OceanSide church of Christ




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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (24)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Questions are asked in hope of answers.

 

B.      Some questions, however, should not be answered.

1.      Proverbs 26:4

 

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

 

2.      Matthew 7:6

 

Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest thy trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 

C.     We believe that all the questions that you ask are asked honestly.  Thus, we seek to give them an answer.

 

D.    Tonight, we will answer three questions.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  CHRISTIANS AND SIN

 

A.    Stated:  Is a Christian considered a sinner?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      We can answer this question:  “Yes.”

a.      Christians are individuals who can sin.

1)      I John 1:8

 

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

2)      I John 2:1

 

My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not.  And it any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

 

b.      Examples:

1)      Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:22-23)

 

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

 

c.       The fornicator in the church at Corinth (I Cor. 5:1)

 

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

 

2.      We can answer this question:  “No.”

a.      There are passages of Scripture that clearly distinguish the righteous from sinners.

1)      Psalm 1:5-6

 

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous:  but he way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

2)      I Peter 4:18

 

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

 

b.      When God looks down from heaven upon the earth, He sees two groups of people:  sinners and saints.

1)      Sinners are those who are living in sin and habitually practice sin.

2)      Saints are God’s “holy ones” because they have been redeemed (Eph. 1:7) and have been washed from their sins by the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5).

3)      NOTE:  Christians have died to sin and no longer serve sin.

a)      Romans 6:6

 

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

 

b)      Romans 6:11

 

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

c)      Romans 6:22

 

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

 

c.       NOTE:  Christians can depart from their place of holiness and righteousness and be entangled in the world again.  If this happens, the latter end is worse than the beginning (II Pet. 2:20).

 

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  WHY GOD CREATED MAN

 

A.    Stated:  Why did God create man, knowing he would struggle, suffer, and could ultimately go to hell?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      This question is designed to make God out to be a mean, cruel, unloving God.

2.      Two responses:

a.      Response #1:  We could easily ask:  “Why did you have children?”

1)      You knew they would suffer, hurt, have losses, and would die.

2)      If you are not evil for bearing children, why is God evil for bringing children into the world?

b.      Response #2:  When God created man, man did not have to suffer all of the things that have come upon him.

1)      Man was

a)      Naked and innocent

b)      Unaware of good and evil

c)      Had no knowledge of things like loss and death

d)     NOTE:  Man was in a state of perfection and in full fellowship with God.  This was God’s desire for man.

2)      God created man with free moral agency, that is, he has the ability to choose.

a)      Genesis 2:16-17

 

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:  for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

b)      Why did God create man with the ability to choose?

-          To make man in His likeness

-          To keep man from being a robot.  (NOTE:  If God had created man without the ability to choose, man would have criticized God for this).

-          To allow man the freedom to love and serve the God who created him.

3)      Even after man rejected his Creator and sinned against Him, God had a plan to redeem him from the horrors of hell (I Pet. 1:18-21).

 

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

 

4)      God loves man, longs for man, provides for man, and has sacrificed for men.  It is a fallacy to say that God is cruel to man in any way.

 

III.             QUESTION:  SATAN

 

A.    Stated:  Where is Satan right now?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      This question arises from two points found in the Scriptures.

a.      The Bible says that Satan is “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4), and that he goes “to and fro in the earth, and up and down in it” (Job 1:7).

b.      But, the Scriptures also say that the angels that sinned were cast down to hell, and were delivered into chains of darkness (II Pet. 2:4).

 

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

 

2.      The key is the meaning of the word “hell” in II Peter 2:4.

a.      The word is “tararoo” in the Greek.  It is only found here in the New Testament.

1)      Strong (5020):  the deepest abyss of Hades

2)      Thayer:  the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews.

3)      Vine:  signifies to continue to Tartarus, which is neither Sheol nor hades nor hell, but the place where those angels whose special sin is referred to in that passage are confined ‘to be reserved unto judgment’; the region is describes as ‘pits of darkenss’

b.      Ruling out gehenna and hades

1)      Gehenna is the ultimate place of punishment for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41).  If they were there, they could not function on the earth.

2)      All we know of hades is found primarily in Luke 16:19-31. 

a)      It does not appear to be a place from which those that are therein can exit.

b)      If an angel were there and could return to earth, why would he ever return back to the hadean realm and suffer the anguish of that place?

c.       This writer believes that Tartarus is this earth upon which we live right now.

1)      This world is Satan’s domain.

a)      He is the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).

b)      He is the god of this world (II Cor. 4:2).

c)      He is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2).

2)      In the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, Satan offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them” (Matt. 4:8-9).  Satan obviously believed that he was in control of them to some extent.  If he could not deliver on this promise, the temptation did not hold any weight.

3)      The fact that he and his cohorts are in chains indicates that their power has been limited by God as we see in Job’s temptation (Job 1:12; 2:6)

4)      Satan is operating on this earth now (I Pet. 5:8) along with other evil angels (Eph. 6:12).  One day his kingdom will be destroyed (II Pet. 3:10), and he and the angels that sinned will be cast into eternal hell-fire (Rev. 20:10).

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    Disclaimer:  None of the questions that we have answered tonight were submitted by any in this congregation.

1.      One came from a non-Christian.

2.      One came from a Christian struggling with one of the questions answered.

3.      Another came from a Christian woman who was wondering where Satan is at this present time.

 

B.      I have answered these questions so they can watch the answers on our Youtube page.

 

C.     I promise that next month I will answering your questions again.