Qs & As...

Some common questions answered.

1. Q. What about other religions, that also worship God?

A. Just because a person worships God, it doesn't mean that they are right with God. Besides, God to different people means a different thing. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, "You worship that which you do not know, but we worship that which we know, for Salvation is of the Jews," (John 4:22). If Salvation is of the Jews, then there is no other way of Salvation. However, through Jesus all may come to know God's Salvation, if they would come to Jesus. For He said that He was The Way, The Truth and The Life, no one comes to the Father but by Him. Well, if no one can get to The Father except through Jesus, then every other way leads to bondage, to hell.

Bottom line, religion will never save anyone, including those who think that going to church makes them a Christian. Some said once, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger." A Christian is someone who has gone to Jesus in full repentance of his/her sins, and have died to their selfish desires, have taken up their cross and followed Him and now live in submission to God's will. Such a person will love and obey God, at all cost and their life will manifest the nature and character of Christ because they are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God, which is only received through dying to self (absolute and unconditional surrender) and being reborn in Christ. Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). So much for religion!

2. Q. Isn't Christianity just another religion? Why does Christianity claim to be superior to other religions?

A. Christianity is NOT a religion and it doesn't claim to be superior to any religion. That is a lie straight from the evil one. People of other religions want to reduce Christianity to just another religion, so that they can feel good about themselves. The Biblical definition of religion is to keep oneself free from the world and to help widows and orphans in their time of need (James 1:27). Christianity is a BLOOD COVENANT relationship with the living God and one enters into that blood covenant relationship by believing in Jesus Christ - the sacrificial Lamb. A blood covenant is a contract, a binding agreement made between two parties. It is an act where two become one - as in a marriage. A blood covenant is an agreement that is not broken - two become one.

Unlike marriage, there is no divorce in a blood covenant. If one party breaks a blood covenant, then the one who breaks the covenant must die. The only man God ever cut covenant with was Abraham and the promise of that covenant was not fulfilled until Christ came. Have you ever wondered where the blood-brother ritual originated from? Or the handshake? That's right, from the ritual of blood covenant, which was practiced in the Middle East at least since the time of Abraham, when God cut a blood covenant with a man, Abraham. To find out about Covenant with God, I highly recommend reading the book, "Our Covenant God," by Kay Arthur. It will answer your questions on covenant if you are a seeker and if you are a believer it will solidify your covenant relationship with Jesus and the Father.

3. Q. Well, I can worship Krishna, Buddha, or Mohammed and still worship Jesus after all they are all expressions or incarnations of the same God. In fact the prophet Mohammed said that if I worship Jesus and him, I'd be doubly blessed.

A. Well, let's look at what Jesus said, since all religions point to Him as one of the Ways. He must at least have spoken the Truth. Jesus pointed to Himself. Jesus did not endorse any form of religion period. Including Judaism. In fact the religious Jewish hypocrites were the ones that angered Him the most and He had nothing good to say about them. If Jesus walked the earth today, psychologists would have a field day with Him and His name calling of the Jews in Matthew 22:17, 23:13-33.

Psychologists today would say he was rude, angry, and even childish.

Thirteen times He called the religious Jews, hypocrites, snakes, brood of vipers, fools and blind guides. Each time pronouncing judgment on them, "Woe to you." He knew there was something missing in Judaism, that's why He declared, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill the law," (Matt. 5:17). He came to fill what was missing in Judaism (and all religions) and He did. As C.S. Lewis puts it. If Hinduism is man's quest for God, then Christianity is the answer.

Jesus said, "I am The Way, The Truth and The Life, no one comes to the Father but through me." He said also, "I am the Resurrection and The Life." Finally, He said plainly, "I have come, that they might have LIFE - not religion - and have it more fulfillingly." Where does that leave all your other guys like Krishna, Buddha, et al?

Besides, if religion could get anyone to heaven, Jesus would never have had to come and die for the sins of the world.

4. Q. So if the Church does not have the truth, where should I go to find God's Truth?

A. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within. So the first place you need to look, is in your own heart. You need to look and see the spiritual condition of your own nature and character and see if it matches God's, since you were created in God's image, to be like God in nature and character. Examine the motives of your own heart to see if your motives are sinful, selfish or pure, unselfish. We all have an inborn sense of right and wrong, good and evil. After all, it was for the knowledge of good and evil that Eve ate the fruit and died for. However, we don't have a sense of what is God's Truth or what is a lie and we absolutely definitely do not know the nature and character of God because we've been deceived by the devil's lies (Gen. 3:13).

