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QUESTION: Where in the Bible does it say we have to go to church?
 
QUESTION: Why are there different denominations?
 
QUESTION: What are the right reasons to get married?
 
QUESTION: How can I strengthen my marriage?
 
QUESTION: Does the bible state anywhere in it that it is wrong to have a child out of wedlock?
 
QUESTION: Are we now filled with the Holy Spirit when we are baptized? Is the Holy Spirit active?
 
QUESTION: Do you have any information on "original sin" and Purgatory??
 
QUESTION: Where in the bible does it talk about purgatory?
 
QUESTION: Does the phrase, "Call (Pray) Jesus into your heart" or any similar phrase appear in the bible?
 
QUESTION: Due to the fact that God is Omnipresent, does he have a presence in Hell?
 
 
 

Where in the Bible does it say we have to go to church? 
First I want to address the phrase "go to church". We can sit in a pew, or go to a chapel, but "church" means "assembly" or "the called out". The church is not a place you go to but something you are a part of. The church is those who have the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Nowhere in the Bible will you find God obliging us to do anything, i.e. being part of His church, not even to love Him. God loves us and is committed to doing everything He can for us that we may live full and satisfied lives:

Act 17:22-31

(22) So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
(23) For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
(24) The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,
(25) nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
(26) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
(27) that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
(28) for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'
(29) Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
(30) The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
(31) because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."

As this passage affirms, God is trying to always get our attention because we will live best in Him and with Him. A day is coming when God will judge all mankind according to each individual's relationship with Him. If you want to have a relationship with God then that relationships will demand some responsibilities as does any relationship.

Can a man rightfully tell his new bride right after their wedding that he doesn't need to have sex with her? Of course he can tell her that, but that wouldn't be much of a relationship would it?

In the same way, those who are devoted to having a relationship with Jesus show their devotion in this way:

Act 2:41-42
 
(41) So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
 
(42) And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Notice that the appropriate response to receiving Jesus' words is to be immersed (baptized) in Him (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism is like marriage. It is a covenant of promising yourself to Jesus because you believe Him. Devotion is shown fourfold according to this verse in Acts:

Devotion to

1- The Apostle's Teaching (The Bible)
 
2- Fellowship (Any time of communion with the saints, which would include Sunday, Bible Class, Small group meetings, etc)
 
3- Breaking of Bread (Eating in each other's homes; intimate time together)
 
4- Prayer (Communication with God)

If you continue reading this chapter in Acts you will see that these new Christians fellowshipped every day. They wanted to! If someone has to ask the question: "Do I have to.....", they are betraying themselves as lacking the devotion, and so the relationship with Jesus that will save them.

Hebrews speaks about this:

Heb 10:23-27

(23) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
(24) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
(25) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
(26) For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
(27) but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

If we truly believe Jesus as Lord and Savior, then we will hold fast to our hope and not be morose in our devotion to Him. We will encourage others to continue in the right path and we will meet together as often as we do because when we meet that is when we have the opportunity to encourage.

Lack of this devotion will show in a life that just keeps accumulating sin, and where sin accumulates, there is only expectation of judgment. This is not what God wants for His people; after all, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (
Rom 8:1)!

However, the devil will try as he might to get your focus on the world instead of devoting yourself to being holy and so making your salvation and election secure (
2Peter 1:10; Phil 2:12) until Jesus comes back.

So you see, the Bible may not say "you have to go to church", but it does say you need to be devoted to more than just meeting at the assemblies in order for your salvation to be secure.
 
 
QUESTION: Why are there different denominations?
 
Your question is absolutely valid! It is a question I asked myself about 20 years ago, when I was an agnostic and wanted nothing to do with religion because of that question.

In the early church, before any denominations existed, there were some divisions forming and the apostle Paul said about them:

1Co 11:18-19For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, (19) for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

So, God allows these divisions to exist so we can all see which one is approved by God. Only those who follow the pattern of the New Testament are approved by God.

Most others are only interested in following man-made traditions and their own thoughts and calling it God's will:

Mark 7:5-9 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" (6) And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; (7) in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' (8) You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." (9) And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!

This is what the majority of the religious world does today. They are hypocrites for saying they follow God but in reality all they follow are their own thoughts and other people's teachings
 
 

 
QUESTION: What are the right reasons to get married?

Basically there are 2 Conditions to experience True Companionship:

1. Fullness
It is fullness that makes a relationship, not emptiness. You should want to be in a relationship with someone because you are, and feel, full of love and good things you want to share with that person. You want to be bringing good things into a relationship, not looking at what you can get or take in a relationship. You want to look at what you can give to the relationship, not what the relationship can give to you. I'm not saying you shouldn't be interested in how distracting a relationship could be, or what wrong influences it could burden you with. Someone with the right focus will be interested in that, but that person will be able to look at that because they are looking at what they can give, not at what they can get. Someone who is looking to get something out of a relationship is usually blindsided enough so that they cannot even asses how distracting or negative a relationship could be for them.

