you a saint or a sinner?
(Frequently Asked Questions)
1. All the
major religions of the world teach basically the same things. What's so different about Christianity?
Christianity is the only religion that is based on a personal relationship with a Savior, right here and right now.
Judaism adheres to the same God but teaches that the Savior is yet to come. It's
the Second Coming to Christians, but whatever it's called, both are anticipating
the same event.
religions teach you how to behave in order to get to
heaven. Christianity teaches that
Jesus Christ was born, died for us, and was resurrected from the dead.
Christians get to go to heaven because of what He did, not because of
what we do.
2. Are you
saying that even though I'm a good person, I won't go to heaven? That's
right. According to the Bible, you
can't ever be good enough to work your way into heaven. You have to quit trusting in your own abilities to get you into heaven
and trust in Jesus Christ.
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should
boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
3. Well, I
don't believe in the Bible. Why
should I? It's old, it contradicts itself, and it's written by men, not
the Bible is old because mankind has always needed a user's manual to
learn about God, himself, and others. Although
it might seem outdated, the principles and concepts hold true, even today. All
you have to do is ask Him to help you understand it and He will, no matter how
long it takes for Him to get through to you, if you really want to know. As for
it being written by men, it
is made up of sixty-six separate books that, except for the Ten Commandments
which were written by God Himself, were written by over forty men whose
occupations ranged from cowherd to king. They
lived in several countries across three continents and wrote in three different
languages across a span of approximately 1,600 years. Their message, inspired by God, is consistent throughout the entire Bible
- quite a feat all things considered that, in itself, is evidence of Him being
in control of the work. If it seems contradictory,
please examine the context.
the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there:
and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which
I have written; that thou mayest teach them. (Exodus 24:12)
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16)
I'm not so sure that God even exists, so why
should I believe that Jesus is the Savior?
Look at the world around
you. Could a human survive if anything was missing? Our bodies alone are
miracles of creation as is the environment in which we live. God even gives us
flowers and sunsets to soothe our souls. How could it all exist by mere chance with such
coordination that it has taken all this time for the finest scientists and engineers
to clone the tiny portion that they have? Consider also that the relatively tiny population of Jewish people
has survived, even flourished, through the centuries even though mighty nations
tried to exterminate them and have themselves been totally obliterated. How
could the Jewish people survive all those years, their identity intact, under all the oppression they've
experienced if there is no God to keep them? As for Jesus, no one else comes anywhere close to fulfilling even half of the sixty
prophecies about the Savior with the 270 ramifications that Jesus did. Go ahead, figure the odds if you're up to it.
his book, "More Than A Carpenter," Josh McDowell cites a mathematical
analysis in "Science Speaks" by Peter W. Stoner. The result of the analysis was that the probability of one
person being able to fulfill even only eight of the sixty prophecies to
be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. (That's seventeen zeroes.)
5. If He's so
powerful, why is there so much pain and suffering? Why doesn't He put a stop to
all of it? Basically, it's because He gives us freedom, even the freedom to sin. Eventually, He will put a stop to all the pain
and suffering for all those who don't go to hell. It's a whole lot better
now and in the long run for everyone to submit to Him and His ways, but since
people aren't perfect, we inflict pain upon ourselves and each other which
results in short- and long-term mental, emotional, and physical suffering.
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
(2 Corinthians 3:17)
one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more
pain: for the former things are passed away."
6. Well, I
believe that God is a kind and loving God who won't send anyone to hell.
What do you say to that?
You're right in believing that He is a kind and loving God but He is also just.
LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and
transgressions, and by no means clearing the guilty..." (Numbers 14:18, emphasis added)
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is
the second death."
Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, this left God with a
problem. He is a
loving God who wants a continuing relationship with us. However, He is
also a holy God, unable to tolerate sin in His presence.
He solved this problem through Jesus Christ.
7. So, we're
back to Jesus again?
Yes, Jesus was crucified on the cross for our sins.
He took the punishment for all of us so we wouldn't have to. It's like
we had a debt we couldn't pay and Jesus stepped in and paid it
He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and
iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was
upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole.
