Contents

Lord’s Day Schedule

  • Morning Worship—10:45 a.m.
  • Afternoon Worship—2:15 p.m.

Weather

Sunday, 18 November 2018, 10:40 pm
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
46°F
real feel: 50°F
humidity: 88%
wind speed: 0 mph N
wind gusts: 0 mph
sunrise: 7:18 am
sunset: 5:33 pm
Forecast Sunday, 18 November 2018
day
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
63°F
night
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
40°F
Forecast Monday, 19 November 2018
day
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
62°F
night
Showers
Showers
42°F
 

Notes from Sabbath School: WLC #183, continued

Notes from Sabbath School on the Larger Catechism, Q&A #183: For whom are we to pray?

WLC #183 — Q: For whom are we to pray?
A: We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth;1 for magistrates2 and ministers;3 for ourselves,4 our brethren,5 yeah, our enemies;6 and for all sorts of men living,7 or that shall live hereafter;8 but not for the dead,9 nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death.10
  1. We ought not to pray for the dead.
    • The redeemed have no need of our prayers being now made perfect in holiness (Heb. 12:23), enjoying perfect rest and peace in Heaven with Christ while awaiting the resurrection of the body.
    • The lost are in hell where our prayers can no longer avail to help them (Luke 16:24-26).
    • In accord with this, we find no example in Scripture of prayer being offered for the dead.
  2. The Romish encouragement to pray for the dead is based on the erroneous belief in purgatory as “the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.”
    • The whole concept of purgatory is foreign to Scripture, being contrary to the Scripture teachings on Justification, Sin, Guilt, Atonement, Death, Judgement, etc.
  3. We are not to pray for those that are known to have sinned the “sin unto death.” (1 John 5:16)
    • The “sin unto death” is generally understood to be the “unpardonable sin” or the “sin against the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 12:31-32; Mark 3:29; cf. Heb. 6:4-9)
    • The Scriptures reveal that the work of the Messiah in overthrowing the kingdom of darkness and establishing the Kingdom of Heaven is done by Christ in the power of a filling with the Holy Spirit above measure. The “sin unto death” is a blaspheming of the Holy Spirit in relation to the power and authority by which the work of Messiah is done, by ascribing that power and authority to Satan while in conviction of conscience knowing the truth that it is rather the power of God the Holy Spirit.
    • Because we ought not to pray for such as are known to be guilty of this sin, we must make some judgement in this regard. Clearly this requires us to have some intimate knowledge of the person in question. Thus, we should be very cautious in making this judgement, though Scripture clearly requires that we make it when appropriate.

  1. Eph. 6:18. … praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Ps. 28:9. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever. 

  2. 1 Tim. 2:1-2. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of hanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 

  3. Col. 4:3. … withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds. 

  4. Gen. 32:11. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 

  5. James 5:16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

  6. Matt. 5:44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. 

  7. 1 Tim. 2:1-2. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of hanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 

  8. John 17:20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. 2 Sam. 7:29. Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, has spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever. 

  9. 2 Sam. 12:21-23. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou has done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 

  10. 1 John 5:16. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 

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