Frequently Asked Questions About Christianity

This page is designed to help the seekers to know God’s salvation and to help the believers to grow. The answers to the questions may come from the pastors, leaders, and friends of DCCC. Good answers from Christian books may also be quoted.

If you have a spiritual question to which you would like a response from us please use the question box below. Not all questions will be answered immediately. We recognize our limitation and will use our discretion to post and answer the questions as soon as we can.

Questions:

1. Why do we come to this world? What is the meaning of life?

2. Why doesn’t God prevent crime and other bad things?

3. I would like to tell you that we are studying LEVITICUS in our Sunday school. A question arises with some of the chapters. It seems that women were badly discriminated by God. Could you please give your explanation at your convenience? (Perry)

4. How do you know creation is true and evolution is false?

5. It seems that there is a contradiction between Leviticus 24:20 and Matthew 5:38 to 5:47. Could you please give your explanation? (Perry)

6. Why does God have to wait until people die to reward kindness and to punish evil? Who can say what happens after death, such as; paradise for people doing good and hell for people doing evil?

7. God is all-powerful and loves his creatures, why not let us know him in a more direct way? (Y.Z.)

8. How can you believe in the Christian faith completely and truly from your heart? (Y.Z.)

9. Since death means “go home” or “go to paradise”, why do people show sorrow instead of being joyful for his or her relatives “going home”? Why not say ‘congratulations’ instead of “sorry”? (Y.Z.)

10. There are always some people dying from starvation, disease and other pains everyday, why is God just watching them suffering and dying, but doesn’t save them?(Y.Z.)

Questions on the Book of Joshua

11. JOSHUA was an important figure in Israel history as well as in Holy Bible. Why is the author for this book unknown or uncertain?

12. Our God is perfect, kind, wonderful, nice and….. Why did HE let Israel kill all people in a town once Joshua attacked and occupied the town. It seems too brutal!

13. In the New Testament, our Lord taught us how to be nice to our brothers and even to our enemies. However, in the Old Testament, our God let Israel kill so many people. It seems there is a contradiction between the Old
and New Testaments.

14. There are so many people in the world believing in different religions, how can you convince them that they are wrong? (Y.F.)

15. Is a church business? How sad would it be if somebody make money by taking advantage of other people’s beliefs!

16. How would you help me to believe everything written in bible is right?

17. What is the biblical definition of adultery? Specifically, sex outside of marriage and/or pre-marital sex?

18. Pastor Lee : Since our church will be ordaining elders, I have a question regarding elders and deacons. What is the difference between the two? What does the Bible say about this issue? Thanks. Sincerely, Newton

19.If someone wants to fight you, you do everything to avoid them, they insult you constantly. When is enough enough, and can you just pound them? Please give me something other then “7 x 70 a day”.

20. I am dating a girl, her parents hate me (over 2 years now). She loves me and I love her. They say I am not good enough, because I am not wealthy enough… I don’t “bow” to them… and I disagree with them on some biblical principals. We have gotten to a point where our growth together is hindered by her parents. What should I do? (the situation has become absurd). Am I out of line to ask her to choose between me and them?

21. I’ve yet to get a clear-cut answer to this question, Jesus went through the burial process,and we are supposed to follow his example because he is the way, the truth and the life. So what is the justification for cremation since our bodies are not our own to do with as we please, but the temple of God.

Answers

1. Why do we come to this world? What is the meaning of life?

Answer: Humankind was originally created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Humankind is like God in that we have intelligence, emotion, moral concept, a free will and a spirit that is able to communicate with God..

Humankind is the masterpiece of God’s creation. All other things; plants, flowers, animals, birds, fishes, sun, moon, stars, seas, lands, mountains, rivers and lakes were all created for mankind’s enjoyment and appreciation.

In Genesis chapter 2:18 God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God made Eve to be a companion for Adam.

Just as Eve was created to be a suitable companion for Adam, humankind was created to be a suitable companion for God. God revealed this truth to us later in the New Testament.

Humankind lost the meaning of life when our first parents sinned and chose to be independent of God. (Genesis chapter three). God cursed the ground because of man’s sin and there were troubles, sickness and death in the world. The descendants of Adam and Eve developed the present man-centered civilization. Sins abound in the world today. That is the reason we find these things in the world: boredom, struggle, sickness and death.

