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SCRIPTURE - John 9:31 APRIL, 2005
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
SUBJECT - WRONG NUMBER
This month's message, concerns problem that seems to permeate all of society, in the area of prayer, and whether God hears all prayers, and how, and if, He answers them.
Many times, we have heard people saying that they prayed to God, and He answered their prayers. We also have heard the other side of the situation, where they prayed, and God didn't answer them.
So, we have people, that at least prayed to God. Yet it appears that God answered some prayers, while apparently, not answering others, and the question is asked, why???
Well, in order for me to explain my answer, let me start out with the subject verse.
First, some religious leaders, I believe Pharisees, or scribes, are questioning a man, whom Jesus has just restored his sight. They want to get information on just how Jesus did it.
The man, responds with a point, that shows the apparent ignorance of these leaders, and the simplistic, yet prophetic, truth.
That's right, a blind man, is schooling the religious leaders, in a very basic truth.
You see, the blind man, having experienced the miracle of having his eyes opened, for the first time, knew that this could only happen, through the power of God, and through a source that God approves of. And in this case, it is Jesus Christ.
Now, you may be one of those that says, 'since this is not Jesus speaking, this man is just offering his opinion.
Well, friend, if that is the case, you might just as well throw the entire bible away.
Because, everything in the bible, is written by someone other than Jesus Christ. Even the things that Jesus is quoted as saying, are actually, written by men, using their interpretations of what they witnessed.
It is just like 10 people witnessing a crime, or accident. If you ask all of them, what they saw, you will get at least, 4 different versions of what happened.
In the gospels, have you noticed scriptures, in the different books concerning the same event, being worded several different ways?
All of them were present, and heard what Jesus said and did, and yet we get different versions in the different gospels.
So, you see, your point is considered, and found to be, moot.
Now, as to the statement itself being true, I will let you be the judge.
The first part of the verse says, 'for we know.' That takes in to consideration, that what is about to be spoken, is, common knowledge.
If you will notice, these religious leaders, did not refute what the man said, concerning the statement that, 'God heareth not sinners.' So, evidently, they knew that much, and taught the people on this matter.
Fast forward to today.
If I, were to go in to most churches, and talk to the members of the congregation, and make the statement that 'God does not hear the prayers of the wicked', I would be booed, chastised, and probably run out of the church.
Because most preachers, give the impression that no matter who you are, or what you are doing, you can always pray to God. Well, that is true, but what they don't tell you, is whether God hears those prayers.
There is, a big difference.
First, prayer is, for this purpose, talking to God.
Anybody can pray. People pray all the time. Some pray everyday. Some pray at meals. Some pray, at church. Some pray when they are sick. Some pray in all other situations, all of which, are of good intentions.
However, there are those that pray, for ungodly reasons.
Some people pray that they will hit the lottery, or win at other forms of gambling.. Some people pray before going on stage at a concert, that glorifies all that is evil, in God's sight. People pray for wicked politicians to get elected. Others pray that good
politicians, don't get elected. Some even pray that they get sick, or die.
People, seem to think that God, is supposed to answer their prayers, no matter what they are. After all, the bible does say, that, 'Mark 11:24
........... What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
But, that is not the case, at all.
The problem is, most people, don't understand God, at all. And that includes a lot of preachers.
Time and again, I hear them quoting scriptures, when praying, and expecting God to answer their prayers.
The problem is, they give no thought to the prerequisites that God requires, before He is open to their requests. That's right, there are prerequisites.
Let's deal with the obvious, the sinner.
If the above subject scripture is true, then no one can be saved, because we are all born as sinners. So how can a sinner, get God to hear them??
By following the prerequisite, of calling to God, in Jesus' name, repenting, and asking Jesus to be Lord of his life. After this, he is no longer a sinner, and the prayer line is open.
To better show you what I mean about the line being open, let's use an instrument that most of us have in our houses, or on our person, the telephone.
Anyone that has a phone, can talk to anyone else in the world, at anytime, that also has a phone. Now just because two people have phones, does not necessarily mean that they can just pick up the phone and talk to each other. There are prerequisites that must be followed. The obvious one being, you have to dial the correct number of the phone that the other person has, in order to talk to them. If even one number is out of place, no matter how hard you try, you will not get the person you want.
Well, with God, if one prerequisite is out of place, you are not going to be successful, in getting God to hear your prayers.
Next, as for the prayer itself, if it is one that asks God to violate His own righteous personality and standards, He will not hear them.
These prayers, may come from those that are saved, but unaware of God's standards.
Now, what do we mean, when we say God hears, or doesn't hear prayers???
Well, God is not necessarily deaf to the prayer of the sinner, as much as it is, He ignores their prayers.
You see, God responds to prayers that meet the first prerequisite, and then are prayers of faith, based on His Word. If you don't know His Word, then it will be harder to get your prayers answered, or recognize the answer, when it comes.
God answers prayers with several conditions to be considered. The first being, 'what will giving the person what they want, cause them to do?? If it will cause you to act in a way that brings dishonor to God, then the answer will either be 'no', or something different than what the person asked for.
An example would be, a person that needs a car to get to work, asking for a Rolls, when all they really need is a good car. God will more than likely, give them a car, of less value than what he wanted.
Some times, people will turn down the car that God provides, believing that this is not what God has provided.
Another condition is, is it good for the person?? God will not give anyone what they ask for, if it will destroy them.
Now naturally, we don't know the future, but God does, and therefore, will base His answer, on that criteria.
Now, the question may be asked, what about the sinner that does not meet the prerequisites?? Are they necessarily out in the cold?? The answer is 'no.'
God provides a way for them to get His help, when they need it. That way, may be His natural mercy and grace. And in other instances, it will be, intercessors, that do have His ear, praying for the sinner.
There are several instances in my life, that God intervened in my life, to save me from certain death, while I was still, one of the biggest devils on the streets. I didn't know it at the time, but, God showed me, after I got 'saved', that there were intercessors, praying in churches, at home and even on the job, for 'that 'lost young man, or woman, that is facing death right now, in that alley, or motel, or driving down that street.' The prayer was not specifically for me, but was general, and God acted on their prayers, not on mine.
Mind you, if a person, meets all of the criteria that God requires, then, as the above scripture (Mk 11:24)
says, you can have, whatsoever you ask for. That includes the natural, and supernatural. Divine healing, the dead raised, the lame walking, the blind to receive their sight. Remember, Jesus said this, 'John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
No door is closed to those that walk uprightly before God.
This is the message that most people in this nation, and around the world, are not getting. And that is the result of preachers that, for whatever reason, are not doing their job. Either they were not called (anointed) by God to be in that position in the first place, therefore He is not revealing His plan to them, or they just don't want to seem like they are getting fanatical, and going out on a limb, with what they perceive to be, ridiculous teaching.
There is so much more that can be said about this issue, but to put it in short, If God, hears your prayers, He will answer. 'Psa 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: NO GOOD THING will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
And, by the same token, He will withhold blessing from
those that go against Him, and His will.