Dealing With Common Questions and Objections to the Gospel Message
Here we’ll look at some common questions that are related to the biblical gospel message, as well as objections that are commonly raised against an obedient response to Christ.
“Should We Really Fear God?”
Yes! “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) God is not out to randomly hurt people like a terrorist or a serial killer. Believing that would be a false fear of God. The true fear of God is based on the fact that He will deal truly and give us exactly what we deserve according to our ways. “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10) We should therefore take heed to our ways and fear to do evil in God’s eyes and fear to take pleasure in what is evil in His eyes, as it is an unshakeable, eternal truth that the Lord is against those who do evil in His eyes and sin by breaking His commandments (1 Peter 3:12). The people in Noah’s time, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorra, and many others are fearful examples to us of this truth! “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13) Jesus Himself said “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
“Is There Really a Day of Judgment Coming?”
Yes! “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) Jesus Christ Himself said such things as “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2) And “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:41-43)
“What is Sin?”
Sin is to refuse to give God the honor and esteem (i.e. worship) that rightly belongs to Him. It is to not love Him with all of our hearts and not love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). We indeed don’t do so if we choose to do what’s right in our own eyes and thereby reject/neglect to do what is right in God’s eyes. It is the stubbornness of people in going their own way and refusing to submit to God’s commandments to follow the desires of their own hearts that is the source of corruption in this world. This world would be a Paradise if everyone denied themselves to keep God’s commandments instead of pursuing what is right in their own eyes.
Common sins are dishonesty/deceit, murder (including harboring hatred in the heart, the seed of murder), disobedience to parents, adultery (which includes lust towards anyone that is not your spouse- Matthew 5:28), fornication (sex outside of marriage, lasciviousness, immodesty and/or pleasure in another’s immodesty, viewing pornography,etc) idolatry by fashioning a concept of “God” that does not align with how He has revealed Himself in His Word the Bible, love of money/being controlled by money, other forms of idolatry (making a god of something/someone by making it the supreme affection of the heart), drunkenness, dealing illicit drugs and/or getting high on drugs (called sorcery in the Bible), using God’s name in vain, not helping another who is in need when there is an opportunity to do so, cruelty, malice, holding grudges, gossip/backbiting, envy, foolishness (i.e. senselessness), pleasure in others sinning, etc.
Those who do any such things and/or refuse to seek to understand and to obey the revelation God has made available to us regarding Himself in the Bible rebel against God’s authority, and thereby sin against Him.
“Aren’t we all Sinners?”
In the sense of continuing to refuse to submit to God’s authority and willfully continuing to disobey His commandments- the answer is no. Those who obey the call of the Gospel and turn from going their own way in disregard of God’s commandments through surrendering to Jesus Christ’s authority are no longer “sinners” in the sense that the Bible normally uses that term. We instinctively know that one who professes to know God, yet who also commits evil deeds is a hypocrite and not a genuine worshipper, though many fight against that instinctive knowledge. If we are not seeking to be saved from all of our sins, we are disobeying the Gospel message and are not in the Way of true Christianity. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)
“I’ve Sinned Too Badly Already- So There Is No Hope for Me Anyways” or “Other people May Need Jesus to Save Them- but I’m Not as Bad as Them- so I Don’t”
Everyone needs to find God’s mercy on the same terms. Nobody is too good to not need the grace and mercy of God in Jesus Christ. Nor is anyone too bad to be beyond hope, as long as they still have breath. God can have mercy on you and pardon you because Christ has died for sinners and made atonement for all of us thereby. The issue is whether we will receive Him on His terms and have His salvation applied to us. The gospel message is offered to everyone on the same terms. We must own ourselves sinners who have sinned against God and lost any right to earn our salvation and to boast of how we won God’s favor(because nobody hasn’t lost that right- though man-made religion will often give the impression that you haven’t or that you can earn it back somehow), , turn (repent) of going our own way and denying God His right to unconditionally govern ourselves (the root/source of all sin) and thus turn from the sins that stem from that rebellion, and therein call on Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior whose shed blood on the cross will be our confidence before God and whom we will henceforth unconditionally obey (by hearing and obeying His Word no matter the cost, without self-imposed conditions) and depend on to heal us from the toll sin has taken on our souls, leading us in the way we ought to have walked from the beginning (otherwise we mock His mercy and abuse His grace, and thus cannot partake of His salvation). Thus nobody can boast before God nor can anyone get away with unrighteousness. Thus the mercy and justice of God are both preserved. Thus the goodness of God and the severity of God are by no means contradictory. Thus God’s mercy and the fear of God complement each other, rather than contradict each other. “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50) “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)
“How Can God Demand Worship?”
God is the essence of truth, righteousness, love, etc. He would therefore be wrong to NOT insist that we worship Him. To do otherwise He would be an encourager and an enabler of evil, and would thereby become evil Himself. He would also not be loving towards us to not demand that we follow the Highest good and do what is truly best, if He were to not insist that we worship Him. However when created beings demand worship from others they are indeed evil, as they are following a lie and calling others to a lie.
“Does God Really Condemn Sinners to Hell?”
