Jan 2018 Weymouth Family Church

I’ve done longer answers elsewhere so just short ones here.  Apologies if they seem blunt at times but I think it can be helpful to get straight to the point and if you would like to look into some longer answers, there are plenty on my Q&A page.

“I’ve got a good job, a lovely wife and family.  Fun.  Friends.  I’m happy.  Why do I need God?”  Comments from a non-Christian.
Because God loves you and you’ve rejected him.  You’re in trouble with God.  You need his forgiveness and love.  Don’t be happy with less.  You’ll lose it all.  None of it will save you.  You need to deal with God if you want true and lasting peace.  You won’t have it any other way.  Luke 15John 14:6.

Why do some people get healed and some not?
All followers of Jesus get healed in the end (heaven) and although not everyone gets healed now, some do.  Many do!  That’s why we should pray for everyone who’s sick, trust God to do what only he can and trust him to do what he wants because he loves us and knows best.  Isaiah says God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours.  Isaiah 55:9.

Disasters e.g. earthquakes, etc.  Sickness.  Praying for unsaved loved ones with no response.
There’s only 2 things we can conclude from this kind of experience: Either God doesn’t exist and so we’re kidding ourselves if we think anything will change.  Or he really does exist and he knows better and is better than we are.  Is it possible that God has morally sufficient reasons beyond our present understanding for allowing the things we wish he would change?  If God exists, the answer has to be YES!  Even Jesus knows what it is to have unanswered prayer (Gethsemane garden).

How can I get to understand the Bible?
Read it.  Read it.  Read it.
Hear it taught.  Study it.  Memorise it.  Meditate on it.  Obey it.
2 Timothy 3:16Psalm 119:11.

How can we explain to non-Christians the true nature of sin - i.e. that they are all sinners and Jesus died for them - without them feeling we are judgmental or telling them what they should do?
Questions are often (even when we’re explaining things) more helpful than statements:
  • Do you think you’re a good person?
  • Compared to who?
  • Compared to God?  Do you think you’re good compared to God?
  • If God is perfect in every way, perfect judge too - What do you think you deserve from a God like that?
  • Do you think you’re equal to God?
  • Do you think God owes you or is in debt to you?
  • What do you think it would be like to meet God?  Would you be scared?  Why?  Why not?
  • How good do you think God must be by definition?
  • What hope is there for you if you’ve wronged God?
Look at how Jesus spoke to people with questions in the gospels!

Do you think the western church will grow in this century?
Yes and it is growing every day.  Every time 1 person becomes a Christian, it grows.  Jesus’ church never shrinks, never gets smaller.  Only bigger.  Some parts of the church are growing quicker than others but it’s always growing everywhere.  1 person at a time.  Life after life after life.  I’m also saying that no-one can lose their salvation because Jesus never loses (or "un-justifies") anyone he has saved.  Matthew 13:31-32.  The kingdom of God doesn’t have a revolving door.  Jesus is the way in and there’s no way out, which is good news!

Why doesn’t the church stand up for what it believes - so society is fully aware of who we stand for?  What is the cost it’s scared of paying?  I think of the public arena when we compromise on ‘hot potato’ areas and on the truth, the enemy is at work but we are not defenseless.
I agree!  You go first everyday and others will follow!  Make sure it’s always about Jesus, even when you’re talking about hot topics.  They’re not the main thing.  Love people.  Use wisdom to know when to be tender and when to be tough.  Listen well.

Coincidence or answer to prayer?
If someone prayed for a good thing and it happened, then it’s answer to prayer and we can be grateful to God.  However small.  However big.  All good things come from God (James 1:17).

Does growing in faith ever stop or are we always learning?
Certainly until we see Jesus face-to-face, we will always be learning and growing (or we should be).  When we see him face-to-face, the Bible says we will ‘know fully, even as we are fully known’ but does this mean there’s nothing more to learn?  I’m not sure but I’m looking forward to it!  1 Corinthians 13:12.

Why do mean people live to long age still being mean, when good-hearted people die young?
Because there isn’t justice yet.  One day ALL sin will be perfectly punished - either on Jesus because people have put their faith in him, or on each and every sinner who has refused to repent and trust Jesus.  No-one will get away with anything in the end.  Not even those who think they have good hearts unless they’ve trusted in Jesus.

Why did I have to come back to England now?
I don’t know.  You could ask God.  Ask others who might have wisdom too.

Try and witness to people who do not know Jesus?
Yes!  Do!  Prayer, love, ask questions, listen, be ready to explain.  The ‘Why follow Jesus?’ link on the homepage of this site might be helpful to share with people you know and then ask them what they think.  1 Peter 3:15-16.

Why does God have a world of wrong when he could make it right?
He will one day make everything right.  He waits patiently for now so that more and more people can come to repentance and faith in Jesus and be saved so that they’ll still be around when the world is fully restored and redeemed forever.  2 Peter 3:9.

Why did God create the world?
For his glory.  The whole thing is all about him because he is awesome.  God is love and he wants us to be part of his amazing family.  Colossians 1:15-16.

Why do men and women see colour differently?
Check out the Radiolab episode on colour.  It’s amazing!

The problems seem so big - world wide.  Where do I start to address any problem?
Start with you.  Then those around you.  Still pray for the world.  God is bigger!

Do we have a free will or has God planned our lives?
Yes! :)  The Bible teaches both and I don’t believe it’s a contradiction to say both are true.

What about devout followers of other faiths who never hear of Jesus?
They have ‘general revelation’: creation (Romans 1:20) and conscience (Romans 2:15) and so they know there’s a creator and that they’ve sinned.  They have the opportunity to pray in faith for forgiveness from the creator, even before they hear about Jesus.  If they’re devoutly following another faith, it’s unlikely they’ve done this.  They DO need to hear about Jesus so they can have any assurance of salvation and know the good news of how anyone’s salvation is possible through Jesus.

Why do people have to have sickness such as dementia and forget all they knew?
It’s awful.  More than I know.  There’s no justice to it now.  But things will be made right later when Jesus returns.  No more tears…  We have to trust in Jesus!  He knows what it is to suffer and he can save us from it!  Revelation 21:1-4.

What if God is not real?
Then where did the universe come from?  How is it so perfectly tuned for life to exist?  Who is Jesus and how did he come back from the dead?  Why do we feel bad when we do things wrong and no-one knows about it?  Why do we hate death rather than embrace it?  Why do we complain that the world isn’t fair?  Why do we think and act and hope as if we were made for more?  Ecclesiastes 3:11.

What is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit?
We call it the Trinity.  God is love.  Not lonely.  Not new to love when he made us.  He IS love.  He IS relationship.  He IS communication.  He IS family.  He IS marriage.  HE IS LOVE!  1 John 4:16.

Is it always right to pray for healing?
If you want to.  I know it sounds simple but I think that’s the answer.  Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Matthew 20:30-33.