To celebrate 100 Episodes, we invited listeners to submit questions they would like Biblical answers to. We have chosen 16 to answer on this episode - Some examples are: How can I be sure I am saved? What is the unforgiveable sin? What is the difference between false teaching and bad theology? How do I know if I am overdependent on someone? How do I get out of the funk when everything in my life is going wrong? How honest should we be when teaching the Bible to our kids? And so much more!!
Episode 100 - Your Questions Answered
Welcome back! Rose, this is our 100th episode! Did you ever think back in Oct. 2019 we would get here?
No, I admit I had doubts we would ever get the first episode published! We have definitely had a learning curve with all of this.
But God is good! Through His grace we have seemed to learn and have what we needed when we needed it – and not a moment earlier!
That’s for sure! There have been times where we have been weeks ahead in episodes, and times we are downloading Monday’s episode on Sunday night! But, like you said, God is good and we haven’t yet missed a Monday release.
And, of course, we thank and give the glory to God for this podcast, for its success, and for being able to do what we love more than anything – studying and teaching God’s Word. But we also want to thank all of you who faithfully listen – your support and encouragement means more than you can ever know! We appreciate the listens, watches, comments, and questions.
And along that vain, we wanted to do something special for our 100th episode, so we decided to spend the episode answering questions many of you have. And if you remember, we promised a giveaway – which we will do at the end of the episode. So, let’s get started. Chris, you want to take the first question?
1. What is Reformed Theology?
This is the most asked question we get. Reformed theology is what the reformer fathers fought for. It’s actually Biblical Christianity. It is comprised of the five Solas from the reformation – the first four being Sola Fide (faith alone) Sola Christus (in Christ alone) Sola Gratia (through Grace alone) and Sola Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone). These first four solas are summed up by Paul in Ephesians 2:8 verses 8–10 “for it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, this is a gift from God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The fifth sola is Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). The Bible is the only authority we are to use for the things of God. Experiences, emotions, and tradition may have a place in our sanctification, but they are never to be used or viewed equal to or above Scripture. Some verses that reinforce this truth are Proverbs 30:5–6, Matthew 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:15–17, Mark 7:5–9, and Proverbs 28:26 just to name a few. A lot of people just call reformed theology “Calvinism”. But the difference between Calvinism and reformed theology is reformed has 3 Cs: Calvinist, Covenantal and Confessional.
2. What is the difference between false teaching and bad theology? The simple answer is nothing. Wrong teaching is wrong teaching. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that it is also a heart issue. I would use the title “False Teacher” for anyone who hasn’t bothered to read and study Scripture and are just giving their own opinion with no Scripture back-up. They have a definite agenda, and it isn’t to teach the Truth found in God’s Word. Someone with bad theology, on the other hand, is someone who sincerely wants to teach and know God’s Truth but have either been mistaught, or they themselves have misinterpreted Scripture. These people usually have a verse or two to back up their interpretation, but the verses have been pulled out of context and are being used to mean something they were never meant to mean. I would also add false teachers show no fruit of being a Christian, while those with bad theology usually do. Finally, I wouldn’t hesitate to call out a false teacher by name (and we do!), because As 2Tim4: 3 – 4 says, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. However, we need to be much gentler in dealing with someone with bad theology. They just need to be shown the Truth in love.
