Suppose a new person moved into your neighborhood. You notice that he is a teenager about your age, but he has green skin and purple hair. Would this unusual sight raise some questions in your mind?
Suppose at the close of school every day, most of the students get on the school bus, but one girl always climbs to the roof of the school where a flying saucer swoops down, picks her up and takes her away into space! Would this arouse your curiosity? Wouldn't you want to ask her some questions: “Where does that flying saucer take you?” “Where do you live?” “Can I go for a ride with you sometime?”
When we see a person who is different or doing something that is different, this brings up many questions in our minds. As believers in Christ, we are different from those who do not know G_______ (see 1 Thessalonians 4:5) and we are to live differently (we are to walk as children of the ______________--Ephesians 5:8). We should not be surprised then if people begin asking us questions!
Were the children of Israel different from the other nations of the world (Deuteronomy 4:6-9,33-34)? _______ Did the other nations begin asking questions (Deut. 4:7-8)? _____ Were the children of Israel told to live differently from the way other people lived (Leviticus 18:3,26-30; Deuteronomy 18:9-14)? _______
The same is true today. God's people are not to walk and live the same way unsaved people live (Ephesians 4:17-20). As the unsaved see a difference in the way we walk and talk, they will begin to ask questions. God wants us to “K________ how . . . to A________________ every man” (Colossians 4:6) and to "be R_____________ A______________ " to give that answer (1 Peter 3:15)!
In this chapter we will think about some of the common questions that people ask and we will try to think of the best ways these questions can be answered:
Some of your friends do not go to church at all. Others go only once a week and many of them go not because they want to but because they have to. For many people church is a boring time and they can't wait until the service is over so they can go home and do the things they want to do. When they find out that you go to church several times a week (Sunday morning, Sunday evening, in the middle of the week for Prayer Meeting), they are amazed! They think that going once is bad enough! How would you answer their question?
Suppose you were to say, “I go to church three times each
week because my parents make me go--I have no choice.” Would this answer
show them that you are different from them or just like them?
What if you were to tell them that you went to church because it was important and you WANTED TO and that you really ENJOYED it. Would this answer surprise them? They would probably ask another question, “Why would anyone want to go to church? What could be so enjoyable about church?” You are ready with your answer: “Why not come with me and see for yourself! My family would be happy to pick you up this Sunday morning. We would love to have you come with us and I think you'll find it different from any church you have ever attended.”
Here is something else that might help a person understand why it is important to go to church: Why do I eat? I eat so I can live physically. Why do I go to school and seek to learn? I do this so I can understand and be able to live mentally. Why do I go to church? I do this so I can know God and learn about Him and thus be able to live spiritually.
People have heard of the Catholic church, the Baptist church, the Methodist church, the Congregational church, the Episcopalian church and other churches, but a Bible Church is not so common.
How would you answer the question? The key word is “BIBLE.”
Perhaps you could say something like this: “A Bible Church is a church that is
made up of people who believe the Bible. The Pastor preaches and teaches from
the Bible and the people bring their Bibles to church and follow along as their
Pastor explains what the verses mean. But the best way for you to understand
what a Bible Church is really like is to come and visit with us and see for
yourself!” People may say good things about a restaurant but you can't really
find out what it is like until you visit it for yourself and eat there! The same
is true about a church.
There is another way to answer this question which might help the person even more. We want people to come to know our Christ more than we want them to come to know our Church. It's more important to come to Christ than it is to come to Church. Once a person comes to Christ, then we can share with them the importance of attending a good, Bible-believing church.
“What is a Bible Church?” Here is a possible way of answering this: “A Bible Church is a church which preaches the gospel, the good news of salvation as found in the Bible. Has anyone ever shared with you what this good news is all about?” If he or she seems interested, you can then present the gospel message (see Chapter 4 of these notes).
Most of your friends know very little about the Bible and
they can't understand why someone would want to read the Bible often. They can't
understand why a person would love the Bible more than any other book, even as
the Psalmist once said, “O how L___________ I Thy law! It is my meditation all
the day!” (Psalm 119:97).
