Open Line Tuesday – Got Questions?

Are there any questions about the Christian faith, or about religion in general, that you’d like to ask the good folks here at ‘the old Adam lives? (that’s all of you, by the way)

I may not know the answer, but there are quite a few sharp people that stop by here occasionally that might be able to help out.

67,281

That’s the answer to ‘how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.’ (I was up all night counting)

I’ll start it off…

 ‘ Does one need to ask God for what they want, over and over and over? Or will asking Him just once do it, if it is in His will for you? Or if it’s in His will for you, do you even need to ask Him for it?’

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14 Responses

  1. Here’s another one…

    Did Jesus die for the sin of unbelief?

    I borrowed that one from Lito Cruz over at
    http://extranos.blogspot.com/

    He’s got a terrifc blog that you might want to check out if you haven’t been there.

    Unbelief? Covered by the blood of Christ…or not?

  2. Steve,

    Since God is sovereign, it’s up to Him when He answers us. That said, there are times when God wants to see our faith when we pray to ask Him for something.

    For example, check out Matthew 15:22-28. It’s the passage about the Canaanite woman who asked Jesus to free her daughter from being possessed. Jesus initially tells her that He was sent only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (of which she was not a member). So she asks Him again.

    And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

    So what if she would have asked Jesus once and He turned her down and she walked away? I think her daughter would have remained possessed.

    Another example, also found in Matthew, is the two blind men on the road (20:29-34). If you read the passage, you will see them ask for Jesus to have mercy on them, the crowd telling them to be quiet, them begging again, Jesus finally hearing, them asking to be healed (which is actually within God’s will–a necessary component), and then their request granted.

    While there are more, I’d also like to point out an Old Testament example of “wrestling with God.” We have to realize that God isn’t our Heavenly Butler. He’s not up there to grant our every wish and whim even if it appears to be in His will. I won’t quote it all here, but check out Genesis 32:21-32. It’s the passage of Jacob physically wrestling with God and asking God to bless Him.

    Again, as long as we realized first and foremost that God is sovereign, then if we pray and ask God for our needs and if they are in His will, He will grant it. But it is always on God’s timetable and not ours.

    Besides, why would we want it any other way? As much as I’ve screwed up things in my life, I’d prefer to have God’s perfect will done than mine!

  3. Joe,

    “…Again, as long as we realized first and foremost that God is sovereign, then if we pray and ask God for our needs and if they are in His will, He will grant it. But it is always on God’s timetable and not ours.

    Besides, why would we want it any other way? As much as I’ve screwed up things in my life, I’d prefer to have God’s perfect will done than mine!”

    I guess I’d want it another way (my way) because I am a self centered idoalator much of the time.

    But, you are right, Joe (I believe) God does want us to ask. He does want us to be persistant. He will answer us, according to His timetable and His will.

    I appreciate the very thoughtful response to a question can at times seem baffling!

    Thanks very much, Joe!

    – Steve

  4. Why are you told to repent, but yet its okay if you sin?

  5. Trumpethope19,

    It’s not ok that we sin. Sin is the problem with this world and with each of us.

    Sin is a terrible thing in our lives. It wrecks relationships, destroys families, takes us away from the protection that God has provided for us. It is the thing that seperates us from God.

    So, we ought repent.

    God leads us to repentance through His Word of law (which accuses us and condemns us) and then through His Word of love and forgiveness we rejoice and are sorry for not being what God expects us to be.

    Did that help? If not maybe someone else has a better answer.

    Thanks trumpethope19!

    – Steve

  6. Does one need to ask God for what they want, over and over and over? Or will asking Him just once do it, if it is in His will for you? Or if it’s in His will for you, do you even need to ask Him for it?’
    Our lord gives us two answers: (1)the parable of the widow and the judge tells us to persist in prayer and (2) He tells us that God already knows what we need before we ask. But He also gives us the Lord’s Prayer to use. In regard to praying for oneself, perhaps we should rely on God’s will for us. In regard to others, perhaps we should pray without ceasing until our prayers are answered.

