25 Lessons on Thought Provoking Questions
Lesson 1: Introduction & OverviewHandout for Lesson 1 (Class Syllabus) (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 1 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 1 (HTML format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 1 (MP3 format)
69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors
Lesson 2: Marriage, Divorce, & RemarriageMay one continue living in adultery after coming to Christ? Does God permit divorce in the absence of adultery? Can a Christian Scripturally Marry a Person Divorced for Other Than Adultery? Can you remarry if your former spouse lusted for another in his or her heart?
Handout for Lesson 2 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 2
Class Notes for Lesson 2 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 2 (MP3 format)
For more information on 1 Corinthians 7, see Lessons 10 and 11 from our series of lessons on that book. Those notes cover the so-called Pauline Privilege and the phrase "remain as called" in 1 Corinthians 7.
Lesson 3: BaptismWhat is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? What about the thief on the cross? Wasn’t he saved without baptism? What about Cornelius and his household? How is baptism related to circumcision under the Old Covenant? Is baptism a "work"?
Handout for Lesson 3 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 3 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 3
Audio Copy of Lesson 3 (MP3 format)
The class notes discuss a denominational outline on salvation that says nothing about baptism. To see that outline, click here. The class notes also discuss an incident described in a book entitled History of Denton County Baptist Association. To see that excerpt, click here.
Lesson 4: The Role of Women in the ChurchWhat about women preachers? May a woman exercise authority over a man in the secular world? If the Greek words for “wife” and “woman” are the same and the meaning determined by context, does this impact the permissible role of women in the church? Which is referred to in 1 Cor. 14:34? Acts 2 says “your daughters shall prophesy.” Does this authorize women to preach?
Handout for Lesson 4 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 4
Class Notes for Lesson 4 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 4 (MP3 format)
For a free copy of the American Standard Version of the Bible (1901) in Microsoft Word format, right click here and save the (5.5 Meg) file to your hard drive. For more information about the English Standard Version of the Bible, click here.
Lesson 5: End TimesWhat are the 70 weeks in Daniel 9? What are the 10 horns in Daniel 7? What is the relation between Daniel and Revelation? Who is the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3? Is the war in Iraq a fulfillment of prophecy? Who is the anti-Christ?
Handout for Lesson 5 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 5
Class Notes for Lesson 5 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 5 (MP3 format)
Two coins are mentioned in the audio copy of the class presentation. The coin below is a Roman coin depicting the city of Rome as a woman sitting upon seven hills. It was in circulation at the same time that Revelation was written. Revelation 17 describes the enemy in that book as a blood thirsty harlot sitting upon seven hills. What would a first century reader have thought with regard to the identity of that terrible enemy of God's people? It can be none other than Rome, of course.
Lesson 6: MormonismIs Mormonism a “Christian” religion? What do the Mormons teach about God and Christ? What do the Mormons teach about eternal life? What is baptism for the dead as taught by Mormons?
Handout for Lesson 6 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 6
Class Notes for Lesson 6 (PDF format)
Table of "First Visions" by Joseph Smith (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 6 (MP3 format)
Other items you may find of interest are Alexander Campbell's review of the Book of Mormon and a newspaper article showing how the Book of Mormon was derived from a novel.
Lesson 7: Social Drinking & GamblingWhat is gambling? Am I gambling when I buy stocks? Isn’t there a lot of social drinking in the Bible? How can it be wrong?
Lesson 7 Handout (PDF format)
Lesson 7 Class Notes
Lesson 7 Class Notes (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 7 (MP3 format)
We did not have time in this class to deal with the following two questions: "Does anything really happen by chance in our lives? Does God know the outcome of a coin flip before the flip?" We hope to address these questions in the Open Forum in Lesson 13 or perhaps in another series of lessons at a later date.
Lesson 8: Instrumental Music in WorshipHas God authorized a particular type of music in worship? Can a Christian listen to religious songs that are accompanied by mechanical music? Do Ephesians 5:17-20 and Colossians 3:16-17 apply to the worship service? Isn’t instrumental music just a matter of choice?
Lesson 8 Handout (PDF format)
An Open Letter from Nadab & Abihu
An Open Letter from Nadab & Abihu (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 8
Class Notes for Lesson 8 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 8 (MP3 format)
Lesson 9: The Lord's ChurchWhy do we write “church of Christ” rather than “Church of Christ”? Was the church discussed in the Old Testament? What did Jesus mean in Matthew 16 when he discussed “my church”? How are Isaiah 2, Joel 2, and Acts 2 related?
Handout for Lesson 9 (PDF format)
List of Topics for Series 2 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 9
Class Notes for Lesson 9 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 9 (MP3 format)
Book Recommendation: The Church of Christ by Ed Wharton.
Lesson 10: Evolution & Intelligent DesignWhat gave rise to the theory of evolution? Isn’t there an abundance of scientific evidence that supports evolution? What is meant by “intelligent design”? Is intelligent design scientific or religious? Should intelligent design be taught in our schools?
Handout for Lesson 10 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 10
Class Notes for Lesson 10 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 10 (MP3 format)
Click here for some recommended books about evolution and intelligent design.
Lesson 11: Forgiveness & RepentanceMust we forgive others absent their repentance? (and should we even ask that question!) Does God forgive us absent our repentance? Why did Jesus ask God to forgive those who crucified him? Was that prayer answered and, if so, when?
