January 17, 2021

Does God Hear the Prayers of Sinners?

God obviously hears the prayers of the unrighteous for God knows all. Yet, He doesn’t grant the petitions of such prayers or acknowledge them. The blind man truthfully said to Jesus, “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him” (John 9:31; cf. 1 Pet. 3:12).

There is a sense, however, in which God does hear and answer the prayer of a non-Christian. Jesus taught such a principle in John 7:17: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” This principle simply states that if a man seeks after the Lord, he will be able to find Him and learn of His ways for he is not far from any one of us (cf. Acts 17:27).

An example of this actually taking place is found in Acts 10 at the house of Cornelius. Cornelius, although a Gentile and not a Christian yet, is described as “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” (vs 2). In verse 31 an angel tells Cornelius “your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.” This man was seeking the truth and God told him to “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.” (Acts 11:13, 14).

Here’s the conclusion we learn: those who honestly seek the truth “shall know concerning the doctrine.” God made sure that Cornelius “heard the word” that was able to purify his soul (1 Pet. 1:22). It wasn’t his prayer that saved him, it was hearing “words by which you and all your household will be saved” and his obedience to those words that saved him (Acts 10:48). God will make sure today—through His providence—that all who have a good and honest heart and truly seek His will “shall know concerning the doctrine.” Then, it’s up to that person to do what that doctrine says.

Reed Henson

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Jan 17 (Sun) English Partners, 9:00-10:15, FLC

Jan 17 (Sun) Adult Bible Classes, 9:30, FLC 104 & Fellowship Hall

Jan 17 (Sun) Worship online or in person, 10:30am

Jan 18 (Mon) Ladies Prayer and Fitness, 6pm, FLC

Jan 18 (Mon) B-12 7pm in the Fellowship Hall.

Jan 20 (Wed) Adult and Teen Bible classes, online or in person, 7pm.

Jan 26 (Tue) Faith Walkers Ladies Bible Class, 10am, Fellowship Hall.

FAITH WALKERS Ladies Bible Class will meet on Tuesday, January 26 at 10am in the Fellowship Hall. We will begin a study of the book of James. All ladies are invited.

SUNDAY ADULT CLASS TO CONTINUE The adult class in the Family Life Center from 9:30-10:15am, will continue with Bret Dampier and David Mountford teaching on the study of 1 and 2 Peter. All are welcome.

NEW ADULT CLASS STARTS TODAY A new adult Bible class begins TODAY in the Worship Center Fellowship Hall, 9:30-10:15 am. (The class will be available for both in-person and remote participation.) Ron McQuinn will begin with a two-week class on “Connect” and “RE-connect.” Then Trent and Debbie Wheeler will offer a one-day class on “Lasting Love.” (See the announcement below for details about the class and sermon to follow.) Then, beginning February 7th an extended study of “Unfolding Grace” will begin. Please watch for the ZOOM link each Saturday included with that day’s “Ten Minutes with God” devotional, or plan to attend in person. (A study book for “Unfolding Grace” is available in digital and printed form. Contact the church office for your copy.)

ONE-DAY MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT CLASS SET FOR JANUARY 31st On Sunday, January 31, 2021, Trent & Debbie Wheeler will be conducting an overview of their Lasting Love Workshop, providing tools and resources for a better marriage relationship.  During Bible class they will be discussing effective communication skills, increasing understanding between couples, and additional resources available for keeping your marriage healthy and vibrant.  During the worship hour, Trent will be speaking on “4 Detours to Avoid in a Healthy Marriage.”

ENGLISH PARTNERS has resumed and will meet each Sunday, 9:00-10:15am in the Family Life Center. Special thanks to all of our volunteers.

CALLING ALL PEOPLE DEALING WITH ADDICTION! Your journey of dealing with addiction does not have to be solitary! Join our Monday night group of people in addiction as we share and learn spiritual ways of achieving sobriety. Our group, B-12, meets every Monday night at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall.

YOUTH GROUP NEWS Weekly Bible Studies Sundays at 9:30am and Wednesdays at 7pm at the PIER. Both are also streamed on Zoom. Wednesday, January 20, 3:00-7:00pm the PIER will be open for students and friends to come study! Dinner will be provided, and our Bible class will follow. Remember your Bible, Mask, and $2 to help offset the cost of food. Sunday evening, January 31, will be Connect at Gabriel and Joy’s house! This will be a great chance for us to (re)Connect.

GATORS FOR CHRIST Tonight (Sunday, January 17) at 7:30pm, please meet Darren at the FLC gym for pizza dinner, game night and bonfire outside in the gravel parking lot. This Wednesday at 7:30pm, Reed will be our teacher on our new series “Corinthians — Christianity vs. Cancel Culture!”

STAY CONNECTED to God and to each other. Even though we may not all be able to meet together, we can still continue to “…encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25b

FOOD PANTRY BAGS Available upon request.

ELDER’S CORNER

1 Peter 5:2 “Be Shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…”

Matthew 11:28 Jesus tells us, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Jesus did not say come to a religion, come to a system, come to a certain doctrine. No, He said come to ME! It is a personal invitation to God to the Savior!!! Come to Jesus. He is the answer.

Lendon Suggs

Private prayer with an Elder(s) is available down front following the closing song or by appointment.

Please remember our sick and shut-in with cards, visits or a phone call and keep them in your prayers.

Hospitals: (this past week)

Special Care Facilities:

Mary Banks, Annetta Beazlie, Onley Bowers, Katherine Guttery, Jodi McKim, June Wiles, Virginia Witt

Others:

Donald Allen, Judy Beard, Ann Bresnyan, Sandra Brooker, Emily Carpenter, Jan Carr, Chuck & Beverly Gatton, Yvonne Griffin, Douglas Guntor, Brooke Hinckley, Larry Hood, Joan Jaudon, Carol Massey, Carolyn Mikell, Bennilene Pennisi, Rick Worley, Ruth Wyatt, John Zylinski.

Prayers for the safety and strength of all those in harm’s way serving our country and community.