Questions & Answers

Listed below are questions that we received from visitors to this web site. Many questions involve issues of baptism, the church, and remarriage. A good starting point for questions in these areas would be to look at our special lessons on these topics in our recent Questions & Answers class: Lesson on Baptism, Lesson on the Church, and Lesson on Marriage and Divorce. We have an entire series of lessons on the church that you may find helpful. Many questions also relate to the use of instrumental music in worship, and we ask that you see our special lesson on that topic for help in that area.

Please click on a question below to see its answer.

  1. Is baptism really necessary? Can't one just be sprinkled?
  2. May one continue living in adultery after coming to Christ?
  3. Which version of the Bible should I use?
  4. But what about the thief on the cross?
  5. Isn't it more important to be spiritual than scriptural?
  6. Does God permit divorce?
  7. What type of music has God authorized in worship?
  8. What about the Community Church movement?
  9. What about the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  10. Who does “they” refer to in 2 Peter 2:20-22?
  11. Do you believe in the eternal security of the believer in Christ Jesus?
  12. I was baptized when I attended the Mormon church. Was I properly baptized?
  13. What is confession before baptism?
  14. What is the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38?
  15. Is preaching required?
  16. What does Ephesians 3:16 mean?
  17. May the church help a non-member?
  18. What does "judge not" mean?
  19. Was Jesus black?
  20. When is the Holy Spirit received?
  21. Please explain Genesis 6:2-3.
  22. What about women preachers & free will?
  23. How many times is baptism used in the Bible?
  24. What about fallen angels?
  25. Who was Ananias?
  26. What about responsive readings and praise teams?
  27. Why did Cornelius receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit before water baptism?
  28. Can a Christian scripturally marry a person divorced for other than adultery?
  29. Why do the genealogies of Christ differ?
  30. Is the church of Christ part of the Reformation?
  31. When did the church of Christ begin?
  32. Open or Closed Communion?
  33. Where does the Bible say the earth is tilted on its axis?
  34. Please explain Ephesians 4:11-15.
  35. Five More Questions on Instrumental Music and Singing
  36. Providence or Chance?
  37. Does A Christian Lose Salvation When He Sins?
  38. What about tithe paying?
  39. What is Total Hereditary Depravity?
  40. May a woman occupy a position of authority over a man in the secular world?
  41. A Question About Computers and Women
  42. Is Jesus in my heart or at the right hand of God?
  43. When and Why Did Sunday and Wednesday Evening Services Begin?
  44. More Questions on Women’s Role in the Church
  45. Why does the church not practice disfellowship?
  46. What are the steps for me to get baptized?
  47. What about Hebrews 4:10-17?
  48. Will those who have never heard the gospel be lost?
  49. What about women teaching teenagers?
  50. What about Mark 13:32?
  51. Are some worship services more important than others?
  52. Do you have any opinion about songs by Darlene Zschech?
  53. How can those who have never heard the gospel be saved?
  54. Why don't you quit making a big deal out of everything?
  55. Isn't instrumental music just a matter of choice?
  56. What is the millennium?
  57. What are the dynamics of faith?
  58. Does the church believe in debt free members?
  59. How can you know if your church is the true church?
  60. If baptism is essential, then must erring Christians be rebaptized? Why was Jesus baptized?
  61. Can you remarry if your former spouse lusted in his or her heart?
  62. Should we leave a church that blesses and marries homosexuals?
  63. How was a Jew saved between Abraham and Moses?
  64. What about giving microphones to men and women during the song service?
  65. What about the practice of women speaking during Bible classes?
