All posts by Daniel F. Grey

How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?

A good God can allow suffering because He is merciful. Let me explain.

IT GETS HARDER

The sixth and final question asked of the group brings up the problem of evil, but the original query that was asked was even tougher because it removed a core argument from the debate – freewill. So here is the full question that I will answer.

How can a good God allow suffering? Freewill seems just like an excuse.

I found this question to be quite difficult. I think the removal of freewill is the cause of my challenge in finding a complete answer. Freewill is not just an excuse. It is an essential piece to the human story. It is an essential piece to any love story. How can one love without choice? Does a wife love her husband because she can do nothing but love him? The question doesn’t even make sense. Love falls apart without freewill.

I digress.

Below are 7 statements backed by scripture to help understand the problem of suffering, doing my best not to harp on freewill. I prayed this would be God breathed and I pray now that this would be helpful to you.

1. Justice for all means extinction

If God were to end all suffering right now by bringing justice to the guilty everyone would be dead (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:23, Romans 6;23). Suffering is the result of sin. Sin is done by sinners. We are all sinners. Therefore in order to get rid of suffering you must get rid of the sinner, and that would mean no one could be allowed to exist. The problem isn’t just some evil force working to do harm to all people. The problem is us.

2. God is merciful

God does not bring swift judgement to end all humanity (and all suffering) immediately because He loves us and is merciful (Psalm 86:5, Luke 6:36). 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God has not judged us yet because he wants everyone to be saved.

3. God did not design a world with suffering.

In the beginning God created good. We see that over and over again in Chapter 1 of Genesis (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). In Chapter 2 we even see that the relationship between man and woman is in good standing (Genesis 2:25). God did not design a world of suffering. This planet and its current affairs are not what He wanted for us.

4. Suffering is the result of human decision(s)

Genesis 3 lays out how what humans did to bring suffering into the world. They desired to be God, and they took action to achieve that goal in direct disobedience to God’s rule. Adam and Eve started a terrible tradition where men continue to try and replace God. This is the beginning of suffering. Elevating our thoughts, ideas, or desires above other’s wants and needs produces suffering. Our decision to lie at work hurts our employer and our customer. Having sex with a previous lover introduces possible insecurities in our next partner. Our rude, flippant remark at someone’s elementary mistake can scar an individual for a lifetime. We are the vicim and perpetrator of suffering.

5. God suffers with us

We are not alone in our suffering. God has done something really, really profound. He has chosen to suffer with us. In Mark 14:31 – 15:41 we witness God in human form (Jesus) experience dread, close friends unable to be there for Him in his time of need, betrayal, injustice, false accusations, disownment by a close friend, being mocked, torture, disgrace, public shame, and asphyxiation. Our God knows our suffering. He knows it intimately.

I’m not sure we understand the complete absurdity of this. God actually has experienced our suffering. It would be like if we were to go and experience the troubles of a worm. The individual worm’s suffering has no bearing on our life. There is no need for it. It makes no sense.

Unless there is love.

6. Suffering is not without purpose

A lot of us ask the question ‘why there is suffering in the world,’ but I think a more relevant and impactful question is ‘why do I suffer?’ The Bible tells us that our suffering has purpose (John 9:1-3, 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10; Luke 14:13-14; Acts 20:35).

This too is also quite profound. There must be suffering in this world because sin exists, but there does’t have to be purpose behind it. The purpose of suffering is a grace God has given to us in the midst of pain. He has found a way to make evil result in good.

7. God has taken action

When people say God has done nothing to combat evil and suffering that is a lie. God has done something and will do more.

He has always been a God of mercy and action. Even after the first sin God made clothes for Adam and Eve to help them cover their shame. He sent his only son to take our punishment for our sins so we can have peace and eternal life (John 3:16).

Finally, Jesus is coming back and His new kingdom is going to be epic. There will be no tears, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4). This world and its ways will pass away, and thank God!

Conclusion

The problem of evil and suffering is a very culturally relevant issue. I heard Neil DeGrasse Tyson give suffering and evil as the reason he does not believe in a good, all powerful God. He did not say because there was a lack of evidence. He didn’t say it was impossible. He said because there is evil and suffering. That reason does not stand, and we have an answer for it.

