Archive for the ‘Faith Inspection’ Category

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Attention Funnel: This or That

 Introduction:

  • Perhaps one of the most common AND most difficult objections to the Christian faith is the problem of evil.
  • Bad things happen in this life. Painful things happen in this life. And they often cause us to ask where God is or why he would allow such things.
    • A pet that you loved dies. A girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you unexpectedly. The sport you love to play is suddenly taken away by a bad injury. You get abused by someone you love. You come home one day to find that your Dad has walked out. Your parents sit you down to tell you that your mom has cancer. A close friend commits suicide. These are only some examples… not to mention large scale things like hurricanes, famines, genocides, and war.
  • How in the world can we believe God is all-powerful and a good Father in the midst of all of this?
    • Because if he is really a good father, then he would want to get rid of all this evil, right?
    • And if he is an all-powerful God, then he would be able to get rid of all this evil, right?
    • Take your pick… it’s a this or that. Either he can be all-powerful OR he can be good, but he can’t be both. He can’t be the God of the Bible, right?
  • This is not simply an intellectual question… it’s a personal one.
    • This is a problem WE ALL have to deal with when things go wrong in our life or we witness horrible suffering in the world.
  • This is by no means a new problem. It’s a problem that people have faced since the dawn of the world.

Big Idea: God doesn’t work how we expect him to.

 Read John 11:1-6

  • Notice the sisters don’t invite or ask Jesus to come. It assumed that as soon as he hears his friends are suffering he will be on his way. To think otherwise is inconceivable.
  • Which is what makes Jesus’ response so shocking… He stayed where he was for two days. Why???
    • Because he loves the sisters and Lazarus… that makes no sense to us. God doesn’t work how we expect him to.

Read John 11:28-32

  • “Jesus if you had just been here this wouldn’t have happened. You could have prevented it.”
    • The hidden questions behind the statement is “Why weren’t you here???”
    • Don’t you care? Were you unable to come? Why weren’t you here?

Read John 11:33-44

  • There are many things this passage as a whole teaches us about evil and suffering… I want to draw out several of them.

 Main Points:

  • Christianity allows us to see evil for what it is.
  • Our pain is not pointless.
  • God got his hands dirty with evil.
  • Evil and suffering have a deadline.

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Attention Funnel: Greatest Enemies/Rivalries

Introduction:

  • We started a series last week called Faith Inspection. We said that in this series we want to take a closer look at some of the common questions/objections surrounding faith.
  • Tonight, I want to look at the Question: Doesn’t Science disprove Christianity?
  • At the core of this question is the idea that Science and Faith are rivals and enemies. Either you are a scientific person dealing with facts and evidence or you are a person of faith dealing with beliefs and old holy books.
  • I believe this is a false disagreement that has been painted.
  • My goal tonight is to point out that Christianity and science should go hand-in-hand and that what we believe is based on good evidence.

 Big Idea: Christians have good reasons for what we believe.

Main Points:

  • Christianity and science aren’t enemies.
  • The existence of God makes more sense of the facts.
  • There is evidence that Christianity is true.

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Attention Funnel: What Things Look Like Under a Microscope

Series Introduction:

  • When you put something under the microscope, you take a closer look at it in order to better understand it.
  • That’s what I want to do in this series. I want to take a closer look at some of the common questions/objections to the Christian faith in order to see if there is something wrong with what we believe.
  • I want to do this for two reasons…
    • 1) I want to encourage you to ask questions about what Christianity says is true.
    • 2) And I want you to be better equipped to engage and reach those around you who don’t believe in the gospel.

 Lesson Introduction:

  • What is the worst punishment you’ve received?
    • Dad who were jean shorts all around town in response to his daughter wearing clothes her mom and dad didn’t approve of.
    • Dad who shoots daughters computer in response to something she posted online.
    • The second one is clearly an over-reaction. It’s giving a punishment that seems so far over the top that it’s ridiculous.
  • I wonder if when we think about Hell, we picture God in this way? As the out of control Dad whose punishment seems harsh and unfair.
  • The question I want to look at tonight is: “How could a loving God send someone to hell?”
  • It’s a very serious and very good question to ask.
  • Especially if we may not personally be a Christian or if some of the people that we know and love are not Christians.
  • And my initial response in the form of a Big idea might shock you, but stick with me and I hope you’ll see why I believe the following statement is true.

Big Idea: Hell magnifies God’s love.

  • In other words, hell actually helps us to see, understand, and appreciate the depths of God’s love for us.

Main Points:

  • Behind every question is a set of beliefs.
  • A loving God is a God who judges.
  • Hell is life apart from God.
  • Hell should bring joy to our heart and urgency to our hands.

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