Here are a few of the most common we receive at White Oak Church.
Am I good enough to go to heaven?
Nope. Not on your own. But the great news is that you don’t have to try to go it alone! Although it may sound harsh, the Bible says no one is good enough to go to heaven on their own. According to scripture, even our good deeds are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) It also says that all men have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6), all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and none are worthy (Romans 3:10). Which makes the love of God even that much sweeter.
You’re not good enough to go to heaven on your own, but Jesus has prepared the way for you. He lived the perfect life you couldn’t live, and died the death you should’ve died, paying the sacrifice you couldn’t pay. You’re not good enough to get to heaven on your own, but Jesus is. And he says, “Follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Is Jesus really the only way?
Yes. But don’t take our word for it. Because Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Many people try many ways to get to heaven. But only one man lived a perfect life, and paid the sacrifice for you. His name is Jesus. Though there have been a lot of great men and women throughout history, none were the Son of God like Jesus was. So none could live the life He lived, die the death he died, and offer you true life (John 10:10) like he does.
What makes the Bible different from other religious books? Can we trust it?
We believe you can, but we also recognize that there is a faith step required in that trust. The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible word. God has preserved exactly what we need “that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3-4) in the pages of Scripture. The picture that the Bible itself paints is that Scripture is “breathed out” by God, useful for “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
But to fully trust something, you’ve got to take a step of faith. And trusting the Bible is no different. Read it for yourself. Wrestle with its claims. Live out the truths is calls us to live out. Find out for yourself its trustworthiness.
What translation should I read?
There are plenty of good translations that we’d suggest. Pastor Charlie preaches from the ESV (English Standard Version), so if you’d like to follow along with him word-for-word, this is the one for you. It’s a nice, “readable” translation that stays true to the original text. The New Living Translation and New International Version are a little easier to understand, especially if you’re reading through the Scriptures with your children. It’s written on a 5th grade reading level. Either translation is good.
Though there are many other good translations to choose from, these we’d suggest if you’re exploring scripture for the first time.
Is Hell a real place?
Yes, it sure is. Jesus talked about it. He said it was a place where the suffering never ends (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:48). It’s a curse worse than “being drowned in the sea.” (Mark 9:42) The pain of Hell will produce “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)
Hell is the place reserved for those who reject Jesus in this life. Hell is a real place, is scary, and is (unfortunately) coming for many people. This grieves us, and motivates us to live self-sacrificially so that others might see the beauty of Christ that we see.
Can I lose my salvation?
No, you can’t. Here’s what Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
Salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8) that God doesn’t take away (Philippians 1:6). When someone is living in a pattern of sin, a better question to ask might be, “Was I ever saved?”
We know that people saved by God live a changed life. If someone isn’t living a changed life, there’s the real (and scary) chance that they’re not saved. To which we’d reply, “Be saved!” Salvation is too precious of a gift for God to remove it once given. God gives us His Holy Spirit a deposit guaranteeing His fulfillment. (Ephesians 1:14) When He gives the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t take that away.
Do I have to be baptized?
Baptism isn’t required for salvation, but is the first step of faith for new believers. The water we use isn’t special. Touching it doesn’t save anyone… it’s Jesus that does that. Baptism is a picture of the work that Jesus has done in a person’s heart. Learn more...
I just got “saved,” now what?
- Be baptized! (see above)
- We would also suggest a few other things...
- Let us know! We’d love to meet you and talk about what’s next.
- Find a Bible translation you’re comfortable with. (see above)
- Go through White Oak’s Fundamental’s group with Pastor Charlie
- Find community in a Community Group to “do life” with other believers and learn to study God’s Word.
- Pray for opportunities to share your faith story.