God loved the world, He prepared salvation for mankind. In the fullness of time He sent His Son Jesus Christ to the world to be our Savior. Jesus died for our sins on the cross and was resurrected on the third day. Jesus sent His disciples to go to all nations to tell the good news of God’s salvation.

We regain the meaning of life when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and be reconciled with God. God will become our Father and we will become His children. We will possess the eternal life from God.

As soon as we come back to God like the prodigal son (Luke chapter 15),we will possess God’s love, joy, glory, eternal life and His beautiful kingdom. Our life will be full of glory and satisfaction. The meaning of life is that we may enjoy God’s glory forever. (G. Lee)

2. Why doesn’t God prevent crime and other bad things?

Answer: This is a paraphrase from “Letters from a skeptic” by Gregory and Edward Boyd.
“If God is going to give free wills to His creatures, He has to allow for the possibility of them misusing that freedom, even if this means hurting others. To be significantly free is to be morally responsible, and to be morally responsible means being morally responsible to each other. What is the freedom to love or not love unless it is freedom to enrich or harm another? God structured things this way because the alternative would be to have a race of robots who can’t genuinely love – but that’s hardly worth creating, is it?

So why doesn’t God intervene every time someone is going to misuse his freedom and hurt another person? The answer I believe, is found in the nature of freedom itself. A freedom which was prevented from being exercised whenever it was going to be misused simply wouldn’t be freedom. ……

If God really gives us freedom, it must be, at least to a large extent, irrevocable. He must have, within limits, a “hands off” attitude toward it. God creates free people who can do as they please, not determined instruments who always end up doing what God wants……

The horrendous evil we see people inflicting on each other in this world is a necessary possibility if this is to be the kind of world where love is possible. Even God wouldn’t have it any other way.” End of quote. (Glenn)

3. I would like to tell you that we are studying LEVITICUS in our Sunday school. A question arises with some of the chapters. It seems that women were badly discriminated by God. Could you please give your explanation at your convenience? (Perry)

Answer:
Concerning your question I would like to answer in this way. In the Old Testament time God put the people of the Israel under the law for the purpose of teaching them and also teaching us spiritual truths.

Lev 12:2-5 says: “A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.”

Lev 15:25 says: “‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.”

When a woman has her period or when she gives birth of a child, she bleeds. Bleeding is unclean in God’s sight. Lev 17:11 says: “The life of a creature is in the blood” When a woman is bleeding, she is leaking her very life. Excessive loss of blood can lead to death. Bleeding represents the sin of wasting our life. In the bible, every kind of sickness or infirmity represents some kind of sin. For example being blind represents the spiritual blindness of the human race to spiritual things. Being lame represents our inability to walk in God’s righteousness. The people of the world are wasting the precious life given to them by God. They are like the prodigal son wasting the resources given to him by his father.

Also when a woman gives birth to a male child, she give birth to a sinner. Kind David said: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psa 51:5) For that reason she is unclean for forty days.

When she gives birth to a female child, she is unclean for eighty days. The reason is that God wants the women to remember that the woman is the first one who sinned in the Garden of Eden.

In the New Testament time we are no longer under the law. We are under grace. The Old Testament ceremonial laws no longer apply to Christians in this age. Jesus Christ has accomplished salvation for us. He has removed the curse of the law for us.

In Jesus Christ there is no discrimination against the women. Gal 3:28 says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”. (G.Lee)

4. How do you know creation is true and evolution is false?

Answer: We know that creation is true and evolution is false because the Word of God (the Bible) clearly tells us that God created the heavens and earth and all things. (Gen. Chap. 1)

Jesus taught that the Word of God is truth (John 17:17) Jesus taught that in the beginning God created the human race male and female (Matt. 19:4). He also taught that it is God who clothes the grass of the field with beauty and feeds the birds of the air with plenty of food (Matt. 6:26-30) Jesus’ teaching is authoritative and truthful. He not only taught the truth, He said: “I am the truth”. No one has proven that he has said anything wrong.

Paul said: “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature (wisdom, intelligence, goodness, beauty, etc)–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

The writer of the Book of Hebrews said: For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. (Heb 3:4)

Even the lowest form of life, a single cell is ten thousand times more complex than a house. The human body consists of 100 trillion cells joining together to become a functional and beautiful body. If a house needs someone to build, how can such a masterpiece of creation, a human being came into existence without an intelligent Creator?

