Q&A-05- Questions & Answers Series #5

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

The Bible says “I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God unto salvation,” Romans 1:16.
We welcome you today to our study of the word of God. In today's
lesson, we're thinking about Bible questions and answers. We're continuing
with our Bible question and answer series.
If you've got a question you'd like to submit for this series, you can
send those questions to us by email, question@thegospelofchrist.com, or
you can visit our website, thegospelofchrist.com/questions and submit
those. We will answer them by the word of God.
We now begin with our first question that has been submitted by one
of our viewers. The question is asked: Dear sirs, do you believe that God
heals people today?
Indeed, what a good question that is! It's one that all of us have
thought about from time to time for the reason being, we all suffer and have
sickness from time to time. There isn't a person alive who doesn't face
some type of suffering, sickness, disease, or illness. We're looking for help,
help beyond maybe even what the medical field can give us. We long for
and we desire the divine help of God.
Does the Bible teach that God heals people today? He absolutely
does. The scripture affirms that God does that through the power of prayer
today.

I want to direct your attention to James 5:13 and following. The Bible
says, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful?
Let him sing songs. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders
in the church. Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of
the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise
him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your
trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be
healed. The effect of fervent prayer of a righteous man overcomes much."
From this verse, we hear God say, ‘is anybody suffering?’ What's the
answer so that? Pray. ‘Is anybody cheerful?’ Let him sing songs. ‘Is anyone
sick?’ Let him call for the elders of the church to let them pray over him,-
and the prayer of faith, there's the idea- the prayer of faith will save him.
Does God still heal people today? He absolutely does, through the
power of prayer. We have the privilege to approach the throne of God, the
throne of grace, and find help. Hebrews 4:16 says it this way. "Let us
therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we might find grace and
mercy to help in time of need." In the New Testament, we definitely know
that God still heals people today.
In fact, you find that principle even under the Old Testament. Here's a
beautiful passage that illustrates God's power to heal from the Old
Testament. 2 Kings chapter 20, look what God says to King Hezekiah in
verse number five. "God said to His prophet, return and tell Hezekiah, the
leader of my people, ‘thus says the LORD, the God of David, your father.’"
Now, listen to this. "I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears.
Surely I will heal you." Hezekiah became sick, and so in his sickness and
distress, he turned to God in prayer and made his request known to God.
God said, ‘I've heard your prayer. I've seen your tears. I will heal you.’
Friend, the simple fact is that God does still heal people today, but
maybe even more of an important question we might want to ask is- how is
God healing people today? Is God healing people today maybe the way
Jesus or the apostles did in the first century? For example, is somebody
going to go around today by the power of miracles and heal someone

who's got a withered arm? Is somebody going to go to the cemetery and
raise somebody who's dead like Jesus did Lazarus? Are we living in the
age where men and women can miraculously do that today?
No, that's not the way God's healing. I Corinthians 13:8-10 teach us
that the age of the miraculous, the ability to understand that miracle and the
miraculous, the ability to pass that gift on, has come to an end. God still
heals through the power of prayer. If I want to receive God's healing, and if
it's according to God's will, then friend, I pray to God. I ask for God's help.
The Bible says, ‘if anyone's suffering, he can pray.’ He can call for the
elders of the church, and they'll pray over him. It is the prayer of faith that
will save that individual.
So to answer the question, yes, God still heals today. He does that
through the power and the avenue of prayer, which is a wonderful Christian
privilege.
We now move to our second question that's been submitted. The
question is: How do I get God's guidance today, and where do I go in life
from here? Basically, the individual's asking, how do I get God's direction?
Where can I go learn what God wants me to do in this life and in my life
right now? Where do I go from here? How do I live a life that's pleasing to
God?
Friend, what a great question that indeed is. Where do we get God's
guidance today? Well, friend, God's guidance is found in his word. God
gives us direction through his word. The Bible says in Jeremiah 10:23, “Oh
Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself. It's not in man who walks to
direct his own steps.” How do I get God's guidance? Not in men. Not in
men's ideas and ways. Isaiah 55:7-11 God says, “My ways are not your
ways. My thoughts are not your thoughts.”
God's guidance is found in His word. The Bible is the inspired word of
God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Bible- God's word- God's breathed out word,
has everything we need for life in godliness. 2 Peter 1:3, “It is all truth.”
John 17:17, if I will live by it and follow it, friend, I will assure you, if you
want God's guidance, turn no further than the word of God.

