Common Questions Asked About the Christian Faith

Questions come up a lot when you' re looking for a reality that won' t leave you empty and cheated. The following are some of the most common questions asked about the Christian faith. The answers to these questions are brief but they are not intended to be trite and pat answers. We encourage you to investigate and examine these issues further. The Christian must be prepared to give honest answers to honest questions. We have a responsibility to "give a reason for the hope within us "  (1 Peter 3: 15)

How can Christians say that Jesus is the only way to God?  All religions are basically good aren't they?  God is not that narrow-minded.

            We believe that Jesus is the only way to God because Jesus Himself claimed to be God and the only way to God. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10: 30) The Greek language, in which the New Testament was written is explicit.  Literally Jesus said, "I and the Father, we are one."  Jesus also claimed to be the only way to God: "I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me." (John 6: 14)

Evidence, not arrogance, must be the basis for the Christian's truth claims. The question is, can we accept as true what Jesus claimed? The most conclusive evidence establishing the deity of Jesus Christ is the resurrection. The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus "was declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead."  If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then it is possible to believe all His claims and miracles. That would be what one would expect from God.

The primary reason that Jesus is the only way to God is that He forgives sin and offers eternal life (John 10:28). This is something that the founder of no other major religion has claimed to do.  Every person is separated from God by sin.  According to God's requirement, either the individual must pay the penalty for sin -death -or he must find someone else who is willing or able -who has no sin -to pay the penalty for him. Jesus was both willing and able to do this.

All religions do not teach the same thing, but they differ at key points. These are real and crucial differences that cannot be ignored.

In light of Biblical history it is easy to see why there is only one way. Since the world is in constant rebellion against God the better question is why would God bother to provide any way to God?

What about those who have not heard about Jesus?  Are you saying God is not going to accept them?

            Is it 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?  The Bible teaches that all individuals have some knowledge of God.  In Romans 1: 18  - 25 Paul says there are some things that revealed about God that are plain and clearly seen by everyone.  God reveals that He is and that He has eternal power.  A person's response to this revelation is sufficient to render everyone inexcusable before God (Romans 2: 14 - 16).  No one is punished for what they do not know.

Many ask, "How can a loving God send someone to hell?"  With equal fairness, the question should be asked, "How can a holy and righteous God allow a sinful person into heaven?"

Won't living a good, moral life make me acceptable to God?

Many believe that if they do their best here on earth, God will recognize their effort, overlook their sin and "grade on the curve." This belief, however, shows misunderstanding of God' s infinite righteousness and perfection.

The Bible says in Romans 3: 23 "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."   Not a single person could honestly say that we never have knowingly done anything wrong.  These violations (sins) are not isolated events; they are a reflection of the sin nature that permeates our entire being. God is infinitely holy and good.  No matter how hard we try we could never succeed in reaching God's absolute standard of perfection.  He is a just God who holds us accountable for violating those standards we know to be right God does not clear the guilty and there is no one who is good or innocent.  We have accumulated a debt that cannot be repaid.

Only one person ever lived a perfect life - Jesus Christ.  Therefore, His death on the cross in payment for our sins is the only basis for God's total forgiveness and acceptance of us.

How can a loving God allow war and suffering?

Suffering is very real and cannot be dealt with superficially.  No one can tell us why we must go through suffering. Christians acknowledge the presence of evil and suffering in life.  Jesus was a man who was the suffering servant, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." (Isaiah 53: 3)  In the Bible suffering is simply recognized as a part of the experience of every human being. 

Suffering is the result of sin and related to sin, but people do not always suffer in direct proportion to their sin.

The ultimate question of suffering is, "Why don't we all suffer more than we do?" Why does God tolerate us as we continue to sin. Luke 13: 1 - 5

Why do Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God?  Why do Christians believe the Bible is true?

A number of facts make it reasonable to believe the Bible is accurate and reliable. Jesus, the Son of God and the greatest spiritual authority of all time attested to the accuracy of the Bible, even to the "smallest letter or stroke." (Matthew 5: 18) Archaeology has affirmed its historical accuracy. Biblical manuscripts number in the thousands and in some cases date less that 100 years from the actual occurrence of the events that they describe - giving us by far the best attested historical document civilization possesses.

The Bible's amazing unity - even though composed of 66 books written over a period of 1,500 years by more that 40 authors from widely different cultures and parts of the world – attests that there was divine superintendence over its writing. The Bible not only claims to be the Word of God (II Timothy 3: 16), but through the minute fulfillment of prophecy and the miraculous transformation of individuals who have believed its message, it has proved itself over and over to be exactly that.

Isn't Christianity just another emotional or psychological experience?

Christianity is more that a subjective experience - it is based on a critical objective historical fact - the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  That event established Jesus' deity and power over sill and death.  If the resurrection had not occurred, then Jesus would not be the Son of God, nor our Savior, and Christianity would be meaningless.  Christianity is not down on experience.  Jesus invites individuals to experience a unique and personal love relationship with Him.  But a commitment to Him is based on absolute truth, an objective fact of history outside ourselves to which our subjective experience is joined.

Is Christianity relevant to today's needs?

Needs such as a sense of ultimate purpose, love, security and peace have existed since the beginning of time.   External things such as money and possessions or recognition may supply temporary satisfaction of some needs.  But lasting satisfaction, and a sense of meaning that remains, even it external circumstances are stripped away, must come from God.

Our primary need as sinful human beings is forgiveness and cleansing from our sin.  Nothing else will ever free our conscience from guilt or provide real hope for eternal life.  Nothing us will give us comfort when we come face to face with death.  Only Jesus Christ, who paid for sin, can give us true life and freedom. 

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.  He gives us a sense of ultimate purpose, a reason for being and satisfies our deepest longing for love and security.

 Jesus also promises to give direction in whatever situation we find ourselves (John 14: 28).  The infinite God who created the universe is certainly wise enough to deal with today's needs.  Jesus made a profound statement on the relevance and authority of His Word when He claimed, "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Mark 13: 31)

How do I become a Christian?

            The Bible states that “Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 3: 22 – 23)   We are sinful beings who deserve God’s condemnation and wrath.  God in His grace and mercy has provided a way for us to have a right relationship with Him.  The only way to enter a right relationship with God is to:  1. Humbly confess your sin and your desperate need for forgiveness.  2.  Turn from your sin (repent) and trust God to change you.  3.  Believe or trust in Jesus Christ alone as the living Lord God of Creation, the one who was crucified as punishment for your sins, died, was buried and then rose from the dead.  You must trust in Jesus Christ alone, not your own goodness, to save you.  “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by work, so that no one can boast.”  (Ephesians 2: 8 – 9)

            A natural way to express your faith is by praying (talking to God).  The following sample prayer may help you express the desire of your heart to God:

Lord Jesus, I have sinned against you in many ways.  I desperately need you and your forgiveness.  I acknowledge that you are God and the Creator of the universe.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Thank you for undergoing the punishment that I deserve.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Only you, Jesus, by your grace can forgive me, save me and give me new life.  Lord, take control of my life, change me, and make me the person you want me to be.  

Permission is granted to use this Bible Study outline for personal study and small groups only. 

A study written by Bob Krepps  © 2000 all rights reserved

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