Answers from the Question Box
Who is God?
Is there a difference between Allah, Yahweh, or whatever people call the “higher power”? Does it matter what the higher power is called?
  • Yes, there is a difference. Use the Four Deadly questions to get to the bottom of this issue! We will be talking more about this in a future lesson, “Is Jesus God?”
  • Check out the ‘Comparison of World Religions’ chart (see Appendix A in the Anchorsaway Worldview Handbook, Appendix B in the Teacher Handbook).
  • The ‘higher power’ is a term used by people, including some Christians, who would rather be politically correct and by Postmoderns who would like to choose the god they wish to worship…starting with themselves. This leads to idol worship.
If the Father and the Son are one, who is the Holy Spirit?
  • He is part of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is God.
  • A few references to the Holy Spirit being God: 1 Cor. 2:10, John 3:5-6, Titus 3:5, and 1 Cor. 6:11.
Why would God create people when He knows they will be in hell for eternity? That does not sound like a loving God. I struggle with this.
  • God gives every one a choice to believe and accept Jesus as a personal Savior. “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)
  • Regardless of whether or not we understand the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’ of what happens in life, God will always remain good, just and merciful.
  • God wants all people to come to know Him and to believe and trust Him. Salvation is a matter of man humbling himself (herself) and believing in Jesus because He paid the ultimate price by dying a gruesome death so that our sins would be forgiven. That sounds like a loving God to me!
Does everyone have a chance to know God?
  • Yes.
  • Romans 1:18-20 – “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
  • 2 Peter 3:9 – “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
  • John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
  • Some Christians are dogmatic and espouse their belief that man does not have a choice and that God has predestined certain people to become His children. Scripture does not support this belief. This is holy ground and something that our finite minds cannot understand. Deuteronomy 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God….”
You taught that if someone claimed to be the Messiah, that person would be sentenced to be stoned to death. How would the Jews know the real Messiah had come?
  • They should have known because of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. 
  • Many witnessed the miracles that Jesus used to heal the blind, sick and even the dead.
  • The Jews were expecting a king to rule them, not the suffering Savior.
Is The Bible Reliable?
How were the doctrines formed during the history of the church?
  • The doctrines of the church are a reflection of what Christ taught and what was originally set by the disciples of Christ.
  • The change over time has come from man. When there is a conflict of doctrine, one needs to make sure that it reflects the Truth of the original Scripture and not man or culture.
Was Jesus Christ Resurrected? Why does it matter?
Did God’s plan of salvation requiring sacrifices exist before the cross?
  • The Messiah Jesus had to be the one to serve as a substitute for man because He is the only sinless man that could pay the price for sinful man.
  • Because humans are moral beings, we require a moral substitute.
    • Animals (bulls, goats, sheep…) are not moral beings, therefore they can not be moral substitutes for us. They do not have the same conscience. They are not created in the image of God. Therefore, they are insufficient.
    • God promised to send deliverance through a baby. See Isaiah 9:6–“For to us a child is born….”
    • This baby was God Himself – “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6b).
    • Scripture tells us that God Himself is the answer!
      • Micah 5:2 – foretells the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. It uses the phrase, “whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
      • John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
      • When He lays down His life on that stake, He takes the judgment for all of us.
      • When He came out of the grave after three days, it was a statement that the perfect sacrifice was accepted.
Jesus cried out on the cross because He was separated from the Father and the Holy Spirit...Did He cease being God at that moment?
  • No. Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
  • Jesus also spoke about His eternal deity: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). At no time has Jesus ever ceased to be God.
Did Jesus die for the sins of all people throughout time?
  • Yes –His sacrifice was perfect for taking care of the penalty for sin for all people.
  • Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient, once for all. (Hebrews 10:1-18) 
If God is eternal, what “life” did He really have to give up?
  • Jesus was 100% God and 100 % man – it was the sinless human side of Him that died on the cross.