Let's be careful in this area, because sometimes people want to turn
to men for God's guidance. They want other people to tell them what to do
and make a study for them and tell them what God wants them to do.
Friend, I need to be sure to study the Bible for myself. 2 Timothy 2:15 and
Acts 17:11, we need to search the scriptures daily. We need to realize
God's ways may be different than what someone else is telling you. They
may not be telling you what God says- if you don't check it for yourself.
Do you remember Proverbs chapter 16 and Proverbs 14? The Bible
tells us ‘there's a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the
way of death.’ Let's realize we want to put God's ways first. When we think
about where we go from here, when I start studying my Bible, friend, I want
to know what God wants me to do. I want to start with the attitude of, ‘Lord,
what would you have me to do?’ Acts 9:4-6 Saul asks that great question.
From the point I start studying, I want to go forward. I want to go forward in
learning God's will. I want to take steps forward in following the example of
Christ, I Peter 2:21. I want to move onward in having the mind of Christ,
Philippians 2:5, and in transforming my life into the image of almighty God,
Romans 12:1-2.
And so, a great question being asked. God's guidance is found in His
divine word, which has everything we need to make us complete, 2
Timothy 3:16-17. When a person commits himself to studying the Bible,
friend, we want to go forward, press toward the prize of the upward call of
God in Christ Jesus, Philippians 3:12-16.
We now direct our attention to a third question that has been
submitted by one of our viewers. The question is: The Roman Catholic
Church is trying to stop cremation for funerals. They only want to do full
burials. They claim this way, the full body and soul reach the heavenly
Father complete. I am for burial. What does the church, in essence, what
does the Bible teach on this subject?
Well, friend, as we think about the subject of cremation versus burial,
we need to first put our focus on what man needs to be worried about, as it
pertains to his nature. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 and He taught us where

the real emphasis should be. Matthew 10:28, Jesus said, "Do not fear him
who can destroy body only, but fear him who can destroy both body and
soul in hellfire." I'm not afraid of what somebody might do to my body, how
somebody might persecute us, or hurt the body. We're not worried about
those kinds of things in this life as our emphasis. The emphasis for the
Christian is upon fearing Him who can destroy both body and soul in
hellfire. The real emphasis needs to be upon God. What does God want us
to do? Not what can men do to the body, but what does God want us to do
in this life, and how does God want us to live in such a way that'll please
Him?
There are some passages in the Bible which clearly teach that burial
is an accepted way. Jesus himself was buried in the tomb. We learn.
Lazarus was buried in John chapter 11. We also need to realize that during
the Hebrew time, there were some passages that taught that cremation
was a standard that was being used during the time of the Israelites. For
example, listen to Amos 6:10 where we learn that this was a common
practice during the time of the Israelites to, at least on some occasions,
cremate certain people. Amos 6:10 the Bible reports these words for us,
"And when a relative of the dead with one who will burn the bodies picks up
the bodies to take them out of the house, he will say to one inside the
house, ‘are there any more with you?’ Then someone will say ‘none,’ and
he will say, ‘hold your tongue for we dare not mention the name of the
Lord.’" Here you've got an example under the Old Testament where God's
people were, as a practice at least for some people in that day, were using
cremation.
Cremation was something they used then as well as burial. You'll find
other examples: Saul and his son. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son
Isaac on the fire. Although he did not go through with that, the process
naturally would have burned his body. We find other examples as well
where certain men's bones are burned, and there are times where that is
done as a curse, and there are times when it's not done that way.
Sometimes it's done for the preventing of disease. Sometimes it's done for
custom's sake under the Old Testament. Then forget not the words of I
Corinthians 13. I want you to listen to what verse number 3 says to the

Christian. It asks this question. Paul, as he's speaking about love and
sacrifice and making sure that the motive is really what it ought to be, Paul
says in 1 Corinthians 13:3, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the
poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love it profits
me nothing." Friend, is Paul talking about a practice here which would have
been contrary to the will of God? I understand he's talking about
persecution. I understand that some may do that to dishonor them, but
would that cost Paul or any other Christian their soul? If cremation is
wrong, then we have to consider these things.
And so, what does the scripture teach on this subject? Friend, we
have examples in the Bible of burial. We have the examples in the Bible of
cremation. The Bible doesn't condemn any of those types of practices, and
so either would be approved or acceptable for the child of God. There's no
scripture preventing either one of those from being contrary to the will of
God.
Passages that people often cite to prove cremation is wrong were
under the Old Testament where people were using that sometimes with
idolatry, sometimes to maybe put a curse on other people, but God never
places that in the Bible on other people. The Bible doesn't say either way
as to one of those being better than the other. A Christian could participate
in either one of those and not live and be in accord, not live contrary, to the
will of God. Now, are there personal preferences? Well, sure there are. As
the reader, as our viewer notes, his personal preference would be burial.
That would be my personal preference as well, but friend, we're talking
about personal preference. We're not talking about what does the word of
God say. God does not condemn either practice, and thus a Christian could
not come down hard and fast and say someone who is cremated is going
to hell.
The Bible's going to turn to dust either way. The emphasis in
scripture is not what happens to the body after this life. The emphasis in
scripture is- was my soul prepared to meet my God? That's Matthew 10:28.
‘Don't fear him who can destroy the body.’ That's not the emphasis. The
emphasis is not on the body, what happens to it. ‘Fear Him who can

