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Answers to Questions You Always Wanted to Know


Those questions you had about life…

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What is God like?

Ever since we were children most of us will have known that there must have been something that brought us all into being, everything must have an origin. Many tribes and people groups around the world, regardless of how many gods or spirits they serve, recognize that there is one chief creator God who is greater than all. If that is so then we have to ask what does He look like, who is He and how can we know anything about Him? Unfortunately due to the number of different religions and religion-provoked wars in the world many people have given up trying to find an answer.

We believe that the bible has the answers. It is not the illusionary vision of one man that was penned down but it was written over 1500 years, by 40 different authors, from various backgrounds and times in history, yet all united in their central theme and message. Exodus 34: 6—7 tells us that God is compassionate and gracious, abounding in loving kindness and truth. One of these words for grace comes from a word meaning to stoop down as if to help an inferior person.

If God is God, then we recognize that He must be good. Because He is superior, He must set the rules. Genesis 1:1 says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And when He looked at it He saw it was very good. It was designed. Everything had its place and purpose. God created man and gave him a job, to look after the creation. Why are we beings who need purpose? Because God made us that way. God created the first marriage and is the author of family. Why do we crave companionship and community? Because that is how God made us. And even though He is superior to all and should be more elusive to us than earthly royalty, yet the bible says that he condescends to our level to help us and this is because He is a God of love.

If God is so good then why is there so much evil in the world?

So what happened to make it all go wrong? In Genesis chapter 3 we see that God gave man a commandment but man disobeyed Him. Now if God is good, then what He commands us is good also and if we obey Him then we are doing good. Therefore to disobey God is to go against what is good and therefore it has to be defined as evil. It doesn’t matter what nation we are from, the bible says that we are all from one blood (Acts 17: 26) and our ancestors brought evil into the world. According to Romans 6: 23 the wages of sin is death, and therefore by one act of rebellion, sin and death came into the world. Sin is serious. Firstly and most importantly sin is so terrible because it is committed against our Creator who is perfect and good. Secondly and also of importance sin is terrible, because it affects more than the sinner, it affects other people and the creation, which God has made. This is why we have the tragedy of AIDS orphans. These orphans commit no crime but they still suffer the consequences of other people’s promiscuity. But in the case of this original sin, the whole creation was subjected to futility or entropy.

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Have you kept the Ten Commandments? (Ex 20: 1— 17)

You shall…

Have no other gods beside Yahweh. (YHWH is the name used for God in this text)

Not make an idol and worship it.

Not use the name of God in vain. (i.e in a flippant way)

Remember the Sabbath.

Honour you father and mother.

Not murder.

Not commit adultery.

Not steal.

Not bear false witness of someone

Not covet (be envious of) anything that belongs to someone else, whether it be their partner, family or possessions.

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Is there a real heaven and a real hell?

Therefore because our ancestors sinned, we are all born with a nature that wants to sin. We don’t want God to rule our lives and naturally we will only serve God when it pleases us to do so. That is why we keep some commandments and reject others. Any crime committed according to South African Law should be punished. Because people in the world are crooked, justice can be perverted. But a good judge sentences the person found guilty and does not take a bribe. He would go by the law of the land.

Well the bible says that God is the judge of the whole earth. (Gen 18: 25) And He doesn’t judge by the law of South Africa but He judges by His own law, the Law of the Lord. (Psalm 19: 7)

The bible also says that one day the Lord Jesus Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. We have read before that the wages of sin is death. What is ultimate death? To understand death it is beneficial to understand life, because death is the opposite of life. What is real life? Is it football, Saturday nights out, boozing, drugs, getting a high, music concerts? What is life? In John 17: 3 Jesus defines life like this. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Real life is to know God. Death is to not know Him, and the ultimate expression of that is what the bible calls the lake of fire, which burns forever. Rev 20: 14 calls the lake of fire ‘the second death’. This is the wage of every sinner. Heaven, the destination of the righteous.

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Am I good enough to go to heaven?

Are you righteous or are you a sinner? Do you deserve heaven or do you deserve hell? In Exodus chapter 20 the bible gives us a list of commandments by which we can judge our actions by. The first commandment says to have no other god before the true God. That means to have God in the primary position in your life. Can you say that you have done that perfectly? How about not making an image of God to worship? The bible says that God made man in His own image. This commandment speaks against making God into your own image. How many times have we changed what we have heard the bible say about God into what suited us?

The bible says do not murder but in Mt 5: 22 Jesus says that anger in the heart against someone is classed as murder too, for God sees the heart. The bible says do not commit adultery but Jesus said that the person who looks at another to lust after them is also guilty of adultery because they did it in their heart and God sees the heart. These are just a small handful of commandments. 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 tells us that sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, consensual homosexual sexual activity between two lesbians or two gays, stealing, greed, drunkenness, reviling, and cheating are all damning sinful lifestyles that necessitate God’s punishment. In an age where people are celebrating gay rights, God’s word still pronounces a condemnation of such practices as dishonorable passions which are contrary to nature. (Romans 1:26-27). These practices, such as adultery, pedophilia, and sex outside of marriage are the markers of the deep depravity of the human nature. But there is no one exempt from judgment.

We have all broken the Law of God. 1 John 1: 10 says that whoever says they haven’t sinned is a liar, Come on, don’t lie to yourself, be honest man!

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”  (James 2: 10)

 

Won’t my good deeds outweigh my bad ones?

We often think of justice as a pair of scales where your bad deeds are put on one side and your good deeds are put on the other and it is the heavier of the two that determines whether you will go to heaven or the lake of fire.

