Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P481 (10-11-19)
Bob George answers calls from several people, those struggling with depression and those who heard confusing teaching. The common questions people ask about are in regard to overcoming depression and in regards to salvation. Frequent questions often asked in regards to salvation are, “If a person commits suicide will they go to hell?” and “Can a person lose salvation?” Many times people are under erroneous teaching that gets them all confused. So they ask a specific question on a verse that someone teaches on that seems to indicate you can lose salvation and wants clarification on what that verse really means. For example, what does it mean by, “he that endured to the end, the same shall be saved”?
Bob George provides encouragement for those struggling in depression and provides practical advice with truth from God’s word. The key to overcoming depression is focusing on what you know is true, that God loves you, that nothing will separate you from the love of God, and He will never leaver you nor forsake you, and to be thankful on all that you do have. You focus on what is reality, on what you know is true. Depression is a thinking problem. You think that your current trials and struggles will never end, that there is no hope and no future, projecting your current situation to a future of doom and gloom that will never end.
Bob George also explains what salvation is. When a person teaches or thinks he can lose salvation, then he does not know what salvation is. A common misunderstanding is that salvation is getting your sins forgiven. This is what results in the false concept of Calvinism, that God chooses only the “elect” to be saved. The false premise of what salvation is leads to trying to explain away universal salvation, which neither Calvinism nor the bible teaches, and so that is how this Calvinistic concept of election came about as an explanation, to explain away universal salvation from a false understanding of what the death of Christ accomplished. But if one understands that God already reconciled the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against Him (Romans 5:8) (2 Corinthians 5:19) and that the world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus (John 16:9), then getting sins forgiven is not salvation. With the proper understanding of salvation, and reading the book of Ephesians with that proper understanding of salvation in mind, Ephesians is very clear to understand that the “elect” refers to the Jew and the Gentile not the you’s and the me’s.
When Jesus died and shed his blood on a cross, he took away the sins of the entire world from the eyes of God, and propitiation took place (1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10). While we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), Christ died and our sins were forgiven, taken away from the eyes of God never to be seen again, and that was over 2000 years ago when Jesus did that. God was completely satisfied with Jesus shed blood, that it was of such eternal value to take away the sins of the entire world. Salvation is not about getting sins forgiven for they already were before we, today, were even born into this world. Yes, the forgiveness of sins is a necessary part of salvation, but in and of itself it is not salvation. It is a necessary preparation in order for man to be saved from the consequences of sin, which is death.
Death is a greater problem than sin (Romans 6:23). The price of death for sin was already paid in full by Jesus death on a cross. But the death of Jesus on a cross did not give man life. Only life can give life and that life must be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). When Jesus was raised from the dead, by being God in the flesh and having no sin of his own, and after having taken away the sins of the entire world, he now offers eternal life as a gift to anyone who would receive that gift of new life. If Jesus had not died first to take away sins, then the next time man sinned, he would die again, and therefore, Jesus would not be able to offer eternal life as a gift. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
With this understanding of salvation, then how can someone who committed suicide, which is murder of one”s self, not have his sins forgiven? Did Jesus forget one sin when he died on the cross? No. Is suicide somehow an exception? No. Will God send us to hell because of our sins? No. The only sin attributable to man is the sin of rejection of the provision God made for us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus (John 16:9). Sins have already been paid in full for the entire world, all the way back from Adam to a person yet to be born.
So sins are not the real issue to be solved for man to be made complete in Christ. Yes, sins are the cause of death, and Jesus paid that price of death for sin for us, but the real issue is man is spiritually dead since birth, is in need of new life and the only life available to man is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. So we are not preaching universal salvation, for salvation is not getting your sins forgiven. Salvation is receiving new life. That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, and to us today, that unless a man is born again, having the the spirit of God placed in him, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-7).
Bel from Covington, LA
Bel: Hey, Bob
Bob: Hi, Bel
Bel: I enjoy every opportunity when I have a radio. I have no electricity yet. I was in Katrina. A cyclone must have hit me. I am so depressed. Can I say something strange? I have an aneurysm on my aorta. I am suffering and have a real bad case of shingles. I am so depressed, Bob. I do not know what to do any more. All I can do is pray to God and take me on from this world. I cannot take it anymore.
Bob: Bel, well that is really not true that you really cannot take it any more. I know it seems that way to you.
Bel: I know the bible says He will not give you any more that you can bear. I have no electricity. I have nothing. I do not know which way to go any more.
Bob: Hold on a minute. Let us take a step at a time. Are you getting help? I know you cannot do anything about it unless you can move somewhere else where there is electricity.
Bel: I have unit in my apartment. I go to my son’s sometimes, in Baton Rouge, or I go to a friend’s house. I have a real bad case of asthma. Now, I have emphysema.
