Following are the questions raised by a new believer and forwarded to Sakshi. Jerry Thomas and George A Paul respond to these questions. More answers from Sakshi apologists will be updated here as and when we receive those.
1. Why God created us in the first place knowing very well that some people would reject him? Why take the trouble just to send someone to hell?
Jerry Thomas (JT): God created human beings out of love to love Him. Let me explain this further.
If God wanted to merely show His strength by creating human beings, He could have forced us to perfect submission and thereby avoiding the judgment.
If God wanted to merely express His knowledge by creating human beings, He could have made us perfect automated people who will never sin and reject Him.
If God created human beings out of love to love Him, He should create them with freedom fully knowing that many may reject Him. But, that is the nature of love. Love gives freedom and one can be only loved voluntarily (by free will).
You might ask again: Why did God create human being. My answer is: Can you really ask anyone why they did something out of love even if some of the results were bad? (Then the question looks silly. Isn’t it?). In fact, you can make perfect sense of the gospel if you got this answer correctly.George A Paul (GAP): Asking such questions is like one complaining, “We must not have exams because some will fail, but the person forgets that it is possible for all to pass and clear the exam, but the real and practical experience tells us that some will fail. When this happens the student may protest, “I failed because the teacher conducted the exam” would such a protest be justified? Definitely not. They may also object saying, “The exam was too tough.” Then the teacher may answer, “Shouldn’t they prepare well.” But what if the teacher conducts the exam so that all would fail wouldn’t the student be justified in saying, I failed because the exam was conducted so that I will fail. Then the teacher would say, “The exam was conducted to prove that you do not have the ability to pass and to prove that you are a dull head so you failed, but the exam was also conducted to prove that I have the ability to train you and make you wise and to prove that I can give you a peace of my mind so that you will clear the exam with my wisdom.” This is what Jesus Christ did, no one can and will clear the exam but He (Jesus) did it for us and He gives us His Spirit (sharing His mind) to the one’s who trust Him. So, if you trust him He will give you a piece of His mind (His Spirit) with which you, I and everyone can and will clear the exam
2. Why did God not send the devil to hell the day he fell? Why let him destroy us?
JT: Because God is righteous and just.
Had God sent the devil to hell on the day he fell, what would we have told? We would have told some thing like this: It is unfair on the part of God to execute such a punishment on such a marvelous angel for one sin.
Now, we are fully convinced that devil deserves hell. But not everyone seems to be convinced of that. So, devil still lingers around.
Devil does not destroy us. He only gives the wicked counsel. We are the ones who invite the wrath of God by our own choice. Let us not give so much power to devil.
3. Why in the Garden did God forbid us from getting (the fruit of) knowledge of good and evil? Why not anything else?
JT: I have added ‘the fruit of’ to your question. There are at least two explanations and both are complimentary.
(A). There are at least two ways of knowing. One is by trusting the words of a person who is knowledgeable and the other is by testing it by ourselves. We know cyanide is dangerous because we have trusted in knowledgeable persons. None of us would ever attempt to test it by our experience. Now, do you think God should allow Adam and Eve to test the evil by experience? If there is one thing that God should forbid Adam and Eve, it is this.
(B) God wanted Adam and Eve to reflect Trinity in their life. In Trinity, God the Son does only the will of God the Father and speaks only the words of God the Father. Similarly, God the Holy Spirit does only what He heard from God the Son and glorifies only God the Son and not himself. Likewise, God the Father gives all glory and honor to God the Son. Triune God wanted Adam and Eve to be just like that fully centered on God. Unfortunately, they thought it otherwise and became self-centered. And they committed sin, the self centered act. (Solution: Cross of Jesus is the only true and sufficent other centered act in the history which takes away the self centered act of sin).
Now, tell me, was it wrong for God to forbid Adam and Eve from experiencing evil? Was it wrong for God to ask Adam and Eve to reflect the image of God in their life?
GAP: “If there is a God then He must be infinitely Good” if this premise is true then all goodness flows form God. This is so because infinity by definition includes everything and does not exclude any thing. So, is the case with the infinite goodness of God which includes every goodness and there cannot be any goodness out side of God, if there is any goodness out side of God then it must flow and have its existence because of God. And anything completely apart from God is not goodness at all.
Having said that, knowledge of good and evil is not goodness but it is just the knowledge about goodness. Moreover all such knowledge describes goodness by looking at the infinite goodness, who is God Himself. Furthermore, since evil is absence and perversion of goodness, we see Adam and Eve by eating fruit had only knowledge defined by looking at the goodness of God. Therefore, the test to see if Adam and Eve would seek the infinite goodness in God or just the knowledge of goodness in a tree or fruit is the right test. So we see until we come to the infinite goodness who is God Himself we would all perish by the very knowledge we have apart from God about good and evil.
4. If the wages of sin is death then let the souls die. Why eternal torture in Hell?
JT: Death is the absence of life. Eternal death is the absence of eternal life (God himself). So God is letting the disobedient souls to have eternal death. As there are no pleasures, joy, or peace outside of God the eternal Life and Love, there are no pleasures, joy, or peace in hell. Only crying and gnashing of teeth (and maybe tongue also).
5. God decides who should be saved an
d who should not. How does he decide?
JT: God does not make choices for you and me. It is we who decide whether we want to be saved or not. God wants all of us to be saved. However, God has determined the path for us to be saved if we want to. Accept God the Son, Jesus Christ, as personal savior.
GAP: By this question if you are asking, “is God conditioned by any thing other then His work and pleasure in making His choices” then the answer is, “No, He is not conditioned.” Primarily God is not conditioned by our works of Goodness to save us. Then one may ask, how does He decide? He decides by His pleasure and His pleasure is the work that He did through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ based on which he decides who should be saved and who should not be.
6. Why did God entrust us with the job of evangelizing the world? Could he not do it himself it would be much easier than letting us do a shoddy job of it?
JT: Interesting question. God who does mighty wonders alone gave us the undeserving privilege to spread the most miraculous, wonderful, and the greatest act of Him. Amen. There is one thing that God wants us to do: To spread the gospel of Jesus from the position of love and vulnerability. So, that those who will accept Him will accept Him voluntarily.
7. In apocalypse Jesus descends down to earth what about people who believe in him at the moment as soon as they see him will they be saved?
JT: If eyes of their heart are open, then they will surely be saved.
8. Why let the seed of Adam grow into a sinful world why not end it then and there? Sending two people to hell would have been easier than sending a whole lot more?
JT: Saving many is better than saving none.
9. Why do Christians hurt a lot of other people’s sentiments? Like some say we should not mingle with unbelievers etc. Why?
JT: Not all Christians but some do. The example you cited shows the hypocrisy and pharisaical attitude of some Christians who claims to follow the sinless Jesus who was the friend of sinners. Also, remember that Christians are also human beings in flesh and blood like others. We all tend to hurt each other. But forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ can save us.