  66. Did Jesus go into heaven and sprinkle blood on the mercy seat?
  67. What about the songs Days of Elijah and Indescribable?
  68. What about infant baptism?
  69. Is it wrong to eat in the church building?
  70. Why did God create man?
  71. What are the acts of worship?
  72. Elders and deacons, who selects them and how many should there be?
  73. What should those whose marriages are adulterous do when they obey the gospel?
  74. What is the Gospel?
  75. Can Natural Selection Co-exist with Faith?
  76. Must one attend all of the worship services of the church?
  77. Are important verses removed from the new translations?
  78. Is salvation a present condition or a future prospect?
  79. What are anti-institutional congregations of the church of Christ?
  80. What is the status of adulterer in unscriptural marriage after first spouse dies?
  81. Are we saved by baptism?
  82. How do we know that Jesus is the Messiah?
  83. Isn’t giving just another tradition of the church?
  84. Does Acts 2:38 refer to water baptism?
  85. Can the church today be traced to the New Testament church?
  86. Who baptized John the Baptist?
  87. Must we use just one cup in the Lord's Supper? (And see Question 105.)
  88. Is it a sin to listen to religious music on the radio?
  89. Is your website conservative or liberal?
  90. Must women be silent in Bible study?
  91. What is the age of accountability?
  92. With whom were the Old Testament covenants?
  93. More thorny issues on divorce and remarriage
  94. What about family members with different beliefs?
  95. Was Jesus kosher?
  96. Are the divorce and remarriage rules different for men and women?
  97. Are located preachers scriptural?
  98. Can we use notes and words not from the Bible in our singing?
  99. What was the origin of the synagogue?
  100. Is Sunday the commanded day for worship?
  101. Must one be immersed to be saved?
  102. Questions About Questionable Songs
  103. How does lust affect us and the church?
  104. Must we partake of the Lord's Supper only on Sunday?
  105. What is the one cup? (Follow up to Question 87)
  106. How is money to be used in the church?
  107. What about remarriage when there was adultery in the heart?
  108. Ananias and Sapphira -- was their problem ego or greed?
  109. Do you have any other verses about baptism other than Acts 2:38?
  110. What is wrong with the song He Lives?
  111. What is a Christian's responsibility to illegal aliens?
  112. Is the Kingdom of Christ present or future?
  113. What are the treasures we should lay up in Heaven?
  114. Are we guilty of picking and choosing the verses we will follow?
  115. Why did Paul exclude the appearances to the women in 1 Corinthians 15?
  116. More questions about the role of women in the church.
  117. What about infant baptism?
  118. Why did David remain with Bathsheba if he repented?
  119. What does 666 mean in Revelation 13?
  120. Why can't you see that baptism is not needed and that we can't lose our salvation?
  121. Where does the Bible say that you are not to play instruments in worship?
  122. Baptism is a work and we are not saved by works, right?
  123. What is the sin not unto death in 1 John 5?
  124. Do I need to be baptized again?
  125. Why can't you see that you don't need to be baptized in order to be saved?
  126. Do you have any information on dating non-Christians?
  127. Is there any Biblical authority to clap hands while singing hymns?
  128. Does lust constitute scriptural grounds for divorce?
  129. What about wearing crosses? What about illegal aliens?
  130. May I post lessons found on your website?
  131. Do we need to read the first five books of the Old Testament?
  132. Is it okay to wear casual clothes in the worship service?
  133. Must women be silent during a Bible class?
  134. How does God forgive sins, and how can we can learn to forgive ourselves?
  135. Is it okay for a woman to wear pants to church?
  136. When may a Christian sue?
  137. What is the difference between a priest and a Levite?
  138. Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit still active today?
