July 31, 2019

VIDEO: How should we pray?

Parents and Bible class teachers, this short, animated video details the fundamentals of praying in an engaging, practical way. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

 

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July 29, 2019

VIDEO: Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Me?

The book of Hebrews emphatically states that Old Testament sacrifices could not remove sin. While providing a temporary bridge to harmony with God they needed yearly renewal. Jesus was THE sacrifice for the world’s sins, given once for all humanity.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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July 29, 2019

Ep.1084: Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Me?

Understanding what to take and what to leave from the Jewish Law

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:47]
Did Jesus make the Law even more difficult for his followers?


[00:28:57]
What if God directed you to do something that was literally impossible?


[00:43:58]
What would be the logic and plan behind requiring an impossible task?


[00:59:04]
Couldn't God have just skipped over the complicated rituals of the Law and just sent Jesus?


Theme Scripture: Galatians 3:10

The New Testament gives us a clear picture of Jesus replacing the Old Testament Law as our path to life.  As Christians we all agree with this, and yet so many of us still follow parts of that old Jewish Law.  Why?  Are certain aspects of it supposed to be carried over?  Are we required to keep the Sabbath or tithe?  What about “honor your father and mother”?  Shouldn’t we always do that?  With these particular questions on the table, we might conclude that Jesus didn’t really override the Law but instead just made some major adjustments.  Can that be true?  Fortunately the New Testament makes this all clear.  It all comes down to what Jesus did and did not do...and the answer is powerful!

Continue Reading

Christianity is obviously founded upon the sacrifice of Jesus.  The opportunity to follow him was given to both Jews and Gentiles.  Because Jesus was obviously Jewish himself, the question of what to do with the requirements and sacrifices of that Old Testament Law has been discussed and disagreed on for centuries.  The Jewish Law had been the centerpiece for communion with God for many centuries before Jesus came.  Letting go of it was an epic challenge for many Jewish Christians.

The New Testament book of Hebrews emphatically tells us the blood of bulls and goats offered as Old Testament sacrifices could not take away sin.  Those offerings provided a temporary bridge to harmony with God, and as such, needed yearly renewal. Jesus was THE sacrifice necessary for the sins of the world. That sacrifice was done once, and it was done for all. This one scriptural point clearly tells us that Jesus actually replaced the need for those temporary things.  Does this provide absolute proof Jesus lifted the requirements of the Law from the shoulders of Christians?  Sort of!

Jesus’ offering of himself did emphatically cancel the need for continual sacrifices required by the Jewish Law.  This change helps us understand the removal of the rituals of the old Law.  Interestingly, some Christians do still hold onto some of those old rituals such as tithing and physical abundance.  This is actually counter-productive to the whole idea of following in Jesus' footsteps.  Seeing it all in context and in the words of the Apostle Paul will make this plain.

What about the moral aspects of the Law?  Did Jesus take those away as well?  Check out our July 29, 2019 podcast, “Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Me?” to find out.  We look at how Jesus handled several aspects of moral living, quoted directly from the Law.  We examine several Scriptures that inform us on the differences between the works of the Law and a life of faith.  We also pinpoint why the Law came to humanity and how it actually dovetails with the purpose of Christianity.  Though these teachings may seem basic to some and irrelevant to others, they provide a sturdy foundation for the building of Christianity.  That is a lesson we all need!

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July 22, 2019

VIDEO: What is the End Times Resurrection About? How Does it Work?

In a recent podcast we looked at the surprising number of Old Testament references to the resurrection. This tells us that resurrection was in God’s plan right from the start and THAT is comforting. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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July 22, 2019

Ep.1083: What is the End Times Resurrection About? How Does It Work?

Unraveling the multiple mysteries of the resurrection for all

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CHAPTERS

[00:10:58]
How did Jesus resurrect people if resurrection is an End Times event?


[00:26:57]
How does resurrection work for follower's of Jesus?


[00:43:23]
Will the most evil people of all time be hanging out with the most holy people of all time?


[01:01:00]
What does the rest of mankind's resurrection look like?