Perhaps the question could be answered in this way. You could ask your friend, “Suppose you were to get a letter from your school principal. Would you be interested in reading what it says?” How do you think your friend would answer?
“Suppose you were to get a personal letter from a famous baseball player or some other superstar. Would you be interested in reading what it says?” “Suppose you were to get a personal letter from the President of the United States. Would you be interested in reading what it says or would you throw it away without reading it?”
“Now suppose that God Himself were to send you a
personal letter and a personal message. Wouldn't you want to find out what it
says? The Bible is God's personal message to me. The Bible is God's love-letter
to me. I read the Bible because I want to find out what God has said.”
You can also share with your friend that the Bible has a very personal message for him (or for her). Then turn to John 3:16 and share it:
“For God so loved __________________________ (your friend's name) that He gave His only begotten Son, that if _________________________ (your friend's name) believes in Him, ________________________ (your friend's name) will not perish, but __________________________ (your friend's name) will have everlasting life.”
The person who asks a question like this does not think that
we can really be sure about what the Bible teaches because everyone understands
the Bible differently. We need to show this person that there is really only one
way to interpret the Bible. We must simply take God at His Word and believe what
He says. Turn in your Bible to Romans 3:23 and show this verse to your friend
who asked you this question. Then ask this: “How many people have sinned?” There
is only one possible answer that your friend can give based upon Romans
3:23. What is this answer? _____
Then turn to Romans 6:23 and ask, “The wages of sin is what?” What is the only answer this person can give based on this verse? ______________________
Then turn to Romans 5:8 and ask, “For whom did Christ die?” What is the only answer this person can give? _______________________________________
Then turn to Acts 16:30-31 and ask, “What must a person do
to be saved?” What is the only correct answer?
You can then say to your friend, “In each of these verses you gave me the correct interpretation and the only correct answer to the questions I asked. We learned from the Bible that we all have sinned, we all deserve death, Christ died for us and if we believe on Him we will be saved. We have both seen for ourselves that this is what the Bible teaches! The verses we looked at can only be correctly interpreted in one way. There are not many different interpretations. We just need to let the Bible say what it says."
Most people do not pray before eating. They just dig in as soon as they get their food. If a person bows his head and silently prays before eating (in the school cafeteria, at a restaurant or elsewhere), other people will really notice this and perhaps even ask about it.
Did Jesus ever give thanks before eating (John 6:11)? ______ Were there many people present when He did this (John 6:10)? _____ Did the Apostle Paul give thanks for the food even though there were many unsaved people around him (Acts 27:35)? _____ If someone were to buy you an ice cream cone, would it be polite and respectful to take it without saying “thank you”? _____ At meal time, where do the good things on your plate and on the table come from (James 1:17)? ____________ Would it be respectful to God to eat without thanking the great Giver? _____
How would you answer the question? Perhaps you could say
something like this: “I have a great God who not only saved me and gave me
eternal life, but who also gives me good things to eat every day, and I don't
want to forget to thank Him!”
God has given instructions in 1 Timothy 4:3-5 about how a believer should eat. He has told the believer what he should do (verses 3 and 4): he should receive the food with _________________________________. He has told us why we should do this (verse 4): “for everything created by God (every creature of God) is _____________ and nothing to be __________________ (or thrown away).” The reason for this (verse 5): “for it is sanctified (set apart) by the __________ of ______ and P_______________ (my prayer in Jesus' Name for God's will).”
A godly farmer was asked to dine with a well-known gentleman. While there, he asked a blessing at the table as he was accustomed to do at home. His host said jeeringly, "That is old fashioned; it is not customary nowadays for well-educated people to pray before they eat." The farmer answered that with him it was customary, but that some of those on his farm never prayed over their food. "Ah, then," said the gentleman, "they are sensible and enlightened. Who are they?" "My pigs," the farmer answered.
There are many things that believers do not do, and our unsaved friends have trouble understanding why we do not do certain things. For example, they might ask, “Why don't you go to the movies?” “Why don't you go to the school dances?”
Suppose you were to give these answers as to why you do not do certain things:
“My parents do not let me do these things.”
“Most people in our church think these things are wrong.”
“I want to do these things, but I would get into trouble If I did.”