All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own
way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us
8. But, what about those who never heard of Him? Are you
saying that they're all going to hell? Since many people get hung up over peripheral issues even though they know that each
person is responsible for oneself, may I ask if you're using the end result of others as an excuse to
evade the issue of your own
relationship with the Lord now? However, to satisfy your curiosity, God reveals
Himself to them just as He did to Adam, Eve, Abraham, and others before He
gave the Law to Moses. He holds everyone
accountable for what they know just as He does you.
therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it
is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of
men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be
known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For
the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal
power and Godhead; so that they are without
excuse" (Romans 1:17-20)
as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and
as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not
the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law
shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do
by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law,
are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in
their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts
the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"
then, I'm not so bad after all, am I?
While it may appear that God is lenient to those who follow their
consciences, you also need to look at how He regards sin from another
perspective. If you're mixing eggs in a bowl
to make scrambled eggs and you break a rotten egg into the bowl, it ruins all the others and
you have to throw
them all out and start over. Therefore,
if you have even one sinful thought, word, or deed in your entire life against
yourself, others, or God, it ruins your ability to go to heaven and stand in the
presence of the most holy God. After you die,
however, that's it. Period. The End. Fini. The life you're living now is the
only time you have to get right with God. There are no reincarnations, no do-overs
until you make it to a so-called Nirvana. Besides, at this point, you are
informed that there is one true God and
that Jesus is the Christ making you accountable for what you do with that
whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
all." (James 2:10)
as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27)
the other hand, there are people who don't believe they're good enough to have a
relationship with the Lord. They want to, but they think they have to clean up
their act before they can pray to Him or go to church. It's as though they're
cooking with three rotten eggs out of four. They don't understand that they
don't have to wait, that He will
clean them up, often working from the inside outwards, and they let this keep
them from getting to know how wonderful God is.
answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but
one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy
to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and
will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with
(Luke 3:16-17 )
"For our God is a consuming fire."
10. I don't
know. I'd rather wait and see. After all, you can't be so sure because we won't really know until we
die, will we? Let's ask a couple of questions of you.
How can you be so sure a light will come on when you flip the switch?
How can you be so sure a chair will hold your weight when you sit on it? It's the same principle.
can be sure because many people before you did it and talked about the change it
made in their lives. They didn't
have to wait until they were dead to be able to see the difference accepting
Jesus as their Savior made in their lives. That's why it's called a personal relationship.
unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and
lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For
my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
11. Oh, I'm not buying that. What about the religions that
started before Christianity? Buddha, for example, taught many of the same things
that Jesus did and those who follow Buddha have changed lives. Since Buddha came
first, I'd bet that Jesus picked up concepts from his teachings because time
showed that they worked. Why shouldn't I join an older religion? You're
absolutely right. You should go with the older belief system and that's another
good reason to accept Jesus Christ. God spoke of the savior who would crush the
devil way back when only Adam and Eve were around, before they started popping
out the kids who became the forefathers of the rest of humanity. There's no
religion that's older. Christianity isn't a relatively new religion when
compared to others but is the realization that Jesus is the fulfillment
of what God promised from the beginning.
the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou
art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon
thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy
life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by
him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
If that's true, why don't the Jews accept Jesus?
Some did right from the start of His ministry on earth, some did after His
crucifixion and resurrection, some still do, and others will. Have you read the book, "Who Moved My
Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson? Those Jews who believed in Jesus from the
beginning are like Sniff and Scurry. They saw the way things were and went
quickly after God. Nowadays, they may be called Messianic or Christian Jews. The rest seem to be
more like Haw, waiting until His second coming before they accept Him although
the Bible says that's partly to give non-Jews, the Gentiles, a chance to join the family of
God. The danger lies for anyone who is a Hem, refusing to see and accept the
they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in:
for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the
olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature
into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural
branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not,
brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be
wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to
Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel
shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the
Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from
Jacob" (Romans 11:23-26)
So, why do
Christians try to be good? The reasons
vary with each individual. Some try to conform to God's will because they've learned that He knows what's
best for us. Others are
expressing their gratitude for what He has already done for us through Jesus
Christ. Still others do it simply because it's the right thing to do.
14. What about
the hypocrites in church? I'm not
going to be one of them. You're
right, there are many churchgoers who say one thing and do the opposite.
