200 episodes

Rick and Jonathan talk about how mainstream and biblical topics mix in today's world. This is a discussion from several different angles that will make you think about the Bible like you never have before!

Christian Questions Bible Podcast Rick and Jonathan

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 40 Ratings

Rick and Jonathan talk about how mainstream and biblical topics mix in today's world. This is a discussion from several different angles that will make you think about the Bible like you never have before!

    How Can We Become Influencers? (Part II)

    How Can We Become Influencers? (Part II)

    In Part I of our two-part conversation about influence, we began to uncover just how broadly and how deeply the power of influence runs. In our world today, influence has taken on a new - and in some ways even more significant meaning - than ever before. Now because we have social media, we have created a space for influencers to arise within our midst. Sometimes these individuals appear on the scene from very unlikely backgrounds. The vast majority of the most popular of these influencers have been given our attention because they are famous. Curiously, much of their influence is not based on the expertise that was required to master their craft. Because influence happens all of the time at all different levels, our big question now is, how can we become more effective influencers in our everyday lives?

    How Can We Become Influencers? (Part I)

    How Can We Become Influencers? (Part I)

    Influence. We are all touched by it in countless ways and countless times each and every day of our lives. Influence comes from all corners of life. If we are partial to someone, we generally accept their influence positively. If we are at odds with someone, we generally look down upon their influence. Either way, they influence us. Influence comes from advertising and social media. It comes from politicians and educators; from books, movies and shows. From those who enforce and those who break the law; it comes from our superiors, our peers and our subordinates. Influence has become such a central factor in our world that we now focus on and follow those we call influencers! To have influence is to have power. To have power is to have control. And to have control can easily bring the manipulation and domination of others.

    It's nothing new.

    The only difference now is where it comes from. Throughout most of history and in ancient days, it was born out of rank. If you had authority, you had influence. Additionally, if you were positioned to advise or guide those in authority, you also had it. This kind of leverage played out at every level of life, from national preeminence down to family and peer group control.

    All of that has changed.

    When you think about it, those we call “influencers” are essentially random people who have in one way or another become famous. Many of them are athletes or performers. The fame and name recognition achieved through their respective crafts paved the way for them to become coveted influencers. Here’s the interesting thing. Their influence is usually not directly related to their craft. Instead, it is often related to marketing products or giving perspectives on subject matter that they really have no expertise in. Essentially, we let somebody who is famous dictate some of our behaviors in life simply because of their social stature.



    Influence was alive and well in Bible times. When we compare the massive influence that both Satan and Jesus have and have had, the biblical picture of influencers takes on a much deeper meaning. Not only can we see how influence works on a spiritual level, but we can see the difference in the methodology of influencing for good versus influencing for evil.



    Check out our April 8, 2024 podcast, “How Can We Become Influencers? (Part I) for more. We discuss what influencers look like today and what they looked like in biblical times. We look at biblical influencers who passionately perpetuated evil.  Then we uncover an example of one who influenced many others towards an incorrect result even though his heart was working at following Jesus. We compare these examples with those who influenced with integrity and focus for the ultimate glory of God. The bottom line is, influence is everywhere! Join us for this eye-opening journey through culture and Scripture!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    If Jesus’ Resurrection Saved the World, Why Is It Such a Mess?

    If Jesus’ Resurrection Saved the World, Why Is It Such a Mess?

    Let’s begin by stating the obvious: the world is a mess! Now, we all know the world has been a mess for a very long time, so the question is, is this even news? The answer is yes, it is! Our present-day mess has everything to do with the ability to be connected with as many perspectives on and interpretations of truth as we would like. We can now easily and often categorize, judge or ignore anything and everything that doesn't fit into our personal worldview. All of this brings us to a place where we effortlessly define good and evil according to preference and not principle. We believe Jesus died and was resurrected to redeem the world from sin, and yet, we are now so much further from godly principles than ever before. How can we harmonize these seemingly conflicting thoughts?

    It sure doesn't look like things are getting better...

    We are currently witnessing continuous decline of Christianity throughout our world. Such a decline can easily lead us to the conclusion that Jesus’ mission to save the world is crumbling before our eyes. Such a conclusion would not only be a mistake, but it would also actually hide the truth. John the Baptist introduced Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Near the end of his ministry, Jesus spoke of his crucifixion and of drawing ALL men to himself. In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul tells us that ALL die in Adam and ALL will be made alive in Christ. All of this sounds great, but it certainly does not look like it’s happening.

