Classic Christianity – Call-In Bob George p408 (01-24-19)
Several callers called in. Karen called about end time events and if there is any measuring stick to know when the time of the rapture is near. Bob emphasized the importance of not getting bogged down into end time events, particularly speculation and arguments, which are not beneficial to anyone, and certainly not at the expense of living your life in the Spirit with faith expressing itself in love. Another caller Rene asked about people prophesying over men by laying hands on them telling what God had said concerning them. Bob emphatically stated that is dangerous akin to fortune-telling and to stay away from people like that. He also said there is no more new knowledge for the canon of scripture is closed and all we need to know is in the scriptures. Tarrance asked questions pertaining to salvation. Bob explained the gospel quite clearly and said that many only teach about sin, sin and sin and never speak of the resurrection. Salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life. Salvation is being restored to spiritual life. Forgiveness of sins is one thing but that is not salvation. Salvation is solving the problem of death by giving new life, which can only by received in the resurrected life of Christ given to you as a gift. Salvation is coming to Jesus for life, for you are spiritually dead in Adam until Christ comes alive in you. Bob George explains this more thoroughly in his book , “Classic Christianity”. The last caller called about knowing God’s will in every day choices in life, such as buying a car or accepting a job. Bob says there is freedom in Christ to make all kinds of choices and God does not really care about those things. The only choice forbidden in the garden of Eden is to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man is not capable of knowing right from wrong and is to know what is right by being in a dependent relationship with a perfectly loving God. But every other tree in the garden, Adam was free to eat. He could choose any one he wanted.
Karen from Ammond, California
Karen called from Hammond, California and asked an end times question. She knows from scripture that no man knows the day or hour and that scripture refers to certain patterns and events that are to occur, and of which much has been occurring for centuries. So she asked, “Is there any measuring stick as to how close we are to Jesus return?”
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
From 2 Thessalonians 4, we come to understand that discussions concerning end times is nothing new. For even the apostle Paul addressed the error in thinking of the Thessalonians who thought the day of the Lord had already come. From this passage, one comes to understand that the “day of the Lord” has not come. Other things in this passage might not be clear to you or me and that is okay. Let us not become easily unsettled or alarmed.
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
In Luke 21, Matthew 24, and Mark 3, the disciples asked Jesus about end time events and the end of the age. It would be good to read those chapters, but Bob shared this passage.
5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
Bob said there really is no measuring stick. But scripture does say that even though you cannot know the day or hour, you can know the season of his return.
The following scriptures indicate that the end is drawing near.
28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
In light of the fact that Israel is back in its land in 1948, also notice that the fig tree is blossoming in Israel. Jesus says that this generation of the blossoming fig tree will certainly not pass away. A generation is typically 70 to 80 years in the bible. So many today are excited and looking forward to his coming soon but the day or hour is not known.
Just as birth pains grow in greater intensity and intensity as a baby is to be born, so too, do the events described in Mark 14 and other scriptures grow in greater intensity and frequency. And God tells us these things so that we are not alarmed. He also tells us specifically, with great importance, to not deceived because there will be a rise of false teachers and many false Messiahs even as there have been throughout many generations. But the deception also is much greater. God also does not want us to be afraid for he indicates that we will be persecuted and betrayed even by your own family. But Jesus told us not to be alarmed or worried about how to defend yourself for God Himself will give you the very words to say that no man can refute. Jesus also said the gospel will go out into all the world and then the end will come. So what does Jesus tell us is our primary role? Is it not sharing the good news of God’s grace to men?
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
One indicator of His soon coming is that the love of most will grow cold as we see such wickedness and depravity increase. So what was it like in the days of Noah. Wickedness was so great that God grieved he even made man yet he found favor with Noah, a preacher of righteousness. Jesus said that just as was in the days of Noah so will it be in the time of the coming of the son of man. Wickedness of men will steadily increase as men do not think it wise to hold on to truth. So men today, just as men in Noah’s day, are left to do what was right in their own eyes. We can also see an increase in lawlessness in greater and greater measure, as we are seeing today, the sanctity of marriage being destroyed by federal government legislating in favor of same sex marriage and now homosexuals demanding their rights and causing trouble for a baker and even false churches allowing a homosexual to have position of authority, and even child gender dysphoria now being brought up. Such things will all increase in frequency and intensity as well as earthquakes and famines. But Jesus says to not be alarmed for all these things must happen.