For a more complete answer to your question, we refer you to other websites:

http://www.ChristianAnswers.Net

http://www.primenet.com/~chungwu/JesusQuestion.htm

http://www.thebiblecodes.com/skepticfaq.html

We also recommend that you read Phillip E. Johnson book “Darwin On Trial” (G.Lee)

5. It seems that there is a contradiction between Leviticus 24:20 and Matthew 5:38 to 5:47. Could you please give your explanation? (Perry)

Answer: Lev. 24:20 says: “fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured.” The teaching of Leviticus 24:20 is a part of the Mosaic Law. In the Old Testament time God taught the people of Israel His law and He placed them under the law. The purposes of the law are to teach God’s righteousness and to reveal human sins. (Rom. 7:7, 12) God’s grace was not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. “Fracture for fracture, eye for eye” is showing what justice is.

However, after Jesus Christ came to the world, God began to teach the principles of grace, divine love and higher virtues. God’s revelation was progressive. He taught the people of the world simple justice in the past, but He is teaching the believers high morality and excellent virtues today. John said: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

The teaching of Matt. 5:38-47 is for the Christians only. The people of the world cannot live by such a high moral standard. Matt. 5:38-47 says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

First of all we should recognize that Jesus Himself lived by this standard when He was on earth. He showed marvelous grace, forbearance and love toward those who opposed Him. After we have been born again, the Lord Jesus wants us to follow His example to live on earth. We cannot obey the teaching of Matt. 5:38-47 in our own strength. We can only follow the teaching here through the new life God has given to us. The Holy Spirit inside us leads us to follow this high moral standard to live. (John 16:13)

The Holy Spirit helps us to love those who are unlovable. God wants all men to be saved. Every human person has great value in God’s sight because he/she is made in the image of God. Every human person has the potential to be saved.

Right now it is still the age of grace. God wants us to treat the people with grace. By living according to God’s excellent virtues we can win many people to His kingdom. God’s patience is greater, His love deeper and His wisdom higher. God wants us to grow in spiritual life ant to become like Him in His character. Matt. 5:48 teach: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (G.Lee)

6. Why does God have to wait until people die to reward kindness and to punish evil? Who can say what happens after death, such as; paradise for people doing good and hell for people doing evil?

Answer: God has ordained the conscience and human government to govern the behavior of the individual and society. Every violation of the moral laws (conscience) or the civil laws (government) will bring about some kind of punishment.

For example if a person steals money from his employer, his conscience will condemn him. There will be no peace in his heart. If his neighbors and friends know about his evil deeds, they will look down upon him, avoid him or treat him badly. If this person violates the laws of the state and get caught, he will be fined or put in jail.

On the other hand if a person continues to do good, there will be peace in his heart. His good deeds will be recognized by relatives and friends, they will treat him nicely. If he does good in the work place and in society, most likely he will be recognized by his supervisor or by a government official and he will receive awards.

Generally speaking there are punishment and rewards according to one’s behavior in this life. This is a part of God’s government (Rom. 13:1-7)

However neither conscience nor human government is perfect in this world. Some people have a perverted conscience and some societies have unjust government. There are also many deceitful people who get around the law to do bad things. As a result many wicked people seem to be prosperous while the good people suffer. In allowing freedom of will, God permits evil to exist temporarily. (Concerning why God permits bad things, please see the answer in question 2)

But God is righteous and just. His justice will not let evil people to get away without punishment. He will not allow the good people suffer wrongly. He will vindicate them and reward them. The Bible reveals that there is a judgment day. All people will appear before God at the great white throne. The wicked people will be thrown into the lake of fire while the good people will enter God’s kingdom. (Rev. 20:11-15)

We know future things through God’s revelation. The Word of God (Bible) reveals the future events to us. The fulfillment of many prophecies such as the coming of a Savior, the salvation of many people, the building of Christ’s church, the restoration of the nation of Israel, the increase of knowledge in the end time, etc confirms that the revelation concerning future events is trustworthy. (G. Lee)

7. God is all-powerful and loves his creatures, why not let us know him in a more direct way? (Y.Z.)

Answer: Yes God is all-powerful and loves his creatures. He has already given us the most direct way to know Him.

A. To reveal Himself to humankind, God became a man in human history. This is the wonderful Christmas story. Jesus was born in Bethlehem about two thousand years ago. He was not an ordinary child. He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. He was born as a God-man. He had two natures in him, divinity and humanity. He was the incarnation of God.

