Tag Archives: Questions

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Burning Questions: What is a Christian Worldview?

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Burning_QuestionsWhat is a Christian Worldview?

Sam and Harry are two brothers who are able to see eye to eye on just about everything. But every August, it seems that they have a hard time agreeing on anything. Whenever football season starts up, Sam and Harry are always at odds. Though these two men had been born brothers, one is a Bears fan and the other a Lions fan. Whenever their rival teams play each other, Sam and Harry leave the stadium with very different views of the same game.

In many ways, Christians and non-Christians are able to see eye to eye when it comes to the ways of the world. Most people, no matter what their beliefs may be, like to be treated fairly, feel personal security, and have a sense of purpose in life. There are times, however, when a Christian’s view of this world can be very different than their neighbor’s. Often, it’s the joys and woes of daily life that demonstrate the differences. Whether celebrating a milestone, or coping with a disappointment, or even facing death, Christians and non-Christians can think, talk, and act very differently.

What makes a Christian ‘tick’? Why do believers look at their world with such a different perspective? The answers to these questions reveal what Christian faith is all about. While the world around them believes in things like fairness, decency, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a Christian believes in the God who is this world’s Maker, Savior, and Counselor. Simply by speaking the words of a Creed, every Christian makes a powerful statement of who they really are—not only in relationship to their world, but also in relationship to the God whose world it is.

So what view would you like to have? Would you like to see a lifetime’s worth of achievements as the sum total of hard, simple dumb luck, or as the hand of God powerfully at work? Would you like to see a world filled with madness, uncertainty, and no real answers, or a world for which Christ died? Would you like to struggle to see your purpose in life and where you to fit in the world, or God’s spirit filling you to serve him and a greater purpose.

Christians confess their faith in God. “This is the God who made me what I am, gives me what I have, and holds this whole world in his hands!” Even if Christians and non-Christians can’t see the world eye to eye, the truth of God is always in view.


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Burning Questions: Why Is Easter Important For Me?

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Burning_QuestionsIt was refreshing, even though the situation certainly wasn’t. Sandy’s mom had spent a wonderful, joy-filled day with her and her ten-month-old daughter. But it took just one moment. What started as a minor health scare quickly escalated, resulting in an emergency trip to the hospital. Less than two days later, Sandy’s mother went home to heaven. They weren’t ready to lose her. If they could have their way, she’d still be here.

So what was so refreshing? “We ask that God’s will be done.” “I’m glad she is in Jesus’ arms.” Throughout the entire tragedy, that’s what Sandy kept saying.

How could she be so upbeat?

She knew the same thing a woman named Martha knew many years ago. Fighting through tears for her brother Lazarus, just laid in the grave, Martha boldly said to Jesus, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:24).

How could she be so confident? How can you be so confident? Death is a part of our world.  It is a consequence of the veil all of us proliferate, whether in big or small ways. That evil is sin; it is our disobedience to God and his will. As a result of sin, you have lost loved ones. As a result of isn, you yourself will lose your life oen day. As a result of our sin and our own evil, God tells us there’s only one place we deserve to be: hell.

In the face of all of that, how can you be confident? You have a loving Savior. Where you and I struggle and fail each day to love and obey God, Jesus never failed. When love for God meant death for Jesus, Jesus died for you. His love for you took him to the cross. His love has taken away all your guilt.

How can you be confident? You have a living Savior. Jesus died, but he is no longer dead. His resurrection is more than just an occasion to commemorate once a year. It is the proof that Jesus not only forgave your sins and conquered hell, but it also proves his promise, “Because I live, you also will live.”

Jesus’ resurrection gives you confidence. His resurrection allows us to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” You can be refreshed in every joy and in every sorrow because you know that your Redeemer lives.

 

For more Questions & Answers, go to WhatAboutJesus.com.

 


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What Happens When I Die?

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Burning_QuestionsWhat will happen when you die? Perhaps that strikes you as a morbid question, but it is also an important one, isn’t it?

Many people have thrown out different answers and different guesses! The guesses are all over the place. Some think we will reincarnate as a new life – even in the bodies of animals. Others think we continue as a ghost to haunt our enemies or as an angel to protect and guide our friends. If you have Christian friends they may have celebrated Ash Wednesday a few weeks ago; Ash Wednesday because it recalls God’s words, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” That reminds us of what happens to our bodies.  They decay and decompose. What about the rest of us – the part that feels and loves?

