Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P488 (11-01-19)
Several callers asked common questions that people wrestle with today. How should I pray? Should I continually ask God for something over and over again? Should you wait and just trust God to work? How do I share the word of God, the gospel with my friends? Should I just let my actions speak louder than my words? What about persevering to the end? Is that what believers have to do to be sure they are saved? Is abortion sin? What if I am a believer and I have committed that sin? What do I do now?
Bob shares truth from scripture to help these callers in the situation they have found themselves. There is no sin that you and I as believers cannot commit. Like all of us, when we are ashamed of our sin, we want to hide, possibly out of fear of how others will respond to that sin. It is so important for us to recognize that those sins we commit, and will commit, had been placed on the back of God never to see them again, from His standpoint. He came to give you life. The Gospel is not getting your sins forgiven. That is a part of the gospel, but it is only a bridge you cross over so you can have eternal life. Salvation is receiving life. When we receive that life, God is counseling us. He is our Counselor, He lives within us, and is at work within us to live and to act according to His good purpose. There is no condemnation for those in Christ. We are His child, and there is nothing that will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. At times we need correction, and we will always be in the process of having our minds renewed with truth.
When you pray for others, realize that God loves them perfectly, knows exactly what they need, and is always at work. When we pray, we are not asking for my will to be done, but for God’s will to be done. God certainly desires all men to be saved, to come to the knowledge of the truth, and to walk in newness of life. We have to be guided by the Spirit as to how He wants us to participate in the divine nature and to do the work He created us to do. But always be at rest in Him and trust in Him to be at work in the hearts of men. Christ is our live and we simply allow Him to live in us and through us. We cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit in the energy of the flesh. We abide in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing.
Hank from Waco, TX
Hank: A question I have. I know from what I understand, we are not to continue to pray the same things to God, for he has already heard the initial prayer we gave. For a certain thing you are praying on, He does not need to hear it again. I catch myself praying over the same things every time, particularly about my brother who is lost. A quick history of his life. Neither one of us had a good relationship with our father. My brother started drinking and graduated to heroine and pot. I am not sure what drugs he got into, for he is in Colorado and I am in Texas.
Bob: I got the picture there, Hank. We do not know him. Again, I get the picture of what you have a problem with, your brother. The answer you are talking about is this. “Lord, you are more concerned about my brother than I am. I do not need to tell you about my brother’s problem because You know what his problem is, and what the solution is. I am not asking for my will to be done but for your will be done. So I am putting him in your hands and I am going to trust You with the results of this. Whenever he is ready, because I know You are ready, for him to be saved. When he is ready for that I will be praising for You in that. In the meantime, he is in Your hands, not mine. That is where I am leaving it and moving on with my life and quit bugging You with this problem. By faith, I am counting on You to do what You and You alone can do.” Leave it and drop it. Believe me, that is what You do with those things. I have been in a similar situation. I had to say, “He is in your hands”. In a year or two later, I heard about it. We cannot be fixers. We think we are fixers. God has to do the fixing.
Hank: Is it just one of those things? If he is saved, he is saved. If he never gets saved, he does not get saved.
Bob: It is all God’s business, isn’t it?
Hank: Sure is. Thank you.
Lynn from New Orleans, LA
Lynn is a young college girl, and was wondering what the bible says about abortion. Bob drew her out to find out her reason for asking. She had committed the sin of fornication. Bob gently talked to her in a Spirit of grace, providing her needed instruction and encouragement to make right choices. She is a believer and like all of us, we are all susceptible to committing any sin. God unconditionally loves her and will cause all things to happen for the good. She will be facing difficult times ahead but God will always be with her.
Bob: Abortion is taking the life of a baby. So it is in the same category as murder. When a person destroys a child with potential to spring into life you took the life away God intended to live. Is that a sin that was placed on Jesus on the cross? Yes. It is a sin forgiven on the cross. Are you referring to yourself or someone else? Just like all of us, when we are ashamed of our sin, we want to hide, possibly out of fear of how others will respond to that sin.
Lynn: Sort of.
Bob: It is either yourself or someone else. There is no sort of.
Lynn: I am a college student. I am a Christian and now I am pregnant.
Bob: That baby did not get formed in there by osmosis. There was a sin of fornication that took place. Can a Christian commit fornication? Yes. Can a Christian commit adultery? Yes. Christians can be subject to any sin out there.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
Bob: It is so important for you to recognize that those sins you commit, and will commit, had been placed on the back of God never to see them again, from His standpoint. He came to give you life. The Gospel is not getting your sins forgiven. That is a part of the gospel, but it is only a bridge you cross over so you can have eternal life. Salvation is receiving life.
