumph over Satan. He does, however, more importantly ask for God's will to be carried out over the next few hours knowing that this is the means by which He will die and rise again, and by doing so atone for all the sins of the world.

In John 12:27, which takes place before the circumstances described above, Jesus is speaking to a crowd during the Passover Festival at the Temple in Jerusalem (before the gathering of the Twelve with Jesus at the Upper Room). On this occasion, Jesus again says something very similar to the passages above: "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father save me from this hour'? No it was for this very reason that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"

Again we are reminded that Jesus is feeling troubled. He knows that events are fast unfolding around Him. Is it really conceivable that this Man wants to prevent the crucifixion from taking place? I think not! As He stated, this is the very reason that He came to earth-to give His life as a ransom for many.

 

42. "The Bible says ‘an eye for an eye,' encouraging us to take the law into our own hands by avenging wrongdoing."

 

This verse is so often misquoted by the world. Many believe it is giving a license to take matters into our own hands and render evil for evil. In reality, it is referring to civil law concerning restitution. If someone steals your ox, he is to restore the ox. If someone steals and wrecks your car, he is to buy you another one...a car for a car, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

The spirit of what Jesus is saying here is radically different from the "sue the shirt off the back of your neighbor" society in which we live.

 

43. "Did Simon Peter find out that Jesus was the Christ by a revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17), or by his brother Andrew (John 1:41)?"

 

The emphasis of Matthew 16:17 is that Simon did not just hear it from someone else-God had made it clear to him. That does not preclude him being told by other people. Jesus' point is that Peter was not simply repeating what someone else had said. He had lived and worked with Jesus and he was now clear in his mind that Jesus was none other than the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God. Jesus did not ask, "Who have you heard that I am?" but, "Who do you say I am?" There is all the difference in the world between these two questions, and Peter was no longer in any doubt.

 

44. "God couldn't forgive my sin."

 

Those who think they are too sinful for God to accept them don't understand how merciful God is. The Bible says that He is "rich in mercy" (Ephesians 2:4). The Scriptures also tell us that "the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him" (Psalm 103:17). God was merciful to King David and forgave him when he committed adultery and murder. He forgave Moses when he committed murder. He also forgave Saul of Tarsus for murdering Christians (Acts 22:4). God promises to save "all" who call upon the name of Jesus (Romans 10:13). Those who think this promise isn't worth the paper it's written on are calling God a liar (see 1 John 5:10). Jesus shed His precious blood to pay for their sins. Wasn't it good enough for them? It was good enough for God. God commands them to repent. To offer any excuse is to remain in rebellion to His command-no matter how "noble" it may seem to say that they are too sinful.

 

45. "The Bible says ‘God repented.' Doesn't that show He is capable of sin?"

 

"Repent" means "to have a change of mind." When the Bible tells sinners to repent, it means to change their direction, to turn from their sins. God has no sin. God's "repenting" is when He turns away from His fierce anger toward sinners. He warns men of the consequences of their disobedience. If they repent (turn from their sins), He will "repent" by not pouring out His promised wrath on them. For instance, Jonah 3:8, 9 says, "Let them turn every one from his evil way...Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?"

 

46. "Because Jesus died on the cross, we are all forgiven of every sin."

 

The forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ is conditional upon "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). It is a gift that God offers to everyone, but individuals must receive it by repenting and trusting in Christ, or they will remain dead in their sins.

No one has biblical grounds to continue in sin, assuming that they are safe just because Jesus died on the cross. See 1 John 3:4-6.

 

47. "I need to get my life cleaned up first."

 

Those who think that they can clean up their lives don't see their true plight. They are standing guilty before a wrath-filled God. They have been condemned by His Law (John 3:18; Romans 3:19). If a man commits rape and murder and admits to the judge that he is guilty, will the judge let him go just because the man promises to clean up his life? He is in debt to the law and must be punished. We may be able to clean up our lives in the sight of man, but not in the sight of God. The only way we can be cleansed is to repent and trust in the Savior.

 

48. "Why does God allow evil?"

 

Why does God allow evil men and women to live? Should He instead kill them before they do evil deeds? Should He punish murderers and rapists now? What about thieves and liars, adulterers, fornicators, those who lust, and those who hate? If God judged evil today, all unconverted men and women would perish under His wrath. Thank God that He is patiently waiting for them to turn to the Savior and thus be saved from His terrible wrath.

 

49. "Jesus wasn't sinless-He became ‘angry' when He cleared the temple."

 

The temple of God was filled with that day's equivalent of money-grabbing televangelists. Jesus called it a "den of thieves" (Mark 11:17), because the moneychangers were not interested in God but in taking financial advantage of those who came to worship. Anger at hypocrisy isn't a sin-it's a virtue.

 

50. "I have been born again many times."

 

Like Nicodemus, many people have no concept of what it means to be born again. He thought Jesus was speaking of a physical rebirth. Others see the experience as being a spiritual "tingle" when they think of God or a warm fuzzy feeling when they enter a church building. Or maybe they are of the impression that one is born again when one is "christened" or "confirmed." However, the new birth spoken of by Jesus is absolutely essential for sinners to enter heaven. If they are not born again, they will not enter the kingdom of God. Therefore it is necessary to establish the fact that one becomes a Christian by being born again, pointing out that Jesus Himself said the experience was crucial. The difference between believing in Jesus and being born again is like believing in a parachute, and putting one on. The difference will be seen when you jump. (See Romans 13:14.)

How is one born again? Simply through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. All who confess and forsake their sins, and trust in Jesus alone for their eternal salvation, receive spiritual life through the Holy Spirit who comes to live within them.

