Q&A-03- Questions & Answers Series #3
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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
We welcome you today to our Bible question and answer series. This
is our third installment in this series of Bible questions and answers, and
we have some really good questions that we're excited about looking to the
word of God for the answer. I bet that you’ve had some of these questions
even in your own mind. We're going to let God's word answer these
The first question in our Bible questions and answers lesson today is,
‘Is hell a real place of eternal torment?’ There are a host of people who
teach that hell is really not real. It's just a figure God used to describe
separation or destruction, and that it's not real that we don't have, that if
people die they're just going to be annihilated and cease to exist.
As always we want to let God's word give the answer on this. Here's
the double-edged sword, if I say heaven is real and heaven is eternal in the
same breath in the same verse, I must say hell is real and hell is eternal.
What verse are we talking about?
Look in your Bible in Matthew 25:46. The same word is used to
describe heaven and its eternal nature is also used to describe hell and its
eternal nature. Listen to Matthew 25:46. Jesus said, “And these will go
away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” That
same word everlasting and eternal same word is used there, and they both
describe the same idea. If I'm going to say heaven is beautiful, wonderful,
real, and is going to last forever- in the same breath, I must realize hell is
real. Hell is a horrible, and hell's going to last forever.
Jesus tied the two together uniquely in Matthew 25:46. The Bible
clearly teaches. You read the example of Luke 16:19-31 ‘a lot of people say
well that's a parable or a story I don't know.’ Friend listen carefully that's not
the point. Jesus never told a lie when he used a parable, did He? I believe
that's a true story, and I believe the context and some of the indicators will
reveal that. Someone says ‘well that's a parable.’ So what? Did Jesus lie in
His parables and use things that didn't represent reality? Well of course
not! When Jesus spoke about the rich man and Lazarus torment unending,
can't go back, got to listen to the gospel- all those things represent reality
as it's going to be on the other side.
Mark 9:44 Jesus said, “Hell is a place where the worm does not die
and the fire is not quenched.” Revelation 14:11 “the smoke of their torment
goes up forever and ever.” How do we deal with those ideas if we're going
to write hell out of the Bible? To do so, we've got to write heaven out as
well because the same language is used to describe each. And so is hell a
real place of eternal torment. Yes, the Bible teaches it and heaven are both
real places that are eternal in their longevity. That's a good question that
has been submitted for us today.
As always if you've got a Bible question, we'd love for you to submit those
questions. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you
can log on to our website thegospelofChrist.com/questions, and you can fill
out a form and have those questions sent to us as well. We'll do our best to
give a Bible answer to those questions.
All right let's then move onto the next question that has been
submitted. Someone writes this, ‘I recently heard of someone being voted
into a certain denomination to receive membership. Is this scriptural? How
did people become members of the church in the Bible?’
Well I, like the one who wrote this, I've also talked to and I've heard of
people who had to bring a letter with them, who had then go before a board
of people, had to review their character, and things like and then vote them-
whether they want to let them become members of the church or not. Is
that scriptural? Where do we find in the Bible that anyone is voted into the
We just don't find someone being voted into the church in the Bible.
The idea of men coming together infallible, un-perfect men coming together
and trying to decide whether somebody can be a member- even if that's
just the local congregations of that- friend that's not found in the Bible.
In fact here's what we do find, and this is the answer to the rest of the
question. In Acts chapter 2 we find how people were added to the church.
Peter stood up with the 11, and he preached the gospel. He preached that
Jesus was the Son of God, that He was the Savior of the world, that the
God confirmed that with miracles, and that everything David said about the
Messiah Jesus fulfilled. He said, ‘you with lawless hands have killed.’ He
closed by saying, ‘therefore let all house of Israel know assuredly God's
made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ’ Bible says they
realized that. They're cut to the heart. They cried out ‘Men and brethren
what shall we do?’ Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’
Read that little further in that text. Acts 2:43 following, ‘Those who
gladly received his word were baptized,’ notice Acts 2:47,’ having favor with
God and all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who
were saved.’ Here's a stark contrast between what you find in religion of
men and what you find in the church of the Bible. Men want to sometimes
vote you in, say whether or not you can be in. Not the way it worked in the
Bible. When you obey the gospel, when you did what God said, God in
heaven added you to His church- not men. Isn't that a wonderful idea? If I
obey the gospel, God adds me to His church and wherever I go in the world
I'm a member of the Lord's church. I want to be identified. I want to meet
with other Christians. I want to be identified with them. I want to let them
know I'm going to work with and worship with the local church and that
congregation. But I'm a member of the church because I've obeyed the
gospel. Nobody can vote me in or out if God has added me to the church-
because God adds men to the church, not men. That is a very good
question and it shows the stark contrast between the religion of men and
the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let's then consider another question that is asked by someone who
has viewed our program. He writes, ‘I have friends who take of the Lord's
Supper once a month at their church. How often did Christians partake of
the Lord's supper in the Bible?’