Please remember that just because we are people of faith does not mean that we are people without reason. Our God made the rules of this universe and any honest science will not disprove Him.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

SOURCES

Bible Gateway
CBS Sunday Morning

OUTLINE

How can a good God allow suffering? Freewill seems just like an excuse.

I found this question to be quite difficult and I still don’t think I am satisfied with the answer I prepared below. I think the removal of freewill is the cause of my difficulty in this. It is not just an excuse. It is an essential piece to the human story. It is an essential piece to any love story. How can one love without choice? Does a wife love her husband because she can do nothing, but love him? The question doesn’t even make sense. Love falls apart without freewill. Anyways below is 7 statements backed by scripture to help understand the problem of suffering, doing my best not to harp on freewill. I prayed this would be God breathed and I pray now that this would be helpful to you.

  1. If God were to end all suffering right now by bringing justice to the guilty everyone would be dead. Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:5-6; Romans 6:23
  2. God does not do this (point 1) because he loves us and is full of mercy. 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 6:36; Psalm 86:5
  3. Our God did not design a world with suffering. Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31; 2:25
  4. Suffering is the result of human decision(s). Genesis 3
  5. Our God did not leave us to suffer alone; he experienced it too. In Mark 14:32 – 15:41 we see God go through dread, close fries unable to be there for Him in his time of need, betrayal, injustice, false accusations, disownment by a close friend, being mocked, torture, disgrace, public shaming, asphyxiation
  6. Suffering is not without purpose. John 9:1-3; 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10; Luke 14:13-14; Acts 20:35
  7. Our God does not just sit back and allow suffering. God DID/WILL DO something to eliminate suffering. John 3:16; Revelation 21:4

Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?

Yes. Your deceased, unbelieving loved one is in hell, but I wouldn’t lead with that. Let me explain.

A Reminder

When these six questions were brought to my group they were all challenges we were scared to have someone ask us as a believer. Can you imagine your new friend bringing this loaded question to you? How do you respond to it without losing a soul, but also with gentleness and tact?

How To Respond

Each situation is unique and I would not approach every person the same way, but I think you could combine the truths listed below in a number of different ways and maintain integrity, gentleness, & truthfulness.

1. Speak Truth

It is important to speak truthfully and lovingly into this piercing, heartfelt question. This query is one of heartbreak. Please be gentle with this person, but don’t misrepresent the truth. A well timed word can comfort the heart and a lie can lose souls.

2. Read The Room

Before you bring your sword of truth to bear, remember this -> We do not know with 100% certainty the final state of a person’s heart; only God knows and sees that. We do know that God is good, just, and a God of mercy. We can trust Him to do the right thing, and He is the one that makes the final judgement, not us. So before you declare the truth to your friend see if you need to tend to their heart. Sometimes a hug and a ‘I don’t know” may be all that is needed.

3. A Message From The Grave

We may not know where their loved one is with 100% certainty, but we do know, whether in heaven or hell, they have a desire for your friend. The parable in Luke 16:19-31 tells of a rich man sentenced to hell. There he is starved of the goodness of God and is filled with agony. He begs that his family would be told the right way to get to heaven… No matter where our deceased loved ones are, they want us to know Jesus.

4. Heaven On Earth

The after life will always contain some mystery, but there are certain things we can thank God for now. In this life their loved one got to experience the goodness of God in what is known as common grace: food to enjoy, satisfying work, good friends, rain and sunshine, the beauty of the night sky, etc… The world is full of wonder and we all get to live in it, no matter what we believe.

Conclusion

If this question was brought to you with heartfelt sincerity I think you could use these four pointers to help plant or water the seed of faith in their life. However, if you are approached with hostility I think the best way to respond is through point 2, then show them you care by following up at a different time. In the words of Frederick William Faber “Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.”

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

SOURCES

Exoduse 34:6-7
Lamentation 3:23-24
Matthew 5:45
Luke 16:19-31
BrainyQuote.com

OUTLINE

  1. It is important to speak truth and love into this piercing, heartfelt question without misrepresenting the truth. 
  2. Sometimes a hug and a ‘I don’t know’ may be all that is needed to be done. 
    • We do not know the final state of a person’s heart; only God knows and sees that and He is the one that makes the final judgement
    • We do know that God is good and just and we can trust him to do the right things. Plus He is a God of mercy. Exodus 34:6-7
  3. Luke 16:19-31; we may not know where the loved one is, but we do know your loved one’s desire for you. The rich man, starved of the goodness of God, begged that his family would be told of the right way to get to God/heaven.
  4. We do not know where your loved one is now, but in this life they got to experience the goodness of God in the common grace He set forth on earth (Matthew 5:45).  Food to enjoy, satisfying work, good friends, rain and sunshine, the beauty of the night sky, etc…

Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?

