Michael Pearl: All right, here I am, Mike Pearl, the old hillbilly from Middle, Tennessee, with my King James Bible ready to answer your Bible questions. I've been studying this old black book for 50 years and love it more every day. It's God's Word, it's perfect, it's pure and it's got the answer. Jared’s sitting there behind the camera ready to read the question which I've not seen or heard yet. What have you got Jared?
Jared: Jesus teaches us to pray, "Forgive us our sins for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us." Do believers need to continually ask for forgiveness when they pray?
Michael: I have a booklet, I John 1:9, the Protestant Confessional, a little booklet I think it's $1.50 or something. If you don't have the $1.50, I'll send you one. No, we do not, as Christians, have to continually confess our sins to be forgiven for this simple reason. If, as a Christian, I have one sin that's not forgiven, then I'm not saved. If my sin's not forgiven, I can't go to heaven. Now, most Protestant religions as well as the Roman Catholics teach that there must be an ongoing confession with an ongoing forgiveness if there's going to be any salvation. The idea is that each sin must be dealt with inside of me in order to be forgiven, that I must come to repent and confess it and feel sorry for it and depart from it. When I do that, then God will forgive me.
That is not a Bible doctrine. When Jesus Christ died for me, I had not yet been born. When he died for me, I had not yet sinned and yet he died and paid for all of my sin, past, present and future when he died.
So, the Lord's Prayer as it's called is actually the Apostles' Prayer, he told them, he said, "When you pray, pray this way, " had nothing to do with New Testament salvation. That was an Old Testament prayer. They still lived in the Old Testament when that was quoted. The New Testament did not begin until the Day of Pentecost after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Now, if you look at that prayer, what you're actually praying is this: you say, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us," or "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," you're actually saying to God, "God, forgive me today in proportion to how I've forgiven others." That' what you're actually praying.
You're praying, on the flip side of that you're praying, "God, if I have any unforgiveness in my heart for anyone, then don't forgive me." That's what you're praying. Now, that's a pretty scary prayer. Now, you're praying that before Jesus died, you're praying that before you're forgiven, you're praying that before there was a way to heaven, a gift of faith. You're praying that under the law, under the penalty of the law, under the penalty of damnation. And that is not a prayer that is designed for us as Christians to pray today.
It's basically a prayer that's universal, that glorifies God, that recognizes common theology that even exists apart from scripture. If you want to get a Christian prayer, go to the New Testament, look in Paul's epistles. Look at what he prayed in the end of his epistles for the believers. Look at how he exalted Christ. Look in the book of Acts when the church got together and prayed, Acts chapter 4, I think 15, some other places. You find them praying. That's the kind of prayer that Christians pray.
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