He came not just for the Jews but for all the people of the world. He came for the entire human race. He came so that we may know God. His disciple John said: “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:18)

Jesus came to teach us about God, His truths, His laws, His character, His ways, His work and His kingdom. He also taught the truth about man, his original glory, his lost condition today, his sins, his future judgment and the way of salvation. Jesus taught us many other truths. He performed many miracles to prove to the world that He is God. The greatest of all miracles is that He rose from the dead on the third day after He died for our sins on the cross. We can know God through the studying of the life and teaching of Jesus.

B. To know God there is the human responsibility

1. The seeker must have a sincere heart to seek the truth. Jesus promised: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)

2. The seeker must have a humble and teachable attitude. Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)

3. The seeker must acknowledge his personal sins and confess his sins before the holy God. Jesus preached: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.” (Matt. 4:17)

4. The seeker must accept the truthful testimony of God’s servants. Jesus sent his disciples (who were eye witnesses of his life) to tell the world about his salvation. The heart of the gospel is that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected for our righteousness. There are many truthful servants of God today who have done a thorough investigation of the historical facts of the Christian faith and who have known God personally. These pastors and preachers are bearing witness for God today.

5. The seeker must understand his need of being born again in order to see God and His kingdom. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) To be born again is to receive a new life from God and to have our spirit renewed. The spirit is the deepest part of our being, people oftentimes use the word ‘heart’ to speak of that part of our being. We can be born again through accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

6. After being born again, the believer can worship God in spirit and in truth. The believer will be in direct contact with God and can know God personally and grow in the knowledge of God. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: ” Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

7. The only way to know God personally, directly and intimately is through the renewed spirit we possess after God’s Spirit comes into our life. (G.Lee)

8. How can you believe in the Christian faith completely and truly from your heart? (Y.Z.)

Answer: The Christian faith is based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. When we know Him and His teaching fully, then we can believe in Him completely and truly from the heart. The life and teaching of Jesus has been faithfully recorded in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

The first step to know the Christian faith is to study one of the books (may be Luke or John) diligently and carefully. Believe in the truthful records of these eyewitnesses. Familiarize yourself with the whole life and all the teaching of Jesus.

The second step is to follow the teaching of Jesus. Begin with the confession of your sins before the holy and righteous God. We all have wrong behavior in the past and impure thought in the heart such as pride, vanity, jealousy, selfishness, covetousness, deceitfulness and hatred) Jesus teaches: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matt. 5:8)

The third step is to believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and claim His promises. He promised to give eternal life to whoever believes in Him. (John 3:16) He promised to give you the living water that will quench your inner thirst (John 4:14). He promised to give you peace and rest (Matt. 11:28-30).

If you truly believe in Jesus as your personal Savior, you will experience a new birth which means that God’s Spirit will come into your heart to give you a new heart and a new spirit. Immediately you will see God and the things of God. Your inner eyes will be opened and see many wonderful things which you did not see before. And you will understand the Bible in a way you did not know before. You will gain new knowledge of God everyday and you will be able to believe in Jesus Christ truly and completely. (G. Lee)

9. Since death means “go home” or “go to paradise”, why do people show sorrow instead of being joyful for his or her relatives “going home”? Why not say “congratulations” instead of “sorry”? (Y.Z.)

Answer: Death means “go home” only to the true believers of Jesus Christ. In the last night before Jesus left the world, His disciples were very sorrowful. Jesus was going home, but the disciples showed sorrow instead of joy.

Jesus comforted them: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:1-6)

Strong and mature Christians have joy, peace and hope in their hearts when their believing relatives go home. But there are many weak, ignorant and immature Christians in the world. Like the first disciples, they are sorrowful instead of having joy.

Paul comforted the new believers in Thessalonica whose relatives had died: “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thess. 4:13-14) After we have believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior, there is the process of spiritual growth. We need to grow in the knowledge of God’s truths (salvation, resurrection, heaven, God’s kingdom, etc.), and grow in the loving relationship with God. Mature Christians know the reality of God’s presence and His perfect love everyday. The apostle John said: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

But unfortunately many Christians remain childish for many years after they have accepted Christ as their Savior. That is the reason they have sorrow instead of joy. The secret to overcome fear and sorrow in the face of death is to become mature in faith, love and hope. Christians do have a blessed hope (Titus 2:13) The Bible talks a lot about the glory of heaven and God’s kingdom. The more we know about the glory of God’s kingdom, the less we will have sorrow when our believing relatives leave this world.

