Monday, July 09, 2012

Your Turn: Commands vs. Requests

One of the purposes of this blog has always been to make people think about what they believe, and where their assumptions about their faith come from. I’ve never wanted anyone to doubt their faith or their salvation, but I do want to encourage people to think for themselves, rather than rely on what some preacher or nutcase has said, or what they learned from their youth.
Sometimes, though, there are topics I have problems with myself. I don’t have the responsive readership of the “big-time blogs,” so I rarely get much discussion. That’s disappointing to me, because I don’t want anyone to think I’m always right. I don’t want to be the misleading nutcase!
From time to time, I want to put forth a question or topic I’d like to hear about from others.
Today’s topic for discussion: how does God treat a “command” to His children differently from a “request?” Also, does God make demands of those who are saved?
Now, in this, please note that I’m speaking strictly on those who are saved. I’m also assuming, contrary to what some churches teach, that God doesn’t toss us into the line for the direct bus to Hell if we have a lustful thought or request Him to condemn someone by accident. I assume that, though God “cannot look on sin,” that He sees Christ’s sacrifice instead of our sin. (Habbakuk 1:13 seems to be the main verse for that one, though in context it indicates that God cannot look on sin and not punish the guilty ones, which would be Christ for those who have accepted His sacrifice)
My problem is that I cannot see the essential difference between a “command” (as compared to a “commandment”) and a “request” or “desire” as far as the believer is concerned. If we are right with God, we will want to do what He wants. He shouldn’t have to command; a request should be sufficient.
Is there some sort of earthly “punishment” if we do not obey His commands? Do we lose our salvation?
I’d like some discussion on this. Please do support your comments from Scripture, and discuss the topic or comments, not the people making the comments.
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