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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (33)
Victor M. Eskew
A. When questions are asked, they can make us stop and think.
1. Do I really know the answer to that?
2. I have never really thought about that.
3. Is this something that I really want to answer?
4. What are the ramifications of answering this question?
5. Why does a person want an answer to this question?
B. Tonight is our Q&A Night. There are many questions that you ask that make me stop and think. I hope I think correctly about them. I also pray that I respond truthfully to the questions, that is, in harmony with God’s Word.
C. Tonight, we are going to answering three questions.
I. QUESTION #1: Judas
A. Stated: If Judas was always meant to betray Jesus, and, of course God knew this, why let him become one of the twelve disciples?
1. Judas is the case study of the union of God’s foreknowledge and man’s free moral agency.
a. God’s foreknowledge:
1) God is all-knowing.
2) He sees the end of a thing from the beginning (Isa. 46:10).
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
3) So, yes, God knew that Judas was going to betray the Lord. This is evident in the prophecies that went before.
a) Psalm 41:9 reveal that Jesus would be betrayed by a close friend.
b) Zechariah 11:12 prophesies that Jesus would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.
c) Zechariah 11:13 foretells that the thirty pieces of silver would be cast down in the house of the Lord.
d) Psalm 109:8 speaks of Judas’ days being few and another taking his office.
e) Psalm 69:25 notes that his habitation would be desolate.
b. Man’s free moral agency
1) Man has the ability to choose (Deut. 30:19).
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
2) There were both good and bad qualities in Judas just as there are both good and bad qualities in us. Judas had strengths and weaknesses just as each of us has strengths and weakness. (NOTE: This could be said of all the apostles).
a) All of God’s followers seek to eliminate the bad qualities and develop the good characteristics.
b) All of God followers improve their strengths and fights against their weaknesses.
3) Judas chose to allow one of his weaknesses, covetousness, overcome him. He was not forced to do it, even though God knew what would happen.
2. The Point: God’s foreknowledge does not in any way infringe upon man’s ability to choose.
a. Question: Have you ever known someone so well that you knew how they would respond before they responded to something? (My children know how their dad will answer most of the time). Did your foreknowledge cause the person to respond the way they did? No. They still choose to respond in that manner.
b. Right now God knows the eternal destiny of each of us.
c. Question: Does that hinder your ability to choose what you will do with your soul? Absolutely not!
1) Jesus cries for us to come to Him (Matt. 11:28), and all can come.
2) The gospel instructs us as to what we must do to be saved (Rom. 1:17). Every individual can follow the instructions of the Word and be saved. In fact, that is God’s desire for all men (I Tim. 2:4).
II. QUESTION #2: Birth Control
A. Stated: Why do some denominations believe that birth control is “bad,” even “sinful,” and, therefore refuse to take it?
1. There are some religious groups that are highly against birth control.
a. The Catholic Church used to take a very strong stand against birth control. They have eased some in more recent times.
b. The Amish are completely against all forms of birth control, even family planning. Family planning is when couple watches the time of the month and refrains from sexual relationships when the woman is most likely to conceive.
c. The Latter Day Saints (Mormons) used to condemn contraceptives, but since 1983 the choice has been left to the couple.
2. There are several reasons why religious groups frown on contraception.
a. Some see it as a violation of God’s order for procreation (Gen. 1:28).
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…
b. Some believe that contraceptive will cause individuals to be involved in more sinful sexual behavior.
1) They see the bad consequences of a behavior as a deterrent.
2) Contraceptives remove some of the unwanted consequences, namely, pregnancy. Therefore, individuals will see this as an opportunity to sin more.
c. Still others see contraceptives as the taking of human life.
1) They view it as murder which the Bible condemns.
2) They fail to understand that until there is conception there is no human life.
3) NOTE: There are some contraceptives that do involve ending the life of a child after it has been conceived. These are definitely sinful in nature.
3. The legislation of God:
a. God has specifically legislated that if one is going to have children it needs to be done in the bonds of matrimony (I Tim. 5:14).
b. God has not legislated that a couple must have children, nor, has He legislated on the number of children a couple is to have.
c. Contraception allows husbands and wives to plan their families better. Using contraception does not cause them to be in any violation of the law of God. Therefore, there is no sin in their use.
III. QUESTION #3: The Tenth Plague on Egypt
A. Stated: Regarding the tenth plague (Exo. 11:5), did it involve the death of every firstborn child or every firstborn male child? Can inference be made from Exodus 12:4 that the correct answer is every firstborn male child?
1. Genesis 11:5
And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill and all the firstborn of beasts.
2. Versions of the Bible and commentators differ on whether the death of the firstborn included all children or just the male of Egypt.
a. Most versions just translate the term as “firstborn.”
b. Others translate it as “firstborn sons” (New Living Translation) or “firstborn males” (Christian Standard Bible).
3. Arguments for firstborn sons:
a. The Hebrew word for “firstborn” indicates firstborn son. There is another Hebrew word that stands for firstborn daughter (See Gen. 19:31).
b. The consecration of the firstborn of Israel and the Levites.
1) After the plague in Egypt, God consecrated all of the firstborn of Israel unto Himself (Gen.13:1-2).
2) The Levites were chosen as the tribe to represent the firstborn of Israel (Num. 3:11-13, note verse 13 refers back to the events of Egypt).
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, And I, behold I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine.
a) The males of the Levites were numbered (Num. 3:15).
Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.
b) The firstborn males of Israel were numbered (Num. 3:40).
And the Lord said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.
c. The fact that God used a male lamb as the Passover sacrifice might hint that the firstborn were males (Exo. 12:5).
1) God often used only male animals in the sacrifices, however.
2) The previous arguments seem to be much stronger.
4. Objection: The effects of the death of the firstborn seem to be too great for it to have involved just the males (See Exo. 12:30).
And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
a. Answer #1: The death of the firstborn sons would have impacted many houses when you consider: sons, grandsons, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins.
b. Answer #2: Some believe that this is a hyperbole, that is, an extended exaggeration intended to show the wide-ranging impact this plague had upon the citizens of Egypt.
A. We have looked at Judas, contraceptives, and the tenth plague on Egypt tonight. What a variety of topics.
B. Here are three thoughts to conclude our study:
1. Having children in serious business. One should not have them until he/she is mature enough and financially stable enough to take care of them.
2. God is a God of judgment. He is serious and means business.
3. Man must choose to follow God. Will you choose to follow? Or, will you choose to turn from God? NOTE: God already knows the answer to that question.