10 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Bob: The whole issue of salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, (Romans 3:23) by the gift of God, which is life (Ephesians 2:8-9). God looks at life as a gift. That is when you are saved. It is not when you just recognize and thank him for the cross and ask him for forgiveness. People stop there but it is the resurrection that saves you. He lives in you when you ask him in you as your Lord and Savior.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Bob: Lynn, you are indwelt by God. So you are indwelt by the wisdom of God with the heart, love and mercy of God.
1 Corinthians 1:30
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Bob: So you have to ask yourself, when Christ is your life, would the Jesus in you want you to abort this life? No. So you shouldn’t either. It will be an inconvenience and an embarrassment but all those things are short-lived. In the long run, you are going to bring a child in this world under some adverse conditions but God will cause this to work out together for your good.
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.
Bob: It is hard to see it at the time. But once you see the child come out of you, just as new life was produced in you at new spiritual birth, you will have a love in you that you never knew you had before. I have heard people say “I will never get my college education.” Well, there are a lot more important things than getting a college education. Bob, at 70 years old, I have only been asked one time if I had a college education and was never asked what grades I got. You were in love with someone and these are natural impulses that people have (there is no sin except that which is common to man; sexual desires are naturally God-given but sin is when improperly exercised out of context of marriage). At your age you are full of hormones. You got in the trap of making physical love with one another and you got into the trap of pregnancy. Do not compound the problem.
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.” 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.
Bob: Nothing can separate you from the love of God. In all these things, you are more than conquerors. You and Jesus will get along just fine. Keep the child and you will be a phenomenal mother.
Lynn: We have been together for four years.
Bob: Does he know about this?
Lynn: He does not know about this yet.
Bob: You are fearful of telling him and fear does not come from God. God did not give you a spirit of fear.
2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Bob: He needs to know about it. That way you are going to determine whether this is the boy or man you want to be married to. And he is going to determine if this is the woman he wants to be married to. He might cop out. If he is a true born again believer then he will say, you and I need to get married and have a family together. And if you do not want to do that, then wait on God to bring the right man along. If you have been together that long seems that a good relationship was formed. You need to confront him with this and let him know about this. That is the proper thing to do. These are some of the repercussions that not everybody gets into. There are those who are very promiscuous as can be and nothing ever happens. Another person slips up one time and get pregnant. We do not know why those things take place.
Bob extended such grace and offered practical help and reached out in love to her. Do you accept that God took away your sins 2000 years ago? Recognize God loves you and God wants you to preserve that life that is in you. As a child of God, I am sure you can do it. I hope to meet you some day. You do what God would have you do and you will be blessed. If ever you need help, call at any time. If you need future counseling, we have got Ed Hecht to talk to. Do not go this alone. You have friends here to rely on.
Tom from Louisville, KY
Tom: A friend of mine, a pastor of a church I go to, is not resting in the finality of the cross. From a passage in Hebrews chapter 3 where it says if we hold firmly to the end, the confidence we have at first, where he is trying to tell men you can lose your salvation. What does it mean to hold on firmly to the end?
14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
Bob: The solution to biblical interpretation is context. What is the context of the first three chapters of Hebrews? It is about the superiority of Christ in contrast to the things the Jews are holding onto. He is superior to the angels. He is superior to Moses. He is superior to Abraham. He is God Himself. He is gearing us toward a rest, and that is coming up in chapter 4. That is the the Sabbath rest He wants us to enter into.
Bob: You know that you have the story of the Jews who were in Egypt. They got in the desert. That could represent salvation. Then you have another story of entering the promised land. You are drinking from wells you did not dig and eating from trees you did not plant. You are entering into a rest which you cannot do in Egypt. You are out of Egypt, saved but you are not resting. You are no longer in the desert, but you are not resting.
Bob: In translations into English from the Greek, the if has different meanings and has to be understood in context. In the Greek language you have an “if” translated into English. When Satan tempted Jesus, he said, “if you are the Son of God, then turn these stones to bread”. It is not using “if”, saying, “if you are God”. It is an “if” saying in the light of the fact you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread. There is another “if” that is conditional. “If you do, he will. If you don’t, he won’t”. This is an “if” that means “in as much as”.
Bob: We come to share in Christ in light of the fact that we hold onto firmly the confidence we had at first. If you do not hold firmly to the confidence you had at first, then you will not continue sharing in the first. You are saved, but you are still in the desert. If you want to share in Christ with confidence, then He wants you to have confidence in the end of your life as you did at the beginning of your spiritual life. You are never going to do that when you are not resting. The only way you are ever going to have confidence is by getting out of the desert. The desert is where you work. The promised land is where you rest.