  7. Jim Robertson,

    I like your answers very much. Thank you.

    It always bothered me a bit (not sure why) that people would get extra help praying for something. Enlist the help of nuns in a convent, or the prayer chain at church.

    I do it all the time, ask people to pray fo me or my family.

    Then I think, is there a certain number of times that God wants to hear the prayer? Why is it that we get others… when if it’s God will, He ought do it if I were the only one praying?

    Thank you, Jim!

    – Steve

  8. I know it’s not okay to sin. I suppose I worded it wrong. Repent means to turn away from your sin, right? Then why is it that so many Christians (including myself) plead for forgiveness for the same sin over and over and over and over. Why do we never literally turn away? Sometimes we do. But there are some things that we never do. Yet we’re consistently forgiven for that sin when we ask for forgiveness. Doesn’t it seem odd that god would still forgive us after promising to never, ever do it again? Yet we do.

    Here’s some more:
    How do I make a living faith?

    How do I know if I’m saved?

    Is there really a hell? If so, why? Isn’t god a jerk for it? (I’d suggest you refrain from this question…)

    What happens to good people that never accept Christ for whatever reason, but they really are *good* people. Do they go to hell?

    Why does the Catholic bible have more books than the Christian bible if the Catholics are the people that originally translated our bible? What problems do we have with those extra books?

  9. trumoethope19,

    How do you make a living faith?

    Well, faith is a gift from God. He gives it to us. he gives it to us in baptism, holy communion and the hearing of His Word.

    You can do things to keep it going and make that flame burn hotter, such as hearing God’s Word, receivingHoly Communion, Bible study, prayer.

    How do you know if you are saved?

    Luther answered that question with, “I am baptised.”
    God promised to be his(our)God in our baptisms.
    This is the best way to have the assurance of our salvation without reverting to the ‘self’. To what you feel, say, think, or do.

    We Lutherans believe that is one of the reasons gave gave us baptism. Assurance.

    Hell does exist, according to the Bible.

    A just God must be just. Those that do not measure up to His standard cannot inhabit the place of perfect Peace. Heaven.
    But God wants us to be there with Him, so He sent Jesus to pay for our sin and forgive us our sins. Then He gives us faith to believe that…to believe in Jesus. Those that reject God will be seperated from God by their own choosing.

    There are no “really good people”. All are sinners. There is none good but God. Jesus will be the judge of all…those that have heard of Him and those who have not. God knows the hearts of all and will judge everyone to the satisfaction of His own will. We pray that He will have mercy on all. What will happpen we can’t know.

    I don’t know the answer to your last question.

    Anyone want to take a shot at that one?

  10. I will tackle the last question, because I have done it so often. The easiest answer is that not even all Catholic Bibles have the extra books. Jerome for instance, didn’t consider the books that we would refer to as the apocryphal books as up to the same standard as the rest of the canon of Scripture. The Old Testament apocryphal books come primarily from a difference between the collections of the OT in Hebrew versus the translation of the OT into Hebrew known as the Septuagint. The Greek version includes the extras and the Hebrew version does not.
    Generally, the problem with the “extra books” is that they aren’t written by the person they are credited to or have errors of fact or other problematic issues. They do have some usefulness for understanding the culture of the times, but they aren’t even considered “fully canonical” by the Catholics. They refer to them as deuterocanonical. Hope that helps.

  11. Jeff,

    That helps me! Thanks very much!

    – Steve

  12. How do you make a living faith?

    Repent and believe the Gospel. It’s so simple that a child can do it.

  13. Steve, The first two questions were well answered, for the most part 🙂 I’ll probably never agree with you or most anyone on hell, so we’ll leave it at that. Thanks for not trying to hack the last question and admitting you dont know. That’s always a well respected answer through my eyes.

    Jeff, kinda like the book of Thomas? I don’t like that book very much as a woman

    Jim, I used to be an Atheist. Having a living faith by “repenting” and believing in the Gospel isn’t as easy as you make it sound. Especially when my views are so skewed by what I used to believe in. You can’t just “forget” the things you learned.

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