Well like the one who viewed our program, I also have seen places
where some might take the Lord's Supper monthly. Others I've seen who
would do it quarterly. A big number of people will take it on Easter and
Christmas. How often? This is the real question. How often did Christians in
the Bible partake of the Lord's Supper?
Let's turn first of all to the words of Jesus to help us understand a
little bit. Matthew chapter 26 Jesus here tells us about the Lord's Supper
that's going to be in the kingdom. Jesus said Matthew 26:26 as they were
eating Jesus took bread blessed it and broke it and gave it to the disciples
and said, ‘Take, eat this is My body.’ Then He took the cup and gave
thanks and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it all of you for this is My
blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins,
but I say to you I will not drink of this for the vine from now on until the day
when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.’ This was something
that was going to be in the kingdom, something for the church that Jesus
instituted. How often did Christians do that? We know they came together
to worship God to praise Him.
Let's turn our attention then to a passage that does tell us. Look in
your Bible in Acts chapter 20, and I want you to see the example of
Christians in the first century. Acts chapter 20 I'd like for you look in verse
number 7. The Bible says, “Now on the first day the week when the
disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day
spoke to them and continued his message until midnight the disciples came
together to break bread representative of what Jesus said and
representative of the Lord's supper.” When did they do that? ‘On the first
day of the week they came together for the purpose of breaking bread.’
How many weeks have a first day? Well every week. Did God mean for it to
be every first day of the week? We open to 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul gave
orders the churches of Galatia that they should give every ‘kata’. The
Greek word ‘kata’ there every first day of the week. They were coming
together every first day of the week for in Acts 20:7 the purpose for that
was to break bread, as well as to give of their means to God. Here's what
we find in the New Testament, Jesus commanded to do 1 Corinthians 11
there was an oftenness to it. ‘As often as you eat this bread and drink this
cup you proclaim the Lord's death,’ 1 Corinthians 11:25 following. The
oftenness is they came together every first day of the week to break bread,
to give, and to worship God.
When we look at the example of the New Testament church, they met
on the first day of every week to break bread. Where then do we find in
Scripture that we're to meet monthly? We don't find that. Where do we find
in Scripture to meet quarterly? We don't find that either. Where on
Christmas? We don't find that. What we do find is Acts 20:7 the disciples
came together on the first day of the week to break bread. If that was good
enough for the disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, shouldn't it be
good enough for us? Don't we want to follow the pattern that they set forth
for us? The Holy Spirit revealed this in the Bible, and we want to follow that
pattern that the New Testament church followed as well. When we think
about worship and we think about doing things the way God wants us to,
let's make sure that we're staying true to the pattern of the New Testament
in that we're not departing from the right hand or from the left.
Alright another question that's been submitted for our consideration
today, and this will be in conjunction some ways with our former question,
‘The Bible says one writes remember the Sabbath keep it holy- Why do you
teach that we should not keep the Sabbath today?’
Well friend the Bible no doubt under the Old Testament taught as
revealed in Exodus chapter 20 in the 10 Commandments, ‘Remember the
Sabbath, keep it holy.’ There's no denying that for Israel, for those on
Mount Sinai, and for the Jewish nation they were commanded to keep the
Sabbath. No doubt certain people in the Bible were commanded to keep
that. The real question is -are we commanded to keep the Old Testament
law today? That's the real question.
We don't find command in the New Testament teaching us to
remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. That's not there. In fact what we
find is, worship God on the first day the week. Jesus rose on the first day of
the week. We find unique things tied to that in the New Testament over and
over again to the first day of the week- not the Sabbath day. Here's what
we know- The Bible teaches that the Old Testament, including the 10
Commandments, was the old law written to Israel not for us today. It has
been nailed to the cross, and I'm not living under the Old Testament.
