Tonight Pastor Locke at the Global Vision Bible Church dedicated the Wednesday night service to Q&A, with questions (in written form) coming from members of the congregation.
Q: My son says that he doesn’t believe anymore? What should I do?
A: First, it isn’t your job to make him do anything. There are some who walk away from the faith because they wonder that if there really is a good God, then why do bad things happen? Who’s to say good things and bad things are happening? First, you have to have a moral compass. You see, we can’t assume God is at fault because things aren’t perfect. Things used to be perfect. But mankind introduced sin into the world and so now we are cursed. How come bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, to Jesus. Crazy things do happen to jacked-up people. Jesus came to fix it all.
Q: I am concerned by how many people have unforgiveness in their hearts and die like this? What do we tell them?
A: God isn’t interested in our feelings, only in the truth of God. But Christians do somethings hold resentments and unforgiveness in their hearts. We know there is sin and deviance and pornography and molestation and divorce. There are plenty of things that cause us to question the authenticity of God. But nothing can ever come close to how much Jesus has forgiven us. We have to learn to let go of bitterness. Don’t even let the fruits of defilement in, because bitter people beget other bitter people. We cannot justify bitterness. God will not understand our bitterness. Sometimes people have to come out of bondage and need counseling to let go.
Q: What does the Bible say about the company you keep and the friends you have?
A: The Bible says plenty about this. If you don’t change the crowd you run with when you are saved, you are not gonig to be transformed. You have to be careful who you hang around with lest they give you ungodly counsel.
Q: As a single mother, how do I give godly discipline to my children and strength to myself?
A: Single motherhood is the forgotten mission field in the church. (There are single fathers, too.) It is a daunting responsibility. There have been many great Christian people, pastors and others, who were raised by single parents. Even more important than the health and well-being of the child is the health and well-being of the parent. Children are incredibly resilient. God is the most perfect Father. He is perfect and all of his kids are stupid. So don’t beat yourself up, but do follow the Word.
Q: Can you get re-baptized?
A: Yes, as long as you are getting re-baptized for the right reason. We have had many people get re-baptized because they didn’t really “mean it” the first time around. Baptism shows that you are saved, so if you were baptized before you were saved, then all you did was get wet. So you will need to get baptized again after you’ve been saved.
Q: How do you pray for healing in depression?
A: There are some things you will never simply pray away, but only by prayer AND fasting. Some things we have to fast out of our lives. When I went through depression, my prayers seemed to make it worse because I felt God wasn’t listening. We usually look for a “yes” or “no,” and sometimes I’d rather have a “no” then have to wait. Sometimes the waiting can accentuate the ancxiety. One of the things that rescued me was a bicycle. Jesus saved my soul, but the bicycle saved my life. It let me go free, and my heart and mind needed “catch-up” work. If you try to go it alone, you won’t get out of your bed for weeks.
Q: Who did God lead to decide which of the Dead Sea scrolls would become part of the Bible?
A: The canon is what we refer to as the Bible. There are 66 books (39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New). The early church applied the laws of canonicity. If you take, for example, the 14 books of the apocrypha, they make for good history, but poor Scripture. It’s not inspired. In order to pass the laws of canonicity, it has to be inspired. They’re are 4 such laws, including “divine dictation.” (God told them what to write.) So when David was mad, he wrote mad. When he was crying, he wrote crying. A God that’s big enough to inspire the text is a God who is big enough to protect that text.
Q: When God comes back, how will He destroy it?
A: He will destroy it with the word of His mouth. He spoke it into existence, and He can speak it out of existence. We know He won’t destroy it by flood, but He will burn it up. But don’t worship the created, but worship the Creator. Don’t worry about saving a world God is going to ultimately destroy.
Q: How do you know if you’re going to heaven?
A: Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Jesus came unto his own, but his own received him not. Eternal life is in God’s Son. There are plenty of Scripture passages that refer to belief in Jesus Christ as our salvation. It has nothing to do with who we are or what we do, but only our relationship to Christ, not our relationship to the church. Do you know Jesus Christ? It’s either yes or no. If you have turned to Christ as your only way to salvation, and you trust what the Bible says, then you will be saved. If you doubt that, it’s dangerous. You don’t have to feel saved. We aren’t saved by feeling but by faith.
Q: When we pray, are we praying to God or to Jesus?
A: One God does it in in three persons. We are told to pray to the Father, though the Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ. The purpose of prayer is to give thanks, make petitions, and forgive others.
Q: When we go to heaven, will we physically see heaven or will it just be our spirit?
A: We will physically see heaven. We will ultimately receive a glorified body. We don’t know exactly what that looks like yet. We will then see all things the way we were always meant to see them. Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t just spiritual, but physical.
Q: What is the middle verse of the Bible, and why is it?
A: It is Psalm 118:8. “It is better to put trust in the Lord than confidence in men.” This is the theme of the whole Bible.
Q: How were the Old Testament saints saved?
A: The same way we are: by faith. They were saved by looking forward to the promised Messiah. We are saved by looking back at the Messiah. We are all saved by faith. Faith without works is dead. It was the same in the Old Testament. We don’t work to be saved, but because we are saved.
Q: Who were the nephilim?
A: We don’t know that these giants were the result of intermingling and if this was an ungodly line. But we do believe instead that demons were taking on human form and intermingling with and raping women. There is another world that if we could see into, it would blow our minds. We would be shocked to see what’s going on in the spiritual world. Jude even said there is a special group of demons reserved in the deepest bondage.
Q: What, if anything, does the word of God have to say about being cremated versus casket burial?
A: It says nothing about either. It’s a choice. It doesn’t matter Biblically. Either way, buried or cremated, God will resurrect us.
Q: At the time of Jesus’ death, who was in charge of the Roman government: Pontius Pilate or Tiberius?
A: Pilate was over that particular region. He was a puppet on a string. Both the Jews and the Romans had a lot to do with Jesus’ death.
Q: Will there be sex in heaven?
A: No, there will not be, unfortunately. The Bible says we will neither be married nor given in marriage, but will be like the angels of God. God created sex for procreation and also for human pleasure (within the context of marriage). If you’re single and having sex, then you need to get right with God. In heaven, there will be no need for pleasure, becaus Jesus will be the sum total of everything we could ever want or need.
Q: Is my husband still going to be my husband in heaven “after the tears are wiped away?”
A: No, but it doesn’t mean you won’t know your husband in heaven. We don’t know what this context will be exactly, but we will not be married in heaven. Our main focus will be on Jesus and the body of Christ, so there won’t be any marital bliss. We will all be children of the most high God.
Q: When a Christian moves to a Muslim country, should he/she pretend to be a Muslim?
A: Absolutely not! We are never to be ashamed of the gospel or of Jesus.
Q: What happened that Richard Dawkins called you a bigot?
A: He called me a bigot for my stand on Planned Parenthood.