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
The book of Revelation was also written down for our benefit so the things prophesied that will come will not be a shock to us and we need not cower in fear but to look up for your redemption draws near. When one comes to understand with Paul that to live is Christ and to die is gain, anything in this world will be light and momentary. Yes, challenging, requiring endurance, and many will lose their lives for the sake of gospel, as Christians will be hated by all men, and that has happened throughout history. But be of good cheer, Jesus said, for He has overcome the world.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Jesus also promised a special blessing to those who read the book of Revelation, even aloud and in public and ponder what is written. Yet many church leaders sadly have encouraged people to avoid Revelation. That should not be so, for Jesus specifically say otherwise. But realize that even the bible records that many things that are written will not be understood until the very end and the wise will understood and will instruct many, and do not fret over what you cannot understand right now. Yet there is a reason to study and learn prophesy but it is not to cower in fear and keep you from living today in what God has specifically assigned you to do.
Bob specifically encouraged people not to get into speculation on things you cannot understand and be bogged down in those things so that you are unfruitful in the Lord. Recall that of most importance is to allow Christ to live in you and through you, touching lives. The lost need to hear the gospel and the believers need truth for their building up and edification and their equipping. From Bob’s position, he has been so effective in making foundational truths of scripture easier to grasp and understand by people so they can walk in the grace of God in freedom. For him to get bogged down in studying prophecy is just not something he had time to get into. Recall each person is a member of the body of Christ, each with their unique function and role.
Bob’s perspective on what much of people do in regards to prophesy is speculation and argumentation. Sadly, even believers have called others heretics who did not believe in the pre-tribulation view of the rapture. Listen, all of us are growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and any of us could be wrong on certain things, but whether somebody believes in pre-tribulation or pre-wrath or something else does not make him a non-believer or a heretic. God will make such things clear in due time. When we see a man standing in the temple, proclaiming himself to be God, and you are still hanging around and you are a believer, then that will tell you something. Or, if you hear the trumpet of God and meet the Lord in the air, then that will tell you something too. Let’s not fret over things that are not as critical as to your neighbor’s struggle in sin, or you walking in the grace of God, or you sharing the good news of the gospel. Let’s not neglect the more important matters.
Bob’s final comment on this improper focus on end time events is to encourage people to focus on more important matters, living in the present, with faith expressing itself in love. There is no fear of the rapture for then you are going to be in the presence of God. Why should I sit around? I got a life to live, people to love, and the need of people to know the Lord. There is just too much going on here to redirect energies to speculate on things I cannot know.
From Bob’s perspective, with the building of temple, and how all that comes to play, does it really matter? When Israel became a nation, then people started focusing more on end time prophecy. In 1969, everyone talked about prophecy. End times is end times. Scripture tells us what signs are going to be. Even if signs are taking place, Bob would still be doing what he was doing. Such topics can be very divisive, an opinion often times, and much energy spent which could be better spent elsewhere. One must also guard against pride in your knowledge, as scripture states that knowledge puffs itself up in pride.
Rene from Navato, CA
Rene had a question for Bob in regards to men who are into prophesying over others, telling other about what God has revealed as to what they should do. Bob was straight-forward in his response: “You can go to a fortune-teller and get the same kind of nonsense. This is nothing other than fraudulent activity, satanically induced.” Bob went to a conference once and a man placed his hands on his head. Bob told him to stop. If God wants to direct you, he is going to tell you, but he is not going to you about what I am going to do. Bob emphatically stated, “These false prophets are dangerous and stay away from them.
There is no more prophecy since the canon of scripture has been closed.
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
The book of Mormon is written because someone thought he was a latter-day prophet and what do you have, a book of nonsense. No such thing as further information. Everything God wants us to know is revealed in the scriptures.
Rene also asked about those who believe in a second baptism.
When we are baptized, there is no second baptism of the Spirit for then you were never born again. How can you become born again and get the Spirit later? If you did then you did not get Him the first time. Baptism of the Spirit is when the Spirit baptizes you into the body of Christ.
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
That happens once at spiritual birth. The Son of God comes to live in you. The spirit is not something you babble in tongues or roll on the floor. Your own spirit testifies you are a child of God.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
You do not need an additional sign that you have the Spirit. You know if you have the Spirit.
He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Many people falling for this so-called second baptism, but it is not biblical at all. Slain in Spirit is totally false teaching. Spirit did not come to knock you down. The Spirit came to give you life.