We don’t say congratulation to the believers who have lost a relative, because we are still human and have our weakness. There may be a mixture of joy and sorrow. Deep inside we have joy because the relative is now with Jesus in paradise. But outwardly we may still have sorrow, because we no longer have sweet fellowship with this loved one. We can draw an analogy from a family preparing for a son/daughter to leave China to come to America. The parents usually have a mixed emotion. They rejoice with their son/daughter for having the opportunity to advance in career and to explore the new world, but there is also some sadness in the heart for fear that they will not see the son/daughter again. (G. Lee)

10. There are always some people dying from starvation, disease and other pains everyday, why is God just watching them suffering and dying, but doesn’t save them?(Y.Z.)

Answer: To understand the reasons of human suffering we need to understand the nature of human sin and God’s response to human sin. What is human sin? Genesis chapter three recorded the origin of human sin. Our first parents Adam and Eve disobeyed the clear command of God: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”. (Gen. 2:16-17)

The devil deceived Eve saying: “You will not surely die, For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5) Sin is the willful disobedience of God’s command. Sin is blatant rebellion against God. Sin is pride, the desire to be like God. Sin is self-centeredness. Sin is covetousness.

After Adam’s fall, human nature changed. Man began to have a sin nature and that sin nature passed on to all the descendants of Adam. Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve manifested his sin nature in killing his brother and lying about it (Gen. 4:8-9) Later in human history, sin manifested in pride, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, fornication, hurting, killing, coveting, worshipping idols, etc.

When men sin against one another, they inflict great pain and suffering upon one another. One example is that the Second World War caused 50 million people to die or be injured.

What is God’s response to human sin? He punished human sin. He caused the women to have pain in childbirth. He caused man to toil to make a living. He also cursed the ground because of human sin. Nature had changed. The earth produced thorns and thistles. (Gen. 3:17-19) He allowed disease, decay and death to occur as He had warned: “you will surely die”.

There are also natural disasters in the world such as thunder, lightning, storms, flooding, draught, insects etc. The world is no longer a paradise. Since mankind chose to be independent of God, God is no longer giving special favor and protection for mankind. In spite of His anger against human sin, God has not totally abandoned the human race. In fact He is still bestowing general grace to mankind. Acts 14:17 says: “God has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

If mankind turn back to God and repent from their sins, a lot of suffering can be reduced. For example man can use his wisdom to protect the environment and develop the uncultivated lands. Man should evenly distribute the food supply. It is a shame that the American people throw away so much food while people in other parts of the world are starving to death. If all the money spent for war is used for food, no one will be starving.

If all the governments provide adequate health care to their citizens, the pain from illness and disease can be reduced. Other kinds of social problems can also be solved. If mankind loves one another and takes care of one another, a lot of the suffering and pain can be alleviated.

But if human race continue to indulge in all kinds of sins, they have to suffer the consequences of sin. Many people keep worshipping idols. Many people deny the existence of God. Many people are cheating and hurting others. Many people keep drinking, smoking and using drugs. Many people keep indulging in other kinds of sins. The sins of the human race are very offensive to God.

God is calling the people of the world to repent and turn back to Him. God loves those who repent and receive His salvation in Jesus Christ. He loves and cares for them. God’s Spirit is everywhere. Providentially He will alleviate the suffering of His people. The believers have hope. The present suffering is only temporary. God will transform the bodies of the believers when Jesus comes back. There will be no more disease and suffering.

Rev. 21:3-4 says: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”(G. Lee)

11. JOSHUA was an important figure in Israel history as well as in Holy Bible. Why is the author for this book unknown or uncertain.?

Answer: Sidlow Baxter explained: “It would seem that the book of Joshua is so named because Joshua is its focal figure, and not necessarily as implying that Joshua himself was its author. Jewish tradition does indeed ascribe the authorship to him. The probability is that while Joshua himself supplied the materials, these were arranged and supplemented by some scribe a little later, or it may be that Joshua contributed the substance of the work, while certain of the elders completed it. The really important thing to maintain is that the editor-author was a contemporary, having first-hand knowledge, or authentic documents, so that the work is really a product of the period which it records.” (Explore The Book) On at least two occasions the text reports writing at Joshua’s command or by Joshua himself (Josh. 18:8; 24:25)

I agree with the above explanation. An analogy is that many great leaders had their speechwriters. History seldom records the names of the speechwriters but ascribes the words to the leaders.(G. Lee)

12. Our God is perfect, kind, wonderful, nice and….. Why did HE let Israel kill all people in a town once Joshua attacked and occupied the town. It seems too brutal!

