Sure, we are a church. But we also happen to think that it is ok to ask questions. We can ask each other, and we can certainly ask God. It’s ok – he can handle it.
Is Jesus the only way?
Is the Bible true?
Don’t all religions eventually lead to God?
Is it okay to doubt?
Can God really forgive my sins?
The only thing we might suggest is that when there is a pretty good answer – hold on to it! Tell someone about it. Try it out and see how it feels. It might be that God is responding to your plea for answers…
Tough Questions, Real Answers
1. Is Jesus the only way?
Jesus Himself claimed to be God and others recognized Him as Deity. He said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) Jesus also claimed that He was the only way to God: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6)
Either he is God and the only way, or he is lying, or he is crazy! What do you think?
2. Is the Bible true?
Biblical manuscripts number in the many thousands and, in some cases, date less than 30 years from the actual occurrence of the events that they describe – giving us by far the best attested historical document civilization possesses.
There is more evidence for the reliability of the text of the Bible as an accurate reflection of what was initially written (the autographs) than there is for any ten pieces of classical literature put together. The Bible is also in better textual shape than the thirty-seven plays of William Shakespeare written in the seventeenth century, after the invention of printing.
If you believe it is true, it can change your life.
Watch these video segments from a seminar we offered that answers to contemporary attacks on the Bible’s trustworthiness and on the divinity of Jesus Christ. Battle over the Bible
3. Is Jesus really God?
The belief in Jesus Christ being of the same essence as God the Father began with Jesus’ self-perception, was taught to His Apostles, who in turn handed down this belief to the early church Fathers and apologists. Christ’s deity is the foundation upon which the Christian faith rests. In the gospels, we see Jesus accepting worship, forgiving sins, raising people from the dead; all activities that are limited to God alone.
4. Don’t all religions eventually lead to God?
Some would propose that perfection can be obtained through either hard work, simplification, or by pure desire (among others). Christianity holds that once perfection is lost, by definition, it cannot be re-obtained. The only loop-hole to this truth is if The One who has remained perfect grants a pardon. Jesus is the only leader who has the authority to offer this type of pardon to His followers; seeing them as perfect from the moment they accept it (John 10:28). The primary reason that Jesus is the only way to God is that He forgives sin and offers eternal life, (John 10:28) something that the founder of no other major religion has claimed to do.
Think about that!
5. What about people who haven’t heard about Jesus?
It is reasonable to believe that a God whose love is so great that He would give His own Son is even more concerned about people than we could ever be (2 Peter 3:9) He desires that all people come into a personal relationship with Him (1 Timothy 2:4). The Bible teaches that all individuals have some knowledge of God, and that He has put the consciousness of eternity in every person’s mind (Romans 1:19,20). Therefore, each person is accountable for his or her response to this inward information.
If a person truly desires to know God, God will provide the information needed to know Him. Just like he’s doing for you, right now.
6. What’s with suffering and a good God?
It is sometimes difficult to understand why God does not instantly give us perfect lives. It is true that God allows us to go through some horrible things. In fact, some of the issues in our lives are allowed by God in order to strengthen our dependence on Him. Even Jesus went through terrible suffering; but He used the time to prove His dependence on His Father God. “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). The good news is that suffering isn’t the end game! “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). There is joy on the other side of suffering, when we spend eternity with God.
7. Isn’t Christianity a crutch for the weak?
Bob Prall has often said, “If Christianity is a psychological crutch, then Jesus Christ came because there was an epidemic of broken legs.” Christianity claims to meet real human needs such as those for forgiveness, love, identity and self-acceptance. We might describe Jesus not as a crutch but an iron lung, essential for life itself.
8. The Resurrection. Hoax or History?
Consider four pieces of evidence: 1. The growth of the Christian movement was explosive after the resurrection. If opponents to Christ’s claims could have disproved the resurrection, Christianity would have died out immediately. 2. The Disciples lives were changed. They went from denying Christ (remember Peter?) to being martyred for holding on to the truth of the resurrection. 3. The tomb was EMPTY. 4. Over 500 individuals testify that they saw the risen Christ.
Of course, the truth or falsity of the resurrection is a matter of historical fact and is not dependent on anyone’s belief. If the facts support the claim, one can conclude that he arose. In any case, mere intellectual assent to the facts does little for one’s life.
A major evidence comes experientially, in personally receiving Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness. He said, “I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (or her).”
9. I don’t really need God.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) When Jesus enters our lives, He makes us complete persons, not dependent upon temporary stimuli for our fulfillment. When He enters into us, He brings a sense of ultimate purpose, a reason for being, and satisfies our deepest longings and needs for true, lasting love and security.
Jesus also promises to give direction in whatever situation we find ourselves. (John 14:26) The infinite God who created the universe is certainly creative and wise enough to deal with our current needs. Jesus made a profound statement on the relevancy and authority of His Word when He claimed, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Mark 13:31) He also claimed in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
10. What about this “born again” business?
Something profound happens to us when we submit and commit to God as Lord of our life. It is not a simple thing, nor should it be an insignificant event. How else should such a fundamental change in our existence be described? Of course, as Nicodemus objected, we are not to crawl back into our mother’s womb to be reborn (John 3). Rather, as Paul describes in Romans 6, we share both in Jesus’ death and resurrection so that we may experience new life.
Romans 6: 3-4, 6-7, 11
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
The Key Question
As a church, we are not afraid to ask tough questions. But after all is said and done, the key question for you is, “What does all this information about Jesus Christ have to do with my life?”