I know this is a tough topic. There are a lot of emotions tied up in this subject. Some of us likely have gay friends or family. Some of us may even identify as LBGTQIAP ourselves.

Before we go any further I have to tell you something very important. God loves everyone. He loves the Lesbian the same as he loves the straight dude the same as he loves the asian little person. These labels are ours, not His. He loves you for you just as you are.

Also there are people who can do this message so much better than me. Check out this talk by Jonathan Pokluda or this one by David Marvin.

My Answer

I decided to breakdown this question in order to get a more unbiased look at it. As a result my two new questions will put the spotlight on all people not conforming to the standard of the bible, in other words… everyone.

This is tough so I’m going to start with a prayer.

Father, let the words that I’m typing be true and if they are not true would you encourage the readers to overlook them or to challenge me with scripture so that I may be sharpened in my understanding of you. Please help our defenses to go down and let your word cut its way into our life. Help me to yield Your Word with grace and mercy and please forgive me where/if I have misused it. I need you! Amen

A Breakdown

The question ‘can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved’ can be split into two more generalized questions: 1) What does it take to be saved? 2) Can someone embracing sin still be saved?

What Does It Take To Be Saved?

There are several scriptures that lay out what is required in order to be saved. John 3:16 is world famous, but the another good verse is Romans 10:9 NIV: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You might ask, “don’t you need to repent and be saved?”

The interesting part about these verses is the absence of the term repentance. However, when we study the book of Acts particularly focusing on the narratives regarding people coming to salvation we start to notice a trend. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20. Do you see it? Where there was salvation there was repentance!

Therefore, I have come to conclusion that salvation and repentance are two side of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance. Thus, one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentances as evidence of one’s new faith.

Can Someone Embracing Sin Still Be Saved?

To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or make the concept one with us. For example, if we say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life. If Bryan did this well we would be able to say, “Bryan is a vulnerable person.” The embraced concept becomes a part of who he is, so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.

As stated at the beginning of this post I wanted to remove the focus on homosexuality and focus on how this question affects all people. When we generalize the original question we can turn it into a fill in the blank.

Can someone embracing (___INSERT SIN___) still be saved?

We need to really think about this question. How does this apply to us? Can I really keep embracing my disrespectful attitude toward my boss and still be saved? Can I continue pursuing these lustful fantasies and still be saved? Your questions could also look like the following?

  • Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
  • Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?

Conclusion

When we believe in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many, if not all, of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we should confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord, rather than Jesus.

However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. However, I have deep concern for anyone’s salvation who knows they are sinning and chooses to keep sinning anyways. That reaction to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God’s wants for their life. In essence they believe in God, but they declare themselves as Lord.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

