Opinion: FAQs: It's always important to do your homework


Even before the COVID-19 era, online purchases were gaining ground. I like online purchasing because it saves time, money and wear on your vehicle. Companies have saved a lot of time by supplying buyers with a list of frequently asked questions. Focus groups are assembled to develop answers to the most asked questions to help with product selection.

Can you imagine the amount of money companies save each year because of this ingenious idea? The majority of online product and service providers utilizes this tool. The idea of this process is to provide the buyer with enough information to eliminate the need to talk with a live person.

Regardless of how you look at it, everybody has questions to be answered. When two people are in the process of getting married, each person has questions. A huge amount of time would be relieved if both parties would come up with a list of frequently asked questions alone with the accompanying answers. Both persons want to know how much money you make. How many children do you want? What size and type of house are you expecting to purchase? What type of neighborhood do you want to live in? What are your choices of vehicles? What disease and/or sicknesses are in your bloodline? What religion do you practice? Are you a Christian or an atheist? What food do you like? Are there certain foods you do not eat? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain. Are you gay, straight, or do you swing both ways? Did you ever have a sex change? Will you be willing to take an AIDS test? Is that your real hair, nails and accessories? What's your educational level? Are you on any prescribed medication? Have you ever been married before? Do you have children already? How many siblings do you have? Are your parents still alive? These are all valid marital questions, and I'm sure there are dozens more which I did not list. Wouldn't it be nice if the person you are about to propose to gave you a similar list of FAQs with their answers? Then, you can decide if you really want to move forward in the relationship. We may laugh, but this is what society is gravitating to.

We all fear the unknowns and surprises; they can be a game changer before and/or after decisions are made. We often hear people say, "If I knew then what I know know " We cannot know everything about a person or a product, but an informed buyer is a smart buyer. It is always beneficial to do your homework.

The most important list of frequently asked questions is the one concerning life and death. What happens after we die? Is there really a Heaven and a Hell? Is God real? Is Christianity a myth? Is everything in the Bible factual or ancient fables? Thankfully, all of the answers to your life and death questions can be found in the Bible. The Bible can be viewed as a manual for life's frequently asked questions with dozens of real-life examples, parables, love stories, wars, crucifixions and resurrections! The concordance and terms ask the questions, and the scriptural references answer them.

The Apostle Paul wrote this to the church at Thessalonica, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The ultimate belief at the end is that we can spend eternity with the Lord. If your question is, how can I be sure? Please allow me to answer you through John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." Please allow me to answer your next question. Can I receive salvation right now? Yes! Just say, Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner; please save my soul. I believe that you are the son of God who was crucified, resurrected and is with God interceding for me at this very moment. Come in and guide my life for the rest of my life. Thank you for saving my soul. Amen!

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.