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In addition to the Q&A video we posted this week, Roy also answered the rest of the questions we did not have time to cover from Sunday. Thanks again for the questions! Keep them coming.

• Will God discipline us if we continue to do the things we know are wrong?

Join us this Sunday as this issue is part of the current series.

• If God will not allow Satan in heaven, how did satan sin in heaven to get kicked out? Asked by my 7 year old...I couldn't answer

A couple of points about Satan: 1) He was an angel, a created being – created by God. 2) He was a ‘worship leader’ in our terminology who led a revolt, taking 1/3 of the angels with him. (Isa 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19), see also (Rev 12:9-12) Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will not allow Satan in heaven. God holds authority over Satan but we actually have a passage in Job 1 where Satan comes before God’s throne. We are also told about the future of Satan. At a point following Jesus’ second coming, Satan will be bound and thrown in the “lake of fire.” (Rev 20:10) Jesus will defeat sin/death, count on it.

• If God only gives us what we can handle, why does He trust me so much? I can't handle anymore bad…

This issue will be covered right after Easter in a series entitled “Mythbusters.” We do have more than we can bear at times but it’s not more than God can handle. The idea that ‘God will not give us more than we can handle’ comes from I Cor. 10:13 which is talking about times of temptation, not life in general. We will experience more than we can handle, hence our need for God but He will never give us more than He can handle!

• So, is the stage set now ... for God to enter onto the world stage ... once again?

Could be, but one thing we know for sure: Jesus said “no one knows the day or the hour except the Father in heaven.” (Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32) We are called to be faithful, to live and share our faith. Jesus return could be close or it could still be far away. Jesus’ point in those verses was to get our eyes off of setting dates and checking out of our broken world.

• If done with the right intentions, (commandments) are actually "keys to success", not boundaries and bring you closer to God ... they are also intended to remind you daily that you are dependent upon Jesus for salvation ... because you cannot do it alone.

The Law was given so that people could live in mutually beneficial ways with each other despite our brokenness. Galatians 3:19-25 tells us that the primary purpose of the Law was to show us our sin and, yes, as you suggest it was given so that mankind would know that we cannot save ourselves. The danger is that we may come to believe that keeping the commandments makes us right with God. Only faith in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection can accomplish salvation.

• Why did God choose Abram over anyone else, why did he choose the Hebrews over the Egyptians to be his people

God chose Israel simply based on His love (Deuteronomy 7:6-7). But His love was not exclusive in that God didn’t care about other nations. The purpose for calling one nation to Himself was so that the world would know who God was can come Him (Isaiah 49:6).

• How much of the story of creation can be taken literally rather then metaphorically. It seems at parts like a simplistic explanation for a less scientific people than a plausible history of earth's beginning

We at the Heights Community understand the creation account as a literal rendering. It does not give us every detail of the events. It’s more like a newspaper headline that an in-depth story because the primary purpose of the Bible is not be a science text-book but give us God’s story of redemption. We do not think that faith and science contradict one another. If God made the world, He made all that science has discovered about our world as well. Additionally, when you look at the life of Jesus, He spoke about the creation account and Adam and Eve as if they were real events. He would have known what was metaphor and what actually happened since He is eternal (Matthew 19:1-13). Paul also referred to them as real people (Romans 5 & I Corinthians 15).

• Is there a Theological reason why God shows up in a burning bush?

It’s hard to be firm on this, but here is my thought on the account found in Exodus 3-4: the reasons why God revealed Himself to Moses out of the burning bush is that fire is an image of His holiness. All through the Bible, fire is used as a picture of the purifying and refining quality of God’s holiness. This is further evidenced when God commands Moses to remove his sandals “for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Here God was emphasizing to Moses the gap between the divine and the human. God is transcendent in His holiness, so Moses was not allowed to come close to Him. Holiness involves separation. God’s holiness means that He is set apart from everything He has made. Holiness is not simply His righteousness (although that is part of it), but also His otherness. It is the distinction between the Creator and the creature, the infinite distance between God's deity and our humanity. God says, “I am God, and not man - the Holy One among you” (Hosea 11:9).

• When did the concept of a coming Messiah god really emerge for the old testament Jew?

