1. Worshipping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church. True or False?

Kuabudu peke yako au na familia fulani ni mbadala halali wa kuhudhuria kanisani mara kwa mara. Ndio au Hapana?

홀로 아니면 가족만으로 교회에 정기적으로 나가 드리는 예배를 대신하는 것은 정당한 예배 방법이다.

          The answer we find in the Bible with regards to this statement is that it is very clearly FALSE. The picture we get in the Bible, especially from the book of Acts which is a vivid account of the spread of the church throughout the known world, is that from the earliest days of the church, Christians have always gathered together for four specific reasons. For worship, teaching, fellowship, and prayer.

          Some passages in the book of Acts that affirm this are Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. Also in chapter 13:1-2, “Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” And in chapter 20:7, “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight”.

          Also, in the New Testament letter to the church in Corinth we find the following in chapter 14:26, “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up”.

          So, private worship and family worship are not forbidden by the Bible and are certainly appropriate. But as Hebrews 10:24-25 explains, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”, there is no adequate substitute to regularly gather with other Christians for worship and encouragement.

 

 

  1. Christians should be silent on issues of politics. True or False?

Wakristo wanapaswa kukaa kimya juu ya maswala ya siasa. Ndio au Hapana?

그리스도 인이라면 정치적인 문제에는 가입하지 말아야한다.

 

          This issue can be a very sensitive one in many countries where there are very strict laws regarding political involvement. And even though the main mission of the church is baptizing and making disciples as Matthew 28:18-20 tells us, that does not mean that when and where appropriate Christians should remain silent on political issues. For the simple reason that the teachings of the Bible are not just relegated to spiritual issues but also refer to many secular political issues as well. Such as, capital punishment, abortion, and even business matters like honest measurements (which can apply to price-fixing).

          For example, some passages in the Bible that speak to the issues that I have just mentioned would be Genesis 9:6,Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind”. This passage quite clearly relates to the political issue of capital punishment. Or Exodus 21:22-25, “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. 22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless. 25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest”. In this passage, there is teaching that would relate to a number of political issues.

          Another example would be Proverbs 20:10, “Differing weights and differing measures—the Lord detests them both”. Here dishonest business practices are clearly in view. There are also many other examples which believers should apply when thinking about political issues.

          In addition to what the Bible says in the passages I just mentioned we also have the example of the apostle Paul. In the book of Acts, we find that on a few occasions (Acts 16:35-39 and 25:1-12) the apostle appealed to his rights as a Roman citizen. The example we see here is Christians may make appropriate use of their political rights as citizens of their country which may also include the right to speak to political issues.

          Of course, we also need to be wise and only do this is if it is appropriate (for example if the country where we find ourselves is a dictatorship or we are not citizens of that country) or when we see clear violations of God’s laws.

 

 

  1. God chose the people he would save before he created the world. True or False?

Mungu alichagua watu ambao angewaokoa kabla ya kuumba ulimwengu. Ndio au Hapana?

창세 전부터 하나님은 구원 받을 들을 택하셨다.

Whereas statements 20 and 21 spoke to issues that were more a matter of living out the Christian values, statement 22 is a theological one. However, as with the other two, we will find the truth or falsehood of the statement with the teachings of the Bible.

This statement refers to something which we call predestination. It sounds like a very complicated word but it is used in the Bible so we must understand it.

 

Romans 8:29-30 tells us, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”.

In Ephesians 1:5 and 11 we read the following. 5he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

          Even though you will find that many people react strongly to this teaching of predestination it is a teaching that we find in the Bible. Therefore, we need to understand what the Bible means when it uses the word ‘predestination’.

 

In the original languages of the Bible, the Greek word translated as predestined is ‘Proorizo’. The meanings associated with this word are “determining beforehand”, “ordaining” and “deciding ahead of time”. So, when we see the word predestined in the English Bible it is referring to God determining certain things to happen ahead of time.

          What is it that God determined would happen ahead of time? Well, according to the passage in Romans 8:29-30 that I read earlier, God predetermined that certain people would be conformed to the image of His Son, be called, justified, and glorified. What this all means is that God predetermines that certain people will be saved.

          There are many passages in the Bible that refer to believers being chosen. For example, Matthew 24:22 says, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect (‘elect’ is another word for ‘chosen’) those days will be shortened”. In Colossians 3:12 we read, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”.

You can look up these other references: Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 8:33, 9:11, 11:5-7, 28; Ephesians 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2:9; 2 Peter 1:10.

We get a clear idea that predestination is the Biblical teaching that God sovereignly chooses certain individuals to be saved.

 

          There are of course people who object to this teaching because they think it is unfair. They ask, why would God choose some people to receive salvation and others not? The important thing for us to remember is this, no one deserves to be saved in the first place. Romans 3:23 tells us that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and we are all therefore deserving of the eternal punishment as Romans 6:23 reminds us.

          This means that, because of our sins, God would be perfectly just in sending all of us to hell for eternity. However, God, in His great mercy chooses to graciously save some of us. But this does not mean he is being unfair to those who are not chosen, because they are receiving just what they deserve. No one can object if they do not receive anything from God other than what they deserve.

          Let me illustrate it this way, imagine you see a person just handing out money to five strangers in a crowd of say twenty people. Would the 15 who did not receive anything be upset? Yes of course they would. Do they have a right to be upset? No, they don’t. Because the person did not owe any of the 20 people money. They just decide to be gracious to some people in the crowd.

          Some others will object to the teaching of predestination by saying it goes against our free will to choose to believe in Christ. If God is the One who chooses who is saved, what does this do to our freedom to choose, they ask. After all the Bible does say that we have the choice. All who believe will be saved! John 3:16 says, “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”. And also, in Romans 10:9-10 we have the teaching that, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved”.

          We also know that the Bible never describes an instance where God rejects anyone who does believe in Him. The Bible never shows us a situation where God turns away from anyone who is seeking Him. Isn’t that what we see in Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul”.

          This is a mystery that is difficult to understand, but just because we don’t understand it doesn’t mean it is not the truth. Somehow a person is drawn to God and believes unto salvation. God predestines who will be saved, and we must choose Christ in order to be saved. Both of these facts are equally true. And as Romans 11:33 proclaims, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”

 

          The teaching of predestination is TRUE as we were reminded by Ephesians 1:5 that I quoted earlier, before the foundation of the world, God predestined every Christian who would be saved according to His good pleasure. Salvation is from the Lord!