Q&A-06- Questions & Answers Series #6
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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
A great question is asked in Jeremiah 37:17, "Is there any word from
We welcome you today to our study of Bible questions and answers.
In this series of lessons we're answering questions that have been
submitted by you our viewers either through our email address, questions
at TheGospelOfChrist.com, or through our website. As always, we want to
take these questions and look to the word of God.
Now let's direct our attention to the first question that has been
submitted by one of our viewers. The question is: Is listening to music like
rock or pop or even country music a sin? For example he says, ‘I listen to
pop and rock songs and it sometimes refers to sex, drugs, alcohol, or
things that are immoral.
It is basically a two-fold question. Is it wrong to listen to music like
country or rock or whatever it may be-pop-whatever it may be? Well friend
music is something that God Himself has created. We find that throughout
the Bible. We find great men of God involved in music and the ability to
sing and to play music. It's something that God Himself has given man the
ability to do. Music in of itself is not wrong. We find several instances in the
in the Old Testament where people use music.
For example we find that King Saul used music and even certain
instruments to calm himself at times when he was distressed and things
like that. David used to come in and play and that would at times calm him.
We find nothing in the scripture to teach that music in of itself is sinful. In
fact music, singing, is a part of worship to God. It's commanded by God in
Galatians 3:17 and Ephesians 5:19. Music is not inherently sinful. The Bible
does not at all teach that. We find examples where it does have good
Now maybe to the second part of the question even more- Is it sinful
to listen to some rock and roll song or some pop music or even some
country song today that talks about sex or drugs or immorality? Well friends
a Christian sure wants to make sure that what he brings into his mind and
into his heart is wholesome and right in the sight of God. To listen to songs
that are going to promote sex, violence, immorality, drinking, and things like
is not something that a Christian wants to participate in.
Let me give you an example, listen to Philippians chapter four. What
kind of things ought I be putting in my mind and filling my heart with?
Philippians 4:8, "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things
are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever
things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there's any virtue, if
there's anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things, the things which
you learned to receive and heard and saw in me. These do and the God of
peace will be with you."
Those things which are right and good and things that will help us to
live the Christian life, those are things that a Christian ought to be thinking
upon. If I'm bringing words and thoughts and images into my mind that deal
with sex, alcohol, adultery, immorality and violence- friends those are
things that are going to be in my heart and on my mind. A Christian wants
to think about things that are right.
So should a Christian listen to that type of music? No, a Christian
shouldn't listen to music that is going to promote or is going to advance
immoral things. Think about this. If I'm around somebody that cusses, or
I'm around immorality, or I see things that are not like they should be,
things that are sinful and wrong- those images, words, and ideas kind of
stick in my mind. You've heard it said, 'I've got a song stuck in my mind.'
Well what if that song and those words are immoral and ungodly things?
What if you've got bad words to a song lyric stuck in your mind and that
promotes evil images or ideas? Are those things that ought to be on a
Christian’s heart and mind? Absolutely not! The Bible teaches we're to be
pure. We're to be holy. "Be holy as He who called you as holy", 1 Peter
1:15. We're to think on things that are good. ‘We're to have the mind of
Christ,’ Philippians 2:5. Whether it's some rock song that's promoting sex
and drugs, whether it's some pop song that's promoting some immorality,
and some of the worst today are the country songs that are promoting
drinking and immorality and carousing and adultery, who lost who and who
got drunk -all these songs that are just promoting things that are not right.
A Christian ought to do his best to avoid bringing those thoughts and
those words into his mind. The Bible says "I am to bring every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ." There's so much music that is good
and wholesome. There are TV shows that are good and wholesome. There
is other entertainment that is not immoral and ungodly. One can find
alternatives. But even if you couldn't, you still shouldn't strive to listen to or
try to listen to things that one knows are going to promote immorality and
ungodliness. That would be contrary to the will of God.
Let's now turn our attention to another question that has been
submitted. What a wonderful question indeed this is. The question is asked:
We recently had friends who took their baby to church to have it sprinkled.
My wife and I have been discussing this. Is sprinkling of babies found in the
Bible? Really this is a two-fold question.
The first question would be: Is sprinkling found in the Bible itself?
