September 30, 2019

VIDEO: Do Our Prayers Change God’s Mind?

It is easy to read some biblical scriptures that say God changed His mind and think, “Well, that settles it. God is changeable NOT reliable and therefore not to be trusted! Really? Can we conclude what the whole character of God is built upon based on a few sentences? Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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September 30, 2019

Ep.1093: Do Our Prayers Change God’s Mind?

Unlocking the power of prayer and its influence on the will of God

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:21]
Did Moses convince God to change His mind?


[00:29:35]
Did Jonah convince God to change His mind?


[00:44:02]
How can we take advantage of the huge benefits of prayer?


[00:58:48]
How do we access God's will to make changes on behalf of others?


Theme Scripture: Exodus 32:14

One of the very basic tenets of Christianity is the belief that God does not change. We see him as omnipotent, above the fray and the embodiment of clear vision and intention. As such we believe that when God’s plan has been put in motion it is a universally unstoppable force. Enter the concept of prayer. Not only are we instructed to pray for and about things, we are shown several scriptural examples where prayer seems to have changed God’s mind. How can these things be? Why would we pray if God has already decided and how is it even possible to change the mind of He who is unchangeable? Does prayer change God's mind? The answers, as is usually the case, are not found on the surface. They are rooted in the depth of scriptural meaning and provide profound biblical insight into the extraordinary character of God!

Continue Reading

What about the Scriptures that say God changed His mind?

Here we are commenting on the mind of God and whether or not it is changeable.  It’s easy to look at the Bible and see some Scriptures that say God changed His mind and think, “Well, that settles it.  God is changeable therefore ultimately NOT reliable. This means He is not to be trusted or followed.  But it is silly to go down that road.  Why? These accounts were written 2,000 to 4,000 thousand years ago in an ancient language.  We are reading about the Creator of the universe – the being who was there before anything else was.  We have the audacity to conclude, based on these few sentences in question, what the whole character of God is based upon.  Silly!

A better approach

Why not take this approach:  Read these Scriptures within the context they were written.  Examine the words and find their clearest meanings for the time and circumstances in which they were used. Understand who is speaking, who is being spoken to and why.  Then put those findings against the backdrop of what we know through other Scriptures about God.  With all these ingredients in the mix, we certainly have a much better chance of finding the truth of the matter.

Think about this.  You made up your mind to build a bridge.  As you go through the designing and engineering processes, you lay out the steps for construction.  During the actual construction process, one of your trusted engineers comes to you and says, “I think following Plan B instead of Plan A will better reflect all you want this bridge to accomplish."  You have faith in this engineer’s dedication to the project, so you follow his suggestion to use Plan B.  Did you change your mind?  No!  Did you change the method with which you accomplished what your mind was set to do?  Yes!

Check out our September 30, 2019 podcast, “Can Our Prayers Change God’s Mind?” for more.  Follow along as we examine the Scriptures that speak about God “changing" His mind.  As we uncover the true meanings of those verses, we also discover greater depth to the character of God.  This is a conversation worth having!

 

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September 23, 2019

Ep.1092: How Do You Deal With Toxic People in Your Life?

Biblical guidance for managing life’s most challenging people

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:19]
What is the best way to handle toxic people when we must have them in our lives?


[00:29:29]
How do we handle our natural desire to lash out?


[00:46:31]
What do we do when we just can't take the toxic treatment anymore?


[01:02:20]
Does being a Christian mean we have to take the abuse from a toxic person?


Theme Scripture: Romans 12:14

Sometimes we have people in our lives who seem to create difficulty wherever they go. This can be for a variety of reasons including the fact that WE could be actually attracting such folks into our experiences. For now, let’s assume there are some people who simply live unhappy and unfulfilled lives. In their search for feelings of significance they become a drain to others! Being in their presence diminishes hope, poisons happiness and upsets relationships. Their influence quietly becomes a centerpiece or even an obsession in our daily experience. What do we do? Walk away?  Tell them off?  Mount an attack of our own? What is the Christian thing to do? How does the Bible guide us through such extreme circumstances of dealing with toxic people?

Continue Reading

What about turning the other cheek?

When faced with toxic people, it seems one of the “go to” Scriptures for any Christian is Jesus' famous words in Matthew 5 where he advised us to “turn the other cheek.”  The assumed implication here is that we are supposed to rise above whatever the demeaning behavior or words are.  We are to be the bigger person and “just take it.”  While we are supposed to be gracious in such difficulties, the idea of becoming someone’s doormat is far from what Jesus was teaching us.