    Prophecy foretold the world would degrade.

    When Jesus prophesied about his second coming, he explained that the conditions of the world would be severely degraded, as in the days of Noah. When we look at the immoral and evil that existed then, we can certainly see its parallel today. Jesus not only makes this comparison to alert us of coming trouble, but also to assure us he knew things would look hopeless. The flood of Noah’s day fundamentally changed the way the world worked. Jesus was telling us the time of trouble would also do the same thing. However, this trouble would open the door for God’s kingdom as well.



    Okay, so far we seem to be just going down the rabbit hole of death and destruction! Where does Jesus "saving the world" come into play? Check out our April 1, 2024 podcast, “If Jesus' Resurrection Saved the World, Why is it Such a Mess?” for answers. We consider the prophecies of trouble and destruction within the context of the whole message of the Bible. Beneath the surface we can see the core reasons Jesus came to earth and gave himself as a ransom sacrifice. We collect the varied puzzle pieces the Old and New Testaments give us. Once assembled, these pieces present a breathtaking picture of just how Jesus DOES save the world. Join us as we document and appreciate these dramatic biblical lessons!

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Is Mourning Out Loud Over Our Losses Good for Us?

    Is Mourning Out Loud Over Our Losses Good for Us?

    Everyone experiences loss in their lives in one way or another. How we attempt to cope with those losses depends upon several things. First, the kind of loss we are facing can dictate whether our response to it is mild, strong or severe. Second, our cultural environment offers up expectations as to how our mild strong or severe responses are to be displayed. In biblical days, grieving over difficult losses was often displayed in a very outward, very public manner. The Bible is full of examples of such public crying, wailing, renting of clothes and despair. For many of us in our present-day mindset, these things may seem to be over-the-top and too dramatic. Actually, when we seek to understand all of this lamenting, we find very strong lessons of faith, growth and acceptance.

    Help!

    Loss is difficult. Sometimes it is unbearable. When we seek help in coping with such things, the counsel is always the same: Go through the experience and don’t try to avoid or hide the emotions. We need to give ourselves permission to feel what we are feeling so we can, when appropriate, move forward to the next step. In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, we are told there is a suitable time for mourning, just as there is a suitable time to dance for joy. The Hebrew word for mourn actually means “to tear the hair, to beat the breasts, to lament or wail.” Wow! For us living now with our current cultural backgrounds, that certainly sounds dramatic.

    Biblical lamenting

    To be clear, we are not suggesting that our lamenting be so dramatic. What we are suggesting is that we be willing to face our tragedies with an openness to feel them. Why? As we look into the deep lamenting revealed in the Bible, several things begin to rise to the surface. Most striking is that our lamenting not only serves a purpose, but it is also part of a distinct process. There are four essential steps our outward anguish can bring us through. The first step is for us to come face-to-face with the reality of our tragedy. Without this acceptance of the pain of our experience, we would not be able to fully move forward through the healing and growth process of the other steps.



    Check out our March 25, 2024 podcast, “Is Mourning Out Loud Over Our Losses Good for Us?” for more. As we lay out the scriptural steps our anguish can lead us through, we also uncover several other reasons besides personal loss that can provoke such outward lamenting. These issues can be a result of our own bad choices, as well as tragedies that don’t happen to us but nevertheless have a dramatic effect on us. Join us as we uncover the strength and growth that can come from our mourning. Though this topic is rarely talked about, it is absolutely a worthwhile investment of our time and attention.

    • 58 min
    Does God’s Holy Spirit Speak to Us?

    Does God’s Holy Spirit Speak to Us?

    Every serious Christian knows about God’s holy spirit. We not only know about it, but we also often talk about what we believe to be its effects upon our lives. Christians speak of being provoked, directed, protected and guided by the spirit. Some of us claim the spirit speaks to us, or perhaps to our pastor, for the purpose of giving us not only instruction, but prophetic utterances regarding our lives as well. In short, our brand of Christianity or denomination has much to do with how we believe the holy spirit works. So, how does it work? Who is right, and who may be mistaken when it comes to understanding and following this mighty power of God in our lives? Not surprisingly, the Bible says a lot about this subject. It also doesn’t say things about God’s spirit we might assume are true.

    God’s spirit is His power and influence.