3. I’m anxious that I may not be saved or may lose my salvation.
Well let’s start with the answer to the first part of that question by explaining the Gospel. To do that we start back in Genesis. Adam and Eve were the parents of all humanity. (Genesis 3:20, Acts 17:26) Because Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, every human has been born with an inherited sin nature, hostile to God and enemies of Him. (Rom. 1:18-22, 3:23, 5:10, and 8:5-21, Ephesians 2:1-5) Because of this original sin, there is no one righteous. (Rom. 3:10-12, Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3)
Because we are sinners by nature, we have no desire to seek God, or to please God. We are dead in our sinful nature. We can’t ever be good enough to save ourselves. The only way we can be saved is to be “made alive” a/k/a/ “born again” and for this to happen, God must regenerate our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit, turning our hearts from stone to flesh, so that when we hear the Gospel message, we respond to it in faith. (Titus 3:5, Eph. 2:9)
The good news is that God gave us a way of salvation! Jesus willingly came to earth as a baby, lived a perfectly holy life, and died as a sacrifice in our place, taking the punishment we deserve (substitutional atonement). It’s by believing and trusting that He did that to pay for our sin and repenting of our sin and asking God for forgiveness that we are saved. As for the part about losing your salvation, since salvation is a work of God and because He has chosen the elect (the ones He’s going to save) from before the foundations of the world (Eph. 1) we won’t lose our salvation. The Bible speaks of the fact that the Holy Spirit seals us for all eternity in Ephesians 1:13-14, and also of God the Father and Jesus never letting anyone snatch us away in the book of John. There are other Scriptures that back this up.
4. What if a woman truly feels called to be a Pastor? How can you say it’s unbiblical? Okay. I’m not gonna lie. There was a time I struggled with this for this very same reason. But, while there may be different views about what Scripture says about the circumstances and to whom women may teach, it is crystal clear that women are not to be pastors or elders. We don’t have time to go deeply into this, although we should do an episode on it, 1Tim 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” When you put this verse into its proper context, Paul is talking about the worship service. Women are not to teach or exercise authority in the worship service. And to answer the question, it is very possible is you are a woman, that God is calling you to teach His Word (Chris and I certainly feel that), but God isn’t going to call you to something that goes against Scripture. If you feel like you are being called to anything that goes against Scripture – whether it’s a job, relationship, whatever – it’s not from God.
5. I would like a better understanding of how we will one day be resurrected. I'd like this truth to be broken down in your "easy to understand" way. Thanks
At death, our souls are separated from our bodies. The souls of the righteous (those who are saved) are immediately in heaven with God. The souls of the wicked, upon death, are immediately in hell. But, there is a future resurrection of the body to be re-united with the soul, for eternity, for both the righteous and the wicked (Acts 24:14,15 and other verses). That will happen in a precise moment in history, on the last day when Jesus returns. Everyone raised at the same time. Jesus said it in John 5:28-29, “Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.“ Those who are alive on the earth on that day will be changed to have eternal bodies also.
Paul talks about resurrected bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:35-57, where he tells us it will be a spiritual body. That doesn’t mean it isn’t physical in nature; it means that it is immortal (1 Cor. 15:53). Christ’s resurrected body still had the scars, He ate, He talked, He walked, and His body also had some physical qualities (like walking through walls) that ours may or may not. We’re not told.
How does it happen? We know that it’s quick, “in the twinkling of an eye according to 1 Corinthians 15:52. We do know that there’s continuity between our physical body now (so we will be discernable from others like we are now), but our bodies will be different, like Paul describes as a seed planted that turns into something different than the original seed. Our bodies will be suitable for eternal existence. Exactly what it will be like and the mechanics of how it happens we aren’t told.
A good article about it is Herman Bavinck’s https://www.monergism.com/resurrection-body
6. I know I’m forgiven, but does God still get mad at me? I think this is something a lot of people wonder. Let me clarify that I am directing this answer to believers. Because there’s a big difference in the answer to this between believers and unbelievers. Nobody knows us better than God. He knows the deepest darkest parts of us. And once we are saved, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us to become more and more like Jesus. And I say that to show that God definitely wants us to grow – He wants us to trust Him more, obey Him more, get to know Him more. So when we repent of a sin like lying, God wants us to truly repent, meaning we turn away from it and turn towards Him. As Romans 6:6 says, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” So now that we are no longer enslaved by sin, and can resist it, God certainly wants that to be the case. However, and this is a big however, once we are saved, we have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. This means that when God looks at us, He sees Jesus’ perfect record. It’s not that He doesn’t know the truth about who we are, it’s that Jesus has paid our debt to God for our sin. So that being the case, God does not get mad at us. But don’t confuse that with the fact that He does discipline us in order to refine us – and sometimes we might mistake that for His being angry.