How did Jesus himself manage the toxic accusations and behaviors of those who sought to undermine his ministry?  In the end, we know he absorbed their vitriol.  He willingly experienced torment, torture, crucifixion and death.  Amazingly, he willingly did these things for the benefit of those who hated him!  However, during his 3 1/2-year ministry, Jesus handled those same people and their anger in a very different way.  He talked to them and responded to their questions.  He witnessed the truth to them.  Jesus did NOT enter into their game.  He did NOT absorb their accusations and insults; he handled them instead.  Jesus never considered himself to be the person they accused him of being.  He always saw himself through the eyes of his Father.

Our natural reactions are likely not righteously appropriate.

Understanding how Jesus handled the toxic behavior of those who so vehemently wanted to ruin him is a huge step.  It gives us a basis for managing the difficult relationships we undoubtedly have to cope with.  We learn our natural reactions to toxicity are usually not the healthiest responses.  We need to become aware of the difference between emotional convenience and what is righteously appropriate.

Check out our September 23, 2019 podcast, “How Do You Deal with Toxic People?” for more.  We address several key principles to deal with toxicity and how to be conduit for communicating through the mess.  We talk about the differences between absorbing and handling the abuse.  Most importantly, we talk about the fact that we have a choice.  Will you continue to welcome toxic behavior whenever it shows up, or will you choose to set boundaries and repel its poison?  You decide!

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September 23, 2019

VIDEO: How Do You Deal With Toxic People in Your Life?

What practical principles are there to deal with toxic people and how can you avoid absorbing their toxicity?  When faced with toxic people we usually think about Jesus telling us to “turn the other cheek.” But what does that really mean?  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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September 18, 2019

VIDEO: What Are Some Other Names for Jesus?

Parents and Bible class teachers, watch this short, animated video with the kids to learn about Jesus’ many names and responsibilities in the Bible. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

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September 16, 2019

VIDEO: Contradictions (Part VI): Do the Accounts of Jesus’ Life Contradict Themselves?

Some say Jesus is surrounded by contradictions. In a recent podcast we began with one particular discrepancy relating to his name.  Another is when did Jesus start his teaching?  When listed, these issues can really look daunting. What are the logical and scriptural answers to these and other questions?  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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September 16, 2019

Ep.1091: Do the Accounts of Jesus’ Life Contradict Themselves? Contradictions (Part VI)

Comparing the inconsistent Gospel records of Jesus’ life and teachings

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:19:42]
Did Jesus start preaching before or after John the Baptist was imprisoned?


[00:33:10]
Did Jesus really spend 40 days in the wilderness?


[00:44:02]
Which temptation happened first? The Mountain Top or Pinnacle of the Temple?


[00:57:00]
Why are the three accounts of the calling of the Apostle Peter described completely differently?


Theme Scripture: Luke 1:32

This continues our series on Bible Contradictions.  The life of Jesus as a man on earth was filled with wonder, teaching and miracles.  His obedience to his Father’s will was the centerpiece of his mission, as he came to pay the ransom price for Adam.  Critics say Jesus’ earthly life was also filled with contradictions.  They say these discrepancies are reasonable cause to doubt the validity of what he did, taught and stood for.  They also point to these inconsistencies as proof the Bible is not the unerring word of God.  Once again, we will look at some of the Scriptures the critics bring up and examine them. Our objective is simple – find out what these several citations actually mean in the light of context, history and common sense!

Continue Reading

Wasn't his name supposed to be Immanuel?

These contradictions surrounding Jesus began even before he was born!  One particular discrepancy has to do with his name.  When Mary got pregnant the angel Gabriel appeared to both Joseph and Mary separately.  This angel, sent from God in heaven, specifically tells them to name the child "Jesus." This is easy and understandable so far.  In the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 21, Matthew adds this was to be a direct fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy about a virgin conceiving.  Again, understandable...until Matthew tells us the name of the child would be “Immanuel.”  Why wasn’t Jesus named Immanuel?  Why did an angel of God tell them to name him Jesus, in direct contradiction to the prophecy?

Which is right?