Because we do not know God's nature and character, we need to listen to Jesus, for He spoke God's Truth and He came to reveal the nature and character of God, that we may know God. The Bible reveals God's nature and character and His will for us, also. Do not be afraid to pick up the Book and read it, for that is the next thing you need to do.

Ask God for His Holy Spirit to teach you about His nature and character as you read. He will. There is only one way to interpret His Word (the Bible), His way. You can listen to the testimony of other believers, talk to those who know Jesus and keep on praying and waiting on God until it pleases Him to reveal His Son in you (Gal. 1:16) and do not settle for less.

5. Q. I don't believe a loving God will punish all those nice people who do good deeds, in the world, just because they don't accept Jesus. If He does, then He is not a loving God and He is wrong to punish nice people, who do good deeds, simply because they choose to follow the religion they were born in.

A. Let me say again, lovingly, religion will not save anyone from death, hell, and God's judgment. God is Love. God is also Righteous, Holy, Pure, JUST, Merciful, Compassionate, and a whole bunch of other adjectives. God is not a liar and His Word is Truth, as Jesus said. When God says He will judge sinners, rest assured He would. If God does not judge sinners, then He is not God. All those nice people who rejected Jesus, rejected the only Way of Salvation and they will receive their reward along with the devil and his angels.

Only God knows the heart of a person, you and I don't. So how do you know those nice people who do good deeds are in a right relationship with God? How do you know that they've made their peace with God? How do you know the condition of their heart, when you do not even know the condition of your own evil heart? Who are you to judge God? Who are you to say God is wrong to punish nice or good people? Your idea of nice and good, is not the same as God's. Does that make you right and God wrong? God forbid!

6. Q. If God is love, then how can He hate?

A. We see over and over again that God hates sin and evil. God also gets angry (holy anger) and God does not sin. If God is Pure, Holy and Just and we know He is, then common sense dictates that He would hate anything that is contrary to what is pure, holy and just. And if He has revealed His nature and character and His will for us, then He has every right to be angry with us for not believing Him. In fact to disbelieve and dishonour Him is to slap Him in the face. He is the only One who deserves our love and alliance, no one else does. He is the only One who deserves our respect. He earned it. Just look at Jesus!

What did He ever do to deserve what He got? If there is such a thing as Karma, then Jesus should not have suffered and died as He did. Since the scripture says, "His goings forth is of old," in other words His righteous ways are known from the foundation of the world - He never sinned in a previous life, nor in the one He lived. Do you know what scourging is? Scripture says Jesus was scourged. It means that He was beaten with a whip with a hook or hooks attached to the end of it. When that whip was applied to a persons back it would wrap around their body and as the whip is withdrawn the hook(s) would sink into the flesh and rip the flesh open as it was being dragged across the body.

Jesus was beaten in such a way. He was spat on, blindfolded and mocked, He was slapped around. He was made to carry His own cross, given sour wine to drink (He didn't drink in by the way) when He was hanging there dying. All because He loved us enough to tell us the truth about an eternal hell waiting for us if we would not repent and believe Him. That is Godly love! Inspite of all that, He had it in Him to say, "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do." That is pure unselfish love. That is the love that hates sin and evil but loves peoples' souls enough to tell them the truth - at any price.

7. Q. You say God is love, but what is love?

A. The Greek language had specific words that define the different kinds of love. Our English language is limited here. There is parental love, which is pretty self-explanatory. There is brotherly love (phileo), which is the kind of love you would have for a friend or a brother. There is romantic or sexual love (eros, the word erotic is derived from this Greek root word), like what most people know today. Lust and fornication, which is sex outside of marriage, would also come under this name for love. Another word (storge) refers to the love between a married couple.

Then there is Godly love or sacrificial love (Agape) which most people know of but do not know for they have never experienced this love. Love is an action not an emotion. The Bible describes it thus: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, is not self-seeking, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Cor. 13:4-8a.)

Godly love seeks the highest good of the other person, whether that person deserves to be loved or not. It does not seek Its own glory. Godly love loves to the death, even death on a cross! It is a love that does not lie.

8. Q. But if I forgive someone for what they did to me, they'll get away with it. Why should I have to forgive?

A. Forgiveness does not mean that the ones whom you forgive will get away with what they did to you. They are accountable to God and they will answer. However, if you want God's forgiveness, you must be willing to forgive all those who have wronged you. Forgiveness does not mean you have to trust the person who wronged you. Nor does it mean that you must be friends with them. It does not even mean that you have to tell them you forgive them, unless God leads you to tell them.

