Q&A-07- Questions & Answers Series #7

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

In Romans 4:3 the Apostle Paul asks the question, "What does the
Scripture say?"
We welcome you today to our study of Bible Questions and Answers.
In this series of lessons we're taking questions that had been submitted by
our viewers, and we're looking to the Word of God for answer to those
wonderful questions.
If you would like to submit a question you can do that through email
at questions@thegospelofchrist.com or you can visit our website,
thegospelofchrist.com/questions and fill out a form and that question will be
submitted to us and we'll do our best to answer that from the Word of God.
Let's now direct our attention to the first question that our viewer has
submitted today. The viewer writes: I am dating a man who has been
married and divorced several times. Is it okay to date him, and what does
the Bible say about marrying someone who is divorced?
The Bible teaches all the way back to Genesis 2:24, "For this reason
a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the
two shall become one flesh." God's original plan and pattern for marriage is
one man and one woman entering into the union of marriage and having
that family and that lasting for life. That's God's original plan. Sometimes
sin enters in, and as a result people find themselves in situations where
they may have to divorce someone for fornication and immorality.

To answer the basic question: God's plan is one man, one woman for
life. Now what about someone who is dating a person who's been married
and divorced several times? Well friend, you sure want to be clear, and you
sure want to find out about that situation. Not every person who has been
married and divorced is a candidate to be married again.
Here's what we mean by that. Listen to the words of Jesus, beginning
in Matthew 19:3, "The Pharisees came to Jesus, testing him and saying to
him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?’ And
Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that he who made
them at the beginning made them male and female and said, For this
reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh. So then they're no longer two, but one
flesh.’ Therefore what God has joined together let not man separate." They
said to Jesus, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of
divorce and put her away?" He said to them, "Moses, because of the
hardness of your heart, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the
beginning it was not so." Now notice verse number nine, "And I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife except for fornication, sexual immorality and
marries another- commits adultery. And whoever marries her who is
divorced commits adultery."
What's the Lord's teaching about divorce and remarriage? Jesus said
that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except fornication and then
goes out and marries another, or marries her who is divorced
unscripturally, commits adultery. What did Jesus teach on this subject? The
only scriptural reason for divorce is fornication. That Greek word
fornication, ‘pornea,’ means illicit sexual activity. Unless someone has been
involved in sexual activity with another, fornication, adultery, whatever word
we may want to use to describe that, that's the only reason that God gives
in the Bible for divorce- then only then, is the innocent party free to remarry
according to Matthew 19:9.
How do we answer today's question? If you're dating someone that
has been married and divorced several times, friend, you want to look into
that. Your soul depends upon it. Your relationship with God depends upon

it. If that person has been divorced several times and one or any of those
reasons for getting divorced is not scriptural, then friend, that person is not
somebody who is a candidate to marry. Why would you date someone then
who you're not going to marry?
Then if somebody's been married and divorced several times, you
want to look at what might be the cause of that person being married and
divorced several times. Do they have an anger issue? Do they have some
type of sin that keeps getting in the way of being a godly marriage? Are
there problems that need to be addressed on the individual level before
that person is ready to commit? You want to think clearly about this. As
your soul and your relationship with God depends upon it. If you're dating
somebody who is divorced and it's not for a scriptural reason, friend, we
kindly say that that person, they're not a candidate to marry.
Why would you date somebody who you're not going to marry? If
they do have a scriptural reason, then you would have a right to date that
person, but still, just like in any other relationship, you want to make that's
somebody who's putting God first. You want to make sure that that
person's going to help you get to heaven, and you want to make sure that
the kingdom and the church are coming first in every way.
Now we move to a second question in our series today. An individual
writes this question to us: What do we do when the law of the land says
one thing and the law of God says something contradictory or totally
different? Who should we obey? And so basically if God's law says one
thing, and the law of the land says something different or opposite of what
God's law says- who are we to obey?
Well friend, let's clearly understand that God's law commands us as
best as possible to obey the laws of the land. Romans 13:1 following says
that if we don't obey the law of the land, we don't obey God. For they've
been set in place, the governments have been set in place by God, and
they are His ministers to set forth in His will in certain ways. Obeying the
law of the land, as far as it's in line with the law of God, that's clearly
something God wants us to do.

