The women’s ministry at First Central Bible Church hosted a Q&A session with me and Jack Gilbert, our Minister of Adults and Outreach. It was designed as a follow-up to the Women’s Christmas Friendship Dinner. Though lightly attended, it was a good time of discussion.
Here’s a list of the questions that were asked and how Jack and I answered them.
Should we pray for immoral leaders? If so, what do we pray? Yes, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says we should pray for all who are in authority. In Paul’s day, that meant Caesar, the leader of the Roman empire.
How can a Christ follower die well? One aspect is to start preparing now by studying what Scripture says about death, eternity, and heaven. A second aspect is to believe what you believe. A third aspect is to spend time with believers who are dying to encourage them by reading Scripture, singing favorite hymns and praise songs, and praying with them.
Is demon possession real? How is it manifest in today’s world? Yes, we are in the midst of a spiritual battle. There are some demons who possess individuals and it is seen in overt evil. They are other demons who influence people in making wrong decisions. Still others might masquerade as good people who lead others astray. Any time a believer engages in sin, they allow Satan to gain a foothold in their life (Ephesians 4:26-27; 1 Timothy 6:9-10).
How can we pray for someone’s salvation when we struggle to believe they can be saved? Claim the promises of Scripture about salvation (2 Peter 3:9). Be honest with God about your lack of faith. Ask him to increase your faith. Stay faithful in praying for the person.
Do you have plans to teach/preach a series on the book of Revelation? Not at this time. The book has been taught twice in the past six years at the church. Since I taught it last year when I was in Russia, my sense is that it would probably fit best in a classroom setting where people could ask questions.
How do you determine what you will preach on next? My philosophy is to preach the whole counsel of God. I try to balance teaching through Old Testament books, New Testament books, and topical series. I plan out my sermon calendar 6-24 months in advance so I know where we are going. This month we will wrap up our study of the book of Joshua. Next month we begin a study of the book of Hebrews which will take us into 2020. After that, we will study the life of David.
When it says God rested on the seventh day of creation, one author says he is still resting. Is that true and if so, what does it mean? Without reading the quote, I’m not certain what the author meant. Scripture says that God rested from his creation because it was complete. However, Scripture also says that God is actively at work in other areas of our lives (Philippians 2:12-13).
What is the role of good works in salvation? In the life of a Christ follower? Ephesians 2:8-10 and James 2:14-26 would be the core passages on the subject. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Good works play no part in our salvation. After we are saved, we are to engage in good works as evidence of our salvation.