Bob: Why are you resting? By faith, you know that you are a forgiven person. You know that you are a redeemed person. You know that you are a justified person. You know what your destiny is. As far as God is concerned you are already seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. That is all a part of who you are. I can rest in that. I do not have to work at that. I cannot add to what God has done. I certainly do not want to subtract from it. I can rest in that.
Bob: The only way I am going to continue to share, not dealing with salvation, but just to share in that relationship with Christ is to enter into a rest. If you are in the desert wondering if you can rest or not, then you cannot rest. So this whole deal is pointing us toward what Joshua did, which was to lead the Jews into the promised land, which Moses could not dd and did not do. So this is not dealing with salvation and losing salvation. This is dealing to continue in your understanding of Christ so you can rest with Him and enter that Sabbath rest.
Bob: Tom, anyone who believes you can lose your salvation does not know what salvation is. Salvation is life. In other words, you are not saved by the death of Christ. You are saved by the life of Christ. What are you saved from? You are saved from the wages of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life.
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Bob: Christ came to offer us life.
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Bob: The whole issue of salvation is life and death. What kind of life did He give us, temporal life or eternal life? Eternal life. In order to give eternal life, you have to have eternal forgiveness. For if you did not have eternal forgiveness, you cannot have eternal life. A person who says you can lose life is looking into the face of Jesus and saying you can lose what is eternal. Now, if your only understanding of salvation is having your sins forgiven then you can get to the point that you can out-sin the cross. There is no way to have eternal life to lose what is eternal. So someone who says you can lose salvation does not know what salvation is.
Tom: But the way that passage is written, it is like a double “if”. It says, “if only we hold onto our first confidence ”
Bob: That is the confidence we are talking about. Again, Tom, context. What is this leading us to? A Sabbath rest, not salvation. You are already out of Egypt. It is whether you are going to rest or not, whether you are out of the desert. The people who are teaching what you are hearing are not resting. They are in the desert.
Tom: So what does it mean by being in partnership?
Bob: If you are not resting in the completeness of the work, you will not lose your salvation. You just will not have any joy.
Paul from Bellingham, WA
Paul: I am calling on an issue I need wisdom for. I want to share the word with my friends. I have a friend going through a divorce. I want to share the Word with my neighbor and my friend. I do not want to scare him away. I do not want to throw the bible at him and say this is the way to go. Do you have any encouragement for me to share? I know my actions speak louder than my words.
Bob: The actions of man can be somewhat important until I think about the behavior of Jesus and realize that they even rejected Him. You can be around a lot of nice people. There are nice appearing Muslims out there. There are nice Mormons out there. The Word of God is what people need to hear. People are hurting inside, with hearts aching, and you can tell them that that hurt can only be solved and comforted by Christ Jesus, the one who said, “come to me all those who labor and are heavy laden, come to me and I will give you peace”.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Bob: If you are a child of God, and you know how you are saved, then you know how to communicate that. So communicate that to them the gospel as it stands. Ask the question, “Are you in Christ Jesus, or are you in the process?”. You are not judging. You realize it is a process people go through, in processing truth little by little. You do not have to worry about where they will be turned on or turned off by the message. Some people will be turned on and others will be turned off. That is a part of life. You cannot be running for sheriff and be a Christian. You cannot be interested in the opinions of men. You be loving and gentle but help people to see their condition. One of the reasons you are in the condition of divorce is because you are dead inside. If he is a Christian and in divorce, then it is because he is not listening to Christ. Another possibility is if either spouse is a non-believer and is involved in behavior that warrants a divorce, including reasons of safety or protection of yourself and your children, if children are involved.
Paul: Should I ask, “Do you believe in heaven? Do you believe in hell?” Should we approach him that way?
Bob: No, ask them if you ever discovered knowing Christ in a personal way. Tell them a little of your own testimony. We are not talking about religion but a relationship with Christ. Have you ever come to know Him in a personal relationship? Ask them about their testimony. Then you will find out if they are lying to you or just confused about what you are saying. You are questioning people to help them see their condition. That is the first thing you do. If you never had something inside you called hunger, you would never go and get something to eat. You have to help them recognize there is something missing inside them. Deal with those kinds of subjects. Find out where they are. Find out what their understanding of the gospel is. Then explain the fullness of the gospel to them. We are all born into this world dead and the reason is is because we do not have the Spirit of life living in us. Take it from there.
Paul: I will take it from there.
Bob: Let me know how it goes.
Paul: I will let you know when the good news comes.