destroy both body and soul in hellfire.’ And so, many people do opt for
cremation today. A common burial cost today would be somewhere
between $8,000 and $12,000. You can look at the numbers today, and a
common cremation cost is about a third of that- $2,000. You can see why
some people might opt for that, and again, the Bible doesn't condemn
either one of these practices as being sinful. And so this is an optional
matter that a Christian may choose upon himself, and the word of God
does not condemn as wrong or right as wrong because God does not say
that is the case.
We now move to another question concerning these items of our
Bible questions and answers. One of our viewers writes: Concerning 2
Corinthians 6:17 and I Thessalonians 5:22, the individual says, please
explain these verses. Here's the background of that question: I have heard
one say to not go around people who are not or have not obeyed the
gospel. If I go somewhere, to a family member's house, or something like
that, and they are drinking or doing something wrong, I would no doubt
leave. But just to visit somebody who's not a Christian is that wrong?
Well, in both contexts and understanding these scriptures’ context
would be key. 2 Corinthians chapter six, the context begins in verse
number 14 where we are told to have no fellowship with immoral practices
and that which is contrary to the will of God. We're not to have fellowship
with Baal, the false gods. We're not to have fellowship with unfruitful works
of darkness, Ephesians 5:11. I'm not to be in a joint venture and have in
common with these types of immoral practices. Then of course, I
Thessalonians 5:22, "Abstain from every appearance of evil." When God
says ‘come out from among them and be separate,’ 2 Corinthians 6:17,
He's talking about people no longer living a joint, common practice like that,
people leaving that lifestyle. I'm no longer going to be attached to people
who live immorally to false gods and idolatry. I'm not going to be equally
yoked together with unbelievers is the context of 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
When I obey the gospel, I leave that lifestyle and those relationships
and those immoral practices behind. Now, does that then mean that I can
never be around someone who is not a Christian? Well, friend, if that's the

case, how would you ever teach them the gospel? If that's the case, how
would you go anywhere in the world? How would you go grocery shopping?
How would you walk down the street? There's going to be people of the
world everywhere. What we find in the Bible is this type of ideology.
Christians are not to be of the world. We're in the world, but we're not of the
world. That's the idea of 2 Corinthians 6:17. If I go over to someone's
house or a friend's house or a family member's house who is not a member
of the Lord's church, and we're visiting, I can take opportunities to
encourage them. I can let my light shine as a Christian, and there's nothing
immoral or ungodly going on. Have I committed some sin by doing that?
Well, of course not.
Jesus, where did He go? He went to the sinners. He went to the tax
collectors. He spoke at the well with the woman who was in sin, and He
often would go to those who needed Him the most. Was it sinful for Jesus
to do that? Well, of course not. Now, if then practices began to occur that
are immoral and that can affect my reputation that can tempt me to sin, well
no doubt, I'd want to depart from that. If someone begins to do drugs, if
somebody begins to be involved in alcohol, or somebody begins to be
involved in some immoral practices, there's something being shown on the
TV that's ungodly- I want to depart from that. I want to remove myself from
that temptation. I don't want to be in fellowship with that. But to say that you
can't even visit with people who are not Christians, that's not the context of
2 Corinthians 6:17. The same would be true with I Thessalonians 5:22.
Although we are to abstain from every appearance of evil, that would
include impacting my influence, I'm not going to be seen going into a place
where immorality is rampant. I'm going to remove myself from that so it
doesn't affect my reputation and influence. Jesus taught that Christians are
to be in the world but not attached to the world. We’re not to have those
things in common with the world is the idea. We must be very careful that
we walk the way God wants us to walk, walk in the light, and follow the
example of Jesus.
I have to live in this world. If I'm going to teach others the gospel, how
will I ever evangelize if I'm never around people who are lost in sin? It