    It has been busy at work in our whole earthly experience. The second verse of the Bible introduced it as the power that made creation happen by describing it as “moving upon the face of the waters.” God’s spirit was actively engaged throughout the entire Old Testament. It gave the prophets the ability to precisely represent God’s will in their words and writings. It gave many the power of miracles, and it gave some elevated powers of creativity. God’s spirit worked mightily with John the Baptist, as it provoked him to stand alone and plainly proclaim the coming of Israel’s Messiah, Jesus.



    When God’s spirit came to Jesus himself at his baptism, something new had occurred. For the first time in human history, God’s spirit would not only help and guide, but it would also now dwell within the individual. Jesus was the first of what the New Testament later describes as a “new creation.” This application of God’s power and influence would be offered to those after Jesus, whom God would call to be footstep followers of His son. Their role in God’s plan would be unique and eternal.

    How does it work?

    With such a high and lofty privilege being offered, the question arises as to how this actually works. Does this mighty power of God take over the person in whom it dwells? Can it talk us through our problems? Does it perform miracles to pave our way through adversity and bring us to abundance?



    Check out our March 18, 2024 podcast, “Does God’s Holy Spirit Speak to Us?” for answers. We follow the pattens of how God’s spirit operated in the Old Testament and compare them to the New. We examine the spirit’s mighty introduction on the Day of Pentecost with Peter and the eleven. Interestingly, that incredible experience showed us a template for how God’s sprit does and does not work in our lives. We squarely address whether or not the spirit has a voice or communicates to us in other ways. This is an intense journey. Don’t miss it!

    • 1 hr 3 min
    What Is the New Creation?

    What Is the New Creation?

    We don’t know much about the spiritual world, especially before the creation of humanity. What we do know is that it was an entirely harmonious world with loyalty and obedience to God at its center. God foreknew that when pride crept into Satan’s heart and was exposed, it would lead to a massive shift in the way things would run. In heaven, it would no longer be business as usual, for now the lessons of sin and disobedience would be unleashed. These painful but necessary lessons would - under God’s power and providence - ultimately bring the whole of His creation back into the harmony it had left behind, only this time that harmony would be for eternity. How would He make this happen?

    God existed before time began.

    His spiritual creations within and outside of our universe are ageless and beyond our human comprehension. Even His creation of our home, planet Earth and all of its life and abundance, are ancient beyond our reckoning. When God finished with this earthly creation, the Bible said God rested. Let’s understand, His resting was not because He was tired and needed a break. On the contrary, His resting signified He had completed exactly what He had set out to do.

    Did God give up on the "old creation"?

    It is a startling development when thousands of years later, we are introduced to the concept of God developing a “new creation.” Many questions may arise as a result of this proclamation. Why create something new? Did God’s old creation not work out? Was it flawed? Were there unexpected developments that required God to develop a “Creation 2.0” version? Is God going to scrap the original creation and replace it with this new thing?



    The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO! God is far to wise and powerful to need to adjust or revamp His original plans. Such scrambling is left to us as impetuous, imperfect and incomplete human beings. Rather than being a quick fix, God’s "new creation" is actually a crowning jewel He designed to be put in place at the proper time and under the proper conditions.



    So, what is this new creation? Who is it, and how does it work? Check out our March 11, 2024 podcast, “What is the New Creation?” for answers. We establish how, not surprisingly, it all began with Jesus and his faithful mission of sacrifice as a perfect human being. We follow how Jesus was and is THE pioneer of this amazing new part of God’s plan. Built upon his glory and honor are even more inspiring details and developments. This new creation also has everything to do with those who are called to be true disciples of Christ. What we uncover here is perhaps one of the most sensational aspects of all of God’s creations at any time in all of history. Don’t miss this mind-expanding revealing of a biblical truth that is so often ignored!

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

LGin AZ ,

On Point

This show gives great insight into the scriptures in a theologically impartial format. Answers to perplexing questions can be found in the Bible and Rick and Jonathon ask the tough questions and search the Bible for answers in a most unbiased manner.

katiekjones ,

This show is phenomenal

This has given me such a better understanding of the harder questions in Christianity. Rick and Jonathon take the time to thoroughly answer these hard questions backing up what they say with the Bible and are able to point out where we may have misconstrued the meaning over the years. Highly recommend!!!

raphiedesign ,

Very insightful

Rick and Jonathan and their team of volunteers do an extraordinary job by focusing in questions that are inline to actual concerns or curiosity to this modern digital world.

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