 

51. "Is it possible that Jesus simply fainted on the cross, and revived while He was in the tomb?"

 

Jesus had been whipped and beaten, and was bleeding from His head, back, hands, and feet for at least six hours. While he was on the cross, a soldier pierced His side with a spear and blood and water gushed out. Professional soldiers would certainly have completed their assigned task and ensured his death.

"It is impossible that a being who had stolen half-dead out of the sepulcher, who crept about weak and ill, wanting medical treatment, who required bandaging, strengthening, and indulgence, and who still at last yielded to his sufferings, could have given to the disciples the impression that he was a conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of Life: an impression which lay at the bottom of their future ministry. Such a resuscitation could only have weakened the impression which he had made upon them in life and in death, at the most could only have given it an elegiac voice, but could by no possibility have changed their sorrow into enthusiasm, have elevated their reverence into worship." -Strauss, New Life of Jesus (quoted in Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison)

 

52. "The fact that there are so many versions proves that the Bible has mistakes. Which one is right?"

 

True, there are many different versions of the Bible. There are versions in Chinese for the Chinese. There are versions in Russian for the Russian people. There are actually thousands of versions of the Bible-some are in modern languages, some in foreign languages, and some are in old English. Few, in the printing age, can claim that they don't have access to the Scriptures in their own language. However, each translation is based on the original biblical texts.

 

53. "Didn't men write the Bible?"

 

Absolutely. When you write a letter, do you write the letter, or does the pen? Obviously you do; the pen is merely the instrument you use. God used men as instruments to write His "letter" to humanity. They ranged from kings to common fishermen, but the 66 books of the Bible were all given by inspiration of God. Proof that this Book is supernatural can been seen with a quick study of its prophecies.

 

54. "Christians can't use ‘circular reasoning' by trying to prove the Bible by quoting from the Bible!"

 

The "circular reasoning" argument is absurd. That's like saying you can't prove that the President lives in the White House by looking into the White House. It is looking into the White House that will provide the necessary proof. The fulfilled prophecies, the amazing consistency, and the many scientific statements of the Bible prove it to be the Word of God. They provide evidence that it is supernatural in origin.

 

55. "I've tried to read the Bible, but I can't understand it."

 

The Scriptures tells us that the "natural man" cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God. Most Americans would find it difficult to understand the Chinese language. However, a child who is born into a Chinese family can understand every word. That's why you must be born again with God's Spirit living within you to give you understanding (John 3:3). The moment you become part of God's family, the Bible will begin to make sense.

 

56. "There are contradictions in the resurrection accounts. Did Christ appear first to the women or to His disciples?"

 

Both Matthew and Mark list women as the first to see the resurrected Christ. Mark says, "He appeared first to Mary Magdalene" (16:9). But Paul lists Peter (Cephas) as the first one to see Christ after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:5).

Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, then to the other women, and then to Peter. Paul was not giving a complete list, but only the important one for his purpose. Since only men's testimony was considered legal or official in the first century, it is understandable that the apostle would not list the women as witnesses in his defense of the resurrection.

The order of Christ's resurrection appearances is as follows:

Appeared to:

References:

1. Mary Magdalene

John 20:10-18

2. Mary and women

Matthew 28:1-10

3. Peter

1 Corinthians 15:5

4. Two disciples

Luke 24:13-35

5. Ten apostles

Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23

6. Eleven apostles

John 20:24-31

7. Seven apostles

John 21

8. All apostles

Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18

9. 500 brethren

1 Corinthians 15:6

10. James

1 Corinthians 15:7

11. All apostles

Acts 1:4-8

12. Paul

Acts 9:1-9; 1 Corinthians 15:8

 

57. "The Bible calls God ‘the God of peace' who tells men to ‘beat their swords into plowshares' (Romans 15:33; Isaiah 2:4). It also calls Him ‘a man of war' who says to ‘beat your plowshares into swords' (Exodus 15:3; Joel 3:9, 10). Which is correct?"

 

There is peace inside of God's kingdom. He desires His enemies to be reconciled to Him so they have peace with Him. But if they refuse, then they are subject to His judgment. The passage from Joel is referring to Judgment Day. Note Joel 3:12, which says, "Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about." Isaiah is referring to the millennial kingdom, where there will be no more war.

 

58. "On the cross, Jesus cried, ‘My God, why have You forsaken Me?' This proves He was a fake. God forsook Him."

 

Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 were the fulfillment of David's prophecy in Psalm 22:1. Verse 3 of this psalm then gives us insight into why God forsook Jesus on the cross: "But You are holy..." A holy Creator cannot have fellowship with sin. When Jesus was on the cross, the sin of the entire world was laid upon Him (Isaiah 53:6; 2 Corinthians 5:21), but Scripture says God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity" (Habakkuk 1:13).

 

59. "When Jesus died on the cross, did the centurion say that Jesus was innocent, or that He was the Son of God?"

 

Matthew (27:54) and Mark (15:39) agree that the centurion exclaimed that Jesus "was the Son of God!" Luke, however, mentions that the centurion refers to Jesus as "a righteous man" (23:47). Is it hard to believe that the centurion said both? Nowhere in any of the Gospel narratives do the writers claim that was all the centurion had to say.

Matthew and Mark were more interested by the declaration of divinity used by the centurion, whereas Luke is interested in the humanity of Jesus, one of the main themes of his Gospel. Thus he refers to the corresponding statement made by the centurion.

 

60. "God said He would blot out all remembrance of Amalek. The Bible itself disproves this statement by mentioning Amalek to this day."