Nobody's perfect, not even Christians; we have to repent (quit and turn away) from
doing wrong when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and receive God's forgiveness
through Christ. We're His works in progress. However, you need to be aware that not all churchgoers have
accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and that not all
churchgoers are hypocrites. Consider this: you are the only one who can make or break
your relationship with God. If
you knew there was $50 million cash in a large brown box waiting for you under a table
surrounded by people you didn't care for, would you let your opinions about
those people stop you from entering that room and reaching under the table for
that box? Living with God for
eternity is worth much, much more than any amount of money. It's priceless, so be
strong. Don't let what other people do or say keep you away from the treasure.
the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly
pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold
all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like
unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered
the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end
of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from
among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there
shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
must I do to be able to go to heaven? It's
simple. First, if you believe in
your heart that Jesus died for your sins, all you have to do is begin your side
of your relationship with Him by opening the door to your heart and letting Him
I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I
will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
is a prayer you may say to God:
God, I'm sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and make me righteous in Your
eyes. Thank You for sending the Lord
Jesus Christ to die on the cross so I can be with You forever. I invite Him into my heart right now
as my Savior and to be Lord of my life. Amen."
tell someone about the decision you made.
if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe
in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with
the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
16. That's it? What about all the other
stuff other people have been telling me I have to do to be saved like being
baptized? What about that? That's it. Anything else
might be part of your relationship with God for your benefit or to help you help
others, but is not a requirement for you to get into heaven. Look, for example,
at the thief crucified with Jesus. He believed and started his side of his
relationship with God by acknowledging his sins and Jesus as Lord. Jesus assured
him he'd be with Him even though he couldn't be baptized. It's the same for
everyone; it's having the relationship that gets you into heaven.
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing
thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive
the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Okay, I prayed the prayer and told a friend
who said I'm nuts, but I know in my heart I did the right thing. Now
what? Congratulations and welcome to the family of God!
Please find a church that exalts Jesus Christ as Savior and
Lord and believes that the Bible is the one infallible document inspired by God to
guide us into righteousness. This is important because the fellowship will help
you and attending a Bible-believing church is important because there are a lot of people
who say things about God and the Bible which might not be anything close to the
Keep talking to God, our heavenly Father and let Him
communicate back to you. The best way to get to know Him and His ways is through His word,
the Holy Bible which
is the manual that keeps us on His path. Please read it every day, even if you don't have time to read
more than one verse. After all, one verse is better than nothing. A good place
to start is in the book of John in the New Testament.
If you don't have a Bible and
need to buy one, there are several good versions in softcover, hardcover, and
leather. The King James version is excellent if you don't have problems reading
the older-style English (it's the main version used on this website) while the
Amplified Bible is great because it expands the original text into modern
English so the full meaning is readily apparent. Both it and the King James
available either separately or together in a parallel volume for easy comparison
of the two texts. Also, the New King James version is very nice because Old Testament
scripture quoted in the New Testament is set in a different type so it's easy to
see how much Old Testament scripture is in the New Testament. Other good
versions include the New American Standard, the New Living Translation Bible, and
the 21st Century King James version. There are also other parallel Bibles
available containing different versions in one volume.
If you don't like to read
or find reading difficult, there are audio versions available on cassette, CD,
and MP3 both dramatized with
different voices for the different people or read entirely by one reader. Some
are read plainly while others have occasional
background music usually between the chapters and books. Please get whatever's
best for you and start learning about the magnificent, one, true God.
May the good Lord bless you and keep you forever.
18. Hey, wait
up! You never explained the difference between a saint and a sinner.
The Biblical definition of
"saint" in both the Old and New Testaments is a person who is dedicated to God and
committed to following Him. All others are sinners. It's that simple. Although
nobody's perfect and saints do sin, it is their relationship with God that sets
them apart from everyone else.
this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the
children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from
Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount
Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand
went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are
in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of
thy words." (Deuteronomy 33:1-3)
he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and
some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the
work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we
all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God..." (Ephesians 4:11-13)
are you? Which do
you want to be? Do you want to be blessed for being in a relationship with Him
or cursed forever for turning away from the best relationship you'll ever have in your