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So, Why does it not happen?

 
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Post So, Why does it not happen? Cojak
That was the question a kid asked me concerning Matthew 18:19. The kid asked, "If that is true, you know it is in the Bible, then why doesn't it happen?"

I stammered and tap danced a little before saying, "Maybe God knows what you asked will cause problems down the road. Or since he knows all things, and it is contrary to His will. But I will be gone for awhile and I will ask some smart folk for an explanation and I will bring it back."

I hve a few months, but I would like some help that a kid about 13 will understand.
THANKS
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11/24/19 10:39 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
Cojak, I would highly recommend this article on the subject: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/why-the-context-of-matthew-18-20-is-important.html

The article is specifically about 18:20, but the context of the passage is 18:15-20 so the verse you are asking about gets discussed a bit further down. See specifically the quote from Tim Chaffey for a comment on 18:19.

Blessings to you as you endeavor to disciple and lead this young person!
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11/24/19 11:00 pm


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Post Cojak...some thoughts Aaron Scott
It is MY opinion that what we think is "agreement" is not the sort of agreement that Jesus is speaking of. That is, I believe we can see this come to pass, but it is more than just saying, "OK, I am going to agree with you."

It is an act of true faith. Not just I HOPE this will happen, I WANT this to happen, I WOULD LIKE for this to happen, but rather, I KNOW this will happen.

That leap, however large or small it is, seems to be the difference between those who pray and, over and over, get what they have prayed for...and the rest of us that pray and pray without the results we want to see.
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11/25/19 11:29 am


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Post Dave Dorsey
Aaron, respectfully, is there any other promise from God in Scripture that is so hard to nail down?

If this passage, when correctly exegeted and understood, is teaching that God promises to answer any prayer that two of us agree on, why is that promise so difficult to appropriate and receive?

When I got saved, I believed a simple gospel message and God regenerated my heart and I was born again.

When I go through trials, I pray simple prayers for grace and strength and God answers and succors me.

When I face temptation, I pray a simple prayer for God to strengthen me against the desires of my flesh, and he answers me.

If you are correctly exegeting and understanding this passage (with respect, I contend that you are not), then why is it different? And where in Scripture can I learn how to make this leap, however large or small, that you mention so I can receive this promise from God?
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11/25/19 12:50 pm


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Post Dave... Aaron Scott
I hear you, my bro. And I do understand that this stuff is hard to know and understand. But I have to believe that there IS something there, otherwise we wind up having to do away with all sorts of things. At least that's how I see it.

Do you recall the time when Jesus said, "This kind goeth not out except by prayer and fasting"? That is letting us know that some things "cost" more than others in the spiritual universe.

Likewise, I have long contended that faith is NOT simply hoping, desiring, affirming, wanting, crying, pleading, etc. That doesn't mean that God doesn't at times honor our requests, even though they do not attain to the level of true faith. But there are some things that come, it seems, only by faith.

And faith is NOT hope. Rather is the SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR. That is, it is, in faith, touching, having, holding the very thing you have been hoping for. It is a spiritual CERTAINTY. It is a KNOWING.

The way I have best been able to describe it is this:

Suppose you have lost your car keys. You have looked everywhere you can think of. Under the bed, in your shoes, in your sock drawer, on the ground, in the car--everywhere! Then, suddenly, you remember where you left them! You KNOW where they are, even though, empirically, you actually do NOT know. Yet you are as certain of it as if you held them in your hands. So you march over the refrigerator, open up the freezer, pull out the ice cream, pull off the lid, and, YEP, THERE ARE YOUR KEYS!

I have only experienced faith like that a couple or three times in my 57 years on earth. But when I did--WHEN I DID!--it happened. I was healed in one instance. In another, I prayed for a kidnapped child to be returned that very night unharmed. It happened. NOT because I am ANYTHING AT ALL. But simply because, in those cases, I was able to pray in faith.

It seems to be the case that a person cannot pray in faith UNLESS God grants them the ability.

And we know that it must be the case that a person cannot pray IN FAITH for anything that is contrary to God's will. ("You ask amiss....")

Praying for salvation is, I think, a different sort of "faith." That is, there is the faith that believes that God is and is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him...and then there is what we call mountain-moving faith. These types are different, and I know that from experience.

I have many times prayed and received from the Lord without exercising the level of faith I have had (as mentioned) on a couple of occasions.

Sometimes, faith is a simple belief that God will save you, fill you with the Holy Ghost, or the such. And sometimes, faith is a mighty divine force that pierces the circumstances to obtain what God said we could have.

Perhaps faith, like love, has a number of facets? There is love for one's friends, love for one's family, love for one's pets, etc. Of course, it might be as simple as too little faith and enough faith to see things done.

