Questions are Real. – Q&A Sunday

Questions and doubts and struggles are real.  God’s not afraid of our questions.
We answered questions on God’s wrath, issues of morality, the uniqueness of the Scriptures, and much more!
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

Here are the message NEXT STEPS.

Q&A from 11am Service:

Q&A from 6pm Service:

Here are some of the notes from the message we shared:

Questions and doubts and struggles are real.  God’s not afraid of our questions.

Handled with humility, Questions lead to a greater faith, stronger convictions, growing love and willingness to trust and follow God.

We’re talking about questions of faith in God—Jesus, the Holy Spirit, questions that pertain to the Bible or science and the Bible. Because some people wonder, Can you be a thinking person and have faith?

In fact, this series was originally called “Is Christians Dumb?” And today I may just prove it. We’re going to give answers–but not all answers are created equal.  It might be more helpful to think more of a Question and Response time–as your Pastor, I’m giving a Response, not THE definitive answer but how I’ve worked it out.  And questions are not all equal in importance.

  • But sometimes questions are sincere, really open minded, open hearted–God really honors that.
  • Don’t stop asking these meaningful questions, but you need to have an open mind and an open heart and really ask God those questions.
  • Be honest with God. He’s not afraid of your doubts. He’s not afraid of your pain. He wants to be there for you, and He is big enough to handle everything you bring to Him.
  • Too often we just stuff it down or we don’t deal with meaningful issues and instead fill our lives with noise.
  • We need to be still and consider where we are and where we could be.
  • Other times, we’ve come to closure too soon on who God is and and who we think we can be.
  • But some Questions are really just a smoke screen—in reality, we can use questions to stay in a stance of playing God, demanding that God do things that make us the ones in control—And until God satisfies me, I’m not going to humbly seek God.  That stance never gets far at all—why?

Because that’s the human problem according to the Bible. Sin is us going our way—seeking my will—not seeking God or God’s will first, but demanding that life (and God) do things according to my will and plans.

So there’s a very important first question to ask yourself as we start wrestling together:

Am I really seeking God with a humble, willing posture, or am I demanding of God from an arrogant, prove yourself posture?

I’ve seen over decades of walking with people, that God really honors a humble, willing, seeking posture.

One more thing that’s important – not all Questions are created equal.  And this is really important too.  After 30+ years of following Jesus, studying scripture, walking with God—I still have LOTS of questions—questions that probably will never be answered this side of eternity.  But that’s okay, because I’ve gotten good answers for the Central Questions.

Think of three rings – the inside are the following:

First Order questions

Central tenants of faith, core doctrinal beliefs that all Christians have held to pretty much for 2000 years:

“Is Jesus the son of God, who revealed the heart and character of God, who died for my sins, overcame death by his resurrection, offers forgiveness and salvation (being set-right with God) as gifts by God’s Grace, The Holy Spirit is God’s presence with me, the Bible is God’s Word and trustworthy”—these are some of the core questions and 10x more important to answer than

2nd Order questions

Bible-believing Christ Followers differ on the answer because it’s not clear.  But these questions have practical implications, so you have to make a decision. Like “Are the sign gifts in operation today?”  We say “Yes” but some well-meaning Christians think the Bible teaches “No.” Does it mean one or the other are not Christians, no this is not essential to faith—but it does have practical implications.  That’s

3rd Order questions

“Did God create through the process of evolution or creation by fiat?”

“Were Adam and Eve 2 literal people, or representative of all humanity?”

There’s room for Christians who believe the bible to differ, and it’s not going to practically affect much.  But we should be able to wrestle and challenge each other on 2nd and 3rd order questions, while not letting them divide us from being unified on the 1st Order questions—love for God and each other should triumph over all those differences.

And for Skeptics really seeking truth—it’s important to not reject all 1st Order questions and evidence for it’s truth just because you don’t understand a 2nd or 3rd order possible answer.

So for instance, whether God created through evolution or some other process, you’ll never know for sure—but God could still be real and the Bible trustworthy either way—so don’t reject 1st Order answers because of a 2nd or 3rd order question not fully understood.

WE will also prioritize 1st Order questions over the more 3rd order esoteric questions, and if many of you are asking similar questions. Make sense?

Our Response

If your question didn’t get answered today, and it’s really important to you for coming to faith or growing in faith, we want to answer it. Email Questions@Gatewaychurch.com give us a month, our Pastoral Team across campuses will send you a response.

Before I chose faith, I had many questions – still do – but I got the most important ones answered—

God’s love has been revealed and He wants our love our trust – we must choose.

That’s what I realized – I’ll never have all my questions answered or I’d be God, but I had enough answered to realize God is real, Jesus died to forgive me, wants to be God—lead my life.

Then the big Question:  What will you do with God’s proposal? John 3:16-17 says…

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God’s question is do you want God’s forgiveness and leadership? Yes or No?

Fears—I realized most were unwarranted—God doesn’t need my permission to make me a slave or ruin my life, so why does he wait for my permission?  So I decided. I prayed…

And the more you realize how real, how true, how loving – why wouldn’t you live all out for God and God’s will—nothing else matters. You’ll never have to answer to a committee of people about your life—only God—and God says faithfulness, every motive, choice, decision he wants to reward.  So choose God, and live all out for God, you’ll never be sorry

 “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” – James 4:8a

A phrase which describes God’s character that I have found in 7 different places including this passage:

“Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” – Joel 2:13

Maybe this has never been a part of your life. Today, you can get started.

Maybe you’ve had a glimpse of this in the past. Grew up going to church services, but it was your parents’ faith. Maybe you have heard the phrase: “God doesn’t have any grandchildren.” In other words, each of us must choose if we are willing to be adopted by our Heavenly Father. We cannot live vicariously through our parents or our friends or our spouse or our pastor.
Jesus died for all of humanity because we were all powerless.

If we think we are righteous on our own, we aren’t in a position of receiving all Jesus has done for us.

If we think we are good, we aren’t in a position of receiving all Jesus has done for us.

But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us.
– Romans 5:8 (The Voice)

He has chosen you. Will you accept that He died on the cross for you?
Will you ask for forgiveness?

He has chosen you! How will you respond?

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