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The Pastor Answers

Question: The people of the Old Testament did not know Jesus, yet we know that we are saved only through faith in Christ. Since it is unlikely that God condemned all in the Old Testament for not having a saving knowledge of Christ, what became of them in terms of salvation. The mechanism of salvation could not have been good works and following the law because we also know that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

Pastor Davenport's Answer: The OT people didn't know the name of the Promise, but they did know the promise of Genesis 3:15, that there would come One born of a woman who would crush the head of the serpent (the devil). He was the one that the people of Israel were looking forward to. He was the promise, the Messiah. On this side of Bethlehem we know Him as Jesus because He will save His people from their sin. A good chapter for you to read is the great faith chapter, Hebrews 11. Its here where you will see many of the patriarchs of the OT and how it was that they were saved, and it was the same for them as it is for you and me -faith. Whether it is faith in the promise of a Savior to come, or if it is faith in the Savior who was and is to come, it is faith in Him alone for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. Thank God that we aren't saved by our keeping the law -we wouldn't have anything to look forward to except an eternity separated from God -rather we are saved by One who kept the law perfectly in our place -Jesus -and it is through faith in Him that all of His blessings become ours.

Question: I'm a Christian, and the mother of 2 beautiful children. Recently, someone that I am close to her child has had some issues, and although they've asked for prayer, they don't acknowledge God in the fact that the little one is doing okay. Although to her I've been very supportive, in my mind I've thought about how can she deny God's hand in this, that this little one won't make it with parents attitudes like that, and some other things that make me feel like Jonah in the Bible. I love that family, and I love that little one. I should be an example. I think about my own 2 kids and only hope and pray every second that they're healthy.

Pastor Davenport's Answer: What a great thing that you can be a positive influence to your friend and their children. God will work through you. He will give you numerous opportunities to tell "your story" of faith to them during various different life moments. Remember that you story of faith and your love for the Lord is yours -don't worry about the details, just tell them what Jesus means to you -you know your story best! They also can't discount it offhandedly because it is your -it's part of your life! You're right, we need to be a bright light in this world, spreading and sharing the message of Jesus Christ.
 
I have had times, and it seems like they come when I'm dealing with people that I love the most, my family, where I have taken the easier road, the road that is less confrontational and more comfortable. I too have regretted those times. I have asked God for the forgiveness that I need in times like that for not being a bright light and a clear testimony. He has given that to me and at the same time the boldness and courage of "standing up" the next time. And He does!! When it comes to situations like this I know that we are in good "company". Think about Peter from the Bible -one of Jesus 12 disciples, an outspoken witness for Christ at times, the one that in Mark 14 said that he would never deny giving testimony of Jesus, but do you remember him sitting there around the fire as Jesus was being questioned by Caiaphas, the High Priest in Jerusalem? He had 3 chances to stand up and proclaim at the top of his lungs who this Jesus was -but what did he do? He denied that he even knew Him. And then the rooster crowed (Mt. 26; Mk. 14: Jn. 18). Peter ran out and wept -ashamed, I'm sure. Wow! Peter, the rock, did that too! I bring this Biblical example up (and there are others) not to legitimize your or my silence in situations but to underscore the fact that we, like the Rock, are sinners in need of a Savior.
 
There is forgiveness in Christ for you as there was for me and Peter. There is strength there too -for the next opportunity that we have, with joy, to proclaim that we do believe in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, God's only Son, and it is only through Him that we have forgiveness of our sin and the promise of eternal life in heaven! I pray that this helps. Maybe it sparks some further questions -regardless, remember that God loves you and so do we!