  139. What is wrong with Songs of Faith and Praise?
  140. What about the second coming? What about instrumental music?
  141. What is your teaching on Infant Baptism?
  142. What's wrong with the song "Shine, Jesus, Shine"?
  143. If Satan is in the lake of fire, then why is there evil in the world today?
  144. Have I committed the unforgivable sin?
  145. Is disagreement equal to falling away?
  146. Did Timothy receive any spiritual gift by the laying on of hands?
  147. How can I get a copy of the N.B. Hardeman sermon on your website?
  148. How can you say that the church of Christ are the only ones going to heaven?
  149. Is witchcraft real in our world today?
  150. If I sin deliberately, have I committed the unforgivable sin?
  151. Shouldn't we worship on the Sabbath Day?
  152. Is it wrong to pledge allegiance to the flag?
  153. What about speaking in tongues?
  154. How can I locate a church near my home?
  155. What about the final resurrection?
  156. Is it scriptural to have a Bible study phone line?
  157. Why doesn't the Bible say more about drinking and gambling?
  158. What does 1 Corinthians 5:11 mean?
  159. What has Alton Howard done to my favorite songs?
  160. Why did Ananias call Saul a brother prior to his being baptized?
  161. What role does the Old Testament play in modern Christians' lives?
  162. Is it scriptural for a woman to lead a song or serve communion?
  163. Does God pick out a person he wants one to marry?
  164. Do you have a home office?
  165. Doesn't ICR deserve more credit?
  166. What is the difference between the baptism of Jesus and John's baptism?
  167. What should I do if I'm not sure I believe in God anymore?
  168. How can you squeeze 3 days and 3 nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning?
  169. Must I give to my local congregation or can I give to a congregation I am visiting?
  170. What about death bed conversions?
  171. Can an unmarried person be an adulterer?
  172. Where does it say that what happened in the Old Testament doesn't count?
  173. What about the veils in 1st Corinthians 11?
  174. When we die do we go directly to heaven with God or is there a waiting time?
  175. Why do people get baptized in the name of Jesus only?
  176. Why is fellowship not allowed with churches bearing a different name?
  177. In response to not using musical instruments in worship, what about these verses?
  178. What about Christians wearing the title "Doctor"?
  179. Is finding out you are related a ground for divorce?
  180. What should I do when I get discouraged praying for someone's salvation?
  181. What does God say about body piercing?
  182. How is money to be used in the church?
  183. Why are you so liberal?
  184. Please define in detail "Ecclesiology."
  185. While Jesus was among us here on the earth, did he himself baptize anyone?
  186. Is an ordained minister the only person who can baptize someone?
  187. Who baptized the apostles?
  188. Isn't your stance on musical instruments in worship divisive?
  189. Did Jesus have skin liken unto the color of bronze?
  190. What happens after death?
  191. What about "children's" church?
  192. Can you suggest some literature on personal evangelism?
  193. How do we know Jesus Christ is the true Messiah?
  194. What are God's and Jesus' true names, and shouldn't we be using them?
  195. Why was Jesus not called Immanuel?
  196. You subscribe to Church Replacement Theology, right?
  197. Is it wrong for a woman to baptize her daughter?
  198. Can you explain Hebrews 13:4?
  199. You're nuts, you're a Pharisee, and no one likes you, right?
  200. Are you aware of scripture that allows us to pray to Jesus?
  201. Songs are not inspired, so why do you criticize some of them?
  202. How many different colors of horses are there in Revelation?
  203. Is it okay to socialize with homosexuals?
  204. How can I battle bad thoughts?
  205. Can a marriage covenant ever die?
  206. Why is doctrine important?
  207. Should we forgive someone before they ask for forgiveness from God?
  208. But the thief did not die before Jesus did, right?
  209. What is a deaconess?
  210. What about Women's Meetings?
  211. What does it mean when James tells us to call for the elders to anoint the sick with oil?
  212. Why do you mention only 10 songs in your list of Problem Songs?
  213. If A marries B and then divorces B after discovering B had been married, may A remarry?
  214. Is a single person free to marry after having had an illicit affair with a married person?
  215. One more time, isn't baptism a work? We aren't saved by works, right?
  216. What are you thoughts on David Lipscomb not voting and on his being a pacifist?
  217. What do you have on Galatians and on Law and Grace?
  218. Will we know each other in Heaven?
  219. Did Cornelius and his household receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  220. Aren't you being too hard on Song #577?
