If you have access to the August 2020, Volume 16, Number 8 issue of the Gospel Advocate I would strongly suggest you read an article by Brandon Edwards titled, “What Questions Are You Asking?” … if you haven’t already read it, of course. The article begins on page 25.
The author relates a personal experience about a question he received from someone unfamiliar with the God of the Bible to the importance of asking of simple questions with answers of great spiritual significance and depth.
The whole issue for the month of August was really enjoying to read but the main thrust of the mentioned article really caught my attention.
“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6 NKJV)
On a social-media service run by some Christians, one sister asked: “What are some things you love about our God?” I replied with these four things, off the top of my head:
1. He is faithful and constant; no surprises.
2. He is good and all that he does is good, Ps 119.68.
3. He is impartial; he doesn’t play favorites.
4. He is patient, a motive for greater dedication and urgency.
How would you answer the question?
In a little while this evening, we’ll have another study with a young couple who have been Christians for about six months. Before we get to the Bible text, here are some questions I plan to ask them tonight.
- What difficulties have you encountered since your conversion?
- What has been your greatest challenge?
- Any positive surprise that you’ve had?
- What have you seen in terms of spiritual progress and growth?
- Any disappointment during this time?
- What is your greatest motive for thanksgiving during this time?
What other questions might you ask?
QUESTIONS CONCERNING NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY
Last week we wrote under the caption “Questions For Christians About The Church.” This week, as a sequel, we write of “Questions Concerning New Testament Christianity.” Continue reading
Over on QBT, surfaces a criticism of the question about what we will do in heaven:
What we will do in…
The post, even in its pithy format, points up the need to ask the right question. One gets the impression that the celestial activity concern comes from American practicality where a body has to be up and doing something useful. People have written that, if harp-playing is all that will be going on there, then they don’t want to go. Continue reading
QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIANS ABOUT THE CHURCH
1. What is the church? (Write a simple one sentence definition of the church.)
2. When did the church first exist in the mind of God?
3. Was the church a subject of Old Testament prophecy?
4. Who was the founder of the church?
5. When was the church established as a historical reality? Continue reading
Last night, a brother in Christ — an American visitor — asked us if we had any plans to return to the US. It’s a question we still get now and again. And we’re happy to answer it.
My personal website once sported a FAQ, where this question was answered, since it qualified for the status of a FAQ. I’ve simplified that site, so it’s no longer there.
But the short answer is: We have no plans to return.
That doesn’t mean we won’t have to, at some point. But after spending more time here than there, and with more still to do here than ever before, it seems the right thing to remain.
And “have to” is a relative viewpoint, is it not? I’ve known not a few missionaries who left the field because of lost financial support. I don’t question their decision nor their motives. We’ve been in the same boat. We took, however, a different route.
Life brings changes. (Or, better, life is change.) All the children are out of the house and far away. We’re grateful for them. Age creeps up on us and our relatives. Frailty, accidents, illness, death, are all possibilities. (They always were, if we think about it.) Continue reading
Check this out if you like. It’s an interesting question posed by a university professor.
To be honest, the results of the class experiment surprised (and disappointed) me.
Perhaps there are several spiritual applications that could be made from it for the greater good as well…or at least for our self.
Here are some random questions (some may even call them “nudges”) that actually have a spiritual starting point. Care to answer a few?
1. If you preach, do you have a “favorite” sermon?
2. If you don’t preach, is there a sermon that has stuck with you through the years?
3. Would you consider an “invitation song” offered during worship services a tradition of men?
4. What do you believe is the number one reason (main contributing factor) behind poor worship service attendance?
5. If you have a young daughter, would you approve of her dating a young man who doesn’t work?
6. How many hours of sleep do you average a night (or day, in case you’re a third-shifter)?
7. How many hours, on the average, do you punch on the ole’ time clock?
8. Was there one individual person in your life that contributed the most to you becoming a Christian? If so, who?
9. What you do think is the number thing our prayers should revolve around for our nation (America), or for whatever nation you happen to be living in?
10. Which is harder for you to do: tell a brother or sister in Christ that they have something in their teeth or telling them that they have sinned against you?
Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. His teachings to these brethren provide us with some soul searching question. He wrote,
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” (Philippians 2:12-17)
Ask yourself these questions and give an honest answer.
Are you being obedient to God in life?
Christians must be diligent and serious in their Christian obedience. Paul wrote, Continue reading
In the teenage class we’re finishing up a study book called “The Life of Christ” by Olen Holderby. At the end of the book there are two review sections that go back over all the previous lessons with highlight questions. We started the first section yesterday and there was one question in particular that I thought was an excellent question; I’d love to hear what the fellows, or any other reader, would give as an answer.
Question: Other than his death on the Cross, what do you think was the greatest suffering of Jesus?
There are no right or wrong answers – just answers. So what’s your answer to this excellent and thought provoking question?
Some of the toughest questions I’ve heard are those dealing with human situations.
People can get themselves into some really difficult ones. There are those who have been married and divorced, some more than once.
Many of these discussions begin with the phrase, “But, what if…”
What many have trouble understanding is that while humans are situational, God isn’t. God’s word is objective truth.
Look at the Ten Commandments. God said, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain,” (Exodus 20:7 ESV). But, some may say, “Lord, you just don’t understand how difficult it is to obey this command. Sometimes my feelings get out of control and I say things that are wrong.” This may be true, but it doesn’t change what God commanded.
A line is crossed when one decides to violate God’s word even when they believe it is impossible to comply. Therefore, they think there may be some permissible way to avoid guilt and separation from God and transgress God’s word anyway. Don’t ask me how.
And people can get themselves into some twisted and obtuse situations, too.
What’s the toughest question you’ve ever been asked? Maybe it was a biblical question, or maybe it was personal. Could have been a stranger who asked it, or a member of the family.
Let’s assume it wasn’t an evil question, like many of the ones Jesus received, in attempts to trip him up, but a sincere one. Maybe it was recent, or it could have been when you were in, say, grade school or high school.
The field is open.
What would be a recent question for God?
The question I would select is neither novel nor has it just been asked once, but I still ask it as the Psalmist and the writer of Hebrews did so long ago:
“What is man that You are mindful of him,And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4; Hebrews
I ponder that question often as I consider all that God has blessed me with in my life and wonder just how much the scales are lacking on my side.
Share a recent question that you have asked God. It can be a why, or a how, or a when. Even a what or a who question. All of these have been asked before, of people of every spiritual stature imaginable.
Asaph asked two of these questions in Psalm 80: "How long will you remain angry at your people while they pray to you?" (v. 4). "Why did you break down its walls, so that all who pass by pluck its fruit?" (v. 12).
How wonderful that our God allows such questions!
And a question for you: what news have you of the saints?