7. When do you know if you are overdependent on someone?
My first question would be are you depending on this person more than God? I’m not 100% sure what direction this question is coming from, but for instance, if a husband or wife has a hard time functioning or getting through the day without the other one, or without hearing from them often, you might be overdependent on that person. (Which can be a huge weight on the person you are dependent on.) If something like that is happening, you’re not putting God first. Anyone can be taken from us at any time, and in lots of different ways. Anything we think we can’t live without is idol. We were created for companionship and mutual help, but not overdependency. The Psalms talk about depending on God for our food, for wisdom, our shelter and many other things, including our salvation. If God isn’t who we are ultimately placing our trust in for these things, we need to pray and ask Him to help us get to that point.
8. What is the unforgiveable sin? This question is referring to the verse found in Matthew 12:31 – 32 which says, “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. The unforgiveable sin has been generally known to be blaspheming the Holy Spirit. So what does that mean? First, we need to put this verse (and the one in Mark) into context. Jesus is not talking to His disciples or other believers. He is talking to Pharisees when He says this. It wasn’t that the Pharisees were ignorant to the truth. Jesus was right in front of them teaching it, yet they willfully rejected it. In a nutshell, the unforgiveable sin is unbelief – not having Jesus as your Lord and Savior. As one commentator put it, “Blasphemy against the Spirit evidently is not just a one-time offense; rather, it is an ongoing attitude of rebellion – a stubborn way of life that continually resists, rejects and insults the Holy Spirit.” So if you are a genuine believer, you cannot be guilty of the unforgiveable sin, nor can you commit a sin that is unforgiveable.
9. I’m depressed. I pray and still everything in my life goes wrong. How can I get out of my funk and get my life on the right track? This is a hard one and requires a hard answer. I am very sorry you are depressed. There have been some great minds that have been subject to depression. Calvin said he was sometimes given to melancholy. So that may be something you are wired with. However, that is a separate issue than things in our life going wrong. First, because what looks “wrong” to us, may not be wrong – it may be something being used to grow and refine us. Second, even if we have catastrophic things happen to us, we have to remember that we aren’t promised any different. In fact, Jesus tells us plainly in John 16:33, “In this world you will have tribulation.” And this was and is certainly the case for many. Before becoming a believer, Paul was wealthy, respected, well-connected, and had lots of friends. After Jesus got a hold of him, he was beaten, arrested, imprisoned, mocked, hated, stoned, shipwrecked, and ultimately killed. I think the key to not falling into a funk over your circumstances is found in the second part of that John verse, “In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart for I have overcome the world!” Regardless of your circumstances, if you are a believer, nothing, absolutely nothing can hurt you spiritually. That’s exactly why even after all Paul went through, he could say in 2Cor 4:7 – 10, “ But we have this treasure (meaning the Gospel message) in jars of clay (meaning our fragile bodies), to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
10. Do we need to stay faithful to God for Him to work in our lives? Does He leave us if we backslide?
If we are saved, God never leaves us. Christians do still sin. But the Holy Spirit works in the lives of a believer to make them more and more like Jesus as they go through life. So there should be evidence of fruit there! But a Christian can backslide and fall into a great deal of sin. But eventually, he will turn from it and repent. And 1 John 3:6 is a warning that says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” So if we find ourselves mired in sin with no desire to stop sinning, or with no intention of stopping, then we need to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith. What about a person who denies Christ? The Bible tells us that if a person denies Christ and walks away from the faith, he was never truly saved to begin with. 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”
12. How honest is too honest when it comes to telling your kids things? There are differing opinions on this. Dr. Voddie Baucham believes that if you are teaching your children from the Bible, you shouldn’t hold anything back. He was talking about people who don’t talk about sexual sins with their kids because they think it’s inappropriate. But he says, everything in Scripture is appropriate to teach your children. Now, I agree with the spirit of that, however, I admit, I would refrain from some of the more graphic wording in Scripture to children under 10. However, I also disagree with the sanitized Bible stories that often get taught to our kids in Sunday School. Big chunks are left out because they paint a darker picture than deemed appropriate for kids. For ex., usually when Daniel is taught, the fact that King Darius throws Daniel’s accusers and their families in the lions’ den where they are immediately torn to shreds gets left out. I don’t agree with that. The problem when you leave details out, is you often misteach or don’t teach at all the correct theology of the passage. Deut. 6:5 – 8 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.” The Israelites were to teach God’s Truth in its entirety and not sanitize it – and so should we. That is how we will raise Biblically grounded and faithful children.