Along with the last point, to sin against God is exceedingly wicked. To do so is rebel against the Supreme authority over all who is the essence of what is right, true, loving, etc. God is obligated by His very own character to hate and be utterly severe against all that opposes Him. As demanding (or even accepting) worship is wrong for mere creatures, but is right and necessary with God- so is the case regarding vengeance on one’s own enemies. Thus the Bible says “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) God has testified in His Word that those who consent to sin and harbor it will be condemned to hell, if they turn not to Him in abhorrence of their sin. What He says is just and right is truly just and right, even if sinful people protest otherwise. Jesus Christ Himself testified “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30) God lovingly and mercifully labored and suffered in Jesus Christ to save us from condemnation on terms that are consistent with His wisdom and justice.
“Isn’t it Wrong to Judge?”
It’s wrong to assume things that we don’t know. What God has clearly testified about what is right and wrong, the terms of being right with Him, and the coming punishment of those who do what is evil in His are His judgments. When man doesn’t receive God’s definite decisions, he’s improperly judging also, as he is replacing God’s judgments with his own and basically saying he knows better than God does. We don’t want to be found doing that. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21)
“Isn’t there any Other Way to be saved?”
Jesus Christ is the full revelation of God’s character, the King of mankind, and the only one in whom there is atonement for sin. Thus Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) And “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 12:44-50)
“Can’t I Just Do My Best?”
If we’d really do our best we must obey the truth that God has testified and made available to us in Jesus Christ. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (John 3:17-20) There’s no substitute for unconditional surrender to the Lord on His terms, no matter how noble stopping short of that might look before people. Only such surrender can deal with the root of mankind’s sin and the source of God’s controversy with mankind.
“This is all too Narrow-minded for Me”
Truth by its very nature is exclusive. Two plus two equals four- and could never be anything other than four. Jesus Christ proved that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life by His resurrection from the dead. The New Testament was either written by men who had seen Him after He rose from the dead or by great liars andcon-men! Should it be a surprise that the Way of salvation would have so much opposition and so many counterfeits in a world where there is a devil and a multitude of hard-hearted people whose carnal comfort, forbidden pleasure, source of income and/or worldly status/power are derived from means that oppose Christ and His Word? We have the Truth before us and we are obligated to receive and follow that. We don’t have the liberty to alter it based on how we wish it to be.
“There are too Many Hypocrites”
That does not change our need to walk in the truth and our accountability to God regarding that the slightest bit! Jesus often rebuked hypocrites, but He also said on at least one occasion that we should do what they say which aligns with God’s Word (see Matthew 23:1-3). If we obey God’s Word unconditionally as we ought to we won’t be following their example. “Hypocrite” actual means “under judging”; that is, one who doesn’t judge themselves thoroughly enough. To be a hypocrite you just have to not live by the standard you expect others to live by. Those who condemn professing Christians for the very sins they partake of themselves are also hypocrites. Judging ourselves by the Word of God and aligning our lives with it is actually the way to be saved from being a hypocrite.
“But I’m a Christian Already”
Many base their profession of Christianity on things like church attendance, church membership, and/or a one-time decision to “accept Jesus.” We are warned in the Bible that the great danger in the last days is a lowering of the standard that those who would truly believe on Christ and live by faith in Him must walk by. A (false) “Christianity” where you can basically be like the rest of the world, except maybe adding things like church, prayer, Bible reading, etc. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness (i.e. a form of Christianity), but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Since there are so many like that we can easily look at other “Christians” and think that everything must be okay with us. Yet the truth has never changed and we are still obligated to receive and obey Christ’s Word. Any who do so will find that they are going against the current, even among many professing Christians. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:3-6) Jesus warned about many who call Him Lord who will be rejected at the end because they persisted in iniquity (lawlessness). “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:23-27) Don’t settle for anything less than being a wholehearted disciple of Jesus Christ whose life is abandoned to Him and to trust in His promises- which is a life that is diligent to keep His Word and walk in victory over sin through a genuine, living relationship with Him. We are thus instructed “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)
“I’ve got More Important Things to Deal with and Concentrate on Now”
In consideration of judgment day and eternity all the different circumstances of this life are so short and insignificant that, no matter how wonderful or horrible they may be, they are still not significant enough to let them distract us from preparing for judgment day/eternity and thus seeking the kingdom of God above all else. All will surely realize on judgment day what indeed ought to have been the undisputed top priority in this life. It is good to think about what it will be like to actually stand before God on the Day of Judgment. Would not one who didn’t prepare like they ought to have then want to go back and have a second chance to make things right? Yet there will be no second chance, no “do-over” when we die or when Christ comes back. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”(Hebrews 9:27) Now we actually do have the chance to prepare to meet God and to walk in the truth with our whole hearts- as multitudes will wish on judgment day that they had a chance to go back and live life over in order to do- but won’t be able to. Jesus said “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) There is no sinful pleasure and/or gain that will be worth it in hell to have continued in here. There is not any fun (even legitimate, wholesome fun) or earthly care that is worth putting ahead of responding to the Gospel message and following Christ over while the opportunity to do so is before us. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)