It means you must choose to love that person (Godly love, that is) in spite of what they did to you, recognizing that they are as needy spiritually just as you are. Forgiveness is not an option. It is a command. Jesus said, you must forgive, if you desire God's forgiveness. He commands us to forgive others because He knows that forgiving them is necessary for our own healing. Actually, I have never met a person whom after recognizing their own need for God's forgiveness, unwilling to forgive others. It is not an easy thing to do, it doesn't come naturally because forgiveness is from God and of God. It's divine. But with the indwelling Christ in you, you can forgive. The question is will you forgive?

9. Q. I'm an atheist. I don't believe in the existence of God.

A. Then don't worry about this God thing - your future is six feet under. All you have to look forward to is nothing - unless turning to dust is a future worth looking forward to. I was once an atheist myself - I was a fool! "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good," (Psalm 14:1). But for the ones who believe God, there is a hope and a future for them. "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans of good not evil, plans to give you a future and a hope," (Jer. 29:11).

That hope is the one every believer has, that they will one day see the love of their life, Jesus, face to face and that future, is eternal life with Him, Jesus. We have an eternal future.

10. Q. I believe all truth is relative to the individual's environment and circumstances. You have your truth and I have mine.

A. And God has His Truth, Jesus. His Truth, Jesus, is the only one worth believing, living and dying for. His Truth, Jesus, is the only truth you and I will answer to at the end of time.

11. Q. Why are you Christians so intolerant of others and their beliefs? I believe everyone has the right to do what they want to do and choose what they want. Who are you to judge?

A. If Christians are so intolerant then how come there is sex, greed and violence, sex, greed and violence and more sex, greed and violence everywhere? From Hollywood to the White House, from the Pulpit to the Rectory, from the classroom to the Internet, from Homosexuality to incest, from child pornography to rape, from fornication to adultery, to murder to war, need I go on? If we are so intolerant of other beliefs, how come there is a glut of religions and cults out there, today? Why are we still being crucified in Afghanistan*, beaten and killed in India, persecuted in Arab nations and hated in this so called civilized North America? The 'left wing' like to point the finger at Christians and call them fanatic. In their hypocrisy they do not see their own fanaticism for all that is ungodly and unholy. Hypocrites! They fight the 'right wing' tooth and nail from the senate right down to their special interest groups with their 'left wing' agendas.

Is it Christians who are intolerant or is it non-Christians? Who crucified Jesus? Were they being tolerant when they beat Him and killed Him? How was Jesus intolerant? Think about it! Christians do not judge. We simply speak God's Truth. It is God's Truth that judges (the unbeliever) or convicts (the believer) a person of their sin. Judgment leads to condemnation (for the unbelieving) but conviction (to the believer), leading to repentance and Salvation. Since when is testifying to God's Truth, Jesus, judging? As for choosing what you want to do, a person has only one of two choices in life. Obedience leading to life or disobedience leading to death - take your pick and then live with it, don't be a hypocrite!

12. Q. So are you a saint? And how do you know that you are right, you don't know everything.

A. I am a sinner saved by Grace, Jesus. I'll never be anything more. I do not know, or need to know everything I am not God. But I know God, for He lives in my heart. And He knows everything and He has taught me and every other sinner who has ever repented, everything we need to know in order to live a life pleasing to Him. It is written that apart from faith it is impossible to please God. It is also written that, the just shall live by faith. I live by faith. "For, man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes out of the mouth of The Lord," (Deut. 8:3). God is not into making people perfect. He is into perfecting peoples' faith.

13. Q. I don't care what you say, or what the Bible says, the Bible is just a book written by mere men. I don't care what anybody says, I will follow the religion my father was born into and nobody will make me change.

A. You might as well be saying, I was born a sinner and I will die a sinner, or I was born ignorant and I am going to die ignorant. If mere men wrote the Bible, then who wrote the Glorious Koran (which by the way, apparently teaches that Jesus is alive therefore the Arabs are without excuse for persecuting Christians in their countries), the Ramayana, the Vedas, etc.? Mere men could not have written the Bible, because mere men do not know the nature and character of God.

The knowledge and wisdom in that book is too high for mere mortals. It is the inspired Word of God and until you can prove otherwise, it is foolish to argue that the Bible is not the inspired Word of God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," 2 Tim. 3:16a. "...but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit," 2 Pet. 1:21b.

Yes, through translation some New Testament wordings have been changed. Something I personally do not agree with. Some Old Testament books have been lost, and some eye witness accounts in the Gospels vary, but the essence of the message remains the same - repent, believe God and His Salvation - Jesus, or die.