Would this be the best way to answer your friends? Would
these answers show them that you are different from them or just like them?
_____________________________ Your friends would probably think, “If he had
parents like my parents and if he went to a church like my church, then he would
be able to go to the movies and to dances just like I do and he wouldn't be so
unhappy all the time!”
If our friends think of us as “unhappy Christians” are they going to want to become a Christian too? ______ Are we showing them that the Christian life is terrible or wonderful?
The excitement of a movie and the thrill of a dance are soon over, but the joy that God can give to those who trust Him is something that never ends (see Psalm 16:11). Your unsaved friends think that they would be miserable if they could not go to the movies and the dances and other things. If they see that you do not do these things and you are not miserable, they will be amazed and you can begin to share with them the real secret of happiness:
"Happiness is to know the Saviour,
Living a life within His favour;
Having a change in my behavior,
Happiness is the LORD!”
Suppose they ask you, “Why don' t you smoke cigarettes?” How
would you answer this? You could share an answer that might surprise them: “If
this were my body, I could do whatever I want with it, but since this is not my
own body (see 1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20) I always need to check with the Owner
before I do anything.” They would probably ask you some more questions after
hearing that! You can then share how the Lord has saved you and how your body
belongs to Him and how you need to be careful to avoid things that would harm
the body (even unsaved people realize that “the Surgeon General has
determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health”).
Suppose they ask you, “Why don't you take drugs?” Again you could amaze them by your answer, and arouse their curiosity. You could share with them that you have something much better than a drug trip. You are taking a trip that leads to heaven! And you can invite them to come with you on this trip and you can show them the way (John 14:6). Our unsaved friends need to see that we have something much better than they have and something which they need very much! What is it that every believer has (1 John 5:12)? __________________________
Suppose they ask you, “Why don' t you drink?” Again you could point to something much better: “There is something far better and far more satisfying than drinking alcoholic beverages!” This will arouse their curiosity! What is it that we have that is far better than drinking (Ephesians 5:18)? ___________________________________________ Notice in John 4:7-15 how the Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman about a drink that could satisfy her soul forever! Was she interested in this drink? Did she want to try it for herself (John 4:15)? _____
This is an example of a question that unsaved people often
ask. The devil can use such questions to get unsaved people SIDETRACKED and away
from the main issue which is salvation. The important thing is not understanding
about Cain's wife, but understanding about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did
on the cross for lost sinners. When a person is saved, then God can help him to
understand about Cain's wife.
The question is not difficult. Did Cain have a wife (Genesis 4:17)? _____ In Genesis 5:4 we are told that Adam begat sons and ____________________. These were the only women that were around and therefore it is certain that Cain must have married one of A ________'s daughters (that is, one of his sisters).
Sometimes people will ask you Bible questions and you may not know the answer. But you can always share something like this: “There are many things that I do not yet understand, but God knows all the answers. I trust Him and I am learning more about Him and about His Word each day.” We don't have all the answers, but we know the One who does!
When sharing with your unsaved friends, you want to try to keep the conversation centered around Christ and salvation, as much as possible. You could try to answer the question about Cain as simply as possible (Remember the acronym KISS--Keep It Simple Stupid) and then you could say, “The question about Cain's wife is interesting, but do you mind if I share something with you from the Bible that is much more important for you to understand right now?” Then share God' s good news!
Sometimes people try to get away from the subject of salvation by asking questions about prophecy and future things. They might ask something like this:
“Who do you think the Antichrist is going to be?” or “When do you think the Antichrist is going to come on the scene?” or “When do you think Jesus is going to return to earth?” Concerning the first of these, it's important to understand what the Bible teaches about the Antichrist, but it is far more important to understand WHO CHRIST IS (see Matthew 16:13-16). Concerning the third question, the real issue is not when Jesus will come, but the real issue is this: ARE YOU SAVED AND READY for Jesus to come whenever He comes, even if He comes today?”
Can people really understand the Bible before they are saved (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14)? ______ Therefore, instead of trying to help them understand everything about the Bible, we should first try to help them be saved. Once they are saved, then God will open their eyes and help them to understand the Bible. Didn't God do this for you?