Summary: How you ask will determine the answer you get.

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.

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

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