I don't know how to believe any of the faith scriptures unless we just take them at face value and assume that, for the most part, it is OUR insufficiency that is the cause of us not receiving what we desire.
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11/25/19 2:38 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
Aaron, thanks for the lengthy and thoughtful reply. Smile

I still think it's very important that this verse in particular be understood completely in the context of church discipline in which it exists. I think it is a mistake to wrest it from that context and attempt to make it stand as an isolated verse/promise.

But I think you have some good thoughts about the topic of genuine faith that are useful when considering other verses where God does make promises.
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11/25/19 3:46 pm


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Post Bro Bob
I have enjoyed reading this thread. Good job.

I do have many thoughts and questions about the topic myself. The one thing I know for certain is that there are many things I will never comprehend while breathing air.

I have not read the article, but I certainly agree that context is usually very relevant to any understanding.

Jesus, when speaking, often shocked the listener. Even his own disciples, who had themselves been the conduit for miracles from God Almighty to specific humans, were sometimes shocked.

One passage comes to mind, 'How hard it is for a rich man to enter into Heaven. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to go to heaven.'

While fiddling with what the eye of the needle was we miss the next statement: His disciples WERE ASTONISHED at his saying. (according to Matthew and Mark)

To which he replies 'What is not possible with man is possible with God'.

I know my weakness(es). I know what I believe by faith. (Can't prove it but believe it just as much as if I could) But when it comes to these matters, I am a "Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief" Christian.

I wish I'd had the faith to declare Gina's healing and it have happened. I wish my Dad would have had that faith, or my pastor. But the fact is every person Jesus healed is dead now. Every person he raised from the dead... is dead now. And every minute that I have before me is a gift, but each one also brings me one minute closer to my own end.

I still live under the curse. No two (or two billion) of us can "agree" and end that curse.

The ONLY thing that will end that is the return of Christ. EVERYTHING hinges on his return.

This I do have faith in. This I do declare will happen as if it had already happened.

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11/25/19 9:19 pm


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Post Re: So, Why does it not happen? Link
Cojak wrote:
That was the question a kid asked me concerning Matthew 18:19. The kid asked, "If that is true, you know it is in the Bible, then why doesn't it happen?"

I stammered and tap danced a little before saying, "Maybe God knows what you asked will cause problems down the road. Or since he knows all things, and it is contrary to His will. But I will be gone for awhile and I will ask some smart folk for an explanation and I will bring it back."

I hve a few months, but I would like some help that a kid about 13 will understand.
THANKS


An easy answer would be that he was talking to the apostles.

Of course, he was talking to them about the church.
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11/25/19 10:45 pm


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Post Link
I heard an African preacher preach on agreement, in my living room, actually.

He said there were two young women in the church. They'd pray together and agree in prayer for God to give them both a husband. Come to find out, they were both praying for God to give them the same man to be their husband. So they changed the way they prayed and one of them ended up with the man and another ended up with someone else.

This was in the early 2000's, probably 2004. There was a woman from our church who I might have thought was 30 tops. She asked my wife how she found her husband. Turns out, she wanted a white husband. She was from the same tribe as my wife, and she was 40. She was actually an attractive woman, too. She said she'd worked a lot and an opportunity to get married just never came up.

I suggested she go to an Internet cafe and try to meet men online on forums. This was before the big Internet datings came up. But there was one couple at our church who had met in an online forum. Ironically, they were both in the Jakarta area and met in person and ended up getting married.

So she did it. I didn't talk to her for a year. She showed up at a similar Christmas or New Year's gathering in our house, and after sharing the word and prayer, she said she'd taken my advice, met a man online from Virginia, and he had proposed. A couple of other ladies we knew from church who were over thirty met men online. I can't remember if two in total or three were from Virginia. We had one of those couples over at our house in Georgia for the night several months ago when they came to town for something.

I can't remember if we 'agreed in prayer' for the woman who met her husband from VA, but we may have.
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11/25/19 10:50 pm


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Post Thanks Cojak
This is some good reading. Even a blessing or two, so thanks. I hope some more jump in, especially on context. Thanks for the ref DD, it also helped. especially Jim's point. I was tempted to get the book, maybe I will later after i finish some ahead of him. LOL

But we somehow have failed to explain to dedicated Christians WHY IT DID NOT HAPPEN! I am one who when losing my hearing took my hearing aids out, tried my best to BELIEVE, with my pastor, evangelist and good Christians pray, and I still lost my hearing completely!

BBob explained the same thing well using his REAL experience.

Many good Christians, start feeling like dirt, when told you just do not have enough faith....

If it does not happen, WE CHRISTIANS KNOW God could have done it, because nothing is impossible to Hm. I think I have some ground to stand on, if I can get 'context' explained.

It is confusing to me and especially young folk when they hear, "IT says this, but what it means is THIS! It is contradictory at times.
PS: Give me time, I am not as confused as I sound after reading the above myself. Embarassed
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