Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P425 (3-22-19)
Bob George received calls from several callers who had questions about forgiveness, dealing with bitterness, understanding the assurance of forgiveness from God, and in regards to being single-minded on the truth of God’s word. As a believer, a new creation in Christ, you can be assured all your sins are forgiven, never to remembered anymore in the sight of God, and you have eternal life. You were never saved by your actions in the first place. You became a believer when you placed your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone, through his death, burial and resurrection. Furthermore, all your sins were in the future when he died. Yet, it is so common for believers to be narrowly focused on what seemingly unclear scripture and get overcome with anxiety on such things. In the sight of God your sins will never be taken into account. Satan, though, will accuse you before the throne of God when you do sin. And when he does, Jesus Christ is right there reminding Satan of what was done for us by Christ. Jesus C Christ died to pay for your sin. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Now, when sin does occur, the sin will often involve another person, someone you sinned against or somebody who sinned against you. As believers, we are instructed to forgive one another, even as Christ has forgiven you. We are not to hold onto bitterness. We do no strive in the energy of the flesh to be a forgiving or loving person. No one controls the flesh that way. No, we walk by the Spirit and so act in accordance with the Spirit, in His forgiveness and love. Satan desires to keep you unfruitful, putting thoughts in your head such as reminding where you may have had bitterness toward someone else. Do not pay attention to it but instead redirect your efforts to pray for that person who had insulted or wronged you. You are a new creation, a spiritual being, with the spirit of Christ in you. So if Christ has forgiven Him, and He already has, then so have you. As far as being singled-minded towards the truth, the example we have is that of the apostle Paul, who when beaten half to death, came back to preach the gospel to them. Yet, we have those into ecumenism, who have distracted goals, and seemingly good goals, such as stopping abortion or changing the world, yet they compromise truth when they join in with those of false religious teachings, such as Mormons or Catholics or Jehovah Witnesses, in a compromised social justice gospel, which is really no gospel at all. Such religious teaching are really anti-Christ teaching. How can the righteous and the unrighteous be united? What does light have in common with darkness? No, you be like Paul and have your singular goal of proclaiming the truth of the word of God. That is the singular goal of the believer in Christ Jesus.
John from Phoenix, Arizona
John asked, “Can we still have blessed assurance? With trauma in my life, so I wonder about my salvation. I have known you but I denied you. What is the difference between that verse and blessed assurance.
Bob responded by first defining what salvation is. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, in order to receive the gift of life, which is Christ’s resurrected life, or eternal life. Salvation is being saved from death through the life of Christ.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[Jer. 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.” [Jer. 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins
Why does it say that?
Because if Jesus had not forgiven all your sins then you could never be assured of eternal life. The reason I have eternal life is because of the eternal consequences of the cross where he took away the sins of the world.
He did not atone for sin [a temporary covering of sin for a Jew under an Old Covenant through the sacrifice of bulls and goats] but he took it away. When I came to Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, I am saved. If you come to Him accepting what He did, then you also have eternal life. What you are doing has nothing to do with your salvation.
John asked, ” What about my future sins?”
How many sins were in the future when he died. There is no such thing from God’s vantage point of past, present and future sins. He just took away the sins of the world. No person will ever go to hell because of sins. The only sin that prevents someone from heaven, and by default will go to hell, is the sin of the rejection of the Son of God, by rejecting what He came to do and provided for you.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 16:9 [TLB]
The world’s sin is unbelief in me;
John then said, “The verse that scares him is ‘Apart from me I never knew you, even those who had miracles in their life.'”
The verse John paraphrased is this one.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
You cannot attribute salvation to what you have done. It is only what He has done. When you have accepted what He has done, you are saved.
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, 9 and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone. 10 Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him.
In regards to Matthew 7:22-23, it is like a person saying to God, “Did you see me do miracles, or attempt to do miracles?” God replies, “Yes.” “Did you see me speaking in tongues?” Then God replies, “Yes, but I did not see you accept me as my Lord and Savior. You did not come to me for life.”
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose
The Holy Spirit is living in you to renew your mind, will and emotions. He will teach you until you realize something, that apart from Him you can do nothing. Now you yield your life to Him to live in and through you.
