Got Questions?

January 22, 2012

I answer quite few questions about Biblical issues and have been doing so since 1975 so the total amount is probably very high. Some are simple and others complex. Some have been sensible questions and others off the wall and out of the park. While the questions vary greatly the motives are generally of the following types.

1. Sincerely wants to know and will change their life, if necessary, once the answer is known

2. Curious, but it is an intellectual or emotional curiosity that will have no impact one way or the other on their life.

3. Skeptical and unsure how they will act after they find the answer.

4. Sarcastic and mocking. They just want to argue no matter what the answer.

Just likes to debate and will take opposite side of anything you say, but not like number four.

5. Seeking affirmation of what they want to be the answer and will ask a hundred people until they get the answer they were hoping for even if it is wrong.

6. Needs to be right or important and will be sure to let you know their pedigrees or how smart they are. Wants to prove you wrong if you disagree. Sometimes a characteristic of the numbers three and four.

The first person is the best person to deal with because they are seeking truth and have no agenda other than that. Number three is also good because there is nothing wrong with honest skepticism. Truth has no fear of skepticism for truth can be challenged and while truth can be denied or even suppressed it cannot be conquered. It will burst forth at some point regardless of the negative circumstances so truth has no fear. Lies have to fear and always be on the defensive and strike out at truth to avoid being revealed. The curious sometimes get surprised and become thirsty for the truth when they really did not think it would affect them so there is hope for them if you are patient.

Humanly speaking, there is not much that can be done for the other four. Number six may give up and acquiesce to the truth if they finally tire of everyone saying something different than what they hear. In our day that is unlikely, as you can always find someone with a title or authority to agree to what you want to hear. Lies sell so if you look somewhere you will find a teacher for your itching ears who will gladly take your money to affirm your desires. These four you pray for, but do not spend much time with them or you may miss some opportunities to help the first three. Indeed, a heretic after the first or second admonition we are to reject or having nothing to do with as we are just casting pearls before swine and we are also told to not do that.

People will often complain that God does not answer their questions. Here are a couple of reasons for that.

James 4:1-3

1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. KJV

Most people do not hear from God because they do not go to Him in the first place, but when they do, it is all about their own lusts or desires. They may not always be evil lusts like winning the lottery. Lust is any strong desire. When you are hungry you may lust after a juicy rib-eye or a meal at Olive Garden. A man may desire the office of a bishop or pastor. The word means to lust after or strongly desire. To desire a pastorate is a good thing if it is for the right reasons. You can ask for the right thing but still ask amiss.

Do you want to be a pastor because you care about souls or just because you want a “cushy” job? Ladies, do you want your husband saved just so he will be a better husband and you won’t be embarrassed at the Ladies’ Fellowship or because you really care for his soul and want him to miss Hell? Do you pray for a new car because you need one or because you want one? Are you looking for a new status symbol or will a Chevy do? Do you want a raise so you can give more to missions or so you can have a bigger house you do not really need? Nothing wrong with person getting saved, a new car or a raise but are the motives right? That might be why you are not getting any answers.

James 1:5-8

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. KJV

Have you ever prayed for something but did not believe that God would give it to you? Where’s the faith? Were you trying to play the God lottery or spun the prayer wheel hoping it would land on “Yes” but figured there were ninety-nine Nos and one Yes on the wheel so the odds were against you? God does not play that game. He wants trust and if you cannot trust Him to give you what you want then why ask?

Isa 59:1-4

1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. KJV

And there is that thing about sin that will keep you from getting answers from God. We take sin way too lightly today, It is no wonder since we are not even sure what sin is anymore. We are more into love and grace because if we preach against sin and even call something sin we are afraid of being called an unloving, graceless Legalist or even sued. So we dribble milk when we should be cutting steak and finding a way to make all things lawful though not all things are expedient because we do not understand that passage. That is no surprise either since we major on subjective emotions and experiences rather than sound doctrine. That may be our prime sin because everything else is a result of not having sound doctrine.

Doctrine divides, you say? Yes, it does as that is its job. It divides truth from error and error is sin. Sin also divides us from God and without sound doctrine we cannot know sin from righteousness so does that explain why so many Christians are clueless about so many things?

So got questions? Be like the the sincere seeker even if you are sincerely skeptical. Be curious but do not be shocked if your curiosity takes you somewhere you did not plan on going. When you come to God seek forgiveness for your sins first and ask Him to check your motives. Then have faith that He shall give the right answer in His time.

If you fall into the last four categories, may God lead you to Him and bring you into a place where He will work with you because you desire to work with Him. Maranatha!


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