Not so. In fact our good deeds are not the measure of how good we are. What the standard of goodness for one person is, may differ for another person. Some tribes think cannibalism is acceptable and other peoples do not. There must be a standard which is absolute for everyone and that standard is the Law of God. That is how the balancing scales work. All our deeds are on one side and the Law of the Lord is on the other.

And this Law is perfect. All the commandments of God are contained within this Law and this Law requires 100% obedience. That is why James 2: 10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”

How do you measure against the Law? Are you guilty before the Holy God? Yes you are!

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How can a loving God send people to hell?

Therefore if you are a sinner, you deserve to go to that lake of fire for eternity. And such a thought is terrible. It is so terrible that it can never, ever be reconciled with the concept of love, but only justice, punishment and the anger of a holy God. That is why people protest with the argument; How can a loving God send people to hell?

However I want to ask you the question; What do you think God loves? Do you think that He loves your sin, your murders, your adulteries and your lies? Do you think that He loves the evil that is in the world? Because if you think that God thinks that none of it really matters then how can you in your right mind believe that God is good? What kind of good God will turn round to a murderer and say ‘It doesn’t matter, I won’t hold it against you.’ Imagine how the family of the victim would feel if this were the case! Even if the murderer said sorry the judge would still have to say, ‘I can see you are truly sorry, but at the end of the day the Law has been broken and you have to pay the price. I have to sentence you for your crime!’

Therefore what is left is a seeming contradiction between God’s love and God’s goodness, or holiness. God wants to forgive because of his love but His goodness demands that punishment must be given for our sins. God’s anger against your sins must be satisfied. This tension is communicated in Exodus 34: 6—7 which says that God forgives evil, sin and rebellion but by no means will He leave the guilty unpunished!

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“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have evernal life.”  (John 3: 16)

What do I need to go to heaven?

So how can we who deserve God’s anger ever get to heaven? How can God both satisfy His goodness and His love without contradiction?

The answer lies in the cross of Jesus. To many people the message of Jesus dying on a cross has spoken of failure and defeat. But for those who would believe and follow Jesus this is the greatest victory ever brought about in human history. Let me explain why.

Romans 5: 8 says this: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” That is right. Instead of us suffering God’s anger for ever and ever, Jesus took it for us as a substitute, as a sacrifice in a single moment of time on the cross. In a mystical way, God the Father put the whole sin of the world and punished Jesus in our place even though He had done nothing wrong so that if we believe in Him, we can have that life. Because of the cross, the relationship with God that was broken when our ancestors first sinned, can be restored. But it wasn’t Jesus that God was angry with and this was proved by the raising of Jesus from the dead. That we can live with God is the hope of every person who believes in Jesus.

Isn’t there another way?

Many people have different ways to get favour from God. Some people think that they can do it through appeasing ancestral spirits. They do not even realize that Deuteronomy 18: 9—14 says that God detests this practice. Some people think that by being a member of a local church or doing good works, or by paying money to church or a charity that they can get favour from God. But God cannot be bribed into perverting justice. Even Hitler was a church going man. Some people think that by trying to keep the ten commandments they can please God but they forget that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Other people follow other prophets and other messiahs but none of these went to the lengths that Jesus did to save us from our sins and hell. Only Jesus became that sacrifice.

Jesus said in John 14: 6 “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Only in Jesus is there any salvation. Notice that after the word ‘Me’, there is a full stop. He didn’t say ‘through Me and the mother Mary’, or ‘through me and the ancestors’, or ‘through Me and Isaiah Shembe’, or even ‘through Me and the pastor of your church.’ He only pointed to Himself.

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How can I be saved?

Jesus did it all for you. In response to what He did…

Confess your sins to the Lord.

Turn away from your sinful way of life.

Believe that what Jesus did, in His death on the cross and His resurrection, are sufficient to save you.

“if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”

If you believe and have decided to turn away from your sins, you are starting a new life with Jesus. You are born again, therefore…

Be baptized in obedience to the command given in Acts 2: 38. It is a symbol of the reality of what has happened to you and if you are following Jesus this is the first step of doing so.

Read your bible daily. The bible is God’s way of speaking to you.

Pray continually to God. It is your way of speaking to God.

Seek out a group of Christians who love Jesus and love to read and study the bible. Make friends with them and meet up with them regularly. They will help you to follow Jesus.

Share what Jesus has done in His sacrifice on the cross with other people. It is selfish to keep it to yourself.

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KwaZulu Mission

PO Box 1481,

Vryheid 3100,

KwaZulu Natal,

South Africa

Phone: 0728311008

E-mail: msindisi@gmail.com

Just ask for Salvador who will be pleased to talk.

If you would like to speak to someone concerning anything you have read, have any questions answered, pray with someone to make a commitment to follow Jesus, to be baptized or just to find a church that you can fellowship with then please do not hesitate to contact us at the address or phone number contained on this website. Maybe you made a decision to follow Jesus years ago but the only reality of that is the distant memory. James 1: 27 shows that the mark of a true Christian is that they help the needy, (that they love each other) and that they do not practice sin, keep themselves special to the Lord. If you lack this reality in your life, John 15: 1—7 shows us that by obeying what he says, by sticking with Him we will become like Him and know Him. If you need to get this right in your life please also feel free to contact us too.

All scripture references from the NASB

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2 Comments
  1. Dennis permalink

    Very Informative – excelent work now it will give many to understand the scripture as well as to know that there is God after all

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  1. Msindisi Newsletter # 105 | KwaZulu Mission

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