United Church of Penacook   United Church
United in our love for Christ and for others
Home About United Worship Sermons FAQ Activities Missions & Ministries Rentals Directions Contact Us

Some Frequently Asked Questions of the Faith

How do we know there’s a God?

Because His handiwork is clearly seen no matter where you look. From the smallest cell in your body to the wonders of this planet to the farthest edge of the universe there is a consistency in design, engineering, and natural order that supersedes any possibility of “chance” being the source of Creation. Yet, because we cannot see or touch God, believing in the existence of God has more to do with faith than validation. For example, the disciple Thomas refused to believe in Jesus' resurrection until he personally saw and touched Him. He needed validation through one or more of his physical senses. If you're like Thomas, proving the existence of an invisible God using physical measurement will be difficult—if not impossible. If however, you are able to move beyond your physical limitations and search for God with an open mind and an open heart, then the proof of God, and His promises are within your reach. A great place to start your search for God is in the pages of His Word, the Bible.

If God is “love,” why does He allow evil and suffering?

When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them a free will—the ability to make their own choices. Since genuine love can only exist when it is freely given, He gave them (and us) the ability to freely decide whether to love and obey Him. And while theologians have written books about Satan’s deception of the first couple, their choice to disobey God and to eat of the fruit in the Garden of Eden brought sin into this world. The natural consequence of that sin was the growth of evil and suffering.

As descendents of Adam and Eve, all humankind continues to make choices based on selfish desires that ensure the proliferation of sin—and the evil and suffering that flow from it. Being all-powerful, God could, of course, instantly remove all evil and suffering from this world. But what would be the cost? Would it entail destroying all of humankind, since all have sinned? Or if God chose to remove free will from humankind so that He could control everyone’s every thought and action toward making right choices, wouldn’t humankind be reduced to being little more than puppets? Or, if there was some other way for God to end evil and suffering, would humankind become so complacent, no one would ever seek salvation through His son, Jesus Christ? Whatever His reason, Scripture tells us God is in control, He always does what is right and His plans are perfect. And His plan is to have those who trust in His son, Jesus to someday be with Him in an eternal paradise where there is no evil or suffering.

Why should I read the Bible?

While God has revealed himself in nature through the magnitude of His creation, in history through the inexplicable rise and fall of the nations (especially the preservation of Israel) and in the inner being of the human person through the common innate sense of both morality and spirituality, the Bible provides the record of God's personal revelation in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and the particular revelation of His will for humanity.

The writings of ancient people groups indicate the frustration people had of trying to communicate with their false gods in the attempt to learn how to live in order to appease them and gain their help. By providing a written revelation (since a spoken one could easily be miscommunicated and temporary at best), God insured that His instructions regarding how to live an abundant life in relationship with Him, would be passed on as He intended, from generation to generation.

The historical church has always recognized the Bible as God's inspired record of himself and His will and made it the ultimate rule of all faith and practice for God's people.

History and archaeology combine to confirm the accuracy of the Bible. Many of the places mentioned in the Bible can easily be identified today and hundreds of archeological sites have yielded ample evidence to substantiate the Christian's claim that the Bible can be trusted. Many of the ancient manuscripts of the Bible have been preserved to the present day, among them are the Dead Sea Scrolls (circa 1947-mid 1960's). These confirm either fragments or the complete text of all the books of the Old Testament except Esther. Some of these manuscripts date back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries before Christ. Even the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, dates from about 250 BC.

There is a remarkable unity and coherence in the pages of Scripture, despite its 66 books being composed by 37 different authors, living at different times (across 1,600 years) in different countries. Each author's work interconnects to reveal God's Son, Jesus Christ and His part in humankind’s redemption and restoration.

And most remarkably, the Bible is confirmed by its power to transform lives.

    Back to top