  221. Does the death of an elder's wife disqualify him?
  222. Who are the spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places?
  223. Are you the only ones going to Heaven?
  224. What about displaying a Christmas tree in the church building?
  225. I disagree with you about Song #577.
  226. I need help answering this lengthy diatribe about the Lord's church.
  227. Encouragement and Constructive Criticism about Songs
  228. What about dancing?
  229. Your website is sexist!
  230. What about ghosts? And are some sins worse than others?
  231. Where does it say that Jesus came because man could not obey the law?
  232. How does God deal with sin you don't remember doing?
  233. Did God create angels?
  234. I was struck with a flash of insight!
  235. Do you have any material on John 6?
  236. Where in the Bible does it say that we should use musical instruments in worship?
  237. Where are the 10 commandments?
  238. Is our current marriage an adulterous one?
  239. My brother will not attend my church!
  240. Where does it say God will never give you more than you can handle?
  241. What is the spiritual state of Jews who died between the death of Christ and the day of Pentecost?
  242. Does God see Gender in people or just hearts and souls?
  243. How I can know, as a Christian, that my salvation is secure?
  244. What about Mark 16:15-18?
  245. Do you have a lesson on the Holy Spirit?
  246. Problem songs??? According to you??
  247. Do you have any material on Amos?
  248. What constitutes a marriage?
  249. I think I found a typo about infant baptism.
  250. Who are you? Are you hiding?
  251. What about these explanations for your troublesome songs?
  252. Are the days in Genesis 1 literal 24 hour days?
  253. What do "mutual edification congregations" believe?
  254. Where does it say not to use musical instruments in worship?
  255. How did Jesus teach us to deal with violence?
  256. Aren't your views on worship divisive?
  257. Will the unbaptized be saved?
  258. Can a divorced and remarried person become a member of the church?
  259. Does God recognize a marriage between two unbelievers?
  260. What about original sin?
  261. Will we know each other in Heaven?
  262. What about dispensationalism?
  264. Please explain your Answer to Question # 214.
  265. What is the "booty" in Joshua 8:2?
  266. Aren't you encouraging divorce?
  267. I need more lessons on preaching.
  268. What is the difference between fornication and adultery?
  269. What about cremation?
  270. If you have to be baptized to be saved, what happened in the Old Testament?
  271. Do you have any notes on Hebrews?
  272. Do you believe that E.G. White was a prophet of GOD?
  273. May I use the material on your website?
  274. Is it a sin to eat blood?
  275. Is it necessary for salvation to believe Jesus is God?
  276. What happened to the Church after the death of all the Apostles?
  277. Could the song "Follow Me" be referring to Matthew 10:42?
  278. What about altar call?
  279. What does Zechariah 13:2 mean?
  280. Do we limit God when we say the age of miracles has passed?
  281. Must one reveal fornication to his or her spouse?
  282. Where are we commanded to place membership?
  283. Please do your best to not copy the Pharisees.
  284. I have questions about baptism and the name of the church.
  285. Is it a sin for women to wear pants?
  286. Do you observe the communion?
  287. What are spiritual blessings and how are they obtained?
  288. If a song writer wrote what he felt, then that's good enough for me!
  289. You truly are a blessing to those who are sincerely seeking THE TRUTH.
  290. What about the trinity?
  291. How did people call on the name of the Lord in the Old Testament? Are there any modern day apostles?
  292. Logically, how can my salvation depend on me in any way?
  293. How do I respond to "cult" charge?
  294. Another Question About "Follow Me."
  295. Can you explain Ephesians 6:12?
  296. What do you think of "Grace Centered Forum"?
  297. Is Church of Christ the only biblical name that can be used on a church sign?
  298. I need information on nourishing the mind, body & soul.
  299. What about Ebionism, Gnosticism, Arian Controversy, The Augustine-Pelagius Controversy?
  300. How can I stop doing the things that I hate?
  301. Can you fall from grace?
  302. Ever addressed the topic: Gospel vs. doctrine?
  303. Can I be baptized again? Should I be?
  304. Where is your negative feedback?
  305. Can someone in Heaven fall from grace?
  306. I have questions about fornication and taking a life in war.
  307. I have a question about leadership in the church.
  308. Aren’t your song comments a bit sarcastic?
  309. Where is the authority for a song leader?
  310. I found a mistake in your answer to Question 39.
  311. Do the four creatures in Revelation represent the four gospels?
  312. I have a long question about divorce and remarriage.
  313. What about Melchizedek?
  314. Can I be forgiven?
  315. Please tell me more about God’s grace.
  316. Please tell me more about the Rapture.
  317. Who leads when there are no elders?
  318. What if I accept Jesus but die before I am baptized?
  319. What about annual anniversary celebrations for preachers?
  320. I have another long question about divorce and remarriage.
  321. Does a Baptist need to be baptized “again”?
  322. Who do you think you are?
  323. Those songs aren’t really all that bad, right?
  324. Shouldn’t we study songs before we use them in worship?
  325. What about eating with homosexuals?
  326. Please tell me about your church service.