“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.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Maurice from Phoenix, AZ
Maurice was sharing from a passage of scripture regarding the eye gate to the body, where the eye is full of light. I believe this is the passage he was referring to.
33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness
So what is this about?
Be single-minded and the opposite of single-minded is double-minded. In scripture, a double minded person is unstable in all his ways.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Single minded is what gives us stability in our lives. Single-minded is focusing on Christ Jesus. It is acknowledging that He is our Lord and our Savior. You will find wisdom from God in His word, not in philosophy, not in psychology, or words of men. Paul is an example of a single-minded purpose. To think how a man could be beaten and then go right back to the ones who beat him half to death and then continue to preach the gospel; that is being single minded (Acts 21).
Vince from Taylor, Michigan
What is your take on the ecumenical movement? Bob was not familiar with the term. So Vince said it is trying to get all groups together and is causing a big faction.
Whenever you get everybody together then you have a group of compromisers. Whenever your goal becomes anything except the proclamation of the word of God you are going to become a compromiser. If your goal is “let’s get everybody together” then you have to be a compromiser. If your goal is “let’s go change world”, then whoever wants to change it then they come and join the crowd and then become a compromiser. If your goal is “let’s stop abortion”, then you will become a compromiser. For whoever wants to stop abortion, whether Mormon or Jehovah Witness, come on in and hang on in together, and then you will become a compromiser. What would anyone want with those religions to begin with? Any religion that is out there that denies Christ Jesus for who He is, is an anti-Christ. Religions substitute a false christ, one is not sufficient to save man, for the real Christ who did all that was necessary for man so he can simply trust in Christ alone for eternal life. Who would want to have anything to do with an anti-Christ?
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them
1 John 2:22
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Bino from Detroit, Michigan
Bino asked why Jesus Christ intercedes for us when all our future sins are already forgiven. We, as children of God, have Satan as our enemy and scripture records that he accuses us before the throne of God when we sin. It is true all our future sins are forgiven, never to be remembered again in the sight of God. But we do still sin and when we do Jesus is interceding for us about such sins telling Satan that those sins were already dealt with on the cross. God does not deal with us on the basis of sin and death anymore. You cannot separate sin from death for sin is the cause of death. God took away the cause of death, which is sin, when he died on the cross. So before God, God has chosen not to remember those sins anymore in accordance with the New Covenant he has made (explained in Hebrews). But when we do sin, we are instructed to confess such sins to one another. Before God we agree with the truth of the word of God in what he has said in regards to our sin and thank him for having already forgiven us and for the forgiveness we already have in Him.
Bino asked, “How is Jesus the intercessor for me if all my future sins are forgiven?” Satan is constantly going to the presence of God accusing the brothers.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Jesus is interceding for us on our behalf and saying that our sin has already been taken care of on the cross. Satan is saying, “Did you see what Bino did down there?” It is not interceding for us to get our forgiveness because we are already forgiven. Jesus is interceding for us to deal with the accusation of Satan in regards to our sins. Sins are taken away in the sight of God but certainly not taken away in our daily experience, for we still sin. If sin was taken away then why would we have the need of confessing sins to one another? That is why scripture instructs us to confess sins to one another.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
God is not dealing with us on the basis of sin anymore otherwise he would have to deal with us on the basis of sin and death. You cannot separate the two. Satan continually tries to accuse believers before the throne of God. So Jesus steps in between you and God to intercede for you. Bino thanked Bob for his teaching and has been reading Classic Christianity and is learning much from such teaching.
James from Little Rock, Arkansas
Clarification on forgiveness. Once a person forgives he does not bring it up again.
Is God going to bring your sins up again? No. If you are forgiving, and are loving, and loving and forgiving go hand in hand. Love says if you have told a person you have forgiven him, then do not bring that up again. It is not loving to continually throw something up in someone’s face. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
1 Corinthians 13:5
It [love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
James continues, “If you have two people estranged, maybe separated, and there is infidelity involved. I am not saying you do not forgive infidelity. Trust is a different issue. Yes, you do forgive him, but you do not automatically let them back to abuse you.”
Bob responds by addressing what true forgiveness is. True forgiveness is not saying, “yes, I forgive you” and yet you really do not forgive them. It takes time to forgive someone. Bob said it took him 5 years to forgive someone. Quit saying you forgive someone when you really don’t.