 

In Exodus 17:14, God told Moses to "write this for a memorial in a book." Moses did that and God preserved the Book for 5,000 years so skeptics would know that God keeps every promise He makes. The phrase "I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven" means that He will blot them out as a nation from the earth. There are no descendants of the Amalekites on the earth. They don't exist.

 

61. "If God is perfect, why did He make an imperfect creation?"

 

The Bible tells us that the Genesis creation was "good." There was no sin and therefore no suffering or death. Why then did God give Adam and Eve the ability to sin, knowing full well that they would sin and bring death and pain to the human race? Some believe that if Adam had been created without the ability to choose, then he would have been a "robot." A father cannot make his children love him. They choose to love him because they have a free will. Others point out that humanity would never have seen the depth of the love of God, as displayed in the cross, unless Adam had sinned, and that fact could be one reason why God allowed sin to enter the world.

 

62. "What if I don't feel that I have enough faith?"

 

It is not the amount of faith that saves you-it is in whom you place your faith. The question is: "Is the Savior strong enough and dependable enough to save me when I ask?"

Picture a two-story building that's on fire. You happen to be on the top floor. The fire is coming up from the bottom and there is no escape. You run to the roof and see a fire truck pull up to the front. Five big firemen get out and unfold a great big net. They look up at you and yell, "Jump!"

Your first thought is, "You've got to be kidding! I'm two stories up. I can't jump."

But the firemen say, "Don't you have faith? We'll catch you."

Now, you don't have a lot of faith, but with fear and trembling, you jump off the roof. As a result, the firemen catch you. It's not your faith that saved you, it was the firemen. But they couldn't save you until you jumped.

Now, let's change the story a little bit. Picture another person on the roof with the fire coming toward him. This man sees the firemen. And unlike you, he has a lot of faith. He confidently jumps off the roof, only to discover halfway down that the firemen have no net; they are just standing around holding hands. How much will the man's faith save him then? You'd better have real firemen holding a real net, or your faith won't save you.

In salvation, it's not how much faith you have or how sincere you are; rather, everything depends on the object of your faith. Have you placed your faith in a real Savior? It's not your faith that saves you, it's Jesus who saves you. You just need to step off and place yourself in His hands.

The more deeply we believe that Christ did all that is necessary in providing our salvation, the greater our assurance will be when we place our trust in Him. We might begin with a small faith (Christ said that faith the size of a mustard seed is all that is required), but know that in time our faith will grow. But whether our faith is little or much, it must be directed to Christ alone, for God accepts only those who accept His Son (1 John 2:23).

 

63. "Did Jesus bear His own cross or not?"

 

John 19:17 states that He went out carrying His own cross to the place of the skull. Matthew 27:31, 32 tells us that He was led out to be crucified and that it was only as they were going out to Golgotha that Simon was forced to carry the cross.

Mark 15:20, 21 agrees with Matthew and gives us the additional information that Jesus started out from inside the palace (Praetorium). As Simon was on his way in from the country, it is clear that he was passing by in the street. This implies that Jesus carried His cross for some distance, from the palace into the street. Weak from his floggings and torture, it is likely that He either collapsed under the weight of the cross or was going very slowly. In any case, the soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Him. Luke 23:26 is in agreement, stating that Simon was seized as they led Jesus away.

Thus the contradiction vanishes. Jesus started out carrying the cross and Simon took over at some point during the journey.

 

64. "Doesn't the Big Bang theory disprove the Genesis account of creation?"

 

Try to think of any explosion that has produced order. Does a terrorist bomb create harmony? Big bangs cause chaos. How could a Big Bang produce a rose, apple trees, fish, sunsets, the seasons, hummingbirds, polar bears-thousands of birds and animals, each with its own eyes, nose, and mouth? A child can see that there is "grand design" in creation.

Here is an interesting experiment: Empty your garage of every piece of metal, wood, paint, rubber, and plastic. Make sure there is nothing there. Nothing. Then wait for ten years and see if a Mercedes evolves. If it doesn't appear, leave it for 20 years. If that doesn't work, try it for 100 years. Then try leaving it for 10,000 years.

Here's what will produce the necessary blind faith to make the evolutionary process believable: leave it for 250 million years.

 

65. "Where did Cain get his wife?"

 

Many ask this question thinking they've found a "mistake" in the Bible-that there must have been other people besides Adam and Eve. However, Scripture tells us that Adam is "the first man" (1 Corinthians 15:45); that there were no other humans when he was created, because God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18); and that Eve is "the mother of all living" (Genesis 3:20). Cain and Abel, then, must have married their sisters. All of the first-generation siblings married each other in order to populate the earth. At that time there was no law against incest. But as the population grew large enough, and as the risk of genetic problems increased due to sin's curse, God outlawed marriage between immediate family members.

 

66. "Adam was a mythical figure who never really lived."

 

Adam is a key figure in Scripture. He is described as the "first Adam," the one who brought sin into the world (1 Corinthians 15:22). He made it necessary for Jesus, the "last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45), to atone for all humans, and then rise from the grave with the promise of complete redemption for fallen man and fallen creation. If Adam were just a myth, we would not be able to fully understand the work of Jesus. If Adam and Eve were not real, then we ought to doubt whether their children were real too, and their children...and then we ought to doubt the first eleven chapters of Genesis, and so on. All the genealogies accept Adam as being a literal person, so their children Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:9, 10; Luke 11:50, 51) must therefore be real too. The Bible tells us that Jesus was descended from Adam (Luke 3:38), and it is impossible to be descended from a myth.

 

67. "How does the young-earth theory explain that we can see stars millions of light-years away? How would the light have reached us?"

