Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P522 (03-20-20)
Several callers called to get advice. These questions vary from practical advice on sharing truth with people, to questions on clarification of what a passage in scripture means, and even about why you are facing depression when trying to fulfill a life-long dream you have in making a living in what you really enjoy doing.
How do you share truth with someone who just always wants to find reasons to find things to debate you on? How do you talk to people who have knowledge on various books that conflicts with what is written in the scriptures, or about information missing during the early years of Christ, or about all religions being equally valid?
What does it mean in 2 Peter 2 or in Hebrews 6 about a dog returning to its vomit or a person being enlightened and now he is worse off than he was before? How do you deal with life where people are into all kinds of denominations but they do not have the same doctrine?
What is the cause of our depression when my husband wants to make it big in the music industry, to make a living in what he enjoys doing? What should our goals in life be on this kind of thing? What should we do?
Listen as Bob provides insight from scripture in answers such questions from various callers. Remember that Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Jesus is the truth, and the Spirit of God reveals truth to men. A lost person does not have the Spirit of God so he cannot understand spiritual things. But a believer has been given the privilege to participate in the divine nature, to walk in accordance with the Spirit, to walk in the newness of life God has given. His goal is not of this world, but his goal should be to make himself available to allow the Spirit to live His life in him and through him. God is in charge of results, but our job as believers is to abide in Him, just as Jesus taught us in the parable of the vine and the branches (John 15).
Sophia from Surrey, British Columbia
She was talking to a guy at work who said Jesus was married. My response to that is that it is not in the bible, neither in the Old Testament or the New Testament. He is from a Roman Catholic background. He talked about missing links and talked from various various books. How do you respond to him?
Well, there is a book that came out, called the DaVinci code, and it is a novel, and was written by somebody who does not know Jesus at all. It makes all kinds of statements, and people are taking this as gospel. The missing link is between the ears of these people. You cannot get these people to read the bible. They do not want to talk about Jesus in the bible and would rather talk abut the DaVinci code and some novel. You are dealing with people who want to deny the testimony of the word of God as it relates to Christ Jesus. With people like that, you do have to have some pity on them that they are so dead spiritually that they could not see truth if it hit them in the face.
Yet, he seemed to have some understanding of the bible, but he was trying to bring in a New Age movement into the picture, saying that all religions are equally valid.
How could that be interpreted as right things? That is totally nonsensical, trying to get a one world religion. There is only one way to Christ Jesus. There is only one way to heaven according to the testimony of scripture.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
These people are illiterate in understanding the scriptures. If they do happen to know what it says, they have no clue what it means. Jesus of Nazareth came to this earth and fulfilled over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah. He fulfilled all of them, including his virgin birth, which would be difficult to plan in advance. He came to this earth claiming himself not only to be the Messiah but also to be the Savior of the world and God in the flesh.
The man claimed there are missing links in the life of Jesus.
What is a missing link is not missing in Jesus life, but in regard to the recording of his life in the bible. He was certainly living. If God wanted it to be known then, He would have put it in the scripture. The evidence is clear as archaeologists have discovered. Nazareth is across the valley from Sepphoris and Sepphoris was the southern end of Israel where you had nearby Jerusalem. These were the only two places in Israel where rabbinical schools were. It was just a donkey ride from Jesus home town of Nazareth over to Sepphoris. Sepphoris was a large industrial city in those days. Joseph being a carpenter would have done a lot of work in that area. Mary’s father was the head of the rabbinical school there in Sepphoris. More evidence is being discovered that the probability that Jesus was in a rabbinical school with his grandfather as head of that school in Sepphoris . Why were they calling Jesus rabbi? As far as I know, you could not have called someone Rabbi who had not been to rabbinical school. So those silent years from 13 years of age until he appeared after approximately age 29 or 30, would have been the very years a man would have been trained in rabbinical school. If that was supposed to be known, as important to God, it would have been recorded in the scriptures. It was not important to God for us to know those things.
So there are things in scriptures that are really not that relevant. To him, they may seem relevant, but not in matters important to God.
It gets weary trying to defend someone who always tries to challenge you on things.
I think, sometimes, you have to get people’s attention. You have to get to the point to say to a person, the bible says this.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Truth must be revealed by the Spirit. The natural man cannot understand spiritual things. Say to him, “You are a natural man and that is why you do not understand spiritual things. That is why I do understand spiritual things because I became a spiritual person in Christ Jesus. The reason you do not understand is because the very bible you contradict is evident in that very passage to being truthful. The reason you do not understand is because the natural man cannot understand spiritual things.” So you might as well quit trying to.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
What is truth? All I can say to him is that Pilate asked Jesus the exact same question. They may not care about truth but truth is very important.
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.
Jesus is truth. That is what truth is and that is who truth is. So if you want to know what truth is, you go to his teaching and you will find truth.
You have people who are denying the existence of Christ Jesus. You say to them, “Your problem is you are lost and dead. This is not a narrow doctrine any more than 2 + 2 = 4 is dogmatic. You are dead spiritually and the only solution to death is life. Sir, do you know anybody who can give you life except the resurrected Christ? The reason that you cannot engage in living things is because you are not alive spiritually.” You can say that to them as boldly as you know how.
I need to be more assertive politely. It is just going over their heads. They are not polite with you so you may as well hit him over the head with the word of God. The word of God is sharper than any two edged sword. If you had a sword in your hand, and sitting there denying that the sword is sharp, you would not argue with him, you would poke him with it. That is what you have to do. Poke him with the word of God.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I want to proclaim the gospel. They claim they believe but they doubt.