What about when the laws of a certain country, let's just say the laws
in the United States of America, what about when those laws are in
violation or teach something different than what the laws of God teach? For
example Proverbs 6:16-19, ‘We're not to shed innocent blood.’ What about
when the laws in the United States of America say that it is legal to kill
unborn babies? The law of God says don't shed innocent blood. The law of
the land says abortion is acceptable. There you've got two laws that are
diametrically opposed. What should a Christian do when God's law and
man's law are opposed to each other? Who should we obey?
Well, let's turn our attention to the Scripture and notice what the Bible
says in Acts 5:29. Listen to the words of Peter in this verse, "But Peter and
the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than
men.’" Now what's going on in the context of Acts chapter five? Well,
you've got the law of God that's in place. "Go into all the world and teach
the gospel unto every creature," Mark 16:15. Jesus said "Go preach and
teach the good news." There's the law of God. Now you have got a law that
the Jewish leaders are imposing upon Peter and John. God's law said 'go
preach,' now these Jewish leaders are going to say, ‘Don't preach about
Jesus anymore.’ You've got two competing laws. What do we do when
those two conflict?
Acts 5:29 tells us we obey God rather than men. Peter goes on to say
in Acts 5:30, "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you murdered
by hanging on a tree. God has exalted Him." He goes on to say, ‘we’re
going to preach about Jesus whether you like it or not.’ They go on to
beaten for that, but they counted themselves worthy to suffer shame for the
name of Christ.
When we think about the fundamental question, as long as God's
laws and man's laws are in harmony, then we obey both. If there comes a
point in time when they are diametrically opposed to each other, God's law
always trumps man's law. For example, as we mentioned earlier, if the law
of the land says it's okay to kill babies and the law of God says it's a sin,
then I say to the United States of America, ‘I've got a higher judge and a
higher government I must submit to. I submit to God before I submit to

men.’ If the law of the United States of America says that it is legal for men
to marry men and women to marry women and to be involved in
homosexual relationships, and the law of God says, Romans 1:26-29,
that's it's not, that that's not scriptural, that's not something that God
authorizes- then friend, we obey God. We say from out of love and
kindness that that's not according to the teaching of God, and I cannot go
along with and submit to that law. That law is contrary to the will of Almighty
God.
God's law must always trump man's law when the two are not in
harmony, and we ought to obey God rather than men.
We now move to another question that has been submitted. The
question is asked: Why do some religious groups refer to their religious
leader as father and others refer to them as reverend or pastor. Are those
titles that men or women should wear today?
Well friend, what a good question that is, and we hear it real regularly
today. We hear people say, "Father so and so down here did this," or “the
reverend, and somebody's name attached to it, or Pastor so and so over at
this community church,” or something like unto that- are those titles that the
Bible says men should wear today?
Let's kind of address each of these individually. The title father, which
is often associated with Catholic or Episcopal, sometimes Methodist, or
something like unto that- is that title a title that men should wear? Well
friend, the Bible says it absolutely is not. The Bible explicitly says men
should not wear those titles.
Now why do we say that? Look in your own Bible in Matthew 23:9.
Jesus clearly addressed this, and in the context He's talking about religious
titles, teacher things like unto that. What about those titles? Jesus said in
Matthew 23:9 "Do not call any on earth your father, for one is your father
who is in heaven." King James says, "Call no man father." That's in the
religious sense. I'm not going to address another man with the title of father
as it relates to a religious title. That title is reserved only for God. Is it right
to call somebody Father so and so in a religious sense? Jesus said in that