Where do we find that at?
Notice a couple of passages in your Bible with me. Look in Ephesians
chapter 2, and I want you to notice what the Scripture says beginning in
Ephesians chapter 2. Look with me in verse number 14. The Bible says of
Jesus, “He Himself is our peace who's made both one and has broken
down the middle wall of separation having abolished in His flesh the enmity
that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances so as to create in
Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.” This passage
clearly teaches that in Jesus' body when He died on the cross, Colossians
2:14-15, when Jesus in His body suffered and died He abolished. What's
that mean? Took out of the way, did away with. Listen to the language, the
law of commandments contained in ordinances. Hebrews 8:12-13 puts us
that puts it this way in that God said, “A new covenant.” He's made the first
obsolete. What is growing obsolete? Paul said or the Hebrew writer said it
is ready to vanish away. Is the Old Testament the law that I'm under today?
No, we're under the New Testament that started after the death of Christ
and will go to the end of time, Hebrews 9:15-17. And so why is it we don't
keep the Sabbath day? The Sabbath was under the old law. It was given to
the Israelites. It was part of the 10 Commandments, and it is that which
Jesus abolished in His flesh.
Are we saying the old law was a bad law? That's not what we're
saying. Are we saying it isn't the word of God? Of course we're not saying
that. We are saying that's the old law. We're living under the new law today.
Are there lessons I learn about God about life from examples in the Old
Testament? Sure, but I'm not going to be judged by the words of Moses or
the old law. How do I know that?
Listen to John 12:48 Jesus said this, “He who rejects Me and does
not receive My words has that which judges him.” What's it going to be
Lord? “The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” Not the
words of Moses, not the words of the major prophets, not the words of
David or Saul or Solomon, or anyone like that. I'm going to be judged by
the law of Christ, and that's clearly taught throughout the Scripture. Do we
deny that the Sabbath was a part of the law at one time? No, we clearly
understand that. But friend that's the old law.
I'm living under the new law today. That's why we don't keep the
Sabbath. That's why we don't make animal sacrifices today. That's why we
don't tithe. That's why we don't offer incense. That's why during the month
of October I don't live in a booth build a booth and live in it. Why? That's
why we don't go to Jerusalem twice a year. Why? Because that's the old
law. It's been nailed to the cross. It was taken out of the way, and I'm going
to be judged by the new covenant the words and teachings of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
Here's our next question. ‘I've heard people say that the birth in water
Jesus spoke about is what happens when you are born physically into this
world. Would you please explain the teaching of Jesus in John 3:3-5?’
Let's turn our attention there first of all, and let's read these verses
together. John 3:3 Jesus said Jesus answered and said to him Nicodemus,
“Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born again he cannot see the
kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when
he's old?” Watch this, “Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb
and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly I say to you unless one is
born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” The
person who asked the question is writing saying they've heard people say
that this new birth of John 3:5 is actually when you pass through the
amniotic fluid when you're born out of the womb, and when that water
passes over your body and that's the new birth that's being spoken of.
I've heard a lot of people myself even tried to use that as an objection
to John 3:5. But friend we can know that's not true based on what
Nicodemus said in verse 4. Nicodemus said, ‘Lord I'm a little confused.
Here you just said a man has got to be born again. How is he going to be
born again when he's old? You want me to enter into a second time into my
mother's womb and be born is that what you're saying?’ He says, ‘I know I
was born once. You want me to be go back inside the mother's belly and
be born again?’ Jesus said, ‘I'll tell you. Here's what I'm telling you, unless
you're born of water, the spirit, you cannot be baptized.’ Nicodemus was
confused on that. He thought somehow it was related to physical birth, and
Jesus tied it to spiritual birth, how to be born into the kingdom. What is
John 3:5 all about? Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot
enter the kingdom of God.
Let's first emphasize this idea, unless one meets these guidelines he
cannot be a part of God's kingdom- which is ultimately going to heaven.
