How do I know who to trust/what information is real?
There is indeed a lot of false information about Christ and Christianity. It has always been this way. The Bible warns us to watch out for false teachers (Matthew 7:15) and encourages us to “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (I Thessalonians 5:21). One way you can do this is to search the Scriptures. The Bible has no errors and has not been disproven by any scientific or archeological discovery. In fact, writers of the Bible, through divine intervention, made statements about the earth (such as the fact that it was round) long before scientists proved them to be fact. We are committed to searching the Scriptures to find the truth, so if you have questions or want to study more, please contact us. We would love to study with you!
I was baptized as a baby – does that count?
When reading God’s Word we can come to incorrect conclusions. Many have attempted to use some of the following passages to justify baptizing babies because they refer to an entire household being baptized. Acts 11:14: “and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.” I Corinthians 1:16: “now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas.”
Those who say that a baby needs to be baptized assume “household” includes babies. But, when we take other scriptures into account we see that those in the household also had certain requirements. Those in the household had to be able to hear words “by which you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 11:14). Babies are not able to understand and accept the gospel of Christ. “Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord” (Acts 18:8). A baby cannot believe the word. The household of Stephanas “devoted themselves to the service of the saints” (I Corinthians 16:15). Infants cannot devote themselves as such.
There is no need to baptize babies. They are not sinners. They cannot repent. They cannot believe. Jesus said it best when He commissioned the apostles saying, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Baptism is for those who have repented of their sins (Acts 2:38). Babies are not sinners and the doctrine of inherited sin is not supported by Scriptures. Ezekiel 18:20 tells us that the punishment of sin is not transferred to others. In the New Testament, baptism is an immersion into Jesus Christ. It removes sin (Acts 22:16) and is for salvation (I Peter 3:21).
Once you are saved, are you always saved?
There are some people who feel that Christians can live life any way they please after “believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Using Ephesians 2:8-9, many will say I am saved by grace so nothing I do is wrong and therefore cannot lose salvation. This reasoning usually stems from the desire to continue in the sin that a person previously had lived. See 1 Peter 4:1-3.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1).
It is true that we cannot earn our salvation because it is a gift from God. But it is clear in the Scriptures that we are to turn from our old ways and live a life of Godliness. The many warnings we have from the Apostles in the Bible would be wasted if we could not lose our salvation. (2 John 9, 1Pet 1:14, James 1:12, 1Tim 6:11-12). There are also verses that say there will be some who “depart from the faith.“(1 Tim 4:1)
Can you lose your salvation?
The verse many use to speak on this matter is John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” This verse tells us that no one can force you to leave God. In referring to Satan he isn’t allowed to make a person turn their back on God (I Corinthians 10:13), so he tempts people to walk away on their own. He makes sin look so pleasing that the person willingly leaves God.
If the doctrine of ‘once saved always saved’ is true, then the warnings against falling away in Hebrews 6:4-6 are just a waste of space. The truth is that a Christian can lose his salvation and that is why we are encouraged to remain vigilant in 1 Peter 5:8.
Do I have to be baptized in order to be saved or can I just pray?
Acts 2:38 tells us to “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.” Jesus himself was baptized to set an example for us (Matthew 3:16).
Wasn’t Jesus just a man?
No. Jesus did come to earth in a fleshy (human form) but he is still part of God. Matthew 1:23 states,“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us).” And in Isaiah 43:10-11 it says, ““You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,“ and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after Me. I am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.”
Why don’t you use instruments in your worship?
Ephesians 5:19 says we should be “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart”. Our heart is our instrument. Although there are examples of people using musical instruments in Old Testament worship, there are no commands or examples in the New Testament of using instruments in worship so we choose to use the built in instrument God blessed us with – our voices that come from our hearts.
How much am I required to give?
Some churches ask its members to give a certain amount of money or a certain percentage of their income. In the Old Testament law, there are several passages that speak about giving a tithe, or 10% of your income. (See Leviticus 27:30-32). However, Jesus abolished the old law and in the New Testament, the command we received is: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (1 Corinthians 9:7). Visitors are not expected to give unless they feel compelled to do so.
Why don’t women serve?
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 tells us that we are all part of one body and just as each part of the human body has a different role, so does each member of the Lord’s body (the church). Christ is the head of the church and both male and female must be in submission to Him. God has given each of us roles and there are many ways women can actively serve God in church (teaching the youth, teaching one another, organizing service projects, and many other examples are provided in the Bible how women were active followers of Jesus). However, the leading of service in public worship has been reserved for men: “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches.” (1 Corinthians 14:34). This is not to oppress women, but define roles for orderly and God-pleasing worship.
LIFE IN THE REAL WORLD
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 8:14, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.” Bad things have happened to good people since the beginning of time. God has never told us through Scripture that it would be otherwise. Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:45, “…that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. ” In some instances, and many times because of choices we have made, God uses the circumstance to teach us. Proverbs 3:12 states, “…because the Lord disciplines those he loves.” But in all cases, we need to remember Romans 8:28, where Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” One can also take heart from the words of Peter in 1 Peter 4:12-13, where he states, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”
How can a loving God send anyone to hell?
God does not send anyone to hell. Sin sends people to hell, and people make the choice to sin. God has actually done everything He can to keep people out of hell, by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. God, however, gave us free will. We, who are made in His own image, have the power to say “yes” or “no” to temptations along with the power to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, or the power to reject Him.
John 3:16-22 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
Why does God tempt me?
Sometimes it seems the harder we try to serve God, the more challenging it becomes. James 1:13-14 tells us that God is not the one tempting us, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy, the devil, tempts us as he “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
ABOUT THE LINCOLN PARK CHURCH OF CHRIST
What do I have to do to become a member?
To become a member of Christ’s church, you must:
- Hear the Gospel (Romans 10:17)
- Believe (Mark 16:16)
- Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3)
- Confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:32)
- Be immersed in water for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38)
How often do I have to attend services?
Jesus commands Christians to partake of the Lord’s Supper (communion) and give an offering on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2), which is why is why we meet each Sunday.
Hebrews 10:25 warns us about “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.” It’s hard to be a light in the world if we never recharge our spiritual battery. For this reason, we meet mid week (Wednesday evenings at 7pm) for a Bible study.
How can I learn more?
There are many ways you can learn more about what the Bible teaches, and we would love to help you find the answers you are seeking. If you have a question or would like to study, we invite you to email us or call 313 928-5810 and ask to speak to our minister, Russ Bone. Or better yet, come to one of our worship services!