James continues, “Sometimes we are taught in church to forgive and forget and then get caught up in the same pattern of abuse. She is wronged again and subject to more abuse. She does forgive and then she gets abused again.”
Bob just addressed what true forgiveness is. I am going to build trust so that I can forgive. Jesus did not look at the consequences of what our sin did before he forgave. You cannot sit around saying that I am only going to forgive when I know I will not be hurt again. That is forgiveness that is higher than God’s. That is not God’s forgiveness. In your heart, if trust is there, then you will be able to forgive as Christ Jesus forgave you.
Now, to address what I believe James is asking. Yes, use wisdom to test and see if a person is truly a changed person. Even in scripture there is allowances for divorce or separation, because of the hard hearts of men, and there is a good reason for it, for man could destroy each other and God wants people to live in peace with one another.
1 Corinthians 7:15
But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
So if you cannot live in peace, then separate. Yes, as far as it depends on you, we are instructed to make peace with everyone. But the other party has to be willing also.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Jesus even walked away from a crowd in different situations. One time the crowd wanted to make him king by force. In another incident, the Pharisees wanted to stone him yet we are told Jesus simply walked away for his time to die had not yet come. You can forgive someone but also not come back to abuse, if you know they have not changed or the Spirit of God in you directs you to go elsewhere.
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself
30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Eric from Houston, Texas
Eric had questions about what reliable or trustworthy translations of the bible.
The Hebrew-Greek bible is better than English, assuming you can read Hebrew and Greek, English translations are therefore available, such as the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version( KJV). The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. Those are original manuscripts and those are the ones inerrant. Translations come off those. When Christ came around, the Old Testament was translated into Greek, the Septuagint. Much of the translations of the Old Testament, rather than from the original Hebrew language, was translated off of the Septuagint. So you have translations on top of translations so there is more opportunity for error. The New Testament had to be written in Greek or by an apostle or an reminiscent of an apostle, such as a scribe. The potential for error is there and not just in any translation yet God is at work in men preserving His Word.. There are many translations. Some are good some and some are bad. Some are accurate to the Greek and some are not accurate to the Greek. So it is important to have credibility as to who has done the translation. The New American Standard (NAS) is accurate to the original Greek. The New International Version (NIV) is accurate but there are some areas where it could have been better. For example, the word “flesh” is used in one instance rather than “sinful nature” and flesh is a better translation. What about the King James Version (KJV)? It is a good translation but the language is outdated. Bob does not prefer to use the KJV and said it this way, “Beget and begat and I be gone”. The New King James Version (NKJV) is an excellent translation as well.
Sandra from San Diego, California
She is struggling with bitterness. She is a believer for over 20 years. Recently she sees a bitter root in her. When it comes it is very strong. What do I do to come against that. She is in a battle field in this area.
When something comes upon you. If bitterness wasn’t in you it wouldn’t come out of you. Circumstances do not cause your nature. They reveal your nature. You cannot store beans in a pot unless beans are in there. Unless you can have the spirit of bitterness in you, you cannot let it out of you. Circumstances just reveal that.
Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.
You can have a spirit of bitterness because you are bitter over something. And when you are bitter over something you are hanging onto it too long. If someone insults you, then it is only important as long as you insist on remembering it. You have to let go of these things. They are not important. In light of eternity just how important is it when somebody insults you. Putting things in proper perspective. If bitterness is there, all it takes is a little thought and it will get triggered. So just get rid of the bitterness. It is not worth thinking about. Start praying for the person who is bitter.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
You may be over this. Satan is activating those thoughts. Bob relates how he had been in a situation where he found it very difficult to forgive. What he had to realize is that he could not forgive in his flesh. What he was trying to do was to manufacture up fleshly forgiveness. There is nothing good in the flesh.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
The flesh never wants to forgive. The Spirit in me has already forgiven him. This flesh is not going anywhere except the grave. I am in Christ, and I am a spiritual being, and since Christ forgave him so do I. In the Spirit, you forgive. Satan is just triggering your flesh. Satan, you might as well talk to someone else. I am not interested in entertaining that thought anymore. Satan wants you to waste your time and he is the one who is bringing those thoughts back to your mind.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.