Questions of Destiny
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I. “The key to wisdom is this -- constant and frequent questioning ... for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.” Peter Abelard Sic et Non ~1120 AD “Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum” Descartes
5. Why do some people choose God and not others? Jer 29:11-14
Lack of knowledge, preconceptions; rejecting the cartoon or parent/authority; confused “election” (corporate); free will & robots
II. Is there is a Supernatural Being who Walks and Talks, and is holy, just and loving.
6. How do you know God is real and not a fabrication of your mind? Rm 1:19-21; Ps 19:1; Heb 1:1-2
Belief, sincerity, tradition, majority opinion, nor experience (eyewitness filters & interpretation faulty) don’t determine truth.
Revelation (authenticated), Reason (logical consistency), and Reality (historically works) yield Truth that best explains ALL the facts.
Something must be eternal. Stars talk (Big Bang and Hydrogen). Laws of Thermodynamics; Cosmological & Teleological arguments;
Mortimer Adler: Plato & Aristotle; Emotional atheism; Leibniz & Newton; Monkeys can’t type 3020 1030, 1026 1080 10600 Pascal’s wager
8. Why did God create humans? Acts 17:24-25; Eph 1:5; 2:8-10; Isa 43:7,21; Rev 4:11
Finite beings need an infinite source for answers. Self-Disclosure & Blessing; Object lesson to Satan
9. Isn’t it selfish for God to expect us to love Him? 1Jn 4:19
Narcissism, we’re made to love; just loyalty isn’t necessarily liking; Source of worth/value; reciprocity is expected in any rlshp
III. God’s rules are for our benefit: Independence is the essence of sin (ignorance and arrogance)
7. What is sin and where did it come from (since God didn’t create it and can’t associate with it)? Js 1:14-16
Evil=Privation; Absence of a good; Sin=rebellion; God has tea w/ Satan. Free will necessary for the best of all possible worlds.
12. Does God not have any power over the situation, or that elusive concept sin, that He cannot save everyone, or does He not want to, or does He just not care, or does it not matter? Dt 30:19; Josh 24:15; Jn 5:40; 2Pt 3:9
All Good and All Powerful; morally obligated to create the best of all possible worlds, and the best way to that world. With free will we have the opportunity to demonstrate the nobler virtues. God doesn’t save (or sanctify) or condemn us against our will. Hardens choices..
11. Does God call things sin because they’re inherently immoral or because He knows they are bad for us? Ex 15:26
How can pond scum have morality? Morality is defined by God’s character, but is also for the benefit of the beloved.
1. Why does God seem to have a different moral compass than us? Rm 2:14-16
Where do we get our ideas of right and wrong? CS Lewis: Abolition of Man;
4. How can God create us as sinners and then punish us for sinning? Job 1:8; Dt 11:26-28; Ps 1; 1Cor 10:13
Choice and calls to repentance; provision provided but often rejected; Infinite justice, holiness and love; overcome by evil?
IV. God’s solution demonstrates His justice and love
2. Did Jesus really suffer on the cross? Isa 53:5; 1Pt 3:17-18
Sweating blood; and dreading the pain; Crucifixion isn’t a picnic; By His punishment we are healed; we’re called to emulate
3. How is Jesus’ suffering any different than anyone else who has suffered, been tortured, etc.? Jn 1:29; 1Pt 2:24; 2Cor 5:21
Undeserved; vicarious; death followed by resurrection prophesied
10. Wasn’t Jesus’ death just a sham to make us think He really cares about us? 1Jn 4:9-10; Rm 3:23-26; 5:8
Honesty and holiness; rain and pleasure; question of justice (a human had to die to pay the death penalty for sin); Aslan
5. Why do some people choose God and not others? Rm 10:14; Zech 1:1-6; 1Cor 1:18-221; Jn 3:19-20
Faith is equally available (mustard seed), it’s our choice. Morality determines theology
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Can the world and our functioning in it be explained by purely material causes and effects? Is a thought material or immaterial?
2. Why are some folks afraid to enter into rational dialogue about faith? What clouds the debate?
3. What is the role of reasoned argument in helping folks initiate, develop or deepen their relationship with God? Acts 19:8-9
4. Why is it important to have an examined certainty about one’s beliefs? Lk 1:4; Js 1:6-8
5. How can you develop and nurture a more reasonable and sustained confidence in the authenticated revelation of God?
Questions of Destiny Verses to go with outline
I. #5 Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD…
II. #6 Ro 1:19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown [it] to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.4 Their line has gone out through all the earth…
Heb 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
#8 Ac 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Isa 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him. 21 This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.
Rev 4:11 You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.
#9 1John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
III. #7 Jas 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
#12 De 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land …
Jos 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
John 5:40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
2Pt 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Ex 15:26 If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.
#1 Rm 2:14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?
De 11:26 "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 "the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28 "and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.
#4 Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful
1Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
IV. #2 Isa 53:5 He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
1Pt 3:17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit
#3 Jn 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, & said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
1Pt 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
2Co 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
#10 1Jo 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Rm 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Rm 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
#5 Ro 10:13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Zech 1:2 "The LORD has been very angry with your fathers. 3 "Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Return to Me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts. 4 "Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds."’ But they did not hear nor heed Me," says the LORD. 5 "Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 Yet surely My words and My statutes, Which I commanded My servants the prophets, Did they not overtake your fathers? "So they returned and said: ‘Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us, According to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt with us.’
1Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
Q&A Ac 19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
Lk 1:4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.