13. Does the Bible say if you are devoted to God, He will save your children?
This is tough to hear, but the answer is no. There is no guarantee of that. When Peter addresses the crowd at Pentecost, he commanded them to repent, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). Peter does not say, “some of your children.” He simply says, “and your children.” God’s promise is the guarantee of salvation, and so salvation is promised to believers and their children. However, the promise is limited by this expression: “even as many as the Lord our God shall call,” referring to God’s effectual call of His elect. The Gospel call goes out to all, but it is not effectual for all. Salvation is of the Lord. God is the one who saves sinners. Salvation is not by works; not by our works or our children’s works.
14. Are tatoos prohibited in the Bible?
Leviticus 19:28 says, ““Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” The reason for the prohibition in the Old Testament was most likely that it was a pagan practice connected with idolatry or superstition. Today, that’s not the case. Many people get tatoos for many reasons; not all of which are bad. So what can we say? My first thought is: know WHAT you are getting. Don’t’ get some tatoo design because it looks cool, without knowing that it not a symbol FOR something pagan! Duh! Will your tatoo aid or detract from sharing the Gospel? What’s the motivation? Is it to fit in or to be cool? Then the motivation might be an issue. And, most important is our inner self, not our “outward adornment”. Those are just some things to keep in mind.
15. What do I do if I’m in a Bible Study and the teacher says something that is against Scripture? How should I handle it? Well, I can tell you that Chris and I have both been in this situation before. I think the best approach is to come back with actual Truth, trying to be as gentle as you can. (But I can tell you from experience, it may get heated, so be prepared!) For ex., if the teacher says we must be careful we don’t lose our salvation. You can respond with, well, Eph. 1:13 says, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory,” so we don’t ever have to fear we will lose our salvation. Once God saves us, He seals us with the Holy Spirit. We can’t possibly lose are salvation, so we don’t need to fear that. You are exposing the lie to all listening in a gentle way, not giving your opinion, but Scriptural proof. It’s important to expose blatant lies that are essential to a person’s faith – like assurance of salvation. We can’t let that go, but we don’t have to be a jerk about it, either. After all, going back to an earlier question, it is possible the teacher just has bad theology and is not a false teacher. Like I said, use Scripture, not “I think or I believe.” If, though, they
16. You often talk about your “go to” guys. How do you know if a commentator or theologian is credible?
Know the Bible. Here’s an idea. If you’re looking for an answer to something online, type in “reformed” after the question. That’ll at least get you headed in a decent direction.
17. How do your husbands feel about your ministry, your teaching, doing a podcast, and writing books? Our husbands are incredibly supportive of our ministry, our podcast, our teaching, our books, everything! We spend many, many hours studying, researching, writing, podcasting, editing, posting, whatever. They are very patient and encouraging. I can’t tell you how many times they have had to stay out of room or be quiet because we are recording a podcast. We sometimes stay at each other’s houses to get work done – something they are both fine with and even encourage. Chris, I don’t think we could ask for any 2 better husbands who support us and are proud of what we are doing!
Well that does it for questions. Thank you to everyone who submitted one and / or left a review for this podcast. Time to pick a winner! And just a reminder, the winner will receive a copy of the our book, No Half Truths Allowed – Understanding the Complete Gospel Message and our new book, The Bible Blueprint, plus a No Trash Just Truth coffee mug and a No Half Truths keychain.
Okay, and our winner is . . . Congratulations …, we will message you to get your address. And to everyone else, thanks so much for tuning in! Have a blessed day!