Bob: Bless your heart. You have your load there. Physical ailments can certainly do that. Satan uses those things. He is relentless. When you are in your weakest moment, he is there beating the daylights out of you. That is what is taking place. If God is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31). He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He has not done so yet nor will He. These illnesses that you are experiencing are either going to get worse or subside, depending upon how all that works out in your life. But you cannot get down to the point of saying. Why you are depressed is because you are thinking of all of these depressing thoughts (Philippians 4:8). And you can say rightfully so because you have a lot of bad things going on. The reason you are depressed is not because of your illnesses but how you are perceiving the illnesses and perceiving the circumstances you are in (Psalm 46:1). As a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). This mind of yours, and it happens to all of us, and it has to be renewed (Romans 12:2) (John 8:32). Let us think of some of the things we can begin to give thanks for. Let us think on those things we can give thanks for, even in the midst of all the problems you have, you do have some things to be thankful for (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Bel: I thank Jesus for dying on the cross for me. I was talking to a friend of mine. A little girl called in whose mother who died and she was contemplating suicide. Her aunt called in and she had committed suicide. Do you know what I mean? I was talking to a friend of mine and she said if you commit suicide God does not forgive you for this?
Bob: Of course not, Bel. Did Jesus go to the cross to take away the sins of the world except suicide? The issue is suicide is murder. Did He cover that sin at the cross? He did not forget that sin. If you are in Christ Jesus, Bel, listen to what you are saying there. This is how you come to get confused. Do you have anything to be thankful for? And you said, “Jesus took away the sins of the world.” Then I asked if someone commits suicide, would they go to hell? You would have to let go of one to believe the other. So if Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, then that would include suicide.
Bob: Yes, then that is the answer. She is dead wrong. The person who committed suicide missed the blessing of seeing God work in the midst of impossible situations. When you are in an impossible situation, that is when God can get an action on your behalf. You cannot get an action if you are resisting due to being depressed, resisting what He is trying to do for you. Bel, get your mind off yourself, if you can. I know that is not easy when you have physical problems. Get your mind on the truth that nothing can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). This storm you went through did not separate you from the love of God. Having no electricity did not separate you from the love of God. Having an aneurysm cannot separate you from the love of God.
Bob: No, in all these things nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus your Lord (Romans 8:37-39). That is where you have to step back and look at the reality of the situation and be able to say; “Yes, I have all these trials and tribulations, and so do a lot of other people”, but the issue is, “I thank God I am in Christ so that I can know something in the midst of these trials and tribulations that nothing can separate me from the love of God.”
Bob: God did not bring this about. Satan brought this about. Since the fall of man; disease, sickness, storms, sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:12). All of that came as a result of the fall of man. That was not God. That was Satan. God just gets the blame for it. What you know is that God will take you through these things. God will take you through them. They may not be easy for you initially but God will take you through them. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. You have to hold onto that.
Bel: That is all I have got. I have nothing else.
Bob: You know what, Bel, as bad as that sounds, that will not always be the case. Believe me. Things will get better.
Bel: Can I say something?
Bel: I will be 71 years old on my next birthday. It is too late for me.
Bob: Bel, I am going to be 73 on my next birthday. It is not going to be too late for me. If the age of 70 is going to be too much for me, then look at Abraham (Romans 4:19) (Hebrews 11:12) and Moses (Exodus 7:7). Abraham had a child with Sarah in his old age. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt in his old age. That is where life began.
Bob: That is a depressing thought. That is not a thought that comes from God. You can know one thing. That does not come from God. Your life may just be beginning. You can go through these circumstances and watch God restore you and be used of God in a miraculous way and go out and tell people of his faithfulness, of how he pulled you out of depression, that you were so depressed you could not even get out of bed. Your life is not over. It is just beginning. Until you go through experiences you have gone through, many times you are not ready for the ministry God has for you.
Bel: Is there any bible study group or anything in my area that maybe I could join?
Bob: Bel, what we can do is this. Where Covington is, we will see if we have people in that area who can call you. But if not able to meet with you, to be able to call and relate to you on a personal basis. We will be more than happy to do that. We will put you on hold. Our people will look up names we have in New Orleans and have them get in touch with you.
Bel: Thank you.
Bob: God bless you. So sorry things you are going through, especially sickness and those sort of things. But again, get your mind on things you can be thankful for and that is the love of God.
John: I really enjoyed the conversation with Robert earlier. That was beautiful. My question really was along the same lines as Robert. Verse 4 on theological level, I do believe with you that that brother who is teaching Robert can lose salvation is confused. If salvation is not all of grace, it is not of grace at all.
Bob: That is what Paul says.