Answer: The Old Testament period was the age of the Law. God’s justice was emphasized. When the sins of a city, a race or a country reached the full measure, God’s righteous judgment would come upon them. For examples the destruction of the ancient world by a great flood (Gen. chaps 6-8) and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. chap. 19) were total.

At the time Israel entered Canaan, the sins of the Canaanites had reached their full measure (Gen. 15:16). Lev. Chap. 18 records many detestable sins practiced by the inhabitants of Canaan. These include all forms of sexual sins, homosexuality, sacrificing children to the god Molech, worshipping many idols etc.

God wanted the nation of Israel to be kept from the influence and defilement of the Canaanites. Lev. 18:27-29 says: “for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. Everyone who does any of these detestable things– such persons must be cut off from their people.”

13. In the New Testament, our Lord taught us how to be nice to our brothers and even to our enemies. However, in the Old Testament, our God let Israel kill so many people. It seems there is a contradiction between the Old and New Testaments.

Answer: After Jesus came to the world, the age of grace began. This is a period of God’s special kindness to mankind. God has gone out of His way to treat the people of the world with love and grace. God loves the people of the world and He doesn’t want any one to perish. This period will end at Christ’s Second Coming. He has already given to the world two thousand years to repent. If the people of the world ignore God’s grace and persist in doing evil and in rebellion against Him. The Bible repeatedly warns the people of the world that the Great Judgment will come soon. It is not possible for God to allow Satan, evil spirits and evil people to persist in doing evil in the universe. There is no contradiction between the Old and New Testaments. God is always righteous. He will judge all forms of sin. God, being the sovereign Lord of this universe, has the right to decide when to judge sin. (G. Lee)

14. There are so many people in the world believing in different religions, how can you convince them that they are wrong? (Y.F.)

Answer: I believe the best way to convince the people who believe in the wrong religion is to show them the right one. Jesus talked to a Samaritan woman with these words: “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:22-26)

Jesus came to this world to reveal to us the true religion. The true religion contains the following elements:

1. One must know the God he is worshipping and have a personal relationship with this God. Jesus knew this God for He Himself was the incarnation of this great God. He came to reveal the true God to every one who sincerely seeks God.

2. One must know God’s wonderful salvation. Jesus said: “salvation is from the Jews.” In the past God taught the Jews to worship the only true God who is the Creator and Lord of the universe (Deut. 6:4). God also taught them to approach Him through offering a lamb as an atoning sacrifice for sin. Jesus was born a Jew. He offered His sinless body to die for the sin of the world. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) Through believing in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, one can have a personal relationship with God.

3. The worshipper must know that he has a spirit inside of him and that he can get in touch with God through his spirit because God Himself is Spirit. God is not matter; God is Spirit. God created mankind in his own image. Man possesses a spirit inside of him so that he can get in touch with God’s Spirit. True worship happens when a person’s spirit gets in touch with the Holy Spirit of God.

4. A true worshipper must worship God according to truth. The basic truths are: (1) There is a Creator God in the universe. (2) Mankind is a direct creation of God. (3) Mankind has sinned against God. (4) Mankind needs a Savior to save him from sin and future judgment. (5) A person needs to repent from his sin and accept God’s salvation.

Jesus is the Christ who is the Savior and King of the world. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) When a person obeys Jesus’ teaching and possesses God’s eternal life, he knows that the other religions are wrong. (G.L.)

15. Is a church business? How sad would it be if somebody make money by taking advantage of other people’s beliefs!

Answer: The church is not a business, but unfortunately many false preachers and false religious leaders have made the church a business. The words ‘Christian’ and ‘church’ are used loosely today. Many people claim to be Christians and many organizations call themselves churches, but in reality they are not.

There are also childish Christians. They are true Christians, but they have not grown in the Christian faith. Their behavior is not much different from the majority of the people in this world who pursue monetary gain rather than the truth.

Jesus said a parable to illustrate the sad condition of Christendom today. He said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.”

