Questions about God
Pastor Greg Laurie's messages, Essentials: What Every Christian Needs to Know
The Case for Faith (Audiobook) by Lee Strobel Listen here
The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel Watch here
The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel Watch here
The Case for Christ (Audiobook) by Lee Strobel Listen here
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 2
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 3
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 4
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 5
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 6
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 7
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 8
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 9
The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel, Part 10
Common Misconceptions About the Christian Life
1. Once you become a Christian, God will solve all of your problems
Many new Christians are shocked when the first trial or serious crisis hits. Here's a reality check-get prepared-the Christian life is not always easy! You will face ups and down, challenges and joys. You will have problems and troubles to overcome. This verse offers encouragement for Christians facing difficult situations
1Peter 4:12-13 Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed
2. Becoming a Christian means giving up all fun and following a life of rules
A joyless existence of mere rule following is not true Christianity and the abundant life God intends for you. Rather, this describes a man-made experience of legalism. God has amazing adventures planned for you. These verses give a description of what it means to experience God's life:
Romans 14:16-18 Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is all right. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God and other people will approve of you too.
1Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.
3. All Christians are loving, perfect people
Well, it doesn't take very long to discover that this is not true. But being prepared to meet the imperfections and failures of your new family in Christ can spare you future pain and disillusionment. Although Christians strive to be like Christ, we will never obtain complete sanctification until we stand before the Lord. In fact, God uses our imperfections to "grow us" in the faith. If not, there would be no need to forgive one another.
As we learn to live in harmony with our new family, we rub each other like sandpaper. It's painful at times, but the result brings about a smoothing and softening to our rough edges.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgives you.
Philippians 3:12-13 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
4. Bad Things Don't Happen to Truly Godly Christians
This point goes along with point number one, however, the focus is slightly different. Often Christians begin to wrongly believe that if they live a godly Christian life, God will protect them from pain and suffering. Paul, a hero of the faith, suffered much.
2 Corinthians 11:24-26 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.
Some faith groups believe the Bible promises health, wealth and prosperity for all who live a godly life. But this teaching is false. Jesus never taught this to his followers. You may experience these blessings in your life, but they are not a reward for godly living. At times we experience tragedy, pain and loss in life. This is not always a result of sin, as some would claim, but rather, for a greater purpose that we may not understand immediately. We may never understand, but we trust God in these difficult times, and know He has a purpose. Rick Warren says in his book, The Purpose Driven Life- "Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like Himself before he takes us to heaven."
1 Peter 1:6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
5. Christian Ministers and Missionaries are More Spiritual than Other Believers.
This is a subtle but persistent misconception that we carry in our minds as believers. Because of this false notion, we end up putting ministers and missionaries on "spiritual pedestals" accompanied by unrealistic expectations. When one of these heroes falls from our self-constructed perch, it tends to make us fall too- away from God. Don't let this happen in your life. You may have to continualy guard yourself against this subtle deception.
Paul, Timothy's spiritual father, taught him this truth - we are all sinners on an equal playing field with God and each other.
1Timonthy 1:15-16 This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst of sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life.
6. Christian Churches are Always Safe Places, Where You Can Trust Everyone.
Although this should be true, it is not. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world where evil resides. Not everyone who enters the church has honorable intentions, and even some who do come with good intentions can fall back into old patterns of sin. One of the most dangerous places in Christian churches, if not properly guarded, is the children's ministry. Churches that don't implement background checks, team led classrooms, and other security measures, leave themselves open to many dangerous threats.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as a serpent and harmless as doves.