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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (36)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    As I was getting ready for tonight’s lesson, I can across some quotes about Questions and Answers.

1.      “I used to think I knew all the answers. Then I thought I knew maybe a few of the answers. Now I'm not even sure I understand the questions” (Pete Nelson).

2.      “To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered” (John Ruskin).

3.      “Doubts are good. Confusion is excellent. Questions are awesome.  All these are attempts to expand the wisdom of mind” (Manoj Arora).

4.      “Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new” ( Og Mandino).

5.      “There are some questions that shouldn't be asked until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers” (Anne Bishop).

B.      Tonight is our Q&A Night.  We are going to be answering four questions in this lesson.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  Placing Membership in a Local Congregation

 

A.    Stated:  Is it absolutely essential for a person to place membership in a local congregation?

 

B.      Answer

1.      The simple answer to this is:  YES!

2.      Scriptural proof:

a.      God has put elders over the local congregation (Acts 14:23).

 

And when they had ordained them elders in every church…

 

These men are required to oversee, look over, the flock “which is among them” (I Pet. 5:2).

 

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof…

 

1)      To carry out this command, they must know who is among them.  If not, why not?

2)      Example:  A person is hired as a supervisor in a company. 

a)      Does he know exactly who he is responsible for? 

b)      Can people just go and come as they please?

c)      Can a person just all of a sudden appear on his team as a worker?

3)      In John 10, Jesus discusses the subject of shepherding.

a)      “…and he calleth his own sheep by name…” (v. 2).

b)      “And when he putteth forth his own sheep…” (v. 3).

c)      Shepherd, both literal and spiritual, know exactly who their sheep are.

b.      In the New Testament, members of various local churches could be identified.

1)      Phebe was a member the church at Cenchrea (Rom. 16:1).

 

I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is in Cenchea.

 

2)      Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome.  In Romans 16, he presents a lengthy list of those he knew where members there.

3)      Paul mentions Crispus and Gaius and the household of Stephanas as members of the church in Corinth (I Cor. 1:14, 16).

4)      In Colossians 4:9 Paul mentions Onesimus who was a member of the church in Colossae and in verse 12, he mentions another member named Epaphras.

5)      Anitipas was the first martyr and a member of the church in Pergamos (Rev. 2:13).

6)      There was a wicked woman named Jezebel who was a member of the church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:20).

c.       Objection:  Some still believe that this does not prove that a person must place membership with a congregation.

1)      Answer:  How do elders know who is under their oversight and who is not?

2)      Answer:  How many times does a person have to attend until he is under the oversight of the eldership?

3)      Answer:  Where does it show us in the Bible that a person just “shows up” for a little while and becomes a member of a local congregation?

3.      Do you have to be a member of a local congregation?  YES!

a.      This is why local churches exist.

b.      This provides us with shepherds who will watch for our souls.

c.       Show one person in the New Testament who was not a member of a local congregation.  (NOTE:  Paul constantly reported back to the church in Antioch from which he departed on his missionary journeys, See Acts 13:1-3; 14:26-28).

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  Mark 16:15-20

 

A.    Stated:  We always quote Mark 16:16.  Please explain the next verses.

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Mark 16:16-18

 

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

2.      In the first century, the first century church did not have the New Testament in written form. 

a.   The word of God was received through prophetic revelations.

b.   But, anyone could “claim” to have been given a revelation.

c.   Therefore, the first century church was equipped with miraculous gifts that would confirm the spoken word

                                    1)  Mark 16:20

 

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

 

                                    2)  Hebrews 2:3-4

 

How shall we escape, of we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his will?

d.      The new converts, believers, would have their hands laid upon them by the apostles in order to receive “the gift of the Holy Ghost,” that is, the miraculous abilities promised by our Lord (Acts 8:14-17).

 

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them:  only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

 

3.      NOTE:  Some believe that the words of Mark 16:17-18 apply to the apostles.

a..  Jesus was addressing their unbelief in the context (Mark 16:14).

 

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

 

b.   In verse 17, He promises these powers to them that believe. 

c.   Thus, as they carried out the Great Commission, they would have these miraculous abilities if they would believe.

 

III.             QUESTION #3:  Political Correctness

 

A.    Stated:  Can Christians be politically correct and spiritually incorrect?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      The key to this question is to have a good understanding of what “politically correct” means.

a.   Political correctness says that some language cannot be used in public because

      others are offended by it (Ex., radical Islamic extremists)

b.   Political correctness says that offensive language is to be replaced by language that is supposed to be less offensive, if the language is to be used at all (Ex., illegal alien has been replaced with undocumented migrant).

2.      Within the church, there are times when political correctness will cause us to be spiritually incorrect.

a.    It is not politically correct to call the names of man-made organizations in some

      places, but the Bible authorizes it.

1)      Jesus called names (Ex., Pharisees, Matt. 23 & Nicolaitans, Rev. 2:6).

2)      Paul called names (Ex., Hymeneus and Alexander, I Tim. 1:20; Demas, II Tim. 4:10)

3)      We know who Diotrephes is because John named him (III John 9).

4)      Romans 16:17

 

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

 

       b.   It is not politically correct to deal with sin and sinful conditions in the church,

             but the Bible authorizes it (I Tim. 5:20).

   

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

 

c.       It is not politically correct to judge others, but the Bible does not forbid all judging (John 7:24).

 

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

3.      The apostles were not always politically correct (Acts 4:19-20)

 

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

 

4.      Galatians 1:10

 

For do I now persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

 

IV.             QUESTION #4:  “Damn” and “Ass”

 

A.    Stated:  Are the words “damn” and “ass” truly bad words, or, are they good words.

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Good words can become bad words or socially unacceptable:  gay, retarded, fat.

2.      Words can have more than one meaning:  good and bad

a.   This is the case with the words that we have before us.

1)  “Ass” can refer to a donkey, or, it can be considered a cuss word.

2)  “Damned” can refer to condemnation, or, it can be considered a cuss word.

b.  When the KJV was translated, these two words did not have the evil meaning

     they have today.

1.)    Some will quote the passage using the words, then use its meaning in the discussion of the verse.

2.)    Some will never use the words, even when quoting from the KJV so others do not get offended by the use of these words.

3.      Speakers probably bear the greater burden in this matter.  They can easily change the words when they are quoting passages.  It only impacts a few verses of Scripture.

4.      If listeners hear these words, they need to keep them in their context instead of judging too harshly in the matter.

5.      NOTE:  In their bad sense, these words should NEVER be used by a Christian (Eph. 4:29).

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    We have looked at some interesting questions.

1.      Placing membership at a local congregation

2.      “And these signs shall follow them that believe” (Mark 16:17-18)

3.      Political correctness versus spiritual correctness

4.      The meanings of interesting words

 

B.      In conclusion, I want to ask a couple of questions:

1.      Why aren’t you saved?

2.      Why aren’t you faithful?

3.      Why aren’t you preparing for eternity?