 

Since God made the sun, moon, and stars "to give light upon the earth" (Genesis 1:14-18), those lights would be immediately visible on earth. They fulfilled their purpose on the day God spoke them into being, because He "saw that it was good." No doubt God also made Adam as a fully grown man-perhaps with the appearance of being 30 years old, even though he was only minutes old. Likewise, herbs and trees were already mature and fruit-bearing, to provide a ready supply of food. That would be the case with all of His creation.

 

68. "Where do all the races come from?"

 

Some have wondered, if we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, why are there so many races? The Bible informed us 2,000 years ago that God has made all nations from "one blood" (Acts 17:26). We are all of the same race-the "human race," descendants of Adam and Eve, something science is slowly coming to realize.

Reuters news service reported the following article by Maggie Fox:

Science may have caught up with the Bible, which says that Adam and Eve are the ancestors of all humans alive today.

Peter Underhill of Stanford University in California remarked on findings published in the November 2000 issue of the journal Nature Genetics...Geneticists have long agreed there is no genetic basis to race-only to ethnic and geographic groups. "People look at a very conspicuous trait like skin color and they say, ‘Well, this person's so different'...but that's only skin deep," Underhill said. "When you look at the level of the Y chromosome you find that, gee, there is very little difference between them. And skin color differences are strictly a consequence of climate."

 

69. "I don't believe that God is knowable."

 

Amazingly, it is human nature to assume that our believing or not believing something makes it true. Some people may not believe in the law of gravity, and may feel they have "evidence" to back up their belief. However, gravity exists whether they believe in it or not. The truth is, God is knowable. Jesus testified, "And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). We not only have the testimony of Scripture to tell us this, but we have the testimony of multitudes of Christians who know the Lord personally. It is more truthful to say, "I don't want to know God." Sinful man runs from Him as did Adam in the Garden of Eden.

 

70. "Who made God?"

 

To one who examines the evidence, there can be no doubt that God exists. The fact of the existence of the Creator is axiomatic (self-evident). That's why the Bible says, "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1). The professing atheist denies the common sense given to him by God, and defends his belief by thinking that the question "Who made God?" can't be answered. This, he thinks, gives him license to deny the existence of God.

The question of who made God can be answered by simply looking at space and asking, "Does space have an end?" Obviously, it doesn't. If there is a brick wall with "The End" written on it, the question arises, "What is behind the brick wall?" Strain the mind though it may, we have to believe (have faith) that space has no beginning and no end. The same applies with God. He has no beginning and no end. He is eternal.

The Bible also informs us that time is a dimension that God created, into which man was subjected. It even tells us that one day time will no longer exist. That will be called "eternity." God Himself dwells outside of the dimension He created (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2); He dwells in eternity and is not subject to time. God spoke history before it came into being. He can move through time as a man flips through a history book. Because we live in the dimension of time, logic and reason demand that everything must have a beginning and an end. We can understand the concept of God's eternal nature the same way we understand the concept of space having no beginning or end-by faith. We simply have to believe they are so, even though such thoughts put a strain on our distinctly insufficient cerebrum.

 

71. "I will believe if God will appear to me."

 

A proud and ignorant sinner who says this has no understanding of the nature of His Creator. No man has ever seen the essence of God. (When God "appeared" to certain men in the Old Testament, He manifested Himself in other forms, such as a burning bush or "the Angel of the Lord.") When Moses asked to see God's glory, God told him, "I will make all my goodness pass before you,...[but] you cannot see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live" (Exodus 33:18-23). If all of God's "goodness" were shown to a sinner, he would instantly die. God's "goodness" would just spill wrath upon evil man.

However, the Lord told Moses, "It shall come to pass, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by." The only way a sinner can live in the presence of a holy God is to be hidden in the Rock of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).

 

72. "Man is the master of his own destiny!"

 

If man is in total control of his future, then he should at least be in control of his own body. Instead, he is subject to involuntary yawning, sneezing, breathing, swallowing, sleeping, salivating, dreaming, blinking, and thinking. He can't even control hair and nail growth. He automatically does these things, irrespective of his will. God has set his body in motion and there is little he can do about it. He also has minimal control over his daily bodily functions. His kidneys, bladder, intestines, heart, liver, lungs, etc., work independently of his will. It is ludicrous to say that man controls his future when he has trouble predicting the stock market, political outcomes, earthquakes, and even the weather, let alone having control over these things.

 

73. "When you're dead, you're dead."

 

What if you are wrong? What if God, Jesus, the prophets, the Jews, and Christians are right and you are wrong? If there is no afterlife, no Judgment Day, no heaven, and no hell, then God is unjust and each of the above is guilty of being a false witness. It means that Almighty God couldn't care less about the fact that a man rapes a woman, then cuts her throat and is never brought to justice. If you are right, and there is no ultimate justice, you won't even have the joy of saying, "I told you so." However, if you are wrong, you will lose your soul and end up eternally damned. You are playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

 

74. "There is no absolute truth. You can't be sure of anything!"

 

Those who say that there are no absolutes are often very adamant about their belief. If they say that they are absolutely sure, then they are wrong because their own statement is an absolute. If they are not 100 percent sure, then there is a chance that they are wrong and they are risking their eternal salvation by trusting in a wrong belief. God tells us that there is an objective, absolute truth that is not subject to man's interpretations or whims, on which we can base our eternity. That truth is the Word of God (John 17:7).

 

75. "I am too big a sinner."

 

Nobody is too big a sinner. The love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus are capable of cleansing the worst of all sin. Even Hitler could have been saved if he would have turned to Christ. Your sins are not too big for God to wipe away. Sin has no power over God, only over you.