sense ‘Call no man father. One is your father, spiritually speaking, God in
heaven.’
Well, what about the title reverend? I often hear people refer to others
as, "This is our reverend," or, "Reverend so and so gave a good lesson
today." Well, what about that title? I want to address your attention or direct
your attention to Psalm 111:9 teaches us who the title of reverend is
actually to be given to. The Bible says in verse number nine of Psalm 111,
"He has sent redemption to His people. He has commanded His covenant
forever holy and reverend is His name." Who deserves the name or the title
reverend? Somebody is going through some theological school?
Somebody who's supposedly the preacher down somewhere? No. Holy
and reverend is God's name. Father, in the spiritual sense, is reserved for
God. Reverend, which means magnificent, awesome, holy, to be revered.
That's a name that belongs to God in the Bible.
The first two titles, we sure don't find authority for men to wear in the
Scripture. Now, what about the title or the words pastor? There's a lot of
confusion today on the office of a pastor. What is a pastor in the New
Testament? We find many times today that a pastor is referred to as the
preacher or the one man down at some denominational group. Is that the
way the Bible uses the word pastor?
Friend, you will find the word pastor equated in the New Testament
with the office of elders in the New Testament. Now let me share that with
you. Look in your Bible in 1 Peter 5:1-2. Notice what Peter says about the
office of an elder and how it is also that of the work of being a pastor. Peter
says, "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and
a witness of the suffering of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will
be revealed." Now watch this, "Shepherd", there's that word for pastor,
"pastor or shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as
overseers." Now here you've got elder, you have got pastor, and you have
got overseer, the words that are used to describe the office of overseers or
bishops or elders in the New Testament. Acts 20:28, Paul encouraged the
elders in Ephesus to pastor, to shepherd the flock of God which is among
you. When we think about the idea of a pastor, in the Bible there is never a

one man pastor system like you find today, there is always a plurality of
elders- Acts 14:23, Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:1-2. "I am a fellow elder." Implying
that there are more as well. Then elders are often referred to as bishops or
overseers, elders or older ones, or pastors or shepherds in the Bible.
Those titles are used to describe the work and office of an elder. A one
man preacher system, pastor system's not what you find. There are pastors
in the Bible, and in the New Testament those are also called elders or
overseers in the Scripture. While we find two of the titles definitively are
used for God, the word pastor is used in the Bible for the office and work of
an elder, a shepherd, or an overseer.
Another question that we want to address today that has been
submitted is such a good question today because it's a real problem that is
being exposed, that a lot of people have to deal with today. Here's is the
question: I've always struggled with pornography. Is pornography sinful?
And if so, how do I overcome this in my life?
Friend, studies are revealing that this has become an addiction for so
many people today. With the internet being so widespread, with having
phones and tablets and computers and the host of digital media that is
available today, pornography is becoming so much more of a problem. It
used to be the case that it was available mainly in magazines that nobody
really had or wanted to talk about, that were hard to get. Now it's so readily
available and so easy for especially kids to see today, that it is a very real
problem we have to deal with.
Let's address the first idea. Is pornography sinful? And friends, the
Bible clearly teaches that the viewing of lustful, immoral, ungodly images is
indeed sinful. Jesus addressed it in Matthew 5:28. Jesus said, "But I say to
you, whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed
adultery with her in his heart." As it relates to sex and the relationship that
God has created between a man and a woman, there is one authorized
place for that to occur. “Marriage is honorable. The bed", describing the
sexual relation, "the bed undefiled, but whore mongers and adulterers God
will judge."

The only place where sex and the sexual relations are right and good
and holy is inside the marriage relationship- between one man and one
woman. When you go to looking at images of other people, when you go to
thinking thoughts about other people that is not inside that realm of
marriage, then friend, as Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, you've already as it
were committed adultery in your heart. You began to lust over her in your
mind. You began to think thoughts that are not right. You began to feel
emotions that are not inside the sanction place, and maybe even act upon
those. Friend, that's definitely, pornography is definitely, contrary to the will
of God.
Now, let's address the second part of that question. How does one
prevent or how does one overcome a pornography problem? Pornography
is mainly a problem of the mind. To overcome the problem one has to have
self-control and control over what enters into his mind. "As a man think in
his heart so is he," the Bible says in Proverbs 23:7. I've got to do my best to
bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. How do you
overcome or prevent a pornography problem? Friend, you've got to start by
controlling the mind. Having self-control over what one thinks, what one
views, and what one listens to. Imagine it this way; let's say that a person
had a problem with cursing. Maybe for a big part of their life they'd curse
like a sailor all their life. How do you stop that? Well, you've got to realize
it's a problem. You've got to realize it's wrong, and then you've got to work
on it. You have got to remind yourself, you've got to say to yourself, when
you say that word you've got to say, "That's not right. I can't say that
anymore." You've got to be accountable. You've got to be cognizant of the
fact that that's wrong. You've got to control what goes on in here and
naturally comes out of your mouth. Well, the same is true when it relates to
pornography. I've got to learn to control what I think about. I've got to think
on things that are ‘good and noble and right and just and holy,’ Philippians
4:8.
You've got to make sure that you're not in situations where it's going
to be easily available for you to fall back into the problem. If pornography
problem is related to me in a computer, I need to have some way of making
sure that doesn't come on that computer. I need to make myself

