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Tuesday
Jul182017

Always Ask Three Questions

As I have said many times over the years in my blog writings, I have made a career out of asking one question:  “What is missing?”  This question is not asked in a negative application, it is asked in my quest to find answers to what may be missing and therefore assist in making suggestions more insightful rather than speculative.

It has served me well over the years; however the other question I have irritated people with is the simple question of “Why”?  I have had more people get mad at me for asking that question than any other question I’ve ever asked. Why?  Because the why question brings the discussion to a point of accountability.  Why someone believes something from the Bible is very important because if they are teaching from the Bible for example, it will affect many people who hear it.

There is a second part to the why question, and that is proving it. Here is why this is important.  I was asked recently how much of what is preached today is speculation. I myself can only speculate because I can’t really find any data on this, but I would say based upon my experience, about 20-25% of sermons are based on speculation. Speculation is what is taught as truth and it is based upon a personal opinion or personal belief, but scripture does not support it.

Some speculation is better than others, such as the subject of the rapture of the Church. Scripture does teach that the Lord will “snatch away” or “we will be caught up” to meet the Lord in the air, and that is a Biblical fact. However, it is speculation on exactly when it will happen. I am of the opinion that it will happen before the tribulation period, but that is my opinion and belief, but it is still speculation – not fact. 

Why is it speculation?  Jesus said no one knows the hour of His return, only the Father has that date and time picked out. The Bible is clear we don’t know the hour or the day. That is true of the rapture as well.  We can make all kinds of serious attempts to prove our theories on when it will happen, but at the end of the day, the Lord says, “just be ready.” He does not give us the timetable of when, and there is a reason for it. It’s the why question again!  Why? Because He said I will come like a thief in the night, I want you to be ready. Live your life as if I will come at any moment and stop trying to figure out when that will be. Why? Because we have a job to do and He does not want us to get preoccupied with an event that might sideline some people to sitting and just waiting for it to happen. That is not the right course of action.  So can we know the season? Yes, I think we can look at the signs of our day and see that the Bible predicts that we are closer than ever before, but at the end of the day we still don’t know the day or the hour. We all speculate from time to time because we all have personal opinions on things we read in the Bible, but for the sake of being honest, just say, this is my personal belief, and God may have a different plan. Don’t box yourself in with drawing lines in the sand when you do not know what God is going to do. It is a big ugly mistake.  

So let’s look at what I have said so far:

  • In light of doing ministry the question is: “What is missing?”  Once we discover what is missing, then go and fulfill the need.
  • Always ask the question ‘Why?’  Why? Because why is an accountability word, it forces the question into a different discussion. That new discussion then, is, does it honor God, is it what the Bible teaches, and where does the scripture support it throughout the Bible? Many strange doctrines are founded upon a one-verse interpretation, and that is never a good sign of clear understanding. 
  • Follow up the question of why with:  “Prove it!”
    People love to speculate on scripture and some modern so-called prophets see things that they teach as scripture, when it is only personal intuition and speculation. The phrase, “the Lord showed me!” Well good for you. You go and do what God has shown you, because it was for you and only you. Don’t try to incorporate the rest of us into your personal revelations and make it out to be a new direction for His Church. The bottom line question should be, "is God behind it?"
    We need to make sure we have a good understanding of God’s Word and when I say to people prove it, then the burden is on them to make the case that the scripture is clearly teaching what is in question.

I have found that this little triad of words will help to prevent the mistakes many Christians make by following speculation and personal intuition of people who are teaching things that may not be spiritually healthy. 

So how do I prove what I am saying today? 

1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”

1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

Acts 17:11 “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

Keeping it honest and truthful…..K

 

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