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ”

‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'” (Matt 13:24-30)

The persons who sowed good seed in this parable were Jesus Christ and His faithful servants. The persons who sowed weeds were the devil and His followers. Just as there is a mixture of good and evil in the world, there is a mixture of good and evil in many so called churches today. But there are still many good churches that follow the teaching of Jesus. I advise you to go to a good church and seek God’s truth there. Jesus Christ will come back to establish His righteous kingdom on earth. At that time He will separate the good from the evil. He will reward those who do good and punish those who do evil. (G.L.)

16. How would you help me to believe everything written in bible is right?

Answer: This question requires a lengthy response but I will begin by quoting the words of St. Paul. He said: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17) Paul affirms here that all Scripture is inspired by God. The Bible has a supernatural origin and God is its author. Its superior teaching proves that it is from God.

  • The bible teaches the highest concept about God: He is all wise, good, holy, righteous, truthful, powerful, loving, glorious, etc. He is the Creator and Lord of the universe.
  • The bible teaches the noble origin and destiny of man. Man was originally created in the image of God, endowed with intelligence, emotion and a free will, to be the king of creation, to be the companion of God.
  • The bible teaches the origin of evil. An archangel rebelled against God. He deceived our first parents also to rebel against God.
  • The bible teaches God’s righteous way to provide salvation for mankind. God provided a perfect Savior. Jesus Christ possessed both a divine and a human nature. According to his human nature He died for human sins to provide the basis for God to forgive the believers’ sins. According to His divine nature, He was resurrected to become the Head of a new human race (All those who repent and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.)
  • The bible teaches the highest moral standard. By following its teaching man can live a noble and happy life.
  • The bible teaches that God offers to mankind the highest gift that is His own eternal life. This eternal life is the Holy Spirit. All believers have received and experienced the reality of the Holy Spirit.
  • The bible contains many prophecies. The fulfillment of hundreds of prophecies in human history proves that the bible was inspired by God.
  • The bible has a history of transforming many people, cultures and societies. The people and societies that honor and follow its teaching become civilized and orderly.
  • The bible teaches the true history of the human race.
  • The bible is authoritative in rebuking evil, correcting wrong behavior and practices. It is an excellent text book for training people to walk in righteousness. It can equip diligent Christian workers to do all kinds of good work
  • The bible is a very ancient book yet all the things it says about nature and the universe are in harmony with the scientific discovery of modern time. It doesn’t make scientific blunders like many other ancient books do.
  • The laws stated in the bible are wise and fair. It is the foundation of all righteous laws.
  • The bible is authoritative in teaching marriage and family life. People have a blessed marriage and a happy family by following its teaching.
  • The bible teaches the origin, nature, ordinances and government of the church. By following its teaching Christians can build an excellent and beautiful church in a locality to become a shining light for God.

Because the bible has all these intrinsic qualities it has become the most famous and the best seller of all books. I hope the facts stated above can help you to believe that everything written in the bible is right. (G.L.)

17. What is the biblical definition of adultery? Specifically, sex outside of marriage and/or pre-marital sex?

Answer: The bible defines adultery, as having sexual relation with a person whom is married (Lev. 18:20; Jud. 19:2; 2 Sam. 11:1-5) Sex outside of marriage, pre-marital sex and other kinds of illegitimate sexual relationship are called fornication. (1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13)

Adultery is sinful and very dangerous because the offended husband or wife will seek revenge (Prov. 6:27-35)

Fornication is also sinful. It hurts the person’s body and soul. The guilt incurred through fornication or adultery will remain in the offender’s heart for a long time. God will also punish or discipline such a person. The pain and suffering as a result of these sins outweigh the momentary pleasure. (Ps. 51:1-7)

However there is still grace for people who have committed these kinds of sin. Jesus forgave the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Jesus commanded her “go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11; Ps. 51:9-19) (G.L.)