That sounds like John Kerry. You got go one way or the other. Either you are a believer or you doubt. You cannot be a believer and doubt. You got to quit flip flopping back and forth. If you are a believer, you will always be a believer or you are an unbeliever.
A person who says they believe in Jesus is like saying they believe in Abraham Lincoln, a mere intellectual assent to facts of history. Whether you believed in Abraham Lincoln or not did not change your life personally. I believed in Jesus all my life until I came to Christ at the age of 36.
It is hard to be a Christian. Well, you ought to try not being one.
Silvia from Colorado Springs, Colorado
I wanted clarification on this scripture.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[Psalm 44:22]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are people in various denominations but who do not follow the same doctrines. For those who are truly born again, you will be in a small group. Do not expect people to rally to you. God did not spare his Son but gave him up for us. So how will he not graciously give us all things? If God is for you, who can be against you? It does not matter what people think. You are in a war when you come to Christ. You are in spiritual warfare. That is why we are instructed to put on the full armor of God. If you are worrying about running for sheriff or winning a popularity contest, forget it. If you do, you will be one deceived human being. People are not going to rally to you.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
As you read Ephesians 6, you will see what all that armor of God is that He instructs us to use in this spiritual warfare we are in.
So what does it mean about in scriptures about a person returning to his own vomit or about a person being enlightened and falling away?
2 Peter 2:17-22
17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[Proverbs 26:11] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”
A person has been involved in the things of God, then returns to his vomit. You are escaping the pollution of the world when trying to follow Christ, but how many people do you know who are trying to follow Christ in the energy of the flesh? They know what is right but then they fall back into it. They are worse than they were from the beginning. If you are exposed to Christ and fall back in the same thing you got involved in when lost, or you are still lost, you are really in worse shape than in the beginning, whether that would be a lost person or a saved person. Either one, you would be in worse shape because you know better. You know you had been freed in Christ Jesus and now you are back in the world again. You are worse off than when you were before. Before you knew you were lost and had a way to be saved. Now you know better. When you are lost, you do not know better. You get drunk on Saturday night and go to church on Sunday and think nothing about it when you are lost. But when you are saved and you try to go back to that, you are in worse shape. Where are you walking? If you are a legalist, you are better being a total legalist than trying to co-mingle law and grace.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case – the things that have to do with salvation.
You are enlightened but you are not saved. You return to your vomit because you are a dog. If a pig goes back to a pig sty, it is because he is a pig. But a son goes home. The son went home. The pig stayed in his pig sty. This passage is stating that you can be enlightened. You can taste. You can touch. Judas was involved in every one of those things but that does not mean you have been born again. There are many people who saw the miracles Jesus did and believed in Jesus but Jesus did not commit himself to them.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
For Jesus knows man and does not need the testimony of a man concerning man. We think we are believers because we say, “I believe” but God knows what our hearts are. He knows what we believe and what we truly came to understand. There are many people who have tasted and have been involved in Evangelical churches. They watched people be saved and played and sang the music, even with tears, but never gave their hearts to Christ Jesus. So they returned to what they were doing. A dog returns to his vomit because he is still a dog. They never came to Christ in the first place.
T.J. from Nashville, Tennessee
My husband always had a desire to be a country music singer to make a living or to make it big. He sings now a little in church and does country music on the side. How do we control the anxiety we have for a dream to come true? Or, do we just live up the dream and just let Jesus take the wheel?
Think aobut this for a minute. Is your goal that I love to sing and write music and play music, and therefore, the Lord allows me to do that or is it I want to be a star? Is your goal anything except to fulfill the desires of your heart, which is to sing? If your desire is to be a star, you have a pitiful goal, for once you hit it, you will find yourself empty. Why do do you hear famous people say it is not what it cracked up to be? That is a poor goal.
If your goal is to sing, then find places to sing. If you can make a living at it, fine. If you can make a living doing something else, then sing for enjoyment and sing for other people whenever you get the opportunity. I am going to be good enough so I can make a living out of it. That is a goal that you are dealing with results and results are always in the hands of God.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Do I have a goal as to how much we are going to do next year? No, I do not. I have a goal to get up in the morning to make myself available to the Lord Jesus Christ and to attempt to walk in the newness of life, to give my mind to Christ and to trust him. This is the same goal of a branch, to get up and abide in the vine.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
If a branch’s goal is to see if he can get fruit out of him, he has got the wrong goal. His job is to get up and let God produce fruit, whatever and how much God will produce through him. The same thing with us. If your goal is to sing and write music, then write music and sing whenever you can. If it is to get big in the industry, that is God’s business. You have to stay out of that or you will live in disappointment and depression.
Whenever you have misplaced dependency and unrealistic expectations, then you will experience depression. You want to give it to God and yet you sometimes still feel anxiety building up inside. If you try to make a living out of it and you do not do it, then you feel anxiety. Paul went to build tents. Sometimes you have to get a side job and sing on off hours.
He is a plumber and he has back trouble. It is killing him. We were hoping he could do music for a living because he loves it.
Just keep trusting the Lord with that. And check your goals, is it in line with what God would want you to have? Again, your goal is to give up and make yourself available to God. I will delight in Him and He will give me the desires of my heart. God can open doors for that, whether in church, paid or for free, it is irrelevant. Meanwhile, do what you can, but trust God to supply all your needs.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.