OUTLINE

  1. What does it take to be saved?
    1. John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    2. What about repentance?
      1. Whenever I was looking through Acts on how people got saved I saw a trend – where there was salvation there was often repentance. Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30; 20:21; 26:20.
      2. We also see that bible warns against unrepentance and the result of unrepentance. It also says that we are suppose to cut sin from our lives. Romans 6:1,12,15; 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 15:32; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Timothy 3:20; Hebrews 10:26, 12:4
    3. Considering a and b together I have come to the conclusion that salvation and repentance are two sides of the same coin. In order to get salvation you must have repentance.
      1. Therefore one is saved when they declare Jesus as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead and as a result of that salvation we should see some level, even a tiny amount, of repentance as evidence of their new faith.
  2. Can someone embrace sin and still be saved?
    1. I have now generalized the question so that we can apply this to everyone. So the new question might read as such 
      1. Can someone embrace gossiping and still be saved?
      2. Can someone embrace stealing time at work and still be saved?
      3. Can someone embrace sex before marriage and still be saved?
      4. Can someone embrace coveting others possessions and still be saved?
      5. Can someone embrace homosexuality and still be saved?
      6. Can someone embrace _____sin______ and still be saved?
        1. I’m not including addictions on this list on purpose because at the point when someone is addicted I don’t know if that person is capable of choosing what is right and what is wrong.
    2. To embrace an idea is to believe something is true or to make the concept one with us (for example if we were to say Bryan has really embraced vulnerability, we would mean that Bryan has taken the concept of vulnerability and applied it to his life so that one could easily say, “Bryan is such a vulnerable person” – the embraced concept becomes a part of who he is) so to embrace sin is to make it part of our identity.
    3. When we believe in Jesus resurrection from the dead and declare Him as Lord we are instantly saved. We are made completely new in the eyes of God, but we still have many if not all of our flaws. We don’t just stop sinning the moment we are saved. We are continually convicted and shown our old and new sin in a process of sanctification. We are saved, but we continue to sin through moments of weakness/ignorance/disobedience. We live our lives and then when we are confronted with our sin we confess it (sometimes over and over again) and find healing. We should not see our sin, justify its existence, then accept it as who we are. When we embrace sin we are declaring our desires as Lord rather than Jesus. However, if one can be ignorant to God’s teaching then maybe they can be saved while embracing their sin. I would have deep concern for someone’s salvation if they know they are sinning and choose to sin anyways. That response to Jesus seems like the response of a person who is choosing a life of what they want rather than surrendering to God. In essence they believe in God but they declare themselves as Lord.

SOURCES

The Bible (NIV)
Matthew 5:48
John 3:16
Romans 10:9
Acts 2:38,3:19,11:18,17:30,20:21,26:20
2 Corinthians 5:17
Romans 3:23, 6:1-2
James 5:16
1 John 1:8-10
https://www.theporch.live/messages/3066
https://www.theporch.live/messages/5610

How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?

You should not (for the most part) admonish someone who is not a believer. Let me explain.

Even upon hearing this question I had another question pop up into my mind, and in doing my research I have found others have the same objection -> Should you admonish someone who is not a believer?

Should You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?

Paul makes it clear in his first letter to the Corinthians (5:12) that it is not our business to judge those outside the Church. That is God’s job. Your non-believing friend never signed up for the Christian life you did, so you should not be surprised when they do not conform to the standards of the Bible (Matthew 5:48). The truth is they are doing what they are suppose to do.

What does this mean for you? Should you confront your adult buddhist brother about sleeping with his girlfriend? Should you preach to your atheist neighbor about how he got wasted that one time? Should you argue with your friend about his unbiblical desire for money? No. No. & No.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

What should you do then? Dive into your relationship with Jesus. Let Him change your life. Pray for your friends. Ask God for an opportunity to speak to them about Jesus, and when that time come don’t waste your time on their sin. Tell them about Jesus. If you don’t know how to do that. Here are some tools.

Tools
The Bridge Illustration
Bible In 60 Seconds
Tools To Be Even Bolder
Joining Jesus
One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven
Unashamed (For Those Living in Dallas Fort Worth)

THE EXCEPTION

However, we do have to address Proverbs 24:10-12 which basically condemns someone who knowingly watches an ignorant person head towards their demise. This means that there is some imperative on the Christian to mediate a situation where someone is heading towards death and destruction. Appropriate application of this verse include interventions for substance abuse, stopping physical abuse, or literally preventing someone from walking off of a cliff.

CONCLUSION

I think we are not to admonish nonbelievers unless we see them heading towards significant harm for themselves or others. We are free to also give biblical admonishment to a non-believer if they ask our opinion; let’s hope they do. As a result we should allow all nonbelievers to sin (for the most part) freely… This feels blasphemous, but I think that is what the scripture is saying. Perhaps if we look at their destructive habits as an opportunity for them to turn to God when they hit rock bottom we might be able to understand why God would prefer our silence.