Our eternal God gives the trustworthy answer in the Bible for his believers. He moved one of the authors of the Scriptures to write:

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him… And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

We no longer have to grieve like everyone else who may still be guessing about what happens to us when we die. The question has been answered for us. Death is a reality we face because we have disobeyed God and separated ourselves from life. By his death, Jesus paid for our disobedience and reunited us to God. There is another Christian holiday soon to be celebrated.  That’s Easter. On that day, Christians celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead.  By his resurrection, Jesus guarantees that those who believe in him will have life with him after death. We will spend eternity with him in glory!

Since we know that those who fall asleep in Jesus will enter life in heaven, we want to dedicate ourselves to reading, studying, and applying God’s Word so that we do fall asleep in Jesus! We want to make sure that all our loved ones know the truth about God’s love for them in Christ, so that they will fall asleep in Jesus. We don’t have to wonder what will happen to us when we die. We know with confidence that in Jesus we will be together forever with the Lord in heaven.

For more Questions & Answers, visit www.WhatAboutJesus.com.


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Burning Questions 1

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I’m Not Perfect. So What?

Burning_QuestionsIn 2013, the Florida State Seminoles were celebrated as college football’s BCS Champions after completing a perfect 14-0 season. In the 135 year history of Major League Baseball, only 23 pitchers have tossed a perfect game. Each of those 23 pitchers is widely celebrated for accomplishing one of baseball’s rarest individual feats. In 2009, USA Today reported that a Michigan teen got a perfect score on her ACT–and her SAT–and her PSAT! She was rewarded with a full-ride scholarship to Princeton University.

Was your New Year’s resolution to be perfect? I would guess not.

Perfection is celebrated because of its rarity.  Should the opposite be true as well? Should imperfection really be condemned? If perfection is the rarest of all feats, shouldn’t it be considered acceptable when we don’t achieve such a vaunted status? Nobody’s perfect! We all make mistakes. Who cares?

God cares. Imperfections may be an accepted part of life for you and I, but they are not acceptable to our God. Imperfection runs contrary to the way God intended this world to function. When he finished his work of creation, God was pleased to know that everything worked in harmony. There were no imperfections: “God saw all that he made and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Imperfections are therefore an offense to our perfect creator God, even our own, minor or major. They are not excused; they are not overlooked. They are punished for the offense that they are.

But, “Nobody is perfect!”

That’s why we need someone to be perfect for us.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is the headline from our God that is incredible news for you: Jesus Christ who had no sin or imperfection became our imperfection. He received all the punishment that we deserved, paying for it by his death on the cross. In return, he grants us the perfection that we could not achieve on our own. In Christ we become “the righteousness of God.”

As much as we celebrate individual accomplishments of perfection–the perfect season, the perfect game, or the perfect test score–how much greater can we celebrate the perfection that is ours by faith in Jesus Christ! In Christ God views you as perfect; believe it! Celebrate it! Live it!

Click here for more Questions & Answers at WhatAboutJesus.com.


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Jesus Is…Savior

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“Help!”

It’s a simple word, but it’s not so simple to say, is it? It’s an admission of vulnerability. And nobody wants to be considered vulnerable. To cry out “Help!” is to admit that you can’t get yourself out of whatever predicament you are in. You need someone to come and save you. You have to swallow your pride, display some humility and admit that you can’t do it. You need help.

There was a writer who lived nearly 3000 years ago. His name was Asaph. Asaph needed help. So did everyone around him. Foreign nations had invaded his homeland. They trashed the reputation of Asaph’s God and threatened Asaph’s life, and the lives of his countrymen. So Asaph and his fellow countrymen went to their God – the only God.

They knew they hadn’t done anything to earn God’s help. In fact, part of the reason they needed help was because of their disobedience against God and his will. But they still turned to God because of his reputation: he is the God of salvation. They knew God is in the business of helping. In fact, not only does he give help freely but he specializes in it. Only God could help them out of their difficulties in life. Only God could save them from their greatest difficulty—their sin. They were not disappointed. God did save them from their enemies, but more importantly, he forgave their sin. That’s his reputation. He is the Savior.

God has the same reputation today. He is your Savior. Not too long ago we celebrated Christmas, the day when God sent us his Son, Jesus. We needed God’s help desperately. We were separated from God. We had sinned. We couldn’t help ourselves to get rid of our guilt. God helped us. God sent us a Savior. He forgives all our sin. God is in the business of helping. That’s his reputation.

God is your Savior. You can call on him for help and deliverance. He promises his forgiveness and love. He will help you out of trouble. Call on your Savior for strength to carry your burdens. Look to your Lord Jesus for help. He – and only he – can help you. He – and only he – is your Savior.

 


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Need More Faith?