John: Yes. Amen. I came from a Pentecostal background. In that Pentecostal background, we were of course taught a very Armenian type of theology that basically says that the cross of Christ, or atonement, was governmental. Recently I read some Calvinistic theologians that taught the cross work of Christ and used terms I never heard. I was wondering if you could shed further light on these differences between Armenian view versus the reformed or Protestant view of the atonement?
Bob: In the first place, John, Jesus did not come to atone for sin. Anybody saying that, he is putting the blood of Jesus on the same basis as a bull and a goat. A bull and a goat atoned for sins. Jesus came to take it away. As scripture says, the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin (Hebrews 10:4). They covered sin, which is called atonement (Hebrews 10:11) (Leviticus 14:19) (Exodus 29:36) (Leviticus 9:7). Atonement is never used in the New Covenant. What we keep pulling over is the atoning death of Christ. You are putting Jesus blood on the same category as a bull and a goat. That is an insult to Christ. He did not come to atone for sin. A bull and a goat could atone for sin (Hebrews 10:4). He came to do something that no animal and no human can do, and that is, to take away permanently the sins from the eyes of God (Hebrews 9:28) (1 John 3:5).
Bob: This is what happened in Calvinism, John. A preoccupation with the cross instead of resurrection is what threw them off. If Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world, and if that is what salvation is, then that is universal salvation. That is the only conclusion you can come to. If Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, and salvation is getting your sins forgiven, then everyone is saved. They were certainly right saying that cannot be. Their conclusion is correct but their premise is wrong. Instead of going ahead, as it says in Romans 5:8-10, while we were yet enemies, that means lost, you were reconciled by the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, that being an accomplished fact, will we be saved by His life.
Bob: You are not saved by the death of Christ. You are saved by the life of Christ. So if you do not believe that then you have to spin that, saying then he must have died just for the elect. Now you have the elect in there. The elect is the Jew and the Gentile. It is not you’s and me’s. You just have to read Ephesians with that in mind and it will be clear. Jesus took away the sins of the entire world. There is not one man on the face of the earth not forgiven. The only sin attributed to man is the sin of unbelief (John 16:9). Where is that belief received? In His life. In Him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7) (Colossians 1:13-14). Where was that forgiveness, provided then, received? In His resurrection. That is why Paul said that without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Robert from Atlanta, GA
Robert: Thank you. How are you doing?
Bob: Doing very good. Thank you.
Robert: I was calling in reference to a scripture in the 24th chapter of Matthew. I was involved in a bible study over the weekend and the scripture was brought up about he that endured to the end the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:13). The person who was teaching the lesson was very adamant about sin like there is evidence you can lose salvation. I was understanding that you cannot lose your salvation. He said that it speaks here in the word of God that you can. Can you explain that particular scripture?
Bob: Again, when you are talking about the end times, you are talking about coming to the point of judgment. If a person you are talking about, that a person is hanging onto the end, they have not only exercised faith, they have exercised that to the end. If you fall away from Jesus then you never knew Jesus. As Scripture says, “They went out from among us because they were never a part of us” (1 John 2:19). There are a lot of ways people giving lip service.
Bob: Concerning this man you are talking about, I would be concerned about his salvation. A person who thinks he can lose salvation does not know what salvation is. He certainly does not know what God had to do to provide salvation. Salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, and the only solution to death is life, and the only life available to us is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. You are not saved by getting your sins forgiven. You are saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life (Romans 5:10). In order to give us life that cannot be lost, which would be eternal life, he had to eternally deal with what caused spiritual death. That is what the meaning of the cross was. The cross is an eternal function, Robert, whereby Jesus forever took away from the sight of God, sins, to see them no more (Hebrews 10:17) (Hebrews 7:27) (Hebrews 9:26-28) (Hebrews 10:12-18). His blood was of such quality that propitiation took place (Romans 3:25) (1 John 2:2) (1 John 4:10). In other words, God looked upon the sacrifice and said, “I am satisfied. The sacrifice of my Son is of such quality that it was able to take away the sins of the entire world for all eternity”.
Bob: So to say you can lose salvation is to deny the completeness of the cross and the reality of the resurrection. I do not know how you can be saved denying either one of the two. A person like that is going to play spiritual hop scotch through scripture and point out any verse that might even hint you can lose salvation. Why? That is what they have been taught and that is what they believe. The truth is, it has nothing to do with that. Hang in there. Finish the race. Finishing the race is again, you are saved (2 Timothy 4:7). Hang in there to the end. Those who do will be saved. Why? Because they are saved. They will be saved because they are saved. Our spirits are saved, our souls are being saved and our body will be saved (Romans 8:23). So there is not anything about that passage that is talking about losing salvation. If it was, it would say that. It does not say that at all. It is merely encouraging believers to hang in there to the end. You will go through trials and tribulations but hang in there (John 16:33) (1 John 5:4-5). All these things have to happen. Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:34-35).