Do you think murder and adultery are serious sins? David, who God called "a man after His own heart" (Acts 13:22), was a murderer and an adulterer. He even tried to hide his sin from everyone. But God knew his sins and exposed them. David repented and threw himself on the mercy of the Lord, and God forgave him. God will forgive you too if you put your trust in Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive you of your sins (Romans 10:9, 10).

 

76. "Hell isn't a place. This life is hell."

 

Skeptics who say this are trying to dismiss the reality of hell. They might like to think that life as we know it couldn't get any worse, but the sufferings in this life will be heaven compared to the suffering in the next life-for those who die in their sins. This life is the closest thing to hell that Christians will ever know, and the closest thing to heaven that sinners will ever know.

 

77. "Religion has caused more wars than anything else in history."

 

It is true that man has used religion for political gain. The Nazis had "God mitt uns" (God with us) engraved on their belt buckles. America said, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." The law may even allow you to start the Christian Nazi Party, if you so desire. You can become a "reverend" for a few dollars through the tabloid classifieds and then further your political agenda with the world's blessing, no matter how much it smears the name of Christ.

Jesus tells us in John 16:2, 3 that there will be some who, in their error, commit atrocities and murder in the name of God: "The time is coming that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service." However, He informs us that these are not true believers: "And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." (See also 1 John 3:15.)

Jesus told His followers to love their enemies. So if a man puts a knife into someone's back in the name of Christianity, something obviously isn't right. If we human beings can detect it, how much more will God? He will deal with it on Judgment Day.

Abraham Lincoln stated, "I know that the Lord is always on the side of right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I-and this nation-should be on the Lord's side."

 

78. "Why is there suffering? That proves there is no ‘loving' God."

 

Sadly, many use the issue of suffering as an excuse to reject any thought of God, when its existence is the very reason we should accept Him. Suffering stands as terrible testimony to the truth of the explanation given by the Word of God. But how can we know that the Bible is true? By studying the prophecies of Matthew 24, Luke 21, and 2 Timothy 3. A few minutes of open-hearted inspection will convince any honest skeptic that this is no ordinary book. It is the supernatural testament of our Creator about why there is suffering...and what we can do about it.

The Bible tells us that God cursed the earth because of Adam's transgression. Weeds are a curse. So is disease. Sin and suffering cannot be separated. The Scriptures inform us that we live in a fallen creation. In the beginning, God created man perfect, and he lived in a perfect world without suffering. It was heaven on earth. When sin came into the world, death and misery came with it. Those who understand the message of Holy Scripture eagerly await a new heaven and a new earth "wherein dwells righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).

In that coming kingdom there will be no more pain, suffering, disease, or death. We are told that no eye has ever seen, nor has any ear heard, neither has any man's mind ever imagined the wonderful things that God has in store for those who love Him.

 

79. "I prefer to remain open-minded."

 

Open-mindedness means looking at everything honestly. Are you willing to do that with Christianity? Do you want to see what Jesus has said and learn about what He can offer you?

If you say you are going to remain open-minded and not accept Christianity, then in reality you are being very closed-minded. Maybe Christianity is true. Your open-mindedness could keep you from discovering it.

 

80. "Why do I need a Savior?"

 

If you were to place a dried-out leaf in the presence of fire, you would see that the fire would not hesitate to consume the leaf in a matter of seconds. The fire must consume the leaf because of its very nature. Even if the fire didn't want to dispose of the leaf, it wouldn't matter; it still must consume it because their very natures are diametrically opposed.

Deuteronomy 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29 describe God as a consuming fire. By His very nature, God must consume anything and everything that opposes His nature. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ, or we will be consumed by the ever-pure, burning holiness of the King of kings.

 

81. "Why are there so many different religions?"

 

It has been well said that "religion" is man's way of trying to deal with his guilt. Different religions have different ways for their adherents to attempt to rid themselves of sin and its consequences. They fast, pray, deny themselves legitimate pleasures, or chasten themselves, often to a point of inflicting pain. They do this because they have an erroneous concept of what God (or "the gods") is like, so they seek to establish their own righteousness, being "ignorant of God's righteousness."

The Good News of the Christian faith is that no one need suffer the pains of religious works. Christ's blood can cleanse our conscience from the "dead works" of religion (Hebrews 9:14). Jesus took our punishment upon Himself, and He is the only One who can save us from sin and death (see Acts 4:12 and John 14:6).

 

82. "What gives you the right to judge me?"

 

To pronounce another religious group to be false can seem a pompous undertaking, especially in a culture that preaches tolerance for everything from homosexuality to a mother's "right" to kill her unborn child. Tolerance is the banner that unites much of our culture, and anyone who points a judging finger at someone or something is often ridiculed.

But Christians are told in the Bible to separate themselves from the sinful practices of man and to expose error. God's Word tells us to examine all things and hold fast to that which is true (1 Thessalonians 5:21). So we do.

What does it mean to examine if we do not judge what is right and wrong? Jesus judged the Pharisees as hypocrites. Peter judged Ananias and Sapphira as liars (Acts 5:3, 4). Paul judged the Galatians as fools (Galatians 3:1).

Something can be said to be right or wrong because the Bible has laid out before us a moral and doctrinal standard that is clear. It is wrong to lie, so we are able to say to someone who lies, "What you are doing is wrong." That is making a judgment.

Likewise, with the cults, as Christians we are commanded to be able to give answers to everyone (1 Peter 3:15) and to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints (Jude 3). If we do not fight for the faith, the faith will be lost. If we do not expose the errors of the cults, then the cults will move unchecked in the world and lead even more people into eternal destruction.

