I began our new teaching series at SonRise Baptist Church on Sunday called “God, I Have A Question.” We created a website (www.godihaveaquestion.com) where people submitted questions on their minds. We gathered all the questions together and created eight summary questions that would answer these questions. We are also doing something quite unusual during the service by allowing people to submit questions/comments during the sermon via text message. I am attempting to answer some of these questions at the conclusion of my sermon each week, but due to time constraints, I can’t get to all of them. I will be using this blog to address the questions I could not answer during the service. This past Sunday, I preached a message on the existence of God by answering the question “God, are you really there?” After the sermon, I was able to address three questions that were texted to me during the message. I would like to answer some of the questions I was unable to get to below. While this post will not address all the questions, I will add more answers to Sunday’s questions throughout the week.
One question submitted on Sunday asked why we needed to consider evidence for the existence of God when we have the Bible. One thing I did not mention in response to that question was the Bible says in First Peter 3:15-16 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” Many people do not believe the Bible to be God’s word, and they are asking for answers as to why you believe in God. This passage says we must be prepared to answer their questions. They may require that we consider evidence through science, logic, or other means that present the case for Christ.
Here are some additional questions and answers I received on Sunday:
What do you do when someone continues to deny the existence of God?
This is something we face as Christians because people sometimes have opinions that grow out of painful experiences or unfounded biases. I think our role is to present the gospel and communicate the evidence of the God’s claims, but beyond that we must simply love the person and pray for their salvation. It is critical that we not seek to win “the debate” but lose “the soul.” The best way to lead anyone to faith in Christ is through friendship. It is in the context of that friendship that we build trust and have opportunities to live out our faith before our friends. It will not be a fast thing. It may take some of our friends years of true friendship before they trust Christ.
Why did God create the devil?
Satan was created as an angel, and when he was first created, he was very different than he is today. The Bible does indicate he was beautiful and obviously cunning. He was God’s servant before he rebelled against God. The short answer is that God created the devil for the same reason He created all the other angels. The real question is why did God allow Satan to rebel? God knows everything and sees the end at the same time He sees the beginning. He knew before He created humanity that Satan would wreak havoc on the world. I believe part of the answer has to do with the fact that when God created beings, he created them as beings of choice. The fall of Satan reveals that even angels have a choice. While God did not create evil and sin, God allowed it to happen in response to Satan’s choice to rebel against God. This choice also put in motion the fall of humanity. Mankind is also presented with this same choice, and this choice is a critical part of what it means to be in relationship with our Creator. If choice were not an option, then we could not call our response to God love. I don’t want to go so far as to say God wanted Satan to fall so mankind would be tempted, but I will say that God even uses Satan to show people their need for a relationship with Himself.
Why would regular people be as jealous as the devil was?
Jealousy is the pinnacle of pride, which is at the heart of sin. We can fall into the same trap as Satan in that we too want to be god of our own lives. Even as God demanded that position in Heaven before the creation of the world, He still demands it in our lives. With that said, he still gives us the option of choosing God or refusing God. When we refuse to repent, we find we are battling for the throne of our own hearts. The
bottom line answer to this question is sin. Because of sin, we are jealous of people who have things we do not have. Sometimes our jealousy moves us away from God even as it did Satan before time began.
Science can’t prove the Bible to be fake so they go together.
This is a great point. Science only measures natural responses. Anything beyond the natural falls out of the realm of science. God is not contained to the natural and is not governed by the laws of nature. One cannot presume to know so much as to say it is impossible for anything to exist outside of the realm of our comprehension or out the realm of our understanding. Proving the Bible to be fake is beyond the oundaries of science.
Miracles are a stroke of luck and coincidence.
I would disagree with this statement simply because God is not confined to the natural laws of the universe. He can perform a miracle because the laws of science do not apply to Him. For example, Jesus could ascend to Heaven because He is beyond the law of gravity. Because God is all powerful and not confined in any way, miracles are a work of God not a stroke of luck.
What was God doing before creation?
I spoke to this on Sunday morning, but I would like to share some thoughts that came from one our members (Jared Osterhage) after the service was over. I am using his comments with his permission.
The question as stated implies that God experiences time in a linear fashion, so that at some point in the past He was doing something else, now He is managing human history, and in the future He will do something else, but I think that is probably not the way God interacts with time and history. He is equally present in all moments and all places, which would mean that all moments and places are “present time” to Him. The question can be restated as “Is God doing anything else beside managing His natural creation and human history?” I think the Bible indicates that He has done/is doing other things.
We know that He has done other things because the angels came from somewhere and we have no biblical account of their creation. At the end of human history God will have perfect harmony and relationship with millions of saints who have been battle-tested in their mortal lives and chose to follow Him through faith in Christ. We will be able to join in whatever He is doing as His willing servants, and therefore with full access to His power and wisdom. We don’t know the answer to what He did “before”, but I believe that God is doing something WITH creation that will carry forward into other things He is doing which we cannot currently comprehend with our human minds, but in which we will actively participate in ways that are only made possible by our experiences as sinful human beings redeemed from a fallen world.
Who wrote Genesis and where did the inspiration come from?
There is no name attributed to Genesis in the book of Genesis, however, there are other places that the early writings of the Bible are referred to as the “Book of Moses” (Mark 11:26) Tradition, along with these references to Moses’ writing, attribute the first five books of the Bible to Moses (except for the part of Moses’ death. We assume Joshua completed Deuteronomy after Moses’ death. As far as where the inspiration came from, I believe it came from God just like the rest of scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). We can only assume that during the wilderness wandering, God inspired Moses with the words that became the first five books of our Bible.
Is God made of the same type of elements/atoms we are or did he create them new?
There really is no way to fully know the elements that make up God, but we do know the Bible says He is Spirit while we are body and spirit. (John 4:24). We can therefore assume that the atoms/elements God used to create the world were created out of nothing. We can also go to the meaning behind the word “created” in Genesis 1. The Hebrew word is bara and it means “to create something new” or “create something out of
I welcome your comments. I’ll share more questions and answers later this week.