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Do you?  Would you make that statement your own: “I need more faith.”  What if we changed it a bit?  “I need something I can believe in.” “I need something that won’t disappoint me.” “I need something in which I can place my trust, my confidence, and my faith.” Do the statements resonate more then?

Those things can be hard to find.  How many of us are rapidly losing faith in our elected officials as the government has come to a screeching halt? How many have lost faith in our judicial system over the years?  Have you ever lost faith in a business partner, colleague, or even a member of your own family? Faith can certainly be hard to come by, and we haven’t even talked about that idea of faith in religion, in church, or faith in Jesus.

So what about that kind of faith?  Even the Bible’s description of faith is a little hard to swallow: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) I’m supposed to be sure about a hope?  I’m supposed to be certain about something I can’t see?  That sounds like a daunting task, but this faith is built on a solid foundation.  Just about every time the Beautiful Savior family gathers for worship, we join together to state our faith.  We usually use Creeds – “I believe…” statements. The key truths of the Christian faith are very briefly and yet adequately summarized in those statements. The foundation of this faith is Jesus and what he has done for us. That’s the important aspect about faith: knowing the truth about the true God and the Savior he has given us. Here is part of one of those statements:

I believe in Jesus Christ, [God’s] only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.  The third day he rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.  From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Yes, it’s a lot to believe, but there is a huge comfort about this faith.  You don’t have to come up with it all on your own.  It’s a gift from God: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Sometimes you might have a problem with the strength of your faith.  Sometimes you might struggle.  We’ve lost faith in so many things, how can we keep faith in Jesus? Then, it’s important to make the request that a greatly distressed father made to Jesus with regard to his son’s great need and his own weakness of faith: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 – Read the whole story.)

The most important thing to remember about faith is that it derives all of its strength from that rock-solid foundation.  A famous preacher once said, “It is not your hold on Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not your joy in Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not even your faith in Christ that saves you, though that be the instrument. It is Christ’s blood and merit.”

Are you looking for something you can really have faith in?  Have faith in Jesus, who loves you, who has saved you, who will never let you go.


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I Need More…Knowledge!

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Is school on the brain?  For many of us it is.  We are thinking about school, we are planning for school, and we are doing school work.  School is a huge component of our culture and the rhythm of our life.  Which makes sense, because in school we gain knowledge, and knowledge is important to us. Gaining knowledge satisfies an itch we all have. Who doesn’t feel they need more knowledge? And how about being able to pat yourself on the back for pursuing it and finding knowledge within yourself?

Then again, when you pursue knowledge, do you sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel?  Do you feel that you’re learning more and more, but also forgetting more and more?  Do you feel that even though you know many things, it still seems like you’re missing something big?

God says all people are the same: “There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God…The way of peace they do not know” (Romans 3:11,17). God says people’s natural capabilities are limited to sinning and rebelling against God. God says people naturally miss something incredibly big when it comes to knowledge.

Think about Adam and Eve when they pursued more knowledge on their own apart from God. They rejected God’s Word and sinned. Look at what their own inner pursuit of knowledge got them, and also what it got us: a world infected by sin so badly that everyone dies.

God knows we all lack the best knowledge, and he wants to fill that void. He does so not by telling us to find it inside ourselves, but by telling us to look outside ourselves. We find knowledge in the Bible. Through his Word, God makes us wise; he gives us insight and understanding (Psalm 119:98-100). That’s because God’s Word gives us knowledge that we can’t find or discover anywhere else.

The Bible tells about Jesus. It tells how wide and long and high and deep Jesus’ love is for people. That love drove Jesus to come to this world, to bear the sin of every person, to die on a cross, to suffer the eternal punishment for all sins, and to reverse the effect of sin.  In Jesus a gate has been opened to you, not to mere knowledge, but to eternal life.   That gate was opened by love—love so amazing that God declares your sins are forgiven because of Jesus. That’s love—love so beyond understanding that Jesus, the righteous one, should die for the unrighteous. And he did! That’s why the Apostle Paul says that “this love surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). In Jesus’ love for you, you have everything you truly need to know, both now and forever.


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Lessons from Job

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Could you lose it all and bounce right back?  Could anyone lose it all and bounce right back?  What about that guy named Job? Study a fascinating book in the Bible: the book of Job.  See how the account of Job’s life connects with your life and with Christ.

Download the study guides for our Lessons from Job Bible Study below.

Character Sketch – Job Character Sketch – God Character Sketch – Satan
Character Sketch – Eliphaz Character Sketch – Bildad Character Sketch – Zophar
Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3
Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6
Lesson 7 Lesson 8

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