Still, there is going to come a day when we will all know who was right and who is dead. Won't we? It matters not whether you are an atheist, evolutionist, or agnostic. You will be raised from the dead to be judged. And if you are content to wait until that day, then be my guest. Just know this that on the day you are dragged up from wherever you've been buried or scattered, and made to stand before the Judgment seat of Christ, to give account, you will be without excuse. Truly, faith is an unspeakable gift.

14. Q. What about those people who never heard the Gospel?

A. My, my, how very considerate of you to ask about their welfare. 1 Peter 4:5 says, "They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." Those people have heard the gospel and those who heard and believed were raised, and the graves were opened; "and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many," (Matt. 27:52-53). That is another reason why Jesus had to die, so that the dead may hear the Gospel and they did. Romans 14:9 says that, "To this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living." Now you are hearing it. So don't worry, you can rest assured that a Pure, Holy and Righteous God would be Merciful and Just enough to judge the dead fairly, just as He will judge you fairly.

15. Q. I want to be saved. I believe in Jesus, what should I do to be saved?

A. Someone once asked the Apostle Paul and Silas this question and they replied, "Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your household," (Acts 16:31). Jesus said, "If you believe Me you will obey My commands (do as He says)." If you believe, then step out in obedience and start to walk in obedience to God. Live a life of obedience and submission to God's will for your life and you will find yourself bearing the fruits of the Spirit of God, which are: Love, Joy, Peace, long-suffering (patience), kindness, gentleness, self-control. Against these things there is no law, (Gal. 5:22). You may also find yourself coming under conviction as you speak to others. Go to the Lord in repentance and accept his correction, so that you may continue in obedience and hence reap the fruits of the Spirit continually.

16. Q. Ok, I hear what you are saying and I believe but what exactly must I do in order to obey God? What is expected of me? How do I obey God?

A. Excellent question, how can you obey God if you don't know what is expected of you. The only two commandments (there is that word command again, pay attention!) Jesus gave us are: "Hear O Israel (put the rest of the world in as well, it certainly applies) the Lord, the Lord God is one and you shall LOVE the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. And the second commandment (there is that word command again) is as the first, Love your neighbour as you would yourself. On these hang all the laws including, the ten commandment and the prophets." To love God is to know Him, to know Him you must know His nature and character.

God is Omniscient (all knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful) and Omnipresent (present in all places at the same time). God is not the universe and the universe is not God, as the New Age belief system would have you believe. God exists outside and apart from the universe, He is not confined within the borders of His universe. He made the universe and before the universe existed, God was. As the first line of the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," that is the universe.

God is in control; not controlling, he doesn't need to be. He is no dictator. He's a Commander. God does not dictate to us how to live our lives, He commands us to live life on His terms or suffer the consequence of our rebellion. God is not a liar His Word is Truth, as Jesus said. You can believe every word that has ever come out of the mouth of God. Take God at His Word. Trust Him with your very life. After all, He made you. He knows what is best for you. Wait on Him to provide you with all your needs.

God will never cause you to suffer needlessly. It does not give Him pleasure to allow us to suffer - but suffering is necessary for our eternal salvation. It is part of our child training - as children of God. God is a Redeemer and a Restorer of souls. He is the only One who has the capacity to take all the bad things you have ever done and that others have done to you - and all the bad things that will happen to you and use it for your own good and His glory. He will not waste anything from your past but use it to teach you, convict you, mature you, chastise you, even rebuke you and conform (mold) you into the image (nature and character) of His Son, Jesus.

Live in the moment. Know Him in the moment. Trust Him moment by moment, situation by situation, day by day. God will NEVER ever, ever squander what you give to Him. You can count on that. Whether it is your 'grubby' material possessions, your spouse, your children or your very life. After all, you received them all from Him. They are His. You are simply giving Him back what is rightfully His. I guarantee you He can take care of you and your possessions better than you ever will. You will find your life more fulfilling as you do these things daily, moment by moment, situation by situation.

Also, if you are reading this then you are intelligent enough to know that lying, cheating and stealing, any kind of sex outside of marriage, etc. are not pure, holy and righteous activities. Do not do them.

17. Q. The final question is one from me to you, the reader. It is this: Do you believe Jesus is God, or that Jesus and God are one? "I and My Father are one," (John 10:30). Do you love Him above all else? Do you love Him more than yourself, more than your own life? Do you truly, truly love Him?

A. Write your answer here and then live by it _________. If you answered no, then may God reward you according to your choice. If you answered yes, then may God reward you according to your choice, also. Deut. 30:19 says: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your children may live."

* These Qs and As were written prior to Sept. 11th and the war in Afganistan.

Margaret R.
Exerpted from my Testimony: "From Bondage To Freedom"

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