[Lesson 89: The Good News] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 91: Man's Questions; God's Answers (#2)]

Lesson 90

Man's Questions;

God's Answers

Part 1

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

Dear friends, we thank all of you who have written to us with questions about what the Holy Scriptures teach. We hope the letters, books and cassettes we have mailed to you have been helpful. We also want to thank those of you who faithfully listen to The Way of Righteousness, even if you have not written to us. May God bless each of you and help you to understand the righteous way of Salvation which He has provided.

Today and in the next program, we plan to do something a little different. We would like to share with you some questions we have received from you, our listening friends. To answer each question, we will use only the Holy Scriptures, since the Word of God is the only sure light that can guide us in the darkness. As it is written in the Psalms: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path!" (Psa. 119:105)

Now…your questions. To help us today, a friend has joined us in the studio to read the questions.

1.) Thank you. The first question, received in a letter, is: What is the religion of those who produce The Way of Righteousness programs?

Long ago, God put it in our hearts to seek the truth--His Truth. We wanted to know for ourselves the Word of the one true God. We read the Bible carefully (which includes the Torah {Taurat}, the Psalms {Zabur}, the Books of the Prophets, and the Gospel {Injil}). We recognized that Jesus Christ is the Savior of whom all the prophets wrote. Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice which God gave to erase the debt of sin of the children of Adam so that whoever believes in Him might live in the presence of God forever. Jesus Christ, who came from God, is the only One who can bring us to God. We have staked all our hope on Him.

Who are we then? We are disciples of Jesus Christ. The Qur'an calls us "Ahl al-kitab," which means the People of the Book. Others call us Christians, meaning Christ's people. In telling you that we are Christians, we remind you that many people call themselves Christians, but that does not mean that they are truly Christ's people. Just as a log does not become a crocodile by soaking in water {based on Wolof Proverb}, so a person does not become a Christian by merely doing the things that Christians do. Following a religion cannot give you a relationship with God. Only Jesus Christ can bring a person to God. How blessed we are to have Christ as our Savior, Lord and Friend! He has given us a wonderful relationship with God and confidence in the face of death. Every day He shows us His faithfulness and His love. In the Lord Jesus Christ, God has given us everything that relates to eternal life! In Him we have everything our hearts need!

2.) Thank you. The next question is important and deserves a clear answer. This person writes: Something really troubles me. I have read in the Qur'an where our prophet, Muhammad, commands all Muslims to believe certain books contained in the Bible such as the Torah and the Gospel. I respect the Bible and have started to read it. However, my friends tell me that we cannot trust the Bible, because it has been corrupted and altered. They claim that the Bible I am reading is different from the original Bible. What do you say about this?

Before answering this question, we have a few questions for those who claim that the ancient books of the prophets have been "corrupted and altered." What is the source of the idea that the Bible has been falsified? What is the basis for such a serious accusation? Tell us, when was the Bible altered? Who altered it? Where was it altered? What changes have been made? Can anyone give a single proof that the Holy Scriptures have been corrupted?

If you honestly search out the facts about the Bible, you will discover that God has protected His Holy Word which He inspired His prophets to write. Those who claim that the Bible has been falsified are simply believing rumors. There is no evidence to support the accusation that the Bible has been altered. There is much evidence however to prove that the Bible has not been altered.

Today, in the great museums and universities of the world, scholars have preserved thousands of ancient scrolls {Lit. in Wolof: books} of the Gospel Writings and the entire New Testament. Many of these scrolls existed hundreds of years before the time of Muhammad, as did the scrolls of the Old Testament. If you compare those ancient books with the ones we have in our hands today, you will discover how accurately God has preserved His Word for us. The Bible we read today is the same Bible that existed in Muhammad's day.

The prophets wrote God's words on scrolls made from animal skin or plant fiber. Jewish scribes copied God's Word onto new scrolls. These trained scribes were extremely careful to ensure that the copies were the same as the original text. The number of letters in a book was counted and its middle letter was given to ensure that the copy was the same as the original. If there was an error, the entire scroll would be destroyed! These Jewish scribes believed that to tamper with God's Word was to tamper with God Himself! Perhaps you have heard of the famous Dead Sea scrolls discovered in 1947. Did you know that these Old Testament scrolls were copied one hundred years before Jesus was born? Yet these ancient scrolls are consistent with scrolls copied one thousand years later! The Bible has not been altered!

