FAQ about God
Q. If God is so good and loving, why does He allow evil?
This is a flawed premise since it implies that we are in a position to say what is good and what is not good about God. We ourselves do not know what good is naturally, for we are not basically good.
Still, the question of evil persists, and we often hear the question "why?" in the aftermath of some tragedy. Remember, when God created the world, He created it perfectly. That includes His creation of man. Yet, this "perfect" man was also given the freedom of choice, or an ability to choose.
God gave us absolutes to live our lives by--standards that are found in the Bible. When we make choices that are contrary to those absolutes and standards, evil is the result.
Once you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you enter into the master plan that God has for you. For that reason, you can be assured of the promise in His Word, that "everything works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them" (Romans 8:28 NLB). Sometimes what appears horribly evil and tragic can result in something good.
We may not always understand the "why's" of a certain tragedy, but we know the "Who" that will carry us through it. He promises, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God . . ." (Isaiah 43:2-3a NIV). (Click here to see Dr Ed Horak’s Resource: “Why do Bad Things happen.”)
Q. How can Christians say that Jesus is the only way to heaven?
Are you saying that if a person does not believe in Jesus Christ, they are going to hell? Jesus Christ Himself said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NKJV). If humankind could have reached God any other way, Jesus would not have had to die. His voluntary death on the cross makes this fact even more compelling.
Q. Don't all religions teach the same thing?
"Don't all roads lead to God?" people often ask. "If a person is sincere in his or her beliefs, won't he or she get to heaven?" If you allow that all beliefs are true, then by what standards do you live? All belief systems cannot be true, because they cancel each other out. If you take time to look at what each religion teaches, you'll find that only Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again.
Q. How can a God of love send someone to hell?
It has never been God’s plan to send people to hell. He made man to enjoy eternal fellowship with Him. Since the fall of man through Adam’s rebellion and disobedience, God has sought out mankind to save them, not to send them to hell. However when someone refuses His offer of salvation through Jesus, they condemn themselves to an eternity in hell. Hell was not even made for people; it was made for the rebel angel Satan, and other spirit beings who followed him. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus says the everlasting fire of hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not for mankind. Thus people who refuse to confess Jesus as Lord go to hell out of God’s will. "[God] is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). That is why God sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place--to bridge the gap between sinful people and a Holy God. If you end up in hell, you will practically have to climb over or around Jesus to get there!
Q. Isn’t the Church full of hypocrites?
The reason I am not a Christian is because there are so many hypocrites in the church. Jesus does not say, "Follow the church," or "Follow the people." Jesus says, "Follow me" (Matthew 9:9; Mark 8:34; John 12:26). Church is not only a meeting place for saints, but a ‘hospital’ for sinners. The worst sin you can commit is to say no to God’s conviction. You will find hypocrites in the church as in any other place. There are hypocrites at work, yet you still go to work. We all need God’s help to live lives of integrity. If you get past your objections, you will also find other people in church who are trying to live their life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Q. I tried church before, but it didn't work for me.
What did you try? Did you go to a church? Did you read the Bible? Did you ask Christ into your life? Did you examine the claims of Christ? Most people know the Ten Commandments and the things that "thou shalt not" do. But the Bible also commands us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Mark 12:30 NKJV). Christ is real. Many facts substantiate that truth. In the end it is not about trying something, it’s about following Jesus.
Q. What does it mean to be born again?
God has given a very clear and understandable plan for accepting Jesus as the Savior of your life, so all your sins can be taken away and you can live in heaven with Him forever. That, in a sentence, is what it means to be born again.
Q. I've done many horrible things. You preach that Jesus can save anyone. Does that include me?
Through the centuries, often the worst, most guilty sinners become the most wonderful, guilt-free believers. The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote much of the New Testament. But at one time he was a hated persecutor of Christians, even overseeing their deaths. After giving his life to Christ, Paul wrote, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). Yes, Jesus can save and change anyone.