  327. What about the first and second resurrections?
  328. What should the church preach on Sunday?
  329. What happened to the "law" of God in the church?
  330. Do you believe the church should teach prophecy?
  331. Isn’t your faith in the baptistery rather than Jesus?
  332. What about the song “Open the Eyes of My Heart”?
  333. Please tell me more about who you are.
  334. Should we all just live and let live?
  335. Why do some churches believe there is no need to speak in tongues?
  336. Are you followers of Campbell and Stone?
  337. Do you have a list of faithful churches in the Indianapolis, Indiana area?
  338. I am struggling with baptism.
  339. What should I do about a family member who is gay?
  340. Please help us in India.
  341. Thank you for speaking up for the truth about those songs!
  342. Doesn’t baptism wash away unscriptural marriages?
  343. I can’t get your Access database to work.
  344. Another question about the thief on the cross.
  345. What is the perfect law of liberty?
  346. You are wrong, but I won’t tell you why.
  347. Where did your church originate from?
  348. What about all the people God killed in the Old Testament?
  349. Please explain Matthew 17:24-27.
  350. How can the church prevail forever yet still need to be restored?
  351. Another question about divorce and remarriage.
  352. Do you use the NASB or NIV?
  353. What about targeted giving?
  354. Is baptism a part of the gospel?
  355. Can baptism be done by sprinkling or pouring?
  356. Should we publish a song book addendum?
  357. What is your background?
  358. What about holy water?
  359. Questions about the Crossroads Movement.
  360. Where does it say we can’t use musical instruments?
  361. What is wrong with the song Heavenly Father We Appreciate You?
  362. How many times does the word church appear in the Old Testament?
  363. Please comment on this quote from a Baptist.
  364. Are we under the great commission today?
  365. What about clapping?
  366. I disagree that the ASV is more accurate than the KJV.
  367. What does God mean by every one He loves He chastens and scourges?
  368. Does God punish Christians when they sin?
  369. What about predestination?
  370. Isn’t Hades the same as Hell?
  371. One future Ph.D. thinks we are wasting our time...
  372. Where is my copy of the ASV?
  373. Is it wrong to hang a cross in your home?
  374. Where are the seven churches in Revelation?
  375. Baptism is a physical act but faith is a mental act, right?
  376. What does God mean by “every one He loves He chastens and scourges”?
  377. I have many questions about your church’s doctrines and beliefs.
  378. Help me find a church in my area.
  379. Is there a difference between a person’s soul and spirit?
  380. Is self-defense a sin?
  381. Can the deaf be saved?
  382. What about all the verses that don’t mention baptism?
  383. What about marriage to a second cousin?
  384. What about Matthew 24?
  385. What about the freemasons?
  386. Is the Holy Spirit a gentleman?
  387. Is divorce permitted on the grounds of spousal abuse?
  388. What is the difference between a miracle and an answered prayer?
  389. Please explain John 20:21-23.
  390. Does the ASV leave out some verses?
  391. What about an unbaptized teenager leading in worship?
  392. Please explain Ephesians 5:22-28.
  393. May I link to your website from my website?
  394. What about The Garden of Prayer?
  395. What is the anointing in 1 John 2:20?
  396. What about humor and jokes during worship?
  397. Was Jesus both God and man at the same time?
  398. Why were there two different creations?
  399. Are there degress of sin?
  400. Isn't baptism just a ceremonial washing?
  401. When is a child ready for baptism?
  402. What about immunizations and vaccinations?
  403. Was batpism prophecied in the Old Testament? Did Jesus appear in the flesh in the Old Testament?
  404. What about
  405. What does the word "visitation" mean in the verse 1 Peter 2:12?
  406. Why are you so focused on water?
  407. How are your sins washed away by calling on the name of Jesus?
  408. Must a Christian believe that Jesus is the only way to God?
  409. Did God Answer Cornelius' prayer prior to his baptism?
  410. In your personal opinion, what does it take for someone to go to heaven?
  411. What does the bible say about guardian angels?
  412. We can't have children, but I want my husband to be an elder. What should i do?
  413. Can I be just a "good moral person" and go to heaven?
  414. Was the Bible written by a group of men who hated women?
  415. May a Christian use Instrumental Music Outside of Worship?
  416. Does baptism replace circumcision?
  417. When a divorce occurs due to fornication, may the guilty party remarry?
  418. What if there are no faithful congregations near my home?
  419. What about fasting?
  420. One more time - Baptism is a work, right?
  421. What is the Gospel?
  422. Guess what? Repentance isn't required either!
  423. How can Judgment Follow Forgiveness?
  424. Is the Mercy Seat the same as the Throne?
  425. Does Acts 2:17 teach that people today have the gift of prophecy?
  426. I disagree with you about the song "Lamb of God" by Twila Paris.
  427. Are you saying the church shouldn't discipline church members?
  428. What about the Left Hand of God?
  429. Can only perfect people go to Heaven?
  430. Please explain your position on Eternal Security.
  431. Is it a sin to eat a rare steak?
  432. Does the word "saved" mean the same thing in Romans 9:27 as it does in Romans 11:26?

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)