PLEASE RESPOND

Please leave a comment. I’d be curious to hear where other people land on this so I could have a better idea if my conclusion is incomplete, well founded, or completely wrong.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

 Sources

-http://applygodsword.com/should-a-christian-correct-a-non-christian/
-https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-i-confront-sin-in-my-non-christian-friends
-https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/when-should-you-confront-someone-about-their-sin
-1 Corinthians 5: 9-13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 5:48; Proverbs 24:11-12
A bit of side track but interesting and tactical.**
-https://thejourney.yesheis.com/how-do-i-handle-conflict-with-non-christians-6c4b0a9ae9bd

 Outline

I don’t think we are suppose to admonish nonbelievers (mostly)

  1. We are definitely suppose to admonish our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are tons of verses to back this up but here are a few. Matthew 7:1-5; Colossians 3:16
  2. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians that is not our business to judge those outside the church. That is God’s job. 1 Corinthians 5:12
  3. However proverbs says we should warn people if we see them heading to their demise. Proverbs 24:11-12
  4. In conclusion. I think we are not to admonish nonbelievers unless we see them heading towards death (like alcoholism or physical abuse to oneself) or we are asked by them to speak into their life. And we would leave some of the “lesser” sins completely alone (watching inappropriate videos or cursing or stealing). This feels blasphemous but I think that is what the scripture is saying. Perhaps if we look at their destructive habits as an opportunity for them to turn to God when they hit rock bottom we might be able to understand why God would prefer our silence.

How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?

You can direct a stranger who wants to take the next step as a believer by baptizing, equipping, discipling, connecting, & following up. Let me explain.

But First, A Brief Commentary

Almost unbelievably whenever I did my initial research for this question I found zero articles to help and a quick google search now reveals that this question is still not easily answered by the first two pages of google’s search results.

I think there are two explanations for why I can’t find the answer to this question online: 1) I’m not very good at googling or 2) the question isn’t asked enough. I think both are possible and both are indictments. 1 is an indictment on me, but 2 in an indictment on the Christian. Are we sharing our faith with people? Friends or Strangers? Are you?

Back To The Question

Just because we can’t find any articles on the interwebs to satisfy our query doesn’t mean we can’t find answers. We have been given the Word of God, reason, & prayer. Through these tools I have come up with 5 steps to direct a stranger whom has accepted Jesus and wants to take the next step.

The Next 5 Steps

1 – Get Baptized
No, you do not need to be baptized in order to be saved. However, it is very clear in the New Testament that it is an important first step for new believers. We especially see this in Acts where time after time individuals accept Jesus as LORD and then are Baptized (Acts 8:13, 16, 36-40; 9:18; 10:41-48; 16:14-15, 31-34; 18:8). Does this mean you need to dump your new friend in water? Maybe… You should at least be discussing the importance of Baptism with them. In fact, it may be a good topic for step 3.

2 – Equip Your New Convert With A Bible
If you are sharing the Gospel and live in America you likely have Bibles at home just sitting there collecting dust. Just grab one of those and give it to your new friend. Remember, the best bible is one that they will read, so try to set them up for success; please don’t give any new believer your ancient Old King James Version Bible. It might discourage them with it’s archaic language. God is a personal God and he wants communicate clearly with His children. If you don’t have a free Bible your local church might have one or you can get one shipped to your house from Bibles For America. You can also get a free digital copy almost instantly on your phone from YouVersion with Apple or Droid devices.

3 – Disciple By Meeting Together Regularly
Congratulations, although you may have been strangers before you are now, at least briefly, close friends. I believe you have been put in this person’s life at this exact moment for a reason. Maybe you have an ability to speak to this person’s heart. Maybe there is a natural kinship. I don’t know, but please don’t leave your new convert all alone because you might be the only Christian he/she knows. Instead, offer to disciple (teach/instruct) your new friend on the Bible. Each situation is very different so I will not to give you detailed instructions, but I encourage you to have clear parameters. Try filling in the blanks of this statement: We are going to meet every for _____ weeks/months/years to discuss or any other pertinent topics.

4 – Find A Church
This one is easy. Invite them to your church or help them find a church close to where they live. They may even have a church in mind already or have a friend who is already part of a biblical church. Part of being an obedient Christian is belonging to a fellowship of believers (Hebrews 10:25), so help your new friend find a bible teaching church.

5 – Follow Up
I don’t just mean after the original conversation, but continually throughout the discipleship process. Send texts or emails between visits. Don’t hound them to death, but also don’t forsake them when they are not in your sight. Christianity promises tough times and they will really appreciate the love you show them by pursuing them even when life gets messy.

I hope you found this answer helpful. Below you can find my list of sources, answers to more tough questions, and my outline for this post.