Whatever these things are, wouldn't you agree they're essential to
Jesus said, “Unless,” if and only if. You can't get in the kingdom if you
don't do these things. So what does it mean to be born of water? We know
that there is a birth in water that occurs. A death, a birth, a resurrection,
and a rising or a birth out of that that occurs in the Bible and it's found in
Romans chapter 6. Listen to Romans chapter 6. Here's the birth, the new
birth that Jesus is talking about. There is a death to sin. There is a burial
spiritually, dying to sin, and there is a resurrection or a new birth out of
water. Listen to Romans 6:3. Paul says, “Or do you not know that as many
of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death that just as
Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life.” You've got death to sin, you've got burial in
baptism with Christ, and then you've got that rising out of it that resurrection
that new birth coming up out of the waters of baptism.
Here's how Peter says it in 1 Peter 1:23-25, “We are born again by
the word of God which lives and abides forever.” And so being born of
water means we got to be baptized. Jesus said that, right? Mark 16:16 “He
that believes and is baptized will be saved.” 1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism does
now also save us.” According to Romans 6:2-4, ‘We rise out of that grave.
We're born again into Christ through the new birth in baptism.’ We're born
by the spirit because it is the word of God. The spirit's inspired word which
brings new life in its 1 Peter 1:23-25.
And so, I know a lot of people have objections to baptism. Sometimes
people, you know because of denominational teaching, believe that
baptism is not essential to salvation. I hope you listen real carefully to what
the Bible actually says. I'm not talking about what some book says or what
some preacher somewhere says or what your parents maybe taught you. I
just challenge you to think about with me for just a moment what the word
of God actually says. Notice these passages. Mark 16:16 Jesus said this
“He that believes and is baptized will be saved. He that does not believe
shall be condemned.” Did Jesus say in that passage that you got to believe
and be baptized to be saved? Friend if He did, baptism's essential to
But then you move on down just a little bit to the passage we're
studying now, John 3:5, “unless a man is born of water and the spirit he
cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Must you be born of water? Must you be
baptized to enter the kingdom of God? We come then down to the first
gospel sermon Acts 2:38. Peter preached to those who wanted to know
how to get out of sin. “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin.”
Friend if the Bible says baptism is for the remission of sins, it's where
we die to sin and we are spiritually born again. We come out of that watery
grave clean and pure. We need to realize baptism's essential to salvation.
Then you have the example of Saul of Tarsus. Acts chapter 9 Saul was told
by the Lord ‘You go into the city, it'll be told you what you must do.’ Ananias
comes to him in Acts 22:16 he says, ‘Why are you waiting? Arise and be
baptized. Wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.’
At whatever point in time my sins and yours are washed away, sin
that separates us from God Isaiah 59:22, at whatever point in time my sins
are washed away- that's when I can know that I've become a new creation.
That I am pure and clean in the sight of God and the Bible says in these
examples baptism is that point in time.
Now the clearest language of all, 1 Peter 3:21 Peter said it this way,
“Baptism doth now also save us.” Now think about that again. The Bible
says “Baptism does now also save us.” If God wanted to say baptism
saves, how could He say it any clearer? He'd have to say something like
‘baptism does now also save us.’ Friend if the Bible says, listen real
carefully, if the Bible says baptism saves us- why would anybody dare say
baptism is not essential to salvation? You have completely contradicted
and are diametrically opposed to what the Bible explicitly says when you
And so friend, we don't say that be unkind but because we love
people because we want men women to go to heaven and because there
is a mass amount of error being taught on passages like unto these.
And so if you're not a child of God, if you've never really obeyed the
gospel, we're encouraging you to do that today.
Do you believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world, John 8:24? Would
you be willing to turn from a life of sin and repent, Acts 3:19? Would you
confess with your mouth the name of Jesus, Acts 8:36-38? Would you do
what they did in the New Testament to have their sins washed away?
Would you arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the
name of the Lord?
If you've never obeyed the gospel, friend we're begging you today
please, please become a child of God before it's eternally too late.
Study Questions for: “Questions and Answers: Lesson 3”
1. According to Matthew 25:46, are heaven and hell both eternal and everlasting?
2. What does Jesus say of hell in Mark 9:44?
3. How long will hell last according to Revelation 14:11?
4. How are we added to the church according to Acts 2:47?
5. According to Acts 2:47, who adds us to the church?
6. According to Acts 20:7, when did they take the Lord’s Supper?
7. When did they meet to give of their means according to 1 Corinthians 16:1-2?
8. How often did they come together according to 1 Corinthians 11:25?
9. Why do we not keep the Sabbath holy today?
10. According to John 12:48, what will judge us?