Theme Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:21

Most people seem to have a sense there is something beyond this life, that death is not a permanent end. This “sense” is expressed in a myriad of differing beliefs about life and death. Every Christian denomination believes in the resurrection of the dead, but the similarities stop there. Looking at the Scriptures we find a complex and easily-confused story of how the resurrection works. First, when we look at the word that describes being raised from the dead, it actually has a surprising meaning. Secondly, we need to ask who gets resurrected? When does it happen? Is it all at once, one at a time or in groups? Are all those who are resurrected receiving the same treatment? With all of these questions and varied beliefs, let’s see if we can follow the Bible’s reasoning.

Continue Reading

The Old Testament has a surprising number of references to the resurrection. This tells us two things.  First, it lets us know that resurrection was a part of God’s plan right from the beginning.  This is a comforting thought, as it verifies the power and foresight regarding humanity God had from the start.  Second, the Old Testament resurrection references tell us those ancient faithful ones before Christ looked forward to being raised.  This expands our vision and expectations as to what coming back from the dead is all about.  It clarifies that Jesus’ sacrifice really is for all mankind at all times.

As common as resurrection is in the Bible, it turns out it is not that easy to understand.  Jesus raised several people from the dead, but technically he did NOT resurrect them.  While this sounds contradictory, it actually makes perfect sense.  What Jesus did with the 12-year old girl, the widow of Nain’s son and Lazarus was resuscitate them.  He revived their lives to the same fallen state as they had before they died.  This is in contrast with THE resurrection that happens in the last days. At that time people will be raised to life in an entirely different environment. Of course, this is not nearly as simple as it sounds.  Any individuals raising will be entirely dependent upon which category of resurrection they qualify for.  While this may sound ominous for some, it is not.

Check out our July 22, 2019 podcast, “What is the End Times Resurrection About? How Does It Work?” for details.  We lay out the several different resurrections revealed in the Bible.  We look at who is raised when, and what they are raised to.  This journey of discovery brings us to an enlightened and powerful understanding of how God’s plan works.  The most important conclusion is:  Every human being who ever lived experiences a resurrection that gives them opportunity.  This opportunity for all is based on the sacrifice of Jesus and it brings accountability to each and every person.  What better plan could there be than that?

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July 10, 2019

VIDEO: How Do I Live a Life of Repentance?

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July 10, 2019

Ep.1082: How Do I Live a Life of Repentance?

Learning what repentance is and is not and how it changes lives

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:10]
How does repentance work?


[00:27:44]
How do we know our repentance is sincere?


[00:45:32]
What does successful repentance look like?


[01:01:31]
Our repentance can be inspiring for others, but what if they don't repent?


Theme Scripture: Psalms 103:12

We have all done wrong. We have all had to come to grips with our actions and deal with the consequences. In short, we have all had to experience the opportunity for repentance. So, what is repentance anyway? Does it mean we carry the results of our sins with us every day as a reminder of the destructiveness of what we did? Is it saying we are sorry and then moving on?  Does being repentant, especially for big sins, have to be renewed like a subscription? Once we are truly sorry for whatever it is we did wrong, can we ever expect to be happy again? Or are we now destined for a sober-minded existence? The good news is, repentance IS a powerful tool for healing AND happiness. We just need to know how to use it!

Continue Reading

What is repentance?

The biggest thing about repentance is understanding what it really is. It's easy to envision repenting for a wrong by saying we’re sorry. Suppose we re-tweet, post or forward something damaging about someone that was a skewed version of the truth. We realize it and let them know we shouldn’t have done it. Are we done? We apologized and told them we really didn’t mean to hurt them, so it should be over, right? Let’s all move on and leave the harshness or misunderstanding behind us.

Is it regret?

Sorry to say (there I go saying I’m sorry) this does not even begin to approach what true repentance is. All we are doing here is expressing regret. We are pausing long enough to consider an action that didn’t sit well in our own mind. We want to be rid of the unsettled feeling. Nice for us but of no real, long-lasting value.