~ Daniel F. Grey

Sources

The Bible (NIV)

Answering The Tough Ones

You may also be interested in my other articles
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

Outline

  1. Get baptized – this is really consistent in acts. People get saved then they get baptized. Acts 8:13, 16, 36-40; 9:18; 10:41-48; 16:14,15, 31-34; 18:8
  2. Make sure they have access to God’s word. Through app or physical bible
  3. Set up regular meeting time. (This could be weekly to monthly, but something consistent and with clear parameters. For example: we are going to meet every Tuesday morning for a year to go over _____ and any questions you might have)
  4. Find a church (your church, maybe one of theirs friends is a Christian already and they have a church they could go to, or they could find a church close to home.)
  5. Check in (reaching out more than just your meeting time shows you care)

Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

An Introduction

Hello TP4 readers,

I am Daniel Grey, a friend of Nathan’s. I asked Nathan if I could use his soap box to help equip the Saints and he has graciously and generously welcomed me.

A few months ago a friend challenged my group of Christian friends to each bring our most feared question about the Bible/Religion/God. The result was six deep questions loaded with emotional and/or cultural baggage. And so I got to work answering each one with gifts God gave us: faith, The Bible, reason & (hopefully) gentleness. I hope each of you will take into consideration my answers, but most of all I hope you test everything I have presented. Be like the Bareans. Without further ado here is question 1 of 6.

Why Do Christian Obey Some Old Testament Law, But Ignore Others?

Christians obey some old testament laws and ignore others because we love God and all laws were fulfilled by Jesus. Let me explain.

There are three types of laws. These three categories were developed by scholars, not presented specifically in scripture.

  1. Ceremonial/Sacrificial – meant for the temple
  2. Government/Judicial – meant for nation state
  3. Moral – meant for everyday life

Jesus’ one sacrifice on the cross satisfies the need for any laws regarding forgiveness of sins (Ceremonial/Sacrificial laws) because forgiveness is offered to all Christians who ask for it. The Government/Judicial law is meant for the (probably ancient) nation state of Israel. Since most Christian do not live in Israel now and no one lives in the ancient state of Israel we can see that the the Government/Judicial law is non applicable. On top of all that we can turn to scripture and see that according to Romans 10:4 and Galatians 2:16 all OT laws were satisfied by Jesus so we are no longer under the law.

We have covered why Christians don’t obey certain laws (Ceremonial/Sacrificial & Governmental/Judicial) of the Old Testament, but why do they obey the moral laws?

The moral law states what is pleasing to God. Since we know God doesn’t ever change we know that what is pleasing to God 2,000 years ago is pleasing to God today. In other words, God loved when a husband encouraged his wife in 50 B.C. just as much as when a Husband encourages his wife today.

Don’t we (usually) want to express our love to those we adore? If a husband finds that his wife loves purple flowers, does he not buy purple flowers every time he gets her flowers? If a wife knows her husband loves back rubs when he is stressed does she not rub his back when the weight of the world is on him?

This is true of the Christian in their relationship with God today. A Christian need not obey the moral law for salvation. Salvation is obtained through Jesus Christ alone. A Christian simply obeys the moral law as an act of love toward God. We know these behaviors please Him and we do those behaviors simply because we love Him.

But how do we determine what is a moral law? As stated before the categories of the law are not laid out in scripture so any answer we find must be taken with a grain of salt. I landed on these answers which I got from Got Questions & Bible Study Tools. You can Identify a moral law if it does one of these three things

  1. Promote the welfare of those who obey
  2. Reveal the fallen state of man
  3. Restrain evil

I hope you found this answer helpful. Below you can find my list of sources and my outline for this post.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?

Sources

Outline

Why do some old testaments laws still hold while others are overlooked?

  • 3 types of laws (these categories are made up by scholars, not presented specifically by scripture)
      • Ceremonial/sacrificial – meant for the temple
      • Government/Judicial – meant for nation state
      • Moral – meant for everyday life
  • All OT laws were satisfied by Jesus and so we are no longer under the law. Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:16
  • However, some Christians still follow the moral law… Why?
    • The moral law states what is pleasing to God and what is pleasing to God 2,000 years ago is pleasing to God today. 
    • As an act of love for Christ – people naturally try to please their loved ones to express their love for them – Christians do the same with Jesus. 
  • How do we determine what is a moral law?
    • Moral laws
      • Promote the welfare of those who obey
      • Reveal the fallen state of man
      • Restrain evil
        • This list is a combination of got questions & bible study tools articles.