Many people share the same questions about Christianity.
Sometimes our questions are sincere...sometimes they are just excuses.
The answers to the following questions may or may not be of help
to you. If an answer is unclear, please ask
What is sin?
Sin is self-centered living, as opposed to God-centered living.
Self-centered living is living for ourselves and what we want instead
of living for what God wants; the focus of our life is ourselves
instead of God. Sin isnt limited to things we do intentionally
like choosing to harm someone or refusing to do what we know
He wants us to do. It is also unintentionally leaving God out of
the things we do.
What does it mean to repent?
Repenting means that we agree with God that our sin and self-centered
living (living for ourselves and what we want instead of living
for what God wants; ourselves being the focus of our life instead
of God) is wrong. If we really agree with God that what we have
done is wrong, then we will seek to turn from that wrong behavior.
Repenting is part of becoming
a Christian. We agree that we have been wrong in the way we
have lived and accept God's forgiveness. Repenting doesn't mean
that we try to "make it up to God"...we simply admit our
wrong, accept His forgiveness, and ask for His help to stop doing
what is wrong and to start living in a way that pleases Him.
What does it mean to make Jesus Lord of our
Allowing Jesus to be our Lord, means that we let Him be the boss.
All areas of our life, from career decisions to how we treat to
people, are under His control and influenced by His place in our
What does it mean to respond to what Christ did
We respond by doing something as a result of believing these truths.
We can do this any number of ways, but commonly our response begins
with a prayer. Just talk to God and in your own words, acknowledge
your need for Him and thank Him for paying the penalty for your
sin and forgiving you. Tell Him that you now want Him to control
What does it mean to be saved?
A person is saved when they respond to the gospel, or good news
of Gods offer of salvation.
How does Christianity give someone purpose in life?
Heres a short answer to a really complex question: Christianity
answers the two questions necessary to have a sense of purpose in
life: What am I here for? and Why do I matter?
The Bible teaches in Genesis 1-2 that God created
us to be in a relationship with Him and to fill the earth
and subdue it (build cultures by participating in our role
in society). Sin greatly hinders our ability to do these things
as God wants. Through Jesus we can enjoy the relationship with God
that we were designed for and contribute to society using the truths
taught in Gods Word.
The Bible also teaches in Genesis 1-2 that we matter
because we were created in Gods image. We have worth and value
because God created us. We didnt just accidentally come along,
instead, God is intimately involved in each persons creation
and existence (Matthew 10:30, Psalm 139). Because we have this intrinsic
worth, we have significance and know that we matter because we are
created and loved by God.
What does it mean to bear good fruit?
Jesus uses this analogy to show that in the same way a tree bears
fruit based on the type and quality of tree it is, people behave
in a way that shows who they really are. Galatians 5.22-23 says
that the fruit, or evidence of God in us is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self
control. These character qualities are just a few examples
of fruit that people can bear.
What if we dont see the evidence of salvation
in our lives? Does that mean were not really saved?
If we cannot see fruit in our life, it MAY be indicative of a lack
of sincere faith. If you feel this might be the case, talk to a
spiritual friend or leader. Sometimes we are tricked into thinking
we dont have fruit so well doubt our faith, when in
fact, there is fruit in our life. A mature Christian friend can
help us see the fruit we feel might be missing. Or, if we really
arent exhibiting fruit, they can help direct us to do what
needs to be done.
Can someone can get saved just before they die
and still go to heaven? If so, why not live life my way and then
repent right before I die?
Jesus tells a parable (Matthew 20.1-15) that illustrates how God
treats everyone who responds to the gospel the same: whether they
have been Christians for many years, or just a few minutes, they
are given eternal life. God knows our heart; those who place a sincere
faith in Him seconds before death will be saved.
However, from a logical standpoint, youre taking quite a gamble
by waiting until right before you die to respond to Gods love;
you dont know if how you die will allow for time to do this.
Once we reject what God has offered us (which we do by choosing
to live our own way), we are condemned until we accept it. And from
a spiritual standpoint, this attitude shows a lack of understanding
of what is offered by salvation. The Christian life is full of joy,
peace, and fulfillment...life with Christ is immensely better than
life without Him...why would you want to put it off?
Is there such thing as purgatory (a place for people
who were good people, but werent saved)?
The Bible doesnt make any mention of a neutral
place for good-but-not-saved people, so while its a nice idea,
we cant count on its existence.
I was baptized when I was a baby. Am I saved?
The Bible teaches that it is our responsibility to respond to what
God has done for us. Babies are not choosing to follow God by getting
baptized; because their parents choose to baptize them, it is more
of an act of dedicating a child to God rather than salvation. Those
who have been baptized as children are still accountable to God
to choose Him for themselves when theyre old enough to make
What happens to people who dont hear about
Jesus and have the chance to reject Him?
