Description: Are we supposed to answer every question posed to us? What about foolish and unlearned questions? How do you deal with questions that people ask only to try to ensnare you? These questions and more are answered in this teaching.
Brother Hicks Speaking: Hello brothers and sisters, today I want to talk to you about giving and answer for the hope that we have in us and not answering foolish and unlearned questions, questions that are just to gender strifes.
1 Peter chapter 3, verses 14 through 16, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.“
Now this verse is often used by scoffers and mockers of the Lord, in 1 Peter 3:15, to get you to answer every foolish and unlearned question, every ignorant that they would ask. [Questions] that they don’t really want the true answer, but they are trying to ensnare you. It is a common practice of the wicked to try to ensnare the saints.
We see in Psalms chapter 140 and 141 [image of Psalms 140:5 and 141:9 shows on screen] it is spoken of that the wicked, the proud are trying to ensnare the saints, they have their gins left to ensnare them. This is a common thing, both literally, and spiritually where they try to ensnare you with your words. The Pharisees did this in Matthew chapter 19 [image of Matthew 19:3 shows on screen]. We see they went to Jesus and asked Him a question, “tempting Him.” They were trying to ensnare Him with His words, trying to get Him to say something they could use against Him. This is so common today, especially online where we see where we see people doing this all the time. This is not as common in face-to-face [conversations] because people can’t play these debate tactic games as much, but online people can hide behind anonymity, they can hide behind fake usernames, and try and play this game.
For example, I have had people, and this is a common thing if you are a child of God, you will have people do this, where they are trying to ensnare you, and you can tell by the very way they are wording something, because they are wording it one way but asking questions a little different from the way they worded the initial question. You can tell that they are trying to get you to answer it so that either way you answer it is going to be “wrong.” Either way you answer it they are going to have a way to damn you and to declare, “Oh look, you said this, but I was asking about this…” All they want to do is ensnare you because they are trying to sow discord among the brethren. They don’t love God and all they want to do is fight and be “right.” This is a common problem today where people have basically debate tactics [instead of honest discussion]. They behave in a manner as if they are in a debate. You can win a debate and still be wrong, and many of these people, that is exactly what they do. They are completely wrong and in error, but they will twist verses here and there and use them to try to damn you. They do everything they can just to fight and look like they won, because they want to speak evil of you, as of evildoers (1 Peter 3:16).
And so, you just have to live holy and many times you are going to have to ignore these people. You are going to have to not answer their foolish questions. This passage in 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 15 is not telling you to answer every foolish question that could possibly come your way, and every question, even when you can tell by the Spirit of God and just common sense [that] this is a snare, “These people are trying to lay a snare before me.” It is not telling you to answer everything! Here is what it says specifically, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you” it doesn’t stop there, “that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). That is what you are to always have an answer for. You are always to answer that, “a reason of the hope that is in you.” Every believer should have an answer for the reason of the hope that is in them, and to do so in meekness and fear of God (1 Peter 3:15).
Here are some commands for questions in general, how are we to answer them? Sometimes you are not to answer them. Let’s see what the Scripture says, 2 Timothy chapter 2, verses 22 through 23, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.”
We have all seen this [where] people ask questions in such a way [you can see] they are just trying to cause a fight, they are causing strifes. Avoid these kind of questions. It is better to look like you lost a debate, lost a discussion, than to entertain such foolish thoughts and such foolish questions. Many times you are just going to have to accept the fact that they are going to say that they “won” and they “beat” you, or whatever the case may be. That doesn’t matter, my brothers and sisters. Avoid these foolish and unlearned questions. Let them have their victory and parade around thinking they won because you refuse to answer [one of their] foolish questions. You have to answer to God. You are not going to answer to these people [or] their foolish questions and their strifes and their discord, and all this nonsense, you are going to have to answer to a holy God. Do what is pleasing in His eyes, not what is pleasing in man’s eyes. Don’t get ensnared, don’t get caught up in these games people are playing, [rather] follow the Scripture.
1 Timothy chapter 1, verse 4, “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”
2 Timothy chapter 2, verses 14 through 16, “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. “
This is so obvious. If you engage these people and start answering all these foolish questions they are trying to bring at you, when they are obvious snares, you are going to end up getting into ungodliness. These people want that. They want you to strive about words to no profit. They want you to get into ungodliness. They want to do whatever they can to ensnare you. Don’t let the devil and his people drag you down to their level. Stay “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Walk in the glory of God. Walk in the love of God towards these people. You need to be gentle, yet firm. Many of these people need a firm rebuke. They are not going to appreciate it. They are going to call you unloving or whatever the case may be, or prideful, or whatever, but you need to love them and walk in love toward them. And you need to rebuke them sometimes. If you didn’t love them you would not rebuke them. You would just say, “Aww, who cares what they do?” But you do care. You do have concern, but it doesn’t mean that you get dragged down into their games and their foolish questions, and their strifes and discord and arguments.
Pray and seek the Lord before you start answering questions, especially when you have that check in your spirit that something is wrong here, this person is not right. Even when the question, on the surface, may seem fine, [but] you can tell something is not right. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit on that.
1 Timothy chapter 6, verses 3 through 5, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
My brothers and sisters, this is what we see happen so many times. You get involved with these people and their questions, and this is what it is, there comes strife, envy, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth. You will find this is so common. Do not get involved in this nonsense. Pray for these people, rebuke them if needed, [and] follow the leading of the Spirit, but do not get involved in answering their foolish questions. All they want to do is ensnare the saints.
Titus chapter 3, verses 8 through 11, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
These foolish questions and genealogies, and strifes and contentions about the law, they are unprofitable and vain, and to be AVOIDED! I know this is not common today. This is not a common practice, because people want to answer every question and they talk about, “We need to have transparency [and] we have to answer, we have to give an answer for everything.” You [are to] give an answer, a reason for the hope that is within you, but you do not have to answer foolish questions; as a matter of fact, you are commanded not to. You are commanded to avoid them. These people, if they get one or two admonitions, are to be rejected (Titus 3:10), [if they] are a man that is a heretick.
This is not a game. You cannot just pick and choose what you are going to do. You cannot just do whatever you want, and think, “Well, I want to answer this [foolish question] because if I don’t it is going to make me look bad.” Then you haven’t died to self yet. If you are going to “look bad” before wicked men’s eyes, that is fine! It is not what you want, of course, but they are going to look evil upon you anyway. They are going to speak evil of you anyway. Just do not let the evil be spoken about your actual conversation, the way you live your holy life. They are going to speak evil because you do not want to answer their foolish questions, you do not engage their nonsense, you do not get into their debates and discord and arguing that they love and enjoy so much. They are going to speak evil of you. That is just part of this life. If you are walking with Jesus Christ, the world is going to hate you. There are many, many, many people who profess to be Christians who are going to hate you because they’re of the world. They can quote Scriptures wrong, they can twist things out of context, [even] make you feel like, “Oh, maybe I am not doing this right,” but all they are is the world and they hate you and they hate Jesus because we and Him are not of the world.
Follow these Scriptures. Avoid the snares of the enemy. Avoid the snares of his children. Avoid foolish and unlearned questions. Walk in love toward these people, of course, but do not get involved in these foolish questions. Do not think that you have to answer everything [or that] you have to give an answer for every single thing. That is not what the Scripture commands. As a matter of fact, the Scripture commands that you avoid many questions, these foolish and unlearned questions, these questions that are for strifes, these people who are doting about questions and strifes of words, avoid these things, my friends.
May the Lord Jesus bless you.