No one can really alter the Bible. If someone wanted to change the Bible, he would have to change all the copies of the Bible. This would be impossible! In the period following the time of Christ, scholars began to translate the Bible from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into many different languages. No one could change all the Bibles throughout the world! Today, the Bible (in part or in whole) is written in more than two thousand different languages. {Note: In English we are blessed with dozens of excellent translations.} God has preserved His Holy Word and His servants are translating it into the languages of the peoples of the world, because God wants everyone to hear it with their own ears, understand it in their own minds, receive it into their own hearts, and be saved.

Can the Lord God Almighty protect His Word from Satan and those who want to alter and corrupt it? Yes, He can preserve it and He has preserved it! Allahu Akbar! God is great! Of course we are aware that from the beginning of the world till today Satan has attempted to alter the Word of God--in the minds of people. For example, in the first book of the Bible, we heard God say to Adam, "The day you eat of this tree you will die!" But Satan denied what God had said, telling Adam and Eve, "You will not die!" Thus, Satan attempted to alter the Word of God. As you know, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan and ate the forbidden fruit. As a result, their souls died and their bodies began to wither and die, just as God had said. Dear friends, God's Word is sure. The devil is a liar and a deceiver. Satan wants to deceive people and make them believe that the Bible has been altered. But the Lord Jesus Christ says, "The Scripture cannot be broken!" (John 10:35) "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away!" (Matt. 24:35)

3.) Thank you for that clear answer. Now, the third question. Why do you call Jesus the Son of God? God does not beget and God was not begotten, therefore how can Jesus be His Son?

We have answered this important question often, yet we will gladly answer it again. Ignorance in such an important matter can be deadly! As the (Wolof) proverb says: "Before you know it, ignorance will kill you!" The questioner asks, "Why do you call Jesus the Son of God?" First, we must remind our listeners that we did not give Jesus the title "the Son of God!" God is the One who calls Jesus His Son! Second, the name "Son of God" does not mean that God took a wife and had a son! As we have seen, Jesus has hundreds of names and titles in the Bible. These names help us to understand better who He is. For example, He is called "the door," but that does not mean that Jesus is a door of wood or of sheet metal. He is also called "the Food which gives Life" (Bread of Life) but that does not mean that Jesus is food, like rice with fish (national Senegalese dish) which we eat. God's prophets called the Messiah "the Lamb of God," but that does not mean He is a sheep. Similarly, when God calls Jesus His Son, you should know that this does not mean that God took a wife and had a child by her! That is blasphemy! If I leave the country, they call me "a son of Senegal" because I come from Senegal. But that does not mean that Senegal took a wife and had a child! Similarly, God and the angels and the prophets called the Messiah "the Son of God" because He came forth from God. Jesus was born of a virgin. He had no earthly father. Even before He was born, He was living in heaven, because He is the "Kalimat Allah," that is, the Word which was with God in the beginning. That is what the Scripture declares:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.…No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known!" (John 1:1,14,18)

Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, the Word of God that appeared on earth in a human body.

What is the Word of God? Perhaps you will answer that the Word of God is the Holy Scripture which God inspired the prophets to write. You are correct. The Writings of God's prophets are God's Word to us-like letters sent to us by God. But allow us to ask you about your good friend who lives in another town. Which would you prefer: that your friend merely writes you some letters, or would you rather he come and visit you in person? Of course you would prefer that he come in person, so that you can talk with him face to face. Similarly, since God is great and nothing is impossible for Him, and since He wants to make known to people what He is like and what His will is for us, do you think He would merely send us some letters or would He come in person to visit us? Friends, the good news which the prophets announced is that God Himself would come to visit sinful humanity!

In the Gospel, we discover that God has sent down His Word as a Man to live among people so that He might save them from their sins. That Man from heaven is Jesus Christ. Jesus is worthy to be called the Son of God, because He is the Word which was with God in the beginning. Jesus is God's Eternal Son, God's perfect representative--the One who has revealed God's character to man. We often say of a young man, "He is just like his father!" So it is with Jesus. Jesus bears the image of God. To know Jesus, is to know God and what He is like. Thus the Scripture says:

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, who he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." (Heb. 1:1-3)

One final word. God does not say that you must fully understand why He calls Jesus His Son--only that you must believe it. Remember that God is the One who inspired the prophet David to write in the Psalms: "Kiss the Son {give Him homage and submission}, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!" (Psa. 2:11,12) God is also the One who inspired the apostle John to write in the Gospel:

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:30,31) "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him!" (John 3:36)

Thank you for listening. In the will of God, in the next broadcast, we will continue with more questions and answers.…

God bless you as you consider this declaration from the Bible:

"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever!" (1 Pet. 1:24,25)