Does God Hear The Prayers Of Alien Sinners?
We must define the terms “hear” and “alien sinners”.
First, we will define alien sinners from the Scriptures. An alien sinner is a person who is amenable to the law of Christ (this would not include the unaccountable, such as, infants and the mentally retarded). The sinner is an “alien” because he has been “alienated” or “separated” from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). And this person is a “sinner” because he has transgressed or sinned against the law of Christ (1 John 3:4). Those who do not obey the gospel are not Christians (1 Peter 1:22,23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2 Timothy 2:10; Ephesians 5:23). A person who is outside of Christ and His church is not a Christian.
Second, we will define the word “hear” using dictionary.com: The word “hear” can have different meanings. Sometimes, the word “hear” can mean “hear” (without an object): “(10) to be capable of perceiving sound by the ear; have the faculty of perceiving sound vibrations, (11) to receive information by the ear or otherwise: to hear from a friend. (12) to listen with favor, assent, or compliance (often followed by of).” In context we are asking: Does God “listen with favor, assent, or compliance” and thereby acknowledge or grant the request of a person who has never obeyed the gospel of Christ?
First, let us consider the testimony of the Old Testament. Psalm 34:15-16, which is also quoted in 1 Peter 3:10-12 states: “For He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” The implication is that God hears the prayers of His faithful children.
In Proverbs 15:29, the Bible states: “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
In Proverbs 28:9, the Bible states: “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”
Second, let us consider the testimony of the New Testament. John chapter nine records Jesus healing a blind Jewish man. The Pharisees confronted the man who had been healed. In John 9:30-33 the man answers them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.’”
In John 9:31, it is true that the blind man was an uninspired man, but he had learned from the Old Testament Scriptures some foundational truths,i.e., prayer is one of the privileges of children of God.
Prayer is also a spiritual blessing. Paul teaches in Ephesians 1:3 that all spiritual blessings are found in Jesus. If a person is not in Jesus, then he cannot have access to God the Father in prayer. The alien sinner is still in his sins and is in rebellion against God. How can an alien sinner address God as Father when he has not become a spiritual child (1 Peter 1:22,23)? How can an alien sinner approach God the Father through Jesus as the Mediator when he has not rendered obedience to God (1 Timothy 2:5)?
In 1 Timothy 2:8, men are to have qualifications when they lead prayers. They are to lift up holy hands without wrath or disputing. How can an alien sinner have holy hands who has not been sanctified by obeying the gospel (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)?
Is God capable of hearing in the sense that He knows everything that is going on around the world? Yes! God is an omnipresent Spirit (Proverbs 15:3; John 4:24; Psalm 16:1-2). He is sovereign. He is in control of the nations. He removes kings and sets up kings. He is all-wise, all-powerful, and all-knowing.
Does God hear everybody when they are praying to Him? Yes, in the sense that God knows everything that is taking place (Hebrews 4:13). There is nothing that will surprise God. God knows what is happening. God hears the “sinner's prayer” in that He acknowledges what is happening at the moment.
But does God acknowledge or request the prayer of an alien sinner? No.
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