On the other hand, repentance in its truest form is one of the single most powerful decisions we as human beings can make. It is all about reversal. It takes the pause that regret gives us and transforms it into a full-fledged "stop and consider" moment. Once we decide to go down this road, we are then called upon to act. Our stop and consider moment can now become the catalyst for a reversal of direction. This action seeks to remove or repair the wrong we have done. It also takes the wellbeing of the wronged individual and makes it our priority. Repentance begins healing.

It turns out the Bible is a complete textbook on repenting in an appropriate way. God even has the prophet Isaiah give the entire nation of Israel a lesson on what fake repentance looks like and how to achieve the real thing. There are also many dramatic personal examples of real repentance in the Bible as well. Check out our July 15, 2019 podcast, “How Do I Live a Repentant Life?” for more. We not only take apart these important examples but also focus on what we need to make our own repentance genuinely work. Talk about learning something important!

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VIDEO: Does God Really Love Humanity? (Part II)

The Prodigal Son is One of Jesus’ most famous parables. Most interpret this story to depict sinners running away from God and then coming back. Inspirational? Yes, but NOT the main point. The strange parable of the Unjust Steward that detailed exactly what was happening as the Pharisees were losing God’s favor. What lessons can we learn from these two parables? Watch this short vlog and then listen to the full podcast of the same name.

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Ep.1081: Does God Really Love Humanity? (Part II)

Prodigal Son/Unjust Steward – teach us what NOT to do with God’s favor

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Play Part I

CHAPTERS

[00:10:47]
How can entitlement keep us from seeing God's love?


[00:28:36]
Are we ever like the older son in the Prodigal Son story?


[00:45:11]
The Unjust Steward story was aimed right at the Pharisees. Does it also apply to us?


[00:57:56]
Why is our clear, unrelenting faithfulness so important?


Theme Scripture: Luke 15:11-12

Jesus was and is evidence of God’s love for humanity. The proof is not just in the fact that he came to ransom us from sin and death.  It is also displayed in how he taught us God’s plan.  Still, it is admittedly hard to grasp what God’s plan is about especially when he spoke in parables.  Two weeks ago we looked at the first two of a string of five parables Jesus spoke to a very diverse audience of God’s people.  As a whole, all of those stories were designed to show God’s love for His creation. They were also to demonstrate to God’s chosen their responses to that love. This proved to be a two-edged sword as those responses (evidenced by our two parables today - the Prodigal Son and the Unjust Steward) were sometimes really bad.  So, does Jesus pointing out glaring weaknesses in God’s people actually display God’s love?

Continue Reading

One of Jesus’ more famous parables is about the Prodigal Son. We continued Part II of our “Does God Love Humanity” series (See Part I) by putting this story in its proper context. This is something that rarely happens! Most Christians interpret this story as depicting the journey of sinners as they rebelliously run away from God. While this understanding certainly gives us inspirational lessons, it is NOT the main point. Jesus used the two sons in the story to show that the nation of Israel at that time was divided into two main camps. The older more “stable” son depicted the religious leaders, the Pharisees and Scribes. They were great at portraying an outward appearance of loyalty to God’s Law. The younger rebellious son depicted the average people who were just going about life marginalizing God’s Law.

This story is actually about the entitlement mentality of both sons. While it speaks of the younger son’s wonderful recovery, it is also a story of selfishness and resentment. So, why are we talking about this parable in the context of God’s love for humanity? Because it shows us how God has always kept the eternal welfare of humanity in His heart. He sent Jesus as the necessary ransom price, but that was not the only thing He did. God’s plan also gave Jesus the platform to show us where we were going wrong. Even though Israel was God’s chosen people, they weren’t acting like it. Jesus told them why. He also told them what they should be doing to get back in line with God and the Law.

The next story Jesus told was that of the Unjust Steward. At face value, this parable contains some strange events. The account detailed exactly what was about to happen to the Pharisees. It told them what their attitude should be. Check out our July 8, 2019 podcast, “Does God Really Love Humanity? (Part II)” for more. We trace the consequences God put in place for His chosen people and uncover how necessary they were. While based on just actions, God’s plan for His human creation has a very caring and fatherly approach. Join us to see how it works!

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