accountable to somebody. I need to have some kind of, and there are good
programs that'll help watch this, get a program on there that will do that. I
need to get rid of the computer. I need to get rid of the phone. I need to
limit my access to the internet or whatever it may be, so that that
temptation-until I'm a little stronger or I have overcome that more- I need to
make sure that that is not something that is readily available in my life.
Especially to parents today, you want to make sure with the
availability of the internet and media today; you want to make sure to watch
and to govern what goes on all your media devices. Whether it be TV,
whether it be YouTube, whether it be the internet, whether it be a phone,
whether it be a tablet-you want to make sure that you've got some way of
controlling, watching, accessing, making sure that that's not becoming a
problem and that that's not something that's going on. If it is, you can do
your best to prevent that as well.
Pornography is a big problem today mainly because, even more so
today, because it's so readily available. You can type word in on the
internet today and get thousands of images for free that a person would not
naturally want to see. What are we going to do to prevent that? How do we
work on it?
It all starts right here (the mind). I want to think about what God wants
me to think about. I want to make sure that my mind is holy and pure and
right. I want to make myself accountable to others and I want to get rid of
any type of device or media that may be a temptation until I am strong
enough to overcome those problems and those urges.
Now friend, as we thought today about Bible questions and answers,
there's one question especially that we hope you're thinking about, and that
is the greatest question of all, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Acts
16:30-31.
Of all the questions that could be asked, there's no greater question
than that one.

Have you obeyed the gospel? Are you a child of God? Have you
submitted to what the Lord teaches on the subject of salvation? Maybe
you're saying to yourself, "Well, I don't know for sure. What does the Bible
say I need to do to be saved?"
The Bible teaches you must first hear the Word of God. "Faith comes
by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God," Romans 10:17. Before I
believe, which is the next step in God's plan of salvation; I've got to have
faith. I've got to hear the Word of God to have faith. Then once I've heard
God's Word, I must believe in Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus himself said,
"Unless you believe that I am He, you'll surely die in your sins," John 8:24.
Having believed in Jesus, the Lord also teaches one must repent. I must
turn from sin and turn to God. Luke 13:3, Jesus said, "Unless you repent
you will all likewise perish." Peter preached in Acts 3:19, "Repent and be
converted", or turn again, "that your sins may be blotted out." Then one
must also confess Jesus as the Messiah, as the Savior and the Son of
God. Romans 10:9-10 the Bible says, "With the heart, with the mind, one
believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto
salvation."
Like the Ethiopian eunuch, in Acts 8:36-39, we need to acknowledge,
‘I believe with all of my heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living
God.’ Then friend Jesus clearly taught to be saved, to have one's sins
forgiven, one must be baptized, immersed in water for the remission of
sins.
Listen to how clear Jesus made it. Jesus said, "He that believes and
is baptized will be saved. He that does not believe shall be condemned."
Jesus said you've got to believe and be baptized to be saved. Paul was
told, "Why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your
sins calling on the name of the Lord,” Acts 22:16.
Maybe you've never done those things.
Friend, we encourage you to obey the gospel. If we could help you, if
you'd like to study more, if you'd like to have a copy of any of our lessons,
please call us or write to us.

Our hope and our main desire is ultimately that you'll obey the gospel
and become a child of God.

Study Questions for: “Questions and Answers: Lesson 7”
1. According to Genesis 2:24, what is God’s plan for marriage?

2. What does Jesus say in Matthew 19:3 is the only reason for divorce?

3. What does Romans 13:1 tell us about obeying laws?

4. According to Acts 5:29, what must we always do?

5. According to Matthew 23:9, should we call people “father”?

6. Is pornography a sin according to Matthew 5:28?

7. What does Proverbs 23:7 say about the things we think about?

8. How does faith come according to Romans 10:17?

9. What does John 8:24 say we must do?

10. What are we told to do in Acts 22:16?

TGOCQuestions & Answers