OceanSide church of Christ

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (30)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    What is the best question that a person can ask?

1.      One that can be answered.

2.      The answer imparts knowledge to the person who asks the question.

 

B.      What is the worst question a person can ask?

1.      One that can be answered.

2.      This is true when the person does not like the answer that is given.

 

C.     Tonight is our Q & A Night. 

1.      We want to impart truth.

2.      We hope that you do not get angry with the answers.

3.      Tonight, we will be answering three questions.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  AN APPARENT CONTRADICTION

 

A.    Stated:  As I was studying Saul’s conversion, I came across what appears to be a contradiction.  Would you please reconcile these two verses:  Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9?

 

B.      Answer

1.      Definition of contradiction

a.      Two statements that oppose each other

1)      The room is dark; the room is light.

2)      2+2=4 and 2+2=5

b.      If the Bible is inspired of God, there will be no contradictions in it (II Tim. 3:16).

c.       Instead of calling them contradictions, we should call them apparent contradictions.  They seem like contradictions at first, but there are explanations that harmonize the passages.

2.      The two passages:

a.      Acts 9:7

 

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

 

b.      Acts 22:9

 

And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spoke to me.

 

3.      Answer:

a.      The first thing that we might consider is the Greek words translated “hearing” and “heard” respectively.  This, however, does not help us.  The Greek words are the same word.

b.      Question:  Is it possible to both hear and not hear at the same time?

1)      Yes.  We can hear the sound of someone speaking, but we do not understand the actual message they are communicating.

2)      We have all had conversation that went like this:

a)      Did you hear what I said to you?

b)      We answer:  “Yes.”

c)      The person, then, asks:  “What did I say?”

d)     We respond:  “I don’t know.  I did not hear you.”

e)      NOTE:  We said we heard, and we said we did not hear.  We heard the sound, but we did not hear the message.

3)      This resolves the issue of contradiction within our verses.

a)      The men heard a sound of a voice.

b)      The men, however, did not hear the message that was communicated to Saul.

c)      NOTE:  Any adequate answer to the “apparent contradiction” nullifies the contradiction.

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS

 

A.    State:  If a Christian returns to a sinful lifestyle, where is the Scripture that explains if you repent and ask for forgiveness, you can have eternal life?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Let’s begin with a broad concept.

a.      Christians are going to sin (I John 1:8).

 

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

 

b.      Sin stains the soul.  If this sin is not cleansed, it will condemn us (James 5:19-20).

 

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

 

c.       This being the case, a Christian needs a way to be forgiven of sin when he has committed it.

2.      The process of forgiveness involves three things:  repentance, confession, and prayer.

a.      Let’s go back to I John 1:8 and continue with verse 9.

 

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

1)      Confess:  to concede, to admit one’s guilt

2)      If:  This word makes the promise of forgiveness found in the passage conditional.  If a person confesses, then he will receive forgiveness.  If he does not confess, there is no forgiveness.

b.      Another text that is very pertinent to our discussion comes from Acts 8, the conversion of Simon the Sorcerer.

1)      Philip preached Christ in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:5).

2)      Simon, a sorcerer, obeyed the gospel (Acts 8:13; Mark 16:16).

 

Then Simon himself believed also:  and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

 

3)      Philip was not an apostle.  Even though he could perform miracles, he could not pass them on to others.  Only the apostles had this ability.

4)      When the apostles heard about the conversion of the Samaritans, they dispatched Peter and John to the city.  “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:17).

5)      When Simon saw them do this, he wanted the power.  He offered the apostles money for the ability (Acts 8:18-19).  In doing so, he sinned (Acts 8:20-21).

6)      Peter rebuked him, and his words indicate Simon’s lost condition (Acts 8:20).

 

But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee…

 

7)      Peter’s instructions for Simon’s forgiveness are found in Acts 8:22.

 

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

 

c.       Another example is seen in the church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:4-5).

 

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and to the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

 

3.      NOTE:  In Matthew 18:22, Jesus exhorts us to forgive others seventy times seven.

a.      It is infinite forgiveness.

b.      It is the same manner in which God forgives us.

c.       Psalm 86:5

 

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all that call upon thee.

 

III.             QUESTION #3:  GOD AND SIN

 

A.    Stated:  Does God turn away from us when we sin?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      The Bible plainly teaches that sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:2).

 

But your inquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

2.      How many sins does it take to separate us from God?  Just one can be enough.

a.       Adam and Eve only ate the forbidden fruit one time.

b.      Moses only smote the rock instead of speaking to it one time.

c.       Achan only took the forbidden items of Jericho one time.

d.      The Israelite only picked up sticks on the Sabbath one time.

e.       Nadab and Abihu only offered up strange fire one time.

f.        Uzzah only touched the ark of the covenant one time.

g.      Judas only betrayed the Lord one time.

h.      Peter only denied the Lord on one night.

i.        The man at Corinth only had his father’s wife once.

j.        Diotrephes loved to have the preeminence one time.

3.      God does not want man to be lost.  He wants all men to be saved (Ezek. 33:11; I Tim. 2:4).

 

Say ye unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live…

 

4.      Man must turn to God and submit to His conditions of pardon to be forgiven.  When he does this, God will run to meet him (Luke 15:20b).

 

But when his father saw him, he had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 

5.      NOTE:  When man gives up on God, God will give up on man.  This happened to the Gentiles at one point in time.

a.      “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness” (Rom. 1:24).

b.      “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections” (rom. 1:26).

c.       “…God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:28).

6.      Man can reach a point where he cannot be renewed unto repentance (Heb. 6:4-6).  This person forever separates himself from God.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    Three thoughts summarize our lesson tonight.

1.      God’s Word never contradicts itself.

2.      When a Christian sins, there is a way for him to be forgiven.

3.      When man sins, he must return to God or be forever separated from God.

 

B.      Have your sins separated you from God?

1.      If you are a Christian, we have seen what you must do to be forgiven.

2.      If you are not a Christian, you must obey the simple plan of salvation:  hear, believe, repent, confess the name of Christ, and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).