    • He endured excruciating pain, a pain that is unimaginable for most of us.
    • He tolerated it because of His love for us.
If I die before I am baptized, will I go to heaven?
  • Absolutely. Why? Because you are saved by Christ alone, by faith….Ephesians 2:8-9.
  • Baptism is a way or celebrating your salvation and publicly declaring your faith in Jesus.
How was Christ’s death, suffering aside, a great price for Him?
  • The burden of sin.
  • Because God is holy, He can have nothing to do with sin. It was necessary for Jesus, the God-man, to carry the burden of sin for all of humanity while on the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us….”)
  • As human beings, we have no idea how difficult it must have been for Jesus to take on that burden of sin.
  • A separation from God 
    • Because of God’s holiness, it was necessary for Him to turn His face away from Jesus while Jesus carried the sin of the world on His shoulders.
    • That is why Jesus cries out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34)
    • This was the first time in eternity that there was a separation within the perfect love relationship of the Trinity.
    • As Dr. D. A. Carson reminds us, “Within this cry of dereliction [abandonment], the horror of the world’s sin and the cost of our salvation are revealed.”1
Does the Bible say three days and three nights that Jesus would be in the earth between the death and resurrection? Are there three days between Friday and Sunday?
  • In the Jewish way of calculating days, any part of a day and night counts as a complete period.
  • With Jesus being buried on Friday afternoon and rose again on Sunday morning, it would have been considered three days and three nights.
    What Is A Christian? Am I One?
    If God has a plan for our lives, why wouldn’t He plan that everyone ends up becoming a Christian?
    • It is His plan and hope that all believe in Him
    • 2 Peter 3:9 – “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
    • Is love truly love without choice?
    I recommitted my life to Christ, but nothing much has changed. What should I do?
    • Get into the Scriptures
    • Pray and let God direct you rather than your own expectations
    • You have to do your part. Turn away from, or repent from, those things, people, or relationships that cause you to walk with the world and not God. It is difficult at first but eternally worth it!
    • In Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”
    How do I get bad images out of my head?
    • If not dealt with, this can go on for a lifetime. Prayer, reading Scripture, and confessing to God is the only way to put an end to this. Quote Scripture when it happens and tell Satan to be gone from your mind. 1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
    • The promise from God is that if we choose not to think on the bad things, and choose to think on only those things that are right and true, God will help us along the way.
    Do we as Christians actually have free will?
    • Yes, we have been given the right to choose not only Jesus as our Savior but also whether or not to obey Him.
    • Every person has the freedom to choose to accept or reject God. We also have the power and understanding to choose to do the right thing.
    Is there a heaven and what is it like?
    • Heaven is a place where God manifests His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control at all times in abundance.
    • Upon death, people’s souls, who have truly accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, immediately go “home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
    • Scripture: Revelation 21:1-5 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”
    Is there a hell?
    • It is a place where God unleashes His wrath and has removed all that is good, loving, kind and peaceful. It is eternal. Entry is for all who reject Jesus as God, the Savior and Lord. Jesus Christ declares that it is so (Matthew 25:46).
    • Scripture speaks about hell, the destination for the unrepentant sinner:
      • Isaiah 33:14 – The unrepentant sinner dwells in “everlasting burnings.”
      • Psalm 49:19 – He/she “shall never see light.”
      • Psalm 73:19 – He/she is “utterly consumed.”
      • Mark 9:44 – “the fire is not quenched”
      • Isaiah 26:14 – He/she is everlastingly “dead” and “will not live.” A person in hell: when he calls, he is never answered; when he seeks he never finds.
      • Matthew 25:46 – “Then they [unbelievers] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
      • Matthew 13:49-50 – “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
    • “In a word, they (unbelievers) sink to a death beyond prayer, a condemnation beyond forgiveness and a doom beyond the reach of Christ.”2,3
    Can I be saved even though I doubt?
    • What should be our attitude when confronting those who are in the world or those who are not as mature as we are in the faith? 1 John 3:13
    • 1 John 3:18-20, 1 John 4:7-12
    What is the unforgivable sin?
    • Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