18. Pastor Lee : Since our church will be ordaining elders, I have a question regarding elders and deacons. What is the difference between the two? What does the Bible say about this issue? Thanks. Sincerely, Newton

Dear Newton: I am glad that you ask this question. The New Testament clearly teaches that there are two offices in the government of the church. The word elder means older, senior. It implies maturity of age, wisdom and experience. From ancient time elders were selected to rule over a tribe, city or nation. In the Old Testament time and during the time of Jesus, Israel had elders to rule over the cities and the nation. After Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel and won many converts, they ordained elders from among the believers to take charge of the flock after they left. (Acts 14:22-23)

Elder in the Christian church implies not only maturity of age and wisdom, it also implies maturity of spiritual life. That is why Paul said: “an overseer (elder) must not be a new convert” Paul set down the qualification of elder in 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:7-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4. The responsibilities of the elders are to shepherd the flock. (1 Pet. 5:1-4). To shepherd means to oversee, to rule, to guide and to teach (feed) the flock. The elders should also lead the church in worship. (Rev. 4:10) The elders should seek the mind of the Lord in governing the church. (Acts 15:6)

The word deacon means servant or minister. The qualification is set down in 1 Tim. 3:8-13; Acts 6:3 The responsibilities of the deacons are to do the work of the ministry. These include the administration of food, taking care the house of God, the church buildings, finance, evangelism, missions, caring, visitation, etc.

The deacons are to assist the elders to shepherd the flock. The main focus of the elders is to shepherd the flock while the main focus of the deacons is to get the tasks done. G. Lee

19. If someone wants to fight you, you do everything to avoid them, they insult you constantly. When is enough enough, and can you just pound them? Please give me something other then “7 x 70 a day”.

Answer: If I were you I will use this opportunity to deepen my spiritual life. Jesus taught His disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt 5:38-48)

Of course, no one can follow Jesus’ teaching in his own strength. But we have the divine life in us. Pray to the Lord constantly and be filled with the Holy Spirit. You will discover that God will give you grace, calmness, and endurance to live with these difficult people.

The apostle Paul taught the believers: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse . . . Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:14-21)

Also use this circumstance to examine your own life. If there are some shortcomings in your character, conduct and ability, strive to correct them by God’s grace. Christians can earn others’ respect by their good conduct and ability.

You should also pray for wisdom to interact with these difficult people. Jesus said to the disciples: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matt 10:16) (G.L)

20. I am dating a girl, her parents hate me (over 2 years now). She loves me and I love her. They say I am not good enough, because I am not whealthy enough… I don’t “bow” to them… and I disagree with them on some biblical principals. We have gotten to a point where our growth together is hindered by her parents. What should I do? (the situation has become absurd). Am I out of line to ask her to choose between me and them?

Answer: In a wedding ceremony, the officiating minister asks the first question:”who give this woman to be married to this man?” The Father who takes the bride to the altar usually answers: “Her mother and I do.” The Christian wedding ceremony teaches that a woman needs to have the parental consent to marry the man standing at the altar waiting for her.

I advise you to do something to win the hearts of her parents. In the bible we find that Jacob loved Rachel deeply. He proposed to her father Laban: “I will work for you seven years in return for your daughter Rachel.”(Gen. 29:18) That seven years seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Are you willing to do something like that? True love is expressed in labor and sacrifice.

You said you do not bow to them. But Jacob bowed down to his brother Esau seven times. He instructed his two wives and children to bow down to Esau.He also presented large droves of cattle and sheep as gifts to Esau to appease his animosity. Jacob¹ strategy was successful. (Gen. 33:1-11)

Also use this circumstance to examine your own life. If there are some shortcomings in your character, conduct and ability, strive to correct them by God’s grace. Christians can earn others’ respect by their good conduct and ability.

Most parents don’t just look at the wealth of their future son of law.They look for other qualities such as honesty, diligence, faithfulness,dependability, wisdom, humility, maturity, the desire to grow, etc. If you are not wealthy enough for them, at least you can become good enough for them. Strive to develop good Christian virtues in your life. Saving some money for your marriage will also help. (G.L)

21. I’ve yet to get a clear-cut answer to this question, Jesus went through the burial process,and we are supposed to follow his example because he is the way, the truth and the life. So what is the justification for cremation since our bodies are not our own to do with as we please, but the temple of God?

Answer: It is good to follow Jesus’ example in the burial process. But we should not be judgmental toward those who practice cremation. We don’t find any where in the bible that says cremation is a sin. It doesn’t affect the future resurrection of the body because God is the God of atoms. May be one can find the justification of cremation in typology. The Old Testament burnt offerings were totally consumed by fire to show God’s acceptance of the sacrifices (Gen. 15:17; Lev. 1:9).

There are some practical reasons for using cremation. Many people cannot afford the burial costs in nowadays. Places like Hong Kong don’t have enough land for burial.

Sincerely,

Gershom Lee