2. Attitude of Openness & Willingness to Grow and Change
You should be willing and able to look into the mirror of your mate to learn more about yourself. You should consider your mate as a partner and companion to you on the exciting journey of life. Someone who will be there to help you, complement you, teach you and sharpen you spiritually, emotionally and mentally. The more you are open to the things your relationship will teach you, the better your relationship will be. If you are looking at the relationship in a one-sided way, you will not be able to be a functioning part of the relationship because it takes two to make the relationship a relationship!

You should not look at the relationship as a possession, but as a process for both your growth and your maturity in Christ. Marriage is the ultimate state of this process! You cannot acquire a relationship, you enter into one voluntarily. Many of the hang-ups that we have begin by you developing an unconscious possessiveness of that other person in your heart and mind, perhaps even before that other person is aware that you think that way about them! This kind of possessiveness promotes barriers that prevent intimacy from taking root and developing into true companionship.
 

 
 
QUESTION: How can I strengthen my marriage?
 
To give each other your full devotion  in marriage as the Bible teaches you need to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength:

You show who or what you love by the amount of time you invest in it. Here are the relational priorities you need to keep in mind to experience the best of all during this short life:

1- You and the Lord

Deut 6.4-5
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

You won't be able to properly sustain and manage the rest of the relationships in your life unless you and the Lord are on a firm foundation.

Mark 12:31
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.

Love your neighbor as yourself: The rest of your relationships are neighbor relationships. The Bible is specific as to what priorities they should have in our relationship with God:

2- Spouse

Eph 5.25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- 30 for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Our marriages mirror our relationships with God. As Jesus is our head so we are the head of our wife. We need to imitate Jesus as head. Jesus:

1. Gave Himself up for the church
2. Makes the church holy by virtue of His own holiness
3. Cleanses her by washing her with God's Word
4. Presents her blameless
5. Loves the church as himself
6. Loves the church since it is His body
7. Cares for the church
8. Feeds the church

God made us one flesh: the real work of marriage is to agree and walk together as one (Amos 3:3)

3- Children

Eph 6:1-4
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"-which is the first commandment with a promise- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Notice how there is more information on marriage in these verses, but not too much on parenting. That is because parenting goes as the marriage goes.

Fathers are addressed to train and instruct their children in the Lord. If you are a good husband you will be a good father.

Make sure your children know you love your wife and them.

They will get to know all of your worst and your best.

Children cannot come in between mom and dad. Parents need to present a united front and see that their relationship with their spouses and the Lord has priority.

A very sanitary version of child sacrifice occurs all around us today. The children come last in our busy lives. The children are neglected spiritually, just like they were in Old Testament times with the god of Molech (Jeremiah 32:35).

1Tim 5:8

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

4- The church

Gal 6:10

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

"One another passages" show this priority comes before evangelism. If we love one another in the church the evangelism will happen automatically.

Our worship will do more harm than good if love is not among us.

5- The lost

Mat 28.18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

If your relationships are hurting, look one level up to fix the problem. We are used to looking down, but we really need to look up.

If there are church problems, then we need to look at how the families are doing.

Remember God looks always at the heart of the matter:

1 Sam 16:7

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I hope I have answered your questions.
 
 
 

 
 
 
QUESTION: Does the bible state anywhere in it that it is wrong to have a child out of wedlock?
 
Hosea 5:7
They are unfaithful to the LORD; they give birth to illegitimate children. Now their New Moon festivals will devour them and their fields.

This verse captures the essence of the wrongfulness of having children without being committed to a marriage.

Obviously God wants a child to grow up with both a father and a mother, since these have different roles in the life of a child.

Those who make light of this, like the verse above in Hosea says, are plainly unfaithful. They know nothing of God and therefore nothing of properly raising a child.

Of course, if someone who is a single parent decides to repent and turn to God, He is able to make them wise and provide fully for that child even in their singleness. It will require submissive discipleship, however, as it does to be saved and have eternal life.

Furthermore, since it is evil to have sexual relations outside of marriage:

1 Corinthians 6:9
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

It surely follows that having children without getting married warrants the same condemnation.

Notice that this list covers sexual immorality, which is having sex outside of marriage and adultery, which is having sex outside out your own marriage. Those who practice this will not go to Heaven.
 