Friend you don't find sprinkling, as an authorized means of baptism. What
do we find? "John was baptizing in Aenon where there was much water",
John 3:23. We find that at Jesus' baptism, "coming up out of the water the
spirit descended upon him like a dove", Mark 1:9-10. We find that "baptism
is a burial", Romans 6:1-4. Both Philip and the eunuch got down out of the
chariot went down the water. He baptized him, and they came up out of the
water. And so what we first asked is sprinkling found in the Bible? Friend
you do not find sprinkling in the Bible. That is not an authorized mode of
baptism that we find in scripture. Here's what's interesting. There are two
unique words for sprinkling and baptism and both of them occur in the
Bible. For example, in Hebrews 9, we find the mention of the word
sprinkling used for the sprinkling under the Old Testament of the blood of
bulls and goats. It is the word ‘rhantizo’ and it literally means sprinkling.
Then you find the word ‘baptizo’ used multiple times and it means
emersion. And so, there was a Greek word for sprinkling. Baptism in the
original language means emersion, and God chose to describe the process
of going down into the water with baptism, to be a child of God one must be
immersed, not sprinkled.
Now what about the second part of that question? For there are a lot
of good parents who really want the best for their children, and who want
the best for their children spiritually. And so we hear somebody had their
baby sprinkled and we think ‘hey, we want to make sure that our baby's
where he needs to be spiritually.’ Do we need to take them down and have
them sprinkled as well? Friend, the idea of sprinkling babies goes back to
the idea of babies being born in sin. Why do people sprinkle babies?
Because they believe that babies are born in sin and that if a baby is not
baptized that baby if he dies is going to die in sin.
Since "baptism is for the remission of sins", Acts 2:38, people
conclude therefore if babies have sin, if they're born in sin, they must be
baptized or that baby's going to die and go to hell. Well friend, here we
have a false understanding of sin. The Bible teaches according to Matthew
18, Jesus said "do not forbid the little children, let them come to me, for of
such is the kingdom of Heaven," Matthew 18:1-13. Jesus recognized that
little children were pure, innocent, and were not stained with sin. Isaiah
7:12-16 teaches "there is a time before the child knows to refuse the evil
and choose the good." We sometimes refer to that time period that the
Bible mentions there as the age of accountability. When a child doesn't
know to refuse evil, he doesn't know to choose the good. When you say no
cookies until supper and a 2 year old child goes over there and gets a
cookie before supper- why did they do that? Are they defiant and
rebellious? Well no, they don't know yet. They are in that process where
they are learning. And friend to help us understand that children are not
born in sin; I want to direct your attention to an Old Testament passage in
the book of Ezekiel. Look at Ezekiel chapter 18. I want you to see that
babies being born in sin that's not something that we find taught throughout
the scripture. In fact we're told in scripture that "one does not inherit or is
not born with the sins of others," Ezekiel chapter 18. I want you to notice
what happens or what is said in verse number 20. The word of God says,
"The soul who sins shall die," listen to this now, "the son shall not bear the
guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The
righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness
of the wicked shall be upon himself." There was a proverb going around
you learn about it in Ezekiel one and two in Israel. The fathers have eaten
sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. Basically it said the
father ate something sour and the son can taste it in his mouth. He didn't
eat it, but because he's kin to the father he can taste it. God said ‘do not
use that proverb in Israel anymore.’ Why? "Because the son shall not bear
the guilt of the father. The father shall not bear the guilt of the son." The
soul who sins shall surely die," Ezekiel 18:4.
This idea that babies are born in sin is the very reason that people
want to sprinkle them. That idea is false. You just don't find that taught in
scripture. Remember Jesus said, ‘let the little children come to me for of
such is the kingdom of Heaven.’ And so, does the Bible teach that young
parents today who are concerned about their children's spiritual welfare
need to run down and have them sprinkled? That's not what you find in the
Bible. You find in the Bible that young parents today who are concerned
about their children's spiritual welfare will "bring them up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord", Ephesians 6:1-4. Parents should teach them about
God, teach them the scriptures, show them the right way to live by their
example, and do everything possible that when they reach that age of
accountability the know right from wrong and understand sin. They will be
ready to make a decision for themselves and obey the gospel of our Lord
and savior Jesus Christ.
We now direct our attention to another question that has been
submitted by one of our viewers and the question is asked like this: Please
explain the history of instrumental music in the church. Is instrumental
music something that has always existed and should we use them today?
That's a good question. When did mechanical instruments of music actually
become common practice among some denominations? Here's what
history reveals for us. The Catholic Encyclopedia records in the 1913
edition that according to plating, that Pope Vitalian introduced the organ
into the church service around the year 666. This however, some would
say is very doubtful. At all events a strong objection to the organ at church
service remained pretty general up to the 12th century, which may be
accounted for partly by the imperfection of the tone. They didn't sound
right. Organs didn't sound good at that time. But from the 12th century on,
the organ became the chosen instrument in some denominations.