Handout for Lesson 11 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 11
Class Notes for Lesson 11 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 11 (MP3 format)
The following question originally intended for this class will be considered in Lesson 13: "What does it mean when God remembers our sins no more?"
Lesson 12: The Holy SpiritWhat is the gift of the Holy Spirit and when is it received? How does the Holy Spirit work in today’s world – miraculously or non-miraculously?
Handout for Lesson 12 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 12
Class Notes for Lesson 12 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 12 (MP3 format)
Lesson 13: Open ForumThe questions considered in this lesson are presented in two parts. In the first part the following questions are considered: (1) What is the origin of the races? (2) What does the Bible have to say about tattoos? (3) Were sins rolled forward in the Old Testament? Does God remember forgiven sins?
In the second part, the following additional questions are considered: (4) May women teach using the Internet? (5) May a woman baptize someone? (6) How does free will fit in with prayers for one to come to salvation? (7) What is the Christian's view of war?
Handout for Lesson 13 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 13 - Part 1 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 13 - Part 1
Class Notes for Lesson 13 - Part 2 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 13 - Part 2
Audio Copy of Lesson 13 (MP3 format)
Lesson 14: The AfterlifeQuestions Considered: Where does a Christian go immediately after death? How can a God of love send anyone to an eternal Hell?
Handout for Lesson 14 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 14 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 14
Audio Copy of Lesson 14 (MP3 format)
Lesson 15: Secular HumanismWhat is secular humanism? When the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras wrote, “Man is the measure of all things, of things that are, that they are, and things that are not, that they are not,” he was attempting to state his conviction that truth is relative. He had no idea that he would become the “patron saint” of a 20th century movement called “secular humanism.”
Handout for Lesson 15 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 15 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 15
Audio Copy of Lesson 15 (MP3 format)
Lesson 16: Premillennialism and the RaptureWhat is premillennialism? Does it matter what we believe on that subject? What are the consequences of that false doctrine?
Handout for Lesson 16 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 16
Class Notes for Lesson 16 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 16 (MP3 format)
Lesson 17: The Restoration MovementDid the church of Christ originate with the American Restoration Movement? Are our beliefs based on the writings of the Restoration leaders? Are we Campbellites? Who is behind the current attacks against the church?
Handout for Lesson 17 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 17
Class Notes for Lesson 17 (PDF format)
Article on ACU's Agenda from the Firm Foundation
Article on ACU's Agenda from the Firm Foundation (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 17 (MP3 format)
Lesson 18: Alleged Contradictions in the BibleIs the Bible full of errors and contradictions? What is the meaning of inspiration? How is the Bible inspired? What does the Bible say about itself? What does Jesus say about the Bible?
Handout for Lesson 18 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 18
Class Notes for Lesson 18 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 18 (MP3 format)
Chart Showing the Prophecies in Daniel 11 (PDF format)
Lesson 19: The Christian and the LawMay a Christian be a lawyer? May a Christian ever go to law with his brother? What is a Christian's responsibility to government? What is the relationship between government and the church? Is it ever right for a Christian to participate in revolution against the government?
Handout for Lesson 19 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 19
Class Notes for Lesson 19 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 19 (MP3 format)
Lesson 20: Time and ChanceDoes God know the outcome of a coin flip before the flip? Does anything in the universe actually occur by chance, or is every event, no matter how seemingly minor, part of a preordained plan of God? Does God know our actions and thoughts before we do them or think them? If so, how long in advance does he know these things? Did he know them before we were even born? Did God know Adam and Eve would sin before he even created them? Was it a certainty or just a possibility? It it even possible for God to experience a possibility rather than a certainty? Do we have free will? Can a belief in free will be reconciled with a belief that each action and thought we have had or will have throughout our lives were known to God before we were even born?
Class Handout for Lesson 20 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 20
Class Notes for Lesson 20 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 20 (MP3 format)
Lesson 21: The New HermeneuticWhat is the New Hermeneutic? What is the Old Hermeneutic? Why do some criticize the Old Hermeneutic? What do they think we should use instead? What is their motivation?
Handout for Lesson 21 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 21
Class Notes for Lesson 21 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 21 (MP3 format)
Lesson 22: God and PoliticsShould the church be involved in politics? Is God a Democrat or a Republican? Is democracy God's favorite political system? Is America a Christian nation? What can we learn about politics from the Bible?
Handout for Lesson 22 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 22
Class Notes for Lesson 22 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 22 (MP3 format)
Lesson 23: Jehovah's WitnessesWho are the Jehovah's Witnesses? What is their history? What do they believe?
Handout for Lesson 23 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 23
Class Notes for Lesson 23 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 23 (MP3 format)
Lesson 24: IslamWhat is Islam? How is Islam different from Muslim? What do they believe? How can we reach Muslims with the gospel? Is Islam a religion of peace?
Handout for Lesson 24 (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 24
Class Notes for Lesson 24 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 24 (MP3 format)
Lesson 25: MuhammadWhy should we study about Muhammad? Who was Muhammad? Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? What are the Satanic verses? Is Muhammad mentioned in the Bible? What do Muslims believe about the cross? Is Muhammad's tomb empty or occupied?
Handout for Lesson 25 (PDF format)
Handout: Entire Series of 25 Lessons (PDF format)
Class Notes for Lesson 25
Class Notes for Lesson 25 (PDF format)
Audio Copy of Lesson 25 (MP3 format)
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)