To make a judgment means we must recognize that there are absolutes. In a world that worships relativism, absolutes are not welcome and the cults that espouse their demonic doctrines beg tolerance.

The true Church stands for the truth of God's Word, not a compromising collection of beliefs that changes as people's whims change. The cults are cults because they deny the true God, add works to salvation, and corrupt a multitude of biblical truths. Their end and the end of all who follow them is damnation. To do anything other than warn people about them would be unloving.

 

83. "Religion is whatever you feel is right."

 

How do you know that what you feel is right? Haven't your feelings ever turned out to be wrong? If you are saying that what you feel determines truth, then you are putting yourself in the place of God and looking to yourself for what you "feel" is right. And what if someone felt that something was right and another person felt it was wrong? Would they both be right? I've never known truth to contradict itself. How could there be a contradiction like that if feelings determined truth?

If your statement is true and religion is whatever you feel is right, then that could lead to chaos. What if some people had a religion where they felt it was acceptable to steal, lie, and cheat? After all, Hitler felt killing Jews was right. He was wrong. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful and untrustworthy (Jeremiah 17:9). If you could come to know truth by what you felt, then the Bible, which is the revelation of God, didn't need to be written. But, it has been written and it has revealed that only God is the Source of truth, not your feelings.

 

84. "I tried Christianity once."

 

The Bible says that once you are saved, you are never the same again; you are a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). If you have gone back to your old ways, then most probably you were never saved. If, however, you were saved, then God won't let you stay in rebellion for long. He will deal with you in whatever way is necessary to bring you back into fellowship with Him.

Did you "try" Christianity by going to church or by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins? The latter makes you a Christian; the former doesn't.

 

85. "It must be possible for us to reach perfection, because the Bible tells us to be perfect."

 

Some believe Jesus didn't really mean "perfect" in Matthew 5:48, because that would require that we be "without defect, flawless." Instead, they think He was telling us to be "mature." If that were true, then He would be saying, "Be therefore mature, even as your Father which is in heaven is mature." However, calling God "mature" implies that He was once immature. Such a thought is contrary to Scripture. God never changes (Malachi 3:6); He has always been perfect and doesn't need to mature.

Throughout the Sermon on the Mount Jesus expounded the perfect Law of a perfect Creator. God's work is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30), and His Law is perfect (Psalm 19:7; James 1:25). Jesus then climaxes His exposition with the demand of the Law-perfection in thought, word, and deed.

In magnifying the Law and making it honorable, He put righteousness beyond the reach of sinful humanity. He destroyed the vain hope that we can get right with a perfect Creator by our own imperfect efforts, i.e., by the works of the Law.

Instead, we must seek righteousness by another means-through faith alone in the Savior (Romans 3:21, 22). In doing so, Jesus was showing us the right use of the Law-as a "schoolmaster to bring us to Christ" (Galatians 3:24). This is what Jesus did with the rich young ruler. The young man asked, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16). Jesus corrected his misuse of the word "good," gave him five of the Ten Commandments, and then said, "If you will be perfect..." The young man's hope of "doing" something to be saved was dashed and he went away sorrowful. However, this is not a negative incident; it is positive when a sinner's vain hope is dashed. If he cannot find salvation "by the works of the Law," he may just seek it "by the hearing of faith" (Galatians 3:2). This is why we should use the Law when reasoning with the lost and press home its requirement of absolute perfection. (See James 2:10, 11.) On hearing the demands of a perfect Law, it is not uncommon to hear a guilty sinner say, "Wow! Nobody's perfect." That's the point of the Law.

Our mission is to preach Christ and to warn sinners, "that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Colossians 1:28).

 

86. "How can you know that you are saved?"

 

Christians believed in God's existence before their conversion. However, when they obeyed the Word of God, turned from their sins, and embraced Jesus Christ, they stopped merely believing. In that moment, they moved out of the realm of belief into the realm of experience. This experience is so radical, Jesus referred to it as being "born again."

The Bible says that those who don't know God are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1; 4:18). We are born with physical life, but not spiritual life. Picture unbelievers as corpses walking around who, by repenting and placing their faith in Christ, receive His very life. There is a radical difference between a corpse and a living, breathing human, just as there is when sinners pass from spiritual death to life. The apostle Paul said if you are "in Christ," you are a brand new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Those who now have God's Spirit living in them will love what He loves and desire to do His will; they will have a hunger for His Word, a love for other believers, and a burden for the lost. The Holy Spirit also confirms in their spirit that they are now children of God (Romans 8:16). Those who believe on the name of the Son of God can know that they have eternal life (1 John 5:12, 13).

 

87. "The Bible was written so that it would only look like Jesus fulfilled prophecy."

 

This would mean that the New Testament writers lied about Jesus-He really didn't rise from the dead and all those miracles about Him are really false.

If that were the case, how would you account for the writers of the New Testament teaching about truth, love, honesty, giving, etc., all based on lies? Why would they suffer hardships like beatings, starvation, shipwreck, imprisonments, and finally execution for nothing but lies? This claim doesn't make any sense and raises more questions than it answers.

While many cult members (Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses) will die for their faith as well, they die for something they believe in, not that they have seen. But the New Testament believers died for what they saw and believed, not for what they believed only. That is a big difference. The NT writers died claiming that they had seen the risen Lord. The cult members die for what they believe, and we know that believing something doesn't make it true.

The only logical explanation is that the fulfilled prophecies really did happen. Jesus actually rose from the dead. He performed miracles and He forgave sins. He can still forgive sins now just as He did then. My sins are forgiven; are yours?