It is impossible for us know the consciousness of the Jewish people throughout history since much of ancient history was not recorded in any way. From God’s perspective, the plan of Jesus to be the Messiah was put in place before the world was even created (Rev 13:8 & I Peter 1:20). The first prediction given to mankind was immediately after Adam and Eve chose sin (Gen 3:15). As early as Abraham, it was made clear that coming Messiah would be a descendant of his and all the nations would be blessed through Him. Many more prophecies follow with amazing detail about Jesus and His life. It’s always been about Jesus.

• Scientists today believe the earth is roughly 4.6 billion years old, while creationism says it's only a few thousand years old. What is your take on this?

My take is that this is an issue beyond my scientific understanding! I would say this: while all of science points to a very old earth, Christians who love God and the Bible have differing views on the earth’s age. Those who take the word “day” in Genesis 1-2 literally believe the earth is several thousand years old and that God either created the world with the appearance of age or it aged much faster than science believes. Other Christians interpret the word “day” to mean a period of time as the word is used in a couple of different ways in the Old Testament. When it comes to faith, it is important to know which issues are ‘essential’ and which are ‘non-essential.’ Essential facets of faith mean our salvation is involved. Non-essential means our salvation is not determined on this belief. Our understanding of the age of earth is ‘non-essential.’ If you would like to learn more about Christians who believe the earth is old, google “day-age theory” and you may want to enter the name Robert Newman, who was a seminary prof of mine and one of the leading spokesman on this issue.

• How are things going at Bountiful Heights and New Heights?

Great! Thanks for asking. Pastor Josh at Bountiful Heights is doing a great job and has been leading that effort for almost one year now. They are currently renovating the Children’s Ministry area and many new families have become a part of the work in southern Davis County. Pastor Rafa Ruiz joined us in December of 2014 to lead our efforts at New Heights. He is still early in his time with us but already God is using him and his skills to help make us more effective in reaching out to our Latino community in Ogden and beyond.

• From Lola. Why did God have to come down to the earth?

Great question from a child in our kid’s ministry! Jesus came to earth primarily to die for our sins and to rise again from the dead (I Cor. 15:1-3). He also came to show us what God is really like (John 1). If we want to know what God is like, look at Jesus.

• Did people who went to heaven (like David) follow the rules that were created by humans too on top of what God gave them? If so, If people knew that the laws don't save them, why did people followed the rules created by humans??

Not sure I totally understand this question…but just as we follow laws today that are not found in the Bible, people have had human law in history as well. There are a number of institutions God founded – the church and the family being two of the best known. One other institution created by God is authority, often expressed through government (Romans 13). Human expressions of all things include our brokenness, so whether it’s church, family or government it will not be perfect but that does not lessen God’s involvement with it.

• If God is portrayed to be so merciful and powerful, why does he not provide grace and mercy to all? Common question when speaking with those outside the church.

Short answer: He does provide grace and mercy to all. All that any of us has is a gift from God (James 1:17). God gives what theologians have called “common grace” to all people – common here doesn’t mean ‘plain’ but meaning that it is ‘common to all’ (Matt. 5:45). I understand that not everyone sees these points but Romans 1 tells us that God’s attributes are seen in His creation, so we all get to see His power, beauty and grace all around us every day.

• Was God more obvious...more outspoken...more blunt with his communication in Old Testament days?

It’s hard for us to think of a day when there was no Bible but for much of the Old Testament, there was only the first five books written by Moses. In our day, God’s communication with us is complete in the Bible (II Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible also makes it clear that God’s completed communication is found in Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-2a).

• Considering the Israelites are Gods chosen people... How does that effect us today as a country concerning the current political issues with protecting Israel against Iran? What if our president chooses not to protect them...?

The face that it is Israel being threatened by Iran makes this Biblical issue but I hope we as a nation would stand by, protect and pray for any nation being threatened by nuclear destruction. If we take prophecy about the future literally (and we do), there will be a day when Israel stands all alone. Where is the US at that time? We are not told. Is this that time? Only time will tell but I hope and pray that work for peace for Israel and other nations in that region and beyond. How could we in good conscience let untold amounts of people be wiped out?
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Thanks for the questions during today's service for our Q&A time. We will do our best to get to the questions we did not have time to answer during the services. ... See MoreSee Less

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Washington Heights Church

Service Times: 9:30am, 11:00am & 6:00pm

1770 East 6200 South
Ogden, Utah 84405
Phone: 801.479.7030
Fax: 801.479.7975