    • Blaspheme is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and by not only rejecting Christ but does so maliciously.
    • If a Christian is worried about having done this, there is probably nothing to be concerned about because a true blasphemer would not be concerned about such a thing.
    What about the person that lives “the good life” (worldly life) until age 85 and then accepts Christ and is saved? That person got to enjoy all the good/fun stuff and still got saved! Why not wait until then to get serious with Jesus?
    • Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
    • Blaspheme is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and by not only rejecting Christ but does so maliciously.
    • If a Christian is worried about having done this, there is probably nothing to be concerned about because a true blasphemer would not be concerned about such a thing.
    I’ve accepted Christ but find myself too busy to do things that lead to growth (like reading the Bible and praying). What should I do?
    • Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
    • Blaspheme is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and by not only rejecting Christ but does so maliciously.
    • If a Christian is worried about having done this, there is probably nothing to be concerned about because a true blasphemer would not be concerned about such a thing.
    When trying to share about God with someone and they are closed to it, is it ever okay to back off?
    • Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
    • Blaspheme is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and by not only rejecting Christ but does so maliciously.
    • If a Christian is worried about having done this, there is probably nothing to be concerned about because a true blasphemer would not be concerned about such a thing.
    If you have been a Christian and then turn from God, will you still go to heaven? If so, what is the point of trying to obey God if you go to heaven regardless?
    • Many who call themselves Christians are not Christians.
    • Our response to God for what He has done is to love Him and to obey… because we want to and not because we have to. If we understand what Christ did for us on the cross, then our response would be one of thanksgiving with a desire to obey the One who saved us!
    • There is more to the Christian life than charting a “don’t do” list.
    • Our life on earth is to have a wonderful relationship with Jesus, to be a light for others and to look forward to spending eternity with Him.
    • It is not fire insurance.
    If I, as a sinful creature, continually sin, can I ever be righteous?
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
    • Romans 5:19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”
    • Not only are you forgiven, but you are also considered righteous by God’s standard. This is hard to believe. It means that even though we are not perfect and we will still sin, the sins we commit are already forgiven through the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross, if we are willing to confess our sins to Him (Ephesians 1:7).
    I know that I am continually forgiven but can I ever be free of my sinful nature?
    • Our sin nature will always be with us until we die. When Christ died, it freed us from the bondage of sin. As believers with the Holy Spirit living in us, we now have power over sin and the forgiveness of sin. We now have a choice to say “no” and the power to do it, even if we are tempted.
    • Romans 7 is about Paul’s struggle with continually sinning, even when he didn’t want to sin. The last two verses sum it up: Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ my Lord. So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
    Did Life Just Happen Or Were We Created?
    If God created us, is it fair for Him to condemn us to death for our sins? Is it just for Him to create people for destruction? Why should people be punished when they didn’t ask to be created in the first place?
    • God is God and can do what He pleases. God created us for His pleasure and for His glory. He wants to have a relationship with us so that we might have life to the full. For that reason Christ, incarnate God, came to earth as our Savior to die for the penalty of our sins.
    • There is no condemnation for those who believe in Jesus the Messiah. (Romans 8:1)
    You mentioned that a boat was found dating back to the time of Jesus. If that carbon dating is fairly accurate, what’s up with the carbon dating technique that says dinosaurs are 60 million years old?
    • The method of finding the date of a dinosaurs is determined by the strata in which it was found. Dinosaurs have been found in several different strata as have other animals proving a world wide flood. Trees have also found growing through several different strata which proves the unreliability of the strata dating system.
    • The strata layers are assigned by the evolutionist. How scientific is that?
    • Carbon dating is outdated and inaccurate.
    If God is not a “better me,” then what does it mean to be made in God’s image?