Robert: I was thinking along those lines. I was raised in church and was under a lot of legalism every time I turned around. I would run back to God, running back in repentance, asking for forgiveness. But then I started reading “Classic Christianity” and realized I have the nature of Christ, which gave me a lot of comfort and look at it totally different now. I feel free now. I do not want to sin. He made a point of that through all of us in bible study. Maybe I was wrong asking. I just want to get your opinion. People in the New Testament, which is us, we have the better relationship than people in the Old Testament, because we can call God our Father and have a relationship with Him. His part was that we have no more relationship than people in the Old Testament did.
Bob: See there, again, is evidence that he does not understand the risen Christ. He does not understand saved by his life. He does not understand what it means to be indwelt by the Spirit (1 John 5:11-12) (Romans 8:9). If we are not different on this side of the cross than they were then what was the purpose of Pentecost? Jesus could have stayed at home and kept killing bulls and goats. Of course we are different on this side of the cross, but if you do not understand that, then that is teaching that will come out of the mouth. He does not have a clue of being saved by life. He has no clue of being indwelt with the Spirit from the day of Pentecost. He can teach from the bible but he will not be teaching from the vantage point of a saved person because he does not understand the basics of salvation.
Robert: Thank you. You definitely covered a lot right there.
Bob: You are welcome, brother. Again, in Matthew 24, he is talking the end of the end times on that. We have to realize if there is going to be many false prophets. Many people are going to be deceived. Many because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:12-13). The reason they will be saved is because they were saved. You stand firm to the end saved. If you do not, then just like John was talking about, they went out from among us because they never were a part of us (1 John 2:19).
Robert: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Bob: Your welcome. I hope that helps.
Robert: Yes, that helped a whole lot. You have a blessed day.
Bob: You too.
Ron from Milwaukee, WS
Ron: I wish you had an hour show. I have many questions for you.
Bob: At 6:00 o’clock tonight we have another show in 2 hours. It will not be live in your area but you can still get on our program. We do two programs a day. Not many people know that.
Ron: My question for you is this. When people get older, 80s or 90s, some people’s minds do not work as well as they should, so they will do things they normally won’t do.
Bob: You do not have to wait until you are 80 for that to happen. I can testify of that. (laughter)
Ron: I know a lady who would not steal when she was younger. She would not do that when she was younger. A lady in her 80s now takes things off the shelf and puts it in her purse. I think she does not know what she is doing. Would God hold her accountable for the sin of stealing?
Bob: No, that sin was placed on the back of God never to be seen again. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). There is no sin that will ever cause a person to go to hell. All your sins have been placed on the back of God. The only question God will ever ask is what did you do with my Son Jesus? Jesus said, “The world’s sin is unbelief in me” (John 16:9). A refusal to come to him for life is the only sin attributable to man. The sins of the world have all been placed on the cross of Jesus Christ.
Ron: I have been working on this lady to be born again. She has been a Catholic all her life. She has never been born again with God in her heart. I am still trying, but not successful yet. Because she has not been born again, then maybe she would be accountable for stealing.
Bob: Her sin is not stealing. Her sin is a refusal of Christ for life (John 3:36). She is depending on her church membership rather than her being joined to the living Jesus.
Ron: So if she did not get to heaven it would because she is not born again and not because she is stealing.
Bob: Yes, not because she is stealing. Right. Absolutely. Bob: I would appeal to her on that basis. What is her name?
Ron: Her name is Ruth.
Bob: It is not a Catholic or Gentile thing. All of us have been born into this world dead spiritually. The only person born alive spiritually is Jesus. That is why Jesus is the only one who has ever been able to lay a life down for you and me. He is the only one who had a life to lay down. Adam was created alive. Jesus, called the last Adam, was born alive. All the rest of us were born dead in Adam. The problem of man is not our sins. The problem of man is the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). We have concentrated on sins instead of the consequence to sin. So it does not matter how much we clean up our sins, if we are not in Christ, all we are is a cleaned up corpse. We have to get people to understand that your problem is spiritual death. Being Catholic cannot make you alive. Being a Baptist cannot make you alive. Being good cannot make you alive. You cannot revive a corpse to life by what it does. It has to have life imputed to it from the outside (Romans 4:19-25). Concentrate on that with this lady.
Bob: Say to Ruth, “you must understand your spiritual death and the only solution to that is spiritual life and the only person who can give that to you is Jesus Christ. It cannot be through religion, only through relationship.” Ron, that is what I would do and see if she responds to that.
Ron: Thank you. I will call you back later at 6:00.