Looking at this issue from where we sit today can raise a legitimate question regarding the integrity of Scripture.  And this is just one of the multiple problems regarding Jesus’ life and ministry.  Several other questions deal with easily-traceable things like time and place.  For example, when did Jesus start his teaching?  Was it before or after John the Baptist was put in prison?  (The Bible seems to say both.) What about after Jesus was baptized?  Two of the gospels say he went into the wilderness for 40 days to fast and pray.  The Gospel of John seems to indicate he was at a wedding three days after his baptism.  What about the temptations in the wilderness?  The two Gospels that list them put them in a different order!

When we have these issues listed out for us in this way, it can really look daunting.  Why are there so many things, often simple things, that don’t seem to make sense?  The good news is, these things DO make sense!  Check out our September 16, 2019 podcast, “Contradictions (Part VI): Do the Accounts of Jesus’ Life Contradict Themselves?”  We meticulously cover every one of the questions we have alluded to here, as well as some others.  We found that each and every issue has a logical, scriptural and context-based answer.  These answers are not only solid in their reasoning, they solve the potential doubts that can easily arise when someone challenges your faith by waving these Scriptures in front of you.

 

 

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September 10, 2019

VIDEO: What’s the Best Way to Study the Bible?

The Bible is like a study guide from God to help us follow Him and His son, Jesus. Parents and Bible class teachers, watch this short, animated video with the kids to pick up some handy tips for Bible study. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

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September 09, 2019

VIDEO: Contradictions (Part V): What Profound Secret Does Creation Reveal?

The first verse of the Bible reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” In a recent podcast we saw this verse as the foundation for both great misrepresentation and great truth. Think, “In the beginning,” but what beginning? Is it the beginning of the universe?  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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September 09, 2019

Ep.1090: What Profound Secret Does Creation Reveal? Contradictions (Part V)

Startling revelations from Genesis 2

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:12:56]
Why does the order of creation differ in Genesis chapters 1 and 2?


[00:31:06]
Was Adam created before or after trees, birds and animals like chapter 2 says?


[00:40:02]
Genesis 1 tells us the Who, What, When, Where and How of creation. What about the Why?


[00:57:20]
How do we harmonize the contradictions between Genesis chapters 1 and 2?


Theme Scripture: Genesis 2:4

This continues our series on biblical contradictions.  Genesis is the first book of the Bible and its foundation.  It lays out for us the origin of the intricacies of our world, as well as the origins of the human race.  Morality is introduced, and this book takes us through the first few thousand years of the human experience.  Genesis - particularly the creation account - is profoundly important to our understanding of God and our place in His universe.  Critics of the Bible seem to love this creation account.  They are quick to point out that in its very first chapter the book presents itself as not only wildly contradictory, but clearly unscientific as well.  They conclude it is simply a collection of tales and imaginations.  Are they right?  Does the creation account support fanciful stories to give the ignorant something to hold onto, or is it actually based in fact?

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The very first verse of the Bible reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...”  These few words lay the foundation for both great misrepresentation as well as great truth.  The trouble in this verse comes when we assume a subject is being spoken of that isn’t.  “In the beginning...” - what beginning?  Many take this as the beginning of the universe, as it says "God created the heavens and the earth."  Nothing could be further from the truth!  If we would only read a few verses down we would discover that the word "heavens" is actually referring to earth’s atmosphere.  Once we understand this, it is easy to see “In the beginning” is not universal.  It is only about the establishment of earth as a life-supporting planet.

Once we know the creation account in Genesis is only about the earth, we can then begin to grasp its details. Critics are quick to point out the order of creation is flawed in the six creative days.  They say that light/the sun was obviously created on the first day and then again claims to be created on the fourth day.  Further, they read the creation of the fourth day to include the moon and stars.  If they are right, this would reveal several dramatic contradictions of the Bible against itself, not to mention science.

Check out our September 9, 2019 podcast,“Contradictions (Part V): What Profound Secret Does Creation Reveal?” for details.  We carefully go through the supposed Genesis chapter 1 discrepancies and put the account in order as it is meant to be read.  We then look at Genesis 2.  This chapter seems to be in direct and blatant contradiction of the first chapter!  What we find here is not only a logical answer it is a profound truth about the character of God.

The biblical account of creation is far deeper and more in tune with science than the average person may think.  Unraveling these connections requires not just thought, attention and study; it requires a desire to know the truth.  Follow along with us on this path as we unfold these conclusions.  It is a journey worth taking!

Additional Resource: (PDF Article) Eve – The Mother of Us All

 

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