Tagged: spiritual death

How can 5 billion people be wrong?

People - forming question markThe world’s population stands at more than 7.1 billion people. According to Adherents.com, this number includes 1.5 billion Muslims, 1.1 billion nonreligious people, 900 million Hindus, nearly 400 million Buddhists, and millions of followers of other faiths.

The website also reports there are 2.1 billion “Christians,” a broad category that includes Catholics and Protestants, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so-called “nominal” Christians.  If the exclusive claims of Jesus are true, and even if everyone who claims to be a Christian really is, then roughly 5 billion people still stand outside the kingdom of heaven.

By all appearances, these people are sincere. They want to know the truth and believe they have found it. So, how can 5 billion people be wrong? One way to approach the question is to understand the Biblical descriptions of the lost.
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Hard Sayings of the Bible — Download Free Bible Study

Did God really regret He created mankind, as Gen. 6:6 suggests? Why did He order King Saul to wipe out an entire race of people (I Sam. 15:18)? Who should be turned over to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5)? And what is the sin that brings death (1 John 5:16)? These are so-called “hard sayings” of the Bible.

What is a “hard saying?” Simply put, a “hard saying” is a passage of Scripture that is difficult to understand. We shouldn’t feel badly that we struggle with some Bible verses; even the apostle Peter had a hard time with some of Paul’s writings (2 Peter 3:16).

Why are some Bible passages difficult to understand?

  • They seem to contradict other Scriptures (“No one has ever seen God”).
  • They are isolated passages that cannot be cross-referenced with other Scriptures (“Being baptized for the dead”).
  • They call God’s character into question (“The Lord regretted that He had made man”).
  • Or they seem to make unreasonable – even unholy – demands of God’s people (“Go and complete destroy the sinful Amalekites”).

What are some keys to understanding these “hard sayings?”

  • Context (who, what, when, where, why and how?)
  • Key words (“The Lord regretted …”)
  • Comparison (“I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau”)
  • Genre

In this 12-part study, we will explore some of the most prominent “hard sayings” in Scripture.

Download the complete study in pdf format.