Mark 16.16 says that those who accept Jesus are saved and that those
that reject Him are condemned, but the Bible doesnt say anything
specific about what happens to those that dont have the opportunity
to do either. Romans 1.19-20 says ...what may be known about
God is plain to them [people], because God has made it plain to
them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualitieshis
eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being
understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
This indicates that everyone is accountable to respond to God to
the extent they are able because of how He has revealed Himself
in the universe, but it doesnt say exactly what this response
must look like. However, the Bible does teach that God is both merciful/loving
and just. Because of this, we can trust that God will make a fair
and just decision while still being merciful to those who didnt
have the opportunity to accept His gift of Jesus.
What does it mean to have a relationship with God?
How do I have a relationship with someone I can't see or touch?
It can sometimes be difficult for people to understand what a relationship
with God is like if they havent experienced it for themselves.
Even though God isnt a physical person we can see, our relationship
with Him is much the same as a relationship with anyone else. We
can enjoy His company, spend time with Him, trust Him, be honest
and genuine with Him, talk about things were excited or frustrated
just look at any of your good friendships with people
and it can be an example of how to relate to God. We grow our relationship
with God by spending time with Him in prayer, worship, and by reading
what He has to say to us in the Bible.
to begin a relationship with God
More information on having
a relationship with God
How to grow or deepen
your relationship with God.
What does it mean to "bear good fruit"?
In the Bible, Jesus talks about people bearing fruit. He was using
a metaphor, comparing people to fruit-bearing trees. In the same
way that you can tell the nature and quality of a tree by its fruit,
you can tell the nature and quality of a person by their actions.
An "apple" tree that produces cherries is not an apple
tree...it's a cherry tree. In the same way, a "good" person
that is known for their bad actions must not really be good.
So good fruit refers to good actions or behavior.
The Bible lists love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5.22-23)
as specific examples of good spiritual fruit, but it encompasses
all the ways God changes us to become more like Him.
How do I know what is sin and what isn't? How do
I know if I have sinned?
Generally put, sin is self-centered living, as opposed to God-centered
living. Self-centered living is living for ourselves and what we
want instead of living for what God wants; the focus of our life
is ourselves instead of God. Sin isnt limited to things we
do intentionally like choosing to harm someone or refusing
to do what we know He wants us to do. It is also unintentionally
leaving God out of the things we do.
The further we can get from sin...the less sin we
have in our lives...the happier and more fulfilled we will be. There
is a misconception that having fun is a sin in Christianity; it's
not. God came up with sex, alcohol, relationships, humor, music,
everything that could be labeled a "sin"...and He gave
us guidelines for how best to enjoy those things. When we chose
to do things our way, though, it has negative effects on our life
and others' lives. While it may be hard to "give up" sin,
the results our sacrifice brings is well worth it.
There are two ways to find out more specifically what
things are sin: God's Word, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit's conviction.
God has established standards for living, which are
recorded in our Bibles. God's "rules" are not designed
to keep us from having fun...they're designed to keep us from pain.
Sin has painful consequences that affect our life and the lives
of those around us.
Additionally, the Holy Spirit convicts us when we
have lived in a way that is not pleasing to God. We feel guilty
and know we need to change to restore a right relationship to God.
If you feel guilty about something you have done, ask God to help
you know whether it is something He wants you to do. You might even
consider not doing it until you have God's peace about resuming
Some "sin" is black and white; there are
things in the Bible that God commands us to do or not do. However,
there are also gray areas; sometimes what is right for one person
is not right for another. This is where we must rely on the Holy
Spirit to guide us in knowing what is best for us.
Many times our perspective is "How close can
I get to the 'bad stuff' without actually sinning?" But sin
hurts. Sin has consequences. Not to mention it saddens God. Our
desire should instead be, "How far away can I get from sin?"
That perspective will bring greater happiness and satisfaction to
The great thing is that God has already forgiven us
when we sin. He always loves us and that love for Him is what causes
us to want to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.
How do I stop sinning? I've tried to stop doing
things I know are wrong and I can't do it.
Here's the bad news: you can't. We're are pretty screwed up people
and, on our own, aren't able to be very good. That's the point of
Christianity. That God helps us screwed up people to live like He
wants us to. So the first part to keep from sinning is to acknowledge
our sin and accept God's forgiveness -- become a Christian. Then
we ask God to help us. We partner with Him in becoming who He wants
us to be -- He provides ability and desire and we utilize that ability
from Sin for more info.
What is baptism?
Baptism is a way of publicly displaying your repentance. In Jesus'
culture (30 AD in Israel) people who had done wrong things were
baptized to show that they acknowledged their wrong behavior and
were choosing to live right. Because of this, early Christians were
baptized to indicate they had repented of their former way of life
and were accepting God's give of salvation.
What happens to people who are not saved?
Because we are sinful, we are separated from God. Those who are
separated from God in this life will be separated from Him after
Our sin deserves punishment. God has graciously provided
a way out of the eternal punishment that we deserve -- His gift
of forgiveness and salvation is available to everyone. Those who
choose to accept this gift are saved from the punishment of hell.