The Essentials Of Forgiveness

Q. Today, I was having a conversation with a friend about what is required to obtain forgiveness when you commit a sin against someone (specifically, adultery). My friend feels that sincerely asking God for forgiveness and ceasing the sinful behavior is all that is required, especially when the former relationship (marriage) no longer exists and both parties have moved on with their lives.  Of course, I feel that it is a must that you ask God for forgiveness, but I feel that you must also ask the person that you wronged for forgiveness as well. I’ve searched the Bible for references on asking for/receiving forgiveness, but I’m still unclear. Can you share your perspective on this?

A. Matt. 5:23-24 says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”

To me this means that we can’t maintain our relationship with God while there’s any issue between us and another person that we haven’t done our best to resolve. Whether it’s asking for or granting forgiveness, failure to do our part violates the Lord’s commandment that we love one another as He loved us (John 15:12) and leaves us out of fellowship with God.

Since the Lord only holds us responsible for our side of the equation, we can extend forgiveness even if the other party hasn’t asked, and we can ask for it even if it isn’t granted.  But so far as it depends on us, we’re to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). The other person’s unwillingness to ask doesn’t justify our failure to forgive, and our fear that they would refuse to forgive us doesn’t justify our failure to sincerely ask them anyway.

Praying To The Holy Spirit?

Q.  Can we pray directly to the Holy Spirit?   I know that He intercedes for us, as he will “groan” on our behalf for the Lord’s will in our life, but can we pray to Him?  Also, when we pray to God the Father, we are to pray “In the name of Jesus”.  Correct?

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Why Do The Dead In Christ Go First?

Q.  We are told that the rapture will occur in the twinkling of an eye. We are also told that the dead in Christ will rise first.  Now, the twinkling of an eye is not very long. What would be the purpose of those who died in Christ to be raised a fraction of a second faster than others?  God gave man a last chance to change their hearts before the flood. The door of the ark was left open for a few days before it was shut by God.  Just think of a short time period between the two raptured groups. It would give the living christians an incredibly powerful and bold chance to maybe witness to close relatives.

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What Was Jesus Sayng To The Laodicean Church?

Q.  The Bible talks about the church of Laodicea and how they thought they had everything when they did not have Jesus and Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. It seems to me like these people were not truly saved or else why is he at the door. But Jesus throws in a twist and says, “God corrects those who he loves so be zealous and repent”, and many people use that phrase to say that these people are Christians who will go to Hell if they do not repent. What did Jesus mean by that statement?

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A Mansion Or A New Body?

Q.  In John 14:2 Jesus said he goes to prepare a place for us.  I’ve heard that the “place” prepared may not be a mansion or room but that it may be the new body Jesus prepared.  My question is:  why do we need a place (room; mansion)?  When we get there, there will be no private entertainment such as television, we probably will not have a need to be alone so we won’t need a room for solitude, we won’t need the privacy of using a bathroom because the body will probably consume all of what we eat, and we probably won’t need sleep due to the nature of our glorified bodies. A lot of things we do on earth will not be needed in the New Jerusalem.

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Red Heifer. Follow Up

Q.  Is the red heifer’s ashes required to also cleanse the workers who will build the Temple? Meaning, will we have to wait the 2 1/2 years for not only worship services to begin but the actual construction of the Temple to begin as well? If so, that means we must wait another 2 1/2 years for the heifer to reach adulthood, plus the time it will take to build the Temple (appx 1 year?), plus another 3 1/2 years for the anti Christ to defile it, plus another 3 1/2 years for the Lord’s return. That means if this is indeed the pure red heifer that will be used, and if the construction workers must wait 2 1/2 years to be purified by it before beginning construction, that puts the Lord’s second coming at least 10 1/2 years away.  Correct?

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Last Call. Follow Up

Q.  In your Bible Study “Last Call”, you said “People are being visited in dreams, healed in prayer services, and even raised from the dead as evidence of the power of God in areas where Christianity hasn’t become as “mature” as it has elsewhere.”  Where, exactly, have people been raised from the dead today?  It seems that if that were true it would be front page news all around the world.

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Has Everyone Sinned?

Q.  How I can show my friend that where it says “for all have sinned” it really does mean “all”? This is one verse he tries to switch to make it say “not all will sin.” to prove he doesn’t sin and therefore doesn’t need a Savior. I’ve prayed constantly for him on this matter, and I pray the Lord will guide him to truth.

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Does Suicide Cancel Salvation?

Q. I have heard it stated by people, especially those who are saved, that if a born again Christian takes their own life, they will still go to hell. One of my friends had a best friend who  truly was saved, but hung himself.  My friend, who is also a true believer, thinks his friend went to hell, even though this person was a born again Christian. The Bible is pretty quiet on this one, so I was wondering what the answer is. Does that person go to hell or do they get into heaven by the skin of their teeth?

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