Now some will say it was around the year 666 when Pope Vitalian
brought that in others will say that didn't really become a common practice
until the 12th century.
Here's what we know for sure. It didn't happen at least until 600 years
after the New Testament.
Now you think about that. Where in the New Testament do we find
Christians using a harp or an organ or a guitar or a banjo or a piano or any
of those type of instrumental music? We just don't find that. Friend it's not
part of the worship of the early church. Now remember, I am to do what
God commands me to do. "If you love me", Jesus said, "keep my
commandments," John 14:15. "I am to worship God in spirit, the whole
heart, soul, mind, and being, and in truth," John 4:24. "If I'm to worship God
in truth and God's word," the New Testament is our guide today," John
12:48. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, "All authority has been given to me."
Then friend, I want to worship God the way the New Testament teaches.
Now listen very carefully. You can read your New Testament, which
is the Christian's guide today, especially on how to worship God and Christ.
You can read from Matthew to the end of Revelation and everything that
God says about worship on this earth and about music in the Lord's church
today- there is the absence of mechanical instruments and music. What
does God say? 1 Corinthians 14:15 the Bible says "I'll sing with the spirit,
"I'll sing with the understanding." What? “I'll sing,” there's the idea.
Ephesians 5:19 and Galatians 3:16, "we're to sing to one another in
psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody." Where? "In
your heart to the Lord." I'm to sing. I'm to teach. I'm to encourage. I'm to
make melody in the heart. Everything we find in the New Testament is
about singing. "Is anyone happy? Let him sing psalms," James 5:13-15.
So history clearly records it wasn't at least until 650 years maybe
after the New Testament church was built and maybe 1200 before
instrumental music, mechanical instruments of music became a common
practice. We know that it wasn't a common practice in the New Testament.
The very absence of it and when God commands us to sing, God tells us
what he wants- friend that should suffice. Whatever God wants us to do
that's what we should do. If God doesn't command it, then friend we should
not add to the word of God," Revelation 22:18-19.
Another question that has been asked by one of our viewers: We live
in a state where there are a lot of casinos and most people in our state
gamble- Is it scriptural? Is it okay for a Christian to participate in gambling?
Now friend as we think about the subject of gambling, please realize
what a huge problem gambling is today. Just like with any other type of
addiction, alcohol, drugs, sex-whatever it may be- if one gets caught up in
gambling it is indeed an addiction. It’s an addiction that takes away your
interests, time, energy, and money eventually. A Christian doesn't want to
be given over to anything or be addicted to anything except Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul said "I will not be brought under the power of
any." Is gambling controlling a person's life? If you're living from paycheck
to paycheck, if you're spending all your money on gambling, if you're at the
casino instead of being with family and friends and things liken to that- it's
just become an addiction. Friend, it has power over you. It has control over
you. It's dictating how you live your life. Paul said, "I'll not be brought under
the power of any."
Then consider these principles as it relates to gambling. The golden
rule is what we often refer to it as. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said "Do unto
others as you would have them do unto you." Think about this with me for a
moment. The money that somebody may win in gambling, where does that
money come from? Are they just printing it and giving it away left and right?
No, that money you win comes out of somebody else's pocket. That money
that you won comes out of somebody else's losses. Would you want
somebody to take that from you? "Do unto others as you would have them
do unto you." Would you want somebody to take your kid's food money,
take your money for your electric bill, to steal the money for your car
payment or to take the money for your car payment? Of course not, I
wouldn't want somebody to do that to me. Why would you take somebody
else’s? People may be willingly involved in that, but that doesn't mean that
you're not taking what they shouldn't have given to begin with. They were
addicted to it. It was a problem, and as a result they lost things in that. A
Christian wouldn't want to participate in that because I'm not really following
the golden rule. I'm taking what somebody else really didn't have or
shouldn't have given and that would be contrary to the will of God.
Then think about it this way. Galatians 3:17: "Whatever you do, in
word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the
father through or by Him." If what I do in my life, if everything that I do
rather in word or deed is to have the approval of God then friend, where in
the Bible does God sanction, where does God approve, where does God
say it's okay to gamble? Sometimes we approach the Bible and we say
‘Well, God doesn't say not to.’