    The word for image in Hebrew means “similar but not identical.” It means that we are created to represent God by being made in His image. Many believe that it also means that because we are made in His image, we are creative, experience beauty, make moral decisions, make willing choices, have dominion over the earth, have a spiritual nature and can love (Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 1:11-12; 1 Corinthians 10:31

    What Is The Big Picture Of God’s Redemption Of Man?
    If believing in Jesus gives us access to heaven, what about those born before Jesus?

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    If believing in Jesus gives us access to heaven, what about those born before Jesus?

    Galatians 3:6-9 – “Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

    Who Is The God Of Islam?
    What should I choose to study if a Muslim is willing to hear more about what the Christian faith?
    • One of their holy books was the “Injil” which is the New Testament. Even though it was seen by the Muslims as eventually being corrupt, they still regard it as a book worthy of study.
    • Find a study that teaches God’s grace and constant love for all people.
    Who Is Satan And How Does He Work?
    Does doubting that I am saved mean that I am not a Christian?
    • Doubting does not mean that you are not a believer.
    • Doubting can either lead you to a deeper faith as you study and pray about this issue or it can lead to disbelief. It is your choice.
    • Remember Genesis 3 where Satan’s first words to Eve were “Did God really say?” Doubting is not from God, but from the deceiver himself.
    What Is A Cult? Is Mormonism A Cult?
    I thought all prophets in the Bible were speakers of Truth. If not, how do we tell a good prophet from a bad prophet?
    • Deuteronomy 18:17-22 – “The LORD said to me: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.’ You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
    • 1 John 4:1-3 – “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God…”
    What is the difference between cults and pseudo Christian religions?
    • Cults see themselves as the only true church.
    • Pseudo Christian religions mix the Bible plus other writings and traditions.
    Where do African Americans fit into the Mormon doctrine?
    • According to Mormon doctrine, African American people misbehaved in heaven so God cursed them with black skin.
    • In 1978, the Mormons contend that “god” lifted the curse because of the need for Mormon football players. 
    How can I make sure that a Bible study or church is not a cult?
    • Make sure they are studying from the Bible only.
    • Do they believe Jesus is God?
    • Do they teach the gospel of grace?
    • Do they believe in the Trinity?
    • Do they believe in the bodily death and resurrection of Christ?
    Is Catholicism a cult because it operates on a works based Gospel?
    • There are many Catholic believers.
    • Catholicism is often looked at as an Apostate Religion because it often moves from grace of God to church traditions which are heavily related to works and other beliefs.
    • The worship of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is idolatry. Many see her as sinless, though this runs counter to the message in Romans 3:23.
    How does God view the Homosexual?
    What are some common factors that may influence those who choose to become homosexuals?
    • Cultural/social pressures on certain individuals because it is a way to gain acceptance into a group.
    • Scripture says in Romans 1:24-27 that by choice, people practice homosexuality. No one is born gay but some may feel a susceptibility of becoming gay. Susceptibility does not mean that they have to act on their sinful desires any more than a person with a tendency to steal or to hurt people. We all have choices.
    What is the real issue regarding homosexuality?
    • The issue is not heterosexuality.
    • The issue is not that someone is gay. The issue is their relationship with our holy God.
    What other sins are listed with the sin of homosexuality?

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “ Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    What effect can misplaced words have on us?

    If a person is struggling with issues of not being as “manly” and others pick on him and call him “gay” and bully him, many times these people will think of themselves as being less than whom God created them to be, and start believing that they are gay. Words have power; name calling hurts and can ruin lives.

    How Do I Make Good Life Choices?
    I have been taught in school that condoms work. If they do not prevent diseases, why should we be taught to use them?
    • What you learn in school isn’t always true. It depends on the bias of the textbook you’re using. The truth is that condoms do reduce the occurrence of some STDs. But do they prevent pregnancies? No, not always.
    • Do they prevent STDs? Not all of them.
    • So, are you playing Russian roulette by using them? Yes.
    • If you don’t want to worry, what is the answer? ABSTINENCE!!
    Do guys have eating disorders?

    Absolutely!

    Why does God punish with sterility and diseases with no symptoms? Isn’t that a little harsh?
    • God is the one true God and He will judge the harshness of consequences. We have to differentiate between punishment and consequences to sin.
    • Who are we to dictate what God does and doesn’t do?
    • Keep in mind that sin is very serious. 1 Corinthians 6:18 “…you were bought with a price…”
    If I have had sex and turn to God and get my life straight, will God reduce the consequences?
    • No, not necessarily. That would be up to God.
    • The bigger picture is: God calls us to be obedient, He blesses us with obedience, He blesses us with no guilt, no worry of STD’s, and keeping you from bringing extra baggage into future relationships.
    What Are The Keys To Building Healthy Relationships?
    If someone does not want a divorce but gets one, does God hold that against that person?
    • “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.” Malachi 2:16
    • 1 Corinthians 7
    • There are consequences to sin, even if it is someone else’s sin.
    I have had sex and now regret it. Will God ever allow me to have a good marriage?
    • Absolutely.
    • God is a God of second chances.
    • Sin does have its consequences. We can choose to sin but God will choose the consequences.
    1. D. A. Carson, Matthew: Chapters 13 Through 28, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995) 579.
    2. Subpoints, i – vi, have been adapted from D. James Kennedy, Why I Believe (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 1999) 78. All scripture referenced here comes from the King James Version of the Bible.
    3. Ibid.