Here’s some additional questions and responses to my message from Sunday. Please feel free to respond.
If you were born in a Muslim household would someone be able to convince you Jesus is the son of God when you had been taught differently your entire life.
The short answer is “yes.” According to Al-Jazeerah, 6,000,000 Muslims convert to Christianity per year in Africa alone, not to mention the rest of the world. That means that in Africa, 684 Muslims repent of their sins and trust Jesus as their personal Savior every hour, 24 hours a day! I do not believe, however, the “someone” that convinces them is a human being but rather it is God Almighty. God is not constrained by race or religion. While it seems challenging for a Muslim in a Muslim country to become a Christian, it is happening in record setting numbers.
What does the suffering of millions and billions of people have to do with his “master” plan.
God’s ultimate master plan is to save those who respond to His offer of grace and remove them from the presence of sin and suffering. While we will deal some with this topic in a couple of weeks, I will say here that God is not the cause of the suffering of “millions and billions of people.” Remember that Jesus said he came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He also came to testify of the truth (John 18:37), to reveal the Father (Matthew 11:27), and to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) which does involve alleviating the suffering of people. People’s suffering doesn’t have anything to do with God’s master plan other than the fact God’s plan will rescue us from the suffering
caused by sin and Satan.
What are your thoughts about the History Channel’s BIBLE mini series?
I have not watched every week of the mini-series, but the ones I have watched have been good, by in large. The writers have added a few things where I didn’t think anything needed to be added (like the little hand-to-hand combat of the spies within the city of Jericho). I also thought Moses looked a little delusional, but the parting of the Red Sea was pretty amazing. While there are a few inconsistencies with the Bible, the TV series has been good over all in that it has presented the basic story of the Bible. It is unfortunate that it has to move so quickly. You almost have to be familiar with the Bible to understand the series. I think the greatest value for us as Christians is that many people are watching it, and it gives us a great opportunity to share our faith in response to discussions about the series. I have found it to be too violent for children. I’m going to guess it would be given a PG-13 rating because of the violence, so I can’t really call it a family-friendly series. I’m disappointed
in that and have chosen not to watch the second half of the series as a family because of the blood and violence.
If God knew there was going to be sin why did he make us?
While there is no Bible verse to answer this question directly, I will give you my thoughts along with related scripture. God made mankind because of his nature. The Bible says God is love, and love desires an object. I want to quickly say that God did not create mankind because of his own needs (Acts 17:24-25), but rather because of His own nature. What God wants from us is relationship. Relationship involves choices. God chose not to stop evil and sin from entering the world, I believe, because love and relationship necessitates us choosing God over sin and Satan. Obviously whenever Satan fell (see Revelation 12:9), the potential of sin entering God’s creation was unleashed. Part of God’s plan
is to also involve us in defeating Satan. I, for one, am grateful that He chose to make me. While sin is frustrating and sometimes defeating, God ultimately is my victory, and I enjoy the thrill of a relationship with my creator, the exhilaration of the daily victories God gives me over the evil one, and the anticipation of spending eternity with Him in Heaven.
With the evidence that you shared today what is our part in speaking to those who do not believe in God?
God commands us to spread the Gospel to those who do not know Him (Matthew 28:18-20) as we seek to make disciples. We are also commanded to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask us of the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15-16). We can speak of the logical, historical, and scientific evidence of God and his salvation plan as well as share the biblical truth that presents God’s plan of salvation. Sometimes people are not prepared to receive the biblical witness until they see that God’s word is accurate, true, and logical. Some people will be closed off to the teaching of the Bible because secularists try to say science, history, logic, etc. makes believing the Bible impossible. I believe the opposite to be true. Believing the Bible is very logical. Many people, who are a lot smarter than many of us, have pledged their lives to proving God
doesn’t exist only to find that He does exist. Their logical response to their quest was to become a Christian (Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, C. S. Lewis, Alister McGrath – to name a few). I would like to again emphasize that our purpose is not to win a debate about spiritual things. Our purpose is to lead others to faith in Christ. I think we do need to learn how to speak intelligently about these matters but also use discernment. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). We can win the debate and lose the soul. It is God’s role to convict, not ours. We should build loving relationships with people who do not know Christ and share with our friends the truth of scripture. Sometimes this “evidence” is needed to help people get past hindrances to faith.