OceanSide church of Christ
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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (23)
Victor M. Eskew
A. I recently came across a website that posed some interesting questions.
1. Why doesn’t McDonalds serve hotdogs?
2. Why are there no “B” batteries?
3. How do you handcuff a one-armed man?
4. At the theater, which arm rest is yours?
5. If you are bald, what hair color do you put on your driver’s license?
B. I am glad we get better questions than this for our Question & Answers Night.
C. Tonight, let’s look at three questions.
I. QUESTION #1: SATAN’S ABILITY
A. Stated: Can Satan know our thoughts?
1. To be able to know the thoughts of a person, a being would have to be omniscient, that is, all-knowing.
2. There is only one Being who is all-knowing, God.
a. David’s words to Solomon (I Chron. 28:9)
And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts…
b. Psalm 139:2
Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
c. In Acts 1:24, the Lord is described as the one “which knowest the hearts of all men.”
3. Satan does not know:
a. What you are thinking at any given moment.
b. What your motives are for any given actions.
c. What you are truly feeling deep down inside.
d. Example: Satan thought he knew the heart of Job, but he did not (Job 1:11).
4. NOTE: If I reveal my heart, then anyone can know it.
a. Through experiential learning and the temptation process, Satan learns things about us.
1) He knows our lusts and desires.
2) He learns the things that tempt those desires.
3) He learns how long we can withstand a temptation.
4) He learns the times and the places where we are the most vulnerable.
b. Once we have shown Satan our hand, he is able to use that against us.
1) Example: Judas
a) Judas had revealed to Satan that he had a covetous heart (John 12:6).
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
b) Satan took that weakness, exploited it, and caused Jesus to be crucified (John 13:2).
And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.
2) The best thing that we can do to conceal our hearts from Satan is to resist him.
a) James 4:7
b) In this way, he will never learn our hearts.
II. QUESTION #2: GOD BLESS YOU
A. Stated: Can we say: “God bless you”?
1. There are two specific instances in Scripture when individuals used this statement.
a. Moses to Israel (Deut. 1:11)
(The Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath appointed you!)
b. The reapers to Boaz (Ruth 2:4)
And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee.
2. There is a group to whom we are forbidden to offer the blessings of God. These are the false teachers, those who teach things contrary to the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11).
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there came any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
a. The doctrine of Christ is of vital importance. It can save the souls of the lost.
b. Those who transgress it, that is, go beyond its teachings, are not to be blessed with the well-wishes of God.
c. When we wish a false teacher well, we become a partaker of his evil deeds.
III. QUESTION #3: BEING A NEGATIVE PERSON
A. Stated: Can a Christian be a negative person and still please God?
1. One answer to this question is: “Yes.”
a. There are times when a Christian must present what some might refer to as a “negative” message.
1) We have to expose sin (I Tim. 5:20).
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
2) We have to confront false doctrine and those who teach it (Rom. 16:17).
Now we beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
3) We have to teach about “negative” subjects such as withdrawal of fellowship, divorce and remarriage, and hell.
c. NOTE: If a person is not negative in this sense, he will not please men.
2. Another answer to this question is: “No.”
a. Rather than saying: “Can a Christian be a negative person,” it might be better asked: “Can a Christian be a pessimist and please God?”
1) A person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to being gloomy.
a) Always see the faults and problems.
b) Always tell us why things cannot be done.
c) Seem to want to hinder rather than help.
d) Always see the storm clouds, but never the silver lining (It is often the thunderstorm that produces the rainbow).
e) Have a tendency to enjoy spreading their negativity to other individuals.
3. When we turn into the Scriptures, we find the people of God who are faithful possessing a very positive spirit.
a. Joseph (Gen. 50:20)
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
b. Joshua and Caleb (Num. 13:30; 14:6-9)
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
c. Jonathan (I Sam. 14:6)
And Jonathan said to the young man that bear his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint of the Lord to save by many or by few.
d. David (I Sam. 17:37, 45-47)
David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…
e. Jesus (Mark 10:27)
And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
f. Paul (Phil. 4:13)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
4. God does not want His people to be dark and gloomy. My friends, we are lights in the world (Matt. 5:16). Part of being a light involves having a very positive disposition.
A. We have looked at three interesting things tonight:
1. Satan’s inability to know our thoughts
2. The phrase: “God bless you”
3. When being negative as a Christian is right and wrong
B. One of our desires is for God to bless all men.
1. He does that through the provisions given in Christ.
2. How to obtain these blessings is revealed in the pages of the New Testament of Jesus Christ.