Wait a minute now! That's not how a Christian is told to operate. I'm
not to operate based off of God didn't say. Let me illustrate. Where's the
passage in the Bible that says thou shalt not inject heroin into your veins?
It's not there. Where do you find that? You don't find that. Does that mean
it's okay for a Christian to do that? Well of course not. The Christian is not
told to operate off of the basis of thou shalt not, but rather what shall we
do? "Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of, by the
approval of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ."
And so let's ask this question again, where's the Lord's approval?
Where does God say it's okay to gamble? You don't find authority for that in
scripture. There is no biblical authority anywhere in the scripture for a
Christian to gamble. It's not authorized. It's not sanctioned. Often gambling
is associated with evil things, immorality, immodest dress, drinking, alcohol,
sometimes drugs, and things like unto that are definitely associated with
gambling. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 "abstain from every
appearance of evil." If those things are naturally tied to that, if that crowed
runs with that, if it's not something that's going to promote right and good,
rather it's going to promote wrong and evil- should I abstain from that? The
Bible says I should, 1 Thessalonians 5:22. So should a Christian participate
in gambling? Friend you can find no authority for that in the Bible. God
doesn't sanction that, and I'm taking what somebody else lost. I'm
participating in their addiction and their problem and that in of itself is
something that a Christian should not participate in.
Now our final question. The writer says: I hear some people talk
about the kingdom of Christ. I'm confused about what the kingdom of Christ
is. What is the kingdom of Christ?
Well friend there's no doubt a lot of confusion today about Christ's
kingdom. The Bible is very clear on that subject. There are those who
would say the kingdom isn't here yet, the kingdom's a future deal, going to
be a 1,000 year reign then the kingdom will be set up. But what does the
Bible say about the kingdom?
Friend, Jesus with great clarity promised He would build His kingdom.
Mark 9:1, Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly I say to you, there are
some standing here today who will not taste death until;” there's the adverb
of time, "until they see the kingdom present with power." To Jesus'
audience in that generation, He said some of you aren't going to die until
you see the kingdom here. That's a clear promise that it would come in the
first century. Jesus taught us more about the kingdom in John 18:36 when
Pilate questioned Jesus. Jesus said "My kingdom's not of this world. If it
were my servants would fight." It's not a geographical location. The
kingdom is the domain of the king and Christ's kingdom is a spiritual rule
and rein of Christ the king himself. Is the kingdom here today in that
spiritual rule and reign? You bet it is. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18-19, "I will
build my church." Then he turned and said to Peter, "I'm going to give you
the keys of the kingdom." The church and the kingdom are used
synonymously. "Christ is reigning as king, as head of the church,"
Ephesians 1:22-23. It is the spiritual rule and reign of Christ today, the
And so when you hear the kingdom, that's used synonymously in the
Bible with the church. The church and the kingdom definitely are here.
Listen to Galatians 1:13. Paul said during the first century to Christians in
the first century that "God had translated some out of darkness and had put
them into the kingdom of His dear son." There's the picture of someone
coming out of sin, obeying the gospel, and becoming Christian. When they
do that they're put in the kingdom. Let's think of that in view of Acts chapter
two. These people in Acts 2 were pricked in their heart. They heard the
message about Jesus. They realized they had killed their own messiah.
They cried "out men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter responded by
saying, “Repent, be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of your sins." Acts 2:42-43 tells us that "those who gladly
received his word were baptized," and listen to Acts 2:47, "and the Lord
added to the church daily those who were being saved."
The kingdom is the church. When men and women obey the gospel,
they're added to the church. They're added to the kingdom.
Friend we ask you today, are you a member of the Lord's church?
Have you obeyed that same gospel, that good news, that message just like
they did in Acts chapter two?
If not, we're encouraging you today, won't you become a Christian?
Won't you obey the gospel?
Make sure your life is right with God while we have time and
Study Questions for: “Questions and Answers: Lesson 6”
1. In Galatians 3:17 and Ephesians 5:19, what does God command?
2. According to Philippians 4:8, what kinds of things should we put in our
3. According to 1 Peter 1:15, how are we to be?
4. According to Philippians 2:5, whose mindset should we have?
5. According to John 3:23, why was John baptizing in Aenon?
6. In Romans 6:1-4, what is baptism compared to?
7. What does Jesus say about children in Matthew 18:1-13?
8. According to Ezekiel 18:20 do children inherit sin?
9. According to Ephesians 6:1-4, what should parents do out of love and
concern for their children?
10. According to John 14:15, what does Jesus tell us to do if we love Him?