 
 
QUESTION: Are we now filled with the Holy Spirit when we are baptized? Is the Holy Spirit active?
 
When you are baptized (fully immersed in water) for the forgiveness of sin after truly repenting before the Lord you are given the Holy Spirit as a down payment for Heaven:

Eph 1:13-14
(13) In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
(14) who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Act 5:32
(32) And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

The Holy Sprit is the promise Jesus makes in
John 16:7-8

Act 2:38-39
(38) And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(39) For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

Yes, the Holy Spirit is more active ever than before! Just because you don't see Him working doesn't mean He's not. His main job is as follows:

John 16:7-8
(7) Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
(8) And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

He, the Spirit, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He is the one working with you when you preach the Gospel, to convict others of their sinfulness and to compel them to obey the Gospel unto Christ.

The Holy Spirit also:

1- Gives us strength -
Eph 3:14-17
2- Intercedes for us -
Rom 8:26-27
3- Helps us mature and bear His Fruit on our lives -
Gal 5:22
4- He dwells in us -
1Co 6:18-20; 1Co 3:16-17; Rom 8:9-16

As you can see, He is the member of the Godhead (
Acts 5:3-4) that is busy! Sent from the Father after Jesus finished atonement (Gal 4:6; John 15:26) He is working with all true Christians to help spread the Gospel!
 
 
 
QUESTION: Do you have any information on "original sin" and Purgatory??
The following passage does away with the idea of original sin:

Eze 18:19-24 "Yet you say, 'Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?' When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. (20) The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffers for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (21) "But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (22) None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. (23) Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? (24) But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.

There is no inheritance of sin, is what this passage is basically saying.
 

 
 
QUESTION: Where in the bible does it talk about purgatory?
The word purgatory, which means:

1. Roman Catholic Church: A state in which the souls of those who have died in grace must expiate their sins.
2. A place or condition of suffering, expiation, or remorse: a purgatory of drug abuse.

...is not found in the Bible at all. The word itself, by Catholic definition, implies a place where we could suffer and pay for our sins. Nothing is further from the truth according to the New Testament. We cannot pay for our sins which is why Jesus was offered to do so in our place:

Romans 3:25
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished...

Hebrews 2:17
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Only Jesus is able to provide payment for our sin, therefore a purgatory would be excluded under God's plan. If anything, the closest thing to a purgatory would be our lives here on Earth. Here we need to suffer because of sin, so here we are a condition of suffering, but not to expiate our sins, since only Jesus can do that.

After we die comes judgment:

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Hebrews 9:27-28
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

We are now waiting for Jesus; second appearing and only those who have obeyed the Gospel will be able to receive His salvation:

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
 

 
 
QUESTION: Does the phrase, "Call (Pray) Jesus into your heart" or any similar phrase appear in the bible?
The phrase “Call Jesus into your heart” does not appear in any real translation of the Bible text from the original languages into English. For some excellent information on how this phrase originated you should Google the name Charles Finney, the man who fathered it. According to him:
The church has always felt it necessary to have something of this kind to answer this very purpose. In the days of the apostles, baptism answered this purpose. The gospel was preached to the people, and then all those who were willing to be on the side of Christ, were called out to be baptizedIt held the place that the anxious seat does now as a public manifestation of their determination to be Christians.”  Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875)
Note: The term “anxious seat” is what religious leaders call today “the sinner’s prayer” or “the altar call.” Finney admits that in the days of the apostles, the Gospel was preached, and the people responded in baptism (see Mark 16:15-16). He goes on to admit that the “anxious seat” -- also know as the “sinner’s prayer” -- replaced the purpose baptism held. God’s Word says baptism is for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Acts 2:38), yet, many religious groups today teach that the “sinner’s prayer” is for the forgiveness of sins. Mr. Finney is right in saying, “It [baptism] held the place that the anxious seat does now...
“Call Jesus in to your heart” is just another variation of “Pray Jesus into your heart”; both of these are the “modern” replacement of baptism.
Now which one would you rather follow? What people replaced from the Bible or the words of God themselves? 
 

 
 
 
QUESTION: Due to the fact that God is Omnipresent, does he have a presence in Hell?
We know the Spirit of God is everywhere, even in death (Sheol: grave):

Psa 139:7-14
(7) Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
(8) If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
(9) If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
(10) even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
(11) If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,"
(12) even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
(13) For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
(14) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

However, in this next passage we understand that the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels is set apart from God:

Mat 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

God will be everywhere except in this eternal fire which He prepares specifically so it would be apart from Him.

Notice that this place was never intended for humans, only for the devil and those angels that followed him. However, those who wish to follow the devil and ignore God or disobey God will also end up in the fiery place.

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