OceanSide church of Christ

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (37)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    In the gospels, the word “question” is only found seven (7) times.  The word “questions” is only used two (2) times.

 

B.      However, there are many more questions than that found in the gospels.

1.      The opponents of Jesus used questions often to tempt Him (Matt. 22:35).

 

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

 

2.      Jesus also used questions.

a.      He used questions to teach (Matt. 22:41-45).

b.      He used questions to stop His opponents (Mark 11:29).

 

C.     Questions are extremely beneficial tools.  That is why we have a Q&A Night on the first Sunday of every month.

 

D.    Today, however, we are having our Q&A lesson in the morning.  The reasons for this will become apparent at the end of our lesson.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  DEMON POSSESSION

 

A.    Stated:  Are people possessed by demons today, as they were in the first century?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      Definition: 

a.      Demon possess is when the spirit of an evil entity literally enters into the body of a living individual and

1)      Takes control of his mind and actions (Mark 5:1-13).

2)      Inflicts the body with pain and ailments (Matt. 17:14-18).

b.      It has to be a supernatural occurrence.

1)      The spirit has to be able to leave the hadean realm.

2)      The spirit has to literally enter into the body of the living individual.

2.      The purpose of demonic possession was to prove that Jesus Christ and His followers had power, even over the demonic world.  This power was demonstrated by being able to cast out the unclean spirit (Luke 10:17).

 

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

 

3.      Demonic possession and the ability to cast out demons were miraculous in nature.  The Bible plainly reveals that the age of miracles has ceased.

1.      Miracles were given to man by the laying on of the apostles’ hands.  There are no apostles living today to transfer miraculous gifts to man.  Thus, miracles have ceased (Acts 8:14-17).

2.      “That which is perfect,” the complete revealed Word of God has come and that which is in part, miraculous gifts has been done away (I Cor. 13:8-13).

3.      The “unity of the faith” is the revelation of the full will of God found in the Bible.  Since we have it today, the miraculous has been done away (Eph. 4:8-14).

4.      Objection:  There are documented cases of demon possession in recent history.

a.      Examples:  Clara Germana Cele

 

In 1906, Clara Germana Cele was a Christian student at St. Michale’s Mission in Natal, South Africa.  For some reason, Cele prayed and made a pact with the Stan when she was sixteen years old, and just days later, Cele was overtaken by strange impulses.  She was repulsed by religious artifacts like crucifixes, she could speak and understand several languages of which she had no previous knowledge, and she became clairvoyant regarding the thoughts and histories of people around her.

 

Nuns who attended to Cele reported that she produced horrible, animalistic sounds; she also levitated up to five feet in the air.  Eventually, two priests were brought in to perform an exorcism.  Cele tried to strangle one of the priests with his stole, and over one hundred and seventy people witnessed her levitating as the priest read Scripture.  Over the course of two days, the rites of exorcism successfully drove the dark spirits from her body.

 

b.      How do we explain such occurrences?

1)      It is interesting that the only people who witness demon possession today are those who believe it can occur. 

2)      What most refer to demon possession today are extreme forms of mental illness:  hysteria, mania, psychosis, schizophrenia, disassociative identity disorder

3)      In Bible times, demons were cast out at the simple command of the Son of God, or, one of his disciples.

a)      Matthew 17:18

 

And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him:  and the child was cured from that very hour.

 

b)      The practice of exorcism did not exist.

c)      It did not take 2 or 3 or 30 attempts to cast the unclean spirit out.

4)      Some things may not be explainable.  However, due to the plain teaching of Scripture, we know what some things are not.  Because miracles have ceased, we know that demon possession does not exist today.

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  GOSPEL MEETING

 

A.    Stated:  Why should each member commit himself to attending our upcoming gospel meeting?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      God will be speaking through His holy Word about the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Tim. 4:2).

 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…Preach the word…

 

2.      The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are the focus of our meeting.  These are manifestations of God’s love.  Understanding this love, will create within us a motivation to serve God with all of our being (II Cor. 5:14).

 

For the love of Christ constraineth us…

3.      We have been told to set our affection on things above (Col. 3:1-2).  Will the thing that causes you to miss be something that is above or something that involves this earth?

 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

4.      The world constantly watches where we place our loyalties and priorities.  If you miss the meeting, will you make the right impression upon them?  (Matt. 5:13-16)

 

Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

5.      As a contributing member of this congregation, you have provided funds for this meeting.  Are you willing to allow your money to be used without your benefiting from it?  (I Cor. 4:2)

 

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

 

6.      We sing the song, “Tell Me the Story of Jesus.”  That story will be told during our meeting.   If you really mean what you sing (I Cor. 14:15), why would you miss the telling of that story?

 

What is it then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:  I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

 

7.      Often our faith grows weak.  Hearing the Word of God increases our faith (Rom. 10:17).  Why would you miss a time to develop a greater faith?

 

So then faith cometh my hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

8.      Are you serious about being a member of the OceanSide church of Christ?  We should be.  If we are, we will do all we can to support the works of this congregation.  (Eph. 4:16).

 

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

9.      All of our speakers have done their due diligence to prepare for this effort in order to strengthen and build up this congregation.  The least we can do is honor them with our presence and show our appreciation for their ardent labors (Rom. 13:7).

 

…honour to whom honour.

 

10.  The Bible says that each of us will be judged by our works (Rev. 20:11-15).  Isn’t this a work that you would like to bring with you to the judgment?

 

…And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God; and the books were opened:  and another book was opened, which was the book of life:  and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works…

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    Questions & Answers is said to be the most favorite lesson of the month by many members at OceanSide.

 

B.      We normally preach this lesson in the evening.  We have preached it this morning for two reasons.

1.      Maybe it will encourage some of you who do not attend on Sunday evenings to come back at least on the first Sunday night of the month.

2.      We want to encourage all of our members to make a very special effort next week to be at our Gospel Meeting. 

a.      The Theme is a worthy one:  “The Gospel of Christ.”

b.      The speakers are sound, dynamic, and informative.

c.       We will cover 15 different topics on the death, burial, and resurrection.

d.      The format should prove to be interesting and enjoyable.

e.       The Word of God will be preached and you will encouraged, strengthened, and filled with hope.