Questions and Answers: Study 6
By Students of The “Finding Out About Christ” Course.
QUESTIONS PAGE 24
Explain: “When is the appointed DAY when Jesus will judge the world?”
Jesus will judge the world on His return (Matthew 25:31-46). We call this “The Second Coming” of Jesus. Jesus will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (Matthew 24:42-44). No one knows exactly when that day will be, so we should always be ready. If we knew when Jesus was coming we would only be ready at the last minute!
Explain: “Why is a person either for or against Jesus? Why can’t they abstain from coming to a decision?”
If you do not accept a gift that is offered to you then you are refusing it. There is no middle position! Until we accept the gift of salvation, through the death of Christ, we are under condemnation (blame for our sin). We either come to Jesus as our Saviour or we refuse to come to Him as our Saviour. There is no middle position.
Explain: “What’s the meaning of Acts 2:3”
The Holy Spirit is symbolised in the Bible by wind and fire. So it is not surprising to see these symbols present when the Spirit came on the Apostles. The fire was like flaming tongues and they were suddenly able to speak in different languages. People from all over the world heard the good news about Jesus in their own “tongue” (i.e. language). The Spirit also gave the Apostles the courage they needed. Their ability to speak different languages demonstrated that God really did want all nations to know about Jesus Christ.
Explain: “‘God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones’ (Luke 3:8). What does this mean?”
The Jews were descended from Abraham and so they were called “the children of Abraham”. They were privileged because God had revealed Himself to them through the prophets. No other nation received revelations from God. This was not because the Jews were better than others, they were just as bad and needed to repent. It would be easy for God to chose another nation instead of them, or even create Jews from the stones if He wanted to. God’s chosen people were not beyond condemnation. This is the meaning of John’s words and it should teach us not to trust in our privileges. So, however important, well educated or rich we may be, we still need to repent!
Explain: “If baptism is not a condition for salvation, why is the gift of the Holy Spirit promised to those who are baptised (Acts 2:38)? What is this gift?”
You must understand that baptism shows both obedience and faith. Baptism itself is not important but the faith it demonstrates is important. It is impossible to be saved without faith in Christ’s saving death (John 3:16). Anyone can be immersed in water but Christian baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) signifies something. When a Christian is baptised he declares his faith in God as his Father, in Jesus as his Saviour and in the Holy Spirit as his Helper. As a result of his or her faith a believer is “saved” and the ensuing gift of the Spirit helps the new believer in every aspect of the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.
Explain: “Why must Christians be baptised if repentance and faith are the only conditions for salvation?”
Baptism is just one of many commands that Christians should obey. For instance Christians should be loving, humble, obedient to parents etc. But none of these things put us right with God. Salvation is received as a gift by faith. True repentance is shown in obedience to God’s commands, so if we really repent we shall want to obey God and be baptised.
Explain: “You say that baptism cannot wash away sin but Acts 22:16 says it can?”
The footnote on page 24 stresses the fact that baptism’s symbolic meaning is alluded to in Acts 22:16. This has to be the case in the light of all that is said about salvation by faith alone and not by anything we do whether it be good works or ceremonies. What the Apostle Paul had to say about the Jewish ceremony of circumcision equally applies to the Christian ceremony of baptism (Galatians 6:15). Forgiveness is totally FREE! It cannot be bought because we cannot be perfect. And it cannot be bought cheaply by some small ceremony that costs us little.