 

88. "How should I witness to someone who belongs to a denomination, who I suspect isn't trusting the Savior?"

 

The most effective way to speak about the issues of eternity to a religious person is not to get sidetracked from the essentials of salvation. Upon hearing a person's background, we may feel an obligation to speak to issues such as infant baptism, transubstantiation, etc. However, it is wise rather to build on the points of agreement between the Bible and the person's denomination, such as the virgin birth, the cross, and so on.

One point of agreement will almost certainly be the Ten Commandments. They are the key to bringing any religious person to a saving knowledge of the gospel. After someone is converted to Jesus Christ, the Bible will come alive and he will be led into all truth by the indwelling Holy Spirit. God's Word will then give him light, and he will forsake religious tradition as he is led by God.

While there are strong biblical arguments that may convince unregenerate people that their church's traditions contradict Holy Scripture, there is a difficulty. Some religious people hold the teachings of their church to be on a par with, or of greater authority than, Holy Scripture. It is therefore often futile to try to convince them intellectually that their trust should be in the person of Jesus Christ, rather than in their own righteousness or in their church traditions. For this reason we should aim at the conscience, rather than the intellect. Take sinners through the Law of God (the Commandments) to show them that they are condemned despite their works, and strongly emphasize that we are saved by grace, and grace alone, rather than by trusting in our own righteousness or religious traditions.

If they are open to the gospel, and are interested in what God's Word says in reference to their church's teachings, they will listen to Scripture. For example, in Matthew 8:14 we see that Peter (whom the Roman Catholic church maintains was the first pope) was married, as were many of the other apostles (see 1 Corinthians 9:5).

 

89. "Why are there so many denominations?"

 

In the early 1500s, a German monk named Martin Luther was so conscious of his sins that he spent up to six hours in the confessional. Through study of the Scriptures he found that salvation didn't come through anything he did, but simply through trusting in the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. He listed the contradictions between what the Scriptures said and what his church taught, and nailed his "95 Theses" to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

Martin Luther became the first to "protest" against the Roman church, and thus he became the father of the Protestant church. Since that split, there have been many disagreements about how much water one should baptize with, how to sing what and why, who should govern who, etc., causing thousands of splinter groups. Many of these groups are convinced that they are the only ones who are right. These groups have become known as Protestant "denominations." Despite the confusion, these churches subscribe to certain foundational beliefs such as the deity, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his" (2 Timothy 2:19).

 

90. "How should I witness to my coworkers?"

 

When we interact with people on a daily basis, we have many opportunities for sharing our faith.

First, be sure you are respectful to your employer and set a good example in your work ethic by working "as to the Lord" (Colossians 3:23). When others around you grumble and complain, if you have a calm, forgiving, steadfast spirit, it will make an impression. As you respond in a Christlike way to angry coworkers and stressful circumstances, people will see a difference in your life.

Always be friendly and courteous, and show genuine interest in your coworkers' lives. Invite them out to lunch to get better acquainted. Share their joys and sorrows by congratulating them in their good times and offering to pray for them in their bad times. Be sure you do pray for them, then follow up by asking them about the situation you prayed for. They will be moved by your concern.

If coworkers are discussing what they did during the previous weekend, you can share your excitement about attending church services or a special church event. Ask others if they have any plans for celebrating Easter or Christmas; be nonjudgmental of their answer, but be ready (if asked) to explain why you celebrate as you do. Displaying a favorite Scripture or a devotional calendar, or reading your Bible during lunchtime, may prompt others to inquire about your faith.

Bringing home-baked goods or leaving a small gift with a note on a coworker's desk can sometimes have a greater impact than a thousand eloquent sermons. We can show our faith by our works. Others may not like a tree of righteousness, but they cannot help but like its fruit. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, being careful not to infringe on your employer's time.

 

91. "All religions are different paths to the same place."

 

If all religions are different paths to the same place, then why do the paths contradict each other? Let's review the teachings of just three religions: Buddhism is pantheistic and says there is no personal God and everyone can reach godlikeness on his own. Islam says that Jesus was just a prophet and not the only way to God. Christianity says that there is a personal God and that the only way to Him is through Jesus (John 14:6). If these three religions are, as you say, different paths to the same place, then why do they contradict each other? Does truth contradict itself?

 

92. "Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus before His baptism, or not?"

 

By his statement "I did not know Him" (John 1:31, 33), John the Baptist is conveying that he did not have a personal knowledge of Jesus before He came to be baptized. At that time, the Holy Spirit revealed to John the identity of the One he had been sent to proclaim. As John saw Jesus approaching, he declared, "Behold the Lamb of God..." (John 1:29).

John was filled with the Holy Spirit from before his birth (Luke 1:15), and amazingly recognized the presence of Jesus even while both were still in their mothers' wombs (Luke 1:41-44). In light of this witness of the Holy Spirit within John, the sign of the Holy Spirit resting on Jesus was simply a confirmation of what he already knew. God removed any doubt so John could be sure that it was not his imagination or someone else's mistake.

 

93. "How can people be happy in heaven, knowing that their unsaved loved ones are suffering in hell?"

 

A person asking this question falls into the category of those who asked Jesus a similar question. The Pharisees said that a certain woman had seven consecutive husbands, so whose wife will she be in heaven (Mark 12:23)? Jesus answered by saying that they knew neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. The unregenerate mind has no concept of God's mind or His infinite power. If God can speak the sun into existence; if He can see every thought of every human heart at the same time; if He can create the human eye with its 137,000,000 light-sensitive cells, then He can handle the minor details of our eternal salvation.