would be impossible to. I've got to go places where they are. Not
participate in what they do, but I've got to go down maybe to where people
are dealing with problems, maybe where people are involved in things that
are immoral. Again, not to associate with that, but with the clear intent of
teaching the gospel. If that begins to be something they don't care to hear
or listen to, I'm going to depart from that because I don't want to be in
fellowship with immorality and ungodliness.
I hope that answers the question as we think about our fellowship and
our participation with those who maybe are not members of the church, and
hopefully all of that is done with an eye toward and with the mindset of
teaching them the gospel and being a faithful child of God.
Another viewer has submitted this question, such a good question for
us to conclude our lesson on today, and the question is: Please explain
why Christians no longer have to adhere to the Law of Moses. There is a
growing movement today that claims both faith in Christ and binding of the
Law of Moses.
And so we think about today, can a person have faith in Christ, be a
Christian, and then demand that we also keep the Law of Moses? Now,
let's direct our attention to several scriptures that teach that we cannot bind
the Law of Moses today, nor would we want to. Hebrews10:9, speaking of
Christ and His willingness to come as a sacrifice the Bible says, "Then he
said, behold, I have come to do your will, oh God." Now, don't miss this,
"He that is Christ takes away the first, that He may establish the second."
What is Christ taking away? What is Christ establishing? What He's
taking away? The first covenant. Hebrews 10:3-4, ‘the blood of bulls and
goats could never take away sin.’ Ephesians 2:14-15 and Colossians 2:14-
15, Jesus nailed the commandments, the old law, to the cross. He tore it
down, breaking down that middle wall of separation between Jew and
Gentile. Christ in His death, in His sacrifice, took away the first. It is no
more. If it's taken away, it's no longer man's obligation to follow that. He
may establish the second. The second covenant, the law and the covenant
of Christ.

Now, here's something interesting to consider. James 2: 10 says this,
‘He who stumbles in... He who keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in
one part,’ James says, ‘you've stumbled in all of it.’ What's James
correlating there? That the whole law must be kept. You can't take bits and
pieces and parts and say, ‘well, I like this in the old law, but we don't need
this anymore. I like this, but we don't need that anymore.’
Friend, here's the idea. If Christ is our sacrifice today-Hebrews 10:12
says He clearly is- “This man having offered one sacrifice for sin forever,
sat down at the right hand of God,” then if I'm going to say that's true. What
about all those Old Testament sacrifices? If I don't keep those, then I'm
stumbling in all of the law. What about building a booth in the month of
October and living in those booths? What about the Feast of Tabernacles?
What about Passover and all those various ideas, burning of incense?
What about the priestly order of Aaron? During the destruction of
Jerusalem in AD 70, all those genealogical records were lost. How can
anybody be an Aaronic priest today, a Levitical priest today, if all that's
been lost?
We've got Christ. Exactly the point. If Christ is the new priest, if He
brought in the new law, if He is the sacrifice, then friend, it's impossible for
me to keep the old law. The old law itself says if you stumble in one point,
you've stumbled in it all. I'm going to say old law, friend, it's all of nothing.
Now, we can't keep it all today. Even Peter said that. Acts 15:7-10 Peter
said, ‘neither we nor our fathers could keep it perfectly.’ Listen to the words
of Hebrews 8:13 in that, God says a ‘new covenant.’ He's made the first
obsolete. What is becoming obsolete and growing old, the Hebrews writer
said, is ready to ‘vanish away.’ The old law according to the New
Testament is obsolete. Like a horse and buggy transportation, like a rotary
phone, like washing clothes on a washboard- the old law is obsolete. It's no
good. It's not for Christians to follow, and we're not commanded to keep
that.
And so, should we keep the old law today? That's not the law I'm
going to be judged by. I'm going to be judged by the words of Christ.

And friend, if you've never obeyed the gospel, more than anything,
we encourage you to submit to the teaching of Christ.
Have you heard the message about Jesus? Do you believe he's the
Son of God? Would you be willing to repent and change your ways and be
immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:38?
If you've never done that, today, we're encouraging you to obey the
gospel before it's too late.

Study Questions for: “Questions and Answers: Lesson 5”
1. According to Romans 1:16, what is the power of God?

2. What should we do if we are suffering according to James 5:13?

3. What overcomes much according to James 5?

4. According to Hebrews 4:16, what will we find in time of need when we
pray?

5. According to 2 Kings 20:5, how did Hezekiah let God know he was
hurting and sick?

6. According to Jeremiah 10:23, can man know in himself what is the right
way to live?

7. What does 2 Timothy 3:16-17 say of all scripture?

8. What is scripture useful for according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17?

9. According to Matthew 10:28, who and what should we be focused and
concerned?

10. According to Hebrews 10:9, what did Christ take away?

TGOCQuestions & Answers