Do Our Prayers Really Change Things?

I believe in prayer very much and have seen prayers answered, but if God already knows who will or won’t accept His plan of salvation and be saved, how can our prayers for a person’s salvation change anything?

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Cursing Israel

If Christians are saved by grace, and sealed with the Holy Spirit, what about “Christians” Who curse Israel? Some mainline Protestants seem to blame Israel for all the world’s problems. Their anti-semitic rants must rile the Lord.

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The Epistle To The Hebrews, Part 9 Conclusion

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Epistle To The Hebrews

Even the short summary of the impact people of great faith have had on mankind makes Hebrews 11 one of the most encouraging chapters in the entire Bible. Would that each of us could manifest that kind of faith in our lives. What great things could we accomplish for the Kingdom?

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Confessing Our Sins

Q. I have read your teachings on union & fellowship with the Lord when it comes to confessing our sins. I am a born again believer and I am secure in my salvation.

When we confess our sins to the Lord does he acknowledge it if I ask Him to forgive me for “all of my sins” up to this point daily or is important to Him that we confess each “individual” sin before we can be back in fellowship with Him?

I guess what I’m asking is a “blanket confession” (all inclusive) acceptable to the Lord or does He require us to be specific?

A. In Psalm 19 David revealed that humans are incapable of admitting all their sins. He asked the Lord to forgive his hidden faults, sins he wasn’t aware of, and to keep him from willful sin as well. Only this would make him blameless. (Psalm 19:12-13)

Obviously, acknowledging the specific sins we’ve committed confirms that we know we’re sinners, and in that sense it’s good for us to do so. But the Lord reads the intent of our heart and when we sincerely ask Him to forgive all of our sins, He knows what we mean. He’s already aware of them, and doesn’t require us to document every single one.

How Can I Be Certain?

Will Jesus tell me that He never knew me? How can I be certain, despite my acknowledgment of my sins and my prayers for forgiveness in Jesus’ name, that, somehow, what I have done, am doing, is genuine enough? How can I “let go and let God”?

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The Epistle To The Hebrews, Part 8

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Epistle To The Hebrews

The over arching principle of the Epistle to the Hebrews is that our position before God is based on our belief that the once-for-all-time sacrifice of our Great High Priest was sufficient for our salvation. Some have said that this letter can be seen as a commentary on Habakkuk 2:4 “The just shall live by faith.”

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How Can Church Leaders Be Left Behind?

Many teachings state that belief in the work of Christ is sufficient to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I quite often read that after the rapture, many prominent Christian leaders will be left. If belief is all that is needed how would a Christian leader get left behind?

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OSAS And Suicide

Q. First I wanted to thank you for your awesome website. It is very clear that you thoroughly study God’s work and have a good understanding of it. And you have been a tremendous help in motivating me in my walk with the Lord.

Having said that I would like to ask for clarification on your view of suicide. You had stated in answering a previous question that you believed that if a person committed suicide and had previously received the gift of salvation, that person would spend eternity with God. Having been raised Pentecostal, the Once Saved Always Saved belief has not been something I would say I have believed in, but the way you describe it and back it up with scripture, I am tending to believe you have valid points.

Until we get to the issue of suicide. I am having a hard time believing that this is not a sin that will keep you out of heaven. If you are right, then, we Christians could always take the easy way out when things got tough. We could say “I’m ready to be with Jesus, and tired of this world” and take our life, and instantly be with him. That is the one area I have come across that is preventing me from getting completely ‘onboard’ your belief, of OSAS.

A. The idea that suicide is an unforgivable sin came from a time before theologians understood that God is not someone with an inexhaustible supply of time but is outside of time altogether. They believed that since a person who commits suicide can’t repent of his or her sin and ask forgiveness, it couldn’t be forgiven.

We now know that God is outside of time, knows the end from the beginning, and saw all the sins of our lifetime before we were born. When He went to the cross, He took all of them and nailed them there (Colossians 2:13-15 & Hebrews 10:12-14) including the sin of murder, whether of self or another. When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense that God would forgive a person for murdering some one else, but wouldn’t forgive someone who murders him or her self.

As for opting out by killing ourselves when things get tough, that argument doesn’t make any more sense than the one legalists use to deny the doctrine of Grace, saying that if we were saved by grace alone, everyone would run around raping and pillaging without restraint or regret. Even non-believers just don’t act that way.

I believe the act of suicide is motivated by a severe demonic oppression that can overpower even a believer. And when it does God knew it would happen before granting the believer’s plea for salvation, and had already extended His forgiveness to cover all the sins of the believer’s life including the last one.