John writes that in heaven "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2), so perhaps we will be fully satisfied that God is perfectly just and merciful. Because He has given light to every man (John 1:9), and His will is that none should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), we can trust that He gave every individual the opportunity to accept or reject Him. However He works it out, God promises that there will not be sorrow or crying in heaven. Our focus in heaven won't be on our loss, but on our gain.

 

94. "I have things I need to do before I become a Christian."

 

Your statement implies that you believe following God will mean you won't be able to do the things you want to do. If that is true, then that means the things you intend to do would displease God. Are you saying you prefer to do something God wouldn't want you to do? If so, you are willfully sinning against God and putting yourself in a dangerous situation. That is all the more reason you need His forgiveness.

If the things you want to do are good, why can't you become a Christian and then do them? Nothing you can do could be more important than your relationship with God. To put Him off is unwise. What if you die before you become a Christian? Then you would be eternally without hope.

 

95. "Should we ever swear an oath?"

 

Numbers 30:2 says, "If a man vow a vow to the Lord, or swear an oath...he shall not break his word." But in James 5:12 we are told, "Swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yes be yes; and your no, no; lest you fall into condemnation."

The first verse pertains to swearing to the Lord; the second verse deals with the issue of swearing by something. It is vain to swear by something over which we have no control. The only legitimate application would be to swear by our own integrity, but that is implied when we swear an oath. God swears by Himself because He has control over Himself (Hebrews 6:13). But to swear on our mother's grave or something similar is simply vain. It's meaningless, and such a person would be falsely implying that he has control over such things, which is where sin comes into play.

 

96. "I knew some Christians once and they wronged me."

 

Christians aren't perfect. They make mistakes like anyone else. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive them. I think that is what they would do for you.

Maybe they didn't know they wronged you. Was it something really bad or was it just a mistake? Have you gone to them and spoken to them about it? Maybe if you were to forgive them you would begin to understand the forgiveness God has for you. We all need to be forgiven, don't you agree?

 

97. "How should I witness to a Jew?"

 

Sadly, many of today's Jews profess godliness but don't embrace the Scriptures as we presume they do. Therefore, it is often difficult to reason with them about Jesus being the Messiah. This is why it is imperative to ask a Jew if he has kept the Law of Moses-to "shut" him up under the Law (Galatians 3:23) and strip him of his self-righteousness. The Law will show him his need of a Savior and become a "schoolmaster" to bring him to Christ (Galatians 3:24), as happened to Paul, Nicodemus, and Nathaniel. It was the Law that brought 3,000 Jews to the foot of the cross on the Day of Pentecost. Without it they would not have known that they had sinned (Romans 7:7), and therefore would not have seen their need of the Savior.

 

98. "The Bible says, ‘Judge not lest you be judged.' You therefore have no right to judge me when it comes to my sins!"

 

The lost often take this verse out of context and use it to accuse Christians of being "judgmental" when they speak of sin. In the context of the verse, Jesus is telling His disciples not to judge one another, something the Bible condemns (Romans 14:10; James 4:11). In Luke 6:41, 42 He speaks of seeing a speck in a brother's eye. In John 7:24 He said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." If someone steals, lies, commits adultery or murder, etc., the Christian can make a (righteous) moral judgment and say that the actions were morally wrong, and that these sins will have eternal consequences. Chuck Colson said, "True tolerance is not a total lack of judgment. It's knowing what should be tolerated-and refusing to tolerate that which shouldn't."

 

99. "How can I witness to family members?"

 

This advice may save you a great deal of grief. As a new Christian, I did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wild bull in a crystal showroom. I bullied my mom, my dad, and many of my friends into making a "decision for Christ." I was sincere, zealous, loving, kind, and stupid. I didn't understand that salvation doesn't come through making a "decision," but through repentance, and repentance is God-given (2 Timothy 2:25). The Bible teaches that no one can come to the Son unless the Father "draws" him (John 6:44). If you are able to get a "decision" but the person has no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up with a stillborn on your hands.

In my "zeal without knowledge" I actually inoculated the very ones I was so desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important to you than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don't want to blow it. If you do, you may find that you don't have a second chance. Fervently pray for them, asking God for their salvation. Let them see your faith. Let them feel your kindness, your genuine love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason. Do chores when you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in their position. You know that you have found everlasting life-death has lost its sting! Your joy is unspeakable. But as far as they are concerned, you've been brainwashed and have become part of a weird sect. So your loving actions will speak more loudly than ten thousand eloquent sermons.

For this reason you should avoid verbal confrontation until you have knowledge that will guide your zeal. Pray for wisdom and sensitivity to God's timing. You may have only one shot, so make it count. Keep your cool. If you don't, you may end up with a lifetime of regret. Believe me. It is better to hear a loved one or a close friend say, "Tell me about your faith in Jesus Christ," rather than you saying, "Sit down. I want to talk to you." Continue to persevere in prayer for them, that God would open their eyes to the truth.

 

100. "I don't want to give up what I like doing."

 

If you become a Christian, are you saying that you must stop doing what you're doing now? That means you know it is wrong. Let me ask you something. If you were to become a Christian and God were to live in your heart and you looked back on your life now, would you say to yourself, "I did a lot of things I wish I hadn't done"? Probably so. The Bible speaks about just such a thing. Romans 6:21 says, "What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death." What you are saying is that God will require you to give up certain things that you like to do. Since God only wants what is good and right, and you don't want to give up what you are doing, then you want what is wrong.

Will you let your pleasures get in the way of salvation? Is your life of sin worth an eternity of pain? Jesus said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36).