Tarrance from Kentucky
Tarrance from Kentucky asked three questions that he wanted Bob to de-conflict. Tarrance said that three doctrines are taught in the body of Christ that all seem to conflict. Security, restoration of all things, and all receive salvation since the sacrifice of Jesus for sin.
Bob addressed the obvious error: “All people are saved is ludicrous. Who ever teaches that is heretical teaching, spits in the face of God from Genesis to Revelation. The reason I know I have eternal life is because of the eternal consequences of the cross. Salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life. Salvation is being restored to spiritual life.
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[a] 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.
Law was given to show we are sinners and that there is a consequence of sin, which is death. Forgiving someone does not bring life to someone. Forgiveness is forgiveness. But what God had to do was clear the deck for the divine action of bringing eternal life to the dead. The reason I know I have eternal life is because of the eternal consequences of the cross. To deny you can have eternal life is to spit in the face of Jesus and say he did not complete the work. It is to call God a liar. It is to say God lied when he cried out on the cross, “it is finished.” It would mean the apostles Paul lied when he wrote letters to the churches.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
In essence, going against the entire teaching of the new testament where Jesus took away the cause of spiritual death so that he can impart to us spiritual life. If you have come to him for your correction of spiritual death, which is life, you are saved. And reason you are saved eternally is because of the eternal consequence of the cross where Jesus eternally took away the cause of spiritual death. That is the good news of the gospel. Sinning before or after saved makes no difference. You are born into this world with sins forgiven. The only sin attributable to man is the sin of the rejection of Christ Jesus who provided all this for us. That is why Jesus said the world’s sin is unbelief in me.
John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me
The only question Jesus will never ask you is what have you done with my Son. Why? God was in Christ reconciling us to himself not counting sins against us. Sins were taken away from the eyes of God eternally. Every person who ever walked on the earth have sins taken away at the cross. Forgiveness provided for us then is only received in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though the cross took care of the sin issue, life has to take care of the death issue. Death is a worse problem than sin. Sin is what caused death but death is your problem. Death can only be corrected by the resurrected life in Christ Jesus. So, to insult the Lord Jesus in Hebrews makes a mockery of the grace of God.
26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
So the person is sinning against the knowledge of truth, insulting the grace of God, and there is no sacrifice for rejecting truth. Sins o the whole world has already been forgiven and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin. If you sin against such knowledge, the only place to go is hell. More people are sinning against the knowledge of truth than sinning against the 10 commandments. Jesus took away our sins never to be seen again and that is what people are sinning against. Religion keeps teaching about sin, sin, and sin but never deals with death.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We have glossed over the idea of wages of sin is death but never realized that is us, being spiritually dead already, under condemnation of the law. The only life available to us is the resurrected life in Christ Jesus that can save us from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life. Buddha, Mohamed or Luther cannot give you life for they are still dead in the grace. Only the resurrected life of Jesus can save us. There has been so much emphasis on the cross instead of the resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
The cross took away the sins of the world but also that originally provided for us then only received in the resurrection life of Christ. And that is good news!
Tarrance then asked about how to get sin out of your life. Bob answered by saying that the only way to get sin out of your life is when you die. Don’t pray for that too hard. God left that sin in the flesh in us. Bob says the reasons he thinks so is because if he did not we would stop trusting in Jesus in a heartbeat. That is what keeps us weak so we can walk in dependence on Him. Otherwise we would be so self-righteous and proud of ourselves and everyone around us sick to their stomach. Bob offered Classic Christianity to him as a gift, for what he spoke here he elaborated and explains more thoroughly in the book. Since God also created us with free will, by design of creation, that has not changed, and is closely tied to our flesh. Free will is what allows us to freely express love to God out of our own choice.
John from Dallas, TX
John asked a question about knowing God’s will, such as everyday decisions such as what job to accept or what car to buy. Should I do this or that? Not about going to a bar to get drunk, for God’s word is clear on that, but on things like should I buy a car?
God’s answer is “I don’t care what kind of car you have.” There were no cars in Jesus day. Remember the garden of Eden.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
All these trees Adam was free to eat. Only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he was warned not to eat. There was freedom to eat anything else, with no need to ask, whichever one you want. But one thing we are incapable of doing is determining right from wrong, so have to depend on God for that. But in all other things we are open to all kinds of options. Jesus is sitting there with you in whatever car you choose to buy. But unless you are leaning on our own understanding in regards to good and evil, you have that freedom. God says whatever you want to do and you do not need to ask me, just pick whatever you want.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
You cannot make a mistake on this one.
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